WRETCHED GRETCHEN

By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

The governor of Michigan, the wretched Gretchen Whit-a-ZERO, disallows necessary “elective” surgeries such as for joint replacements and heart conditions – but allows abortions (an atrocious act, which by its nature, is elective). In an inane rant, proselytizing for abortion, she unbelievably dribbled that abortion is part of a woman’s “whole future, her ability to decide if and when she starts a family is not an election”…How stupid is this “person”? That’s the definition of “election.”

This moronic evil-doer/governor (who some people “elected”) made the additional oxymoronic statement that abortion is “life sustaining” – in trying to substantiate her decision to prohibit truly life sustaining surgeries (i.e., for joint replacements, heart conditions, etc), while promulgating the elective life-killing act of abortion…I don’t think that most people who have had abortions are evil. Many of them are good people who just have been propagandized their entire lives into thinking that abortion somehow fruits from a “constitutional right.” They mistakenly equate legality with morality; in other words, they think that because it is legal, it is therefore moral (and, unfortunately, don’t think any further than that).

But this Wretched Gretchen – I think she’s evil. She so dearly enjoys taking away people’s real constitutional rights (1st Amendment’s freedom of assembly, speech & religion), but wants to protect people’s ability (not right) to kill human lives. I believe those in Michigan will “elect” to vote out this creature in her next “election.” But they should be wary – because next, she may try to take away their rights to vote. All of this is what dictatorial, tyrannical officials do.

Kenneth Del Vecchio is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/commercial litigation attorney for 25 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases; he is partner in the prestigious law firm, Stern, Kilcullen & Rufolo.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and eOne Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.”  A regular legal and political  analyst on the major news networks who has appeared on hundreds of shows, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper. 

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GIFTED ATHLETE-ACTOR-ACADEMIC MARIO DEL VECCHIO SAYS HIS MONTCALIR COBRAS TEAM IS FULL OF STARS

By TEMPLE LI

The kid is represented by top talent agent BMG for acting. To date, he has ten movies under his belt. Last November, A Karate Christmas Miracle was released, and reviewed by Empire State News. This holiday/mystery flick stars the kid, as well as an Oscar nominee (Eric Roberts) and karate movie icon (Martin Kove of “Cobra Kai” and The Karate Kid). Earlier this year, the kid played another lead role in another star-laden movie, A Wrestling Christmas Miracle. Kove again co-stars in this new movie, joined by the likes of Emmy nominee Gilbert Gottfried (Problem Child), Golden Globe nominee Jimmie Walker (“Good Times”), Michael Winslow (Police Academy), Todd Bridges (“Different Strokes”), and Scott Schwartz (A Christmas Story)—along with A Karate Christmas Miracle alums Julie McCullough, Candy Fox, Joe Wooley, and Buddy Fitzpatrick. This acting resume is quite impressive for a kid.

Also, last month the kid got his fifth-grade third semester report card. And he earned straight A’s. The same as he did for each other marking period this year, and as he did for his fourth-grade final marks. A photographic memory has been asset in educational endeavors. Being a perennial straight-A student is quite impressive for a kid.

The kid finished his wrestling season in March, where he took first place in nearly every tournament that he wrestled in. A member of his Montclair duals team – where he must compete against wrestlers all the way through 8th graders – the kid had the highest league winning percentage of all in his weight class.  After winning over two dozen matches this season (including an astounding 23 pins), wrestling trophies and medals cover the walls of his bedroom. Highlights of his wrestling can be seen in this video.  Being a top wrestler is quite impressive for a kid.

In November, the kid played in the Garden State AYF football league state championship game, where he was a captain for his Montclair Cobras team. In 2018, he was the team’s Lineman of the Year. In 2019, in capturing the team’s Hammer Award and Academic achievement Award for having the highest grades on the team, he was an absolute tour de force: on defense, terrorizing opposing teams’ backfields, and on offense a consistent powerhouse blocker. His football highlights video tells it all. Being an outstanding football player is quite impressive for a kid.

Doing ALL of the above is nearly impossible for a kid. But it is a reality for media-dubbed Renaissance Boy, Mario Del Vecchio, who ESN has been following for quite some time. An 11-year-old, very confident student-athlete and more – who movie co-star Julie McCullough called “a little girls’ dream” in an article in New Jersey daily newspaper The Record – Del Vecchio has continually expressed gratitude to others in connection with his successes. Take his 2019 football campaign.

Del Vecchio, who dons jersey #44, was relentless as a defensive end. He led the team by recording 10 1/2 QB sacks, seemingly breaking through the opposing team’s offensive line in just about every play during the second half of the season. The sacks were complemented by constant pressures of the quarterback and running back tackles, as well as multiple forced fumbles. On the offensive side, Del Vecchio was the model guard. Block. Block. Block. And some pretty brutal ones. An atypical lineman – Del Vecchio has the build of a halfback (but is smaller than most of his lineman counterparts) – he’s a rock of lean muscle, whose physical and mental strengths power him, along with surprising quickness. But the kid has this to say:

“Football is a team sport. Our entire team has a number of great players. If you want to see some amazing players, look at Baby and Donavin.”

There, Del Vecchio was taking about Montclair Cobras QB/LB Zakhir “Baby” Huff and RB/LB Donavin Livingston. A review of the season’s games indeed proves to showcase the most outstanding of athletes in Huff and Livingston.

Huff’s small stature is deceptive, to say the least. Wickedly fast, an informal tally renders that he rushed, as a quarterback, for over 1,000 yards in a season that has about half the games of the NFL. He had several break-out, 50+ yard TD runs, where he couldn’t be caught by pursuing opposing defenses. When defenders were nearby, Huff, sporting jersey #1, often delivered dazzling moves a la Saquon Barkley, Barry Sanders, and Eric Dickerson, mystically eluding the would-be tacklers. This resulted in more touchdowns.

A well-rounded quarterback, Huff can also pass the ball with great talent, recording multiple TD passes to favorite receivers Roman Lentz and Nasir Chance-Pennix. On defense, “steady”, “fast”, and very “hard-hitting” equally describe Huff and fellow linebacker Donavin Livingston.

Both Huff and Livingston registered scores of tackles in every game of the season. And the duo nailed opposing quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers on any part of the field. If the offensive ball carriers came the way of Livingston and Huff, they got tackled. If they didn’t come their way, they still got tackled. Hearing the cracking of their hard hits was the norm in the Montclair Cobras stands.

Livingston, like Huff, was also an offensive juggernaut. A power back in the mold of Jim Brown, who has great bursts of speed, Livingston, wearing jersey #2, was the Cobras go-to halfback, who rushed for several touchdowns. Hundred-plus rushing efforts were regular game occurrences for Livingston, who also has great receiving talents.

In the state championship game against the Bergen County Stars, Del Vecchio and his co-captains Huff and Livingston played tough, but the Cobras took a 19 – 12 loss. “Our whole team played great in that game,” Del Vecchio said. “We played great together for the entire season. Bubba, Tyree, Nas, Roman, Christopher, everyone,” he added, referring to other teammates. “We got each other’s backs.”

“I was really emotional after we didn’t win in that championship game last weekend. We all were,” Del Vecchio said. “One of the older Cobras came up to me when we were taking pictures. He could see I was upset, and he gave me words of encouragement. I was so emotional, I can’t remember who it was, but I want to thank him for taking the time to talk to me, a younger kid, and it was right before his own game.” All of the Montclair Cobras teams, 10U, 12U, and 13U, were in the state championship games last Sunday, playing their arch-rival Bergen County Stars; they are New Jersey’s two leading programs. The Cobras 12U team was victorious, and they move onto the regionals in Maryland – joined by the Bergen County Stars 10U and 13U squads. Winners at the regionals went onto the AYF Super Bowl in Florida.

