An image of the three Baltimore City congressional districts in the Maryland Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission’s final 2021 proposed map, which was adopted by the Maryland legislature. (Maryland Legislative Redistricting Advisory Committee)
A Maryland judge Friday threw out the Democrat-controlled state legislature’s congressional district map on account of “extreme partisan gerrymandering” and ordered it to draw a new one by March 30.
The scathing opinion, written by Anne Arundel Circuit Court Senior Judge Lynne A. Battaglia, marks a massive victory for two GOP-backed lawsuits against the state’s congressional maps.
The legislature passed that map and overrode a veto from Republican Gov. Larry Hogan late last year. The map got an “F” from the Princeton Gerrymandering Project and has the potential to eliminate Maryland’s last Republican congressman.
The Historic Maryland State House In Annapolis Was Built In 1772. (iStock)
“The 2021 Congressional Plan in Maryland is an ‘outlier,’ an extreme gerrymander that subordinates constitutional criteria to politician considerations,” Battaglia wrote.
The opinion said that “the right for all votes of political participation in Congressional elections, as protected by Article 7 [of the Maryland Constitution], was violated by the 2021 plan.”
“The voice of Republican voters was diluted and their right to vote and be heard with the efficacy of a Democratic voter was diminished,” it added. “The 2021 Congressional Plan is unconstitutional, and subverts the will of those governed.”
Battaglia scheduled a hearing for April 1 at 9 a.m. to consider whether a new map drawn by the legislature complies with the Maryland Constitution and Declaration of Rights.
Hogan’s group Fair Maps is behind the lawsuit, which was consolidated with a separate one by Tom Fitton’s Judicial Watch.
Hogan set up a commission to propose an alternative map to the one the state legislature adopted. That commission would have set up congressional districts that could have led to two GOP U.S. House members representing the state.
The governor lauded the decision as a “historic milestone” for the state Friday.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland signs the iconic wooden eggs after addressing the Politics and Eggs speaking series at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, on April 23, 2019 in Goffstown, N.H. (Fox News)
Battaglia ordered the state legislature to redraw the state’s congressional maps by March 30. It is possible that the ruling could be appealed to the Maryland Court of Appeals, which is the state’s highest court. But that court is made up primarily of justices appointed by Hogan, which gives Hogan allies confidence that Battaglia’s ruling will stand.
If the legislature does not come back with a map that’s satisfactory to Battaglia or the Court of Appeals, it’s not clear exactly what further remedies are available to the Maryland courts.
In other states that had intractable gerrymandering disputes, courts ended up drawing the congressional districts. That was the case in Pennsylvania just last month amid a dispute between the GOP-controlled legislature and Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf.
The eventual congressional district lines that are implemented will remain in effect until the next Census in 2030.
BREAKING NEWS: In a big loss for Putin, Canada announces that it is closing its airspace to ALL Russian aircrafts in order to “hold Russia accountable” for its illegal invasion and to support Ukraine. RT TO THANK CANADA FOR STANDING WITH UKRAINE!#UkraineWar#Kyiv#Ukraine
A pair of Vermont towns are ready for their first local elections where foreign nationals will be allowed to vote, even offering ballots in foreign languages.
Montpelier, the state’s capital, and Winooski, located just outside of Burlington, are set to hold local elections where, for the first time, foreign nationals will be able to vote. In Montpelier, city officials said one foreign national has registered to vote while about eight foreign nationals have registered in Winooski.
In addition, Winooski is ensuring that non-English speaking foreign nationals have ballots in their native languages and is doing community outreach to get as many foreign nationals registered to vote as possible.
Julienne Mugisha moved to Winooski from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018. The Winooski resident is registered to vote and spoke to us through an interpreter. She says she’s excited that this door is now open for her and other people who are not noncitizens [sic] and that it feels incredible to be able to vote for leaders and have support from the community. [Emphasis added]
Mugisha is one of just eight people who aren’t yet citizens but have registered to vote in Winooski so far. The city has an ongoing outreach program, including ballots in several different languages, to attract more people to register. [Emphasis added]
In June 2021, Democrats in the Vermont state legislature approved changes to the charters governing Montpelier and Winooski so that foreign nationals could vote in local elections.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott only vetoed the plan because it did not provide all foreign nationals across Vermont the right to vote. Legislators ultimately overrode his veto.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) is currently suing Montpelier and Winooski for allowing foreign nationals to vote, arguing that the policy violates Vermont’s constitution, which reserves voting rights for American citizens.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Wednesday that 40 Ohio livestock and poultry producers will receive a total of $10 million in grants to help extend their capacity to meet the growing demand for meat processing services.
“The supply chain issues that our country is facing have put increased pressure on our meat processors, and they can’t keep up with the demand,” DeWine said. “By awarding this money, we can help these Ohio businesses enhance their operations to strengthen the local meat supply chain and reduce reliance on out-of-state processors.”
DeWine said each company will receive a grant of up to $250,000, with half of the funds disbursed before projects are started and the other half awarded after the companies show that the initial funds were spent on eligible costs.
It’s estimated the funds will help these businesses create up to 830 jobs.
These grants will not only benefit consumers, but they will also help sustain these businesses and bring new job opportunities to Ohioans,” Husted said. “In addition to new jobs, this funding will help businesses retain 300 jobs and nearly $30 million in payroll.”
Grant funding will be used to implement processing efficiencies, expand or construct facilities at existing sites, assist in training and certification, and improve harvest services.
DeWine’s office said a total of 143 applications requesting more than $28 million were submitted. The grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to businesses that are eligible.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced Saturday morning that he will work with the state’s attorney general to investigate GoFundMe after the company shut down a fundraiser for the Canadian truckers participating in the Freedom Convoy.
“The fundraising effort had raised C$10 million—around $7.9 million—and C$1 million had already been distributed to the organizers of the so-called Freedom Convoy before GoFundMe took the decision to stop the fundraiser,” Newsweek reported. “GoFundMe initially announced on Friday it would refund contributions to anyone who applied and the remaining funds would be distributed to charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy organizers and verified by the crowdfunding site.”
To simplify the process for our users, we will be refunding all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser. This refund will happen automatically—you do not need to submit a request. Donors can expect to see refunds within 7-10 business days.
The update we issued earlier enabled all donors to get a refund and outlined a plan to distribute remaining funds to verified charities selected by the Freedom Convoy organizers. However, due to donor feedback, we are simplifying the process and automatically refunding donations.
DeSantis responded to the news with a tweet, writing: “It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.”
“I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund,” the governor added.
It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.
I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to an attack from Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the president, on Sunday by doubling down on his call for the Department of Justice to investigate Fauci for alleged false statements that he made while testifying to Congress.
“Anybody who spins lies and threatens and all that theater that goes on with some of the investigations and the congressional committees and the Rand Pauls and all that other nonsense, that’s noise, Margaret, that’s noise,” Fauci said during an interview with CBS News’ Margaret Brennan.
Later, when asked about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) saying that Fauci should be prosecuted by the Department of Justice, Fauci responded: “Yeah. I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, senator?”
Fauci claimed that Republicans were trying to scapegoat him to protect former President Donald Trump and that Republicans who are attacking him are “lying.”
Cruz responded to Fauci’s remarks in a series of tweets late on Sunday afternoon, calling Fauci “an unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts in order to exercise authoritarian control over millions of Americans.”
“He lives in a liberal world where his smug ‘I REPRESENT science’ attitude is praised,” Cruz said.
Cruz then laid out four “facts” related to his call for the DOJ to investigate Fauci:
On May 11, Fauci testified before a Senate Committee that “the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
On October 20, NIH wrote they funded an experiment at the Wuhan lab testing if “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.” That is gain of function research.
Fauci’s statement and the NIH’s October 20 letter cannot both be true. The statements are directly contradictory.
18 USC 1001 makes it [a] felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, to lie to Congress.
“No amount of ad hominem insults parroting Democrat talking points will get Fauci out of this contradiction,” Cruz concluded. “Fauci either needs to address the substance—in detail, with specific factual corroboration—or DOJ should consider prosecuting him for making false statements to Congress.”
Fauci faced additional backlash on Sunday from various officials and commentators:
Jeryl Bier, journalist: “This is not helpful in any way. This is almost word for word something a cult leader would say. This persuades no one not already in his corner.”
Richard Grenell, former Acting Director of National Intelligence: “Fauci is all about politics.”
House Judiciary GOP Twitter account: “Trust the science. Fire Fauci.”
Geoffrey Miller, psychology professor: “Fauci’s narcissism, over-confidence, authoritarianism, & hubris are an embarrassment to real working scientists, who tend to value teamwork & humility.”
The White House announced Tuesday that President Joe Biden would release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The United States uses 18 million barrels a day
The president argued in a statement the demand for oil was not able to keep up with the economy recovering from the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns, leading to higher prices.
“American consumers are feeling the impact of elevated gas prices at the pump and in their home heating bills, and American businesses are, too, because oil supply has not kept up with demand as the global economy emerges from the pandemic,” the White House said in a statement.
Biden announced his decision as Americans prepare to hit the road for Thanksgiving travel at the same time prices show no sign of easing, as Breitbart News reports.
Gas prices have hit a seven-year-high as Biden struggles to find a solution to higher gas prices.
Biden failed to convince OPEC+ nations to produce more oil in November and tried to blame the higher prices on oil companies.
Biden’s release from the oil reserve is bigger than that of previous presidents.
In 2011, President Barack Obama released 30 million barrels in the wake of the war in Libya, in 2005, President George W. Bush released 30 million barrels after Hurricane Katrina. In 1999, President Bill Clinton also tapped the emergency oil reserves, releasing 30 million barrels 45 days before the 2000 presidential election.
The White House is also arguing Americans have more money to use to help pay for more expensive gasoline.
In his statement, Biden reminded Americans that thanks to his policies, they “nearly $100 more per month in disposable income in their pockets” to help pay for the higher cost of energy and fuel.
Biden also boasted that his “historic” infrastructure bill invested in green energy with the goal of “a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 and reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels.”
(Amy Coney Barrett: Jim Lo Scalzo/Reuters; Brett Kavanaugh: Jabin Botsford/Reuters)
They joined Roberts and the Court’s progressives in declining relief to Maine health-care providers, who must now be vaccinated against their beliefs or lose their jobs.
NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE L ate Friday, Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh joined Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court’s three progressives in denying a preliminary injunction to a group of medical professionals who sought to be exempted from Maine’s vaccine mandate because of their religious convictions.
Justice Neil Gorsuch filed a compelling dissent in the case, John Does 1-3 v. Mills, joined by his fellow conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. The dissenters stressed that, besides being likely to win on the merits, the religious objectors were merely asking to maintain the status quo — to keep their jobs despite being unvaccinated — while the Court decided whether to grant a full review of their case. In turning them down, Barrett and Kavanaugh dodged the weighty civil-rights issues, seeing the case, instead, as an opportunity to gripe about the Court’s emergency docket.
Maine now requires certain health-care workers to be vaccinated or face the loss of their jobs and medical practices. Unlike many such mandates, Maine’s does not provide an exemption for religious objectors. The plaintiffs are medical professionals who object to the vaccine, and thus the mandate, based on their Christian faith. Specifically, because fetal tissue from terminated pregnancies was used in developing the approved vaccines, the plaintiffs see immunization as an implicit endorsement of abortion, in violation of their religious beliefs. The sincerity of those beliefs is not in dispute.
The plaintiffs made an emergency application for a preliminary injunction. In his dissent from the 6–3 majority’s refusal to grant that application, Gorsuch explained that the main issues on such an injunction request are whether the applicants are likely to succeed on the merits and, if so, whether they would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction. Gorsuch proceeded to make a strong case that the claimants would prevail on both issues.
Religious liberty is fundamental, expressly protected by the First Amendment. Under currently controlling precedent (which, as I’ve previously detailed, is disputed), a law that impinges on religion may survive if it is both neutral (i.e., not hostile to religion) and generally applicable (i.e., imposed on everyone equally). Maine’s vaccine mandate does not meet this standard because it provides for individualized exemptions. Though medical professionals are not excused from compliance based on their religious beliefs, they needn’t comply if they get a note from a health-care provider claiming that, in their cases, immunization “may be” medically inadvisable.
As Gorsuch elaborates, this medical exemption is remarkably lax. There is no requirement that the note explain why the health-care provider believes vaccination would entail medical risk; nor is there any limitation on what qualifies as a valid “medical” concern. As Gorsuch tartly observes, “It seems Maine will respect even mere trepidation over vaccination as sufficient, but only so long as it is phrased in medical and not religious terms.” (Emphasis in original.)
Even if a law fails to qualify as neutral and generally applicable, it can still survive a First Amendment challenge if it satisfies the Court’s “strict scrutiny” tier of review — the most demanding for state action to meet. Generally, strict scrutiny requires a state to show that (a) its law furthers a compelling government interest, and (b) the conditions imposed by the law are the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.
The dissenters were willing to stipulate that Maine has a compelling interest in halting the spread of COVID-19, but only for argument’s sake. Gorsuch, Thomas, and Alito point out that much has changed for the better since the Court presumed a compelling state interest nearly a year ago (in Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo), there now being not one but three approved vaccines, as well as greatly improved therapeutics, with more on the way. The dissenters are skeptical about the specter of “indefinite states of emergencies,” by which state power imperils civil liberties regardless of changed circumstances.
On the second test, Gorsuch demonstrated that Maine appears to fall woefully short of meeting its burden. Many states that impose a comparable mandate provide an exemption based on religious objections. The state has already exceeded the 90 percent level of vaccination compliance at designated health-care facilities that it originally claimed was necessary; even putting aside that the state never backed up this goal with evidence, forcing religious objectors to be vaccinated would not help if the goal already has been achieved. Maine, moreover, allows unvaccinated workers who have been exempted on claimed medical grounds to take other precautions, such as protective gear and regular testing, in lieu of being immunized. Clearly, there is no reason that these same alternative measures would be any less effective for workers whose exemptions were based on religious scruples instead.
Ergo, Gorsuch aptly concludes, “Maine’s decision to deny a religious exemption in these circumstances doesn’t just fail the least restrictive means test, it borders on the irrational.”
Moving on to other injunction factors (besides the plaintiffs’ likelihood of success on the merits), the dissenters pointed out that the denial of religious liberty amounts to irreparable harm under the Court’s precedents — quite apart from the fact that the medical workers are also losing their livelihoods. By contrast, the public interest would not be harmed by granting religion-based exemptions, any more than it is harmed by the health-related exemptions that the state provides.
Therefore, Justices Gorsuch, Thomas, and Alito saw no justification for refusing to grant a temporary injunction. After all, that would merely maintain the status quo until the Court could decide whether to grant review (known as certiorari) and fully consider the case on the merits.
As for the six-justice majority, it is to be expected that the Court’s three progressives (Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan) would elevate state authority over religious liberty. Nor is it surprising that Chief Justice Roberts would subordinate religious liberty to a draconian state mandate. He has a track record in COVID cases of deferring to the judgment of elected officials — no matter how arbitrary that judgment or how fundamental the rights at stake — on the rationale that they, unlike politically unaccountable judges, answer to the voters and have more institutional competence. (See, e.g., his dissent in Cuomo and his upholding of California’s restrictions on attendance at religious services in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom.)
What is stunning, and will be troubling for conservatives, is the decision by Justices Barrett and Kavanaugh to side with the progressives and turn a blind eye to a state government’s suppression of a fundamental freedom that the Constitution is supposed to protect. And equally troubling: the thin gruel they offer as a rationale.
Barrett filed a one-paragraph opinion, joined by Kavanaugh, concurring in the Court’s refusal to grant injunctive relief. She explained that she “understands” the weighing of an injunction applicant’s likelihood of success on the merits to include “a discretionary judgment about whether the Court should grant review in the case.” Discretion in this context means the justices’ power to choose to ignore a claim that should be heard, rationalizing that to entertain it could potentially undermine the Court’s institutional protocols.
Barrett and Kavanaugh have apparently been seized by anxiety over potential abuse of the Court’s so-called emergency docket — a hobby horse among legal academics, particularly now that (a) the Court has a conservative majority, and (b) critics of progressive federal and state administrations are turning to the courts for relief from sundry mandates and decrees.
The emergency docket entails cases that arise in exigent circumstances and must be addressed expeditiously, often by injunction applications, on schedules far tighter than what might generously be described as the Court’s customary pace of a hobbled snail. Barrett frets that when the Court takes the “extraordinary” step of entertaining such a case, the justices are put to the unwelcome burden of providing a “merits preview” — a forecast of how the case is likely to be decided if fully reviewed. This is said to be less than optimal because the Court must proceed “on a short fuse without benefit of full briefing and oral argument,” when, if they’d had more time to think it through, the justices might not grant review of the case at all.
Cue the violins.
Justice Barrett’s temporizing is overwrought. The Court should only grant preliminary relief — which, again, simply freezes a matter in place, but doesn’t decide it with finality — if (a) the moving party plainly appears likely to win on the merits, (b) the failure to act would truly cause irreparable harm (e.g., there is no irreparable harm if money damages would eventually make the harmed party whole), and (c) there is not some consequential public interest that an injunction would undermine. That is a very small universe of cases, especially for a tribunal that, on a yearly basis, is not exactly overtaxed. (Last term, the justices issued opinions in just 67 cases out of the approximately 8,000 in which review was sought, continuing the Roberts Court trend of historically low output; in the early 1980s, by comparison, the Court typically decided over 150 cases per term.)
Furthermore, who cares if the Court has to give a merits preview? It is a fact of life that emergency circumstances occasionally arise, forcing us mere mortals to do the best we can, ruefully realizing we could do better if only there were time for calm deliberation. Why should the Supreme Court, the last bastion for safeguarding our fundamental rights, be spared that burden? If it turns out that, upon further consideration of a fully developed record, the justices would not have taken the emergency case in the first place, the “merits preview” does no harm. To the extent it has precedential value, it is understood to be a preliminary decision based on an incomplete factual record.
Most significantly, even if their reservations had persuasive force, Barrett and Kavanaugh are prioritizing the Court’s airy model for conducting appellate litigation over its principal duty to defend the fundamental rights of Americans against government overreach.
At issue here is a flesh-and-blood dispute, not an abstraction. Medical professionals are being stripped of their religious freedom and their jobs because of a state mandate that capriciously discriminates against them. Yet rather than take action, Barrett and Kavanaugh basically say: Let’s just wait a year or three, so we can have an exacting record and full briefing. And mind you, granting a preliminary injunction would not deprive the justices of their coveted full briefing; it would just mean that the unvaccinated medical professionals got to keep their jobs until the Court finally decided to either deny full review (in which case the injunction would lapse) or grant review and then rule on the merits.
Presumably Justices Barrett and Kavanaugh appreciate that when they exercise their “discretionary judgment” to duck a case, it doesn’t mean the case goes unresolved. There is still a winner and a loser. Here, overbearing government prevailed, and the loser was the Constitution.
June 2021 was the worst month on record for illegal Channel crossings, with 2,100 arrivals. This graph, produced by Migration Watch, highlights the escalating scale of the problem by showing reported Channel migrant crossings for the first six months of each year, 2018-2021: The likelihood is that about 20,000 migrants will cross the Channel from Europe in 2021, to add to the 46,000 who are known to have crossed over the previous three years. And these figures will significantly underestimate…Stop The Vaccine Passport
STOP THE VACCINE PASSPORT IN CANADA The city of Surrey Board of Trade has put forth a request to the federal, provincial and municipal governments in regards to implementation of a vaccine passport for domestic use. This will eventually trickle down to our kids: ie- daycamps, swimming lessons, child minding. Other businesses will follow suit. (Surrey Board of Trade news article) COVID-19 injections recommended or administered to employees and proof of immunization https://globalnews.ca/news/8…NO! TATTOO COURSES AT FMCC!
FMCC has made the decision to add tattoo courses to their curriculum. By doing so they are turning their back on higher education and joining a growing number of predatory online schools. They are looking for tattoo shops to “intern” these students while in the program, showing a total lack of understanding for how our industry works. Why would their program even be necessary at that point. What interest do we have in churning out their “interns” in a already crowded field? The passing of knowl…
Ever since Biden had taken over as president, the very first thing he did was shut down thousands of jobs and he opened up the borders and thousands of illegal immigrants came into our country and they turned everything around for the worse , they have broken into our houses and they stole peoples cars broken into our lives are trying to live off our money that we need for our own country, Biden gave Harris the job of going to the borders and she couldn’t even do that she hasn’t done anything for our country and the illegal immigrants have brought drugs and human trafficking into our country and Biden and Harris have done nothing about the violence and the movements that are rioting and are racist and violent movements attacking innocent people and they do nothing to stop them, they are an embarrassment to our country, Biden is incompetent to do be president and we need to impeach them both as soon as possible please sign this petition to impeach Biden and Harris
Sign this Petition
By signing, I authorize Deborah Crim to hand over the information I provide on this form to those who have power on this issue.
By Scott W. Atlas, John R. Birge, Ralph L Keeney and Alexander Lipton, Opinion Contributors — 05/25/20 08:00 AM EDT 886 The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill 12,263
Our governmental COVID-19 mitigation policy of broad societal lockdown focuses on containing the spread of the disease at all costs, instead of “flattening the curve” and preventing hospital overcrowding. Although well-intentioned, the lockdown was imposed without consideration of its consequences beyond those directly from the pandemic.
The policies have created the greatest global economic disruption in history, with trillions of dollars of lost economic output. These financial losses have been falsely portrayed as purely economic. To the contrary, using numerous National Institutes of Health Public Access publications, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and various actuarial tables, we calculate that these policies will cause devastating non-economic consequences that will total millions of accumulated years of life lost in the United States, far beyond what the virus itself has caused.
Pandemics have afflicted humankind throughout history. They devastated the Roman and Byzantine empires, Medieval Europe, China and India, and they continue to the present day despite medical progress. null
The past century has witnessed three pandemics with at least 100,000 U.S. fatalities: The “Spanish Flu,” 1918-1919, with between 20 million and 50 million fatalities worldwide, including 675,000 in the U.S.; the “Asian Flu,” 1957-1958, with about 1.1 million deaths worldwide, 116,000 of those in the U.S.; and the “Hong Kong Flu,” 1968-1972, with about 1 million people worldwide, including 100,000 in the U.S. So far, the current pandemic has produced almost 100,000 U.S. deaths, but the reaction of a near-complete economic shutdown is unprecedented.
The lost economic output in the U.S. alone is estimated to be 5 percent of GDP, or $1.1 trillion for every month of the economic shutdown. This lost income results in lost lives as the stresses of unemploymentand providing basic needs increase the incidence of suicide, alcohol or drug abuse, and stress-induced illnesses. These effects are particularly severe on the lower-income populace, as they are more likely to lose their jobs, and mortality rates are much higher for lower-income individuals.
Statistically, every $10 million to $24 million lost in U.S. incomes results in one additional death. One portion of this effect is through unemployment, which leads to an average increase in mortality of at least 60 percent. That translates into 7,200 lives lost per month among the 36 million newly unemployed Americans, over 40 percent of whom are not expected to regain their jobs. In addition, many small business owners are near financial collapse, creating lost wealth that results in mortality increases of 50 percent. With an average estimate of one additional lost life per $17 million income loss, that would translate to 65,000 lives lost in the U.S. for each month because of the economic shutdown.
In addition to lives lost because of lost income, lives also are lost due to delayed or foregone health care imposed by the shutdown and the fear it creates among patients. From personal communications with neurosurgery colleagues, about half of their patients have not appeared for treatment of disease which, left untreated, risks brain hemorrhage, paralysis or death.
Here are the examples of missed health care on which we base our calculations: Emergency stroke evaluations are down 40 percent. Of the 650,000 cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in the United States, an estimated half are missing their treatments. Of the 150,000 new cancer cases typically discovered each month in the U.S., most – as elsewhere in the world – are not being diagnosed, and two-thirds to three-fourths of routine cancer screenings are not happening because of shutdown policies and fear among the population. Nearly 85 percent fewer living-donor transplants are occurring now, compared to the same period last year. In addition, more than half of childhood vaccinations are not being performed, setting up the potential of a massive future health disaster.
The implications of treatment delays for situations other than COVID-19 result in 8,000 U.S. deaths per month of the shutdown, or about 120,000 years of remaining life. Missed strokes contribute an additional loss of 100,000 years of life for each month; late cancer diagnoses lose 250,000 years of remaining life for each month; missing living-donor transplants, another 5,000 years of life per month — and, if even 10 percent of vaccinations are not done, the result is an additional 24,000 years of life lost each month.
These unintended consequences of missed health care amount to more than 500,000 lost years of life per month, not including all the other known skipped care.
If we only consider unemployment-related fatalities from the economic shutdown, that would total at least an additional 7,200 lives per month. Assuming these deaths occur proportionally across the ages of current U.S. mortality data, and equally among men and women, this amounts to more than 200,000 lost years of life for each month of the economic shutdown.
In comparison, COVID-19 fatalities have fallen disproportionately on the elderly, particularly in nursing homes, and those with co-morbidities. Based on the expected remaining lifetimes of these COVID-19 patients, and given that 40 percent of deaths are in nursing homes, the disease has been responsible for 800,000 lost years of life so far. Considering only the losses of life from missed health care and unemployment due solely to the lockdown policy, we conservatively estimate that the national lockdown is responsible for at least 700,000 lost years of life every month, or about 1.5 million so far — already far surpassing the COVID-19 total.
Policymakers combatting the effects of COVID-19 must recognize and consider the full impact of their decisions. They need to be aware of the devastating effects in terms of lost life from shutting down significant parts of the economy. The belated acknowledgement by policy leaders of irreparable harms from the lockdown is not nearly enough. They need to emphatically and widely inform the public of these serious consequences and reassure them of their concern for all human life by strongly articulating the rationale for reopening society. https://ebd4fc279229bb5cc4164421271babeb.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
To end the loss of life from the economic lockdown, businesses as well as K-12 schools, public transportation, parks and beaches should smartly reopen with enhanced hygiene and science-based protection warnings for any in the high-risk population. For most of the country, that reopening should occur now, without any unnecessary fear-based restrictions, many of which repeat the error of disregarding the evidence. By following a thoughtful analysis that finally recognizes all available actions and their consequences, we can save millions of years of American life.
When the next pandemic inevitably arises, we need to remember these lessons and follow policies that consider the lives of all Americans from the outset.
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This letter from Pennsylvania’s House speaker blows up the lockdown lie
May 8, 2020
Today, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. It was the ultimate triumph of grit, determination, and a unified sense of purpose behind liberty that, despite its painful human and monetary cost, freed an entire world and spawned 75 years of America superpower status – not just as a leader globally, but as a nation of freedom and prosperity at home.
Now, in a matter of just two months, we’ve flushed trillions of dollars in a greater investment than World War II, and we have nothing to show for it but a destroyed economy, a destroyed deterrent against a generation of dangerous criminals, a physical and mental health crisis, lost education of a generation of schoolchildren, lifelong dreams of small business owners down the toilet, and the end of freedom itself – all for…
President Donald Trump just blindsided Congress and found all the border wall money that he needs — and billions more.
In a column from The American Thinker, conservative author Rovvy Lepor reveals that Congress has over one trillion dollars sitting in what he calls “unobligated balances.”
Lepor cites a former GOP lawmaker in his piece, who stated that the “unobligated balances” would give Trump the ability to very easily build the entire wall along the southern border between the United States and Mexico.
While President Trump is correct to remain committed to building a border barrier and has asked all Cabinet agencies for wall funding, he can fund the entire barrier without having to declare a national emergency.
Instead, he can draw full funding for a complete border barrier from unobligated balances. Unobligated balances “are the amounts of budget authority that have not yet been committed by contract or other legally binding action by the government.”
Former senator Tom Coburn described unobligated balances as “essentially money for nothing.” While in 2012 there was an estimated $687 billion in unobligated balances, unobligated balances in federal and trust funds in FY 2019 is estimated to be a whopping $1,156,136,000,000.
In a recent article, Scot Faulkner advises that President Trump should mine the available funds from unobligated balances to fund the border wall. Faulkner notes that “reallocating unused federal funds” for building the border wall could be done with “the stroke of President Trump’s pen – and a push of a button from the Office of Management and Budget.”
According to Faulkner, unobligated balances were used by President Lyndon Johnson to help fund his Great Society, by both Johnson and Nixon to help with funding for the Vietnam War, to assist with Carter’s expanding domestic programs, to go toward Reagan’s work to bring down the Soviet empire, to help fund both Iraq wars by Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and by President Clinton to help him stay within Republican congressional budget limits.
President Obama never used a budget sweep, allowing $914.8 billion in unspent, unobligated balances to continue to accrue. As a result, there will be an estimated $1.156 trillion in unobligated balances by the end of F.Y. 2019 if these balances are permitted to languish.
Any funds that President Trump can reallocate to building the border barrier without the need for approval to reprogram those funds from the Democrat-controlled House should be allocated for the barrier. However, if President Trump can take the unobligated balances and have the Treasury reclaim that money, it can be used to fully pay for a border barrier, additional border security personnel, and accompanying technology.
Further, other funding can be used to fund other critically important initiatives that would not receive Democrat support. Much of the over $1 trillion in unobligated balances could be used toward paying down the national debt that is currently close to $22 trillion.
This plan would certainly work on multiple levels.
It would not only fully fund the entire wall, but it also appears that there’s nothing Democrats could do to stop Trump.
On top of that, a president using the unobligated funds to finance a project is hardly unprecedented, as detailed by Lepor in the piece above.
It appears all Trump would need to do is order the Treasury Department to reclaim the funds, and then he can use a portion of the $2 trillion in unused federal and trust funds to build the entire wall.
Rep. Lujan Grisham Supports BLM Decision to Suspend Certain Lease Sales Around Chaco Canyon But Joins APCG to Continue to Call for Permanent Protections
Rep. Lujan Grisham Supports BLM Decision to Suspend Certain Lease Sales Around Chaco Canyon But Joins APCG to Continue to Call for Permanent Protections
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Lujan Grisham released the following statement to Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement that the agency would suspend the sale of several leases within 10 miles of Chaco Canyon. Rep. Lujan Grisham had previously urged BLM to maintain a 10-mile protection zone around Chaco Canyon and to not include it in any future lease sales.
“Despite this announcement, I remain concerned that if BLM does not take additional precautions, important archeological and cultural resources in the area could be damaged and destroyed by hasty development,” said Rep. Lujan Grisham. “The 10-mile zone around Chaco Canyon should be permanently protected from oil and gas development to safeguard both the archeological sites of ancient civilizations in the area and present-day communities. But we cannot stop there. In order to fully protect Chaco, the BLM must suspend all lease sales including the active March leases until BLM completes a comprehensive cultural resource study in coordination with impacted tribes.”
“While the BLM has removed parcels for the December lease sale near Chaco Canyon, the March 2019 lease-sale is still on the horizon. BLM’s delay is a step in the right direction but we must ensure that there are long-term protections put in place for the Greater Chaco landscape. Our ancestral homelands remain at risk and the All Pueblo Council of Governors continues to call on the administration to protect this UNESCO world heritage site and all cultural sites in the region,” said All Pueblo Council of Governors Chairman Edward Paul Torres.
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