Cover for No Agenda Show 1265: Ear Trumpet
August 2nd, 2020 • 2h 59m

1265: Ear Trumpet


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Section 230
Trump administration petitions FCC on social media content rules - Reuters
Fri, 31 Jul 2020 20:30
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Commerce Department agency on Monday petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to reinterpret a 1996 law to require transparency in how social media companies moderate content, after President Donald Trump asked it to intervene in the matter.
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech during a tour of the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies' Innovation Center, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant where components for a potential coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine candidate are being developed, in Morrrisville, North Carolina, U.S., July 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Trump directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to file the petition after Twitter in May warned readers to fact-check his posts about unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mail-in voting.
Trump's executive order asked the NTIA to petition the FCC to write regulations stemming from Section 230, a provision of the Communications Decency Act that shields social media companies from liability for content posted by their users and allows them to remove lawful but objectionable posts.
The NTIA said in Monday's petition it wants the FCC to require social media firms to ''publicly disclose accurate information regarding its content-management mechanisms'' to ''enable users to make more informed choices about competitive alternatives.''
Trump, a Republican who is running for re-election on Nov. 3, has repeatedly expressed anger at social media companies. On Monday, he said Twitter's trending topics feature was unfair.
''They look for anything they can find, make it as bad as possible, and blow it up, trying to make it trend,'' he wrote.
Both Democratic commissioners on the five-member FCC said the commission should quickly reject the petition.
''The FCC shouldn't take this bait. While social media can be frustrating, turning this agency into the President's speech police is not the answer,'' FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a written statement.
Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr said the ''petition provides an opportunity to bring much-needed clarity to the statutory text.''
Twitter has called Trump's executive order ''a reactionary and politicized approach to a landmark law.''
A spokesman for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has said in the past he does not see a role for the FCC to regulate websites like Twitter, Facebook or Alphabet's Google, said on Monday the agency ''will carefully review the petition.''
The FCC could take a year or longer to finalize any rules.
Andrew Jay Schwartzman, a Georgetown University lecturer, said Trump was on shaky legal ground.
''The FCC has no authority to interpret Section 230, and even if it did, the rule that Trump wants is utterly incompatible with the plain language of the statute,'' he said.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sandra Maler and Sonya Hepinstall
NTIA Petition for Rulemaking to Clarify Provisions of Section 230 of the Communications Act | National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Fri, 31 Jul 2020 20:31
Pursuant to section 1.401 of the Code of Federal Regulations, in accordance with Executive Order 13925 (E.O. 13925), and through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) respectfully requests that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) initiate a rulemaking to clarify the provisions of section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
Models and Data
Trump fbi building red herring he launched himself
Elder covid deaths
An updated study revealed 45% of all US coronavirus deaths occurred in nursing homes.
That comes out to 73,733 Deaths in US Nursing Homes!
Only 0.6% of the US population lives in nursing homes but over 45% of the coronavirus deaths were in these centers.
Dr Producer on front line doctors
I am a physician of 27 years' experience, and what I am seeing with the Wuhan virus pandemic has betrayed my trust in the the medical leadership on every level. It is up to enlightened physicians to do the right thing by their patients AND SPEAK OUT... and many ARE, thank God!
Watch 2:09 through 11:07 of "The Still Report," Episode #3156:
This is boots-on-the-ground reporting, a clip from a YouTube video that was taken down, as was Donald Trump, Jr.'s tweet about this event.
As a physician I simply cannot believe what is going on. The Dems, the MSM, Big Tech, the WHO, the CDC, all aligned in a coordinated effort to seize power, risking lives, health, children's education, and the national/global economy. It's absolutely surreal, and it cannot continue. The recklessness of the progressive Left and their utter disregard for life and livelihood are sufficient justification for stopping them. Regardless of any principles or ideology they may espouse, these police state tactics alone negate them. Wake up, people, before it's too late.
Pharmacist on PBM's
I had a friend, who's been a pharmacist (as well as a pharmacy owner) for over thirty years, listen to the segment last Sunday on Trumps new executive orders regarding PBMs and he was very impressed. He said it was an incredibly well done (and well researched) break down and explanation of a system that the PBMs intentionally try to make very complicated and hard to follow.
He also added that the three main PBMs are CVS Caremark, United Healthcare, and Express Script who control 85% of the market and make so much money they are literally "Fortune 25" companies, meaning they are in they are in the top 25 of all Fortune 500 companies.
Lastly, he made the comment that at one point in the clips you shared, Trump makes a comment to "Alex" about how much money the PBMs and Big Pharma make and thinks that it was addressing Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, because he used to work them...
Thanks for your courage and clarity!
Blessings and Best Wishes,
The Reiki Princess
Argentina from producer Bill
Yeah I made it down here. There's only like one flight a month from Miami to Argentina on Argentina airline. I was the last person who checked in. The person checking me in had an issue with my work visa so she called Buenos Aires to check on it when there was a guy standing in the check in area who was from the Miami consulate. So she wasted about 35 minutes when all she had to do was call the guy over and he would have vouched for me.
My coworker and I had the same exact paperwork he had no problems.
I was talking with a guy in line who lives in Argentina. He is originally from the US and got stuck here 4 months ago. This was his first chance to get back to his family in Argentina.
There's no hot meals. They just give you a food bag. This might become the norm after we get rid of this virus.
I have to stay in my hotel room for 14 days.
They can only bring towels up and I can order room service or have their version of Uber eats deliver. Immigration has checked on me twice to make sure I was actually staying in my room.
They cannot clean my room. With less than 10 people staying at the hotel they turn the hot water off mid-morning. AFTER THAT THE WATER IS LUKEWARM.
I brought my Roku. There's a little hack to get around GPS location for YouTube TV. on your phone you go to fake GPS app fake your location then go into YouTube TV app on your phone and Bam the Roku starts working on the television in the hotel room.
Vaccine trials explained
With the COVID vaccines going into trials, it's helpful to know what the 3 phases of testing entail because it's very easy stuff, but powerful to know:
Phase I: Safety and dosage [In my experience, mostly safety (viz., toxicity) since Phases II & III focus more on dosage.]
Phase II: Efficacy and side effects (Again, concern about safety, but now testing relatively high dosage to see if the compound works.)
Phase III: Efficacy and monitoring adverse reactions (Again, safety, but now, backing off dosage to see if it still works, yet lowers side effects, you know, whether it's "Super painful").
My shorthand is Phase I: toxicity, Phase II: efficacy, Phase III: dosage (optimize between efficacy and dosage).
Is comparing Covid-19 death rates across Europe helpful? | Coronavirus outbreak | The Guardian
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 05:01
Show caption Medical staff caring for a patient with Covid-19 at a hospital's intensive care unit in Brussels. Photograph: St(C)phanie Lecocq/EPA
Coronavirus outbreakFri 24 Apr 2020 09.26 EDT
Every day, the statistics bring more grim headlines: ''Italian death toll passes 20,000'', ''Record UK daily death toll'', ''Europe's fatalities pass 100,000''. Across the world, people await national updates on the coronavirus '' and compare their country with others.
The comparison game has been especially marked in Belgium, which on paper has the unhappy title of highest number of Covid-19 deaths per capita in Europe. Belgium '' population 11.5 million '' has counted at least 6,675 deaths since the start of the outbreak, more than Germany, which is nearly eight times more populous.
But such comparisons can be misleading. Unlike the UK, Italy or Spain, Belgium counts all coronavirus deaths outside hospitals in its daily statistics: deaths in care homes account for 53% of the total. Belgium's official toll also includes people suspected of having died of coronavirus, without a confirmed diagnosis. Nearly all deaths in care homes (94%) are suspected Covid-19 cases, rather than confirmed '' an approach that has led some to complain Belgium is overestimating the number of fatalities.
Marc Van Ranst, a Belgian virologist, told the Flemish national broadcaster that the official methodology was ''dumb'', while some ministers have voiced concern in private. ''Nobody would benefit from reporting people as Covid deaths if they are ordinary deaths from old age,'' a federal government source told Flemish daily De Tijd last week.
Belgian officials have defended the approach, arguing it is more precise and saves lives, as information has prompted policy changes, such as mass testing in care homes. ''More and more countries are beginning to copy the Belgian model,'' Prof Emmanuel Andr(C), the federal government's Covid-19 crisis spokesman, told journalists this week.
The Netherlands has recorded at least 4,050 deaths from coronavirus, 24 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with 55 per 100,000 in neighbouring Belgium. But a Dutch health ministry spokesman said the Netherlands figure was ''an underestimation'' because it only included deaths where coronavirus had been confirmed. Between 6 and 12 April, 5,036 people died in the Netherlands, compared with an average of 2,857 in the same week in the three previous years, a number of excess deaths that helps give an idea of the scale of undercounting.
The UK has reported that at least 18,738 people have died in hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus. This headline figure, which is given in the government's daily briefing, also does not tell the full story. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show Covid-19 fatalities in care homes in England and Wales more than quadrupled in a week, rising to 1,043, while coronavirus deaths at home more than tripled in the same period to 466.
In France, the care home number is 7,896, which represents 40% of the country's overall coronavirus deaths. The figure is almost certainly higher. France's health authority has been giving care home death figures since 3 April, when they were only ''partial''. Now they are said to be more or less complete figures.
France has more than 10,600 public and private care homes and they are a long ignored part of the health system. Covid-19 has revealed a lack of equipment and material, including masks and testing. But it has also shown the overwhelming dedication of carers, who are largely underpaid, and under recognised for their work.
One of the worst cases is in Mougins, near Grasse on the French Riviera, where 37 of 109 residents of a private care home have died of Covid-19, and 14 of 50 staff tested positive when testing was finally done.
In Spain, the official number of coronavirus deaths is about 20,000. But it could be much higher if deaths in care homes are taken into account, according to the regional governments of Madrid and Catalonia, the areas hardest hit by the pandemic. Collating data from care homes and funeral directors, they say that in the two regions respectively about 4,275 and 3,000 care home residents have died from the virus.
From forest ranger to care home cleaner: volunteering to take on coronavirus in Spain - video diary The Spanish health ministry did not request care home data until 8 April and several of the country's 17 autonomous regions have yet to provide it. Last Friday the ministry said it would continue to base its statistics on deaths of people who had been tested for the virus, thus excluding until now most care home deaths.
In most of central Europe, coronavirus numbers are still much lower than in countries further west, but there is concern here too that care homes are vulnerable and could quickly lead to rising numbers. Hungary's far-right government and the liberal mayor of Budapest have been locked in a blame game over one care home in the city which has recorded 223 residents and 19 workers as being infected, about 10% of the country's total coronavirus cases.
Neighbouring Slovakia has some of the lowest numbers in Europe, and until last week, just two people had died from the virus. However, seven people have since died after an outbreak in a nursing home in the town of Pezinok, and the government has promised to embark on widespread testing in homes across the country.
Variations in counting of Covid-19 deaths, different testing strategies and lockdown policies make international comparisons a minefield. ''A comparison between [EU] member states is difficult and should be done with extreme caution,'' said a spokesperson at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the EU agency to tackle infectious diseases.
The agency is urging governments to count everyone who dies of coronavirus, irrespective of whether they die in hospital, a care home or private residence, as well as recording deaths where Covid-19 was ''the main or contributing cause''.
Data for France, Spain and central Europe was collected on 21 April; data for the Netherlands, the UK and ECDC statistics on 23 April, and for Belgium on 24 April.
' This article was amended on 27 April 2020. The data was collected on various dates in April, as above, not during March as a previous version said. This has been corrected.
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Vaccines and Such
COVID-19 Vaccine Messaging, Part 1 - Full Text View -
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:24
Sham Comparator: ControlControl message about birdfeeding
Other: Control message2/15 of the sample will be assigned to the pure control group, which is a passage on the costs and benefits of bird feeding.
Active Comparator: Baseline messageThese participants will be assigned a message about the benefits of vaccination . All other treatment arms include this baseline language.
Other: Baseline message3/15 of the sample will be assigned to a control group with a message about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines .
Experimental: Personal freedomExperimental message arm.
Other: Personal freedom message1/15 of the sample will be assigned to this intervention, which is a message about how COVID-19 is limiting people's personal freedom and by working together to get enough people vaccinated society can preserve its personal freedom.
Experimental: Economic freedomExperimental message arm.
Other: Economic freedom message1/15 of the sample will be assigned to this intervention, which is a message about how COVID-19 is limiting peoples's economic freedom and by working together to get enough people vaccinated society can preserve its economic freedom.
Experimental: Social benefit, self-interestExperimental message arm.
Other: Self-interest message1/15 of the sample will be assigned to this intervention, which is a message that COVID-19 presents a real danger to one's health, even if one is young and healthy. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to prevent oneself from getting sick.
Experimental: Social benefit, community interestExperimental message arm.
Other: Community interest message1/15 of the sample will be assigned to this intervention, which is a message about the dangers of COVID-19 to the health of loved ones. The more people who get vaccinated against COVID-19, the lower the risk that one's loved ones will get sick. Society must work together and all get vaccinated.
Experimental: Economic benefitExperimental message arm.
Other: Economic benefit message1/15 of the sample will be assigned to this group, which is a message about how COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the economy and the only way to strengthen the economy is to work together to get enough people vaccinated.
Experimental: Social pressure- guiltExperimental message arm.
Other: Guilt message1/15 of the sample will be assigned to this message. The message is about the danger that COVID-19 presents to the health of one's family and community. The best way to protect them is by getting vaccinated and society must work together to get enough people vaccinated. Then it asks the participant to imagine the guilt they will feel if they don't get vaccinated and spread the disease.
Experimental: Social pressure- embarrassmentExperimental message arm.
Other: Embarrassment message1/15 of the sample will be assigned to this message. The message is about the danger that COVID-19 presents to the health of one's family and community. The best way to protect them is by getting vaccinated and by working together to make sure that enough people get vaccinated. Then it asks the participant to imagine the embarrassment they will feel if they don't get vaccinated and spread the disease.
Experimental: Social pressure- angerExperimental message arm.
Other: Anger message1/15 of the sample will be assigned to this message. The message is about the danger that COVID-19 presents to the health of one's family and community. The best way to protect them is by getting vaccinated and by working together to make sure that enough people get vaccinated. Then it asks the participant to imagine the anger they will feel if they don't get vaccinated and spread the disease.
Experimental: Trust in scienceExperimental message arm.
Other: Trust in science message1/15 of the sample will be assigned to this message about how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most effective way of protecting one's community. Vaccination is backed by science. If one doesn't get vaccinated that means that one doesn't understand how infections are spread or who ignores science.
Experimental: Not bravery armExperimental message arm.
Other: Not bravery message1/15 of the sample will be assigned to this message which describes how firefighters, doctors, and front line medical workers are brave. Those who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are not brave.
A Game-Changing Coronavirus Treatment That No One's Talking About | by Markham Heid | Jul, 2020 | Elemental
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:48
The NuanceClinical trials for monoclonal antibodies are already underway, and the timelines are shorter than those for vaccines F or months, the world has watched and waited as the medical-science community labors to identify a remedy that will end the pandemic. In the United States, most of the public's interest has been focused on the progress of the various vaccine candidates, which could provide the ultimate form of protection against the novel coronavirus.
Much less attention has been paid to monoclonal antibodies, which are drugs that contain specialized proteins that are intended to stop SARS-CoV-2 from infecting healthy cells. In many ways, these drugs do the work of a vaccine, only they do it more quickly and efficiently '-- if also less durably.
''Antibody-based therapies may offer one of the best near-term options for developing safe, effective treatments for Covid-19,'' said Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institute of Health, in a blog post published in May. Since then, research teams have isolated monoclonal antibodies that '-- in test tubes and in monkeys '-- have blocked SARS-CoV-2 from spreading.
In a best-case scenario, experts say that monoclonal antibodies could act as a ''bridge'' drug that carries us safely forward until that time when a vaccine is available for wide dissemination. And they say that best-case scenario is not far-fetched.
Human blood contains hundreds of thousands of different antibodies. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system that can attack or repel viruses and other pathogens.
In oversimplified terms, vaccines work in part by encouraging the immune system to make new antibodies '-- ones that are able to defeat a particular pathogen. Once the immune system starts to make these antibodies, it doesn't stop. And so unless a virus mutates in a way that renders those antibody proteins ineffective, anyone who possesses them is protected from that virus.
''Conceptually, monoclonal antibodies make sense '-- we're essentially giving sick people the antibodies they need to fight the infection.''
Monoclonal antibody treatments are, basically, an infusion of these same virus-repelling proteins. Once inside the body, the idea is that they'll circulate widely in the blood and neutralize the offending pathogen. But because the immune system isn't making them, they stop working after a while. ''They generally last about a month, but you can modify them to last as long as six months,'' says Myron Cohen, MD, a distinguished professor and director of the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
Cohen is helping to lead the monoclonal-antibody arm of a government-led Covid-19 research network. He says that the monoclonal antibodies now in trials are ones that have been isolated from the blood of Covid-19 survivors. While these drugs can't offer the same level of protection as a vaccine, Cohen points out that vaccines, in some cases, can require several doses and several months before they become effective. With monoclonal antibody drugs, the helpful proteins are likely to work almost immediately '-- albeit temporarily.
''Conceptually, monoclonal antibodies make sense '-- we're essentially giving sick people the antibodies they need to fight the infection,'' John Swartzberg, MD, clinical professor emeritus of infectious diseases and vaccinology at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. ''What is making all of this very difficult to predict is that we don't know what part of our immune system correlates with protection [from SARS-CoV-2].''
Swartzberg explains that antibodies are not always the immune system's primary weapon. In many cases, specialized immune cells '-- not antibodies '-- are needed to stop an infection. ''If the cell-mediated immune response turns out to be critical, monoclonal antibodies may not play much of a role,'' he says. It's also possible that a large variety of antibodies '-- not just one or two '-- are required to knock out SARS-CoV-2. That's something a vaccine could provide but that monoclonal antibody therapies likely cannot.
Cohen agrees that there are a lot of challenges and unanswered questions. He says that monoclonal antibodies have been around for two decades, but they're typically used to treat diseases in which the body's inflammatory processes are doing damage. ''For infectious agents, we don't have a lot of experience [with them],'' he says. Also, because of the way Covid-19 progresses in the body, monoclonal antibodies may be most helpful during the early stages of the disease or as an immunity booster; they may be less helpful as a treatment for advanced Covid-19 cases.
''The solution to the Covid-19 pandemic is not just monoclonal antibodies,'' Cohen says. ''For that, you need a vaccine.'' But until a vaccine is ready, doctors could give monoclonal antibodies to newly infected people in the same way that they currently give antibiotics to those who have a bacterial infection. ''Once a person has [Covid-19] symptoms, they could go to their doctor and get the monoclonal antibody treatment, which is how we treat most infections today,'' he says. ''It would mean we might be done with ICUs and hospitalizations.''
Monoclonal antibodies could also be administered as a preventative to some high-risk groups '-- such as older adults in nursing homes, or people who live with someone who has Covid-19. ''It would be protection-as-needed until a vaccine is ready,'' he says.
At least two different private drug companies '-- Eli Lilly and Company and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. '-- are now conducting human clinical trials on monoclonal antibodies. Cohen says several more research efforts aren't far behind. ''It is possible, and probably even likely, that monoclonal antibody trials will give us answers more quickly than vaccine trials,'' he says. Those answers may come as soon as September or October, he adds.
As is the case among vaccine developers, some of the companies that are exploring monoclonal antibodies are already producing tens of thousands of doses of these treatments. If they work, they could quickly turn the tide in the world's war against the coronavirus.
A lot remains to be seen. But along with vaccines and antiviral drugs, monoclonal antibodies are another promising area of research that could help the world escape from the pandemic's grasp.
The Grifters, chapter 1 - Kodak | Epsilon Theory
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 12:03
This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the market with certainty or guarantee future investment performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
Statements in this communication are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements and other views expressed herein are as of the date of this publication. Actual future results or occurrences may differ significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements, and there is no guarantee that any predictions will come to pass. The views expressed herein are subject to change at any time, due to numerous market and other factors. Epsilon Theory disclaims any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or views expressed herein. This information is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities. This commentary has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Epsilon Theory recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives.
Chinese people DO have a role to play
Trump says he will ban TikTok - CNN
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 04:44
By Brian Fung, CNN Business
Updated 11:13 PM EDT, Fri July 31, 2020
(CNN Business) President Donald Trump said Friday night that he will ban the popular short-form video app TikTok from operating in the United States, rejecting a potential deal for Microsoft to buy the app from its Chinese-owned parent company.
"As far as TikTok is concerned, we're banning them from the United States," Trump said to reporters while aboard Air Force One.
Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order. It was not immediately clear what such an order would look like.
"Well, I have that authority," he said.
Earlier on Friday, people working on the issue within the Trump administration expected the President to sign an order to force ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the social media platform, to sell the US operations of TikTok, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The move was aimed at resolving policymakers' concerns that the foreign-owned TikTok may be a national security risk.
The US government is conducting a national security review of TikTok and is preparing to make a policy recommendation to Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters this week at the White House.
ByteDance has been considering changes to its corporate structure and had reportedly already been looking into the possibility of selling a majority stake in TikTok.
Microsoft ( MSFT ) is in talks to acquire TikTok, according to the New York Times, citing a person with knowledge of the discussions. Microsoft declined to comment to CNN Business. Trump firmly rejected the idea of a potential spin off deal satisfying national security concerns.
Critics of TikTok worry that the data it collects on its US users could end up in the hands of the Chinese government, though TikTok has said it stores its data outside of China and that it would resist any attempts by Beijing to seize the information.
Cybersecurity experts have said TikTok's potential risk to national security is largely theoretical and that there is no evidence to suggest that TikTok's user data has been compromised by Chinese intelligence.
This story and its headlining have been updated with President Trump's comments Friday night.
CNN's Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.
Trump says he will ban TikTok through executive action as soon as Saturday
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 04:48
Published Fri, Jul 31 2020 10:37 PM EDT
Updated an hour ago
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President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters he will act as soon as Saturday to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the United States.Trump did not specify whether he will act through an executive order, or another method such as a designation, according to NBC News.Trump's comments come as it was reported Friday that Microsoft has held talks to buy the TikTok video-sharing mobile app from Chinese owner ByteDance.U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with leadership from the National Association of Police Organizations in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, July 31, 2020.
Anna Moneymaker | The New York Times | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters he will act as soon as Saturday to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the United States, NBC News reported.
Trump made the comments while chatting with reporters on Air Force One during the flight back to Washington from Florida.
"As far as TikTok is concerned we're banning them from the United States," Trump said, calling the action a "severance."
Trump did not specify whether he will act through an executive order, or another method. such as a designation, according to NBC News.
"Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that," Trump said.
Trump's comments come as it was reported Friday that Microsoft has held talks to buy the TikTok video-sharing mobile app from Chinese owner ByteDance, one person close to the situation told CNBC. This person characterized the talks as having been underway for some time, rather than being brand new.
Trump told reporters that he didn't support the reported spinoff deal involving Microsoft buying TikTok, NBC News reported.
A TikTok acquisition could make Microsoft, a major provider of business software, more concentrated on consumer technology, which Microsoft has moved away from somewhat in recent years, by exiting the smartphone hardware, fitness hardware and e-book markets.
Amy Hood, Microsoft's chief financial officer, said in 2018 that in recent years the company had been consistent in its strategy on acquiring "networked assets" with many users, including LinkedIn.
Chinese company ByteDance launched TikTok in 2017. The app has grown more popular during the coronavirus pandemic, with 2 billion downloads in April, according to Sensor Tower. Competitors include Facebook and Snap.
ByteDance investors seeking to take over TikTok have valued it at $50 billion, Reuters reported earlier this week.
Microsoft declined to comment on the talks, which were first reported by Fox Business Network.
"While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok," TikTok said in a statement Friday.
The rise of TikTok in the U.S. has prompted the Trump Administration to scrutinize the app.
Trump said earlier on Friday that the administration was looking at various options for what to do with TikTok, including banning the app.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was looking at banning TikTok as well as other Chinese social media apps, citing national security concerns. Pompeo added that the Trump administration was evaluating TikTok akin to Chinese state-backed tech companies Huawei and ZTE, which he has previously described as "Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence."
In 2018, the Pentagon halted sales of Huawei and ZTE mobile phones and modems on military bases around the world, again citing national security concerns.
U.S. officials have long complained that Chinese intellectual property theft has cost the economy billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs and threatens national security. Beijing maintains it does not engage in intellectual property theft.
The move by the Trump administration represents another step in the deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing and comes a week after the U.S. closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, prompting China to shutter the U.S. consulate in Chengdu.
The Pentagon has taken concrete steps to discourage U.S. service members and their families from using Chinese-backed tech.
In December, the Defense Information Systems Agency advised that all Department of Defense personnel should not use the Chinese-owned social media platform, citing a "potential risk associated with using the TikTok app."
'-- CNBC's Steve Kopack and NBC's Josh Lederman contributed to this report
View the full site
U.S. sanctions China's paramilitary in Xinjiang - Axios
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 03:15
The Trump administration has announced it will sanction the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a paramilitary organization operating in Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities, aided by the XPCC, are perpetrating a cultural and demographic genocide against ethnic minorities.
Why it matters: XPCC controls vast swaths of the economy in Xinjiang. Depending on how rigorously the sanctions are enforced, they could hobble the region's economy and blunt China's plans for further economic development of the region.
The Trump administration also said it would sanction two Chinese Communist Party officials affiliated with the XPCC, according to a press release from the Department of Treasury.
''As previously stated, the United States is committed to using the full breadth of its financial powers to hold human rights abusers accountable in Xinjiang and across the world,'' Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also announced the sanctions on Twitter, writing, "We call on the world to join us in condemning the CCP's heinous abuse of the human rights of its own citizens."The sanctions fall under the Global Magnitsky Act, implemented in 2016 to make it easier for the U.S. government to sanction foreign government officials and entities complicit in human rights abuses.Background: Little known outside of China, the XPCC, also known as the "Bingtuan" meaning "military unit" in Chinese, is a powerful, secretive organization that has dominated Xinjiang's economy and politics for decades.
It employs almost 12% of Xinjiang's total population, though very few of those employees come from the non-Han ethnic groups that comprise nearly half the region's population.The XPCC is involved in the production of one-third of China's cotton, and in 2014, XPCC-controlled interests comprised 17% of Xinjiang's economy.The Xinjiang government views the XPCC as playing "crucial roles in fighting terrorism and maintaining stability" '-- a reference to the draconian security state that authorities have forced on Uighurs and other Muslim groups there.My thought bubble: This is a huge move by the Trump administration, and a major win for human rights advocates who have raised the alarm about the XPCC's role in running the mass internment camps.
In addition, enforcing sanctions on such a sprawling and secretive organization is an enormous undertaking. How much these sanctions bite depends a great deal on how many resources the administration is willing to commit to uncovering violations and enforcing them.What to watch: The Chinese government is certain to view this as a major provocation and as a violation of their domestic sovereignty. Retaliatory measures are likely.
James Murdoch resigns from News Corp. board - Los Angeles Times
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 09:10
James Murdoch abruptly resigned from the board of his father's publishing company Friday, signaling an acceleration in family tensions over the tenor and politics of its far-flung media empire.
''My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the company's news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,'' Murdoch wrote in a brisk, two-sentence resignation letter to the News Corp. board.
News Corp. declined to comment. James Murdoch was not available for comment.
The 47-year-old executive has served on the board of New York-based News Corp., which counts the Wall Street Journal among its properties, for two decades. But by late Friday, his name had been scrubbed from the company's website. Two other Murdochs remain: His father, Rupert Murdoch, continues as News Corp.'s executive chairman, and his older brother, Lachlan Murdoch, stays on as co-chairman.
Lachlan Murdoch, 48, also serves as chief executive and executive chairman of the company's other media company, Fox Corp., which includes Fox News Channel. Until last year, James Murdoch was CEO of Fox but he moved on after his father sold most of the Fox entertainment holdings to Walt Disney Co. James Murdoch has since been building his own investment firm with proceeds from the asset sale to Disney, as well as spending time on philanthropy. He stayed on News Corp.'s board '-- until Friday.
''We're grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors,'' Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch said Friday in a joint statement.
In recent years, James Murdoch has had something of a strained relationship with his father and brother, although family members play down notions of a spat.
While he was CEO of Fox, James Murdoch was instrumental in forcing out Fox News Channel longtime Chairman Roger Ailes amid a widening sexual harassment scandal. James Murdoch also made it clear that Fox News former star opinion host Bill O'Reilly was no longer welcome at the company after details emerged of several large settlements for sexual harassment allegations. At a media conference last year, James Murdoch acknowledged that he doesn't watch Fox News.
James Murdoch and his wife, Kathryn, are big supporters of environmental causes and have made generous donations to Democratic politicians, including Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and U.S. Senate hopefuls Mark Kelly in Arizona and Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana. Murdoch has given $2,800 to each of those Senate candidates this year, and he and his wife have contributed more than $1 million to Biden's combined committee with the Democratic Party.
In the past, James Murdoch bristled over some of Fox News Channel's coverage. When President Trump refused to criticize white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., nearly three years ago, James Murdoch and Kathryn Murdoch sent a $1-million check to the Anti-Defamation League. James Murdoch later said he thought it was important to ''lead by example.''
In addition to the Wall Street Journal, News Corp. owns the HarperCollins book publishing house, Barron's, the New York Post, news outlets in Australia, the Times of London and the Sun tabloid '-- which has been defending itself in London courts against a libel lawsuit brought by movie star Johnny Depp. The Sun, in 2018, printed a story that referred to Depp as a ''wife beater.''
There also have been tensions at News Corp.'s flagship property '-- the Journal. In July, hundreds of journalists at the paper signed a letter demanding a clearer delineation between the paper's newsroom and its opinion section. The letter cited concerns about the ''lack of fact-checking and transparency'' for pieces that the editorial board has run.
Google adds 'Black-owned' business attribute to local listings
Fri, 31 Jul 2020 05:19
Verified Google My Business profile owners in the U.S. can now add a Black-owned business attribute to their listings.
Business attributes are highlighted as icons when customers view a business' profile on mobile, as shown below.
The new Black-owned business attribute. Source: Google.Why we careGoogle said it has seen ''a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses'' in recent months '-- a period in which the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum. Distinguishing Black-owned businesses in local search may help those businesses attract visibility in Search and Maps and gain customers.
''With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most,'' Jewel Burks, head of Google for Startups U.S. said in Thursday's announcement.
Google is also adding the new attribute to its digital skills training program Grow with Digital Coaches, an initiative designed to help Black and Latinx small businesses reach new customers.
More on the newsIn addition, the company said it is partnering with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., an organization that includes 145 Black Chambers of Commerce and 326,000 members nationwide, to spread awareness for the new attribute. Google also announced the inaugural class of the Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders on Thursday. In April, more than 40% of Black business owners reported that they weren't working, compared to only 17% of white small business owners, according to an analysis of government data reported on by The New York Times.In 2018, Google introduced family-led, veteran-led and women-led attributes in Google My Business.Related reading:
What does commitment to diversity look like in an organization?Replay: Addressing diversity, recruitment and retainment in agencies and marketing teams
About The AuthorGeorge Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.
Demands for Change '-- BLM & H St. Cooperative
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 05:10
REFORM THE POLICE! Expand funding for social services.
Get cops out of schools.
Expand funding for the following services: healthcare, quality education, mental healthcare, housing, food assistance, etc.
Establish Juneteenth and Voting Tuesday as federal holidays.
Independent investigations '-- Police misconduct ought to be investigated by an independent board consisting of defense attorneys, investigators, etc. due to bias within these connected departments.
The establishment of some sort of Reparations Administration
This will be a federal administration that will:
Help trace genealogy through public records (i.e. records of sale);
examine systemic racism and propose solutions to these issues in an annual report to Congress;
create a national registry that collects information on disparities in sentencing between POC and non POC and hold judges accountable for their convictions; and
oversee that departments that are found to be noncompliant with repairing the system lose funding.
List the KKK, Boogaloo Boys, and other hate groups as terrorist organizations.
A NATIONAL ban on chokeholds by police.
A NATIONAL ban on no-knock warrants.
A NATIONAL requirement that all police use body cameras and make it unlawful to turn them off while working.
Justice System Reform:
Remove corporations from prisons.
The end of solitary confinement, as it is cruel & unusual punishment.
More mental health & social services offered in the prisons.
More programming in the prisons such as education, trade, etc.
A national ban on criminal history questions during the initial phase of the job application process.
If a person is denied employment due to their criminal history, the crime must somehow be related to the position. There is no reason on job applications that companies ask if a person has ever committed a crime unless it is in relation to the position '' in and of itself this is a discriminatory question.
Establish a national standard test for mental fitness for all peacekeeper (police officer) departments that will evaluate each potential officers' bias tendencies.
Create coalitions between peacekeepers and citizens.
The end of predatory probationary practices (i.e. drug tests and other measures that target people of color).
Federal mandate in favor of restoring voting rights to convicts that have served their time.
Require that high schools offer in-school voter registration for eligible students.
The end of lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court. Limit terms to 20 years.
The end of qualified immunity; a citizen should be able to sue an officer for violating their rights without having to cite another legal case that ruled in their favor.
More money set aside to provide black people more opportunities and access to education, grants, and scholarships.
Advocate for the US government to self-report in its global Human Rights Report and include a section on racial justice.
Preserve and sustain Net Neutrality and stop renewing the Patriot Act.
*** In addition to the changes proposed above for national change, we demand that Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Metropolitan Police Department stop using chemical irritants on peaceful protestors in addition to a call for the end of illegal searches and seizures of property of these same protestors.
Wall of Moms group falls apart after being accused of 'anti-Blackness' - Insider
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:25
The Portland "Wall of Moms" protest group has been accused of "anti-Blackness" by a local racial-justice organization. Don't Shoot Portland said Wall of Moms members '-- who have formed human chains to protect protesters in the city '-- have not done their job to shield Black women, leaving them "vulnerable."Don't Shoot Portland also accused Wall of Moms founder Bev Barnum of going behind its back to register the group as a nonprofit."The lies are finally clear and we are sad but ultimately not surprised that anti-Blackness showed it's ugly face with Wall of Moms," Don't Shoot Portland wrote in a Wednesday Instagram post. The Wall of Moms have since tweeted that Barnum "went rogue" and that members are trying to regroup and "do things the right way."Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.Portland's "Wall of Moms" group is straining as one racial-justice group accused it of "anti-Blackness" and Wall of Moms members said their founder had gone "rogue."
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Don't Shoot Portland, a local Black Lives Matter group that has been around since 2014, said it would no longer support the leadership of the Wall of Moms, which formed two weeks ago to protect protesters after federal agents were sent to quell unrest in the city.
According to The Oregonian, the drama started last week when the Wall of Moms announced that its white leaders were stepping down so that Black women could take over.
One of those Black women included Teressa Raiford, the executive director of Don't Shoot Portland.
But less than a week later, Don't Shoot Portland said it was no longer affiliating with the Wall of Moms after falling out with Bev Barnum, its founder.
In a Wednesday Instagram post, Don't Shoot Portland accused the Wall of Moms group of not doing enough to protect Black women downtown, leaving them "vulnerable."
EDIT FOR EVERYONE UPSET ABOUT THIS POST: WE ARE NOT AGAINST MOMS! EVERYONE HAS A PLACE IN ORGANIZING. WE ARE NO LONGER IN SUPPORT OF WOM LEADERSHIP. ANTI-BLACKNESS. DO NOT SUPPORT @wallofmoms #WALLOFMOMS. . After leaving vulnerable Black women downtown after marching, failing to support those on the ground that put trust in them, @wallofmoms leadership also found time to make THREE registrations through Oregon's Secretary of State. This was all done in privacy and without the knowledge of the Black leadership WOM was claiming to implement. The lies are finally clear and we are sad but ultimately not surprised that anti-Blackness showed it's ugly face with Wall of Moms. This all came to light over the last 24 hours - We began having safety concerns within the group because Black women started saying they were not protected by WOM leadership. Too frequently would be in communication for safety, transport etc and when the time came, there would be zero response and no leadership to rely on. It's put many on the ground in direct danger. Once these registration filings with Secretary of State came out, it became more clear - WOM was not started for BLM, but to get the feds out of PDX. None of the Black leadership WOM claimed to implement knew about this. Combined with a lack of care for and disregard of Black women, we were used to further an agenda unrelated to BLM. Please do not support this organization anymore. We need everyone to show up against racism, but it's even more crucial to prioritize transparency and accountability. . The Wall of Moms . The Wall of Moms PAC AND Wall of Moms as an entity name:
A post shared by Don't Shoot PDX (@dontshootpdx) on Jul 29, 2020 at 9:06am PDTJul 29, 2020 at 9:06am PDT
"We began having safety concerns within the group because Black women started saying they were not protected by WOM leadership," the post said.
"Too frequently [they] would be in communication for safety, transport etc and when the time came, there would be zero response and no leadership to rely on. It's put many on the ground in direct danger."
Don't Shoot Portland also said Barnum went behind its back to register the Wall of Moms as a nonprofit, which it said was evidence that the group was "not started for BLM, but to get the feds out of PDX."
"This was all done in privacy and without the knowledge of the Black leadership WOM was claiming to implement. The lies are finally clear and we are sad but ultimately not surprised that anti-Blackness showed its ugly face with Wall of Moms," the post read.
'Went rogue'The Wall of Moms Twitter page later retweeted Don't Shoot Portland's post, and on Thursday said that its founder, Barnum, "went rogue."
The Wall of Moms added that Barnum no longer had access to the group's social-media page and said members were now trying to regroup and "do things the right way."
'--WOM OFFICIAL (@WallOfMoms) July 30, 2020'--WOM OFFICIAL (@WallOfMoms) July 29, 2020When asked to elaborate on why they had fallen out with Barnum, the Don't Shoot Portland group told Insider that she "went behind our backs with the plan of making WOM a global nonprofit that is not BLM-focused as she led many to believe."
Insider also reached out to Barnum for comment Friday morning, but did not receive a response.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that she had come to a deal with the Trump administration to begin pulling federal agents out of the city in phases, starting Thursday.
The Oregon State Police have since taken over guard duties at the federal courthouse downtown, which has become the focal point of the protests in recent weeks.
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Teachers union threatens 'safety strikes' before Biden speech
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:32
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president, speaks during a news conference. | Seth Wenig/AP Photo
The American Federation of Teachers called Tuesday for ''safety strikes'' as a last resort if school reopening plans don't meet demands for keeping educators healthy and safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Union President Randi Weingarten delivered that battle cry during an address to union members, adding fresh tension to fraught schoolhouse debates as President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden take sides on opposite ends of the fight.
The national labor union floated the prospect of teacher strikes two days before Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech Thursday to the group's 1.7 million members.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is also expected to discuss concerns about schools reopening in a discussion with Weingarten on Tuesday night.
''Let's be clear: Just as we have done with our health care workers, we will fight on all fronts for the safety of students and their educators,'' Weingarten said on Tuesday. ''But if the authorities don't protect the safety and health of those we represent and those we serve, as our executive council voted last week, nothing is off the table '-- not advocacy or protests, negotiations, grievances or lawsuits, or, if necessary and authorized by a local union, as a last resort, safety strikes."
A spokesperson for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday that "no one is advocating for teachers to be unsafe."
"Let's not pretend that Ms. Weingarten's threat to strike has anything to do with the safety or children or the public," Education Department spokesperson Angela Morabito said in a statement. "If the unions were really concerned about doing what's best for students and teachers, they'd be focused on what they need to do to be a partner in reopening schools safely."
Only weeks remain until schools restart some semblance of instruction for tens of millions of kids, many of whom live in areas with ongoing virus outbreaks. Parents and school districts are struggling to decide whether to continue online learning this fall, as Trump and top members of his administration press for a return to in-person classes and Senate Republicans push their plan to provide $70 billion to boost K-12 education, with a bigger cut for schools that reopen.
Now AFT, along with the president of the larger National Education Association, is saying all options are in play for millions of educators still negotiating with local leaders over plans for beginning the fall semester.
While teachers throughout the country continue to protest unsafe school conditions, they have not yet voted to green-light walkouts, which could spur legal challenges and violate local laws.
Still, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garc­a invoked the #RedforEd movement's memorable surge of teacher-led activism when she said educators are prepared to do ''whatever it takes''.
''Nobody wants to see students back in the classroom more than educators,'' Eskelsen Garcia said in a statement on Tuesday. ''But when it comes to their safety, we're not ready to take any options off the table.''
In a June poll, 76 percent of AFT members surveyed indicated they were comfortable returning to school buildings with "proper safeguards," Weingarten noted this week. That was before the virus started to spread more rapidly in the U.S. and Trump, as well as DeVos, began what the AFT president called "reckless 'open or else' threats."
''Now they're angry and afraid," Weingarten said of her members. "Many are quitting, retiring or writing their wills. Parents are afraid and angry too.''
The group, which is the second-largest labor union representing teachers in the United States, adopted a resolution this month that says schools can only open in places where the average daily community infection rate among those tested for the coronavirus is below 5 percent and the transmission rate is below 1 percent. That resolution denounces ''unsafe and unsound plans'' from state and local authorities ''or the faulty implementation of plans.''
The union also said schools can only reopen if staff at high risk for serious health problems or death from contracting Covid-19 have access to special accommodations or workplace adjustments and local authorities have plans to shut down schools if infections spike. The union also demands that schools enact safeguards for classrooms, including rules for physical distancing and face coverings, and provide resources to sanitize facilities, as well as ''necessary updates to ventilation and building systems.''
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines that back the reopening of schools, stating that the coronavirus "poses low risks" to children, that kids are unlikely to be major drivers of disease spread and that they are harmed by extended school closures.
''In areas where there are hot spots, remote and distance learning might need to be adopted for a certain amount of time,'' Deputy Education Secretary Mitchell Zais told reporters. ''But the research and science continue to suggest that it is safer, healthier and better for students to be in school full time.''
If there is substantial, uncontrolled transmission in an area, the CDC suggests schools work with health officials ''to make decisions on whether to maintain school operations.'' If community transmission levels can't be decreased, the CDC says ''school closure is an important consideration'' and virtual learning plans should be in place if campuses close.
Noodle Gun
Patreon Loses Lawsuit Against Owen Benjamin Fans - Mike Cernovich
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 15:29
Today a trial court denied Patreon's motion for a preliminary injunction. Patreon lost their lawsuit in court and must not proceed to arbitration. (Read the Court's order here.)
Patreon, a platform popular with podcasts, journalists, and comedian faces significant legal peril due a fascinating quirk of California law that no one seemed to have noticed.Summary: Patreon banned Owen Benjamin. Owen Benjamin's backers moved for arbitration, alleging various causes of action. Under the arbitration procedures spelled out in Patreon's Terms of Service, Patreon must pay the filing fees, which could total millions of dollars. Patreon cannot collect those fees back, even if Patreon wins the arbitrations.Tech companies face almost total protection from lawsuits due to a law created by Congress to encourage freedom of speech on the web. Because of this, companies have gotten sloppy with the Terms of Service.
Patreon's Terms of Service, like nearly every other tech companies, provide that anyone who wants to use Patreon must do so in arbitration. Patreon's TOS also ban class actions or any joint actions.
Patreon's TOS mandate arbitration and ban class actions because individual consumers who suffer small harms aren't able to find a lawyer to take their case. Again, all tech companies do this. Let's not single out Patreon. Here is Amazon:
Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service, or to any products or services sold or distributed by Amazon or through will be resolved by binding arbitration, rather than in court, except that you may assert claims in small claims court if your claims qualify.Here is PayPal:
By opening and using a PayPal account, you agree to comply with all of the terms and conditions in this user agreement. The terms include an agreement to resolve disputes by arbitration on an individual basis.Owen Benjamin Gets Banned. Dozens of his backers individual claims for arbitration.Patreon, by banning a Creator, disrupts the economic relationship between Creator and Backer. In legal terms this is called tortious interference with a business relationship.
Patreon, under California law, must pay the arbitration fees in advance. These fees can be upward of $10,000 per case.
If dozens of backers move for individual arbitration against Patreon, you can start doing the math.
Benjamins' Backers Put Patreon on Notice; Patreon Unilaterally Amends its TOS to Bar the Claims the Parties were Going to Bring.In early December, numerous defendants told Patreon that they intended to move for individual arbitration.
Patreon's TOS suggest that contacting them before seeking arbitration is required, although this provision could be read as a request rather than a demand.
We encourage you to contact us if you have an issue. If a dispute does arise out of these terms or related to your use of Patreon, and it cannot be resolved after you talk with us, then it must be resolved by arbitration.Because Patreon wrote the TOS, the terms will be resolved against Patreon. In law this is known as contra proferentem. Any ambiguous language will be read in favor of the party who did not draft it.
The TOS, to me and many others, looks like a pre-filing demand. Others may claim the terms read otherwise. Contra proferentem applies.
Two or three weeks later, Patreon unilaterally altered the Terms of Service by adding this clause:
You may not bring a claim against us for suspending or terminating another person's account, and you agree you will not bring such a claim. If you try to bring such a claim, you are responsible for the damages caused, including attorneys fees and costs. These terms remain in effect even if you no longer have an account.Patreon claimed that its unilateral change to the TOS ''remain in effect even if you no longer have an account.''
Yes, Patreon literally changed its TOS after it was contacted by arbitration claimants, who were required to contact Patreon before moving for arbitration.
Patreon filed a Mass Action against the Arbitration Claimants.Patreon lost several procedural motions before arbitrations. After losing these motions, they sued the arbitration claimants in California State Court.
Realizing that the arbitration fees would be in the millions of dollars range, Patreon filed a group action against all 72 arbitration claimants. Patreon sought an injunction, that is, they want the Court to order the arbitrations to be stopped.
Here is what Patreon's TOS says about group actions:
Arbitrations may only take place on an individual basis. No class arbitrations or other grouping of parties is allowed. By agreeing to these terms you are waiving your right to trial by jury or to participate in a class action or representative proceeding; we are also waiving these rights.To drop my lawyer's latin again, contra proferentem. Patreon can't claim that when they said that ''other groupings of parties is allowed,'' applies only to arbitrations. That provision is subject to an ambiguous reading at best.
How can Patreon file a group action against 72 defendants when Patreon barred group actions? They can't.
The Patreon Hearing.The 72 defendants were represented by well-known First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza.
The Court issued a tentative (not final) order denying the injunctions.
During the hearing, Patreon's counsel brought up additional cases that it claimed applied to the lawsuit.
The Court suggested that Randazza file a supplemental motion addressing those new cases Patreon's counsel cited.
Reporting live from a major legal action involving Patreon and several former patrons of Owen Benjamin.
Several former patrons of Benjamin filed arbitration actions against Patreon after Benjamin was banned.
Patreon then sued those former backers in California state court.
'-- Reclaiming My Time Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 13, 2020
Under the Court's preliminary ruling,
ANY LARGE CREATOR banned by Patreon
can have his or her backers move for arbitration.
Patreon will have to pay millions of dollars in legal fees upfront.
This is a HUGE workaround for Big Tech censorship.
'-- Reclaiming My Time Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 13, 2020
The judge is seeking further briefing on a procedural legal issue and will take the matter under submission.
The tentative ruling went against Patreon, but the Court is going to ask for further briefing.
We will have to wait a couple of weeks for a formal judgment!
'-- Reclaiming My Time Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 13, 2020
Patreon will probably lose, and should lose, its State Court action.Patreon's TOS required parties to use arbitration. Group actions were banned. The parties complied with the TOS, first by putting Patreon on notice as to their claims.
Once the parties put Patreon on notice of their claim, Patreon was barred by well-established law from amending the TOS in a way that would foreclose those claims.
The Implications?If a popular creator were banned from PayPal, could he or she have her backers move for arbitration as well?
That's a specific question that many lawyers are looking at now.
Patreon, like Door Dash before it, banned class actions before decision that group actions are in fact an inefficient way of resolving cases.
Here is what a federal judge told one tech company who complained about a ''loophole'' being used by the parties:
DoorDash Ordered to Pay $9.5M to Arbitrate 5,000 Labor Disputes:
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) '' Rejecting claims that the legal process it forced on workers is unfair, a federal judge Monday ordered food-delivery service DoorDash to pay $9.5 million in arbitration fees for 5,010 delivery drivers' labor demands against the company.
''You're going to pay that money,'' U.S. District Judge William Alsup said in court. ''You don't want to pay millions of dollars, but that's what you bargained to do and you're going to do it.''
Of course anything can happen in a court of law, and the judge will be issuing a final ruling in a few weeks from now.
Read my prior coverage here:
Patreon Faces New Legal Peril Under California Law
Trader Joe's Says No to Changing Ethnic-Sounding Label Names '' NBC Connecticut
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:28
Trader Joe's, which indicated earlier this month it might change the names of some of its products after an online petition denounced them as racist, now says it will stick with labels like Trader Jose's and Trader Ming's for Mexican and Asian food.
''We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist," the popular grocery chain said in a statement posted on its website. It added, ''We do not make decisions based on petitions.''
The petition posted on by a high school student claims the names create ''a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes.''
Other Trader Joe's names cited include Arabian Joe for Middle Eastern food, Trader Giotto's for Italian and Trader Joe San for Japanese cuisine.
After the petition was launched Trader Joe's issued a statement saying it has been in the process of updating product labels and hoped to conclude that effort soon.
Sea spiders are marine anthropods that can grow as large as a dinner plate and breathe through hundreds of pores. The New York Times takes a deep dive into sea spider research, which is teaching scientists about climate change.
''While this approach to product naming may have been rooted in a lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness, we recognize that it may now have the opposite effect '-- one that is contrary to the welcoming, rewarding customer experience we strive to create every day,'' company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel said at the time.
She didn't respond to a message Friday asking what changed the company's mind.
But in its recent statement the grocery chain said it still believes the names, many created decades ago, represent lighthearted efforts at inclusion, adding that its customers say they still like them.
Initial word that it would change the names, Trader Joe's said, was based on ''inaccurate reports.''
''We thought then'--and still do'--that this naming of products could be fun and show appreciation for other cultures,'' the company said.
The petition, which had more than 5,000 signatures on Friday, also provoked disagreement among some who saw it.
''Enough is enough,'' one person commented. ''Let's stop stereotyping and perpetuating narratives that are harmful and hurtful.''
Another responded, ''Pick on something else. The packaging indicates it's authentic to the country the recipe comes from! There are far more important issues to be worked on!''
Wall of Moms group falls apart after being accused of 'anti-Blackness' - Insider
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:25
The Portland "Wall of Moms" protest group has been accused of "anti-Blackness" by a local racial-justice organization. Don't Shoot Portland said Wall of Moms members '-- who have formed human chains to protect protesters in the city '-- have not done their job to shield Black women, leaving them "vulnerable."Don't Shoot Portland also accused Wall of Moms founder Bev Barnum of going behind its back to register the group as a nonprofit."The lies are finally clear and we are sad but ultimately not surprised that anti-Blackness showed it's ugly face with Wall of Moms," Don't Shoot Portland wrote in a Wednesday Instagram post. The Wall of Moms have since tweeted that Barnum "went rogue" and that members are trying to regroup and "do things the right way."Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.Portland's "Wall of Moms" group is straining as one racial-justice group accused it of "anti-Blackness" and Wall of Moms members said their founder had gone "rogue."
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Don't Shoot Portland, a local Black Lives Matter group that has been around since 2014, said it would no longer support the leadership of the Wall of Moms, which formed two weeks ago to protect protesters after federal agents were sent to quell unrest in the city.
According to The Oregonian, the drama started last week when the Wall of Moms announced that its white leaders were stepping down so that Black women could take over.
One of those Black women included Teressa Raiford, the executive director of Don't Shoot Portland.
But less than a week later, Don't Shoot Portland said it was no longer affiliating with the Wall of Moms after falling out with Bev Barnum, its founder.
In a Wednesday Instagram post, Don't Shoot Portland accused the Wall of Moms group of not doing enough to protect Black women downtown, leaving them "vulnerable."
EDIT FOR EVERYONE UPSET ABOUT THIS POST: WE ARE NOT AGAINST MOMS! EVERYONE HAS A PLACE IN ORGANIZING. WE ARE NO LONGER IN SUPPORT OF WOM LEADERSHIP. ANTI-BLACKNESS. DO NOT SUPPORT @wallofmoms #WALLOFMOMS. . After leaving vulnerable Black women downtown after marching, failing to support those on the ground that put trust in them, @wallofmoms leadership also found time to make THREE registrations through Oregon's Secretary of State. This was all done in privacy and without the knowledge of the Black leadership WOM was claiming to implement. The lies are finally clear and we are sad but ultimately not surprised that anti-Blackness showed it's ugly face with Wall of Moms. This all came to light over the last 24 hours - We began having safety concerns within the group because Black women started saying they were not protected by WOM leadership. Too frequently would be in communication for safety, transport etc and when the time came, there would be zero response and no leadership to rely on. It's put many on the ground in direct danger. Once these registration filings with Secretary of State came out, it became more clear - WOM was not started for BLM, but to get the feds out of PDX. None of the Black leadership WOM claimed to implement knew about this. Combined with a lack of care for and disregard of Black women, we were used to further an agenda unrelated to BLM. Please do not support this organization anymore. We need everyone to show up against racism, but it's even more crucial to prioritize transparency and accountability. . The Wall of Moms . The Wall of Moms PAC AND Wall of Moms as an entity name:
A post shared by Don't Shoot PDX (@dontshootpdx) on Jul 29, 2020 at 9:06am PDTJul 29, 2020 at 9:06am PDT
"We began having safety concerns within the group because Black women started saying they were not protected by WOM leadership," the post said.
"Too frequently [they] would be in communication for safety, transport etc and when the time came, there would be zero response and no leadership to rely on. It's put many on the ground in direct danger."
Don't Shoot Portland also said Barnum went behind its back to register the Wall of Moms as a nonprofit, which it said was evidence that the group was "not started for BLM, but to get the feds out of PDX."
"This was all done in privacy and without the knowledge of the Black leadership WOM was claiming to implement. The lies are finally clear and we are sad but ultimately not surprised that anti-Blackness showed its ugly face with Wall of Moms," the post read.
'Went rogue'The Wall of Moms Twitter page later retweeted Don't Shoot Portland's post, and on Thursday said that its founder, Barnum, "went rogue."
The Wall of Moms added that Barnum no longer had access to the group's social-media page and said members were now trying to regroup and "do things the right way."
'--WOM OFFICIAL (@WallOfMoms) July 30, 2020'--WOM OFFICIAL (@WallOfMoms) July 29, 2020When asked to elaborate on why they had fallen out with Barnum, the Don't Shoot Portland group told Insider that she "went behind our backs with the plan of making WOM a global nonprofit that is not BLM-focused as she led many to believe."
Insider also reached out to Barnum for comment Friday morning, but did not receive a response.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that she had come to a deal with the Trump administration to begin pulling federal agents out of the city in phases, starting Thursday.
The Oregon State Police have since taken over guard duties at the federal courthouse downtown, which has become the focal point of the protests in recent weeks.
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Ellen DeGeneres Show Ex-Employees Allege Toxic Work Culture
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 09:20
Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News; Getty ImagesEllen DeGeneres has built her worldwide, multimillion-dollar brand on the motto ''be kind,'' with lavish giveaways and acts of charity. But behind the scenes, current and former employees on her leading daytime show say they faced racism, fear, and intimidation.
''That 'be kind' bullshit only happens when the cameras are on. It's all for show,'' one former employee told BuzzFeed News. ''I know they give money to people and help them out, but it's for show.''
BuzzFeed News spoke to one current and 10 former employees on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, all of whom asked to remain anonymous, fearing retribution from the award-winning NBC daytime talk show and others in the entertainment industry. They said they were fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days to attend family funerals. One employee, who claims she was fed up with comments about her race, essentially walked off the job. Others said they were also instructed by their direct managers to not speak to DeGeneres if they saw her around the office.
Most of the former employees blamed executive producers and other senior managers for the day-to-day toxicity, but one former employee said that, ultimately, it's Ellen's name on the show and ''she really needs to take more responsibility'' for the workplace environment.
''If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what's going on,'' one former employee said. ''I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, 'Things are going great, everybody's happy,' and she just believes that, but it's her responsibility to go beyond that.''
In a joint statement to BuzzFeed News, executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner said they take the stories of the employees "very seriously."
"Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment," they said. "We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It's not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.
"For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."
A Black woman who used to work on The Ellen DeGeneres Show told BuzzFeed News she experienced racist comments, actions, and ''microaggressions'' during her year and a half as an employee. She said when she was hired, a senior-level producer told her and another Black employee, ''Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don't get you confused.'' And at a work party, she said, one of the main writers told her, ''I'm sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here,'' and other coworkers ''awkwardly laughed it off'' instead of coming to her defense.
When the former employee brought up issues of race and representation on the show and asked producers not to use offensive terms like ''spirit animal'' in segments, her colleagues called her ''the PC police.''
When she started to speak up about the discrimination, she said, all of her colleagues distanced themselves from her.
''Whenever I brought up an issue to my white male boss, he would bring up some random story about some random Black friend that he had and how they managed to get over stuff,'' she said. ''He would use his Black friend as some way to say, 'I understand your struggle.' But it was all performative bullshit.''
After one year at Ellen, she said she asked for a raise after learning another recent hire made double for doing the same job, despite her having worked in the television industry for a decade. Her manager told her ''they'd see what they could do,'' but months went by and nothing happened, she said.
"They definitely don't practice what they preach with the 'be kind' mantra."
The former employee said she was also called into a meeting with executive producer Ed Glavin, where she was reprimanded for her objections to the term ''spirit animal,'' asking for a raise, and suggesting employees on the show receive diversity and inclusion training.
''He said that I was walking around looking resentful and angry,'' she said.
After the meeting, she left work for the day and never returned to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She said she has no plans to ever work in the entertainment industry again. For years, she felt ''a fear of speaking out'' but is now inspired to share her experience because of recent conversations about race in Hollywood and other workplaces.
''I feel like I'm not alone in this,'' she said. ''We all feel this. We've been feeling this way, but I've been too afraid to say anything because everyone knows what happens when you say something as a Black person. You're blacklisted.''
The former employee also said her manager from Ellen recently reached out to her amid the Black Lives Matter protests to apologize for not being a better ally. But the former employee said it's too little, too late.
''I feel angry about the way I was treated, and I am always going to stand up for Black, Indigenous, Latino, and Asian people, regardless if they're around,'' she said. ''I can't not say anything. I'm not going to stop talking.''
We want your help! If you have more information or a tip regarding workplace culture on the Ellen show or in Hollywood, contact, or reach us securely at have been rumors for years about DeGeneres being difficult and how many employees feel unhappy. In March, comedian Kevin T. Porter started a Twitter thread asking people to share ''the most insane stories you've heard about Ellen [DeGeneres] being mean.'' The tweet has more than 2,600 replies.
In April, Variety reported that employees were ''distressed and outraged'' by top-level producers who didn't communicate details about their jobs and pay at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. DeGeneres's former bodyguard also recently said he had had a negative experience with her at the 2014 Oscars, calling the TV host's treatment of others ''demeaning.''
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. Television, which distributes the show, told Variety that the crew was consistently paid during the pandemic, although at reduced hours, and ''acknowledged that communication could have been better, but cited complications due to the chaos caused by COVID-19.''
A current employee told BuzzFeed News that on May 1, the same day the story about the former bodyguard was published, executive producers took the rare move of holding an all-staff meeting over Zoom to address the negative stories and low morale.
''I think it is a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to the show's brand,'' a former employee said. ''They pull on people's heartstrings; they do know that's going to get likes and what people are going to go for, which is a positive message. But that's not always reality.''
Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News; Youtube / EllentubeAfter working on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for nearly a year, one former employee said they took medical leave for one month to check into a mental health facility for a suicide attempt. But the week they returned to work, they were told their position was being eliminated.
''You'd think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don't want to add any more stress to their lives,'' the employee, whose story was corroborated by four other employees and medical records, told BuzzFeed News.
''Some of the producers talk openly in public about addiction and mental health awareness, but they're the reason there's a stigma,'' they said. ''They definitely don't practice what they preach with the 'be kind' mantra."
Another former employee said they were fired after an unexpectedly difficult year that required them to take time away from the job on three occasions: medical leave for three weeks after they were in a car accident, working remotely for two days to attend a family member's funeral, and then three days off to travel for another family member's funeral. Each request was a battle with supervisors and HR, they added.
''That's the definition of a toxic work environment, where they make you feel like you're going insane and then you're like, no, everything I was feeling was right. It was all leading up to this,'' the former staffer, whose story was corroborated by five former employees and medical records, said.
A third former employee said they were given a warning for creating a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for medical costs that weren't covered by their company health insurance and then sharing it on social media.
Just 24 hours after posting the GoFundMe, they said, they were called into the department head's office and told to take it down because of concerns it might hurt DeGeneres's image.
''They discovered my fundraiser, then got mad at me. '... They were more concerned about Ellen's brand instead of helping me out,'' the former employee, whose story was corroborated by four other employees, told BuzzFeed News.
About one month later, this employee said they were fired after posting a selfie laughing with coworkers at the office on a personal Instagram story '-- a violation of their contract '-- even though others had posted similar photos before.
''Be kind to the world,'' they said, ''not your employees.''
Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News; Youtube / EllentubeAccording to employees, there's a division between staff members who work on the show: people who ''drink the Kool-Aid'' and are usually well-liked by producers, and people who recognize the work environment is toxic. Those who push back against senior producers don't usually have their contracts renewed, former employees said.
''They hire people who maybe are inexperienced with how a functional, nontoxic work environment actually is, or someone who just wants to be in that atmosphere so bad that they'll put up with it,'' one former employee claimed. ''They kind of feed off of that, like, 'This is Ellen; this is as good as it gets. You'll never find anything better than this.'''
According to former staffers, those who have ''more likable'' personality traits, who are willing to work the 10-plus-hour days without complaint, and who actively ignore how managers and senior-level producers treat others have been given new iPhones, JetBlue gift cards, and other swag the show keeps on hand from its sponsors.
''I remember feeling depressed and horrible and sad and just thinking that I can't leave but I want to leave,'' one former employee said. ''Everyone was unhappy unless you were one of those people being favored.''
Some employees defended the show's work culture, saying it's typical of TV production, but other former employees with experience in the industry said The Ellen DeGeneres Show stood apart as particularly negative.
''We all have a kind of 'this isn't normal' feeling about how people get treated there,'' one former employee claimed. ''And there's this ushering out the door. Or your contract isn't renewed the minute you ruffle anyone's feathers. Or you don't show that you're extremely grateful and appreciative to work there.''
The employees who spoke to BuzzFeed News said they worked in a culture dominated by fear. One of them said a general feeling among staffers was ''if you have an issue, don't even think about bringing it up.''
''I never felt like it was safe to go to my manager when I had issues '-- because this was the same person who would wait for me to go to the bathroom and then message me, asking me where I was and why I wasn't at my desk,'' one employee said.
''People focus on rumors about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that's not the problem. The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean,'' another former employee claimed. ''They feel that everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there '-- 'So if you have a problem, you should leave because we'll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.'''
And when people did leave '-- or get fired '-- managers never addressed the team about it, employees said.
''We had Friday morning weekly meetings, and sometimes people who we worked with forever just wouldn't be there,'' one former employee said, ''like, they disappeared, and it was never explained." '—
ESPN investigation finds coaches at NBA China academies complained of player abuse, lack of schooling
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 12:05
Jul 29, 2020 Steve Fainaru
Close ESPN Senior Writer Winner, 2008 Pulitzer Prize in International ReportingFour-time first-place winner in Associated Press Sports Editors competitionCo-author of New York Times best-selling book, "League of Denial"Mark Fainaru-Wada
Close ESPN Staff Writer Investigative reporter for ESPN's Enterprise and Investigative Unit since 2007Co-author of New York Times best-selling books "League of Denial" and "Game of Shadows"Co-winner, 2004 George Polk AwardLONG BEFORE AN October tweet in support of Hong Kong protesters spotlighted the NBA's complicated relationship with China, the league faced complaints from its own employees over human rights concerns inside an NBA youth-development program in that country, an ESPN investigation has found.
American coaches at three NBA training academies in China told league officials their Chinese partners were physically abusing young players and failing to provide schooling, even though commissioner Adam Silver had said that education would be central to the program, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the complaints.
The NBA ran into myriad problems by opening one of the academies in Xinjiang, a police state in western China where more than a million Uighur Muslims are now held in barbed-wire camps. American coaches were frequently harassed and surveilled in Xinjiang, the sources said. One American coach was detained three times without cause; he and others were unable to obtain housing because of their status as foreigners.
A former league employee compared the atmosphere when he worked in Xinjiang to "World War II Germany."
In an interview with ESPN about its findings, NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum, who oversees international operations, said the NBA is "reevaluating" and "considering other opportunities" for the academy program, which operates out of sports facilities run by the Chinese government. Last week, the league acknowledged for the first time it had closed the Xinjiang academy, but, when pressed, Tatum declined to say whether human rights were a factor.
"We were somewhat humbled," Tatum said of the academy project in China. "One of the lessons that we've learned here is that we do need to have more direct oversight and the ability to make staffing changes when appropriate."
In October, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's tweet in support of pro-democracy protesters led the Chinese government to pull the NBA from state television, costing the league hundreds of millions of dollars. The controversy continues to reverberate, as the NBA prepares to resume play this week after a 4 1/2-month hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic. China Central TV recently said it still won't air NBA games, and U.S. lawmakers have raised questions about the league's business ties to China.
The ESPN investigation, which began after Morey's tweet, sheds new light on the lucrative NBA-China relationship and the costs of doing business with a government that suppresses free expression and is accused of cultural genocide. It illustrates the challenges of operating in a society with markedly different approaches to issues such as discipline, education and security. The reporting is based on interviews with several former NBA employees with direct knowledge of the league's activities in China, particularly the player-development program.
The program, launched in 2016, is part of the NBA's strategy to develop local players in a basketball-obsessed market that has made NBA China a $5 billion enterprise. Most of the former employees spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared damaging their chances for future employment. NBA officials asked current and former employees not to speak with ESPN for this story. In an email to one former coach, a public relations official added: "Please don't mention that you have been advised by the NBA not to respond."
One American coach who worked for the NBA in China described the project as "a sweat camp for athletes."
At least two coaches left their positions in response to what they believed was mistreatment of young players.
This photo, taken in May 2019, shows a facility believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained on the outskirts of Hotan in China's Xinjiang region. GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty ImagesOne requested and received a transfer after watching Chinese coaches strike teenage players, three sources told ESPN. Another American coach left before the end of his contract because he found the lack of education in the academies unconscionable: "I couldn't continue to show up every day, looking at these kids and knowing they would end up being taxi drivers," he said.
Not long after the academies opened, multiple coaches complained about the physical abuse and lack of schooling to Greg Stolt, the league's vice president for international operations for NBA China, and to other league officials in China, the sources said. It was unclear whether the information was passed on to NBA officials in New York, they said. The NBA declined to make Stolt available for comment.
Two of the former NBA employees separately told ESPN that coaches at the academies regularly speculated about whether Silver had been informed about the problems. "I said, 'If [Silver] shows up, we're all fired immediately,'" one of the coaches said.
Tatum said the NBA received "a handful" of complaints that Chinese coaches had mistreated young players and immediately informed local authorities that the league had "zero tolerance" for behavior that was "antithetical to our values." Tatum said the incidents were not reported at the time to league officials in New York, including himself or Silver.
"I will tell you that the health and wellness of academy athletes and everyone who participates in our program is of the utmost priority," Tatum said.
Tatum identified four separate incidents, though he said only one was formally reported in writing by an NBA employee. On three of the occasions, the coaches reported witnessing or hearing about physical abuse. The fourth incident involved a player who suffered from heat exhaustion.
"We did everything that we could, given the limited oversight we had," Tatum said.
Three sources who worked for the NBA in China told ESPN the physical abuse by Chinese coaches was much more prevalent than the incidents Tatum identified.
The NBA brought in elite coaches and athletic trainers with experience in the G League and Division I basketball to work at the academies. One former coach described watching a Chinese coach fire a ball into a young player's face at point-blank range and then "kick him in the gut."
"Imagine you have a kid who's 13, 14 years old, and you've got a grown coach who is 40 years old hitting your kid," the coach said. "We're part of that. The NBA is part of that."
It is common for Chinese coaches to discipline players physically, according to several people with experience in player development in China. "For most of the older generation, even my grandparents, they take corporal punishment for granted and even see it as an expression of love and care, but I know it might be criticized by people living outside of China," said Jinming Zheng, an assistant professor of sports management at Northumbria University in England, who grew up in mainland China and has written extensively about the Chinese sports system. "The older generation still sees it as an integral part of training."
In 2012, the NBA hired Bruce Palmer to work as technical director at a private basketball school in Dongguan in southern China, a program that predated the academies. The school has a sponsorship agreement that pays the NBA nearly $200,000 a year and allows the school to bill itself as an "NBA Training Center."
Palmer spent five years in Dongguan and said he repeatedly warned Chinese coaches not to hit, kick or throw balls at children. After one incident, he said he told a coach: "You can't do that to your kid, this is an NBA training center. If you really feel like hitting a 14-year-old boy, and you think it's going to help him or make you feel better, take him off campus, but not here, because the NBA does not allow this."
Palmer said the school's headmaster told him that hitting kids has "been proven to be effective as a teaching tool."
The issue was so prevalent in the NBA academies that coaches repeatedly asked NBA China officials, including Stolt, for direction on how to handle what they saw as physical abuse, according to three sources. The coaches were told to file written reports to the NBA office in Shanghai. One coach said he encountered no more issues after filing a report, but the others said the abuse continued.
"We weren't responsible for the local coaches, we didn't have the authority," Tatum said. "We don't have oversight of the local coaches, of the academic programs or the living conditions. It's fair to say we were less involved than we wanted to be."
WITH A POPULATION four times the size of the U.S., China is an exploding market for the NBA. The league's soaring revenues were propelled in part by the success of former Rockets center Yao Ming, who retired in 2011.
Tatum said the league sought advice from Yao and other experts in China on the development of its academy program. He also said NBA China's board of directors was briefed on the planning and placement of the three academies, including Xinjiang, adding that ESPN holds a seat on the board. An ESPN spokesperson said the network "is a non-voting board observer and owns a small stake" in NBA China, declining any further comment. (Games are streamed in China by internet giant Tencent, which also has a partnership with ESPN.)
Launching the academies had a primary goal for NBA bosses: "Find another Yao," according to two of the former employees who spoke with ESPN.
When Silver announced the plan to open three league-run academies in China in 2016, he said the goal was to train elite athletes "holistically."
"Top international prospects will benefit from a complete approach to player development that combines NBA-quality coaching, training and competition with academics and personal development," Silver said.
At a 2016 news conference in Beijing, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the goal of three NBA training academies in China was to train elite athletes "holistically." Rolex Dela Pena/EPAThe league's news release announcing the academies said, "The initiative will employ a holistic, 360-degree approach to player development with focuses on education, leadership, character development and life skills."
The NBA employees who spoke with ESPN said many of the league's problems stemmed from the decision to embed the academies in government-run sports facilities. The facilities gave the NBA access to existing infrastructure and elite players, Tatum said. But the arrangement put NBA activities under the direction of Chinese officials who selected the players and helped define the training.
"We were basically working for the Chinese government," one former coach said.
After his work in the NBA-sponsored facility in Dongguan, the league hired Palmer to evaluate the academies. He concluded the program was "fundamentally flawed." Palmer said it not only put NBA employees under Chinese authority but also prevented the league from working with China's most elite players.
In hindsight, Tatum said, the NBA might have been "a little bit naive" to believe the structure gave the league sufficient oversight.
In Xinjiang, players lived in cramped dormitories; the rooms were meant for two people, but a former coach said bunk beds were used to put as many as eight to 10 athletes in a room. Players trained two or three times a day and had few extracurricular activities. NBA coaches and officials became concerned that although education had been announced as a pillar of the academy program, the sports bureaus did not provide formal schooling. When the players -- some as young as 13 -- weren't training, eating or sleeping, they were often left unsupervised.
One coach said league officials who visited China seemed to be caught off-guard when they learned that players in the NBA academies did not attend school.
The NBA was able to work out an arrangement by which players at the academy in Zhejiang would be educated at a local international school. But similar efforts in Xinjiang and Shandong were unsuccessful.
Tatum said Chinese officials told the NBA that players at the academies would take classes six days a week in subjects such as English, math and sports psychology. He said when NBA employees later raised questions about whether the kids were in school, the Chinese officials reassured them they were.
But two former league employees said they complained directly to Stolt, who's based in Shanghai, that the players under their supervision were not in school.
Within the past month, as the NBA prepared to resume play in Florida, it began to face new questions about its relationship with China. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., sent separate letters to Silver questioning why the NBA is promoting social justice at home while ignoring China's abuses. The letters came shortly after China announced a new national security law in Hong Kong that gives authorities sweeping powers to crack down on pro-Democracy protesters. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also recently sparred on Twitter with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban over China.
Hawley's letter challenged the NBA for excluding messages supporting human rights in China among statements that players can wear on their jerseys. The approved messages are limited to social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Given the NBA's troubled history of excusing and apologizing for the brutal repression of the Chinese Communist regime, these omissions are striking," Hawley wrote in the letter, which was sent to media members.
One recipient, ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, replied with a profanity, which Hawley then tweeted out to his 235,000 followers. ESPN and Wojnarowski issued separate apologies, and the reporter was suspended for two weeks without pay.
IN XINJIANG, THE NBA opened an academy in a region notorious for human rights abuses.
In recent years, the Chinese government has escalated its use of high-tech surveillance, restricted freedom of movement and erected mass internment facilities, which the government describes as vocational training centers and critics describe as concentration camps holding ethnic minorities, particularly Uighur Muslims. The government says the policy is necessary to combat terrorism. In September, the United States joined more than 30 countries in condemning "China's horrific campaign of repression" against the Uighurs. Reports of separatist violence and Chinese government repression in Xinjiang go back decades.
Tatum said the NBA wasn't aware of political tensions or human rights issues in Xinjiang when it announced it was launching the training academy there in 2016.
In the spring of 2018, the U.S. began considering sanctions against China over human rights concerns there, and the issue became the subject of increasing media coverage within the United States. In August 2018, Slate published an article under the headline: "Why is the NBA in Xinjiang? The league is running a training center in the middle of one of the world's worst humanitarian atrocities."
Later, the NBA would receive criticism from congressional leaders, but it never addressed the concerns or said anything about the status of the facility until last week.
Sometime shortly after Morey's October tweet, the academy webpage was taken down.
Pressed by ESPN, Tatum repeatedly avoided questions on whether the widespread human rights abuses in Xinjiang played a role in closing the academy, instead citing "many factors."
"My job, our job is not to take a position on every single human rights violation, and I'm not an expert in every human rights situation or violation," Tatum said. "I'll tell you what the NBA stands for: The values of the NBA are about respect, are about inclusion, are about diversity. That is what we stand for."
Nury Turkel, a Uighur American activist who has been heavily involved in lobbying the U.S. government on Uighur rights, told ESPN before the NBA said it had left Xinjiang that he believed the league had been indirectly legitimizing "crimes against humanity."
One former league employee who worked in China wondered how the NBA, which has been so progressive on issues around Black Lives Matter and moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina, over a law requiring transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificates, could operate a training camp amid a Chinese government crackdown that also targeted NBA employees.
"You can't have it both ways," the former employee said. "... You can't be over here in February promoting Black History Month and be over in China, where they're in reeducation camps and all the people that you're partnering with are hitting kids."
Tatum said the NBA "has a long history and our values are about inclusion and respect and bridging cultural divides. That is what we stand for and that is who we are as an organization. We do think that engagement is the best way to bridge cultural divides, the best way to grow the game across borders."
China's soaring market for the NBA was propelled by the success of retired NBA star Yao Ming, seen in a 2012 photo with then-commissioner David Stern, left. Randy Belice/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe repression in Xinjiang is aimed primarily at Uighurs, but foreigners also have been harassed. One American coach said he was stopped by police three times in 10 months. Once, he was taken to a station and held for more than two hours because he didn't have his passport at the time. Because of the security restrictions, foreigners were told they were not allowed to rent housing in Xinjiang; most lived at local hotels.
Tatum said the league wasn't aware any of its employees had been detained or harassed in Xinjiang.
Most of the players who trained at the NBA's Xinjiang academy were Uighurs, but it was unclear to league employees who spoke with ESPN if any were impacted by the government crackdown.
After returning from Xinjiang last fall, Corbin Loubert, a strength coach who joined the NBA after stints at the IMG Academy in Florida and The Citadel, posted a CNN story on Twitter describing how the network's reporters faced surveillance and intimidation in Xinjiang.
"I spent the past year living in Xinjiang, and can confirm every word of this piece is true," Loubert tweeted. "One of the biggest challenges was not only the discrimination and harassment I faced," he added, "but turning a blind eye to the discrimination and harassment that the Uyghur people around me faced."
Loubert declined several interview requests from ESPN.
In a bipartisan letter to Silver last October after Morey's tweet, eight U.S. legislators -- including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Cruz -- called for the NBA to "reevaluate" the Xinjiang academy in response to "a massive, government-run campaign of ethno-religious repression."
Even though the NBA now says it had left Xinjiang in the spring of 2019, the league did not respond to the letter. The Xinjiang academy webpage disappeared soon after.
Last week, in response to Sen. Blackburn of Tennessee, the league wrote, "The NBA has had no involvement with the Xinjiang basketball academy for more than a year, and the relationship has been terminated."
John Pomfret, whose 2016 book, "The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom" covers the history of the U.S.-China relationship, called the decision to put an academy in Xinjiang "a huge mistake" that made the NBA "party to a massive human rights violation."
"Shutting it down was probably the smartest thing to do," he said. "But you can clearly understand from the NBA's point of view why they wouldn't want to make an announcement: Then you're just rubbing China's nose in it. What would you say, 'We're leaving because of human rights concerns?' That's worse than Morey's tweet."
Tatum said the league decided to end its involvement with the Xinjiang facility because it "didn't have the authority, or the ability to take direct action against any of these local coaches, and we ultimately concluded that the program there was unsalvageable."
Tatum said the NBA informed its coaches in Xinjiang that the league planned to cease operations, and coaches were then "moved out." But when Tatum was told that multiple sources had told ESPN that the NBA never informed the coaches of its plans to close Xinjiang, Tatum said he wasn't actually sure what conversations had taken place.
Two sources disputed that the NBA had any plans to leave Xinjiang in the spring of 2019. One coach said the league was still seeking other coaches to move there well into the summer and that the league's statement to Blackburn was "completely inaccurate."
"They were still trying to get people to go out there," the coach said. "It didn't end because [Tatum] said, 'We're gonna end this.'"
"They probably finally said, 'Why are we doing this?'" he continued. "Like we told them from the start, 'Why do we need to be here? We're the NBA, there's no reasons for us to be here."
ESPN researcher John Mastroberardino contributed to this report.
Opinion | Data isn't just being collected from your phone. It's being used to score you. - The Washington Post
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 15:51
Harvey Rosenfield and Laura Antonini are consumer advocates.
Operating in the shadows of the online marketplace, specialized tech companies you've likely never heard of are tapping vast troves of our personal data to generate secret "surveillance scores'' '-- digital mug shots of millions of Americans '-- that supposedly predict our future behavior. The firms sell their scoring services to major businesses across the U.S. economy.
People with low scores can suffer harsh consequences.
CoreLogic and TransUnion say that scores they peddle to landlords can predict whether a potential tenant will pay the rent on time, be able to ''absorb rent increases,'' or break a lease. Large employers use HireVue, a firm that generates an ''employability" score about candidates by analyzing ''tens of thousands of factors,'' including a person's facial expressions and voice intonations. Other employers use Cornerstone's score, which considers where a job prospect lives and which web browser they use to judge how successful they will be at a job.
Brand-name retailers purchase ''risk scores'' from Retail Equation to help make judgments about whether consumers commit fraud when they return goods for refunds. Players in the gig economy use outside firms such as Sift to score consumers' ''overall trustworthiness.'' Wireless customers predicted to be less profitable are sometimes forced to endure longer customer service hold times.
Auto insurers raise premiums based on scores calculated using information from smartphone apps that track driving styles. Large analytics firms monitor whether we are likely to take our medication based on our propensity to refill our prescriptions; pharmaceutical companies, health-care providers and insurance companies can use those scores to, among other things, ''match the right patient investment level to the right patients.''
Surveillance scoring is the product of two trends. First is the rampant (and mostly unregulated) collection of every intimate detail about our lives, amassed by the nanosecond from smartphones to cars, toasters to toys. This fire hose of data '-- most of which we surrender voluntarily '-- includes our demographics, income, facial characteristics, the sound of our voice, our precise location, shopping history, medical conditions, genetic information, what we search for on the Internet, the websites we visit, when we read an email, what apps we use and how long we use them, and how often we sleep, exercise and the like.
The second trend driving these scores is the arrival of technologies able to instantaneously crunch this data: exponentially more powerful computers and high-speed communications systems such as 5G, which lead to the scoring algorithms that use artificial intelligence to rate all of us in some way.
The result: automated decisions, based on each consumer's unique score, that are, as a practical matter, irreversible.
That's because the entire process '-- the scores themselves, as well as the data upon which they are based '-- is concealed from us. It is mostly impossible to know when one has become the casualty of a score, let alone whether a score is inaccurate, outdated or the product of biased or discriminatory code programmed by a faceless software engineer. There is no appeal.
Surveillance scoring bears a faint resemblance to credit scoring in the 1960s. In that pre-computer era, private investigators working for banks, retailers and insurance companies tailed consumers and scoured newspapers for information about arrests, promotions, sexual orientation, drinking habits and cleanliness to decide a consumer's creditworthiness '''-- until Congress established rules in the 1970s giving consumers the right to review and question their credit scores.
Today's data snoops obtain infinitely more information about their targets, and in real time. And the impact of surveillance scoring is far more pernicious.
The tech industry insists that its every advance improves our lives. But that's a myth. Surveillance scoring enables companies to cloak old-school discrimination in an aura of technological infallibility and wonder.
Secret surveillance scores create micro-markets in which some consumers are no longer welcome. They divide Americans into ''haves'' and ''have-nots,'' with the losers relegated to the status of second-class citizens.
Consumers need a 21st-century solution to this emergent threat. Congress, awash in tech money, is mired in an outdated legal paradigm: ''disclosure'' of privacy policies and ''consent'' via a click. No one pretends that these industrial age contract law concepts will do anything to curb data larceny, let alone regulate or bar secret surveillance scores.
We petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and regulate surveillance scoring. The commission's response? A blog post urging the firms that develop and apply scores to regulate themselves.
This is only the latest example of Washington's capitulation to the tech industry, whose continuous loop of privacy violations, abject apologies and payment of inconsequential penalties confirms that consumers cannot rely on the federal government for protection.
Secret surveillance scoring places us at the precipice of the ''singularity,'' a dystopian turning point after which machines will make judgments about humans that will determine our fate. We either seize control of our future, or risk losing it.
Read more:
Jeff Bezos: How did tech CEOs do on Capitol Hill? Google 'robber barons.'
Simina Mistreanu: Fears about China's social-credit system are probably overblown, but it will still be chilling
Alexandra Petri: Congress agrees big tech creepy, can't agree how
Press release: Google removes all Danish music from YouTube
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:53
Press ReleaseJuly 30, 2020
Google removes all Danish music from YouTube While the negotiations on a new joint Nordic agreement are in full swing, Google have chosen to leverage their total dominance in the market in the strongest way possible. On the evening of Thursday 30 July, Google announced that they will soon remove all Danish music content on YouTube.Under the auspices of the Nordic alliance of collecting societies, Polaris, negotiations on a joint Nordic agreement on the use of music on YouTube are currently in full swing. The agreement will replace the local agreements of the Norwegian, Finnish and Danish composers and songwriters' societies, combining them in a single, joint agreement with Google. In the case of Koda, the national agreement for Denmark expired in April, after which it was temporarily extended '' as is standard practice in the industry while negotiating a new agreement.
Now, however, Google have issued a new demand: if the agreement is to be temporarily extended, Koda must agree to reduce the payment provided to composers and songwriters for YouTube's use of music by almost 70% '' despite the fact that YouTube's use of music has increased significantly since Koda entered into its last agreement with Google.
Of course, Koda cannot accept these terms, and Google have now unilaterally decided that Koda's members cannot have their content shown on YouTube and that their fans and users on YouTube will be unable to listen to Koda members' music until a new agreement is in place.
Although the parties involved in the negotiations on the new joint agreement are by no means in concord yet, progress has been made in recent weeks, and Koda is puzzled by the extremely aggressive approach taken by Google in the negotiations this time.
Koda's media director, Kaare Struve, says:'Google have always taken an ''our way or the highway'' approach, but even for Google, this is a low point. Of course, Google know that they can create enormous frustration among our members by denying them access to YouTube '' and among the many Danes who use YouTube every day. We can only suppose that by doing so, YouTube hope to be able to push through an agreement, one where they alone dictate all terms'.
Ever since the first agreement was signed in 2013, the level of payments received from YouTube has been significantly lower than the level of payment agreed to by subscription-based services.
Koda's CEO, Gorm Arildsen, says:'It is no secret that our members have been very dissatisfied with the level of payment received for the use of their music on YouTube for many years now. And it's no secret that we at Koda have actively advocated putting an end to the tech giants' free-ride approach and underpayment for artistic content in connection with the EU's new Copyright Directive. The fact that Google now demands that the payments due from them should be reduced by almost 70% in connection with a temporary contract extension seems quite bizarre'.
Media contact Head of Communications Eva Hein / / (+45) 61893233
Ask Bob: What Happens If Joe Biden Or Donald Trump Dies? | Vermont Public Radio
Fri, 31 Jul 2020 04:38
What happens if either of the two likely presidential nominees were to die from COVID-19?
President Donald Trump was the oldest person to ever be inaugurated as the U.S. president at age 70. Former Vice President Joe Biden would far surpass that if he were to be elected president and inaugurated in January 2021, when he would be 78 years old.
The age of these two presidential candidates prompted this question from Vermont Public Radio listener Jo Ann Duprey of Springfield, Vermont:
What happens if Joe Biden is incapacitated or dies either from COVID-19 or any number of other problems?
As VPR's senior political reporter Bob Kinzel explains, the answer lies somewhere between definite and not-so-definite.
Have a question about Vermont politics you want answered? Submit it to "Ask Bob"!
What is Joe Biden dies before the Democratic National Convention in August?
It would be up to the delegates at the convention to select a new nominee. It's thought that Biden's selection of a vice presidential candidate would be considered the frontrunner. But other candidates could try to make their case to the delegates.
In the end, the candidate who receives a majority of delegate votes will be declared the Democratic presidential nominee.
What if a party's presidential nominee dies between the convention and Election Day?
This is still pretty straightforward. If this happens, the national political committees would meet and select a new nominee.
Now, if the death took place in October, a number of states would have already started early voting, including Vermont, where early voting begins 45 days before an election. But it's thought that this really wouldn't be a problem, because voters in November are technically voting for a slate of electors, not a specific candidate. So votes for the candidate who died would be transferred to the party's replacement candidate.
However, if this happened, let's say, a week before the election, Congress does have the authority to reschedule the election to allow time for a new candidate to be selected.
No presidential candidate has ever died in this time period. But one vice presidential candidate did.
It was 1912. Then-Republican Vice President James Sherman died in late October, just before the election. (He was the first vice president to fly in an airplane and the first to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game). He was not replaced on the ticket with President William Howard Taft. That vacancy became a moot point when Woodrow Wilson won the election.
What if a party's presidential candidate dies between Election Day in November and the Electoral College meeting in December?
We're now headed into unchartered waters that can probably only be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. Here's why: different states have different rules regarding how electors can vote. Now, some states like Vermont require the electors to vote for the winning candidate. You have to, but that person is now dead. So what do you do?
Some states allow electors to vote for somebody else. It almost never happens, but it could legally. (As a side note, the U.S. Supreme Court is actually reviewing a case right now about whether or not a state can bind its electors).
Now, if the electors were not bound to vote for the winning candidate, they were they would be free to vote for whoever they wanted to.
In 1872, Democratic presidential candidate Horace Greeley died between the election and the meeting of the Electoral College in mid-December. He only won a couple of states and some electors did vote for Greeley. Some did not.
But when Congress met in January of 1873 to certify the Electoral College votes, they threw out all the votes for Greeley because he was a dead candidate.
Again, it was a moot point because President Grant was reelected that year.
What if a party's presidential nominee dies between the Electoral College meeting in December and the Senate confirmation vote in January?
If this happens, everything is up for grabs. The 20th Amendment says if the president-elect dies before beginning his or her term, then the vice president-elect is chosen.
That seems pretty straightforward, but there's a legal debate over when a person actually becomes ''president-elect.'' Does it happen after the Electoral College votes in December, or after Congress certifies the Electoral College vote in early January?
At this point, the U.S. Supreme Court would be asked to step in and then rule on that issue.
Safeguarding Federal Elections from Possible Terrorist Attack: Issues and Options for Congress -
Thu, 30 Jul 2020 21:23
Concerns have arisen that terrorist attacks near the November 2, 2004 federal election might belaunched to disrupt voting and affect the outcome. As a result, questions have arisen about whatmight be done both to prevent such attacks and to respond to any that occur. Deliberations havecentered largely around two questions: If a terrorist attack occurs, should the election be postponed,in whole or in part, and if so, by whom and under what authority? What steps should and are beingtaken to enhance security for the election?Questions about election postponement include who has the constitutional authority, to whomcould such power be delegated, and what legal limitations exist. Congressional authority to regulateelections may vary depending on what contest or contests are affected. The executive branch doesnot currently have authority to set or change the times of elections, a power reserved for Congressunder the Constitution, although Congress may be able to delegate such authority. Either Congressor the states might also pass legislation in response to a terrorist attack that would change the timingof any elections that were affected.Some states have enacted statutes providing for the temporary postponement of elections.Many state statutes also grant the Governor the power to suspend certain state laws during anemergency. Those statutes might also be able to be used to postpone the general presidential electionin the state during an emergency. Actual postponement of elections has occurred in relatively fewcases over the last 150 years. The best known recent examples are the New York state primaryscheduled for September 11, 2001, and the Florida primary scheduled on September 1, 1992, shortlyafter Hurricane Andrew. In New York, the entire election was rescheduled; in Florida, only DadeCounty was rescheduled. In many other cases in the United States and other countries, electionshave been held despite difficult situations arising from natural events or conflicts.It is generally the responsibility of state and local governments to provide security at pollingplaces. State and local laws regarding police presence vary, with some states prohibiting and othersrequiring it. Federal law prohibits the use of federal military forces at the polls except "to repelarmed enemies of the United States." A recently released guide for state election-security planningrecommends establishment of planning teams and preparation for a range of possible scenarios.Reactions of state and local officials have varied, with some intending to make as few visiblechanges as possible and others planning to increase police presence or even move polling places.Whether Congress considers actions to safeguard elections may depend on events associatedwith U.S. elections or those in other countries. Among the options are to take no legislative action,to explicitly delegate authority to the executive branch to the extent permitted by the Constitution,to provide mechanisms for improved coordination, and to encourage early and absentee voting. Allthese options have some potential benefits but also significant potential disadvantages.
Order Code RL32654CRS Report for CongressReceived through the CRS WebSafeguarding Federal Electionsfrom Possible Terrorist Attack:Issues and Options for CongressOctober 27, 2004name redacted, CoordinatorSenior Specialist in Science and TechnologyResources, Science, and Industry Divisionname redactedSpecialist in American National GovernmentGovernment and Finance Divisionname redacted and name redactedLegislative AttorneysAmerican Law DivisionCongressional Research Service Ë' The Library of CongressSafeguarding Federal Elections from PossibleTerroristAttack: Issues and Options for CongressSummaryConcerns have arisen that terrorist attacks near the November 2, 2004 federalelection might be launched to disrupt voting and affect the outcome. As a result,questions have arisen about what might be done both to prevent such attacks and torespond to any that occur. Deliberations have centered largely around two questions:If a terrorist attack occurs, should the election be postponed, in whole or in part, andif so, by whom and under what authority? What steps should and are being taken toenhance security for the election?Questions about election postponement include who has the constitutionalauthority, to whom could such power be delegated, and what legal limitations exist.Congressional authority to regulate elections may vary depending on what contest orcontests are affected. The executive branch does not currently have authority to setor change the times of elections, a power reserved for Congress under theConstitution, although Congress may be able to delegate such authority. EitherCongress or the states might also pass legislation in response to a terrorist attack thatwould change the timing of any elections that were affected.Some states have enacted statutes providing for the temporary postponement ofelections. Many state statutes also grant the Governor the power to suspend certainstate laws during an emergency. Those statutes might also be able to be used topostpone the general presidential election in the state during an emergency. Actualpostponement of elections has occurred in relatively few cases over the last 150years. The best known recent examples are the New York state primary scheduledfor September 11, 2001, and the Florida primary scheduled on September 1, 1992,shortly after Hurricane Andrew. In New York, the entire election was rescheduled;in Florida, only Dade County was rescheduled. In many other cases in the UnitedStates and other countries, elections have been held despite difficult situations arisingfrom natural events or conflicts.It is generally the responsibility of state and local governments to providesecurity at polling places. State and local laws regarding police presence vary, withsome states prohibiting and others requiring it. Federal law prohibits the use offederal military forces at the polls except ''to repel armed enemies of the UnitedStates.'' A recently released guide for state election-security planning recommendsestablishment of planning teams and preparation for a range of possible scenarios.Reactions of state and local officials have varied, with some intending to make asfew visible changes as possible and others planning to increase police presence oreven move polling places.Whether Congress considers actions to safeguard elections may depend onevents associated with U.S. elections or those in other countries. Among the optionsare to take no legislative action, to explicitly delegate authority to the executivebranch to the extent permitted by the Constitution, to provide mechanisms forimproved coordination, and to encourage early and absentee voting. All theseoptions have some potential benefits but also significant potential disadvantages.ContentsBackground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Election Postponement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Constitutional Authority and Federal Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Federal Elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2State Elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Executive Branch Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4State Laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Examples of State Statutes Regarding Emergency Election Postponement . 5Florida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Hawaii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Louisiana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Maryland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6New York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6North Carolina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Examples of State Statutes Granting Emergency Powers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Examples from State Elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8New York Primary Election on September 11, 2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Florida September 1, 1992 Primary Election (Hurricane Andrew) . . . . 9Hawaii September 19, 1992 Primary Election (Hurricane Iniki)Held on Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Maine September 13, 1954 General Election (Hurricane Edna)Held Despite Damage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Other Weather-related Election Delays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Foreign Elections Sometimes Held Under Difficult Conditions . . . . . . . . . 13Colombia 1990 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Peru 1991 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Cambodia 1993 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Bosnia 1996 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Taiwan, 1996 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Factors Governing Decisions to Postpone Elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15The Uniform Election Day in November . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Louisiana's Open Primary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Early Voting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16A Federal Election May Be Postponed Because of theVoting Rights Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17The Civil War Amendments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18Concluding Observations About Election Postponement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Security at the Polling Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Impact of Early and Absentee Voting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Options for Congress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Take No Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Delegate Authority for Safeguarding Elections to theExecutive Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Treat Security as an Aspect of Continuity of Government . . . . . . . . . 23Provide Mechanisms for Improved Coordination among States onElection Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Encourage Early Voting and Absentee Voting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Safeguarding Federal Elections fromPossible Terrorist Attack: Issues andOptions for CongressBackgroundThe terrorist bombings that occurred in Spain on March 11, 2004, before thatcountry's national election, were considered by many to have had a significant impacton the outcome of that election.1 Many observers believed that such was their intent.Concerns then arose that terrorist attacks in the United States near the time of theNovember 2 federal election could also be aimed at affecting the outcome of thatelection. In early July, news media began reporting such concerns from the BushAdministration and that the Department of Justice was considering the question offederal authority to postpone the election.2 Subsequently, administration officialsemphasized that the election would proceed as scheduled. For example, on July 13,Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Chairman DeForest Soaries released apublic statement declaring ''There are no circumstances that could justify thepostponement or cancellation of a presidential election in the United States.''3However, the question of polling place vulnerabilities persists. As a result,questions have arisen about what responses might be taken both to prevent suchattacks and respond to them should they occur. Deliberations have been affected notonly by concerns about homeland security in the wake of the terrorist attacks ofSeptember 11, 2001, but also by the expected closeness of the presidential electionand the resulting highly charged nature of the contest. Deliberations and debate havecentered largely around two questions:!!If a terrorist attack occurred, should the election be postponed, inwhole or in part, and if so, by whom and under what authority?What steps should and are being taken to enhance security for theelection?1Whether the impact resulted from the fact of the bombings or the nature of the incumbentgovernment's subsequent reaction remains in dispute.2See, for example, Michael Isikoff, ''Election Day Worries,'' Newsweek, 19 July 2004, p.8.3Election Assistance Commission, ''Chairman Soaries' Statement Concerning the Statusof the November Presidential Election,'' 13 July 2004,[].CRS-2To address those questions, this report discusses constitutional authority andfederal and state laws regarding the postponement of federal elections, as well asselected experiences with past elections, both in the United States and abroad. It alsodiscusses federal authority regarding the security of polling places, and federal effortsspecifically aimed at election security. It does not discuss broader efforts aimed atpreventing terrorist attacks or other questions regarding the administration orintegrity of the November 2004 election.In the United States, elections are administered by state and local governments.While Congress has limited power to regulate federal elections, it has rarelyexercised that authority except with respect to the question of enfranchisement ofvoters. However, in response to the problems arising from the November 2000election for President, Congress enacted the Help America Vote Act of 2002(HAVA). The act substantially enhanced the federal role in election administration,including the establishment of the EAC, a new, independent federal agency, toprovide support and guidance to state and local election officials. The EAC does not,however, have any regulatory authority. HAVA establishes requirements for votingsystems, voter registration, and other aspects of election administration. It does notspecifically address issues relating to election postponement or polling place security,although some constitutional provisions and earlier legislation are relevant.Election PostponementConstitutional Authority and Federal LawBasic questions relating to election postponement include who has theconstitutional authority to postpone elections, to whom could such power bedelegated, and what legal limitations exist to such a postponement.4 Congress hasauthority to regulate elections, and that authority may vary depending on whether theelection is for the Presidency, the House, the Senate, or for state or local offices.While the executive branch has significant delegated authority regarding someaspects of election law, that authority does not currently extend to setting or changingthe times of elections.Under a variety of possible scenarios that could arise as a result of a terroristattack before or during an election, either Congress or the states might passlegislation that would affect the timing of those elections. The executive branch doesnot currently have that power, but Congress may be able to delegate that authority tothe executive branch.Federal Elections. The authority to postpone an election would appear to bea natural corollary of the power to set the time for an election. The authority to set the4For more detailed information on this topic, see (name redacted),Executive BranchPower to Postpone Elections, CRS Report RL32471, 14 July 2004, and (name redacted),Postponement and Rescheduling of Elections to Federal Office, CRS Report RL32623, 4October 2004.CRS-3date of elections appears to derive principally from two constitutional provisions,Article I, §4, cl. 1, and Article II, §1, cl. 4. The text of the Constitution does notappear to contain a constitutional role for the executive branch in such decisions.The Supreme Court and lower courts have interpreted the language of ArticleI, § 4, cl. 1 to mean that Congress has extensive power to regulate most elements ofa congressional election.5 It would appear that Congress would therefore have broadauthority to postpone elections so as to account for emergency situations. AlthoughCongress has set the election date by statute, it would still appear to be withinCongress's power to postpone a House and Senate election.6While the power of Congress to regulate presidential elections is not asextensive as its power over House and Senate elections,7 Article II, §1, cl. 4 doesprovide that Congress may determine the ''time'' of choosing presidential electors.Although Congress does not have the explicit authority to regulate other aspects ofpresidential elections, case law does indicate that Congress may have powersextending beyond establishing the time of choosing the electors.8 The power ofCongress to protect the integrity of the presidential election, combined with itsauthority to set the time of election, would also seem to provide Congress the powerto postpone elections because of a national emergency.5285 U.S. at 366. See Roudebush v. Hartke, 405 U.S. 15, 24-25 (1972) (state's authorityto regulate recount of elections); United States v. Gradwell, 243 U.S. 476, 483 (1917) (fullauthority over federal election process, from registration to certification of results); UnitedStates v. Mosley, 238 U.S. 383, 386 (1915) (authority to enforce the right to cast ballot andhave ballot counted); In re Coy, 127 U.S. 731, 752 (1888) (authority to regulate conduct atany election coinciding with federal contest); Ex parte Yarbrough, 110 U.S. 651, 662 (1884)(authority to make additional laws for free, pure, and safe exercise of right to vote); Ex parteClarke, 100 U.S. 399, 404 (1879) (authority to punish state election officers for violation ofstate duties vis-a-vis congressional elections). See also United States v. Simms, 508 F.Supp.1179, 1183-85 (W.D. La.1979) (criminalizing payments in reference to registration or votingdoes not offend Tenth Amendment); Prigmore v. Renfro, 356 F.Supp. 427, 430 (N.D.Ala.1972) (absentee ballot program upheld as applied to federal elections), aff'd, 410 U.S.919 (1973); Fowler v. Adams, 315 F.Supp. 592, 594 (M.D. Fla.1970), appeal dismissed, 400U.S. 986 (1971) (authority to exact 5 percent filing fee for congressional elections).6It would appear, however, that Congress could not postpone elections indefinitely, as theConstitution requires that Members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen ''everysecond year,'' U.S. Const. Art. I, § 2, cl. 1, and Senators shall be chosen for terms of ''sixyears.'' U.S. Const., Amend. XVII. See also U.S. Const. Amend. XX (specifying that theterms of the President and Vice-President shall end January 20th, and those of Senators andRepresentatives shall end January 3rd).7Despite modern state practice providing for popular voting for electors, the appointmentof presidential electors was historically and remains today a power of the state legislatures.For instance, a state would still retain the authority to use an alternative method of choosingpresidential electors besides popular elections.8For instance, the Supreme Court has allowed congressional regulation of politicalcommittees which seek to influence presidential elections, arguing that such legislation isjustified by the need to preserve the integrity of such elections. See Burroughs v. UnitedStates, 290 U.S. 534 (1934).CRS-4State Elections. Congress does not have general legislative authority toregulate the manner and procedures used for elections at the state and local level.Congress does have extensive authority under the Civil War Amendments,9 the 19thAmendment,10 the 24th Amendment,11 and the 26th Amendment12 to preventdiscrimination in access to voting, and it has exercised that power extensively overstate and local, as well as federal, elections.13 However, absent some relationship tothe issues addressed by these amendments, such as the postponement of a stateelection to deal with issues of discrimination, Congress would not appear to have theauthority to regulate the time of the state elections.Executive Branch Power. The executive branch does not appear tocurrently have the authority to establish or postpone the dates of elections at eitherthe federal or state level even in an emergency.14 The question arises, however,whether Congress could delegate power to the executive branch. Generally, underseparation of power doctrine, Congress may delegate power to the executive branchso long as it includes standards so that a court can ''ascertain whether the will ofCongress has been obeyed.''15 There is no apparent reason why this doctrine wouldnot extend to the power of Congress to set the time of national elections.16 Thus, as9U.S. Const., Amend. XIII (prohibiting slavery), Amend. XIV (due process and equalprotection) and Amend. XV (voting rights).10''The rights of citizens to vote shall not be denied . . . on account of sex.''11''The rights of citizens to vote . . . shall not be denied . . . by reason of failure to pay a polltax . . . .''12''The right of citizens . . . to vote shall not be denied . . . on account of age.''13See, e.g., Voting Rights Act of 1965, Pub. L. No. 89-110, 79 Stat. 437 (codified asamended at 42 U.S.C. §§ 1971, 1973-1973bb-1 (1992)). For background on the VotingRights Act, see (name redacted), The Voting Rights Act of 1965: A Legal Overview,CRS Report 91-736, 7 October 1991.14It is possible, however, that the executive branch could make decisions that would makeit difficult or impractical for a particular state or federal election to occur. For instance, avariety of situations could occur under which the executive branch might seek to limit themovement of citizens under its emergency powers. See Harold Relyea, National EmergencyPowers, CRS Report 98-505, 23 September. However, exercise of such power would notappear to have the legal effect of delaying an election, nor would it vest the executive branchwith the authority to reschedule the election. The legal resolution of an election duringwhich significant numbers of persons fail to reach the polls due to the actions of theexecutive branch is beyond the scope of this report.1516Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 379 (1989).See Skinner v. Mid-America Pipeline Co., 490 U.S. 212, 220-221 (1989). In Skinner, theCourt rejected the argument that the Taxing Clause, U.S. Const., Article I, § 8, cl. 1, shouldbe treated differently for purposes of delegation. ''We discern nothing in th[e] placement ofthe Taxing Clause that would distinguish Congress's power to tax from its other enumeratedpowers - such as its commerce powers, its power to 'raise and support Armies,' its powerto borrow money, or its power to 'make Rules for the Government' - in terms of the scopeand degree of discretionary authority that Congress may delegate to the Executive in orderthat the President may 'take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.''' But see Amy(continued...)CRS-5long as Congress set standards for the executive branch to implement such apostponement,17 it would appear that Congress could enact a statute delegating to theexecutive branch the authority to postpone an election.State LawsSome states have enacted statutes providing for the temporary postponement ofelections within their respective jurisdictions for various reasons. State laws vary,but an examination of a selection of state statutes may be instructive. Relevantstatutes are summarized for the following states: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii,Louisiana, Maryland, New York, and North Carolina. In the event of emergenciesor disasters, it appears that these laws might provide for the postponement of thegeneral presidential election within the state.18 In addition, examples of state statutesthat grant the Governor the power to suspend certain state laws during an emergencyare included. Although these statutes do not mention elections, they might be ableto be used to postpone the general presidential election