“My dad has been the greatest help and inspiration for me in all my sports and acting,” Del Vecchio said, “And my mom is always right there, encouraging me.” And then he spoke about his Cobras coaches, with substantial praise: “They only care about one thing, and that’s making us better players. It has worked for so many of us. I’m a much better player because of them. And I couldn’t ask for better football coaches. The Cobras coaches know football like pro coaches. I really mean that. But they also care about us. They really want us to win, but it’s not all about winning, if you know what I mean. They care about us as people.”

Del Vecchio was taking about his coaches Glenn Jenkins, Devon Livingston, Jerry Diggs, and Steven Huff. And the head of the Cobras football program, Wil Young. He was talking about men who apparently want to help make good kids into good men. Del Vecchio said, “Now that’s impressive.”

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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AS NUMBER OF DEATHS CAUSED BY DICTATORIAL DICTATES EXCEED THOSE CAUSED BY CORNAVIRUS + CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS DECIMATED + ECONOMY ANNIHILATED, STRONG AMERICANS CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO REPEAL ALL ORDERS; MATH & SCIENCE SHOW THAT CORONAVIRUS HAS SAME EFFECT WITH AND WITHOUT STAY AT HOME ORDERS + THAT DEATH RATE IS SAME AS THE FLU

By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

In layman’s terms, all of these state-mandated stay at home/work and school closure/social distancing measures (the “Dictatorial Dictates”) are, well, stupid.

In legal terms, the Dictatorial Dictates are unconstitutional. They violate the First, Fifth and Eighth Amendments. And they are in direct contravention of the separation of powers conscription of the United States’s superior legal document. Americans’ most fundamental rights of freedom have been obliterated. Freedom of Assembly has been stripped. Freedom of Speech, thereby, has been gravely restricted. Freedom of Religion has been nullified. The basic God-given right to move about freely has been wholly tainted by an unholy tampering.

The Dictatorial Dictates have completely crushed America’s economy. The orders have resulted in over 20 million citizens losing their jobs, with this unemployment catastrophe continuing to grow. No doubt, every facet of the economy is under siege. The United States – and the world – is entering into a depression.

Medical and scientific data has, at this point, unequivocally, proven that the number of deaths caused by the Dictatorial Dictates already is – and will continue to be – greater than the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus itself. By way of example, but not limitation, the Dictatorial Dictates are causing deaths to Americans from the following:

(1) increased mental illness and stress that have manifested into lethal physical conditions;

(2) people who have been completely unable to visit with their physicians because of restraints put on the doctors;

(3) people who are unable to visit, in-person, with their physicians because certain doctors are only consulting with patients, regarding certain health issues, via online video;

(4) people who are too afraid to leave their homes to visit with their physicians or go to the hospital;

(5) the abolition of crucial elective surgeries (e.g., for joint replacements and even heart conditions);

(6) the restriction of certain kinds of vital routine doctor visits (e.g., for mammograms);

(7) increased suicide;

(8) increased drug usage and overdoses;

(9) increased alcohol abuse;

(10) increased domestic violence;

(11) increased lethargy and obesity; and

(12) increased poverty.

Back to “STUPID”…Who, at this point, does not recognize the factual reality that all of the above has already – and will continue to – cause more deaths to people than the coronavirus?

The Dictatorial Dictates are unsustainable. They are unwanted, en masse – by the vast majority of Americans. The politicians who have enacted these diabolical measures (wittingly or unwittingly) have an obligation to listen to their constituents and immediately cease and desist from their propounding of them. It is, indeed, these elected officials’ absolute duty to repeal the Dictatorial Dictates immediately – and in full.

The evidence, at this point, is undeniable.

There are FACTS.

There is SCIENCE.

There is MATH.

And then, there is Sweden. Which encompasses, with great clarity, all of the facts, science, and math. And it adds in another great factor. A factor where one does not need to be a doctor, scientist, or mathematician. And that factor is:

Good ole’ fashioned common sense.

Sweden is nearly an exact replica of the United States in per capita statistics, meaning that, proportionally, it’s just a smaller version of the U.S. Is everyone ready for the FACTS? For the SCIENCE? For the MATH? And then to employ their COMMON SENSE?

American state governments have enacted the Dictatorial Dictates. Sweden has NOT. Sweden has no stay-at-home or other hysterical orders. Business is as usual in that country. And the result?

Sweden’s population has the same percentage of coronavirus cases as the U.S. And the death rate from the coronavirus is the same as in the U.S. In fact, all the percentages, regarding all issues pertaining to the coronavirus, is the same in Sweden and the U.S. Now, employing that common sense, what does this mean?

It means that there is absolutely no need for the Dictatorial Dictates. And they should be repealed immediately.

But there is more math, science and facts that evidence that the Dictatorial Dictates are completely unnecessary. Information that comes from experts who actually compile data from several countries – conclusions that arrive from actual mathematical analyses. Not predictions, but actual analyses of past and current data.

On April 15, Marina Medvin reported in a Townhall article:

“Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel of Tel Aviv University, who also serves on the research and development advisory board for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, plotted the rates of new coronavirus infections of the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Italy, Israel, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Spain. The numbers told a shocking story: irrespective of whether the country quarantined like Israel, or went about business as usual like Sweden, coronavirus peaked and subsided in the exact same way. In the exact, same, way.”

Ben Israel’s mathematical analysis shows that in each country, the number of cases peaked at the sixth week of infection, and then had a rapid decrease by the eighth week. The infection patterns in all countries he analyzed, per his study, could best be described as identical.

Also from the Townhall article:

“The Wuhan Virus follows its own pattern, [Ben Israel] told Mako, an Israeli news agency. It is a fixed pattern that is not dependent on freedom or quarantine… ‘Is the coronavirus expansion exponential? The answer by the numbers is simple: no. Expansion begins exponentially but fades quickly after about eight weeks’…The numbers simply do not support quarantine or economic closure.”

Regarding the efficacy and basis for the stay-at-home and shutdown orders – and why varied government officials have mandated such – Ben Israel stated, “I think it’s mass hysteria. I have no other way to describe it. 4,500 people die each year from the flu in Israel because of complications, so close the country because of that? No. I don’t see a reason to do it because of a lower-risk epidemic.”

Originally, the U.S. – and several other countries – wildly enacted Dictatorial Dictates based upon the inanely bloated predictions of a hysterical professor, Neil Ferguson, from the United Kingdom. Ferguson, with no rational basis, frightened political leaders into believing that the U.S. would suffer 2.2 million deaths from the coronavirus. It might be of interest to note that Ferguson is the same mad scientist who had predicted that up to 150,000 people in the United Kingdom would die from the mad cow disease; as of current day, 177 people have died from the mad cow disease.

Over a week ago, Tucker Carlson reported on his Fox News Channel show that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) – a liberal think tank at the University of Washington – now projects that the total number of American deaths from the coronavirus (by the time of its estimated end in August) will be far less than they originally predicted. This is of great significance because it matches the same  of American deaths from varied seasons’ flu. Yes, the IHME, who most state governments have been relying upon for their crazed society-shutting, draconian orders, has now predicted that the deaths from the coronavirus will be the same number as those from the flu. This is in concert with the analysis of Ben Israel and all other rational scientists and doctors who are thoughtfully – using facts, math, and science – studying this unfortunate matter. The reality – which now has been reported by numerous media outlets and reiterated by voluminous scientists, doctors and other critical thinkers – is now clear:

It has turned out the total number of deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. will extremely likely be approximately the same number of deaths that occur from the flu – with or without the Dictatorial Dictates. Additionally, the coronavirus death rate is nowhere near the recklessly reported numbers and, instead, the true death rate is commensurate with that of the flu (approximately 0.1%) – and may even be lower.

Conclusion: here, in these circumstances, the United States should go as Sweden goes. And all the Dictatorial Dictates should immediately be fully repealed. This is what strong Americans are calling for, en masse. Strong Americans – which are most Americans – understand, assuredly, that immediately repealing all the Dictatorial Dictates is in the best interests of Americans’ health, constitutional rights, and economic interests.

President Trump, who has been a pillar of rationale during this crisis, has examined the evidence presented by a plethora of leading medical doctors and scientists – not just the wild opinions of a few – to reach valid conclusions that can lead the nation out of an unnecessary crazed panic (and economic, constitutional and non-coronavirus health crises caused by the Dictatorial Dictates). All of the state governments should now put politics aside and disregard past decisions (some made by power-hungry evildoers, others made mistakenly in good faith) that led to the incorrectly-leveled Dictatorial Dictates…And follow this president’s lead in opening America back up.

Although all definitively must abide by these new laws restricting their constitutional rights (just as they must follow any other laws with which they may disagree), the government should quickly eliminate the Dictatorial Dictates. And they should be eliminated in their totality. Wherein America is completely returned to normality – with no “new norms” and no hysteria. Just logical thinking and ordinary human interactions in a thriving, constitutionally-protected society and economy. Anything else is unconstitutional and, well, stupid.

Kenneth Del Vecchio is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/commercial litigation attorney for 25 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases; he is partner in the prestigious law firm, Stern, Kilcullen & Rufolo.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and eOne Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.”  A regular legal and political  analyst on the major news networks who has appeared on hundreds of shows, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper. 

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IF LARGER STATES DON’T START REOPENING SOON, WE MIGHT NEED A BANK DEBT HOLIDAY TO AVERT ANOTHER FINANCIAL CRISIS WITH MILLIONS OF FORECLOSURES

By ROBERT ROMANO

Another 5.2 million Americans filed for initial unemployment claims last week, bringing the total number of jobs lost to the Chinese coronavirus and related government closures to anywhere from 21.8 million to 24.8 million jobs lost in about one month, and when added to the 5.8 million who were already jobless, produces an effective unemployment rate of 16.7 to 18.5 percent.

That’s already almost triple the number of jobs lost in the 2007-2008 financial crisis and ensuing recession, when 8.3 million Americans had lost their jobs by Dec.2009 and more than 6 million foreclosures occurred between 2007 and 2010. Joblessness has not been this high since the Great Depression.

If the same proportion of homes lost to jobs lost holds true today in the event we have a long-term unemployment problem, as many as 15 million to 18 million households could be in jeopardy of falling behind on their mortgage payments right now — through no fault of their own. They had great jobs and were making good money to live in a nice home, and now it could all be washed away by the recession onslaught brought on by the virus.

Many banks are already providing temporary forebearance and deferral options for mortgage payments that must be paid back for any delinquency on a separate payment plan, or outright deferral with the delinquent amounts being added to the mortgage principal.

In addition, there is also a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions by the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve, but those who have already lost their jobs are in danger of falling behind on their payments and losing equity in their homes right now. Fortunately the job losses only began a month ago, but already the effects may already be trickling into the financial system that could become a torrent should it go on too long.

The trouble is the amount of time it takes for a recession to run its course, with job losses to recovering those jobs lasting on average 27 months since 1948 — 11 months to lose all the jobs, and 16 months to get them all back. But if you look at the financial crisis and Great Recession, which may be a more relevant example, it took 25 months to lose all the jobs, and 57 months to get them all back. Of note, the past three recessions have progressively taken longer to recover from, at 14 months to 18 months and then 57 months in the last one.

So, banks might be able to defer or reduce payments for a few months, but in the end, if unemployment turns out to be a much longer term problem, then so too will foreclosures eventually become a problem, the current moratorium notwithstanding. The danger comes if the recession lasts longer than anticipated and suddenly homeowners are either way behind on their payments or they lost a ton of equity when the moratorium ends and find themselves upside down if, say, property values plummet during this recession.

For middle and upper middle class households, the expanded unemployment proceeds plus the checks going out, particularly in more expensive states, may still not be enough for millions of households who are already experiencing unemployment. Households whose revolving debt loads were already high will be impacted greatly. The wealthiest could actually be hit the hardest in these circumstances, as unbelievable as that might sound to the lay person, because they will have to simultaneously assume considerable capital losses on equities to get to cash, which are still in practical bear market territory.

Into the mix, we must also consider the very strong possibility that governors of larger states with bigger metropolitan areas, Democrats and Republicans alike, are going to take considerably longer to reopen than smaller states, cities and towns that have flatter curves in terms of the rate of infection by the virus. Longer periods to reopen, then, will undoubtedly mean millions of more unemployed and longer periods of unemployment, too, and therefore even more potential foreclosures than is currently being discussed.

And so we may need a temporary bank holiday to prevent another financial crisis much, much larger than the last one. That is, if we want there to be a middle class when this is over. Not even the wealthy may have enough savings to not work indefinitely because they have larger mortgages, as we learned in 2008. The higher the property values, the bigger the problem. Those of you living in more expensive states who are at risk of losing their jobs or already have know exactly what I’m talking about.

This gives some context to the current anxiety over how and when states might begin reopening. There are very understandable concerns on the public health side, and those on the economic side are equally sobering. But still not knowing when we might reopen definitively for each state is a huge red flag that the potential downstream costs have not been fully contemplated by the federal and state governments.

For example, if in reality we’re actually talking months and not weeks to get past this current period for larger states and metro areas where property values are the highest and unemployment will likely be the worst — and maybe even until we get a vaccine for the virus — we need to know that right now.

State governors must be clear about what it will take for them to reopen, because Congress, Treasury and the Federal Reserve must be prepared now, not later, for those contingencies that have yet to be defined.

Under these circumstances, periodically returning to Congress to address these concerns every few weeks when another critical part of the economy breaks could result in millions more households getting behind on their payments, ultimately culminating in another foreclosure crisis when things finally do reopen that will make 2008 look like a blip on the radar. Again, we’ve already lost triple the jobs compared to the last financial crisis. Expanded unemployment benefits and the checks now going out may not be enough to cover the damage that’s already been done, especially in areas with higher costs of living.

Whatever choice we make right now must be both politically and economically sustainable. That has to be the rule. Does the above scenario sound sustainable to anyone? Governor Cuomo? Anyone?

State and local governments have their own problems, where the essence of the crisis is they are rapidly running out of taxpayers to cover the costs of everything on government ledgers, in addition to so many losing their jobs in the private sector to continue servicing their own privately held debts. This toxic combination could collapse not only the financial system but society itself.

This could be an economic suicide pact if the proper measures are not taken.

The U.S. labor force is currently contracting at a rate about 3 to 4 percent every week! So, for governments, that means state and local revenues are falling at about the same rate. It appears to be more expensive to leave things closed than to have them open, despite utilizing fewer resources, as unbelievable as that sounds.

Another problem is that currently, Congress is attempting to deal with this emergency on the fiscal side where the administration may have to keep going back to Congress when further assistance is needed, and even then what they’re producing out of Congress is actually quite meager despite the gargantuan price tag when balanced against the real need. Consider that, the legislation Congress passed is by far the largest in American history, and might not be enough.

To be sure, the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve should have access to accurate, up-to-the-minute data that will tell them how many households are about to fall behind on their payments and by how much. They need to look at the drop in FICA payments already occurring and then compare the incomes that existed above that but suddenly do not anymore. Similar analysis will probably need to be prepared for municipal bond markets. The shortfalls being experienced or that we’re about to experience must be colossal.

Treasury and the Fed should also consider whether the bill Congress already passed, which can be expanded up to $6 trillion with firepower from the Fed, already would authorize a more aggressive approach and begin making immediate preparations.

If so, then the nation’s top financial officials could move towards a bank holiday rapidly. We might need it right away, not just for households, but for a larger portion of debt service than is currently being anticipated. In truth, only the Federal Reserve has the resources to do this. Anecdotally, my student loan payment has been automatically deferred. Officials should consider whether that might be necessary for a larger share of debt payments across the country.

Here are just a few categories of things the Fed might already be looking at potentially covering. Fiscal conservatives may wish to avert their eyes.  But if this really is going to go on for months, not weeks as I am reading from state governors right now who are reticent to even think about when we might reopen, then this contingency must at least be considered. The areas most likely to run into trouble are 1) state and local government revenues; 2) municipal bonds; 2) small businesses; 3) larger employers; 4) mortgages both residential and commercial; 5) credit card bills; 6) student loans; and 7) corporate bonds.

