Patricia A. O'Malley

Social Policy & Programs Consulting

Training and Services for agencies working toward social and economic justice

Patricia A. O'Malley
Social Policy & Programs Consulting    ~    Community Matters
P.O. Box 97803    ~    Pittsburgh, PA  15227   ~    412-310-4886    ~
Copyright Patricia A. O'Malley    ~    All rights reservedEstablished 1993​

A Quick Word

                                        Brief notes on transient topics.

I teach seventh grade civics to adults because our schools won't do it.
Just imagine what this country could be if we had decent schools.

September 23, 2020

It doesn’t matter if Trump refuses to concede the election to Joe Biden.
There is no law or rule requiring him to do so.
It doesn’t matter if Trump refuses to attend Biden's inauguration.
There is no law or rule requiring him to do so.
There’s not even a law or rule requiring an inauguration ceremony.

The United States Constitution says this on the subject of new presidents:
"Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: —“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
(Article II. Section 1. Clause 8)


"The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified, and the terms of their successors shall then begin." (20th Amendment. Section 1)

So. Trump’s term will end when biden takes the oath, and the office, at noon on January 20, 2021, regardless of what Trump says, does, doesn’t do, tweets, or what kind of tantrum he throws.
We only have one president at a time.
At noon, Trump would no longer be president.

If he refuses to leave the White House, he would be trespassing. The Secret Service will escort him, his staff, and his family from the premises, backed up if necessary, by the US Capitol Police and the US Marshals Service. The army, New York City police, Washington DC police, Department of Justice, and random Rambo militia groups have no role in the matter.
Yes, the Secret Service can evict him.
Title 18 U.S. Code. Section 1752 says:

(1) knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds
without lawful authority to do so;
(2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;
(3) knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds; or [1]
(4) knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds; [2] …."
And such person will face arrest, fine, and imprisonment of up to one year.

If any violence, physical force, assault, or injury occurs, imprisonment can be up to ten years.
Donald Trump is a coward.
He won’t do that.
He’ll run away, claiming that he never wanted the job anyway.
We have real stuff to worry about.
This is not it.

September 22, 2020

On September 14, a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that Pennsylvania’s limits on the crowd size of public gatherings are unconstitutional.  For the record, they are not, for three reasons.

  1.  The first amendment does include the right to peaceful assembly.  However, in 1905 the US Supreme Court ruled in Jacobson v. Massachusetts – a case about mandatory smallpox vaccination – that all rights have limits, particularly where public health is in danger.  The court held that:
    Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.

  2. The Constitution’s Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power to ... provide for ... the general Welfare of the United States … And to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

    “General Welfare” means that Congress can make any laws that are in the best interest of the United States.  And it has the power to make any laws “necessary and proper” to implement those laws.  It’s called the elastic clause because it stretches to give Congress just about any power that the Constitution does not specifically prohibit.  Sometimes the general welfare is more important than individual freedom.

  3. The tenth amendment says:
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

So even though the Constitution doesn’t specify that states can issue stay-home and social distancing orders, the Bill of Rights says they can.  And every state legislature has enacted laws giving the governors emergency powers.  You can find all state constitutions at the link below.

So “your right to swing your arm ends where my nose begins”.*

Stay at Home and Social Distancing Orders Are Constitutional.

August 14, 2020
Yes, Kamala Harris is eligible to be Vice President, and President, of the United States.
The Constitution lists the requirements as 
- a natural-born citizen of the United States
- at least 35 years old
- have lived in the US for at least 14 years.   (Article I. Section 1. Clause 5)
"Natural-born" means that the person was born in the US OR born to fat least one US citizen parent, regardless of location.
​Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California. 
That makes her a natural-born citizen, regardless of where her parents were born.

​Republicans are desperate.

August 9, 2020
"Payroll tax" is the money that comes out of your paycheck to pay for Social Security and Medicare.
Donald Trump tells you that he will help you by cutting and/or eliminating the payroll tax.

IF the payroll tax is reduced, it will hurt you, your children, and all of us because there would be less money available for Social Security benefits.
Donald Trump has ZERO power to abolish, diminish, or eliminate ANY tax.  Of any kind.  Ever.

The United States Constitution says:
"ALL legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."  (Article I. Section 1)

It says:
"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect TAXES, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; ...  (Article I. Section 8. Clause 1)

It says:
"All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."  (Article I. Section 7. Clause 1)

Therefore, any law to add, remove, or change ANY tax can only begin in the House of Representatives. 
Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, control the House.  And that won't happen.

Donald Trump can not, and therefore will not, cut the payroll tax.
But he wants you to think he will.

Donald Trump is a liar.
Don't be like Donald Trump.​