From my friends at Power Line Blog:
On Wednesday, The Federalist reported the following:
The FBI is expected to arrest a Blaze Media reporter on Friday for what appears to be his coverage of demonstrations at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, without informing him of what charges he’s facing.
On Tuesday, investigative reporter Steve Baker revealed that following months of delay, federal authorities informed his legal team there is a signed warrant for his arrest and that he is to self-surrender for “alleged J6 crimes” in Dallas, Texas, on Friday morning. Baker has been at the forefront of reporting on the more questionable aspects of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
According to Baker, he is to turn himself over to the FBI at 7 a.m. on Friday, at which point federal officials will “transport [him] to the Dallas courthouse, where [he] can meet [his] attorney at 9:30 am.” An unnamed federal prosecutor reportedly told Baker’s attorneys that he is to wear “shorts and sandals” during his surrender, representing an effort by the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) to give Baker “a dose of the personal humiliation treatment.”
Steve Baker reported to the FBI dressed in a suit and looking businesslike. The FBI then placed him in handcuffs and shackles. This is disgusting. They later released him, but not before treating him like a common criminal. Every day America looks more like a banana republic and less like the republic our Founding Fathers founded.
Please follow the link to the article at Blaze Media. It includes a number of Twitter screenshots that are very interesting.
On Friday, Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at The New York Post detailing how the Democrat party has changed some of the basic rules of our Republic in recent years. It’s a long list.
Here are the highlights of the list:
1. When in control of the Senate, demand the end of the filibuster; when not, don’t.
2. Call for the end of the Electoral College — but only if it appears to recently favor the candidate of the opposition.
3. In an election year, change any state balloting laws deemed unhelpful through administrative fiat or court order to favor your political candidate.
4. Seek to flip electors from voting in accordance with the popular vote count in their states; indict as an insurrectionist any of the opposition who dare do the same.
5. Raid the home of any opposition ex-president who removed classified files; exempt any sitting president of your party who did the same.
6. Swarm the private homes of, and then bully and intimidate, any Supreme Court officials, politicians or citizens you oppose.
7. Appoint two special counsels: one to go after the current chief presidential opponent in an election year; the other to exempt and excuse the sitting president for the very crimes charged against his rival.
8. Lobby to remove any oppositional president through the 25th Amendment; smear anyone as ageist who suggests a cognitively challenged sitting resident of your party should be subject to similar invocations of the 25th Amendment.
9. Exempt thousands of arrested rioters from charges of 120 days of arson, looting, injuring 1,500 law enforcement officers, and assault — but only if they are radical supporters of your party.
10. Excuse any demonstrator or rioter for desecrating public monuments and cemeteries or shutting down bridges and freeways, or swarming and disrupting the Capitol Rotunda — but only if they agree with you and/or are pro-Hamas. Otherwise, ensure the charged face lengthy prison sentences.
That’s just the top ten. Please follow the link to the article to read the next ten. It’s amazing how far we have fallen in recent years. When you read the list of things that used to be considered out-of-bounds that have been done since 2016 or so, it is scary.
This is an election year. When you consider everything that has gone on for the past four years, you realize that things were bound to get a little crazy. However, the craziness and dishonestly has reached levels very few of us ever realized they would reach.
On Thursday, Legal Insurrection posted the following headline:
Does anyone want to guess the political leanings of college students?
The article reports:
The Biden administration is already facing accusations of trying to buy the votes of college student aged voters by ‘cancelling’ billions in student loan debt. Now they have announced that they will pay college students to register voters, and they’re doing this with tax dollars.
The corruption is right out in the open, for all to see.
The article quotes The Daily Caller:
Vice President Kamala Harris announced Tuesday that college students would be able to collect federally-funded work study for registering voters.
Harris’s announcement of the new policy was posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. The federal work-study program is intended to allow students to earn money for day-to-day expenses while at college, according to the Department of Education.
“We have been doing work to promote voter participation for students,” Harris said. “For example, we have under the Federal Work-Study program now allow students to get paid through Federal Work-Study to register people and to be non-partisan poll workers. As we know, this is important for a number of reasons. One, to engage our young leaders in this process and activate them in terms of their ability to strengthen our communities.”
Do you really think that college students are interested in registering conservative voters? Conservatives and patriots are going to have to come out to vote in very large numbers to overcome the cheating that the Democrats are already planning.
On Wednesday, The New York Post posted an article about the new minimum wage law in California.
The article reports:
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that exempts Panera Bread from a new $20-an-hour minimum wage hike for fast food chains after the billionaire owner of several of the chain’s locations donated to his campaign, according to a report.
In September, Newsom, a Democrat, signed into law a measure that raises the minimum wage of food fast workers from $16 an hour to $20 an hour.
But the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Act) includes an unusual carve-out that exempts “chains that bake bread and sell it as a standalone item,” according to Bloomberg News.
