Patterico's Pontifications

1/11/2023

COVID Emergency Yesterday, COVID Emergency Today, COVID Emergency Forever

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:28 pm



[guest post by JVW]

From NRO, earlier today:

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it will extend the existing Covid public-health emergency for another 90 days in response to the latest variant of the virus.

The announcement, which marks the twelfth time the state of emergency has been extended since it was first implemented by President Trump in 2020, preserves a suite of executive-branch powers that have been used to implement longstanding progressive policy goals, such as increases to Medicaid benefits.

You don’t have to be as cynical as I am to start to wonder if Democrats in general and progressive Democrats in particular don’t love the COVID state of emergency as it allows them great latitude to advance lefty aims such as student loan repayment pauses, increasing health benefits, changing voting rules, and a whole host of other programs, some of which are patently illegal, without having to go through that whole pesky legislative process that the totally uncool and out-of-date Constitution requires. This is evocative of that ridiculous gasbag Thomas Friedman’s musing that it would nice to have China’s system of government for a very short period so that we could enact all of the great environmental regulations that would otherwise stand no chance of passing a duly elected legislature, representative of all of the citizens and not just the bureaucrat/media/academic/entertainment consensus that runs today’s Democrat Party.

At least when a villain like Gavin Newsom holds on to emergency power he is doing so at the behest of a supine and frivolous legislative body controlled by his allies, not like the Biden Administration who appears to be working to prevent their political adversaries from carrying out their appointed tasks. I mentioned this in passing on an earlier thread at the end of last year, but the continued abuse of power by the Executive — which didn’t originate with Joe Biden’s Administration but seems to have achieved its maximum effect thanks to them — will likely lead us to articles of impeachment being filed by the House, and I for one will probably find myself supporting his removal from office.

– JVW

111 Responses to “COVID Emergency Yesterday, COVID Emergency Today, COVID Emergency Forever”

  1. It’s just perfect, isn’t it? The Administration can ride out the 90-day emergency until mid-April, at which time we’ll be hearing news of an Easter variant of COVID-19 which has emerged in some far-flung corner of the world (China might help us out here) and is on the verge of arriving on U.S. shores any day now. So there will yet again be another extension of the emergency “while we wait to see how serious this new strain is.” Once Congress has adjourned for the summer recess, the emergency can once again be lifted.

    JVW (6458d0)

  2. but they try to end Title 42, cuz there’s a Covid emergency everywhere except the border

    JF (027dff)

  3. Didn’t Sloppy Joe say the pandemic was over a month or two ago?

    norcal (862cdb)

  4. It took a new governor taking office last week (Republican replacing a Democrat) here in Nevada to rescind all the emergency bullsh!t.

    The outgoing governor wouldn’t cancel the emergency, but he tried to commute all the death sentences for convicts on death row. He failed.

    So long, Fat Face. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    norcal (862cdb)

  5. I remember Biden saying the pandemic was over, but he’s trying to prop up Title 42, right?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  6. I take it as a fait accompli that for the rest of my life, every President faced by a House of an opposing party will be impeached.

    Which also means that *each* of those impeachments is going to be nothing more than theater designed to rile up the partisan base.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  7. I remember Biden saying the pandemic was over, but he’s trying to prop up Title 42, right?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/11/2023 @ 8:29 pm

    I lost track of his Title 42 positions. All I know is that he is a trademark political hack, and yet still better than Lady Macbeth.

    norcal (862cdb)

  8. LA City Council is moving to extend tenants COVID emergency rights and I am sure every left leaning council in the USA is doing similar things.
    There is also increasing information that boosters don’t do much if anything which makes me wonder if I really needed the second shot.

    My personal belief is the COVID was deeply concerning early on, but never rose to the level of an emergency. Emergency would have seen Hospital ships filled, not sitting empty. It would have seen ICU’s nearly full, young and old alike suffering, ventilator usage at near full capacity.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

    Chart is deaths above average from 2-1-2020 to 1-11-2023
    Total excess deaths 1,261,000

    Over the past 3 years we’ve (USA) averaged 335,000 deaths per year where COVID was the underlying cause of death. It dropped to 241,000 in 2022 from 463,000 in 2021

    In a country with our population that is a bad thing, but not emergency level.

    That isn’t to say that taking “emergency actions” like fast tracking vaccines very early on wasn’t prudent, but I think calling it an “emergency action” was overblown

    steveg (cdb634)

  9. steveg (cdb634) — 1/11/2023 @ 9:44 pm

    California is full of people who think that the government is the source of all goodness, so they go along with the craziness.

    norcal (862cdb)

  10. I take it as a fait accompli that for the rest of my life, every President faced by a House of an opposing party will be impeached.

    I think you’re right, aphrael, but you know what? If that’s what it takes for the legislative branch to finally recapture some authority that has been abused over the years by the executive branch then I am all for it. I just don’t see any other way we’re ever going to restore balance to the executive and legislative branches.

    JVW (6458d0)

  11. I just don’t see any other way we’re ever going to restore balance to the executive and legislative branches.

    JVW (6458d0) — 1/11/2023 @ 10:14 pm

    I do. Changing hearts and minds at a grassroots level so that voters elect representatives who don’t punt hard decisions to the executive.

    norcal (862cdb)

  12. I remember just yesterday when Trump was declaring the influx at the southern border an emergency, but all right-minded people said it was an abuse of power. Good thing that the southern border influx quickly abated on its own, unlike the ever-present COVID crisis.

    There aren’t enough “sarc” tags to give this nonsense justice.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  13. Congress should flat-out impeach him for it. Too much?

    “No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!”
    –Otter, Animal House

    And for stupid and futile gestures, Congress has no equal.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  14. They just need to run this to November 2024 and then they can declare victory.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  15. Which also means that *each* of those impeachments is going to be nothing more than theater designed to rile up the partisan base.

    So, you think that a phony declaration of emergency to gain otherwise unavailable power is just fine? Most would call it an abuse of power. Why won’t you?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  16. I just don’t see any other way we’re ever going to restore balance to the executive and legislative branches.

    Get Congress to re-assert its right to delegated powers — or to revoke them — and get the more reasonable Supreme Court to undo the mess they created in INS v Chadha.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  17. Congress should flat-out impeach him for it. Too much?

    To be clear, the articles of impeachment should be more than just this. It should also include:

    * his Administration’s willful inaction on border security,

    * the illegal Executive order to extend the rent payment moratorium, especially since Biden admitted that he knew it wouldn’t pass muster in court but he merely wanted to buy a few more months,

    * the illegal Executive order to forgive student loans without Congressional authorization, which again, Biden at one time expressed skepticism that it was appropriate.

    And there are probably plenty of other items that can be thrown in which I have mercifully forgotten thus far.

    JVW (6458d0)

  18. * Get Congress to re-assert its right to oversee delegated powers

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  19. the illegal Executive order to extend the rent payment moratorium

    This is actually denying civil rights under color of authority, and conspiracy thereto.

    18 USC 241 & 242.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  20. They don’t need a new variant to declare an extension of the emergency, but it’s helpful for public relations purposes.

    I think they need the emergency most to keep on freezing student loan repayments in the event the Supreme Court does not uphold Biden’s loan forgivenesses. It’s now deferred at least through September

    Sammy Finkelman (5d5971)

  21. Kris mayes won az ag race by 511 votes far fewer then death rate of non vaxxed republicans and vaxxed democrats. In many states in 2022 republicans lost races less then non vaxxed death rate vs vaxxed.

    asset (fa8a38)

  22. “I just don’t see any other way we’re ever going to restore balance to the executive and legislative branches.”

    Except, how will impeaching Biden restore any balance? Do you think impeachment on matters that will likely get fewer than 50 votes in the Senate will be rewarded by voters in 2024? To me, this sounds a lot like the narrative used in the 2022 election. If we use “fraudulent election” enough times, the voters will reward us with power. I’m sure it sounded good to the base, but what was the reality: historical underperformance. The same with misreading voters on aggressive anti-abortion legislation. The base eats it up, but outside of Alabama and Mississippi, you lose elections. So first, impeachment on something without some sort of clear criminal element will be a big loser among moderates and independents in 2024. If you don’t believe me, go ask Newt Gingrich.

    But what about on a principled level? JVW argues that several Biden executive orders obviously exceeded Presidential emergency powers and are sufficient grounds for impeachment. It goes, the Biden power grab was not just wrong but intended to benefit him politically. I certainly agree that such executive orders are obnoxious and blatant, but do they constitute a high crime or misdemeanor? Is there no Constitutional remedy other than impeachment? Could Congress have passed a law to reassert its authority? Could the EO be challenged in Court and, with vindication, be used against a Biden re-election?

    I think impeachment is the political solution that follows from not being able to criminally charge a sitting President. So, if the President obstructs justice, is involved in a criminal conspiracy to obstruct a Constitutional proceeding, or uses his vast foreign policy power to extort favors for political gain, it would seem the solution is in fact impeachment and removal. There are unambiguous underlying crimes. Now we can debate how easy each crime could be prosecuted post Presidency with all of the political gaslighting (I’m sure that is what DoJ is wrestling with), but few would argue no probable cause at all.

    So, how smart is it to impeach Biden in 2023…in a partisan fashion….with a razor thin margin? How helpful to the GOP cause will a weak Senatorial prosecution be? Oh the base will roar with delight, but why is that the test? If you want Congress to reassert its power then build coalitions and pass meaningful legislation. Impeachment here seems like an admission that you can’t actually govern…..

    AJ_Liberty (68ff00)

  23. The left and NeverTrump started the impeachment farce because they wanted to remove a sitting President by any means necessary. They spit on the law to deliberately harm the Presidency for their own political desires.

    May they be hoist upon their own petard.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  24. #22

    If the balance between the branches is going to be restored, Congress is going to have to take some kind of action that addresses the abuse of the administrative state that Democrats tend to support. Impeachment of advisors was a way Parliament got some control over its kings in after Charles II, and we are lurching towards needing to do something like that now. Of course, Congress would need to seriously want the authority they would be trying to claim. I have my doubts they want it.