in an emergency.Examples of State Statutes Regarding Emergency ElectionPostponementFollowing are summaries of selected state laws that provide a mechanism forthe postponement of certain elections. In the event of emergencies or disasters, itappears that these laws might provide for the postponement of the generalpresidential election within the respective state, its precincts, districts or counties:Florida. The Governor may, upon issuing an executive order declaring a stateof emergency or impending emergency, suspend or delay any election. Therescheduled election must be held within 10 days after the date of the delayedelection or as soon as practicable thereafter. FLA. STAT. § 101.101.733 (2004).Georgia. In the event the Governor declares that a state of emergency ordisaster exists pursuant to state law or a federal agency declares that a state ofemergency or disaster exists, the secretary of state is authorized to postpone the date16(...continued)Keller, ''Members Pan Election Idea,'' Roll Call, 13 July 2004) (quoting Yale Professor JackBalkin to the effect that Article II provides that Congress, not the executive branch, maydetermine the date of presidential elections).17Arguably, Congress would need to set standards for the cancellation of the existing dateand then for the institution of a new date. Failure to provide such direction would raiseissues of separation of powers. See Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417, 443-444(1998)(delegation standards requires establishment of triggering conditions, limiteddiscretion as to whether to implement; standards may not allow President to substitute hisown policy decision.)18For more detailed information, see (name redacted), State Election Laws: Overview ofStatutes Regarding Emergency Election Postponement Within the State, CRS ReportRS21942, 22 September 2004.CRS-6of any election in the affected area. The secretary of state shall exercise the powersgranted by this section of law carefully, and any such postponement or extensionshall not exceed 45 days. GA. CODE ANN. § 21-2-50.1 (2004).Hawaii. If the extent of damage caused by any natural disaster is such that theability of voters to exercise their right to vote is substantially impaired, the chiefelection officer may require the registered voters of the affected precinct(s) to voteby absentee ballot and may postpone the election in the affected precinct(s) for nomore than 21 days, provided that the postponement does not affect the election,tabulation or distribution of results for those precincts, districts, or counties notdesignated for postponement. HAW. REV. STAT. § 11-92.3 (2003).Louisiana. Upon issuance of an executive order declaring a state ofemergency or impending emergency, the Governor may suspend or delay anyelection. The Governor shall take such action only upon certification by the secretaryof state that such a state of emergency exists. As chief election officer of the parish,a clerk of the court may bring to the attention of the secretary of state any difficultiesoccurring in his parish due to natural disasters. If any delays or suspensions areauthorized by the Governor, the delayed election day shall resume or be rescheduledas soon thereafter as is practicable. LA. REV. STAT. § 18:401.2 (2004).19Maryland. In the event of a state of emergency, declared by the Governor inaccordance with law, that interferes with the electoral process, the emergencyproclamation may provide for the postponement, until a specific date, of the electionin part or all of the state. MD. CODE ANN. [Elections] § 8-103 (2003).New York. A county board of elections, or the state board of elections withrespect to an election conducted in a district in the jurisdiction of more than onecounty board of elections, may determine that, as the direct consequence of fire,earthquake, tornado, explosion, power failure, act of sabotage, enemy attack or otherdisaster, less than 25% of the registered voters of any city, town or village, or if thecity of New York, or any county therein, actually voted in any general election. Sucha determination shall be subject to approval by the state board of elections. If thestate board of elections makes such determination, it shall notify the board ofelections with the jurisdiction in that county that an additional day of election shallbe held. Thereafter, the county board of elections shall set a date for an additionalday for voting in the county, city, town or village affected by the statement, which19The Louisiana election emergency statute begins with the following statement offindings: ''Due to the possibility of an emergency or common disaster occurringbefore or during a regularly scheduled or special election, and inorder to ensure maximum citizen participation in the electoral processand provide a safe and orderly procedure for persons seeking toqualify or exercise their right to vote, to minimize to whatever degreepossible a person's exposure to danger during declared states ofemergency, and to protect the integrity of the electoral process, it ishereby found and declared to be necessary to designate a procedurefor the emergency suspension or delay and rescheduling of qualifying,absentee voting in person, and elections.'' LA. REV. STAT. § 18:401.2(2004).CRS-7shall not be more than twenty days after the original date of the general election. NY[Elections] LAW § 3-108 (Consol. 2004).North Carolina. The executive director, as chief state elections official, mayexercise emergency powers to conduct an election in a district where the normalschedule for the election is disrupted by any of the following: a natural disaster,extremely inclement weather, an armed conflict involving U.S. armed forces ormobilization of those forces, including the state National Guard and reservecomponents. In exercising those emergency powers, the executive director shallavoid unnecessary conflict with the provisions of this chapter of law. N.C. GEN.STAT. § 163-27.1 (2004).Examples of State Statutes Granting Emergency PowersSome states statutes authorize the Governor to suspend certain state laws in theevent of an emergency. While these statutes do not specifically mention elections,it might be possible for them to be used to postpone the general presidential election,within the respective state, its precincts, districts or counties, in the event of anemergency or disaster. While not an exhaustive list, the following summaries areprovided as examples of these types of state laws:In Arizona, the Governor has the power in a ''state of war emergency'' tosuspend statutory procedures for conduct of state business, or the orders or rules ofany state agency, to facilitate mitigation of the effects of the emergency.20 TheCalifornia Governor has similar powers for either a state of war emergency or a stateof emergency.21 Similar powers are afforded the Governor of Illinois in the event ofa declared disaster, for a period not to exceed 30 days,22 and to the Governor ofIndiana, with the proviso that the general assembly may terminate the state ofemergency at any time.23 The Governor of Michigan may exercise similar powersupon declaring a state of disaster or a state of emergency,24 as may the Governor ofTennessee.25 Texas and West Virginia have similar provisions.2620ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. §§ 26-303(A)(1), 301(15)(2004).21CAL. GOV'T CODE ANN. §§ 8571, 8558(a), (b)(2004).2220 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. § 3305/7(a), 3305/4 (2004)23BURNS IND. CODE ANN. §§ 10-14-3-12(a),(d); 10-14-3-1 (2004)24MICH. COMP. LAWS ANN. §§ 30.405(1)(a); 30,402(e),(h)(2004).25TENN. CODE ANN. §§ 58-2-107; 58-2-101(4),(6)(2004).26TEX. GOV'T CODE §§ 418.016; 418.004(1)(2004); W. VA. CODE §§ 15-5-6(g); 15-5-2(h)(2004).CRS-8Examples from State ElectionsTo identify examples of election postponements, CRS conducted a text searchof digitized images of the New York Times and Washington Post 27 for the period1860 to 2004, supplemented by other sources including books and periodicals suchas Congressional Quarterly's Weekly Report. Several examples of postponements offederal primary elections or local elections were found.28 The reasons forpostponement included natural disasters, severe weather, and, in the case of theSeptember 11, 2001 New York primary election, a terrorist attack. No instance wasfound in which a general federal election was postponed or delayed, although it is notpossible to categorically rule out that possibility, especially for small areas, such asprecincts, where a weather event or a technical problem such as a power failure mayhave come into play. The examples described include instances in which electionseither have been or could have been postponed because of unusual circumstances inthe United States, as well as several illustrative cases from other countries.New York Primary Election on September 11, 2001. According to pressreports, elections officials in the New York City region began closing the polls bymid-morning on September 11, 2001. Newsday reported that the ''SuffolkDemocratic elections commissioner, who made the decision with Republicancounterpart Barbara Barci [said] 'we just looked at each other and decided this wasthe right thing to do.'''29 Barci cited Section 3-108 of the New York election lawgiving elections officials the power to postpone an election in the event of ''fire,earthquake, tornado, explosion, power failure, act of sabotage, enemy attack or otherdisaster.''30 Newsday further reported that the Nassau county elections commissioneralso closed the polls, because among other things, ''many school districts wereclosing their buildings, which would affect our polling places.''31 In the borough ofQueens, New York Supreme Court Justice Stephen W. Fisher issued an oral order themorning of September 11, 2001, calling off the election in New York City. Fisher,who had been previously appointed by the Chief Administrative Judge to ''handle allcitywide election-related issues, said he acted to preserve the 'integrity' of theelectoral process after being 'besieged' by telephone requests from the New YorkBoard of Elections and the campaigns of the four Democratic mayoral candidates.''32New York Governor Pataki signed an executive order about noon on September 11,27ProQuest Information and Learning Company maintains a database ''that contain[s]electronically scanned facsimile reproductions'' of materials including the historicalWashington Post and New York Times. Our search of this database covered the period from1860 to 2002.28This and the following two sections are drawn from David Huckabee, ''Deciding toPostpone Elections: Domestic and International Examples,'' CRS CongressionalDistribution Memorandum, 17 August 2004, available by request.29Rick Brand, ''Primary vote postponed statewide, Nassau and Suffolk among first tocancel,'' Newsday, 12 September 2001, p. W23.30Ibid.31Ibid.32''Primary Election Are Cancelled,'' New York Law Journal, 12 September 2001, p. 3.CRS-92001, halting the elections statewide,33 and the State Board of Elections notified localelections boards within 30 minutes of the Governor's order.34Initial reports of how the suspended primary would be conducted when votingresumed suggested that votes cast on September 11 would be counted. OnSeptember 11, 2001, the counsel for the state Republican Committee said that votescast before the election was stopped would count.35 This interpretation appears tocomport with New York election law regarding postponement of general elections(see above), which states in part, ''in any election district in which voting machineswere used upon the original day of voting, they shall be used for the additional dayfor voting. The original seal on such machines shall not be removed nor shall themachines be unlocked until the opening of the polls on the additional day for voting''(NY [Elections] LAW § 3-108(3)).The primary, rescheduled for September 24, 2001, was not treated like a generalelection, and votes cast on September 11 were not counted. On September 13, thelegislature and the Governor agreed to a new procedure in which ''any votes cast onSeptember 11th [would] not be counted, but all absentee ballots duly and properlycast'' would continue to be valid and counted on September 25, 2001.36On the eve of the rescheduled primary, the New York Times reported complaintsfrom many candidates that little had been done to publicize the new date, as well asconcerns about lack of voter awareness that votes cast at the polls on September 11would not be counted.37 Media sources also reported little or no post-9/11campaigning.The Gotham Gazette also reported problems in lower Manhattan for voters andcandidates on the rescheduled primary day. The city Board of Election's main officewas without telephones and electricity for a period after the attack, and there were nopolling places west of Broadway. To vote, persons who would have voted at thoselocations were required to request absentee ballots that had to be postmarked bySeptember 24, 2001.38Florida September 1, 1992 Primary Election (Hurricane Andrew).Dade County Florida Commissioners directed the county attorney to file a federallawsuit seeking to delay a statewide primary election because of extensive damage33George E. Pataki, State of New York Executive Order No. 113.1, 11 September 2001.34Ibid.35Ibid.36Governor George Pataki, ''Governor, legislature announce new primary election date,''Press Release, 13 September 2001. See also McKinney's 2001 Session Laws of New York,vol. 1 Chapt. 298 and vol. 2 Chapt. 298-LM.37Jonathan P. Hicks, ''Treading gingerly on the campaign trail,'' New York Times, Sept. 23,2001, p. A50.38Mark Berkey Gerard and Lara Naaman, ''New York's new primary day,'' 24 September2001, [], visited 15 July 2004.CRS-10resulting from Hurricane Andrew (which hit Dade County on August 24, 1992),because approximately 200 polling places in the county were ''inaccessible, badlydamaged or destroyed.''39The primary, scheduled for September 1, included local and state races as wellas U.S. House and Senate primaries. Governor Lawton Chiles had said he lacked thelegal authority to postpone the election, contradicting Florida secretary of state JimSmith who ''contended that Chiles' emergency powers gave him authority to delaythe election for up to a week.''40On August 29, at the request of county officials, Dade County Circuit JudgeLeonard Rivkind ordered that elections in the county be postponed a week.41 He alsoordered elections supervisors in seven other counties to seal the results in multicounty and statewide races until September 8, when the rescheduled Dade Countyprimary was to be held.42 Judge Rivkind's order to delay elections in Dade Countywas upheld by a unanimous Florida Supreme Court on August 31, but the court ruledthat the judge could not control elections supervisors in other counties, so his orderto seal the elections results in those counties was reversed. The New York Timesreported on September 1 that federal District Court Judge Michael Moore had nottaken action on the county's federal law suit,43 so the statewide primary was held onschedule.Conditions for voting in Dade County on September 8 varied widely. In theMiami area and northward, electricity had been restored by September 6, and mostbusinesses had reopened.44 But in the Homestead and Florida City area, whichreceived the brunt of the storm, thousands of people were living in school buildings45and approximately 30,000 National Guard and active-duty armed forces personnelwere assisting with the clean-up.46The military also assisted with the election by setting up temporary pollingfacilities in tents because numerous polling places had been destroyed by the39''County is filing suit in effort to postpone election in Florida,'' New York Times, 27August 1992, p. A14.40Tom Fiedler, ''Storm or no, election will be held [;] local officials' pleas to delay get noresponse,'' Miami Herald, 27 August 1992, p. 1B.41''September election delayed a week in storm-hit county,'' New York Times, 30 August1992, p. A22.42''Orderly voting amid chaos,'' Miami Herald, 1 September 1992, p. 38A.43''Florida's election to proceed,'' New York Times,1 September 1992, p. A13.44Deborah Sontag, ''Life on the fringes of ruin makes a cautious comeback,'' New YorkTimes, 7 September 1992, p. A1.4546''South Florida staggers to normality,'' New York Times, 8 September 1992, p. D13.''Most Florida storm victims regain power and water,'' New York Times, 13 September1992, p. E2.CRS-11hurricane.47 Active-duty personnel were not present at the polling places during theSeptember 8 primary election because of prohibitions on the use of troops at pollingplaces (see section on polling-place security below). Active-duty soldiers werebivouacked at one of the polling places, and the military kept the troops away afterhaving sought an advisory opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice.48Hawaii September 19, 1992 Primary Election (Hurricane Iniki) Heldon Schedule.Fewer than three weeks after Hurricane Andrew, a majorhurricane struck the Hawaiian island of Kauai on September 11, 1992. Kauaisuffered extensive damage from the hurricane to its older, lightly constructedbuildings and electrical power grid. The Hawaii National Guard helped civilianauthorities with the clean-up,49 and the guard played an important role in the primaryelection held in Kauai on September 19, 1992.According to Dwayne D. Yoshina, Hawaii's chief election officer, the state'sresponse to the devastation to the island of Kauai wrought by Hurricane Iniki wasgoverned by two main factors: First, the Lieutenant Governor, who was the state'schief election official, concurred with the election staff's philosophical approach thatthere was little that should cause an election to be postponed. Second, the primarydid not fall on the day of the hurricane, but came eight days later.Mr. Yoshina said that the election staff recommended to the LieutenantGovernor that normal conditions should be restored as soon as possible. Althoughdamage to Kauai was heavy, there were enough intact structures to hold elections.National Guard personnel assisted elections officials by delivering ballots anderecting tents to serve as emergency precincts where buildings were not usable.Kauai's centralized ballot counting facility was closed down because the island hadno electrical power, so the National Guard airlifted the ballots to Oahu to becounted.50Maine September 13, 1954 General Election (Hurricane Edna) HeldDespite Damage.In contrast the Hurricane Andrew experience, twohurricanes that struck the state of Maine prior to the 1954 general election causedextensive damage but did not cause an delay of the election.The 1954 general election in Maine for federal and state offices was held onSeptember 13.51 Two days earlier, Hurricane Edna had struck the state with 80-milean-hour winds and eight inches of rain, causing widespread destruction and eight47Associated Press, ''Hurricane-delayed election puts black woman in House,'' New YorkTimes, 9 September 1992, p. A14.48Thomas R. Lujan, ''Legal Aspects of Domestic Employment of the Army,'' Parameters,U.S. Army War College, autumn 1997, p. 83. Troops were kept away even though theprohibition is for general and special elections, not specifically primaries. Also, it does notapply to National Guard troops under state control.49Ibid., p. 82.50Telephone conversation with Dwayne D. Yoshina and Rex Quidilla, July 28, 2004.51Maine did not change its election day to conform with the rest of the nation until 1960.CRS-12deaths.52 Hurricane Edna had arrived two weeks after Hurricane Carol's 75-milewinds hit the state on August 31.53The New York Times reported on the eve of the election that newspapers inMaine ''were apprehensive'' over impacts of the storm on the election. Turnout hadbeen expected to be about 250,000 persons, but cleanup operations were expected tointerfere with voting. Also there were widespread power outages in the morepopulous southern Maine towns and cities,54 with many blocked roads andhighways.55Although widespread, the damage was apparently not serious enough to promptsuggestions to postpone the elections. Maine's early elections often engenderednationwide interest as commentators would speculate whether ''as Maine goes'' sowould the nation Thus, the New York Times reported that ''newspaper editors, too,were apprehensive lest election returns would be delayed by interruptions intelephone service.''56 The storm's impact on turnout apparently was minimal becausethe combined vote in the gubernatorial election was more than 248,000.57Other Weather-related Election Delays. Those found include eventswith localized and statewide impacts, for example:52!On November 5, 1965, Washington County Pennsylvania,suspended an election in eleven precincts because of floodingconditions.58!New Jersey postponed school board elections in February 1978because of a major snow storm.59''Eight dead in Maine; losses enormous,'' New York Times, 13 September 1954, p. 13.53John H. Fenton, ''Hurricane pelts Maine candidates,'' New York Times, 1 September 1954,p. 23.54''Eight dead in Maine,'' p. 13.55John H. Fenton, ''Voters of Maine go to polls today,'' New York Times, 13 September1954, p. 1.56Ibid.57John H. Fenton, ''Cross is blamed by Maine G.O.P.,'' New York Times, 15 September1954, p. 22.58''Pennsylvania court upholds emergency power to suspend, reschedule election.''Election Administration Reports, 26 October 1987, p. 3.59Joseph F. Sullivan, ''Crews clearing Jersey highways battle in vain against driven snow,''New York Times, 7 February 1978, p. 42.CRS-13!Elections were postponed in 49 counties by the Texas secretary ofstate in 1980 under the Governor's emergency authority because ofHurricane Allen.60!As a result of the extended clean-up effort required in the weeksafter Hurricane Hugo, officials in Isle of Palms, South Carolinasought to delay the November 7, 1989 municipal elections.61Foreign Elections Sometimes Held Under Difficult ConditionsResearch by CRS suggests that elections in other countries sometimes are heldunder conditions that might severely suppress turnout in the United States. Someexamples of foreign elections held in difficult conditions are described below.Colombia 1990. Colombians went to the polls in 1990, under a threat ofviolence from drug traffickers. Cesar Gaviria Trujillo, who ran on a strong anti-drugplatform, was elected after a nine-month campaign in which three presidentialcandidates had been killed, and after numerous bombings in public places.62Peru 1991. In 1992, the New York Times reported that Shining Path guerillaactivities had resulted in formation of peasant militias to counter the Shining Path'sbrutality. The Times reported that although the terrorists' activities had ''preventedvalid elections from being held in 42% of Peru's 498 electoral districts'' in 1991,those districts accounted for only 7% of the country's total population.63Cambodia 1993. In the weeks preceding the Cambodian election in 1993,many observers anticipated widespread violence at the polls.64 The six-day votingperiod, which began on May 23, was supervised by a 22,000-member U.N.peacekeeping force '-- reportedly the biggest peacekeeping operation in U.N.history.65 On the eve of the first day of voting, an opposition party headquarters hadbeen attacked with grenades, killing at least one man, prompting U.N. officials towarn that polling places might become the targets of the Khmer Rouge.66 By the endof the voting period, the New York Times reported that the Khmer Rouge, who hadopposed the election, had ''surprised United Nations officials by delivering thousands60''Hurricane travels toward Texas coastline,'' New York Times, 9 August 1980, p. 5.61''South Carolina coast spared from new dangers,'' New York Times, 18 October 1989, p.D28.62James Brooke, ''Strong drug foe wins in Colombia by a wide margin,'' New York Times,28 May 1990, p. A1.63James Brook, ''Roadblock on the Shining Path: angry peasants,'' New York Times, 26 May1992, p. A4.64Philip Shenon, ''Cambodia factions use terror tactics in crucial election,'' New YorkTimes, 10 May 1993, p. A1.65Philip Shenon, ''Hope and violence as Cambodian election begins,'' New York Times, 23May 1993, p. A1.66Ibid.CRS-14of Cambodians from territory under the rebels' control to vote in at least three of thenine provinces in which they have a sizable presence.''67 Despite the threats ofviolence, the Times reported estimates that more than 90% of Cambodia's 4.7 millioneligible voters had voted.68Bosnia 1996. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe(OSCE) postponed municipal elections in Bosnia twice in 1996 and once in 1997.The municipal elections set for September 14, 1996, were postponed ''because ofwidespread irregularities in registration,''69 but the general elections went on asscheduled under the supervision of the OSCE.70 Municipal elections were againpostponed in October 1996, ''because of 'continuing political problems inmunicipalities across Bosnia,'''71 and again in March 1997, ''in order to betterorganize teams of international monitors and to raise additional money to pay for theelection.''72 Bosnian municipal elections were held on September 13, 1997, underOSCE supervision and under the protection of NATO peacekeeping forces.73Taiwan, 1996. China conducted a series of missile tests and joint army andnaval exercises in March 1996, according to New York Times reporting, ''todiscourage aspirations for independence on [Taiwan] and to intimidate its 21 millionpeople in the two weeks before its first presidential election.''74 Although there wasno reported discussion of delaying the election, Beijing's military actions andcommuniques were widely regarded to be an effort to influence Taiwanese voters.75During this period of elevated tension between China and Taiwan, the United Statessent two aircraft carrier battle groups to the region.76The New China News Agency announced that ''from March 18 to 25, 1996, theChinese People's Liberation Army will conduct joint ground, naval and air exercises67''Khmer Rouge puzzle: softer strategy,'' New York Times, 28 May 1993, p. A3.68Ibid.69Mike O'Connor, ''In one town, delaying Bosnia vote is bitter news,'' New York Times, 29August 1996, p. A3.70Chris Hedges, ''Bosnia holds vote with few reports of real violence,'' New York Times,15 September 1996, p. A1.71Chris Hedges, ''Bosnia municipal elections face new postponement as Serbs balk,'' NewYork Times, 23 October 1996, p. A1.72Philip Shenon, ''Municipal elections again postponed in Bosnia,'' New York Times, 7March 1997, p. A4.73Chris Hedges, ''Bosnians vote, but animosity is unrelenting,'' New York Times, 14September 1997, p. A1.74Edward A. Gargan, ''With Taipei vote two weeks away, Beijing steps up its pressure,''New York Times, 8 March 1996, p. A1.7576Ibid.Seth Faison, ''China says Taiwan election shows that voters oppose separation from themainland,'' New York Times, 24 March 1996, p. A16.CRS-15in and over the sea area'' in the northwest Taiwan Strait.77 The New York Timesreported on March 17, 1996 that ''since the first missile landed just north of theTaiwanese port of Keelung, China has vilified ... [Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui],accusing him of harboring desires for independence and urging Taiwan's voters toreject him in the voting booth.''78 That strategy was apparently not successful,because Lee Teng-hui received 54% of the total votes cast in the election. The Timesreported that ''Beijing appeared to achieve the opposite of its intended result. ManyTaiwan voters rallied to Mr. Lee, they said, precisely because China threatened soblatantly.''79Factors Governing Decisions to Postpone ElectionsThe domestic and international examples of elections that were eitherpostponed, or held under difficult conditions, suggest there may be circumstanceswhere a general election might be postponed in the United States. Congress, intheory, could exclude Members who had not been elected on the first Monday afterthe first Tuesday in November, through its Constitutional power to examine thecredentials of its Members provided by Article 1 §5, cl. 1. Although there areexamples of Members being seated who were elected in general elections held ondays other than the day set by statute, no cases were found where Congress has failedto seat a delegation that was elected on a different day.80Congress and the courts historically have allowed states some flexibility inconducting federal elections, despite uniform election day requirements. Thefollowing examples suggest that postponing an election for a catastrophic eventwould not necessarily lead to controversy.The Uniform Election Day in November. When a uniform election dayfor Congress was established in 1872,81 several states did not adhere to the new law.In 1878, a New York Times editorial listed West Virginia, North Carolina, California,and Colorado as states seeking exemptions to uniform election day requirement.82In 1875, Congress included a ''grandfather'' clause granting states a possibleexemption from the uniform election day requirement in an omnibus appropriations77Patrick E. Tyler, ''China says maneuvers will last through Taiwan's elections,'' New YorkTimes, 16 March 1996, p. A5.78Edward A. Gargan, ''In Taiwan, few admit to worries about China,'' New York Times, 17March 1996, p. A4.79''China says Taiwan election,'' p. A16.80See U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, United States SenateElection, Expulsion and Censure Cases from 1793 to 1990, Doc. No. 103-33, 103rd Cong.,1st session, by Anne M. Butler and Wendy Wolf, and House of Representatives Exclusion,Censure and Expulsion Cases from 1789 to 1973, Joint Committee on CongressionalOperations, Committee Print, 92rd Cong., 1st session.812 U.S.C. §7.82Untitled Editorial, New York Times, 11 June 1878, p. 4.CRS-16act.83 This provision apparently was the basis for Maine's September generalelections for Congress. The state adopted the November national election day in1960.84 The laws establishing the same November election day for appointingpresidential electors had no similar exemptions for states with different electiondays.85Louisiana's Open Primary. Louisiana adopted a unique ''open primary''system that became effective for the 1978 election. The open primary was held inOctober of general election years. All candidates, regardless of their party affiliation,appeared on the same ballot. If no candidate received a majority of the vote in arace, a run-off election was held between the two candidates receiving the most voteson the federal general election day in November. This Louisiana practice ended in1997, by court, not congressional, action.In 1997, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held that Louisiana's open primaryviolated the law requiring congressional elections to be held on the national electionday.86 In dicta, however, Justice Souter's opinion for the court appeared to recognizea state might be permitted to deviate from the requirements in some circumstances.A footnote provides that ''this case thus does not present the question of whether aState must always employ the conventional mechanics of an election. We hold todayonly that if an election does take place, it may not be consummated prior to a federalelection day.''87Early Voting. State and federal law has long provided for voting before thenational uniform federal election day for voters who expect to be absent on electionday, citizens residing outside the United States, and U.S. armed services personnel.The requirements for obtaining absentee ballots have become very easy in manystates in recent decades.83See ''An act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the Government for thefiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-six, and for other purposes,''18 Stat. 371. Section 6 provides, ''that section twenty-five of the Revised Statutesprescribing the time for holding elections for Representatives to Congress, is herebymodified so as not to apply to any State that has not changed its day of election, and whoseconstitution must be amended in order to effect a change in the day of the election of Stateofficers in said State.'' 18 Stat. 400.84''Maine elects to go with rest of nation,'' New York Times, 10 September 1957, p. 1.855 Stat. 721 provides ''that the electors of President and Vice President shall be appointedin each State on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November of theyear in which they are to be appointed: Provided, That each State may by law provide forthe filling of any vacancy or vacancies which may occur in its college of electors when suchcollege meets to give its electoral vote: And provided, also, when any State shall have heldan election for the purpose of choosing electors, and shall fail to make a choice on the dayaforesaid, then the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in such manner as theState shall by law provide.''86Foster v. Love, 522U.S. 67 (1997).87Ibid, note 4.CRS-17For example, voters in Oregon approved a ballot measure in 1998 directingelections to be conducted by mail, replacing traditional polling-place elections.Ballots are automatically sent to each registered voter two weeks prior to an election.The ballots can be returned by mail or in person, but they must be received by 8:00pm on election night.88 In Oregon, therefore, the November general election date isthe end of an election period, not a single day as envisioned in federal law. Oregonis the only state that has essentially eliminated the traditional precinct-based pollingplace, but most states have liberalized their laws so voters may vote early if theychoose to do so.Early voting often incorporates a combination of liberal absentee votingregulations, which allow voters to request absentee ballots without meeting specificrequirements such as absence from home, with special polling places (often open formany days) that may include traditional polling places, such as schools, as well asnontraditional locations, including shopping malls.The Texas early voting program was challenged in 2000 as a violation of theuniform election day statute (2 USC §7). The Voting Integrity Project, Inc. andseveral Texas registered voters had failed to convince a U.S. District Court thatTexas's practice permitting unrestricted early voting in federal elections waspreempted by general election day requirements of federal law. The U.S. Court ofAppeals for the Fifth Circuit concluded, ''because the election of federal officials inTexas is not decided until Texas voters go to the polls on federal election day, weconclude that the Texas early voting scheme is not inconsistent with federal electionlaws.''89 Certiorari was denied when the case was appealed to the U.S. SupremeCourt.90A Federal Election May Be Postponed Because of the Voting RightsAct. Although completing the election process before the November generalelection day has not found favor in the courts, under certain circumstances, courtshave recognized that a federal general election may be postponed. In 1981, the stateof Georgia adopted a congressional redistricting plan that was not sanctioned by theU.S. Attorney General pursuant to §5 of the Voting Rights Act.91 The state's revisedredistricting plan was eventually approved, but the approval came so late in 1982 thatthe Attorney General objected to the election schedule because it would not allow theparties to field candidates who would have enough time ''for voters 'to make areasoned selection among candidates' [thus the schedule] 'would impact unfairly onblack voters of the Atlanta area.'''92The scheduling problem was still unresolved when the matter came before theU.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on August 24, 1982 '-- ten weeks88Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, Voting in Oregon, [Pamphlet] 10 February 2000.89Voting Integrity Project v. Bomer. 199 F.3d 773, 774 (5th Cir. 2000).90Cert. denied, Voting Integrity Project v. Bomer. 199 F.3d 773, 774 (5th Cir. 2000), 530U.S. 1230, (2000).9142 U.S.C. §1973c.92Busbee v. Smith, 549 F. Supp. 521 (1982).CRS-18before the general election scheduled for November 2, 1982. Georgia had arguedthat 2 U.S.C. §7 required the state to adhere to the uniform national election day, soa primary had been scheduled for the Atlanta congressional districts (numbers 4 and5) for August 31, with the general election to follow on November 2The District Court rejected Georgia's argument, because (1) the provisions ofthe Voting Rights Act would prevail because it was enacted later than the statutesetting a uniform election day; and (2) 2 USC §8 recognized that there might be afailure to elect a Representative on the prescribed general election day because, theremight be ''a vacancy, whether such vacancy is caused by a failure to elect at the timeprescribed by law, or the by the death, resignation, or incapacity of a person elected[emphasis in §8 excerpt added by the District Court].''93 The District Court opinedthat ''although the 42nd Congress could not have anticipated a 'failure to elect'engendered by a section 5 injunction, interpreting that phrase as encompassing sucha failure does no violence to Congress' intent.''94 The case, Busbee v. Smith, wasappealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed the district court's decisionwithout an opinion.95In contrast to Justice Souter's dicta in Foster v. Love, 522 U.S. 67 (1997), notedabove, recognizing the possibility that there might be circumstances where statesmight deviate from the ''conventional mechanics'' of the electoral process, the districtcourt's dicta 15 years earlier more specifically addressed the possibility ofpostponing elections for disasters. Judge Edwards noted ''by way of analogy,Congress did not expressly anticipate that a natural disaster might necessitate apostponement, yet no one would seriously contend that section 7 would prevent astate from rescheduling its congressional elections under such circumstances.''96The Civil War Amendments. Implementation by Congress of the 14th and15 Amendments provides examples of its reluctance to entertain credentialchallenges to state delegations because state laws or practices may violate federallaw. Section 2 of the 14th Amendment has an enforcement provision that, had it beenused, might have significantly changed civil rights history in America. Section 2provides, in part:thWhen the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President andVice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executiveand Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, isdenied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years ofage, and citizens of the United Sates, or in any way abridged, except forparticipation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shallbe reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bearto the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State[emphasis added].93Ibid., p. 525.94Ibid., p. 526.95459 U.S. 1166 (1983).96Busbee v. Smith, p. 526.CRS-19Despite the disenfranchisement of African Americans in the South afterReconstruction, no state ever had its representation in the House of Representativesreduced by this provision.97 Congress eventually enacted the Voting Rights Act of1965 to address the disenfranchisement of African Americans that occurred in theregion during the last quarter of the 19th century and continued until the 1960s.98Concluding Observations About Election PostponementThe presumption that elections are held on schedule in the United States is astrong one. The fact that federal elections were held in the United States during theCivil War,99 and every other war, declared or undeclared, since that time is oftencited as a rationale for the principle that federal elections should not be postponed.The postponements discussed above suggest, however, that there are events that maycause election administrators to consider interrupting or postponing a general electionregardless of that presumption. These include peril to life and extensive damage toinfrastructure. The examples suggest that if a state or locality decided that acatastrophe required the interruption or postponement of the general election for thePresidency and Congress, Congress would tend to accept the delay, so long as therescheduled elections were held before the date in December when the electoralcollege casts its ballots, and the beginning of the next Congress, respectively. If acatastrophic event were to occur on election day, state and local officials in theaffected areas might do as the Suffolk County New York elections officials did onSeptember 11, 2001. They could ''decide ... this [is] the right thing to do,''100 andpostpone the election.Reliance on modern technology may make elections potentially more vulnerableto disruption today than in the past. When Hurricane Dora struck Georgia in 1964,the New York Times reported that ''voters finished casting ballots in the Georgiaprimary election by the light of hand flashlights.''101 Maine's voters were able to castballots in the 1954 general election even though there were widespread poweroutages. Hand-counted paper ballots and lever machines require no electricity.Today's electronic voting systems may fail without a reliable electrical supply '--even though most have battery back-ups. Electricity is also used for counting ballotsand performing other election-administration tasks. For example, an estimated 80%of votes in 2004 will be counted with the aid of computers. Thus, a major97An effort to not seat the entire Mississippi delegation, because of the disenfranchisementof African American voters, failed at the beginning of the 89th Congress when the Houseadopted H.Res. 1, providing for administering the oath to the Mississippi Representatives.An election contest based on the same premise also did not succeed. See U.S. Congress,House, Deschler's Precedents, H. Doc. 94-661, 94th Cong., 2nd session, vol. 2, Chapt. 8 §5.6,p.864.98Congress implemented this section of the 14th Amendment in 1872. See 2 U.S.C. §6.99However, federal elections were held only in states that had not sought to secede fromthe Union.100101Brand, ''Primary vote postponed.''Associated Press, ''Hurricane lashes two Florida cities,'' New York Times, 10 September10, 1964, p. 1.CRS-20interruption of the electrical power in a state or region may require the postponementof an election, depending on when the outage occurred, how long it lasted, and whatvoting systems were in use. The relative size of the electorate underscores thereliance on technology, as large numbers of voters could be affected by technologyfailures, and voting by paper ballot may no longer be an option in densely populationareas. In 1952, about 62 million voters cast ballots in the presidential contestcompared with 105 million in 2000; the transition to faster, more efficient votingmethods was driven largely by the growth of the electorate, as well as longer ballots(initiatives and referenda, for example), language requirements, and the desire forspeed in reporting results.Security at the Polling PlaceThere are about 180,000 voting precincts in the United States.102 Just aselections are administered by state and local governments, it is also generally theresponsibility of those governments to provide security at the polling places for thoseprecincts.The use of the military for domestic purposes has been a concern since thecolonial period. After the Civil War, laws were enacted limiting the role of U.S.military forces in domestic activities. The best known is the Posse Comitatus Act of1878.103 However, a law enacted a decade earlier, in 1865, specifically prohibits theuse of the military at the polls except in the event of an attack:Whoever, being an officer of the Army or Navy, or other person in the civil,military, or naval service of the United States, orders, brings, keeps, or has underhis authority or control any troops or armed men at any place where a general orspecial election is held, unless such force be necessary to repel armed enemiesof the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more thanfive years, or both; and be disqualified from holding any office of honor, profit,or trust under the United States. This section shall not prevent any officer ormember of the armed forces of the United States from exercising the right ofsuffrage in any election district to which he may belong, if otherwise qualifiedaccording to the laws of the State in which he offers to vote.104102Data are from the Election Reform Information Project [] andElection Data Services []. The number of precincts isnot identical to the number of polling places. In particular, in some cases, more than oneprecinct may be accommodated by a single polling place.103For more information, see Jennifer Elsea, The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters:A Sketch, CRS Report RS20590, 19 May 2003; and (name redacted),The Posse Comitatus Act& Related Matters: The Use of the Military to Execute Civilian Law, CRS Report 95-964,1 June 2000.10418 USC §592. The original statute also permitted military personnel to ''to keep peaceat the polls'' (13 Stat. 37). Military and civilian government employees are also expresslyprohibited from interfering in elections by other sections of this title (18 USC §§593 '--595).CRS-21Whether this statute applies to the National Guard, as well as federal troops, maydepend on whether Guard units are serving under the authority of state Governors orthe President.105State and local laws regarding police at polling places vary. For example, inPennsylvania, police are required to remain at least 100 feet from a polling placeunless summoned.106 By contrast, in New York City, at least one police officer isassigned to each polling place.107 Public opinion regarding police presence alsovaries, with some tension between those who believe that it enhances security andtherefore facilitates voting, and those who believe that it can intimidate voters andsuppress turnout.To assist states in security planning in the context of the terrorist threat, theNational Association of Secretaries of State and the National Governors Association,in collaboration with other organizations and consultation with the U.S. Departmentof Homeland Security (DHS), have prepared a general guide for state electionsecurity planning.108 It recommends that states create a planning team consisting ofkey policymakers with security, response, and election responsibilities. The teamshould identify reactions to a range of scenarios, including the current situation,raised threat levels, and incidents both before and on election day. Contingencyplans for those scenarios should address specific issues relating to communicationand coordination, authority and responsibility, and public information. The authorsstress that such planning is important not only with respect to possible terroristattack, but also in the event of natural disasters impacting the election.The question of the level of risk of terrorist attack associated with the November2 election has been the subject of some controversy.109 The reactions of state andlocal officials have varied, with some intending to make as few visible changes aspossible and others planning to increase police presence or even move pollingplaces.110105Doyle, CRS Report 95-964, p. 41 '-- 43.10625 P.S. § 3047.107NY [Elections] LAW § 8-104(6).108National Association of Secretaries of State and others, Overview: Election SecurityPlanning for States, 24 September 2004, available at[].109See, for example, Spencer S. Hsu and Jo Becker, ''Election Day Anti-Terrorism PlansDraw Criticism,'' Washington Post, 6 October 2004; David Johnston and Don Van Natta,Jr., ''Little Evidence of Qaeda Plot Timed to Vote,'' New York Times, 23 October 2004.110Jason B. Grosky, ''Town May Cut Most Polling Places,'' The Eagle-Tribure, 22September 2004; Kevin Johnson, ''Election Warning Causes Anxiety,'' USA Today, 7October 2004, p. A12; Michael D. Shear, ''Terror Threat Complicates Election Plans inRegion,'' Washington Post, 15 October 2004, p. A1.CRS-22Impact of Early and Absentee VotingAn increasing number of states permit voters to cast ballots in person beforeelection day (early voting) or to mail in ballots (absentee voting) without providinga specific, approved reason (this is sometimes called ''no excuse'' voting).111Increasing numbers of voters have been casting ballots using these alternativesystems in recent elections, and that trend is expected to continue. Use of them canmitigate concerns about security, in at least two ways. First, it can reduce the impacton the election of any attack or other emergency that would affect polling places. Forexample, Oregon votes entirely through mail-in balloting, so there are no pollingplaces to attack.112 Second, to the extent that it reduces the number of voters who goto the polls, it can make providing security for them much easier. It is not clearwhether security concerns among voters will cause higher numbers than usual to usethese alternative methods in the current and future elections.Options for CongressWhether Congress considers taking any actions to enhance election security maydepend to significant degree on events associated with the November 2004 electionor elections in other industrialized nations. However, some observers argue thateven in the absence of any immediate problems, consideration of legislative optionswould be prudent given both the likelihood that concerns about terrorist attacks willcontinue and that natural disasters are always possible on or near election day, amongthem weather events such as major storms, and earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.Among the options Congress might consider are the following:Take No Action. State and local jurisdictions, after all, have primaryresponsibility for elections under the U.S. system of government. While HAVAgives the federal government some specific responsibilities in electionadministration, it gave the new agency it created, the EAC, no regulatory authority.As described in this report, states already have considerable authority to providesecurity for elections and to postpone them if necessary. HAVA also arguablyconcentrates responsibilities for election administration at the state as opposed to thelocal level of government. In the absence of specific problems requiring a federalsolution, it may be most appropriate to not attempt to modify those responsibilities.It can also be argued that a decentralized approach enhances security in that itcan make targeting by terrorists more difficult and provide a broader range ofdefenses than a centralized approach. In addition, Congress could respond to anyspecific emergency after the fact, as New York state did after September 11, 2001,111According to the Election Reform Information Project, 35 states currently practice earlyvoting, and 25 permit ''no excuse'' absentee voting, with 23 providing both (,Election Preview 2004: What's Changed, What Hasn't, and Why, 19 October 2004,[]).112Presumably, counting locations could still be targets, but they are generally not publicareas and would be much easier to secure.CRS-23and that might permit the most effectively tailored response. However, adecentralized approach can itself create problems in at least two ways. First, theresultant diversity of procedures can lead to variations in vulnerability that potentialattackers might identify and exploit. Second, it can make effective coordinationmore difficult in the event of a national emergency related to an election.Delegate Authority for Safeguarding Elections to the ExecutiveBranch. As discussed earlier, Congress may be able, within constitutional limits,to delegate authority to the executive branch to postpone an election in response toan emergency. Further, Congress could direct the executive branch to assist statesin providing security for elections through the EAC, DHS, or even the military.However, since security of the polling places has traditionally been controlled bystate and local authorities, the degree to which the Constitution would allowCongress to direct or supplant these functions may be at issue. To the extent suchactions are constitutionally permissible, they could create the capability of quick,decisive response in the case of a threat or attack. However, such an approach wouldlikely also raise concerns about the risk of politicization of such actions and theconcentration of executive power over a central component of the machinery ofdemocracy.Treat Security as an Aspect of Continuity of Government. Someobservers have proposed that elections are essentially an element of criticalgovernment infrastructure and as such should be considered as part of the developingframework to ensure continuity of government (COG) and continuity of operations(COOP) in the event of a crisis or emergency.113 However, so far, electionadministration has been at best a peripheral element of legislative discussion aboutsuch a framework.Provide Mechanisms for Improved Coordination among States onElection Security. The guidelines issued by the National Association ofSecretaries of State and other organizations urge coordination within states andbetween individual states and the federal government. One option for congressionalaction would be to provide either the EAC or DHS with specific capability andresponsibility to facilitate coordination among states on election security, withoutproviding authority to the agency for such security. In the case of the EAC, suchcapability would presumably be in keeping with the Commission's currentresponsibilities as a clearinghouse for information about election administration.Encourage Early Voting and Absentee Voting. If all ballots in theUnited States were cast by mail, there would of course be no need for polling placesecurity. If the time over which votes are cast were sufficiently spread out, thepotential for impact of a specific event on an election would be lower. Since boththese forms of voting are increasing in the United States, Congress might consider113For information about COG and COOP , see (name redacted), Continuity of Operations(COOP) in the Executive Branch: Background and Issues for Congress, CRS ReportRL31857, 31 March 2004; and (name redacted), Continuity of Government: CurrentFederal Arrangements and the Future, CRS Report RS21089, 3 June 2004.CRS-24encouraging that increase to facilitate election security. However, these methods ofvoting are not without problems. Some argue that early voting can significantlychange the nature of elections by effectively spreading election day over severalweeks. Such changes, some say, may not be beneficial in sum. Absentee ballotinghas also been criticized as being more vulnerable to fraud and abuse than voting inperson. Nevertheless, such concerns might be addressed through measures targetedto meet them.None of the options discussed above appears to be without potential problemsand concerns. The 109th Congress may chose to examine these issues more closelyto determine what, if any, legislative action should be taken.EveryCRSReport.comThe Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a federal legislative branch agency, housed inside theLibrary of Congress, charged with providing the United States Congress non-partisan advice onissues that may come before republishes CRS reports that are available to all Congressional staff. Thereports are not classified, and Members of Congress routinely make individual reports available tothe public.Prior to our republication, we redacted names, phone numbers and email addresses of analystswho produced the reports. We also added this page to the report. We have not intentionally madeany other changes to any report published on reports, as a work of the United States government, are not subject to copyright protection inthe United States. Any CRS report may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety withoutpermission from CRS. However, as a CRS report may include copyrighted images or material from athird party, you may need to obtain permission of the copyright holder if you wish to copy orotherwise use copyrighted material.Information in a CRS report should not be relied upon for purposes other than publicunderstanding of information that has been provided by CRS to members of Congress inconnection with CRS' institutional is not a government website and is not affiliated with CRS. We do not claimcopyright on any CRS report we have republished.
Google News - At Lewis Funeral, Obama Calls Filibuster a 'Jim Crow Relic'
Fri, 31 Jul 2020 04:09
Language & region English (United States)
At Lewis Funeral, Obama Calls Filibuster a 'Jim Crow Relic' - The New York Times
Fri, 31 Jul 2020 04:09
The former president has sharp words for Trump '-- and an increased focus on 2020.
Former President Barack Obama criticized President Trump's push to undermine trust in critical election institutions and his administration's actions against peaceful protesters. Credit... Pool photo by Alyssa Pointer Former President Barack Obama called for sweeping changes to voting laws on Thursday, including making Election Day a national holiday and implementing automatic voter registration, and he embraced eliminating the filibuster if necessary to enact those changes, calling the legislative tool a ''Jim Crow relic.''
In a 40-minute speech eulogizing Representative John Lewis, Mr. Obama drew parallels between the police violence that Mr. Lewis endured as a civil-rights leader in the 1960s and the recent wave of racial-justice protests and police clashes that have spread across the nation.
''Bull Connor may be gone, but today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans,'' Mr. Obama said, speaking from the same pulpit once used by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ''George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.''
The speech was the latest and most public example of how Mr. Obama, who had sought to avoid the political scrum early in his post-presidency, has turned his focus to the 2020 election with greater intensity, even as he races to finish writing a book. He helped bring about a swifter end to the Democratic primary; has raised more than $24 million since June for his former vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee; and has lent his name to the party's and Mr. Biden's digital fund-raising and organizing efforts.
Mr. Obama lacerated his successor, though not by name, criticizing President Trump's efforts to discourage voting, his push to undermine trust in critical election institutions and his administration's actions against peaceful protesters. In recent private chats with Democratic donors, Mr. Obama has hit Mr. Trump more directly, accusing him of campaigning by stirring up ''nativist, racist, sexist'' resentments, but his likening him to Wallace represented a newly aggressive public posture.
On Thursday, he reserved some of his strongest words for his defense of voting rights, which Mr. Lewis promoted throughout his career in Congress and as a civil-rights leader.
''We may no longer have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar in order to cast a ballot,'' Mr. Obama said, ''but even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations, and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws, and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision '-- even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election that's going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don't get sick.''
Mr. Obama said that former inmates should have their voting rights restored, that the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico should have ''equal representation in our government'' (''they're Americans,'' he said) and that the Voting Rights Act must be renewed.
''If all this takes eliminating the filibuster, another Jim Crow relic, in order to secure the God-given rights of every American, then that's what we should do,'' he declared.
'This Beautiful Man': Obama, Bush, Clinton and Pelosi Honor John LewisAt the funeral for Representative John Lewis, former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, paid tribute to the civil rights icon.[church music] ''He knew that the march is not over. That the race is not yet won, that we have not yet reached that blessed destination, where we are judged by the content of our character. He knew from his own life that progress is fragile, that we have to be vigilant against the darker currents of this country's history. Member of Congress representing the people of this state, and this district for 33 years, mentor to young people '-- including me at the time. Until his final day on this earth, he not only embraced that responsibility, but he made it his life's work. Which isn't bad for a boy from Troy.'' ''From Troy to the sit-ins of Nashville, from the Freedom Rides to the March on Washington, from Freedom Summer to Selma, John Lewis always looked outward not inward. He always thought of others. He always believed in preaching the gospel, in word and in deed, insisting that hate and fear had to be answered with love and hope. John Lewis believed in the Lord. He believed in humanity, and he believed in America. He's been called an American saint, a believer willing to give up everything, even life itself, to bear witness to the truth that drove him all his life.'' ''John Lewis was a walking rebuke to people who thought, 'Well, we ain't there yet. We've been working a long time. Isn't it time to bag it?' He kept moving. He hoped for and imagined, and lived and worked, and moved for his beloved community. He took a savage beating on more than one day.'' ''John convinced each one of us that we were his best friend in Congress, and we come with a flag flown over the Capitol the night that John passed. When this flag flew there, it said goodbye. It waved goodbye to John our friend, our mentor, our colleague, this beautiful man that we all had the privilege of serving with in the Congress of the United States.''
At the funeral for Representative John Lewis, former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, paid tribute to the civil rights icon. Credit Credit... Pool photo by Alyssa Pointer That is further than Mr. Biden has gone '-- though Mr. Biden, who served in the Senate for decades and is an avowed institutionalist, has increasingly opened the door to eliminating the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass legislation instead of a simple majority of 51.
Since Mr. Lewis's death on July 17, many of his supporters have called on Congress to pass legislation updating the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which the Supreme Court severely weakened in 2013. The Democratic-controlled House did so last year, but Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has not allowed the Republican-controlled Senate to take it up.
''Want to honor John?'' Mr. Obama said. ''Let's honor him by revitalizing the law that he was willing to die for. And by the way, naming it the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, that is a fine tribute '-- but John wouldn't want us to stop there, just trying to get back to where we already were.'' He called specifically for adding more polling places and early voting options, automatic voter registration and a national election holiday.
He called Mr. Lewis ''a man of pure joy and unbreakable perseverance'' and vividly laid out the stakes of the 2020 contest, framing it as a part of Mr. Lewis's legacy.
''Democracy isn't automatic,'' Mr. Obama said. ''It has to be nurtured, it has to be tended to, we have to work at it. If we want our children to grow up in a democracy '-- not just with elections, but a true democracy, a representative democracy, a bighearted, tolerant, vibrant, inclusive America '-- then we're going to have to be more like John.''
It was a deeply political speech in a rare public appearance from the former president during the ongoing pandemic. But as the election nears, advisers to Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden know well that the former president represents one of the most powerful voices in the Democratic Party to mobilize voters, and Mr. Obama seems ready to engage more fully than he has since he left office.
On Thursday, Mr. Obama addressed his decision to talk politics at a moment of mourning and remembrance.
''I know this is a celebration of John's life,'' he said. ''There are some who might say, 'You shouldn't dwell on such things.' But that's why I'm talking about it. John Lewis devoted his time on this earth to fighting the very attempts on democracy and what's best in America. That we're seeing circulate right now.''
Mr. Obama was one of three former presidents to memorialize Mr. Lewis, with George W. Bush and Bill Clinton preceding him. Mr. Trump stayed at the White House.
Bull Connor - Wikipedia
Fri, 31 Jul 2020 01:41
Theophilus Eugene ''Bull'' Connor (July 11, 1897 '' March 10, 1973) was an American politician who served as Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Birmingham, Alabama, for more than two decades. He strongly opposed the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Under the city commission government, Connor had responsibility for administrative oversight of the Birmingham Fire Department and the Birmingham Police Department, which also had their own chiefs. Connor was a Democrat.
Connor enforced legal racial segregation and denied civil rights to black citizens, especially during the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Birmingham campaign of 1963. He became an international symbol of institutional racism. Bull Connor directed the use of fire hoses and police attack dogs against civil rights activists; child protestors were also subject to these attacks.[2][3] National media broadcast these tactics on television, horrifying much of the country. The outrages served as catalysts for major social and legal change in the Southern United States and contributed to passage by the United States Congress of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[4]
Early life Edit Connor was born in 1897 in Selma, Alabama, the son of Molly (Godwin) and Hugh King Connor, a train dispatcher and telegraph operator.[5] He entered politics as a Democrat in 1934 winning a seat in the Alabama House of Representatives.[6] As a legislator, he supported populist measures and pro-union issues for white people. He voted for extending the poll tax, which served as a barrier to voter registration by poor blacks and whites, and against an anti-sedition bill intended to stifle union activity.[7] He did not stand for a second term in 1936, instead running for Commissioner of Public Safety for the City of Birmingham. Concurrently during this period, Connor served as the radio play-by-play broadcaster of the minor league Birmingham Barons baseball club spanning the 1932 through 1936 seasons.[8] Willie Mays remembered listening to him call games: "Pretty good announcer, too, although I think he used to get too excited."[9]
Commissioner of Public Safety (1936''1954, 1957''1963) Edit In 1936, Connor was elected to the office of Commissioner of Public Safety of Birmingham, beginning the first of two stretches that spanned a total of 26 years. His first term ended in 1952, but he was re-elected in 1956, serving to 1963.
In 1938, Connor ran as a candidate for Governor of Alabama. He announced he would be campaigning on a platform of "protecting employment practices, law enforcement, segregation and other problems that have been historically classified as states' rights by the Democratic party".[10]
In 1948, Connor's officers arrested the U.S. Senator from Idaho, Glen H. Taylor. He was the running mate of Progressive Party presidential candidate Henry Wallace, former Democratic Vice President. Taylor, who had attempted to speak to the Southern Negro Youth Congress, was arrested for violating Birmingham's racial segregation laws. Connor's effort to enforce the law was caused by the group's reported communist philosophy,[11] with Connor noting at the time, "There's not enough room in town for Bull and the Commies."[citation needed ]
During the 1948 Democratic National Convention, Connor led the Alabama delegation in a walkout when the national party included a civil rights plank in its platform.[4] The offshoot States' Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrats) nominated Strom Thurmond for president at its convention in Birmingham's Municipal Auditorium.[12]
Connor's second run for governor fell flat in 1954. He was the center of controversy that year by pushing through a city ordinance in Birmingham that outlawed "communism."[13]
Civil rights era Edit Before returning to office in 1956, Connor quickly resumed his brutal approach to dealing with perceived threats to the social order. His forces raided a meeting at the house of African-American activist Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, where three Montgomery ministers were attending. He feared that the Montgomery Bus Boycott that was under way would spread to Birmingham, in an effort to integrate city buses. He had the ministers arrested on charges of vagrancy, which did not allow a prisoner bail, nor any visitors during the first three days of their incarceration. A federal investigation followed, but Connor refused to cooperate.[citation needed ]
Shuttlesworth had led civil rights activities despite being threatened with violence. His church was bombed twice. He, his wife, and a white minister were attacked by a racist mob after attempting to use "white" restrooms at the local bus station, which had segregated facilities.[citation needed ]
In 1960, Connor was elected Democratic National Committeeman for Alabama, soon after filing a civil lawsuit against The New York Times for $1.5 million. He objected to what he claimed was their insinuation that he had promoted racial hatred. He dropped his claim for damages to $400,000; the case dragged on for six years until Connor lost a $40,000 judgment on appeal.[14]
Freedom Riders Edit In the spring of 1961, integrated teams of civil rights activists mounted what they called "Freedom Rides" to highlight the illegal imposition of racial segregation on interstate buses, whose operations came under federal law and the constitution. They had teams ride Greyhound and Trailways buses traveling through southern capitals, with the final stop intended as New Orleans. The teams encountered increasing hostility and violence as they made their way deeper into the South.
On May 2, 1961, Connor had won a landslide election for his sixth term as Commissioner of Public Safety in Birmingham. As Commissioner, he had administrative authority over the police and fire departments, schools, public health service, and libraries, all of which were segregated by state law.[15] Tom King, a candidate running for mayor of Birmingham, met with Connor on May 8, 1961, to pay his respects. In addition, he asked him to refrain from announcing support for the other leading mayoral candidate, Art Hanes, so that King's chances would be greater. At the end of the meeting, Connor noted that he was expecting the Freedom Riders to reach Birmingham the following Sunday, Mother's Day. He stated, "We'll be ready for them, too," and King responded, "I bet you will, Commissioner," as he walked out.[16]
After a stop in Anniston, Alabama, the Greyhound bus of the Freedom Riders was attacked. They were offered no police protection. After they left town, they were forced to stop by a violent mob that firebombed and burned the bus, but no activists were fatally hurt. A new Greyhound bus was placed into service and departed for Birmingham. The activists on the earlier Trailways bus had been accosted by KKK members who boarded the bus in Atlanta and beat up the activists, pushing them all to the back of the bus.
The Freedom Riders arrived in Birmingham on May 14, 1961. As the Trailways bus reached the terminal in Birmingham, a large mob of Klansmen and news reporters was waiting for them. The Riders were viciously attacked soon after they disembarked from the bus and attempted to gain service at the whites-only lunch counter. Some were taken to the loading dock area, away from reporters, but some reporters were also beaten with metal bars, pipes, and bats and one's camera was destroyed. After 15 minutes, the police finally arrived, but by then most Klansmen had left.[17][18]
Connor intentionally let the Klansmen beat the Riders for 15 minutes with no police intervention. He publicly blamed the violence on many factors, saying that "No policemen were in sight as the buses arrived, because they were visiting their mothers on Mother's Day".[19] He insisted that the violence came from out-of-town meddlers and that police had rushed to the scene "as quickly as possible."[20] The violence was covered by national media.
He said:
As I have said on numerous occasions, we are not going to stand for this in Birmingham. And if necessary we will fill the jail full and we don't care whose toes we step on. I am saying now to these meddlers from out of our city the best thing for them to do is stay out if they don't want to get slapped in jail. Our people of Birmingham are a peaceful people and we never have any trouble here unless some people come into our city looking for trouble. And I've never seen anyone yet look for trouble who wasn't able to find it.[20]
In 1962, Connor ordered the closing of 60 Birmingham parks rather than follow a federal court order to desegregate public facilities.
In November 1962, in response to the extremely negative perception of the city -- it was derisively nicknamed "Bombingham" by outsiders for the numerous attacks on the homes and churches of black civil rights activists -- Birmingham voters changed the city's form of government. Rather than an at-large election of three commissioners, who had specific oversight of certain city departments, there would be a mayor-council form of government. Members of the city council were to be elected from nine single-member districts. Blacks were still largely disenfranchised. For instance, in 1961 when the president of the city's Chamber of Commerce was visiting Japan, he saw a newspaper photo of a bus engulfed in flames, which occurred during the Freedom Rides. Bull Connor had arranged for opponents to have time to attack civil rights activists when their bus reached Birmingham.
Endorsed by Governor George C. Wallace, Connor attempted to run for mayor, but lost on April 2, 1963. Connor and his fellow commissioners filed suit to block the change in power, but on May 23, 1963, the Supreme Court of Alabama ruled against them.[21] Connor ended his 23-year tenure in the post. Citing a general law, he had argued that the change could not take effect until the October 1 following the date of the election, but the Supreme Court of Alabama held that the general law was preempted by a special law applicable to only the City of Birmingham.[15]
Birmingham campaign Edit Local civil rights activists had been unable to negotiate much change with the city or business leaders, in their efforts to gain integration of facilities and hiring of blacks by local businesses. They invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his team to help mount a more concerted campaign. The day after the April election, Dr. King and local civil rights leaders began "Project 'C'" (for "confrontation") against the Birmingham business community. They used economic boycotts and demonstrations to seek integration of stores and job opportunities. Throughout April 1963, King led smaller demonstrations, which resulted in his arrest along with many others.[22]
King wanted to have massive arrests to highlight the brutal police tactics used by Connor and his subordinates. (By extension, the campaign was intended to demonstrate the general suppression by other Southern police officials as well). After King was arrested and jailed, he wrote his Letter from Birmingham Jail, which became noted as a moral argument for civil rights activism. The goal of the campaign was to gain mass arrests of non-violent protesters and overwhelm the judicial and penal systems. It would also demonstrate to national media and local residents the strong desire of African Americans to exercise their constitutional rights as citizens.
Children's Crusade Edit In the final phase of Project C, James Bevel, SCLC's Director of Direct Action, introduced a revolutionary and controversial new tactic of using young people in the demonstrations. Most adults were working and could not afford to take off. On May 2, 1963, the first youths and students walked out of the 16th Street Baptist Church and attempted to march to Birmingham's City Hall to talk to the Mayor. By the end of the day, 959 children, ranging from ages 6''18, had been arrested.
The next day, even more students joined the marches, against whom Connor ordered the use of fire hoses and attack dogs. This did not stop the demonstrators, but generated bad publicity for Connor through the news media. The use of fire hoses continued and by May 7, Connor and the police department had detained more than 3,000 demonstrators.[22]
The blacks' economic boycott of businesses that refused to hire them and downtown stores that kept segregated facilities helped gain negotiation by the city's business leaders. The SCLC and the Senior Citizens Committee, who represented a majority of Birmingham businesses, came to an agreement. On May 10, they agreed on desegregation of lunch counters, restrooms, fitting rooms, and drinking fountains at department stores, the upgrading in position and hiring of blacks, cooperation with SCLC legal representatives in releasing all detainees, and the establishment of formal communication between black and whites through the Senior Citizens Committee.[23][24]
Later life and death Edit On June 3, 1964, Connor resumed a place in government when he was elected President of the Alabama Public Service Commission. He suffered a stroke on December 7, 1966, and used a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He was present on February 16, 1968, when the Haleyville, Alabama, police precinct made the first use of 9-1-1 as an emergency telephone number. Months later, Connor won another term, but was defeated in 1972.
He suffered another stroke on February 26, 1973, which left him unconscious. He died a few weeks later, in March of that year.[25] Survivors included his widow, Beara, a daughter, and a brother, Edward King Connor.[citation needed ]
Legacy Edit Connor's brutality and tolerance for violence against civil rights activists contributed to Ku Klux Klan and other violence against blacks in the city of Birmingham. On a Sunday in September 1963, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing destroyed a portion of the church basement causing the death of four African-American girls. The church was known as the center of civil rights activities in Birmingham. The city and movement leaders had just reached a negotiated agreement on integration of facilities and jobs. The deaths of the children prompted the Attorney General Robert Kennedy to call Governor George Wallace and threaten to send in federal troops to control violence and bombings in Birmingham.
Connor is mentioned in contemporary folk singer Phil Ochs's 1965 song "Talking Birmingham Jam".Spike Lee's documentary 4 Little Girls (1997) (about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, includes footage of Connor and interviews with people describing police tactics during his tenure).Footage of Connor also appears in the film Our Friend, Martin, in which he is voiced by veteran voice artist Frank WelkerConnor is cited by name in the film Selma as an example of a particular type of bullying public official and police officer whose tolerance, or encouragement, of violence towards Civil Rights campaigners plays into the hands of the media-conscious SBLC and Martin Luther King.References Edit ^ "Eugene "Bull" Connor - Encyclopedia of Alabama". Encyclopedia of Alabama. ^ "Eyes on the Prize", including video of Connor, PBS ^ "Connor's Tank Returns to Birmingham" Archived 2013-01-11 at, NBC 13 ^ a b Baggett, James L. (October 12, 2009). "Eugene "Bull" Connor". Encyclopedia of Alabama . Retrieved February 18, 2011 . ^ [1], Encyclopedia of Alabama ^ Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Connor". ^ Baggett, James L. "Eugene 'Bull' Connor." Encyclopedia of Alabama. ^ Brands, Edgar G., "Broadcasts of Game Blanket America",The Sporting News (St. Louis, Mo.), April 23, 1936, p. 2 ^ Mays, Willie (1988). Say Hey: The Autobiography of Willie Mays. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 30. ISBN 0671632922. ^ Goluboff, Risa (2016-01-25). Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s. ISBN 9780190262273. ^ "How 'Communism' Brought Racial Equality To The South". ^ J. Barton Starr, "Birmingham and the 'Dixiecrat' Convention of 1948," Alabama Historical Quarterly 1970 32(1''2): 23''50 ^ ^ ^ a b Baggett, James. "Eugene "Bull" Connor". Encyclopedia of Alabama. March 9, 2007. April 7, 2011.<> ^ Nunnelley, William. Bull Connor. Tuscaloosa and London: The University of Alabama Press, 1991, p. 93. ^ Arsenault, Raymond. Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 154. ^ Terry Gross, "Get On the Bus: The Freedom Riders of 1961", 12 January 2006; accessed 10 January 2017 ^ Dierenfield, Bruce. The Civil Rights Movement. Great Britain: Pearson Education Limited, 2004. ^ a b Nunnelley, William. Bull Connor. Tuscaloosa and London: The University of Alabama Press, 1991, p. 154. ^ Connor v. State, 275 Ala. 230, 153 So. 2d 787 (1963). ^ a b "Segregation at All Costs: Bull Connor and the Civil Rights Movement", YouTube, 8 Apr 2011 ^ Nunnelley, William. Bull Connor. Tuscaloosa and London: The University of Alabama Press, 1991, p. 157. ^ ^ "Eugene 'Bull' Connor Dies at 75", Associated Press, March 11, 1973 Further reading Edit Nunnelley, William A. (1991) Bull Connor. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0-8173-0495-9Connor v. State ex rel. Boutwell, 275 Ala. 230, 153 So. 2d 787 (1963) (decision of the Supreme Court of Alabama holding that the City of Birmingham could change from a commission form of government to a mayor-council form of government and thereby unseat Connor).External links Edit Photographs of Connor at the Birmingham Public LibraryBull Connor on IMDb
Why Trump Might Quit - POLITICO
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:56
But here is a way Trump could demonstrate that an old master still knows how to tear up the script and leave the audience gasping. It is late but not too late to pull an LBJ.
As it happens, the Trump Drops Out scenario is one I have trafficked to colleagues and sources for a couple years now, usually to dismissive grunts or quizzical stares. It is true that there is scant time left for the scenario to come to pass. It's true also that, if I were a reliable predictor of Trump's political fortunes, Hillary Clinton would now be running for reelection.
But even if one doesn't really think Trump will drop out of the race'--as a proselytizer of the theory I acknowledge it is a stretch'--it is worth examining the reasons he just might, as a way of illuminating the bleakness of his situation with just over three months to go before the general election.
A misleading video about hydroxychloroquine has gone viral. Trump is back to touting the drug as a Covid-19 cure '-- despite evidence that it's ineffective. So why the heck is hydroxychloroquine back in the national conversation?
No doubt Trump would savor the validation of winning a second term. Under the current trajectory, that looks less likely than not; By the light of some evidence it looks highly unlikely. One question is whether Trump genuinely believes he has a plausible plan'--beyond throw a lot of stuff against the wall and hope some of it sticks'--to change that trajectory. The second question is how Trump conceives of the balance of his lifetime'--and his historical reputation after that'--if he were to lose to Joe Biden and join the ranks of defeated incumbents.
The Trump-drops-out scenario hinges on the assumption that Trump is less concerned with wielding the levers of government than he is preserving his role as disrupter at large in American politics over the next decade. The latter might be much easier to maintain if he avoids being tattooed as loser in November'--especially if the margin is larger than could be attributed, even by his most conspiracy-minded supporters, to media bias or vote-counting manipulation by Democrats.
The scenario hinges also on an assumption that Trump's political project is more weakened internally'--in the psychological sense'--than it is even in the external sense, as measured by polls and campaign coverage.
Trump in recent days has scotched a planned rally and canceled plans for a massive partisan extravaganza at the Republican National Convention. He has gone from saying the coronavirus pandemic would be quickly routed in the spring to acknowledging, five months into the crisis, that the situation will probably ''get worse before it gets better.'' After saying masks weren't for him, and implying that they are for weak spirits, he finally began wearing one and urging others to do so.
Most of the coverage has been on the theme that Trump is now right and is tacitly admitting he was wrong before'--wrong not to take these and other steps much earlier to unite the country around the importance of deferring to health experts and rigorous social distancing.
But Trump surely must wonder'--on the question that matters most to him'--whether he was right before and is stuck in the wrong place now. For decades, Trump has fashioned a leadership persona around the mystique of success and strength and indomitability. He has long acted as if he believes that mystique is highly perishable. That's why he never apologizes or says he was wrong. Once one is exposed as having erred, or even having normal human doubt about the path ahead, perceptions change irreversibly from strength to weakness.
People who recoil at Trump's boasting, bullying, and bombast generally know much more than he does about how conventional presidents act. But Trump surely knows much more than the critics do about how to manage the Trump persona. The pictures of Trump a few weeks ago after the weakly attended Tulsa rally'--his tie undone, his face twisted in a dispirited scowl'--suggest he knows that once his aura of success is punctured it will be difficult to recover. When was the last time Trump seemed to be really enjoying himself in the presidency?
Trump knows also that perceptions of power and success have an intimidating effect. As he looks to the fall, it is not opponents that he needs to keep in line. It is allies. Trump's presidency has been propelled by two great engines of enablement. One of these, Fox News, has been robustly enthusiastic. He's been great for business, and Fox News' most loyal viewers are loyal to Trump. The other enabler, personified by Mitch McConnell, is not enthusiastic but sullenly transactional. McConnell and the business wing of the GOP don't much like Trump, but they do like the chance to push their agenda on judges and deregulation.
What are the incentives of these enablers if, in late September or early October, Trump looks as beleaguered as he does in late July? In either case, an outright break with Trump is unlikely. Fox is concerned most about preserving its huge profitability. The network's leaders would presumably be wary of potentially sustaining permanent brand damage with corporate advertisers by joining Trump in a last-ditch campaign of racially charged cultural warfare. That's especially so if they perceive Trump is going to lose anyway. In the case of McConnell, he knows that Trump's unpopularity is the primary factor that continued GOP control of the Senate is at best a toss-up. He and other Republicans already are trying to localize their races, not splitting with Trump but finding distance from him.
These incentives mean Trump could be a very lonely figure this fall.
Yes, but: Hasn't Trump been lonely before, as after the "Access Hollywood" video in October 2016? True enough, although in circumstances in which the gravity of the nation's challenges and the voter's choice seem much less severe than now. And wouldn't dropping out of the race brand him as something worse than loser, a quitter?
That one Trump could plausibly answer with an unusual approach: say something approximating the truth. This doesn't sound much like how Trump talks but, in some moods, it may be close to what he thinks: Fellow Americans, I know I am a disruptor, and everyone knows I thrive on conflict. I believe that disruption is what Republicans and the country needed when I ran for president in 2016, and that is what I delivered. But I realize the pandemic creates a whole new agenda. I am going to devote the balance of my term to trying to get this country opened up safely, and allow someone without my sharp edges make the case for Republicans this fall.
Just this week Trump pondered why Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx have higher approval ratings than he does, even though he is their boss. ''It can only be my personality, that's all,'' he told reporters.
Long term, forgoing the race with a measure of self-awareness conceivably could elevate Trump's historical reputation higher than it would be if he loses reelection after a remorseless and demagogic campaign. In the near term, if a replacement nominee (presumably Vice President Mike Pence) would be indebted to Trump and subject to his leverage if he managed to beat Biden. If he lost, Trump could complain that his prot(C)g(C) blew it, and play GOP kingmaker (perhaps on behalf of one of his children or other allies) in 2024 without the stigma of having been expressly rejected by voters.
How plausible is this? Not terribly.
But how plausible is Trump reversing the astonishing decay in his political foundation in recent months? Winning a second term was always going to be a challenge for a president who has never had a majority job approval. At the start of the year, however, his advisers described a plausible path to reelection. The strategy had three main elements. One assumption was that, even if he was running slightly behind in swing states, his financial and organizational advantages, combined with the passion of supporters, would mean he would outperform polls by 2 to 3 percentage points. The second assumption was that Trump had room to grow his vote share with minority voters, especially African American men; even modest improvement by Trump could weaken the Democratic coalition in devastating ways. The third assumption was that Trump could repackage his divisive style as an asset. ''He's no Mr. Nice Guy,'' the narrator intoned in a Trump TV ad that aired during the 2019 World Series, ''but sometimes it takes a Donald Trump to change Washington.''
Five months into the pandemic, not one of those three assumptions looks secure. In key swing states, he is running much more than a couple points behind. After the George Floyd murder and Trump's response, the notion of gains with African American voters is highly unlikely. His plan to portray himself as an ass-kicking chief executive who presided over a booming economy is in tatters, amid vast joblessness and the prospect that the pandemic will shadow virtually every corner of American life well into 2021.
In circumstances as grim as these, it would be surprising but not inconceivable if Trump decided it is time for a seance with LBJ.
Mail in voting as a topic
Full D.C. Appeals Court Agrees To Take Up Michael Flynn Case : NPR
Thu, 30 Jul 2020 20:28
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn's legal odyssey continues after the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed to hear oral arguments in the case next month. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption
toggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Former national security adviser Michael Flynn's legal odyssey continues after the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed to hear oral arguments in the case next month.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit says it has scheduled oral arguments in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Aug. 11.
A smaller panel of judges within the D.C. Circuit ruled earlier that a lower-court judge must terminate the case against Flynn, as requested both by his attorneys and '-- in an unusual wrinkle '-- the Justice Department.
That lower-court judge, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, said he wanted to probe the reasons for the government's move, but the smaller appellate panel ordered him to stop that work and simply end the matter.
Sullivan asked for the full appeals court to consider the case, and it agreed on Thursday.
Next installment in long saga
Flynn's legal odyssey has been churning for years '-- he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia's then-ambassador to the United States in the waning days of President Barack Obama's administration. Flynn then became what the government called a model cooperator in the Russia investigation.
That relationship soured, however, after Flynn replaced his legal team.
Flynn's attorneys began to press for the revelation of more material they called pertinent to his case and sought to withdraw his initial guilty plea. In their eyes and those of supporters, the actions of the FBI and Justice Department were improper.
In the meantime, William Barr became attorney general and amid broad Republican political antipathy toward the legacy of the Russia investigation, took a sympathetic view of Flynn's case.
So Barr and the Justice Department told Sullivan they wanted to abandon the prosecution of Flynn even after his admission of guilt, prompting the judge to initiate an investigatory and advisory process aimed at learning how the government had reached that decision.
A former judge appointed by Sullivan to give him an assessment about the government's position called it an abuse of power by an attorney general obviously acting favorably toward a friend of the president.
Barr, meanwhile, defended his handling of the Flynn matter then and now, including at a hearing this week before the House Judiciary Committee.
The full D.C. appeals court likely will assess whether Sullivan can go ahead with the consideration and investigation of the government's change of heart; the smaller panel of judges ruled that he had overstepped himself and violated the privilege of the executive branch to reach decisions about prosecutions confidentially.
Thread by @Techno_Fog: The Ghislaine Maxwell (Epstein) documents have been unsealed. Will be posting excerpts here - Starting with allegations of minor being traff'...
Fri, 31 Jul 2020 03:53
The Ghislaine Maxwell (Epstein) documents have been unsealed.
Will be posting excerpts here -
Starting with allegations of minor being trafficked to Maxwell, Prince Andrew, and Alan Dershowitz (as prev. alleged).
The trafficking scheme was international in scope - in France, Ghislaine Maxwell ordered her give an "erotic massage" to a French hotel magnate.
Deposition of the victim:
"I was ordered by Ghislaine (Maxwell) to go and give him an erotic massage."
Serious allegations -
Maxwell directed the minor to have sex with former MIT scientist Marvin Minsky at Epstein's complex in the US Virgin Islands.
(Minsky pictured.)
Allegations against Dershowitz -
Not only did Dershowitz abuse the minor, but he helped draft a non-prosecution agreement that gave Dershowitz immunity.
Witness interview:
Bill Clinton was at Epstein's island with Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, and "2 young girls."
Emails between Epstein and Maxwell:
Epstein instructs Maxwell on how to deny allegations.
Epstein tells Maxwell:
She had "done nothing wrong."
"Go to parties. Deal with it."
This is big:
The FBI was in contact with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell's minor victim back in 2014.
Yet they did nothing.
Heartbreaking -
The minor victim was asking the FBI for the evidence (photos and videos) they seized from Epstein.
So she could prosecute her civil case.
Remember that famous Prince Andrew photo with Ghislaine Maxwell and the victim?
The FBI had their own copy for years - even before the victim's 2011 FBI interview.
The FBI knew. They always knew.
The DOJ let free Epstein's co-conspirator's in the FL case.
This included Maxwell and Sarah Kellen.
Here the victim describes the abuse during flights from Epstein, Maxwell, and Kellen.
Now - let's put things into context.
We previously broke what the FBI/DOJ (in 2008) knew about Epstein.
Main Justice (DC DOJ) was helping run the Epstein case - and even delayed the grand juries.
At the time Epstein signed his plea deal...
The FBI and DOJ knew it had not interviewed all his victims.
Ghislaine Maxwell Bashes the Miami Herald in Document Dispute | Law & Crime
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 00:59
Ghislaine Maxwell, who faces federal criminal charges of enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy, and perjury, is accusing the Miami Herald of trashing her reputation and, in essence, of attempting to destroy her right to receive a fair trial. The Herald and its investigative reporter, Julie K. Brown, have been widely praised and awarded (example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4) for their aggressive coverage of the now-dead and infamous pedophile sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and, concomitantly, of Maxwell, his longtime associate.
Maxwell levied the complaints against the Herald in a lawsuit to determine whether a second cache of documents in a defamation case between Maxwell and her accuser Virginia Giuffre Roberts will be unsealed by Monday. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday issued a stay on the documents' release pending an appeal; in essence, the court pumped the brakes on the release of the highly anticipated materials.
The following words appear in a document filed by Maxwell's lawyers on Friday before the Second Circuit. Maxwell's lawyers are arguing in favor of keeping the documents secret:
As Ms. Maxwell said in her Motion to Stay, ''[t]he media has all but convicted her.'' In hindsight, this appears to have been an understatement.If the Miami Herald is to be believed, ''The documents at issue have been improperly sealed for years'--in a way that allowed . . . Ms. Maxwell['s] . . . abuse of young girls to go on unchallenged and unpunished, and allowed a legal system that protected perpetrators over victims to go unquestioned.'' This unqualified statement of Ms. Maxwell's alleged guilt is precisely the type of unfair and unconstitutional pretrial publicity that will result should the district court's unsealing order go into effect.[ . . . ][I]f the Herald is willing to announce its conclusion that Ms. Maxwell ''abused'' young girls even before having access to the sealed deposition materials, that is only a harbinger of what media coverage will result should the material be unsealed, coverage that will prejudice Ms. Maxwell's constitutional right to a fair trial by an impartial jury.
The Maxwell argument further trashes the Herald's assertion that the documents have been ''improperly sealed for years'' by blaming '-- you guessed it '-- the Herald.
''[T]he Herald entirely ignores its own conduct,'' Maxwell's attorneys argue. ''[T]he Herald did not move to unseal anything in this case until 2018, one year after the case was closed.''
Said another way, Maxwell's attorneys are blaming the Herald for not acting fast enough to unseal documents which Maxwell's attorneys say should not be unsealed.
Self-styled journalist Michael Cernovich '-- he is also sometimes referred to in other ways '-- rubbished Maxwell's argument that the Herald was late to enter the proceeding by telling the Second Circuit that he had long been after the same documents himself:
While the Court should not give any credence to Ms. Maxwell's argument in her motion that the First Amendment interests at issue are not harmed because the Herald did not seek to intervene until after the May 2017 settlement, Mr. Cernovich had been seeking to learn what atrocities by Maxwell and Epstein were wrongly concealed on the docket prior to that settlement. Three and a half years is too long to suppress the First Amendment right of access. No stay is warranted.
If the documents are not kept under wraps, Maxwell says her Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and in favor of a fair trial with an impartial jury will be irreparably harmed.
Such fears by Maxwell could arguably and easily be seized upon by her critics to imply that Maxwell said something in the still-sealed documents which could come back to haunt her.
That inference, obviously, was not fully developed by Maxwell's attorneys. Instead, attention was turned again to the Herald, which is among the independent parties seeking to pry the documents into the light of day. Maxwell's attorneys said the Herald's proffered notion that the public interest would be best served by the release of the documents was actually quite backwards:
''The Herald trivializes the public's right to see that its justice system provide fair trials,'' the Maxwell argument concludes. ''With Ms. Maxwell facing an imminent and very public trial, the justice system should endeavor to do all it can to vindicate the 'theory of our [trial] system is that the conclusions to be reached in a case will be induced only by evidence and argument in open court, and not by any outside influence, whether of private talk or public print.'''
Read several of the relevant court papers below, including an earlier argument by the Herald in favor of releasing the cache of Maxwell/Epstein documents.
Ghislaine Maxwell '' Docket #19 '' 2nd Circuit by Law&Crime on Scribd
Ghislaine Maxwell '' Docket #25 '' 2nd Circuit by Law&Crime on Scribd
Ghislaine Maxwell '' Second Circuit Stay by Law&Crime on Scribd
[image via Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images]
[Editor's note: internal punctuation and citations within legal quotes have been omitted.]
War on Guns
Presidential Message on National Shooting Sports Month 2020 | The White House
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 23:21
During National Shooting Sports Month, we commemorate our Constitutional right to bear arms by celebrating America's cherished past time of recreational and competitive shooting sports.
Our great Nation has a rich history of fostering responsible gun ownership. In the early days of our Republic, turkey shoots encouraged community engagement and brought families closer together. As our country grew, these local events developed into large regional and national events and competitions that drew thousands of spectators. By the late 19th century, sharpshooters such as Pawnee Bill and Annie Oakley established popular shows with Wild West and other themes, touring the country with acts featuring their talent with firearms. These pioneering American folk heroes demonstrated the courage, skill, and persistence necessary to excel in shooting sports and that reflect our founding values. Today, we continue to promote interest in such social pastimes that celebrate our rich and unique history of shooting sports.
As we encourage our fellow Americans to take part in learning more about firearms this month, including safety and proper instruction, we also pledge to continue doing our part to ensure that our rights are never infringed upon. Enshrined in the Bill of Rights, our Second Amendment protects the individual liberties of Americans to keep and bear arms. Since my first day in office, I have made clear that my Administration will always protect and defend the Second Amendment. We will continue to oppose those individuals and policies that attempt to tread on this essential and cherished liberty.
This National Shooting Sports Month, I ask those Americans who currently participate in shooting sports to share this cherished tradition with others. Together, we can proudly ensure that the next generation knows how to safely and responsibly enjoy their Second Amendment freedoms.
Calvinism in the Netherlands - Why Are the Dutch So Calvinist in Nature?
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 04:02
Imagine arriving in the Netherlands after having read a lot about the history of this wonderful country, expecting beautiful Gothic Cathedrals everywhere, a strong Protestant base, a huge Catholic following and an atheist minority, only to be hit with the biggest surprise I've ever had. Oh, there were beautiful Gothic church buildings alright, but it was the atheist majority that took me totally unaware.
I remember visiting a few nightclubs and bars only to find out that they were once churches. Can you imagine that? But if you observe the Dutch closely you'd definitely notice a Calvinist nature to them.
I find it quite fascinating that a people with an atheist majority still model their lives around the teachings of a 16th-century religious preacher like John Calvin. But, before we go any further on the Calvinist nature of the Dutch, let us find out what Calvinism is all about.
First things first, what is Calvinism? Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological teachings of John Calvin. While the core doctrines are predestination and election, its basic principle is that the Bible must be interpreted by itself, meaning the parts that are harder to understand are explained in other passages where the Bible is more explicit on the matter. Simply put '' if you don't understand a passage in the Bible, just read on, there are parts of the Bible that explain the ones you don't understand.
How does Calvinism relate to the Dutch?Martin Luther and reformers. Image: Art UK/Wikimedia Commons It is no secret that the Netherlands has been a Protestant nation since the begin of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. Martin Luther and John Calvin's teaching were very popular among the Dutch and even in the period, King Henry VIII of England was 'having a fight' with the Catholic Church, the region that is now the Netherlands was already a strong Protestant part of Europe.
It must be noted that William of Orange was a Calvinist. The Eighty Years' War wasn't just a war of independence, it was also a war between the Spanish Catholics and William of Orange's Protestant Calvinists. My point is, of course, not everyone who fought under William of Orange in the Eighty Years' War was a Calvinist, but a majority of them fought on his side because they disliked the Spanish and their strange and Catholic ways.
Calvinism arrived in what is now the Netherlands in the 1540s, as both the nobles and the common folk converted. Under Phillip II, the Spanish government started harsh persecution campaigns against the Dutch and as a reaction to this persecution, the Calvinist population rebelled. History buffs never forget the Beeldenstorm in 1566. The Beeldenstorm is a Dutch term that refers to the wave of disorderly attacks carried out by Calvinists in the summer of 1566, that spread rapidly through the Low Countries from south to north.
These Calvinist Protestants destroyed Catholic art and many forms of church fittings and decorations. It was in that same year that William of Orange started the Eighty Years War in order to liberate the Calvinist Dutch from the Catholic Spaniards. There was definitely little love for Catholics or Catholicism in the Netherlands back then and driving the Spanish away was one extraordinary way of showing it.
Atheism in the NetherlandsIt is already an established fact that religion isn't a trend in the Netherlands. I'm pretty sure more Dutch people have read Harry Potter than a Bible and that a majority of them only say Jesus Christ (Jesus Christus!) out of frustration than in a moment of prayer. Still, religion in the Netherlands remains an interesting topic of discussion.
Results of research carried out at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2016, showed that there seemed to be a steady decline in the number of Christians or believers in the Netherlands. This has led to the Netherlands no longer being seen as a Christian nation. The truth is, she has not been considered one for a very long time.
The research provided evidence to the fact that more than 82% of Dutch people no longer attend church or believe in God. It also stated that there were more atheists (25%) than theists (17%) in the Netherlands. (Vrije Universiteit Research On Religion In the Netherlands). Research results are in Dutch.
But the question still remains; How is it that a nation with an atheist majority, do so well at living by the teachings of a religious preacher? Before we answer that, let's find out who John Calvin was.
Calvinism in the Netherlands: Who Was John Calvin?(and why do the Dutch follow his teachings?)John Calvin was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology which later came to be known as Calvinism. He was one of the fathers of Protestantism and his teachings (along with that of Martin Luther) played a major role in how the Netherlands went on to become a Protestant nation. Although born into a family of the Catholic faith, he converted to Protestantism in 1533 after studying philosophy, humanism and law.
While John Calvin may never have set foot in the Netherlands, his teachings in the period of the Protestant Reformation found no more fertile soil than here (in the Netherlands). Almost every political party (in the late 1800s) adopted his teachings and despite not being Dutch, there is pride the Dutch feel when his name is mentioned. They see him as one of their own.
So why do the Dutch, who aren't really religious adhere to John Calvin his teaching?
John Calvin. Image: Wikimedia CommonsAs a foreigner keenly observing the Dutch, you'll notice at every turn how hardworking, frugal and straightforward they are. Check the history books and you'll see how Dutch statesman and theologian, Abraham Kuyper played a big role in reviving Calvinism in the late 1800s. He was a true believer in the separation of church and state as he and other lawmakers of his time took it upon themselves to follow in the footsteps of Calvin in breaking the yoke of Catholicism in the country. Their reforms (which were very Calvinist in nature), laid the foundation of what the Netherlands is today.
They were able to build a Dutch society based on integrity, respectfulness, acceptance, perseverance, reliability, self-discipline and efficiency. This is one of the reasons why, despite always being at war with the sea, the Dutch never lose or lag behind at showing how efficient they are with their dykes. Imagine how efficient you have to be, to live way below sea level and never fret because you trust your dykes.
For me personally, the Netherlands remains a very wonderful country filled with wonderful people. It is a country where hard work is valued, justice is frequently served, talents are nurtured (and appreciated) and being open-minded and straightforward is a way of life. When a Dutch person lends you money, they expect you to pay back at the exact time you promised, not because they would go broke without the money they lent you but because of the principle attached to it.
Your word has to be your bond and if you don't live up to your word, you will definitely be confronted. The Netherlands is a perfect example of how you can be an atheist liberal and still adopt and live by the moral teachings of a religious preacher. It is a testament to the fact that even if one is an atheist, they can still choose to take the good things from any religion without being a follower of that religion.
Even years after the death of John Calvin and the Dutch statesmen who laid the foundation of the society we know today based on Calvin's teachings, it is evident that while religious beliefs may not hold sway in the Netherlands, the virtues still linger. The Netherlands is one of the world's most liberal nations, and her inhabitants are generally described as sober, reserved, conscientious, rule-driven and well-disciplined: all typical Calvinist characteristics. You could say that Calvinism in the Netherlands is no longer tied to religious beliefs as it once was but has rather developed into a way of life for the Dutch. Millions of Dutch citizens are atheists but the funny thing is that they all lead lives that can be described as Calvinist in nature.
Any other opinions out there on Calvinism in the Netherlands? Feel welcome to share them in the comments!
Feature Image: WikimediaImages/Pixabay
Out there
Amazon gets green-light to blow $10bn on 3,000+ internet satellites. All so Americans can shop more on Amazon ' The Register
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 04:50
Amazon got the stamp of approval this week from America's communications watchdog to operate thousands of internet-relaying satellites into low Earth orbit.
When exactly they will launch hasn't been set. In fact, the design of the metallic birds are yet to be finalized, according to a report by the FCC. Still, Amazon hopes to deploy 3,236 of the satellites, under the banner Project Kuiper and at a cost of $10bn, to deliver internet connectivity to hard-to-reach areas in the US. The birds will go up in five batches, the first containing 578 sats at which point the service will be switched on.
''We have heard so many stories lately about people who are unable to do their job or complete schoolwork because they don't have reliable internet at home,'' said Dave Limp, a senior veep at Amazon, on Friday heralding the FCC approval. ''There are still too many places where broadband access is unreliable or where it doesn't exist at all. Kuiper will change that.''
The constellation will orbit between 590 and 630 kilometres above the surface of the Earth, and according the FCC will use the frequencies 17.7-18.6GHz for space-to-Earth, 18.8-20.2GHz also for space-to-Earth, and 27.5-30.0 GHz for Earth-to-space.
''After review of the record, we conclude that the grant of the Kuiper application will serve the public interest, subject to the requirements and conditions specified herein,'' the FCC report stated. ''The broadband services Kuiper proposes to provide will benefit American consumers.''
Amazon's coronavirus symptoms: Swelling of the profit, large sales deposits, insatiable demand READ MORE Amazon has up until July 30, 2026 to launch 50 per cent of its fleet, and until July 30, 2029 to launch the other half. As per the updated FCC rules, the e-commerce giant will have to submit a detailed plan of how it plans to minimize the risk of creating and spreading orbital debris. As more and more satellites are lobbed into space, the probability of stuff colliding with one another gets higher.
Bits of metal dislodged from the birds could crash into others that could, in turn, lead to a chain reaction creating a sea of floating debris that will thwart the launch and deployment of future spacecraft, something known as the Kessler effect. ''It is further ordered that upon finalization of its space station design and prior to initiation of service, Kuiper must seek and obtain the Commission's approval of a modification containing an updated description of the orbital debris mitigation plans for its system,'' the FCC wrote.
It's unclear how Amazon is going to get these satellites into orbit. CEO Jeff Bezos does have Blue Origins, a space rocket company of his own, though. ®
VIDEO-Trump-touted Covid-19 drug ineffective says Fauci - BBC News - YouTube
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VIDEO-Benny on Twitter: "Former President Obama talking about Voter ID and Mail-in Voting at John Lewis' Funeral." / Twitter
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Benny : Former President Obama talking about Voter ID and Mail-in Voting at John Lewis' Funeral.
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VIDEO-Joe BIden: We can't rebuild our economy and meet this climate crisis. - YouTube
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VIDEO-Ohio pharmacy board reverses hydroxychloroquine ban
Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:47
COLUMBUS '' The Ohio Board of Pharmacy on Thursday reversed its decision to ban sales of the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 after feedback from the medical community and a request from Gov. Mike DeWine.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy approved regulations to prohibit pharmacies, clinics and other medical institutions from dispensing or selling the drug. The new rules were to take effect Thursday.
DeWine issued a statement Thursday morning asking the pharmacy board to halt the new rules in order to review evidence from experts and accept comments on the proposal.
''I agree with the statement from Dr. Steven Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, that the decision about prescribing hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 should be between a doctor and a patient," DeWine said. "The Board of Pharmacy and the State Medical Board of Ohio should revisit the issue, listen to the best medical science, and open the process up for comment and testimony from experts."
The board withdrew the rule later on Thursday, citing feedback received by the medical and patient community.
"This will allow the Board to reexamine the issue with the assistance of the State Medical Board of Ohio, clinical experts, and other stakeholders to determine appropriate next steps," a memo announcing the change stated.
DeWine said Thursday afternoon that he does not have a position on the use of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment. Rather, he felt the pharmacy board should have gone through the typical rule-making process involving public comment.
"What we did not see in this process is a complete and thorough examination of the facts," DeWine said.
[ The Enquirer is providing most of its coronavirus-related stories free to readers. We can't do this work without your support. Please consider a digital subscription to ]
Hydroxychloroquine has beentouted by President Donald Trump despite medical studies showing the drug to be ineffective at treating the disease. The drug may also cause serious cardiac side effects, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The board's ban was prompted by safety concerns, Cameron McNamee, director of policy and communications for the board told the Columbus Dispatch.
''Basically, it's a patient safety issue,'' McNamee said Wednesday. ''We're looking at the best science to determine what's best for the patients of Ohio.''
The Columbus Dispatch contributed reporting.
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VIDEO-Jonathan (Parler: jcho710) on Twitter: ""I should defend my license over people dying!? Let TMB [Texas Medical Board] come after me. I should let people die bc I'm scared of TMB? Or...Anthony Fauci or the WHO? I'm not scared of ANY OF THEM. I'm NOT
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VIDEO-Animated No Agenda - It's Not Bad, It's Just Super Painful - YouTube
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VIDEO-Heroes of Western Civilization: 76 Years After the Warsaw Uprising | The White House
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 23:20
A little over three years ago, President Trump delivered one of the most important speeches of his presidency at Krasinski Square in Warsaw, Poland. Standing before a monument to the Warsaw Uprising, he called for defending Western civilization against all enemies who seek to destroy it.
In that speech, President Trump honored the heroes of the Warsaw Uprising, who rose up and took arms against their Nazi oppressors 76 years ago on August 1, 1944. In vivid detail, the President recounted the story of the defenders of Jerusalem Avenue and their struggle to hold that vital strip of land in defense of Polish freedom.
The heroes of the Warsaw Uprising remind us, President Trump said, ''that the West was saved with the blood of patriots; that each generation must rise up and play their part in its defense; and that every foot of ground, and every last inch of civilization is worth defending with your life.''
The President also paid homage to Pope John Paul II, a lifelong champion for religious freedom. The Pope's nine-day pilgrimage to Poland in June 1979 changed the course of history and helped set in motion a chain of events that led to the downfall of Communism in Europe.
''And when the day came on June 2nd, 1979, and one million Poles gathered around Victory Square for their very first mass with their Polish Pope'--that day, every Communist in Warsaw must have known that their oppressive system would soon come crashing down,'' President Trump said.
President Trump and the First Lady in Warsaw, Poland | July 6, 2017
Inspired by Pope John Paul II's message of hope and courage in the face of oppression, the Polish people united in spiritual determination. The President noted that millions gathered to hear the Pope's sermon, where they joined in a single prayer of three simple words.
''We want God.''
This year, on the 41st anniversary of Pope John Paul II's historic pilgrimage, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump traveled to the John Paul II Shrine in Washington, D.C. The President once again honored the Polish Pope's contribution to ending oppression and reaffirmed America's commitment to liberty for all people.
President Trump and the First Lady at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. | June 2, 2020
Pope John Paul II was a beacon of hope and strength to peoples oppressed by a brutal Communist regime. The Pope's heroic defense of freedom, as well as the valor of the Polish patriots of the Warsaw Uprising, remains an example to freedom-loving people the world over.
Honoring their legacy, President Trump continues to fight for religious liberty both in the United States and across the world. He unwaveringly defends both the sanctity of life and human dignity. On the same day as his visit to Pope John Paul II's shrine in June, the President signed an executive order committing the United States to advancing religious freedom worldwide'--calling it ''America's first freedom'' as well as ''a moral and national security imperative.''
President Trump understands that religious liberties are not a creation of the state. They are ''a gift of God to every person and a right that is fundamental to the flourishing of our society.''
VIDEO-Next-Gen Mask Challenge
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 18:48
Next-Gen Mask Challenge
The $1M Next-Gen Mask Challenge aims to reimagine protective face masks used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by making them more comfortable, functional, accessible, and even stylish.
Understanding the Impact of Masks
The XPRIZE Next-Gen Mask Challenge will aid in the fight against COVID-19 by enhancing an effective solution: face masks. The next generation of masks will redefine the norm of mask-wearing behavior and help sustain crucial preventive health measures.
This generation is passionate, creative, and deeply engaged. We don't believe you need to wait or get a particular degree to have an idea that can dramatically change the world.
Dr. Emily Musil Church
Executive Director, XPRIZE Equity & Education
This generation is passionate, creative, and deeply engaged. We don't believe you need to wait or get a particular degree to have an idea that can dramatically change the world.
Dr. Emily Musil Church
Executive Director, XPRIZE Equity & Education
The Challenge
Masks are effective in slowing and preventing the spread of COVID-19, but not all of us have adopted this preventive measure. Some masks are ill-fitting, uncomfortable, not breathable, and the most effective masks are often unavailable or expensive.
We need an alternative'--face masks that are readily accessible and affordable, functional for our everyday lives, fit a wide variety of wearers, and are effective in protecting the wearer and the community.
How to Win
The winning team will design a face mask that achieves the filtration efficacy on par with a surgical mask and overcomes the top five barriers to mask-wearing as defined by an XPRIZE-conducted survey.
How to Register
The Next-Gen Mask Challenge teams will be composed of the next generation of innovators ages 15-24 from all around the world. Registering to create or join a team is one of the first steps you can take to help create a better future for all.
Prize Activity
VIDEO-GRAPHIC WARNING: FBI Interviews Alleged Boy Rape Victim of Bill Clinton; Chilling Details of Sex Assaults & Satanic Rituals on Yacht (Video) '' True Pundit
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 05:22
By: Thomas Paine
Child sex trafficking investigators from the FBI's New York field office have conducted an interview with a victim who provided chilling details about allegedly being raped by Bill Clinton on a yacht in New England when the victim was a young boy.
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''We are treating him as a victim,'' an FBI official told True Pundit in New York City prior the interview with FBI.
Top FBI officials arranged the interview with the victim, who said he was raped by Bill Clinton when he was just eight years old. The interview was conducted by the FBI's task force that was established to investigate sexual assault and sex trafficking claims linked to Jeffrey Epstein and his associates. That task force, also attached to the NYPD, remains active even though Epstein reportedly committed suicide in federal custody just weeks ago.
''We still have a job to do here and that's what we're doing,'' one FBI official told this reporter.
The interview and the allegations against Clinton are both detailed and disturbing. We have decided to publish the video of the victim's account in his own words which contain explosive details of the alleged assault and much more. Again, his account is graphic. Nonetheless, both I and the federal agents with knowledge of the case believe the victim is credible.
To the FBI's credit, the Bureau handled the victim with respect and dignity during the interview. I personally escorted the victim to FBI Headquarters in Manhattan. Even though I have been a massive critic of the FBI, I was impressed with the way they treated the victim who is now in his mid-twenties. Credit the FBI here for listening and investigating.
But the road to this point was not without intrigue and tragedy.
I originally interviewed the victim with journalist Jen Moore who provided the details against Bill Clinton and other elite politicians to child trafficking specialists in DHS Department of Homeland Security and the FBI in July 2018. Moore, an advocate who investigated abused and trafficked children, had been in the process of investigating allegations by the 26-year-old man that '-- as a young boy '-- he was sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and pimped out at private sex parties attended by other D.C. elites.
But Moore and the traumatized victim wanted to contact Homeland Security and the FBI first to see if they would open a criminal case against Clinton prior to publicizing the claims.
Four weeks after contacting the Feds, Jen Moore was found dead in a D.C. hotel room. Moore died of an apparent seizure, though her death remains suspicious and the timing '-- beyond disturbing. After Moore's death, the victim, fearful for his own life, decided to not go public with that interview.
Now he is telling his story. And that is what he did for the FBI.
While in New York City, the victim supplied intelligence to federal agents including confirmation that he witnessed other children and people being sexually and physically abused and worse on numerous ''boat parties.'' These parties were attended by elite members of D.C. political class, according to the victim.
Prior to Jen Moore's death I had a discussion with her in July that we should simply publish the allegations against Clinton without tipping off the Feds. The victim at that time agreed to use his full name and identity and he said he believed he was prepared to handle any blow back. But Jen Moore said she wanted to work back channels and entice the Feds to voluntarily interview the victim. She set out to do just that. See her video below where she hauntingly describes her frustration with the Feds just days before her death.
The ultimate plan was if federal agents did not pursue or investigate the victim's allegations, we would publish the details. But we would wait to see what happened.
Now, this has come full circle. We return to my original strategy today and we are doing just that. And instead of waiting for the FBI to take notice of the allegations, we marched right into the FBI.
I hope Jen would be proud. The victim here deserves credit for allowing us to publish these details. Some details the victim provided have been withheld because they could impact any active investigations but they could be published as the matters develop. Regardless, the victim's account remains beyond disturbing and provides a first-hand account into chilling details of Satanic-like rituals surrounding the exploitation and sexual assaults of children.
Once again, this is a warning of graphic content. The victim fears for his safety but believes working with the FBI has offered him protection. I hope he is right. Again, he does deserve credit for green-lighting the publication of this interview and I personally hope it helps him accelerate his healing process.
As journalists, we need to shine the light on such atrocities and stick our necks out when required. And that is what we are doing here today '... as well as settling an old score for the late Jen Moore. '-- Thomas Paine
Here is the video of the interview:
Listen to the insightful Thomas Paine Podcast Below --
VIDEO-Benny on Twitter: "Wow Rep. @Jim_Jordan GRILLS Dr. Fauci on whether protests are increasing the spread of the virus. Watch This ðŸ--¥" / Twitter
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Benny : WowRep. @Jim_Jordan GRILLS Dr. Fauci on whether protests are increasing the spread of the virus.Watch This ðŸ--¥
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VIDEO-FOX Sports Magic on Twitter: ""It's my thought that kneeling or wearing a 'Black Lives Matter' t-shirt don't go hand in hand with supporting black lives," Jonathan Isaac. Isaac spoke about his choice to not take a knee during the national anthem and
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 03:03
FOX Sports Magic : "It's my thought that kneeling or wearing a 'Black Lives Matter' t-shirt don't go hand in hand with supporting blac'...
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VIDEO-Belarus accuses 'Russian mercenaries' of election plot - BBC News
Sat, 01 Aug 2020 02:43
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption One of the suspects is led away from the sanatorium near MinskAuthorities in Belarus say they have arrested 33 suspected Russian mercenaries believed to be plotting "terrorism" ahead of the country's 9 August presidential election.
The suspects are alleged to be part of a shadowy military group.
Russia is seeking clarification on the arrests, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, denying any knowledge.
President Alexander Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 and is seeking a sixth term in office.
He has exerted authoritarian control over Belarus in a style reminiscent of the Soviet era and has faced a wave of opposition protests over his re-election bid.
Image copyright EPA Image caption President Lukashenko (C) chaired an urgent security meeting Since the collapse of the USSR in 1991 Russia has maintained close ties with Belarus and they have held joint military exercises.
The secretary of the Belarus Security Council, Andrei Ravkov, said investigators suspected as many as 200 Russian mercenaries had entered the country to "destabilise the situation during the election campaign".
The alleged mercenaries arrested on Thursday are believed to be part of the Wagner PMC (Private Military Company).
Reports by UN investigators, the US military and journalists have documented Wagner group operations in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic. The Russian government denies any links to the group.
The Belarus state news agency Belta has named all 33 Russian suspects and given their dates of birth.
The Investigative Committee (SK), handling the case, says it is examining possible links between the Russian suspects and the jailed husband of opposition presidential candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Activists and journalists are being rounded up and jailed in Belarus ahead of the electionSergei Tikhanovsky, a popular opposition blogger, is accused of trying to foment mass unrest, despite being in jail. He faces other charges too.
"Tikhanovsky, [Mikola] Statkevich and 33 detained Russian citizens - they acted together," SK spokesman Sergei Kabakovich told the AFP news agency.
Mr Statkevich, a veteran opposition activist, is also in jail.
Andrey Ravkov said 14 of the detained Russians had fought in Ukraine's Donbas conflict, describing their presence in Belarus as a "very unpleasant situation".
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian SBU security service says it plans to seek the Russians' extradition, so that they can be prosecuted for alleged crimes in eastern Ukraine.
Russia is under international sanctions for its military involvement in Ukraine, though the Kremlin denies arming the pro-Russian separatists in Donbas.
The state TV channel Belarus 1 showed the Russians being arrested by the Belarus KGB at a sanatorium. The video report (in Russian) said the group had raised suspicions because of their disciplined, military-style behaviour - for example they avoided alcohol.
Read more about the Wagner group:
The SK statement said that on Wednesday the authorities had "arrested 33 citizens of the Russian Federation, members of the Wagner PMC [private military company], who were staying at the Belorusochka sanatorium in Minsk district".
Video footage of the group's arrest showed they had Sudanese currency and a Sudanese phone card with them. The Wagner group is known to be active in Sudan, and there is speculation that it was using Belarus as a transit country for African operations.
In Moscow, Mr Peskov said on Thursday: "We know 33 Russians were detained yesterday in Belarus. Two hundred are still at large. We do not know of any illegal activity that would be grounds for their detention."
He also said there was "no such concept" as "Wagner PMC" in Russia.
"There are already insinuations that some organisations from Russia are sending someone to destabilise the situation in Belarus. Or course it is nothing but insinuations," he said.
VIDEO-17min-section 213-White House Press Secretary Holds Briefing |
Fri, 31 Jul 2020 19:47
July 31, 2020 2020-07-31T14:10:21-04:00 Before White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded to reporters' questions at a White House briefing this morning, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows provided an update on talks over an economic aid package and blamed Democrats for the lapse in unemployment benefits.Before White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded to reporters' questions at a White House briefing this morning, Chief of'... read more
Before White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded to reporters' questions at a White House briefing this morning, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows provided an update on talks over an economic aid package and blamed Democrats for the lapse in unemployment benefits. close
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VIDEO-Bill Gates and Anderson Cooper Talk About Vaccine Conspiracy Theories (Full Video) - YouTube
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anonfreedomaf : @RealJamesWoods Bahhahhabanhaha
Fri Jul 31 01:39:09 +0000 2020
VIDEO-TODAY on Twitter: "Should people be taking hydroxychloroquine? -@savannahguthrie It's a decision between a doctor and a patient. -@SteveFDA." / Twitter
Thu, 30 Jul 2020 20:48
TODAY : Should people be taking hydroxychloroquine? -@savannahguthrieIt's a decision between a doctor and a patient. -'...
Thu Jul 30 11:45:39 +0000 2020
Sean O'Casey : @TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie @SteveFDA Hasn't that always been the case?
Thu Jul 30 20:36:55 +0000 2020
Alan Schramm'š : @TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie @SteveFDA
Thu Jul 30 20:32:58 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Courthouse confusion continues: Court clerk claims it's 'racist' to ask 'why?' | WGN-TV
Thu, 30 Jul 2020 20:06
CHICAGO '-- For weeks now, people have been showing up to the Daley Center in downtown Chicago for appearances in traffic court that are being handled entirely online or over the phone.
Angelica Velez was among them. She received several citations after being involved in a traffic accident.
''I was told to get in the line and then they gave us a paper that says to do it over the phone,'' she said. ''I could've stayed in bed to do this.''
Some have waited for several hours only to learn their online hearing took place while they were waiting in an actual line outside the courthouse.
Leon Hendricks drove from Peoria to Chicago in early July for a court hearing he missed while standing in line.
''That tells me there's a huge communication gap going on in the Chicago court system,'' he said.
Hendricks was profiled in the WGN Investigates original report.
Imagine Hendricks' surprise when he returned home to Peoria and two weeks later received a notice from the Cook County Court Clerk that his July 7 hearing would be held via Zoom. The postcard was dated July 16, nine days after the court hearing had already taken place.
Court Clerk Dorothy Brown agreed to an interview with WGN Investigates in which she claimed ''unconscious racism'' was at the root of the questions and negative stories written about her during her nearly two decades in office.
''My staff sent out almost a million postcards and emails,'' she said. ''And yet all this news story can focus on is one card they found they think was sent out in error because they think this black woman's office had to have done something wrong.''
She then went on to claim the late notification was sent out intentionally.
For more information on which court cases are being heard online, over the phone or in person, click on the Cook County Clerk of Court website.
More Chicago News headlines from WGN
VIDEO-IMAGINE THIS! "It's all FAKE SCIENCE" (Very few know about this) - YouTube
Thu, 30 Jul 2020 20:05

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