Where is the anarchy? The Daily News knows

This is the lead editorial in today’s Daily News. The opinion is direct and correct. The sarcasm is delicious:

White House anarchy

The three anarchist jurisdictions previously known as the cities of Seattle, New York and Portland sifted through the smoldering remains of their toppled civilizations and discovered some old tattered law books that hadn’t been burned for warmth. They found a few people among the roving, starving packs who remembered the lost skills of literacy. And they managed to somehow put together a complaint to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The lawsuit lays to waste the incoherent wail disguised as federal policy that President Trump and his toadie Attorney General Bill Barr have advanced these last few months to punish cities that made them mad.

Heaven and earth and the federal bureaucracy have moved because of a Trump temper tantrum, and now the federal government could cut off billions in funding. This is rooted in no law. It is supported by lies about police told to stand down and crime run amok. It is illegal, violating the Administrative Procedure Act, and unconstitutional, offending the separation of powers and core principles of federalism.

Trump ordered his budget director to “issue guidance to the heads of agencies on restricting eligibility of or otherwise disfavoring, to the maximum extent permitted by law, anarchist jurisdictions in the receipt of Federal grants.”

That was due on Oct. 2; it hasn’t arrived, which wouldn’t be the first time this administration skipped a step or three.

That didn’t stop someone in the guts of the civil service bureaucracy of the Federal Transit Administration from adding a warning that applications for grants from a $10 million pot to research COVID-19 spread on public transit would consider the anarchist jurisdiction label, a clear implication that Seattle, New York and Portland are disfavored.

That’s enough to sue. And kill Trump’s nonsense.

Posted in 2020 presidential campaign, COVID-19, Law, suits and order, Politics, The Facts of Life, Trump Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On bad deeds, from Charles Dickens

Bad deeds seldom prosper, happily for mankind…

–From A Child’s History of England

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Fascinating research on disinformation: who buys into it?

I’m a bit behind in my New Yorkers. Last night, I got to The September 14th issue, in which an article by Joshua Yaffa,”Believe It Or Not: How concerned should we be about online Russian manipulation?” grabbed my full attention.

After all, my book, How I Learned The Facts of Life, is about factual information versus fake information, i.e., disinformation. So I’m definitely going to read anything that pertains to my own subject matter.

Since I don’t watch Fox, the only way I hear what crap they’re passing off as “news” is via Twitter. But I didn’t know how Fox’s reach correlated with the behavior of its audience. Did Fox viewers not only believe what they were hearing but act on it?

So here’s the paragraph in Yaffa’s article that caused my mouth to drop open. I’ve highlighted a couple of sentences:

When it comes to COVID-19, the apparent result of the combined disinformation campaign of Trump and Fox News has been devastating. A working paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in May analyzed anonymous location data from millions of cell phones to show that residents of Zip Codes with higher Fox News viewership were less likely to follow stay-at-home orders. Another study, by economists at the University of Chicago and elsewhere, suggested a disparity in health outcomes between areas where Fox News viewers primarily tuned in to Tucker Carlson, who, among Fox hosts, spoke early and with relative urgency about the danger of COVID-19, and places where viewers preferred Sean Hannity, who spent weeks downplaying its severity. The economist found that, in March, viewership of Hannity over Carlson, in the locales they studied, was associated with a thirty-two-per-cent increase in infections, and a twenty-three-per-cent increase in COVID-19-related deaths.





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