Scotties Toy Box

August 9, 2020

These groups gave $1.2M to senators leading fight against workers’ rights

Corporate money in politics is not only crushing workers it is also killing democracy.   I find it is weird that corporations are people with all the rights included but no responsibility to society,  yet females have government interference with their reproduction rights.  Then there is this.   Hugs

https://americanindependent.com/gop-senators-liability-shield-coronavirus-lawsuits-mitch-mcconnell-john-cornyn-covid-19/

 

A bill written by Senate Republicans would make it harder for workers to sue their employers if they contracted the coronavirus on the job.

 

Business groups pushing to make it harder for employees to sue the companies they work for if they contract the coronavirus on the job have given more than $1.2 million to the two Senate Republicans leading the charge to include a corporate “liability shield” in any new pandemic relief legislation.

And one of those senators is threatening to block any relief legislation until the shield becomes law.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are the co-authors of the so-called Safeguarding America’s Frontline Employees To Offer Work Opportunities Required to Kickstart the Economy Act. The act requires workers who contract the coronavirus to show that they did so due to their employer’s “reckless disregard” for safety measures.

The act says that a plaintiff must establish “clear and convincing evidence that the individual or entity was not making reasonable efforts in light of all the circumstances to comply with any of the conflicting applicable government standards and guidance issued by any government to whose jurisdiction the individual or entity is subject.”

Cornyn has received more than $430,000 from trade associations’ political action committees since 2016. McConnell has received more than $825,000.

Under current law, if a business’s customer or employee gets sick, in most states they can sue if they can prove the business was responsible and did not take reasonable precautions. Proving this is already an “uphill battle,” employment lawyer Jonathan Segal told USA Today in April.

Corporations are pushing to make that hill even steeper.

Though relatively few cases have been brought by employees so far, businesses have argued that expensive bogus lawsuits could bankrupt them without such a shield.

Workers say such a law would put them at even greater risk than they already are.

“We’re getting $12 an hour. We have no sick days,” airport security guard Mercedes Taylor told Time magazine last Thursday. “For them to be concerned about the liability of employers and them not being sued versus the employees who have been consistently showing for work and providing a service? I’m very disappointed.”

“Black, Latinx, and workers of color will be most directly impacted by the corporate immunity bill,” National Employment Law Project staff attorney Hugh Baran told the American Independent Foundation in a recent interview. “Gross negligence is already as a general manner an extremely difficult thing to prove. You virtually have to prove intent — that you wanted your workers to get hurt or sick. This actually raises the bar so high that no worker or consumer will ever be able to” meet its standard.

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 494 other business groups sent Congress what they titled a “Coalition Letter on Coronavirus Liability Protections.”

“The undersigned organizations urge you to support the timely, targeted, and temporary liability relief provisions contained in S. 4317, the ‘SAFE TO WORK Act,'” the groups wrote:

These crucial protections would safeguard healthcare workers, providers, and facilities, as well as businesses, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions against unfair lawsuits so they can continue to contribute to a safe and effective economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation is critically needed and should be enacted as soon as possible. To that end, we strongly urge you to support the inclusion of these provisions in a Phase IV COVID-19 relief package.

Cornyn wrote last month, “As states gradually reopen their economies, front line health care workers, small businesses, and schools face a second pandemic of frivolous lawsuits threatening to bankrupt them. This legislation would protect those acting in good faith from being sued into oblivion while ensuring bad actors who willingly put their patients, employees, or customers in danger will still be held accountable.”

McConnell said in April that the Republican majority would not let the Senate pass any new virus relief legislation that does not contain the provision. “Let me make it perfectly clear that the Senate is not interested in passing a bill that does not have liability protection,” he told Fox News. “So, that’s an integral part of our economy getting back to normal. … What I’m saying is, we have a red line on liability. It won’t pass the Senate without it.”

Donald Trump has backed the liability shield.

A review of Federal Election Commission data finds that of the 495 trade groups pushing for the shield, at least 72 have sent political action committee contributions to Cornyn, McConnell, or both in the past few years. Their combined donations exceeded $1.2 million.

The contributions were made over the 2016, 2018, and 2020 campaign cycles and included donations to both the senators’ campaign committees and their leadership political action committees.

The donors were:

  • AdvaMed – Advanced Medical Technology Association: Gave $1,462.92 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Airlines for America: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group supports “candidates who understand and appreciate the value that U.S. airlines deliver to our nation’s economy, jobs and the traveling public” and appreciates “the efforts of the Senate as they work to provide relief for both individuals and businesses that are critical to relaunching the economy as our country continues to combat challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to working with Congress as they address vital economic needs including measures that would ensure liability protections, help businesses retain employees and provide safe workplaces.”
  • American Academy of PAs: Gave $1,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Bakers Association: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Bankers Association: Gave $20,000 to Cornyn and $12,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Chemistry Council: Gave $10,000 to Cornyn and $7,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group backs the liability protection: “We believe that companies that are following federal, state and local public health guidelines, and are committed to controlling the spread of this disease, deserve appropriate legal protection to help ensure businesses are not hampered by unnecessary litigation, so that the U.S. economy is well positioned for recovery.” He added that the group’s donations go to members of Congress in both parties who “are working to advance sensible policies and regulations that drive creation of groundbreaking products that improve lives and our environment and enhance the economic vitality of communities everywhere.”
  • American Council of Engineering Companies: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Council of Life Insurers: Gave $5,000 to Cornyn and $12,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that “life insurers have been providing invaluable support to consumers and the U.S. economy” throughout the pandemic.
  • American Dental Association: Gave $25,000 to Cornyn and $30,000 to McConnell. In an emailed statement, the group said, “Dentists continue to care for patients throughout this pandemic helping people maintain both oral and overall health. Yet dentists remain vulnerable to the threat of unwarranted and unfair lawsuits,” adding that it “urges Congress to consider targeted and limited liability protections for dentists in the same way they are considering liability protection for other health care professionals who continue to treat COVID-19 under unprecedented conditions. … The American Dental Political Action Committee (ADPAC) is a bipartisan political action committee that supports candidates from all political parties, in order to provide dentists a voice in the public policy arena on behalf of their patients, dental practice and profession.”
  • American Forest and Paper Association: Gave $6,000 to Cornyn and $10,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group’s political donations “are consistent cycle after cycle in that we give to both Democrats and Republicans in House and Senate leadership,” and that the group signed on to the letter because “Essential businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. They deserve commonsense protections so they can continue to focus on fueling our recovery and helping manufacturers respond to this crisis.”
  • American Gas Association: Gave $11,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Health Care Association & National Center for Assisted Living: Gave $3,000 to Cornyn and $17,500 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group is “advocating for limited and reasonable liability protection to cover providers and staff members for making good faith efforts. Our health care heroes in long term care are on the frontline of this pandemic response, and it is critical that the federal government and states provide the necessary liability protection staff and providers need to continue to offer quality care during this challenging time without fear of reprisal.”
  • American Hotel & Lodging Association: Gave $25,000 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Institute of CPAs: Gave $22,500 to Cornyn and $28,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Medical Association: Gave $20,000 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Property Casualty Insurance Association: Gave $7,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Resort Development Association: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Trucking Associations: Gave $3,000 to Cornyn and $2,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Veterinary Medical Association: Gave $2,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Argentum: Gave $12,500 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Asian American Hotel Owners Association: Gave $12,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Associated Builders and Contractors: Gave $20,000 to Cornyn and $30,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Associated Equipment Distributors: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Associated General Contractors of America: Gave $40,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson confirmed the information in an email, writing that the group’s political action committee supports “candidates of either party that support common-sense, pro-growth economic measures that stimulate demand for new infrastructure and development projects” and that “the majority of our members tell us the measure they need most out of Washington is liability reform so that employers who have put in place all appropriate coronavirus safety precautions are not forced to endure needless litigation.”
  • Biotechnology Innovation Organization: Gave $1,000 to Cornyn and $1,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association: Gave $21,000 to Cornyn and $30,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Consumer Bankers Association: Gave $7,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Credit Union National Association: Gave $1,000 to Cornyn and $32,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • CTIA-The Wireless Association: Gave $2,000 to Cornyn and $7,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Edison Electric Institute: Gave $25,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Federation of American Hospitals: Gave $10,000 to Cornyn and $28,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Independent Electrical Contractors: Gave $1,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group’s PAC “is bipartisan and distributes millions of dollars each election cycle, supporting the campaigns of Democratic and Republican candidates for federal office that support small business.”
  • International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions: Gave $1,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • International Council of Shopping Centers: Gave $11,000 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • International Foodservice Distributors Association: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • International Franchise Association: Gave $6,500 to Cornyn and $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Manufactured Housing Institute: Gave $7,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Medical Device Manufacturers Association: Gave $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Motion Picture Association: Gave $3,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Apartment Association: Gave $26,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of Broadcasters: Gave $25,000 to Cornyn and $52,400 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of Chain Drug Stores: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions: Gave $11,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of Manufacturers: Gave $5,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson noted in an email that in April the group “released targeted Pandemic Liability Policy Recommendations as part of the American Renewal Action Plan” and pointed to a July 28 statement in favor of the legislative proposal.
  • National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies: Gave $12,500 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email: “NAMIC believes that businesses, health care providers, non-profits, and other entities making a good faith effort to adopt health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should not also have to worry about frivolous lawsuits as they try to survive this pandemic.”
  • National Association of Professional Employer Organizations: Gave $2,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of REALTORS: Gave $30,000 to Cornyn and $35,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors: Gave $5,000 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson responded to an inquiry for this story by sending a conservative group’s description of the American Independent Foundation.
  • National Automobile Dealers Association: Gave $25,000 to Cornyn and $35,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Community Pharmacists Association: Gave $2,500 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in a phone interview that the group tries to balance donations to both parties and typically supports leadership and committee chairs. “We’re certainly grateful that both of them support that legislation but it isn’t the singular factor. There’s lots of other reasons,” he said. He noted that the liability shield is a “huge priority for independent pharmacists because they’ve remained open, they’re essential businesses, and they’ve done so to take care of their patients. One lawsuit can wipe them out,” adding that they have “operated in completely good faith and should have some protection from the kind of predatory lawsuits that are bound to come when this is all over.”
  • National Cotton Council: Gave $17,000 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Electrical Contractors Association: Gave $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Grocers Association: Gave $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Independent Automobile Dealers Association: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Mining Association: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Multifamily Housing Council: Gave $10,000 to Cornyn and $35,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Ready Mixed Concrete Association: Gave $7,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Restaurant Association: Gave $20,000 to Cornyn and $25,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group is working to help restaurants stay open safely. “As the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, the restaurant industry will be an essential component of our recovery from this national health crisis,” he wrote. “We engage with elected officials through our grassroots network, through restaurant owners and employees, and through our political action committee to ensure their understanding of the unique business operations of this industry and the role it plays in driving the economy.”
  • National Retail Federation: Gave $5,000 to Cornyn and $6,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson confirmed the information.
  • National Roofing Contractors Association: Gave $17,500 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Shooting Sports Foundation: Gave $24,500 to Cornyn and $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Federation of Independent Business: Gave $9,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • North American Meat Institute: Gave $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America: Gave $5,500 to Cornyn and $12,500 to McConnell. The group declined to comment for this story.
  • Portland Cement Association: Gave $1,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association: Gave $7,500 to Cornyn and $12,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • The Aluminum Association: Gave $2,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • The Real Estate Roundtable: Gave $1,000 to Cornyn and $15,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Gave $5,000 to Cornyn and $12,500 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the letter “states our position on the issue.”

