Trump: The Once And Future Fascist Who Wants To Be President Again; US Military Loyalty To Democracy; Trump Needs To Be Moved To A Gated Community

On November 3, former Vice President Joe Biden was elected the 46 President of the United States. Biden won the popular vote securing 51.1% of the popular vote (79,693,395 votes) to President Donald Trump’s 47.2% of the popular vote (73,708,217). President Elect Biden also won the electoral college, securing 306 to 232 electoral votes. Trump won the electoral college vote by the exact count over Hillary Clinton. When Trump won the electoral college and not the popular vote, he declared he had won by a “landslide” even though Clinton had won the popular vote by over 3 million votes. Not this time. Trump lost the popular vote by 6 million votes and the electoral college by 74 and by his own measure he lost in a landslide.

The “big lie” is the name of the political propaganda technique originally coined by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf. It is where an outright lie is stated and repeated over, over, over and over again as if true, to sway public opinion that the lie is true and taken for granted. In other words, the more you repeat a lie to the public, it will be believed as true by the public. Since the November 3 election, President Donald Trump on a daily basis has been engaging in the “big lie” saying he won the election and is attempting to overturn the results the election to deny President Elect Joe Biden’s legitimacy by claiming the election was rigged.

On Thanksgiving day, when asked if he will leave the White House voluntarily, he said “of course” but only after the electoral college votes. Trump then went on to say it did not matter, the election was rigged and then complained that Biden was announcing cabinet picks.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Big_lie

On November 27, Trump tweeted

“Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous “80,000,000 votes” were not fraudulently or illegally obtained. When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem!

TWITTER flagged the tweet “!This claim about election fraud is disputed”.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-biden-illegally-obtained-white-house

Trump is acting like a wounded, dying animal with his refusal to engage in a normal presidential transition. Trump and the Republican party want to steal the election from President Elect Joe Biden with Trump’s daily lying about the election results and filing frivolous lawsuits in the battleground states.

20 LESSONS LEARNED BY TRUMP FROM HITLER

None of Trump’s denials that he lost and outright lies about the election being rigged and that he has not lost to Biden should come as any surprise to anyone. For months before the election, Trump laid the groundwork repeatedly saying that the only way he would lose to Biden is if the election were rigged. He has also said absentee balloting was fraudulent without offering any evidence of it.

According to Donald Trump’s first wife’s divorce filings, Donald Trump kept and studied a book translating and annotating Adolf Hitler’s pre-World War II speeches and kept the Hitler writings in a locked bedside cabinet. Trump learned his lessons well studying the rise to power and studying the writings from Adolf Hitler. The ugly truth is he adopted Hitler’s approach to seizing power, now he wants to use what he learned to hold onto power.

A remarkable book outlines the stunning similarities between Trump and Hitler. The book powerfully describes how America’s constitutional checks and balances were pushed to the brink by President Donald Trump who consciously followed Adolf Hitler’s extremist propaganda and policy template from the early 1930s when the Nazis took power in Germany.

Burt Neuborne, is and author and one of the nation’s foremost civil liberties lawyers. His 55-year career began by challenging the constitutionality of the Vietnam War in the 1960s. He became the ACLU’s national legal director in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan. He was founding legal director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School in the 1990s. He has been part of more than 200 Supreme Court cases and Holocaust reparation litigation.

In July, 2019, Burt Neuborne’s book entitled “When at Times the Mob Is Swayed: A Citizen’s Guide to Defending Our Republic “ was published. On August 09, 2019 a book review written by Steven Rosenfeld was published by Common Dreams, a U.S. based progressive news website that publishes breaking news stories, editorials and commentary. A link to the complete book review is here:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/09/leading-civil-rights-lawyer-shows-20-ways-trump-copying-hitlers-early-rhetoric-and?fbclid=IwAR1O9kLuT5nOSmmkP1kXeB5816nQagDFs1oNEYXmUaLr0rzqwWJ0wKVK-aQ

Neuborne says in his book:

“Ugly and appalling as they are, [Hitler’s] speeches are masterpieces of demagogic manipulation. … Give Trump credit. He did his homework well and became the twenty-first-century master of divisive rhetoric. We’re used to thinking of Hitler’s Third Reich as the incomparably evil tyranny that it undoubtedly was. But Hitler didn’t take power by force. He used a set of rhetorical tropes codified in Trump’s bedside reading that persuaded enough Germans to welcome Hitler as a populist leader. … The Nazis did not overthrow the Weimar Republic. It fell into their hands as the fruit of Hitler’s satanic ability to mesmerize enough Germans to trade their birthright for a pottage of scapegoating, short-term economic gain, xenophobia, and racism.”

SHARED VALUES OF TWO DEMOGOGS

The book review lists 20 very alarming points of comparison between Adolph Hitler and Donald Trump:

1. Neither was elected by a majority.

“Trump lost the popular vote by 2.9 million votes, receiving votes by 25.3 percent of all eligible American voters. “That’s just a little less than the percentage of the German electorate that turned to the Nazi Party in 1932–33,” Neuborne writes. “Unlike the low turnouts in the United States, turnout in Weimar Germany averaged just over 80 percent of eligible voters.” He continues, “Once installed as a minority chancellor in January 1933, Hitler set about demonizing his political opponents, and no one—not the vaunted, intellectually brilliant German judiciary; not the respected, well-trained German police; not the revered, aristocratic German military; not the widely admired, efficient German government bureaucracy; not the wealthy, immensely powerful leaders of German industry; and not the powerful center-right political leaders of the Reichstag—mounted a serious effort to stop him.”

2. Both found direct communication channels to their base.

“By 1936’s Olympics, Nazi narratives dominated German cultural and political life. “How on earth did Hitler pull it off? What satanic magic did Trump find in Hitler’s speeches?” Neuborne asks. He addresses Hitler’s extreme rhetoric soon enough, but notes that Hitler found a direct communication pathway—the Nazi Party gave out radios with only one channel, tuned to Hitler’s voice, bypassing Germany’s news media. Trump has an online equivalent.

“Donald Trump’s tweets, often delivered between midnight and dawn, are the twenty-first century’s technological embodiment of Hitler’s free plastic radios,” Neuborne says. “Trump’s Twitter account, like Hitler’s radios, enables a charismatic leader to establish and maintain a personal, unfiltered line of communication with an adoring political base of about 30–40 percent of the population, many (but not all) of whom are only too willing, even anxious, to swallow Trump’s witches’ brew of falsehoods, half-truths, personal invective, threats, xenophobia, national security scares, religious bigotry, white racism, exploitation of economic insecurity, and a never ending-search for scapegoats.”

3. Both blame others and divide on racial lines.

As Neuborne notes, “Hitler used his single-frequency radios to wax hysterical to his adoring base about his pathological racial and religious fantasies glorifying Aryans and demonizing Jews, blaming Jews (among other racial and religious scapegoats) for German society’s ills.” That is comparable to “Trump’s tweets and public statements, whether dealing with black-led demonstrations against police violence, white-led racist mob violence, threats posed by undocumented aliens, immigration policy generally, protests by black and white professional athletes, college admission policies, hate speech, even response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico,” he says. Again and again, Trump uses “racially tinged messages calculated to divide whites from people of color.”

4. Both relentlessly demonize opponents.

“Hitler’s radio harangues demonized his domestic political opponents, calling them parasites, criminals, cockroaches, and various categories of leftist scum,” Neuborne notes. “Trump’s tweets and speeches similarly demonize his political opponents. Trump talks about the country being ‘infested’ with dangerous aliens of color. He fantasizes about jailing Hillary Clinton, calls Mexicans rapists, refers to ‘shithole countries,’ degrades anyone who disagrees with him, and dreams of uprooting thousands of allegedly disloyal bureaucrats in the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the FBI, and the CIA, who he calls ‘the deep state’ and who, he claims, are sabotaging American greatness.”

5. They unceasingly attack objective truth.

“Both Trump and Hitler maintained a relentless assault on the very idea of objective truth,” he continues. “Each began the assault by seeking to delegitimize the mainstream press. Hitler quickly coined the epithet Lügenpresse (literally ‘lying press’) to denigrate the mainstream press. Trump uses a paraphrase of Hitler’s lying press epithet—‘fake news’—cribbed, no doubt, from one of Hitler’s speeches. For Trump, the mainstream press is a ‘lying press’ that publishes ‘fake news.’” Hitler attacked his opponents as spreading false information to undermine his positions, Neuborne says, just as Trump has attacked “elites” for disseminating false news, “especially his possible links to the Kremlin.”

6. They relentlessly attack mainstream media.

“Trump’s assaults on the media echo Hitler’s, Neuborne says, noting that he “repeatedly attacks the ‘failing New York Times,’ leads crowds in chanting ‘CNN sucks,’ [and] is personally hostile to most reporters.” He cites the White House’s refusal to fly the flag at half-mast after the murder of five journalists in Annapolis in June 2018, Trump’s efforts to punish CNN by blocking a merger of its corporate parent, and trying to revoke federal Postal Service contracts held by Amazon, which was founded by Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.”

7. Their attacks on truth include science.

Neuborne notes, “Both Trump and Hitler intensified their assault on objective truth by deriding scientific experts, especially academics who question Hitler’s views on race or Trump’s views on climate change, immigration, or economics. For both Trump and Hitler, the goal is (and was) to eviscerate the very idea of objective truth, turning everything into grist for a populist jury subject to manipulation by a master puppeteer. In both Trump’s and Hitler’s worlds, public opinion ultimately defines what is true and what is false.”

8. Their lies blur reality—and supporters spread them.

“Trump’s pathological penchant for repeatedly lying about his behavior can only succeed in a world where his supporters feel free to embrace Trump’s ‘alternative facts’ and treat his hyperbolic exaggerations as the gospel truth,” Neuborne says. “Once Hitler had delegitimized the mainstream media by a series of systematic attacks on its integrity, he constructed a fawning alternative mass media designed to reinforce his direct radio messages and enhance his personal power. Trump is following the same path, simultaneously launching bitter attacks on the mainstream press while embracing the so-called alt-right media, co-opting both Sinclair Broadcasting and the Rupert Murdoch–owned Fox Broadcasting Company as, essentially, a Trump Broadcasting Network.”

9. Both orchestrated mass rallies to show status.

“Once Hitler had cemented his personal communications link with his base via free radios and a fawning media and had badly eroded the idea of objective truth, he reinforced his emotional bond with his base by holding a series of carefully orchestrated mass meetings dedicated to cementing his status as a charismatic leader, or Führer,” Neuborne writes. “The powerful personal bonds nurtured by Trump’s tweets and Fox’s fawning are also systematically reinforced by periodic, carefully orchestrated mass rallies (even going so far as to co-opt a Boy Scout Jamboree in 2017), reinforcing Trump’s insatiable narcissism and his status as a charismatic leader.”

10. They embrace extreme nationalism.

“Hitler’s strident appeals to the base invoked an extreme version of German nationalism, extolling a brilliant German past and promising to restore Germany to its rightful place as a preeminent nation,” Neuborne says. “Trump echoes Hitler’s jingoistic appeal to ultranationalist fervor, extolling American exceptionalism right down to the slogan ‘Make America Great Again,’ a paraphrase of Hitler’s promise to restore German greatness.”

11. Both made closing borders a centerpiece.

“Hitler all but closed Germany’s borders, freezing non-Aryan migration into the country and rendering it impossible for Germans to escape without official permission. Like Hitler, Trump has also made closed borders a centerpiece of his administration,” Neuborne continues. “Hitler barred Jews. Trump bars Muslims and seekers of sanctuary from Central America. When the lower courts blocked Trump’s Muslim travel ban, he unilaterally issued executive orders replacing it with a thinly disguised substitute that ultimately narrowly won Supreme Court approval under a theory of extreme deference to the president.”

12. They embraced mass detention and deportations.

“Hitler promised to make Germany free from Jews and Slavs. Trump promises to slow, stop, and even reverse the flow of non-white immigrants, substituting Muslims, Africans, Mexicans, and Central Americans of color for Jews and Slavs as scapegoats for the nation’s ills. Trump’s efforts to cast dragnets to arrest undocumented aliens where they work, live, and worship, followed by mass deportation… echo Hitler’s promise to defend Germany’s racial identity,” he writes, also noting that Trump has “stooped to tearing children from their parents [as Nazis in World War II would do] to punish desperate efforts by migrants to find a better life.”

13. Both used borders to protect selected industries.

“Like Hitler, Trump seeks to use national borders to protect his favored national interests, threatening to ignite protectionist trade wars with Europe, China, and Japan similar to the trade wars that, in earlier incarnations, helped to ignite World War I and World War II,” Neuborne writes. “Like Hitler, Trump aggressively uses our nation’s political and economic power to favor selected American corporate interests at the expense of foreign competitors and the environment, even at the price of international conflict, massive inefficiency, and irreversible pollution [climate change].”

14. They cemented their rule by enriching elites.

“Hitler’s version of fascism shifted immense power—both political and financial—to the leaders of German industry. In fact, Hitler governed Germany largely through corporate executives,” he continues. “Trump has also presided over a massive empowerment—and enrichment—of corporate America. Under Trump, large corporations exercise immense political power while receiving huge economic windfalls and freedom from regulations designed to protect consumers and the labor force.
“Hitler despised the German labor movement, eventually destroying it and imprisoning its leaders. Trump also detests strong unions, seeking to undermine any effort to interfere with the prerogatives of management.”

15. Both rejected international norms.

“Hitler’s foreign policy rejected international cooperation in favor of military and economic coercion, culminating in the annexation of the Sudetenland, the phony Hitler-Stalin nonaggression pact, the invasion of Czechoslovakia, and the horrors of global war,” Neuborne notes. “Like Hitler, Trump is deeply hostile to multinational cooperation, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the nuclear agreement with Iran, threatening to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, abandoning our Kurdish allies in Syria, and even going so far as to question the value of NATO, our post-World War II military alliance with European democracies against Soviet expansionism.”

16. They attack domestic democratic processes.

“Hitler attacked the legitimacy of democracy itself, purging the voting rolls, challenging the integrity of the electoral process, and questioning the ability of democratic government to solve Germany’s problems,” Neuborne notes. “Trump has also attacked the democratic process, declining to agree to be bound by the outcome of the 2016 elections when he thought he might lose, supporting the massive purge of the voting rolls allegedly designed to avoid (nonexistent) fraud, championing measures that make it harder to vote, tolerating—if not fomenting—massive Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, encouraging mob violence at rallies, darkly hinting at violence if Democrats hold power, and constantly casting doubt on the legitimacy of elections unless he wins.”

17. Both attack the judiciary and rule of law.

“Hitler politicized and eventually destroyed the vaunted German justice system. Trump also seeks to turn the American justice system into his personal playground,” Neuborne writes. “Like Hitler, Trump threatens the judicially enforced rule of law, bitterly attacking American judges who rule against him, slyly praising Andrew Jackson for defying the Supreme Court, and abusing the pardon power by pardoning an Arizona sheriff found guilty of criminal contempt of court for disobeying federal court orders to cease violating the Constitution.”

18. Both glorify the military and demand loyalty oaths.

“Like Hitler, Trump glorifies the military, staffing his administration with layers of retired generals (who eventually were fired or resigned), relaxing control over the use of lethal force by the military and the police, and demanding a massive increase in military spending,” Neuborne writes. Just as Hitler “imposed an oath of personal loyalty on all German judges” and demanded courts defer to him, “Trump’s already gotten enough deference from five Republican [Supreme Court] justices to uphold a largely Muslim travel ban that is the epitome of racial and religious bigotry.”

Trump has also demanded loyalty oaths. “He fired James Comey, a Republican appointed in 2013 as FBI director by President Obama, for refusing to swear an oath of personal loyalty to the president; excoriated and then sacked Jeff Sessions, his handpicked attorney general, for failing to suppress the criminal investigation into… Trump’s possible collusion with Russia in influencing the 2016 elections; repeatedly threatened to dismiss Robert Mueller, the special counsel carrying out the investigation; and called again and again for the jailing of Hillary Clinton, his 2016 opponent, leading crowds in chants of ‘lock her up.’” A new chant, “send her back,” has since emerged at Trump rallies directed at non-white Democratic congresswomen.

19. They proclaim unchecked power.

“Like Hitler, Trump has intensified a disturbing trend that predated his administration of governing unilaterally, largely through executive orders or proclamations,” Neuborne says, citing the Muslim travel ban, trade tariffs, unraveling of health and environmental safety nets, ban on transgender military service, and efforts to end President Obama’s protection for Dreamers. “Like Hitler, Trump claims the power to overrule Congress and govern all by himself. In 1933, Hitler used the pretext of the Reichstag fire to declare a national emergency and seize the power to govern unilaterally. The German judiciary did nothing to stop him. German democracy never recovered.”

“When Congress refused to give Trump funds for his border wall even after he threw a tantrum and shut down the government, Trump, like Hitler, declared a phony national emergency and claimed the power to ignore Congress,” Neuborne continues. “Don’t count on the Supreme Court to stop him. Five justices gave the game away on the President’s unilateral travel ban. They just might do the same thing on the border wall.” It did in late July, ruling that Trump could divert congressionally appropriated funds from the Pentagon budget—undermining constitutional separation of powers.

20. Both relegate women to subordinate roles.

“Finally,” writes Neuborne, “Hitler propounded a misogynistic, stereotypical view of women, valuing them exclusively as wives and mothers while excluding them from full participation in German political and economic life. Trump may be the most openly misogynist figure ever to hold high public office in the United States, crassly treating women as sexual objects, using nondisclosure agreements and violating campaign finance laws to shield his sexual misbehavior from public knowledge, attacking women who come forward to accuse men of abusive behavior, undermining reproductive freedom, and opposing efforts by women to achieve economic equality.”

WHITHERING CONSTITUTIONAL CHECKS AND BALANCES?

Most of Neuborne’s book is not centered on Trump’s fealty to Hitler’s methods and early policies. He notes, as many commentators have, that Trump is following the well-known contours of authoritarian populists and dictators: “there’s always a charismatic leader, a disaffected mass, an adroit use of communications media, economic insecurity, racial or religious fault lines, xenophobia, a turn to violence, and a search for scapegoats.”

The bigger problem, and the subject of most of the book, is that the federal architecture intended to be a check and balance against tyrants, is not poised to act. Congressional representation is fundamentally anti-democratic. In the Senate, politicians representing 18 percent of the national population—epicenters of Trump’s base—can cast 51 percent of the chamber’s votes. A Republican majority from rural states, representing barely 40 percent of the population, controls the chamber. It repeatedly thwarts legislation reflecting multicultural America’s values—and creates a brick wall for impeachment.

The House of Representatives is not much better. Until 2018, this decade’s GOP-majority House, a product of 2011’s extreme Republican gerrymanders, was also unrepresentative of the nation’s demographics. That bias still exists in the Electoral College, as the size of a state’s congressional delegation equals its allocation of votes. That formula is fair as far as House members go, but allocating votes based on two senators per state hurts urban America. Consider that California’s population is 65 times larger than Wyoming’s.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s majority remains in the hands of justices appointed by Republican presidents—and favors that party’s agenda. Most Americans are unaware that the court’s partisan majority has only changed twice since the Civil War—in 1937, when a Democratic-appointed majority took over, and in 1972, when a Republican-appointed majority took over. Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s blocking of President Obama’s final nominee thwarted a twice-a-century change. Today’s hijacked Supreme Court majority has only just begun deferring to Trump’s agenda.

A link to the complete book review is here:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/09/leading-civil-rights-lawyer-shows-20-ways-trump-copying-hitlers-early-rhetoric-and?fbclid=IwAR1O9kLuT5nOSmmkP1kXeB5816nQagDFs1oNEYXmUaLr0rzqwWJ0wKVK-aQ

TRUMP REFERRED TO WORLD WAR II VETERANS AS CHUMPS AND LOSERS

On March 13, the Atlantic published a controversial article written by its editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg where Trump called those who served in time of war “chumps and losers”. The truth of the Atlantic story was confirmed by many new agencies including FOX news.

