Federal and State Governments Have Less Control Over Shutdowns Than They Think

Officials in six Pennsylvania counties say they will allow businesses to reopen without permission from the state government. Expect more of that.


On April 16, President Donald Trump and the White House's COVID-19 task force outlined a three-step process for states to begin unwinding their economic shutdowns. The plan was contingent on ramping up testing and slowing the spread of new cases, and it likely would have taken months to progress from phase one to phase three.

Just three weeks later, a growing number of states have largely discarded the federal plan in favor of their own efforts aimed at restarting their shattered economies.

On April 22, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf outlined a three-step process for reopening regions of his state, with counties progressing from "red" to "yellow" to "green." Counties can be fully reopened when there are fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks. The state has cleared 37 counties (out of 67) to move to the "yellow" stage on May 15.

Less than three weeks later, officials in six Pennsylvania counties that have yet to meet that threshold have declared their intention to reopen anyway, and sheriffs in two other counties say they will not issue citations to businesses that open in defiance of the state's shutdown order. Although the county commissioners acted independently from one another, all make more or less the same argument: The state-mandated economic shutdown has been ruinous, the vast majority of coronavirus deaths in Pennsylvania have been in nursing homes, and the 50-in-100,000 threshold will take too long to reach.

The response to the coronavirus pandemic may appear to have been directed by government edict. State governments ordered people to stay home and forced businesses to close, and the White House had daily press briefings to prescribe courses of action. Frustrated residents of various states have directed their outrage towards governors by staging protests at state capitols.

But the weekslong shutdowns that some parts of the country continue to endure were never enforceable from the White House or from any state capitol. They always depended on voluntary compliance from residents. Indeed, most state-level stay-at-home orders came days or even weeks after most Americans were already staying home, as research from FiveThirtyEight pretty conclusively shows.

That compliance is now fraying in many places. And that's why governments cannot fully control the economic reopening. It's not a few dozen protesters who will end the quarantines; it's the millions of other people who have simply started going about their lives again.

Officials need to recognize the limits of their authority. Federal, state, and county authorities can provide guidelines to individuals and businesses about the best ways to protect public health. They can, for example, encourage people to wear face masks in public. But they must also recognize that enforcing those rules with the threat of arrest is counterproductive. Similarly, a prohibition on large-scale public gatherings is much more enforceable than trying to control the behavior of every business in the state.

In trying to enforce overly broad and sometimes arbitrary bans on economic activity, federal and state authorities have lost some of the public trust that's essential to fulfilling the role that government actually can fulfill right now: giving people advise on what's safe and what isn't.

"Total shutdowns cannot be expected to last for weeks or months," I wrote in March. "An equilibrium will be found—either purposefully and orderly by official policy, or haphazardly when people simply can't take it anymore."

The White House has more or less given up on trying to force states to stick to the three-step process outlined last month. Whether that's because the Trump administration realizes it has lost control of the situation or because the president is happy to have someone else to blame if things go poorly, well, you decide.

But in Pennsylvania, Wolf appears prepared to drop the hammer on counties that attempt to buck his orders. In a series of tweets on Monday afternoon, the governor threatened to withhold funds from counties that reopen without state approval. Businesses that open without his say-so could risk their liability insurance and the loss of state-issued licenses, including liquor licenses for restaurants and bars.

There is, of course, a difference between the federal-state relationship and the state-county relationship. Counties and municipalities are, legally, the creations of the state government and do not have the same degree of independence as the states do from the federal government.

Still, it will be instructive to see whether Wolf's heavy-handed approach works or simply spurs more opposition. Pennsylvania has been at the forefront of the civic battles over COVID-19. It was one of the first states to order businesses to close, and it was one of the first states to see a huge spike in pandemic-era unemployment. It makes sense that it would be one of the places where resistance to the shutdowns—organized resistance within various levels of government, not simply angry mobs outside the capitol—would occur.

"This is not a time to give up," Wolf said in a tweet, after outlining how he planned to keep counties in line. "I intend to keep fighting."

One might wonder whether he is fighting the virus or his fellow Pennsylvanians—and whether winning one battle will require losing the other.

NEXT: Meet the Press Mangles a William Barr Quote to Make Him Look Awful, and It Backfires

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  1. “Today I am announcing consequences for counties that do not abide by the law to remain closed.”

    Answer to Pencil Dick: See you in Court.

