Monday, October 19, 2020

When you see FacebookTwitter think 'best for China'

Social media backlash resurrected over Biden's transition team's ties to Facebook and Twitter

The Biden campaign is facing renewed criticism over its deep connections with Big Tech after both Twitter and Facebook censored a story from The New York Post detailing allegedly corrupt business deals by Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden.


The move prompted fresh criticism on social media over the Biden transition team’s hiring of top Facebook executive Jessica Hertz, which reportedly came days after the 2020 Democrat’s campaign penned a letter to the social media giant urging them to censor President Trump’s posts.

Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden revelations also came days after the company’s director of public policy, Carlos Monje, reportedly left his post to work for the Biden transition team.

Joe Concha, a media reporter for The Hill, underscored the timing of the events on Twitter Sunday after a user observed that the New York Post is “still locked out of its Twitter account for publishing a story that made Joe Biden look bad.”


“In a related story, Carlos Monje recently left Twitter as director of public policy to join Joe Biden’s transitional team,” Concha wrote. 

Other Twitter users accused the Biden campaign of “not even trying to hide it at all,” noting that both Hertz and Monje have history working for Democrats.

Hertz was principal deputy counsel in the Office of the Vice President from 2012 to 2014 according to her LinkedIn, while Monje worked on the Obama White House's Domestic Policy Council according to his LinkedIn.

Hertz will oversee enforcement of the Biden campaign's ethics plan and related matters.
"As the Vice President’s former deputy counsel with experience advising high-level federal agency officials, Jess is exactly the kind of thoughtful and principled decision-maker who can ensure the Vice President’s high standards are upheld during the transition," a campaign spokesperson told the New York Post.

Biden has come under fire from progressives for criticizing Big Tech while hiring or accepting advice from some of its defenders.

Out of the Biden campaign's nearly 700-person volunteer advisory group, eight members work for Facebook, Apple, Google or Amazon, the New York Times reported in August.

“Many technology giants and their executives have not only abused their power but misled the American people, damaged our democracy and evaded any form of responsibility,” a Biden spokesperson told the New York Times at the time. “Anyone who thinks that campaign volunteers or advisers will change Joe Biden’s fundamental commitment to stopping the abuse of power and stepping up for the middle class doesn’t know Joe Biden.”


Fox News' inquiries to the Biden campaign and Trump campaign were not immediately returned.

Fox News' Yael Halon contributed to this report.

Chuck Todd lies

Chuck Todd: The Michigan Supreme Court Did Not “Cite Any Law” In Ruling Whitmer’s Actions Unconstitutional


Chuck Todd interviewed Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this morning and turned to the recent decision of the Michigan Supreme Court that ruled that she had violated the Michigan Constitution in her extended pandemic orders. Todd did not challenge Whitmer stating falsely that the opinion was a “partisan” decision. It was not. The “Democrat justices” agreed that Whitmer violated the Constitution. They only disagreed on the remedy.  However, that untruth was quickly lost in what was a flagrantly untrue statement by Todd himself. He told NBC viewers that the justices did not cite any law to support their decision against Whitmer. Todd stated as fact that the Court did not “cite any Michigan law, they didn’t cite any law in deciding that you didn’t have this power.” The roughly 50 page opinion contains over 60 cases discussed in support of the decision. It does not seem to matter anymore at Meet The Press or NBC.  NBC is not alone. I previously noted how the Washington Post also has failed to correct openly false accounts of cases.  Not only is there no apparent inclination to be accurate but even less expectation to do so.

The Supreme Court found that Whitmer lacked authority under two laws — the Emergency Management Act from 1976 and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act from 1945.  Justice Stephen J. Markman authored the majority opinion and wrote:

“We conclude that the Governor lacked the authority to declare a ‘state of emergency’ or a ‘state of disaster’ under the EMA after April 30, 2020, on the basis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, we conclude that the EPGA is in violation of the Constitution of our state because it purports to delegate to the executive branch the legislative powers of state government– including its plenary police powers– and to allow the exercise of such powers indefinitely.

As a consequence, the EPGA cannot continue to provide a basis for the Governor to exercise emergency powers.”

The dissenting opinion authored by Chief Justice Bridget McCormack (with Justices McCormack, Richard Bernstein and Megan Cavanagh joining) drew a curious line. The dissenters agreed with the majority that Whitmer violated the Constitution and did not have the authority to extend the emergency orders but would uphold the EPGA because to facially invalidate the EPGA is unnecessary because there are other judicial remedies.”

This case came before the Court after a federal district court certified questions of state law to be addressed on the constitutionality of Whitmer’s actions.

Obviously, the Michigan Supreme Court wrote at length on the “law” contained in Michigan regulations and the Michigan Constitution. The other law is found in case law.

I realize that Todd may have lost interest in reading the actual opinion, but the first citation can be found on page 3 at the start of the analysis. The citation is to Gundy v United States, 588 US ___, ___; 139 S Ct 2116, 2145; 204 L Ed 2d 522 (2019) (Gorsuch, J., dissenting).

Here are over 60 such cases that Todd insisted were not cited (some which were cited repeatedly):

Gundy v United States, 588 US ___, ___; 139 S Ct 2116, 2145; 204 L Ed 2d 522 (2019) (Gorsuch, J., dissenting)

In re Sanders, 495 Mich 394, 404; 852 NW2d 524 (2014)

Taylor v Gate Pharm, 468 Mich 1, 6; 658 NW2d 127 (2003)

Bd of Trustees of Univ of Alabama v Garrett, 531 US 356, 363; 121 S Ct 955; 148 L Ed 2d 866 (2001)

Kentucky v Graham, 473 US 159, 166; 105 S Ct 3099; 87 L Ed 2d 114 (1985)

Lapides v Bd of Regents of the Univ Sys of Georgia, 535 US 613, 618; 122 S Ct 1640; 152 L Ed 2d 806 (2002)

Cunningham v Neagle, 135 US 1; 10 S Ct 658; 34 L Ed 55 (1890)

Mich House of Representatives v Governor, May 21, 2020 (Docket No. 20-000079-MZ); slip op at 23-24

Immigration & Naturalization Serv v Chadha, 462 US 919; 103 S Ct 2764; 77 L Ed 2d 317 (1983),

Blank v Dep’t of Corrections, 462 Mich 103, 113; 611 NW2d 530 (2000) (opinion by KELLY, J.)

Immigration & Naturalization Serv v Chadha, 462 US 919, 955 n 19; 103 S Ct 2764; 77 L Ed 2d 317 (1983)

Dist of Columbia v Heller, 554 US 570, 578; 128 S Ct 2783; 171 L Ed 2d 637 (2008)

In re MCI Telecom Complaint, 460 Mich 396, 414; 596 NW2d 164 (1999)

Garg v Macomb Co Community Mental Health Servs, 472 Mich 263, 284 n 10; 696 NW2d 646 (2005)

Robinson v Detroit, 462 Mich 439, 467; 613 NW2d 307 (2000)

People ex rel Hill v Lansing Bd of Ed, 224 Mich 388, 391; 195 NW 95 (1923)

Grebner v State, 480 Mich 939, 940 (2007)

Clinton v City of New York, 524 US 417, 482; 118 S Ct 2091; 141 L Ed 2d 393 (1998) (Breyer, J., dissenting)

46th Circuit Trial Court v Crawford Co, 476 Mich 131, 141; 719 NW2d 553 (2006)

Mistretta v United States, 488 US 361, 419; 109 S Ct 647; 102 L Ed 2d 714 (1989) (Scalia, J., 23 dissenting).

Marshall Field & Co v Clark, 143 US 649, 693-694; 12 S Ct 495; 36 L Ed 294 (1892)

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mich v Milliken, 422 Mich 1, 51; 367 NW2d 1 (1985)

Dep’t of Natural Resources v Seaman, 396 Mich 299, 308-309; 240 NW2d 206 (1976)

Osius v St Clair Shores, 344 Mich 693, 698; 75 NW2d 25 (1956)

Gundy v United States, 588 US ___, ___; 139 S Ct 2116, 2123; 204 L Ed 2d 522 (2019) (opinion by Kagan, J.)

Dep’t of Transp v Ass’n of American Railroads, 575 US 43, 77; 135 S Ct 1225; 191 L Ed 2d 153 (2015) (Thomas, J., concurring)

Whitman v American Trucking Associations, Inc, 531 US 457, 475; 121 S Ct 903; 149 L Ed 2d 1 (2001)

Synar v United States, 626 F Supp 1374, 1386 (D DC, 1986)

Int’l Refugee Assistance Project v Trump, 883 F3d 233, 293 (CA 4, 2018) (Gregory, C.J., concurring)

Trump v Int’l Refugee Assistance Project, 585 US ___; 138 S Ct 2710 (2018)

Michigan v US 26 Environmental Protection Agency, 341 US App DC 306, 323; 213 F3d 663 (2000)

Schechter Poultry Corp v United States, 295 US 495, 539; 55 S Ct 837; 79 L Ed 1570 (1935)

United States v Robel, 389 US 258, 275; 88 S Ct 419; 19 L Ed 2d 508 (1967) (Brennan, J., concurring in the result)

United States v Touby, 909 F2d 759, 767 (CA 3, 1990)

United States v Emerson, 846 F2d 541, 545 (CA 9, 1988)

Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of North America, AFL-CIO v Connally, 337 F Supp 737, 754 (D DC, 1971)

Marran v Baird, 635 A2d 1174, 1181 (RI, 1994)

Connor v Herrick, 349 Mich 201, 217; 84 NW2d 427 (1957)

Bolden v Grand Rapids Operating Corp, 239 Mich 318, 321; 214 NW 241 (1927)

Walsh v River Rouge, 385 Mich 623, 639; 189 NW2d 318 (1971)

Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co v Sawyer, 343 US 579, 652-653; 72 S Ct 863; 96 L Ed 1153 (1952) (Jackson, J., concurring)

Mich Farm Bureau v Bureau of Workmen’s Compensation, 408 Mich 141; 289 NW2d 699 (1980)

American Radio Relay League, Inc v Fed Communications Comm, 199 US App DC 293, 297; 617 F2d 875 (1980)

Touby v United States, 500 US 160; 111 S Ct 1752; 114 L Ed 2d 219 (1991),

Opinion of the Justices, 315 Mass 761; 52 NE2d 974 (1944)

Home Bldg & Loan Ass’n v Blaisdell, 290 US 398, 425; 54 S Ct 231; 78 L Ed 413 (1934)

Panama Refining Co v Ryan, 293 US 388; 55 S Ct 241; 79 L Ed 446 (1935)

Schechter Poultry Corp, 295 US 495

In re Request for Advisory Opinion Regarding Constitutionality of 2011 PA 38, 490 Mich 295, 345; 806 NW2d 683 (2011)

Eastwood Park Amusement Co v East Detroit Mayor, 325 Mich 60, 72; 38 NW2d 77 (1949)

Marbury v Madison, 5 US (1 Cranch) 137, 176; 2 L Ed 60 (1803)

United States v Nixon, 418 US 683; 94 S Ct 3090; 41 L Ed 2d 1039 (1974)

Clinton v Jones, 520 US 681; 117 S Ct 1636; 137 L Ed 2d 945 (1997)

Immigration & Naturalization Serv v Chadha, 462 US 919, 955 n 19; 103 S Ct 2764; 77 L Ed 2d 317 (1983)

Trump v Hawaii, 585 US ___; 138 S Ct 2392; 201 L Ed 2d 775 (2018)

Train v City of New York, 420 US 35; 95 S Ct 839; 43 L Ed 2d 1 (1975)

People v Tanner, 496 Mich 199, 221; 853 NW2d 653 (2014)

New York Central Securities Corp v United States, 287 US 12; 53 S Ct 45; 77 L Ed 138 (1932)

Fed Radio Comm v Nelson Bros Bond & Mortgage Co, 289 US 266; 53 S Ct 627; 77 L Ed 1166 (1933)

Yakus v United States, 321 US 414; 64 S Ct 660; 88 L Ed 834 (1944)

Clinton v City of New York, 524 US 417, 482; 118 S Ct 2091; 141 L Ed 2d 393 (1998) (Breyer, J., dissenting)

So, as for Todd’s factual statement that the Michigan Supreme Court majority did not cite to any case, the justices averaged a couple case citations per page in its 50 page opinion.* This does not count repeated citations to regulations and sources as diverse as the writings of John Locke.

For academics who have called for an end to objectivity in journalism, Meet the Press.

Here is the decision: In re Certified Questions

*this is the average since one pages have multiple citations and some do not.


Who needs police?

14-year-old among 7 fatally shot in Chicago this weekend

Thirty-three people were shot over the weekend, seven of them fatally.

Hunter Biden emails 'not inauthentic'

Biden Campaign Surrogate on Hunter Biden Emails: Nobody ‘Is Saying They Are Inauthentic’

A Biden campaign surrogate on Sunday did not deny the authenticity of the alleged Hunter Biden emails and texts that were published in the New York Post last week.

“I don’t think anybody is saying they are inauthentic,” Biden campaigner Jenna Arnold admitted on Fox News after repeatedly trying to steer the conversation to other topics.

Arnold is a national organizer for the Women’s March on Washington, and author of the book, Raising Our Hands, which calls for white women to be “more engaged as citizens.”

What arrogance

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Pampered leftists

New photos reveal Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s swanky California digs

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got plenty for the $14.7 million that they plunked down for their new California home.

Never-seen-before photos, from a now-deleted listing on the rental site Giggster, show a mansion that was appropriately billed as an “Italian villa,” complete with stone pillared entry gates and sculpted hedges.

As of Sunday morning, the link on Giggster is unavailable.

Lush greenery is everywhere — manicured lawns, Italian cypress trees, 100-year-old olive trees, blooming lavender, and tiered rose gardens. Also on the grounds are a tennis court, a children’s cottage and a guest house.

Inside is a library lined with built-in shelves, an office, a spa with a separate dry and wet sauna, a gym with a stripper pole, a game room, an arcade, a theater, a wine cellar and a five-car garage.

One real estate agent who spent an hour there described the 5.4-acre estate as a place “designed for someone who never wants to leave home,” the outlet reported.

The guest house has two bedrooms and two baths — an ideal setup for Meghan’s mother, Doria, who is a doting grandmother to year-old Archie.

No one is quite sure who owned the home, but speculation swirling at the time of the August saletagged Russian tycoon Sergey Grishin. The purchase price was more than $25 million in 2009.

Estate agent Brett Buschbom told the Daily Mail: “I went through this house and an hour later I’m coming out like ‘Wow,’ the whole bottom floor felt like a resort with steam room, massage room, sauna, Jacuzzi, full bar, arcade and one of the most amazing wine cellars and that was just the basement.”

NYC Democrats profit off of homelessness. Time to stop calling these organizations non profit

Bronx clerk probe highlights billion-dollar scandal of city homeless spending

State Attorney General Tish James’ criminal investigation of Bronx County Clerk Luis Diaz and several nonprofits highlights an ugly, often-ignored dark side to the city’s vast spending on the homeless: Much of the cash is effectively pork for politically connected “charities.”

Sources tell The Post that James’ fraud investigation is linked to an ugly dispute (a hostile takeover, really) between two homeless-services-providing nonprofits — Aguila Inc. and Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs Inc. (or NAICA).

Jenny Rivera, CEO of Aguila Inc., worked political contacts to score over $250 million in city contracts to shelter the homeless since 2012. A 2015 Department of Investigation report accused Aguila of operating a rat-infested, ramshackle and poorly ventilated cluster-site shelter with 125 open violations of health and safety codes.

City Hall has since shuttered such shelters all across the city.

NAICA also banks multimillion-dollar contracts with DHS; the “merger” may represent Rivera’s bid to get back in a very lucrative game. For example, Acacia Network, yet another Bronx-based homeless-services nonprofit, reported $193 million in city contracts in 2017 alone

This spending has more than doubled under Mayor de Blasio and is still accelerating. The Department of Homeless Services budget for Fiscal Year 2021 tops $2 billion — up $600 million from FY 2019’s outlays. Roughly a third goes for adult shelter services, the rest for family shelter costs.

Spending on hotel-based shelters exploded 283 per­cent amid the pandemic, The Post’s Nolan Hicks reported this month, from $78 million to $299 million.

That’s a tempting honeypot of highly lucrative contracts — and DHS has a long history of being ripped off by unscrupulous operators.

With the city desperate for organizations to house the homeless and run its shelters, bad apples and past bad actors continue to get contracts, instead of being debarred. A major rethink is needed here.

When Antifa rules the streets you get this!

Free speech rally attacked by counter-protesters in San Francisco

A free speech rally organized by conservative activists in San Francisco quickly devolved into chaos and was immediately canceled Saturday when several hundred counter-protesters showed up and attacked those gathered.

Right-wing group Team Save America planned the rally to protest Twitter, charging that the social media giant squelches conservative speech after it censored The Post’s exposé on Hunter Biden’s emails.

Counter-demonstrators, some wielding plastic water bottles and glass bottles, surged the area around the city’s United Nations Plaza ahead of the event’s 1 p.m. start time.

Philip Anderson, an organizer of the event, was seen getting punched in the face before the rally could start in a video posted on social media.

A crowd of counter-protesters could be heard yelling at him to “get the f–k out.”

Anderson posted a graphic photo of his bloody mouth — which showed one of his front teeth missing and a second tooth barely hanging on —  on Twitter, writing that, “Antifa attacked me for no reason.”

A photographer working for The Associated Press witnessed a supporter of President Trump being taken away in an ambulance and a San Francisco police officer injured on the ground near the plaza.

The event was canceled, though both sides stuck around in the area into the late afternoon. Anderson had also planned a protest against big tech outside of Twitter’s headquarters, according to NBC Bay Area.

The San Francisco Police Department said three cops suffered minor injuries when they were assaulted with pepper spray and caustic chemicals. One officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

No arrests were made.

Anderson slammed the counter-protesters as hypocrites and said they are the reason why he’s voting for Trump.

“I love America, I love this country and I love free speech,” he said.

With Wires

With Democrats on their side they will become ever more bellicose

China warns it will take Americans hostage if DOJ doesn’t drop charges against researchers

Beijing is threatening to take Americans in China hostage if the Department of Justice doesn’t drop its prosecution of several Chinese research scientists arrested on U.S. soil this year, according to a report on Saturday.

Chinese government officials have repeatedly warned their U.S. counterparts that Americans in China face being detained if its demands are not met, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The drastic action — dubbed “hostage diplomacy” — would be in retaliation for the arrests of at least five Chinese military-affiliated scholars visiting American universities to conduct research.

The scientists were charged with visa fraud for allegedly lying to U.S. immigration authorities about their active duty statuses with China’s People’s Liberation Army.

The nation first began issuing the warnings over the summer, after Chinese research scientist Juan Tang, who worked at the University of California, Davis, was questioned by the FBI and took up residence for a month in China’s San Francisco consulate.

Chinese officials vowed to retaliate if she wasn’t allowed to leave the consulate and return home, according to the report.

U.S. officials expected China to make good on the threat — but it didn’t, and the FBI arrested Tang in July when she left consulate grounds, the Journal reported.

Tang is currently out on bail after pleading not guilty to visa fraud charges. Her lawyer, Malcolm Segal, denied that China had sought to interfere in his client’s case.

At least four other researchers have been accused of hiding their ties to the Chinese military and pleaded not guilty to similar charges.

The State Department ordered China in July to close its Houston consulate and told all Chinese military researchers remaining in the U.S. to leave.

Sources told the Journal the decision was made after U.S. officials said Chinese diplomats were coordinating with the scholars to collect cutting-edge scientific research from American universities.

A State Department spokesman declined to address China’s alleged threats but told the newspaper, “We warn U.S. citizens that business disputes, court orders to pay a settlement, or government investigations into both criminal and civil issues may result in an exit ban which will prohibit your departure from China until the issue is resolved.”

“We are aware that the Chinese government has, in other instances, detained American, Canadian and other individuals without legal basis to retaliate against lawful prosecutions and to exert pressure on their governments, with a callous disregard of the individuals involved,” said John Demers, head of the Justice Department’s national security division.