Without widespread deferrals amid mass unemployment already approaching Great Depression levels, even if only, say, 25 percent of individuals and entities fell into this category, that would be more than enough to topple the entire financial system.

Again, the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve has access to all the data they need to determine how many households and, yes, municipalities are about to be unable to service payments. It might be wise to consider debt service assistance for the foreseeable future. That’s what a bank holiday is. In addition to the already approved expanded unemployment plus the checks going out, debt service assistance might be enough to get households through this crisis without any foreclosures and prevent households from falling behind on their payments in the first place.

Such a program can only possibly be undertaken on the monetary side, in my opinion, because not even the U.S. treasuries market are big enough to cover the gaping hole that has been created by the equivalent of a large asteroid striking the global economy.

In 2008, Congress created the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to address what was more like a $5 trillion problem in mortgage and derivative markets. That is because no matter how big Congress thought the problem was, it was in fact much, much larger than could be politically contemplated. The only way then Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was able to stop the bleeding was by effectively taking over the delinquent mortgage markets from both the privately issued mortgage-backed securities plus those held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

To give this scale to the current crisis, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion leverageable up to $6 trillion plan to address what might actually be more like a $20 trillion problem on the backend.

This has to do with the potential cascading effects of tens of millions of Americans suddenly stopping their payments on debt service, which may already be happening or soon will this month and next month en masse. In the financial crisis, that resulted in bond holders who suddenly stopped receiving principal and interest payments, who in turn suddenly stopped making their own debt service payments to major financial institutions, who in turn had nowhere but the Fed to turn to.

It shouldn’t even get that far. The uncertainty in the projection has to do with similar uncertainties about how long the economic shutdown will go on, plus bank exposure in the shadow banking and derivatives markets. It is possible not even the banks know how large the problem is across the system. The only difference appears to be on orders of magnitude. Again, we’ve already lost triple the jobs compared to the last financial crisis. The orderly liquidation fund in Dodd-Frank won’t be enough to cover this on a liquidation basis, nor do I think it should even be considered as an option because it assumes mass defaults.

Now, stemming that tide will be the Fed’s ongoing legacy mortgage-backed securities purchase program from the last crisis, where the central bank takes bad debts off of bank’s balance sheets. But we shouldn’t let it get there, either, because that assumes the foreclosures happen.

This crisis was not the fault of Americans who were working hard and paying all their debts in one of the finest economies in modern history.

In one month, however, again, we have lost almost triple the jobs lost in the Great Recession that took 25 months to be realized beginning in 2007 all the way to the end of 2009. The bill Congress already passed could be adequate to address this since it already provides for the Fed to expand measures as needed up to $6 trillion without any more votes in Congress required to cover whatever needs to be covered. If so, then the action that could still be urgently needed must come from Treasury and the Federal Reserve.

In addition, 38 million Americans in the labor force are 55 years old and older, and 11 million of those are 65 years old and older, such that even if governors say let’s reopen except for older Americans, we’re still talking about almost one-quarter of the labor force who will likely be unable to continue working and servicing their debts. And that’s the so-called Swedish model. It will likely take years to calculate the true costs of the overall closures impacting a far wider swath of the civil labor force than just the elderly, however.

Now, all of the above is completely dependent on what state governors do very specifically on reopening, and what sorts of treatment become available to mitigate the virus’ impact, including any cures that were authorized on an emergency basis by President Trump. Until there is something like that, and we can already anticipate how governors in larger states are going to proceed, it would be irresponsible of Congress, the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve not to contemplate and prepare for the worst case scenario economically that I fear we are already in. The damage may have already been done. We need to get ahead of this storm. The problem is it is already right over our heads.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of his articles at www.DailyTorch.com. 

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THEY ALL WENT BATS IN WUHAN

By CANDY STALLWORTH

Rats are rather grotesque creatures. Same with mice. What really makes them different from squirrels, that don’t bother people, though, is probably the fluffy tails. Squirrels just aren’t that offensive to people. They’re kind of likable.

But bats?

No way.

Bats are like rats. They’re disgusting. They’re like rats with wings. Not to mention, fiction lore has defined them as vampires. Animals that turn into humans who blood-suck from other humans. But that’s just fiction. Dracula was the creation of a famed author.

The bats in Wuhan, China, however, so unfortunately are not fiction. These bats may not suck blood from humans but they have nonetheless infected humans in a terrible way, through the coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 aka the China coronavirus aka the Wuhan coronavirus.

Although these bats are not turning into humans, like the nefarious fellow Dracula, the horrible disease that they are transmitting to humans has, no doubt, been caused by humans and not really the bats themselves. This is because humans, for some idiotic reason, decided to play around with the bats’ species-specific coronavirus. Wearing white lab coats, tin-foil hats, and Coke-bottle-thick magnifying glasses, Wuhan, China scientists-of-sort (aka sordid scientists) befriended these bats and extracted the coronavirus from them. Was their intended purpose for the good, i.e., to learn from this virus, to create some kind of “down the road” vaccine in the event that the virus was somehow transmitted to human beings? That seems to be what they’re saying, “they” being some Chinese officials and, possible, it may be the case. If it is the case, it nonetheless appears to be an incredibly moronic endeavor. Is there really a legitimate reason to isolate viruses from animals (viruses that can affect humans) for some potential, long-shot benefit?

The answer definitely seems to be “no.”

For what happened here?

Negligent so-called scientists unleashed the coronavirus to the human population, which begs revisiting the question: did this fruit from good-faith, albeit dumb, intentions? Or did it fruit from a sinister plan, where the coronavirus was extracted from the bats with a purpose to infect human beings?

The latter possibility is probably unlikely because humans, generally, are not that sinister, but there have been (and currently are) many evil people in the world, so such a disgusting, horrid act is possible. Most likely, however, is that the release of the coronavirus from this lab was an accident, due to the mad scientists’ carelessness.

What’s not a reasonable possibility, though, is that some bat that was just flying around, all of a sudden, sprinkled the coronavirus onto a person, and that’s how this entire tableau began. It came from the Wuhan lab, and it came from people who like playing with bats. And that sucks.

Candy Stallworth, an Empire State News staff writer, whipped her way through a doctoral education at the finest of American higher ed institutions, noting how unoriginal, inept, and annoying many of the schools’ professors were in their robotic attempts to maintain a politically correct narrative. BTW: she hates words like “narrative”, “optics”, and “gaffe.” Other than that, her turn-offs include non-masculine men, women who hate men, men who hate men, phonies, disloyal people, and overflowing garbage cans. She likes New England clam chowder better than Manhattan clam chowder, but prefers Manhattan to New England.

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ANOTHER 6.6 MILLION JOBS LOST TO CHINESE CORONAVIRUS, UP TO 19.6 MILLION LOST AND COUNTING, BUT MAIN STREET WILL REOPEN VERY SOON

By ROBERT ROMANO

Weekly unemployment claims in the U.S. were up another 6.6 million, bringing the total jobs lost since the Chinese coronavirus pandemic to anywhere from 16.6 million to 19.6 million as federal and state government closures continue to in order to stave off the virus and protect the elderly and those with underlying conditions, more than doubling the jobs lost during the Great Recession.

That puts the effective unemployment rate 15 percent, pretty much the highest since the Great Depression, with an overall 22 million to 26 million out of work and rising as Americans continue to engage in social distancing. Recall, about 5.8 million were already jobless when the outbreak began when unemployment was just 3.5 percent, a 50-year low, with the worst likely yet to come.

This is like a tidal wave washing over the global economy, and no one will be spared. Businesses large and small are being tested during this time, but already the data and the damage is simply catastrophic. Nothing has ever been seen like it. What’s worse, it could take years or a decade to recover, even with well-intentioned measures by Congress to help small and large businesses to shore up payroll.

President Donald Trump has requested Congress increase funding for small businesses by another $250 billion bringing the total up to $600 billion, even while others say there should be no cap. In the meantime, the Federal Reserve appears to be opening a secondary market for these small business loans that it will be purchasing as banks make the loans, freeing up more capital to keep the lending going. The April 8 Fed release stated, “To facilitate lending to small businesses via the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Federal Reserve will establish a facility to provide term financing backed by PPP loans. Additional details will be announced this week.”

The biggest challenge for these lending programs is probably letting small businesses know they exist and that these loans are available, and convincing them that retaining payroll is more advantageous than laying off employees while much of the economy is still closed and is expected to be for several weeks more while the virus runs its course.

Already, Vice President Mike Pence reports more than $98 billion loans have been made to hundreds of thousands of small businesses. Is it enough, though?

On one hand, one can make a case for a swift rebound, that as soon as the closures end and states reopen their economies, all the businesses will open their doors quickly and Americans will swiftly get back to work.

On the other, as I was noting earlier this week, in analyzing the 10 recessions since 1948, on average, it takes about 11 months for all job losses to be realized in a recession, and then on average another 16 months to get those jobs back. Sometimes it’s longer sometimes it’s shorter. The longest cycle took 7 years with the Great Recession. The shortest was the 1970-1971 recession that took 12 months.

So, bare minimum, small businesses will need at least a year or more of support to survive. The CARES Act includes up to $6 trillion from the Federal Reserve. Already, the Small Business Administration and Treasury are working with the Fed to expand payroll protection lending.

The expansive nature of the program is not unsurprising.  In 2008, Congress passed the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to buy privately issued mortgage backed securities from banks, but it instantly became obsolete when the Fed took over AIG and derivatives markets. Additionally, the Fed then purchased the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage backed securities directly off the banks’ balance sheets, totaling trillions. That’s because no matter how big Congress thought the problem was, it was in fact larger. Much, much larger.

For the Trump administration to accomplish what they’re trying to do to save 30 million small businesses, the backbone of the economy, it could require trillions of dollars. Congress already created the vehicle for doing so by expanding the Fed’ mandate, recognizing that in an emergency like this, only the Federal Reserve will have enough firepower to deal with the magnitude of the damage being caused by the pandemic-induced government closures.

Additional tools the Fed should consider will be to weaken the dollar relative to other currencies, even as interest rates collapse — yes, both are possible simultaneously, look at 2009 and 2011 when dollar bottoms coincided with labor market and housing market bottoms — amid heightened demand for U.S. securities including treasuries, which can help hasten the recovery and, critically, stave off deflation that must be a real threat with demand completely collapsed at the moment.

So, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Right now, we are witnessing the flight to safety as financial institutions stock up on treasuries, which with unemployment still rising sharply, is expected.  That won’t last forever but it will probably go on for a good long while. Like the virus, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. First things first, kill the virus and that will give the confidence states and businesses need to reopen sooner rather than later.

But, simultaneously, we have to make sure there’s an economy to return to.

The next few weeks’ unemployment claims reports will bear out the extent of the damage that has already been caused and as can be seen, it is quite extensive. The key thing to understand is that the damage may not be reversible in the short-term even with the program Congress created. But that does not mean that the program is not ultimately necessary. Quite the contrary. That lifeline will be the reason we get out of this much, much faster than might have been otherwise possible.

By now, any notions about getting back to 3.5 percent unemployment anytime soon have probably been dispelled, but with the decisive action being taken today by President Trump and Congress, we can shorten the duration of the job losses and speed the recovery. Main Street will reopen soon, it’s only a matter of time.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of his articles at www.DailyTorch.com. 

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ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR SAYS PANDEMIC RESTRICTIONS MUST BE BALANCED AGAINST CIVIL LIBERTIES, AS LOGICAL MEDIA AND OFFICIALS INSTILL TRUTH & RATIONALE INTO THE CORONAVIRUS HYSTERIA; DEATH RATE MUCH LOWER THAN REPORTED BY SOME RECKLESS POLITICOS

By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

The chief law enforcement officer of the country – U.S. Attorney General William Barr – told Laura Ingraham on Fox News Channel last night that pandemic restrictions must be balanced against civil liberties…Some of the profound quotes issued by Barr and Ingraham, in no particular order (as they all are so compelling), during this interview include:

Ingraham: “Right now, we have no freedom of worship…No freedom of assembly…No freedom of movement, given what some of the states are doing.”

Barr: “…Whatever steps you take have to be balanced against the civil liberties of the American people and cannot be used as an excuse for broad deprivations of liberty…The states have very broad police powers, that the federal government doesn’t have, to regulate the lives of their citizens, as long as they don’t violate the Constitution. So we’ll be keeping a careful eye on that.”

Ingraham: “At what point in time do Americans feel that they’ll have that right back and that the federal government will stand up if local officials continue this all-out prohibition going forward?”

Barr: “I think religious liberty is the first liberty. It is the foundation of our republic, and a free society depends upon a vibrant religious life among the people. So anytime that’s encroached upon by the government, I’m very concerned.”

Barr: “When this 30-day period ends, I think we have to consider alternate ways of protecting people.”

Ingraham: “These are inalienable rights…There are a lot of Americans today who are mourning those who have lost their lives in this horrible virus, who also say the government doesn’t have the right to take away our rights, even when the experts are saying this is a horrible time for us health-wise, and they’re very worried, I think as time goes on. But they’ve been very patient as well.”

Barr: “I think they have been patient, and I think we have to be very careful to make sure…that the draconian measures that are being adopted are fully justified and that there are not alternative ways of protecting people. And I think…when this period of time…at the end of April expires, I think we have to allow people to adapt more than we have and not just tell people to go home and hide under the bed.”

Ingraham: “…The rule of law still applies during a pandemic. The rule of law…our inalienable rights…the law of the land…it all still exists and we don’t want to set a precedent where every time experts declare a crisis, and it’s scary and a lot of people are going to die, that we just lose our ability to function as a government.”

Americans should take the coronavirus seriously, just the same as they should take seriously all significant strains of the flu and related diseases, as well as deaths from drug overdoses, suicide, and stress-related deaths (all of which have very similar or higher death rates and occurrences than the coronavirus). Politico fearmongers, with a precise purpose or in reckless disregard of facts, however, have sought to frighten Americans into believing that the coronavirus is more dangerous than is actually the case. Now, the strongest and most thoughtful in the political and media worlds are correcting the errors of the evildoers and the hysterical.

President Trump tweeted this afternoon, “A key coronavirus model is now predicting far fewer deaths than the number shown in earlier models.” The president, who has been a pillar of rationale during this crisis, has examined the evidence presented by a plethora of leading medical doctors and scientists – not just the wild opinions of a few – to reach valid conclusions that can lead the nation out of an unnecessary crazed panic. Thoughtful, sound-minded members of the media, like Ingraham, are reporting information that is elsewhere being hidden or distorted.

Also last night, Tucker Carlson reported on his Fox News Channel show that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) – a liberal think tank at the University of Washington – now projects that the total number of American deaths from the coronavirus (by the time of its estimated end in August) will be 60,000 people. This is of great significance because this 60,000 figure is the same projected number of American deaths from this season’s flu. Yes, the IHME, who most state governments are relying upon for their crazed society-shutting, draconian orders, has now predicted that the deaths from the coronavirus will be the same number as those from the flu.

Carlson additionally presented statistics showing that the amount of deaths from drug overdoses last year exceeded 60,000. Suicide deaths were near that mark. Several other common reasons for fatalities far exceeded this number.

It is most logical and rational to be gravely troubled by the states’ governments’ desecration of Americans’ civil liberties via unprecedented and unconstitutional drastic government orders in face of the facts that show that the dangers of the coronavirus, albeit serious, are at the same level of those of the flu, drug overdose, and suicide. The states’ actions – in also annihilating the economy, as well as causing a significant number of other deaths from stress, mental health issues, and people refusing to leave their homes to see doctors for other health matters – are inexplicable, as they not only fail scientific scrutiny but they are wholly refuted by math.

MATH cannot be disputed by even the most arrogant and/or fabricating politicos because, well, it’s MATH. The following math further makes the government shutdowns confounding and disturbing:

(1) According to Johns Hopkins University and Worldometers.Info and every other source that can be found, the current number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. is 462,391 with 16,454 people who have sadly died from it. A purported death rate, calculated with those numbers, is approximately 3.5% – pursuant to the mathematical equation of dividing 462,391 by 16,454…Basic math, however, shows that the true death rate is substantially lower.

(2) According to Johns Hopkins University, and every medical doctor and scientist that can be found, 3.5% is, of course, not the actual coronavirus death rate in the United States – and the actual death rate is much lower because of the following basic MATH: (a) in addition to the 462,391 reported cases, there are a lot more people who have had the coronavirus with very minor symptoms (and have not reported it) – so that number of people are added onto the 462,391; and (b) in addition to the 462,391 reported cases, there are a lot more people who have had the coronavirus with no symptoms (and have not reported it) – so that number of people are added onto the 462,391…While Johns Hopkins University, and every medical doctor and scientist that can be found, state that there is a substantial number of people who have had or currently have the coronavirus (with little symptoms or no symptoms) and have not reported it, no one knows exactly how many people there are in those categories. They just know that there are a substantial number of people in those categories which, mathematically, means that the death rate is much lower than 3.5% (how much lower is the question – not whether it is lower). There are numerous possibilities. Examples: (a) if it’s 10,000,000 people who had/have the coronavirus (with little symptoms or no symptoms) and have not reported it, then the actual number of people who have/had the coronavirus in the U.S. is 10,462,391 – and therefore the actual death rate is approximately 0.1% (pursuant to the mathematical equation of dividing 10,462,391 by 16,454); (b) if it’s 5,000,000 people who had/have the coronavirus (with little symptoms or no symptoms) and have not reported it, then the actual number of people who have/had the coronavirus in the U.S. is 5,462,391 – and therefore the actual death rate is approximately 0.3% (pursuant to the mathematical equation of dividing 5,462,391 by 16,454); and (c) if it’s 1,000,000 people who had/have the coronavirus (with little symptoms or no symptoms) and have not reported it, then the actual number of people who have/had the coronavirus in the U.S. is 1,462,391 – and therefore the actual death rate is approximately 1.1% (pursuant to the mathematical equation of dividing 1,462,391 by 16,454)…and on and on…Of course, it is unknown what the actual number is; it is simply known that, via basic math, the actual death rate is obviously a lot less than 3.5%.

It is important to note that, collectively, all medical and scientific professionals who can be found advise that the coronavirus is considerably contagious—although there is a wide dispute over just how infectious the virus may be. A higher estimate of the contagious rate of the coronavirus is a reproductive rate of roughly 3 (according to the Australia Government’s Department of Health). To put that in perspective, the reproductive rate for the mumps is 10 – 12. According to any medical doctor, including Dr. Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, a renowned epidemiologist, the coronavirus is “fortunately, much less infectious than mumps.” However, he concludes that the coronavirus reproductive rate is “still high.” If the contagious rate is indeed this high, then it means that the number of people in the U.S. who have/had the coronavirus (with little symptoms or no symptoms) and have not reported it is at the much higher level (maybe 10 million people or more) – which, in turn, means that the death rate for the coronavirus is at the much lower end of approximately 0.1% or less (which means that the coronavirus death rate is either the same as the flu or less). Again, this is just basic math.

Per Dr. Meyerowitz-Katz, who cites the website for the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University (the “CEBM”), “the best estimates put COVID-19 infection fatality rate at around 0.5 – 1 percent.” The CEBM, which is no conservative outlet in that it hails from one of the world’s most influential universities, lists the same approximate 3.5% current rate of U.S. fatalities (derived from the mathematical equation of dividing the current number of reported cases by the current number of deaths). The CEBM then goes through the math analysis – of course, taking into account the substantial number of people who had/have the coronavirus (with little symptoms or no symptoms) and have not reported it – and ultimately reaches the conclusion that the actual death rate for the coronavirus, worldwide, is somewhere between 0.5% and 1% (with America being on the lower end). It is incredibly interesting to note that the CEBM, in drawing a comparison between the coronavirus and the swine flu (aka H1N1 influenza), reported, “the overall  case fatality rate as of 16 July 2009  (10 weeks after the first international alert) with pandemic H1N1 influenza varied from 0.1% to 5.1% depending on the country.  The WHO reported that swine flu ended up with a fatality rate of 0.02%.” In other words, the initial death rates estimated for the swine flu (at the same time frame as the U.S. is currently in with the coronavirus) were egregiously higher than what the actual death rate turned out to be.

The reality – via basic math – is simply this: the coronavirus death rate in America is substantially lower than some unscrupulous and/or highly reckless politicos are reporting (in their efforts to cause hysteria, panic, and fear). The actual death rate may be somewhere between 0.1% – 0.5%. It may be less. The truth is that the U.S. coronavirus death rate is commensurate with that of the flu—and the number of deaths that it will sadly cause to Americans will probably be less than the number of Americans who have died from drug overdoses in the same time period.

Although all definitively must abide by the new laws restricting their constitutional rights (just as they must follow any other laws with which they may disagree), they should strongly and loudly voice their opinions in opposition of these civil liberties-destructive/economy-annihilating/communist-style shutdown measures. At the same time, all should take the coronavirus seriously, just the same as they should take seriously the swine flu and all serious strains of the flu. That said, rather than the government forcing Americans into a freedom-less submission, people should be permitted to utilize their own acumen and good sense—and take certain normal precautions. Washing hands, being sanitary, and following the advice of medical experts is clearly the wise path. The very elderly and those with significant pre-existing conditions (and anyone thoughtful) should be wary and judiciously interact with others – through their own choice and judgment. Compelling all of the populous to succumb to dictatorial government strangleholds, however, is not only unwarranted – given the medicine, science and math – but illicit and unconstitutional.

Kenneth Del Vecchio is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/commercial litigation attorney for 25 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases; he is partner in the prestigious law firm, Stern, Kilcullen & Rufolo.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and eOne Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.”  A regular legal and political  analyst on the major news networks who has appeared on hundreds of shows, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper. 

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NOW THAT BERNIE IS OUT, MAY THERE STILL BE A BROKERED CONVENTION?

By TEMPLE LI

Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the presidential race, suspending his campaign. But does that mean that Joe Biden will just walk in and obtain the Democrat nomination? Maybe not. Why? Because of there still may be the possibility of a brokered convention.

What is a brokered convention?  It is related to the selection of a presidential nominee at the national conventions of the two major political parties—the Democrats and Republicans—and needs to be understood in the context of the evolution of the presidential selection process.

The Founding Fathers never intended for the development of a partisan system of government.  Both Hamilton and Madison wrote in the Federal Papers 9 and 10 against the dangers of domestic political factions.  As a result, President Washington was elected by the Electoral College in both the 1789 and 1792 elections.  The Electoral College is written into the constitution and states in Article II, Section 1, and Clause 2 that the states’ legislatures are responsible for the manner in which these “electors” are chosen.  The total number of members is 538 and the presidential candidates must receive an absolute majority of 270 electoral votes in order to win the presidency.  The number of electoral votes for each state is determined by the total number of senators and members of the House of Representatives that each state has in Congress.

However, the simplicity of the Electoral College and the selection of a president became more complex with the inception of the political party system, ironically initiated by the two individuals who originally opposed their establishment.  Hamilton led the Federalist Party, while Madison, along with Jefferson, formed the Democratic-Republican Party.   Since the constitution did not provide for a procedure, it then became incumbent upon the political parties how their respective candidates were selected. Initially, the members of Congress or state legislators were responsible for selecting candidates.    Prior to the implementation of the primary/caucus system of choosing presidential candidates, brokered conventions were common, since, particularly with the Democrat party, the candidate needed to win 2/3 of the delegates’ votes at the convention.