    1. How many divisions does the guv have?

      1. Probably more than the Pope.

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    2. Would be nice to see a legal challenge charging abuse of authority wherein the orders being given were for a known medically impossible goal (a goal that changed from reduction to eradication) or for which no sound science existed.

    3. It won’t go to Court. Everything he is threatening is administrative. There is no due process and the Courts can’t get involved. That’s why he’s doing it.

  2. Sure seems to be a pattern of tin-plated totalitarians coming mainly from one political party…

    1. I agree, Austin. The GOP bears no blame for this AT ALL and Trump’s playing along with this is just 4-D chess and owning the libs. Trump’s never wrong anyway so even when he’s helping the democrats thats ALSO RIGHT!

      1. Keep f***ing that chicken, RTF.

    2. Michael Dewine—GOP, Ohio

      1. Yeah, there are Republicans going overboard to. On the other hand, Colorado is gingerly opening under a Democrat. This is not about party, but about your views of economic freedom and the degree to which you see people who can’t work from home as meaningful participants in your state’s economy.

  3. Time to read up on your John Locke. Government does not function absent the consent of the governed.

    1. word.

      1. Banana

        1. knock knock

    2. You forgot the best part… when a government becomes destructive to these ends (the protection of rights) the people have an OBLIGATION to rebel.

      That is the word he used. No option. Obligation. As in failure to do so would he proof of a moral failing making you liable to damages to others.

      No… don’t get me wrong. Chances of success and cost/benefit is also important and to be considered. But it would always be wrong to just discount rebellion without consideration. It is not an always wrong choice as many would have us believe.

      1. If rebellion means armed action, why go down that road. We are still a democracy. Motivate voters. 2016 shows that in spite of all the “elites” being against Trump he was elected.
        There are also recalls. Some years ago voters recalled a liberal Democratic governor and replaced him with a Republican.
        You don’t really believe in democracy do you. You can’t persuade enough people to adopt your demands so now you think its time to start killing people. That will just compete our transition to a failed 3rd world has-been country.

        1. Definition of rebel: to oppose or disobey one in authority or control

        2. We are a democratic republic. The people govern, but even the people united do not have the right to infringe natural freedoms.

          There are however many levels of rebellion short of armed insurgency. The common phrase is Irish democracy: You ignore laws you think are excessive and see if the government has the resources or the stomach to enforce them. The legalization of marijuana in most of the country is a result of Irish democracy: The state lacked the will to enforce the marijuana prohibition uniformly and eventually the political class gave up on it.

          Note that the counties aren’t taking up arms against the state. They’re just refusing to enforce the state’s policies with their own resources. You may like it or not, but the creation of sanctuary cities set all the necessary precedents for this.

    3. Locke, St. Augustine, and Martin Luther King Jr.:

      -Government doesn’t function absent the consent of the governed.
      -An unjust law is no law at all.
      -One has a moral obligation to disobey unjust laws.


    Then there is this. Michigan militia members vow to prevent police from arresting barber defying shut down. I really don’t want to see people getting into shootouts with the police. And I understand the slippery slope that comes with allowing the mob to step in and stop the enforcement of the law. It is an ugly situation.

    But it is a situation brought on entirely by the Michigan state government and the governor in particular. There are limits to state power. If enforcing a law means getting into shootouts with otherwise law abiding citizen, then you probably need to rethink the law. Maybe the law is important enough to justify that. But I seriously doubt it. And it certainly isn’t here.

    1. The militias are not stopping enforcement of the law.
      They are stopping enforcement of unconstitutional edicts from tyrants.
      And that is why they are specifically named in the second amendment.

      1. The first felony is the toughest…

        I really don’t think that idiot Whitmer has thought this all of the way through. If things degenerate to where militia types are shooting at, or getting shot by cops, targeting those people that give the cops their orders is not very far away. We all lose when that happens, but the consequences will be much more immediate and final for someone like Governor Whitmer.

        For crying out loud, did everyone already forget the D.C. softball practice near massacre? Politicians below the level of the President are just not all that hard to get at, if the attacker doesn’t care about getting free afterwards.

        1. Or how the Tunisian government was brought down because one vendor had enough of his government confiscating his livelihood and took the drastic action of self immolation to make his point.

          1. It didn’t hurt that US agricultural policy and foreign aid had both done a whammy on their domestic food markets. AIUI, cheap food had flooded their markets, putting farmers out of business who couldn’t compete with free. Then the aid dried up, food prices spiked, people started to starve, and the Arab Spring resulted.

            Repression, freedom, political representation by those looking out for your interests: none of that matters when you can’t afford to buy food. Which is why in this country, AFDC/Food stamps will be absolutely the last thing to be cut when the money printer stops going BRRRRR.

        2. I agree with everything but one statement. It is not a certainty that if things get ugly we all lose. It is a possibility that we win beyond anything we have seen before. I’m not betting that is the outcome… but history tells me that it is a possibility. Otherwise winning the Revolution was bad for free people and the US should have staid under the crown. Or any other classically liberal revolution that succeeded.

          1. Agreed that “We all lose.” is the wrong answer. It’s a possibility, but the odds of protests in MI affecting people in FL, ID, IA, etc., all negatively is pretty narrow-minded. Like saying we all lost because of the standoff at the Bundy Ranch or Ruby Ridge, for most, it’s an abstract or metaphorical loss at best.

            1. Nobody died at the Bundy Ranch. Post Burns, OR wildlife refuge standoff, there was some shooting, but who was paying attention then? Had there been shooting at the Bundy Ranch, what do you think would have happened, and what level of repression do you think the Obama DOJ would have dialed things up to?

              The lack of nationwide pushback from Ruby Ridge led to the overbearing raid at Waco. Where the Feds touching the stove and finding it hot, let to cooking 90 some odd people and leading to Clinton feeling comfortable signing the 1994 assault weapons ban.

              My point is this. If people in states start shooting cops and elected leaders in the face, in anything more than ‘an isolated incident’, repression is not going to be restricted to those states. Just like the Patriot Act wasn’t limited to D.C. and NYC.

              Violence may not be restricted to authorities shooting militias and vice versa. In fact it’s very likely to spread.

    2. I think it’s inevitable you’re for sure going to see bullets exchanged as a result of this unfortunately. These policies have already ruined millions of people’s livelihoods and everyone knows who to blame. this country is a tinderbox right now.

      1. More likely it’ll be like that bar where cops showed up in a freaking tank and everyone just surrendered. Police don’t diddle around when they are violating your rights, and they have plenty of practice at it.

        1. Either that, or people are going to look at the armed men outside the barber shop, versus people at the bar in Texas who didn’t come strapped, come to the conclusion that the police might not be too eager to get in an actual firefight over a restaurant citation, and come armed to the teeth and dare the cops to show up.

        2. No one surrendered at Stonewall.

    3. This was inevitable when that dumb bitch decided to treat Michigan as her personal fiefdom. I’d rather not see them get into shootouts with the cops, either, but Roscoe P. Coltrane likely isn’t going to risk getting plugged just to give a 77-year old barber a citation for cutting hair.

      Despite all the military-style training, government authoritarians, especially at the local level, don’t really know how to deal with mass armed resistance. Even the ATF and FBI ultimately had to come in with tanks and set fire to the Branch Davidian compound to finally bring that confrontation to an end; the initial armed incursion by the ATF was beaten back by the Davidians rather quickly.

  5. Wolf also warned businesses that choose to “follow the whims of local politicians and ignore the law” by reopening in defiance of the shutdown that they risk businesses licenses, certificates of occupancy and other required governmental approvals to operate.

    PA Insurance Department Warns of Risks, Increased Liability with Non-Compliance of Business Closure Orders. “It is the duty of every business and resident in Pennsylvania to ensure that they and the public at large are provided with the maximum level of protection afforded by insurance. Any actions that could potentially create coverage gaps are the antitheses of the civil duty required of all residents during these times of emergency,” she said in a written statement.

    Somehow, this doesn’t give me great confidence that State Governments have less control than they think. Well, I understand they don’t but who’s going to challenge them and quickly enough to save our state?

    My favorite of Wolf’s conference today, “Stay at home and enjoy your unemployment”!

    1. ”the governor threatened to withhold funds from counties that reopen without state approval” so next step would be for the counties to step in and intercept taxes before they go to the state. Even the largest state police department cannot occupy every county…seems to me I remember California threatening to do something similar in 2017.

    2. He actually said that?

      1. He also said this about politicians in counties defying his orders…

        ““These folks are choosing to desert in the face of the enemy. In the middle of a war that we Pennsylvanians are winning, and that we must win,” Wolf said at a news conference Monday. “They need to understand the consequences of their cowardly act.””