Neither McConnell nor Cornyn responded to inquiries for this story.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

This was never about the war, it was about pushing hate for people with darker skin.

King tRump the US ruler in chief

As did the demand that those responsible have the book thrown at them

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As did the demand that those responsible have the book thrown at them?

Trump ‘sex predator/teen rapist’ status has high evangelical approval

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Trump ‘sex predator/teen rapist’ status has high evangelical approval.

tRump has bragged about just walking into the changing rooms and seeing young girls in different stages of undressed to fully nude.  In his bragging he even admitted he never knocked.  He did not see what he was doing as wrong.   I wonder why?   Hugs

The Church needs to separate from Trump

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The Church needs to separate from Trump.

Daily morning cartoon / meme roundup: Republicans want government to only serve the wealthy / upper class. Workers are unimportant to them.

Political cartoon

Mean Mr. Mitch

Political Cartoon U.S. Trump 2020 coronavirus

Political cartoon

 

 

 

Editorial Cartoon U.S. Wayne LaPierre NRA lawsuits

Clay Jones Comic Strip for August 09, 2020

 

 

 

Dozens Of NYPD Officers Swarmed The Home Of A BLM Protester But Didn’t Make An Arrest

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rosalindadams/dozens-of-nypd-officers-swarmed-the-home-of-a-blm-protester?bftwnews&utm_term=4ldqpgc#4ldqpgc

New York Police officers in riot gear and backed up by helicopters and police vans surrounded the home of a prominent Black Lives Matter protester Friday morning, tried to get him to come out of his apartment, and finally left empty-handed after a crowd gathered because the protester began streaming the incident on Instagram Live.

A spokesperson for the NYPD, Jessica McRorie, later said the NYPD had been “attempting to make an apprehension for an assault on a police officer.” She declined to say more, saying the investigation was “active and ongoing.”

But the explanation left many unconvinced, especially because of the bizarre way the incident unfolded, with officers at first telling the protester, Derrick Ingram, that they had a warrant, and then, when he asked to see it, backtracking on that and saying they were working on a warrant, according to Kiara Williams, who, along with Ingram is a member of the protest group Warriors of the Garden. BuzzFeed News profiled the group in June.

“This is very clearly a political decision by the NYPD to harass peaceful protesters without a legal means to do so,” said Atusa Mozaffari, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society who was present at the scene, though is not counsel for Ingram. “This is exactly what everyone in New York City should be worried about.”

“This was an attempt to silence our movement. This militarized police response endangers the safety of residents in Hell’s Kitchen and across NYC,” Ingram said in a statement on Friday evening. “Officers used threats and intimidation tactics on a young man with no criminal history,” the statement added.

NYPD officers arrived at Ingram’s apartment around 7 a.m.

“There’s no reason for us to come in there — open the door and come out,” an officer told Ingram.

“Derrick, you’re the one making this difficult, we’re just trying to get you to come outside. You’re the one being hostile.”

“I’m not being hostile, I’m calm,” Ingram answered, as hundreds of his followers watched.

The video echoed police encounters with Black men that have ended violently.

Ingram, who is Black, held his head in his hands, and paced back and forth in his apartment, visibly nervous.

Under New York law, police officers can only enter a person’s home under prescribed circumstances.

“The police can enter your home without your permission if they have a warrant or if it is an emergency. If the police say they have a warrant, ask to see it,” said Katie Chmielewski, a communications associate for the New York Civil Liberties Union.

But when Ingram asked to see a warrant, officers did not produce one. By late morning, he appeared increasingly shaken as he continued to film. At one point, he put on some music to try to keep calm. At another, he swung the camera around to show that there were officers in the building across from him, and that he could see their holsters. Other officers were trying to climb the fire escape, said an onlooker. Ingram fielded calls from lawyers trying to advise him, as the booming police knocks continued.

By noon — about five hours into the standoff — the street in Hell’s Kitchen where Ingram lives was blocked off at both ends. Several NYPD vehicles from the emergency services unit were parked outside the building, along with unmarked police cars. Officers from the Strategic Response Group and the Technical Assistance Response Unit were also present as a helicopter whirred overhead. Multiple observers told BuzzFeed News they had seen more than 30 police officers throughout the morning.

“We’re from emergency services,” one of the officers told Ingram from behind his apartment door, as they continued to knock over and over again.

“What emergency?” Ingram asked. “I don’t know what the emergency is.”

“We came immediately when we heard about it because we knew it could happen to one of us,” said Frantzy Luzincourt, the cofounder of Strategy for Black Lives, another protest group that’s worked with Warriors in the Garden. “This is next level and it’s scary for organizers. Are they going to show up at my house next? Or his?” he said, pointing to a friend.

Chi Ossé, another member of Warriors in the Garden who is also running for city council next year, chanted “Where’s the warrant?” over a megaphone. “This is nothing more than domestic terrorism,” he told a crowd of people who had gathered in a park that overlooked Ingram’s street.

Please notice how the police lied and made up shit, the police are openly dishonest so why do we trust their reports and court testimony.    The police are too militarized and too powerful.   They work to suppress not to protect.  The US has become a police state with the police used by the upper class to keep the lower working class in line and laboring to make the upper class more money.   In many places it is becoming clear that police unions and higher up members of police departments not only do not obey civilian elected leaders but openly challenge them and simply counteract  their orders.   I read of police threatening elected leaders.   We now know this is going on so we must work hard on changing it.   Hugs

 

 

Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail

Filed under: Criminal, Fascism, News, Political, Questions, Reason — Scottie @ 04:36

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/08/trump-wants-to-cut-mail-in-voting-the-republican-machine-is-helping-him-392428

Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party have taken to the courts dozens to challenge voting rules. Trump’s aides are pondering possible executive actions.

 

In the weeks since, Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee have taken to the courts dozens of times as part of a $20 million effort to challenge voting rules, including filing their own lawsuits in several battleground states, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Nevada. And around the time Trump started musing about delaying the election last week, aides and outside advisers began scrambling to ponder possible executive actions he could take to curb mail-in voting — everything from directing the postal service to not deliver certain ballots to stopping local officials from counting them after Election Day.

The actions can only make so much difference before November — elections are mostly run at the state and local level, and are subject to congressional authority. And some fellow Republicans are warning the president privately and publicly that attempts to restrict mail-in ballots could actually hurt the GOP in November, scaring Republicans from voting remotely even if they also refuse to vote in person during a pandemic. New polling has fueled these concerns.

Trump fans, said John Fredericks, a conservative radio host who serves on the Trump campaign’s advisory committee, “think Trump is going to win legitimately, but the Democrats are trying to steal the election by manipulating mail-out ballots. They want the president to jawbone enough so there’s a level of outrage to get rid of these ballots.”

Just because Trump’s claims of rampant mail-in voting fraud aren’t supported by evidence doesn’t mean election experts aren’t concerned about problems holding a presidential election during a pandemic. It’s unknown whether the United States Postal Service can handle a surge of mail-in ballots in a timely fashion, and other officials have cautioned about long lines and a shortage of workers at in-person polling stations, which have been limited during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Trump campaign is holding events touting its legal actions on voting rules. And privately, the White House is debating possible further action, according to two people familiar with the situation. The White House declined to comment on whether Trump would be signing an executive order on the issue.

Already, Democrats and left-leaning groups are pushing to make voting by mail easier and to educate voters about how to properly cast remote ballots. Republicans are fighting voting rule changes in 17 states, going to court 40 times, drawing on a recently doubled legal budget of $20 million. At the RNC and Trump campaign, 12 staff attorneys and several dozen more outside lawyers are working on the issue across the country, according to an RNC official.

Republicans have intervened to do just that in numerous states. In Iowa, they sued to prevent third parties from filling out personal information on absentee ballot requests. In Minnesota, they tried to prevent ballots from being sent to inactive voters. And in Nevada, the Trump campaign on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the state over a plan to send ballots to active registered voters this November.

“This unconstitutional legislation implements the exact universal vote-by-mail system President Trump has been warning against for months,” said Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser for the Trump campaign.

Republicans have already won some battles. A Democratic super-PAC and other left-leaning groups agreed to drop a lawsuit over voting rules in Florida after a judge refused to order changes immediately, including a request that the government cover postage costs for mail-in ballots. Another lawsuit seeking to extend the state’s absentee ballot deadline was dismissed in Pennsylvania

“All politicians are paranoid about potential fraud in their campaigns. And sometimes rightfully so,” said Pat McCrory, the former Republican governor of North Carolina, who blamed fraud when he lost his 2016 reelection bid by 10,000 votes out of more than 4.6 million ballots cast. “He knows states like Michigan and North Carolina — like last time — could be close.”

Republicans aren’t the only ones taking action on mail-in voting. Democrats and outside groups on both sides of the issue have similarly taken to the courts over voting rules — more than 160 lawsuits have been filed nationwide, according to election experts.

“They’re absolutely exaggerating and overstating the fraud. It is not a rampant problem,” said Sean Morales-Doyle, deputy director at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program, where he focuses on voting rights and elections. “It is not the existential threat that the president says it is.”

Trump, impatient with the slow nature of lawsuits, suggested last week that the November election be postponed, though he later claimed he was merely trying to highlight the possibility of fraud after he faced a backlash from even members of his own party. Only Congress can change the date of the election.

Since then, Trump has mused to aides about what executive orders, if any, he could sign to curb voting by mail.

“I have the right to do it,” Trump told reporters Monday. “We haven’t gotten there yet. We’ll see what happens.”

Yet even conservatives allies, including von Spakovsky, are skeptical Trump has the authority to intervene in elections. John Yoo, a senior Justice Department attorney under former President George W. Bush, agreed. Yoo has been advising the White House recently on unilateral actions Trump could take on immigration, health care and taxes. But he said it didn’t appear Trump could take significant executive action on mail-in voting

Some suggested Trump could try to stop local officials from counting remote ballots after Election Day and direct the Postal Service to not deliver certain ballots to voters using an emergency declaration, according to one of the people.

Paul Steidler, who studies the Postal Service at the right-leaning Lexington Institute, said the president can’t directly order the postmaster general to do anything, noting the Postal Service chief actually reports to a board of governors.

“He can’t order anything directly,” Steidler said. But others argued the postmaster general, a Trump ally and Republican fundraiser, might still be influenced by Trump’s statements.

 

Election experts said a more likely option for Trump would be sending federal officials into states under the guise of ensuring every vote is counted, citing the 15th Amendment or the Voting Rights Act.

Any of the moves would be immediately challenged in court.

“It would certainly be unprecedented to attempt to control any aspect of the election process,” said Richard Pildes, a professor of constitutional law at the New York University School of Law and leading expert on election law. “The courts would scrutinize any action closely.”

More at the link above.    Hugs

August 8, 2020

Trump Wants U.S. to Get Cut of Any TikTok Deal. No One Knows How That’d Work.

This is the shit that happens in dictatorships and banana republics.    What happened to the US law and order with due process?   Hugs

If he were still running casinos in rough-and-tumble Atlantic City, N.J., President Trump’s demand about Microsoft’s possible purchase of TikTok might be translated this way: I want a piece of the action.

In exchange for blessing Microsoft’s acquisition of the Chinese-owned social media platform, Mr. Trump has said the United States Treasury should receive a “very big proportion” of the sale price. If he follows through, it would signal an effort to carve out an entirely new role for the federal government in exerting its powers to approve or thwart business deals with national security considerations.

In essence, the president is promising to orchestrate the kind of pay-to-play bounty that the United States prohibits companies from making to governments of other countries under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

And he is playing a role that is common among the autocratic leaders on whom he has often heaped praise: using the sheer power of his office to influence the private marketplace without clear legal or regulatory authority.

“It’s protection money. It’s not what the government of the United States should do,” said Avery Gardiner, the general counsel for the Center for Democracy & Technology, a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on digital rights, privacy and an open internet.

“It’s scary to think that it might apply in some parts of business and not in others,” she added. “It becomes a special tax if your business is involved in social media. but you can only do the deal if you pay the protection money. That’s even worse.”

“Very simple,” he explained to reporters this week about his approach to a TikTok deal. “I mean we have all the cards because, without us, you can’t come into the United States. It’s like if you’re a landlord, and you have a tenant. The tenant’s business needs a rent; it needs a lease. And so what I said to them is, ‘Whatever the price is, a very big proportion of that price would have to go to the Treasury of the United States.’”

Mr. Trump added: “And they understood that. And actually, they agreed with me. I mean, I think they agreed with me very much.”

Legal experts said there is also no law that explicitly prohibits companies from voluntarily offering a gift to the government, as long as it is not made under duress and the gift does not benefit any particular individual government officials.

