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TBR News July 18, 2019

Jul 18 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. July 18, 2019:

“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.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for July 18:”Here, in toto, is a copy of a document someone gave to me at lunch. It represents an on-going plan on the part of radical Christian Republicans to control the next presidential elections. Worth reading!-

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.


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), and with express authority in Congress over at least the timing of the selections of presidential electors in the States. 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, and in 1872, 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 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. As to the elections for presidential electors, the Constitution expressly gives to the Congress the task of counting the electoral votes for President. 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, 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.

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. 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. 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”). 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. The uniform date for congressional elections in the States was not established by the Congress until 1872. 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.

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. 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, authority over which, as to the procedures and methods, has been expressly delegated in the Constitution to the States. 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. Unlike the President, Congress does have explicit constitutional authority over elections to federal office which is of an express, residual nature concerning congressional elections, and a broad implicit authority recognized by the Supreme Court to legislate to protect the integrity and proceedings of presidential elections, as well as express authority over the date of the selection of presidential electors. 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. 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.

Furthermore, in theory, Congress could also enact a law delegating to the executive certain authority in this area regarding emergency rescheduling. 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. 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. 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.” The State legislatures have express authority over the “manner” in which presidential electors in their State are to be chosen. Within certain constitutionally prescribed parameters, the States are also responsible to establish the qualifications for voting in their States in federal elections. 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, 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.

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..

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.” 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.

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, 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. 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, 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. 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. 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.

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.  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.

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.

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, 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. Although clearly the concepts of “time” and “manner” of election are not necessarily synonymous, 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.

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.

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. 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 ….

Article II, Section 1, clause 4. The Congress may determine the Time of choosing 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.”


The Table of Contents

  • Iran’s Revolutionary Guards impound foreign ship in the Gulf: state TV
  • Is Britain Making Itself a Target in the Gulf?
  • Unbowed, Trump intensifies attacks on four Democratic congresswomen
  • Here’s the real reason Trump is attacking ‘the Squad’: he’s scared of their politics
  • Trump’s SS family members
  • Kellyanne Conway’s Irish Ancestors Were the Enemy When Donald Trump’s Dad Was Arrested at a Klan Riot in 1927
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • Anti-Vaxxers Spread a Plague of Ignorance
  • California took on anti-vaxxers, and won
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations


Iran’s Revolutionary Guards impound foreign ship in the Gulf: state TV

July 18, 2019


DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has seized a foreign ship smuggling fuel in the Gulf, state television quoted Iran’s elite force as saying in a statement on Thursday.

“A foreign vessel smuggling one million litres of fuel in the Larak Island of the Persian Gulf has been seized,” the station said, adding that the ship was seized on Sunday.

Iranian state TV earlier said the seized vessel was the same one Iran towed after it sent a distress call on Sunday, but there was no confirmation of this in the statement issued by the Revolutionary Guards about the impounded vessel.

The Guards, who have yet to name the vessel concerned, said they had seized no other ship in the Gulf.

Iranian navy vessels came to the assistance of a disabled foreign oil tanker in the Gulf that needed repairs, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying on Tuesday by the semi-official news agency ISNA.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Jon Boyle


Is Britain Making Itself a Target in the Gulf?

July 14, 2019

by Patrick Cockburn

The Independent

Britain is sending a second warship to the Gulf to protect its oil tankers from Iranian gunboats. HMS Duncan, a destroyer currently in the Mediterranean, will join HMS  Montrose, a frigate, next week.

Britain is on the edge of becoming involved in a conflict in which it can only deploy limited forces, but it could become the target of Iranian retaliation for any US escalation of the conflict.

In a sense, this may have already happened, if the US was indeed behind the royal marine commandos taking over an Iranian oil tanker allegedly bound for Syria off Gibraltar. It is difficult to take seriously the British claim that they carried out such a provocative act solely because of a request from the Gibraltarian authorities and in order to enforce EU sanctions on Syria.

The Iranians are demanding that the British release the  Grace 1 tanker and it is probable that Iranian boats harassed the British Heritage tanker as an act of retaliation. An Iranian official warned the UK not to get involved in “this dangerous game”.

But Britain is already involved in the dangerous game and it is possible that the Iranians may find it less risky to act against Britain, whom they denounce as a US proxy, than directly against the US.

As in Iraq after 2003 and Afghanistan after 2006, Britain is becoming engaged in a conflict in which it is only a bit player, but must cope with the same dangers as the US. Some commentators seek comfort by recalling that a coalition of western maritime powers protected Kuwaiti tankers during the tanker war in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

At that time, it was Iran that was isolated, while today it is the US and Britain who are short of reliable allies who will do more than cheer from the side lines – as Israel and Saudi Arabia are likely to do. Already the United Arab Emirates is backing away from a confrontation with Iran, saying that is unclear if Iran placed small mines on tankers off the UAE coast in June, and it is drawing down seized?its military forces in Yemen.

Iraq is at heart on the side of Iran as the only other significant Shia-majority power, while Qatar has its own long-term confrontation with Saudi Arabia. EU and other states will be dubious about President Trump – the great disrupter – taking on the role of a coalition builder and will be nervous of where he may be leading them in the Gulf.

From the British point of view, the crisis in the southern Gulf has parallels with Britain’s involvement on the US side in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It is making itself a target without knowing where the US is heading and to what extent Trump – along with his more hawkish lieutenants – are prepared for a limited or full-scale war with Iran. The furore over former UK ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch’s forced departure from Washington shows just how limited Britain’s influence is in the White House.

From the Iranian viewpoint, a slow-burn crisis just below the level of outright warfare may be the least bad option. It is an improvement over waiting for Iran to be slowly strangled by economic sanctions which are Trump’s favourite method of putting pressure on enemies and friends alike.

Nither side wants a war but that does not mean it will not happen because every confrontational incident has the potential to escalate out of control. Britain says it wants to de-escalate, but the sending of a second naval vessel will be seen by Iran as the opposite of that. There is also the question of what to do with the Iranian tanker that it has already seized?


Unbowed, Trump intensifies attacks on four Democratic congresswomen

July 17, 2019

by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland


GREENVILLE, N.C./WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump stepped up his vilification of four liberal lawmakers as un-American at a raucous rally on Wednesday, underscoring that the attacks will form a key part of his strategy for winning re-election in 2020.

Despite criticism from Democrats that his comments about the four minority congresswomen are racist, Trump went on an extended diatribe about the lawmakers, saying they were welcome to leave the country if they did not like his policies on issues such as immigration and defending Israel.

“So these Congresswomen, their comments are helping to fuel the rise of a dangerous, militant hard left,” the Republican president said to roars from the crowd in North Carolina, a state seen as key to his re-election.

Trump tweeted over the weekend that the four progressive representatives, known as “the squad” – Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts – should “go back” where they came from, even though all are U.S. citizens and three are U.S.-born.

The aim, one source close to Trump said, was to make Democrats look as far left as possible to moderate voters as he girds for a tough re-election battle in November 2020.

“He is trying to make them the face of the Democratic Party as we move closer into the 2020 cycle and he’s trying to highlight them as a fringe crowd as much as possible so it turns off your middle-of-the-road voters,” the source said.

As Trump recounted past comments by Omar, who was born in Somalia and emigrated to the United States as a child, the crowd began chanting: “Send her back!”

“Tonight I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down. They never have anything good to say. That’s why I say: ‘Hey, if they don’t like it, let them leave. Let them leave,’” Trump said.

Trump spent about a fifth of his freewheeling 90-minute-long speech criticizing the four lawmakers, to enthusiastic crowd response.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination, weighed in against Trump’s remarks via Twitter.

“These members of Congress — children of immigrants, just like so many of us — are an example of exactly what makes America great,” Biden said on the social network.

Trump also derided Biden in his remarks and skewered other Democrats vying to be the party’s 2020 candidate.

He repeated his frequent reference to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” a dig about a controversy over her heritage that Warren and Native American groups have complained is racist.


Trump’s Twitter attacks initially caused some heartburn for advisers who felt he had gone too far.

But two said Trump had since offered a contrasting view, that the political views of the four lawmakers were socialist, out of the mainstream and hateful to their home country, versus those of the president and his flag-waving rhetoric.

“If the American people have to choose between the squad and the president, then that’s an easy decision,” one adviser said.

Trump, who during his 2016 campaign voiced harsh assessments of the state of the country, tweeted a video ahead of the rally that featured patriotic scenes of the president meeting Americans, with frequent images of the American flag. It ended with the slogan: “America – One Squad Under God.”

“Democrats are now the party of high taxes, high crime, open borders, late-term abortion, intolerance and division. The Republican Party is the party for all Americans and American values,” he said in North Carolina.

The tactic follows a well-worn path for Trump, who called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States during his 2016 campaign. His proposal drew widespread criticism, but Republicans overwhelmingly supported it, and it was a factor in his victory.

Over the weekend, Trump inserted himself into what had been an internecine Democratic Party fight pitting Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley against House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

He first defended Pelosi, then attacked the four. That prompted Pelosi to defend her flock, prompting Trump and other Republicans to argue the Democratic Party had shifted to the left.

The Democratic-controlled House voted on Tuesday largely along party lines to formally condemn Trump’s remarks as “racist.”

Trump’s attacks had a spur-of-the-moment quality around which the Republican Party later built a strategy.

The tactic had worked, said Barry Bennett, who advised Trump’s 2016 campaign. “The Democratic Party last week was trying to distance itself from the squad, and this week they’re hugging them, and that is a massive win for Trump.”

But not all Republicans were comfortable.

“I’m disappointed in the tweets,” said Steve Duprey, a member of the Republican National Committee from New Hampshire.

“I know the president is subject to lots of attacks, but he should always try to turn the other cheek and take the high road,” Duprey said.

Reporting by Jeff Mason in Greenville, North Carolina and and Steve Holland in Washington; Additional reporting by Eric Beech, Roberta Rampton and Makini Brice; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Peter Cooney



Here’s the real reason Trump is attacking ‘the Squad’: he’s scared of their politics

The four congresswomen who came under attack by Trump are popular – as are their policies. That’s why he is terrified of them

July 17, 2019

by Joshua Leifer

The Guardian

Donald Trump is scared. Though it has always been hard to ascertain what he knows and does not know, it appears he knows he is unpopular: he fired three of his five internal pollsters in June because of their dismal projections. The Republicans know this, too. But they also have no substantive policy agenda to present to the American people, only white rage and resentment, racism and xenophobia, all of which have culminated in the Trump administration’s spectacle of wanton cruelty along the southern border.

As the 2020 election campaign begins, Trump and the Republicans have not been coy about their strategy. They intend to foment hatred of “the other” among their predominantly white base, to weaponize false accusations of antisemitism against progressive politicians, to pour kerosene on the fires of the culture wars and fight – against women’s rights, LGBT rights, reproductive rights – with renewed vigor.

Hence President Trump’s latest stream of racist invective on Twitter, this time directed at the group of four, first-year congresswomen – Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib – that some affectionately refer to as “the Squad”.

Trump tweeted that the four women of color should “go back” to “the totally broken and crime infested” countries they came from (all are American citizens and only Omar was born outside the United States). Trump then doubled down on his attacks against them Monday morning following Senator Lindsey Graham’s appearance on Fox & Friends. “We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of Communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own Country,” the president tweeted, quoting Graham. “They are Anti-Semitic, they are Anti-America, we don’t need to know anything about them personally, talk about their policies.”

And yet it is precisely their policies that have Trump and the Republicans worked up into a frothy lather. The members of the Squad, in stark contrast to not only the Republicans but the rest of the Democrats, have championed progressive policy proposals – from the Green New Deal to Medicare for All to student debt cancellation to abolishing Ice and the Department of Homeland Security to increasing the top marginal tax rate to 70%.

These proposals are popular, and not only among liberal Democrats, but across a wide swath of the American public. A poll conducted earlier this year found that 60% of independent voters supported Ocasio-Cortez’s 70% top tax-rate proposal, as did 45% of Republicans. Polls consistently show a clear majority of Americans back Medicare for All. Even as sweeping a proposal as the Green New Deal enjoys more support than opposition among likely voters, Obama-to-Trump voters and moderates. There is an obvious desire for the kind of transformational politics that the members of the Squad have brought to Congress.

Indeed, while much of the media coverage of the various Squad members have focused on their identities, their appeal goes far beyond matters of representation. Of course, representation is important, and the Squad, comprising women of color, represents important “firsts” – the first Muslim-American congresswomen, the youngest ever member of Congress, the first black female representative from Massachusetts. They represent what America looks like today far better than the pale, greying gerontocracy that rules the country. At 45, Pressley is the oldest member of the Squad; Nancy Pelosi, for comparison, is 79 and Trump, 73.

But what distinguishes them as much as who they are is what they have done. After less than a year in office, the members of the Squad have greatly expanded the realm of political possibility in the United States. They have energized the Democratic Party base with a fighting progressivism, choosing open confrontation with the Republicans over the tepid triangulation that the Democrats have longed preferred – and which the party’s leadership mistakenly still does. They speak not in focus-grouped platitudes but with real passion and empathy for ordinary people’s pain. It is for this reason that they have succeeded in connecting with the wider public. It is why they dominate the news day after day. And it is why they drive Trump and the Republicans crazy. In the Squad – diverse, comparatively young, energetic and charismatic – Trump and the Republicans see their own impending political and literal obsolescence.

Faced with the prospect of multiracial social democracy that the members of the Squad represent, Trump and the Republicans are employing the same tactics to thwart progressive political change and sabotage redistributivist policies that defenders of the existing order have used throughout American history. They seek to sow distrust among the vulnerable and the marginalized, to divide working-class people of color and working-class white people, and, now, to pit Muslims and Jews against one another. Afraid of losing their grip on power, they have opted to instill fear and terror in the American public through both their rhetoric – the demonization of immigrants, the delegitimization of dissent – and their policies – Ice raids across US cities and the initial steps towards a war with Iran. And in statehouses around the country, Republicans are working to guarantee white minority rule into perpetuity as the country’s demographics shift.

If there is a lesson from Trump’s most recent racist tirade, it is that between the Republicans’ xenophobic nationalism and the Squad’s multiracial social democracy, there is no longer a viable middle ground. In a show of rank pettiness and political irresponsibility, the Democratic House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, lashed out at the Squad in an interview with the New York Times, and the official House Democrats’ Twitter account, controlled by corporate Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, fired off a vicious attack on Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff. These attempts by the centrist Democratic leadership to challenge the Squad’s progressive agenda only backfired, opening the door for Trump, whose sole natural talent may be trolling, to exploit the Democrats’ intra-party divisions. And yet by Monday, the Democrats’ leadership had lined up to defend Ocasio-Cortez and the other members of the Squad.

What this made clear is the fact that it is not Pelosi or Jeffries or Schumer who is leading the opposition to Trump but the Squad: four, first-year congresswomen who have presented a coherent, comprehensive alternative not only to the odious Republicans but to the feckless moderates within their own party. That there are so few members of the Squad, and that they are so easily identifiable, reflects the sorry state of the Democrats. But the Squad has also shown the power of an unabashedly progressive politics in style as well as substance. They are popular, so are their policies. And this has everyone who opposes them – from Trump and the Republicans to Pelosi and the centrist Democrats – terrified.



Kellyanne Conway’s Irish Ancestors Were the Enemy When Donald Trump’s Dad Was Arrested at a Klan Riot in 1927

July 17 2019

by Robert Mackey

The Intercept

Kellyanne Conway’s strange, unsettling request — that a journalist who questioned the president’s call for his political enemies to be deported to their ancestral homelands should reveal his own ethnicity — was properly denounced as repulsive on Tuesday.

But there was another element of the exchange, and of Conway’s attempt to cast Donald Trump’s fixation on the ethnic origins of his critics as perfectly ordinary, that deserves more attention.

“We are all from somewhere else ‘originally,’” Conway wrote later on Twitter, by way of explanation. “I asked the question to answer the question and volunteered my own ethnicity: Italian and Irish.”

For someone of that heritage, Conway displays a strange lack of awareness that her own ancestors were once excluded from the nativist definition of who belongs in America — and who is entitled to citizenship as a right, not a privilege.

What’s more, anyone working for Trump has reason to be aware of just how recently American citizens from Irish and Italian families were viewed with hatred and suspicion by native-born, white Protestants.

That’s because the president’s father, Fred Trump, was one of seven men arrested in 1927 at a Memorial Day parade in Queens, where 1,000 robed members of the Ku Klux Klan rioted when the Irish-American-led police force tried to prevent them from marching. The arrest was documented in the New York Times two day later, in an account that gave Fred Trump’s name and home address, as the website Boing Boing discovered in 2015.

Although the Klan is better known now for its long campaign of terrorism and murder directed at African-Americans, a century ago, its members were also animated by the perceived threat to white, Protestant America from an influx of Irish and Italian Catholics, suspected of harboring secret dual loyalties to an alien faith.

In New York City, the Klan viewed the police department — which was more than 50 percent Irish at the start of the 20th century — as the standing army of the growing Catholic immigrant community.

While the Times report noted that the charges against Fred Trump were dropped, and it is unclear whether he was a participant or a bystander, his name also appeared in contemporary reports from three other local newspapers, unearthed by Vice News, as one of the seven men detained after skirmishes that day between 100 police officers and the “berobed” Klansmen.

The now-defunct Brooklyn Daily Star reported that Fred Trump was “dismissed on a charge of refusing to disperse from a parade when ordered to do so.”

When Donald Trump was asked about this incident by Jason Horowitz of the New York Times in 2015, he gave the self-contradictory answer: “It never happened, and they said there were no charges, no nothing. It’s unfair to mention it, to be honest, because there were no charges.”

The names of the police officers cited in the contemporary Times report on the riot underscore that the New York Police Department was by then an established center of Irish-American power. According to the report, the police commissioner, Joseph Warren — whose father was born in Ireland — had been alerted that the Klansmen intended to march in the parade by one Patrick Scanlan, the editor of a Brooklyn Catholic weekly called The Tablet.

Two of the officers who played a central role in the events also had typically Irish Catholic names: Deputy Chief Inspector Thomas Kelly of Queens, who determined that the Klansman had broken an informal understanding with the police not to wear robes and hoods, and Patrolman William O’Neill, who was knocked down and kicked by the marchers.

The Times report also included the full text of a flyer passed around Jamaica, Queens, after the riot, “apparently giving the Klan’s side of the matter.” Under the headline, “Americans Assaulted by Roman Catholic Police of New York City!” the Klan flyer began, “Native-born Protestant Americans clubbed and beaten when they exercise their rights in the country of their birth.”

The year after that riot, the Klan played a major role in opposing New York’s governor, Al Smith, a son of Irish and Italian immigrants, when he became the first Catholic to be nominated for the presidency by a major party, running as the Democratic candidate against Herbert Hoover.

As the historian Robert Slayton explained in a 2011 blog post for the New York Times, anti-Catholic bigotry, stirred up by the Klan, dominated the 1928 presidential election campaign, leading to Smith’s defeat in a landslide.

The school board of Daytona Beach, Fla., sent a note home with every student. It read simply: “We must prevent the election of Alfred E. Smith to the Presidency. If he is elected President, you will not be allowed to have or read a Bible.” Fliers informed voters that if Smith took the White House, all Protestant marriages would be annulled, their offspring rendered illegitimate on the spot.

Opponents blanketed the country with photos of the recently completed Holland Tunnel, the caption stating that this was the secret passage being built between Rome and Washington, to transport the pope to his new abode. Countless copies of a small cartoon appeared on lampposts and mailboxes everywhere. Titled “Cabinet Meeting — If Al Were President,” it showed the cabinet room, with the pope seated at the head of the table, surrounded by priests and bishops. Over in the corner was Al Smith, dressed in a bellboy’s uniform, carrying a serving platter, on top of which was a jug of whiskey. Summing up, the minister of the largest Baptist congregation in Oklahoma City announced, “If you vote for Al Smith you’re voting against Christ and you’ll all be damned.”

The Ku Klux Klan became actively involved in preventing a Catholic from ever getting near the White House, going all out to defeat Smith. One Klan leader mailed thousands of postcards after Democrats nominated the New Yorker, stating firmly, “We now face the darkest hour in American history. In a convention ruled by political Romanism, anti-Christ has won.” A Klan colleague in remote North Manchester, Ind., warned his audience, in booming tones, of the imminent arrival of the pope: “He may even be on the northbound train tomorrow! He may! He may! Be warned! America is for Americans! Watch the trains!” When I interviewed Hugh L. Carey, only the second Roman Catholic elected governor of New York, for my Smith biography, he remembered Klan parades in Hicksville when he was 9 years old and how frightened he was, because “there was a real anti-Catholic sentiment.”

Kellyanne Conway seems unable, or unwilling, to hear the echoes of this sort of rhetoric — used to vilify Irish and Italian Catholics during the lifetimes of her Irish and Italian grandparents — in the words Trump uses now to attack two Muslim congresswomen, from Somali and Palestinian immigrant families, as undeserving of American citizenship. But those echoes are there, and the rest of us can hear them.


Trump’s SS family members

The current American President is directly descended from the German Trumpf family. His ancestor in the direct line, was Johannes Trump(f), a native of the village of Kallstadt where Trump grandfather immigrated from.

The same Trumpf family also produced one Arnold Wilhelm August Trumpf.

Arnold Trumpf was Vorstand Reichsverband Deutscher Landwirtschaftlicher Genossenschaften-Raiffensene.V and Hauptabteilungsleiter III of the Reichsnahrstand, Allegemeine SS since 1934.

This Trumpf was also a director of the Reichsbank.

SS background of Arnold Trumpf:

SS-Oberführer / Leutnant d.R. a.D.

Born: 27. Oct. 1892 in Gifhorn

Died: 7. January 1985 in Garmish-Partenkirchen

NSDAP-Nr.: 389 920 from 1, December 1930

SS-Nr.: 187 119


SS-Oberfuhrer: 30. Jan. 1939


Bei dem RuS-Hauptamt: (9. Nov. 1944)

Decorations & Awards:

1914 Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse

Kriegsverdienstkreuz II. Klasse ohne Schwerter

Verwundetenabzeichen, 1918 in Schwarz

Ehrenkreuz fur Frontkampfer

Ehrendegen des RF SS

Totenkopfring der SS

The RuSHA was founded in 1931 by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler

Among their duties were:

  • Kidnapping of children suitable for Germanization
  • Population transfers
  • The persecution and liquidation of Jews


The RuSHA also employed Josef Mengele from November 1940 to early 1941, in Department II of its Family Office, where he was responsible for “care of genetic health” and “genetic health tests”


  • http://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Trumpf,_Arnold
  • Das Deutsche Führerlexikon, Otto Stollberg G.m.b.H., Berlin 1934
  • Dienstaltersliste der Schutzstaffel der NSDAP 9, November 1944




Encyclopedia of American Loons

Cindy Schneider

Cindy Schneider is – apparently –medical advisor for the antivaccine group SafeMinds. Schneider is very much concerned with mercury in flu vaccines (that would be thimerosal and ehtylmercury, but SafeMinds has never been particularly concerned with details of chemistry), and was for instance the zombie-like narrator of a 2011 propaganda video targeting ob-gyns about the dangers of vaccines. The video is discussed here. Among the false and misleading claims in the video were the assertion that some vaccines contain up to 250x the levels of mercury identified by the EPA as HAZARDOUS WASTE. The EPA, of course, does not classify hazardous waste by levels at all, but consistency in its details has, of course, never mattered to groups like SafeMinds. Elsewhere, the video mostly lies and misrepresents the science (e.g. this one), for instance concerning the safety levels for, well, methylmercury, in fact – which is chemically very different from ethylmercury, but again: those would be details and facts, not anything SafeMinds’s target audience would or should be concerned with. They also provide a fine example of selection bias when they list a number of famously bad and discredited “studies” on the dangers of vaccines – these studies, on the other hand, would obviously not interest the target audience. Schneider is, of course, by her own assertion not antivaccine but pro-safe-vaccine.

Otherwise, Schneider is Medical Director of CARE, the Center for Autism Research and Education, and runs an integrative medical practice (forget the contradiction) offering treatments for “the immune, gastrointestinal, and metabolic aspects of autism and the identification of environmental toxins contributing to the autism epidemic”. Needless to say, no one with autism should be subjected to quackery based on such myths – including the myth of the “autism epidemic”. And apparently Schneider “takes a functional medical approach” to illness and conditions like autism; her center also offers e.g. hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and she claims that “any genetic weaknesses can be overcome with lifestyle changes and high quality nutritional supplements.” This is false, and as an MD, it is hard to believe that Schneider doesn’t know better. And yes, her website does indeed feature a prominent link to a store (Aperture International, a company that sells supplements, founded and run by … Schneider, of course).

Diagnosis: There is no way around it: Cindy Schneider is corrupt to the core. A ghastly excuse for a human. And for those in doubt, here is a decent piece of advice: Never ever take medical advice from a website with a store tab.


Anti-Vaxxers Spread a Plague of Ignorance

by Froma Harrop


An outbreak of measles four years ago at Disneyland focused attention on a growing health menace — the refusal of parents to vaccinate their children. The threat has gone international. The World Health Organization has just named the anti-vaccination movement among the 10 biggest global health crises.

Italy is ground zero, thanks to a law pushed by the far-right 5-Star Movement that ended compulsory vaccinations for children in public schools. Matteo Salvini, leader of its coalition partner, the League party, called mandatory vaccinations “useless and in many cases dangerous.”

The anti-vaxxer crusade has a diverse membership. In addition to traditional right-wingers and radical libertarians who say the decision to not immunize their children should be a matter of personal liberty, it includes rich progressives who view vaccinations as unhealthy. (Far more students in California’s well-to-do Capistrano Unified School District were found to be unvaccinated than in Santa Ana, its poorer neighbor.)

The “vaccine-hesitant” — the WHO’s politer term — often wave ignorant junk-science claims that vaccines can cause autism. This dangerous lie gained traction in a 1998 article published in the prestigious British journal The Lancet. It turned out that lawyers suing vaccine-makers were funding the author, Andrew Wakefield. Britain subsequently stripped Wakefield of the right to practice medicine.

Donald Trump promoted the falsehood, linking vaccines and autism during a primary debate. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network condemned the remark.

Measles cases in Europe rose to 60,000 last year, including 72 deaths, more than double the number in 2017. Consider that this disease was once close to being eradicated.

In this country, 18 states still allow “nonmedical exemptions” for vaccinating children based on a philosophical belief. Requests for such exemptions are rising in 12 of them.

New York state is seeing its most troubling measles outbreak in decades. Almost all the cases occur among ultra-Orthodox Jews, whose insular communities have been ripe for anti-vaccine propagandists. William Handler, an Orthodox rabbi in Brooklyn, told Vox that parents who “placate the gods of vaccination” are engaging in “child sacrifice.” That’s not far off from a League party official’s nutty labeling of state-funded vaccinations as “free genocide.”

Once vaccination levels fall below 95 percent, epidemiologists explain, there aren’t enough people to hold the disease in check. And measles is highly contagious. The virus floats in the air and can live on surfaces for hours.

Of the 52 measles cases linked to the Disneyland outbreak, six of the afflicted had been vaccinated. Health officials note that for a few people, vaccinations don’t produce a strong enough antibody response to stop the disease entirely. But these patients tend to have far milder versions of measles and are less likely to pass it on to others.

Measles is especially dangerous to pregnant women and the very young. Some of the victims at Disneyland were children not old enough to be vaccinated.

The WHO worries that the anti-vaccination movement in the U.S. and Europe may invade less rich countries, such as Brazil, India, China, Indonesia and Nigeria. Then we could have enormous populations spreading an epidemic.

That’s why the WHO put “vaccine hesitancy” right up there with an Ebola outbreak and influenza pandemic as being among the 10 biggest threats to world health in 2019.

California passed a law in 2016 mandating vaccinations. Anti-vaxxers challenged it and lost. In explaining its decision, the state appeals court quoted from a 1944 U.S. Supreme Court ruling: “The right to practice religion freely does not include the liberty to expose the community … to ill health or death.” Clearly, the states must lead the charge in fighting the irresponsible and scientifically illiterate opposition to vaccination.


California took on anti-vaxxers, and won

July 2, 2019

by Dennis Thompson


California’s crackdown on childhood vaccination exemptions cut in half the percentage of kindergartners who didn’t have their required immunizations, a new study shows.

The rate of kindergartners without up-to-date vaccinations decreased from around 10% in 2013 to about 5% in 2017, after California implemented a three-pronged strategy to improve immunization rates.

This was an “impressive decrease in the number of children not up-to-date on their vaccines after the three interventions were implemented,” said lead researcher Cassandra Pingali, who led the study as a graduate student at Emory University in Atlanta.

Thanks to improved immunization rates, the chances that not-fully-vaccinated kindergartners might bump into each other in school fell from 26% in 2014 to just 5% in 2017, researchers reported in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In 2016, California became the first state to ban all personal belief exemptions for its school vaccination requirements, Pingali said.