According to the Atlantic, when President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood during World War II as “suckers” for getting killed.

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies.

From June 4 to June 12, a truly remarkable thing happened in the United States. Former Secretaries of Defense, many General’s and military commanders condemned President Trump use of the active military to quell protests in the United States over the death of George Floyd. It all began on June 4 with former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is a retired United States Marine Corps general who was appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as the 26th US Secretary of Defense. After Mattis spoke out, the flood gates were opened and current and former military commanders spoke out condemning Trump’s use of the military against the American people who were protesting.

Others that spoke out included Air Force General Mike Hayden, Former director of the CIA and NSA under Bush and Obama, Marine Corps General John Allen, the Former commander of US forces in Afghanistan, Navy Admiral James Stavridis, Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Air Force General Richard Myers, Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George W. Bush, William Perry, the Former Defense Secretary served under President Bill Clinton, Navy Adm. William McRaven, Former commander of US Special Operations Command, Ash Carter, the Former Defense Secretary, former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, a retired general.

A link to a related blog article is here:

https://www.petedinelli.com/2020/06/14/our-us-military-know-who-they-have-sworn-to-serve-and-protect-we-the-people-and-our-constitution-a-breathtaking-week-that-was/

REFUSING TO CONCEDE

On Thursday, November 25, President Trump said he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden. This is the closest statement he will ever likely make to conceding the election to Biden. Trump also reiterated false claims of massive voter fraud. Trump said it would be hard for him to concede under the current circumstances and declined to say whether he would attend Biden’s inauguration. The electors are scheduled to meet on December 14 and simply put Biden will win and Trump will lose.

COMMENTARY AND ANLALYSIS

In chapter six of Mein Kamp entitled “War Propaganda”, Adolph Hitler reviewed the use of propaganda during World War I. Hitler writes the way Trump communicates to his supporters:

“All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be.

The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses. The fact that our bright boys do not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and conceited they are.

The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out.”

MILITARY LOYALTY TO AMERICAN PEOPLE AND UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION MADE A DIFFERENCE

One thing that Hitler and Trump do not have in common that likely helped save the United States democracy from Trump Fascism is that our United State Military is loyalty to the American people and our United States Constitution. Nazi Germany’s military was absolutely loyal to Hitler and willing to engage in genocide against Jewish German citizens. The United States military takes an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States and not the President of the United States. Our military academies are some of the very best institutions of higher learning educating the cream of the crop of their generation. Cadets taught in our military academies learn the importance of preserving our country with the lessons learned from our civil war, World War I and especially World War II fighting Germany’s, Italy’s and Japan’s fascism.

When Trump first entered office, he surrounded himself with retired generals in key roles. The retired generals included Jim Mattis as Defense Secretary, John Kelly as Homeland Security Secretary and later Chief of Staff, and H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser. All 4 generals were thought to be solid appointments. All 4 brought a sense of stability to the White House in the minds of the public. They were viewed as true patriots that would at least keep Trump in check and not allow Trump to start a war.

Trump went so far to call his appointments “my generals”. Soon all the relationships disintegrated between Trump and the former generals and there was no trust. All were forced out by Trump, no doubt because they were too loyal to the country and the people they served. They told Trump simply things he did not want to hear. Their sin in Trump’s mind is that they dedicated their lives to protecting the public, did not make money and were “chumps” for their willingness to give their lives for their country and fight for the freedoms we all enjoy.

Trump wanted their absolute loyalty to him and him alone, and when they left his service, he disparaged them in no uncertain terms saying they were not up to their jobs.

EVICTION DAY IS JANUARRY 20, 2021

The White House is under the concurrent control of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Secret Service. Come January 20, 2021 at 12:00 Noon when Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46 President of the United States, if Trump and his wife, and 14-year-old son and family members are not move out of the White House, they will be forcefully evicted.

Trump is already making it known that he wants to run again in 2024 and telling his supporters he wants to keep his options open. As he has done for the last 4 years, he promotes hostility and mistrust amongst his supporters undercutting our democracy for the sake of holding onto power. Most assuredly, the country has not seen the last of its once and future fascist who became president .

Trump’s Republican party is supporting his efforts to discredit the election with the likes of Republican Senators Mitch Mc Connell, Lindsay Graham and Rudy Giuliani supporting his legal challenges. McConnell, the Senate majority leader said that “President Trump is 100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” while chastising Democrats for expecting Trump to “accept preliminary election results”. Trump may have the right to legally challenge election results, but he does not have the right to press on in a court of law without absolutely no proof and just lying that the election was rigged.

Trump still has a strangle hold on the Republican party that will play into his thirst to regain power after he leaves office. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 52% of Republicans believe Trump “rightfully won” the U.S. election and that the election was stolen from him by widespread voter fraud. The poll found that just 26% of Republicans said they thought Biden’s win was “legitimate.”

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/world/2020/11/18/half-of-republicans-say-biden-won-because-of-a-039rigged039-election-reutersipsos-poll

Whether or not Trump actually runs in 2024 is not what is dangerous. What is dangerous are his supporters and the Republican Senators that they intend do over the next 4 years to undermine President Joe Biden. Least anyone forget, it was Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnel that said his intent was to make sure President Barack Obama was a one term President. It was McConnel who made sure in 2016 that the President Obama’s last nomination for Supreme Court never was given a hearing 11 months before a Presidential election, yet he made sure Trump’s last nominee was crammed down the Senate Democrats throats.

Princeton historian Sean Wilentz put it this way:

[Imagine]a counter-government, administered by tweets, propped up by Fox News or whatever alternative outlet Trump might construct for himself — a kind of Trumpian government-in-exile … telling his tens of millions of supporters as well as his congressional backers to reject Biden’s presidency … Trump would be trying to establish a center of power distinct from and antagonistic to the legitimately elected national government — not formally a separate government like the Confederacy but a virtual one, operating not just out in the country but inside the government, above all in Congress. … Two things could stop Trump: either his legal troubles become so severe that he can’t continue, or the Republican Party decides he’s hurting more than helping. … I would not bet on either one of these coming to pass.”

FINAL COMMENT

Hilter’s end came when he committed suicide in a bunker. Now that the election is over, it is hoped that our criminal justice system works just as well as our democracy. There is a good chance that Trump will be forced to move his residence from the State of Florida back to the State of New York. If our criminal justice system indeed works as it should, Trump will be residing in the gated community known as the “Attica State Corrections Facility” to live out his remaining years with members of his family.

The link to a related blog article is here:

Trump’s Big Lie: “The Election Is Being Rigged!”

Special Legislative Session Begins And Ends Within 8 Hours And Spending $330 In Coronavirus 19 Pandemic Relief Aide; Gov. MLG Signs Relief Bill

On Tuesday, November 24, after seven hours of debate and discussion, New Mexico lawmakers passed a bipartisan coronavirus relief bill that will provide a onetime $1,200 check to all types of unemployed workers and up to $50,000 for certain businesses. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham called for the one-day special session as the state is confronting spiking infection and death rates. House Bill 1 easily passed both chambers. It passed in the House on a 50-11 vote and passed the Senate on a 33-5 vote.

The total approved expenditure is $330 million. A total of $319 million is unspent funds the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) relief funding previously assigned to New Mexico. The money must be used by the end of the year or it reverts back to the federal government. An additional $10 million in state general funds were allocated for Covid 19 testing and tracing efforts.

The bill allocates $100 million to support businesses with 100 or fewer employees. The New Mexico Finance Authority will be distributing the grants, which can be up to $50,000. Businesses in the hospitality and leisure industry, which are the businesses severely harmed financially by New Mexico’s public health orders, would get priority. The Finance Authority has wide discretion about who will be chosen. The Finance Authority is instructed to focus on the service industry. The bill instructs the Finance Authority to make sure recipients are spread out geographically and that it not be concentrated in the tourism and Democrat-heavy cities of northern New Mexico.

Marquita Russell, CEO of the New Mexico Finance Authority, said businesses can apply online for the money, which would then be distributed in phases. According to Russell:

“We don’t want to make 100% of it available on Day One, because that disadvantages some businesses.”

The enacted legislation provides smaller stimulus checks to immigrants without legal status in the country and dependents, as well as additional funds for food banks, virus testing and contact tracing efforts. Also included the enacted legislation is spending to help food banks and people struggling to pay their rent or mortgage.

BREAKDOWN OF RELEIF FUNDING

On Wednesday, November 25, Governor Mitchel Lujan Grisham signed into the law the House appropriation bill. Governor Lujan Grisham had said the day before it was critical to get “economic relief to New Mexicans who are hurting and not able to go to work.”

The distribution of federal funding includes:

$194 million to pay for the one-time $1,200 checks to unemployed workers. About 160,000 people could get the money, but it isn’t clear what would happen if the number of claims exceeds the $194 million appropriated by lawmakers, according to legislative analysts.

$100 million for a new grant program targeting small, local businesses and nonprofit groups. It will authorize grants of up to $50,000, with help for the hospitality and leisure industry a priority. To qualify, the business must have 100 employees or fewer, and about 4,000 companies are expected to get grants.

$15 million to help homeless people and New Mexicans struggling to pay their rent or mortgage.

$5 million to provide checks of up to $750 to low-income households who — because of immigration status or some other factor — didn’t receive a federal stimulus check this year.

$5 million to food banks throughout the state.

$10 million from the state general fund to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines when they’re available and cover increased costs in the court system for protective equipment and similar expenses.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1521351/lujan-grisham-signs-pandemic-aid-package.html

RELIEF CHECKS

In October, New Mexico’s unemployment rate was 8.1% above the national rate of 6.9%. In September, New Mexico depleted its unemployment insurance fund and began borrowing money from the federal government to fulfill claims.

According to the Department of Workforce Solutions, New Mexico has 130,000 people on the unemployment rolls. There is a high unemployment rate in New Mexico oil fields as the global demand for oil has bottomed out and oil fields are shut down. Further the pandemic closures has hit the state’s restaurant and tourism industry.

The onetime only $1,200 relief checks will go at least to 1,515 people who have exhausted all of their state and federal unemployment benefits. The relief checks comprised the largest portion of the relief act funding at $194 million. According to Workforce Solutions, payments will start going out to those eligible by mid-December using a similar framework the state used previously to distribute stopgap funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration. New Mexico already owes the federal government $124 million. The amount is expected to spike to an alarming $400-500 million by the summer of 2021.

An additional $5 million will be distributed in the form of a $750 payment to residents who were ineligible for the federal stimulus sent to most American citizens and permanent residents earlier this year. Those eligible include dependents like children and the elderly as well as immigrants in the country without legal permission.

Bill Mc Camley, the Governor’s cabinet Secretary of the Department of Workforce Solutions, said in an interview with Channel 13 that he gets constant phone calls, emails and pleas on social media from people and had this to say:

“I hear all the stories, all the stories about how am I going to take care of my kids? How am I gonna afford my rent? How am I gonna afford my truck payment?”

https://www.krqe.com/news/politics-government/new-mexico-legislature-passes-330-million-virus-relief-bill/

Democrat State Senator Candace Gould had this to say regarding the unemployment assistance relief:

“Essential workers that are on the front lines. We want to keep them working and not going into the unemployment lines. … It’s imperative that we keep them out there, providing the services that are essential. So, this is a way to reward them and tell them that they matter too. We hear them and see them and that we’re going to give them a little help as well.”

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION NOTED

House Republicans were split on the bill. During debate, Republicans repeatedly slammed Governor Lujan Grisham’s public health orders and restrictions on in-person business activity. However, some Republican lawmakers supported the final bill saying the economic aid was necessary.

House Minority Leader James Townsend, R-Artesia had this to say:

“We are trying to reach out and help many families across New Mexico that are hurting and hurting for a variety of reasons. … They’re hurting because of the effects of COVID and hurting because of measures the state has taken in addressing COVID.”

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

The second Special Legislative Session of the year was better late than never in that under the CARES Act $319 million would have reverted back the Federal Government had the legislature not acted by December 31 to spend it. Why it took so long no doubt is because Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham felt the need to wait until after the election given the increasing criticism of her handling of the pandemic and Republican opposition.

When the New Mexico regular 60-day legislative session begins on January 19, 2021, the state’s finances will continue to be in shambles as the State continues to deal with the spiking of covid cases, dealing with the dramatic decline in oil and gas royalty revenues and the declining gross receipts tax revenues from business closures. Now that the Presidential election is over, its more likely than not another federal CARES Act allocation will have to be made by congress.

With any luck, by the end of January, 2021 a vaccine will be available and this country’s second nightmare will begin to come to an end. We do know for sure that the first nightmare we have been experiencing for 4 years will come to an end on January 20, 2021 when President Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46 President of the United States.

Links to sources and related news are here:

https://www.krqe.com/news/politics-government/new-mexico-legislature-passes-330-million-virus-relief-bill/

https://www.koat.com/article/lawmakers-pass-massive-relief-bill/34778953

https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/lawmakers-debate-how-to-spend-millions-of-dollars-during-special-session/5933865/?cat=500

https://www.abqjournal.com/1521146/nm-lawmakers-send-pandemic-relief-bill-to-lujan-grisham.html

https://www.abqjournal.com/1521351/lujan-grisham-signs-pandemic-aid-package.html

Commission Recommends “Civil Rights Act” On 5 – 4 Vote; Abolishing “Qualified Immunity” Against All Government Officials And Law Enforcement Personnel Proposed; NM Legislature Will Make Final Decision

In May, 2020 African American George Floyd was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police when a police officer used his knee on Floyd’s neck to subdue him, even after Floyd cried out repeatedly “I can’t breathe”. The death of Floyd caught on camera shocked the conscious of the country, and the world, resulting in mass protests to end systemic racism by law enforcement. New Mexico also had such protests in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Law Cruces.

In response to Floyd’s killing, Governor Lujan Grisham and the Legislature took steps to deal with holding law enforcement accountable for civil rights violations, excessive use of force and deadly force. Those steps included requiring all law enforcement officers to wear lapel cameras and requiring the Law Enforcement Academy Board to revoke the certification of any police officer guilty of “unlawful use of force” or an officer who fails to intervene to stop the use of unlawful force by another officer.

Because of the Floyd killing and the killing of many other African Americans at the hands of police, ending the legal doctrine of “qualified immunity” has become a goal of the Black Lives Matter movement and many progressive Democrats throughout the country. Qualified immunity is seen as a barrier to holding police officers accountable when they use excessive force and deadly force.

After the Floyd murder, other states have enacted police reforms. The Colorado legislature passed a reform law that eliminated the defense of qualified immunity in state civil rights lawsuits and took it a step further by making police officers personally liable for up to $25,000 in damages. California has had a civil rights act for some time and it excludes “qualified immunity” as a defense for government employees named in lawsuits. The State of Massachusetts is considering amending its civil rights law to prohibit the defense of qualified immunity after the Massachusetts state’s highest court allowed the defense because it was not prohibited by statute.

“Qualified immunity” is a legal principle or doctrine that was created by the United States Supreme Court that shields government officials, including police officers, from lawsuits except in cases where a plaintiff can prove that officials violated “clearly established” rights. Qualified immunity is a high legal threshold that leads to many cases being dismissed in federal court cases. As it stands now, qualified immunity applies to federal causes of action in federal civil rights and wrongful death actions. It does not involve nor is it available as a defense in state causes of action. Wrongful death lawsuits in police use-of-force cases have cost New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque millions of dollars over the last 20 years. The postscript to this blog article contains an explanation of “absolute immunity” and “qualified immunity”.

NEW MEXICO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION

The New Mexico legislature took steps to consider enactment of a state civil rights law creating a civil rights cause of action against law enforcement and public government employees that would specifically prohibit the defense of qualified immunity. Qualified immunity is viewed as a major barrier or obstacle to holding police officers accountable when they use excessive force. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham called upon the New Mexico Legislature to create a Civil Rights Commission. It was in June that the 2020 New Mexico Legislative Special session convened during which the “New Mexico Civil Rights Commission” was created. There were 3 functions of the 9-member, bi partisan commission:

1. Review policies and develop policy proposals for laws for the creation of a civil right of action for the deprivation, by a public body or a person acting on behalf of or under the authority of a public body, of any right, privilege or immunity secured by the constitution of New Mexico.

2. Review the use of qualified immunity as a defense to liability by an employee of a public body for a claim that would be brought either under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 or pursuant to the right of action considered by the commission.

3. Review and assess the need for and costs of additional insurance policies for public employees and public bodies, or for persons acting on behalf of or under the authority of public bodies.

https://www.generalservices.state.nm.us/crc.aspx

EDITORS NOTE: Civil causes of action under the federal statute 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 are referred to as “Section 1983 Litigation” which are lawsuits brought under Section 1983 (Civil action for deprivation of rights) of Title 42 of the United States Code (42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 provides an individual the right to sue state government employees and others acting “under color of state law” for civil rights violations. Section 1983 does not provide civil rights but it is a means to enforce civil rights that already exist.

APPOINTED COMMISSION

Under the legislation, legislative officials appointed 6 members and the Governor appointed 3. The commission is required to be geographically and racially diverse. The bipartisan commission includes four Democrats, three Republicans and three unaffiliated members. Two of the governor’s appointees are Hispanic and one is African American.

The commission was given until November 15 to issue a report that considers changes to qualified immunity provisions that protect police officers from civil lawsuits. It is also tasked with recommending laws that create a civil right of action for violations of state constitutional rights.

COMMISSION RECOMMENDS ENACTMENT OF “CIVIL RIGHTS ACT”

On November 12th, after meeting at least 7 times since being formed and hearing expert testimony on legal and law enforcement issues, the New Mexico Civil Rights Commission voted to recommend the enactment of a “New Mexico Civil Rights Act.” The new Civil Rights Act would allow legal claims to be filed in State District Court over alleged infringements of free speech, freedom of religion and other constitutional rights. The Civil Rights Commission voted 5 to 4 in favor of enactment. The commission made it known that two separate reports will be prepared, one by the majority and one by the minority who voted in opposition. Both reports will be presented to legislative committees before the 60-day session that will begin on January 19, 2021.

Under the proposed law, claims of constitutional rights deprivations would be able to be filed in all State District Courts around New Mexico. Currently, such claims of constitutional rights can only be filed in federal court but not in state courts. The practical effect under the current law is that whenever wrongful death cases are filed involving a police officer shooting, the case is removed to federal court where federal case law applies. In the state of New Mexico, the overwhelming number of officer involved shooting cases result in settlements and no jury trials. The proposed state Civil Rights Act will create a separate state cause of action and in turn a framework to recover for alleged constitutional infringements under state law. The new law would also bar the use of “qualified immunity” as a legal defense as is allowed in federal court. The proposed law would allow plaintiffs to seek only compensatory or actual damages, but not punitive damages. In other words, judgments secured in a state court cause of action would only be the actual costs associated with the injuries, such as medical bills, for injuries or losses incurred.

Under the proposed legislation, individual law enforcement and other government officials would not be “personally liable” to pay actual or punitive damages awarded by a jury, a judge or agreed to in a settlement. Under the proposed Civil Rights Act, such damages would be paid by the public agency or body that employs the law enforcement officer or government employee. Damages being paid by the public agency or body that employs the law enforcement or government employee sued is already required under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act. The new act would require public government entities to keep a file of all judgments and settlements under the proposed Civil Rights Act and make the records available under the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA).

The legislation will now be drafted in a final form for introduction and consideration during the 2021 New Mexico Legislative session that begins on January 19, 2021. As being proposed, the new New Mexico “Civil Rights Act” will not allow the doctrine of “qualified immunity” to be used as a defense by law enforcement and public officials resulting in personal liability. The elimination of the qualified immunity defense raises the serious question if law enforcement and government employees will feel compelled or be required to carry some form a liability insurance. The actual cost of such insurance will also be raised as being prohibited.

Retired New Mexico State Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson, the Civil Rights Commission’s chairman, had this to say in a written statement:

“[The proposed law will] provide a legal vehicle for New Mexico citizens to fully enforce rights granted them by the New Mexico Constitution without importing artificial obstacles to the truth-seeking process such as qualified immunity.”

House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, for his part said he supports the proposed Civil Rights Act and said he intends to push for its passage during the upcoming session and said:

“I think giving New Mexicans the ability to vindicate their constitutional rights in a New Mexico courtroom is of fundamental importance.”

Speaker Egolf also said he would strive to make sure public employees’ concerns about the proposed new law, including increased insurance rates, are addressed.

Links to news sources are here:

https://www.newsbreak.com/new-mexico/santa-fe/news/2102340921572/nm-civil-rights-act-recommended

https://www.abqjournal.com/1517914/nm-civil-rights-act-recommended.html

NEW MEXICO TORT CLAIMS ACT

Even though New Mexico does not have a “Civil Rights Act” allowing public officials and law enforcement to be sued for violating someone’s civil rights under the State Constitution, it does have a Tort Claims Act. For the none lawyer, “tort” under the law is loosely defined as a civil wrong that causes a person to suffer loss, harm or financial damages. The Tort Claims act first grants immunity from liability to a governmental entity and any public employee and then provides for waivers of that immunity for certain areas.

Section 41-4-4 of the Tort Claims Act provides in part:

“A. A governmental entity and any public employee while acting within the scope of duty are granted immunity from liability for any tort except as waived by [the New Mexico Tort Claims Act] . … Waiver of this immunity shall be limited to and governed by the provisions of [the Tort Claims Act] …

B. Unless an insurance carrier provides a defense, a governmental entity shall provide a defense, including costs and attorney fees, for any public employee when liability is sought for:

(1) any tort alleged to have been committed by the public employee while acting within the scope of his duty; or

(2) any violation of property rights or any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the constitution and laws of the United States or the constitution and laws of New Mexico when alleged to have been committed by the public employee while acting within the scope of his duty.

C. A governmental entity shall pay any award for punitive or exemplary damages awarded against a public employee under the substantive law of a jurisdiction other than New Mexico, including other states, territories and possessions and the United States of America, if the public employee was acting within the scope of his duty.

D. A governmental entity shall pay any settlement or any final judgment entered against a public employee for:

(1) any tort that was committed by the public employee while acting within the scope of his duty; or

(2) a violation of property rights or any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the constitution and laws of the United States or the constitution and laws of New Mexico that occurred while the public employee was acting within the scope of his duty.

E. A governmental entity shall have the right to recover from a public employee the amount expended by the public entity to provide a defense and pay a settlement agreed to by the public employee or to pay a final judgment if it is shown that, while acting within the scope of his duty, the public employee acted fraudulently or with actual intentional malice causing the bodily injury, wrongful death or property damage resulting in the settlement or final judgment.

F. …

G. The duty to defend … shall continue after employment with the governmental entity has been terminated if the occurrence for which damages are sought happened while the public employee was acting within the scope of duty while the public employee was in the employ of the governmental entity.

H. The duty to pay any settlement or any final judgment entered against a public employee as provided in this section shall continue after employment with the governmental entity has terminated if the occurrence for which liability has been imposed happened while the public employee was acting within the scope of his duty while in the employ of the governmental entity.”

WAIVERS OF IMMUNITY

There are specific waivers of immunity in the Tort claims Act. Immunity is waived and does not apply to liability for damages resulting from bodily injury, wrongful death or property damage caused by the negligence of public employees while acting within the scope of their duties in:

The operation or maintenance of any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft. (41-1-5)

The operation or maintenance of any building, public park, machinery, equipment or furnishings (41-1-6)

The operation of airports. (41-1-7)

The operation of public utilities and services including gas, electricity, water; solid or liquid waste collection or disposal, heating and ground transportation. (41-1-8)

The operation of any hospital, infirmary, mental institution, clinic, dispensary, medical care home or like facilities. (41-1-9)

By public employees licensed by the state or permitted by law to provide health care services while acting within the scope of their duties of providing health care services. actions by licensed by the state or permitted by law to provide health care services (41-1-10)

During the construction, and in subsequent maintenance of any bridge, culvert, highway, roadway, street, alley, sidewalk or parking area. (41-1-11)

It is Section 41-4-12 of the Tort Claims Act that deals with liability of law enforcement officers:

“The immunity granted pursuant to Subsection A of Section 41-4-4 NMSA 1978 does not apply to liability for personal injury, bodily injury, wrongful death or property damage resulting from assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, libel, slander, defamation of character, violation of property rights or deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the constitution and laws of the United States or New Mexico when caused by law enforcement officers while acting within the scope of their duties.”

Although immunity is waived under the tort claims act for damages caused law enforcement officers while acting within the scope of their duties, there still is the duty to defend and pay for the damages by the government entity.

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

The proposal is to create state Civil Rights Act and in it abolish “qualified immunity” as a defense that would cover virtually all government employees, not just law enforcement. It is likely that if a New Mexico Civil Rights Act is enacted, the New Mexico Tort claims act will also have to be changed to some degree. It is also likely that government employees will be compelled to carry some form personal liability insurance, an expense that may not be at all affordable or reasonable.

It should come as no surprise that a plaintiff’s lawyers, such as Speaker of the House Brian Egolf, are in favor of enactment of a Civil Rights Act. At the absolute center of the debate is whether the State Of New Mexico should go out of its way to create a whole new cause of action for violation of civil rights under state laws and state constitutional rights and easing the burden of proof to recover damages in a court of law free of any “qualified immunity” defense. It likely that the state law would also need to mandate some form of “election of remedies” providing that a plaintiff alleging violation of civil rights must decide to either to proceed in state court or in federal court under the civil rights act commonly referred to as a 1984 cause of action.

Many argue that a New Mexico Civil Rights Act is needed to stop the “culture of aggression” or systemic racism and stop the excessive use of force or deadly force by law enforcement. When it comes to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), the city has paid out upwards of $64 million dollars over the last 10 years for excessive use of force and deadly for cases and civil rights violations stemming from a “culture of aggression” found by the Department of Justice (DOJ). For the past 6 years, APD has been under a federal court consent decree that mandates 271 reforms that APD and the city are still struggling to implement under the watchful eye of a federal judge and a federal court appointed monitor.

There is no doubt public employee unions, including all law enforcement unions and local governments will make it known their likely opposition on the need for a Civil Rights Act, especially one that does not provide for qualified immunity or that provides for personal liability of government employees. Notwithstanding what the New Mexico legislature decides, it will have to recognize it is a very big decision that no doubt will be ultimately very costly to taxpayers and if the New Mexico Tort Claims Act goes far enough.

One argument being made is that the elimination of “qualified immunity” will change how police will do their jobs and stop the use of excessive use of force and deadly force by police. Law enforcement on the other had make the argument that police will be reluctant to do do their jobs and not be pro active for fear of being sued. It’s unlikely police will alter their actions given that actions of police are more “reactive” than “pro active” when it comes to “use of force”, “deadly force” and self defense. When it comes to police officer involved shootings and civil actions, it always gets back to the issue of training in constitutional policing practices or negligent supervision. APD after 6 years and spending millions is still struggling with training in constitutional law enforcement practices. Officer involve shooting still happen, despite training.

From a practical standpoint, it makes little or no sense to enact a Civil Rights Act that creates a new cause of action for violations of state constitutional rights by government employees, abolishing qualified immunity only to have a Tort Claims Act that mandates a defense and payment of judgments for damages. It appears with the enactment of a Civil Rights Act as proposed, damage to a plaintiff, the liability of a government employee and the taxpayer wind up in the exact same place as to who pays for the damages under the Tort Claims Act.

_________________

POSTSCRIPT

ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY AND QUALIFIED IMMUNITY EXPLAINED

Certain government officials, including the President, prosecutors, judges and similar officials have absolute immunity. This doctrine shields those individuals from criminal prosecution and lawsuits, as long as their actions in question were within the scope of their jobs. For all other federal officials, the Court also held that federal officials who are trying to qualify for absolute immunity have the burden to prove “that public policy requires an exemption of that scope.”

For government officials trying to qualify for absolute immunity, the Court established a 2-part test that the official must satisfy:

First, the official must show that his position’s responsibilities had such a sensitive function that it requires absolute immunity.

Second, the official must demonstrate that they were discharging the protected function of the position when performing the acts in question.

Qualified immunity is a type of legal immunity created by the United States Supreme court that shields government officials from being held personally liable for constitutional violations. In 1982, the United State Supreme Court in the landmark case of Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 (1982), held that federal government officials are entitled to qualified immunity. The Court reasoned that “the need to protect officials who are required to exercise discretion and the related public interest in encouraging the vigorous exercise of official authority.”

Qualified immunity frequently appears in cases involving police officers. Qualified immunity protects a police officer from lawsuits alleging that the officer violated a plaintiff’s rights, only allowing suits where officials violated a “clearly established” statutory or constitutional right. The Qualified immunity doctrine balances two important interests. Those interests are the need to hold public officials accountable when they exercise power irresponsibly and the need to shield officials from harassment, distraction, and liability when they perform their duties reasonably.

When determining whether or not a right was “clearly established,” courts consider whether a hypothetical reasonable official would have known that the defendant’s conduct violated the plaintiff’s rights. Courts conducting this analysis apply the law that was in force at the time of the alleged violation, not the law in effect when the court considers the case. Violations of constitutional rights would include the right to be free from excessive police force or unjustified deadly force for money damages under federal law so long as the officials did not violate “clearly established” law.

Qualified immunity is not immunity from having to pay money damages, but rather immunity from having to go through the costs of a trial at all. The result is that courts must resolve qualified immunity issues as early in a case as possible. Qualified immunity only applies to suits against government officials as individuals, not suits against the government for damages caused by the officials’ actions.

Links to news and research sources are here:

https://www.abqjournal.com/1482039/nm-could-jettison-qualified-immunity-for-police-government-employees.html

https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/local/2020/08/10/new-mexico-lawmakers-hear-issue-qualified-immunity-police-protesters/3340481001/

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/qualified_immunity#

https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-qualified-immunity-and-what-does-it-have-do-police-reform

https://law.justia.com/codes/new-mexico/2019/chapter-41/article-4/section-41-4-4/

List Of Police Officers With History of Dishonesty, Use of Force And Biasness To Be Made Public; Balancing Act To Hold Police Accountable Needs Attention Of New Mexico Legislature

As the result of the death George Floyd and many other African Americans in the custody of police, protests across the country have resulted in demands for police reforms focused on accountability and transparency in law enforcement. The demands for law enforcement accountability and transparency have included making a matter of public disclosure police personnel records documenting misconduct.

KEEPING SECRET POLICE MISCONDUCT

Steve Allen, the former director of public policy with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico put it this way:

“I think we’ve seen across the country, and certainly here in New Mexico, that public trust around our police departments has eroded.”

New Mexico Department of Public Safety Secretary Tim Johnson had this to say:

“It is true that the relationship between law enforcement and the communities we serve right now is strained for obvious reasons.”

On June 4, following protests across the nation and New Mexico over the death of George Floyd, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham created an Advisory Council for Racial Justice. At the same time, Lujan Grisham announced her support for legislative proposals for police reform including making police disciplinary history a matter of public record.

Under New Mexico State law, it is not illegal to release disciplinary records of police officers. However, police departments that choose to keep them private cite an exception to the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) that provides “letters or memorandums, which are matters of opinion in personnel files” are exempt from public inspection. In 1977, the New Mexico Supreme Court specifically held that “disciplinary action” and other “matters of opinion” can be withheld. The Supreme Court held that the legislature anticipated there could be documents concerning disciplinary action that “might have no foundation in fact.”

Currently, each law enforcement agency in New Mexico can interpret the state’s public records law differently. The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) consistently releases Internal Affairs Investigations and the discipline records of officers especially when civil lawsuits are filed or an officer is charged with a crime. Many other departments in the state simply resist requests and do not release the personnel records. What this means is that there are varying policies throughout the state law enforcement agency that are in a constant state of change when new management takes over.

Civil rights attorney Shannon Kennedy has taken the Department of Public Safety (DPS), which oversees New Mexico State Police, to court over police records. Kennedy prevailed in such a case this year against the DPS that went to the New Mexico Supreme Court. According to Kennedy:

“The Department of Public Safety, State Police, has been an entity that has been very spotty in terms of responses to public records requests. … Transparency should be the policy. … There’s no reason that, if someone signs up to protect and serve a community, that if they’re disciplined that somehow becomes a secret that they can keep.”

Interim Department of Public Safety Secretary Tim Johnson had this to say about state police public records requests:

“As an agency, we try to be as transparent as we possibly can. … I lean on our lawyers, DPS lawyers, for advice on this and I’m told we are following the policy and the law.”

A link to related news coverage is here:

https://www.krqe.com/news/investigations/should-new-mexico-make-police-disciplinary-records-public/

LIST OF POLICE OFFICERS WITH HISTORY OF DISHONESTY, USE OF FORCE AND BIASNESS TO BE MADE PUBLIC

In a letter dated October 14, 2020, Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez notified the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) that the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office is introducing a new disclosure policy based on the 1974 United States Supreme Court ruling Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972). The Supreme Court Ruling involves the prosecution’s obligations in regards to criminal discovery and disclosure which, in part, requires information impacting the reliability of a witness’ testimony to be disclosed.

The Giglio ruling requires the prosecuting agency, in this case the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office, to disclose to a criminal defendant all information or material that may be used to impeach the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. It includes police officers and sheriff officers who are witnesses for the prosecution.

The Supreme Court ruling in the Giglio case in nothing new and has been required since 1972, but the DA’s office formalizing the process is new. According to the DA’s office, it is being done now because of the dramatic “recent slow-down” in the criminal courts giving the time to develop a training protocol and the infrastructure to launch the new policy.

According to District Attorney Raul Torrez, the new system will bring transparency to the criminal justice system and hold prosecutors and law enforcement accountable. Torrez told both APD and BCSO in his October 14 letter:

“My office joins a growing number of prosecutor offices around the nation that are embracing reform and police accountability by formalizing this Giglio inquiry process. Historically, requests for Giglio material have been done on a case-by-case basis and the results of earlier Giglio inquiries have not been searchable. Beginning in November my office will start implementing a formal and searchable system.”

The letter goes on to say that law enforcement officers listed as witnesses in an open case will receive a questionnaire where information like past misconduct of bias, use of force or truthfulness, or criminal charges must be disclosed. The findings will then be placed into an officer’s personnel file.

A link to the October 14 letter from the District Attorney is here:

https://www.scribd.com/document/483235279/Giglio-letter-to-local-law-enforcement#from_embed

GIGLIO MATERIAL THAT WILL BE ASKED FOR DISCLOSURE

In the October 14, 2020 letter, District Attorney Torrez outlined the information that will be asked in the questionnaire to law enforcement:

“Examples of Giglio information include but are not limited to:

MISCONDUCT THAT REFLECTS BIAS

Information that may be used to suggest that the investigative employee is biased for or against a defendant or witness in a case

Information that may be used to suggest that the investigative employee is biased against a particular class of people, for example, based on a person’s gender, gender identity, race, or ethnic group

Misconduct that reflects on truthfulness

A sustained finding that an investigative employee has filed a false report or submitted a false certification in any criminal, administrative, employment, financial or insurance matter in his or her professional or personal life

A sustained finding that an investigative employee was untruthful or has demonstrated a lack of candor

A finding of fact by a judiciary authority or administrative tribunal that is known to the employee’s agency, which concludes in a finding that the investigative employee was intentionally untruthful in a matter, either verbally or in writing

A sustained finding that undermines or contradicts an investigative employee educational achievements or qualifications as an expert witness

Inappropriate or unauthorized use of government data

CRIMINAL CHARGES

A pending criminal charge or conviction of any crime, disorderly person, petty disorderly person, municipal ordinance, or driving while intoxicated matter

OTHER MISCONDUCT OR INVESTIGATIONS

Any allegation of misconduct bearing upon truthfulness, bias, or integrity that is subject of a pending investigation

Any promises, offers, threats or inducements, including the offer of immunity

A sustained finding or judicial finding that an investigative employee intentionally mishandled or destroyed evidence

Misconduct that involves the use of force

Our office will disclose Giglio material will disclose to defense counsel, file a notice of disclosure, and will log the disclosure on a Giglio list.”

A link to the October 14 letter from the District Attorney is here:

https://www.scribd.com/document/483235279/Giglio-letter-to-local-law-enforcement#from_embed

In a statement released, the Bernalillo County DA’s Office had this to say:

“The District Attorney is committed to using every available tool to improve transparency, accountability and integrity within our criminal justice system. Giglio disclosures are a standard part of federal prosecution but they are not often used or well understood inside our state system. We believe they are an important component of our larger reform efforts and an essential step in ensuring that the system is untainted by bias, misconduct or dishonesty. We also believe it will have no impact on the vast majority of police officers who have no sustained findings on their record.”

According to a spokesperson for the DA’s Office:

“The District Attorney’s Office will provide public access any time a formal Giglio notice is filed in a pending case but we are currently prohibited from sharing specific, confidential information that may form the basis of our Giglio determination.”

The link to the news source is here:

https://www.krqe.com/news/politics-government/bernalillo-county-district-attorney-rolls-out-new-system-to-hold-officers-accountable/

LIST TO BE MADE PUBLIC

On Friday, November 6, the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office announced it intends to create a publicly available list of law enforcement officers who have disclosures reflecting a history of dishonesty, use of force, bias or other issues that might make them unfit to aid in a prosecution. The DA’s Office said it hopes to begin publishing on its website early next year,

The list will consist of the names of officers who have Giglio disclosures that prosecutors are required to provide to defense attorneys if their law enforcement witnesses are unreliable or biased. The new list is being touted as the first public database of its kind in the country.

District Attorney Raúl Torrez stressed the practice of disclosing the material itself is not new and emphasized it is based on the US Supreme Court case Giglio v. United States. Both the Law Offices of the Public Defender and the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association routinely ask for Giglio disclosures at the beginning of every case and it is done on a case by case basis.

Not at all surprising, the public searchable database is being well received by the New Mexico Public Defender’s Office and the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Jennifer Burrill, the vice president of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, had this to say:

“[This Giglio disclosure are usually done] on a case-by-case basis … But to have a public searchable database is really a remarkable thing, and will help quite a bit with restoring trust between community members and police officers and hold everyone accountable. … When officers get in trouble a lot of times they’re allowed to resign and they move to another agency. … So with a transparent database other departments can look and find out whether that person has issues that are not welcomed at their department and end the practice of officers with misconduct issues being passed around from department to department.”

Bernalillo County District Attorney Torrez for his part had this to say:

“My sense is that the overwhelming majority of officers are not going to have cause for concern and are not going to have anything that would result in a Giglio notice from our office. I could foresee a situation where a department makes a personnel call based on sustained findings and after their due process is undertaken in the department, they reinstate this person. … We may make a judgment that this person will never testify again, and that hopefully will inform whether or not that law enforcement leader will keep that officer or that deputy in a position that could undermine future investigations.”

“Oftentimes police chiefs have no idea the person … has this credibility issue. … Frankly if they do have that information it might impact the willingness of those leaders to hire the officer and if they do hire the officer what type of responsibilities, they would give them. That is another really important reason to make this available.

A link to a related story is here:

https://www.abqjournal.com/1515583/da-plans-list-covering-officer-misconduct.html

APD AND BCSO RESPOND

A spokesman for APD said “we support transparency and the DA’s efforts to protect the integrity of prosecutions based on arrests by our officers. Chief (Harold) Medina is working with the DA to determine how to best accomplish this goal.”

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said the letter is a “sensitive matter” and that it is writing a letter of response to the DA’s Office. The BCSO did say it had concerns over the confidentiality and constitutionality of the changes.

CONFIDENTIALITY CONCERNS RAISED

The announcement of the new disclosure system was quickly questioned by APD Police Union President Shaun Willoughby and he had this to say:

“There’s a lot more questions than I have answers and I think that’s fundamentally my number one concern. We understand the DA has the authority to get this information, it’s almost required of his office to get this information by law. We just feel that it’s important to sit down and have an open dialogue with decision-makers before they roll it out so that our officers have the information to be successful. … I’m just disappointed with how the DA approached this. I’m disappointed that he didn’t bring stakeholders to the table.”

Willoughby said he is concerned about confidentiality and he is demanding to know more about the questions in the questionnaires and he wants more communication. No at all surprising, he says he would like more information on what’s coming so he can guide officers on how to protect themselves and their rights.

UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT RULING EXPLAINED

There are two landmark United States Supreme Court case that are at issue and they are Brady v. Maryland, 373 US 83, decided in 1963 and Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, decided in 1972.

Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, (1965) is the 1965 case that established that the prosecution must turn over all evidence that might exonerate the defendant and aide in the defense. The prosecution failed to do so for Brady, and he was convicted and the conviction was overturned. The US Supreme Court found in Brady v. Maryland that due process is violated when the prosecution “withholds evidence on demand of an accused which, if made available, would tend to exculpate him or reduce the penalty.” This is the case even if the failure to disclose was a matter of negligence and not intent.

Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, is a 1972 Supreme Court case involving the prosecution’s obligations in regards to criminal discovery and disclosure. In Giglio, the Court went further and held that “all impeachment evidence falls under” the Brady holding. What this means is that the prosecution is obligated to disclose all information or material that may be used to impeach the credibility of prosecution witnesses, including police officers who are called as witnesses for the prosecution.

The consequences of Brady and Giglio are simply stated as police officers must be especially careful to avoid any and all actions or statements that could compromise their credibility. This could easily include racial slurs and expressions of racial prejudice. A good example involves the case of OJ Simpson when investigating homicide officer Mark Furhman was impeached on the witness stand for his history of racial slurs that destroyed his credibility on the stand.

One legal authority succinctly put it this way:

“[Under the Supreme Court rulings] the prosecution is legally required to disclose any misconduct or compromising information regarding the witness to the defense attorney, who will then use it to impeach the law enforcement witness on the stand. The end result can be the loss of what would have been a strong case.”

COMMON PROBLEM

According to a defense law firm publication:

“A common problem across police departments and other law enforcement agencies is a failure to consistently provide local prosecutor’s with credibility information. Often, internal politics end up determining who is reported to the prosecutor’s office as unreliable and who is not. In response, some departments have tried to institute strict truthfulness policies and terminate officers who violate them. Others will attempt to place the officer in an administrative assignment.

The issue with both of these solutions is that police departments will inevitably act without any legal guidance and fail to follow the case law.
… .
A good practice for police officers would be to periodically consider what their own answers would be to the following questions:

• If the witness is aware of any specific instances of misconduct, both within and outside the scope of his or her employment, that may bear on the witness’ credibility, including the finding of a lack of candor during any administrative inquiry.

• If the witness has any pending allegations of misconduct with his or her employing agency

• If the witness has ever had criminal charges filed against him or her, regardless of the outcome of the charges

• If the witness is aware of any evidence suggesting his or her bias against the target, subject or defendant.

• If the witness is aware of any findings of misconduct, allegations or pending investigations of misconduct similar to circumstances or potential defenses in the case, such as, coercion, entrapment, mishandling of evidence or use of force.

• If the witness is aware of any prior findings by a court concerning the witness that may impact on the witness’ credibility.

• If the witness is aware of any negative allegations or opinions about the witness’ reputation or character that have been in media stories or otherwise publicly aired.”

The link to the quoted legal authority is here:

https://ggrmlawfirm.com/blog/in-the-news/what-police-officers-need-to-know-about-giglio-v-united-states/

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez is taking steps to initiate a formal process to deal with the prosecution’s obligation to disclose information impacting the reliability of a law enforcement witness’ testimony. Torrez is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico. He is familiar with the Department of Justice policies and procedures for disclosing information when it comes to federal law enforcement authorities.

Ever since taking office 4 years ago, Torrez has attempted to change policies and practices of the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office to model them after the United States Attorney’s Office. Best examples of this are his advocating for custodial hearings, demands for grand jury proceedings, his resistance to preliminary hearings and his reliance and referrals to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute violent felons.

Truth be known, all state prosecutors should already be fully aware of their burden and duties imposed upon them by both Supreme Court cases of Brady and Giglio. It’s taught in criminal and constitutional law school classes. If a New Mexico prosecutor is not aware of the requirements, they should be suspended from the practice of law until they learn it. Usually, the problem with law enforcement credibility is the withholding of information by the police officer themselves. Hence, Torrez’s wants to formalize the process.

The APD union president is seriously mistaken to even suggest or even remotely think that Bernalillo County District Attorney Torrez has as any obligation to the union, APD or BCSO for an “open dialogue” on the issue. Police Union President Willoughby can be “disappointed with how the DA approached this” all he wants, but DA Torrez has absolutely no obligation to allow “stakeholders to the table” whose obvious agenda would be to withhold any and all information they feel is inappropriate. That is strictly reserved to the prosecutor and ultimately the courts.

DIFFICULT BALANCING ACT

The overwhelming majority of police officers are honest and hard working with nothing to hide. It’s the very small number of police officer’s that are problematic that can bring disgrace and bring dishonor upon the department. Police officers with a history of abuse of force, dishonesty or other misconduct should not be able to count on anonymity and avoid proving they have changed. It’s what accountability of a public official is all about.

There is a big difference between having the legal authority to ask for and getting the information for legitimate use in a courtroom as opposed to just releasing personnel information for all the public to see and to be used for any reason. There are legitimate concerns opening up an officer’s personnel file that could harm of police officer’s reputation over frivolous infractions or be used to unfairly to discredit officers who have to be trusted to testify as witnesses in court.

Often times, there is a legitimate need to keep confidential matters in a progressive disciplinary process to ensure or preserve the employee-employer relationship. Another concern is with so much pressure and scrutiny in this day and age no one will want to be a police officer.

CONCLUSION

There are way too many law enforcement agencies in the state that handle releasing disciplinary records of law enforcement officers differently. Policies are always subject to change with change in department management, especially within Sherriff Departments where there is an election every 4 years. Consequently, the New Mexico legislature should take up the issue in the 2021 legislature to further clarify as to what extent personnel records of police can be released and make consistent policy throughout the state.

Giuliani Is The Smell And Look Of A Rotting Trump Presidency; Republican Party Believes Election Rigged

On November 3, former Vice President Joe Biden was elected the 46 President of the United States. Biden won the popular vote securing 51.1% of the popular vote (79,693,395 votes) to President Donald Trump’s 47.2% of the popular vote (73,708,217). President Elect Biden also won the electoral college, securing 306 to 232 electoral votes. Trump won the electoral college vote by the exact count over Hillary Clinton and declared he had won by a landslide even though Clinton had won the popular vote by over 3 million votes.

On Nov. 19, 2020, during a news conference at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, with the smell of sweat blackened by his cheap hair dye running down his face, an unhinged former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani had this to say:

“I know crimes, I can smell them. You don’t have to smell this one, I can prove it to you, 18 different ways. I can prove to you that he won, Pennsylvania, by 300,000 votes. I can prove to you that he won Michigan, probably 50,000 votes. …

It’s not a singular voter fraud in one state. This pattern repeats itself in a number of states, almost exactly the same pattern, which any experienced investigator prosecutor, which suggests that there was a plan — from a centralized place to execute these various acts of voter fraud, specifically focused on big cities, and specifically focused on, as you would imagine, big cities controlled by Democrats, and particularly if they focused on big cities that have a long history of corruption.”

“And I’ve often said, I guess sarcastically but it’s true. … The only surprise I would have found in this is that Philadelphia hadn’t cheated in this election. Because for the last 60 years, they’ve cheated in just about every single election. You could say the same thing about Detroit.”

During the November 19 press conference, Giuliani promised major suits in Georgia and Arizona and said the legal team is looking at New Mexico as well. Giuliani also promised “hundreds” of affidavits but said he could not show them to reporters. Notwithstanding the new lawsuits announced, Republicans announced that they were dropping federal election lawsuits in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Since the November 3 election, Trump on a daily basis loudly dismisses the results the election to deny President Elect Joe Biden’s legitimacy. The problem is that Trump’s followers continue to drink the propaganda Kool Aide and want to disenfranchise all who voted by absentee. Trump himself is attempting to steal the election from President Elect Joe Biden with his daily false fraud claims and frivolous lawsuits in all the battleground states Trump is acting like a wounded animal with his refusal to engage in a normal presidential transition and ordering lawsuits filed in the battleground states.

REPUBLICAN PARTY SEEKS TO DISCREDIT ELECTION OF PRESIDENT ELECT BIDEN

Trump’s Republican party is supporting his efforts to discredit the election with the likes of Republican Senators Mitch Mc Connell, Lindsay Graham and Rudy Giuliani supporting his legal challenges. McConnell, the Senate majority leader said that “President Trump is 100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” while severely criticizing Democrats for expecting Trump to “accept preliminary election results”. Trump may have the right to legally challenge election results, but he does not have the right to press on in a court of law without absolutely no proof and just lying that the election was rigged.

Trump still has a strangle hold on the Republican party and it will play into his thirst for power after he leaves office. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 52% of Republicans believe Trump “rightfully won” the U.S. election and that the election was stolen from him by widespread voter fraud. The poll found that just 26 percent of Republicans said they thought Biden’s win was “legitimate.”

A link to the poll is here:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-poll/half-of-republicans-say-biden-won-because-of-a-rigged-election-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUSKBN27Y1AJ

The opinion poll taken November 13-17 shows that Trump’s open defiance of Biden’s victory in both the popular vote and Electoral College appears to be affecting the public’s confidence in American democracy, especially among Republicans. Altogether, 73% of those polled agreed that Biden won the election while 5% thought Trump won.

When asked specifically whether Biden had “rightfully won,” Republicans showed they were suspicious about how Biden’s victory was obtained. 52% of Republicans said that Trump “rightfully won,” while only 29% said that Biden had rightfully won.

What is alarming is that when Republicans were asked they did not feel that Biden “rightfully won” they said that state vote counters had tipped the result toward Biden. 68% of Republicans said they were concerned that the election was “rigged,” while only 16% of Democrats and one-third of independents were similarly worried.

Altogether, 55% of adults polled said they believed the November 3 presidential election was “legitimate and accurate. That percentage is down 7 points from a similar poll that ran shortly after the 2016 election. The 28% who said they thought the election was “the result of illegal voting or election rigging” is up 12 points from four years ago.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that more Americans appear to be more suspicious about the U.S. election process than they were four years ago. The poll showed Republicans were much more likely to be suspicious of Trump’s loss this year than Democrats were when Hillary Clinton lost four years ago. In 2016, 52% of Democrats said Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump was “legitimate and accurate,” even as reports emerged of Russian attempts to influence the outcome. This year, only 26% of Republicans said they thought Trump’s loss was similarly legitimate.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,346 respondents, including 598 Democrats and 496 Republicans, and has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 5 percentage points.

NOT THE LAST OF THE FASCIST

Trump is already making it known that he wants to run again in 2024 and telling his supporters he wants to keep his options open. As he has done for the last 4 years, he promotes hostility and mistrust amongst his supporters denouncing as “rigged” one of the most secured elections in American history. Lawsuits that are being filed by Trump to challenge the elections in individual state are being dismissed within days of being filed for lack of any proof.

Whether or not Trump actually runs in 2024 is not what is dangerous. It is his supporters that are the most dangerous and what damage he does over the next 4 years to undermine President Joe Biden.

Princeton historian Sean Wilentz has put it this way:

“[Imagine]a counter-government, administered by tweets, propped up by Fox News or whatever alternative outlet Trump might construct for himself — a kind of Trumpian government-in-exile … telling his tens of millions of supporters as well as his congressional backers to reject Biden’s presidency … Trump would be trying to establish a center of power distinct from and antagonistic to the legitimately elected national government — not formally a separate government like the Confederacy but a virtual one, operating not just out in the country but inside the government, above all in Congress. “Two things could stop Trump: either his legal troubles become so severe that he can’t continue, or the Republican Party decides he’s hurting more than helping. … I would not bet on either one of these coming to pass.”

CONCLUSION

The swearing in of President Elect Joe Biden as the 46 President of the United States can not come soon enough. Until then, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the smell and look of a dying and rotting Trump Presidency that hopefully will not come back from the dead in 2024. One thing is for certain, the control of the United States Senate is still at stake with the two Georgia US Senate seats to be decided in a January runoff. Democrats need to take control of the Senate and bury the obstruction tactics that is the Republican party and embodied in Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnel.

“This Is New Mexico Space Command, Do You Copy Orion Voyager One?”

As farfetched as the headline sounds, the city and state could, within just a matter of a few years, become an aerospace space industry heavy weight.

On November 19, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced in a prepared statement that Albuquerque has made the short list of cities nationwide that the U.S. Air Force is considering to permanently locate the new U.S. Space Command. Albuquerque was one of 31 cities that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) said last summer it would consider in an initial round of screening for potential locations.

Albuquerque’s Kirkland Air Force base is now competing against 5 Air Force bases in Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, Alabama and Texas. The other finalists are:

Offutt AFB (NE), previously housed the strategic Air Force Command headquarters.

Patrick AFB (FL) at Cape Canaveral in Florida, which has 50 years of infrastructure and space-related history.

Peterson AFB (CO), the Space Command’s current temporary headquarters.

Port San Antonio (TX) which at one time housed three Air Force bases in and around it.

Redstone Army Airfield (AL) which also has extensive military infrastructure and a strong congressional delegation to lobby.

The new Space Command where ever it is located would bring more than 1,000 new, high paying jobs. It will also bring billions in federal and military spending and contracts for local companies. Albuquerque’s chances to secure the Space Command are considered very good given New Mexico’s extensive military and space-related assets.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham had this to say in her prepared statement about the city making the cut:

“We are excited to hear that Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque has been selected as one of the final candidates for the new Space Command headquarters. … Our state’s strong and growing role in space exploration, space science and national security related space matters puts it in a strong position to become the home of the new Space Command. We look forward to working with the Department of Defense in the weeks and months ahead.”

The US Department of Defense in an announcement said will begin virtual and in person site surveys in the coming weeks. The Defense Department said the goal is to announce in January a list of up to three alternative sites.

Links to related news sources are here:

https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/albuquerque-among-finalists-for-new-us-space-command/5929600/?cat=500

https://www.abqjournal.com/1519547/nm-makes-the-space-command-short-list.html

LOOKING FOR A PERMANENT HEADQUARTERS

In December, 2019, President Donald Trump authorized the new United States Space Force. The Space Command is separate from the Space Force. The Space Force is now the 6th branch of the United States military. The Department of Defense established the Space Command in August 2019. It is the military’s 11th unified combatant command and is temporarily located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

Last May, the U.S. Air Force officially launched a competition to choose a new, permanent command headquarters for the United Stated Space Command. In June, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Mayor Tim Keller jointly submitted a letter proposing Albuquerque as the new location for the headquarters.

On August 4, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced Albuquerque was one of 31 locations nationwide that the DOD was considering to set up the new headquarters. The city was considered as a potential candidate for the headquarters in the formal evaluation process.

When the announcement was made that the City was on the list of 31 locations, Lujan Grisham said in a prepared statement:

“New Mexico’s defense and science installations as well as our emphasis on a growing aerospace sector should give us an edge for this potential economic driver. … I am excited that Albuquerque and our state are moving forward in this process.”

THE CITY AND THE STATE A NATURAL FOR HEADQUARTERS

According to news sources, the Space Command is a unified “combatant command that coordinates all branches of the military when conducting operations in, from or through space.” The command will oversee all military space operations, whether that’s deterring aggression or defeating adversaries in an attack.

New Mexico has numerous space-related defense entities housed at Kirtland Air Force Base that make the city a natural for the headquarters. Those entities include the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate, which is currently leading much of the military’s research and development efforts to modernize space-related defense systems. The Starfire Optical Range at Kirtland also offers comprehensive ground-based monitoring of space assets and activity, making it a center of excellence for space domain awareness.

New Mexico has other major assets that make it a natural for the headquarters, including the space-related defense entities that operate at Kirtland and extensive military infrastructure in Albuquerque and elsewhere in the state. That includes White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, which offers missile defense testing and inland launch capabilities. Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory offer high-tech support capabilities, and Kirtland itself offers extensive base infrastructure to accommodate Space Command personnel and their families.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1486449/abq-in-the-running-for-space-command.html

NEW MEXICO’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

New Mexico’s entire congressional delegation is lobbying to land the Space Command. In a prepared statement, US Senator Martin Heinrich had this to say:

“New Mexico has a long history of leadership in both space exploration and national defense, dating back to the earliest days of the U.S. space program … New Mexico makes perfect sense right now as the best location for the new U.S. Space Command headquarters.”

THE ORION GROUP AEROSPACE COMPANY DEVELOPMENT

On Thursday, November 12, the City of Albuquerque Environmental Planning Commission approved the new site plan for the “Orion Center.” It is an aerospace and technology facility that will be built on the 122-acre plot of land located between Kirtland Air Force Base and Albuquerque International Sunport. “Group Orion”, the developer, is a subsidiary of Theia Group Inc., a Washington D.C. based, privately held aerospace company. The Theia Group is attempting to develop a network of satellites to digitally image and collect data on the physical world, providing solutions in areas from logistics to biology.

The mass area acreage was originally where the North-South airport runway was located. The land has now been designated for industrial development by the city. In 2017 after the runway was removed, the City named the acreage as the “Aviation Center for Excellence”. The city began to offer the vacant land area for commercial and office developers.

According to city officials, the city will seek to secure permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and complete a lease agreement with “The Group Orion” for the property. Group Orion is seeking to build a “campus” like facility that will include a 2 million square foot manufacturing center, an eight-story office and laboratory building, a new food hall and an extended-stay hotel. The campus will be named the Orion Center. Other long-term developments and expansion is envisioned. The campus as originally envisioned is to house 1,000 jobs once it opens. The plans submitted to the City on behalf of Group Orion includes a 2,500 jobs expansion plan.

The campus will have a number of separate buildings, spread out on both sides of Girard Boulevard, south of Gibson Boulevard. The square footage size of the campus is estimated to be 4.1 million square feet spread out across a total of 6 buildings to be built. The focal point of the campus will be an assembly building consisting of a 2 million square-foot, single-story building that will serve as the company’s main manufacturing and testing center.

Plans for the campus also include an 8-story building that will include laboratories, offices and additional assembly space. Plans on the western side of the campus call for an “extended stay” hotel to house new hires and other guests, a food hall for employees and an 8 story parking garage. A skybridge over Girard to help employees cross the street safely is also being proposed.

Group Orion has hired local engineers and has paid the city $125,000 as a retainer to hold the land. If the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approves the Center, then construction of the Orion Center could start in spring 2021 with the projected opening of the campus being in 2023.

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

According to the city’s Economic Development Department, the global space economy is projected to be worth $3 trillion by 2045. With the announcements that Albuquerque is one of 5 finalists for the new Department of Defense U.S. Space Command and that the Orion Group aerospace company is planning to establish a major manufacturing center near the Albuquerque International Sunport, the city and state’s emerging national standing as a space industry powerhouse is clearly in the stars. (Please excuse the pun.)

Come January 20, President Joe Biden will become the next President of the United States. With any luck, Democrats will also control the United States Senate if Georgia elects two Democrat United States Senators in the December run off. With that said, the New Mexico congressional delegation will have its work cut out for it to make sure the new Space Command headquarters is located in Albuquerque.

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!

A link to a related blog article is here:

2020 “Orion Center” Type Of Development Foreseen In 2013 “Energize Alb” Plan; PATHETIC: City Set Aside Of $5.8 Million For Economic Development Out Of $1.1 Billion City Budget; Mayor Keller Relies On Luck For Economic Development