The emergence of primaries started in 1901 in Florida; however, the first presidential primary was held in New Hampshire in 1920 and the primary/caucus system of selecting presidential candidates was born.  Primaries differ from caucuses in that primaries are state and local-government run, while caucuses are private events controlled by the political party.  There are two major types of primaries, open and closed.  Open primaries allow for all state voters to participate in a particular party’s primary, although they can only vote in one primary.  For example, a registered Republican can vote in a Democrat primary, but then cannot vote in the Republican primary.  The reason this might occur is for the purpose of “raiding,” or voting for the weakest candidate in order to impact the selection of the other party’s candidate.  Closed primaries restrict participation to the registered voters of that particular party.  There are other variations on these two types, but they are the most prevalent.

In the primaries, voters are either voting directly for the candidate or for delegates representing the candidate and the number of delegates each candidate receives is dependent upon the particular party’s method of determining the distribution of delegates.  Each party has developed their own formulas for determining how many delegates to the national convention each state will be allocated and the allocation of state delegates to the specific candidates. For the Democrats this may be based on the proportion of votes each candidate received in the state primary.  For Republicans, it may be the winner takes all.  These then become pledged delegates.

Additionally, each state has a certain number of unpledged delegates.  In the case of Republicans, it is limited to 3 top party members for each state.  For Democrats it is a much broader number, encompassing party leaders and elected officials who are called superdelegates or automatic delegates.

That brings us to the national convention, where a candidate must receive the majority of the delegates’ votes to become their party’s candidate.   For 2020, the Democrat convention will have a total of 3,768 pledged delegates and the winning candidate must receive approximately 1,885 pledged delegates’ votes.  If no candidate achieves this during the first round of votes, then a brokered convention occurs.   The pledged delegates are released from their pledged votes and second and third rounds may occur with horse-trading for super delegate votes and getting pledged delegates to change their vote. If it goes to additional rounds, then candidates would need to win 2,267 votes out of 4,532 votes which include the super delegates.

With President Trump having the full backing of his party, a brokered convention is not a consideration, but what about on the Democrat side? With sanders out, that just leaves Biden. The vast majority of progressives are not fans of Biden. More so, it is often difficult for Biden to string together more than a few sentences without either making a monstrous gaffe or just, plainly, losing his train of thought. many Democrats are quite concerned, and do not see him as a viable 2020 presidential candidate. Some, who perhaps liked him for the post in the past, are not rather reticent. And this may lead to a brokered convention, where Biden could be pushed out. In favor of who?

First and foremost, Michelle Obama (if the Obamas think this a winnable election by the Democrats, which it is not). Then to:

Andrew Cuomo, maybe.

Or Hillary Clinton, perhaps.

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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MIDDLE CLASS INEQUALITY

By TEMPLE LI

In the midst of all the current day’s madness, let’s not forget the middle class.

Oh yeah, the middle class has once again forgotten in this violative mess.

But why not be reminded of another matter where the middle class is so often screwed?

Education.

William “Rick” Singer sang and sang and sang!   His audience is the F.B.I.  and his song, a tale of a major college admissions bribery scheme.  Mr. Singer was the architect of a scam to advantage children of the rich and famous into getting their offspring into prestigious colleges such as Yale, Georgetown and University of Southern California.  He did this by bribing school administrators and coaches, as well as influencing the SAT and ACT process by having a surrogate capable of acing these exams test in place of the actual applicants.  Parents paid for these services by donating to Rick’s sham charitable organization and then use the contribution as a tax write-off.  The scam, in place between 2011 and 2018, involved over 750 families who got their darlings into college fraudulently.  Mr. Singer has been charged with racketeering and money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

Back in March 2018, 50 people were indicted by federal prosecutors, including two Hollywood celebrities, Lori Loughlin, along with her husband Mossimo Giannulli, and Felicity Huffman in conjunction with the admissions scheme.  Lori and her husband paid a bribe for their two daughters to be accepted into the University of Southern California as members of the crew team, although neither had ever been involved in this sport.  Felicity paid for her daughter’s SAT scores to be altered.  Lori and her husband and Felicity have been charged with mail fraud and home services fraud and their careers have already begun to suffer as a result of their actions.

No one should really be surprised or shocked.  The rich and famous have consistently used their wealth to influence their children into getting into primo colleges and universities, albeit without apparently breaking the law.  This is regardless of political affiliation, Republican, Democrat or Independent.  There has always been inequality between the haves and the have-nots and particularly in where one goes to college.  The “old boys club,” the funding of buildings and programs and huge donations has guaranteed that offspring will continue in the tradition of their fathers and mothers before them in being accepted into elitist schools.

It was interesting and revealing the other night as Chris Cuomo, scion of a powerful political family and Anderson Cooper, part of the Vanderbilt clan, exchanged comments on this admissions scandal.  both are very intelligent men, who are good at their craft. But, you could see Anderson make a slight, but definite, grimace as Cuomo noted that they were both Yale alumni and understood how money can make a difference.  Was that a slip of the tongue?

For places such as Yale, the beneficiaries are either the very rich or the very poor.  It’s the schmucks in between that pay the price of inequality.

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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SOUTH DAKOTA, LAND OF THE FREE UNDER THE HELM OF GOVERNOR KRISTI NOEM

By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

Conservative radio/TV show host and constitutional scholar Mark Levin has, for weeks, been expressing serious concerns about many state governments’ blatant violations of Americans’ constitutional rights via draconian executive orders in response to the coronavirus – and the disastrous effects these measures have and will cause to the U.S. economy. Levin’s April 2, 2020 “Daily Recap” page, for his podcast “The Mark Levin Show,” states: “The government can’t replace the free market. It’s been tried in Venezuela and other places and it doesn’t work. Not everyone can stay home. If they did, there would be no food on our tables, no medications in our pharmacies, and no supplies in our hospitals. Grocery chains, e-commerce, and home delivery services are thriving, but small banks, restaurants, bars and many small businesses have been ordered to shut down by the governors of their states. The federal government must place equal focus on the economy as it has in the healthcare sector.” Per Levin’s site, former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint called in “to warn that we will not have the country that we want if we continue doing what the left wants.”

Although Americans definitively must abide by the new laws restricting their in-person assembly (just as they must follow any other laws with which they may disagree), they should strongly and loudly voice their opinions in opposition of these civil liberties-destructive/communist-style measures. At the same time, all should take the coronavirus seriously, just the same as they should take seriously the swine flu and all serious strains of the flu. That said, rather than the government forcing Americans into a freedom-less submission, people should be permitted to utilize their own acumen and good sense—and take certain normal precautions. Washing hands, being sanitary, and following the advice of medical experts is clearly the wise path. The very elderly and those with significant pre-existing conditions (and anyone thoughtful) should be wary and judiciously interact with others – through their own choice and judgment. Compelling all of the populous to succumb to dictatorial government strangleholds, however, is not only unwarranted, but illicit and unconstitutional.

This is not an alien invasion.

This is not war.

This is not a nuclear radiation disaster.

This is not a circumstance that threatens the extinction of populations.

This is a virus on the same plane as varied strains of the flu.