    Since The GOP hasn’t been a serious party since 2016 or so, I don’t think they will be able to do this in 2023 in a way that does not result in easy dismissal by the press, the public and the Senate. Don’t dismiss the strategy, though. Just keep it for when the MAGA madness passes.

    Appalled (b17407)

  25. The alternative is censure, which can be done by one house and only requires a majority vote. It’s still sends a clear message. I favor it over pro-forma impeachment as a means of expressive outrage.

    As for Congress, there was a time, not so long ago, when it jealously guarded its powers. Accepting presidential encroachment is something new this century, and reflects a nationalizing of politics to the extent that even Congress is merely a pawn of party politics.

    Finding a way to again require laws to follow the normal legislative process (bicameral passage and presentation to the executive) instead of executive promulgation of regulations, or alternatively restore the single-house legislative veto of regulations (a short-form method indicating lack of support for bicameral passage) is really the only path to rein in the executive branch.

    This should really be a bipartisan issue for Congress, but it isn’t. The party who holds the WH never wants to play.

    How long before Caesar?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  26. @17 JVW (6458d0) — 1/11/2023 @ 10:38 pm

    * The Afghanistan withdrawal debacle.

    whembly (1a398e)

  27. @22 AJ_Liberty (68ff00) — 1/12/2023 @ 4:45 am
    The other possibility for impeachment is purely political, along the same vein as to what Democrats were seeking during the 2 Trump impeachment:

    It forces the media to cover it that strengthens the idea that Democrats are “x”.

    Furthermore, it SLOWS down the Senate. Schumer is looking to push through MORE radical judges and forcing the Senate to conduct hearings eats up that oxygen.

    whembly (f5d390)

  28. @24 & @25: The only real way to re-establish the balance between the branches is for Congress to truly exert their Power of the Purse.

    That’s it.

    The administrative body needs people to run their department and to execute the White House directives.

    Pulling fundings that pays these people’s salary and operative budgets would do more to ensure that the administrative state stays in their lane than anything else.

    whembly (1a398e)

  29. 24,

    I don’t think it’s about power or authority. Congress doesn’t seem to want their responsibility back. And I’m not sure the average voter cares.

    frosty (589c00)

  30. So I pull off Route 66 for a Starbucks, left turn, then right turn, then another right for the drive-up, all going good, and I drive right past the “Place Your Order Here” because it’s at least 150 feet before the window and I did not expect it, so I have to back up, and the poor person who just drove up behind me has to back up.

    Why are they making the world so complicated these days?

    nk (bb1548)

  31. The vast majority of Congress critters don’t want responsibility. When was the last time Congress actually declared war?

    kaf (6fa9cd)

  32. #29

    You may be right. But before we know, someone would need to make an issue of it, and actually try to do something. In all seriousness, if we are to have a nationalized politics with an attentuated legislature, we’d be better served by a parliamentary system. It wuld make removing an aging President easier and enforce some accountability on a lame duck president or legislature.

    Of course, this would all require a redo of the Consitution, which I don’t think our politics could handle right now (or ever).

    So…

    We’re back to impeachments that are taken seriously.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  33. @26, is it a high crime or misdemeanor? Should W. Bush have been impeached and removed for his Iraq war plan? You seem to be making aphrael’s point. Just saying you don’t like how a policy was executed lowers the threshold for impeachment such that it will inevitably happen every time the opposition party holds the House. I can’t see how this ends well if voters perceive Congress as wasting time. Oversight is one thing; impeachment is something else.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  34. AJ

    The left made it abundately clear with the full support of many so called moderates that “high crimes and misdemeanors” are whatever Congress decides they are…

    NJRob (8a7236)

  35. 34,

    It’s amazing how fast that wormed turned.

    Not for nothing but when D/NeverTrump was doing whatever necessary to deal with DT there were people suggesting some restraint. Those people were mocked as DT cultists.

    The rule that D/NeverTrump wants is “this will inevitably happen every time the Ds hold the House”.

    frosty (589c00)

  36. Three Presidents have been impeached. None convicted. Andrew Johnson by Radical Republicans, for firing his Secretary of War. Bill Clinton by Just Plain Republicans for lying under oath in a sexual harassment lawsuit. And Donald Trump by Democrats for making a perfect call (just read the transcript) to the President of Ukraine.

    nk (086045)

  37. “You don’t have to be as cynical as I am to start to wonder if Democrats in general and progressive Democrats in particular don’t love the COVID state of emergency as it allows them great latitude to advance lefty aims such as student loan repayment pauses, increasing health benefits, changing voting rules, and a whole host of other programs, some of which are patently illegal, without having to go through that whole pesky legislative process……”

    “Start to wonder”……in 2023.

    Conservative Biden supporters slowly being dragged into the reality that they were warned about before the 2020 election are funny as hell.

    Did we ever get a thread on Dems in the White House and Congress plus the FBI calling the shots on what was to be permitted on social media?

    Obudman (6c7d77)

  38. Do you suppose this is how they’ll outlaw gas stoves? “Sorry, COVID emergency!”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  39. I don’t think it’s about power or authority. Congress doesn’t seem to want their responsibility back. And I’m not sure the average voter cares.

    Hello, Caesar! But who is Augustus?

    Biden? No.
    Trump? Hell, no.
    DeSantis? Maybe, but Newsom is just as likely.

    This is why it’s important to restore the Republic.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  40. Why are they making the world so complicated these days?

    Why are they planning on such long lines these days?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  41. When was the last time Congress actually declared war?

    1971: on drugs.

    But legally an AUMF authorizes warfare. You do not have to actually declare war under the War Powers Act. My main problem with that is not the use of the military, but the lack of “wartime!” rules and the indeterminate duration of the conflict. We know when WWII started and ended. Is the Mideast Conflict authorized after 9/11 over yet?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  42. the illegal Executive order to extend the rent payment moratorium

    This is actually denying civil rights under color of authority, and conspiracy thereto.

    the illegal Executive order to extend the rent payment moratorium

    This is actually denying civil rights under color of authority, and conspiracy thereto.

    18 USC 241 & 242.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/11/2023 @ 10:41 pm.

    No it’s not. 18 USC 241 states:

    If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

    If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

    They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

    And 18 USC 242 states:

    Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

    The eviction moratorium may have a Fifth Amendment takings violation, but it didn’t deprive rights through actual or threats of violence.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  43. Conservative Biden supporters

    *cough* BS *cough*

    Did we ever get a thread on Dems in the White House and Congress plus the FBI calling the shots on what was to be permitted on social media?

    Obudman (6c7d77) — 1/12/2023 @ 9:28 am

    No, and you’ll like it!

    frosty (589c00)

  44. Sorry for the formatting issues.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  45. We’re back to impeachments that are taken seriously.

    I think that censure would work better as there is no requirement for the other house (both houses can censure) and it only takes a majority vote.

    Only one US president (Andrew Jackson) has ever been censured, and his party later had it expunged.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  46. Impeachment fantasy camp.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  47. is it a high crime or misdemeanor?

    This is an ahistorical question. Until modern times “misdemeanor” was not a criminal term. It meant “bad demeanor” or “bad behavior.”

    Both of which would apply to Trump or Bill Clinton.

    As for Biden, cynically extending a state of emergency to continue to exercise emergency powers is a violation of his oath of office. That would be both bad behavior AND a crime against the Constitution (possibly sedition).

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  48. The eviction moratorium may have a Fifth Amendment takings violation, but it didn’t deprive rights through actual or threats of violence.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/12/2023 @ 9:55 am

    Can you point out where 241 or 242 are limited to actual or threats of violence?

    frosty (589c00)

  49. @42: Neither of those sections requires the use of force. The simple deprivation is sufficient. In any event the threat of force is present in the rent moratorium.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  50. Example: If a governor stated that access to the courts was limited to white people, that would violate section 241. If he plotted this action with others, it would violate 242. No force is used, and even if a non-white attempted to access the courts they would be ignored, so again no force is even threatened.

    In the rent moratorium case, a landlord attempting to evict a resident due to non-payment of rent WOULD be prevented from doing so by police force, and would probably be guilty of a crime.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  51. I assume if the apartment owners in Los Angeles and their lawyers thought they had a case under 18 USC 241 or 242 they would have brought it by now. They lost their initial case when it was denied by the Supreme Court.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  52. @50: Sorry. I have 241 and 242 reversed in this scenario.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  53. Rip, they may have lost it due to emergency powers, but when emergency powers are falsely claimed it’s different.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  54. #46

    I’m curious — what do you suggest that would provide the shock to the system that reverses ever growing government and brings Congress back into the lawmaking role it is supposed to have?

    Appalled (b17407)

  55. Under 18 USC 241 § 241, it is a federal crime for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any state, territory, commonwealth, possession, or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

    The federal rights which 18 U.S.C. § 241 aims to protect are the following:

    the right of an arrested person to a trial to resolve the question of his/her guilt;
    the right of a person charged with a crime to a trial to resolve the question of his/her guilt;
    the right to testify at a trial;
    the right to be free from unlawful violence committed under color of state law;
    the right to travel freely within any of the states of the United States;
    the right to be provided service in a restaurant or other places of public accommodation without considering the person’s race;
    the right to worship as a person pleases;
    the right to vote; and
    the right to inform federal officials when there has been a violation of federal law.

    18 U.S.C. § 242

    …….. makes it a crime for someone acting under color of law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. It is not necessary that the offense be motivated by racial bias or by any other animus.

    Defendants act under color of law when they wield power vested by a government entity. Those prosecuted under the statute typically include police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and prison guards. However other government actors, such as judges, district attorneys, and other public officials, can also act under color of law and can be prosecuted under this statute.

    The Supreme Court held that a conviction under a related statute, 18 U.S.C. §242, required proof of the defendant’s specific intent to deprive the victim of a constitutional right. In United States v. Guest, the Supreme Court read this same requirement into §241, the conspiracy statute.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  56. Rip, they may have lost it due to emergency powers, but when emergency powers are falsely claimed it’s different.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/12/2023 @ 10:16 am

    Just as Justice Gorsuch noted in his dissent to the recent Title 42 case:

    …..Even if at the end of it all we find that the States are permitted to intervene, and even if the States manage on remand to demonstrate that the Title 42 orders were lawfully adopted, the emergency on which those orders were premised has long since lapsed. In April 2022, the federal government terminated the Title 42 orders after determining that emergency immigration restrictions were no longer necessary or appropriate to address COVID–19…. The States may question whether the government followed the right administrative steps before issuing this decision….. But they do not seriously dispute that the public-health justification undergirding the Title 42 orders has lapsed….

    The only plausible reason for stepping in at this stage that I can discern has to do with the States’ second request. The States contend that they face an immigration crisis at the border and policymakers have failed to agree on adequate measures to address it. The only means left to mitigate the crisis, the States suggest, is an order from this Court directing the federal government to continue its COVID-era Title 42 policies as long as possible… Today, the Court supplies just such an order. For my part, I do not discount the States’ concerns…. But the current border crisis is not a COVID crisis. And courts should not be in the business of perpetuating administrative edicts designed for one emergency only because elected officials have failed to address a different emergency. We are a court of law, not policymakers of last resort.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  57. Actually, the SC threw out the CDC rent moratorium in 2021

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/26/us/eviction-moratorium-ends.html

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  58. @55: While someone may have listed certain rights, the statute does not. It’s broad, as any good law is, and not something with a list of evadible things.

    Quiet enjoyment of one’s property, as well as the enforcement of contracts regarding same are also protected by the Constitution.

    Perhaps this section:

    No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  59. Actually, the SC threw out the CDC rent moratorium in 2021

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/26/us/eviction-moratorium-ends.html

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/12/2023 @ 11:04 am

    It was not a rent moratorium, but an eviction moratorium. The CDC order didn’t control rents.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  60. @33

    @26, is it a high crime or misdemeanor?

    Absolutely. Pure maladministration as the Commander-in-chief that purposely and unnecessarily put lives in danger, especially when there were obviously alternatives to achieve the objective.

    Should W. Bush have been impeached and removed for his Iraq war plan?

    Possibly, as its a political issue.

    You seem to be making aphrael’s point. Just saying you don’t like how a policy was executed lowers the threshold for impeachment such that it will inevitably happen every time the opposition party holds the House. I can’t see how this ends well if voters perceive Congress as wasting time. Oversight is one thing; impeachment is something else.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 1/12/2023 @ 8:11 am

    Impeachment has already been watered down.

    There’s no way going back to the pre-Trump era, no matter how much you may think Trump was deserving of that.

    whembly (d116f3)

  61. @51:

    To answer your assumption, no they did not bring up 241 or 242 since they first had to show that the action was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court did not make any ruling, and the lawsuit’s timeframe was 2020, not 2022 or 2023 so the question of rightful use of emergency powers was differently framed.

    LA County’s moratorium WAS overturned by the courts, as was the CDC’s, both for different reasons. None of them touched on a claim that the state of emergency was a sham decree made for the express purpose of seizing unconstitutional power.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  62. It was not a rent moratorium, but an eviction moratorium. The CDC order didn’t control rents.

    It is reported both ways. Since “eviction” is enforcement of rental agreements. To say that you cannot evict for non-payment of rent IS THE SAME THING as saying people don’t have to pay rent.

    But now your assertion is winding down to semantics, the last refuge of the lost debater.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  63. Gorsuch’s dissent was on a totally different matter and expressly declaimed any reliance on a COVID emergency. He did not say that such an emergency was valid or invalid, he just said that it was a non sequitur in the matter at hand.

    Do you even read these things you quote?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  64. But now your assertion is winding down to semantics, the last refuge of the lost debater.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/12/2023 @ 11:30 am

    Not so. It did not cap what rents could be charged, nor did it ban landlords from raising rents. The LA City ordinance, on the other hand, did freeze rents.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  65. Back to the matter at hand:

    IF (and I agree this is debatable) the current state of emergency is a sham and a power grab, then 18 USC 242 and 241 would apply.

    Question: Is it in the public interest to make false emergency declarations punishable by law? Shouldn’t governors or other executives have to strictly justify their emergency powers, just as a cop has to defend his use of deadly force?

    If the only way to pry emergency powers out of the hands of an executive is through the courts and no penalty is assessed when they are found to have overstepped, then they will overstep as a rule.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  66. 64,

    The eviction moratorium may have a Fifth Amendment takings violation, but it didn’t deprive rights through actual or threats of violence.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/12/2023 @ 9:55 am

    Can you point out where 241 or 242 are limited to actual or threats of violence?

    frosty (589c00) — 1/12/2023 @ 10:04 am

    Do you still think 241 and 242 required actual or threats of violence?

    frosty (aad926)

  67. Gorsuch’s dissent was on a totally different matter and expressly declaimed any reliance on a COVID emergency. He did not say that such an emergency was valid or invalid, he just said that it was a non sequitur in the matter at hand.

    Do you even read these things you quote?

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/12/2023 @ 11:34 am

    Gorsuch’s dissent is on point. Those who argue for continued rent/eviction restrictions even after LA City declares the COVID emergency over are the same as the states arguing to retain Title 42 even though the federal government has determined that emergency immigration restrictions were no longer necessary address COVID–19. The LA City Council is acting as if the COVID emergency has not ended by trying to impose the same draconian rent/eviction restrictions on apartment owners. I hope the freeloading renters get what they deserve.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  68. Do you still think 241 and 242 required actual or threats of violence?

    frosty (aad926) — 1/12/2023 @ 11:41 am

    No, but they are inapplicable to the situation Kevin M described, which is why he switched arguments.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  69. Not so. It did not cap what rents could be charged, nor did it ban landlords from raising rents.

    A “rent moratorium” is not the same as “rent control.” It just says that rents cannot be demanded, of whatever amount. Placing a moratorium on evictions is IDENTICAL to saying rent cannot be demanded as it obviates the “or else” part of the demand.

    Now you are goal-post moving.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  70. No, but they are inapplicable to the situation Kevin M described, which is why he switched arguments.

    I did not. YOU switched arguments to some court case that did not touch upon my argument and I, like a fool, followed you down the rabbit hole.

    My statement stands: A false claim of emergency power is a violation of 241 and 242, something you have yet to address.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  71. Question: Is it in the public interest to make false emergency declarations punishable by law? Shouldn’t governors or other executives have to strictly justify their emergency powers, just as a cop has to defend his use of deadly force?

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/12/2023 @ 11:40 am

    Yes. The historical evidence for the dangers of “emergency declarations” is very clear. We need to allow for them because there are real emergencies. When they’re abused we need to not only impeach but also remove any sort of sovereign immunity protections.

    frosty (aad926)

  72. No, but they are inapplicable to the situation Kevin M described, which is why he switched arguments.

    I did not. YOU switched arguments to some court case that did not touch upon my argument …

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/12/2023 @ 11:46 am

    Kevin is correct with respect to who switched arguments.

    frosty (aad926)

  73. Rip, you really need to go back are read the contxt of discussions you step into.

    JVW’s entire post, as well as my 12 & 15, are the basis for my comments about 241 & 242. The illegal claim of emergency power is what the problem is, not whether some illegal use of that emergency power would be legal during an actual emergency.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  74. My statement stands: A false claim of emergency power is a violation of 241 and 242, something you have yet to address.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/12/2023 @ 11:46 am

    JVW’s entire post, as well as my 12 & 15, are the basis for my comments about 241 & 242. The illegal claim of emergency power is what the problem is, not whether some illegal use of that emergency power would be legal during an actual emergency.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/12/2023 @ 11:51 am

    Find me a some evidence (law review article, court case) that supports your argument and I will agree you. Otherwise it’s just your opinion.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  75. I don’t need you to agree with me.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  76. Find me a some evidence (law review article, court case) that supports your argument and I will agree you. Otherwise it’s just your opinion.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/12/2023 @ 11:55 am

    If this is your standard of proof you should have brought this yourself. And just to head this off; you didn’t do that.

    frosty (aad926)

  77. If this is your standard of proof you should have brought this yourself. And just to head this off; you didn’t do that.

    frosty (aad926) — 1/12/2023 @ 12:49 pm

    The assertion was made (without evidence) that illegally declaring an emergency was a violation of 18 USC 241 & 242. There is no evidence that those sections could be construed that way.

    As mentioned above, the only recourse is to impeach Biden and his minions. I doubt the House could get a majority to do so.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  78. If renters have assets they can still be sued — just not evicted for non-payment.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  79. The assertion was made (without evidence) that illegally declaring an emergency was a violation of 18 USC 241 & 242.

    I can’t tell if you’re doing this on purpose but no. Here is the assertion:

    This is actually denying civil rights under color of authority, and conspiracy thereto.

    By definition denying civil rights under an illegal declaration of an emergency would, based on a reasonable reading of the statute, be in violation 18 USC 241 & 242. I’m not aware of a court case on it because I don’t think it’s ever gone to trial.

    As mentioned above, the only recourse is to impeach Biden and his minions. I doubt the House could get a majority to do so.

    This is a different question, e.g. would 241 or 242 be directly applied to a sitting POTUS.

    But you’ve argued yourself into a corner. If you agree that a recourse is to impeach JB for this that implies that 18 USC 241 & 242 do in fact apply. Unless you’re using the “impeach because feelz” line of legal reasoning.

    frosty (aad926)

  80. And, actually, I would censure him for violating those specific statutes. I would also want to pass a law tolling any statute of limitations on a crime committed by a sitting president for the duration of his term.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  81. We’re still experiencing on the order of 500 deaths a day on average, which will net out to just under 200,000 deaths over the course of the year. More people are still dying of Covid *every week* than died on 9-11.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  82. > I just don’t see any other way we’re ever going to restore balance to the executive and legislative branches.

    It won’t have that effect — it will result in more power shifting from the legislature to the executive because these impeachments won’t result in conviction and will highlight the degree to which the legislature is *actually* just a partisan tool.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  83. > a phony declaration of emergency to gain otherwise unavailable power is just fine?

    I disagree with the premise.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  84. > How long before Caesar?

    A generation, maybe two. Trump and his allies have done everything in their power to deligitimize elections as a source of authority, and large chunks of both parties now think that any election which they don’t win is per se proof of corruption on the part of election authorities.

    I don’t see a path back from that.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  85. > how smart is it to impeach Biden in 2023…in a partisan fashion….with a razor thin margin?

    It’s not, but the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Buckle up; it’s going to be a painful and difficult two years.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  86. R.I.P. Lisa Marie Presley

    Icy (7a93eb)

  87. We’re still experiencing on the order of 500 deaths a day on average, which will net out to just under 200,000 deaths over the course of the year. More people are still dying of Covid *every week* than died on 9-11.

    OK, but is it an EMERGENCY? Usually an emergency requires something to be emergent. COVID has been around so long that vaccines have been developed and even modified, several effective drugs are available, and there is really nothing left that won’t admit of delay.

    People die of many things. Cancer and heart disease each kill three times the people expected to be killed by Covid in 2023. Do we declare a state of emergency until cancer is cured?

    (Hint: no, we do not)

    This is an overreach and an honest press would do Biden for it. They attacked Trump’s (somewhat) more justified border emergency without a day’s delay, although it was really not a terrible emergency either, although the numbers had grown dramatically.

    That Biden has used this emergency to push through “temporary” programs of the progressive sort is bad enough, but to extend the emergency WELL past it’s sell-by date to continue ruling by decree is very much not good.

    I don’t favor impeachment, though — the point needs to be made that this is unacceptable, but impeachment drowns the message in bogeyman stuff. A simple majority vote in the House to censure the President makes the point adequately: this is not acceptable. If he persists, then impeachment might have legs.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  88. It’s not, but the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Buckle up; it’s going to be a painful and difficult two years.

    It’s stupid, as stupid as Trump’s first impeachment was. (The second one was deserved, and probably came closer to conviction than people know.)

    The point to to call Biden on his BS, and censure does that adequately. It should be noted that more presidents have been impeached (3) than censured (1, and it was expunged later).

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  89. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/12/2023 @ 10:21 pm

    Well-reasoned

    norcal (862cdb)

  90. A generation, maybe two.

    Possibly.

    Trump and his allies have done everything in their power to deligitimize elections blah blah blah

    Now you lose me in a thicket of tribalism.

    You ignore the reasons why people were upset with the 2020 election — it wasn’t because what the dimwit-in-chief thought (vote counting) but the many emergency measures that altered laws, all sloping one way. The then tried to institutionalize their emergency measures in a “voting rights” bill, but everyone who was not actually getting money from the DNC called it a massive overreach.

    Red states attempted to secure elections (so that what happened in 2020 could never happen again) and Joe Biden called it Jim Crow 2.0, which is offensive on so many grounds. It’s like comparing 9/11 to the Holocaust.

    Both sides have done damage, particularly with executive orders, wild overreaches on regulations (both damaging the idea of actually passing laws), and failure to enforce laws they don’t like (this does terrible damage to the concept of compromise).

    Do you really see this as Good versus Evil?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  91. Why do you want congress people to have more power? Santos? Bobert? Gosar? MTG? Gaetz? Though I would like AOC and the squad too have more power ;but maybe you wouldn’t?

    asset (e1fce9)

  92. Kevin M,

    I think of all the GOP local committees censuring their representatives for supporting Trump’s second impeachment when you talk of a House censure motion and figure that something like that could be easily dismissed then ignored.

    Really, the best thing the House majority-ish can do is organize some well thought out investigations of government overreach. Preferably, hot button partisan points such as anything to do with the government picking on poor little Donald or Hunter’s laptop would be avoided.

    The House can’t really stop anything by itself. The consequences of playing with the debt limit would either be a financial system disaster or a unilateral action by Biden that would take the debt limit out of Congress altogether.

    Appalled (adede1)

  93. The eviction moratorium may have a Fifth Amendment takings violation, but it didn’t deprive rights through actual or threats of violence.

    ALL laws and regulations have the threat and, if deemed necessary, the use of violent force to achieve compliance. To suggest a verbal or written “threat” is required, is dancing around the reality. In other words, mental masturbation.

    Horatio (41f18c)

  94. I was under the impression that the federal eviction moratorium was ended by the Supreme Court around August/September 2021, and if there’s some aspect of it left it’s federal money to compensate landlords for local “takings” by states and cities.

    nk (2498aa)

  95. Why do you want congress people to have more power? Santos? Bobert? Gosar? MTG? Gaetz? Though I would like AOC and the squad too have more power ;but maybe you wouldn’t?

    asset (e1fce9) — 1/13/2023 @ 1:21 am

    Power distributed is safer than power consolidated. It’s easier to balance a three legged stool than a one legged one.

    frosty (aad926)

  96. Power distributed is safer than power consolidated

    And THIS is the single best response to those who feel that private ownership of the means of production is a bad thing. In private hands, with government solely concerned with preventing private consolidation, economic power is distributed among interests that compete.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  97. 94, the CDC mandate was lifted by a court that correctly saw it as a gross overreach. But a continued state of emergency allows Biden to retain powers he otherwise would not have, such as ordering medical institutions to care for COVID patients without charge.

    I’m actually a bit more concerned with the state-level “emergencies” that still continue. While there are few cases that touch upon the Guarantee Clause, this would seem to be getting there.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  98. I think of all the GOP local committees censuring their representatives for supporting Trump’s second impeachment when you talk of a House censure motion and figure that something like that could be easily dismissed then ignored.

    Well, I’d like to see how the Democrats in the House react. I doubt they’d treat it as a nothingburger, since it would be the first time since Andy Jackson.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  99. @93: Indeed. The implied “or else” is “men with guns will take you and hold you in a cage.” Compliance with the law is not a matter of choice.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  100. A generation, maybe two. Trump and his allies have done everything in their power to deligitimize elections as a source of authority, and large chunks of both parties now think that any election which they don’t win is per se proof of corruption on the part of election authorities.

    I don’t see a path back from that.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 1/12/2023 @ 6:02 pm

    George W Bush says hello. As for the left’s mantra, “selected, not elected” you know the rest. Now do Gregoire, Al Franken, Stacy Abrams, etc.

    Have a nice day.

    NJRob (f62a14)

  101. Hello, Caesar! But who is Augustus?

    We won’t get either one. Based on the quality of politicians we keep electing maybe we get a Nero or Commodus.

    frosty (aad926)

  102. Off-topic: New graphic novel1/6: What if the Attack on the U.S. Capitol Succeeded?

    1/6: The Graphic Novel asks and answers the question: what if the January 6, 2021 Insurrection had been successful? In an entertaining, chilling, and sometimes humorous form, 1/6 illustrates how close we came to authoritarian rule in the United States, demonstrating how strategic disinformation, racial and religious bigotry, and cynical political ambition convinced millions of ordinary Americans to reject cherished constitutional values and support violent sedition.

    Harvard Law School Professor Alan Jenkins and New York Times bestselling graphic novelist Gan Golan have teamed up with veteran comic book artist Will Rosado to depict, in chilling detail, what the Insurrectionists and their allies had planned on that day, the threats to our democracy that remain, and what can be done about it. Colorist Lee Loughridge and Letterer Tom Orzechowski round out the creative team, with additional art by Shawn Martinbrough, Jamal Igle, Alex Albadree, and others.

    1/6 and its accompanying Education and Action guide were developed under the auspices of the Western States Center, a nonprofit organization that works with communities and organizations to build movements, develop leaders, shift culture, and defend democracy.

    (Western States Center envisions inclusive democratic movements and societies rooted in justice and equity. Among their efforts is a program to remove “white supremacy” items from libraries. BUt rest assured they are a non-partisan 501(c)(3).)

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  103. We won’t get either one. Based on the quality of politicians we keep electing maybe we get a Nero or Commodus.

    Oh, probably Tiberius first. But at least we might get Deathrace.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  104. OT:

    RIP Robbie Bachman (69) has died. Drummer for Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  105. The latest bad word:

    Field.

    Sounds like a place poorly treated slaves were sent to work – or maybe Chicanos harvesting grapes.

    Sammy Finkelman (f430cc)

  106. 105,

    I wonder what they’re going to call that place where people play baseball.

    frosty (aad926)

  107. If is wrong (and possibly criminal for President Biden to continually extend COVID emergency declarations, is it proper for border states to use the Title 42 COVID public health emergency authority to extend an emergency that doesn’t exist?

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  108. There are no hard and fast rules for declaring emergencies. It’s like impeachment.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  109. frosty (aad926) — 1/13/2023 @ 10:56 am

    I wonder what they’re going to call that place where people play baseball.

    I don’t know. For field (of study) the University of Southern California’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work suggested “practicum.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-field-university-of-southern-california-slavery-language-white-supremacy-social-work-11673539959

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  110. I mean they are actually using that:

    We would like to share a change we are making . . . to ensure our use of inclusive language and practice. Specifically, we have decided to remove the term “field” from our curriculum and practice and replace it with “practicum.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  111. But what they’ve quoted as finding a problem with is “going out into the field” or “field work.” Practicum cannot be a substitute for that.

    The New York Post wrote that “field work” or “in the field” came from botany or archeology, (not slavery and being poorly clothed and whipped by overseers)

    And they pretend this would mainly be objectionable to descendants of slaves or poor people whose families did farm labor, when it’s nothing special to them.

    Sammy Finkelman (192934)

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