Newsom reportedly sought the exemption, which benefits among others Greg Flynn, the billionaire CEO of Flynn Restaurant Group, the company that owns some two dozen Panera Bread locations in the state.
Flynn, who attended the same high school as Newsom, has been involved in business dealings with the California governor, according to Bloomberg News.
He has also contributed to Newsom’s political campaigns.
…The governor’s office told Bloomberg News that the law was the “result of countless hours of negotiations with dozens of stakeholders over two years.”
Flynn was publicly critical of the legislation when it was first floated in 2022.
He said that raising the minimum wage of fast-food employees would have an adverse business effect on franchise owners.
Flynn quietly lobbied Newsom’s aides to reconsider whether Panera Bread can be considered fast food, according to Bloomberg News.
The exemption for bread sellers was inserted into the legislation after the union that was pushing for the hike in minimum wage accepted it as a concession aimed at getting the governor’s support, the report stated.
I would not be disappointed if In-N-Out Burger decided to get out of California and come east!
On Tuesday, PJ Media posted an article about a recent claim made by The Washington Post about the impact of illegal immigration on America’s economy. Of course The Washington Post did not call it illegal immigration–they simply called it ‘immigration.’
The article reports:
Then on Tuesday morning, I came across this headline in The Washington Post: “The economy is roaring. Immigration is a key reason.”
I immediately wondered if I might be concussed.
Upon further review, I had no head injuries, and I hadn’t touched a drop of booze since last Friday, so I was indeed reading the headline correctly. Sorry, Burger King, there’s a new Home of the Whopper.
Last fall, I began reminding readers that the MSM Biden bias was going to have to be at least three times stronger than it was in 2020 to get the slurring idiot in the White House reelected. They created a fictional Joe Biden out of whole cloth back then. He’s become such a mess that they are now creating a fictional version of their fictional version. They aren’t even pretending that the real Joe Biden is right in front of our eyes.
The cheerleading for the economy is to be expected. It’s a kitchen table issue that they hope they can hide somewhere in a cluttered pantry. Over at The New York Times, Paul Krugman writes an almost weekly column telling readers not to believe their lying household budgets and dwindling savings accounts. His most recent effort has a headline that almost rivals the one we’re discussing today: “Bidenomics Is Still Working Very Well.”
The article includes this quote from The Washington Post article:
There isn’t much data on how many of the new immigrants in recent years were documented versus undocumented. But estimates from the Pew Research Center last fall showed that undocumented immigrants made up 22 percent of the total foreign-born U.S. population in 2021. That’s down compared to previous decades: Between 2007 and 2021, the undocumented population fell by 14 percent, Pew found. Meanwhile, the legal immigrant population grew by 29 percent.
The article at PJ Media notes:
The authors don’t mention the inconvenient fact that record numbers of people are crushing the border and have been for months. The numbers are so overwhelming that the government is scrambling to keep tabs on as many as they can by putting them up in hotels on the taxpayer’s dime.
This immigration isn’t much of a boon to state and local economies. We continually cover stories here about the financial strain that the “immigrants” are placing on states and cities all over America, like this recent one that Catherine wrote.
Even if, as the authors posit, the economy is “roaring,” because of the “immigrants,” it’s only in one area. The southern border crisis is dragging the economy down in many ways. The “Rah! Rah!” in this article is akin to celebrating a $5000 bonus check on the same day that your mechanic tells you that your car needs $7000 worth of work to get back on the road again.
I wonder if anyone still believes The Washington Post.
On Wednesday, Jazz Shaw Hot Air posted an article with the following headline?
Is Biden Out of the Loop on Israel-Hamas Negotiations?
The article then goes on to explain why Jazz Shaw is asking this question:
You’ve probably seen the breathless headlines emerging this week featuring Joe Biden suggesting that a ceasefire deal in Gaza was “close” to being finalized and that at least some hostages and prisoners could be exchanged. Most of us would likely be glad to see hostages coming home, so that’s good news, right? And Biden assured us that he’d gotten that information from National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, so the claim must have been pretty solid. There’s only one problem with the story and the assumptions that followed, though. As the Free Beacon quickly pointed out, some reporters had been following up with their sources in Israel and around the Middle East where the major players are involved. None of them seemed to have any idea what Biden was talking about.
Anyone who has paid attention for the past eighteen plus years understands why a cease fire and a two-state solution are both bad ideas. What assurance has HAMAS given that the hostages are still alive and what has HAMAS done to indicate it is willing to release them? A cease fire would only give Hamas a chance to regroup and rearm, and a two-state solution would create another terror base for Islamist extremists. It has become very obvious since October 7th and Israel’s response that almost all of the ‘humanitarian aid’ sent to Gaza since 2005 has been used to build tunnels and acquire weapons. Why would we give the residents of Gaza a chance to do that again? Many have already stated that they want to repeat the actions of October 7th. Why would we encourage or allow that? Until hate is not taught in Gaza schools and UNRWA camps (see kindergarten graduation picture here), a two-state solution will never result in peace.
