Closing Which Border?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the border policies of the Biden administration.

The article reports:

Members of President Joe Biden’s party are upset about his decision not to allow Canadians into the United States despite Canada’s plan to begin admitting Americans in the coming weeks.

“As Canada prepares to further open the border next month, the United States is failing to reciprocate, jeopardizing an already tenuous recovery for thousands of businesses, families and communities across Upstate New York,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, in a statement. “It is critical for the United States to level the playing field and create a uniform system, following the science and data, to safely — and finally — reopen the border for those vaccinated.”

In Washington state, Democratic Rep. Suzan DelBene said the move would prompt “further suffering in our border communities.” Rep. Brian Higgins, a New York Democrat, agreed, adding the negative impact would be felt across the 5,500-mile border between the continental U.S. and Canada.

Since March 21, 2020, the government has not allowed foreigners on “nonessential” travel to enter the U.S. at a land port of entry as a pandemic measure. However, people from outside the U.S. are often permitted to fly into the country from abroad.

Why are we closing our northern border to Canadian citizens while allowing illegal immigrants to flow freely into America at our southern border?

The article continues:

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the decision as being based on a “specific threat to human life or national interests” as the COVID-19 delta variant spreads worldwide and cases spike in the U.S. and Mexico.

More than 75 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Biden earlier this month asking him to reinstate international travel fully because the closure cost $125 billion in export profits last year.

While land ports of entry remain closed on the southern and northern borders, hundreds of thousands of migrants have illegally crossed the southern border since February. Tens of thousands of migrants have been allowed to go deeper into the U.S., even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in 2020 all migrants be turned away at the border and not detained or released into the U.S.

Migrants are not given coronavirus vaccines before they’re released from federal custody.

So I guess illegal immigrants are going to be allowed to spread the coronavirus while the Canadians who have been vaccinated and probably won’t spread the coronavirus are kept out of America. In what world does this make sense?

Big Brother Is Watching

On Thursday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about a recent statement by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

The article reports:

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra argued that the federal government is entitled to know who in the United States has been vaccinated, responding to anger from GOP House members who say the Biden administration is infringing on personal liberty.

“Perhaps we should point out that the federal government has had to spend trillions of dollars to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic, so it is absolutely the government’s business. It is taxpayers’ business if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting COVID and helping reopen the economy,” Becerra said on CNN Thursday.

Unfortunately, there is a clause in the HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) law that allows the government to collect this information.

According to the CDC:

The Privacy Rule allows for the existing practice of sharing PHI with public health authorities that are authorized by law to collect or receive such information to aid them in their mission of protecting the health of the public.

So essentially all the government has to do is say that it is necessary for them to have your personal information regarding the Covid-19 vaccine in order to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic.

The article concludes:

Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs tweeted Wednesday, “In 2021, the nine most terrifying words in the English language: ‘I’m from the government, have you been vaccinated yet?’” Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, meanwhile, tweeted Tuesday, “Door to door to vaccinate Americans this year… door to door to confiscate guns next year?”

To date, more than 67% of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly 58% of adults have been fully vaccinated.

And how many Americans have natural immunity because they have had the disease? When I had my antibodies checked seven months after having Covid-19, I still had antibodies. Why would I want to get the shot to do the same thing?

When The Justice Department Is Compromised

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported the following:

President Joe Biden has, for a second time, selected a nominee with ties to his son Hunter Biden for a top post at the Justice Department, picking a former longtime partner at the law firm where his son worked for years and that was involved in helping the younger Biden in his business dealings with Burisma.

Biden announced on Friday that he had nominated Hampton Dellinger, a Yale Law School graduate and former deputy attorney general in North Carolina, to be assistant attorney general for DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy. Dellinger’s LinkedIn indicates he founded Hampton Dellinger PLLC in November after working as a partner at Boies, Schiller, and Flexner from May 2013 through last year. Hunter Biden was a counsel at the same firm, starting there in 2010 and reportedly leaving in 2017. In 2014, the president’s son landed the Ukrainian energy giant as a client for the firm and took a lucrative position on its board.

Biden discussed the firm’s involvement in the Burisma saga in his memoir, Beautiful Things.

“I brought Burisma to Boies Schiller Flexner. … They wanted to see whether Burisma was legit or plagued with corruption before taking them on,” he wrote.

The article also notes:

Devon Archer, a business associate of Hunter Biden, was convicted in 2018 for securities fraud and conspiracy charges. Biden sent an email to Archer in April 2014 just over a week before then-Vice President Joe Biden gave a press conference with Ukraine’s prime minister, with Hunter Biden writing, “The announcement of my guys [sic] upcoming travels should be characterized as part of our advice and thinking — but what he will say and do is out of our hands.” In the laptop emails obtained by the New York Post, Hunter Biden also wrote to Archer about his financial expectations, saying, “If we are not protected financially regardless of the outcome we could find ourselves frozen out of a lot of current and future opportunities. The contract should begin now — not after the upcoming visit of my guy. That should include a retainer in the range of 25k p/m [$25,000 per month] w/ additional fees where appropriate for more in depth work to go to BSF [Boies Schiller Flexner] for our protection. Complete separate from our respective deals re board participation.”

In 2019, The New York Times reported that “unreported financial data from the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office show the company paid $283,000 to Boies Schiller for legal services in 2014.”

Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskyi messaged Hunter Biden and Archer in May 2014, according to laptop emails obtained by Fox News in October, worrying about “one or more pretrial proceedings were initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs with regard to Burisma Holdings.” Pozharskyi told Biden that “we urgently need your advice on how you could use your influence to convey a message / signal, etc. to stop what we consider to be politically motivated actions.”

Please follow the link to the article to read the entire story.

I have stated before–President Biden is not responsible for the behavior of his adult son. However, he is responsible for enabling, aiding, and abetting that behavior when it is illegal. To appoint people to the Justice Department who have ties to Hunter Biden’s questionable activities is a slap in the face to all Americans who believe in equal justice under the law.

Is there anyone in the Justice Department who cares about the reputation of the Department?

Closing The Barn Door After The Horse Has Left

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is poised to remove more than 100,000 “outdated” names from the state’s voter registration rolls unless those on the list take immediate action.

The article reports:

Some critics, such as Gerald Griggs with the Atlanta NAACP, described the move as a voter purge. Griggs said thousands of voters were improperly removed from the 2019 list. However, state officials noted the removals are required by law and that the maintenance occurs every two years.

Raffensperger’s office also removed 18,486 voter files of dead individuals based on information obtained from Georgia’s Office of Vital Records and the Electronic Registration Information Center.

“These people don’t live in Georgia anymore. Then, you have 18,000 people who passed. So, they are not going to be voting anymore. You need to have accurate voter rolls and proper list maintenance. It also helps your county election directors,” Raffensperger told WSB-TV 2.o

It needs to be mentioned here for those who are concerned that voting laws aimed at reducing voter fraud are disenfranchising voters, that every illegal vote cast cancels out the vote of a legal voter. Therefore, changing voter laws to prevent fraud is actually making sure that the votes of legal voters will be counted. If the people who are being removed from the voter rolls are no longer entitled to vote in Georgia, they need to be removed from the voter rolls. The only reason to keep them on the rolls is to commit voter fraud.

Our Justice System Has Become Political

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article telling the story of the people who were arrested in Washington on January 6th. It’s not a story that aligns very well with the constitutional rights of Americans.

The article reports:

Many participants in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots are being held in solitary confinement in Washington, D.C.’s city jail, a situation that’s drawing scrutiny from Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bob Casey and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Department of Justice has charged 510 individuals in connection with the Jan. 6 breach, which began when supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol with the intent of trying to stop the certification of Electoral College votes for Joe Biden as president.

After Jan. 6, Washington, D.C., jail officials decided that all Capitol riot detainees be held in “restrictive housing” as a safety measure for the accused. However, the accused found themselves in solitary confinement 23 hours a day before their trials even started.

“I do not believe in solitary confinement for extended periods of time for anyone,” Warren, a Massachusetts senator and former Harvard Law School professor, said of the Jan. 6 rioters when asked by the Washington Examiner.

I very rarely agree with Senator Warren, but she is right in this case.

Even the ACLU has weighed in:

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has recently drawn criticism for favoring liberal causes over its tradition of representing unsympathetic clients and causes, is also weighing in on the side of Trump protesters being held alone.

“Prolonged solitary confinement is torture and certainly should not be used as a punitive tool to intimidate or extract cooperation. We’re pleased to see that message is getting through to Senators,” Tammie Gregg, deputy director of the ACLU National Prison Project, told the Washington Examiner in a statement.

If you remember, Paul Manafort, President Trump’s campaign manager was kept in solitary confinement. He was put in jail for mortgage fraud, not usually considered a crime worthy of solitary confinement. Our Justice Department has become politicized in recent years. If that does not change in the near future, living in America will be like living in a dictatorship–if you hold the wrong political views, your civil rights will not be respected.

I Guess He Didn’t Read The Memo

The Washington Examiner reported the following today:

Secretary of State Antony Blinken claims that he hasn’t been shown evidence to justify Israel’s airstrike of the building in Gaza, which housed the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera offices.

“Shortly after the strike we did request additional details regarding the justification for it,” Blinken said at a news conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, choosing not to address specifics, adding that he “will leave it to others to characterize if any information has been shared and our assessment that information,” according to the Associated Press.

“I have not seen any information provided,” he continued.

Why hasn’t he seen the information provided? Is this another example of ‘plausible deniability”?

Meanwhile, Breitbart reported the following yesterday:

Israel reportedly showed U.S. officials “smoking gun” intelligence Sunday indicating that the Palestinian Hamas terrorist organization was using the Jala Tower in Gaza, which also housed the Associated Press, Al Jazeera, and other international news outlets.

On Saturday, Israel destroyed the tower, after warning the occupants to allow them to leave. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted that the building contained “Hamas military intelligence assets” and that the media had been used as “human shields.”

In deciding which story to believe, it’s important to look at the entire event and the history of both sides. Hamas has a history of using ‘human shields’. It places rocket launchers in hospitals and homes. Israel has a history of bending over backwards to avoid civilian casualties–to the point of sending ‘knock-knock’ bombs to warn civilians to evacuate.

The article at Breitbart concludes:

But on Sunday, according to the Jerusalem Post, Israel shared its evidence that the building had been used by Hamas:

Israel shared intelligence with the US showing how Hamas operated inside the same building with the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera in Gaza, officials in Jerusalem said on Sunday.

Officials in more than one government office confirmed that US President Joe Biden’s phone call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday was, in part, about the bombing of the building, and that Israel showed Biden and American officials the intelligence behind the action.

“We showed them the smoking gun proving Hamas worked out of that building,” a source close to Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said. “I understand they found the explanation satisfactory.”

Hamas continued firing rockets at Israeli communities on Sunday, even as its officials claimed that they wanted a ceasefire.

If the Secretary of State hasn’t been shown the evidence of Hamas headquarters in the same building as the media, maybe he need to ask why.

Not Surprising

The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that President Biden has received less negative press coverage than any president in the past thirty years. Obviously he has gotten some negative coverage from conservative news sources, but the mainstream media has chosen to ignore the crisis at the southern border, the increasingly frequent senior moments, and the outright lies in the stories told and the credit claimed for the coronavirus vaccine and its rollout.

The article reports:

The study found that about 19% of the coverage of Biden’s fir 60 days days has been negative over the first 60 days of his administration, which ranked best among presidents of the last three decades. Former Presidents Bill Clinton (28%), George W. Bush (28%), Barack Obama (20%), and Donald Trump (62%) all saw more negative coverage than Biden.

“While the media landscape has changed dramatically since Clinton’s presidential inauguration, the Center has been able to conduct a long-term comparison for each of the recent administrations across a smaller subset of outlets and variables,” Pew Research Center wrote of its findings.

The difference in coverage between the early days of Trump’s presidency compared to Biden’s was particularly stark, with negative stories about Trump outnumbering positive ones by a “four-to-one” ratio.

The article notes an interesting difference in how President Trump and President Biden were covered by the media:

“Another stark difference in the early coverage of the Biden and Trump administrations was in how stories were framed,” Pew wrote. “About two-thirds of Biden stories (65%) were framed around ideology and agenda, while about one-third (35%) focused on leadership and character. With Trump, the numbers were roughly reversed, with 74% framed around leadership and character and 26% around policy and ideology.”

Unfortunately Americans will be reaping the results of the Biden agenda in the near future. I don’t think it will be fun.

Are The Census Numbers Real?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the recent census numbers. It seems that some of the numbers may not add up.

The article reports:

There is something very fishy about the new 2020 Census Bureau data determining which states picked up seats and those that lost seats.

Most of the revisions to the original estimates have moved in one direction: population gains were added to blue states, and population losses were subtracted from red states. The December revisions in population estimates under the Biden Census Bureau added some 2.5 million blue state residents and subtracted more than 500,000 red state residents. These population estimates determine how many electoral votes each state receives for presidential elections and the number of congressional seats in each state.

Is this a mere coincidence?

Remember, the House of Representatives is razor-thin today, with the Democrats sporting just a three-seat majority with five seats currently vacant. So a switch in three or four seats in 2022 elections could flip the House and take the gavel away from current Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. A population shift of 3 million is the equivalent of four seats moving from R to D.

The article cites a number of examples:

1) New York — We’ve been tracking the annual population/migration changes between states since the last census of 2010. According to census data over the past decade, New York lost about 1.3 million residents on net to other states. (This does not include immigration, births, and deaths.) Still, this is a population loss equivalent to two, maybe three, lost congressional seats. But the final numbers ADDED more than 860,000. That’s roughly twice the population of Buffalo and Rochester — combined. This is the state that has lost by far the largest population over the past decade.

2) Many deep blue states had 2020 census numbers significantly revised upward from their December estimates: Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

3) Many red states had 2020 census numbers significantly lower than their 2020 estimates: Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas.

4) Going back to the 2010 census, the final headcount in every state was within 0.4% of the original estimate, and 30 of them were within 0.2%. This time around, 19 states were more than 1% off, 7 were more than 2% off, NY was more than 3.8% off, and NJ was more than 4.5% off.

5) Virtually every one of the significant deviations from the estimates favored Democrats. Just five states in the 2020 census were within the same margin (0.41%) that all states were within from the 2010 census.

Please follow the link above to read the article. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

More Morning Raids

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about a woman in Anchorage, Alaska, whose home was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) because she bears a resemblance to someone who was in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office on January 6th.

The article reports:

The FBI and an agent from the U.S. Capitol Police served a warrant on Wednesday at the home of Paul and Marilyn Hueper, who said the search was related to the siege of Congress.

The couple said federal agents accused her of entering the U.S. Capitol and stealing Pelosi’s laptop and seized some laptops and cellphones from their home, according to an interview with KSRM-AM radio.

“So, I think almost right off the bat, they said, ‘Well, you probably know why we’re here,’ or something like that. It’s like, ‘Yeah, no, not really.’ And they said, ‘Well, we’re here for Nancy Pelosi’s laptop.’ And I said, ‘Oh.’”

Hueper said the warrant did not specifically name Pelosi but said she was told by officers they were searching for the laptop.

A spokeswoman for the FBI in Anchorage confirmed to Anchorage Daily News the agency did conduct a “court-authorized law enforcement activity” on April 28 at the address of the Huepers.

“We just can’t discuss the details or existence of an investigation,” FBI spokeswoman Chloe Martin said.

Hueper said agents broke down her door Wednesday morning as she, her husband, and other guests were asleep.

Officers had their guns drawn and handcuffed everyone in the home, including their guests, Hueper said. The woman said she and her husband were placed in different rooms and couldn’t see what was happening as officers searched.

An officer took out a photo of a woman from the riot and asked Hueper if she could identify the person. Hueper said she was surprised because the woman looked like her and had a coat like the one she owns. Hueper said a second picture of the suspect showed the woman in a sweater that she had never worn or owned.

The Huepers did attend a rally in Washington, D.C., for then-President Donald Trump just before the Capitol invasion that day, though the woman claims she and her husband never entered the U.S. Capitol or stole any materials from inside.

The article notes:

A Pennsylvania woman who was also accused of stealing Pelosi’s laptop during the Capitol riot was arrested in January, though her attorney said at the time the FBI did not obtain the device from his client.

First of all, it sounds as if the FBI needs to up their game on their investigative skills. Second of all, it seems as if a lot of people are being subjected to early morning raids that might not be warranted. We are getting very close to a government that is using intimidation tactics on its political opposition. That is not a good place to be.

A Portrait Of Things To Come

One of the things that President Trump did that positively impacted the American economy was to deal with over-regulation and to make sure that the rights of people who chose not to join unions were protected. Well, that was then; this is now.

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon reported on a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The article reports:

President Joe Biden’s labor arbiter threw out hundreds of votes from workers attempting to cut ties with a Delaware union.

The National Labor Relations Board overruled hundreds of Delaware poultry workers who had voted to reject union leadership. The agency said in a 3-1 ruling released Wednesday that a provision prohibiting workers from leaving a union for a set time period after a contract is signed allowed the board to ignore the workers’ March 2020 vote. The decision reversed a regional NLRB director who had initially ruled in the workers’ favor.

Oscar Cruz Sosa, the employee who led the charge to hold the election, ripped union leadership for disregarding the voices of workers. “The union has been harassing and intimidating us for a long time and it’s unbelievable that they’re going to get their way by having 800 ballots destroyed,” Cruz Sosa told the Washington Free Beacon.

The article notes:

The decision marks a victory for the local chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, the nation’s largest private sector union and a major backer of Democratic candidates. The union’s PAC spent more than $1.2 million in 2020 electing Democratic candidates.

Of course they did.

The article concludes:

The decision comes after the NLRB became engulfed in a political scandal over a series of unprecedented personnel moves made by Biden. As one of his first moves in office, the Democrat fired the NLRB’s top prosecutor after the general counsel refused to resign. Glenn Taubman, a National Right to Work attorney who helped represent Cruz Sosa, said the Biden administration has repeatedly signaled that it “exists solely to please labor union officials.”

“They do not give one whit about employees and employee rights. All they want is to force employees to pay dues to labor union officials, whether those employees want to or not,” Taubman said. “The whole tone and tenor of this administration is, ‘We’re here for the union bosses and if it’s good for them, we don’t care who it harms or it’s bad for.'”

The NLRB declined to comment further on the decision beyond the press release. The United Food and Commercial Workers union did not respond to a request for comment.

The politicization of the NLRB began under President Obama.

On August 11, 2015, The Washington Examiner reported:

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Lafe Solomon, the former acting general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board from 2011 through 2013, had been serving in violation of the law governing federal appointments. It was the latest example of a federal court throwing out President Obama’s picks for the board, which is the main federal labor law enforcement agency.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in the case Noel Canning v. NLRB that three of Obama’s 2012 recess appointments to board were unconstitutional. The decision voided an entire year’s worth of agency decisions.

Friday’s ruling is unlikely to be as far-reaching as the Supreme Court decision. A three-judge panel for the circuit court was careful to say the ruling was specific to the case in question, which involved a business that had directly challenged the legality of Solomon’s appointment at the time he was serving, and would extend only those that had made the same challenge.

Unfortunately, any objectivity in the NLRB will be further eroded under President Biden. The formerly non-partisan NLRB is simply another casualty of the 2020 presidential election.

Actions Have Consequences

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article warning of the consequences of passing the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill.

The article reports:

We are often told to “follow the science.” This is true of wearing masks, how we teach children to read, and addressing the perils of climate change. So we should probably better do the same with the economy, no?

Consider the new Congressional Budget Office report on that very thing, the budget, the economy, and how we tax it. Let’s assume that we want the Federal government to spend lots more money on infrastructure. I don’t, because I’m certain that the money will be sprayed up the wall like the last few trillions were.

Still, the CBO report is useful in laying down the basic science of taxation. Whatever we tax, we’ll get less of. Tax corporations and there will be less corporate activity. Tax the income from capital investment and there will be less investment. Tax labor incomes and fewer will work so hard to make that money. Put simply, if people get less from doing something, they’ll do less of it. Toddlers grasp this: they will do more for two pieces of candy and less for one. In the jargon these are known as “deadweights.” That is to say, things that do not happen, economic activity that is wiped out by taxation.

Yes, it’s true that we can buy lovely things with the money that has been taxed, or at least we might. But it is still true that the act of taxing itself reduces economic activity. Worthwhile tax and spend is defined as that which is even more lovely in its results than what we’ve lost by financing it.

The Democrats seem to be unaware of the Laffer Curve. That is the principle that says that after people who produce wealth are taxed to a certain point, they will stop producing wealth. We will reach a point where the only way to pay for our bloated government is to devalue our currency. That is happening to some extent right now. The result of that will be hyper-inflation and a total collapse of our economy. That is the end result of unbridled tax and spend programs.

We Need To Find Some Of Our ‘Experts’ A Hobby

Yesterday The  Washington Examiner reported that the Arizona Education Department has created an “equity toolkit” that encourages parents to talk to their children about race–beginning as early as three months. Right. I remember some of the intellectual discussions I had with my children when they were three months old.

The article reports:

“SCOOP: The Arizona Department of Education has created an ‘equity’ toolkit claiming that babies show the first signs of racism at three months old and that white children ‘remain strongly biased in favor of whiteness’ by age five,” writer Christopher F. Rufo reported on Twitter.

…An infographic included with the tweet shows how children’s racial attitudes evolve from birth to age 6, with newborn babies showing no racial preferences but starting to develop one as early as 3 months old.

“At birth, babies look equally at faces of all races. At 3 months, babies look more at faces that match the race of their caregivers,” the graphic says.

By 30 months, children are using race to choose playmates, and by ages 4 to 5, children’s “expressions of racial prejudice peak.”

But while black and Hispanic children start to lose their inherent racism, white children are apparently prone to carry racial biases further into adolescence.

The article concludes:

The resource says that white people “throw in terms” such as “the race card, black-on-black crime, reverse racism” and “colorblindness” as a way to “alleviate some of their white fragility.”

“These are made-up terms that white people use to feel better about themselves,” the resource says.

While the resource says it is a “good” thing for white people to have had children, partners, and friends of color, it warns that “those relationships do not give you a one-way ticket out of Racism Town.”

“Unless we, as white people, are listening, learning, and changing based on what we’re being taught within these relationships, we aren’t doing any good at all,” the resource continues. “In fact, we’re doing more harm than good. Clapping back when being called out only proves that white people cannot stand not to be at the center of every single conversation, policy, and action.”

The Arizona Department of Education did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

I firmly believe that you could fertilize your garden with the information put out in the ‘equity toollkit.’

Common Sense In Alabama

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that the Alabama state Senate voted Tuesday to make it a felony for medical professionals to treat minors with hormone therapy or sex change surgery.

The article reports:

The bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Shay Shelnutt and dubbed the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, passed through the chamber by a margin of 23-4, according to CBS News.

The bill would result in criminal felony charges for any medical professional who treats transgender minors under the age of 19 with “gender-affirming care” and would come with the punishment of up to 10 years in prison or a $15,000 fine.

…The bill also requires school staff in the state to notify parents that “a minor’s perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex.”

If signed into law, the bill would be the first of its kind in the United States to be enacted.

The article includes the following information about objections to the bill:

Liberal groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, AIDS Alabama, and the Alabama American Civil Liberties Union, have voiced opposition to the bill, arguing that it puts transgender children at risk.

“Lawmakers are insisting that they know what’s best for transgender young people and ignoring the recommendations of medical experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and more,” Allison Scott, a director at the Campaign for Southern Equality, said about the legislation. “It’s effectively endangering many possible lifelines for a transgender child: Under this bill, they can’t go to their doctor for help, and they can’t seek counsel or comfort from their teachers or school staff.”

The children need to talk to their parents. That should be their first resort. Also, you can’t get your ears pierced without parental consent if you are under 18, why should you be encouraged to make such a life-changing decision without their knowledge or consent? If a child still wants to make that decision at 19, then he is considered an adult. However, I would like to point out that we don’t let children smoke or drink until they are 21. Why would we allow them to change their sex before they can smoke or drink? The logic escapes me.

A Seriously Misnamed Bill

Today the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act. The Act is would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect people from being discriminated based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and other services as well as access to public accommodations such as restaurants. That sounds very innocent until you look closer to see what it actually means. There is nothing equal about the Equality Act.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article explaining exactly what the Act will do.

The article reports:

If this bill is adopted, the fact that we are male or female is in danger of being replaced with the subjective concept of gender identity. The ramifications of this change, at the center of our universe of knowledge about human beings, would be profound. Making gender identity a protected class in the 1964 Civil Rights Act would discredit the idea that sex is binary, that men and women are different, and that recognition of these differences can be helpful to achieving justice and fairness in a variety of circumstances.

A legal change of this magnitude, based on subjective and transient feelings, is unprecedented. But gender identity is riding on a powerful wave of identity politics that seeks to upend a perceived “power structure” that “privileges” those who are comfortable with their bodies. “Cisgender normativity” might be an easy concept to dismiss along with erasure of mother and father,” and the introduction of “chestfeeding.” But to think of the gender identity revolution as merely another chapter in “woke” wonderland would be to miss the import of the linguistic, cultural, and political revolution for the integrity of education, medicine, and science.

Like the heliocentric model, the sex binary was once consistently taught in every academic discipline and at all levels. Sex differences inform everything from our treatment of disease, to the benefits of single-sex education, to our understanding of parenting and leadership styles. But postmodernism, the sexual revolution, and critical gender and queer theory have firmly placed feelings at the center of academia, displacing empirical knowledge. Every discipline has been transformed, not just literature and history, but even the hard sciences. The Medical College Admissions Test now asks about the gender identity of patients. The American Association of Medical Colleges is the major accrediting body for medical schools. Its inclusion of this question signals to aspiring doctors that they must show not just knowledge and skills but ideological conformity.

The article concludes:

Perhaps most alarming are the stories of regret from a growing number of “detransitioners.” Their bodies are scarred, their voices broken, and their fertility lost — casualties of hormones and surgeries that failed to deliver peace. Those who have tried to sound the alarm, such as feminist icon J.K. Rowling, tennis pioneer Martina Navratilova, and leading medical experts Dr. Paul McHugh, are bulldozed. Name, shame, cancel, repeat.

If the Equality Act passes the House this week, it won’t be the result of new scientific discoveries about the sexes or the result of a thoughtful, open political debate. It will be the denial of all that previous generations around the world have learned and observed about sex differences over centuries. It will be the triumph of cancel culture over facts, reason, and empirical knowledge. And if the sex binary can be canceled, who knows what’s next?

Gender isn’t fluid–it’s contained in your DNA. To encourage children of any age to take drastic medical steps to become something they are not is simply child abuse. Unfortunately this bill enshrines that behavior. We are in a very sad place as a society.

Perspective Matters

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about President Biden’s recent call to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.

The article notes:

Chinese media outlets praised President Joe Biden on Wednesday for what they characterized as a respectful, “positive” call between the head of state and Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.

The Xinhua news agency and the Global Times state propaganda newspaper both highlighted the timing – on the eve of the Lunar New Year – as a gesture of goodwill from the new presidential administration. The former expressed hope that, after President Donald Trump’s tenure featured policies designed to contain the influence of the Chinese Communist Party abroad and frequent condemnations of its human rights atrocities, America under Biden would return to the “right track” of policy favorable to Beijing.

I am all in favor of diplomacy and getting along with everyone, but let’s take a look at what the “right track” might be in the eyes of China. On February 9th, The Washington Examiner posted an article with the following headline, “Biden withdraws Trump rule on schools disclosing ties to Chinese state-run Confucius Institutes.” The Biden administration has put the sale of TikTok on hold. The Trump administration was working to sell the company to a majority-owned American company due to national security concerns.

The article at Breitbart notes:

Chinese media coverage of the phone call, the first between the two since Biden became president, contrasted considerably with American mainstream media claims that Biden had “pressured” Xi on issues such as the genocide of the Uyghur people in western Xinjiang or the repression of political dissidents in Hong Kong.

“The Spring Festival is a very important holiday for the Chinese,” Xinhua’s coverage noted. “The telephone conversation between the two heads of state on the eve of the Lunar New Year marks a new starting point for direct communication, symbolizes goodwill, and conforms to the expectations of the Chinese and Americans, as well as those of the wider global community.”

The article concludes:

Mainstream American outlets did not convey in their coverage of the call a sense that Biden had been overly effusive in sharing goodwill or “respect,” as their Chinese counterparts did. The New York Times painted the call as aggressive, leading with the claim that Biden raised “concerns about Beijing’s aggressive policies abroad and human rights abuses at home,” which Chinese outlets largely disregarded. The newspaper nonetheless noted that Biden has “said that he believed he had spent more time with Mr. Xi than he has with any other world leader.”

CNN similarly claimed that Biden “call[ed] China out on a range of issues related to its nefarious use of technology, unfair trade and human rights abuses,” citing unidentified sources within the Biden administration.

NBC News, citing the White House, also led its coverage with an emphasis on Biden mentioning the existence of human rights problems in China.

Somehow I think the media has sold us out.

At Least Someone Is Fighting This Policy

On Thursday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about the Western Energy Alliance. This group sued the Biden administration Wednesday alleging that the pause on oil and gas leases on federal land and waters exceeds presidential authority.

The article reports:

As part of President Biden’s ultimate goal of eliminating fossil fuel as a power source by 2035, and from the entire U.S. economy entirely by 2050, Wednesday’s executive orders direct agencies to end federal subsidies for fossil fuels, to pause new oil and gas leases on federal lands and water. It aims to conserve 30% of the country’s lands and ocean waters in the next 10 years and requires federal agencies to move to all-electric vehicle fleets.

It carries significant risks and opposition.

Michael Shellenberger, the author of Apocalypse Never, said: “Climate change is not the most important environmental problem. Most of the trends are going in the right direction: Deaths from natural disasters are at an all-time low. Carbon emissions in the United States peaked over a decade ago; they’ve been going down ever since. They’ve been going down in wealthy countries for almost 40 years. We should continue to do what’s been working, replacing coal with natural gas and nuclear, but this is not the apocalyptic trend that people have been led to believe it is.”

Shellenberger, an environmentalist, a Democrat, and Biden voter, maintains that wind and solar produce their own environmental damage, adding, “They just gave permission, the federal government, to industrial wind farms to kill condors. This is, for people that are environmentalists, true conservationists — that’s bonkers.”

The article concludes:

Republicans will no doubt attack what they see as Democratic hypocrisy on the issue. Climate czar Kerry is known to fly on the Heinz Family Foundation’s private Gulfstream jet. Private jets consume roughly 40 times the carbon per passenger as commercial jets.

I support using the cleanest energy possible. However, the idea of running an economy entirely on green energy reminds me of the search for the perpetual motion machine. There are laws of physics that come into play when you are dealing with energy, the creation of energy, and motion.

We need to learn from the experience of Spain, as detailed in The Daily Caller on August 28, 2014.

Please follow the link to read the entire article in The Daily Caller, but this is the bottom line:

Spain has actually been scaling back its costly green energy agenda the past year or two in the face of high debt and unemployment. The country cut wind subsidies to major wind farms back in February and, in June, Spanish officials announced a new electricity rate schedule that effectively ended green energy feed-in tariffs.

The IER study also notes that Spain’s green agenda was not able to keep its carbon footprint from rising. Between 1994 and 2011, Spain’s carbon dioxide emissions grew 34.5 percent, despite the country’s green push which began in the 1990s.

“While the renewable policies themselves were likely not the cause of the emissions increase, the upward trend does prove that renewable energy policies were insufficient to reduce CO2 emissions over a roughly twenty-year period,” according to IER.

“is anything but the model for American energy policy,” reads the IER study. “The country’s expensive feed-in tariff system, subsidies, and renewable energy quotas have plunged a sizable portion of Spaniards into fuel poverty, raised electricity bills, all while having almost no meaningful impact on curtailing carbon dioxide emissions.”

We shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel. We need to learn the lessons of those who already reinvented the wheel and discovered it needed to be round. To attempt to go down the same road as Spain, ignoring the lessons they learned, is folly.

Equal Outcome vs. Equal Opportunity

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that provided a preview of the direction the Biden administration is headed in the area of civil rights. We are no longer going to be concerned about equality, we are going to be concerned about equity. This is totally opposite of everything the civil rights movement of the 1960’s represented.

The article notes:

On Tuesday, six days into the Biden administration, it became clear why Susan Rice, hitherto a foreign policy specialist, was named director of the Domestic Policy Council. Rice, unconfirmable for a Cabinet post after her unembarrassed Sunday show lies about Benghazi, ventured into the White House press room to preview President Biden’s “equity” initiative.

With one possible exception, the specific policies announced were less important than the word “equity,” invoked 19 times by Rice and nine by Biden. Ending federal private prison contracts, “strengthening” relations with Indian tribes, and combating “xenophobia” against Asians and Pacific Islanders are small potatoes as federal policies.

Not so, perhaps, the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing initiative, started under Obama, repealed under Trump, and now due for a spirited revival. The idea is for the feds to reverse local zoning laws and plant low-income housing in suburbs deemed insufficiently diverse.

Actually, racial discrimination in housing has been reduced since the 1968 federal Fair Housing Act, to the point that in metropolitan areas from Washington to Atlanta to Los Angeles, most blacks now live in suburbs, not in the central cities to which they were tightly confined in postwar America.

The article explains the difference between equality and equity:

But for Rice and Biden, “equity” requires not equality of opportunity, but equality of results. That’s one of the fundamental tenets of the critical race theory training that Trump’s administration banned and Biden’s reinstated on Day One.

A lower-than-population percentage of blacks in any desirable category, explains critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi, must be the result of “systemic racism,” a term Rice used twice and Biden five times on Tuesday. If you don’t agree, you’re guilty of “white fragility” and must be a “white supremacist.”

As Andrew Sullivan trenchantly observes, “to achieve ‘equity,’ you first have to take away equality for individuals who were born in the wrong identity group. Equity means treating individuals unequally so that groups are equal.”

This is exactly contrary to the central thrust of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It could easily be judged, in particular cases, to violate the 14th Amendment. Individuals discriminated against might have standing to go to court.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Reverse racism is still racism. Racism in any direction for any reason is not a good path for America to follow. Hopefully a few well-placed lawsuits will put an end to this nonsense.

More Of The Same

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the United Nations has placed China, Cuba, and Russia on the U.N. Human Rights Council. They will become sitting member on that Council as of January 1.

The article reports:

On Jan. 1, China, Cuba, and Russia will become members of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Yes, China, which has imprisoned 2 million of its Uighur citizens in gulag reeducation camps, sterilized thousands, and used the rest for de facto slave labor, is donning the U.N. human rights mantle. Cuba, a dystopia tolerated by the Western media elite for its creaking art deco façade, sees many of its best and brightest choose to brave shark-infested waters in search of better lives. Vladimir Putin’s Russia wages a very thinly veiled war on all who question the Kremlin. Whether it’s Novichok nerve agents and Alexei Navalny, open windows and journalists, or gang attacks on gays, Putin’s Russia despises human rights.

It is not simply alarming that these governments are joining the Human Rights Council, but that so few governments and organizations are bothered by it.

The article concludes:

But the challenges go beyond human rights. In the face of repeated and successively increasing Iranian breaches of nuclear arms agreements, the U.N. sits idle. In the face of escalating Chinese circumvention of North Korean sanctions, the U.N. sits idle. U.N. officials like to blame the U.N. Security Council’s permanent members for these issues. But the truth is that the U.N. itself is to blame. Its leaders, now and before, have failed to address the broken structures that sit at the heart of their organization. They should act. But they won’t. They’re happy instead to make speeches and then return to the extensive and expensive budgets afforded to all U.N. staffers. It is extraordinary, for example, that so much of the U.N.’s money continues to be spent in New York City and Geneva rather than out in the field where it might, just might, save lives and make the world a slightly better place.

The U.N. doesn’t deserve many birthday presents. Not this year, at least. And likely not next year.

Unfortunately the United Nations has chosen to ignore the Preamble to its Charter, which states:

  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

When an organization betrays the charter that formed it, it is time for the organization to disband. The United Nations’ actions in recent years have done nothing to promote peace, freedom, or human rights. It’s time for them to go.

 

Festivus Report’ of government excess

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that Senator Rand Paul released his annual Festivus Report, airing his grievances of government excess and spending.

The article lists some of the details of the report:

“Spending was about 50% higher than last year, and payments of interest on the public debt remained extremely high at $387 billion. If you laid out that many $1 bills end to end, it’d be enough to wrap around the earth 1,506 times,” Paul wrote. “Our debt puts at risk the long-term solvency of major programs such as Social Security. And why? To pay for test tubes for COVID tests that turn out to be soda bottles?”

Paul’s report documented more than $54.7 billion worth of “totally wasted money.” He points to specific projects and studies that received federal funding and identifies the total value of grants used to conduct the research.

That amount of money, Paul said, was enough to fund the entire Treasury Department for three years, the Department of Housing and Urban Development for six months, or buy every citizen a 40-inch television.

The “waste” spending varies from failed international missions, such as $8.6 billion spent in Afghanistan to boost counternarcotics efforts or $23.9 billion spent “trying unsuccessfully to replace the Bradley [Fighting Vehicle],” to oddities including $1.3 million researchers accessed to determine whether people would knowingly eat ground-up bugs or $2 million spent testing whether hot tubs lower stress.

The report identified $896,000 spent by the National Institutes of Health “to give cigarettes to adolescent kids to test their reactions to various levels of nicotine in the cigarettes.”

The article concludes:

“Congress has every tool it needs to fight and end government waste,” Paul’s report stated. “It’s just a matter of finding the willpower to use them. Rest assured, I will keep fighting for fiscal sanity and providing my colleagues in Congress with the opportunity to find their fiscal backbone!”

Americans already pay more money in taxes than the medieval serfs did to their manor lords. Unless the spending is brought under control, our children and grandchildren will be slaves to the government. Congress controls the spending. Until voters elect congressional representatives who are willing to cut spending, things will not change.

Occasionally The Fake News Gets Called Out

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about a recent award given to The New York Times for their podcast series “Caliphate.”

The article reports:

The paper of record announced this weekend that Caliphate, its award-winning 10-part podcast series on the Islamic State, contains “significant falsehoods and other discrepancies.”

The disclosure concludes an internal investigation launched this year after Canadian officials charged the podcast’s central narrative character with lying about his supposed involvement with the terrorist group.

Absent the testimony of the accused hoaxer, Canadian resident Shehroze Chaudhry, who spoke to the New York Times under the pseudonym “Abu Huzayfah,” there is not much left to the Caliphate podcast. Indeed, the show’s most gripping and grizzly “reporting” on ISIS’s operations in Syria relied entirely on the say-so of a supposed “executioner” who most likely has never even been to Syria.

“We fell in love with the fact that we had gotten a member of ISIS who would describe his life in the caliphate and would describe his crimes,” New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet explained this week in an interview with NPR.

The article concludes:

Caliphate won the 2018 Peabody Award. The New York Times has already returned it. The Overseas Press Club has also rescinded the podcast’s Lowell Thomas Award.

Man, what a year for the paper of record.

From publishing Chinese communist propaganda, to getting it wrong on coronavirus vaccine readiness, to losing top opinion editors following a temper tantrum thrown by newsroom staffers, to having nearly its entire bench of columnists suffer a collective nervous breakdown ahead of Election Day, to pretending still as if its fraudulent 1619 Project is not an abject embarrassment, 2020 has been as lousy a year for the New York Times as it has been for everyone else.

Actually, this was a careless, innocent mistake. I can’t say the same for much of their other reporting. They have never done a fair job of reporting on President Trump, and they did their best to convince people that Joe Biden was capable of handling the office of president. I really don’t feel sad that they had to give up their Peabody Award. They should also give up the Pulitzer Prize they won for their false reporting on the Russia hoax during and after the 2016 presidential campaign.

When Your Priorities Are Unconstitutional

On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about some of the things Joe Biden would prioritize should he take office in January. It is no surprise to find gun control high up on that list.

The article reports:

Joe Biden plans to move quickly against guns, adding the issue to his list of first executive orders, according to his top policy aide.

Stef Feldman, the national policy director of Biden’s presidential campaign, included the Democrat’s gun plan in a list of initial executive actions set to be unleashed after Inauguration Day.

Speaking in a Zoom briefing hosted by Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, she said that Biden is planning to “make big, bold changes through executive action, not just on policing and climate like we talked about previously, but in healthcare and education on gun violence, on a range of issues.”

She added that “there’s really a lot you can do through guidance and executive action.”

It’s a pretty safe bet that if he does take executive action against guns, a case objecting to the order will find its way to the Supreme Court. This may be one of many reasons the Democrats plan to pack the court with more liberal justices.

The article concludes:

During the campaign, Biden won the endorsement of former candidate Beto O’Rourke, who famously promised to grab everyone’s AR-15.

While he calls his plan one aimed at ending “gun violence,” most of Biden’s ideas amount to limiting what people can buy or have. For example, he wants to end the sale of AR-15-style firearms (the most popular in the nation), regulate those that people already have, and limit the size of magazines those guns use.

Just for the record, the AR-15 is the most popular gun in the nation, but it does not have a history of being the weapon most used to commit a crime. So why are the Democrats so focused on the AR-15? Well, it’s scary looking. If you don’t know anything about guns, it is really scary looking. The fact that it’s scary looking means that it can be used to get the camel’s nose under the tent and begin to take away the gun rights of Americans. If you are familiar with world history, taking guns away from law-abiding citizens never ends well. A Biden administration would not bring freedom and prosperity to America. His ideas on gun control are only one illustration of that.

What Second Amendment?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about Joe Biden’s plans for his gun-control policies.

The article reports:

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reiterated his Second Amendment stance, saying he will ban “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines” if he wins the election.

“It’s long past time we take action to end the scourge of gun violence in America,” Biden tweeted Sunday.

“As president, I’ll ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, implement universal background checks, and enact other common-sense reforms to end our gun violence epidemic,” he added.

…On his campaign website, Biden states his administration would require background checks for all gun sales and would ban the manufacturing and sales of “assault weapons.”

“Joe Biden will enact legislation to once again ban assault weapons. This time, the bans will be designed based on lessons learned from the 1994 bans. For example, the ban on assault weapons will be designed to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that don’t limit the weapon’s lethality. While working to pass this legislation, Biden will also use his executive authority to ban the importation of assault weapons,” his site states.

Former Vice-President Biden has stated that he will work with Beto O’Rourke to solve the gun problem.

This is Beto ORourke’s statement on his policy on guns:

“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said during a Democratic presidential primary debate last September when asked, “Are you proposing taking away their guns? And how would this work?”

“I am if it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield. If the high-impact, high-velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body, because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers,” he added.

So after the Democrats defund the police, who are charged with protecting the average citizen, they will then move to disarming the average citizen so that he can’t protect himself. Wow.

Just for the record, The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

It sounds to me as if there is some serious infringement being planned.

Actions Have Consequences

One of the many contentious battles that President Trump has had to fight was the battle to erect a border wall. A large part of that wall has been built, and there are consequences. Today The Washington Examiner posted an article about some of the impact of that wall.

The article reports:

Border Patrol agents who work in the Pacific Ocean off the southern coast of California saw a dramatic increase in the number of arrests made over the past 12 months, an indication that the addition of new border wall in the region since 2017 is prompting smugglers to find new ways to move people and drugs into the United States.

“Over the past year, within 2020, we’ve had a record number of marine interdictions, including pangas [small, fast boats], jet skis, swimmers, and paddle boaters,” Border Patrol San Diego Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke told the Washington Examiner during a land and sea tour. “The wall structure itself is solidifying the land border, and it’s forcing the smugglers to come out into the maritime environment.”

Agents, using jet skis and boats to patrol the 20-mile stretch from Chula Vista at the border up past downtown San Diego, made 302 interdictions in fiscal 2020, which ran from Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, compared to 195 the previous year and 88 in 2015. One such incident resulted in the seizure of a small boat that was loaded with more than 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine.

Arrests of illegal immigrants and smugglers jumped 92% from 662 in 2019 to 1,271 in 2020. Comparatively, 219 people were arrested in 2015.

The article concludes:

Border Patrol’s San Diego region has seen 53 miles of border wall added to its 60-mile area of responsibility, including the duplicate fencing. A small portion of the new wall was completed with funding from the final year of the Obama administration, but most was funded in federal budgets passed during the Trump administration. The foundation of the double-layer fencing goes up to 10 feet below the ground, preventing people from digging shallow tunnels into the U.S., as was possible with the Clinton-era metal scraps. It stretches from 18 feet to 30 feet tall and is comprised of steel fence posts filled with concrete and rebar. It starts at the coast and goes up into the mountains in Otay Mesa, California, significantly further than the scrap metal that was taken out. Construction teams are in the process of completing the wall over the mountains, a seemingly impossible task for how steep the terrain is here.

Agents in San Diego said this new wall and the technology that comes with it will be hard to get past for most people and will funnel others to areas where agents are present because they have been freed up to focus on less secure areas as a result of the new wall. Those who do attempt to climb over the wall will be better detected thanks to new cameras, sensors, radar systems, and underground fiber optic systems.

Border Patrol officials had expected smugglers to try new approaches, including taking to the water. Heitke said smugglers who do choose to go the boat route are being tracked, oftentimes by the cellphone they leave behind in a boat or when it is seized after they are arrested.

“The smuggler has a phone with them,” said Heitke. “We can dump the information on the phone and find the routes saying where they’re going, and we’re able to see an enormous range of travel, whether they go out 50 miles or 100 miles out, whether [they] go up 50 or 100 miles to land.”

How many drug overdoses have been prevented because President Trump fought Congress to build a wall?

Pay Attention To The Details

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article detailing how the tax proposals of presidential candidate Joe Biden might impact 401k plans. Many Americans put money into 401k plans to help with their tax liability and also because they don’t feel Social Security will be there when they retire. It is quite possible that in the future Social Security will only be available to people below a certain income level, so their fears may well be justified.

The article reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential platform includes a tax proposal that could force some employers to abandon offering retirement options to workers, the industry is warning.

The plan would dramatically change the incentive to save for retirement by replacing the current deferral system with a tax credit.

Most retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans and IRAs, allow taxpayers to delay paying taxes on contributions to accounts until they are retired. By suspending this tax until retirement, workers have been able to grow their nest eggs beyond what they would have been if taxes were paid in the year that the money was received.

The article explains the risk in this proposal:

Biden’s plan would be advantageous for lower-income workers. For example, a taxpayer in the 12% tax bracket investing $100 in a retirement account would receive $114 after paying taxes and receiving the credit.

Some retirement industry experts think Biden’s proposal could force some companies to abandon their retirement plans.

Brian Graff, chief executive officer at the American Retirement Association, cautioned that employers, who normally pay taxes in the upper brackets, could oppose Biden’s plan because they lose much of their tax benefit.

“What we’re worried about is if you are essentially reducing the tax benefit, it’s not going to be worth it for them to keep the plan going,” he said.

Employers who make contributions to a 401(k) must offer that same benefit to their employees. However, some of those bosses might not want to continue offering a 401(k) if their tax benefit is greatly reduced.

“If it’s not worth it to the owner, [why] bother with it anymore?” Graff said.

Richard Rausser, senior vice president of client services at Pentegra, said that such a fundamental change to retirement accounts could be a deterrent to offering a plan.

“To the extent that there’s a change in taxation of salary deferrals … that’s going to be a disincentive for plan sponsors to adopt a plan, or for some of them, quite honestly, to continue to maintain a plan. They may rethink it,” he said.

Redistribution of wealth (which is what this plan is) is not an idea that has a place in a free market system. If you look at the history of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, you find that they originally adopted a communal system of farming. After the system failed because there was no incentive to work hard and people were starving, they instituted a free market system and prospered. The Joe Biden plan for taxes regarding 401k plans is simply wealth redistribution. It is socialism and should be rejected by the American people.

Destroying A City By Withholding Information

Nashville, Tennessee, is an amazing city. Musicians and music are everywhere. The nightlife is amazing. There is a large concentration of talent in one place, which makes for an amazing tourist attraction. However, Nashville is suffering because bars and restaurants have been shut down. Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that brings into question the motives behind that shutdown.

The article reports:

Leaked emails show Nashville’s Metro Health Department and the mayor’s office attempted to withhold information from the public that strongly suggested COVID-19 wasn’t spreading through the city’s bars and restaurants.

“They are fabricating information,” said city councilmember Steve Glover. “They’ve blown their entire credibility.”

“I don’t trust a thing they say going forward … nothing,” he added.

The emails between the mayor’s office and the health department discuss the low number of COVID-19 cases coming out of the city’s bars and restaurants and how to keep that information from going public.

The article continues:

Contract tracing in late June showed that construction sites and nursing homes were seeing the worst virus spread in the city, with more than 1,000 cases linked to each industry. Bars and restaurants, however, accounted for just 22 cases.

A month later, reporter Nate Rau asked the health department about rumors that only 80 virus cases originated from Nashville’s bars and restaurants.

“The figure you gave of ‘more than 80’ does lead to a natural question: If there have been over 20,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Davidson and only 80 or so are traced to restaurants and bars, doesn’t that mean restaurants and bars aren’t a very big problem?” Rau asked.

The article concludes:

Glover had a staff attorney reach out to the mayor’s office and the health department to verify the authenticity of the emails.

“I was able to get verification from the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Health that these emails are real,” the attorney said.

Glover said he has been contacted by many restaurant owners, bartenders, and staff asking why the city was trying to keep a lid on the numbers.

“We raised taxes 34% and put hundreds literally thousands of people out of work that are now worried about losing their homes, their apartments … and we did it on bogus data. That should be illegal,” Glover said.

The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.

This is a true ‘what were they thinking?’ moment. The coronavirus is real, and people need to take precautions to avoid getting it or spreading it. However, we now know that the people most in danger from the virus are the elderly and those with certain preexisting medical conditions. It is highly unlikely that a healthy person sitting in a restaurant is at risk. Why in the world did the Mayor choose to destroy the economy of the city while raising taxes by 34%? That is the question that needs to be asked and answered not only for Nashville, but also for a number of states.