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5Feb/16Off

“Prosperity” Preacher Kenneth Copeland: Ted Cruz Is “Anointed” by God to Be President

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The religious fanatics with whom presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his father Rafael associate are way, way out there on the fringe of America's right wing, and here's another example, as Ted's wacky dad speaks at the Texas mega-church of "prosperity gospel" preacher Kenneth Copeland, who says Ted Cruz has been "called and anointed" by God to be the next president of the US.

After Cruz spoke for an hour, delivering his standard presentation urging Christians to vote in order to beat back secularism and take control of this nation, Copeland asked him to recount how the Holy Spirit had descended upon a Cruz family prayer session and convinced Ted to seek the presidency, which Rafael took as a sign that "God has raised him up for such a time as this."

Then, several church elders gathered around Cruz in order to lay hands upon him and pray while Eagle Mountain International Church senior pastor George Pearsons proclaimed that "we are in the midst right now of the new birth of this nation."

"There's a new birth, right now, for America," Pearsons declared, "and it's taking place right before our eyes. And we will not set apart our responsibility and our duty to do what God has called us to do; we say, 'Yes, Lord, Yes, we will do exactly what You have called us to do' and we receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of the Spirit over Washington, D.C. We see Congress praying, we see them seeking God, we see prayer coming back into our schools, we see the Bible coming back into our schools, we see abortion being turned around, we see this nation being completely restored, completely delivered, for it is a time the new birth of our nation and we're seeing it right before our eyes, now, in Jesus' name."

5Feb/16Off

Make Congress Great Again

The federal government is broken, and congressional weakness is to blame.

The authors of the Constitution made Congress the most powerful of the federal government’s three co-equal branches. Congress was designed both as the most powerful and the most accountable to the people.

Consent of the governed in a republic depends on transparent policymaking by representative institutions. Congress’s embrace of this mandate is part of what has made America successful and exceptional.

But if there is one thing politicians of every party and ideology agree on, it’s that hard work and accountability are inconvenient.

And so, over the course of the twentieth century, and accelerating in the twenty-first, Congress has handed many of its constitutional responsibilities to the Executive Branch.

Increasingly harmful federal laws are increasingly written by people who never stand for election, via processes contrary to those provided for in the Constitution, and, indeed, with the explicit purpose of excluding the American people from their government and shielding policymakers from popular accountability.

Executive overreach is an enormous problem – but it’s a problem largely of Congress’s own making.

Executive overreach is an enormous problem – but it’s a problem largely of Congress’s own making.

Under Houses, Senates, presidents, and Supreme Courts of every partisan combination, Congress has recast itself as the backseat driver of American politics.

Today, the vast majority of federal “laws” – upwards of 95 percent – are not passed by the House and Senate and signed by the president; they are imposed unilaterally by unelected bureaucrats in the Executive Branch.

At the same time, Congress’s budget process has almost entirely broken down. Most federal spending has been put on auto-pilot, authorized without a vote. Meanwhile, fiscal oversight, deliberation, and reform are a bipartisan charade.

This upending of our constitutional order has led not only to bad policy, but to deep public distrust in our governing institutions.

It’s no wonder Congress’s job-approval ratings are at historic lows. Oftentimes we’re not even doing our job, and — just look around — the American people are paying the price.

Congress’s reclamation of its constitutional authority is a necessary first step toward real reform, within Washington and around the country.

So this week I joined a group of nine colleagues from the House and Senate to develop and promote a new agenda of structural reforms that will strengthen Congress and reassert its vital role in our society. We call it the Article 1 Project (A1P).

The purpose of the Project is to develop, advance, and ultimately enact an agenda of structural reforms to strengthen Congress by reclaiming its constitutional legislative powers that today are being improperly exercised by the Executive Branch.

Specifically, A1P will focus on restoring congressional power in four key areas at the core of Washington’s broken status quo:

Reclaiming Congress’s power of the purse;
Reforming legislative “cliffs”;
Reasserting congressional authority over regulations and regulators;
And finally, curbing executive discretion.
With political attention now fixated on the presidential race, little hope for major legislative breakthroughs in President Obama’s final year in office, and the American people furious at Washington’s indifference and dysfunction, now is the perfect time for Congress to begin thinking about what a re-constitutionalized federal government would look like.

Such a government would not deliver either party or any citizen everything it wants. But it would give the American people a more representative and responsible government, and in turn, a healthier, freer society. All that stands between Americans and the government of, for, and by the people that the Founders bequeathed us is the will of the Congress to finally step up and do its job.

The post Make Congress Great Again appeared first on The Daily Signal.

5Feb/16Off

Zika Virus Is Serious (But It’s Not Another Ebola)

After last year’s serious misadventure concerning Ebola, American’s take viruses very seriously. This year we are confronting a very different threat with the Zika Virus.

Let’s get some facts on the table, then discuss how we should go forward.

First Zika is a part of a family of viruses called Flavivirues. These started in Africa, but have resulted in outbreaks in French Polynesia in 2013, and most recently has seen a significant spread in Latin America.

Unlike Ebola (a much more serious affliction) Zika is spread primarily but mosquito bites. The insect bites a person carrying the virus, picks it up as it feeds on their blood, and spreads it to the next person it bites. Thus far, there is no evidence that Zika can be spread by normal human-to-human contact (as Ebola can be). As late as the 4 th of February, the CDC has concluded that they have a proven case of human-to-human transmission through sexual contact.

For the vast majority of people who contract Zika, the symptoms are very mild, so much so that 4 out of 5 will not even realize they are sick. The symptoms are low-grade fever, maybe a rash, possible conjunctivitis (pink eye), and some joint pain.

Does any of that sound familiar? Those are the symptoms of any number of ailments. So, it is crucial that when making any determination to go to the doctor, you share your travel and exposure history. According to Principal Deputy Director of the CDC, Dr. Schuchat, most people clear the virus from their blood stream within about a week.

Even if you catch Zika, the effects on you are mild and will go away relatively quickly with no ill effects.

So why is everyone concerned, and why has the World Heath Organization labeled it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern? This is because the true brunt of the disease falls on the unborn and newborn.

The data being collected in Brazil right now shows fairly convincingly that if a pregnant woman contracts Zika, there is a significantly higher chance her child may be born with a birth defect called microcephaly. This literally means small head, as the child’s head will be abnormally small, possibly due to the brain not developing properly in the womb.

Microcephaly can be caused by other things (drugs, alcohol, chromosomal abnormalities), but the significant jump in cases in Brazil has coincided with the major outbreak there. From 2010 to 2014 there were 156 cases of Microcephaly, but from October 2015 – January 2016 they have had between 3,500 and 4,000 cases. Research continues, but the world’s public health experts are moving forward.

An additional threat is that Zika could also cause a condition known as a Guillian-Barre Syndrome. The Zika outbreak in French Polynesia saw this as a major result. This is a neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its own nerves. The result is tingling in the hands and feet, muscle weakness and can lead to temporary paralysis. Patients generally recover, but it can be fatal in rare cases.

As yet, there is no vaccine or cure for Zika. Therefore one must take precautions.

Ideally, do not travel to Latin America or the Caribbean if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. For anyone traveling in these areas that have active Zika transmission ongoing, strict anti-mosquito protocols should be followed. This includes, but is not limited to wearing long sleeved clothing, treating clothing, tents, and other gear with high-grade repellents and using active agent repellents such as Deet.

If you have travelled in these regions and are pregnant, you should check in with your OB/GYN provider and discuss the best course of action as far a testing for Zika. Also, this will allow them to be on the look out for any issues with your child. If you have been exposed, given the new discovery that Zika can be spread through sexual contact, use of a condom is recommended until it is clear that you are not carrying of the virus.

The bottom line is that this is not a disease that will kill lots of people. The danger lies on the most vulnerable of our population. Several countries are already advising women to wait to get pregnant for several years when the threat can be lessened, or a cure found.

For Americans, caution in travel plans, rigorous precautions while traveling, and follow up if you have doubts if you have been exposed should keep us safe. All that doubles for women of childbearing age and their partners.

The good news is that the early designation by World Health Organization and the accelerated research it is spawning will help address this problem effectively. This is serious, and is being taken seriously, but thank God is not another Ebola.

The post Zika Virus Is Serious (But It’s Not Another Ebola) appeared first on The Daily Signal.

5Feb/16Off

Ben Carson: Iowa Is Just Like Benghazi. Or Something

ben carson caricature flickr cc
Ben Carson was on Todd Starnes’s radio show today. The only thing notable was that it is apparent that Carson’s obsession over the Iowa non-troversy, despite him finishing better than expected, is either pathological… or, if Erick Erickson is correct, a contrived fundraising gimmick.

Via BuzzFeed:

Ben Carson questioned the Christian morality of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign for their actions the night of the Iowa caucuses, adding that Cruz’s response to his campaign’s actions was akin to Hillary Clinton’s reaction to the Benghazi attacks.

Asked by Todd Starnes if he was “satisfied with the way Sen. Cruz has handled himself as Christian” over the incident in Iowa, Carson said, “Well, let me put it this way, it’s not the way that I would have handled it.”

“I would have said if I didn’t agree with what’s being — which he did say that — I would make sure that it didn’t happen again,” Carson continued. “And I would take corrective action. Not to take corrective action is tacitly saying it’s okay, or it’s sort of like, as Hillary Clinton said after Benghazi, ‘what difference does it make.’”

“I’m not saying that it rises to the level up Benghazi, I’m saying it’s the same kind of attitude,” he said, when pressed by Starnes if the controversy rose to the level of Benghazi. “The attitude being, it’s water under the bridge, it’s gone by, let’s not deal with it.”

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Carson has said exactly the same thing. It was his staff that put out the story. If he is demanding accountability, perhaps he should start by firing the person who announced he had an urgent need to fly home and change clothes.

There are things that don’t merit further follow up. Telling a staffer to not do something again makes more sense than firing someone because your OPPONENTS are in a state of faux outrage and thereby cause paralysis among the survivors, making them afraid to act on their own initiative for fear of being fired. An erroneous text message is one of those. In fact, it really rates a “whatever.” The timeline demonstrates that the first messages went out after voting had started and the Carson campaign waited almost an hour to clarify what was a widespread misconception.

Iowa was not Benghazi. It was a nothingburger. It was a cheap political stunt by Carson and Trump that failed to work. The fact that Carson tries to conflate them indicates he is either delusional or dishonest.

The post Ben Carson: Iowa Is Just Like Benghazi. Or Something appeared first on RedState.

5Feb/16Off

Trump Stranded, Hillary Dancing, Bernie Courts Latinos: P.M. Links

  • Hillary VineHere's a sexual assault accusation with an interesting twist: both the accused and accuser are members of a Title IX organization.
  • Ever the kill-joys, The New York Times editorial board wonders whether it's morally wrong to watch football.
  • Dartmouth College frats forbidden to engage in "cultural appropriation."
  • Will Bernie Sanders be able to compete for Latino voters?
  • Donald Trump is trapped in a snowstorm, probably blames Megyn Kelly.
  • The headline says it all: "Wife crashes her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed."
  • If you wanted to see a gif of Hillary Clinton dancing.

5Feb/16Off

A Legal Victory for Gun Rights

On Thursday, a three-judge panel vacated a ruling by a Maryland district court that had upheld the state’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” and large-capacity magazines (holding more than 10 rounds).

In Kolbe v. Hogan, the panel (in a 2-1 decision) sent the case back to the district court, holding that the district court judge had used the wrong standard to review the law. The district court had rejected the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claims, concluding that the Maryland restrictions passed constitutional muster under “intermediate scrutiny” review.

However, the Fourth Circuit, in a decision written by Chief Judge William B. Traxler, a Clinton appointee, held that the Maryland law “implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment – ‘the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.’” Traxler wrote that the court was “compelled” by the Supreme Court’s two major prior cases on the Second Amendment, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010), “as well as our own precedent in the wake of these decisions, to conclude that the burden is substantial and strict scrutiny is the applicable standard of review.” The Heller and McDonald cases had, respectively, knocked out the virtual ban on guns imposed by the cities of Washington and Chicago.

What was most interesting about the decision was the common sense way in which the Fourth Circuit described the Maryland law on assault weapons and large capacity magazines (emphasis added):

In April 2013, Maryland passed the Firearm Safety Act, which among other things, bans law-abiding citizens, with the exception of retired law enforcement officers, from possessing the vast majority of semi-automatic rifles commonly kept by several million American citizens for defending their families and homes and other lawful purposes.

The court also pointed out that “the record in this case show unequivocally” that large capacity magazines, or LCMs, “are commonly kept by American citizens, as there are more than 75 million such magazines in circulation in the United States.” “In fact,” according to the court, “these magazines are so common that they are standard.”

The court totally rejected the far-fetched argument of the state of Maryland that the Second Amendment does not apply to “detachable magazines because magazines are not firearms – that is, detachable magazines do not constitute ‘bearable’ arms that are expressly protected by the Second Amendment.”

Under that logic, “the government can circumvent Heller…simply by prohibiting possession of individual components of a handgun, such as the firing pin.” But obviously, “without the ability to actually fire a gun, citizens cannot effectively exercise the right to bear arms.” Thus the right to bear arms applies to all of the “component parts necessary to make the firearms operable” and that “applies to the magazines in question.”

Robert B. King, also a Clinton appointee, dissented. He argued that there is “no sound reason to conclude that the Second Amendment affords” any protection “whatsoever” to semi-automatic rifles or LCMs, and that strict scrutiny should not apply, even though a violation of a core constitutional right is being claimed.

The Fourth Circuit did uphold the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claim that allowing retired law enforcement officials to own such semi-automatic rifles when ordinary citizens were banned from owning them was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

The case is obviously not over. But it is still a good result and a strike against Maryland’s overly restrictive gun law.

The post A Legal Victory for Gun Rights appeared first on The Daily Signal.

5Feb/16Off

What could go wrong? DC Crime Bill proposal would pay people not to break the law

**Written by Doug Powers

It’s fortuitous that the “agree not to commit crimes, get a check” movement is gaining steam in DC just as the Clinton syndicate is preparing to re-take the town.

From the New York Times:

Avoid criminal activity for a chance to earn $9,000?

It’s a choice that some Washington residents may be able to make if lawmakers approve new legislation aimed at changing the city’s approach to crime prevention.

Under the proposal, modeled on a similar effort in Richmond, Calif., a new office would be created to identify individuals “who pose a high risk of participating in, or being a victim of, violent criminal activity.”

The legislation seeks funding to cover stipends for about 50 individuals a year, who would be paid to follow a program “involving life planning, trauma informed therapy, and mentorship.”

The plan is part of sweeping anti-crime legislation — the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results Amendment Act of 2016 — that won unanimous approval by the District Council on Tuesday. It will face a final vote on March 1, before heading to the mayor and Congress.

To see how this philosophy works out on a broader, more international scale, consult those in the White House who support paying Iran to not take more hostages or develop nuclear weapons.

If the DC program really catches on, someday when there’s no money left to pay out, progressives will have to address the crime problem with Plan B: “The Purge.”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

5Feb/16Off

Ron Paul: That Ted Cruz Is Owned By Goldman Sachs, But Sanders Has A Libertarian Streak

Via Gage Skidmore from Flickr CC 5645423264_fea280ce21_o
Ron Paul took some time out from spinning conspiracy theories, cultivating white supremacists, and gulling Alex Jones’s audience out of their hard-earned transfer payments to appear on Fox Business’s “Varney & Company.” (As an aside, why would any thinking person take financial advice from anyone with a British accent? Chinese? Yes. Indian? Yes. Russian? Possibly. British? No freakin way.)

“You take a guy like Cruz, people are liking the Cruz — they think he’s for the free market, and [in reality] he’s owned by Goldman Sachs. I mean, he and Hillary have more in common than we would have with either Cruz or Trump or any of them so I just don’t think there is much picking,” Paul said of the Texas senator on Fox Business’ “Varney & Company” on Friday.

Surprisingly, the elder Paul seemed more attracted to the views of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money in the Democratic primary.

“On occasion, Bernie comes up with libertarian views when he talks about taking away the cronyism on Wall Street, so in essence he’s right, and occasionally he voted against war,” the former Texas congressman said when asked if there was a candidate who was truly for the free market.

As far as I can tell, Ted Cruz’s connection with Goldman Sachs is that his wife took a job with that company shortly after she married Cruz (she is no longer employed by them) and Cruz took out a loan from Goldman Sachs for his primary challenge to David Dewhurst.

Going into tonight’s G.O.P. debate, in South Carolina, the Times story is the talk of the political class. The author, Mike McIntire, revealed that, in 2012, Cruz used a loan that his wife took out from Goldman to help to finance his successful Senate campaign, during which he honed his reputation as a critic of bank bailouts and corporate cronyism. The Goldman loan, which was for between two hundred and fifty thousand and half a million dollars, wasn’t disclosed to the Federal Election Commission, as it should have been. Rather than publicly acknowledging its existence, Cruz subsequently told reporters that he and his wife had liquidated practically all of their personal savings to help pay for the campaign.

Based on McIntire’s inspection of the annual ethics reports that Cruz and other Senators are obliged to file, which require them to list all of the assets they own, this appears to have been a fib. In addition to taking out the loan from Goldman in 2012, which was a margin loan attached to a brokerage account, the Cruzes took out a credit line, of similar size, from Citibank. Between the beginning and end of 2012, the value of the cash and securities that the family owned didn’t diminish to zero, or anything near it. Rather, it “saw a net increase of as much as $400,000,” McIntire reported.

That loan was secured by his own assets and has since been repaid. It was a commonsense move that did not result in his family finances being crippled by his campaign. If you have a home equity loan you’ve done much the same thing.

The fact that Paul finds financial prudence deplorable and finds a mangy old Bolshevik to be admirable speaks to the point that we’ve made on RedState for years. Ron Paul is a fraud. His political life was a fraud. He preyed on his supporters and left the politics of the nation much more poisonous than he had found it.

The post Ron Paul: That Ted Cruz Is Owned By Goldman Sachs, But Sanders Has A Libertarian Streak appeared first on RedState.

5Feb/16Off

Tonight on Shark Tank: Commandos Who Fight Wars With Flip Flops

Matthew "Griff" Griffin and Donald Lee served multiple tours in Afghanistan as members of the elite Army special operations force, the 75th Ranger Regiment. But after leaving active duty, they've come to believe there's a better path to peace.

Through their company Combat Flip Flops, they’re making locally-sourced products in conflict zones and using the proceeds to fund education for Afghan women, clear landmines in Laos, crack cartels in Colombia, and employ vets at home.

As might be expected from former special ops commandos, Griff and Lee's business model is as ambitious as it is risky. Now they'll take it to the sharks on tonight's episode of Shark Tank. Will Mark Cuban et al. invest in their efforts to create peace through economic opportunity?

Tune in to ABC tonight at 9 p.m. to find out. Meanwhile, watch the video below to see Griff and Lee explain to Reason TV's Justin Monticello how they went from conducting raids in remote Afghan villages to hiring coca farmers to make flip flops.

View this article.

5Feb/16Off

How Law Enforcement Will Protect the Super Bowl From Terrorists

One of the most iconic American events of the year is about to occur – the Super Bowl. Thousands of Americans (maybe even a few Canadians who have caught the bug) will be attending the game.

If you were a terrorist, either from ISIS or al-Qaeda, or one of their affiliates, wouldn’t you love to go after this White Whale of American culture? The answer is yes, and fortunately, the good guys know it too, and they are really good at this sort of thing.

Events like the Super Bowl (State of the Union Addresses, the recent Papal visits to NYC, Philly and DC) are habitually designated as National Security Special Events.

This means that the law enforcement officials of America pull out all the stops to ensure nothing bad happens. Once that designation is given, the full weight of the federal, state, and local authorities are not only “encouraged” to work together, but they must work together.

For any big event you can expect the mayor and police chief of the host city to roll out all their capabilities both before the event, in investigation and preemption, and during the event (no one will be off-duty).

Normally, nearby municipalities will add their troops to the mix through either formal or informal cooperative agreements. The governor will mobilize the considerable abilities of both the state police and the National Guard.

All that will happen before the National Security Special Events designation is given.

Once that trigger is pulled, the Federal government rolls in. Lead by the U.S. Secret Service, the premiere protective security organization in the world, assets from the Secret Service, the FBI, and the Department of Defense are added to the fight.

Monitoring capabilities for chemical and biological threats are tagged for action (this includes literally hundreds of dog teams).

Aircraft are moved into the most advantageous positions to intercept any sort of airborne threat, small or large, fast or slow. This will also include numerous medical teams and medical evacuation capabilities as well as aircraft giving the ability to move VIPs and response forces.

This is a dance our first line protectors have done many times. Unlike the movies, there is little or no friction between the different local, state and federal agencies in implementing these efforts.

These are professionals who know their jobs, who have experience working as a team of teams, and who are willing to do everything needed to protect America and its people.

They do it every day, and they will do it for this Sunday’s Super Bowl.

The post How Law Enforcement Will Protect the Super Bowl From Terrorists appeared first on The Daily Signal.

5Feb/16Off

This Even MORE Blistering Anti-Trump Ad Will Run In Papers Across New Hampshire Sunday

You will recall we gave you a preview last week of a blistering anti-Trump ad from Our Principles PAC that ran in Iowa papers ahead of the caucus. This Sunday, the same group is running another brutal ad all over New Hampshire, the next primary state. It hits Trump on multiple points, including his slams against veterans.

Here is a portion of the ad. To see the full print ad in PDF format, simply click on the image.

TrumpAd3

Veterans, abortion, second amendment. tax hikes and even amnesty. It’s Trump being wrong on supposedly Trump issues. That’s a hard burn.

The ad directs readers to the website www.TrumpQuestions.com, which features the amazing video ad we posted a couple of weeks ago.

Trump’s lead in the polls is weakening. He is by far the least liked candidate among those supporting other candidates (in other words, he’s nobody’s number 2 choice.) And frankly, he’s just not keeping it together.

This ad may be brutal, but like the previous, it’s also true. You might say his New York values are just plain catching up with him. I guess we’ll see in New Hampshire.

And hopefully those in New Hampshire will see these ads. And the truth.

The post This Even MORE Blistering Anti-Trump Ad Will Run In Papers Across New Hampshire Sunday appeared first on RedState.

5Feb/16Off

When Obama Told This Admiral He Can’t Hand Out Bibles – He Didn’t Know Who He Was Messing With

We have some evidence of something we’ve suspected for some time; namely, that despite the concerted efforts of the Obama administration to socially-engineer the U.S. military to look like something

5Feb/16Off

The Amazing Hypocrisy of Fox News Shill Howard Kurtz

Howard Kurtz, who works for Fox News, has what has be the most oblivious and un-self aware take I've ever seen on a political debate, bashing Rachel Maddow for being "unabashedly liberal" and "ripping Republicans:" Why did MSNBC put Rachel Maddow on the debate stage?

Rachel Maddow did a pretty good job in questioning Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at MSNBC’s Democratic debate last night.

But she shouldn’t have been on that stage as a moderator, sitting next to Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director and moderator of “Meet the Press.”

This is not a knock on Maddow as a commentator. She is smart and passionate, a Rhodes scholar with a deep knowledge of the issues. She did not roll over for Clinton during a recent interview on her prime-time show.

But she is an unabashedly liberal commentator who rips the Republicans every night on her program. She should not have been put in that position.

As if the Fox News-hosted debates didn't feature unabashedly wingnut commentators who spread lies, attack President Obama viciously and continuously, and then pretend to be "fair and balanced."

Just amazing. The absolute bleeding hypocrisy of this shill is mind-boggling.

5Feb/16Off

OBAMA’s AMERICA: Border Agent Speaks Out: We’re Terminated If We Try to Enforce the Law

Just about everything you hear about immigration and border security from official channels is a lie, particularly if those channels originate from the Obama administration. Most of our readers already

5Feb/16Off

NYPD Throws People Out of Their Homes Without Ever Proving Criminal Activity

"Outta the way! We've got lives to ruin!"It is not unusual for cities (both large and small) to have nuisance abatement laws that allow for landlords or government officials to evict people from residences when there's chronic illegal behavior taking place there. Often it's tied to the relentless, doomed war against drugs and vice, trying to shut down drug dens and brothels (that exist because of the black market the bans create in the first place, but never mind).

But as the New York Daily News, working with ProPublica, have discovered, New York City's nuisance abatement laws are particularly bad. They're being used to eject people out of their homes by the New York Police Department, but in many cases, the city has failed to prove criminal activity actually happened. They reviewed more than 500 nuisance abatement actions over 18 months in 2013 and 2014 and discovered that half of nearly 300 people who gave up their leases or banned from their homes had not been convicted of any crimes. Of those, 96 had their cases dismissed and 44 faced no criminal prosecution at all.

The Daily News provides plenty of real world examples of how this plays out:

A man was prohibited from living in his family home and separated from his young daughter over gambling allegations that were dismissed in criminal court. A diabetic man said he was forced to sleep on subways and stoops for a month after being served with a nuisance abatement action over low-level drug charges that also never led to a conviction. Meanwhile, his elderly mother was left with no one to care for her.

How do the police get away with this? Blame laws from the 1970s designed to clean druggies and prostitutes from Times Square. Police have since expanded the use of the laws far beyond the initial intent. They're enforced as civil matters, often much like what happens with asset forfeiture cases. Not only does the city not have to get a conviction first, making it a civil case means that those facing eviction don't have guaranteed access to a lawyer, unless they can pay for one themselves. And given that the law is primarily used in poor, minority-dominated neighborhoods (only five of the people who were booted from their homes were white), that's not likely to happen.

And there's so much more. One of the officers behind some of the nuisance abatement cases is the "most-sued" officer on the NYPD's force, according to the New York Daily News. He has been named in 32 different lawsuits that have cost the city $1.4 million in payouts. He has been put on desk duty for allegedly fabricating buys from confidential informants to use to get search warrants. In addition, police often ask judges to lock tenants out of their residences immediately as an "emergency," even though there is no evidence that there's any emergency taking place. These actions often take place months after the reported offenses. Many judges simply approve the requests anyway, but some have taken notice and decline, giving residents a chance to appeal.

Read the whole sordid story here. The Daily News tracked down Sidney Baumgarten, the former city official who had the law drafted in the 1970s. Even he thinks it's being abused and described the police department's behavior as "unconstitutional" and "overreaching."

5Feb/16Off

Friday A/V Club: Barry Goldwater Campaigns in New Hampshire

With New Hampshire voting in just a few days, here's some footage from a much earlier Granite State primary. In 1964, the folks at the Goldwater for President Committee produced this film of their man campaigning in the state:

To the extent that there's a policy focus here, it's on the candidate's hawkish foreign policy views, with occasional side trips to reassure voters that Barry Goldwater does not want to dismantle Social Security. His libertarian streak does pop up a few times, though, most notably at the 10-minute mark.

My favorite part of the picture comes at 13:35, when we get some scintillating footage of the candidate taking a nap.

Bonus movie: For a much more lively artifact of that election, check out the wild campaign film that Barry Goldwater disowned.

(For past editions of the Friday A/V Club, go here.)