The article at Hot Air concludes:
I have seen some conservative commentators previously asking why the United States isn’t assuming its traditional role as a peacemaker and shepherding these negotiations through to the finish line. But does anyone really want Joe Biden at that table at this point? The two sides are at an impasse and have been for a while now. Israel isn’t going to accept a deal that hurts their interests, fails to release all of the hostages, or prevents them from eliminating Hamas. Hamas won’t give up what they see as the last bit of insurance they have against complete obliteration.
Negotiating this situation would have been a serious challenge for Henry Kissinger on his best day. And Joe Biden couldn’t have matched Kissinger’s skills on his best day, which has long since faded in the rearview mirror. But the fact that he keeps coming out and saying things like this, leaving the media scrambling to either verify it or explain what went wrong is a problem. The world is a powderkeg at the moment and the person potentially in control of the fuse no longer has the cognitive abilities to be trusted with a pack of matches.
From my friends at Townhall:
The courts seem to move slowly. Most of the time that’s not an issue, but we have a court case right now where the timing matters. It will be interesting to see what the next step is. Also, at what point is Congress required to follow the U.S. Constitution and what are the consequences when they don’t?
On Tuesday, Just the News reported:
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday secured a major victory in his challenge to the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package passed in 2022, with a court declaring that the bill was approved unconstitutionally.
President Joe Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 in December of the prior year. The measure effectively set the federal budget for the year by wrapping the 12 annual appropriations bills into a single piece of legislation. Paxton, however, had argued that the House’s passage of the measure was unconstitutional as less than half of the lower chamber’s members were physically present to vote on it. Many lawmakers who were not present voted by proxy. Paxton had specifically challenged stipulations in the bill that affect his state.
“Like many constitutional challenges, Texas asserts that this provision is unenforceable against it because Congress violated the Constitution in passing the law. In response, the defendants claim, among other things, that this Court has no power to address the issue because it cannot look to extrinsic evidence to question whether a bill became law,” the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division wrote. “But because the Court is interpreting and enforcing the Constitution—rather than second-guessing a vote count—the Court disagrees. The Court concludes that, by including members who were indisputably absent in the quorum count, the Act at issue passed in violation of the Constitution’s Quorum Clause.”
So what happens now? Does this matter?
The article concludes:
The Texas Public Policy Foundation served as co-counsel in the case.
“The Court correctly concluded that the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 violated the Quorum Clause of the U.S. Constitution because a majority of House members was not physically present when the $1.7 trillion spending bill was passed. Proxy voting is unconstitutional,” TPPF senior attorney Matt Miller said.
On Wednesday, The New York Post reported that Mitch McConnell will step down as Republican leader in the Senate in November. He became a Senator in 1985. It was not mentioned in the article, but I suspect Senator John Thune will be selected by the uni-party to replace Mitch McConnell as the Republican leader.
There have been a few problems with Senator McConnell–mainly the fact that his wife is part of one of Communist China’s richest families (they are involved in the shipping industry). Obviously, you don’t get rich in Communist China without the approval of the government. To me that is an uncomfortable connection.
The article at The New York Post reports:
He noted that when he arrived in the Senate, “I was just happy if anybody remembered my name.” During his campaign in 1984, when Reagan was visiting Kentucky, the president called him “Mitch O’Donnell.”
McConnell endorsed Reagan’s view of America’s role in the world and the senator has persisted in face of opposition, including from Trump, that Congress should include a foreign assistance package that includes $60 billion for Ukraine.
…Trump has pulled the party hard to the ideological right, questioning longtime military alliances such as NATO, international trade agreements and pushing for a severe crackdown on immigration, all the while clinging to the falsehood that the election was stolen from him in 2020.
McConnell and Trump had worked together in Trump’s first term, remaking the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary in a far more conservative image, and on tax legislation. But there was also friction from the start, with Trump frequently sniping at the senator.
Their relationship has essentially been over since Trump refused to accept the results of the Electoral College. But the rupture deepened dramatically after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. McConnell assigned blame and responsibility to Trump and said that he should be held to account through the criminal justice system for his actions.
President Trump has not pulled the party hard right–he has pulled it back to where it was before the days on George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. President Trump seems hard right because the uni-party, the press and the culture have moved so far left.
Peter Schweizer is one of the few investigative reporters left. He has a new book out, Blood Money: Why the Powerful Turn a Blind Eye While China Kills Americans. The book is carefully researched and footnoted. It’s available on Amazon and other places. On Tuesday, Breitbart posted an article about the book.
The article reports:
The Biden family bagged $5 million from the business partner of the “White Wolf,” a Chinese criminal gang leader who helped create the fentanyl pipeline now decimating the United States, Peter Schweizer detailed in his new book, Blood Money: Why the Powerful Turn a Blind Eye While China Kills Americans.
While Joe Biden was vice president, the Bidens developed a business partnership with a Chinese tycoon named Ye Jianming, the chairman of CEFC China Energy Co., which had strong ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Throughout Ye’s relationship with the Bidens, he “showered” some members of the Biden family with money, Schweizer reported. Hunter Biden received a three-carat diamond worth $80,000; and in July 2017, Ye’s company gave the Bidens a $5 million, interest-free, forgivable loan.
Schweizer previously detailed the $5 million in his book Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win, as reported by Kristina Wong:
Furthermore, by July 2017, CEFC began making interest-free, forgivable loans to the Biden family. CEFC executive Zhao Running wrote that $5 million was intended as money lent to “the BD family,” not just Hunter Biden.
“This $5 million loan to the BD [Biden] family is interest free,” Zhao wrote.
Schweizer notes that “interest-free loans provide tremendous leverage because the lender can demand its money back if it is displeased by any action.”
Hunter spoke to Ye on a “regular basis” and Ye helped Hunter “on a number of his personal issues” including unspecified “sensitive things,” Hunter explained in emails. Joe Biden also attended a meeting with Hunter, additional business partners, and Ye, Hunter’s business partner Rob Walker told U.S. House of Representative investigators in 2023. “I don’t remember the exact time, but I remember being in Washington, DC, and the former vice president stopped by. We were having lunch,” Walker testified.
But Ye also enjoyed a partnership with the former leader of a Chinese triad called the United Bamboo Gang (UBG), Schweizer detailed in Blood Money. Ye’s partner’s name was Zhang Anle or, as he is commonly known, the “White Wolf.”
This is a very interesting book.
On Saturday, John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about one possible outcome of the 2024 election. It is becoming very obvious that as the powers that be work harder and harder to make sure that President Trump does not get a second term, more and more voters are deciding to support him–just to have their voices heard. This is going to make for a very interesting year.
The article reports:
In 2001, 2005 and 2017, some Democrat House members objected to the certification of electoral votes for the winning Republican presidential candidate. Those objections, while “denialist,” were only symbolic. But Democrat leaders in the House are now suggesting that if they control that body following November’s election–as they well might–they may refuse to allow a victorious Donald Trump to take office.
Notice that the objects to the electoral votes were not allowed in 2020–they were pre-empted by the events outside the Capitol and a parliamentary procedure was used to block them when the House reconvened.
The article concludes:
The Democrats have become so insane on the subject of Donald Trump that it is hard to know which of their mutterings to take seriously. But if Trump wins the election and a Democrat-controlled House refuses to certify his election on the ground that he is an “insurrectionist” under the 14th Amendment, we will be past the point of a constitutional crisis. If that happens, the only realistic path forward will be disunion, possibly accompanied by civil war, but preferably not.
This is one reason why the Supreme Court should put the 14th Amendment theory out of its misery, once and for all. It is obvious that the drafters of that amendment meant the just-concluded Civil War, in which 600,000 Americans lost their lives, when they referred to “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States. In contrast, the January 6 protest was not one of the 50 most destructive riots of the last few years, and the only person killed was Ashli Babbitt. Not a single participant in the protest was arrested in possession of a firearm. Some insurrection!
In the interest of preserving the Republic, the Supreme Court should rule definitively that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not apply to Donald Trump.
On Monday, Hot Air posted an article about a change in the information collected by the government from broadcasters.
The article reports:
The Biden Administration is so concerned about preserving democracy and the norms that underlie it that they are, once again, ignoring Supreme Court precedents in order to do the right thing no matter how many Constitutional limits they have to blow through.
…This time the issue is collecting DEI information from broadcasters, which has been tried before and found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court–twice.
We have this story via an FCC commissioner who dissented from the decision. He was previously the General Counsel of the FCC, so he knows of what he speaks better than almost anybody.
…There is one and only one reason for the FCC to require broadcasters to publish their DEI-related employment stats, and it has everything to do with making broadcasters vulnerable to pressure from activist groups pushing them to change the racial and gender balance of their employees.
The point is to outsource what the government can’t do to pressure groups: impose de facto quotas.
The Court has twice rejected similar attempts by the FCC, but they seem to believe that in this case, the third time is the charm.
The FCC claims that there is no evidence that forcing broadcasters to disclose this presumptively private information will have any impact.
The article concludes:
Government grants go to nonprofits with Left-wing agendas, pushing for things the government cannot. It is the outsourcing of the cultural revolution in the way that post-9/11 intelligence and even military operations were outsourced to private contractors.
It’s legally dubious, morally wrong, and over the long term it has been pretty damn effective.
There is no plausible reason for forcing companies to release private employment data legally protected under privacy provisions except to give ammunition to outside pressure groups.
Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that our benevolent betters are fine with tearing up the Constitution. They have been working at it for years now.
I remember what happened in California when names of donors to a conservative cause were released–their homes were picketed and some were put out of business. The requesting of this information by the FCC is illegal and needs to end immediately.
On February 21, The Houston Chronicle reported the following:
A Houston college student prosecuted for his participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection was one of people robbed by a Houston-based FBI agent, according to newly released court records.
Alexander Fan’s complaint about missing cash and silver helped lead to the January indictment of FBI agent Nicholas Anthony Williams, according to court records.
Fan, 27, was sentenced to 12 months probation in connection to the riot. Fan was found guilty of entering and remaining a room in the Capitol building. He was accused of climbing into an office through a broken window after his entry was blocked by a closed door.
The article continues:
Fan’s home was searched on the day he was arrested and the next day he reported to the FBI that items, including $2,500 and silvers bars, were missing from his bedroom. The items were not seized as part of the warrant served on his home, according to court records.
Months later, the FBI announced that one of its own agents, Nicholas Anthony Williams, had been indicted on theft charges, over accusations he stole money and property while executing search warrants between March 2022 and July 2023.
One of the three charges related to thefts is over the missing items at Fan’s home.
Remember when the FBI was the gold standard of law enforcement agencies? Evidently their recruiting standards are not what they used to be.
From my friends at Townhall:
On Monday, The Daily Caller posted an article about some concerns in the intelligence community.
The article reports:
The intelligence community is warning that key agencies may be politicized under a second Trump administration as the 2024 election approaches after it tried to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story and pushed a now-debunked dossier about the former president, Politico reported on Monday.
Former President Donald Trump could politicize the intelligence community through who he appoints and removes as well as demanding adherence to his agenda, the 18 former Trump officials and analysts claimed to Politico. The FBI welcomed the now-discredited Steele Dossier alleging Trump had ties to Russia and 51 former intelligence officials signed onto a letter saying Hunter Biden’s now-authenticated laptop was Russian disinformation shortly before the 2020 presidential election.
I think a more accurate story would be that the intelligence community is concerned that a second term of President Trump might force them to be neutral and obey the Constitution. He might also hold them accountable for the times they broke the law. I suspect he might even change the personnel to make the agencies politically neutral. Oh horrors.
The article concludes:
However, Trump’s campaign cited the examples of the Steele Dossier and Hunter Biden laptop letter among examples of intelligence community weaponization against the former president.
“President Trump has been under assault ever since he announced his campaign in 2016,” Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung told the DCNF. “From spying on his campaign, Russiagate, the Russia collusion hoax, the debunked Steele dossier, and the 51 intelligence officials wrongly ignoring Hunter Biden’s laptop from Hell, the establishment has been trying to meddle in elections because they simply can’t stand voters choosing a candidate who puts America First.”
Trump is currently leading Biden by 2.1 points in a RealClearPolitics national average of polls.
The FBI insisted that the intelligence community incorporate the Steele Dossier in a report of foreign meddling in the 2016 election, according to Politico.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio hinted Wednesday that the Department of Justice is operating under a double standard after it indicted an FBI informant who allegedly provided false evidence of corruption involving Biden, while letting Christopher Steele, a former operative of the Secret Intelligence Service, off the hook for his dossier that was used to try and remove Trump from office.
The FBI “dug their own grave” by promoting the Steele Dossier, one former intelligence official told Politico.
I pray for an honest election without interference from the intelligence community or the deep state.
The Eighth Amendment states:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
On February 27th, The American Thinker posted an article explaining how that amendment applies to the New York judgement against President Trump.
The article reports:
On February 16, 2024, a judge in New York State imposed fines totaling just over $360 million on former president Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization, and several related Trump companies and trusts in the civil case brought by the New York attorney general. President Trump’s sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump were fined just over $4 million each. The court imposed additional sanctions, including injunctions against former president Trump; Donald Trump, Jr.; and Eric Trump from serving as officers or directors in New York corporations for specified numbers of years, among other sanctions.
The media reporting on the court’s decision has been massive since the decision was rendered. However, little or no reporting focused on the constitutionality of the fines under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. President Trump and his co-defendants all have substantial 8th Amendment “excessive fine” challenges to raise. In fact, a review of the facts and applicable law reveal that this decision is simply more election interference.
The article concludes:
Applying these factors to the New York court’s decision reveals that the fines are clearly excessive. There are no victims in the Trump case. No one was harmed. Each and every financial institution involved was fully repaid and made money on its loans. Further, a review of case law in New York demonstrates that there simply are no cases ordering a defendant to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in disgorgement without any victim being deprived of anything. Finally, just how “reprehensible” is it to obtain loans and credit facilities and then pay the lenders back, in full, on time, in compliance with the agreement? The answer is, not very.
Once again, a court in New York issued yet another political decision masquerading as justice. The fines imposed by this New York court on former President Trump and his sons and businesses are grossly and unconstitutionally excessive. While President Trump and his co-defendants undoubtedly have many defenses to the claims to raise on appeal, chief among them should be a constitutional challenge to these grossly excessive fines.
The U.S. Constitution is an amazing document. It is impartial when followed. My hope is that it will be followed in this case.
On February 27th, Issues and Insights posted an article about a recent statement by President Biden.
The article reports:
The Supreme Court told President Joe Biden that he didn’t have the authority to forgive student loan debt. But he did anyway, bragging that the Court “didn’t stop me.” So why do we even have a legislative branch and a high court if the president is going to make law as if he were a king?
Does Congress have the intestinal fortitude to insist that the President abide by the Constitution? Frankly, I doubt it.
The article continues:
It’s Biden’s party, and its activist media, that has been carping for years about losing “our democracy.” Yet when a Democratic president bypasses the checks and balances that are the backbone of our republic, the three co-equal branches framework of government that is intended to guard against descending into a dictatorship, they celebrate rather than condemn.
Maybe it’s because they care about the integrity of our system of government only when it’s making policies they want.
In June 2023, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, struck down the Biden administration’s plan to cancel up to $400 billion in student loans, which it had announced in August 2022. In her concurring opinion, Justice Amy Coney Barrett noted that “when it comes to” national policy, “the Constitution gives Congress the reins — a point of context that no reasonable interpreter could ignore.”
But high court rulings apparently don’t apply when a Democratic president decides they don’t. Last week, the White House played the role of unreasonable interpreter and announced “$1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers.”
“The Biden-Harris administration has now approved nearly $138 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 3.9 million borrowers through more than two dozen executive actions,” according to a White House fact sheet.
Biden acknowledged last week that “my MAGA Republican friends in the Congress, elected officials, and special interests stepped in and sued us,” and that “the Supreme Court blocked it.”
The government does not have the power to step between a lender and a borrower. That is a private contract and should not be interfered with by the government. How would you feel if the government stepped in and forgave your neighbor’s mortgage while requiring you to pay off your mortgage? That is what the Biden administration is trying to do.
No one who has bought groceries recently or filled up their gas tank believes inflation is over. Yet recently economist Paul Krugman declared, “Inflation is over. We won.” I guess he doesn’t do the grocery shopping in his family. Yes, inflation has slowed. However, we are still dealing with the price increases that occurred in the past three years. If the baseline is where we were when President Biden took office, the inflation rate is somewhere over 15 percent. If we are talking about the past few months, the number is much lower. However, that number is in addition to the 15 percent that we have already been dealing with.
On Saturday, Real Clear Politics posted a commentary about the damage the Biden administration has done to the economy.
The commentary notes:
The truth is that the wild inflation, high interest rates, bank failures, and other economic harms of the last three years were all entirely avoidable and all entirely caused by President Biden and the Democrats’ arrogant and unwise policies.
This is not “Monday morning quarterbacking.” Some of us were saying this well before the fact. My May 7, 2021 column (“Joe Biden, Economy Killer”) accurately forecast the inflation, rising interest rates, and rising government debt service long before the Biden administration even acknowledged the risks were real.
The U.S. economy did not need another giant stimulus plan when Biden and the Democrats took control in 2021. The U.S. gross domestic product, knocked down by the COVID shutdown in the first half of 2020, had jumped up by a record 33% in the third quarter of 2020 and by another 4% in the fourth quarter, all before Biden took office. The S&P stock market had risen 16.3% in 2020. Employers were waiting for workers to come back to work, and another stimulus package had been passed with bipartisan support in the last quarter of 2020. Happily, the inflation rate was only 1.4% as 2020 ended, with a one-year Treasury rate of just 0.10% and a 10-year Treasury rate of just 0.95%
The commentary concludes:
The Congressional Budget Office last week revised its government deficit estimates upward, expecting $48.3 trillion of government debt by 2034. Interest expense on the federal debt this year has already jumped up to $870 billion, which is larger than the defense budget. Additionally, Biden’s higher interest rates will continue to increase debt service costs as old government debt rolls off and is replaced at higher costs. The risk is stark: a 3% higher interest rate on even the existing $33 trillion level of federal debt equates to $1 trillion of extra federal interest expense each and every year, on top of the already giant existing debt service number.
There is no painless way to pay down this deficit or cover this extra annual government interest cost. The need for billions and billions of extra tax money or budget cuts will fuel fierce political fights, populist divisions, and national anger for years to come. All this public unrest will also be the legacy of the bad Democratic economic policies since 2021. Professor Krugman, when it comes to Bidenomics, “We lost.”
I believe we can turn this around, but it will take an administration that includes people who have worked in the private sector and run businesses. Whatever administration is elected in November needs to include people hired for their qualifications and experience–not for any other reason.
Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D
It is becoming increasing apparent that not only is there no scientific evidence that manmade CO2 emissions are causing climate change, but that this hoax is being used by the Democrat Marxists to control us and limit our freedoms. It is also being used to enrich the elite at the expense the taxpayers and to raise energy bills dramatically higher.
A recent article in the Epoch Times revealed that the United Nation’s Convention on Climate Change deliberately altered their report so that any observed climate change would be falsely blamed on mankind’s burning of fossil fuels. Several scientists who objected to this unsubstantiated claim were ostracized and removed from the committee. World renowned physicist, Frederick Seitz, wrote in an article that he had never in his extensive career, including as President of the National Academy of Sciences, ever seen such corruption in the scientific review process and that no study to date has demonstrated that climate change is due to mankind’s use of fossil fuels. Recent reports by qualified experts have reported that rising CO2 levels are offset by increased plant growth and that CO2 levels do not increate warming, but rather the opposite. That is, rising climate temperature cycles caused by factors such as solar activity, produce an increase in CO2 and not the reverse.
So where does all this bring us? The only rational conclusion (in spite of what the environmental extremists and those making a huge profit from solar and wind farms) is that there is absolutely no need to restrict the use of fossil fuels. It is estimated that that the current effort to replace fossil fuels is costing the average American over $2,000 per year and rising. This will devastate our economy for absolutely no valid reason.
Here in North Carolina, we can fight back against this leftist agenda in at least two ways. First, repeal HB 951 passed into law in 2021 that requires electricity generating power plants to reduce their carbon emissions by 70% by 2030 and achieve carbon emission neutrality by 2050. Second, pass a law prohibiting the construction of offshore wind farms near Kitty Hawk and Bald Head Island that is being pushed by Governor Cooper. It should be noted, that solar and wind farm components are obtained from China while they continue to construct coal burning plants at an alarming rate.
The Republican controlled General Assembly needs to step up to the plate and stop this disastrous program before it is too late. Any candidate for office who does not recognize the danger posed by the Left’s extremist environmental program and is not willing to stand up against it does not deserve our support.
On Sunday, The American Thinker reported that the University of North Carolina has decided to cut many areas of their curriculum.
The article reports:
One of the schools in the UNC system, UNC-Greensboro, is in the news these days because of a decision by Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam Jr. to cut undergraduate and/or graduate programs in physics, mathematics, computer science, anthropology and nursing, citing “university direction, enrollment patterns, prioritizing faculty time and expertise, and growth opportunities.”
Reaction to the decision to cancel STEM was swift.
Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Charles Bolton resigned in protest of the cuts and the way Gilliam handled communication.
Slated for elimination are undergraduate programs in
- Geography (just Google everything, right?),
- Anthropology (that’s about, you know, old stuff), and
- Physics (Newton and Einstein are dead white males),
as well as graduate programs in:
- Nursing (hospitals and doctors might disagree),
- Geography (of course),
- Mathematics (WaPo’s Travis Meier is applauding this one), and
- Computational mathematics (calculators from Walmart will do the trick.)
Some of the courses that remain:
- African-American and African Diaspora Studies (cutting them would lead to “mostly peaceful” Antifa/BLM demonstrations),
- Media Studies (better to help Democrats win elections),
- Communication Studies (“failure to communicate” caused problems in Cool Hand Luke),
- Peace and Conflict Studies (to help Hamas, Hezbollah … um, negotiate),
- Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies (of course), and, your favorite and mine,
- Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Tuition at UNC Chapel Hill is $8,989 for North Carolina residents and $37,550 for out-of-state students. Admittedly that’s a deal if you are a North Carolina resident, but do you really want to pay that much for a degree that probably isn’t marketable?
On Friday, rt.com posted an article about the use of eco-friendly weapons in Ukraine.
The article reports:
Some of the military hardware supplied to Ukraine by the West has become inoperable after being damaged by rodents, Le Figaro has reported, citing a French fighter in the ranks of Kiev’s forces.
Eco-friendly weapons provided to the Ukrainian military by the country’s foreign backers are “sometimes unsuitable for the realities of the front” and “don’t come out well” in an actual conflict, the reported in an article on Thursday.
As proof of its claim, Le Figaro provided an account by an unnamed French fighter, who complained that “rodents ate the cables on some of the vehicles” used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“Some of the protective sheaths of electrical wires [in the Western-supplied hardware] are made of corn fiber,” which attracts mice and rats, he said.
Le Figaro stressed that “the phenomenon is marginal, but it tells the story of the confrontation of the Western military equipment with reality.”
“Western vehicles were designed as a technological showcase. But, in the mud and cold, they don’t always work,” the French fighter is cited as saying.
“Luckily, the Ukrainians still had a few crusts” in their arsenal, he added, referring to the old Soviet-made hardware.
There have been many jokes about having to plug electric tanks in to recharge them before battle, but this is the first article I have read about mice and rats eating the sheaths that are supposed to protect wires. I have, however, seen examples of rodents eating gas lines in vehicles parked near cornfields. Making protective sheaths out of material that is edible to rodents in a place where food is probably scarce does not seem like a good idea.
On Friday, Issues & Insights posted an article about the lawfare that has been aimed at President Trump.
The article reports:
Was the $355 million fine against Donald Trump, for a “crime” that even the judge issuing the ruling admitted hurt no one, a bridge too far?
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul seems to think so, which is why she rushed out to say that other people doing business in New York have nothing to fear: “Law-abiding and rule-following New Yorkers who are businesspeople have nothing to worry about because they’re very different than Donald Trump and his behavior.”
What she should have said is: “if they are different from Donald Trump and his political views.”
Because nothing about this case, or the multitude of other unprecedented legal attacks against the former president — the attempts to kick him off ballots, the two bogus impeachments, the Russia hoax, the endless stream of media mis-reporting — has anything even remotely to do with “upholding the law” or “protecting Democracy.”
These attacks are all a message to anyone who would dare to run as a conservative. Do so, and we will stop at nothing to destroy you.
Because there was no actual ‘victim’ in this ‘crime,’ the money collected will go to the State of New York. Isn’t that special? A state struggling with expenses can simply take money away from one of its leading businessmen.
The article concludes:
What’s been happening since has been a public display of the left’s new, scorched-earth strategy for dealing with the political opposition. It started in the run-up to the 2020 election. As Time magazine so glowingly reported in early 2021, there was a “cross-partisan campaign” to defeat Trump, or as Time put it, “protect the election.”
Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction.
Since then, the left has added lawfare to its arsenal, which has now reached peak absurdity for the simple reason that Trump refuses to give in. But make no mistake, scalping Trump will only whet the left’s appetite for more scalps.
And who will be there to stop them?
This is where we are:
First They Came by
Pastor Martin Niemoller
First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.
News organizations are firing employees because of law ratings. CNN, BuzzFeed, and Vice Media have all recently announced layoffs. CBS is also firing reporters.
On Thursday (updated Friday), The New York Post reported the following:
The acclaimed CBS reporter who was investigating the Hunter Biden laptop scandal before she was fired last week had her personal files seized by the network in an “unprecedented” move, sources told The Post on Thursday.
Catherine Herridge — who is the middle of a First Amendment case being closely watched by journalists nationwide — was among 20 CBS News staffers let go as part of a larger purge of hundreds of employees at parent company Paramount Global.
Her firing had stunned co-workers, but the network’s decision to hold on to her personal materials, along with her work laptop where she may have other confidential info, has left many staffers shaken, according to insiders.
“It’s so extraordinary,” a source familiar with the situation told The Post, noting that the files — which are presumptively now the property of CBS News — most likely contain confidential material from Herridge’s stints at both Fox and CBS.
The source said the network boxed up all her personal belongings except for Herridge’s notes and files and informed her that it would decide what — if anything — would be returned to her.
“They never seize documents [when you’re let go],” a second source close to the network said.
Brit Hume posted the following on Twitter:
This is just one more step in the direction of a police state where the media is controlled by the people in power.
The article at The New York Post concludes:
Jonathan Turley — a legal scholar and a former CBS legal analyst who first broke the news of Herridge’s documents being seized in an opinion piece for The Hill — said the timing of the journalist’s termination raised suspicions.
“She was pursuing stories that were unwelcomed by the Biden White House and many Democratic powerhouses, including the Hur report on Joe Biden’s diminished mental capacity, the Biden corruption scandal and the Hunter Biden laptop,” Turley wrote.
Under normal circumstances, journalists are entitled to their notes and make available the files if needed in future ligation, but leaving sensitive documents in the hands of unnamed CBS officials, could compromise Herridge’s numerous other confidential sources.
It also potentially violates HIPAA laws, as her files may also contain personal and family medical records.
Turley said CBS’ “heavy-handed approach” to the files” is “dead wrong” and that it had “sent a chilling signal in the ranks” of the network.
SAG-AFTRA, the union which represents CBS staffers, condemned the network for seizing Herridge’s notes and research from her office.
“This action is deeply concerning concerning to the union because it sets a dangerous precedent for all media professionals and threatens the very foundation of the First Amendment,” the union said in a statement to The Post.
The union added it has been in touch with CBS News and is hopeful the matter “will be resolved shortly.”
We are in a dangerous place.
From my friends at Power Line Blog: