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The Pronk Pops Show 1402, February 25, 2020, Story 1: Progressive Panic Pandering Propaganda — Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Coronavirus Goes Global — What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger — Are You In Fear of Your Life — Videos — Story 2: Stock Market Correction Linked To Impact of COVID -19 on China Supply Chains — Create More Money — Just Stay Home — Consumer Confidence Crashes — Stagflation Recession 2021 –Panic Propaganda — Do Not Believe It — Videos — Story 3: Neither Government Dependency Nor Country Dependency Are Reliable When A Real Crisis Hits — United States Gets Most of Its Drugs From Communist China and India — Cheap But Risky and Maybe Deadly — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1402 February 25, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1401 February 24, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1400 February 21, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1399 February 14, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1398 February 13, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1397 February 12, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1396 February 11, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1395 February 10, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1394 February 7, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1393 February 6, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1392 February 5, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1391 February 4, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1390 February 3, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1389 January 31, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1388 January 30, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1387 January 29, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1386 January 28, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1385 January 27, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1384 January 24, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1383 January 23, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1382 January 22, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1381 January 21, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1380 January 17, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1379 January 16, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1378 January 15, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1377 January 14, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1376 January 13, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1375 December 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1374 December 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1373 December 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1372 December 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1371 December 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1370 December 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1369 December 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1368 December 4, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1367 December 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1366 December 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1365 November 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1364 November 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1363 November 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1362 November 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1361 November 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1360 November 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1359 November 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1358 November 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1357 November 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1356 November 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1355 November 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1354 November 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1353 November 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1352 November 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1351 November 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1350 November 1, 2019

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If by Rudyard Kipling – Inspirational Poetry

If—

Launch Audio in a New Window

(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

If – Rudyard Kipling (by John Hurt) with lyrics

{youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow5xbBnOU2A]

Story 1: Progressive Panic Pandering Propaganda — Chinese Communist Coronavirus SARS CoV-2 or (COVID-19) Goes Global — What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger — Are You In Fear of Your Life — If — Videos

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The coronavirus conspiracy: is there a cover-up in China?

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Increase of influenza B seen with this year’s flu outbreak

The 2020 Flu Season So Far

Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak — United States, February 24, 2020

Daniel B. Jernigan, MD1; CDC COVID-19 Response Team (View author affiliations)

View suggested citation

Summary

What is already known about this topic?

An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States.

What is added by this report?

Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, in addition to 39 cases among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States. The U.S. government and public health partners are implementing aggressive measures to slow and contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Interim guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. As more is learned about this virus and the outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action.

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An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, and has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States (1). As of February 23, 2020, there were 76,936 reported cases in mainland China and 1,875 cases in locations outside mainland China (1). There have been 2,462 associated deaths worldwide; no deaths have been reported in the United States. Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, and an additional 39 cases have occurred among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States. This report summarizes the aggressive measures (2,3) that CDC, state and local health departments, multiple other federal agencies, and other partners are implementing to slow and try to contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States. These measures require the identification of cases and contacts of persons with COVID-19 in the United States and the recommended assessment, monitoring, and care of travelers arriving from areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission. Although these measures might not prevent widespread transmission of the virus in the United States, they are being implemented to 1) slow the spread of illness; 2) provide time to better prepare state and local health departments, health care systems, businesses, educational organizations, and the general public in the event that widespread transmission occurs; and 3) better characterize COVID-19 to guide public health recommendations and the development and deployment of medical countermeasures, including diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. U.S. public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely, and CDC is coordinating efforts with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global partners. Interim guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. As more is learned about this novel virus and this outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action by CDC, state and local health departments, health care providers, and communities.

Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 appears to occur mainly by respiratory transmission. How easily the virus is transmitted between persons is currently unclear. Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath (4). Based on the incubation period of illness for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses, as well as observational data from reports of travel-related COVID-19, CDC estimates that symptoms of COVID-19 occur within 2–14 days after exposure. Preliminary data suggest that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems might be at greater risk for severe illness from this virus (5).

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COVID-19 Cases in the United States

As of February 23, 14 COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed in the following six states: Arizona (one case), California (eight), Illinois (two), Massachusetts (one), Washington (one), and Wisconsin (one). Twelve of these 14 cases were related to travel to China, and two cases occurred through person-to-person transmission to close household contacts of a person with confirmed COVID-19. An additional 39 cases were reported among repatriated U.S. citizens, residents, and their families returning from Hubei province, China (three), and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Yokohama, Japan (36). Thus, there have been 53 cases within the United States. No deaths have been reported in the United States.

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CDC Public Health Response

As of February 24, 2020, a total of 1,336 CDC staff members have been involved in the COVID-19 response, including clinicians (i.e., physicians, nurses, and pharmacists), epidemiologists, veterinarians, laboratorians, communicators, data scientists and modelers, and coordination staff members. Of these CDC staff members, 497 (37%) have been deployed to 39 locations in the United States and internationally, including CDC quarantine stations at U.S. ports of entry, state and local health departments, hospitals, and U.S. military bases that are housing quarantined persons, as well as WHO and ministries of health around the world. CDC staff members are working with state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments and other public health authorities to assist with case identification, contact tracing, evaluation of persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19,* and medical management of cases; and with academic partners to understand the virulence, risk for transmission, and other characteristics of this novel virus.

CDC teams are working with the Department of Homeland Security at 11 airports where all flights from China are being directed to screen travelers returning to the United States, and to refer them to U.S. health departments for oversight of self-monitoring. CDC is also working with other agencies of the U.S. government including the U.S. Department of Defense; multiple operational divisions with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Administration for Children and Families; and the U.S. Department of State to safely evacuate U.S. citizens, residents, and their families to the United States from international locations where there is substantial, sustained transmission of COVID-19, and to house them and monitor their health during a 14-day quarantine period.

Specific guidance has been developed and posted online for health care settings, including for patient management; infection control and prevention; laboratory testing; environmental cleaning; worker safety; and international travel. Guidance is updated as more is learned. To prepare for the possibility of community spread of COVID-19, CDC has developed tailored guidance and communications materials for communities, health care settings, public health, laboratories, schools, and businesses. Chinese and Spanish versions of certain documents are available.

Information for travelers. Several recent travel notices have been posted by CDC to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues that could affect travelers’ health.§ A Level 3 travel notice (avoid all nonessential travel) for China has been in effect since January 27. On February 19, Level 1 travel notices (practice usual precautions) for travelers to Hong Kong and Japan were posted. On February 22, the Level 1 travel notice for Japan was raised to Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions). A Level 2 travel notice was posted for South Korea on February 22, which was updated to Level 3 on February 24. Level 1 travel notices were posted for Iran and Italy on February 23, and then updated to Level 2 on February 24. In addition, CDC has posted information for travelers regarding apparent community transmission in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, and recommendations for persons to reconsider cruise ship voyages in Asia.

Airport screening. As of February 23, a total of 46,016 air travelers had been screened at the 11 U.S. airports to which all flights from China are being directed. Since February 2, travelers to the United States who have been in China in the preceding 14 days have been limited to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and others as outlined in a presidential proclamation. Incoming passengers are screened for fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Any travelers with signs or symptoms of illness receive a more comprehensive public health assessment. As of February 23, 11 travelers were referred to a hospital and tested for infection; one tested positive and was isolated and managed medically. Seventeen travelers were quarantined for 14 days because of travel from Hubei Province, China, an area that was designated as high risk for exposure to COVID-19**; 13 of these 17 have completed their quarantine period.

Persons under investigation (PUIs). Recognizing persons at risk for COVID-19 is a critical component of identifying cases and preventing further transmission. CDC has responded to clinical inquiries from public health officials, health care providers, and repatriation teams to evaluate and test PUIs in the United States for COVID-19 following CDC guidance. As of February 23, 479 persons from 43 states and territories had been or are being tested for COVID-19; 14 (3%) had a positive test, 412 (86%) had a negative test, and 53 (11%) test results are pending.

Laboratory testing. As part of laboratory surge capacity for the response, CDC laboratories are testing for SARS-CoV-2 to assist with diagnosis of COVID-19. During January 18–February 23, CDC laboratories used real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to test 2,620 specimens from 1,007 persons for SARS-CoV-2. Some additional testing is performed at selected state and other public health laboratories, with confirmatory testing at CDC. CDC is developing a serologic test to assist with surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 circulation in the U.S. population. The test detects antibodies (immunoglobulin [Ig]G, IgA, and IgM) indicating SARS-COV-2 virus exposure or past infection. In addition, CDC laboratories are developing assays to detect SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA and antigens in tissue specimens. Finally, following CDC’s establishment of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture, CDC shared virus isolates with the Biodefense and Emerging Infections Research Resources Repository to securely distribute isolates to U.S. public health and academic institutions for additional research, including vaccine development.

Repatriation flights from areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission. During January 29–February 6, the U.S. government repatriated 808 U.S. citizens, residents, and their families from Hubei Province, China, on five chartered flights. At the time of departure, all travelers were free of symptoms for COVID-19 (fever or feverishness, cough, difficulty breathing). After arriving in the United States, the repatriated travelers were quarantined for 14 days at one of five U.S. military bases. CDC and U.S. government staff members monitored these travelers’ health. As of February 23, 28 (3%) of these persons developed COVID-19-related symptoms and were evaluated for infection; three were found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were referred for medical care and isolation. As of February 24, the remaining 805 travelers had completed their 14-day quarantine.

On February 3, passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess cruise ship were quarantined off Yokohama, Japan; a passenger who had recently disembarked in Hong Kong was confirmed to have COVID-19, and ongoing transmission was identified on the ship. By February 16, a total of 355 cases of COVID-19 had been identified among passengers and crew,†† including 67 U.S. citizens or residents. As a result, during February 16–17, the U.S. government assisted in the repatriation of 329 U.S. citizens or residents from the ship. These travelers returned on two chartered flights. As of February 23, 36 (11%) of these repatriated persons had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and are under appropriate medical supervision. The remaining repatriated persons are in quarantine for 14 days. CDC is working with the U.S. embassy in Japan and the Japanese government to support U.S. passengers and crew who remained in Japan.

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Discussion

COVID-19 is a serious public health threat. Cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the United States, primarily in travelers from China and quarantined repatriates, and also in two close contacts of COVID-19 patients. Currently, COVID-19 is not recognized to be spreading in U.S. communities. If sustained transmission in U.S. communities is identified, the U.S. response strategy will enhance implementation of actions to slow spread in communities (2,6). Implementation of basic precautions of infection control and prevention, including staying home when ill and practicing respiratory and hand hygiene will become increasingly important.

Community-level nonpharmaceutical intervention might include school dismissals and social distancing in other settings (e.g., postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings and telework and remote-meeting options in workplaces). These measures can be disruptive and might have societal and economic impact on individual persons and communities (6). However, studies have shown that early layered implementation of these interventions can reduce the community spread and impact of infectious pathogens such as pandemic influenza, even when specific pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines are not available (7,8). These measures might be critical to avert widespread COVID-19 transmission in U.S. communities (2,6). Mitigation measures implemented in China have included the closing of major transport hubs and preventing exit from certain cities with widespread transmission, cancellation of Chinese New Year celebrations, and prohibition of attendance at school and work (5). However, the impact of these measures in China has not yet been evaluated.

In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators are working on development of candidate vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. In China, multiple clinical trials of investigational therapeutics have been implemented, including two clinical trials of remdesivir, an investigational antiviral drug.§§ An NIH randomized controlled clinical trial of investigational therapeutics for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States was approved by the Food and Drug Administration; the first investigational therapeutic to be studied is remdesivir.¶¶ In the absence of a vaccine or therapeutic, community mitigation measures are the primary method to respond to widespread transmission and supportive care is the current medical treatment.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath), and the current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses, including other coronaviruses that cause the “common cold,” are highly prevalent. To prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19, all persons aged ≥6 months should receive an annual influenza vaccine; vaccination is still available and effective in helping to prevent influenza (9). To decrease risk for respiratory disease, persons can practice recommended preventive measures.*** Persons ill with symptoms of COVID-19 who have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or recent travel to countries with apparent community spread††† should communicate with their health care provider. Before seeking medical care, they should consult with their provider to make arrangements to prevent possible transmission in the health care setting. In a medical emergency, they should inform emergency medical personnel about possible COVID-19 exposure.

Areas for additional COVID-19 investigation include 1) further clarifying the incubation period and duration of virus shedding, which have implications for duration of quarantine and other mitigation measures; 2) studying the relative importance of various modes of transmission, including the role of droplets, aerosols, and fomites; understanding these transmission modes has major implications for infection control and prevention, including the use of personal protective equipment; 3) determining the severity and case-fatality rate of COVD-19 among cases in the U.S. health care system, as well as more fully describing the spectrum of illness and risk factors for infection and severe disease; 4) determining the role of asymptomatic infection in ongoing transmission; and 5) assessing the immunologic response to infection to aid in the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely. As more is learned about this novel virus and this outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action.

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Corresponding author: Daniel B. Jernigan, eocevent294@cdc.gov, 770-488-7100.

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1CDC COVID-19 Response Team, CDC.

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The author has completed and submitted the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

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* Criteria to guide evaluation and testing of patients under investigation for SARS-CoV-2 include 1) fever or signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) in any person, including a health care worker, who has had close contact with a patient with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection within 14 days of symptom onset; 2) fever and signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) in any person with a history of travel from Hubei Province, China, within 14 days of symptom onset; or 3) fever and signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) requiring hospitalization in any person with a history of travel from mainland China within 14 days of symptom onset. Additional information is available at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00427.asp and https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00426.asp.

 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

§ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

 Office of the President. Proclamation on suspension of entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who pose a risk of transmitting 2019 novel coronavirus. Washington, DC: Office of the President; 2020. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/external icon.

** https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-china.html.

†† https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200216-sitrep-27-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn = 78c0eb78_2pdf iconexternal icon.

§§ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04257656?cond = remdesivir&draw = 2&rank = 1external iconhttps://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04252664?cond = remdesivir&draw = 2&rank = 2external icon.

¶¶ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04280705?cond = COVID-19&draw = 4&rank = 22external icon.

*** https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html.

††† https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html.

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References

  1. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report–34. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2020. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200223-sitrep-34-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=44ff8fd3_2pdf iconexternal icon
  2. Holloway R, Rasmussen SA, Zaza S, Cox NJ, Jernigan DB. Updated preparedness and response framework for influenza pandemics. MMWR Recomm Rep 2014;63(No. RR-6). PubMedexternal icon
  3. Reed C, Biggerstaff M, Finelli L, et al. Novel framework for assessing epidemiologic effects of influenza epidemics and pandemics. Emerg Infect Dis 2013;19:85–91. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  4. Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Lancet 2020;395:507–13. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  5. The Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Emergency Response Epidemiology Team. The epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19)—China, 2020. China CDC Weekly 2020. Epub February 17, 2020.
  6. Qualls N, Levitt A, Kanade N, et al.; CDC Community Mitigation Guidelines Work Group. Community mitigation guidelines to prevent pandemic influenza—United States, 2017. MMWR Recomm Rep 2017;66(No. RR-1). CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  7. Hatchett RJ, Mecher CE, Lipsitch M. Public health interventions and epidemic intensity during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007;104:7582–7. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  8. Markel H, Lipman HB, Navarro JA, et al. Nonpharmaceutical interventions implemented by US cities during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. JAMA 2007;298:644–54. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  9. Dawood FS, Chung JR, Kim SS, et al. Interim estimates of 2019–20 seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness—United States, February 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:177–82. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon

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Suggested citation for this article: Jernigan DB. Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak — United States, February 24, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 25 February 2020. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6908e1external icon.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6908e1.htm

 

SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients

TO THE EDITOR:

Figure 1.Viral Load Detected in Nasal and Throat Swabs Obtained from Patients Infected with SARS-CoV-2.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic, which was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization, may progress to a pandemic associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. SARS-CoV-2 is genetically related to SARS-CoV, which caused a global epidemic with 8096 confirmed cases in more than 25 countries in 2002–2003.1 The epidemic of SARS-CoV was successfully contained through public health interventions, including case detection and isolation. Transmission of SARS-CoV occurred mainly after days of illness2 and was associated with modest viral loads in the respiratory tract early in the illness, with viral loads peaking approximately 10 days after symptom onset.3 We monitored SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in upper respiratory specimens obtained from 18 patients (9 men and 9 women; median age, 59 years; range, 26 to 76) in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, including 4 patients with secondary infections (1 of whom never had symptoms) within two family clusters (Table S1 in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org). The patient who never had symptoms was a close contact of a patient with a known case and was therefore monitored. A total of 72 nasal swabs (sampled from the mid-turbinate and nasopharynx) (Figure 1A) and 72 throat swabs (Figure 1B) were analyzed, with 1 to 9 sequential samples obtained from each patient. Polyester flock swabs were used for all the patients.

From January 7 through January 26, 2020, a total of 14 patients who had recently returned from Wuhan and had fever (≥37.3°C) received a diagnosis of Covid-19 (the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2) by means of reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction assay with primers and probes targeting the N and Orf1b genes of SARS-CoV-2; the assay was developed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Samples were tested at the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Thirteen of 14 patients with imported cases had evidence of pneumonia on computed tomography (CT). None of them had visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan within 14 days before symptom onset. Patients E, I, and P required admission to intensive care units, whereas the others had mild-to-moderate illness. Secondary infections were detected in close contacts of Patients E, I, and P. Patient E worked in Wuhan and visited his wife (Patient L), mother (Patient D), and a friend (Patient Z) in Zhuhai on January 17. Symptoms developed in Patients L and D on January 20 and January 22, respectively, with viral RNA detected in their nasal and throat swabs soon after symptom onset. Patient Z reported no clinical symptoms, but his nasal swabs (cycle threshold [Ct] values, 22 to 28) and throat swabs (Ct values, 30 to 32) tested positive on days 7, 10, and 11 after contact. A CT scan of Patient Z that was obtained on February 6 was unremarkable. Patients I and P lived in Wuhan and visited their daughter (Patient H) in Zhuhai on January 11 when their symptoms first developed. Fever developed in Patient H on January 17, with viral RNA detected in nasal and throat swabs on day 1 after symptom onset.

We analyzed the viral load in nasal and throat swabs obtained from the 17 symptomatic patients in relation to day of onset of any symptoms (Figure 1C). Higher viral loads (inversely related to Ct value) were detected soon after symptom onset, with higher viral loads detected in the nose than in the throat. Our analysis suggests that the viral nucleic acid shedding pattern of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 resembles that of patients with influenza4 and appears different from that seen in patients infected with SARS-CoV.3 The viral load that was detected in the asymptomatic patient was similar to that in the symptomatic patients, which suggests the transmission potential of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic patients. These findings are in concordance with reports that transmission may occur early in the course of infection5 and suggest that case detection and isolation may require strategies different from those required for the control of SARS-CoV. How SARS-CoV-2 viral load correlates with culturable virus needs to be determined. Identification of patients with few or no symptoms and with modest levels of detectable viral RNA in the oropharynx for at least 5 days suggests that we need better data to determine transmission dynamics and inform our screening practices.

Lirong Zou, M.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Feng Ruan, M.Med.
Zhuhai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhuhai, China

Mingxing Huang, Ph.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Lijun Liang, Ph.D.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Huitao Huang, B.Sc.
Zhuhai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhuhai, China

Zhongsi Hong, M.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Jianxiang Yu, B.Sc.
Min Kang, M.Sc.
Yingchao Song, B.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Jinyu Xia, M.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Qianfang Guo, M.Sc.
Tie Song, M.Sc.
Jianfeng He, B.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Hui-Ling Yen, Ph.D.
Malik Peiris, Ph.D.
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Jie Wu, Ph.D.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org.

This letter was published on February 19, 2020, and updated on February 20, 2020, at NEJM.org.

Ms. Zou, Mr. Ruan, and Dr. Huang contributed equally to this letter.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2001737

Coronavirus illustration - CR: Maurizio De AngelisTo assist health workers and researchers working under challenging conditions to bring this outbreak to a close, The Lancet has created a Coronavirus Resource Centre. This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. All content listed on this page is free to access.

Media queries

For media enquiries in relation to content published below, please contact pressoffice@lancet.com.

Focus

A modelling study published in The Lancet estimates that Egypt, Algeria and South Africa are at the highest risk of importing new coronavirus cases in Africa. The three countries are estimated to have the most prepared health systems in the continent and be least vulnerable. However, the authors call for increased resources, surveillance, and capacity building to be urgently prioritised in countries with a moderate risk which are more likely to be ill-prepared to detect cases and limit transmission.

Research

View more…

Case Report

Clinical Picture

Correspondence

Data sharing

The Lancet journals endorse the Wellcome Trust Statement on sharing research data and findings relevant to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Register to receive email updates:

Infographics

Explore our infographics on the first published information on COVID-19 cases in Wuhan.

 

Comment

News

Editorial

Obituary

Novel Coronavirus Information Center

Elsevier’s free health and medical research on novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

3D illustration of Coronavirus (© istock.com/Dr_Microbe)
3D illustration of Coronavirus (© istock.com/Dr_Microbe)

Welcome to Elsevier’s Novel Coronavirus Information Center. Here you will find expert, curated information for the research and health community on Novel Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19 and its temporary title 2019-nCoV). All resources are free to access and include guidelines for clinicians and patients. Under the ‘Research’ tab you will find the latest early stage and peer-reviewed research from journals including The Lancet and Cell Press, as well as a link to the Coronavirus hub on ScienceDirect, where you will find every article relevant article to Coronavirus, SARS, and MERS freely available. Under the Clinical Solutions tab you will find resources for nurses, clinicians and patients, including FAQs on symptoms.


Introduction

Margaret Trexler Hessen, MD, Director, Point of Care, Elsevier

Recent events have shown us (again) how rapidly a new disease can take root and spread. Such events are accompanied by an explosion of clinical and epidemiological information and research. The goal of this website is to open whatever resources we can to help public health authorities, researchers and clinicians contain and manage this disease. We will provide continually updated resources from Elsevier’s content and experts. Our resources span scientific and medical journals and textbookseducational products, and a variety of other resources, like travel precautions from the CDC and media posts of interest to our community. We have also created a  interactive global map of experts based on Scopus data.

Read more


Expert guidance and commentary

COVID-19: Seeking reliable information amid uncertainty

By Ian Chuang, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Elsevier

Medicine is continuously evolving in terms of refining, revising and discovering new knowledge. This is heightened in importance and compressed in timeframe during a crisis such as the current viral outbreak of the COVID-19.

The COVID-19 that originated in Wuhan, China, has exceeded more than 71,000 confirmed cases and over 1,700 deaths since the first case was detected in December 2019. As of February 18, the number of confirmed cases in Singapore has risen to 77. The World Health Organization (WHO) has termed this current epidemic as a global emergency, and it is a public health responsibility at a massive scale.

Read more

JAMA Medical News Podcast: Coronavirus and Beyond: Responding to Biological Threats

The 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak exemplifies ongoing biothreats to global security, as each new threat tests principles of preparation and response at national, regional, and clinical levels. Tom Inglesby, MD, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discusses biosecurity with Angel Desai, MD, JAMA Fishbein fellow. Listen to the interview

6 of the most common coronavirus questions the media is asking

By Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, Professor and Chair, Clinical Laboratory Program, Texas State University | Feb 6, 2020

As an infectious disease and clinical microbiology expert, Prof. Rodney E. Rohde of the Texas State University College of Health Professions receives daily calls from the media, government and university officials, and public health and professional organizations asking him about the emerging novel coronavirus outbreak. In this article, he shares some of the most common questions and his responses.

Read more

Interactive map: global disease outbreak experts

The map represents the most active institutions researching disease outbreak and control. We ran a search in Scopus — a source-neutral abstract and citation database of over 75 million records — for publications researching the coronavirus and related diseases such as SARS from 1996 to the present (Feb 6, 2020). We then used the resulting ~22,000 publications to identify the researchers and institutions that are working in these areas. The map shows the 500 most prolific global institutions, along with the 200 most prolific Chinese institutions by publication count.

Click on a pin to see more about the institution, the numbers of researchers and their publications. Then link through to the researcher’s profiles in Scopus to learn more about their areas of expertise.

Explore the interactive map here


Video: Novel Coronavirus Update

Livestreamed on Feb 6, 2020

JAMA Editor-in-Chief Howard Baucher, MD, interviews Anthony Fauci, MD, Director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


Key facts for clinicians

By Margaret Trexler Hessen, MD, Director, Point of Care, Elsevier | Updated Feb 21, 2020

Background: In December, China notified the World Health Organization of several cases of human respiratory illness, which appeared to be linked to an open seafood and livestock market in the city of Wuhan. The infecting agent has since been identified as a novel coronavirus, now called SARSCoV-2 (initially called 2019-nCoV). Although the virus is presumed zoonotic in origin, person-to-person spread is evident. Novel Coronavirus associated infection is now designated as COVID-19. Cases have now been reported in many parts of mainland China and in other countries in Asia, Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, Australia, Asia Pacific and North America. Travel within China has been restricted and travel to and from China markedly reduced. Screening of travelers is being implemented in other countries and quarantine measures have been enacted under some circumstances. Despite these precautions, it is anticipated that more cases will be seen both inside China and internationally.

Read more

Clinicians need reliable and current information to combat novel coronavirus

By Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD, Consultant, PracticeUpdate, Elsevier

Coronaviruses are incredibly diverse, found in many animal species, and are commonly encountered in clinical practice during the cold and flu season, yet many primary care clinicians are not familiar with these respiratory pathogens. We rarely test for them, and when we do it’s usually when we’re looking for something else. Moreover, we have no specific treatments for these viruses.

Read more


Elsevier Clinical Solutions

We’ve selected content from ClinicalKey, Clinical Solutions Nursing, Interprofessional Practice and Patient Education collections to share what we know to date about the novel coronavirus.

Clinical Overviews on ClinicalKey

Clinical Overviews are easy-to-scan clinically focused medical topic summaries designed to match the clinician workflow. Elsevier’s Point-of-Care Editorial team develops Clinical Overviews through a process that includes review and revision by a medical editor; peer reviews performed by subject matter experts; a production review to ensure consistency in style, grammar, and punctuation; and a final evaluation by the editor-in-chief.

Clinical Skills for Nursing

Clinical Skills for Nursing provides the highest quality evidence for nursing practice procedures for nurses to care for patients. Our Isolation Precautions and Personal Protective Equipment checklists align with CDC and OSHA guidelines:

Interprofessional Care Plans

These Interprofessional Care Plans provide an evidence-based and individualizable Interprofessional plan of care to manage fever and the possible development of pneumonia, which is consistent with the presentation of this virus. Using an interprofessional approach to patient care that aligns current evidence with the individual needs of the patient results in improved patient care outcomes.

Patient engagement resources

Patient engagement resources use plain language to support shared decision-making between patients and healthcare providers. The goal is to deliver the right message in the right way at the time the patient is most ready to learn. The following resources provide an overview of the novel coronavirus to help patients and their families understand their risk, identify signs and symptoms, and prevent it from spreading:


Video overview of Coronavirus from 3D4Medical – Watch now:

https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

Cause

SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) – virus identified in 2003. SARS-CoV is thought to be an animal virus from an as-yet-uncertain animal reservoir, perhaps bats, that spread to other animals (civet cats) and first infected humans in the Guangdong province of southern China in 2002.

Transmission

An epidemic of SARS affected 26 countries and resulted in more than 8000 cases in 2003. Since then, a small number of cases have occurred as a result of laboratory accidents or, possibly, through animal-to-human transmission (Guangdong, China).

Transmission of SARS-CoV is primarily from person to person. It appears to have occurred mainly during the second week of illness, which corresponds to the peak of virus excretion in respiratory secretions and stool, and when cases with severe disease start to deteriorate clinically. Most cases of human-to-human transmission occurred in the health care setting, in the absence of adequate infection control precautions. Implementation of appropriate infection control practices brought the global outbreak to an end.

Nature of the disease

Symptoms are influenza-like and include fever, malaise, myalgia, headache, diarrhoea, and shivering (rigors). No individual symptom or cluster of symptoms has proved to be specific for a diagnosis of SARS. Although fever is the most frequently reported symptom, it is sometimes absent on initial measurement, especially in elderly and immunosuppressed patients.

Cough (initially dry), shortness of breath, and diarrhoea are present in the first and/or second week of illness. Severe cases often evolve rapidly, progressing to respiratory distress and requiring intensive care.

Geographical distribution

The distribution is based on the 2002–2003 epidemic. The disease appeared in November 2002 in the Guangdong province of southern China. This area is considered as a potential zone of re-emergence of SARS-CoV.

Other countries/areas in which chains of human-to-human transmission occurred after early importation of cases were Toronto in Canada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, and Hanoi in Viet Nam.

Risk for travellers

Currently, no areas of the world are reporting transmission of SARS. Since the end of the global epidemic in July 2003, SARS has reappeared four times – three times from laboratory accidents (Singapore and Chinese Taipei), and once in southern China where the source of infection remains undetermined although there is circumstantial evidence of animal-to-human transmission.

Should SARS re-emerge in epidemic form, WHO will provide guidance on the risk of travel to affected areas. Travellers should stay informed about current travel recommendations. However, even during the height of the 2003 epidemic, the overall risk of SARS-CoV transmission to travellers was low.

Prophylaxis

None. Experimental vaccines are under development.

Precautions

Follow any travel recommendations and health advice issued by WHO.

https://www.who.int/ith/diseases/sars/en/

 

China’s early warning system didn’t work on covid-19. Here’s the story.

Lies and coverups halted vital information.

Feb. 24, 2020 at 4:13 a.m. CST

Chinese authorities have placed an estimated 760 million people into lockdown as part of an epic campaign to contain the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. As of Sunday, there were over 77,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,500 deaths in China, mostly in Hubei province. Wuhan, the provincial capital and the epicenter of the outbreak, has been hard hit.

Why did China’s CDC system, once touted as among the world’s best disease control programs, fail to help contain the virus early on? And what has the crisis exposed about China’s system of governance? Here’s what you need to know.

China built a system to prevent another SARS crisis

In the aftermath of the 2003 SARS crisis, China invested heavily to improve its system for infectious disease control and prevention. These measures included new laboratories and a nationwide Infectious Diseases Reporting System, as well as new laws on infectious diseases control and public health emergencies. The reporting system is extensive, covering all of China’s more than 2,800 county-level jurisdictions.

This sentinel system for infectious diseases helped China tackle various outbreaks — including H1N1avian flu and malaria. Successive China CDC directors have taken great pride in this system. In a March 2019 interview, Gao Fu, the China CDC director general, said he was “very confident that the SARS incident will not recur. This is due to our country’s well-built infectious disease surveillance network; we can block the virus when it appears.”

The system worked, according to local authorities

The Wuhan Health Commission (WHC) began to release information on its website on the atypical pneumonia cases on Dec. 31, 2019.

But local authorities didn’t tell the full story

The China CDC official line, however, suggests a different timeline. According to Feng Zijian, deputy director general of the China CDC, the direct reporting system was “not activated that expeditiously.” In fact, the award to Zhang for reporting on Dec. 29 reminds us that the pre-Dec. 29 cases were not reported, let alone filed into the disease reporting system in real time.

Two separate sources reveal that Gao himself was the real sentinel of the coronavirus outbreak. In the evening of Dec. 30, Gao Fu noticed from scanning group-chats that the WHC had just issued two internal notices on atypical pneumonia cases. Alarmed that such information had not been submitted to the national reporting system, he called the Wuhan CDC head and learned that the number of cases was well above the threshold for reporting. Troubled by what he heard — and didn’t hear — Gao immediately alerted the National Health Commission (NHC) leadership. The following day, Dec. 31, the NHC dispatched a national team of experts to Wuhan to investigate.

Local authorities also silenced whistleblowers

As the national team was on its way to Wuhan, the WHC issued its first public statement about the atypical pneumonia outbreak, reassuring the public that the health administrations and hospitals were managing the situation well. Of the 27 cases, “seven were critical, but the rest were stable and controllable, including two that … are expected to be discharged.” In fact, the latest retrospective study by China CDC reveals there were already 104 cases, including 15 deaths, in December.

In contrast, on Jan. 2, health authorities in Singapore and other countries began to screen passengers from Wuhan.

The case of Li Wenliang has captured global attention. Early on Dec. 31, the Chinese doctor was reprimanded by WHC and the Wuhan Central Hospital he worked at for spreading false rumors about SARS-like cases on Dec. 30. Police later forced him to sign a document promising not to spread “false rumors” again. Other doctors were also admonished for “irresponsible behavior that caused social panic and disrupted Wuhan’s development and stability.”

Systemic fissures contributed to further delays

Local officials, including Wuhan’s mayor, blamed their inadequate public disclosure on the need to secure approval from above. But the truth is more complicated. We now know that on Dec. 30, a joint Hubei-Wuhan CDC investigation team concluded that there were no clusters of cases but there were nonetheless a family of several members that became infected.

Had China CDC experts seen this report — or engaged with the infectious disease doctors at the major Wuhan hospitals — they would likely have recognized earlier that the virus was spreading from human to human. Three crucial weeks would elapse before a new national experts team, including Zhong Nanshan and Gao, finally concluded that the coronavirus was highly contagious.

The infectious diseases sentinel system only works if the hospitals and local health administrations actively engage with it and contribute to the information. In Wuhan, the system failed, monumentally. The failure has laid bare the inherent tensions of a reporting system that is also beholden to the political imperatives of provincial and municipal Communist Party bosses.

For now, President Xi Jinping has replaced the top leaders of Hubei and Wuhan. China remains in the midst of an unprecedented and enormously costly effort to contain covid-19. While the Chinese leadership can lay some of the blame for the crisis on local missteps, a more effective public health emergency response system will depend on encouraging information flows and realigning institutional interests.

Dali L. Yang is the William C. Reavis Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His research has emphasized governance and regulation in China.

Read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/24/chinas-early-warning-system-didnt-work-covid-19-heres-story/

Updated COVID-19 (Coronavirus) statistics

Data update dates: World Health Organisation: 25 Feb | Hubei: 25 Feb | China: 25 Feb

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is the number 1 issue facing investors at the moment. Given issues with data from China, we have put together these charts (updating throughout the day) to highlight the data from outside of China. Often the final data point will only include countries which have reported that day and so will change throughout the day. 

NOTE: China has re-classified statistics at least three times. There are also numerous revisions to prior numbers. We have made some adjustments to the charts below to normalise these statistics where possible, but treat China and Hubei data with scepticism. We now use both suspected and confirmed cases in Chinese ratios. 

COVID-19 cases caught outside of China

Whilst at first most cases of COVID-19 outside China were people who had flown from China to another country, we now seeing transmission of the virus outside of China taking off:

Source of new Covid-19 cases

Number of new Covid-19 cases

 

Total Covid-19 cases outside China

 

Given that a single cruise ship made up the bulk of cases outside China in early February, it is still useful to look at cases with and without that ship.

Total Covid-19 cases caught outside of China

New Covid-19 cases caught outside China each day

The average incubation period of COVID-19 probably less than a week (but could be as much as 24 days), and then an additional 3-4 days before diagnosis. So, you would expect measures like quarantines and travel restrictions to take around 10 days before showing up in statistics.

Time to doubling

This is an examination of how long it takes for cases or deaths to double.

Days taken for Covid-19 cases outside China to double to double

Number of days for Covid-19 cases and deaths in China to double

 

Winter is here

If we limit cases to only those caught in a particular country, exclude China, and then split countries into:

  • Winter countries: Northern Hemisphere Countries currently in winter (including Vietnam as the domestic transmission cases are in the north)
  • Summer/Equatorial countries: Southern Hemisphere countries currently in summer or Countries near the equator where temperatures are relatively high all year

Covid-19 cases by season

Covid-19 cases by season

Note: Countries near China are more likely to have contact with Chinese citizens and these countries are in winter which probably distorts this data.

New and total COVID-19 case numbers in Hubei, the rest of China

Our analysis (and the analysis of many others) suggests reporting of COVID-19 cases in Hubei province were under-reported.

Then, on the 7th of February, China changed its definition of how it is reporting new cases to exclude patients who test positive for the virus but have no symptoms will no longer be regarded as confirmed. This means up to 80% of cases might no longer be reported. On the 13th of February Hubei reclassified how it classifies cases. On 20th February Hubei reclassified again. All changes affect the quality of the data. Confirmed + suspected cases in China are our key measure.

We are tracking data from Hubei and the rest of China separately. We are sceptical of the China data, but there is some information in the series.

Total number of Covid-19 cases in China

On 7 Feb China made some adjustments to how they report data. Below we have made an estimate of what the case count might look like if China did not make this adjustment:

Extrapolated and suspected Covid-19 cases in Hubei province

Extrapolated, suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases in China province

 

New confirmed Covid-19 cases in China

Daily change in confirmed & suspected Covid-19 cases

New and total Coronavirus death toll in Hubei, the rest of China, and the rest of the world

Total Covid-19 death toll in China

 

New daily Covid-19 deaths in China

 

Total Covid-19 deaths outside China & Iran

COVID-19 Mortality Rate using lag periods

The mortality rate is where we can see distinct differences in data. Dividing the number of deaths by the number of cases during the early stages of an outbreak is very misleading. People who were diagnosed today with the disease are still alive, but they still might die from the disease in the coming days.

A better way is to compare the current deaths to the number of cases from “x” days ago. We still don’t know how many days we should be looking back. The stats so far suggest that the median days from the first symptom to death is 14. But with a broad range from 6 to 41. And, we don’t know how long on average after the first symptom a person would take to become a case.

The below charts show the death rate if the right period to look back is 4, 8 or 12 days. Using data without Hubei, a mortality rate of somewhere between 0.5% and 3% is likely.

In recent days, data from Iran has skewed the results. There is likely a significantly larger outbreak in Iran than what is being reported. We have started showing our mortality rates for the rest of the world excluding Iran.

For more on what this means, see our article on understanding COVID-19 statistics

 

China Covid-19 mortality rate using different lag periods

 

Hubei province Covid-19 mortality rate using different lag periods

 

Worldwide Covid-19 mortality rate

More Analysis

See our latest investment view and here for our latest podcast. Keep in mind that the economic impact is not particularly related to the number of deaths, more important is the disruption to business which already looks to be significant.

Data sources

This is a list of some of the main data sources we use:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/  Probably the best one

https://ncov.dxy.cn/ncovh5/view/pneumonia  Faster than worldometers for Chinese data, but slower on rest of the world data

http://www.nhc.gov.cn/yjb/pqt/new_list.shtml Official source for Chinese Data. Explains data adjustments.

http://wjw.hubei.gov.cn/fbjd/tzgg/ Official source for Hubei Data. Usually comes out a few hours before the China data.  Doesn’t always explain adjustments.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports The slowest to update, but the most authoritative in our view. More consistent with definitions than other sources.

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 The prettiest pictures, but one of the slower sites to update. I don’t find the charts that useful.

https://www.youtube.com/user/MEDCRAMvideos has a daily youtube wrap-up

https://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisMartensondotcom has a daily youtube wrap-up

Updated COVID-19 statistics and analysis

Story 2: Stock Market Correction Linked To Impact of COVID -19 on China Supply Chain — Create More Money — Just Stay Home — Consumer Confidence Crashes — Stagflation Recession 2021 –Panic Propaganda — Do Not Believe It — Videos —

Coronavirus outbreak could threaten a US recession: Michael Farr

A coronavirus outbreak in the US could be cause for global recession: Moody’s Mark Zandi

Wait to buy the dip until there’s bigger shift in risk aversion, strategist says

Kudlow: Not hearing Fed will make panic rate moves due to virus

Former Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher on the economic effects of coronavirus

Gottlieb on coronavirus spread: ‘We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg’

[youube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rel6TDmAnbE]

Allianz’s El-Erian: Resist the inclination to buy the coronavirus-driven dip

The slowdown still isn’t fully baked in these stocks, Jim Cramer says

Jim Cramer: These are the five things investors must consider after a major sell-off

Bond market telegraphing more rate cuts this year

Markets rocked for second straight day, Dow down 1,900 points total

How Badly Will the Coronavirus Hurt China’s Economy?

The Economic Effects of Coronavirus Are Spreading Says El-Erian

Supply chains are going to have massive disruptions if outbreak continues to build: Strategists

Big Tech tumbles: Apple, Microsoft, Facebook are in correction territory

The David Knight Show – (HD) 02/17/2020 – China Corona-Effect: Destroying, Hoarding

Keiser Report 1506

Toilet Paper

Civil forfeiture in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

Civil forfeiture in the United States, also called civil asset forfeiture or civil judicial forfeiture,[1] is a process in which law enforcement officers take assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. While civil procedure, as opposed to criminal procedure, generally involves a dispute between two private citizens, civil forfeiture involves a dispute between law enforcement and property such as a pile of cash or a house or a boat, such that the thing is suspected of being involved in a crime. To get back the seized property, owners must prove it was not involved in criminal activity. Sometimes it can mean a threat to seize property as well as the act of seizure itself.[2] Civil forfeiture is not considered to be an example of a criminal justice financial obligation.

Proponents see civil forfeiture as a powerful tool to thwart criminal organizations involved in the illegal drug trade, with $12 billion annual profits,[3] since it allows authorities to seize cash and other assets from suspected narcotics traffickers. They also argue that it is an efficient method since it allows law enforcement agencies to use these seized proceeds to further battle illegal activity, that is, directly converting value obtained for law enforcement purposes by harming suspected criminals economically while helping law enforcement financially.

Critics argue that innocent owners can become entangled in the process to the extent that their 4th Amendment and 5th Amendment rights are violated, in situations where they are presumed guilty instead of being presumed innocent. It has been described as unconstitutional by a judge in South Carolina[4][5]. Further, critics argue that the incentives lead to corruption and law enforcement misbehavior. There is consensus that abuses have happened but disagreement about their extent as well as whether the overall benefits to society are worth the cost of the instances of abuse.

Civil forfeitures are subject to the “excessive fines” clause of the U.S. Constitution‘s 8th amendment, both at a federal level and, as determined by the 2019 Supreme Court case, Timbs v. Indiana, at the state and local level.[6]

History

Legal origins

The idea of going at people through their property has a long history. The theories are quite old. The prevalence of the practice is comparatively recent.

— Daniel C. Richman, Fordham Law School, 1999[7]

Civil forfeiture has a history dating back several hundred years with roots in British maritime law to the British Navigation Acts around the middle 1600s. These laws required ships importing or exporting goods from British ports to fly the British flag; ships that failed to do this could be seized regardless of whether the ship’s owner was guilty of doing any wrongdoing.[8] It was easier to seize a vessel than try to apprehend an owner on the other side of the ocean,[9] as explained by Supreme Court justice Joseph Story:

… (A) vessel which commits the aggression is treated as the offender, as the guilty instrument or thing to which the forfeiture attaches, without any reference whatsoever to the character or conduct of the owner. (The seizure of the ship is justified by …) the necessity of the case, as the only adequate means of suppressing the offense or wrong, or insuring an indemnity to the injured party.

During the later Colonial years, forfeiture practices by the Crown officials using writs of assistance were one of the many activities that angered colonists, who saw the writs as “unreasonable searches and seizures” that deprived persons of “life, liberty, or property, without due process”.[9] The early Congress wrote forfeiture laws based on British maritime law to help federal tax collectors collect customs duties, which financed most of the expenses of the federal government in the early days of the republic.[8] Seizures allowed government to confiscate property from citizens who failed to pay taxes or customs duties.[7] The Supreme Court upheld these forfeiture statutes in situations where it was virtually impossible to get hold of guilty persons on the high seas while possible to get hold of their property.[8] During much of the 19th century there was not much attention paid to forfeiture laws.[8]

Prohibition era

During ProhibitionDetroit police inspect equipment suspected of being used to make alcohol; under civil forfeiture laws, police could seize the equipment without having to charge any owners with a crime.

Government used forfeiture during the Prohibition years 1920–1933.[8] Police seized vehicles and equipment and cash and other property from bootleggers.[7] When Prohibition ended in 1933, much of the forfeiture activity ended as well, and modern forfeiture was an “infrequent resort” until the last few decades.[9]

War on Drugs (1980–present)

Civil forfeiture activity increased substantially in the past thirty years.[10] It stepped up forfeiture during the War on Drugs during the early 1980s and onwards.[8] It became harder for criminal organizations to launder dirty money by means of the financial system, so drug cartels preferred bulk payments of cash.[11] Illegal drugs are a big business; one estimate was that the annual profit from selling illegal drugs was $12 billion, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.[8] The initial intent, similar to methods used to try to fight alcohol trafficking and use during the Prohibition era, was to use civil forfeitures as a weapon against drug kingpins.[12]

According to journalist Sarah Stillman, a major turning point in forfeiture activity was the passage of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984.[13] This law permitted local and federal law enforcement agencies to share the seized assets and cash.[9] Civil forfeiture allowed federal and local governments to “extract swift penalties from white-collar criminals and offer restitution to victims of fraud”, according to Stillman.[9] From 1985 to 1993, authorities confiscated $3 billion of cash and other property based on the federal Asset Forfeiture Program, which included both civil and criminal forfeitures.[13] The methods were supported by the Reagan administration as a crime fighting strategy.

It’s now possible for a drug dealer to serve time in a forfeiture-financed prison after being arrested by agents driving a forfeiture-provided automobile while working in a forfeiture-funded sting operation.

— Reagan attorney general Richard Thornburgh in 1989.[9]

The politics of civil forfeiture were somewhat unusual. The federal forfeiture laws were introduced and pushed through by Republicans in the 1980s, with support from some Democrats; but efforts to reform forfeiture laws have also come from the right,[14] as libertarians in Congress have focused on the basic idea as offensive to property rights.[14] In many areas civil forfeiture adversely affects persons from minorities and low-income communities, in which the typical seizure is less than $500, and Democrats have also been critical of civil forfeiture programs.[14] The ACLU has also been a long time opponent.[14]

Forfeiture was used for purposes other than trying to discourage illegal drug activity, such as attempts in New York City to discourage drunk driving. Forfeiture rules were used to confiscate cars of intoxicated motorists.[7] In such instances, there are two types of cases: a criminal case against the drunk driver as a person, and a civil case against the property used to facilitate the drunk driving, specifically their car.[7] Critics contend that the punishment can be “deemed out of proportion with the offense”; for example, after a drunk driver is arrested and convicted and possibly imprisoned, is it proper to punish him or her additionally by civil forfeiture means by confiscating a $50,000 car?[7] Civil forfeiture has been used to discourage illegal activities such as cockfightingdrag racinggambling in basements, poaching of endangered fish, securities fraud, and other illegal activity.[9]

A chart showing that payouts are growing, according to the equitable sharing arrangement. Source: United States Justice and Treasury Departments.

Courts helped set up the legal framework to help law enforcement stem the drug tide while sometimes trying to rein in abuses. A 1984 law set up the equitable sharing arrangement in which state and local police can share the seizures with federal agents.[15] While the 1993 Supreme Court case Austin v. United States ruled that a forfeiture could be considered as an excessive fine,[16] the court upheld the principle of civil forfeiture generally.[8] A 1996 Supreme Court decision ruled that prosecuting a person for a crime and seizing his or her property via civil forfeiture did not constitute double jeopardy, and therefore did not violate the Constitution.[16] However, in 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that civil forfeiture was not permitted if the amount seized was “grossly disproportional” to the gravity of the offense.[7]

Legislatures played a role as well. Since the 1990s, the number of federal statutes permitting government forfeiture doubled from 200 to 400.[15] In 2000, lawmakers passed the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, or CAFRA, which stipulated protections for individuals and increased the level of proof required.[15] Critics said that the new guidelines did not require poor persons to have free access to legal services.[15] CAFRA guidelines suggest that if a claimant wins a civil-forfeiture case, that some of the legal fees paid to recover the property are partially payable by the government.[15] CAFRA was supposed to raise government’s burden of proof before seizing property.[17] CAFRA meant if government loses a forfeiture challenge, government must pay the victim’s attorney costs, but often victims are unaware of this fact, so they fail to hire lawyers thinking the cost will be prohibitive.[17]

Police forces heeded instruction from a law enforcement consultant named Joe David who had an “uncanny talent for finding cocaine and cash in cars and trucks”, according to one report.[18] Officers trained in David’s so-called Desert Snow stop-and-seizure techniques raked in $427 million from highway encounters during a five-year period.[18] A contract allowed David’s consulting firm to keep 25% of the seized cash.[18]

But when innocent owners were sometimes ensnarled in seizure proceedings, it spurred criticism. In the early 1990s, San Francisco-based defense attorney Brenda Grantland organized a group called Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (which spells the letters FEAR), with branches in New JerseyVirginiaCalifornia, and Massachusetts.[13] Debate about reforming civil forfeiture procedures happened in the late 1990s but after public scrutiny died down, lawmakers quietly relaxed the reforms at the behest of police groups and prosecutors without much public debate.[10]

Civil forfeiture was used successfully on many occasions. For example, it was used to seize assets by corrupt foreigners, such as against Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who stole money from the African nation of Equatorial Guinea and was convicted.[19] Overall, the pattern in recent decades has been a substantial increase in forfeiture activity. According to government records, Justice department seizures went from $27 million in 1985 to $556 million in 1993 and $4.2 billion in 2012.[9]

In 2015, Eric Holder ended the policy of “adoptive forfeiture”, which occurred “when a state or local law enforcement agency seizes property pursuant to state law and requests that a federal agency take the seized asset and forfeit it under federal law” due to abuse.[20] Although states proceeded to curtail the powers of police to seize assets, actions by the Justice Department in July 2017 have sought to reinstate police seizure powers that simultaneously raise funding for federal agencies and local law enforcement.[21]

Legal background

Civil versus criminal forfeiture

Civil
forfeiture
Criminal
forfeiture
Police against
thing
or in rem
Police against
person
or in personam
Legal test is
Preponderance of evidence
Legal test is
Beyond a reasonable doubt
Court can weigh
defendant’s taking
the 5th in their decision[22]
Court can not
do this[22]
Assets returned if owner proves innocence Assets returned if prosecution cannot prove guilt
Example:
United States v. Forty-Three Gallons of Whiskey
Example:
United States v. John Doe

Civil procedure cases generally involve disputes between two private citizens, often about money or property, while criminal procedure involves a dispute between a private citizen and the state, usually because a law has been broken. In legal systems based on British law such as that of the United States, civil and criminal law cases are handled differently, with different tests and standards and procedures, and this is true of forfeiture proceedings as well. Both civil and criminal forfeiture involve the taking of assets by police.

In civil forfeiture, assets are seized by police based on a suspicion of wrongdoing, and without having to charge a person with specific wrongdoing, with the case being between police and the thing itself, sometimes referred to by the Latin term in rem, meaning “against the property”; the property itself is the defendant and no criminal charge against the owner is needed.[1]

In contrast, criminal forfeiture is a legal action brought as “part of the criminal prosecution of a defendant”, described by the Latin term in personam, meaning “against the person”, and happens when government indicts or charges the property that is either used in connection with a crime, or derived from a crime, that is suspected of being committed by the defendant;[1] the seized assets are temporarily held and become government property officially after an accused person has been convicted by a court of law; if the person is found to be not guilty, the seized property must be returned.

The tests to establish the burden of proof are different;[15] in civil forfeiture, the test in most cases[23] is whether police feel there is a preponderance of the evidence suggesting wrongdoing; in criminal forfeiture, the test is whether police feel the evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a tougher test to meet.[3][15]

If property is seized in a civil forfeiture, it is “up to the owner to prove that his cash is clean”.[3] Normally both civil and criminal forfeiture require involvement by the judiciary; however, there is a variant of civil forfeiture called administrative forfeiture, which is essentially a civil forfeiture that does not require involvement by the judiciary, which derives its powers from the Tariff Act of 1930, and empowers police to seize banned imported merchandise, as well as things used to import or transport or store a controlled substance, money, or other property that is less than $500,000 value.[1]

Justification

The Supreme Court has generally upheld the principle of civil forfeiture.

According to the Justice Department, there are three main justifications for civil forfeitures:

  1. Punishment and deterrence. To punish and deter criminal activity by depriving criminals of property used or acquired through illegal activities.[22]
  2. Enhance police cooperation. To enhance cooperation among foreign, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, through the equitable sharing of assets recovered through this program.[22]
  3. Revenue for law enforcement. As a byproduct, to produce revenues to enhance forfeitures and strengthen law enforcement.[22]

Since a prosecutor can charge a person with a crime in a criminal case and charge his or her things in a civil case, issues such as double jeopardy have been raised. Further, there has been debate about whether seizures of property are considered as a fine or as a punishment in a legal sense. The distinction was clarified by the Supreme Court in United States v. Bajakajian, which decreed that a criminal forfeiture could be considered as both a type of fine and a punishment, while a civil forfeiture was not intended as a punishment of a person but rather a “legal fiction of punishing the property”.[24] As a result, the court decreed that civil forfeitures that served as remedial were not considered as a type of fine.[24][25]

The United States Supreme Court has upheld the principle of civil asset forfeiture at the federal level.[10][26] The Court ruled in Austin v. United States (1993) that such civil forfeiture, treated as punitive actions, are subject to the Excessive Fines clause of the Eighth Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled in Timbs v. Indiana (2019) that protection against excessive fees in civil forfeiture is also incorporated against state and local government.[27][28]

In addition, there are more than 400 federal statutes that empower police to take assets from convicted criminals, as well as from persons not charged with criminality.[15] Sometimes the seizures happen as a result of different government agencies working together, such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice.[29] Police at national and state levels cooperate in many instances according to procedural laws known as equitable sharing. In addition, there are laws that make it difficult for criminals to get dirty money clean by methods of money laundering; for example, law requires that cash deposits greater than $10,000 to a bank account be reported by the bank to the federal government,[30] and there have been instances in which repeated cash deposits under this amount have looked suspicious to authorities even though they were done legitimately, leading to civil forfeiture seizures directly from a bank account. What has caused controversy is when the property of innocent persons is seized by police who believe that the seized items were involved in criminal activity.

A June 2019 study found that more equitable sharing funds do not translate into more crimes solved, not improving overall police effectiveness. Such funds also do not lead to less drug use. And forfeiture rates are linked to local economic performance, increasing when the local economy suffers, suggesting that such tactics are more geared towards raising revenue, not fighting crime.[31]

Prevalence

Although there are accessible statistics of seizures at the federal level, it often happens that the totals of forfeitures from both criminals and innocent owners are combined; for example, one report was that in 2010, government seized $2.5 billion in assets from criminals and innocent owners by forfeiture methods,[15] and the totals of assets seized incorrectly from innocent owners was not separated statistically. Further, since the United States is a federal republic with governments at both the national and state level, there are civil forfeiture seizures at the state level, which are not tracked and recorded in any central database,[11] which make it difficult to make assessments, since state laws and procedures vary widely. According to The Washington Post, federal asset forfeiture in 2014 accounted for over $5 billion going into Justice and Treasury Department coffers, while in comparison, official statistics show that the amount stolen from citizens by burglars during that same year was a mere $3.5 billion.[32]

Methods

Civil forfeiture begins when government suspects that a property is connected with illegal drug activity, and files a civil action:[22]

The government simply files a civil action in rem against the property itself, and then generally must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the property is forfeitable under the applicable forfeiture statute. Civil forfeiture is independent of any criminal case, and because of this, the forfeiture action may be filed before indictment, after indictment, or even if there is no indictment. Likewise, civil forfeiture may be sought in cases in which the owner is criminally acquitted of the underlying crimes …

— Craig Gaumer, Assistant United States Attorney, 2007[22]

Properties that can be confiscated include real estate property such as a house or motel, cars, cash, jewelry, boats, and almost anything[15] suspected of being related to the manufacture and sale and transportation of illegal controlled substances, such as:

  1. controlled substances[22]
  2. raw materials needed to make them[22]
  3. containers to hold them[22]
  4. vehicles to transport them[22]
  5. information for manufacture and distribution, such as books, records, and formulas[22]
  6. money and other valuables “used or intended to be used” to buy or sell them[22]
  7. property facilitating illegal transactions[22]
  8. chemicals needed to make them[22]
  9. machines for making capsules and tablets[22]
  10. drug paraphernalia[22]
  11. firearms[22]

Traffic stops

A motorist stopped by police in Tennessee.

In a civil forfeiture case in the United States, the state is the plaintiff and a thing is the defendant—in this case, the thing is $25,180 cash that was seized by police under suspicion of being involved in illegal activity. In legal terms, it is an in rem case (against a thing) as opposed to an in personam case (against a person). Here is the docket for a real case that happened after police seized money.

From 2006 to 2008, currency deposits alone exceeded $1 billion for each year. Source: the Institute for Justice[33]

One method of intercepting funds is by highway interdictions, typically along highway routes suspected to be used regularly by drug smugglers, often between Mexico and the United States.

News media have reported many examples:

  • Mandrel Stuart was not charged with a crime and there was no evidence of illegal activity but police seized his money because they assumed it was drug-related:[34]

    Mandrel Stuart and his girlfriend were on a date driving on Interstate 66 … The traffic stop on that balmy afternoon in August 2012 was the beginning of a dizzying encounter that would leave Stuart shaken and wondering whether he had been singled out because he was black and had a police record. Over the next two hours, he would be detained without charges, handcuffed and taken to a nearby police station … stripped of $17,550 in cash … earned through … a small barbecue restaurant … he was going to use the money that night for supplies and equipment.

    — report in The Washington Post, 2014[34]
  • Javier Gonzalez was carrying $10,000 cash in a briefcase and got pulled over in Texas; deputies handed Gonzalez a waiver, that if he signed over the money and did not claim it later, he would not be arrested, but if he refused to sign the waiver, Gonzalez would be arrested for money-laundering.[17] Gonzalez signed the waiver wondering if the officers were real “officers of law” and wondering if he got robbed, but later sued the county, which lost, and returned his cash plus paid him $110,000 in damages plus attorney’s fees.[17]
  • Matt Lee of Clare, Michigan, was driving to California with $2,500 cash when pulled over by police in Nevada, who seized almost all of the cash under suspicion that it was a “drug run”; Lee hired an attorney who took half as his fee, leaving Lee with only $1130 remaining.[34]

    I just couldn’t believe that police could do that to anyone … It’s like they are at war with innocent people.

    — Matt Lee, interviewed in The Washington Post, 2013[34]
  • Tan Nguyen. In 2008, a federal judge ordered $50,000 returned to a man after police seized the money during a traffic stop in Nebraska, after reviewing a recording of the seizure in which a sheriff’s deputy suggested that we “take his money and, um, count it as a drug seizure”.[15] Tan Nguyen’s $50,000 was confiscated by police during a traffic stop, and the county agreed to return the funds after a legal challenge.[35]
  • In May 2010 a couple was driving from New York to Florida and they were stopped by police because of a cracked windshield.[34] During questioning, the officer decided that $32,000 cash in the van was “probably involved in criminal or drug-related activity”, seized it, shared it with federal authorities under equitable sharing.[34] The victim hired a lawyer to get back the seized money who urged settling for half of the seized amount, and after the lawyer’s fees, the victim got back only $7,000.[34]
  • A 2013 The New Yorker piece detailed abuses in Tenaha, Texas, where police would target out-of-state drivers using rental cars, often not issuing traffic tickets, and disproportionately pulling over African Americans and Latino-Americans.[9] Police sometimes ask stopped motorists to sign “roadside property waivers”, which, unless signed, threaten criminal charges unless valuables are handed over; the waivers say, in effect, that victims will not contest the seizure in exchange for not being arrested.[9]

If a passing motorist does not sign a waiver and it becomes recorded as a legal case, the case names are often unusual.[9] In a civil forfeiture case, the asset itself is listed as the “defendant”.[15] For example, one case was titled State of Texas v. One Gold Crucifix, based on a traffic stop in which a woman was pulled over, no charges were filed, but this item of jewelry was seized.[9] Another case name was United States v. $35,651.11 in U.S. Currency.[30]

The Washington Post analyzed 400 seizures in 17 states that were examples of equitable sharing arrangements.[34] Police stop motorists under the pretext of a minor traffic infraction, and “analyze” the intentions of motorists by assessing nervousness, and request permission to search the vehicle without a warrant; however, of the 400 seizures studied by The Washington Post, police did not make any arrests.[34]

Other cash seizures

Cash has been seized in peculiar circumstances. For example, New York businessman James Lieto’s $392,000 in cash was seized by federal authorities, since his legitimate funds mixed up with illegal funds in an armored car that was seized by an FBI probe.[15] Lieto had to wait until the government’s criminal case was finished before he could get his money back, which took considerable time, and caused considerable financial hardship and stress.[15]

Police have broken into homes. In March 2012, in the middle of the night, without a warrant, New York City police burst into the home of Gerald Bryan, ransacked his belongings, ripped out light fixtures, arrested him, and seized $4,800 of his cash, but after a year, the case against him was dropped.[10] When Bryan tried to get back his money, he was told it was “too late” since the money had already been put into the police pension fund.[10] Victims of forfeiture often find themselves faced with fighting in a “labyrinthine” procedure to get their money back.[10]

In May, 2013, IRS agents seized $32,821 from the account of a restaurant owner in Arnolds Park, Iowa, on suspicion of tax evasion,[36] but the seizure was contested by lawyers from the Institute for Justice.[37][38]

The IRS is increasingly taking money from legitimate businesspeople who … run an honest cash business and make frequent cash deposits … The government doesn’t allege that she evaded taxes. The government doesn’t allege that she was depositing money from an illicit source. She’s simply depositing her own lawfully-earned money … that she gets from customers in her restaurant …

— Institute for Justice attorney Larry Salzman, 2014[37]

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has been seizing cash from passengers on domestic flights. Agents seized $209 million in cash from travelers at the 15 busiest airports from 2006 to 2016, according to an investigation by USA Today.[39] Agents seized $82,373 from a passenger, transporting her father’s life savings, while boarding a domestic flight, despite any indication of criminal activity or drug use or charges, leading to a lawsuit to get the funds returned.[39]

Seizures of real estate

Prosecutors threatened to seize a motel, similar to this one owned by the Caswell family, when there was illegal drug use on the premises in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Police can seize not only cash from cars but real estate such as a person’s home. For example, homes have been seized even if someone other than the homeowner on the premises committed drug crimes without the owner’s awareness.[10] If the IRS suspects that property is involved with crime, or has been produced as a result of crime, then it has a pretext with which to seize it.[30] From 2010 to 2013, two motel owners were under constant threat of their property being seized after there were incidents of drug selling on the motel premises.[2] A judge ruled in 2013 that the owners could keep their motel since the owners did not know about the illegal activity and took all reasonable steps to prevent it.[2]

I’d like to see this law done away with, or heavily modified … This law, where you are presumed guilty and have to prove yourself innocent, is completely backward from any other law I’ve ever heard of. It’s hard to believe the government has that kind of power. It’s ridiculous. Prosecutors abuse it, and the average person can’t afford to fight it.

— Russell Caswell, motel owner, 2013[2]

Police seized a house on the pretext that it was being used for selling drugs, after a couple’s son was arrested for selling $40 worth of illegal drugs.[12] In another case, homeowners Carl and Mary Shelden sold their house to a man who was later convicted of fraud, but because of the real estate transaction, the Sheldens got caught up in a 10-year legal battle that left them “virtually bankrupt”; after years, they finally got back their house but it was in badly damaged condition; the Sheldens had done nothing wrong.[13]

Seizures of vehicles

In Detroit, men suspected of hiring prostitutes had their automobiles seized.[10][13] An owner’s sailboat was taken after he was caught with a negligible amount of marijuana.[13] Members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office were charged with fraud after knowingly selling counterfeit goods at an asset forfeiture auction.[40]

Seizures of firearms

Five states (CaliforniaConnecticutIndianaNew York, and Oregon) have statutes that allow law enforcement officials to seize a person’s firearms without a warrant or court order if there is probable cause the individual is mentally unstable or may use the weapons to commit a crime. The weapons are to be held in the custody of the law enforcement agency until the case against the individual is dispositioned in a court of law; or the weapons must be returned to the owner if no criminal charges are filed within the timeframe specified by law. In practice, some law enforcement agencies in these states have been known to either sell or destroy seized firearms without compensating the owner after the legal matter that led to the initial seizure has been settled.[citation needed]

Seizures of funds in a bank account

The government can seize money directly from a bank account. One way this happens is when there are large numbers of cash deposits that government investigators suspect are structured as a way to avoid deposits exceeding $10,000, since deposits greater than that amount must be reported to the federal government. But it can happen that legitimate businesses have regular large deposits of cash. In one instance, the Internal Revenue Service waited for large deposits to be placed into an owner’s bank account, and then forced the bank by legal means to surrender it to the agency by means of a secret warrant;[30] authorities took $135,000 from Michigan restaurant owners, named the Cheung family, who made cash deposits from their Chinese restaurant.[29] In another instance, a businessman in New Jersey made repeated cash deposits to save for purchasing a house; each payment was below the $10,000 threshold for reporting to the government, but there were 21 deposits over a period of four months, which caused government to suspect that criminal activity was involved; as a result, the IRS seized $157,000 and the businessman was forced to hire an attorney to get his funds returned.[15] Officials seized $35,000 from the bank account of a grocery store “without any warning or explanation” in 2013.[29]

Contested seizures

After police and authorities have possession of cash or other seized property, there are two ways in which the seized assets become permanently theirs: first, if a prosecutor can prove that seized assets were connected to criminal activity in a courtroom, or second, if nobody tries to claim the seized assets.[41] What happens in many instances is that the assets revert to police ownership by default. If a victim challenges the seizure, prosecutors sometimes offer to return half of the seized funds as part of a deal in exchange for not suing.[17] Sometimes police, challenged by lawyers or by victims, volunteer to return all of the money provided that the victim promises not to sue police or prosecutors; according to The Washington Post, many victims sign simply to get some or all of their money back.[34] Victims often have “long legal struggles to get their money back”.[34] One estimate was that only one percent of federally taken property is ever returned to their former owners.[42]

Statistics

Asset forfeitures selected years
Year Total forfeitures Notes
1986 $93.7 million DOJ’s Asset
Forfeiture Fund
[8]
2004 $567 million [3]
2005 $1.25 billion [15]
2007 $1.58 billion [11]
2008 $1.6 billion DOJ Asset Forfeiture
fund
 took in
$1 billion
[3][8]
2010 $2.50 billion [15][15]

Statistical evidence suggests a strong upward trend in recent years towards greater seizure activity. In 1986, the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund took in $93.7 million; in 2008, it took in $1 billion.[8] Much of this growth happened in the past decade; one analysis suggested that seizures had grown 600 percent from 2002 to 2012.[42] From 2005 to 2010, government seizures of assets from both criminals as well as innocent citizens went from $1.25 billion to $2.50 billion.[15] Federal authorities seized over $4 billion in 2013 through forfeiture, with some of the money being taken from innocent victims.[29] In 2010, there were 15,000 cases of forfeitures.[15] Over 12 years, agencies have taken $20 billion in cash, securities, other property from drug bosses and Wall Street tycoons as well as “ordinary Americans who have not committed crimes”.[42] One estimate was that in 85% of civil forfeiture instances, the property owner was never charged with a crime.[10] In 2010, there were 11,000 noncriminal forfeiture cases.[15] In 2010, claimants challenged 1,800 civil forfeiture seizures in federal court.[15]

States

Standards of proof in state forfeiture laws
Source: Institute for Justice[43]
Note: “9” means most protection for citizens
State Standard Rank
Alabama Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Alaska Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Delaware Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Massachusetts Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Missouri Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Rhode Island Prima facie/Probable cause 1
South Carolina Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Wyoming Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Georgia Probable cause/Preponderance 2
North Dakota Probable cause/Preponderance 2
South Dakota Probable cause/Preponderance 2
Washington Probable cause/Preponderance 2
Arizona Preponderance 3
Arkansas Preponderance 3
Hawaii Preponderance 3
Idaho Preponderance 3
Illinois Preponderance[44] 3
Indiana Preponderance 3
Iowa Preponderance 3
Kansas Preponderance 3
Louisiana Preponderance 3
Maine Preponderance 3
Maryland Preponderance 3
Michigan Preponderance 3
Mississippi Preponderance 3
New Hampshire Preponderance 3
New Jersey Preponderance 3
Oklahoma Preponderance 3
Pennsylvania Preponderance 3
Tennessee Preponderance 3
Texas Preponderance 3
Virginia Preponderance 3
West Virginia Preponderance 3
Kentucky Preponderance
Clear & convincing
4
New York Preponderance
Clear & convincing
4
Oregon Preponderance
Clear & convincing
4
Colorado Clear & convincing 5
Minnesota Clear & convincing 5
Nevada Clear & convincing 5
Ohio Clear & convincing 5
Utah Clear & convincing 5
Vermont Clear & convincing 5
California Clear & convincing
Beyond a reasonable doubt
6
Wisconsin Preponderance of the Evidence (greater weight of the credible evidence).
Florida Beyond a reasonable doubt[45] 7
Connecticut Criminal conviction
required before seizure[46]
8
North Carolina Criminal conviction
required before seizure[47]
8
Montana Criminal conviction
required before seizure[48]
8
Nebraska Criminal conviction required
before seizure[49]
9
New Mexico Abolished[48] 9

Civil forfeiture varies greatly state by state. An analysis by Sarah Stillman in The New Yorker suggested that states that place seized funds in neutral accounts, such as MaineMissouri (which puts seized funds in accounts for public education), North Dakota, and Vermont, have been much less likely to have major scandals involving forfeiture abuse.[9] States like Texas and Virginia and Georgia, which have few restrictions on how police use the seized funds have had more scandals, as have states that allow the Equitable sharing program. With Equitable Sharing, state police can “skirt state restrictions on the use of funds”, according to Stillman.[9] In Florida, using Equitable Sharing, the small village of Bal Harbour raked in at least $71.5 million in three years by its vice squad by carrying out an undercover money laundering sting operation, but in the end, made no arrests.[9] In 2019, Arkansas enacted a new law that requires felony conviction before forfeiture of related assets with few exceptions.[50]

Florida
Allows Equitable sharing between state and federal agencies.[9]
Georgia
There are few restrictions on how police use seized assets.[9] Georgia investigators found more than $700,000 in “questionable expenses” by Camden County’s sheriff between 2004 and 2008, including a $90,000 Dodge Viper and a $79,000 boat.[14]
Maine
Seized funds go into neutral accounts.[9]
Maryland
In Maryland, police forfeitures were $6 million in 2012 and $2.8 million in 2013.[41]
Minnesota
Minnesota passed a law in 2014 forbidding authorities from confiscating a suspect’s property unless they have been convicted of a crime or plead guilty to committing it.[51]
Missouri
Seized funds go into accounts earmarked for public education.[9]
Montana
In June 2015, governor Steve Bullock signed a law requiring authorities to first get a criminal conviction before seizing property through civil forfeiture.[48]
Nebraska
State civil forfeiture standard was beyond a reasonable doubt[8] but in 2016 it was changed to require a criminal conviction first before any assets could be seized.[49]
Nevada
There were allegations that Nevada police unlawfully took tens of thousands of dollars from motorists.[35]
New Mexico
Government took $800,000 from a used car dealer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and held his money for many months before giving it back, but the seizure had an adverse effect on his business and on the owner’s health.[29] In 2015, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed a bill into law making Civil Forfeiture illegal in New Mexico. The prohibition does not apply to property directly connected to the commission of a crime (e.g., money or property obtained through drug trafficking, or stolen property)[48][52]
New York
New York City ransacked a home, seized cash, but it was later returned.[10]
North Carolina
Abolished civil forfeiture almost entirely.[47]
North Dakota
Seized funds go into neutral accounts.[9]
Oklahoma
Seized funds or property are forfeited if any connection to any drug crime is proved by a preponderance of the evidence. Once forfeited, the seizing agency can keep and use the funds largely at its discretion. Due to the lack of any state reporting or centralized accounting, no accurate total of seizures is available, but estimates tend to run in the tens of millions each year, much from known drug trafficking corridors such as Interstate 40.[53] Notable abuses of forfeiture funds include prosecutors paying off student loans and living in seized houses rent free.[54]
Pennsylvania
In Philadelphia, it is often the homes of African-Americans and Hispanics who are targeted by civil forfeiture abuses; what happens in many instances is that a child or grandchild who doesn’t own the home is nabbed on a drug-related offense, and police use this as a pretext to seize the entire home.[9] In Philadelphia, authorities made thousands of “small-dollar seizures”; in 2010, the city filed 8,000 forfeiture cases, which amounted to $550 for the average take.[12] From 2002 to 2012, Philadelphia seized $64 million by means of its forfeiture program, a total that was more than that seized by Brooklyn and Los Angeles combined.[12]
Texas
In Texas, in Jim Wells County, authorities seized more than $1.5 million during a four-year period mostly off of U.S. Route 281, described as a “prime smuggling route for drugs going north and money coming south”.[17] Seized cash is a third of the budget of the sheriff’s department, allowing it to buy more equipment, high-powered rifles, and police vehicles.[17] There are few restrictions on how police use seized funds.[9] In some counties in Texas, 40% of police revenue comes from forfeitures.[9] Texas, with many smuggling corridors to Mexico, and police seized $125 million in 2007.[3]
Vermont
Seized funds go into neutral accounts.[9]
Virginia
Few restrictions on how police use seized assets.[9]
Washington, D.C.
Victims seeking to get their seized property back in Washington, D.C., may be charged up to $2500 for the right to challenge a police seizure in court, and it can take months or years for a decision to finally happen.[9]
Wisconsin
State civil forfeiture standard is preponderance of the evidence (Wis Stat sec. 961.555(3).

Controversy

Civil forfeiture has generated substantial controversy.

Proponents

FBI special agent Douglas Leff argues that civil forfeiture is a necessary tool for law enforcement to combat money laundering by criminal operatives.

Proponents argue that civil forfeiture tactics are necessary to help police fight serious crime.[42] It is seen as a vital and powerful weapon in the continuing battle against illegal drugs,[13][26] and effective at discouraging criminal activity.[15][30] It makes it easier for law enforcement to fight organized crime when they had trouble imprisoning offenders, since they could deprive them of their property and income when it is much harder to prove their guilt in a court of law.[10]

Prosecutors choose civil forfeiture not because of the standard of proof, but because it is often the only way to confiscate the instrumentalities of crime. The alternative, criminal forfeiture, requires a criminal trial and a conviction. Without civil forfeiture, we could not confiscate the assets of drug cartels whose leaders remain beyond the reach of United States extradition laws and who cannot be brought to trial. Moreover, criminal forfeiture reaches only a defendant’s own property. Without civil forfeiture, an airplane used to smuggle drugs could not be seized, even if the pilot was arrested, because the pilot invariably is not the owner of the plane. Nor could law enforcement agencies confiscate cash carried by a drug courier who doesn’t own it, or a building turned into a “crack house” by tenants with the knowing approval of the landlord.

— Gerald E. Mcdowell Chief, Asset Forfeiture & Money Laundering Section, Dept. of Justice, 1996, writing in The New York Times[26]

The head of the asset forfeiture section of the Department of Justice said that civil forfeiture of cash from innocents was insignificant compared to the “thousands of traffic stops” that bust major drug money couriers.[17]

What’s troubling to you? That a drug trafficker who’s bringing money from the U.S. to Mexico, who’s carrying hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars in cash in their pickup truck, who just sold dope and crack and cocaine to children in your playgrounds, and his money is being taken away? That troubles you?

— Richard Weber, US Justice Department, 2008[17]

Police used civil forfeiture laws to help return swindled funds to their owners. Photo: Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff.

Civil forfeiture has been used to restore money stolen by fraud and other schemes by corrupt politicians.[55] Civil forfeiture targets cybercrime, fraud, and scams in high finance at Wall Street, and money-laundering on a global scale.[42] It enables police to have sufficient power to “return money to crime victims” in instances of swindling or fraud.[15] Civil forfeiture laws were helpful in enabling authorities to seize and return swindled funds by the Bernard Madoff fraud.[15]

Proponents argue that government has sufficient safeguards in place so that individuals can challenge seizures if the need arises.[17] Justice William H. Rehnquist said in a Supreme Court decision that federal forfeiture in drug-related cases was not a punishment but served nonpunitive purposes such as encouraging people to be careful that their property was not used illegally.[16] A lobbyist for the Maryland State Police named Thomas Williams argued that bills to require police to keep better records of seized property would cost law enforcement more time and money, and that trying to track seizures by multi-agency task forces would not be easy.[41] Proponents say that when claimants contest the seizures, they rarely win back their money, suggesting that the “system is working properly”.[15] Proponents say the system is monitored to make sure seizures are properly done.[15] In addition, the funds enable police forces to equip themselves further for more effective crime prevention; for example, a $3.8 million drug bust let officers equip their cars with $1,700 video cameras and heat-sensing equipment for a seven-member force.[13]

Critics

Critics include citizens, defense attorneys, and advocates for civil rights.[13] They point to serious instances of abuse in which innocent owners have been victimized.[42] Critics are from both sides of the political spectrum, from left-leaning groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and right-leaning groups such as The Heritage Foundation.[15] The main criticisms of civil forfeiture proceedings are as follows:

  • Flawed judicial process. Critics suggest that civil forfeitures are mostly “devoid of due process”.[30] Arguments have been made that the seizures violate the Due Process Clause of the Constitution since owners have few means to challenge the seizures.[51] They see some seizures as assaults against individual rights.[29] Critics argue that criminals are treated better in the courts than innocent owners who have property seized, since criminals are often told they have a right to an attorney, and that the beyond a reasonable doubt standard of proof is much higher in criminal trials than in civil trials.[30] Burden of proof is shifted to victims to prove innocence.[8] Victims of civil forfeiture are considered guilty until proven innocent, thereby turning the principle of innocent until proven guilty on its head.[12][29][30] Because it is part of the civil justice system, there are no attorneys provided for defendants as can happen in some criminal trials; people who can not afford an attorney have slim chances of recovering their property.[12] Most cases are never heard by a jury or judge since victims are unable to fight the seizures by hiring a lawyer.[29] In contrast to principles of open justice, seizures are often done through sealed documents with a lack of transparency.[42] Clinical law professor Louis Rulli of the University of Pennsylvania said that a piece of property does not have the same rights as a human: no right to an attorney, no presumption of innocence.[9]
  • Excessive punishment. Justice John Paul Stevens said in a single dissenting vote in 1996 that civil forfeiture of a house, in which marijuana had been illegally processed, was an example of an excessive fine, and a violation of the Eighth Amendment, although the majority of the court disagreed.[16]

Critics contend that the lure of cash tempts police towards subverting the rules for personal gain.

  • Motivates police misbehavior. Critics contend that the system is set up in a way as to incentivize “perverse behavior” by “predatory government agencies”.[30] It makes it possible for government officials to seize property such as cash, vehicles, houses, and jewelry from people without ever convicting them for wrongdoing in a court or even charging them with a crime.[29] The cash and assets are a major temptation for police to presume that activity is illegal. Critics say the huge amount of money involved have a distorting effect on police, such that they are more interested in seizing cash rather than illegal drugs.[3] Seized assets can be used for police office expenses, new equipment, vehicles.[3] The profit motive, in which police can keep 90% or more of profits, “forms the rotten core of forfeiture abuse”.[8] Prosecutors and police have a strong incentive to seize property since the funds can be used to pay expenses of the District Attorney’s office, including salaries. Over a ten-year period, the forfeiture money collected was $25 million in Philadelphia, with seized funds being used to pay salaries for people working in the District Attorney’s office.[12] When funds are returned to the victim, it can happen that the funds come out of taxpayer money, not out of police funds such as a pension fund.[10] Seized amounts of money have gone for new police equipment, parties, travel expenses, training seminars, sometimes held in distant locations such as Las Vegas or Hawaii.[10] A Texas prosecutor used $25,000 in seized cash to take his office staff including spouses and a judge on a vacation to Hawaii.[10] There are no penalties for wrongful seizures, particularly when taxpayers pay when ill-gotten gains from innocent citizens must be returned, so there is an incentive to “find” a drug-related issue when police come across cash.[10] The incentives work against police seizing drugs but push them to seize cash instead:

If a cop stops a car going north with a trunk full of cocaine, that makes great press coverage, makes a great photo. Then they destroy the cocaine … If they catch ’em going south with a suitcase full of cash, the police department just paid for its budget for the year.

— Jack Fishman, former IRS agent, criminal defense attorney, 2008[3]
  • Innocent owners ensnared. Critics argue that innocent owners suffer emotionally and financially.[34]
  • Difficult to challenge seizures. The process forces property owners with limited financial abilities to have to hire attorneys and take time and money simply to “prove their innocence”.[30] Victims must actively fight to recover their seized property; if they do nothing, or wait, then they will lose everything.[30] If victims do not seek help from sympathetic lawyers such as those of the Institute for Justice, they can sometimes be offered to have a fraction of their property returned as part of a deal; critics have described the IRS as “bullies” practicing “extortion” against innocent citizens.[30] Procedures to get money back are often fraught with difficulty.[10] Retrieving seized property can be a “bureaucratic nightmare” where victims meet not with a judge or jury but with a prosecutor.[12]
  • Arbitrary punishments. Critics suggest that civil forfeitures can be arbitrary, varying significantly from one case to another; for example, Alan Finder in The New York Times wondered whether it was “fair that one driver loses a car worth $45,000 and another loses one worth $700?”, if each situation resulted from drunk driving arrests.[7]
  • Unfairly targets poor and politically weak persons. Many victims of civil forfeiture are “poor and politically weak” and unable to mount a sustained battle in the courts to get their property returned.[51]
  • Subverts state law. Local and state police often cooperate with federal authorities in what has been called equitable sharing agreements.[14] Since many states have laws restricting or limiting civil forfeitures, as well as requiring higher standards of proof before property can be taken, local police can sidestep these rules by treating the suspected criminal activity as a federal crime, and bringing in federal authorities.[14] As a result, after the seizure, local and federal agencies share the proceeds with 10% to 20% of it going to the federal agency and the remainder to the local police force.[14] Accordingly, equitable sharing “effectively subverts the will and intent of the state legislatures” and has been criticized by prominent civil rights attorney and property rights advocate Scott Bullock as being a “complete violation” of the principle of federalism.[14]
  • Extent of abuse. Proponents and critics differ about the extent of cases in which innocent persons had their property seized. Proponents argue that the cases are few in number, while critics contend that many instances of abuse happen without awareness by the public as a result of the signing of waivers, victims not challenging seizures for lack of knowledge, and other reasons related to a general lack of judicial transparency. The Baltimore Sun made reports that in 2012, half of victims with seized assets were not convicted of a crime.[41]

Efforts at reform

Comedian and political commentator John Oliver did a sixteen-minute segment on his show Last Week Tonight in 2014 discussing civil forfeiture.

There have been numerous reports in the media about systemic abuse of civil forfeiture. USA Today described it as “an increasingly common—and utterly outrageous—practice that can amount to legalized theft by police”.[56] Reporter Sarah Stillman writing in The New Yorker interviewed numerous police officers, lawyers, prosecutors, justices and plaintiffs around the United States and found that many had reservations that innocent Americans were being abused.[9] The New Yorker published a “sprawling investigation” about how cities abuse civil forfeiture to “bolster their cash-strapped coffers by seizing the assets of the poor, often on trumped up charges”.[10] Comedian John Oliver devoted a presentation to a satirical exposure of civil forfeiture in 2014.

Organizations working for reform, as well as helping individual victims, include the Institute for Justice, a libertarian nonprofit law firm in Washington, D.C., which works to end civil forfeiture abuse.[30] It has helped numerous clients recover property seized by the government.[30] The Institute of Justice is helping one forfeiture victim sue the federal district court as well as the mayor, district attorney, and police commissioner in Philadelphia.[12] Scott Bullock, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, advocates that civil forfeiture should be abolished except for use in enforcing maritime and customs laws, and require that any seizures be linked to criminal convictions of specific people.[57] If that is not possible, Bullock recommends that seized revenues be placed in neutral funds such as drug treatment efforts, that standards of proof for law enforcement be raised to ensure that police provide “clear and convincing evidence” of wrongdoing, that the burden of proof should be moved to government to prove wrongdoing, that seized assets should be tracked such that information is easily accessible by the public, and that the equitable sharing arrangement be abolished.[57] Sometimes victims turn to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for legal assistance in winning back their seized property.[42]

There has been opposition to civil forfeiture in some lower courts.[16] There have been attempts by lawmakers to introduce legislation to prevent abuses based on civil forfeiture procedures; one proposal was to raise the standard of proof necessary before property could be seized, and require government to prove that an owner of property was involved in an illegal criminal activity before such seizures could happen.[14] There have been class action lawsuits against authorities, such as one in East Texas by black and Latino drivers; the suit alleges that police took $3 million from 2006 to 2008 in 140 separate incidents.[35] One reform effort is to require authorities to keep better records about seized assets.[41]

In 2015, the New Mexico legislature outlawed civil forfeiture.[52] Also in 2015 a number of criminal justice reformers, including the Koch family foundations and the ACLU, announced plans to advocate the reduction of asset forfeitures due to the disproportionate penalty it places on low-income wrongdoers; the forfeiture of private property in such cases often results in the deprivation of the majority of an individual’s wealth.[58]

As civil forfeiture may not be allowed a new practice has emerged. By classifying valuables such as cars, cellphones, and wallets with cash as evidence the police can keep them and by making it very difficult and time consuming to get them back. After 120 days the police can sell the items.[59]

Marijuana legalization and forfeiture

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been using civil forfeiture as one way of funding their efforts to combat the use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, which continues to be illegal to possess under Federal law as of 2019.[60][61] According to government figures, the DEA collected $18 million in 2013 as part of its Cannabis Eradication Program.[62] Proponents in favor of legalizing marijuana have objected to this practice, which includes DEA seizures of properties in which marijuana is used and sold. A bill has been proposed in the United States Congress to eliminate this source of funding.[63][64] As more states progress towards legalizing marijuana for medical use and for recreational use, there are more businesses to sell marijuana, sometimes called dispensaries or “weed shops”. A report in The Guardian in 2015 suggested that such shops operated in a “tricky gray zone”, so that even in the 23 states where medicinal cannabis is legal, such dispensaries can be “wiped out by a single visit from law enforcement”.[65] While state law may recognize such establishments as having a legal purpose, federal law does not recognize this, and conflicting interpretations can emerge, which can result in properties being confiscated.[65] It has sparked controversy and, in some instances, public outrage.

See also

References…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_forfeiture_in_the_United_States

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The Pronk Pops Show 1341, October 15, 2019, Story 1: Senator Mitch McConnell on Unfair Behind Closed Doors Single Party Impeachment Inquiry and Syria — Videos — Story 2: The Search of Leakers in Trump Administration — Videos — Story 3: Democrats Goal of Replacing Your Employer Provided Health Care Cover With Higher Taxes for Medicare For All — Socialized Medicine — Videos — Story 4: President Trump Congratulates The St.Louis Blues For Winning The Stanley Cup — Videos

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Story 1: Senator Mitch McConnell on Unfair Behind Closed Doors Single Party Impeachment Inquiry and Syria — Videos —

Senator Mitch McConnell: Democrats Are ‘Throwing Fairness And Precedent To The Wind’ | NBC News

Senate Needs to Make a Strong, Strategic Statement on Syria

Trump was ‘absolutely right’ to take troops out of Syria: Rand Paul

Democrats, Republicans unite on Trump’s decision on Syria

Senate Needs to Make a Strong, Strategic Statement on Syria

McConnell splits with Trump on Syria pullout

 

Mitch McConnell rebukes Donald Trump over Turkish invasion of Kurdish-held Syria, saying troop pullout gives Iran a chance to reach Israel’s doorstep and contending worthwhile intervention does NOT make the U.S. world’s policeman

  • McConnell once again expressed his ‘grave concern’ about the situation in Syria  
  • Said the door is ‘wide open’ for resurgence of ISIS
  • Said policy could put Iran on Israel’s ‘door-step’
  • Said standing up for U.S. interests does not make nation the ‘evil empire’
  • Trump has repeatedly complained the nation should not be world’s policeman 
  • At the same time, he blasted House Democrats on impeachment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell directly confronted President Trump‘s complaint that U.S. troop deployment’s make it the ‘world’s policeman’ and expressed his ‘grave concern’ about Trump’s policy moves in Syria.

McConnell issued the rebuke without directly blaming President Trump for the latest calamity in the region – although he said Trump’s policy threatens to put Iran on Israel’s door-step and fuel a ‘humanitarian catastrophe.’

Following Turkey’s incursion into Syria in territory that had been controlled by U.S.-allied members of the Kurdish minority, McConnell warned that the ‘door is wide open for resurgence of the Islamic State.’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took on President Trump's contention that having forces remain in Syria was akin to being the 'world's policeman'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took on President Trump’s contention that having forces remain in Syria was akin to being the ‘world’s policeman’

In a Senate floor speech, McConnell said the situation created a power vacuum that could fuel the meddling influence of Russia, and ‘leaving northeastern Syria wide open Iran to extend reach unimpeded all the way from tehran to the door step of our friends in Israel.

He also confronted the view, espoused directly by President Trump, that the U.S. should pull out of the region rather serving as the ‘world’s policeman.’

I want to make something clear, the United States has taken the fight to Syria and Afghanistan because that is where our enemies are, that’s why we’re there. Fighting terrorists, exercising leadership and troubled regions and advancing U.S. interests around the world does not make us an evil empire or the world’s policeman,’ McConnell said.

This picture taken on October 15, 2019 shows a missile fired by Turkish forces towards the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa on the first week of Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces

This picture taken on October 15, 2019 shows a missile fired by Turkish forces towards the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa on the first week of Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish forces

McConnell shared his 'grave concern' about the situation in Syria

McConnell shared his ‘grave concern’ about the situation in Syria

‘When it looked like President Trump would withdraw from Syria at beginning of the year, 70 senators joined in warning of the risk of precipitously withdrawing from Syria or Afghanistan,’ McConnell noted in his floor speech

McConnell had also warned of his ‘grave concern’ in a written statement Monday that did not mention Trump by name. But in his floor speech Tuesday, he included such a reference.

‘When it looked like President Trump would withdraw from Syria at beginning of the year, 70 senators joined in warning of the risk of precipitously withdrawing from Syria or Afghanistan,’ McConnell noted.

But even as he challenged the president on a policy that has resulted in the release of ISIS prisoners, led to attacks against key regional allies, and even led to shelling by Turkish forces toward a U.S. troop-held position, he defended the president on impeachment by attacking Democrats.

‘House Democrats are finally indulging in their impeachment obsession. Full steam ahead,’ McConnell warned. ‘I don’t think many of us were expecting to witness a clinic in terms of fairness or due process. But even by their own partisan standards, House Democrats have already found new ways to lower the bar,’ he complained.

McConnell has said he was required by Senate rules to hold a trial should the House impeach Trump.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7577029/Mitch-McConnell-rebukes-Donald-Trump-Turkish-invasion-Kurdish-held-Syria.html

Trump’s Syria Mess

He resorts to sanctions as the harm from withdrawal builds.

Syrians fleeing Turskih advance arrive to the town of Tal Tamr in north Syria, Oct. 14. PHOTO: BADERKHAN AHMAD/ASSOCIATED PRESS

What a fiasco. Foreign-policy blunders often take months or years to reveal their damaging consequences, but the harm from President Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria is playing out almost in real time.

Critics said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would invade northern Syria despite Mr. Trump’s public warnings, and the Turkish strongman did. Critics said our Kurdish allies would strike a deal with Syria’s Bashar Assad to defend themselves, and the Kurds have. Critics said Islamic State prisoners held by the Kurds would be released and scatter to wage jihad again, and they are.

The mess compounded Monday when Mr. Trump authorized sanctions against several Turkish officials and agencies who are “contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria.” The sanctions include financial measures and barring entry to the U.S. Mr. Trump also said he’s ending trade talks with Turkey and raising steel tariffs to 50%.

Mr. Trump now finds himself back in an economic and diplomatic brawl with Turkey that he said he wanted to avoid. Wouldn’t it have been easier simply to tell Mr. Erdogan, on that famous phone call two Sundays ago, that the U.S. wouldn’t tolerate a Turkish invasion against the Kurds and would use air power to stop it? Mr. Erdogan would have had to back down and continue negotiating a Syrian safe zone with the Kurds and the U.S.

Mr. Trump is also making matters worse with his unserious justifications. “After defeating 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, I largely moved our troops out of Syria. Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land,” he tweeted Monday. “Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!”

We suppose the Napoleon line was a joke, but the world is laughing at an American President. Mr. Trump was able to project an image of strength in his early days as he prosecuted the war against ISIS and used force to impose a cost on Mr. Assad for using chemical weapons. But that image has faded as he has indulged his inner Rand Paul and claims at every opportunity that the main goal of his foreign policy is to put an end to “endless wars.”

This is simple-minded isolationism, and it’s a message to the world’s rogues that a U.S. President has little interest in engaging on behalf of American allies or interests. Friends like Israel and Saudi Arabia are quietly dismayed, while Iran, Russia and Hezbollah can’t believe Mr. Trump has so glibly abandoned U.S. commitments and military partners.

By now it’s not unreasonable to conclude that Mr. Trump’s foreign policy can be distilled into two tactics—sanctions and tariffs. Mr. Trump wields them willy-nilly against friend and foe alike as substitutes for diplomacy and the credible threat of military force.

Mr. Trump won’t like to hear it, but the Syrian mess is hurting him at home too. Republicans who have stood by him through the Russia fight and more are questioning his judgment as Commander in Chief in an increasingly dangerous world. With impeachment looming, he can’t afford to alienate more friends.

Opinion: Trump's Foreign Policy Needs to Change Course

Opinion: Trump’s Foreign Policy Needs to Change Course
As Turkey advances into Syria, foreign powers will increasingly act on the belief that the American executive is both politically weak and intellectually unfocused. Image: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Imageshttps://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-syria-mess-11571095091

TRUMP’S CHAOTIC SYRIA EXIT PUTS ANTI-WAR 2020 DEMOCRATS IN A DELICATE SPOT

THE PENTAGON announced on Monday that the U.S. was pulling all of its troops out of northeastern Syria at President Donald Trump’s direction, completing a withdrawal he had started by Twitter declaration a week earlier. The move further clears the way for a full-on invasion by Turkey, whose soldiers have already been accused of executing noncombatants. In the chaos, hundreds of Islamic State detainees have reportedly escaped.

Trump defended his decision in a series of early-morning tweets on Monday. “The same people who got us into the Middle East mess are the people who most want to stay there!” he wrote. “Never ending wars will end!”

Trump’s abandonment of eastern Syria and the U.S. military’s Kurdish allies has put progressive Democrats — many of whom also favor withdrawing from overseas military operations — in a delicate spot. Over the past week, they have been trying to thread the needle between condemning Trump for recklessly abandoning an ally and emphasizing that withdrawing U.S. troops should be an eventual policy goal.

Trump’s decision has showcased what a worst-case scenario for expedited military withdrawal could look like, making it harder for progressive Democratic presidential candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to press their cases against “endless wars” on the campaign trail. The question of how progressives can go about drawing down U.S. military commitments without repeating Trump’s calamitous actions would be an obvious pick for Tuesday night’s Democratic debate.

So far, the Democratic candidates have been critical of Trump but light on specifics about what they would do differently. Last week, Sanders condemned Trump’s withdrawal from Syria, telling reporters that “as somebody who does not want to see American troops bogged down in countries all over the world — you don’t turn your back on allies who have fought and died alongside American troops. You just don’t do that.” But when George Stephanopoulos asked Sunday morning on ABC for Sanders to explain the difference between his and Trump’s approaches, Sanders responded simply that Trump “lies. I don’t.”

Warren’s response was similarly vague. She tweeted that “Trump recklessly betrayed our Kurdish partners” and that “we should bring our troops home, but we need to do so in a way that respects our security.”

Ro Khanna, a Democratic representative from California and co-chair of Sanders’s 2020 campaign, told The Intercept that progressives urgently need to make the case for a “doctrine of responsible withdrawal.”

“I don’t believe that withdrawal from a progressive perspective means a moral indifference to the lives of the places that we leave,” Khanna said in a phone interview. “It’s not an ‘America First’ approach that says our interests and our American lives are the only things that have moral worth. Rather, our withdrawal is based on an understanding of the limitations of American power to shape and restructure societies. It emphasizes the need for effective diplomacy and understands our moral obligations in these places.”

The U.S. should not have withdrawn troops without negotiating a deal that would have kept Turkey from invading Syria, backed by a threat to withhold future arms sales and economic assistance, Khanna told The Intercept. “We could have used all those points of leverage to get their commitment that they wouldn’t slaughter the Kurds.”

Another key difference between Trump’s approach and that of progressives is their level of trust for civil service expertise, Khanna said. “What this shows is that it’s not enough to have a president with certain instincts. Foreign policy requires great expertise. You need a progressive president who understands the importance of military restraint, but who also has the ability to put together an extraordinary foreign policy team to implement the goals that they may have.”

Far from admiring Trump’s approach to Syria, many anti-interventionists and foreign policy experts in D.C. view it as a blueprint for how not to withdraw from a conflict, according to Adam Wunische, a researcher with the Quincy Institute, a new pro-diplomacy, noninterventionist, and nonpartisan think tank.

“What we should have been doing from the very beginning is once we achieved the limited objective of destroying ISIS territory, they should have immediately begun contemplating what kind of peace or settlement could come afterwards,” Wunische told The Intercept. “To my knowledge, the U.S. is one of the only actors that can effectively talk to both the Turks and the Kurds. So they should have been trying to find an acceptable political arrangement for all the parties involved that doesn’t involve an endless, ill-defined military presence for the U.S.”

The Quincy Institute is working on a report outlining a possible plan for U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan that would avoid the type of disorder on display in northeastern Syria, Wunische said, though the timing of the report remains unclear.

Throughout the 2020 Democratic primary campaign, a number of candidates have railed against “endless wars.” But in a conversation that has been defined by intricate domestic policy proposals and detailed outlines of how to structure a wealth tax, candidates have said little about the rest of the world and even less about how they would wind down overseas conflicts.

Sanders, for example, has called for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan “as expeditiously as possible.” Warren has said “it’s long past time to bring our troops home, and I would begin to do so immediately.” Joe Biden has said he would bring “American combat troops in Afghanistan home during my first term,” but left the door open for a “residual U.S. military presence” that would be “focused on counterterrorism operations.” When asked during a July debate whether he would withdraw from Afghanistan during the first year of his presidency, Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend mayor and Navy Reserve veteran who spent seven months in Afghanistan, answered emphatically in the affirmative.

But aside from seeking a diplomatic solution, candidates have said very little about their policies for ending the war. And as in Syria, stakes for U.S. allies in Afghanistan are high.

A January study by the Rand Corporation found that a “precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan” would have far-reaching consequences. The legitimacy for the U.S.-backed Kabul government would plummet, the report argued, and the Taliban would extend its control and influence. People all across the country would turn to regional militias and rival warlords for basic security.

“I don’t think that anyone, whether they promise it or not, is going to get out of Afghanistan in a week,” said Wuinsche. “What we need to focus on is, what is the political solution that we think is possible, and how do we get there? That requires marshaling all of these different tools of foreign policy, not just the military.”

Kate Kizer, policy director for the D.C.-based advocacy group Win Without War, stressed that one of the most revealing differences between progressives and Trump is how they would treat a conflict’s refugees. Under Trump, the U.S. has accepted historically low numbers of refugees and closed the door on future Syrian immigrants applying for Temporary Protected Status.

“One of the cruelest parts of Trump’s policy is the fact that, in addition to fueling more bloodshed with this decision, he’s also banning any types of civilians who would be fleeing from the conflict,” Kizer said. “In a situation like Syria and even Afghanistan, there’s a way to responsibly withdraw and then there’s a way to cut and run, which is what Trump has shown he has a predilection for. But I’m not sitting here saying that any type of military withdraw will necessarily be bloodless.”

https://theintercept.com/2019/10/15/syria-troop-withdrawal-trump-democrats/

Story 2: The Search of Leakers in Trump Administration — Videos

RUST NO ONE

Trump Suspects a Spiteful John Bolton Is Behind Some of the Ukraine Leaks

Trump fears the leaks are now coming from the people he chose to serve him—and that only increases the paranoia currently infecting the West Wing.

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/Getty

At a critical juncture in his presidency, facing a rapidly unfolding impeachment inquiry by House Democrats, Donald Trump is feeling besieged by snitches.

In recent weeks, numerous leaks have appeared in the pages of The Washington PostThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and other major papers and news outlets detailing the president’s attempts to enlist foreign leaders to help dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and also aid Trump’s quest to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s concluded investigation. And as is his MO, the media-obsessed president has been fixated on not just the identity of the whistleblower behind the internal complaint that brought this scandal to the fore, but also on who, exactly, has been namelessly feeding intel to the press.

In the course of casual conversations with advisers and friends, President Trump has privately raised suspicions that a spiteful John Bolton, his notoriously hawkish former national security adviser, could be one of the sources behind the flood of leaks against him, three people familiar with the comments said. At one point, one of those sources recalled, Trump guessed that Bolton was behind one of the anonymous accounts that listed the former national security adviser as one of the top officials most disturbed by the Ukraine-related efforts of Trump and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney who remains at the center of activities that spurred the impeachment inquiry.

“[Trump] was clearly implying [it, saying] something to the effect of, ‘Oh, gee, I wonder who the source on that could be,’” this source said, referring to the president’s speculation. Bolton, for his part, told The Daily Beast last month that allegations that he was a leaker in Trump’s midst are “flatly incorrect.”

The former national security adviser—who departed the administration last month on awfulmutually bitter terms—is working on a book about his time serving Trump, and has “a lot to dish,” one knowledgeable source noted.

Neither Bolton nor White House spokespeople provided comment for this story. Matt Schlapp, an influential conservative activist with close ties to the White House, said his assumption was that the leaks were coming from “career folks inside who hate Trump” and that the president and his campaign had “14 months of this” to come. As for Bolton, Schlapp said, “He’s smarter than that, although he does aggressively defend himself.”

Indeed, Bolton’s name surfaced Monday before House impeachment inquiry committees, when Hill reportedly testified that he told her to alert the chief lawyer for the National Security Council that Giuliani was working with Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, on an operation with legal implications, the Times reported late Monday. “I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton told Hill to tell White House lawyers, according to sources familiar with the testimony.

“I have not spoken to John about [his comments, as conveyed by Hill],” Giuliani told The Daily Beast on Tuesday morning. “John is a longtime friend. I have no idea why John is doing this. My best guess is that he’s confused and bought into a false media narrative without bothering to call me about it.”

Regarding Bolton’s reported comment about Mulvaney being involved in this figurative Ukraine “drug deal,” the former New York City mayor insisted that “Mick wasn’t involved in this. I don’t recall having any lengthy conversation with him about this subject… I don’t recall ever having a lengthy conversation [about Ukraine] with John, either.”

Trump has felt under siege from within before, including at various flashpoints of his presidency. For instance, near the end of the Mueller probe, the president became so distrustful and resentful toward Don McGahn, his own White House counsel at the time, he started asking those close to him, “Is [Don] wearing a wire?”

But the current sense that he has been undermined by people whom he brought into his orbit has come at a critical juncture and colored some of the decisions he has made since the whistleblower complaint became public.  The president has openly declared that the whistleblower committed an act of treason. He has attempted to stop prominent advisers—including Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, a man who donated $1 million to the Trump inauguration—from testifying to Congress, only to apparently fail. On Monday, Fiona Hill, Trump’s former top adviser on Russia and Europe, was on Capitol Hill, where she reportedly told lawmakers that Sondland and Giuliani circumventedthe standard national-security process on high-profile Ukraine matters. The president has struggled to add to his current legal team, and appeared to begin putting some distance between himself and Giuliani last week.

And when outside allies began to talk about constructing a war room to help with impeachment, Trump shot down the concept, in part out of a sense that he couldn’t rely on them to get the message out right. One top White House aide subsequently labeled the idea an exercise by “outside peeps trying to self-aggrandize.”

The impression left on Republicans is one of a president increasingly driven by paranoia and a desire for insularity—and not, necessarily, to his own benefit.

“There is a certain level of frustration that all the sudden the president says something, then Rudy does, and it is not always consistent. There is a frustration that not everybody knows what they should be doing. It is not that they can’t defend the president it is a frustration that they don’t know exactly how they are supposed to defend the president,” said John Brabender, a longtime GOP consultant. “From the president’s perspective, this whole thing is a witch hunt and is outrageous and, therefore, it shouldn’t even need explanation…But with that said, you can’t just be angry. You need a unified communications team.”

According to those who’ve known the president, the sense that a good chunk of the government has never fully accepted his presidency and has actively worked to undermine it has animated much of his activity over the past few weeks. And though they believe he has a point, they also wonder if it is making him functionally incapable of taking the advice of some advisers: to simply ignore impeachment and apply his attention to other facets of governance.

Trump, they add, is preternaturally incapable of ignoring press about him and lingers particularly on leaks that depict atmospherics of his inner sanctum, the West Wing, and his internal well-being.

“In my experience, what he despises is somebody writing that Donald Trump feels under siege and his emotions are this and his thinking is this,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide. “He hates people saying what he is thinking… And one of his most frequent tricks in terms of talking about himself on background [as an anonymous source] is him having the reporter say [he is] someone ‘familiar with the president’s thinking.’”

Nunberg said he had yet to see a blind quote in any recent report that would lead him to believe that Trump is cold-calling reporters. But the president is certainly working the fourth estate. Democratic aides were left shaking their heads last week when they received an email from the White House with the subject line, “Article from President Trump” and a PDF attachment of a Kimberly Strassel Wall Street Journal column.

“He’s apparently so anxious about GOP support in the Senate, he’s taken to sending WSJ columns against the House inquiry,” said a Senate source.

Still, for all of Trump’s grousing and preoccupation with who is and isn’t stabbing him in the back, loyalty has always been a one-way street for this president. Last week, after the news broke that Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Soviet-born businessmen tied to Giuliani, were arrested on charges of violating campaign-finance law, a reporter at the White House asked Trump if the former New York mayor was still his personal attorney. The president responded that he didn’t know.

Though the president would later tweet out his support for Giuliani over the weekend, Trump has a long track record for being loyal to and supportive of a longtime associate, friend, or staffer—up until the moment he’s not. Perhaps the quintessential example of this is that of one of the president’s former attorneys, Michael Cohen, who famously turned on Trump after becoming convinced that the president had abandoned him while he was in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors.

Asked by The Daily Beast last week if the president told him that he still had his lawyer’s back—an attorney who further earned the president’s trust by defending Trump during the Mueller investigation—Giuliani let out a big belly-laugh and responded, “There’s nothing, [no knife], in my back.”

“My back feels very comfortable right now,” he added.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-suspects-a-spiteful-john-bolton-is-behind-ukraine-leaks

Story 3: Democrats Goal of Replacing Your Employer Provided Health Care Cover With Higher Taxes for Medicare For All — Socialized Medicine — Videos —

 

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Medicare For All: What Does it Actually Mean?

DEBUNKED: Medicare for All MYTHS! | Louder With Crowder

Story 4: President Trump Congratulates The St.Louis Blues For Winning The Stanley Cup — Videos —

Trump welcomes the Stanley Cup Champions to WH

President Trump Welcomes the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup Champions

Trump welcomes 2019 Stanley Cup champions to White House

Trump welcomes the St. Louis Blues to the White House

WATCH: Trump hosts NHL champions St. Louis Blues at the White House

 

St. Louis Blues visit the White House after Stanley Cup win

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The Pronk Pops Show 1290, July 16, 2019, Part 2: Story 1: President Trump Goes On Offense Against America and Trump Haters — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Squad — Fresh Fascist Faces — Women of Color — RED — Videos — Story 2: Democrat Controlled House of Representatives Condemns Trump’s Tweets As Racist — Human Racist?  — 240 (Democrats Plus 4 Republicans) vs. 187(Republicans) — Love America or Leave America — Videos — Story 3: ANTIFA (Anti-fascist) 69-Year Old Man With Rifle Who Threw Incendiary Device at Northwest Detention Center Shot Dead By Tacoma Police — Videos — Story 4: Establishment Democrats Support Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden — Videos– Story 5: European Union’s Galileo Global Positioning Satellites Down For Four Days — Videos — Story 6: Manhattan Lights Go Out with Electrical Outage — Celebrating 42th Anniversary of Great Blackout — Videos

Posted on July 18, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Abortion, Addiction, Addiction, Agenda 21, American History, Banking System, Bernie Sanders, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, China, Climate, Coal, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Diet, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, European History, European Union, Exercise, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medical, Medicare, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Natural Gas, Nuclear Weapons, Obesity, Oil, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Privacy, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Somalia, Spying, Subversion, Success, Tax Policy, Terror, Terrorism, The 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, Unemployment, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Water, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Pronk Pops Show 1290 July 16, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

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Story 1: President Trump Goes On Offense Against America and Trump Haters — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Squad — Fresh Fascist Faces — Women of Color — RED — Videos —

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Tucker Carlson Tonight 7/15/19 | URGENT!TRUMP BREAKING News July 15, 2019

Trump’s tweets at Democratic women of color denounced as racist

Trump: If you want to leave America, you can leave America

Donald Trump: AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley “hate our country”

Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, Pressley condemn Trump in explosive press conference

Radical Democrats demonize Border Patrol and ICE

Pelosi under fire for urging Dems to stand against ICE

Trump: If You’re Not Happy Here, You Can Leave

President Trump Takes His Attacks On Four Congresswomen To A New Low | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Omar Cites Corruption, Ineptitude Among Reasons To Impeach Donald Trump | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

AOC and Ilhan Omar Fire Back at Trump’s Racist Tweets | NowThis

‘The Five’ react to The Squad’s fiery presser on Trump’s tweets

President Donald Trump Ramps Up Attacks On Democrats Congresswomen | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Trump Tells Democratic Congresswomen To “Go Back” Where They Came From

Trumps tweets ARE NOT racist

Dr. Qanta Ahmed: Rep. Omar is a disgrace to Islam

Ilhan Omar faces more anti-semitic controversy over Israel

‘These Are Her Beliefs’: Scalise Says Omar Must Be Removed From Committee Over Anti-Semitic Comments

Ilhan Omar’s Disgusting Attack: ‘This is Un-American’

Pelosi condemns ‘anti-Semitic’ comments by Rep. Omar

Tucker: Radical Democrats turn on Nancy Pelosi

 

‘The agenda of white nationalists’: AOC, other congresswomen respond to Trump’s attacks

The foursome of minority lawmakers were responding to the president’s “openly racist comments attacking the duly elected members of Congress,” they said in a statement.
By Dareh Gregorian and Adam Edelman

The four progressive congresswomen of color attacked by President Donald Trump responded on Monday afternoon at a joint news conference, saying his “blatantly racist” assault on them is nothing more than an effort to distract from his corrupt administration and inhumane policies.

The Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, portrayed Trump as lawless and condemned his treatment of migrants on the border and deportations.

“This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms or happening in national TV. And now it’s reached the White House garden,” Omar said of what she called Trump’s “blatantly racist attack.”

AOC on Trump’s comments, tweets: ‘This is all a distraction’

JULY 15, 201903:07

“This president operates in complete bad faith,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “He does not know how to defend his policies, so instead he attacks us personally. That’s what this is all about”

She added that she and her colleagues aren’t going anywhere.

“We don’t leave the things we love,” Ocasio-Cortez said, and “we love all people in this country.”

Omar called it a “pivotal moment in our country,” with Trump “openly violating the oath he took” with “human rights abuses” involving the conditions in which migrants are being detained at the border. She called for his impeachment and accused him of “colluding with a foreign government” in the 2016 presidential election, a charge he’s repeatedly denied.

The congresswoman said she would not respond to Trump’s “ridiculous” claims earlier Monday that she supports al Qaeda.

“It’s beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists,” she said.

Omar also ripped Trump as a hypocrite for saying that she should leave the country if she’s not happy with the government, noting his campaign was all about what terrible shape the United States was in.

Pressley urged Americans to not “take the bait” from the “occupant” in the White House.

“This is a disruptive distraction from the issues of care, concern and consequence to the American people” they were sent to Washington to work on, she said.

 

Tlaib again called for her colleagues to begin impeachment proceedings.

“Sadly, this is not the first, nor will it be the last time that we hear disgusting, bigoted language from the president. We know this is who he is,” she said.

Trump started tweeting about the four again shortly after their press conference was scheduled to start.

“IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!” he wrote in the first of three tweets, which were posted before the four took to the podium.

Earlier Monday, Trump escalated his attacks on the congresswomen, accusing them of loving terrorists, “hating” the United States and Israel and saying they should feel free to leave the country if they’re not happy here.

Trump first went after the quartet over the weekend, tweeting that they should “go back” to the countries they “originally came from” — even though three of them are from the United States — and has repeatedly doubled down since.

His incessant lashing-out prompted lawmakers of both parties to condemn his remarks.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/aoc-other-congresswomen-hold-news-conference-answer-trump-attacks-n1030141

Trump steps up attacks on Democratic congresswomen: “They hate our country”

A White House event quickly spiraled into chaos on Monday as President Trump launched into a defiant defense of his earlier racist tweets suggesting Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their countries.

A reporter asked, “Does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?”

The president responded, “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me. And all I’m saying, they want to leave, they can leave.”

On Sunday, the president sparked a firestorm with a series of tweets seemingly targeting freshmen Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar that were immediately and widely condemned as racist. He wrote that the representatives — three of whom were born in the U.S., and all American citizens — should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

At Monday’s event, the president repeatedly insisted that people who don’t love America should leave, as reporters — positioned far from the president during the event — continued to lob questions.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, very simply, you can leave. You can leave right now. Come back if you want, don’t come back, it’s OK too. But if you’re not happy, you can leave,” he said. The audience applauded many of the president’s remarks.

When a reporter pointed out that many of the congresswomen the president appears to be criticizing were born in America and all are citizens, Mr. Trump responded that, “All they do is complain.”

Mr. Trump’s tweets on Sunday prompted intense criticism from Democrats but very little criticism from Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House will vote on a resolution to condemn the president’s statement about her colleagues.

But Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning that the people he offended should apologize to him, not the other way around.

“When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!” Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning.

The president’s remarks at the event come the same morning his administration has announced it’s moving to end asylum protections for migrants coming from Central American countries, a step that’s all but certain to face challenges in the courts. The American Civil Liberties Union has already announced its intention to sue.

During Monday’s “Made in America” event, the president insisted the U.S. has to defend its borders, and will do so and build a wall, despite any legal challenges.

“The philosophy of my administration is simple if we can build it grow it or make it in the United States, we will,” the president said.

The executive order the president signed towards the end of the event, increasing requirements for the government’s purchase of products made in the U.S., was overshadowed.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-hosts-made-in-america-event-at-white-house-today-2019-07-15-live-updates/

Trump digs in on racist tweets: ‘Many people agree with me’

11 minutes ago

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President Donald Trump speaks during a Made in America showcase event on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defiant in the face of widespread criticism, President Donald Trump renewed his belligerent call on Monday for four Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now,” cementing his position as the most willing U.S. leader in generations to stoke the discord that helped send him to the White House.

Content to gamble that a sizeable chunk of the electorate embraces his tweets that have been widely denounced as racist, the president made clear that he has no qualms about exploiting racial divisions once again.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump said at the White House. “A lot of people love it, by the way.”

The episode served notice that Trump is willing to again rely on incendiary rhetoric on issues of race and immigration to preserve his political base in the leadup to the 2020 election.

There was near unanimous condemnation from Democrats for Trump’s comments and a rumble of discontent from a subset of Republicans — but notably not from the party’s congressional leaders.

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the GOP White House nominee in 2012 and now one of the president’s most vocal GOP critics, said Trump’s comments were “destructive, demeaning, and disunifying.”

Far from backing down, Trump on Monday dug in on comments he had initially made a day earlier on Twitter that if lawmakers “hate our country,” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries. His remarks were directed at four congresswomen: Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, you can leave, you can leave right now,” he said.

The president’s words, which evoked the trope of telling black people to go back to Africa, may have been partly meant to widen the divides within the House Democratic caucus, which has been riven by internal debate over how best to oppose his policies. And while Trump’s attacks brought Democrats together in defense of their colleagues, his allies noted he was also having some success in making the controversial progressive lawmakers the face of their party.

The president questioned whether Democrats should “want to wrap” themselves around this group of four people as he recited a list of the quartet’s most controversial statements.

The four themselves fired back late Monday, condemning what they called “xenophobic bigoted remarks” from the president and renewing calls for their party to begin impeachment proceedings.

Trump “does not know how to defend his policies and so what he does is attack us personally,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said Trump’s campaign slogan truly means he wants to “make America white again,” announced Monday that the House would vote on a resolution condemning his new comments. The Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, said his party would also try to force a vote in the GOP-controlled chamber.

Trump, who won the presidency in 2016 in part by energizing disaffected voters with inflammatory racial rhetoric, made clear he has no intention of backing away from that strategy in 2020.

“The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four ‘progressives,’ but now they are forced to embrace them,” he tweeted Monday afternoon. “That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!”

Trump has faced few consequences for such attacks in the past. They typically earn him cycles of wall-to-wall media attention. He is wagering that his most steadfast supporters will be energized by the controversy as much, or if not more so, than the opposition.

“It’s possible I’m wrong,” Trump allowed Monday. “The voters will decide.”

The president has told aides that he was giving voice what many of his supporters believe — that they are tired of people, including immigrants, disrespecting their country, according to three Republicans close to the White House who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Trump on Monday singled out Omar, in particular, accusing her of having “hatred” for Israel, and expressing “love” for “enemies like al-Qaida.”

“These are people that, in my opinion, hate our country,” he said.

Omar, in an interview, once laughed about how a college professor had spoken of al-Qaida with an intensity she said was not used to describe “America,” ″England” or “The Army.”

She addressed herself directly to Trump in a tweet, writing: “You are stoking white nationalism (because) you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.”

Republicans, for their part, largely trod carefully with their responses.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally of the president who golfed with him over the weekend, advised him to “aim higher” during an appearance on “Fox and Friends,” even as he accused the four Democrats of being “anti-Semitic” and “anti-American.”

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, said “I don’t think that the president’s intent in any way is racist,” pointing to Trump’s decision to choose Elaine Chao, who was born outside the country, as his transportation secretary.

Chao is one of the few minorities among the largely white and male aides in high-profile roles in Trump’s administration. She is the wife of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who declined comment on Trump’s attacks on Monday.

The latest provocation came just two days after Trump inserted himself further into a rift between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez, offering an unsolicited defense of the Democratic speaker. Pelosi has been seeking to minimize Ocasio-Cortez’s influence in the House Democratic caucus in recent days, prompting the freshman lawmaker to accuse Pelosi of trying to marginalize women of color.

Trump told advisers later that he was pleased with his meddling, believing that dividing Democrats would be helpful to him, as would elevating any self-proclaimed socialists as a way to frighten voters to steer clear of their liberal politics, the Republicans said.

Among the few GOP lawmakers commenting on Monday, Rep. Pete Olson of Texas said Trump’s tweets were “not reflective of the values of the 1,000,000+ people” in his district. “We are proud to be the most diverse Congressional district in America. I urge our President immediately disavow his comments,” he wrote.

Several other Republicans went out of their way to say they were not condoning the views of the Democrats, while encouraging Trump to retract his comments.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who is up for re-election next year, said Trump’s tweet was “way over the line and he should take that down.”

Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania said of the Democrats: “We should defeat their ideas on the merits, not on the basis of their ancestry.”

In an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll from February 2017, half of Americans said the mixing of culture and values from around the world is an important part of America’s identity as a nation. Fewer — about a third — said the same of a culture established by early European immigrants.

But partisans in that poll were divided over these aspects of America’s identity. About two-thirds of Democrats but only about a third of Republicans thought the mixing of world cultures was important to the country’s identity. By comparison, nearly half of Republicans but just about a quarter of Democrats saw the culture of early European immigrants as important to the nation.

___

AP writer Hannah Fingerhut contributed from Washington.

https://apnews.com/9924c846abf84cfeabb76e6045190b42

Trump under fire for attacks on Democratic congresswomen

Jerome CARTILLIER
AFP News

View photos

 

US President Donald Trump stepped up his attack on four Democratic lawmakers, saying if they are not happy in the United States, “they can leave”
More

US President Donald Trump came under fire from Democrats and even some members of his own Republican Party on Monday after launching an extraordinary xenophobic attack on four progressive Democratic congresswomen.

“All they do is complain,” Trump told reporters at a White House event featuring products “Made in America.”

“These are people that hate our country,” he said of the four Democratic lawmakers. “If you’re not happy here, you can leave.”

Trump also accused the four first-term Democratic congresswomen — who are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African-American origin — of having “love” for US “enemies like Al-Qaeda.”

Asked by a reporter whether he was concerned that many people saw his comments as racist, Trump said: “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.”

Several hours after his remarks, the four — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who is of Puerto Rico origin, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who is of Somali origin, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, who is African-American — hit back at a news conference.

Pressley condemned Trump’s “xenophobic and bigoted” comments and said “we will not be silenced.”

Omar said Trump made a “blatantly racist attack” on four lawmakers “of color.” “This is the agenda of white nationalists,” she said.

Omar and Tlaib repeated calls for Trump to be impeached.

– ‘Destructive’ –

The president first attacked the lawmakers with a series of tweets on Sunday, saying they should “go back” to their countries of origin if they didn’t like the United States.

His comments prompted outrage from Democrats — and, initially, silence from Republicans.

On Monday, several of his party faithful began to speak up.

“My view is that what was said and what was tweeted was destructive, was demeaning, was disunifying, and frankly it was very wrong,” said Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah.

“There is no excuse for the president’s spiteful comments -– they were absolutely unacceptable and this needs to stop,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska. “We must demand a higher standard of decorum and decency.”

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine said she disagreed with the policies espoused by the “far-left” Democratic lawmakers but Trump was “way over the line.”

For Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, “the citizenship of all four is as valid as mine.” “They are entitled to their opinions, however misguided they may be,” he said.

Texan Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House of Representatives, told CNN that Trump’s behavior was “unbecoming of the leader of the free world.”

And Senator Tim Scott, a black Republican from South Carolina, criticized the president for using “unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language.”

– ‘Cold, hard strategy’ –

Trump’s comments appear to be aimed at galvanizing his mostly white electoral base ahead of the 2020 presidential vote — while also stoking racial tensions and divisions among his political opponents.

“With his deliberate, racist outburst, @realDonaldTrump wants to raise the profile of his targets, drive Dems to defend them and make them emblematic of the entire party,” said David Axelrod, who served as chief strategist for Barack Obama’s two White House campaigns.

“It’s a cold, hard strategy,” Axelrod said on Twitter. “Fasten your seatbelts, it will only get worse as the election approaches.”

“The voters will decide,” Trump told reporters.

“If (the Democrats) want to gear their wagons around these four people, I think they’re going to have a very tough election, because I don’t think the people of the United States will stand for it.”

In his initial Twitter attack on Sunday, Trump — who before becoming president pushed the racist “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama was not born on US soil — said the congresswomen came from corrupt, poorly managed countries to which they should return.

Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley were all born in the United States while Omar arrived from war-torn Somalia when she was a child.

Former vice president Joe Biden, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, denounced Trump as the most “openly racist and divisive” president in US history.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/eyeing-2020-election-trump-doubles-down-xenophobic-tweets-163003718.html

Rashida Tlaib

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Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib, official portrait, 116th Congress (cropped 2).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan‘s 13th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Brenda Jones
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 6th district
12th district (2009–2012)
In office
January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2014
Preceded by Steve Tobocman
Succeeded by Stephanie Chang
Personal details
Born
Rashida Harbi

July 24, 1976 (age 42)
DetroitMichigan, U.S.

Political party Democratic
Other political
affiliations
Democratic Socialist
Spouse(s)
Fayez Tlaib
(m. 1998; div. 2015)
Children 2
Education Wayne State University (BA)
Thomas M. Cooley Law School (JD)
Website House website

Rashida Harbi Tlaib (/təˈlb/;[1] born July 24, 1976) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district since 2019.[2] The district includes the western half of Detroit, along with several of its western suburbs and much of the Downriver area. A member of the Democratic Party, Tlaib represented the 6th and 12th districts of the Michigan House of Representatives before her election to Congress.[3] She was the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan legislature.[4]

In 2018 Tlaib won the Democratic nomination for the United States House of Representatives seat from Michigan’s 13th congressional district. She ran unopposed in the general election and became the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress and, with Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.[5][6]

Tlaib is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). She and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are the third and fourth DSA members to serve in Congress; and they are the first female DSA members to serve in Congress. Tlaib is the first DSA member from a Mid-West district elected to the U.S. House.[7][8] Tlaib has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and advocated impeachment of the President. On foreign affairs, she has sharply criticized the Israeli government, called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel, and expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Tlaib is a member of the informal group known as “The Squad“, whose members form a unified front to push for progressive changes such as the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all. The other members of “The Squad” are Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) [9].

 

Contents

Early life and education

The eldest of 14 children, Rashida Tlaib (née Harbi) was born on July 24, 1976, to working-class Palestinian immigrants in Detroit. Her mother was born in Beit Ur El Foka, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Her father was born in Beit Hanina, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. He moved first to Nicaragua, then to Detroit. He worked on an assembly line in a Ford Motor Company plant. As the eldest, Tlaib played a role in raising her siblings while her parents worked, but the family sometimes had to rely on welfare for support.[10]

Rashida Tlaib attended elementary school at Harms, Bennett Elementary, and Phoenix Academy. She graduated from Southwestern High School in Detroit in 1994. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1998 from Wayne State University. She earned a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 2004.[11]

Earlier political career

Tlaib began her political career in 2004 when she interned with State Representative Steve Tobocman. When Tobocman became Majority Floor Leader in 2007, he hired Tlaib to his staff.[12][13]

Michigan House of Representatives

In 2008 Tobocman encouraged Tlaib to run for his seat, which he was vacating due to term limits. The urban district is 40% Hispanic, 25% African-American, 30% non-Hispanic white, and 2% Arab American. Tlaib faced a crowded primary that included several Latinos, including former State Representative Belda Garza. She emerged victorious, carrying 44% of the vote in the eight-way Democratic primary and winning the general election with over 90% of the vote.[14]

In 2010 Tlaib faced a primary election challenge from Jim Czachorowski in his first bid for office.[15] Tlaib picked up 85% of the vote to Czachorowski’s 15%, and won the general election with 92% of the vote against Republican challenger Darrin Daigle.

In 2012 Tlaib won reelection again to the Michigan House in the newly redrawn 6th District against fellow incumbent Maureen Stapleton. She could not run for the Michigan House a fourth time in 2014 because of term limits and ran for the Michigan Senate, losing to incumbent Senator Virgil Smith Jr. in the Democratic primary in August 2014.

During her tenure as a legislator, Tlaib was one of ten Muslims serving in state legislatures across the United States. She is the second Muslim to serve in the Michigan State House of Representatives, after James Karoub. Tlaib is the second Muslim woman to serve in a state legislature nationwide, after Jamilah Nasheed of Missouri.[16] She and Justin Amash, a Republican who was also elected in 2008, were the first two Palestinian-American members of the Michigan legislature.

After leaving the state legislature, Tlaib worked at Sugar Law Center, a Detroit nonprofit that provides free legal representation for workers.[17]

U.S. House of Representatives

Rashida Tlaib at her campaign headquarters in 2018

2018 Special Election

In 2018 Tlaib announced her intention to run for John Conyers‘s seat in Congress. She filed in both the Democratic primary in the special election for the balance of Conyers’s 27th term, and in the general election for a full two-year term. Both elections were to be held the same day. No Republican qualified for either primary, but the 13th is so heavily Democratic that any Republican would have faced nearly impossible odds. With a Cook Partisan Voting Indexof D+33, the 13th is the most Democratic district in Michigan and tied for the 20th-most Democratic district in the nation. Conyers held the seat without serious difficulty from 1965 until his resignation in 2017 (it was numbered as the 1st from 1965 to 1993 and as the 14th from 1993 to 2013), and never won with less than 77 percent of the vote.

As of July 16, 2018, Tlaib had raised $893,030 in funds, more than her five opponents in the August 7 Democratic primary.[18]

In the Democratic primary for the special election, Tlaib finished second to Detroit City Council president Brenda Jones, who received 32,727 votes (37.7% of the total) to Tlaib’s 31,084 (35.9%). Bill Wild, mayor of Westland, received 13,152 votes (15.2%) and Ian Conyers, the great-nephew of former Congressman Conyers, took fourth with 9,740 (11.2%).[19] Jones faced no major-party opposition in the special election.

2018 general election

In the Democratic primary for the general election, Tlaib defeated Jones and Wild, among others.[20] She received 27,803 votes, or 31.2%. She faced no major-party opposition in November 2018, though Jones mounted an eleventh-hour independent bid.

Tlaib became the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress and simultaneously one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, along with fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.[5] She took the congressional oath of office on January 3, 2019, swearing in on an English-language translation of the Quran.[21][22] She wore a thawb (thobe), a traditional embroidered Palestinian dress, to the swearing-in ceremony. This inspired a number of Palestinian and Palestinian-American women to share pictures on social media with the hashtag #TweetYourThobe.[23]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Tlaib has said she opposed providing aid to a “Netanyahu Israel” and supported the Palestinian right of return and a one-state solution.[24][25][26][27] Tlaib is one of the few members of Congress who openly support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. In January 2019, she criticized anti-BDS legislation proposed by Senators Marco Rubio and Jim Risch. Tlaib argued that boycotting is a right and said that Rubio and Risch “forgot what country they represent”. Tlaib’s comments were criticized by several Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, which said, “Though the legislation discussed is sponsored by four non-Jewish Senators, any charge of dual loyalty has special sensitivity and resonance for Jews, particularly in an environment of rising anti-Semitism.”[28][29][30][31][32] In response Tlaib said that her comments were directed at Rubio and Risch.[33]

Saudi Arabia

Tlaib has criticized Saudi Arabia‘s human rights violations and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[34][35]

Trump administration

Tlaib supports efforts to impeach President Trump. In August 2016 she protested a speech Trump gave at Cobo Center and was ejected from the venue.[36] On her first day in Congress, January 3, 2019, she called for the impeachment of Trump in an op-ed article co-authored with John Bonifaz for the Detroit Free Press.[37] In the op-ed Tlaib differs from top Democratic leaders on how to move forward with impeachment: “Those who say we must wait for Special Counsel Mueller to complete his criminal investigation before Congress can start any impeachment proceedings ignore this crucial distinction [referring to Congressional powers of impeachment].”[37]

Later that day Tlaib attended a reception for the MoveOn campaign and spoke on stage. She ended the speech recounting a conversation she had with her son, him saying: “Look, mama, you won. Bullies don’t win.” Tlaib replied to him, she recounted, “Baby, they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there and impeach the motherfucker.”[38] The next day at a White House press conference, Trump said, “Well, you can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job…I think she dishonored herself and I think she dishonored her family. I thought it was highly disrespectful to the United States of America.”[39][40]

In a radio interview with Mehdi Hasan of The Intercept, Tlaib reiterated her frequent call for Trump’s impeachment, saying, “Look, it’s not a waste of time to hold the president of the United States accountable … We need to understand our duties as members of Congress and I believe looking at even Nixon’s impeachment, or his—literally, his resignation, it was Republicans and Democrats coming together and putting country first, coming together and putting our values first. You’re seeing it now more and more. Even now, they’re standing up to Steve King.”[41]

Other issues

  • Democratic party: Tlaib, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, aligns politically with the left wing of the Democratic Party.[42][43]
  • Domestic policy: She supports domestic reforms, including “Medicare For All” (single-payer healthcare) and a $15 hourly minimum wage.[44]
  • Immigration: Tlaib was an early supporter of the movement to abolish the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency.[42] In June 2019 she was one of four Democratic representatives to vote against the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, a $4.5 billion border funding bill that required Customs and Border Protection enact health standards for individuals in custody such as forming standards for individuals for “medical emergencies; nutrition, hygiene, and facilities; and personnel training.”[45][46]

Personal life

In 1998, at the age of 22, Tlaib married Fayez Tlaib. They have two sons, Adam and Yousif. The couple have since divorced. In 2018 a campaign spokesperson called Tlaib a single mother.[47]

In September 2018 The New York Times reported that Tlaib walked into her family’s mosque to express her gratitude for the opportunity to run for Congress by saying “Today I was being thankful, embracing how incredibly blessed I am to grow up here, to have this tremendous opportunity…Sometimes I say ‘Thank her’ because my Allah is She.”[48] The Detroit Free Press reported that, although she recognizes that some in her faith community consider her not “Muslim enough”,[49] she believes that “Allah [. . .] understands”[49] and “knows that I am [. . .] giving back and doing things that I think are reflective of Islam”.[49]

Electoral history

  • 2008 campaign for State House
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 90%
    • Darrin Daigle (R), 10%
  • 2008 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 44%
    • Carl Ramsey (D), 26%
    • Belda Garza (D), 9%
    • Daniel Solano (D), 7%
    • Lisa Randon (D), 7%
    • Denise Hearn (D), 5%
    • Rochelle Smith (D), 1%
    • Nellie Saenz (D), 1%
  • 2010 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 85%
    • Jim Czachorowski (D), 15%
  • 2010 campaign for State House
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 92%
    • Darrin Daigle (R), 8%
  • 2014 campaign for State Senate, Democratic Primary
    • Virgil Smith (D), 50%
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 42%
    • Howard Worthy (D), 8%
Democratic primary results, 2018 Michigan’s 13th congressional district special election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brenda Jones 32,727 37.7
Democratic Rashida Tlaib 31,084 35.9
Democratic Bill Wild 13,152 15.2
Democratic Ian Conyers 9,740 11.2
Total votes 86,703 100.0
Democratic primary results, 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan § District 13
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Rashida Tlaib 27,803 31.2
Democratic Brenda Jones 26,916 30.2
Democratic Bill Wild 12,589 14.1
Democratic Coleman Young II 11,162 12.5
Democratic Ian Conyers 5,861 6.6
Democratic Shanelle Jackson 4,848 5.3
Total votes 89,179 100.0

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashida_Tlaib

Ilhan Omar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota‘s 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Keith Ellison
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 60B district
In office
January 2, 2017 – January 3, 2019
Preceded by Phyllis Kahn
Succeeded by Mohamud Noor
Personal details
Born
Ilhan Abdullahi Omar

October 4, 1982 (age 36)
MogadishuSomalia

Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (m. 2009, div. 2011 [within Muslim faith], 2017 [civilly])[1]

Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi
(m. 2002 [faith-based], div. 2008; 2nd m. 2018)[1]

See Personal life section below

Children 3
Education North Dakota State University(BA)
Website House website

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (born October 4, 1982) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019. The district includes all of Minneapolis and some of its suburbs.

Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016 on the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party line. In 2018 she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, marking a number of historic electoral firsts: she is the first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from Africa, and the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim women (along with Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) to serve in Congress.[2][3][4]

Omar is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and has advocated for a living wageaffordable housing and healthcarestudent loan debt forgiveness, the protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She has strongly opposed the immigration policies of the Trump administration, including the Trump travel ban. She has been the subject of several conspiracy theories, death threats, and other harassment by political opponents.

A frequent critic of Israel, Omar has denounced its settlement policy and military campaigns in the occupied Palestinian territories, and what she describes as the influence of pro-Israel lobbies such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In early 2019 Omar was criticized by a number of Democrats, Republicans and Jewish civil rights groups for comments about American support for Israel that they said drew on anti-Semitic tropes. Omar apologized for some of the remarks.

Contents

Early life and education

Omar was born in Mogadishu on October 4, 1982,[5][6] and spent her early years in BaidoaSomalia.[7][8] She was the youngest of seven siblings, including Sahra Noor. Her father Nur Omar Mohamed, an ethnic Somali, worked as a teacher trainer,[9] and her mother, Fadhuma Abukar Haji Hussein, a Benadiri (a community of partial Yemeni descent), died when Ilhan was two.[10][11][12][13] She was raised by her father and grandfather thereafter.[14] Her grandfather Abukar was the director of Somalia’s National Marine Transport and some of Omar’s uncles and aunts also worked as civil servants and educators.[9] She and her family fled Somalia to escape the war and spent four years in a Dadaab refugee camp in Garissa County, Kenya, near the Somali border.[15][16][17]

After first arriving in New York in 1992,[18] Omar’s family finally secured asylum in the U.S. in 1995 and lived for a time in Arlington, Virginia,[12] before moving to and settling in Minneapolis,[12] where her father worked first as a taxi driver and later for the post office.[12] Her father and grandfather emphasized the importance of democracy during her upbringing, and at age 14 she accompanied her grandfather to caucus meetings, serving as his interpreter.[14][19] Omar became a U.S. citizen in 2000 when she was 17 years old.[20][12] She has spoken about being bullied for wearing a hijab during her time in Virginia, recalling classmates sticking gum on it, pushing her down stairs, and jumping her when changing for gym class.[12] Omar remembers her father’s reaction to these incidents: “They are doing something to you because they feel threatened in some way by your existence.”[12]

Omar attended Edison High School and volunteered there as a student organizer.[21] She graduated from North Dakota State University[19] with bachelor’s degrees in political science and international studies in 2011.[22] Omar was a Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota‘s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.[23]

Early career

Omar with John Sullivan in Paris as part of Minnesota’s World’s Fair Bid Committee

Omar began her professional career as a community nutrition educator at the University of Minnesota, working in that capacity from 2006 to 2009 in the Greater Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. In 2012 she served as campaign manager for Kari Dziedzic‘s reelection campaign for the Minnesota State Senate. Between 2012 and 2013 she was a child nutrition outreach coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education.[24]

In 2013, Omar managed Andrew Johnson‘s campaign for Minneapolis City Council. After Johnson was elected, she served as his Senior Policy Aide from 2013 to 2015.[23] During a contentious precinct caucus that turned violent in February 2014, she was attacked by five people and was injured.[9] According to MinnPost, the day before the caucus, Minneapolis city councilmember Abdi Warsame had told Johnson to warn Omar not to attend the meeting.[25]

As of September 2015 Omar was the Director of Policy Initiatives of the Women Organizing Women Network, advocating for women from East Africa to take on civic and political leadership roles.[23] In September 2018, Jeff Cirillo of Roll Call called her a “progressive rising star.”[26]

Minnesota House of Representatives

Elections

Omar, then a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives, speaks at a Hillary for Minnesota event at the University of Minnesota in October 2016

Omar at the Twin Cities PrideParade in 2018

In 2016 Omar ran on the Democratic–Farmer–Labor (DFL) ticket for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 60B, which includes part of northeast Minneapolis. On August 9 Omar defeated Mohamud Noor and incumbent Phyllis Kahn in the DFL primary.[27] Her chief opponent in the general election was Republican nominee Abdimalik Askar, another activist in the Somali American community. In late August, Askar announced his withdrawal from the campaign.[28] In November 2016 Omar won the general election, becoming the first Somali American legislator in the United States.[29] Her term began on January 3, 2017.[30]

Tenure and activity

During her tenure as state Representative for District 60B, Omar was an Assistant Minority Leader for the DFL caucus.[31][32] She authored or co-authored at least 266 bills during the 2017–2018 legislative session.[33][non-primary source needed]

Committee assignments

  • Civil Law & Data Practices Policy
  • Higher Education & Career Readiness Policy & Finance
  • State Government Finance[34]

Financial transparency issues

In 2018 Republican state representative Steve Drazkowski publicly accused Omar of campaign finance violations,[6] claiming that she used campaign funds to pay a divorce lawyer, and that her acceptance of speaking fees from public colleges violated Minnesota House rules. Omar responded that the attorney’s fees were not personal but campaign-related; she offered to return the speaking fees.[35][36] Drazkowski later accused Omar of improperly using campaign funds for personal travel to Estonia and locations in the U.S.[6][37][20]

Omar’s campaign dismissed the accusations as politically motivated and accused Drazkowski of using public funds to harass a Muslim candidate.[20][38] In response to an editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune arguing that Omar should be more transparent about her use of campaign funds, she said: “these people are part of systems that have historically been disturbingly motivated to silence, discredit and dehumanize influencers who threaten the establishment.”[20]

In June 2019, Minnesota campaign finance officials ruled that Omar had to pay back $3,500 that she had spent on out-of-state travel and tax filing in violation of state law. She was also ordered to pay a $500 fine.[39]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

Welcoming several of the new female Congressional Black Caucusmembers in January 2019

On June 5, 2018, Omar filed to run for the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota’s 5th congressional district after six-term incumbent Keith Ellison announced he would not seek reelection to that office.[40] On June 17 she was endorsed by the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party after two rounds of voting.[41] Omar won the August 14 primary with 48.2% of the vote.[42] The 5th district is the most Democratic district in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, (it has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+26) and the DFL has held it without interruption since 1963. She faced health care worker and conservative activist Jennifer Zielinski in the November 6 general election[43] and won with 78.0% of the vote, becoming the first Somali American elected to the U.S. Congress, the first woman of color to serve as a U.S. Representative from Minnesota,[3] and (alongside former Michigan state representative Rashida Tlaib) one of the first Muslim women elected to the Congress.[44][45][46]

Omar received the largest percentage of the vote of any female candidate for U.S. House in state history,[47] as well as the largest percentage of the vote for a non-incumbent candidate for U.S. House (excluding those running against only non-major-party candidates) in state history.[47] She was sworn in on a copy of the Quran owned by her grandfather.[48][49]

After her election, the ban on head coverings in the U.S. House was modified, and Omar became the first woman to wear a hijab on the House floor.[12]

Omar is a member of the informal group known as “The Squad“, whose members form a unified front to push for progressive changes such as the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all. The other members of “The Squad” are Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) [50].

Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, 2018[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Ilhan Omar 267,703 77.97
Republican Jennifer Zielinski 74,440 21.68
n/a Write-ins 1,215 0.35
Total votes 343,358 100.0
DFL hold
Committee assignments
116th Congress (2019–21)[52][53][54]
Party leadership and caucus memberships

Congressional committee assignments

Caucuses

Political positions

Omar speaking at worker protest against Amazon, December 2018

Education

Omar supports broader access to student loan forgiveness programs as well as free tuition for college students whose family income is below $125,000.[57] Omar supports Bernie Sanders‘s plan to eliminate all $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt, funded by an 0.5% tax on stock transactions and an 0.1% tax on bond transactions.[58] She will introduce a companion bill in the House of Representatives.[59] In June 2019 Omar and Senator Tina Smith(D-MN) introduced the bill No Shame at School to end marking of and punishments for students with school meal debts.[60]

Health care

She supports Medicare for All as proposed in the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.[12][61]

Immigration

Omar has said she is in favor of the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.[62] She supports prosecuting federal officials who have been accused of physical and sexual assault of people in their detention.[63] She supports the protection of sanctuary cities and a path to permanent status for DREAMers and their families.[62] She opposes efforts to seal the border, calling Donald Trump‘s border wall plan “racist and sinful.”[64] In March 2019 Politico reported that Omar criticized Barack Obama‘s “caging of kids” along the Mexican border.[65][66] Omar accused Politico of distorting her comments and said that she had been “saying how [President] Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics,” adding, “One is human, the other is really not.”[67]

In June 2019 Omar was one of four Democratic representatives to vote against the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, a $4.5 billion border funding bill that required Customs and Border Protection to enact health standards for individuals in custody such as standards for “medical emergencies; nutrition, hygiene, and facilities; and personnel training.” “Throwing more money at the very organizations committing human rights abuses—and the very Administration directing these human rights abuses—is not a solution. This is a humanitarian crisis … inflicted by our own leadership,” she said.[68][69]

Military policy

Omar has been critical of U.S. foreign policy, and has called for reduced funding for “perpetual war and military aggression,”[70] saying, “knowing my tax dollars pay for bombs killing children in Yemen makes my heart break,” with “everyone in Washington saying we don’t have enough money in the budget for universal health care, we don’t have enough money in the budget to guarantee college education for everyone.”[70] She has also said, “By principle, I’m anti-war because I survived a war. I’m also anti-intervention. I don’t think it ever makes sense for any country to intervene in a war zone with the fallacy of saving lives when we know they are going to cause more deaths. I also don’t believe in forced regime change. Change needs to come from within.”[71] Omar has criticized the U.S. government’s drone assassination program, citing the Obama administration’s policy of “droning of countries around the world.”[65][66] She has said, “we don’t need nearly 800 military bases outside the United States to keep our country safe.”[72]

In 2019 Omar signed a letter led by Representative Ro Khanna and Senator Rand Paul to President Trump asserting that it is “long past time to rein in the use of force that goes beyond congressional authorization” and that they hoped this would “serve as a model for ending hostilities in the future—in particular, as you and your administration seek a political solution to our involvement in Afghanistan.”[73][74]

Human rights

Omar has criticized Saudi Arabia‘s human rights abuses and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[75][76] In October 2018 she tweeted: “The Saudi government might have been strategic at covering up the daily atrocities carried out against minorities, women, activists and even the #YemenGenocide, but the murder of #JamalKhashoggi should be the last evil act they are allowed to commit.”[76] She also called for a boycott of Saudi Arabia’s regime, tweeting: “#BDSSaudi.”[77] The Saudi Arabian government responded by having dozens of anonymous Twitter troll accounts it controlled post tweets critical of Omar.[75]

Omar condemned China‘s treatment of its Muslim ethnic Uyghur people.[78] In a Washington Post op-ed, Omar wrote, “Our criticisms of oppression and regional instability caused by Iran are not legitimate if we do not hold Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to the same standards. And we cannot continue to turn a blind eye to repression in Saudi Arabia—a country that is consistently ranked among the worst of the worst human rights offenders.”[72] She also condemned the Assad regime in Syria.[79]

Omar condemned the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, tweeting, “No person, of any faith, should be fearful in their house of worship.”[80]

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Criticism of the Israeli government

While she was in the Minnesota legislature, Omar was critical of the Israeli government and opposed a law intended to restrict the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.[81] She compared the movement to people who “engage[d] in boycotts” of apartheid in South Africa.[77] During her House campaign she said she did not support the BDS movement, describing it as counterproductive to peace.[82][83] After the election her position changed, as her campaign office told Muslim Girl that she supports the BDS movement despite “reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.”[84][85][82] Omar has voiced support for a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[77][72] She criticized Israel’s settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank.[86]

In 2018 Omar came under criticism for statements she made about Israel before she was in the Minnesota legislature.[81][83] In a 2012 tweet she wrote, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”[81][87] The comment, particularly the notion that Israel had “hypnotized the world,” was criticized as drawing on anti-Semitic tropes.[81] The New York Times columnist Bari Weiss wrote that Omar’s statement tied into a millennia-old “conspiracy theory of the Jew as the hypnotic conspirator.”[88] When asked in an interview how she would respond to American Jews who found the remark offensive, Omar replied, “I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans. My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza War and I’m clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war.”[87] After reading Weiss’s commentary, Omar apologized for not “disavowing the anti-Semitic trope I unknowingly used.”[89]

Remarks on AIPAC and American support for Israel

In an exchange with the journalist Glenn Greenwald in February 2019, Omar tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” in reference to American politicians’ support for Israel and invoked the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). A number of Democratic leaders—including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn—condemned the tweet, which was interpreted as implying that money was fueling American politicians’ support of Israel.[90] The Democratic House leadership released a statement accusing Omar of “engaging in ‘deeply offensive’ anti-Semitic tropes.”[91] The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) also denounced her statements.[92] Omar issued an apology the next day, saying, “I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” and adding, “I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry.”[91]

On February 27, 2019, Omar spoke at a bookstore and said of her critics: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” The statements were quickly criticized as allegedly drawing on anti-Semitic tropes of dual loyalty. House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel said it was “deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens” and asked Omar to retract her statement.[93] House Appropriations Committee chairwoman Nita Lowey also called for an apology and criticized the statements in a March 3 tweet, which led to an online exchange between the two. In response, Omar reaffirmed her remarks, insisting that she “should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”[94][95] Omar said she was simply criticizing Israel, drawing a distinction between criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu and being anti-Semitic.[96][97] Omar’s spokesman, Jeremy Slevin, said Omar was speaking out about “the undue influence of lobbying groups for foreign interests.”[98]

Reaction among Democratic presidential candidates was mixed. Senators Elizabeth WarrenKamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders defended Omar.[99] Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio regarded her statements as disturbing.[100][101] According to The Guardian, election records archived by OpenSecrets “suggest a correlation between pro-Israel lobby campaign contributions and Democratic presidential candidates’ position on the controversy.”[102] Some members of the Black Caucus believed Omar was unfairly targeted because she is a black Muslim, noting that “the Democratic leadership did not draft a resolution condemning Donald Trump or other white male Republicans over their antisemitic remarks.”[102] The second round of remarks prompted the Democratic leadership to introduce a resolution condemning antisemitism but without naming Omar. Following objections from a number of congressional progressive Democrats, the resolution was amended to include Islamophobia, racism, and homophobia,[103] and on March 7 the House passed the amended resolution. Omar called the resolution “historic on many fronts,” and said, “We are tremendously proud to be part of a body that has put forth a condemnation of all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism, and white supremacy.”[104] Some Minnesota Jewish and Muslim community leaders subsequently expressed continued concern over Omar’s rhetoric and language and indicated that the issue remained divisive with Omar’s district.[105]

On May 20, 2019, protesters gathered in Times Square in New York City to call for Omar’s removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “In my lifetime, I cannot think of any other politician who presents a bigger threat to the alliance between the US and Israel and to America’s Jews,” “Ilhan Must Go” founder and rally organizer Joe Diamond told The Jerusalem Post ahead of the protest.[106] Across the street, a smaller group of counter-protesters organized by progressive Jewish organization IfNotNow supported Omar; “I’m just sick and tired of seeing this one part of the Jewish community try to silence those who criticize Israel,” one said.[107]

LGBT rights

Omar was endorsed in 2018 by the Human Rights Campaign, a major LGBT civil rights advocacy group. In response to the endorsement, Omar stated, “I will fight for LGBTQIA+ rights in Washington D.C.”[108]

In March 2019 Omar addressed a rally in support of a Minnesota bill that would ban gay conversion therapy in the state. She co-sponsored a similar bill when she was a member of the Minnesota House.[109] In May 2019 Omar introduced legislation that would sanction Brunei over a recently introduced law that would make homosexual sex and adultery punishable by death.[110]

Minimum wage

Omar supports a $15 hourly minimum wage.[111][12]

Venezuela crisis

In January 2019, amid the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, Omar joined Democrats Ro Khanna and Tulsi Gabbard in denouncing the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Juan Guaidó, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, as Venezuela’s interim president.[112] She described Trump’s action as a “U.S. backed coup” to “install a far right opposition”. Omar added that the U.S. should not “hand pick” foreign leaders[113] and should support “Mexico, Uruguay & the Vatican’s efforts to facilitate a peaceful dialogue.”[112]

In February 2019 Omar questioned whether Elliott Abrams, whom Trump appointed as Special Representative for Venezuela in January 2019, was the correct choice given his past support of right-wing authoritarian regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, his initial doubts about the number of reported deaths in the El Mozote massacre in 1982, and his two 1991 misdemeanor convictions for withholding information from Congress about the Iran–Contra affair, for which he was later pardoned by George H. W. Bush.[114][115]

In May 2019, Omar said in an interview on Democracy Now! that U.S. foreign policy and economic sanctions are aimed at regime change and have contributed to the “devastation in Venezuela.”[116]

Threats, conspiracy theories and harassment

Assassination plot

In February 2019 the FBI arrested United States Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hasson, who was allegedly plotting to assassinate various journalists and left-of-center political figures in the United States, including Omar. According to prosecutors, Hasson is a self-described “long time White Nationalist” and former skinhead who wanted to use violence to “establish a white homeland.” Prosecutors also alleged that Hasson was in contact with an American neo-Nazi leader, stockpiled weapons, and compiled a hit list. Prosecutors allege that Hasson’s plans to commit domestic terrorism were inspired by Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik‘s 2011 domestic terrorist attacks.[117][118][119]

False connection to 9/11

On March 1, 2019, the West Virginia Republican Party held “WV GOP Day,” an event to celebrate the Republican Party, at the West Virginia Capitol. An exhibitor, not associated with the GOP, displayed a poster at the event falsely connecting Omar to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, along with Islamophobic flyers. State delegate Mike Pushkin, in attendance at the event, said that no Republican delegates condemned the poster. The poster was condemned the following day by the WV GOP party, which said, “The West Virginia Republican Party does not approve, condone, or support hate speech.” Omar pointed to the poster as an example of why she is targeted with violence, also citing white nationalist domestic terrorist Christopher Hasson placing her on his hit list and “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” being written in a Minnesota gas station.[120][121][122][123][124][120]

Jeanine Pirro’s hijab comments

On March 9, 2019, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro made what were widely condemned as prejudiced[125] and Islamophobic comments on her show when she questioned Omar’s loyalty to the United States because she wears a hijab.[126][127][128] Fox also condemned the remarks and Pirro’s show was not aired the following week.[127][129][130]

Death threats

On or before February 22, 2019, “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” was graffitied in a Rogers, Minnesota Holiday gas station restroom, prompting an FBI investigation.[131]

On April 7, 2019, Patrick Carlineo Jr., an ardent supporter of President Trump, was arrested for threatening to assault and violently murder Omar. The threats were made in a phone call to Omar’s office.[132][133] In May 2019 Carlineo was released from custody and placed on house arrest.[134]

9/11 comments and World Trade Center cover

On April 11, 2019, the front page of The New York Post carried an image of the World Trade Center burning following the September 11 terrorist attacks and a quotation from a speech Omar gave the previous month. The headline read, “REP. ILHAN OMAR: 9/11 WAS ‘SOME PEOPLE DID SOMETHING'”, and a caption underneath added, “Here’s your something … 2,977 people dead by terrorism.”[135] The Post was quoting a speech Omar had given at a recent Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) meeting. In the speech Omar said, “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us [Muslims in the U.S.] were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”[136][137][138][139] (In fact CAIR was founded in 1994, but many new members joined after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.)[139][140]

On April 12, President Donald Trump retweeted an altered video that selectively edited Omar’s remarks to remove context, showing her saying, “Some people did something.”[141][142][143] Her remarks were first criticized by fellow representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas.[144] Some Democratic representatives condemned Trump’s retweet, predicting that it would incite violence and hatred. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Trump to “take down his disrespectful and dangerous video” and asked the U.S. Capitol Police to increase its protection of Omar.[145][140]

On April 30, 100 black women activists held a demonstration in support of Omar in Washington in response to Trump’s comments, urging Democratic leaders to formally censure the president.[146] Speaking at the event, Omar blamed Trump and his allies for inciting Americans against both Jews and Muslims.[147]

Awards and honors

In 2014 Omar was named a rising star in the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party’s Women’s Hall of Fame.[148]

She received the 2015 Community Leadership Award from Mshale, an African immigrant media outlet based in Minneapolis. The prize is awarded annually on a readership basis.[149]

In 2017 Time magazine named Omar among its “Firsts: Women who are changing the world,” a special report on 46 women who broke barriers in their respective disciplines, and featured her on the cover of its September 18 issue.[150] Her family was named one of the “five families who are changing the world as we know it” by Vogue in their February 2018 issue featuring photographs by Annie Leibovitz.[151]

Media appearances

In 2018 Omar was featured in the video for Maroon 5‘s “Girls Like You.”[152]

The 2018 documentary film Time for Ilhan, directed by Norah Shapiro, chronicles Omar’s political campaign.[153] It was selected to show at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Personal life

Omar is Muslim and belongs to the Majeerteen clan from Northeastern Somalia.

In 2002 she became engaged to Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi (né Aden). The couple applied for a marriage license, but the application was not finalized. They did, however, have a faith-based marriage.[1] The couple had two children together before separating in 2008. The next year Omar married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a British citizen.[1] In 2011 she and Elmi had a faith-based divorce,[154] and that year she reconciled with Hirsi, with whom she had a third child in 2012. In 2017 Elmi and Omar were legally divorced,[36] and in 2018 Omar and Hirsi were legally married.[20] They and their three children live in Minneapolis.[23] Her daughter, Isra Hirsi, is one of the three principal organizers of the school strike for climate.[155]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilhan_Omar

Story 2: Democrat Controlled House of Representatives Condemns Trump’s Tweets As Racist — Human Racist?  — 240 (Democrats Plus 4 Republicans) vs. 187(Republicans) — Love America or Leave America — Videos —

WATCH: Pelosi calls Trump’s tweets about congresswomen ‘racist’ in House speech

US house condemns Trump over racist comments

House’s condemnation of Trump may just be the beginning

Now the debate is over push by some Democrats for impeachment

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and senior aide Wendell Primus leave the House floor on Tuesday as turmoil gripped the chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Although Tuesday’s long day of heated debate ended with the House voting to condemn President Donald Trump for racist tweets, the chamber’s brawl over the president’s behavior may be just beginning.

The House voted, 240-187, to approve a nonbinding resolution that says the chamber “strongly condemns” Trump’s “racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

[‘I abandon the chair’: House floor in chaos over Pelosi speech on Trump tweets]

The House’s majority Democratic leadership went forward with the resolution after Trump’s comments from Sunday, when he tweeted that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” (Only Omar, a refugee from Somalia, was born outside the United States.) 

“I am a proud naturalized citizen born in India, a proud patriot, a proud person who belongs in this country. And it’s not the first time I’ve heard, ‘Go back to your own country.’ But it is the first time I have heard it coming from the White House,” Washington Democrat Pramila Jayapal said shortly before the vote on the resolution.

The hours before the vote, though, were tumultuous.

During the debate, with Cleaver presiding, Jayapal made a request that comments from Wisconsin Republican Sean P. Duffy calling some fellow members of Congress “un-American” be taken down.

Cleaver ruled that her request was out of order. And then Pelosi came to the well to deliver remarks.

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“Every member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us to condemn the president’s racist tweets,” the California Democrat said.

[With racist tweets and comments, Trump signals bare-knuckle reelection fight]

Georgia Republican Doug Collins interjected unsuccessfully, but once Pelosi was finished speaking, he made the Californian an offer.

“I was just going to give the gentle speaker of the House, if she would like to rephrase that comment?” he asked.

Pelosi responded that she cleared her remarks with the parliamentarian before she read them on the floor.

Collins then took the procedural step to “take down” the comments by Pelosi, saying they violated rules of decorum for the House, which forbid accusing the president of racism.

That led to a lengthy standoff on the floor and widespread confusion as to what was going on.

Stalemate on the floor

Finally, after a staffer could be heard saying to Cleaver that it was time to make his ruling and read a prepared statement, the onetime minister instead said he would make a statement of his own, casting aside the printed remarks handed to him.

“I came in here to try to do this in a fair way. I kept warning both sides let’s not do this, hoping we could get through,” the Missouri Democrat said.

“We don’t ever, ever, want to pass up an opportunity, it seems, to escalate. And that’s what this is,” Cleaver said. “I dare anybody to look at any of the footage and see if there was any unfairness, but unfairness is not enough, because we want to just fight.”

Adding a bit of dramatic flair, Cleaver dropped the gavel and declared simply, “I abandon the chair.” Then he walked off the rostrum.

“I’ve not seen it before,” said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer before taking the gavel himself to resume proceedings at Pelosi’s request.

The Maryland Democrat announced the parliamentarian’s ruling against the speaker that “the words should not be used in debate,” according to a precedent from May 15, 1984.

Collins then moved to strike Pelosi’s words from the record, leading to a series of votes on the matter before finally getting to the resolution itself. In the end, four Republicans — Susan W. Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan — and independent Justin Amash of Michigan voted with all 235 Democrats in favor of the resolution.

Far enough?

For all the drama over condemnation, at least a few dozen Democrats think that censuring or impeaching the president would be a more appropriate response to what they describe as a pattern of racist and xenophobic rhetoric.

“This sends a very, very clear message,” New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. said of the condemnation resolution. “But a censure … is more forceful.”

Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen on Monday introduced a resolution to censure Trump with nine co-sponsors, including the four progressive Democrats who were the targets of the president’s attacks. He said seven or eight other Democrats told him Tuesday they want to sign on to the resolution, but it’s been hard to rally support for it because Pelosi is opposed.

Some Democrats want to go even further and impeach the president or at least open an impeachment inquiry. Omar and Tlaib both reiterated their calls for impeachment during a press conference Monday evening.

Texas Rep. Al Green told reporters on Wednesday morning a vote on articles of impeachment he introduced would come in the afternoon. Several other members, however, said they expected leadership to move to refer the measure to the Judiciary Committee or to table it, standard procedure to dispense with such measures.

On Tuesday, Green did just that, right after the vote on the condemnation resolution, reading his privileged articles of impeachment on the floor. The move, called giving notice, triggers a two-day clock in which leadership must consider or dispense with the resolution by tabling it or referring it to the Judiciary Committee.

“It just seems to me that these things are in tandem with each other,” Green said. “I believe that condemnation is appropriate. But I also believe that it won’t be enough to deter or to put guardrails up for this president, who seems to have little respect for the courts, little respect for committees that are performing proper oversight. At some point, we have to develop the wherewithal to say to this president, enough is enough. I think this is an enough is enough resolution.”

Twice in the last Congress, Green brought privileged articles of impeachment to the floor, but Republican leaders — then in the majority— successfully moved to table them.

Green had long decided that he would force a third vote on impeaching Trump sometime this year, but it was the president’s Sunday tweet telling members of color to go back to their countries that pushed him to bring it up now.

“I’m 71. And I remember the ‘go back to Africa language’ that was commonplace in this country,” he said. “I’m a son of the segregated South. I had to go to back doors, drink out of colored water fountains, sit in the back of the movie, back of the bus. And that was all a part of it.”

“When I hark back and I hear that language, I remember all of these things. This was not a good time in the history of the country for persons of African ancestry,” he continued. “So I, at that point, I really felt that it was necessary to send to this president the message that there are some of us who believe that you are so unfit that you should be removed from office. And he is unfit, because he’s tried to infuse his bigotry into policy.”

Green offered the articles of impeachment a week before former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is scheduled to testify before two House panels — a point that several members have said they wanted to get to before deciding whether it was appropriate to open an impeachment inquiry.

“The Mueller testimony will have no impact on this, and this will have no impact on the Mueller testimony,” Green said. “They’re totally separate issues. … They’re both about impeachment, but they’re for different reasons.”

Green said the articles of impeachment focus more on Trump’s “bigotry” than obstruction of justice, even though he thinks Trump is guilty of that.

Democratic leaders have yet to decide how to handle Green’s resolution, Hoyer told CQ Roll Call Tuesday evening after he left the floor after listening to Green introduce his measure.

Earlier in the day, Hoyer told reporters he would not try to talk Green out of offering it.

“He has to do what he thinks is right,” the majority leader said.

And with Trump unlikely to temper his language any time soon, the debate about what to do about that will continue, regardless of votes to condemn his language or how Democratic leaders eventually deal with actions by members like Green.

https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/long-day-partisan-warfare-house-just-beginning

 

 

Story 3: ANTIFA (Anti-facist) 69-Year Old Man With Rifle Who Threw Incendiary Device at Northwest Detention Center Shot Dead By Tacoma Police — Videos

Tucker: Antifa has the support of the ‘respectable’ left

Man shot and killed after attacking ICE facility

AOC, Ilhan Omar repeatedly REFUSE to condemn Antifa attack on ICE! | Keean Bexte

Man throwing ‘incendiary devices’ fatally shot by police at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma

ANTIFA DOMESTIC TERRORIST ATTACK!

Far Left Publishes Praise Of Antifa Terrorist Who Attacked ICE, Possible Motivations Revealed

Man shot and killed in police confrontation outside Tacoma ICE detention facility

Anarchist Who Firebombed A Detention Center is Being Called a Hero

The Firebomber’s Manifesto: Inside the Mind of Willem Van Spronsen

Antifa lauds ‘martyr’ who attacked ICE detention center as manifesto circulates

– The Washington Times – Monday, July 15, 2019

The rifle-wielding attacker who tried to burn an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Washington over the weekend wrote a self-justifying manifesto repeating many standard Democratic talking points about the border crisis and other issues.

In a three-page document posted on Seattle TV station KIRO’s website, Willem Van Spronsen cited popular left-wing historian Howard Zinn, said that “i am antifa,” criticized the Electoral College and accused the U.S. of running “concentration camps” on the border.

Willem Van Spronsen, 69, declares early on in his manifesto that “evil says concentration camps for folks deemed lesser are necessary. the handmaid of evil says the concentration camps should be more humane,” using a term usually reserved for Nazi Germany’s death camps, but introduced in the border-security debate last month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

He also mocked people criticizing Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for intellectual sloppiness, referring to “these days of highly profitable detention/concentration camps and a battle over the semantics.”

Van Spronsen, armed with an AR-15 assault weapon that his manifesto encouraged others to acquire to bring about a revolution, attacked the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma around 4 a.m. Saturday. He threw “incendiary devices” and set vehicles before officers shot him to death as he was trying to ignite a propane tank.

In his manifesto, he called the detention facility “an abomination” and that he was “not standing by” as it operated.

“i really shouldn’t have to say any more than this. i set aside my broken heart and i heal the only way i know how- by being useful. i efficiently compartmentalize my pain… and i joyfully go about this work,” he wrote.

He indicated that he intended the attack as a suicide mission, writing that “i regret that i will miss the rest of the revolution. thank you for the honor of having me in your midst. giving me space to be useful.”

Antifa activists declared him useful, too.

Seattle Antifascist Action called him “our good friend and comrade Willem Van Spronsen” and said he “became a martyr who gave his life to the struggle against fascism.”

The group went on to call for more such attacks in memory of Van Spronsen.

We cannot let his death go unanswered … May his death serve as a call to protest and direct action,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was asked Monday by the Daily Wire whether she would denounce antifa and whether she was to any degree responsible for the attack, since Van Spronsen repeatedly used her “concentration camp” language.

She ignored the reporter.

Rifle-toting man who threw incendiary devices at a Washington state immigration jail killed after four police officers opened fire at him

  • A man with a rifle threw incendiary devices at a Washington immigration jail 
  • The incident took place at 4am, six hours after a peaceful rally was held there 
  • Four police officers responded, warned the man and opened fire at him
  • The man was later found dead at the scene after having been shot
  • The officers were not wearing body cameras, but there is surveillance footage
  • It’s unclear what the man’s motives were for attacking the immigration center 

Antifa (United States)

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An antifa sticker

The antifa (/ænˈtfəˈæntiˌfɑː/)[1] movement is a conglomeration of left-wing autonomous, militant anti-fascist[7] groups in the United States.[11] The principal feature of antifa groups is their use of direct action,[12] with conflicts occurring both online and in real life.[13] They engage in varied protest tactics, which include digital activism, property damage, physical violence, and harassment against those whom they identify as fascist, racist, or on the far-right.[18]

Activists involved in the movement tend to be anti-capitalists[19] and subscribe to a range of ideologies, typically on the left. They include anarchistssocialists and communists along with some liberals and social democrats.[25] Their stated focus is on fighting far-right and white supremacist ideologies directly, rather than through electoral means.[12]

Contents

History

Logo of Antifaschistische Aktion, the militant anti-fascist network in 1930s Germany that inspired the Antifa movement
The logo as it appears on a flag held by an antifa member in Cologne, Germany in 2008

When Italian dictator Benito Mussolini consolidated power under his National Fascist Party in the mid-1920s, an oppositional anti-fascist movement surfaced both in Italy and countries such as the United States. Many anti-fascist leaders in the United States were syndicalist, anarchist, and socialist émigrés from Italy with experience in labor organizing and militancy.[26]

Although there is no organizational connection, the lineage of antifa in America can be traced to Weimar Germany,[27] where the first group described as “antifa” was Antifaschistische Aktion, formed in 1932 with the involvement of the Communist Party of Germany.[28]

After World War II, but prior to the development of the modern antifa movement, violent confrontations with fascist elements continued sporadically.[29]

Modern antifa politics can be traced to opposition to the infiltration of Britain’s punk scene by white power skinheads in the 1970s and 1980s, and the emergence of neo-Nazism in Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall.[24] In Germany, young leftists, including anarchists and punk fans, renewed the practice of street-level anti-fascism.[24] Columnist Peter Beinart writes that “in the late ’80s, left-wing punk fans in the United States began following suit, though they initially called their groups Anti-Racist Action (ARA) on the theory that Americans would be more familiar with fighting racism than they would be with fighting fascism.”[24]

Dartmouth College historian Mark Bray, author of Antifa:The Anti-Fascist Handbook, credits ARA as the precursor of the modern US antifa groups in the United States and Canada.[30] In the late 1980s and 1990s, ARA activists toured with popular punk rock and skinhead bands in order to prevent Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other assorted white supremacists from recruiting.[24][31][32] Their motto was “We go where they go” by which they meant that they would confront far-right activists in concerts and actively remove their materials from public places.[33] In 2002, the ARA disrupted a speech in Pennsylvania by Matthew F. Hale, the head of the white supremacist group World Church of the Creator, resulting in a fight and twenty-five arrests.[24] One of the earliest Antifa groups in the U.S. was Rose City Antifa, which was formed in Portland, Oregon in 2007.[34]

Other antifa groups in the U.S. have other genealogies, for example in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a group called the Baldies was formed in 1987 with the intent to fight neo-Nazi groups directly.[19]

Terminology

Although various antifascist movements have existed in the United States since the beginning of fascism, the word antifa, adopted from German usage,[27][35][36] only came into prominence as an umbrella term in English in 2017.[37][38]The ADL makes a point that the label “antifa” should be limited to “those who proactively seek physical confrontations with their perceived fascist adversaries,” and not be misapplied to include all counter-protesters.[13]

Ideology and activities

Antifa is not an interconnected or unified organization, but rather a movement without a leadership structure, comprising multiple autonomous groups and individuals.[13][21][33] Since it is composed of autonomous groups, and thus has no formal organization or membership,[24][39] it is impossible to know how many groups are active. Activists typically organize protests via social media and through websites and email lists.[24][39] Some activists have built peer-to-peer networks, or use encrypted-texting services like Signal.[40] According to Salon, it is an organizing strategy, not a group of people.[41] While its numbers cannot be estimated accurately, the movement has grown since the 2016 presidential election and approximately 200 groups currently exist in the US, of varying sizes and levels of engagement.[27] The activists involved subscribe to a range of ideologies, typically on the left and they include anarchists, socialists and communists along with some liberals and social democrats.[20][22]

According to Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the California State University, San Bernardino, antifa activists participate in violent actions because “they believe that elites are controlling the government and the media. So they need to make a statement head-on against the people who they regard as racist”.[8] According to Mark Bray, the adherents “reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. Instead they advocate popular opposition to fascism as we witnessed in Charlottesville”.[21]

The idea of direct action is central to the antifa movement. Antifa organizer Scott Crow told an interviewer:

“The idea in Antifa is that we go where they [right-wingers] go. That hate speech is not free speech. That if you are endangering people with what you say and the actions that are behind them, then you do not have the right to do that. And so we go to cause conflict, to shut them down where they are, because we don’t believe that Nazis or fascists of any stripe should have a mouthpiece.”[8]

A manual posted on It’s Going Down, an anarchist website, warns against accepting “people who just want to fight”. It furthermore notes that “physically confronting and defending against fascists is a necessary part of anti-fascist work, but is not the only or even necessarily the most important part”.[42]

Rose City Antifa activists with modified anarchist red and black flagand transgender pride flag in a protest against Patriot Prayer in 2017

According to Beinart, antifa activists “try to publicly identify white supremacists and get them fired from their jobs and evicted from their apartments”, in addition to “disrupt(ing) [sic] white-supremacist rallies, including by force”.[43]According to a Washington Post book review, antifa tactics include “no platforming“, i.e. denying their targets platforms from which to speak; obstructing their events and defacing their propaganda; and when antifa activists deem it necessary, deploying violence to deter them.[22] According to National Public Radio, “people who speak for the Antifa movement acknowledge they sometimes carry clubs and sticks” and their “approach is confrontational”.[44] CNNdescribes antifa as “known for causing damage to property during protests”.[8] Scott Crow, described by CNN as “a longtime Antifa organizer”, argues that destroying property is not a form of violence.[8] The groups have been associated with physical violence in public against police[45] and against people whose political views its activists deem repugnant.[46] Antifa activists used clubs and dyed liquids against the white supremacists in Charlottesville[47]and caused property damage.[8] In one incident, an apparent antifa supporter punched white supremacist Richard Spencer in the face as he was giving an impromptu street interview,[48][49] and on another occasion, some threw Molotov cocktails in Berkeley, California.[8]

Apart from the other activities, antifa activists engage in mutual aid, such as disaster response in the case of Hurricane Harvey.[50][51][52] According to Natasha Lennard in The Nation, as of January 2017 antifa groups were working with interfaith groups and churches “to create a New Sanctuary Movement, continuing and expanding a 40-year-old practice of providing spaces for refugees and immigrants”.[53] Antifa activists also do research to monitor and track the “methods and movements of far-right leaders”, hold conferences and workshops on anti-fascist activism, and advocate ways of “fostering sustainable, peaceful communities”, such as “tending neighborhood gardens and setting up booths at book fairs and film festivals” where they provide printed materials.[54]

In June 2017, the antifa movement was linked to “anarchist extremism” by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.[55] In September 2017 Politico obtained confidential documents and interviews indicating that in April 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. Politicointerviewed law enforcement officials who noted a rise in activity since the beginning of the Trump administration, particularly a rise in recruitment (and on the part of the far right as well) since the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally. One internal assessment acknowledged an inability to penetrate the groups’ “diffuse and decentralized organizational structure”. By 2017, the FBI and DHS reported that they were monitoring suspicious Antifa activity in relation to terrorism.[56] In August 2017 a petition was lodged with the White House petitioning system “We the People” calling upon the government to formally classify “AntiFa” as terrorist. The White House responded in 2018 that federal law does not have a mechanism for formally designating domestic terrorist organizations.[57][58][59] The writer of the petition later said he had created it to “bring our broken right side together,” and to “prop up antifa as a punching bag.”[60]

In June 2018, a Nebraska antifa group published a list of names and photographs of 1,595 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, drawn from LinkedIn profiles.[61]

Antifa activists often use the black bloc tactic, in which people dress all in black and cover their faces, in order to thwart surveillance, and create a sense of equality and solidarity among participants.[62] Antifa activists wear masks to hide their “…identity from protestors on the other side (who might dox people they disagree with) or from police and cameras” and for philosophical reasons, such as the beliefs that “hierarchies are bad and that remaining anonymous helps keep one’s ego in check.”[63]

Notable activism

Antifa groups, along with black bloc activists, were among those who protested the 2016 election of Donald Trump.[24][53] They also participated in the February 2017 Berkeley protests against alt-right[64][65][66] speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, where they gained mainstream attention,[39] with media reporting them “throwing Molotov cocktails and smashing windows”[8] and causing $100,000 worth of damage.[67]

In April 2017, two groups described as “anti-fascist/anarchist”, including the socialist/environmentalist Direct Action Alliance, threatened to disrupt the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade after hearing the Multnomah County Republican Party would participate. The parade organizers also received an anonymous email, saying: “You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely”. The two groups denied having anything to do with the email. The parade was ultimately canceled by the organizers due to safety concerns.[68][69]

On June 15, 2017, some antifa groups joined protestors at Evergreen State College to oppose the far-right group Patriot Prayer‘s event. Patriot Prayer was supporting biology professor Bret Weinstein who became the central figure in a controversy after he criticized changes to one of the college’s events. In addition to peaceful antifa activists who held up a “community love” sign, USA Today reported that one slashed the tires of far-right activist Joey Gibson and another was wrestled to the ground by Patriot Prayer activists after being seen with a knife.[70]

Antifa counter-protesters at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 “certainly used clubs and dyed liquids against the white supremacists”.[47] Journalist Adele Stan interviewed an antifa protester at the rally who said the sticks carried by the protesters are a justifiable countermeasure to the fact that “the right has a goon squad”.[71] Some antifa participants at the Charlottesville rally chanted that counter-protesters should “punch a Nazi in the mouth”.[44] Antifa participants also protected Cornel West and various clergy from attack by white supremacists, with West stating he felt that antifa had “saved his life”.[72][73] Antifa activists also defended the First United Methodist Church, where the Charlottesville Clergy Collective provided refreshments, music and training to the counter-protesters and, according to a local rabbi, “chased [the white supremacists] off with sticks”.[72][74]

Antifa protesters during a Trump rally in Phoenix, Arizona, August 22, 2017

Groups that had been preparing to protest the Boston Free Speech Rally saw their plans become viral following the violence in Charlottesville. The event drew a largely peaceful crowd of 40,000 counter-protestors. In The AtlanticMcKay Coppins stated that the 33 people arrested for violent incidents were “mostly egged on by the minority of ‘Antifa’ agitators in the crowd”.[75] President Trump described the protestors outside his August 2017 rally in Phoenix, Arizona as “Antifa”.[76]

During a Berkeley protest on August 27, 2017, an estimated one hundred antifa protesters joined a crowd of 2,000–4,000 counter-protesters to confront alt-right demonstrators and Trump supporters who showed up for a “Say No to Marxism” rally that had been cancelled by organizers due to security concerns.[67][77] Protestors threatened to smash the cameras of anyone who filmed them.[78] Jesse Arreguin, the mayor of Berkeley, suggested classifying the city’s antifa as a gang.[79] The far-right group Patriot Prayer cancelled an event in San Francisco the same day following counter protests. Joey Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, blamed antifa, along with By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), for breaking up the event.[80]

In November 2018, police investigated the antifa group Smash Racism D.C. following a protest outside the home of The Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson.[81] Activists of the group said through a bullhorn that Carlson was promoting hate and chanted, “We will fight, we know where you sleep at night!” and defaced the driveway of Carlsons’ property by spray-painting an anarchist symbol onto it[82] Twitter suspended the group’s account for violation of Twitter rules by posting Carlson’s home addresses. The group also posted addresses of Carlson’s brother and a friend who co-founded The Daily Caller.[83][84][85][86][87][88]

In February 2019, anti-fascist activists marched in celebration through Stone Mountain, Georgia as a white supremacist, neo-confederate rally planned to be held at the adjacent Stone Mountain Park was cancelled due to infighting and fear of personal safety. White supremacist groups originally sought to attract attention by marching at the Stone Mountain, a Confederate landmark carving, during the Super Bowl weekend. The groups ignored the park’s denial of permit due to “clear and present danger to the public health or safety”, but was thwarted when Facebook and Twitter terminated their organizing accounts and pages, and one group leader’s retreat due to “fears of violence from counter-protesters”. In their absence, more than 100 antifa activists marched peacefully through the adjacent village, burned a Klansman effigy and chanted slogans such as “Good night, alt right” and “Death to the Klan”, before joining another civil rights rally at Piedmont Park held by the NAACP and the SPLC.[89][90][91]

Response

Antifa actions have been subject to criticism from Republicans, Democrats and political commentators in the U.S. media.[92][93][94] House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi condemned the violence of antifa activists in Berkeley on August 29, 2017.[95] Conservative talk show host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham suggested labeling antifa as a terrorist organization.[96] Noam Chomsky described them as “a major gift to the right”.[97] Other “anti-anti-fascists” on the left have argued that antifa attack a symptom of liberal democracyrather than combating structural racism itself, and in doing so distance themselves from revolutionary politics.[98] Dissent editor Michael Kazin stated “Non-leftists often see the left as a disruptive, lawless force. Violence tends to confirm that view.”[99] The historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat said in July 2019 that “Throwing a milkshake is not equivalent to killing someone, but because the people in power are allied with the right, any provocation, any dissent against right-wing violence, backfires”, with the effect that “[m]ilitancy on the left” can “become a justification for those in power and allies on the right to crack down” on the left.[34]

On the other hand, historian and political organizer Mark Bray has said “Given the historical and current threat that white supremacist and fascist groups pose, it’s clear to me that organized, collective self-defense is not only a legitimate response, but lamentably an all-too-necessary response to this threat on too many occasions.”[100] Alexander Reid Ross, a lecturer in geography and an author on the contemporary right, has said that antifa groups represented “one of the best models for channeling the popular reflexes and spontaneous movements towards confronting fascism in organized and focused ways.”[101] Eleanor Penny, an author on fascism and the far-right, argues against Chomsky that “physical resistance has time and again protected local populations from racist violence, and prevented a gathering caucus of fascists from making further inroads into mainstream politics.”[97] Cornel West, who attended a counter-protest to the Unite the Right rally, said in an interview, “we would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the anti-fascists,” describing a situation where a group of 20 counter-protesters were surrounded by marchers who he described as, “neofascists.”[102]

The Anti-Defamation League stated that “All forms of antifa violence are problematic. Images of these ‘free speech’ protesters being beaten by black-clad and bandana-masked antifa provide right wing extremists with a powerful propaganda tool” but goes on to state “that said, it is important to reject attempts to claim equivalence between the antifa and the white supremacist groups they oppose.” They also mention that “most established civil rights organizations criticize antifa tactics as dangerous and counterproductive.”[13]

Hoaxes

There have been multiple efforts to discredit antifa groups via hoaxes on social media, many of them false flag attacks originating from members of the alt-right and 4chan posing as members of antifa groups on Twitter. Some of these hoaxes have been picked up and reported as fact by right-leaning media.[103]

These include an August 2017 “#PunchWhiteWomen” photo hoax campaign spread by fake antifa twitter accounts.[104] In one such instance, Bellingcat researcher Eliot Higgins discovered an image of British actress Anna Friel portraying a battered woman in a 2007 Women’s Aid anti-domestic violence campaign that had been re-purposed using fake antifa Twitter accounts organized by way of 4chan. The image is captioned “53% of white women voted for Trump, 53% of white women should look like this” and includes an antifa flag. Another image featuring an injured woman is captioned “She chose to be a Nazi. Choices have consequences” and includes the hashtag #PunchANazi. Higgins remarked to the BBC that “[t]his was a transparent and quite pathetic attempt, but I wouldn’t be surprised if white nationalist groups try to mount more sophisticated attacks in the future”.[105] A similar fake image circulated on social media after the Unite the Right rally; the doctored image, actually from a 2009 riot in Athens, was altered to make it look like someone wearing an antifa symbol attacking a member of the police with a flag.[106] After the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, similar hoaxes falsely claimed that the shooter was an antifa “member”; another such hoax involved a fake antifa twitter account praising the shooting.[107][108] Another high-profile fake antifa account was banned from Twitter after it posted with a geotag originating in Russia.[109] Such fake antifa accounts have been repeatedly reported on as real by right-leaning media outlets.[103]

Some of the opposition to antifa activism has also been artificial in nature; Nafeesa Syeed of Bloomberg reported that “[t]he most-tweeted link in the Russian-linked network followed by the researchers was a petition to declare Antifa a terrorist group”.[110]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifa_(United_States)

 

Story 4: Establishment Democrats Support Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden — Videos

Biden support slips below 30 percent in new poll

Former Vice President Joe Biden‘s support in the latest Hill-HarrisX poll of Democratic voters has fallen below 30 percent, his lowest mark in the survey so far.

The poll, released on Monday, found that 29 percent of likely Democratic primary voters support Biden as their first choice for president, while 16 percent back Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.).

This marks a 4-point drop for Biden from an identical poll conducted two weeks ago and immediately following the first 2020 Democratic debates. It also represents a 17-point drop from when same poll was first conducted in May, a month after Biden formally launched his campaign bid.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) retained their spots, with Harris getting 11 percent and Warren trailing close behind at 9 percent.

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who ranked as high as third place at one earlier poll, slipped to sixth place, garnering just 1 percent of support.

Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who has been lagging in national polls over the last few months, notched up 2 points to 3 percent.

A large number of respondents, 17 percent, were undecided.

The poll can be viewed as another setback for Biden, whose campaign has been grappling with attacks on his civil rights record in recent weeks.

Harris and Biden went head-to-head last month on the second night of the first Democratic presidential debates, where she confronted him on his past comments about working with segregationists senators and his past opposition to school busing.

The California senator saw a bump in a number of polls — including the Hill’s own Hill-HarrisX survey — following the confrontation.

Yet the poll continues to show Biden with a double digit lead over Sanders, and he has more than twice the support of Harris and more than three times the support of Warren to this point.

The Hill-HarrisX poll surveyed 1,003 voters between July 12 and July 13. The sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn

https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/453142-biden-slips-below-30-percent-among-2020-democrats

Biden: If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep It

Repeats Obama pledge about Affordable Care Act

Former Vice President Joe Biden repeated one of his old boss’s most infamous pledges on Monday, saying under his proposal, “if you like your health care plan … you can keep it.”

The 2020 Democratic frontrunner released a health care plan Monday that would seek to build upon the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which included subsidies to lower prices on the exchanges and also allowing for a “public option” his campaign called similar to Medicare.

“I give people the option. If you like your health care plan, your employer-based plan, you can keep it,” Biden told an audience at an AARP-sponsored forum. “If in fact you have private insurance, you can keep it.”

Some of his 2020 rivals, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) are pushing for some form of a single-payer “Medicare for All” program. Some versions would completely eliminate private health insurance. Biden warned the crowd of that possible outcome if they liked the plans they have and said the transition would be difficult.

With his, Biden said, “you get a choice.”

“You get full coverage, and you can stay with your plan if you like it,” Biden said. “You can stay with your employer-based plan, or you can move on. I think it’s the quickest, most reasonable, rational and best way to get to universal coverage.”

His use of the phrase “you can keep it” created a stir, given how much it hurt President Barack Obama politically.

Obama pledged dozens of times during and after the passage of the Affordable Care Act that Americans who liked their current health care policies would be able to keep them, even punctuating his promise at times with an emphatic “period.” However, millions of cancellation notices went out upon the law’s implementation for not meeting Obamacare standards, leading him to get hit by PolitiFact with the 2013 “Lie of the Year.”

Biden has criticized his rivals for wanting to scrap Obamacare, one of the Obama administration’s main domestic accomplishments.

“Medicare goes away as you know it,” he said of his rivals’ proposals. “But the transition of dropping 300 million people on a new plan is, I think, kind of a little risky at this point.”

Story 3: European Union’s Galileo Global Positioning Statellites Down For Four Days — Videos

See the source image

First Blackouts, now EU GPS satellites down – what the heck is going on?

EU’s GPS satellites have been down for four days in mysterious outage

What is the UK-EU fight over Galileo all about?

Galileo goes live: Europe’s long-delayed satellite navigation service starts service

What is Galileo?

Coffee & a Chat #5 European GPS system is DOWN!

Why The US Military Made GPS Free-To-Use

Europe’s New GPS System Is Already Broken!… Can We Fix It?

How does GPS work?

Europe’s Galileo sat-nav satellites are OFFLINE: EU is forced to rely on American GPS after system suffers a FOUR DAY outage

  • EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system has been down for four days
  • Majority of satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage 
  • Galileo system is an alternative to the US-made GPS system and is free to use
  • European services have been relying on the US alternative since issues started  

The EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system has been knocked offline for four days following a ground-based technical incident.

Most of the satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage since Friday as the official status of all its crafts as currently ‘Not Usable’.

Two of the 26 are said to be ‘testing’ while two others have long been out of service due to unrelated issues.

It is believed the ability to locate and help people in distress situations is unaffected.

Experts are working to restore operations of the multibillion euro programme, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) said.

The system is provided for free and is used by private firms, government agencies, academics and the tech sector.

Scroll down for video

The EU's Galileo satellite navigation system has been down for four days as a result of a technical incident on the ground. The majority of satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage (stock)

The EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system has been down for four days as a result of a technical incident on the ground. The majority of satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage (stock)

Issues have persisted the duration of the weekend and it means satellites cannot currently give locations or times to smartphones or other devices.

The majority of popular handsets in use around Europe are reliant on Galileo – including all iPhones released since 2017.

It is still in its earl stages as a project and is therefore not trusted with vital systems, with crucial services using other means.

It operates independently of the US system as well as not relying on Russia’s GLONASS or China’s Beidou networks.

Galileo began testing in December 2016 as an alternative to the US-made Global Positioning System (GPS), designed to provide an exact location to commercial and government customers, with a full deployment expected in 2020.

Experts are working to restore operations of the multibillion euro programme, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) said on Sunday. The system is provided under both free and commercial ventures and is used by both private firms, government agencies, academics and the tech sector

Experts are working to restore operations of the multibillion euro programme, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) said on Sunday. The system is provided under both free and commercial ventures and is used by both private firms, government agencies, academics and the tech sector

The cause of the technical incident is identified and recovery actions are implemented to ensure that the nominal service is resumed as soon as possible while safeguarding quality of the services,’ the GSA said.

In November, Britain gave up on efforts to gain access to the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system for defence and critical national infrastructure purposes, after being frozen out by Brussels because of Brexit.

It is unclear whether the UK will get back the £1.2 billion it sank into Galileo.

Instead, it is aiming to build its own Global Navigation Satellite System, at a cost estimated by independent experts at £3 billion to £5 billion.

WHAT IS THE GALILEO SATELLITE CONSTELLATION?

An artist's impression of one of the satellites in the Galileo constellation

An artist’s impression of one of the satellites in the Galileo constellation

Galileo is a global navigation satellite system created by the European Union which was brought online in 2016.

The project was built to provide a high-precision global positioning system for the use of European nations that was independent of the US’ GPS and Russia’s GLONASS systems.

The setup can provide horizontal and vertical position measurements to a precision of within 1 metre.

It also provides a better service for users in higher latitudes than alternative systems.

Galileo’s low-precision services are free to use and open to everyone, while paying commercial customers can access the system’s higher-precision capabilities.

 The first test satellite for the project was launched in December 2005, while the first working satellite was put into orbit in October 2011.

The constellation is comprised of 26 satellites — two of which are being tested and 2 of which are non-functional. Another four are planned for launch by 2020, after which new satellites will be launched to replace older ones.

The whole project is estimated to have cost around €10 billion (£9 billion / $11.3 billion)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7248655/Europes-sat-nav-satellites-OFFLINE.html

EU’s GPS satellites have been down for four days in mysterious outage

EU’s Galileo global navigation satellite system nears 100 hours of downtime.

a satellite orbiting the earth with illuminated cities at night
3D rendering of a satellite orbiting the earth with illuminated cities at night. Map From: http://planetpixelemporium.com/earth.html Software for rendering: https://www.blender.orgGetty Images/iStockphoto

Galileo, the EU’s global navigation satellite system, has been down for four days, since July 11, following a mysterious outage. All Galileo satellites are still non-operational, at the time of writing.

According to a service status page, 24 of the 26 Galileo satellites are listed as “not usable,” while the other two are listing a status of “testing,” which also means they’re not ready for real-world usage.

The European GNSS Agency (GSA), the organization in charge of Galileo, has not published any information in regards to the root of the outage, which began four days ago, on Thursday, July 11.

On that day, the GSA published an advisory on its website alerting companies and government agencies employing the Galileo system that satellite signals have degraded and they “may not be available nor meet the minimum performance levels.”

The agency warned that the Galileo system “should be employed at users’ own risk.”

The GSA published a more dire warning on Saturday, July 13, when it said that Galileo was experiencing a full-service outage and that “signals are not to be used.”

At the time of writing, the service is nearing 100 hours of downtime.

The system going down forced the Galileo’s userbase (government agencies and private companies) to switch to alternatives.

The Galileo satellite system was launched in 2016 and was funded by the EU as an alternative to the US Air Force’s Global Position System (GPS) and the Russian government’s GLONASS.

It is provided under both free and commercial offerings and is widely used by governments agencies and private companies for navigation and search and rescue operations.

Because it’s provided for free, it is also widely used by the private tech sector and by most of the world’s academia.

The downtime also comes after widespread GPS outages were reported across Israel, Iran, Iraq, and Syria at the end of June. Israeli media blamed the downtime on Russian interference, rather than a technical problem.

Updated on July 15, 5:30am ET: In a statement published after this article’s publication, the GSA blamed the Galileo outage on “a technical incident related to its ground infrastructure.” The agency said that the search and rescue (SAR) feature — used for locating and helping people in distress situations for example at sea or mountains — remained operational during the outage, which impacted only navigational and satellite-based timing services.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/european-gps-satellites-have-been-down-for-four-days-in-mysterious-outage/

Story 6: Manhattan Lights Go Out with Electrical Outage — Celebrating 42th Anniversary of Great Blackout — Videos

Power outage strikes Manhattan on the same day of the 1977 NYC blackout

Breaking “Massive BLACKOUT Cripples New York City (Manhattan)

Parts of New York City go dark after power cut – BBC News

Documentary | What Happened When The Lights Went Out on July 13, 1977

Blackout, Chapter 1

NYC Blackout: What It Was Like When the City Lost Power in 1977 | NBC New York

Preliminary report shows faulty relay protection system caused NYC power outage

People wait in a Manhattan diner during a massive power outage that hit parts of New York City on July 13, 2019.

(CNN)Con Edison blamed their relay protection system Monday for the weekend power outage in New York City, saying the system didn’t operate as designed, according to preliminary findings from the company.

“That system detects electrical faults and directs circuit breakers to isolate and de-energize those faults,” the company said in a statement. “The relay protection system is designed with redundancies to provide high levels of reliability. In this case, primary and backup relay systems did not isolate a faulted 13,000-volt distribution cable at West 64th Street and West End Avenue.”
“Our analysis of data and testing of the relay protection equipment is continuing, and will provide more insight into why the system, and its multiple redundancies, did not operate as designed,” the company added.
Both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a full investigation.
“This could have been much worse,” said Governor Cuomo early Sunday morning. “When you’re talking about a city like New York, with a significant piece of the city basically suffering a blackout, that could be a very chaotic situation. We saw the exact opposite, actually. We saw New Yorkers at their best.”
It could take months to investigate why the outage happened, Con Edison President Timothy Cawley told reporters Sunday.
The outage started Saturday at 6:47 p.m., and the lights were back on shortly after midnight, officials said. It mostly affected midtown Manhattan and parts of the Upper West Side. No injuries or hospitalizations were reported.
At the height of the outage, 72,000 customers were in the dark, utility company Con Edison said. It had given a preliminary number of 73,000 — but lowered it early Sunday.

Revenge of the Power Grid

Radio City Music Hall sits dark during the 2019 Manhattan blackout.
DAVID DEE DELGADO / GETTY

Until they break. Then everyone notices.

That’s what happened Saturday night in New York City when a power outage struck Midtown Manhattan, from Hell’s Kitchen north to Lincoln Center and from Fifth Avenue west to the Hudson River. The blackout darkened the huge, electric billboards of Times Square, forced Broadway shows to cancel performances, and even disabled some subway lines.

A quick primer on how electricity works: First, power plants create it, mostly by burning fuel (or smashing atoms) that heats water to make steam that spins a turbine. (Hydroelectric generators harness the flow of water to spin turbines directly.) Those turbines move a generator, which produces electricity from the resulting kinetic energy. Plants then use transformers to step up the voltage of generated electricity and send it down high-voltage lines, which lose less energy in transit. Once it reaches its destination, other transformers step the voltage down to deliver it to substations, and eventually directly to customers.Saturday’s blackout was most likely caused by a disabled transformer at an area substation. There are at least 50 of those in New York City, which are fed in turn by at least 24, higher-voltage transmission substations. When it comes to power, New York is unusual because of the city’s age and the density of its population, both residential and commercial. That produces different risks and consequences.

In Atlanta, where I live, storms often down trees, which take out aboveground power lines. In the West, where wildfires are becoming more common, flames frequently dismantle power infrastructure (sometimes the power lines themselves cause the fires). But across the whole of New York City—not just Manhattan—more than 80 percent of both customers and the electrical load are serviced by underground distribution from area substations. That makes smaller problems less frequent, but bigger issues more severe.

When a transformer goes down in a populous place like Manhattan, it has a greater impact than it would on Long Island, say, or in Westchester County, where density is lower. The amount of power that central Manhattan uses on a regular basis also contributes to that impact. Times Square, the theater district, hundreds of skyscrapers—it’s a substantial load. In New York’s case, supplying that load is not usually the problem. Generating facilities can be located near or far away from where their power is used, and New York City draws power from a couple dozen plants. Some of it is imported from upstate.

But much of New York’s power is still generated locally, in large part at plants along the waterfront of Queens. Those plants are older, and more susceptible to disruption from local calamities, especially severe weather. When peak demand surges—most common during heat waves, such as the ones that struck the region in 2006 and 2011—the older, less efficient generating stations have a harder time keeping up, and brownouts or blackouts become more likely.

Superstorms can also disrupt Manhattan’s delivery infrastructure, despite the fact that it’s underground. In 2011, Hurricane Irene threatened to flood traffic and subway tunnels, also putting underground delivery at risk. The next year, Hurricane Sandy disrupted a third of the city’s electrical capacity. Flooding shut down five transmission substations. Other infrastructure was affected too, including natural gas and steam services (the latter provide heat and hot water, crucial during winter and for emergency facilities such as hospitals).

Sandy inundated the subway tunnels, which rely on pumps to bilge out the water. Electrical failures can disrupt the cleanup process as much as flooding can. And once a subway station gets incapacitated, the impact cascades throughout the system. On Saturday night, when the Midtown blackout occurred, the MTA was forced to cut service on some lines affected by signal or station outages.Failure, fire, and flood aren’t the only dangers that can befall transformer substations. Power infrastructure can be an appealing target for terrorism because the sites are poorly protected and the economic impact of a successful attack can be high—particularly in a city like New York. Cyberattacks are also possible. This March, a denial of service attack affected electrical systems in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, two major population centers. Intelligence suggests that the risk of similar foreign attacks is currently elevated. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee discussed those risks in a hearing the day before the Midtown Manhattan blackout.

One way to mitigate these dangers is to make utility infrastructure less susceptible to single points of failure. Underground distribution tends to make it easier to reach electrical customers via multiple paths. Regulatory agencies such as the New York State Reliability Council also impose requirements on utility service. Con Edison, which powers almost all of New York City, is expected to design its network to operate even if some of its components fail or are lost to disaster. But new risks associated with climate change, cyberwarfare, and other factors haven’t necessarily been accounted for in the design and operation of utility infrastructure.

The perils build on one another. Climate change amplifies the frequency of heat waves, which increases electrical load, which puts greater pressure on infrastructure. At the same time, it increases the likelihood of superstorms that can cause flooding, fire, and other disasters that might disrupt nodes in the network. When utility operators designed their equipment years or decades ago, they made assumptions about load, storm surge, and other factors. Those estimates might no longer apply.

Worse, planning and implementing updates to those systems is often stymied by paltry funding, strained political will, or other accidents. The utility industries are pushing for transformation, as it were, in infrastructure design, including efforts to make the “edges” of the grid more resilient and redundant. But those plans are similarly snared in the traps of outdated investment and regulation. Worse still, the same climatological, economic, and political instabilities that help increase the likelihood of electrical-grid collapse might also increase the risk of deliberate attacks to the grid, or reduce the agility of emergency response when accidents like this weekend’s Manhattan transformer fire occur.

None of these factors wafted up to street level Saturday night, as New Yorkers muddled through the inconvenience of a few hours without power. If anything, the scenes aboveground seemed inspiring, delightful even. Broadway-musical casts and Carnegie concert musicians hosted impromptu sidewalk performances for disappointed theatergoers. Citizens took it upon themselves to direct traffic in chaotic intersections. As New Yorkers are wont to do, city dwellers celebrated these and similar acts as telltale signs of the city’s vibrancy and resilience. When the power came back on, the horde of shadows cheered in unison as electric lamps fueled by burning coal miles away restored them to the technicolor of modern, artificial light. No injuries were reported during the blackout.

But such a generous response is only possible because power disruptions are still rare, especially absent the forewarning that accompanies a major hurricane or a serious thunderstorm. The chaos caused by similar, more frequent events would quickly snuff out the surprise and delight of unelectrified life. The theater performers would sneak home out the back, wondering whether the union would consider yet another disrupted performance complete. The citizen constables would spare their bodies, out of fear or boredom. The cheers would turn to groans, as the uncertainty and nuisance of the city’s physical caprices would wear thin.

Worsening political and economic circumstances would only fuel this fire. The July 13, 1977, blackout came amid a widespread economic crisis, the Son of Sam serial killings, a heat wave, and other social stressors. The looting and vandalism that accompanied that blackout 42 years ago were surely underwritten by the increased crime of the age and the totality of the blackout, which wiped out power to the whole city for two days. But those and worse effects are still possible. If you didn’t notice, things aren’t so great in 2019, either.

The blackout is a warning that infrastructure doesn’t only exist when it breaks. That’s true not just for New Yorkers, but for most of the U.S. population, which is scattered across regions with lower density, reduced wealth, and a more fickle public-service response. Whether it sleeps or not, a city is like an iceberg: You only see the smallest bit of it aboveground, but all of it is melting.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

IAN BOGOST is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and the Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His latest book is Play Anything.

 

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Story 1: Radical Extremist Socialist Democrats (REDS) Pass The Torch — Burn Baby Burn Burn  Biden Burn — Democrat Demolition Disco Debate — REDS Party Line: Government Single Payer Medicare (Socialized Medicine) For All Including 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Given Citizenship To Vote For Democrats! — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losing REDS Line — Never Vote For REDS If You Like Your Employer Provided Health Care,Want To Keep Your Babies Alive, Want A Job, Raise Your Standard of Living and Love Your Country — Staying Alive —  Born to Be Alive — Videos

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The Trammps – Disco Inferno

Burn Baby Burn, Disco Inferno

Disco Inferno

The Trammps

To my surprise, one hundred stories high
People getting loose y’all, getting down on the roof
Folks are screaming, out of control
It was so entertaining when the boogie started to explode
I heard somebody say
disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
Satisfaction came in a chain reaction
(Burnin’)
I couldn’t get enough, so I had to self-destruct
The heat was on, rising to the top
Everybody going strong, and that is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say
disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down y’all
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
Up above my head
I hear music in the air
That makes me know
There’s a party somewhere
Satisfaction came in a chain reaction
(Burnin’)
I couldn’t get enough, so I had to self-destruct
The heat was on, rising to the top
Everybody going strong, and that is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say
disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
When my spark gets hot
when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) when my spark gets hot
disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn)
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Leroy Green / Tyrone Kersey
Disco Inferno lyrics © Reservoir Media Management Inc

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Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive [Version 1] (Video)

Stayin’ Alive

Bee Gees

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk
Music loud and women warm, I’ve been kicked around
Since I was born
And now it’s alright, it’s okay
And you may look the other way
We can try to understand
The New York Times’ effect on man
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive
Well now, I get low and I get high
And if I can’t get either, I really try
Got the wings of heaven on my shoes
I’m a dancin’ man and I just can’t lose
You know it’s alright, it’s okay
I’ll live to see another day
We can try to understand
The New York Times’ effect on man
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I’m stayin’ alive
Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk
Music loud and women warm
I’ve been kicked around since I was born
And now it’s all right, it’s okay
And you may look the other way
We can try to understand
The New York Times’ effect on man
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I’m stayin’ alive
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I’m stayin’ alive
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I’m stayin’ alive
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I’m stayin’ alive
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Maurice Ernest Gibb / Robin Hugh Gibb / Barry Alan Gibb
Stayin’ Alive lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

Bee Gees Stayin Alive (Extended Remaster)

Patrick Hernandez – Born to Be Alive – Official Video (Clip Officiel)

Patrick Hernandez Born to be alive

Born to Be Alive

Patrick Hernandez

We were born to be alive
We were born to be alive
Born, born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born
(Born to be alive)
People ask me why
I never find a place to stop
And settle down
Down
Down
But I never wanted all those things
People need to justify
Their lives
Lives
Lives
Yes we were born, born
Born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born
(Born to be alive)
It’s good to be alive
To be alive
To be alive
It’s good to be alive
To be alive
To be alive
IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE!
Time was on my side
When I was running down the street
It was so fine
fine
fine
A suitcase and an old guitar
It’s all I need to occupy
A mind like mine
Yes we were born, born
Born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born, born
Born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born, born
Born to be alive
(Born to be alive)
Yes we were born
Born
Born