Apr 19 2010

On almost every news site, we can see regular requests for money.

I have been operating this site for years without asking for anything but there are now growing, but not huge, costs involved in producing this and so it is that we have a “donate” button to help defray expenses.

No, we won’t have to sell our children to the medical experimenters if we don’t raise $200,000 by next Thursday but as the fat man said, every little bit helps.

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TBR News addendum January 25, 2020

Jan 25 2020

An Essay in Mendacity
Trump’s people tracked and used a missile to kill a leading Iranian military officer and Iran, in turn, fired missiles at two US military bases in neighboring Iraq. Following this, the public was informed by the Pentagon, and the President, that there was minimal damage and no casualties. Herewith is an authentic letter from the FOIA people at the Pentagon to a US Congressman with the true figures. Nothing is believed until it has been officially denied in Washington.

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TBR News January 25, 2020

Jan 25 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 25, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

‘Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose’

Commentary for January 25: About ten minutes ago, an old friend from Washington who is a well-connected bureaucrat, tipped me off, in detail, about this ‘Chinese plague’ being frantically hyped in the US media.
It is, of course, a fraud.
If someone were to look it up on Google, one would discover is was about as deadly as the common cold.
There is, however, no vaccine for this, (or the related common cold. )
What is the fraud about?
Trump has made a deal with the Chinese.
They will make a huge fuss about a “deadly virus,’ the obedient mainline American media will echo this, and stress the lack of a vaccine.
Suddenly, Donald the Son of God, (and some convenient and crooked, drug company,) will “discover” a vaccine and Donald, ever the Great Hero, Making America Great but laboring under the dark cloud of the impeachment will come up with the story that there is indeed a vaccine and soon, all over America, sterile water will be injected into legions of willing arms.
But not for free!
Donald will split the take with the drug company.
And Donald will offset the negativity of the impeachment and appear, wearing white robes and sporting a nimbus, to Save the America People!
This is what the business of the ‘Chinese Plague’ is all about.
There are high-level emails supplied from certain White House personnel that totally support this bizarre thesis.
Look for a mass mailing soon, and in English, Russian, French, German and Spanish.
Fat Donald isn’t going to get away with it this time.
Children, trust me…but not him.

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating January 25 reporting

Source      Approve       Disapprove
_________________________________________
YouGov        39%                54%

The Table of Contents

The Coronavirus Fraud
• New coronavirus from China: Everything you need to know
• What are coronavirus infections?
• Revealed: the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group
• Prepping for a race war: documents reveal inner workings of neo-Nazi group
• Violent Round Robin letter to right wing Trump American support groups
• Pentagon says 34 US soldiers suffered ‘traumatic brain injury’ in Iran strike 
• The Season of Evil

The Coronavirus Fraud
Just A Coincidence? A U.S. Patent For ‘An Attenuated Coronavirus’ Was Filed In 2015 And Granted In 2018
January 24, 2020
by Michael Snyder
Investment Watch
We are being told that the coronavirus outbreak which is currently escalating at an exponential rate probably started with a snake. Perhaps that is true, but a lot of researchers are now pointing out some really odd “coincidences” regarding this outbreak. For example, China’s very first biosafety-level-4 lab is located just 20 miles away from where this outbreak supposedly originated. And a news report about this lab from a few years ago specifically stated that it would be “studying the pathogen that causes SARS”. Of course SARS was caused by a coronavirus, and now a “new coronavirus” has been unleashed in the only Chinese city where coronavirus research was being conducted.
I will discuss this more later in the article, but first I want to talk about the very odd “coincidence” that a U.S. patent for “an attenuated coronavirus” was granted not too long ago. As you can see right here, the patent was filed in July 2015 and it was granted in November 2018.
So it has just been a little over a year since the patent was granted.
According to a summary of this patent, this attenuated coronavirus “may be used as a vaccine for treating and/or preventing a disease”…
The present invention provides a live, attenuated coronavirus comprising a variant replicase gene encoding polyproteins comprising a mutation in one or more of non-structural protein(s) (nsp)-10, nsp-14, nsp-15 or nsp-16. The coronavirus may be used as a vaccine for treating and/or preventing a disease, such as infectious bronchitis, in a subject.
Very interesting.
This patent was filed by the Pilbright Institute, and as Stefan Stanford has pointed out, some of the major backers of the Pilbright Institute include the World Health Organization, the European Commission, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Okay, that is more than just a little bit weird.
Could it be possible that researchers at the biosafety-level-4 lab in Wuhan were studying this “attenuated coronavirus”?
We don’t have an answer to that question, but what we do know is that this biosafety-level-4 lab was the very first one to be constructed in China.
According to an article that was published by Nature in February 2017, this lab would be working “with the world’s most dangerous pathogens” once it opened…
A laboratory in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and seven biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs across the Chinese mainland by 2025, and has generated much excitement, as well as some concerns.
Some scientists outside China worry about pathogens escaping, and the addition of a biological dimension to geopolitical tensions between China and other nations. But Chinese microbiologists are celebrating their entrance to the elite cadre empowered to wrestle with the world’s greatest biological threats.
There are less than 60 such labs on the entire planet, and they are equipped with cutting edge equipment. The following comes from the Daily Mail…
It was the first ever lab in the country designed to meet biosafetey-level-4 (BSL-4) standards – the highest biohazard level, meaning that it would be qualified to handle the most dangerous pathogens.
BSL-4 labs have to be equipped with airtight hazmat suits or special ‘cabinet’ work spaces that confine viruses and bacteria that can be transmitted through the air to sealed boxes that scientists reach into using attached high-grade gloves.
The lab cost approximately 44 million dollars to build, and the Nature article specifically mentioned that future plans for the facility included “studying the pathogen that causes SARS”.
In other words, coronavirus research was to be conducted in this lab.
Perhaps it is just a wild coincidence that the coronavirus outbreak began in the only city in China with a biosafety-level-4 lab that was conducting coronavirus research.
An article that was just posted by LiveScience seems to think that this is actually a fortuitous development…
As an escalating viral outbreak unfolds in China, only one lab in the country meets the required biosafety standards needed to study the new disease.
The lab happens to sit in the center of Wuhan, the city where the newly identified coronavirus first appeared, according to the Hindustan Times, an Indian news outlet. The facility, known as the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, is housed within the Chinese Academy of Sciences and was specifically designed to help Chinese scientists “prepare for and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks,” according to a 2019 report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Nobody in the mainstream media is likely to connect the dots, and we shouldn’t expect them to do so. But it is very interesting to note that the SARS virus “has escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times”…
But worries surround the Chinese lab, too. The SARS virus has escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times, notes Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Of course those facilities were not biosafety-level-4 labs, but it does show a pattern of past negligence that is definitely quite alarming.
The Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory is located approximately 20 miles away from the Huanan Seafood Market where this outbreak supposedly originated.
Perhaps the lab had absolutely nothing to do with this outbreak and instead a really sick snake unleashed this pathogen on the world.
You can believe that if you want, but for many of us the “coincidences” are starting to become too startling to ignore.

New coronavirus from China: Everything you need to know
January 24, 2020
by Yasemin Saplakoglu – Staff Writer, Jeanna Bryner – Live Science Editor-in-Chief
Live Science
Corona viruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most people get infected with coronaviruses at one point in their lives, but symptoms are typically mild to moderate. In some cases, the viruses can cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

What are coronavirus infections?
January 24, 2020
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Coronaviruses are a group of common viruses. They are named for the crown-like spikes on the surface of the virus. Some coronaviruses only affect animals, but others can also affect humans. Most people get infected with human coronaviruses at some time in their life. This usually causes mild to moderate upper-respiratory infections, like the common cold. But they can also cause more severe illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Revealed: the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group
The white supremacist group the Base has been a target of FBI raids and its members accused of planning a race war. The Guardian can now reveal the identity of its secretive leader
January 23, 2020
by Jason Wilson
The Guardian
The Guardian has learned the true identity of the leader and founder of the US-based neo-Nazi terror network the Base, which was recently the target of raids by the FBI after an investigation into domestic terrorism uncovered their plans to start a race war.
Members of the group stand accused of federal hate crimes, murder plots and firearms offenses, and have harbored international fugitives in recent months.
The Base’s leader previously operated under the aliases “Norman Spear” and “Roman Wolf”. Members of the network do not know his true identity due to the group’s culture of internal secrecy.
But the Guardian can reveal that “Norman Spear” is in fact US-born Rinaldo Nazzaro, 46, who has a long history of advertising his services as an intelligence, military and security contractor. He has claimed, under his alias, to have served in Russia and Afghanistan.
The revelation of his identity comes after a months-long investigation by the Guardian into Nazzaro and the activities of the Base.
While Nazzaro’s most recently used address is in New Jersey, there is evidence supporting his claims of being based in Russia, where he lives with his Russian wife.
The Base – which is an approximate English translation of “al-Qaida” – began recruiting in late 2018. The white supremacy group, which has regional and international cells, extols the virtues of an all-out race war while specifically targeting African Americans and Jewish people.
Using encrypted apps, members of the highly organized group planned terror campaigns; vandalized synagogues; established armed training camps and recruited new members.
The US attorney for Maryland, Robert K Hur, speaking after the recent arrest of three members of the Base, said that they “did more than talk – they took steps to act and act violently on their racist views”.
Few traces of him exist anywhere
Rinaldo Nazzaro has maintained a decidedly low profile: he has no visible presence on any major social media platforms, no published writings under his own name, and no profile in local or national media.
Few traces of him exist anywhere, except where a name is required in official business – such as real estate purchases and the registration of companies.
Multiple emails and phone calls to Nazzaro went unanswered.
But through a painstaking investigation involving freedom of information requests, the analysis of material provided to the Guardian by a whistleblower inside the group, and cross-examination of information found online and in databases, the Guardian was able to piece together his identity and some of his whereabouts.
The Guardian was able to unravel Nazzaro’s identity due to his 2018 activities in a remote corner of the Pacific north-west.
In chat rooms hosted by the Base, Nazzaro stressed the importance of in-person meet-ups and required members to attend training camps. The Base’s propaganda videos show young men undergoing combat training together in rural areas.
Last August, an Oregon-based antifascist group, Eugene Antifa, warned that the Base was planning a “hate camp” in the neighboring state of Washington, and claimed Nazzaro (operating under the alias of “Spear”) had purchased land in Stevens county for training purposes. This warning came after a leak of the Base’s internal chats.
Local media outlets picked up the story, which led local law enforcement to urgently seek information on the group.
In emails obtained by the Guardian via public records request, the Stevens county Sheriff, Brad Manke, is seen contacting the FBI and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for advice on the group.
On 20 August 2019, Manke writes to an FBI agent, asking: “Do you have a name for the actual head of the group The Base or the address where the property actually is?”
In a 20 September email responding to an SPLC researcher, Manke writes: “I have since learned that ‘The Base’ has purchased property in Ferry County, WA which is a neighboring county.”
Property record searches revealed that three 10-acre blocks of undeveloped land were purchased in December 2018 for $33,000 in the name of a Delaware LLC called “Base Global”. In a telephone conversation in late November, Manke confirmed that this was the block of land he had been referring to.
In recordings of two internal Base voice calls provided to the Guardian by the source, “Norman Spear” discusses his recent land purchase.
When asked why the land had been inexpensive, he replied: “Because there’s no possibility of getting utilities in there. Ever.” He continued: “But to me, that was a good thing for my purposes. I looked at it like it was just naturally secluded.”
In deeds of sale, the address provided for the company was a New Jersey post office – enough to conceal the purchaser’s identity. But separate tax affidavits associated with the purchase give a different address for Base Global.
That address is for a New Jersey apartment that has belonged to an older family member of Nazzaro since 1998. Nazzaro and his wife have also intermittently resided at that address, according to database searches.
The affidavits are also signed by Nazzaro, and dated “12/21/2018 Republic”. Republic is the seat and the only city in Ferry county, Washington.
According to a source inside the Base, this date coincided with a trip by Russia-based “Norman Spear” to the United States, during which time he had in-person meetings with members of the group.
Speculation that Nazzaro was a federal agent
The location of the land is consistent with “Norman Spear’s” advocacy of a white supremacist strategy called the Northwest Territorial Imperative (NTI), which was promoted by the deceased white supremacist Harold Covington.
The strategy argues for the creation of a separatist ethnostate in the Pacific north-west and encourages white supremacists to move to the region.
In one of “Norman Spear’s” first public appearances, on a far-right podcast recorded in December 2017, he was introduced as a Northwest Front (another white supremacist separatist group) organizer and went on to spell out a four-state plan culminating in “achieving independence, realizing the ultimate goal which is an independent nation state in the Pacific north-west, an ethnostate”.
The plan, he said, would trigger the relocation to the Pacific north-west of the white population in the United States.
Around the same time, “Spear” filmed a series of short instructional presentations on the tactics and strategy of guerrilla warfare. In an archive of those videos on the far-right site Bitchute, he is identified as “Defense Studies expert and former CIA field intelligence officer Norman Spear”.
This detail, coupled with other leads, compelled many to speculate whether “Norman Spear” was, in fact, a federal agent operating inside the Base.
The Base has emerged at a time when far-right organizing is on the rise in the US. Last year saw a spate of terror attacks by white supremacists. In August, the gunman who killed 22 people at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, is believed to have posted a white nationalist manifesto online prior to the attack.
In April, an attacker who killed one person after opening fire inside a San Diego synagogue killing posted a note online citing white supremacy influences and naming the gunman who killed 51 in an attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, as an inspiration.
“We have a significant increase in racially motivated violent extremism in the United States and, I think, a growing increase in white nationalism and white supremacy extremist movements,” Jay Tabb, the head of national security for the FBI, said at an event in Washington recently.
Under the motto “there is no political solution”, the Base embraces an “accelerationist” ideology, which holds that acts of violence and terror are required in order to push liberal democracy towards collapse, preparing the way for white supremacists to seize power and institute an ethnostate.
Members remained defiant following the arrest of seven alleged members of the group in mid-January, calling it “an unjust political witch hunt” from the “Liberal Globalist System”.
Was the Base a honeypot designed to entrap people?
Beginning in 2009 and until as late as 2019, Nazzaro billed himself as an intelligence expert working with various government and military agencies.
Nazzaro is the principal of an LLC called Omega Solutions International (OSI), a company offering a range of intelligence and security contracting.
Its website, which was removed from the Internet some time after August 2019, boasted of the firm’s “experience conducting intelligence analysis for government agencies, military organizations, and private businesses”, as well as access to a network of seasoned security professionals with expertise in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, homeland security, hostage rescue/negotiations, psychological operations, and more.
The firm also has a Cage Code, which is an administrative requirement for military and government contractors.
Materials inspected and sources consulted by the Guardian indicate that Nazzaro, as “Spear”, has faced persistent suspicions from current and former members of the group that he is a “fed”, or the agent of a foreign government, or that the Base is a “honeypot” intended to lure neo-Nazis out into the open for the benefit of law enforcement agencies.
Former members have cited this as a reason for leaving.
A connection with Russia
New York marriage records show that Nazzaro and his wife were married in New York City in 2012, during the period when Nazzaro is recorded as maintaining a midtown Manhattan address. At that time, he was recorded as having one child.
A Russian site that scrapes and archives social media accounts had captured a profile, and photos, posted by Nazzaro’s Russian-born wife to VK, the Russian social media site.
She has since hidden that profile, but other social media archives confirm the prior existence of an account in Nazzaro’s wife’s name (using her married name).
The photographs show the same person who has been presenting himself as “Norman Spear”.
Meanwhile, a reverse image search yielded a photograph matching public photos of “Norman Spear” atop advertisements for English lessons in St Petersburg, Russia.
The Guardian was only able to find one earlier photograph attached to his real name. It appeared above a vox pop in the Villanovan, the student paper of Catholic, Pennsylvania-based Villanova University, in 1994.
At the time of the photograph, “Ron Nazzaro” was described as a junior in philosophy, which is consistent with a 1973 birthdate. A source who has met “Spear” in person believes that the 1994 photo of Nazzaro is the same person he met.
A “Rinaldo Nazzaro” is also identified as a class of 1991 alumnus and donor of the prestigious New Jersey Catholic prep school the Delbarton School.
Nazzaro’s approximate age, his Italian heritage, his family’s New Jersey location, his background in “counter-intelligence”, the nationality of his spouse, and the number of his children were relayed to the Guardian as characteristics of “Norman Spear” by an internally placed source.
‘I am on the terrorism watchlist’
Richard Tobin, a Base member, is awaiting trial in New Jersey over allegations that he coordinated the September vandalism of synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin. In a December custody hearing, the prosecuting assistant US attorney cited Tobin’s self-professed belief that “Norman Spear” was a Russian spy.
The Guardian has discovered that all of the business addresses associated with Nazzaro’s OSI LLCs are “virtual offices”. This describes a situation where a second company provides a business address, and sometimes meeting rooms and greeting services, for businesses who do not wish to maintain their own premises.
The addresses are often prestigious: OSI’s virtual address locations include Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and K Street in Washington DC, an address associated with federal government contracting and lobbying.
Meanwhile, “Norman Spear” appears to have had no extended history in the neo-Nazi movement before emerging as leader of the Base.
According to an internally placed source, the only people within the movement who vouched for “Spear” were connected to the Northwest Front (NWF). The NWF founder, Harold Covington, was himself the subject of persistent rumors within the white nationalist movement that he was a federal informant, and that NWF was itself a honeypot – a front organization routinely used by US law enforcement in order to entrap people.
“Norman Spear” has told Base members that he remains in Russia. Law enforcement sources have indicated on background that Nazzaro is believed by some agencies to be working for the Russian government.
The US government may have been monitoring “Norman Spear’s” activities for some time. In the April conversation planning a meetup in July, “Spear” was concerned that he would not be able to attend.
“I have confirmed that I am on the FBI terrorism watch list. I mean, that doesn’t really matter in the context of the training. What matters is that I’m on it.”
The Guardian’s investigation of the group continues.

Prepping for a race war: documents reveal inner workings of neo-Nazi group
Chats, audio and video obtained by the Guardian give a rare insight into the workings of a disturbing white supremacist group
January 25, 2020
by Jason Wilson
The Guardian
The Base, a US-based white supremacist “social network” that has recently been targeted by the FBI in raids leading to the arrest of several members, was active, growing and continuing to prepare for large-scale violence.
The Guardian has obtained chat records, audio recordings and videos provided by an anti-fascist whistleblower who spent more than a year charting the inside workings of the Base.
The Guardian studied leaked materials relayed by the whistleblower and pursued other lines of inquiry to exclusively reveal the real identity of the Base’s secretive leader as Rinaldo Nazzaro, 46, from New Jersey.
Nazzaro is currently living in Russia with his Russian wife. Until the Guardian’s exposé little was known about his background and he was only known by the alias “Norman Spear”.
The exclusive materials show how the group has planned terror campaigns; vandalized synagogues; organised armed training camps; and recruited new members who extolled an ideology of all-out race war. The cache of documents and recordings gives a rare insight into how such neo-Nazi terror groups operate.
The Base – an approximate English translation of “al-Qaida” – began recruiting in late 2018 and pushing for both the collapse of society and a race war. Members of the group stand accused of federal hate crimes, murder plots and firearms offenses, and have harbored international fugitives in recent months.
It was the very real threat of violence that convinced the whistleblower to infiltrate the Base and stay undercover for months, gaining the trust of other members, only to later contact the Guardian to expose them.
The Guardian’s source said that in recent months “the pieces were coming together to build the infrastructure for a strong, neo-Nazi militant underground, with places to train, to make connections and expand the network.” He felt he had to act to stop it.
The source said: “The ‘Norman Spear’ I spoke with told me in no uncertain terms that the purpose of the Base is to cause the collapse of our society, not survive it.”
How the Base communicates
The Guardian’s source, an anti-Nazi activist, rose to a position of trust within the group, which allowed him to take thousands of screenshots in chatrooms used by the Base since 2018.
In November 2018, those chats were infiltrated by antifa activists, and members were outed, or “doxxed”, amid early media reporting. At this point, the Base tightened up vetting processes and moved their chats to an encrypted platform called Wire.
Under the motto “there is no political solution” the group embraces an “accelerationist” ideology, which holds that acts of violence and terror are required to push liberal democracy towards collapse, preparing the way for white supremacists to seize power and establish an ethno-state.
Members remained defiant following the arrest of seven alleged members of the group in mid-January, calling it an “unjust political witch-hunt” from the “liberal globalist system”.
Nazzaro urged members to double down and commit to a decades-long insurgency, conceding they were “at least 20 years away from a full-fledged civil unrest scenario”.
The US has seen a significant rise of white supremacist violent crimes in recent years. Mass shooters have deliberately cited their neo-Nazi beliefs as motivation for attacks which killed dozens of people in El Paso, San Diego, Christchurch and more.
Some members of the Base were also involved with the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, whose members have been involved in several murders.
A path to real-life violence
Included in the materials obtained by the Guardian is a record of members signaling their intention to commit hate crimes and terrorize their victims.
One such involved Richard Tobin, 18, whose handle inside the Base was “landser”. He claimed to also be a member of Atomwaffen Division.
Tobin is currently in federal custody, awaiting trial for an alleged conspiracy he organized inside the Base’s chatrooms.
Writing on 15 September last year in the Base’s chatroom Tobin wrote: “Our whole purpose is gradual escalation and we’ve done absolutely fucking NOTHING. It’s time to stop fucking around and get serious. Between September 20-25 I want everyone who isn’t in a wheelchair to get out and act. Flyers, windows, and tires. Let’s take back our image of strength and cohesion.”
Tobin set out tactics for the vandalism, including instructions to “wear gloves, cover your faces at all times, shoe covers if you can manage it”.
The Base’s founder Nazzaro, AKA “Norman Spear”, advised: “No point in random vandalizing … Much more effective if it’s targeted.”
Tobin responded: “Yes, obviously. Focus on broad anti-white elements for now, though. Nigger cars, jew businesses etc.”
He then offered a different idea: “Kristallnacht”, after the Nazi’s mass vandalism of Jewish homes and businesses and the torching of synagogues in 1938.
On 21 September last year, a synagogue in Hancock, Michigan, was daubed with swastikas and SS symbols. The following day, a synagogue in Racine, Wisconsin, was defaced with an antisemitic slogan and the Base’s runic insignia.
Tobin was charged on 12 November with orchestrating both of these incidents, and another Base member, Yousef Barasneh, was charged last week with vandalizing the Racine synagogue. Federal prosecutors allege that they coordinated this in a private chat.
A pale, nervous, overweight teen
Although inside the group Tobin was vicious, militant and angry, a custody hearing attended by the Guardian in Camden, New Jersey, revealed the defendant as a pale, nervous, overweight teenager.
None of his former comrades had made the journey to the gloomy courtroom in downtown Camden, but he was attended by an older female relative dragging an oxygen canister behind her, several prosecutors, and one man identified as an FBI agent.
After the court heard about his fantasies of violence – including “suicide by cop” and machete attacks – and how a mental health crisis and infighting in Atomwaffen Division and the Base had driven him to talk to special agents, he was refused bail.
His profile seems to be typical: new recruits are disproportionately younger men. The official age limit is 18 but this is frequently relaxed, and several members are 17. Many are in their late teens and early 20s.
The bias towards youth is reflected in the ages of several of those arrested in raids on Base members, which range between 18 and 25.
All Base prospects must participate in a group voice call in which they are led through a standardized list of questions. These include the reasons people have for joining the group and whether or not they have read key texts of accelerationist neo-Nazism.
Leaders describe membership as a “two-way street”, and members are expected to detail skills – in survival, technology, or firearms – which they can offer or teach members determined to survive social collapse and prevail in the succeeding race war.
Members generally do not know one another’s real identities, unless it is from prior contact. In theory this means members cannot inform on one another; but although the group placed great faith in vetting procedures to screen out infiltrators, these procedures failed.
The Guardian has heard a recording of the vetting of a prospect who was admitted, and then was later identified as an undercover FBI agent in court documents. That “member” was active in online and offline network activities for months.
Furthermore, one vetting committee member and cell leader was himself an infiltrator.
‘Action over words’
One part of the Base’s ethos which is repeatedly emphasized is the necessity of meetups. Members are expected to get together frequently in order to familiarise themselves with, and learn to cooperate with, other local members.
“Action over words was Norman’s guiding light,” the source who infiltrated the group told the Guardian.
These meetings involve gunplay, combat drills, and photo and video shoots for propaganda purpose.
One such gathering occurred between 30 October and 2 November in Silver Creek, Georgia. One image from the event shows six men standing, one holding a flag with the Base’s runic logo, their faces covered with balaclavas or the distinctive skull masks that signify an affiliation with neo-Nazi “Siege Culture”. All are armed with military-style long guns.
The man kneeling in the middle holds the severed head of an animal.
After posting the photo, Nazzaro, writing as “Roman Wolf” (another of his aliases) writes: “Photo from a very recent epic meetup … Yes, that’s a real goat’s head!”
According to a recorded conversation provided to the Guardian, the goat had been acquired from a local farmer, christened Gar, and was dismembered and eaten by Base members in an improvised pagan ritual. Many neo-Nazis adhere to forms of pagan religion, some citing the Jewish origins of Christianity.
Several members then expressed the wish that their cells were large enough for such a meeting.
One user, jagRolig, posted: “Waiting on the next European meetup.”
Nazzaro replied: “Currently working on finding a suitable meetup location for that … I’ll keep you posted.”

Violent Round Robin letter to right wing Trump American support groups
This is a copy of an email that has been circulating among far-right political action groups. It is worth the reading because it shows threats of violence against anti-Trump citizens and groups

The Nationalist Front, an umbrella organization for numerous groups, wants the establishment of a white “ethnostate” in the US and eradication of the Jews as well as other races. Its founder, the late William Pierce, has inspired dozens of domestic terror attacks with his book “The Turner Diaries.” Internal fighting has meant a frequent waxing and waning of neo-Nazi groups.
Copies of this call to arms are sent to the following activist organizations in the United States.

• 3 Percenters
• ACT for America
• Adolf Hitler Free Corps
• Advent Christian General Conference
• All White America-Florida
• Alliance Defending Freedom
• Alternative Right Alabama
• Alternative Right Georgia
• Alternative Right Illinois
• AltRight Corporation Virginia
• America First
• America First Committee
• America First Committee Illinois
• America’s Promise Ministries
• American Border Patrol/American Patrol
• American Camp Guards Society
• American Family Association
• American Freedom Party
• American Freedom Party California
• American Freedom Party Indiana
• American Freedom Party Montana
• American Freedom Party New York
• American Freedom Party North Dakota
• American Freedom Party Texas
• American Freedom Union Pennsylvania
• American Front
• American Militia Alliance
• American Nazi Party
• American Nazi Party California
• American Nazi Party Michigan
• American Renaissance
• American Renaissance/New Century Foundation Virginia
• Anglican Mission in the Americas
• Anti-Communist Action
• Arizona Border Recon
• Aryan Brotherhood
• Aryan Brotherhood of Texas
• Aryan Brotherhood of Texas
• Aryan Guard
• Aryan Nations
• Aryan Nations
• Aryan Nations Sadistic Souls MC Illinois
• Aryan Nations Sadistic Souls MC Ohio
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Pentagon says 34 US soldiers suffered ‘traumatic brain injury’ in Iran strike
• Trump downplayed injuries: ‘I heard they had headaches’
• Expert calls president’s comment ‘insulting and disrespectful’
January 24, 2020
by Julian Borger and Joanna Walters
The Guardian
Thirty-four US soldiers have been diagnosed with concussion or traumatic brain injury from an 8 January Iranian missile attack on their base in Iraq, the Pentagon has revealed.
The Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said on Friday that eight service members who had been previously transported to Germany had been moved to the United States.
Donald Trump had previously said that the US “suffered no casualties” from the attack, which was a reprisal for the US drone strike assassination of the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani.
Questioned later about reports of brain injury, Trump downplayed their severity: “I heard that they had headaches. And a couple of other things. But I would say, and I can report, it is not very serious.”
But Hoffman confirmed the injuries on Friday, adding: “This is a snapshot in time, what he wanted to make sure is that you’re provided with the most accurate numbers.”
Of the 34 injured service members, 17 have returned to duty and the other 17 were taken to a US military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. Of those taken to Germany, eight were deemed serious enough to be flown to the US on Friday. Hoffman said that if the symptoms of those in Germany worsened, they also could be sent to the US. He added that the injured soldiers both US and Germany were being treated as out-patients.
Michael Kaplen, the chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council and past president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State said that he was “shocked at the ignorant statement” made by Trump.
“To equate traumatic brain injuries as just a headache is insulting and disrespectful to the thousands of military service members suffering from the signature wound of the Iraq/Afghanistan conflict,” he said.
He added that the condition, also known as TBI, is a “life-altering” injury.
“It’s physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral consequences affect every aspect of an individual’s life,” he said. “A brain injury is only ‘mild’ if it is someone else’s brain. There is nothing ‘mild’ about a mild brain injury.”

The Season of Evil
by Gregory Douglas

Preface
This is in essence a work of fiction, but the usual disclaimers notwithstanding, many of the horrific incidents related herein are based entirely on factual occurrences.
None of the characters or the events in this telling are invented and at the same time, none are real. And certainly, none of the participants could be considered by any stretch of the imagination to be either noble, self-sacrificing, honest, pure of motive or in any way socially acceptable to anything other than a hungry crocodile, a professional politician or a tax collector.
In fact, the main characters are complex, very often unpleasant, destructive and occasionally, very entertaining.
To those who would say that the majority of humanity has nothing in common with the characters depicted herein, the response is that mirrors only depict the ugly, evil and deformed things that peer into them
There are no heroes here, only different shapes and degrees of villains and if there is a moral to this tale it might well be found in a sentence by Jonathan Swift, a brilliant and misanthropic Irish cleric who wrote in his ‘Gulliver’s Travels,”
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most odious race of little pernicious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
Swift was often unkind in his observations but certainly not inaccurate.

Frienze, Italy
July 2018-August 2019

Chapter 67

The next morning, while the Minnesota household was beginning to stir, Charles Rush was having an early breakfast with Mark Mitnik, the attorney whose law firm of Carstairs, Rumpler and Mitnik oversaw the legal aspects of the Rush empire.
Mitnik was a thin, short man in his late forties who had started out as a young intern, fresh from an obscure downstate Illinois law school. A man given equally to deviousness and intense ambition, young Mark slowly rose in the law firm that had been founded sixty years before and whose progenitors had always worked for the late Arthur Rush.
Death and senility on the part of the two founders coupled with gross treachery and sharp elbows had elevated Mitnik Esquire to the leadership of the firm and the approbation of Charles Rush.
The heir designate was stupid and vicious and his chief lawyer was intelligent and vicious and they worked well together.
“Mark,” Rush said as he carefully broke his crisp bacon with the edge of a fork, “I have had just about enough of Collins. Since you recommended him, I want you to have a little talk with him about my nephew. I have spent nearly a million dollars on tracking that asshole down and killing him and to date, nothing has happened. That worthless cop has embezzled money from me and if he doesn’t produce very soon, I want you to take care of him the way he was supposed to take care of the creep!”
Mitnik was not particularly sensitive but the word ’embezzlement’ caused him some discomfort. He had been engaged in extracting sums of money from his chief client for some time and found the choice of words insensitive.
“Of course, Charles, of course. I have worked with Collins for several years now and I have always found him to be A-OK when it comes to such things. I personally think your nephew is a criminal genius and you know, it sometimes takes time to track such devious people down. I understand that he is now in Indiana and that Collins has his best man after him. Let’s give him a little more time. OK?”
He had received nearly half of the million dollars back from Collins in plain manila envelopes with the return address of the Chicago Police Department printed on the outside and it was not in his interest to seem unduly harsh towards a man who, in fact, worked for him and not the stuffed idiot sitting across the breakfast table..
“Another month, Mark, and no more. And if you can’t take care of it, believe me, I can find someone else.”
Mitnik paid no attention to this oft-repeated phrase because he knew that Rush would never dare try to find another murderer like Collins on his own.
“Of course, Charles, of course. By the way, my wife and I are giving a small party tonight, a New Year’s Eve party. Very small and comfortable. We would be delighted if you could stop by and we could all celebrate the coming year.”
He was safe in making this invitation because it was well known that Charles Rush never went out in public if he could possibly avoid it. Mitnik suspected, having some knowledge of his employer’s murderous actions in the past, that he was terrified that someone might kill him and that he was more than likely genuinely afraid of his hunted nephew. He kept his views to himself as he finished his Eggs Benedict.
Later in the morning, Mitnik called Collins and met him for an early lunch.
The restaurant was an establishment favored by senior officials of the city government and it was under constant surveillance by a unit of the Chicago police to prevent any inconvenient electronic eavesdropping by outside agencies or individuals.
“You are simply going to have to take care of Cyril Rush, Robert and as soon as possible. I had a great ration of shit from Charles this morning and he wants me to force you into action or, and I hesitate to say this, he wants to have you eliminated permanently.” Collins groaned.
“Jesus, Mark, I haven’t heard a word from LeBec since…for over a month now. I sent people up to Minnesota and they found out he had gone to Indiana. I told you that three weeks ago. If that stupid little creep thinks he can threaten me…”
“You know how he is, Robert. He wants me to find someone to ice you if you don’t perform. He said you had embezzled a million dollars from him.”
“Oh my, how wonderful! What’s shit-for-brains going to do about that? Sue me? Tell the court he hired me to murder his nephew? And what about all the other relatives that died? The one we drowned in the Lake? Or the one we chucked out the window? I don’t think so, do you?”
“Now, now, Robert, don’t get your Irish up. He can’t do anything and for certain I can’t see him visiting cocktail lounges and trying to find a hit man. Just do your best to get this hit man of yours to take care of business.”
“Shit, Mitnik, if I knew where Cyril Rush was, I’d go there right now and drop him like a bad habit.”
His voice began to rise and the lawyer put a hand on his arm in warning.
“Keep your voice down, Robert.”
“Fine. Listen, if old Rush even thinks he can mess with me, I’ll personally take the asshole out. Do you read me?”
As the sudden departure of Charles Rush meant his nephew automatically inherited the entire estate, Mitnik was determined that would never happen.
“Robert, calm down! I dread these talks with you because you get so irrational. Charles Rush will do nothing. The only person he knows well enough to come after you is that little McKnight creep and you’d have him for breakfast.”
“That psychopathic little suckass? I ought to take care of him right now, just in case. Do you have any problems with that, Mark?”
Mitnik looked at his watch.
“No, Robert, no problem with that. If you want to keep your hand in by killing that pathetic creep, by all means indulge yourself. But make some effort to find your fabulous hit man and for both of our sakes, get the business cleared up as soon as possible. I have to be in a deposition in a half an hour so I have to leave. Call me as soon as you have some news,”
Robert Collins nursed his glass of Irish whiskey after the lawyer left and began to think about the conversation. He had taken huge sums of money from the publisher but for some reason, Cyril Rush had managed to evade three well-financed, professional hits.
There was no way he could pay back the advance money and he knew Mitnik would never help him. He picked up the pencil that had accompanied the lunch chit and began to make notes on the back of an envelope he had in his pocket.
Mitnik would never dare cross him in these matters. Rush was too pig headed and too stupid to argue with but Collins knew the intensity of his hatred and it was not impossible that his poison dwarf, McKnight, could find someone who might actually think he could come after him. No professional hit man in Chicago would take such a job but perhaps McKnight might go to another city and search there.
Rush meant nothing to him. He knew he could get no more money out of him and there was the possibility that Rush might make good on his threats. Collins had heard Charles Rush threaten to kill his relatives and knew that once he fixated on a subject, he was difficult to deflect. As he calmed down, he began to give serious consideration to dealing with Rush before Rush dealt with him.
It was something to think about and he had another drink to lubricate his mind.
Later in the afternoon, when his deposition was concluded, Mark Mitnik saw the various parties involved out of his office and then closed the mahogany doors behind them and sat down on a couch.
Perhaps, he thought, he had made an error in trying to frighten Collins. Now the detective was threatening the life of Charles Rush and Mitnik knew him well enough to know that this threat was not entirely an idle one. Getting rid of the McKnight creature was nothing to him. The crazy little informer was a potential danger to everyone at the top of the Rush empire, but to even consider killing the head of the company was not to be contemplated. If anything happened to Charles Rush and his nephew was still alive, the current command structure, so carefully constructed by Mark Mitnik, would be in danger of collapse and great would be the fall thereof as far as the attorney was concerned. Collins had his uses but he tended to think with a gun in his hand.
The more the lawyer thought about the luncheon conversation, the unhappier he became. The time might be at hand to remove Collins from the scene. He had been promising to remove Cyril from the same scene for well over a year now and all that old Rush had to show for his money was a dead son and heir.
The early night of winter was moving quickly across the city and he finally sat down at his desk, flipped through his Rolodex and selected a telephone number.
While Mitnik was looking into the future of Robert Collins, the police official was going through his small telephone book, looking for the name and number of a business associate who acted as his liaison with a Mexican drug cartel.
Both men were working from the identical script when they made their calls.

(Continued)

This is also an e-book, available from Amazon:

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TB News January 24, 2020

Jan 24 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 24, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose

Commentary for January 24: “(This is an excerpt from a translated French intelligence report under date of December 31, 2019, now circulating in the White House. ‘’The present American government is seen as a destabilizing element in world political circles. American President Trump appears to be an inflexible individual with absolutely no desire to seek any kind of diplomatic or negotiated solutions to serious problem that affect the entire world community…” “coupled with his single-minded determination to achieve any of his ends by force and not negotiation…is his complete domination by the ultra-right wing supporters of Israel. Their goals appear to be the idea that America has not only the right but the obligation to her people to dominate the entire world, by military force or the threat of it…The Israeli presence in the Administration determines that America will always support that state, even at the risk of alienating the rest of the world and, even greater, of starting a major war….Trump’s advisors, mostly Jewish, dislike Putin, the Russian President, and have been constantly agitating for the United States to force Russia into a confrontation. Given Russia’s still-formidable military capacity, this confrontational behavior could well lead to open warfare….’”

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating January 24 reporting

Source                                Approve   Disapprove
_________________________________________
American Research Group     37%           58%

The Table of Contents
What is past is usually future
• The Essenes and Jesus
• Federal Highway Surveillance
• Point-Counterpoint
• The Merry Sunshine Murders
• The Season of Evil
• Encyclopedia of American Loons
• US Breaking of Japanese Codes clearly warned of impending attack in 1941 Continue Reading »

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TBR News January 23, 2020

Jan 23 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 23, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose

Commentary for January 23: “Trump is back from Davos and howling with rage about the impeachment proceeding in the Senate. I am told by those who have seen him, Trump is losing it little by little. His childish, often illiterate, tweets sound like the come from an occupant of a mental hospital and one of my co-workers says they saw him howling and purple in the face. He is 73, way overweight and has high blood pressure. It woudn’t take much more pressure on him to make something give way inside and off he would go in a rubber bag. What at risk here is public condemnation and, worse for his ego, mockery. Trump claims he is a genius but he most certainly is not. And he is so crooked that I am amazed that his lying, cheating and continual bombast have not finished him off in the court of public opinion.”

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating January 23 reporting

Source Approve Disapprove
_________________________________________
Ipsos     39%        56%

The Table of Contents
• Democrats push resistant Republicans to join case for ousting Trump
• Trump’s Impeachment Brief Is a Howl of Rage
• Trump and Putin: The Prospering of Treason
• The frantic rescue mission for Donald Trump’s indiscretions
• From Gestapo Chief to senior CIA official.
• Waiting to Happen
• The Season of Evil
• Encyclopedia of American Loons Continue Reading »

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TBR News January 22, 2020

Jan 22 2020

Special Report

Subscriber list

Postponement and Rescheduling of Elections to Federal Office to Include the Presidency and Congress
Prepared by: Jason Meldemann , U. S, Department of Justice
January 3, 2020
In-House Classification
Xxxxxxxxxxxx (redacted)
.Postponement and Rescheduling of Elections to Federal Office
Summary
Because of the fear that President Trump and Republican Senators might be defeated in the general election of 2020, , attention has been directed at the possibility/authority to postpone, cancel or reschedule an election for federal office. The United States Constitution does not provide in express language any current authority for a federal official or institution to “postpone” an election for federal office. While the Constitution does expressly devolve upon the States the primary authority to administer within their respective jurisdictions elections for federal office, there remains within the Constitution a residual and superceding authority in the Congress over most aspects of congressional elections (Article I, Section 5, clause 1), and an express authority in Congress over at least the timing of the selections of presidential electors in the States (Article II, Section 1, clause 4). Under this authority Congress has legislated a uniform date for presidential electors to be chosen in the States, and a uniform date for congressional elections across the country, which are to be on the Tuesday immediately following the first Monday in November in the particular, applicable even-numbered election years.
In addition to the absence of an express constitutional direction, there is also no federal law which currently provides express authority to “postpone” an election, although the potential operation of federal statutes regarding vacancies and the consequences of a State’s failure to select on the prescribed election day (see 2 U.S.C. § 8, and 3 U.S.C. § 2) might allow the States to hold subsequent elections in “exigent” circumstances. It would appear that under Congress’ express constitutional authority over the timing of federal elections it could enact a federal law setting conditions, times and dates for rescheduling of elections to federal offices in the States in emergency or other exigent circumstances, and with the proper standards and guidelines could delegate the execution and application of those provisions to executive branch or State officials.
In addition to general contest, protest and challenge statutes whereby the results of elections to federal office are initially adjudicated in the States, a handful of States have provided in State law express authority to postpone or reschedule elections within their jurisdictions based on certain emergency contingencies. The States’ authority within the United States Constitution appears to be sufficient to enact legislation to deal with emergency and exigent circumstances concerning federal elections, as long as such laws do not conflict with federal law enacted under Congress’ superceding constitutional authority. Federal courts have thus generally interpreted federal law to permit the States to reschedule elections to congressional office when “exigent” circumstances have necessitated a postponement. There may, however, be different issues raised in the case of the election of presidential electors, as the federal statute regarding the “failure to make a choice” on the prescribed election day for presidential electors is different than that regarding congressional elections. This report will be updated as events warrant..
Contents
Background 1
Timing of Federal Elections 2
Current Federal Authority to Postpone 3
State Authority Over Election Procedures and Administration 5
State Authority Under United States Constitution 5
Authority Under State Law to Postpone or Reschedule 8
Conformance With Federal Law 8
Appendix: Constitutional and Federal Statutory Provisions 14
Congressional Elections 14
Presidential Elections 14
Dates of Federal Office Terms 15
Current Federal Statutory Provisions 15.
Postponement and Rescheduling of Elections to Federal Office
Because of the fear of “possible terrorist attacks which could be directed at election facilities or voters in the States just prior to or during the elections in a presidential election year”, attention has been directed at the possibility/authority to postpone, cancel or reschedule an election for federal office.
Background
There is no provision in the United States Constitution which currently authorizes in express language any federal official or institution to “postpone” an election for federal office. The Constitution expressly devolves upon the States the primary authority to administer within their respective jurisdictions elections for federal office, with a residual and superceding authority within the United States Congress over most aspects of congressional elections (other than the place of choosing Senators),1 and with express authority in Congress over at least the timing of the selections of presidential electors in the States.2 As to the time set for holding elections under this express constitutional authority, Congress has legislated, originally in 1845, a uniform date for presidential electors to be chosen in the States,3 and in 1872, a uniform date for congressional elections across the country,4 which are to be on the Tuesday immediately following the first Monday in November in the particular, applicable even-numbered election years.
In addition to the absence of specific constitutional direction, there is also no federal law which currently provides express authority to “postpone” an election, although the potential operation of federal statutes regarding vacancies and the consequences of a State’s failure to select on the prescribed election day may allow the States to hold subsequent elections in “exigent” circumstances. A handful of States have provided in State law express authority to postpone or reschedule elections within their jurisdictions based on certain emergency contingencies, and others have provided general emergency provisions which might be applicable to election situations.
As to potential disruptions on election day, particularly in regard to the presidential election, some of the confused scenarios and proposed solutions appear to stem from a common misconception of the presidential election as being in the. nature of a national referendum. The presidential election, however, is in reality a series of State (and District of Columbia) elections for presidential electors from that State (or jurisdiction) that the Congress has mandated, since 1845, to be held on the same day throughout the country. Consonant with the States’ authority over the administration and procedural aspects of elections to federal office within their jurisdictions, is the initial responsibility for resolving issues of challenges and recounts in those elections. This authority and these procedures may be relevant in the case of disruptions, insurrection or violence at the polling places on election day which could conceivably cast into question the efficacy and legitimacy of a particular election result in that jurisdiction.
It should be emphasized that while the States have the initial authority, or the “first cut” at resolving disputes and recounts in their respective jurisdictions regarding elections to federal office, the Constitution expressly provides that the final authority over the elections and returns of its own Members lies exclusively in each House of Congress.5 As to the elections for presidential electors, the Constitution expressly gives to the Congress the task of counting the electoral votes for President.6 Implicit within this explicit authority to count the electoral votes has been the practical necessity to determine which electoral votes to count. While Congress has established procedures and rules for counting the electoral votes and resolving disputed lists of electors,7 Congress has, by statute, specifically given the States a “safe harbor” time within which to formally resolve presidential electoral disputes, prior to the meeting of the Electoral College in December, which then would be considered “conclusive” upon the Congress in counting those electoral votes for President.8
Timing of Federal Elections
The United States Constitution does not require a uniform election date in the States for elections to the House or Senate, or for the selection of presidential electors.9 Rather, this has been done by Congress by the enactment of federal law. The Constitution, while declaring in the “Times, Places and Manner” clause (Article I, Section 4, clause 1) that the States have the general authority over the administration of even federal elections within their respective jurisdictions, expressly provides that the Congress may supercede any State provision regarding, among other things, the timing of congressional elections, and further provides that Congress may establish the time for the election of presidential electors in the States. (Article II, Section 1, clause 4). Under these authorities, Congress has established uniform dates for the general elections to federal office within the States, which now are mandated to be held on the first Tuesday next following the first Monday in November in the appropriate even-numbered years.
It was not until 1845 that a uniform date for electing presidential electors in the States was mandated by Congress.10 Before then, the timing for selecting presidential electors could and did vary from State to State. Congress in 1844 and 1845 was, however, concerned about the allegations of fraud and corruption in the previous election (1840) for electors for President and Vice President in several States. It was asserted that some of the particular misconduct in that election appeared to have been encouraged, in part, because the States had differing dates for the presidential election, which allowed the alleged movement of populations and voters to key States having later elections (described as “pipelaying”).11 Congress sought to eliminate such opportunities for fraud and corruption by establishing a uniform day throughout the country for selecting the electors for President and Vice President, while assuring that those States that required an absolute majority to elect could continue to hold a run-off for presidential electors if needed in an election on a subsequent date.12 The uniform date for congressional elections in the States was not established by the Congress until 1872. 13 In first enacting this legislation, the Congress appeared to be concerned primarily with two factors, that is, the potential undue and unfair influence on elections in some States that earlier results and elections in other States may routinely have; and the burden on voters who in some States would have to go to the polls twice for two different general elections to choose federal officers in presidential election years.14
Current Federal Authority to Postpone
As noted, the United States Constitution does not provide any express authority to any federal official or institution to postpone an election for federal office in a particular State, or in all of the States. Specifically, there is no current constitutional authority residing in the President of the United States, nor the executive branch of. Government, to postpone, cancel, or reschedule elections for federal office in the various States.15 There might certainly be some potential emergency powers inherent in the President of the United States, as well as those delegated by statute, but there is no precedent for such powers being applied with respect to elections held in the various States for presidential electors,16 authority over which, as to the procedures and methods, has been expressly delegated in the Constitution to the States.17 It is possible that some scenarios could be imagined, however, where attacks, disruptions and destruction are so severe and so dangerous in certain localities, particularly in crowded urban areas, that the President under a rule of necessity may look to protect the public safety by federalizing State national guard and restricting movement and activities in such areas which would obviously affect the ability to conduct an election at those sites.18 Unlike the President, Congress does have explicit constitutional authority over elections to federal office which is of an express, residual nature concerning congressional elections,19 and a broad implicit authority recognized by the Supreme Court to legislate to protect the integrity and proceedings of presidential elections,20 as well as express authority over the date of the selection of presidential electors.21 Congress could, therefore, pass legislation regarding dates, and emergency postponements and/or rescheduling times for elections to federal offices. The courts have recognized an expansive authority in the Congress to “provide a complete code” for federal elections within the States, including presidential elections, and, within the parameters of the specific dates for the length and terms of federal offices established within the Constitution, could exercise its legislative discretion with regard to emergency scheduling and rescheduling.22 As noted by the Supreme Court. earlier in our history with regard to Congress’ authority over the conduct of elections for federal office in the States:
That a government whose essential character is republican, whose executive head and legislative body are both elective … , has no power by appropriate laws to secure this election from the influence of violence … is a proposition so startling as to arrest attention and demand the gravest consideration.
If this government is anything more than a mere aggregation of delegated agents of other States and governments, each of which is superior to the general government, it must have the power to protect the elections on which its existence depends from violence and corruption.23
Furthermore, in theory, Congress could also enact a law delegating to the executive certain authority in this area regarding emergency rescheduling.24 However, as a policy matter, and under Article I, Section 4, clause 1, and Article II, Section 1, clause 2, Congress has traditionally allowed the States, within the framework of the federal constitutional and statutory mandates, to exercise the substantive control over the procedures and administrative details of elections within their own respective jurisdictions, and the States have then generally further devolved immediate administrative and supervisory control over many election procedures to local and county authorities within their jurisdictions. This policy has generally recognized the principle that because of the varying political cultures, practices and traditions across the nation, and from State-to-State, that operational authority over most of the election mechanics is more efficiently left to the States and localities.
It should be noted, and as discussed in more detail in following sections, that there are existing provisions under current federal law regarding a failure of a State to make a selection on the prescribed election day with regard to both congressional elections (2 U.S.C. § 8) and presidential elections (3 U.S.C. § 2), which have traditionally left the details of such decisions up to the States.
State Authority Over Election Procedures and Administration
State Authority Under United States Constitution.
There is under our federal system of shared sovereignty a division of jurisdiction and authority which occurs in the case of elections to federal office under the. provisions of the United States Constitution. In the first instance, the terms of federal offices and the qualifications of candidates eligible for federal offices are established and fixed by the agreement of the States within the instrument which created those offices, that is, the United States Constitution, and are thus unalterable by the Congress alone or by any State unilaterally.25 The Constitution expressly provides, however, that the individual States have the authority to administer elections for federal congressional office, while providing that Congress may generally supercede any such regulations.26 The Supreme Court has described this “Times, Places and Manner” clause of Article I, Section 4, as a “default provision; it invests the States with responsibility for the mechanics of congressional elections … but only so far as Congress declines to pre-empt state legislative choices.”27 The State legislatures have express authority over the “manner” in which presidential electors in their State are to be chosen.28 Within certain constitutionally prescribed parameters, the States are also responsible to establish the qualifications for voting in their States in federal elections.29 Finally, as to its own Members, the Constitution provides that each House of Congress expressly retains the authority to be the final judge of the results of their elections and constitutionally prescribed qualifications,30 and the Congress, in joint session, is assigned in the Constitution the duty to count the electoral votes for President and to declare the winner.31
Under the States’ “Times, Places and Manner” authority in the Constitution, the States may promulgate a broad range of regulatory and administrative provisions over the mechanics and procedures even for federal elections within their States regarding such things as forms of the ballots, “ballot access” by candidates (including new party or independent candidates), voting procedures, and the nominating and electoral process generally, to prevent election fraud, voter confusion, ballot overcrowding, the proliferation of frivolous candidates, and to facilitate proper election administration.32.
The States’ procedural and administrative authority over elections within their jurisdictions, including elections to federal office, includes the initial authority over election contests, protests and recounts. As noted by the Supreme Court in Roudebush v. Hartke, even though the Constitution expressly gives each House of Congress the final authority over the elections and returns of it own members (Article I, Section 5), a State may adopt contest and recount provisions as one of the “safeguards which experience shows are necessary in order to enforce the fundamental right involved.”33 The Court noted there:
Indiana has found, along with many other States, that one procedure necessary to guard against irregularity and error in the tabulation of votes is the availability of a recount. … A recount is an integral part of the Indiana electoral process and is in the ambit of the broad powers delegated to the States by Art. I, § 4.
It is true that a State’s verification of the accuracy of election results pursuant to its Art. I, § 4, powers is not totally separable from the Senate’s power to judge elections and returns. But a recount can be said to “usurp” the Senate’s function only if it frustrates the Senate’s ability to make an independent final judgment. A recount does not prevent the Senate from independently evaluating the election any more than the initial count does. The Senate is free to accept or reject the apparent winner in either count, and, if it chooses, to conduct its own recount.34
As to the presidential election, the State legislatures are granted express authority over the manner in which presidential electors are to be chosen. Article II, Section 1, clause 2. Although there remains continued controversy over the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bush v. Gore,35 where a federal court intervened to stop a State ordered recount of the vote for presidential electors in Florida in 2000, the Court’s per curium opinion left intact and affirmed, at least in theory, a State legislature’s authority under the United States Constitution to enact protest or contest statutes and provisions regarding elections for presidential electors, although the implementation of that procedure as directed by the Florida courts was found by a majority of the Supreme Court to be violative of the equal protections and due process requirements. of the United States Constitution.36 The primacy under the United States Constitution of the States’ legislatures in establishing the mechanisms for appointment of presidential electors and in fashioning recount and protest statutes was also emphasized by the Supreme Court in the decision preceding Bush v. Gore, that is, Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board,37 which had remanded back to the State courts the issue of the recount proceedings in the Florida presidential election of 2000.
Authority Under State Law to Postpone or Reschedule.
There are several State provisions which currently purport to give to certain specified State officials the authority to “postpone” or to reschedule an election within the State, prior to the holding of an election, for a number of emergency and exigent circumstances.38 Furthermore, other States may have general emergency powers which might be used, and might be broad enough, to allow the Governor or other State executive official to take action which may effect a postponement of an election. Because of the increased awareness of the threat from terrorists and terrorist organizations, State legislatures may in the future consider the adoption of additional provisions which set out the considerations and circumstances for the declaration of a postponement and/or rescheduling of an election within their jurisdiction, including elections to federal offices.
Conformance With Federal Law.
Does a State law or order instituting a rescheduling of an election to federal office within that State impermissibly affect the date of such election in contravention of the federal laws that have established election day for federal offices to be the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November?
Congressional Elections. The federally established date for elections for federal office, while it is clearly mandatory and not merely advisory, may not necessarily be an “absolute,” such that no election subsequent to that date could be or should be recognized. In fact, as noted, the federal statutory scheme in the case of congressional elections specifically provides for the contingency of a “vacancy” in the State delegation, whether that vacancy is caused by death, resignation or incapacity, or by a “failure to elect at the time prescribed by law,” by authorizing another time for the election to be prescribed by State law:
2 U.S.C. § 8. Vacancies The time for holding elections in any State, District, or Territory for a Representative or Delegate to fill a vacancy, whether. such vacancy is caused by a failure to elect at the time prescribed by law, or by the death, resignation, or incapacity of a person elected, may be prescribed by the laws of the several States and Territories respectively.
The Supreme Court of the United States has found that the day established in 2 U.S.C. § 7 for electing Senators and Representatives in the States is a mandatory date, and that a State’s statutory scheme may not permissibly allow the “election” of such a federal official at an election held prior to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November date. Thus, the Louisiana election provisions which designated as “elected” to Congress an open primary winner who received at least a majority of the votes cast in that primary election held prior to the general election, was found to be a violation of the federal law setting the general election date.39 States that allow “early voting” in federal elections, however, have not been found by federal courts to be holding a prior election in violation of the federal statute since it was found that the election would not be “consummated” before election day, or that such ballots would not be officially counted or tallied before election day.40
Federal courts interpreting the federal statutes regarding the timing of elections to Congress have noted that the States’ scheme for elections must be in general conformance with the date prescribed by federal law, at 2 U.S.C. § 7, and may not routinely allow the election on an earlier date, but that certain “exigent” circumstances may permit the holding of an election for federal office at a subsequent time under 2 U.S.C. § 8. 41 The Federal court in the District of Columbia in Busbee v. Smith, in a case affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, found that an exigent circumstance, such as the State of Georgia’s reapportionment plan being refused preclearance by the Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 because of “discriminatory effects,” allowed for an election to federal office in two congressional districts to be held on a subsequent date:
…[W]here exigent circumstances arising prior to or on the date established by [2 U.S.C.] section 7 preclude holding an election on that date, a state may postpone the election until the earliest practicable date. In this case, for example, Georgia will “fail[ ] to elect at the time prescribed by law” because its purposefully discriminatory conduct prevented it from securing Section 5 approval for constitutionally required changes in its voting procedures. As a result, we believe, that [2 U.S.C.] section 8 permits a reasonable postponement of the elections in the Fourth and Fifth Congressional Districts.42
This reasoning, as noted later by another federal court, would allow for the postponement of an election, and the holding of the election for federal office in the State at a later date, for a number of possible “exigent” circumstances, including. “natural disasters” such as hurricanes, tied votes, or fraud. This federal court in Georgia found that the State’s statutory requirement that a candidate to be elected receive a majority, and not merely a plurality, of votes in the general election, was such an exigent circumstance that could require the holding of a subsequent run-off election for Senator to be held on November 24, after the earlier November general election mandated by 2 U.S.C. § 7 resulted in no candidate receiving a majority of the votes:
The court in Busbee acknowledged that 2 U.S.C. § 8 allows States, under certain circumstances, to hold elections at times other than those prescribed by section 7. Id. at 524-25. In addition to the circumstances it specifically enumerates — death, resignation, personal incapacity — section 8 allows states to reschedule elections “where exigent circumstances arising prior to or on the date established by section 7 preclude holding an election on that date.” Id. at 525. The court offered natural disasters, and the parties to the instant suit offer fraud and a tie vote as examples of ‘exigent’ circumstances warranting state rescheduling.43
Elections for Presidential Electors.
The election for presidential electors presents somewhat different issues than those elections for congressional office, as the language of the federal statutes for presidential electors varies from the language governing congressional elections. The statute concerning the timing and scheduling for congressional elections provides expressly that when there is a vacancy caused by death, resignation or incapacity, or when “such vacancy is caused by a failure to elect at the time prescribed by law,” then a subsequent election may be scheduled. This language appears to be broad enough and, as noted above, has been interpreted by federal courts to actually permit a temporary postponement and rescheduling of a congressional election. The federal statute for presidential elections, however, expressly states that “[w]henever any State has held an election for the purpose of choosing electors,” but fails to “make a choice on the day prescribed by law,” then the electors may be selected on a subsequent day in the manner established by the legislature of the State:
3 U.S.C. § 2. Failure to make choice on prescribed day Whenever any State has held an election for the purpose of choosing electors, and has failed to make a choice on the day prescribed by law, the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in such a manner as the legislature of such State may direct.
Does the wording of 3 U.S.C. § 2 mean that the authority of the States to reschedule an election for presidential electors is contingent upon the State actually having “held an election for the purpose of choosing electors”? If so, then under this theory no prior postponement and rescheduling would be permitted State-wide, even a postponement for natural disasters such as an impending hurricane, or the destruction shortly prior to the elections of a number of polling places, since it would conflict with the federally scheduled time in 3 U.S.C. § 2..
Certainly, if a scheduled election is being held when terrorist or other types of attacks are conducted on voting places, destroying certain polling places in various precincts and disrupting the election generally in a State, then the power of the State to find under its general election contest and challenge procedures that the results of the election, because of such disruptions, are not viable or valid, and that, either a new election, or a continuation of the election (whereby those people who were not certified by election officials as having already voted could come to vote at a subsequent time), would appear to be in conformance with federal law, both at 2 U.S.C. § 8 (for congressional elections), as well as 3 U.S.C. § 2, in the case of the election of presidential electors. In such cases, the State had clearly “held an election,” but a choice was not necessarily made because the State has determined that the results could not fairly be ascertained.
However, if there is a disruption just prior to an election, could an election for presidential electors not be held, that is, be postponed and rescheduled in a particular State and still be in conformance with 3 U.S.C. § 2? There is no clear and definitive authority on this question, nor do there appear to be specific legal precedents bearing upon this issue. Even though the purpose in 1845 of this particular provision at 3 U.S.C. § 2, regarding the subsequent choosing of electors, was clearly to allow those States that required an absolute “majority” in a general election to be “elected” to hold a subsequent run-off election if no candidate’s electors received such a majority,44 the language itself may be open to broader interpretation.
It may be contended on the one hand, that the express constitutional authority of the State legislatures over the selection of presidential electors at Article II, Section 1, clause 2, which language allows the State legislatures to enact statutory schemes to protect the validity of their elections for presidential electors in the State, including fashioning protest or contest procedures, may be consonant with such an authority in the legislature itself to temporarily postpone or to authorize by State law the postponement and rescheduling of State-wide elections by the State executive in certain emergency circumstances. One of the major points made by the Supreme Court in both the earlier Palm Beach County case, and the latter Bush v. Gore decision, was the primacy of the state legislatures’ role in the manner of the selection of presidential electors.45 Although clearly the concepts of “time” and “manner” of election are not necessarily synonymous,46 this constitutional provision and the Supreme Court’s deference to the State legislatures may arguably give some credibility to the States’ attempts to statutorily prescribe a system whereby emergency procedures may be implemented with respect to all State-wide elections, including the general elections for federal office, which provide that such elections, while certainly scheduled for the federally prescribed date, because of such. emergency and exigent circumstances need to be rescheduled, postponed or continued at a subsequent time.
Furthermore, it may be noted that in addition to Article II, Section 1, clause 2 of the Constitution, the federal law at 3 U.S.C. § 5, which was part of the original Electoral Vote Count Act of 1887, provides the State legislatures with further statutory authority to finally and conclusively resolve within the State protests, challenges and contests of the election of presidential electors. One of the purposes of the original 1887 statute regarding counting of the electoral votes was to substantially devolve upon the States the burden for resolving conflicts over the election, selection and appointment of those states’ own electors for President and Vice President.47 As noted by the Supreme Court, this statute at 3 U.S.C. § 5:
… creates a “safe harbor” for a State insofar as congressional consideration of its electoral votes are concerned. If the state legislature has provided for final determination of contests or controversies by a law made prior to election day, that determination shall be conclusive if made at least six days prior to said time of meeting of the electors.48
Clearly, there is an understanding that the States were intended to have the principal and initial responsibility for resolving the conflicts, arguments, controversies and difficulties involved in the processes of electing presidential electors. Thus, it is possible to argue that to harmonize the provisions for elections to federal office, that is specifically the provisions for subsequent congressional elections at 2 U.S.C. § 8 and the presidential provisions at 3 U.S.C. § 2, along with the authority devolved upon the States in 3 U.S.C. § 5, that it would be logical to read the federal statutes as permitting a postponement and an election on a subsequent date for both Congress and presidential electors under the State’s current laws when necessitated by emergency and exigent circumstances in the particular State and, as long as the matter is resolved in time, such resolution would be conclusive on Congress in counting the presidential electoral votes. Such a supposition might be bolstered somewhat by the alternative, that is, that the federal law could work to disenfranchise the voters of a particular State when that State believes it is necessary to temporarily postpone the regularly scheduled State-wide elections because of some extraordinary and disastrous event in the State.
While providing possible support for the State legislature’s authority to develop a scheme which could include postponement of elections for presidential electors in times of emergency, this argument of expanded State authority might not necessarily give any additional weight to an implied or inherent authority of the State Executive. or the State courts to do so, absent an express delegation in law from the legislature.49
Finally, as a policy matter there has been some consternation over allowing any State to postpone or otherwise reschedule an election for federal office. The grounds for any such postponement or rescheduling, as well as any express, implied or inherent authority, would have to be examined initially under State law and procedure, and no blanket statement could be made with respect to the interpretation in all of the States. Furthermore, there appears to be little legal or factual precedent to apply to such circumstances. Remembering that the presidential election is not necessarily in the nature of a national referendum, but is rather 51 simultaneous State/District elections for presidential electors, however, it may be asked as a matter of policy whether or not an event that occurred earlier in the State, or an event that occurs in a different State, would or should be enough to trigger a postponement of an election in any particular State as a matter of good public policy. It has been argued that a violent disruption of an election in Manhattan, New York City, should not necessarily affect, or at least could not predictably affect, an election in Manhattan, Kansas. Various commentators have noted that on the fateful day of September 11, 2001, despite the events unfolding in Manhattan in New York City, Pennsylvania, and in Arlington, Virginia, a primary election for federal congressional office, a contested congressional primary, on the South Shore of Massachusetts reportedly drew a larger than normal number of the voting age population.50 Problems and disruptions in one State may not necessarily or predictably affect the viability of the results in another..
Appendix: Constitutional and Federal Statutory Provisions
Congressional Elections.
Article I, Section 2, clause 1. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second year by the people of the several States ….
Article I, Section 2, clause 4. When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
Amendment Seventeen. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years ….
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
Article I, Section 4, clause 1. The times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
Article I, Section 5, clause 1. Each house shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members ….
Presidential Elections.
Article II, Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress ….51
Article II, Section 1, clause 4. The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
Amendment XII. The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, … and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States,. directed to the President of the Senate; — The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted ….
Dates of Federal Office Terms.
Amendment XX, Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20 th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3 rd day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
Current Federal Statutory Provisions.
2 U.S.C. § 1. Time for election of Senators At the regular election held in any State next preceding the expiration of the term for which any Senator was elected to represent such State in Congress, at which election a Representative to Congress is regularly by law to be chosen, a United States Senator from said State shall be elected by the people thereof for the term commencing on the 3d day of January next thereafter.
2 U.S.C. § 7. Time of election The Tuesday next after the 1st Monday in November, in every even numbered year, is established as the day for the election, in each of the States and Territories of the United States, of Representatives and Delegates to the Congress commencing on the 3d day of January next thereafter.
2 U.S.C. § 8. Vacancies The time for holding elections in any State, District, or Territory for a Representative or Delegate to fill a vacancy, whether such vacancy is caused by a failure to elect at the time prescribed by law, or by the death, resignation, or incapacity of a person elected, may be prescribed by the laws of the several States and Territories respectively.
3 U.S.C. § 1. Time of appointing electors The electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed, in each State, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every fourth year succeeding every election of a President and Vice President.
3 U.S.C. § 2. Failure to make choice on prescribed day Whenever any State has held an election for the purpose of choosing electors, and has failed to make a choice on the day prescribed by law, the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in such a manner as the legislature of such State may direct.
3 U.S.C. § 5. Determination of controversy as to appointment of electors If any State shall have provided, by laws enacted prior to the day fixed for the appointment of the electors, for its final determination of any controversy or contest concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors of such State, by judicial or other methods or procedures, and such determination shall have been made at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors, such determination made pursuant to such law so existing on said day, and made at least six days prior to said time of meeting of the electors, shall be conclusive, and shall govern in the counting of the electoral votes as provided in the. Constitution, and as hereinafter regulated, so far as the ascertainment of the electors appointed by such State is concerned.

1 Article I, Section 5, clause 1.
2 Article II, Section 1, clause 4.
3 5 Stat. 721, ch. 1, January 23, 1845, now 3 U.S.C. § 1.
4 17 Stat. 28, ch. 11, § 3, February 2, 1872, now 2 U.S.C. § 7.
5 Article I, Section 5, cl. 1.
6 Constitution, Amendment XII, amending Article II, Section 1, cl. 3.
7 See generally, the Electoral Count Act of 1887, 24 Stat. 373, ch. 90, February 3, 1887; now 3 U.S.C. §§ 5 et seq.
8 3 U.S.C. § 5.
9 The Constitution does require that the date for the presidential electors to give their votes for President and Vice President be on the same day (Article II, Section 1, clause 4), and Congress has set that time for the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following the November election. 3 U.S.C. § 7.
10 5 Stat. 721, Ch. 1, January 23, 1845; see now 3 U.S.C. §§ 1 and 2.
11 Congressional Globe, 28 th Cong., 2d Sess., at 350, March 6, 1844 (Mr. Duncan); see Levy and Fisher, The Encyclopedia of the American Presidency, Volume 2, “Election, Presidential, 1840,” at p. 446.
12 Congressional Globe, 28 th Cong., 2d Sess., at 14, December 9, 1844 (Mr. Hale); Congressional Globe, supra at 21, December 11, 1844 (Mr. Duncan); see 5 Stat. 721, Ch. 1, January 23, 1845, now 3 U.S.C. § 2.
13 17 Stat. 28, ch. 11, § 3, February 2, 1872, now 2 U.S.C. § 7.
14 Note discussion by Supreme Court in Foster v. Love, 522 U.S. 67, 73-74 (1967), and in legislative history, Congressional Globe, 42 Cong., 2d Sess., at 141, December 14, 1871.
15 See discussion in CRS Report RL32471, Executive Branch Power to Postpone Elections, by Kenneth R. Thomas.
16 See discussion of emergency powers generally, in CRS Report 98-505, National Emergency Powers, by Harold C. Relyea.
17 Article II, Section 1, clause 2: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors ….”
18 Note discussion of historic uses of emergency powers and rule of necessity, particularly the use of authority by President Lincoln in the Civil War era, in “Emergency Powers,” by Harold C. Relyea, appearing in Separation of Powers – Documents and Commentary, Katy J. Harriger, ed., pp. 80- 97 (2003). There may also certainly be, of course, serious political implications for a President to exercise inherent or implied “emergency” powers to affect the timing, and thus possibly the turnout and outcome, of an election in which that President himself is a candidate for re-election.
19 Article 1, Section 4, clause 1; Smiley v. Holm, 285 U.S. 355 (1932); U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 799, 832-833 (1995).
20 Burroughs and Cannon v. United States, 290 U.S. 534, 544-545 (1934).
21 Article II, Section 1, clause 4.
22 Smiley v. Holm, supra at 366-367 [congressional elections]; Ex parte Yarbrough, 110 U.S. 651, 657-658 (1884) [congressional elections]; Burroughs and Cannon, supra [presidential elections]; Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 13-14, see n.16 (1976) [presidential and congressional elections].
23 Ex parte Yarbrough, 110 U.S. 651, 657-658 (1884).
24 Although Congress has the express constitutional authority over these aspects of federal elections, Congress could delegate, with the appropriate standards, the authority to regulate such elections to the executive branch, which would administer and execute the particular federal laws enacted, such as it has done with respect to the conduct and regulation of the financing of federal elections to the Federal Elections Commission, an executive agency. Note generally, discussion in CRS Report RL32471, supra, of the required standards for delegation as set out in Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 379 (1989); Skinner v. Mid-American Pipeline, 490 U.S. 212 (1989); Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417, 443- 444 (1998).
25 Powell v. McCormack,395 U.S. 486 (1969); U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995); Cook v. Gralike, 531 U.S. 510 (2001).
26 Article I, Section 4, cl. 1.
27 Foster v. Love, 522 U.S. 67, 69 (1997), citing to Storer v, Brown, 415 U.S. 724, 730 (1974), and Roudebush v. Hartke, 405 U.S. 15, 24 (1972).
28 Article II, Section 1, clause 2.
29 The qualifications to vote in congressional elections in a particular State must be the same as the qualifications to vote for the most populous House in the State legislature, and meet other federal standards, such as age and absence of discrimination. Note Article I, Section 2, clause 1; Article II, Section 1, clause 2; 14 th , 15 th , 17 th , 19 th , 24 th and 26 th Amendments.
30 Article I, Section 5, cl. 1. In addition to judging the elections and returns of its own Members, each House is expressly authorized to judge the “qualifications” for office of the Members-elect in those elections, that is, the age, citizenship and inhabitancy in the State of the Members-elect seeking to be seated. Note Powell v. McCormack, supra.
31 Constitution, Amendment XII.
32 Storer v. Brown, 415 U.S. 724 (1974). Legitimate “ballot access” procedures, as well as administrative requirements, reasonable filing deadlines, and party affiliation rules, are generally considered within the State’s purview to “regulate[ ] election procedures” to serve the State interest of “protecting the integrity and regularity of the election process….,” and are not considered impermissible additional qualifications for federal office. See U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, 832-835 (1995), comparing legitimate “ballot access” provisions as in Storer v. Brown, supra, with impermissible additional qualifications for federal office, such as individual State-imposed term limits. Requirements for “ballot access,” in addition to the requirement that they impose no substantive, new qualifications to federal office, must not violate equal protection provisions of the Constitution by impermissibly discriminating against new or independent candidates, nor impermissibly infringe upon First Amendment rights of voters to associate freely and express their political opinions through support of their chosen candidates. Jenness v. Fortson, 403 U.S. 431 (1971); Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134, 145 (1972); Williams v. Tucker, 382 F. Supp. 381, 387-388 (M.D.Pa. 1974).
33 405 U.S. 15, 24-25 (1972).
34 Id. At 25-26.
35 531 U.S. 98 (2000).
36 The Court found that “it is obvious that the recount cannot be conducted in compliance with the requirements of equal protection and due process without substantial additional work,” in formulating specific standards for and overseeing manual recounts, which would necessitate that the proceedings would not be completed by the State statute’s deadline. Bush v. Gore, supra at 110.
37 531 U.S. 70 (2000)
38 See CRS Report RS21942, State Election Laws: Overview of Statutes Regarding Emergency Election Postponement Within The State, by L. Paige Whitaker.
39 Foster v. Love, 522 U.S. 67 (1997).
40 Voting Integrity Project, Inc. v. Bomer, 199 F.3rd 773 (5 th Cir. 2000); Millsaps v. Thompson, 96 F.Supp.2d 720 (E.D.Tenn. 2000).
41 Busbee v. Smith, 549 F.Supp. 494 (D.D.C. 1982), aff’d, 459 U.S. 1166 (1983); Public Citizen, Inc. v. Miller, 813 F. Supp. 821, 830 (N.D.Ga. 1993), aff’d, 992 F.2d 1548 (11 th Cir. 1993).
42 Busbee v. Smith, supra at 525.
43 Public Citizen, Inc. v. Miller, 813 F. Supp. 821, 830 (N.D.Ga. 1993), aff’d, 992 F.2d 1548 (11 th Cir. 1993).
44 Congressional Globe, 28 th Cong., 2d Sess. at 14, December 9, 1844 (Rep. Hale of New Hampshire); see amendment at Congressional Globe, supra at 21, December 11, 1844 (Mr. Duncan); note also debate at Congressional Globe, supra at 30-31, December 13, 1844.
45 Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, supra 76-77; Bush v. Gore, supra 104- 105; see specifically McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U.S. 1 (1892).
46 Foster v. Love, supra at 72.
47 Pierce and Longley, The People’s President, The Electoral College in American History and the Direct Vote Alternative, at p.105 (revised edition 1981).
48 Bush v. Gore, supra at 77-78.
49 Note discussion of State legislatures’ plenary power in this area, in McPherson v. Blacker, supra, and Bush v. Palm Beach Canvassing Board, supra at 76-78, as well as concurring opinion of minority of three Justices in Bush v. Gore, supra at 111-122.
50 Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, at 2111, September 15, 2001.
51 See also the 23 rd Amendment granting to the District of Columbia the right to select presidential electors equal to the number of Representatives and Senators to which the District would be entitled had it been a State.

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TBR News January 22, 2020

Jan 22 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 22, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose

Commentary for January 22: “The farce in the Senate trial will become painfully evident as the bought-and-paid-for Republicans will declare Donald Trump God’s Gift to America and Zuckerberg’s Facebook will start grinding out ficticious pro-Trump sewage to entertain its dimwitted adherents. Trump could walk into a Macdonalds, pull out a pistol and shoot two old ladies and a baby in a stroller and the Senate Republicans would comfort themselves with the idea that he had to do it because God His Father wanted it. On the other hand, Senate Republicans carefully ignore his extensive dealings with Russian drug money. This is somewhat like speaking kindly of a whore because she sends money to her mother.”

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating January 21 reporting
Source                           Approve Disapprove
_________________________________________
American Research Group 37%      59%

The Table of Contents
Shock and Horror for the dim of wit
Pandemic fears grow as new coronavirus spreads
• Never the Pentagon
• Different…but the same!
• As Trump goes on trial, so does the conscience of the Republican party
• US sanctions helped Russia to boost oil exports in 2019
• The Season of Evil
• Encyclopedia of American Loons Continue Reading »

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TBR News January 21, 2020

Jan 21 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 21, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose

Commentary for January 21:”What the Senate Republicans are unware of in he upcoming trial of Trump is that there is increasing evidence of his peculations that in all probability will come to the attention of the voting public. Their tatics will be to rush the drama along in the hopes they can shut off more condemning eruptions. Once the great mass of the voting pubic becomes aware of Trump’s actitities, they will put him out of office and, at the same time and in the same election, put many Republican Senators out into the wilderness. Trump has hired Facebook to flood their members with pro-Trump propaganda but I have the distinct feeling that Marc Zuckerberg will go the way of Trump. One hopes.”

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating January 21 reporting
Source                                Approve          Disapprove
_________________________________________
American Research Group       37%              59%

The Table of Contents
Why haven’t you shut down the border?’: inside Trump’s White House
• An Israeli Nazi funding and arming the American far-right
• Half a billion unemployed or underemployed worldwide: UN report
• China mystery virus death toll rises
• Coronavirus
• The Season of Evil
• Encyclopedia of American Loons Continue Reading »

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TBR News January 20, 2020

Jan 20 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 20, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose

Commentary for January 20: “Trump is acting like a degraged dictator, issuing senseless orders to Congress, sending out reams of virtually illiterate Twitter postings, and displaying his growing rage at anyone who dares to contradict him. He is, after all, a great genius who is Saving America. From whom is not clear but given past rantings, he has blacks, Mexicans, gays, pot dealers, Armenians, Venes=zuelans, Canadians and others in mind. As the snake said as it wound itself around a tree’The end is in sight.’”

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating January 20 reporting
Source   Approve Disapprove
____________________________
YouGov      40%        53%

The Table of Contents
Trump impeachment: Schumer ready to ‘force votes for witnesses’
• The US and Iran’s Perpetual Almost-war Is Unsustainable
• Targeted killings via drone becoming ‘normalised’ – report
• 8 facts about gun control in the US
• In the Face of Rising White Supremacist Violence, Police Continue to Investigate Victims and Activists
• The Season of Evil
• Encyclopedia of American Loons Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News January 19, 2020

Jan 19 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 19, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose

Commentary for January 19: “Well, I am happy to learn that because a young Swedish girl with emotional problems has spoken, our Congress might just pass a law stopping climate changes in the United States. It’s wonderful that Congress could do this and I wonder that when they do this vital service, couldn’t they also vote to keep citizens from dying and get President Trump appointed as King of America? His psychiatrist says it would make him feel so much better and might stop bed wetting entirely.”

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating January 19 reporting
Source     Approve     Disapprove
____________________________
YouGov       40%         53%

The Table of Contents
In impeachment document, Democrats say Trump endangers security, Trump denies
• ‘A Very Stable Genius’ review: dysfunction and disaster at the court of King Donald
• Why Is the Trump Presidency of Extreme Psychological Interest?
• Russian State TV Backs Trump’s Wild Impeachment Attacks
• Vows of peace, fears of violence at Virginia gun rally
• Important New Source for Secret Intelligence
• The Season of Evil
• Encyclopedia of American Loons
• NASA Warns: Sunspots Drop Drastically, Earth Heads Towards Next Ice Age

In impeachment document, Democrats say Trump endangers security, Trump denies
January 18, 2020
by Patricia Zengerle and Steve Holland
Reuters

WASHINGTON/PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. lawmakers leading the impeachment case against Republican President Donald Trump said on Saturday the president must be removed from office to protect national security and preserve the country’s system of government.
In a 111-page document filed before Trump’s Senate trial begins in earnest on Tuesday, the lawmakers laid out their arguments supporting charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against the president.
“The Senate should convict and remove President Trump to avoid serious and long term damage to our democratic values and the nation’s security,” the lawmakers said, for the first time formally calling for the Senate to convict the president and remove him from office.
“The case against the president of the United States is simple, the facts are indisputable, and the evidence is overwhelming,” they said.
The document was an appeal directly to the senators to be impartial. “History will judge each senator’s willingness to rise above partisan differences, view the facts honestly and defend the Constitution,” the managers said in a statement noting “the President is not a king.”
Trump’s legal team issued a resounding rejection of the impeachment charges, which were read out in the Senate earlier in the week during formalities setting the stage for the trial. They are expected to release a longer, separate response to the Democrats’ pretrial brief on Monday.
Rejecting the charges, Trump’s lawyers reiterated the president’s insistence, echoed by many of his fellow Republicans in Congress, that the charges are nothing more than a partisan attempt to remove him from office, a “dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president.”
“This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election — now just months away,” they argued in a six-page document released on Saturday.
It was the first time Trump formally responded to the two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – that the Democratic-led House approved late last year.
DUELING ARGUMENTS
Trump and Democratic lawmakers offered dueling arguments about the politically polarizing impeachment case involving Trump’s attempt to persuade Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden last year.
“President Trump categorically and unequivocally denies each and every allegation in both articles of impeachment,” the Trump lawyers’ document said. (For full document see here)
As well as the charge of abuse of office for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden, Trump is also accused of obstructing Congress in its investigation into his conduct by refusing to hand over documents and barring administration officials from testifying, even when subpoenaed by House investigators.
The document filed by the Democratic House impeachment managers on Saturday explained why the House passed the two articles of impeachment, and listed evidence supporting the charges.
The evidence included references to information released in the past few days from Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who was involved in Giuliani’s contacts with Ukraine’s government.
It also included a finding on Thursday by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) that Trump broke the law when he withheld military aid that Congress had designated for Ukraine. Trump is charged with withholding the $391 million in security assistance to put pressure on Kiev to announce an investigation of the Bidens, to boost his 2020 re-election prospects.
“An acquittal would also provide license to President Trump and his successors to use taxpayer dollars for personal political ends,” the Democratic lawmakers’ brief said. (For full document see here)
Trump has denied wrongdoing.
The trial in the Republican-led Senate is unlikely to lead to Trump’s ouster, as no Republican senators have voiced support for doing so and a two-thirds majority vote is required to convict.
Trump, at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, for the weekend, played a round of golf on Saturday.
The Trump lawyers, in their document, argued that the president acted at all times with full constitutional legal authority, said one of three sources close to Trump’s legal team who briefed reporters on a conference call on Saturday.
“We will take the facts head-on and we believe that the facts will prove, and have proven, that the president did absolutely nothing wrong,” the source said.
Reporting by Steve Holland and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Paul Simao, Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

‘A Very Stable Genius’ review: dysfunction and disaster at the court of King Donald
Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, Pulitzer-winning Washington Post reporters, have produced a vital and alarming read
January 19, 2020
by Lloyd Green
The Guardian
In January 2018, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury made headlines as it depicted a president out of control and a White House that careened from crisis to crisis. Donald Trump threatened legal action against author and publisher. He also lauded himself and his electoral college victory: “I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius … and a very stable genius at that!”
Trump’s outburst confirmed what many already feared. In the aftermath of the firing of FBI director James Comey in May 2017, Rod Rosenstein, then deputy attorney general, reportedly weighed secretly recording the president with an eye to removing him from office under the 25th amendment.
Now Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post offer ‘A Very Stable Genius.’ As befitting Pulitzer winners for investigative reporting, their book is richly sourced and highly readable.
It sheds new light on how the 45th president tests the boundaries of the office while trying the patience and dignity of those who work for or with him. It is not just another Trump tell-all or third-party confessional. It is unsettling, not salacious.
Trump himself was quick to criticize the book, calling its authors “two third rate Washington Post reporters”. In a tweet on Saturday night, the president said the book was “all for the purpose of demeaning and belittling a President who is getting great things done for our Country, at a record clip”.
Rucker and Leonnig lift the curtain on internal battles over immigration and the attempt to replace John Kelly with Chris Christie as White House chief of staff. It also closely examines the scrum between Bill Barr, the attorney general, and Bob Mueller over Barr’s handling of the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference and links between Trump and Moscow.
Trump’s West Wing is tantamount to a family business and everything is personal. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump obtain security clearances because they are kin.
After publicly punting the issue to Kelly, Trump is described as applying pressure privately. “I wish we could make this go away,” he reportedly told Kelly. “This is a problem.” Said differently, protocols and national security were treated as impediments, not safeguards, when Javanka got involved.
When Trump cuts Kelly loose, Kushner and Ivanka are depicted as coveting the job. Their ambitions go unfulfilled but they continue to lurk in the background.
Told by Rudy Giuliani that Trump wants him as his chief of staff, Christie asks why he would want the job if Kushner isn’t leaving. For record, as a federal prosecutor Christie sent Charlie Kushner, Jared’s father, to prison for “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes” on Christie’s watch.
“Why the fuck am I going to take this job?” the former New Jersey governor exclaims. “You guys are nuts. I’m not going in there.”
Still, Ivanka purportedly telephoned Christie’s wife, Pat, to assure her bygones would be bygones. It didn’t work.
‘A Very Stable Genius’ also chronicles the back and forth between Trump’s lawyers and the special counsel’s office and the interplay between Barr and Mueller. Under George HW Bush, Barr was attorney general and Mueller headed the criminal division at the justice department. The two men were friends.
Yet when Barr rolled out his summary of Mueller’s report, Leonnig and Rucker write, the special counsel “looked as if he’d been slapped”. When Mueller sent a rebuttal letter, objecting to Barr’s summary, Barr was “pissed”, thought the letter “nasty” and felt personally “betrayed”. Barr and Mueller spoke by phone, a tense conversation that ended on “an uplifting note.”
As for Trump and name-calling, nothing has changed. As a candidate, he mocked John McCain, a gold star family, a Latino judge and a disabled reporter. Life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has not alloyed that spirit.
At a meeting in the Pentagon’s inner sanctum, the “Tank”, the draft-dodging Trump derided America’s generals as “dopes and babies”. He added: “I wouldn’t go to war with you people.” Debasement was a coin of the realm.
When Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of homeland security and a Kelly deputy, balked at Trump’s demands on immigration, he berated her looks and height. For good measure, according to the authors, Trump would call her at 5am, just for the sake of harassment.
After James Mattis advised Trump of his intent to resign as defense secretary, Trump moved his departure up two months. At a cabinet meeting, the president bragged that he had “essentially” fired the four-star general. For the president, policy differences invariably exploded into a matter of honor.
Mattis’s resignation letter omitted any praise for the commander-in-chief. “Because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours,” he wrote, “I believe it is right for me to step down.”
Likewise, Trump mocked HR McMaster, Michael Flynn’s replacement as national security adviser, for his mien and wardrobe. The scholarly McMaster was always on borrowed time.
Says one of McMaster’s aides, Trump “doesn’t fire people … he tortures them until they’re willing to quit.”
Clearly, Trumpworld has its share of casualties. Paul Manafort, a campaign manager, and Michael Cohen, a lawyer, sit imprisoned. Flynn and Roger Stone, a longtime political confidante, await sentencing.
Trump’s allergy to reality remains on display. His contention he doesn’t know Lev Parnas is belied by video and email. The US now admits 11 troops attacked by Iran’s missiles were treated for concussions.
Leonnig and Rucker quote Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution, who says Trump “appears to be daring the rest of the political system to stop him – and if it doesn’t he’ll go further. The law has no force without people who are willing to enforce it.”
As the Senate marches toward an impeachment trial and the countdown to the election ticks on, truer words have seldom been spoken.

Why Is the Trump Presidency of Extreme Psychological Interest?
Psychology Today

Since the campaign that led to his 2016 election, Donald J. Trump has defiantly flipped the presidential script, making chaos and deliberate combativeness the new normal of White House operations, manifest in hostile briefings, high rates of staff turnover, and cultural exchanges that appear aimed at dividing the nation.
There is widespread debate about the degree to which Trump should be held directly or indirectly accountable for changes in civil discourse, with some citing his rhetoric and policies as a spur to hate crimes while others claim he has been unfairly demonized by the press.
Millions of people around the country and the globe have expressed bafflement at the nature of the personality at the center of it all, and many are alarmed by tactics and policies that appear not only erratic but often retrogressive and undermining of long-established democratic practices. Chief among them is a well-documented distortion of facts if not outright lies about everything from crowd size at the inauguration to discussions with foreign heads of state.
A large segment of the population seeks to quell their emotional reactivity to the chaos of the presidency and to rationally navigate the civic, legal, and ideological battles that play out daily, from Twitter to the federal courts.
The President’s Personality
Trump’s manifest grandiosity and disregard for facts, beginning with failure to accept clear evidence about the size of the crowd attending his inauguration, has put mental health professionals in the spotlight from Day One of his presidency.
Psychologists and commentators from all ideological camps early converged on a label of narcissistic personality disorder as the condition that “explains” Trump’s behavior. Among those making this assertion are more than 70,000 mental health professionals who signed a petition warning of Trump’s potential dangerousness, despite longstanding professional injunctions against “diagnosing” public figures whom experts have not personally examined.
Americans remain divided as to how authoritarian or grandiose Trump may or may not be, as well as who has the authority to make clinical pronouncements or draw historical parallels.
At some as-yet-untested point, the clinical becomes the constitutional. The behavior of President Trump has sparked both legislative action and public discussion about whether and when to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which calls for the orderly transfer of power when a president becomes temporarily or permanently incapacitated.
What Psychological Terms Characterize the Trump Presidency?
Trump’s presidency has given rise to heated discussion about a range of psychological phenomena, well beyond the debate about his own personality. The term “gaslighting” refers to the manipulative attempt to make people question their own perceptions or memory, and it has often been invoked to describe Trump’s actions and statements, especially those about “fake news.”
The question of whether or not Trump’s style could accurately be characterized as authoritarian has sparked analysis of other world leaders, past and present. Whatever one’s position on Trump and his policies, a narrow area of agreement for most Americans is that the political climate has never been more corrosive, and that it reflects, to a greater or lesser degree, Trump’s contrarian approach to leadership.

Russian State TV Backs Trump’s Wild Impeachment Attacks
State television praised Trump’s letter to House Speaker Pelosi, calling him a “highly educated” writer of “multiple bestsellers” who wrote the letter “for future generations.”
December 21, 2019
by Julia Davis
The Daily Beast
Russian state media have joined President Vladimir Putin in delivering a full-throated defense of impeached U.S. President Donald J. Trump.
Such support would have been implausible for any other U.S. leader, much less one who claims to be “tough on Russia.” But bluster aside, Trump has been reluctant to sign off on additional Russian sanctions. Pro-Kremlin experts, lawmakers and talking heads believe President Trump would do away with most of the sanctions in record time if not for the U.S. Congress.
Bolstering these assumptions is the case of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany. On Friday, Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains a provision sanctioning Nord Stream 2. But the project is just weeks away from completion and analysts doubt the imposition of sanctions at this late stage can be effective, much less halt the project.
The Trump administration meanwhile is opposing the bipartisan Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, or “DASKA,” meant to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and deter it from such actions in the future. The administration called the bill “unnecessary” in a 22-page letter to Congress. “The Trump administration stood up in defense of Russia against DASKA sanctions,” Russian media concluded.
The Kremlin is likewise continuing to stand up for President Trump. During President Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference in Moscow, he claimed that the impeachment was based on “absolutely made up” allegations. Echoing the GOP, the Russian president said, “The party that lost the [2016] election, the Democratic Party, is trying to achieve results by other methods, other means.” On Friday, Trump touted Vladimir Putin’s endorsement on his Twitter feed.
The chairman of the Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) foreign affairs committee Leonid Slutsky called impeachment “the revenge of the Democrats for the defeat in the 2016 presidential election.”
Supporting Trump, Russian state media attacked the Democrats, but saw pure comedy in the GOP making ill-conceived comparisons between Donald Trump and Jesus Christ while likening the impact of the impeachment to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
(Novaya Gazeta, which is not part of the state media, concluded that Trump is obviously guilty and many Republicans realize he’s been deserving of impeachment for quite some time. Nonetheless, the GOP defends the president in order to preserve the party, while many of the Democrats are “honest people who are ready to sacrifice themselves in the name of the ideas of the founding fathers.” Novaya Gazeta opined that re-election in 2020 “is in Trump’s pocket,” but the moral victory belongs to the Democrats.)
One of the Kremlin’s top propagandists, Vladimir Soloviev, heaped praise upon Trump and rattled off a list of bogus defenses in his coverage of the impeachment proceedings. During his show, The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, the host favorably mentioned a “documentary film” based on the Ukrainian exploits of the U.S. president’s private lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani. The show was quickly slapped together in order to defend Trump’s pursuit of fictitious “dirt” against Joe Biden, along with the allegations that Ukraine—not Russia—interfered in the U.S. elections.
“Defending President Trump by echoing his talking points, Soloviev exclaimed: ‘There was no quid pro quo!’”
Soloviev proceeded to accuse the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden of “conspiring” with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European leaders to remove Viktor Shokin—the corrupt former Prosecutor General of Ukraine. Defending President Trump by echoing his talking points, Soloviev exclaimed: “There was no quid pro quo!”
The claim that Ukraine and not Russia interfered in U.S. elections is a Kremlin-spawned conspiracy theory that reportedly was conveyed to President Trump personally by Vladimir Putin during their secretive meeting at the G-20 summit in 2017. Trump was so impressed by the tale of the Russian president (whom he calls “my friend”), he would say: “The Russians didn’t do anything. The Ukrainians tried to do something,” according to The Washington Post. The Kremlin’s fable further blossomed, when it started to be widely accepted and frequently reiterated by the GOP.
Vladimir Soloviev praised Trump’s letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling the U.S. president a “highly educated” writer of “multiple bestsellers,” who wrote the letter “for future generations.” Soloviev surmised that when it comes to the upcoming presidential race of 2020, “Trump is defeating all potential candidates.”
“When an expert noted Trump boasted about grabbing women, the Russian state TV host immediately jumped in to defend him as an alleged proponent of ‘free love.’”
Soloviev theatrically complained: “Here’s what I can’t understand. Why do they hate Trump so much?” The Atlantic Council’s expert appearing on the show, Ariel Cohen, explained that Trump is a political outlier, who boasted about grabbing women by their private parts. The Russian state TV host immediately jumped in to defend President Trump as an alleged proponent of “free love.”
Throughout the segment, pro-Kremlin propagandists criticized Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg, but found no fault in Trump.
During one of his previous shows, Soloviev said he was troubled, saddened by “insulting” anti-Trump ads, featuring prominent actors and celebrities. He urged respect towards the American president, although he’s shown very little in the past.
On his earlier shows, Soloviev described President Trump as “Donald Ivanovich” and “Trumpushka,” joked about the U.S. president sending the Republicans to Moscow in order to make deals with Russian hackers, questioned which “Motherland”—the U.S. or Russia—“geriatric” Trump would serve and pondered whether Trump would end up fleeing to Russia like the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
“Among tthe Democrats, Russian state media have only one clear favorite: Tulsi Gabbard.”
With respect to President Trump’s Democratic opponents in the upcoming presidential race, the Russian state media have only one clear favorite: Tulsi Gabbard. Vladimir Soloviev asked: “Who would be the ideal candidate from the Democrats?” “John F. Kennedy,” replied Andrey Sidorov, deputy dean of World Politics at Moscow’s State University. “Kamala Harris,” suggested the Atlantic Council’s expert Ariel Cohen. Soloviev disagreed: “No, it should be Gabbard.”
Pro-Kremlin TV pundit and Rossiya Segodnya state news agency CEO Dmitry Kiselyov shares Soloviev’s affinity for Tulsi Gabbard, having aired a “getting to know her” profile on his weekly show, Vesti Nedeli.
Notably, Tulsi Gabbard refused to take a principled stand in the vote on two articles of impeachment against Trump, merely voting “present.” Gabbard’s failure to condemn the atrocities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and non-fulfillment of her Congressional duties with respect to entering a meaningful impeachment vote demonstrate the absence of moral clarity, a quality that is highly prized by the Kremlin.
Russia’s state media outlet, RT, aired President Trump’s speech at his Michigan rally, wherein the American president claimed that by proceeding with the impeachment, “House Democrats have branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame.” Meanwhile, Russian state television branded the American president as the Kremlin’s “agent”—an “eternal mark of shame” indeed.

Vows of peace, fears of violence at Virginia gun rally
January 19, 2020
by Brad Brooks
Reuters
RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) – The top Republican in Virginia’s lower house said that any group planning to incite violence at a large gun rights rally on Monday in Richmond should stay home, while far-right leaders of militias planning to attend swore they were coming in peace.
Richmond was braced on Sunday for the rally, aimed at showing gun enthusiasts’ disdain for swift moves the newly Democrat-controlled legislature is making to pass stiffer gun laws – and many residents feared a repeat of violence seen at a white supremacist rally in nearby Charlottesville in 2017.
But several militia leaders with large followings on social media who attended that Charlottesville rally said they were coming purely to show their support for those opposed to new, more restrictive gun laws in the state.
“If you think that we’re a threat coming into your city, then you don’t know who we are, you don’t understand what we’re about,” said Joshua Shoaff, who has over 542,000 Facebook followers and goes by the pseudonym Ace Baker. “We’re not anarchists – we believe in government.”
Other leaders of well-known militias also vowed they were not seeking confrontations in Richmond. But police warned that among those they know to be attending are known neo-Nazis and other groups who may seek to hijack the gun-rights gathering.
Authorities say they are expecting several thousand people and are trying to keep the event from becoming violent.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam this week temporarily banned all weapons from the area around the Capitol ahead of the demonstration.
Todd Gilbert, the Republican leader in Virginia’s House of Delegates, said in a statement on Saturday that violence was not welcome during Monday’s rally.
“Any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence, or civil unrest isn’t welcome here,” he said. “While we and our Democratic colleagues may have differences, we are all Virginians and we will stand united in opposition to any threats of violence or civil unrest from any quarter.”
Monday’s rally is being organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-gun rights group that annually comes out in force to lobby Virginia’s legislature to not pass any new gun laws.
The group is working closely with police, according to law enforcement officials, in an effort to pull off a smooth event – but they have called for tens of thousands of armed citizens to come to the event, hiking tensions.
President Donald Trump backed the rally organizers in a Twitter post on Friday in which he said the U.S. Constitution was under attack by recent gun control measures in Virginia, a state that Hilary Clinton won in 2016 and where Democrats took full control of the state legislature for the first time in a generation in November.
“Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia,” Trump wrote in the post, referring to the amendment in the Bill of Rights that gives Americans the right to keep and bear firearms. “That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away.”
The Virginia Senate late on Thursday passed bills to require background checks on all firearms sales, limit handgun purchases to one a month, and restore local governments’ right to ban weapons from public buildings and other venues.
Both Virginia legislative houses are also expected to pass “red flag” laws that would allow courts and local law enforcement to remove guns from people deemed a risk to communities, among other measures.
Reporting by Brad Brooks; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

Important New Source for Secret Intelligence

We have just learned about a notice from a firm that specializes in digging electronic information out of the woodwork. The firm lists several pages of topics, some of which are unbelievable. They are very expensive but one must assume that their data is correct. We are excerpting some of this list and have included their address for those who have the money to learn the truth as, according to the précis, it has never been available before.

• Successor to the NSA ‘Harvest” programs that catalog important overseas telephone calls made via communications satellites.
• In depth information on the DoD’s DISA systems / VIPER and others
• USIA/Warrentown files
• In depth dossiers on members of Congress. These, the list advises us, consists of medical and financial records.
• A 250 page report on the fake Anthrax scare
• Firms and individuals in foreign countries known to be friendly sources.
• Scanned copies of Governor George W. Bush’s personal correspondence and financial records, now hidden in the George H.W.Bush Presidential Library
• Lists of offshore bank accounts for senior political and military figures
• The so-called ‘Wilson Blvd.’ technical and scientific records
• A report on infiltration and surveillance of all Israeli communications with their embassy and other entities in the United States
• An analysis of a collection of documents relating to homosexual activities on the part of President Trump
• A copy of an FBI report on Edward Snowden’ employment by Russian Intelligence and a compendium of secret documents he downloaded for them from Booz-Hamilton connections
There are many more fascinating offerings but it should be noted that on the list we were sent, prices are very high indeed but approved credit cards, especially American Express, can be used.
We have not availed ourselves of this reported service but as it might prove to be interesting to our many readers, especially those with large amounts of cash, we are including the address for your general information: www.spywarelabs.inc and one must apply for an entrance code.

Good hunting!

The Season of Evil
by Gregory Douglas
Preface

This is in essence a work of fiction, but the usual disclaimers notwithstanding, many of the horrific incidents related herein are based entirely on factual occurrences.
None of the characters or the events in this telling are invented and at the same time, none are real. And certainly, none of the participants could be considered by any stretch of the imagination to be either noble, self-sacrificing, honest, pure of motive or in any way socially acceptable to anything other than a hungry crocodile, a professional politician or a tax collector.
In fact, the main characters are complex, very often unpleasant, destructive and occasionally, very entertaining.

To those who would say that the majority of humanity has nothing in common with the characters depicted herein, the response is that mirrors only depict the ugly, evil and deformed things that peer into them
There are no heroes here, only different shapes and degrees of villains and if there is a moral to this tale it might well be found in a sentence by Jonathan Swift, a brilliant and misanthropic Irish cleric who wrote in his ‘Gulliver’s Travels,”
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most odious race of little pernicious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
Swift was often unkind in his observations but certainly not inaccurate.

Frienze, Italy
July 2018-August 2019

Chapter 61

They were both asleep in five minutes and when Claude woke up about eight, he discovered that Alex had put an arm across his chest and was snoring softly into his pillow.
He gently disengaged the arm and got up. There were various interesting things he could do that day and he showered and shaved and put on an expensive suit and a tweed overcoat. Ernie’s badge and handcuffs went into a coat pocket and after drinking a cup of freshly brewed coffee, he wrote out a note and left it propped up on the kitchen table.
He took the extra set of door and gate openers and went into the garage.
The eastern sky was turning a light pink as he drove down the county roads heading south towards Duluth. There was always the interesting thought that he might visit Ernie in the hospital and unplug him from any support systems he might be on. Somewhere in the trunk of his car was an excellent Polaroid camera and if he didn’t feel like dispatching Ernie, he might take a few pictures of him in his agony to amuse his new friend.
The next one up was Gwen and shortly before nine, she managed to drag Lars out of a heavy sleep.
It took him several minutes for him to realize that she was requiring his services to help her buy clothes and other items for Alex. He was very tired and not feeling well after his consumption of more Kulmbach beer than he was accustomed to but in the end, Gwen prevailed and a cold shower assisted him in making a partial recovery of his senses.
Chuck was also comatose and it took her more time to waken him and get him sufficiently awake to understand her.
“Jesus H. Christ woman, leave me in peace!”
“You deserve this. Lars and I are going out to buy some clothes for our friend and I don’t know when we’ll be back. It depends on how far we have to go. There’s a note from Claude on the table in the kitchen. He’s gone to Duluth, God knows what for, and he doesn’t know when he’ll be back so you guys are on your own today. And no more beer, Charlie, got me?”
Chuck could barely keep his reddened eyes opened.
‘Yes, all right, fine, perfect. Is Alex up yet?”
“No, he’s probably worse off than you are. Be sure to feed him on schedule and try to be nice today. You get so negative sometimes and it’s not good for him. I’m off now and remember what I said about being a little positive.”
Chuck merely rolled over and plunged back into soothing sleep.
Chuck finally managed to wake up at ten thirty. He had no headache but he was very tired and totally disinterested in getting out of bed. There was, however, the question of Alex and lunch so he got out of bed in slow stages, showered and shaved and put on a blue broadcloth shirt, gray cardigan and charcoal slacks. Feet stuck in a pair of soft and very expensive deerskin moccasins, he slowly descended the oak staircase and into the bowels of the house.
Alex was indeed dead to the world, which, Chuck thought, was probably better for him considering how the world had treated him in times past.
He shook the bed with his hand and was rewarded by stirring and mumblings from the inert mass under the covers.
“Wake up, kid, and greet the new day.”
The stirrings increased and a head appeared. Chuck was pleased to note that the swelling around the eye had gone down to the point where two pale blue eyes regarded him.
“Hey, Chuck! What’s going on?”
“Nothing, Alexander. Everyone has left us for the day and I was told to be nice to you and make some lunch. Gwen put your clean clothes on the chair over there so if you would like to shower and get dressed. I’ll be in the kitchen.”
“OK, give me a few minutes. Do I have to shower?”
“If you want to live in the house with the rest of us, yes, you have to shower. Those clothes look like they came off a plane accident victim and Gwen, that sweet and considerate young lady, has gone out to buy you some new ones. Take your time but fifteen minutes ought to be enough.”
“Where’s Claude?”
“Claude has gone to Duluth, reasons not given. Do you know anything about that?”
“Well….he said he was going to talk to my mother.”
“Oh fine. That conversation will be all over the news at five. Woman found cut into little pieces and fed to pet beagle.”
“He said he wasn’t going to kill her. I asked him if was going to and he said he was just going to talk to her. And we don’t have a dog. Ernie hates dogs and tries to run over them if they get in the street. I don’t think Claude is going to cut my mom up.”
“He might be telling you the truth but he could well visit Ernie and send him off to Polish heaven with a great bang. Look, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it as Teddy Kennedy once said. I’ll be in the kitchen fixing lunch so don’t spend too much time in the bathroom.”
Chuck had a cup of hot Colombian coffee and a roll while a refurbished Alex, no longer limping, ended up with a Denver omelet and a large glass of milk.
“Can’t I have some coffee?” he asked, eyeing the milk. In his house, milk was almost always a week past expiration date and tasted like it.
“No coffee for you, lad. I got my ass reamed out by Dame Gwen last night for letting you drink too much beer and it’s milk and orange juice for you from now on. And eat the omelet before it gets cold.”

Halfway through the brief meal there was a sudden clangor of bells and Chuck jumped up. It was the perimeter fence alarm system and he went to the front door and peeked out through a small window set in it.
At first he could see nothing and then, over to the right edge of his vision, he saw what looked like a fat man in a fur coat trying to climb up to the top of the fence. A second look corrected his initial impression.
The burglar was not a fat man in a fur coat but a large black bear that seemed to have his head and shoulders caught in the concertina of razor wire that topped the high fence. The alarm bells didn’t seem to bother him but Chuck was badly shaken to note that there were at least five other large bears also attempting to climb the fence.
He ran back through the kitchen, Alex staring after him, and tore up the stairs.
In Gwen’s room he found a .357 Magnum pistol and two boxes of ammunition in her bedside table and grabbing it up, ran back downstairs.
He took a quick look at the pistol, found it loaded and jerked the front door open.
The other bears, intent on reaching the top and totally oblivious of the roars of pain of their impaled and badly bleeding comrade, paid no attention to Chuck.
From where he stood on the terrace, the bears were a hundred feet away and most of them were nearing the top of the fence.
The one caught in the wire looked relatively helpless so he drew a bead on the nearest bear and shot it. The heavy pistol bucked in his hand and the roar of the shot stopped the other climbers.
The target, half of its head blasted off, toppled back onto the ground. He shot at another one, missed and then shot a third squarely through the throat. Great gouts of blood squirted out of it and it too dropped onto the ground. The others hastily scrambled down from the fence and lumbered off across the road and down into the tall pines.
That left two dead bears on the ground and a very much alive, one stuck in the razor wire and roaring in fury. Chuck walked over towards the fence and shot the remaining invader under the chin, blowing off the entire top of his head. The bear jerked several times and then hung limply, smashed head still enmeshed in the wire.
He stared at the furry corpses and then up at the dripping remains of his last trophy shot and wondered what possessed the bears to raid his house. Then he thought of LeBec and went over to look at him. By now he was walking in the snow and his feet were getting very cold. The moccasins were comfortable in the house but did not have the ability to stay dry in wet snow.
LeBec’s leg was now visible and it became obvious that the bears, who normally hibernated during the winter, must have smelled him and decided to break their annual Lenten fasting and make Chuck’s job of disposal easier by eating Collins’ pet assassin.
Chuck hastily dug the body out of the snow with his bare hands and dragged it down towards the front gate. When he was about halfway there, Alex came out through the open front door.
He saw the remains of the bears and smelt blood, powder and faint corruption.
He also saw Chuck dragging a skinny, contorted and very naked body partially wrapped in sheet plastic down to the gate.
“Hey, Chuck, can I help you?”
Chuck dropped LeBec. He supposed that when Gwen heard about this, there would be more scolding. And then there was the question of Alex himself. How was he going to explain dragging a naked man across the courtyard?
“We had an accident here, Alex. Yes, go back inside and push the button just below the speaker. It’s on the right side of the door. Hurry up, my feet are freezing.”
Alex shrugged and went back inside and a few seconds later, the gate slid open.
A contorted and yellowish LeBec was deposited beside one of the bears and Chuck punched the manual control that closed the gate.
There was no point, he thought, leaving LeBec in the snow bank. It was melting and LeBec was starting to thaw and he was not prepared to fight off hungry bears all day.
They were omnivores and perhaps they might eat LeBec or some of their former running mates. At any rate, he would have to go inside and deal with Alex.
This did not prove as difficult as he thought.
Alex was finishing off the last of his omelet when Chuck, pistol in one hand and ammunition boxes in the other, came back into the kitchen after turning off the ringing bells.
“Well, that’s a nice break in the day, don’t you think, kid?”
“Those are bears, aren’t they?” Alex asked as he drank down what proved to be delicious, untainted milk.
“Yes, most of them are bears.”
“Who’s the dead dude? Did the bears get him too?”
“Yes. The bears chased him over the fence and killed him.”
“But they were all outside the fence and he was inside. And why is he naked, Chuck?”
Chuck sighed.
“That’s because he died in Claude’s bed of a heart attack some time ago and we stuck him in snow bank to keep him fresh until we could bury him.”
“In Claude’s bed? Were they having some kind of sex?”
Chuck began to laugh with relief.
“No, that was before Claude came. That’s a nasty question, Alex. You’re a sick boy.”
“Well, my mom had a fat boyfriend and he died right there on top of her and I had to help get him off. That wasn’t very nice to look at Chuck. It was just an idea.”
“Do you want more milk?”
“Yes, please. This is sort of an interesting place to be. Do you think the bears will come back and eat him?”
“I’m hoping.”
“What if someone comes by in their car and sees him with his legs all stuck up in the air like that?”
“This is a private road and I don’t think anyone is coming by. Do you want another omelet?”
“No, but that sure was good. And I took a shower like you asked.”
His hair was still wet and no longer stuck up at odd angles. Alex looked as if someone had put a bowl over his head and cut off anything that hung down below its edges. This area was growing out but the demarcation line was still very visible.
“Good boy. Now how many of your school friends can you tell about all the adventures you have had?”
“Not very many. Who was that guy?”
“Alex, that is a very long story. I don’t think you are ready for it right now. Maybe when we all get to know each other a little better, I can tell you about LeBec.”
“There’s nobody home now.”
“Yes, right. And how are you feeling today, Alex?”
“Not as bad as yesterday. And that beer sure tasted good.”
“Keep that in your mind because we can’t do that again. Gwen doesn’t like it.”
“Is she the boss or are you?”
“Never argue with women, kid, because you will always lose. She likes you and that’s that. She likes to take care of you. It’s a mothering instinct that some women have, but obviously not your mother.”
“She told me about her brother. The one who died.”
Chuck was curious. He had never heard about a brother, living or dead so Alex related as much as he could remember of what Gwen had said.
“Oh, that’s a sad story, Alex. I never knew that. Look, let’s put the dirty dishes into the dishwasher and then I can practice on the piano and you can go back to bed or go outside and poke a stick at the big bear hanging from the fence. My God, what would someone think who drove by? Three dead bears, a concentration camp inmate and where, oh where is Goldilocks? Someone ate her all up and she just loved it. No, no, just forget I said that and for shits sake, don’t repeat that to Gwen.”
“Ate?”
“Never mind, Alex, just clean off your plate and we can all go and do something else and forget about the bears. OK?”
“Yes, sir. But this is sure an interesting place to be.”
“That’s a polite thing to say. This is not your normal household, Alexander, not at all. If you can put up with us, I suppose we can put up with you. Now, I’m going to practice on the piano and you can do what you want. When I’m done, we can go outside and move LeBec across the street and hope the bears come back and eat him. Or we can leave him where he is with his legs stuck up in the air. What do you think?”
“Does he smell bad?”
“Not yet but he’s getting there.”
“I’ll help you drag him across the road if you want.”
“Good lad. Now, let me practice in peace.”
“I think we should move him now, Chuck. What if someone comes by? I mean you can tell people you were hunting bears but what can you say about the dead guy? I don’t mind helping you if you want. Your shoes look kind of wet so you better change them, don’t you think?”
Chuck could see that there would be no trouble at all with Alexis and shaking his head, he went up to put on a pair of winter boots.
(Continued)
This is also an e-book, available from Amazon:

Encyclopedia of American Loons

John Stemberger

John Stemberger is president of the Florida Family Policy Council – closely aligned with the Family Research Council – and affiliated with a number of other, similar groups (like On My Honor). As you’d expect from the name of his group, Stemberger is a fundie, denialist and all-round bigot, and many of his efforts have, unsurprisingly, been directed at making life as hard as possible for gay people, but he has also initiated or contributed to a number of other fundie efforts, too, such as circumventing the law to distribute Bibles in public schools. He has also tried to contribute to discussions of race relations.
Gays in the Boy Scouts
Stemberger was very critical of proposals to end the ban of gay youths in the Boy Scouts, warning that doing so would “further public scandal to the BSA, not to mention the tragedy of countless boys who will experience sexual, physical and psychological abuse”. Also, according to Stemberger, a young gay man will only join the Scouts in order to begin “flaunting his sexuality and promoting a leftist political agenda” and “inject a sensitive and highly-charged political issue into the heart of the BSA”. Apparently these are among Stemberger’s “top ten reasons” to oppose ending the ban on gay youth in the organization. Wanna bet whether the others are any better? As Stemberger sees it, “anything that has the word ‘gay’ on it [is] inappropriate for kids,” and “that’s what we’re talking about; we talking about injecting hyper-sexuality and a leftist political agenda right into the veins of the Boy Scouts and it will utterly devastate it.” Of course, the Boy Scouts weren’t supposed to start using the word ‘gay’ – indeed, their policy change was more about ending the use ‘gay’ or similar expressions in their rules. What Stemberger is talking about is thus not what he thinks he is talking about. He also warned that the Boy Scouts would commit “suicide” if they allowed openly gay members, whom he said would be “segregated” and put “in separate tents” from the other boys. At least he tried his best to make that prediction come true.
In response to the end of the ban, a heartbroken Stemberger tried to help start an alternative, anti-gay version of the boy scouts, Trail Life USA, an initiative he compared to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Trail Life USA would ban anyone who is gay unless he is working to hide and banish his gay demons, in opposition to “society and schools and even parents”, which he blamed for affirming LGBT youth, something that, in Stemberger’s mind, is “tantamount to abuse.” Stemberger also said that gay people are “intolerant,” and indeed that this is why he will not “tolerate” them in Trail Life USA or any other youth group. No, he didn’t put two and two together. But he did express his outrage at Disney, who at the time (2014) was still not funding the BSA because the organization still barred gay people from leadership roles, calling Disney’s decision proof that gay rights advocates have a “vitriolic spirit” of “intolerance.” Disney is “completely a pro-gay agenda,” said Stemberger: “ I don’t trust Disney anymore with my kids. The Disney Channel can’t be trusted. If it has ‘Disney’ on it and says it’s for kids you better watch what it is parents because they can no longer be trusted as a family source for entertainment.” All in the spirit of fighting intolerance, of course.
And when a state judge in Florida overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in 2014 Stemberger vowed to continue fighting: “This is an issue worth dying for,” he said, adding that “every domestic partnership, every single civil union, every couple that cohabitates, these arrangements dilute and devalue marriage.” It makes one wonder a bit how his own marriage works and what it’s based on.
After the 2016 massacre in an Orlando gay club, Stemberger complained about being “tired of seeing special interest rainbow flags”, and wishing instead to see greater “unity”. The statement itself – and Stemberger was not the only one to make statements of that kind – kinda suggests that Stemberger is not that fond of unity (hint: unity is not quite equivalent to everybody do as I want), but to emphasize he added that “Christians should be prepared to be attacked and persecuted if they do not bow down and pledge allegiance to the gay pride flag and all it supposedly represents,” and the strategy of LGBT rights advocates is to “manipulate and bully Christians into submission to the new orthodoxy of the moral revolution,” presumably by letting themselves be gunned down in an Orlando nightclub.
Among efforts to help people avoid homosexual temptations, Stemberger has suggested ending welfare: after all, people wouldn’t be gay if they could just be kept dirt poor. “People who are hard-working and have to be self-sufficient and are not going to be propped up by the government don’t have the luxury of doing stupid, immoral things,” argued Stemberger. So, one major reason for opposing welfare measures is because they make you gay.
Creationism
Stemberger is also an advocate of teaching creationism in public schools, usually by arguing that teachers should (be allowed to) do so under the “academic freedom” label. In response to discussion of Florida’s education standards in 2008, Stemberger objected to adding the phrase “scientific theory” to evolution, ostensibly because it would be a “meaningless and impotent change,” which is a peculiar choice of words.
As Stemberger saw the debates, the “Neanderthals” – i.e. the scientists and experts – were fighting hard to prevent exposure to denialist talking points (not his formulation) in public schools: “It’s apparent that evolution has become almost like one of the prongs of the Apostles’ Creed for the secular humanists. They guard it as if they were guarding a doctrinal truth,” said Stemberger, who would not be able to distinguish science from dogma if his life dependend on it (he interestingly didn’t liken the idea of gravity to the Apostles’ Creed). “They’re not open to discussion and debate and examination of evidence,” he concluded. Stemberger is not interested in the evidence, of course. He did, however, liken creationists to Galileo, “when he was trying to establish an order of the day and come against the Flat Earth Society.” That was not remotely what Galileo was doing.
Diagnosis: Yes, relatively standard fare for us, but still: John Stemberger is an insane, delusional conspiracy theorist with a tenuous grasp of reality. But he is certainly tireless, and still has the ability to cause real harm.

NASA Warns: Sunspots Drop Drastically, Earth Heads Towards Next Ice Age

According to scientists, the sun has been without sunspots for 79 days – or 55% – of the year so far, causing the Earth’s upper atmosphere to lose heat energy, which shows the long-awaited solar minimum has arrived and it could soon shrink the thermosphere – meaning it is going to get very cold, very quickly.
In 1645, a solar minimum led to a mini ice age (scientifically known as the Maunder minimum) and left the Earth grappling with freezing weather for 70 years. During these seven decades, temperatures dropped globally by 1.3 degrees Celsius leading to shorter seasons and food shortages.
According to scientists, the sun has been without sunspots for 79 days – or 55% – of the year so far, causing the Earth’s upper atmosphere to lose heat energy, which shows the long-awaited solar minimum has arrived and it could soon shrink the thermosphere – meaning it is going to get very cold, very quickly.
Martin Mlynczak, a scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, warns:
“A cooling trend is obvious in the atmosphere…High above the Earth’s surface, towards the edge of space, the atmosphere is losing heat energy and if current trends persist, it could mean soon to set a Space Age record for cold…the knowledge of this is quite startling to think for a start that something out of our control and visible could cause the next ice age, is not just a little frightening but scary.”
The data comes from NASA’s TIMED satellite, which measures changes in the Earth’s atmosphere. Using the SABER instrument on the TIMED satellite, which monitors infrared emissions from carbon dioxide and nitric oxide, NASA found the thermosphere is currently cooling and shrinking.
Sunspot activity tends to come and go in cycles lasting around 11 years as the number of patches peaks and drops. But there have been very few spots on the sun for most of this year. Mlynczak explains:
“SABER is currently measuring 33 billion Watts of infrared power from nitric oxide. That’s 10 times smaller than we see during more active phases of the solar cycle.”
During the last solar minimum, the Thames froze over; if it happens again, according to NASA, the solar minimum will enhance the effects of space weather, disrupt communications and navigation, and even cause space junk to ‘hang around’.
Interestingly, when the frightening warning that the Earth could be plunged into ice age if the sun continues to remain dead went viral, Mlynczak issued the following statement to Climate Feedback:
“The cooling effects we are seeing in Earth’s thermosphere are a result of the current solar minimum conditions. The thermosphere is the layer of Earth’s atmosphere beginning 65 miles above Earth’s surface and is highly sensitive to solar activity. There is no relationship between the natural cycle of cooling and warming in the thermosphere and the weather/climate at Earth’s surface.
“NASA and other climate researchers continue to see a warming trend in the troposphere, the layer of atmosphere closest to Earth’s surface. There is no inconsistency between the science findings of a warming troposphere [where we live] and the Thermosphere Climate Index.”

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TBR News January 18, 2020

Jan 18 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 18, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose

Commentary for January 18: “There are questions and there are answers.
When men came down out of their caves and stood on their hind legs, questions began to form in their small minds.
Would they live forever?
Where would they go when they stopped breathing and began to smell bad?
And other men, more clever, told them what they wanted to hear so desperately.
Yes, they would live forever and in a wonderful place.
Yes, they would see their dead family again who would be waiting for them, smiling.
Of course in order to get to this wonderful place and see smiling dead family members they would have to become a paying member of a certain religious group.
They would have to believe just what the leaders of this religious group told them to believe or they would go to some cold, wet and nasty place when they died and have to sleep with dead rats.
And because they wanted to believe these entertaining and entirely invented stories, they did.
Those who promised paradise got rich and those who believed were content. But when they died, they slept with the worms.
Of course they weren’t aware of anything at that point.”

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating January 18 reporting
Source     Approve     Disapprove
____________________________
YouGov      40%            53%

The Table of Contents
• Ahead of tinder box Virginia gun rally, Trump says Constitution under attack
• Guns Instead of Butter
• Trump’s is the third impeachment in US history and no case has been stronger
• The Broken Sword of Langley
• Accidents on Purpose
• A Russian Base on the Indian Ocean
• Water Problems
• The Season of Evil
• Encyclopedia of American Loons Continue Reading »

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