But they also warn that extracting a large cash payment as a condition of a TikTok sale would undermine the integrity of a legal process that operates with specific, objective standards. That could set a precedent that deters similar deals in the future by injecting uncertainty into the prospect of any big business deal.

That appears to be exactly what Mr. Trump wants.

There is more at the link above.   It is clear that tRump has reverted to his mob boss roots.  He has been involved with the different organized crime mobs from the beginning.  Now he wants to use the US government as he has known ever action all his mobbed up life.  I do not know what it will take to wake up the 36% of the US are in the cult of tRump, but I do know that if we do not vote overwhelmingly blue this election the experience of democracy is over.    Putin is overjoyed that he and his mob may be able to move fully into the US than just the fringes that they are now.   Hugs

 

 

Over 250 students and teachers quarantined in Georgia district after first week of school

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/over-250-students-and-teachers-quarantined-georgia-district-first-week-school/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=96503392

More than 250 students and teachers from one Georgia school district are now quarantined, just one week into the new school year. Multiple teachers and students across the district’s schools have tested positive for COVID-19 after classes resumed Monday.

Cherokee County School District is sharing ongoing updates on coronavirus cases in its schools on its website. As of Friday, over a dozen students and teachers have tested positive, sending home hundreds of people after just five days of school.

Since the beginning of the week, at least 11 students and two staff members across elementary, middle and high schools have tested positive for coronavirus. The students’ ages span from first grade to twelfth grade.

After conducting contact tracing, the district said at least 250 students and staff who had possible exposure to positive cases must quarantine for two weeks. During that time, students will receive online instruction.

Cherokee County schools resumed in-person learning on Monday, August 3. In a letter to families on Friday, Superintendent Dr. Brian V. Hightower said that the trend of students and staff testing positive every day “will continue as we operate schools during a pandemic.”

“We know we’re under a microscope, as national media follows the reopening of schools across the country,” he wrote. “But know that our decisions are not based on what people in New York or Kansas think, nor are we concerned about ‘optics’ or ‘image’ – we’re focused on what’s doing best for our community.”

There is a video at the link above.  However is this what we think is successful opening up of schools?   At this rate in two months ever teacher and student will be in home quarantine anyway.   Really there is no need to go through the failed experience and all the costs.   We do not have the virus under control, kids are not immune, and kids also are super spreaders.  SPTV and politics in support of tRump may want some to deny the truth but the fact is reality is here to stay and raising it ugly head here about this.   Close the schools, invest in remote learning and realize the world has changed.   How many damn children need to die to sooth the Republicans butt hurt?   Hugs

Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail

Filed under: Criminal, Fascism, Health, News, Political, Questions, Reason — Scottie @ 17:50

tRump and crew will do anything to rig the election in his favor.   Hugs

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/08/trump-wants-to-cut-mail-in-voting-the-republican-machine-is-helping-him-392428

Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party have taken to the courts dozens to challenge voting rules. Trump’s aides are pondering possible executive actions.

This past spring, President Donald Trump began a full-fledged assault on voting by mail, tweeting, retweeting and railing about massive fraud and rigged elections with scant evidence.

Then the Republican apparatus got to work backing up the president.

In the weeks since, Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee have taken to the courts dozens of times as part of a $20 million effort to challenge voting rules, including filing their own lawsuits in several battleground states, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Nevada. And around the time Trump started musing about delaying the election last week, aides and outside advisers began scrambling to ponder possible executive actions he could take to curb mail-in voting — everything from directing the postal service to not deliver certain ballots to stopping local officials from counting them after Election Day.

But the flurry of activity is buoying the president in other ways. Namely, it has allowed Trump to present himself as a fighter on an issue that many of his most fervent supporters have taken up in the last few months.

Trump fans, said John Fredericks, a conservative radio host who serves on the Trump campaign’s advisory committee, “think Trump is going to win legitimately, but the Democrats are trying to steal the election by manipulating mail-out ballots. They want the president to jawbone enough so there’s a level of outrage to get rid of these ballots.”

Trump has spent months railing against mail-in voting as the pandemic raged and his poll numbers dropped nationally and in battleground states. Yet on Tuesday, Trump appeared to change his mind for one battleground state: Florida. He claimed that because the state’s two back-to-back Republican governors — Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott — had managed elections professionally. Sophia Lin Lakin, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project, dubbed Trump’s action “hypocritical.”

Voting specialists also note that five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington — already conduct elections entirely by mail with few problems. This fall, three additional states — California, Vermont and Nevada — plan to send ballots to registered voters because of the pandemic.

“They’re absolutely exaggerating and overstating the fraud. It is not a rampant problem,” said Sean Morales-Doyle, deputy director at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program, where he focuses on voting rights and elections. “It is not the existential threat that the president says it is.”

Trump, impatient with the slow nature of lawsuits, suggested last week that the November election be postponed, though he later claimed he was merely trying to highlight the possibility of fraud after he faced a backlash from even members of his own party. Only Congress can change the date of the election.

Since then, Trump has mused to aides about what executive orders, if any, he could sign to curb voting by mail.

“I have the right to do it,” Trump told reporters Monday. “We haven’t gotten there yet. We’ll see what happens.”

Yet even conservatives allies, including von Spakovsky, are skeptical Trump has the authority to intervene in elections. John Yoo, a senior Justice Department attorney under former President George W. Bush, agreed. Yoo has been advising the White House recently on unilateral actions Trump could take on immigration, health care and taxes. But he said it didn’t appear Trump could take significant executive action on mail-in voting

Some suggested Trump could try to stop local officials from counting remote ballots after Election Day and direct the Postal Service to not deliver certain ballots to voters using an emergency declaration, according to one of the people.

Election experts said a more likely option for Trump would be sending federal officials into states under the guise of ensuring every vote is counted, citing the 15th Amendment or the Voting Rights Act.

Any of the moves would be immediately challenged in court.

“It would certainly be unprecedented to attempt to control any aspect of the election process,” said Richard Pildes, a professor of constitutional law at the New York University School of Law and leading expert on election law. “The courts would scrutinize any action closely.”

More at the link above.   However this is clearly an attempt by tRump and his crew  to sabotage the election, to rig it in favor of tRump.  Our very democracy is on the ropes here, and will be decided by this election.   It scares the piss out of me how close this is and how badly it could go wrong.   Hugs

 

Daily morning cartoon / meme roundup: The wealthy Republicans do not care about the needs of the people, just wealthy businesses

Political Cartoon U.S. Mitch McConnell coronavirus relief bill

 

 

Ken Catalino Comic Strip for August 07, 2020

Chris Britt Comic Strip for August 07, 2020

Steve Benson Comic Strip for August 07, 2020

Political Cartoon U.S. Trump USPS 2020 election

John Deering Comic Strip for August 08, 2020

 

 

 

August 7, 2020

Daily morning cartoon / meme roundup: tRump’s America …

(cartoon by Nick Anderson)

(cartoon by Stuart Carlson)

Political Cartoon U.S. Trump COVID it is what it is

Political Cartoon U.S. Trump R Crumb it is what it is Mr Natural

Political Cartoon U.S. Trump coronavirus Axios interview

Rob Rogers Comic Strip for August 06, 2020

 

 

 

Steve Breen Comic Strip for August 07, 2020

 

 

 

Chip Bok Comic Strip for August 07, 2020

 

Chris Britt Comic Strip for August 06, 2020

John Deering Comic Strip for August 07, 2020

 

Walt Handelsman Comic Strip for August 06, 2020

 

 

 

 

August 6, 2020

Call me crazy but what a coincidence

Filed under: Cartoons, Criminal, Death, Health, Memes, News, Political, Questions, Reason, Science — Scottie @ 17:42

What a coincidence… — view on Instagram https://ift.tt/3km5rHO

But … but … prosperity gospel scam ?

Filed under: Atheism, Cartoons, Criminal, Greed, Memes, News, Political, Questions, Reason, Religion — Scottie @ 17:28

New York City Police Unions Sue to Block City’s Chokehold Ban

Filed under: Criminal, Dealing With Abuse, Death, Fascism, Hate, History, News, Political, Questions, Race, Reason — Scottie @ 16:54

I believe in unions but in these cases the police unions have become the enemy of the people, and so need to have their power reduced.   They have become criminal enterprises using their ability to threaten to enable thugs to harm people.   Hugs

New York City Police Unions Sue to Block City’s Chokehold Ban

Led by the city’s Police Benevolent Association, the lawsuit comes six years after Staten Island resident Eric Garner’s death in a police chokehold. Garner’s dying gasps of “I can’t breathe,” captured on a viral video, drove thousands onto the streets in 2014.

It took George Floyd uttering the same words under a Minneapolis officer’s knee this year to spur New York State and city legislators to pass a ban on the practice among a suite of reforms designed to promote transparency, accountability and restraints upon police.

Since Governor Andrew Cuomo signed those bills in June, police unions have fought systematically to dismantle the new laws. A different lawsuit filed in federal court last month aimed to block the release of thousands of NYPD disciplinary records, many of which were recently posted publicly by ProPublica.

“An ordinary police officer will be unable to discern whether many ordinary activities taken in the course of the apprehension and arrest of a suspect violate the statute,” attorney Anthony Cole, from the firm DLA Piper, writes in the complaint.

The statute criminalizes using any restraint that restricts the flow of air or blood “by  compressing the windpipe or the carotid arteries on each side of the neck, or sitting, kneeling, or standing on the chest or back in a manner that compresses the diaphragm, in the course of effecting or attempting to effect an arrest.”

The claim police won’t be able to determine the correct course of action here seems stupid to me  just don’t keep people from breathing or having blood flow to the brain.   Seems easy to figure out to me.  Don’t choke people.   When I was taking Kempo and in law enforcement we stayed away from the neck and throat because of how easy it was to crush the windpipe.  Remember the police are not in a war zone under active fire as they want you to believe.   Most of their job is boring and administrative.  This is the problem with militarizing the police, the job of serving and protecting get hyped to a constant taking on of terrorists and fighting an enemy that doesn’t exist.  Hugs

Mitch McConnell’s ‘liability shield’ is a weapon aimed at COVID-19 victims

Mitch McConnell’s ‘liability shield’ is a weapon aimed at COVID-19 victims

Last week, Senate Republicans unveiled the HEALS Act, their proposal to address the continued devastation that COVID-19 is wreaking on the country. The Act, a collection of discrete bills authored by various Senators, would have far-reaching consequences. One of the bills, Texas Senator John Cornyn’s SAFE TO WORK Act, would restrict lawsuits based on coronavirus exposure against employers, businesses, and many other potential defendants. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that the liability restrictions are a critical Republican requirement for further COVID-19 relief measures.

Senator Cornyn claims that his bill “would protect those acting in good faith from being sued into oblivion while ensuring bad actors who willingly put their patients, employees, or customers in danger will still be held accountable.” Employers and businesses no doubt are dealing with great challenges given these extraordinary circumstances. And it is sensible for legislators to seek a balance between accountability for bad actors who fail to take reasonable precautions and the threat of ruinous liability for employers and businesses doing their best. Yet the bill’s complex procedural requirements make any hope of accountability impossible. In fact, the bill actually encourages harmful behavior.

The legislation’s provisions are complex, but here’s a brief overview of how it works. It creates a new federal cause of action that preempts other federal, state, or tribal causes of action “related to recovery for personal injuries caused by actual, alleged, feared, or potential for exposure to coronavirus.” The federal cause of action requires plaintiffs to prove that the defendant’s “gross negligence” or “willful misconduct” caused injury. That means that even if, say, Missouri law permitted a line cook harmed by a restaurant’s ordinary negligence that caused them to contract COVID-19 to sue for damages, federal law would forbid the suit. The only exception is for laws that are more restrictive, meaning the goal isn’t uniformity, just limits on liability.

But the bill goes much further. It contains numerous interlocking procedural restrictions that make it essentially impossible for a plaintiff to prevail. For one, the bill requires proof by “clear and convincing” evidence—an unusually high burden for most civil cases. It requires plaintiffs to detail their factual allegations with a much higher degree of specificity than is usually required.

The bill also creates a “safe harbor” for defendants, which says that whenever a defendant can point to any “written or published policy” in line with applicable government regulations, the defendant will be presumed to have acted reasonably, even if the “policy” is just boilerplate language they did not actually follow. If a defendant’s motion to dismiss the suit is unsuccessful, it can take an immediate appeal—potentially delaying litigation for years. Plaintiffs’ ability to obtain relevant evidence through discovery is sharply limited. Damages for any plaintiff lucky enough to achieve a victory are restricted.

Each one of these requirements individually puts a big thumb on the scale in favor of defendants. Collectively, they pose nearly insuperable obstacles to recovery for plaintiffs—even when they seek recovery from actors who engaged in egregious misconduct that caused death or serious injury. The effect will be to discourage entities, such as warehouse operators or meat-packing plants, to take even reasonable precautions to prevent harm.

But few plaintiffs would really ever risk getting this far. That’s because of the worst provisions in what is already a bad bill. The Act doesn’t just make it hard for plaintiffs to win; it makes it potentially devastating for them to even consider suit. If a victim requests compensation “in exchange for settling . . . or otherwise not pursuing a claim that is, or could be, brought as part of a coronavirus-related action,” the recipient of the request can seek compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees if the claim is “meritless.”

There is much more at the link above.   However it is clear that the Republicans are using the economic recession / depression to absolve business of any responsibility for a safe workplace.   Republicans have long hated rules that protect workers and cost business money.   Hey they loves them businesses, workers not so much.   So this makes it so business can force you to put your health and life in danger and have no responsibility when you get sick or die.   You peons, serve your betters and then die, but first breed up the next generation of labor slaves to feed the wealth of the stock market and pay for a government that serves only the wealthy.  Hugs

Ah the fascist way

tRump desperate to move the hustle and dump the merchandise to the rubes.

Filed under: Criminal, Death, Drugs, Economics, Fascism, Greed, Health, News, Political, Questions, Reason, Science — Scottie @ 16:21

https://www.thedailybeast.com/peter-navarro-cites-dilbert-cartoonist-to-prove-experts-wrong-on-hydroxy

 

The Trump aide, meanwhile, seemingly revealed the real reason he’s so intent on pushing the drug even while the FDA has revoked its emergency use for coronavirus treatment.

“Let me tell you why I got involved with this,” he barked. “I got involved with this because as a Defense Production Act coordinator I’m literally sitting on 63 million tablets, 63 million tablets, of hydroxychloroquine that would help possibly four million Americans stay alive. And so I’ve got that stake in the game.”

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