During this flu season (October 2019 – February 2020), approximately 30 million people in the United States contracted the flu, with, sadly, approximately 30,000 people dying from it; that is a death rate of approximately 0.1%. Currently, in the U.S. (and worldwide), the number of persons who have contracted the coronavirus is a small fraction of those who have been infected with the flu; obviously, it is understood that with the coronavirus being a communicable disease, the numbers are growing. However, it is not known whether the coronavirus is transmitted at a higher, lower or the same rate as the flu. The death rate for the coronavirus (reported at approximately 2% in the U.S.) is close to the flu’s death rate. Sadly, (1) if one accepts the reported death rate, approximately 20 out every 1,000 infected with the coronavirus die from the illness; (2) approximately one out of every 1,000 infected from this season’s flu die from that virus; and (3) death rates, a little more and a little less, exist for other strains of the flu and similar viruses. Factually, the death rates, through these varied strains of the flu and related viruses such as the coronavirus, are all at the same level (surely not the same exact amount, but at the same level). That said, it is important to note that the death rate for the coronavirus is actually quite a bit lower than the reported 2% in the U.S. – and that is because (a) there are a substantial amount of people who have had the coronavirus (with only minor symptoms) and have not reported it; and (b) there are a substantial amount of people who have had the coronavirus (with no symptoms at all) and have not reported it. This is basic math: when you divide the number of deaths by the true number of cases, the death rate for the coronavirus is either at 0.1% (the same as this season’s flu) or very near it, in either direction. Yet, the deep state, with the coronavirus, has gone far off the deep end, wherein individual state governments are making all kinds of irrational, liberty-restricting decisions including “stay at home” orders and related freedom-elimination mandates such as the complete closures of countless businesses (fortunately, the White House has been reacting with sanity and has not enacted similar federal constraints).

Amazingly, to date, there remain are only five U.S. states who have refused to enact such radical statewide orders. These holdout states are South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas. A handful of other states, such as South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming, have set forth only limited restrictive measures which, although are not desired in any quantity or quality by many Americans, pale in comparison to the liberty-strangling dictates that have been fired off by a plethora of other states.

President Trump has refused to force any stay at home-type national orders upon Americans, recently saying at a press conference, “We have a thing called the constitution, which I cherish.” He has supported governors’ rights to handle these matters within the confines of their states.

Following the wishes of their constituents – and after thoroughly reviewing volumes of data and listening to the advice of numerous experts – some states’ leaders have determined to be cautious in breaching constitutional law rather than blindly following the path cemented by the hysterical actions of other states’ top officials. And they have explained their thoughtful decisions.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has rejected issuing a statewide shutdown order, in face of hearing claims from certain experts that every state should follow suit. Hutchinson stated, “What’s important is that [a nationwide order] has not been given…The CDC…I watch their guidelines regularly…and they have not indicated that’s an appropriate or necessary step across the country.”

Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets has, likewise, refused to capitulate to the demands of other states’ governors and politicos. He specifically noted the advice of a leading medical expert in his state, Dr. James Lawler, co-director of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Global Center for Health Security.

Lawlor said, “What I think we should really focus on is improving compliance and adherence.” He explained that people should focus more on following the medical advice to engage in handwashing and social distancing, instead of going down the government-order road, adding, “What we’ve already implemented and we do it well, I think we’ll get much more bang for our buck than we would from going to a much more draconian posture.”

Standing out in the heroics of preserving the founding blocks of liberty defined in the United States’ birthing documents is a state of less than 900,000 residents, but with a people – and a governor – having the backbone of  nine million. It’s a midwestern state landlocked by six others: to the south, by Nebraska; to the east, by Iowa and Minnesota; to the north by North Dakota; and to the west by Wyoming and Montana.

This state’s taxes are low, as is its crime rate. But its contribution to the United States is large.

“In feeding the nation, it’s across the board,” Maggie Seidel, Senior Adviser and Policy Director to South Dakota’s governor, told Empire State News. “There’s ranchers on the west side of the state. And on the east side, it’s farmers,” Seidel continued, in explaining how this state’s residents are responsible for the development, cultivation, preparation, and delivery of a significant portion of America’s food supply. “You’ve got everything from pork and cattle, and you name it, on the meat side. Everything under the sun on the farming side too. Corn, soybeans, everything.”

Just as important, South Dakota is, in today’s world, the “everything” in protecting civil liberties, while at the same time protecting the economy – and the health of its residents. The state may now be entitled to the nickname “The Land of the Free,” given its sturdy posture in upholding its residents’ constitutional rights during these very turbulent times. Like all the other remaining holdout states, South Dakota is led by a Republican governor. And on April 3, this state’s GOP helmer, Governor Kristi Noem, very strongly stated:

“By now, many of you have heard me say that I’m relying on the science, facts, and data to drive the state’s response to the virus. Our team’s decision-making is guided by the realities on the ground in South Dakota, rather than trying to apply a one-size-fits-all approach…My role with respect to public safety is something I take very seriously. But it’s also important for us to remember that it’s the people themselves who are primarily responsible for their safety. Under our constitutions at the state and federal levels, the people have expansive freedoms. They are free to exercise their rights to work, worship, and play, or to stay at home, or to conduct social distancing….South Dakota is not New York City, and our sense of personal responsibility, our resiliency, and our already sparse population density put us in a great position to manage the spread of the virus without needing to resort to the kinds of draconian shutdowns adopted by big coastal cities or even other countries.”

Via these words, Noem etched the pleas of not just South Dakotans, but Americans from coast to coast, into the frayed political and media fabric that has been callously draped over the constitutional bedrock that this nation was founded upon. And what are those pleas? Simple:

Let us move about freely, without government intrusion. Uncover the constitution and let it reign.

Seidel expounded upon Governor Noem’s thoughts regarding the mandated restrictions levied by many other governors upon their states’ residents. “We don’t call them ‘mandates.’ We call them ‘dictates.’ Because that’s what it is. A mandate is a nicer term for what people are actually asking her to do. And that’s a dictate for the entire state.” Seidel added that “[Governor Noem] said from the beginning that she is not going to allow the mass hysteria at the national level to guide her decision making. She’s going to let the facts on the ground in South Dakota point her in the direction that we need to go.”

The Mayor of Pierre – South Dakota’s capital – Steve Harding, has supported Governor Noem’s direction, saying, “As Mayor of Pierre, at this time, I do not plan to enact an ordinance that is any more restrictive than those guidelines provided by Governor Noem.”

None of these elected officials’ declarations and decisions, however, equate to that they are not taking the coronavirus seriously. To the contrary, all of the liberty- and economy-protecting states’ leaders have delivered clear-cut urgings to practice varied important recommendations defined by medical experts.

In this regard, the Pierre mayor added, “For individual citizens, please continue personal responsibility and avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more people. I also encourage you to continue practicing social distancing and remember to wash hands and to stay home when you’re not feeling well. This is a difficult time for all of us. It’s important that we continue to support each other. That means supporting our local businesses, taking care of our personal health, and checking in on neighbors, friends and family.”

More so, Governor Noem has delivered some executive action, in yesterday changing directives that had previously stated that South Dakota residents “should” follow certain guidance – to that they “shall” do so. While South Dakota still does not have a statewide stay at home order issued (or any other similar intrusive measure), now there are directives such as “Businesses shall modify practices to ensure no more than 10 people are in one space.”

Seidel was quick to clarify the meaning of this provision, however, ensuring that the governor is not closing any businesses and that certainly many more than 10 people are permitted to be on site at business operations, saying that, “There’s a special caveat there. If you go above that [10 people], then they encourage you to stay six feet apart.” Seidel assured that there still are not any “dictates” by the South Dakota governor, but instead there are executive orders that, in practicality, amount to strong urgings. “She’s not going to go out and arrest anybody. We absolutely will not do that in South Dakota.”

Mark Levin’s April 3, 2020 “Daily Recap” page, provided: “Despite the attacks on this program from the left-wing media, the fact remains that some of the modeling used to recommend a national quarantine is misleading and has been called into question by other experts…The economy must be opened before the cure becomes worse than the disease…The Democrats continue pushing for a national stay-at-home order which would override the rights of the states and unnecessarily quarantine areas of the country that are not hot-spots like New York City. Rep. James Clyburn and Gov. Gavin Newsom suggest that the United States consider restructuring how the country does business and governs in light of the coronavirus pandemic.”

There is great hope that, with the likes of resilient, intelligent and thoughtful leaders like President Trump and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, there will never be a union where every state has blanket stay-at-home and other unsavory, unconstitutional orders.

Kenneth Del Vecchio is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/commercial litigation attorney for 25 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases; he is partner in the prestigious law firm, Stern, Kilcullen & Rufolo.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and eOne Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.”  A regular legal and political  analyst on the major news networks who has appeared on hundreds of shows, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper. 

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