        Were cowards now too lmao. He can keep handing my state to trump

    3. This is fucking degenerate tyranny. I honestly can’t believe this is actually happening in this country.

      1. The people cheerleading permanent shutdown seem to be the commie types who want to use this to tear down capitalism and start afresh under socialism.

        1. >>start afresh under socialism.

          #alonetogether is the rollout.

          1. From the first time I heard it, the tag had the Soviet-style nihilistic social despair like no other.

        2. “The people cheerleading permanent shutdown seem to be the commie types ”

          America’s cattle are also pretty pleased with the way things are going. Sheep are doing well too. The animal type, I mean. As for America’s human type sheep, who cares, let them eat nursing homes.

      2. THAT’S HATE SPEECH! oh…tyranny. I though you said tranny.

      3. ” I honestly can’t believe this is actually happening in this country.”

        This time last year you were worried about the government’s response to climate change. You thought that the government was going to shut down fracking. You were wrong; it was a virus that done it.

      4. I vote libertarian because I DO believe this is happening.

  6. It’s good to see the state governors of PA, MI, and WI acting like this. They have guaranteed Trump those electoral votes and his reelection. Democrats do like to shoot themselves in the feet often enough it’s a wonder they can walk.

    Let’s hope there’s enough anger to turn the House back over to Republicans for a saner government. I wouldn’t mind seeing the squad get dumped by their constituents, but they are so damn entertaining and do so much damage to the democrats maybe it’s best they stick around.

    1. Demographics say otherwise.

      Its too late, but vote, anyway.

    2. On the one hand, I’d like little better than to see “the Squad” get their lunches handed to them in the next election.

      On the other hand, if we’re stuck with a two party system (and we are for the foreseeable future), I’d much rather have a divided government than for either party to control all the branches. Gridlock is a feature, not a bug.

    3. The Squad aren’t going anywhere. They’re like Waters or that rhinestone dummy from Florida that likes to wear the cowboy hats–they’re in safe, deep-blue districts so they’re free to act as exceptional as they want for precisely the reason that they’re as knuckle-draggingly dumb as their constituents. Pressley at least seems to be more focused on taking care of her district than spotlight chasing, unlike Cortez or the two Muslim thots.

      1. I expected AOC to get primaried for chasing Amazon out of town. Then the virus happened. Other than that level of self-abuse, they’re not leaving those seats. They serve someone’s purpose there. We’re talking about them, aren’t we?

  7. Tom Wolf should be put in a dunk tank. Or just tied to a flag pole. $5 & you get to punch him 3 times.

    1. Just force him to live in Philly.

      1. Hell, just force him to live in Pennsylvania. He spends most of his time at his home in Bermuda. Or at least he did until he needed to have ‘press conferences’ where no questions are allowed.

    2. “Tom Wolf should be put in a dunk tank.”

      He should be suspended upside down over a dunk tank filled with piranha that haven’t been fed in a week. 100 throws for $1.00.

      1. Food or no food, you better find a way to keep those piranha socially distant, or they’re going to feed.

      2. Now we’re talkin’!

  8. Still waiting for one of these tyrants to explain why we still have to stay six feet apart if we are wearing masks.
    Where is the ‘science’ of changing that ‘either or’ to an ‘and’?
    The six feet was based on (as much as anything) the distance the virus will jump from an unmasked citizen. So with masks, we should be good at two feet or a foot and a half.

    1. The correct terms are:

      (1) mouth diaper or

      (2) fear masks

      1. (3) muzzle

    2. The masks and the six-foot separation were never based on disease protection. The goal is to force people to bow before their masters, demonstrating their fealty and obedience. That’s why we had news stories about solo surfers, drive-up attendees to makeshift in-car church services, etc., being hassled even though the individuals were far more than a mere six feet away from each other. We’re not to think about what kinds of things might allow the disease to be transmitted and to act accordingly; we are to obey. That’s the point, and that’s why the masks have become such a stigma, whether you’re a wearer or an avoider. I look at them like a collar on a dog… unsure if I should feel bad for the poor enslaved person or if I should be angry at them for not having any of the contempt for arbitrary, capricious authority that marks an American. I expect Europeans to obey and do as they are told. I expect better from my fellow Americans, and I’m frequently disappointed.