That final move came after the state first tightened requirements for obtaining a personal belief exemption in 2014 and then launched a campaign to educate school staff on the proper application of those requirements, Pingali said.

California took those steps after realizing that there were large pockets within the state with high rates of students whose parents had refused childhood vaccinations, Pingali said.

During 2012-2013, there were 124 clusters containing 3,026 schools with high rates of kindergartners not up-to-date on their shots, researchers said.

But by the 2016-2017 school year, that had dropped to 110 clusters containing 1,613 schools, the findings showed.

“During 2016 and 2017, the reductions appear to be largest in the southern portion of the state,” Pingali said. “Northern California maintained the highest predicted rate of students without up-to- date vaccination status throughout the study period with relatively minor changes during the implementation of the three interventions, compared with the rest of the state.”

These results show that public policy can quickly improve vaccination rates among children, but that it might require more than one bite of the apple, said Dr. Matthew Davis, head of academic general pediatrics and primary care at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“I think the California story illustrates that more than one policy change is necessary to achieve substantial change in protection of public health over a short period of time,” Davis said.

Vaccination requirements currently are a state-level issue, but these numbers indicate it might be time to consider a national policy, said Davis, who wrote an editorial accompanying the new study.

“We propose that national outbreaks like we are seeing in 2019 make us wonder whether the time has come to achieve a consistent vaccination policy across the country, so it doesn’t matter in which state you live—what matters is how we are trying to protect the public health consistently across all states,” Davis said.

“This is a study I think can provide guidance for other states making changes in their own vaccine exemption policies, and could set the stage for a national conversation on vaccine exemptions,” Davis concluded.

Pingali noted that New York just passed legislation eliminating religious exemptions to school-mandated vaccinations, in response to the measles outbreaks there.

In May, Maine passed legislation to eliminate religious and philosophical exemptions, she added. And in Washington, a new law eliminated personal and philosophical exemptions to the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), vaccine but left religious and medical exemptions in place.

“There is a very dynamic vaccine policy environment currently,” Pingali said. “This is a great opportunity to compare the effects of similar vaccine legislation across states.”


The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

July 18, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.



Conversation No. 14

Date:  Friday, May 10, 1996

Commenced:  10:03 AM CST

Concluded:    10:21 AM CST


GD: Good morning, Mrs. Crowley. Is Robert available?

EC: Oh good morning, Gregory. Yes, he’s right here.

GD: Thank you.

RTC: Hello, Gregory. I’ve dug out quite a bit of material on the Kennedy business for you and once I get it collated, I’ll send it on.

GD: Any surprises there?

RTC: Wait until you’ve read it and I would prefer not to discuss this on the telephone. There are aspects of this that should be kept very private and, let me add, I would request that you not address this in print until after I am gone.

GD: Understood but that could be ten years from now.

RTC: Oh, I doubt that. I’m getting older by the day. I might hold out for a few more years but not much longer. Emily has been at me to have more X-rays because the last ones showed some spots on my lungs but I think that if it was cancer, I would be dead by now. After all, we took those some years ago.

GD: You smoke?

RTC: A small sinful pleasure but not as much. That and coffee kept me going and these get to be ingrained habits. At any rate, eventually I ought to have more tests but I really don’t worry too much about this.

GD: Just one brief question about Kennedy if it’s all right.

RTC: Ask me and I’ll make a judgment call.

GD: Was it Oswald?

RTC: No, he was a patsy. Had nothing to do with it and that answers that question. Now, on to other things if you don’t mind.

GD: Thank you and go ahead.

RTC: I was thinking about the Pollard business we talked about a few days ago. Looking over some of my files, I am certain you were accurate about tipping them off. There was an unspecified confidential source and I suppose if I had someone dig into it further, it would cinch it all up. We thought it was someone from the Israeli side with a guilty conscience.

GD: No, just a peeved WASP.

RTC: Of course, what was the worst aspect of this Pollard business is that the little traitor passed an enormous amount of very, very sensitive information to Israel, among which were reams of top level coded material. We found out later that all of this was sent to Russia, to the KGB and the GRU within hours of it getting to Tel Aviv.

GD: Did they work with the Russians?

RTC: No, some of the refuseniks that went to Israel were Soviet plants and they took with them enough information to convince the Israelis that they would be good agents. That’s the terrible thing about the Pollard matter, Gregory. It cost us millions upon millions to rework our codes but that only covered on-going matters. My God, the Soviets were reading all our top level messages. The damage that little shit caused is not to believe. Weinberger wanted to shoot him out of hand but that never happened. Pollard will never get out of prison alive. Did you know that the Israelis made him an honorary member of their Knesset and deposited large sums of money into a bank account they opened for him there?

GD: That’s a bit gross, isn’t it?

RTC: Figure it. And they have been bombarding Clinton to pardon him but that will never happen, even if his wife is Jewish. I don’t much care for Clinton but he is certainly a smart man. He moves with the tides, Gregory, and if he dared to pardon Pollard, there would be serious problems for him. It’s been said that if this looked like it might go through, the BoP people would have one of their convicts stick a knife into him while he was taking the air in the prison yard. I think he should be found hanging in his cell some morning and then we can pickle him, put him in a box and ship him off to Israel, collect.

GD: Frau Clinton is Jewish?

RTC: Family came from Lodz in Poland, went to Manchester in England, changed their names and some of them came over here. Her branch ended up in the cloth business in Chicago. They don’t talk about this but it’s something to consider. One thing I can say about the Clintons. They both are really too fond of women.

GD: When I lived in California, I had a friend in the state police in Sacramento and he was telling me that Hillary left law school at Yale and interned with Bob Treuhaft in Oakland. He’s a communist labor lawyer. His wife is Decca Mitford who wrote the book on funeral home ripoffs. Decca’s sister was Unity Mitford, who was one of Hitler’s lady friends. Anyway, he said that Hillary worked with the Black Panthers in Oakland and got involved with their descent on the legislators in Sacramento. They all had guns and everyone freaked out. Apparently, the police went around rounding them all up and they found Frau Clinton naked in bed with a black woman. It’s all in a report he copied. And he said that about a week after Clinton became President, the FBI swooped down and grabbed the original files on all of this.

RTC: Too bad there’s no copy.

GD: Oh, there is. I sent a copy of it around to the media but all I got was complete silence. But note that Herb Caen, a columnist for the Chronicle, wrote about this and I don’t think the FBI can do much about that. Of course, people forget very quickly, Robert. Cold beer in the fridge and a sports game on the tube and they’re contented. Consider the bulk of the public as if it were a hibernating bear in Alaska. Now if the far right and the far left stand in front of his den, screeching at each other and throwing dung and snowballs at each other, the bear is oblivious. But supposing they decide to move into the den and continue their petty squabbles. And if by accident, one of them managed to kick brother bear squarely in the balls, then we see something else. The bear awakes with a roar, promptly kills both of the invaders of his bedroom and goes back to sleep again. That, Robert, is what happens when the public is aroused and that is why politicians are careful to keep out of the bear’s den.

RTC: An interesting analogy.

GD: Revolutions don’t start overnight. The French Revolution had its roots in the determination of a burgeoning middle class to obtain equal rights along with the monarchy, the clergy and the nobility. Things got out of control and the mob woke up and wreaked bloody havoc on France for some time. Read Carlisle on this subject. Or read Eric Hoffer. I recommend The True Believer for a very penetrating analysis of mass movements and their fanatic adherents. We don’t have this problem here, at least now, but things change and if we don’t change with them, then there are problems.

RTC: I think the older we get, the less we welcome change.

GD: Routine can be comforting at that. But suppose some stuffy bureaucrat got up one morning, shoved the family cat into the microwave, turned it on, drove his van across the neighbor’s lawn and crushed the stone dwarves and then ran all the red lights on the way to the office? And when he got to his work pen, he set the contents of his desk on fire and ran around the office buck naked?

RTC: I have a feeling he would be locked up somewhere for some time. You have a very active imagination, Gregory, or did you do this?

GD: No but when I see the automatons on the road or marching in lockstep on the sidewalks of the financial district, such thoughts are not unnatural to me. I love to do the unexpected. I recall once when a friend’s father, who ran a local Penney store, gave me a half a dozen obsolete window dummies. My God, sir, did I have my fun. We took a little girl, cute thing with pigtails, cut a hole in her back and filled her insides with lots of raspberry Jello. Then we put a pinafore and a pair of nice shoes and socks on her, took her down to the SP tracks and set her up just this side of the railroad bridge. My Russian friend and I sat in the bushes and when the Del Monte Special, filled with the idle rich, came down the line doing 80, the headlights picked up the little darling on the tracks, illuminating her winsome form for the people stopped by the track gates. Horns blowing, howling drivers, panic and then when the train hit her squarely, a great fan of red Jello and papier-mâché body parts descended on the stopped cars. Now that was something to remember, Robert. Engineer slammed on the breaks, dropped sand, skidded with many sparks and blaring air horn into the local station and I will always remember the idle rich flying all over the interior of the illuminated club car. We got away with it but only barely. Booted police stamping all around our bushes, looking for the fiends. We didn’t do that one again but believe me, it was worth it.

RTC: (Laughter)

GD: I see you do have a sense of humor, Robert. There were other dummies to be put to good use. Sometime later I can give you more cheerful anecdotes to make your day.

RTC: I hope all of that is behind you, Gregory.

GD: Oh yes, long ago but not forgotten. By the way, speaking of things behind, can you give me one word that describes what happened when a very fat woman backed into a rotating airplane propeller?

RTC: Not offhand.

GD: Disaster.

RTC: Are you smoking something illegal?

GD: No, too much coffee and too many fond memories. Let me go back to the book and leave you thinking about the chaos inside the Embassy when you turn on your noise box.

RTC: That’s probably enough for now.

GD: ‘Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,’ Robert, and I will talk to you later.


(Concluded at 10:21 AM CST)







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