According to police, Douglas Marks, 29, has a curious method for reinforcing social distancing. After he spotted people without masks, he allegedly fired “four warning shots” at the Crystal Beach Suites Hotel. The criminal charges contained one interesting element. While Marks did not reportedly aim at anyone, he was still charged with assault. This follows an incident in California where a woman maced a couple who was eating with their child at a park without masks.
That seems to be the choice if you read accounts after President Donald Trump’s reckless tweet referring to a delay of the election. While Trump last night stated that he is not seeking a delay in the election in his tweet, the tweet set off a firestorm. I was one of those who within minutes denounced the tweet as fueling a baseless conspiracy theory that Trump could delay the election. However, some writers claimed that Biden was right all along when he “predicted” that Trump would move to delay the election and noted that I made fun of him for warning voters of a move against the election. I certainly did make fun of him, but it is worth noting that the column was not about whether Trump might suggest a delay but how such a delay could not happen. It is no “conspiracy theory” that Trump might suggest something outrageous on Twitter. That is an established fact that occupies this blog on a daily basis. The theory was whether the election could be delayed by Trump unilaterally and it was alarming voters for no reason. I explained that the theory that the election would be canceled or stopped was “all the rage on the Internet” for months before Biden unwisely repeated it.
We previously discussed a conspiracy theory from Vice President Joe Biden that President Donald Trump could unilaterally cancel or delay the election day. We then dealt with a baffling statement by Jared Kushner that it was too soon to tell if the election day would be delayed — a statement that was as politically unwise as it was legally unsound. Now, President Donald Trump is fueling this controversy with a bizarre tweet that we may need to delay the election day. He is not suggesting that he can do it unilaterally, but it is another statement at odds with the constitutional and statutory foundation for the election day schedule. Even if Congress agreed to a different day, it would only move voting a few weeks later. Anything more would require pulling up our controlling law root and branch. Continue reading ““Delay the Election”: Trump Fuels New Questions Over The Holding Of The Presidential Election”
President Donald Trump has continued his dogmatic and potentially dangerous advocacy of the use of hydroxychloroquine despite recent studies questioning its benefits (and possible risks) as a treatment for COVID-19. One doctor who disagrees with these reports, including some out this week, is Dr. Stella Immanuel. Immanuel’s views however have been censored by Facebook and Twitter after her video was removed as false information. That brought an attack from Trump over censorship and the President has encouraged action from Congress which is looking this week at the issue. However, Dr. Immanuel called upon a higher source for intervention. She has warned the companies that Jesus will shutdown the companies unless her video is restored.
Police allege that Schinzing was part of a group of 30 protesters who broke into the building and trashed the building while starting fires. The surveillance camera however captured both his image and his ink job.
As I discussed in a column this weekend, Democratic members have spent years mocking allegations that there was any spying or surveillance of Trump or his campaign by the FBI. That was just a conspiracy theory. Now however there is proof that the FBI used a briefing in August 2016 of then candidate Trump to gather information for “Crossfire Hurricane,” the Russia investigation. It turns out that it did not really matter after all and Rep. Eric Swalwell did not miss a step. He simply declared that such targeting of the opposing party and its leading presidential candidate was the right thing to do. That’s it. A conspiracy theory suddenly becomes a commendable act. Continue reading ““They Were Right To Do It”: Swalwell Praises FBI For Using Campaign Briefing To Investigate Trump [Updated]”
U.S. District Judge James Robart issued an order Friday night that blocked a Seattle law prohibiting police from using pepper spray and other anti-riot weapons. While described by the court as “very temporary,” it is also very dubious from a constitutional standpoint. I do not see the authority of a federal judge to stop the City of Seattle from determining what gear and devices may be used by its own officers, particularly in response to the federal government objecting to the state policy. The court in my view does not have the authority to make such a policy decision, even on a “very temporary” basis. Update: A different federal judge issued a more credible ruling in rejecting the demand of the Oregon Attorney General to put limits on the federal officers. The Oregon Attorney General’s filing was long on rhetoric and short on the law.
We have previously discussed my reservations about the use of federal charges of arson and other crimes to prosecute individuals accused of rioting offenses in the recent protests. The concern was the federalization of local offenses. Now, however, I have concerns about state charges out of Oklahoma. Teenagers are facing terrorism charges after allegedly helping to break in the windows of an Oklahoma City bail bonds business in late May. I have long raised concerns about the broadening of terrorism laws and this is an example of why I still hold such concerns. As the Justice Department explores possible terrorism charges, the Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater appears to be adopting an exceptionally broad interpretation of that crime. Among those charged was Malachai Davis, 18, who was shown breaking the window of the CJ Bail Bond building using what appeared to be brass knuckles. That charge has a tragic irony because, according to his attorney, Davis’ father died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.
Kevin Trejo, 21, of Westwood, New Jersey has been arrested for the disgusting alleged act of spitting into the coffee of a police officer at Starbucks. What is interesting is the array of the charges fired against the now former barista. In an interview on Fox, Park Ridge, New Jersey Lt. James Babcock said that they confirmed that the act occurred and that they were told that Trejo had done it repeatedly with officers. Babcock said that Trejo claimed to have only done it once.
Sometimes flashes of wit or irony can be costly. When a drug cartel in Medellín, Colombia decided to ship cocaine inside the shell of coffee beans, someone decided it would be funny to label the sender “Santino D’Antonio.” Apparently, Italian police also like the John Wick series and recognized the name of the mafia boss from “John Wick: Chapter 2.” The cost of the joke was the cocaine shipment and methinks there is a some avid movie lover in hot water with Medellín. To paraphrase the mafia character Santino D’Antonio, now “you have no [coke], no [beans], no [sale]. You have nothing. Vengeance is all you have left.”
We recently discussed the false tweet sent out by CNN’s White House reporter Jim Acosta that mocked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for saying that “the science should not stand in the way of this.” That quote was artificially clipped to leave the diametrically opposite impression from what actually said. The clip suggests that McEnany was dismissing science when she was actually highlighting scientific work supporting the position of the White House. While Acosta later sent out another tweet noting the real meaning and his colleague Jake Tapper corrected the false narrative on the air, Chuck Todd on Meet the Press decided to play the misleading clip not once but twice on Sunday. It was not just running an overtly misleading clip but defiantly doing so after other journalists have challenged the erroneous impression left by the clip. The misleading quality of the clip clearly was not the problem but the appeal for Meet the Press.