      1. I’ve seen people driving by themselves wearing a mask. I’ve seen walkers, runners and even bicyclers out in the open wearing a mask. These people look as if they are obeying their masters.

        I feel bad for the store workers. My friend works at a grocery store and he said it’s awful. I stopped just inside the Menards store to pickup an item and I could tell the employees didn’t like the masks. Some didn’t appear very protective and they would often pull down the mask for air. As someone else said on here the masks are for theater.

        1. “I’ve seen people driving by themselves wearing a mask. I’ve seen walkers, runners and even bicyclers out in the open wearing a mask. These people look as if they are obeying their masters.”

          I’ve seen them too. Most people are ignorant and scared.

      2. I’d avoid the mask if I could, but every store I’ve entered recently (the few that are open) has required wearing one.

    3. Fuck you, that’s why.

    4. The masks are not very effective. The “N95” rating (the masks used most by medical personnel) means that the filter stops 95% of particles of a certain size – about ten times the diameter of a COVID-19 virus, so we don’t really know how well it stops the virus. And that’s assuming a perfect fit on the mask so there’s no leakage around it (this is difficult to achieve and maintain with a disposable mask), and it only applies when inhaling. Many of these masks have a valve that opens when exhaling, so the pressure doesn’t lift the edges off the face and the moisture in the breath doesn’t condense in the filter. This mask protects your nurse from your germs to some extent, but does not protect you from hers.

      And unless you are medical or emergency personnel, you probably can’t get an N95 mask. E.g., when I go shopping, I wear a dust mask that I bought last summer for lawn mowing. Lot’s of people just have a scarf or bandanna tied around their lower face, ala a western movie outlaw. These will provide considerably less protection, but unlike the valved masks they do catch part of a cough or sneeze by the wearer.

      OTOH, it appears that COVID-19 spreads by air only in water (saliva or snot) droplets, heavy enough that the average range before they drop to the ground is 3 feet. At six feet without masks, not much will reach you, and that mostly on your shoes. With masks, most of those droplets will touch something and stick even if they are small enough to pass through the holes.

      On the third hand, most COVID-19 transmission seems to be on surfaces. E.g., someone touches a door handle, then you touch it, and then you scratch your nose… Masks help a little with this by reducing how much you touch your face, and reducing how much of a cough or sneeze gets out and settles on a surface, but they are a quite small factor. So wearing that improvised mask is 90% just showing that you care – but is it that hard to wear the mask?

      1. Misleading. Viruses cling to larger stuff. They don’t float around like loose neutrons.

  9. “One might wonder whether he is fighting the virus or his fellow Pennsylvanians”

    He’s doing what he’s being told to do. He’s on his second term as Governor, so he can’t run for re-election. My guess is that he has further political goals in mind. My question is where is the State Legislature on this? He’s only allowed to call an emergency for a certain amount of time with out approval from the Legislature to continue.

    1. The PA GOP is a type of weasel.

    2. The PA legislature did pass a bill that would have rolled back to some degree the Gov’s lockdown order, but he vetoed it.

      The fact that granting emergency powers to a Governor takes only a majority vote, but withdrawing emergency powers takes a veto-proof supermajority, should make it obvious to State Legislators that the statutes granting said emergency powers need to be overhauled ASAP.

  10. Whether that’s because the Trump administration realizes it has lost control of the situation or because the president is happy to have someone else to blame if things go poorly, well, you decide.

    Or perhaps he’s sympathetic with the defiance of whatever orders and edicts have been issued by the petty tyrants that run so may local governments.

    And although my ‘mainstream news’ intake is minimal compared to many, the general “feel” I get is very murky– conflicted.

    The idea that “regular folks” all want to return to normal, and it’s just those darned tyrannical local officials who remain obstinate isn’t entirely clear.

    The Snohomish County Sheriff who has publicly refused to enforce lockdown orders– (making a good case for constitutional rights IMHO) is now on the receiving end of a recall petition– filed by regular folks who seem all too happy to aid and fluff those local tyrants.

    I really can’t get a read on any of this from a popular opinion side of things. The media keeps reporting on how awful everything is from the disease standpoint, and I can’t really figure out of those numbers are being misreported, exaggerated, taken out of context, etc.

    1. Trump is keeping himself out of the decision process, thus allowing him to play to either side, although his sentiment is clearly with the open up crowd.

    2. Perhaps the issue is that there isn’t a singular population with a shared idea of what should be happening. Even the best politicians still lose at least 40% of the vote. That is a lot of would-be tyrants who do their domination via elected official rather than holding the gu to your head themselves.

    3. To all of the lockdown fans out there… If you want to hide at home and shiver and weep because of some piddly little disease that has proven to be no more deadly than a seasonal flu (there was never any doubt in my mind that this would turn out to be the case, and that all of this hoopla was political), they can do so for as long as they want. Go ahead! Don’t go to a restaurant or a ballgame if you don’t want to. Feel free to never again visit the gym or see a movie. No one’s making you. Ask your employer to let you keep working at home if you have already been, and if that doesn’t work, get another job.

      You can become a germaphobic recluse if you want to. There’s plenty of people been doing it longer than you; maybe they will give you some pointers for staying sane online, if that ship hasn’t already sailed.

      Let fear rule your life if you wish. Surely by now I would have expected all adults and most children to have grasped that life isn’t safe, and never can be. Hide from it if you wish, though. No one’s going to stop you. You can social distance and remain locked down for the rest of your boring, pathetic days. Just don’t demand that everyone else do the same because YOU are scared.

      Polls have shown that most Americans, sadly, supported the lockdowns, and still are even now. Even the subjects of the Soviet Union knew that Pravda was all lies, but so many people in the “free” world continue to swallow whole whatever the media tells them to believe. If anyone can’t see that the media and government have been overhyping this thing from the start, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how you can swallow obvious propaganda and never once realize that’s what it is. The correct response to what we’ve heard in the media from the very start of all of this is anger, not fear.

  11. If the President had some real brass ones, he would simply order the arrest of each and every governor who did not immediately rescind their shut down orders.

    Such a move would be a boon to federalism as, after all, its purpose is to protect individual liberty and free enterprise, not to safeguard the sovereignty of state governments.

    1. No. That would be tyrannical and incite the other side. Best to let his enemies continue to make the big mistake.

      Napoleon Bonaparte:
      Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

      1. How would arresting satraps who have cratered the economy, shuttered businesses, banned peaceable assembly, prohibited religious gatherings, impaired contractual relations, proscribed protests against their imperial edicts, bribed and encouraged citizens to become like Pavlik Morozov, and caused the death of thousands of nursing home residents be tyrannical?

    2. Libertarians would be all for that.

      Arrest the state governors.

    3. This. So much this. He should at least TWITTER it, and pour a little gas on the fire.

      1. “we’ve done some checking & I have the ultimate power to arrest every governor I want to.”

        1. Don’t threaten them with arrest, simply threaten to cut off federal bailout cast. That’s what this is all about. Inslee and the other west coast governors asked for $1T today.

  12. Some of the more far right wing newswires are reporting that Nancy Pelosi instructed Democratic Governors to continue the lockdown for as long as possible to make the economic downturn as bad as possible. She supposedly promised them that any damage that was done to their states will be made up for under a Biden Presidency. I have my doubts about this story, but given the actions of Inslee, Newsom, Black face, Whitmer et Al, it does make you wonder.

    1. I don’t doubt it, but I doubt very much that Pelosi was dumb enough to put it in writing, or directly say as much to those state leaders.

      The woman is a lush, and is evil. But she usually isn’t stupid.

      1. I used to think Progressives were diabolically clever. That sentiment changed during the moronic impeachment fiasco.

        1. Never assume cupidity where stupidity will suffice.

    2. “Some of the more far right wing newswires are reporting that Nancy Pelosi instructed Democratic Governors to continue the lockdown for as long as possible to make the economic downturn as bad as possible.”

      That pathetic excuse for humanity is *my* representative in the house; I’m pleased to state there is not one elected San Fran POS who has ever gotten my vote.
      I can tell you, as reported by a former clerk in her local office, that any comm was compared to the donor’s list; not on that list? No answer. So what your claim would not surprise me.
      But I’d love to see a link for that. Even if true, and if Trump keeps pushing for ‘reopening’ it’s not likely to help ol’ (dribbling) Uncle Joe.
      Regardless, on my business phone, I’ve had the pleasure of hanging up on the recorded voice of NP, asking that I ‘join her’ in a telecon discussion of Trump’s response to…(click).

  13. These governors have backed themselves into a corner, more and more people and local authorities will begin to buck these orders and they will have two choices:
    If they double down and start sending state police to enforce the orders they will look like tyrants that will cause a feedback loop. More people will resist the orders leading to more draconian measures leading to more resistance…even violent resistance, that will lead to violent enforcement.
    If they do nothing, then people will start realizing how precarious and dependent on them the power of government is which will lead to more disobedience and so on.
    The intelligent thing would have been to give the people all the information, plead with them to do the right thing and trust the most people would to a point. But by making it a demand they have stirred up a hornets nest.

    1. We transitioned from the bully pulpit to the billy club.

      It happened so long ago most people can’t even comprehend a government not operating on force (or more accurately… much less force).

    2. Yep. It’s the cycle of dumb rules, and the militia protecting a barber shop is the natural next step. Hopefully we won’t get to the bullets flying, but we’re only one nervous nellie away.

  14. The ban on gatherings over some arbitrary number are blatantly unconstitutional. The First Amendment guarantees the right of the people to peaceably assemble. The word ‘except’ is nowhere to be found. There is no public health exception to the First Amendment. ‘Stay At Home’ orders – essentially house arrest – violate the Fifth Amendment which says no one can be deprived of life, LIBERTY, or property without due process. None of us had a hearing before being ordered to stay home and State law cannot trump the Constitution. The State and Federal governments have grossly overstepped their authority.

  15. Yup. I imagine they are surprised at this….

  16. . . . federal and state authorities have lost some of the public trust that’s essential to fulfilling the role that government actually can fulfill right now . . . .

    How can you lose what you never had?

  17. The justification for all this nonsense was a model that is pure amateur hour. Hold the inputs and the random number seeds the same and each run produces radically different outputs.

    Apparently you can’t put links into comments here?

    Search for

    Code Review of Ferguson’s Model by Sue Denim

    1. Usually, just writing out the WWW address works, without throwing in href and the like. One link per comment though.

      1. If the link is too long, IIRC the limit is 40 characters, it has to be done as an HTML link.

  18. Test of camouflaging a link https://www.sammyboy (dot) com/threads/code-review-of-neil-ferguson’s-model.285222/ .

    1. You don’t have to camo it. I took the space(dot)space out and put . in; works.

  19. While I think my Governor (I live in Iowa) actually went too far with the shut-downs, she looks like an absolute saint compared to these jackasses like Wolf and Whitmer.

    1. my mom is in Jasper Co. I had her mania under control until the meat plants started closing

  20. Today I am announcing consequences for counties that do not abide by the law to remain closed

  21. Thomas Jefferson would be proud of the Americans in Michigan and other states that refuse to be stripped of their God given liberties. What the government did not give they can not take away.
    “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson
    The Second Amendment being used against tyranny.

  22. Tom Wolfe is not loathe to give obscene gestures to Washington but throws a hissy-fit when locals offer him the same.
    Such is the mentality of wannabe tyrants.

  23. I work and own a small business in York county PA. The York DA said he will not pursue any charges or citations against people who violate the shutdown orders. Also, local law enforcement has refused to enforce the governor’s orders. Several restaurants opened in defiance of the shutdown orders this weekend.

    The natives are restless and Wolf is a teapot tyrant.

    1. If you tossed some money to that gal who was jailed in Dallas for back-talking da judge, you’d have gotten notice that upon release, she promptly visited a barber shop who’d gotten a C&D order, and handed over a chunk of her gofundme money to get *him* legal help.
      It seems they are setting up a non-profit to help others.

  24. Comply with the law of the country, more than against the risk of dying from a viral infection.

  25. Judging by these comments, the possibility of a ticket for disobeying the law, which usually will not be issued, is the same as Nazis marching families and communities off to be murdered. A ticket can be challenged in court, unless the person receiving the ticket knows the ticket is legal, in which case he will challenge it with a gang of his armed buddies instead of by the processes of democracy. If a person can be put in prison for life for possessing drugs because the drugs might hurt someone when used, then one would think that a person might legitimately have to pay a fine for putting the lives of other people at risk from a horribly painful disease. Governors have a duty to protect their citizens from the irresponsible actions of those who do not care how many other people they infect. Citizens have a responsibility to challenge laws they do not like with democracy, not with a bunch of armed zealots who want to overcome the will of the majority with the will of the most heavily armed.

    1. “…Governors have a duty to protect their citizens from the irresponsible actions of those who do not care how many other people they infect…”

      Stuff your PANIC!! flag up your ass, stick first and sit on it, you cowardly piece of lefty shit.
      Your health is *YOUR* concern, not mine. In fact after that collection of bullshit, my concern for your health is simply a wish that you make your family proud, and the world a better place: get sick and die.

    2. If it was only a ticket there wouldn’t be much to worry about. What he is threatening is loss of liability insurance, loss of health certification and loss of liquor licenses. In Pennsylvania these are considered a privilege and can be revoked at any time without due process and there is no system of appeal.

    3. BTW, the lefty scum using the handle “skeptic” shows up irregularly, is uniformly a left scumbag and should be jailed for impersonating a skeptic.
      Fucking lefty ignoramus, no more, no less.

    4. Broke: “You can’t take on the government with your penis compensators, they’re better armed than you!”

      Woke: “These people are armed against the government? OH SHIT OH FUCK!”

    5. Slurp!

  26. Still, it will be instructive to see whether Wolf’s heavy-handed approach works or simply spurs more opposition.

    Personally, I’m waiting to see whether Wolfe’s heavy-handed approach causes William Penn to arise from his grave and kick the shit out of him. Somebody really should explain to Wolfe where the hell Pennsylvania came from.

    “…my prison shall be my grave before I will budge a jot; for I owe my conscience to no mortal man; I have no need to fear, God will make amends for all; they are mistaken in me; I value not their threats and resolutions, for they shall know I can weary out their malice and peevishness, and in me shall they all behold a resolution above fear”

    William Penn was imprisoned for violating a law which forbade the gathering of more than 5 people for religious purposes contrary to the teachings of the Church of England. Penn openly defied the law, claiming he had a right to think and speak and worship as he chose. At his trial, he demanded the right to cross-examine the law and to present his defense, both of which the judge refused, and when the jury nevertheless returned a Not Guilty verdict, the judge imprisoned both Penn and the jury as well.

    Any of this stuff sound familiar? Freedom of conscience, of speech, of assembly, of religion, a demand for habeas corpus and the rights of the accused, the principle of jury nullification – and a healthy disrespect for authoritarian government to boot? The King of England might not have paid much attention to Penn’s principles at the time, but much later a resident of Pennsylvania named Benjamin Franklin paid a lot of attention to those ideas and Franklin had some friends who paid attention to those ideas as well.

    And now comes Tom Wolfe, Governor of Pennsylvania, who apparently has no familiarity at all with either William Penn or his ideas. Christ, what an asshole.

    1. Should probably mention one of the other things that got Quakers like Penn in trouble – their refusal to bow or even remove their hats to the nobility, something about believing that all men were equals and that their rights came from God rather than the King.

    2. Invite Wolf down to Philly and with a little luck the statue of Billy Penn will fall down and hit him squarely on his fat head.

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  28. Government should take action to stop the spreading of the virus.Kabir ke dohe

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  30. Actually, the Feds and States have much more power over the populace than previously thought. The fact that a bankrupt business starts up in defiance of a local law enforcement is simply a statement that the governor has gone too far.

    The real power of the governments are way beyond millions of irritated people. Look at Michigan where their governor (Really Procurator) destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs, left millions on the edge of bankruptcy, had armed people on the steps of the Capital all to supposedly fight the flu. Will she fill any pain at the ballet box? Who knows. And the worst is at the Federal Level they are debating giving people $2000 per month of “free” money, are already running negative interest rates and thousands of Catholic Churches have filed for Small Business Loans.

  31. No way Wolf wins another term after this shitshow. Everyone from Mount Wolf knew the guy was a fucking chameleon elitist who comes from money and loves to tell other people what to do. Every so often his true colors shine through.

    1. This is his second term, he’s not eligible to run again but that doesn’t mean he’s not gonna help AG Shapiro over the finish line.

      1. Good riddance to him then. I didn’t know PA govs had term limits, thank goodness we do.

  32. Now that LA officials have declared that the county will be under lockdown through July. It will be interesting to watch the increasing levels of public rebellion.

    As this article says,”That compliance is now fraying in many places. And that’s why governments cannot fully control the economic reopening. It’s not a few dozen protesters who will end the quarantines; it’s the millions of other people who have simply started going about their lives again.”

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