Assorted Stupidity #132

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  • TOP STORY: President Trump announced this week that he had “ultimate” and/or “total authority” to reopen the economy, or to do whatever, because “when somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s going to be.” But everyone else announced this was false, a position shared by such well-known liberals as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who cited the 10th Amendment in support. Others argued that its obvious falsity is a fundamental tenet of constitutional democracy, something the 10th Amendment emphasizes but does not create. See, e.g., Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952) (holding that even during an actual shooting war the president’s authority was not total, and that was not, in fact, the way it was going to be). So people gave different reasons for its falsity, but everyone agreed it was false.
  • Except for the vice-president. “Make no mistake about it,” Mike Pence said at the same press conference. “In the long history of this country, the authority of the president of the United States during national emergencies is unquestionably plenary.” But “plenary” means “total,” so no.
  • A Washington state man who had a better argument than they did was still charged with reckless endangerment, hit and run, driving under the influence, and something called “felony eluding,” even though he wasn’t the one in the driver’s seat. Well, I guess it was because he wasn’t in the driver’s seat, or more specifically because his dog was in the driver’s seat. (The man was steering.) But he was “trying to teach his dog how to drive,” the man explained. If that’s a crime now, how are they going to learn?
  • In March, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the People’s Republic of China, the People’s Liberation Army, and other Chinese entities and individuals, saying the action was intended to hold the defendants responsible for the coronavirus. The lawsuit demands at least $20 trillion dollars in damages. If the plaintiff wins, he should have no trouble at all collecting, especially from the People’s Liberation Army.
  • Is that the only such lawsuit currently pending? Of course not.
  • A couple was arrested in Texas recently after a game camera caught an image of them trespassing on a Native American burial ground. An officer found them digging on the archeological site, something they denied doing even though they were standing in the hole, holding tools, when he found them. The couple said they were a married couple who were just out for “date night.” They were also found to be carrying a Baby-Yoda-shaped pipe containing what appeared to be crystal meth and at least a dozen Native American artifacts, so, presumably, a pretty standard date night in east-central Texas.