Saturday, December 4, 2021

Trump Lawyers Ordered to Pay Sanctions Fees For Bogus Election Fraud Lawsuit

A Group of Lawyers aligned with Trump, including Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, were Ordered Thursday by a Federal Judge, to Collectively Pay more than $175,000 in Sanctions-related Fees stemming from a bogus election fraud lawsuit they filed last year.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker, Ordered that the Lawyers Pay the $21,964.75 in Attorneys' Fees for the Michigan State Officials they Sued in the Lawsuit.

She also Ordered that the Lawyers pay $153,285.62 in Attorneys' Fees for the City of Detroit, which was also a Defendant in the Election Reversal Lawsuit filed last year.

"Plaintiffs' attorneys, many of whom seek donations from the public to fund lawsuits, like this one, have the ability to pay this sanction," Parker wrote in an Opinion Thursday.

Parker is giving the Trump-aligned Attorneys 30 days to Pay the Fees. The Order will be put on hold, however, if the Attorneys Appeal her underlying Decision from August, ordering the Sanctions, the Judge said Thursday.

In the Opinion, in August, announcing that she'd be Ordering Sanctions, Parker said the Lawyers had "engaged in litigation practices" that were "abusive and, in turn, sanctionable. Sanctions are required to deter the filing of future frivolous lawsuits designed primarily to spread the narrative that our election processes are rigged and our democratic institutions cannot be trusted," the judge wrote.

Wood said he would Appeal the Order Thursday Evening. "I undertook no act in Michigan and I had no involvement in the Michigan lawsuit filed by Sidney Powell," he said.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

Scholz's Party Approves New German Coalition Government

German Chancellor-Designate, Olaf Scholz's Center-Left Party, gave its overwhelming Approval Saturday to forming a New Government with Environmentalist and Pro-Business Parties, the First of Three such Decisions needed, for Scholz to take Office next week.

Scholz's Social Democrats narrowly Won Germany's Sept. 26th Election and launched Negotiations with the Greens and the Business-Friendly Free Democrats, to form a Governing Coalition that hasn't been tried before at the Federal Level. They emerged with a Deal on Nov. 24th after relatively Quick Negotiations.

The Three-way alliance aims to Modernize Europe’s Biggest Economy, and step up efforts against Climate Change. It will send outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's Center-Right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) into the Opposition after 16 years, and End an uncomfortable “Grand Coalition” of Germany's traditional Big Parties in which the Social Democrats were the Junior Partners.

“A lot of people have grown up with the idea that is natural for a member of the CDU to lead the government, and now ... the Social Democrats will provide the next chancellor,” Scholz told a largely Online Party Convention. “This will be a government of three parties that want to venture more progress for Germany.”

Scholz set his sights for the New Alliance beyond just the Four-year Term that is now beginning.

He said the Government aims “to work together in a friendly way and be re-elected.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

Feds Propose Clearing Acres Of Brush In CA And NV

After heated Criticism from California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and others, the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is proposing a Large step to clear out Overgrowth Fuel in Western Forests.

BLM announced Tuesday, it’s requesting Public Feedback on a Plan that would see 900,000 acres of Fuel Cleared from Forest on Federal Land in California and Southwest Nevada. BLM will be accepting Public Comments through December 29th, 2021, via the Project Website by Email

“Wildfires have had catastrophic effects on communities and surrounding public land resources,” said BLM California State Director Karen Mouritsen. “This initiative is designed to reduce the intensity, severity, and spread of wildfire in and around communities, supporting community infrastructure and surrounding lands by reducing hazardous fuels.”

The last Two Fire Seasons have devastated California's Forests. According to CalFire Data, Wildfires scorched 3,083,507 acres so far in 2021 between Federal and State Ground.

Newsom has increasingly grown more Urgent in his tone regarding the Federal Government’s Policy of monitoring New Fires on Federal Land instead of taking action to Extinguish them before the Small Fires are given a chance to grow.

"The Newsom Administration applauds the Bureau of Land Management's proposal to expedite fuel removal in federally-managed forests in California. We thank the Biden Administration for their collaboration to address catastrophic wildfires, improve the health of our forests, and combat climate change,” a Spokesperson from Newsom’s Office said. “At the state level, California is building on successful fuels management strategies, including a historic $1.5 billion investment in wildfire and forest resilience."

Jonathan Wood, Vice President of Law and Policy at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), said the ambitious Plan to Speed-Up Fuel Reduction is urgently needed but Predicted the Government could end up Hampering its Best Intentions.

“Catastrophic wildfires have ravaged the West in recent years, threatening communities, destroying habitats, and polluting the air and water,” Wood said. “For the proposed project to deliver on its promise, however, BLM will need to avoid the bureaucratic obstacles and litigation that have too often blocked forest restoration where it is needed most."

PERC, which Advocates for “free market environmentalism," suggests the Federal Government needs to allow for Partnership with Logging Companies and Loosen Regulations around Clearing Brush that would make the Massive Projects more Feasible.

They also suggest Limiting Threats of Litigation over :ssues such as: Endangering Native Species, Excluding Planned Burns from State Emissions Limits, and Opening Timber Markets for Export.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

WA Supreme Court Declines To Redraw Political Maps

The Washington Supreme Court, will Not exercise its Authority to Redraw the State’s Congressional and Legislative District Maps, leaving in place, the work of the Bipartisan Redistricting Commission.

In a Unanimous ruling Friday, the Court found the Commission had substantially met its Legal Obligations, by Voting on a Map Framework just before the Midnight Nov. 15th Deadline, despite the Panel Not revealing its Maps Publicly, prior to the Vote, and acknowledging that Final Work on Completing them continued after the Deadline.

Washington’s Maps may still face a Voting Rights Act (VRA) Challenge as “[s]ome voting rights activists have said the commission fell short of creating a Central Washington legislative district giving majority Latinos enough clout to elect their favored candidates.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

TXs’ Bid To Dismiss Challenge To Its Maps Fails

A Three-Judge District Court Panel, Rejects Texas’ Argument that the Voting Rights Act (VRA) precludes Private Enforcement of Section 2.

The Case: 3:21-cv-00259-DCG-JES-JVB Document 58 Filed 12/03/2021.

The United States has filed a "Statement of Interest" (ECF No. 46) urging this three-judge court to deny dismissal on this ground. The Statement of Interest makes the following representation, which we have no reason to refute: Throughout decades of Section 2 litigation challenging redistricting plans and voting restrictions in Texas and elsewhere, courts have never denied a private plaintiff the ability to bring Section 2 claims."

The United States adds that "although the Supreme Court has not addressed an express challenge to private Section 2 enforcement, the Court's precedent permits no other holding." We agree, at least to the extent that it would be ambitious indeed for a district court-even a threejudge court-to deny a private right of action in the light of precedent and history."

We also suspect that the Defendants Misconstrue Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U.S. 275, 288-89 (2001), in which the Court held up the text of 42 U.S.C. § 2000d as paradigmatic rightscreating language. That language seems to mirror Section 2' s. 1 Absent contrary direction from a higher court, we decline to break new ground on this particular issue.

The Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for want of a private cause of action to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is therefore DENIED.

Compare 42 U.S.C. § 2000d ("No person ... shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be ... subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."), with 52 U.S.C. § 10301(a) ("No ... standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State ... in a manner which results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen ... to vote on account of race or color .... ").

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

Friday, December 3, 2021

TSA Rolls Out Railroad & Aviation Security Directives

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), on Thursday, issued Two Security Directives requiring Rail and Rail Transit Groups, to implement steps to strengthen Cybersecurity of the Sector, including a Requirement to Report Cyber Incidents to the Federal Government.

The Security Directives require Higher-Risk Freight Rail, Passenger Rail, and Rail Transit Groups to Report Cybersecurity Incidents to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within 24 hours of Detection and to designate a Cybersecurity Coordinator.

The Directives also require these Groups to Complete Vulnerability Assessments of their Networks, and then develop a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan, based on Security Issues discovered.

One Directive applies to Freight Rail Groups, while the other to Passenger Rail and Rail Transit Companies, but are Identical.

“These new cybersecurity requirements and recommendations will help keep the traveling public safe and protect our critical infrastructure from evolving threats. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue working with our partners across every level of government and in the private sector to increase the resilience of our critical infrastructure nationwide,” Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas said.

Mayorkas first announced the upcoming Directive for the Rail Sector in October, pointing to the need, in particular, to Protect against Ransomware Attacks.

Mayorkas also announced that a similar Directive would be rolled out for the Aviation Sector, with Senior DHS Officials telling Reporters Thursday, that TSA had “recently updated aviation security programs to require airport operators to take similar steps” to what Rail Sector Groups were being Required to do.

Since Mayorkas’s announcement, Key Industry Groups have expressed Concerns around the Planned Directive, including the potential Issue of the Reporting Mandate for Incidents being too Broad and Not being aware of Increased Threats to the Rail Sector. One particular iIsue of concern was the need to Define what Type of Cyber Incident to Report.

The Senior DHS Officials said that TSA had worked with Industry Groups to address these Concerns, and had given Two Drafts of the Directives to Stakeholders to Review and provide Feedback prior to the Announcement on Thursday.

“With respect to the definition the key balance that we need to strike is obviously trying to make sure that we capture those incidents that the government needs to be aware of because of the risk associated with it and making sure that we learn of those that rise to that level, while making sure that we don’t track every incident and get drowned out by the noise, so that is the careful balance we have tried to strike as we craft that language,” a senior DHS Official said.

Victoria Newhouse, the Deputy Assistant Administrator for, Policy, Plans and Engagement at TSA, testified during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing Thursday, that TSA had taken steps to heighten Industry Input into the Directive, and was working “extremely closely” with other Agencies in this effort.

“We have continued robust engagement,” Newhouse testified. “As recently as this week I along with several of my top leadership here at TSA have met with freight rail and passenger rail executives with a classified briefing in our facility to show them what we are seeing, elicit input, and ask them for more input for either future requirements or other guidelines that we could issue together by us just telling them this is what they need to do.”

Newhouse also noted that on Thursday, ahead of the Directive’s Announcement, “a number of pipeline individuals, CISOs and other security personnel are receiving briefings as we speak, and we do have an apparatus around the United States to support those briefings thanks to our law enforcement and intelligence community partners.”

One of the Groups that had expressed concerns was the Association of American Railroads (AAR), which represents Rail Companies across North America including the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). Jessica Kahanek, a Spokesperson for AAR, said ahead of the announcement, that some initial Concerns had been addressed.

“AAR has had productive consultations with TSA officials in recent weeks to address adverse effects that the Security Directives, as originally drafted, would have on long-standing effective practices maintained by railroads,” Kahanek said. “As a result, we anticipate that changes have been made to the content of the directives to alleviate these significant concerns.”

TSA previously issued Two Security Directives designed to shore up the Cybersecurity of the Pipeline Sector, earlier this year, following the Ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, which caused Temporary Shortages of Gas in several States and crippled a Key Supply Chain.

The previous Directives for the Pipeline Sector required Owners and Operators to Report Cybersecurity Incidents to CISA within 12 hours, to take Security Measures to Protect against Ransomware Attacks and Develop Recovery Plans in the event of a successful attack.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

Thursday, December 2, 2021

TX Authorities Apprehended 165,000 At Border In Last Nine Months

Texas Law Enforcement and Soldiers, sent to the Border under a State Initiative that began in March, have encountered more than 165,000 People presumed to have Illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico Border, or are themselves Smuggling People, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

As the Number of People Illegally crossing the Southern Border, began to Spike after President Biden took Office, Gov. Greg Abbott (R), in March, created a Statewide Initiative, known as "Operation Lone Star”, in which State Troopers from DPS would be sent to the Border to help Arrest Trespassers, while Border Patrol Agents, were pulled from the Field, to Transport and Process People in Custody.

In a Letter sent on July 27th, Abbott, ordered Texas Military Department Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, to take New Action. Abbott cited Article IV, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution’s Authority for the Governor to "call forth the militia to execute the laws of the State” and instructed Norris to do so.

Under normal circumstances, Members of the Military are Not allowed to apprehend People. Until July, State Military Forces, sent to the Border assisted Border Patrol, State Police, and Local Law Enforcement, in ways that did Not cause them to Interact with Migrants. They manned Surveillance Cameras, and Watched the Border, among other Tasks.

Lt. Chris Olivarez, Spokesman for the Texas DPS’s South Region, said during a Press Conference Thursday, that his Agency's Troopers, along with National Guard Soldiers, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, have Apprehended and referred 165,000 People to relevant Law Enforcement for Arrest over the past Nine months.

The large Majority of the 165,000 were Apprehended and Referred to another Agency, such as the U.S. Border Patrol, for Arrest. The National Guard apprehended 84,000 of the 165,000. Approximately 9,900 of the 165,000 were Arrested on Criminal Trespassing Charges, including 2,200 in the Del Rio, Texas, Region, where Tens of Thousands of Haitian Migrants came across the Border in September and created a Makeshift Camp under the International Bridge.

DPS Officers have engaged in more than 1,000 Vehicle Chases since March. On Nov. 26th, the day after Thanksgiving, a DPS Trooper attempted to Stop the Driver of a Ford Pickup Truck suspected of Smuggling Illegal Immigrants. The Driver did Not pull over and led Police on a Chase. The Truck Crashed, resulting in the deaths of Two People on board. Eleven other People inside were Injured and taken to a Local Hospital. The Driver, who Olivarez said had been recently Caught by Border Patrol Illegally entering the Country, and was immediately returned to Mexico under the Title 42 Pandemic Protocols, was Charged with Human Smuggling, and Evading Arrest.

In another Incident on Nov. 28th, a DPS Trooper working in Kinney County Stopped a U-Haul Truck and found 12 People being Smuggled in the back. The Driver and Passenger in the front of the truck, were from Oklahoma and Members of the Crips Gang.

"One thing about Del Rio that makes it unique is that we're seeing a lot of smugglers or individuals are coming from larger cities — Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, even out of state," said Olivarez. "They come down to the Rio Grande Valley or more specifically to Del Rio to become human smugglers because a lot ... has been advertised on social media by the criminal organizations."

The Uptick in Vehicle Pursuits is due to the Smuggling Organizations recruiting more Drivers, as well as the DPS increasing its Presence, thereby having more Officers on the Roads to pull over Suspicious Vehicles.

"You're going to see an uptick in vehicle pursuits because, again, these individuals, they don't want to be caught," he said. "The whole purpose for them is they want to get away from law enforcement. That's their primary focus, to get away and to get those migrants to where they need to get because, obviously, it's a commodity to them. And they're here for profit. They want to get the money."

Other Smugglers have been Caught by Texas Authorities, attempting to move Drugs into the U.S. from Mexico. Since March, Texas Officials have intercepted more than 13,000 pounds of Marijuana, 2,400 pounds of Cocaine, 1,000 pounds of Methamphetamine, and 157 pounds of Fentanyl.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker