Is The Basis Of Our Laws Unconstitutional?

On Friday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about the new law in Louisiana requiring that a poster of the Ten Commandments be displayed in every classroom. The ‘separation of church and state’ hysteria was immediately triggered.

The article reports:

The response was predictable howling that the legislation violated the separation of church and state. The American Civil Liberties Union announced it would file a lawsuit against the new law and condemned it as “religious coercion.”

Landry, to his credit, declared he “can’t wait to be sued” and said if anyone wants to “respect the rule of law,” he must “start from the original law giver, which was Moses.”

The law seeks to overturn a 1980 Supreme Court precedent in Stone v. Graham, in which the court ruled that a similar statute in Kentucky violated the establishment clause of the Constitution. But as Justice William Rehnquist noted in his dissent, the Ten Commandments are not merely religious doctrine but the foundation for Western law.

“The Ten Commandments have had a significant impact on the development of secular legal codes of the Western world,” he wrote.

The article concludes:

At a time when a growing number of people are rejecting the basic moral truths that stealing is wrong, marital infidelity is wrong, and sometimes even that killing is wrong, the moral guidance of the Ten Commandments is needed more than ever.

If the ACLU has a problem with the Ten Commandments, it should sue to invalidate the long list of laws in force today that derive their moral foundation from the commands that God gave Moses at the top of Mt. Sinai, because clearly, any law informed by the Ten Commandments must violate the separation of church and state.

The headline of the article, “Louisiana rightly blends education and morality,” reminds us that moral education is a valuable part of education. It does no good to teach a child basic math and English skills if he does not have the moral education to use them wisely.

Where Did The Money Go?

On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about how Washington is spending our money.

The article reports:

The Congressional Budget Office now projects that the federal deficit for fiscal 2024 will total $1.9 trillion, a $408 billion increase from its projection in February that the deficit would amount to $1.5 trillion. The culprit of this 27% increase in the projected deficit? President Joe Biden‘s bailouts of student loan debt and failed banks.

More than a third of the projected increase, or $145 billion, results from “revisions that the Administration made to the estimated subsidy costs of previously issued loans and from the Administration’s proposed rule to reduce many borrowers’ balances on student loans,” according to the CBO. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which was directed by the White House to foot the bill for a series of bank failures even though not all the compromised accounts were insured by the independent agency, has failed to quickly recoup those losses, increasing projected outlays by another $70 billion. Together, Biden’s bailouts of the banks and of student loan debt contribute to a majority of the $408 billion increase.

More pernicious than all the student loan debt Biden is explicitly trying to cancel, often in violation of repeated pushback from the federal judiciary, is the debt taxpayers are clandestinely being forced to take on through the president’s income-driven repayment scheme for student loans borrowers are nominally expected to repay again after a multiyear pause.

This is an election year. President Biden is attempting to buy votes. However, younger voters are not necessarily buying what he is selling. Younger voters fresh out of college, trade school, or high school are discovering the high cost of housing, gasoline, and groceries. Some of the smarter ones are also looking at the lawfare against President Trump and not liking what they see.

If the November election is honest, it is going to be very interesting–many stereotypical voting blocs are changing rapidly.

Exactly Who Pays Our Taxes?

On Monday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about the progressive tax code in America. Just for the record, we are already overtaxing the wealthy.

The article reports:

The ultra-wealthy are paying the highest average share of taxes, according to a new analysis from a nonpartisan congressional committee.

The Joint Committee on Taxation found that the top 1% of earners pay an average tax rate of around 30% in combined income, employment, and excise taxes, double or more than the share of taxes that the bottom 80% of the country pays. Additionally, the top 5% of earners in the United States make up a whopping 46% of the country’s tax base.

According to the Economics Help page:

The Laffer Curve states that if tax rates are increased above a certain level, then tax revenues can actually fall because higher tax rates discourage people from working.

This is a picture of the Laffer Curve:

The Reagan tax cuts increased federal revenue. Unfortunately, the Democrats who controlled the House of Representatives offset those increases with increased spending. The Trump tax cuts also increased federal revenue, but again the House of Representatives increased their spending. At some point we need to realize that we don’t need more taxes, we need less spending.

The Biden administration is currently pushing for a tax on unrealized capital gains. The talking point is that it would only impact a very small number of taxpayers. Just for the record, this was the argument used to justify the establishment of a federal income tax in 1913.

Is This About Money Or About Doing Good?

On Tuesday, The Washington Examiner posted an article which provided information on the charities that are profiting because of the illegal aliens entering America.

The article reports:

Communities throughout the United States are suffering while they try to find money to house, clothe, feed, educate, and provide medical care for millions of illegal immigrants caught and released into the country by President Joe Biden. However, the left-wing nonprofit organizations paid to serve migrants are profiting pleasantly.

According to an examination by the Free Press of three of the most prominent nonprofit organizations paid by the Biden administration for migrant services, their revenues have more than tripled since 2018, and each of their CEOs makes more than $500,000 a year.

The article continues:

One, Global Refuge, saw its revenue rise from $50 million in 2018 to more than $200 million in 2022. Documents show that Global Refuge housed more than 2,500 migrant children in 2019 at a cost of $30 million. It housed just 1,443 in 2022 at a cost of $82.5 million. In that same period, Global Refuge CEO Krish O’Mara Vignarajah saw her salary rise from $244,000 a year to $520,000. Before coming to Global Refuge, she served as former first lady Michelle Obama’s policy director.

Another nonprofit group, Endeavors, was awarded more than 1 billion dollars in 2022, of which it spent $533,000 on a music therapist, $4.6 million on “consulting services,” $1.4 million on conferences, and $700,000 on lobbyists. Despite past scandals involving self-dealing among top executives, in 2022, Southwest Key Programs was awarded almost $800 million, of which it gave more than $1 million to its CEO.

Each nonprofit organization benefits from the Department of Health and Human Services’s Unaccompanied Children Program. When children are caught illegally crossing the border without parents, Border Patrol must, by law, turn them over to HHS, whose Office of Refugee Resettlement is charged with housing, feeding, and educating them until their parents or a sponsor can be found. HHS does not provide these services. They contract with nonprofit outfits that do, hence the big payouts to Endeavors, Global Refuge, and Southwest Key Programs.

At some point the communities where illegal aliens settle are expected to provide education for the children and medical care for the families, regardless of the involvement of a nonprofit. Local communities are dealing with overcrowded schools, diseases that Americans have not seen in years, and a serious strain on their financial resources. Children are being put in the care of people who are not relatives and may be subjected to human trafficking or other forms of slavery.

The open border is bad for our country, but it is also bad for the people coming here. There is no safety in making the trip and no guarantee of a better life once they get here. Right now the cartels are in charge of our southern border, and they are making a lot of money that they can invest in destroying America with drugs and violence.

Drastic change is needed.

Down The Rabbit Hole With The Trump Trial

On Friday, Byron York posted article at The Washington Examiner about some of the insanity surrounding the New York trial of President Trump. A number of laws have been ignored in order to proceed with this trial, and Byron York lists a number of them.

The article reports:

Yes, we know that Trump is charged with falsifying business records of payments made to the porn actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 and 2017. But falsifying business records is a misdemeanor with a two-year statute of limitations, meaning prosecutors would be prohibited from charging Trump with that crime after 2019, which was five years ago. They obviously missed that deadline by a mile.

We also know that New York law allows falsifying business records to be upgraded to a felony if the alleged falsification was done with “intent to defraud that includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.” In that case, the statute of limitations extends to five years, which would have allowed prosecutors to charge Trump as late as 2022. Prosecutors missed that deadline, too.

Trump was indicted in 2023. How did that happen? Because of COVID-19, when New York extended its statute of limitations by a year. That allowed prosecutors to slip the charges in right before the new, one-time-only, six-year extended statute of limitations expired.

But here’s the thing. What was the “intent to commit another crime or aid and conceal the commission thereof” that prosecutors used to raise falsification of business records from a misdemeanor to a felony? In nearly every case of alleged falsification of records that has been charged as a felony in New York, the defendant was charged with another crime — that is, prosecutors made it clear what the other crime was. In Trump’s case, the indictment did not specify any other crime. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said the law did not require him to specify the other crime.

So Trump faced felony charges without knowing what he was accused of doing. And the really amazing thing is that the trial is now underway and Bragg has still not specified what the other crime is. It is a key element of the case. Without it, the charges against Trump could never have been brought because they were misdemeanors long past the statute of limitations. It is the other crime that makes this whole prosecution possible. But the prosecutor has not specified what it is.

One of my lawyer friends tells me that a trial must deal with whatever the defendant is charged with in the indictment. The Fifth Amendment “requires a felony charge to be spelled out in an indictment whose criminal elements have been established by probable cause to the satisfaction of a grand jury.” In this case, the prosecutor has not even specified the crime that made the prosecution possible. Is there anyone in the New York State legal system who has actually read the U.S. Constitution?

Actions Have Consequences

It sounds really compassionate to insist that the minimum wage be a wage you can actually live on, but is that really the purpose of the minimum wage, and what are the consequences of raising the minimum wage? California just found out.

On Tuesday, The Washington Examiner reported:

California’s fast-food minimum wage hike has been in effect for just one month, and the consequences are proving to be fewer hours and potentially fewer jobs for workers.

Pollo West Corporation, the largest franchisee of El Pollo Loco restaurants in California, has said that its franchises went from profitable to losing money overnight when the fast-food wage hike went into effect. It also said that the franchises have reduced worker hours by 10%. Meanwhile, the restaurants had raised prices in February to prepare for the wage hike, leading to a 3% decline in business.

In total, fast food prices have gone up in California by 10% since September, a larger increase than in any other state. Restaurants have already passed those prices on to consumers, as was expected, and are cutting hours and adding kiosks. Fewer hours for employees means less money, fewer sales to consumers means less business, which means fewer hours for employees, and automated kiosks mean a reduced need for employees, which means fewer hours (or jobs) for employees.

For those of us who are mathematically challenged, if you work 30 hours at $15 an hour, you make $450. If your hours are cut back to 20 hours but you make $20 a hour, you only make $400. That is not an improvement.

The minimum wage was never intended to be a living wage. It was intended to be an way for unskilled workers to enter the workforce and learn good work habits–showing up on time, dressing appropriately, being nice to customers, etc. Ideally a minimum wage job provides an opportunity to learn skills that will enable a person to get a job that pays more than minimum wage. Somehow California has missed that concept.

Who Is Paying For The Lawsuits?

On April 21, The Washington Examiner posted an article about the lawfare that the Democrat party is conducting against President Trump and other conservatives and conservative groups.

The article reports:

As Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s transparently political prosecution of former President Donald Trump began last week, it is important to remember that the former president is not the only target of the Democratic Party‘s campaign to use government power to silence political dissent. 

The Left’s efforts to intimidate conservative activists this month included Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) delivering a congressional subpoena to Federalist Society Co-Chairman Leonard Leo. It was voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee last November without securing a single Republican vote. Durbin has not explained why the subpoena was not delivered for five months.

His attack on Leo comes as another elected Democrat, District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb, has also used his office to harass Leo. After a complaint filed by the dark money-funded Campaign for Accountability, Schwalb opened an investigation into Leo’s management of two nonprofit organizations. The Campaign for Accountability alleged that Leo used his control of these to enrich his consulting firm by millions of dollars.

Abusing nonprofit status to enrich oneself is a serious matter. We are sure there are many Washington, D.C., nonprofit organizations that deserve such investigations. But Schwalb isn’t investigating any of them. Nor is he investigating Ibram X. Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research after it blew through tens of millions of dollars in three years without producing anything of value.

One might point out that the Center for Antiracist Research is based in Boston and, therefore, out of Schwalb’s jurisdiction. But so are the two nonprofit groups connected to Leo that Schwalb is investigating. One is in Virginia, and the other is in Texas.

However, there is a connection between the Campaign for Accountability and the Senate Democratic investigation of Leo: far-left megadonor Stephen Silberstein, who has bankrolled Leo’s main inquisitor in the Senate, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and the nonprofit organization leading the investigation against Leo, ProPublica. Silberstein has also worked closely with the Campaign for Accountability. 

The article concludes:

Wealthy Democratic Party donors such as Silberstein are free to fund partisan nonprofit goons such as ProPublica to dig up dirt on political opponents. But when they corrupt elected Democratic officials to use the power of their offices to persecute those political opponents, they cross an ethical line. The Democratic Party must end its lawfare campaigns against Trump and Leo. It disgraces itself until it does so.

Dirty campaigns are not a good thing, but misuse of our legal system should have dire consequences.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

On Thursday, The Daily Wire posted an article about the amount of taxpayer money that goes to federal employees that actually work for the unions that represent federal employees rather than the government but are paid by the federal government.

The article reports:

The federal government pays more than $100 million a year to employees who aren’t doing their actual government jobs, but rather working for unions representing government employees against management — with taxpayers essentially funding both sides of the bargaining table. 

For decades, the government has tracked and reported those figures, but the Biden administration has removed the reports.

Under the policy known as “official time,” hundreds of nominal government employees haven’t done anything but full-time union work in years, yet remain on the federal payroll. Not only is the policy expensive to taxpayers, but it also props up the power of unions by subsidizing their activities, giving them resources even if employees don’t support them enough to pay dues. Those unions fight against the firing of employees accused of misconduct, and advocate for policies that sometimes pit the interests of employees over the interests of taxpayers, such as resisting a return to in-person work.

The Office of Personnel Management has historically kept track of and published how the program is being used, including during the Obama administration. But the data has not been updated since 2019 — when the government shelled out for 2.6 million hours, or nearly 300 years’ worth, of employee time that was actually spent on union business.

The Biden administration has even been secretive about its secrecy. In December, The Daily Wire asked OPM why the page listing the reports was missing, along with all historical reports except 2019, which can only be located via the search function. A spokesperson said, “Previous reports on official time are not currently available because OPM is reorganizing our website to improve navigation and customer experience.”

The article concludes:

In 2014, the Washington Examiner found more than 500 employees who did no or almost no work for their actual government jobs, despite drawing a full-time salary from taxpayers, because of official time. That includes 271 employees on full-time union release with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and 201 from the IRS.

Then-Sen. Tom Coburn said “I just don’t think the federal taxpayers ought to be paying for that… That’s what union dues are for. What’s irksome to me is that we are paying someone to be a pharmacist or a nurse, but they’re not doing that. They’re doing union work.”

Washington is due for a really good cleaning out!

While We Were Watching Other Things…

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about what is currently happening in  Afghanistan. I’m not sure at exactly what point we totally botched our handling of Afghanistan, but we obviously did.

The article reports:

Over two years after the Biden administration abruptly pulled out of Afghanistan, China is sliding in with its eyes on the war-torn country’s natural resources.

China is being welcomed with open arms by the ruling Taliban government, according to a Pentagon audit.

What’s more, the Taliban are moving to warm relations with China, sending their first ambassador to Beijing, according to John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

“On December 1, 2023, the new Taliban ambassador to China, Bilal Karimi, arrived in Beijing, marking the first ambassador the Taliban have sent to another country since seizing power in 2021. While no country formally recognizes the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan, China does maintain an embassy in Kabul,” Sopko’s latest audit for Congress and shared with Secrets said.

The audit suggested the Taliban are campaigning for more Chinese investment.

It said the Taliban have “reportedly asked” to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Belt and Road Initiative.

Sopko said the Taliban’s acting commerce minister, Haji Nooruddin Azizi, has been very direct in wooing Chinese investment. He quoted Azizi saying, “China, which invests all over the world, should also invest in Afghanistan. … We have everything they need, such as lithium, copper, and iron.”

In the last year, China and the Taliban have inked a 25-year mining contract at Amu Darya, said to have the world’s third-largest oil and natural gas reserves. A Chinese firm is also investing in Afghan power generation and building a major cement factory.

For a number of years, China has been quietly creating a monopoly on the raw materials needed to support modern technology. This is another step in that direction.

More Shenanigans On The FISA Renewal

On Monday, The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Neither of the two bills to reauthorize and reform a powerful spy tool used by American intelligence agencies will be voted on this week after the Rules Committee pulled the legislation amid intense backlash.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who sits on the Rules Committee, confirmed to the Washington Examiner that neither the House Judiciary Committee nor Intelligence Committee bills to reauthorize and reform Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would be voted on this week.

…Now, with the bills being punted until next year, it theoretically gives committees the time to work out the differences. The House is also expected to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday, which includes a short-term extension of FISA until April 19, 2024, something certain members also oppose.

“I’m really disappointed that we’re talking about a four-month extension in the authorities of FISA,” said Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), who helped author the Judiciary Committee bill. “So we should be laboring through to get this thing done, in my opinion.”

Under Section 702 of FISA, the federal government can surveil foreigners without a warrant for national security purposes. The collected information becomes part of a vast database of foreign intelligence that incidentally includes information about U.S. citizens who may have been communicating with people overseas.

There have been documented abuses of FISA. Because of this, most members want reforms but disagree on what those reforms should be.

I personally think that we have seen enough abuses and misuses of FISA to want it to go away. Obviously Washington politicians and bureaucrats do not have the maturity to use it wisely.

On Monday, The Conservative Treehouse reported:

For those confused. There are two bills to modify the FISA702 reauthorization in the House.  (1) HR 6611 from the House Intel Committee and (2) HR 6570 from the House Judiciary Committee.  The intel committee bill expands domestic surveillance authority under the modifications; the judiciary committee bill requires the DOJ to get a search warrant before they can look at the incidental collection of American citizens.

Both bills came out of committee and were scheduled for a floor vote tomorrow, which has been cancelled due to public outcry (good job).  Speaker Mike Johnson initially planned to let both bills get voted tomorrow and the bill with the most votes advances to the Senate.  😬That’s a hot mess.

The House Intel Committee bill organized by Chairman Mike Turner is absolutely horrible. It expands FISA702 surveillance and makes things much worse.  The House Judiciary Bill organized by Chairman Jim Jordan is not structurally that much better, but it does put strong curtailments on the 702 surveillance authority by forcing the DOJ to get actual court approved search warrants on American citizens.

It should not come as a surprise to see a panel of 46 experts in Deep State weaponization come out in support of the Intelligence Committee bill, and then decry the insufferable 702 limitations put into place in the Judiciary Committee bill.   The bad guys want the House Intel version.

As I stated, it’s time for FISA to go away.

When Our Government Works Against The Interests Of The Voters

On November, The Washington Examiner posted an article about the partnership between an agency in the Department of Homeland Security and several university centers to identify online content worthy of censorship. Why is our government working with universities to censor free speech? Might that be part of the reason our colleges have become indoctrination centers?

The article reports:

An agency within the Department of Homeland Security partnered with several university centers to identify online content worthy of censorship, according to a new report from the House Judiciary Committee.

The report, a project of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, detailed how the federal government formed a partnership with the Stanford Internet Observatory, the University of Washington Center for an Informed Public, and other groups. Titled the “Election Integrity Partnership,” the consortium aimed to identify election-related content that needed to be censored.

The report said the partnership was established in July 2020 by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a small agency within the Department of Homeland Security. The partnership then worked with social media companies to throttle content that questioned the integrity of the election process.

“The federal government and universities pressured social media companies to censor true information, jokes, and political opinions,” the report said. “This pressure was largely directed in a way that benefited one side of the political aisle: True information posted by Republicans and conservatives was labeled as ‘misinformation’ while false information posted by Democrats and liberals was largely unreported and untouched by the censors.”

The article also notes:

The report named several prominent politicians, people, and conservative news outlets that had been targeted for censorship, including former President Donald Trump, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), the Babylon Bee satire site, and Newsmax.

“Stanford and others, in collaboration with the federal government, established the EIP for the express purpose of violating Americans’ civil liberties: Because no federal agency ‘has a focus on, or authority regarding, election misinformation originating from domestic sources within the United States,’ there is ‘a critical gap for non-governmental entities to fill.’ CISA and Stanford created the EIP to bridge this ‘critical gap’ — an unconstitutional workaround for unconstitutional censorship,” the report said.

The report contained numerous screenshots of emails between government officials and employees of Twitter, Facebook, and the university “misinformation” centers, many of which included direct requests to censor content.

One of the things that was censored was any reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Government agencies knew the laptop was real and probably anticipated the information on it being reported before the election. The letter from the retired intelligence agents came out in October 2020, just before the election. Any valid information on the laptop was censored. At some point, American voters are going to realize that they have been manipulated and lied to by their own government. That will be interesting to watch.

Using The Law Against Your Political Opponents

The story below is one of the things that makes me wonder about the future of America. Somehow we have lost the concept of equal justice under the law and many legal actions have become totally political.

On Tuesday, The Washington Examiner reported the following:

A POLITICIZED, GROSSLY UNFAIR LAWSUIT AGAINST TRUMP. Former President Donald Trump testified Monday at the trial of the lawsuit, filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleging that Trump inflated the values of his real estate properties to receive lower interest rates on loans. It’s important to note that Trump has already lost the case. The judge, Arthur Engoron, weeks ago pronounced Trump guilty of the actions alleged, and what is going on now in court is the penalty phase, in which Engoron will decide whether to confiscate Trump’s business empire.

The punishment will be extraordinary and unprecedented. This is how Axios has described it: “Former President Donald Trump is at risk of losing the New York real estate empire that the rest of his career was built on. Forcibly dismantling Trump’s company is so unusual that no one is quite certain how it would play out.”

Engoron could decide to cancel the business certificates of all of Trump’s companies. “If the business certificates were canceled,” Axios continued, “the relevant assets — which include Trump Tower, Trump Park Avenue, 40 Wall Street, and Trump National Golf Course Hudson Valley — would be put under the control of a court-appointed receiver, who operates much like an executor of an estate. The receiver would continue to manage the properties, but also could be allowed by the court to sell some — particularly if cash was needed to pay off legal penalties or creditors. Trump, who views himself as a consummate dealmaker, would not be at the negotiating table.”

That is a punishment so out of line with the behavior alleged in this case that it boggles the mind. It is made possible by two factors: a bad law and a hyperpoliticized attorney general. On the bad law, New York’s Executive Law 65(12), the former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy wrote: “The law doesn’t require a showing of harm. The state need not prove the defendant even intended to defraud anyone, much less actually defrauded someone. It need not be established that any creditor or financial institution even relied on the defendant’s misrepresentations, that those misrepresentations were material, or that anyone was actually fooled by them.” There need be no victim — after all, in this case, no bank or financial institution is suing Trump for cheating them, nor does there need to be any crime involved — in fact, prosecutors looked at the same evidence and declined to charge Trump.

Hopefully this case will eventually suffer the same fate as the case against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonald. However, the damage done in getting there will be immense and inexcusable.

Banned By The Biden Administration!

On Tuesday, The Washington Examiner posted a list of five things that the Biden administration has attempted to restrict.

This is the list:

Gas stoves

Incandescent lightbulbs

Plastic straws

Gas-powered cars

Washing machines

Anyone looking at this list three years ago would have called it a conspiracy theory, but here we are.

The article notes:

The Department of Energy estimated the rule would save consumers 9 cents per month after originally promising higher savings for consumers when the rule was proposed earlier this year. The backlash to the rule caused the House of Representatives to pass the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, which would prevent the Consumer Product Safety Commission from using federal funds to enforce the rule on gas stoves. The bill has not been taken up by the Senate.

…One efficiency standard the Biden administration was successful in implementing was a lightbulb rule that outlaws nearly all incandescent bulbs from being sold. The standard went into effect in August.

…Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced in June that a plan would be implemented to phase out single-use plastics on public lands by 2032, citing environmental impacts.

In response to the proposed action, the House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill that would prevent the Interior Department from going forward with the effort. Rep. John Rose (R-TN), who introduced the amendment to deny the measure, argued the alternatives to plastics may not be more environmentally friendly.

…The Biden administration has been a strong advocate of electric cars and phasing out gas-powered vehicles, with the Department of Transportation’s proposed fuel efficiency rules being a recent example of this push.

The proposed rule would raise standards for fuel efficiency to 66 miles per gallon for cars and 54 mpg for trucks by 2032, something National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acting Administrator Ann Carlson has said is “good news for everyone.”

…A proposed efficiency standard by the Department of Energy for washing machines, which could go into effect as early as 2027, has also been criticized as restricting more effective washing machines from being sold.

The Energy Department said the standards would save consumers $3.5 billion annually on energy and water bills, but opponents of the rule argue it would drive up costs for washers while also being detrimental to their effectiveness.

Let’s work together to make sure that the Biden administration has no more success in banning items that make life easier and more efficient for most Americans.

Both Sides Are Not Playing By The Same Rules

I wonder if the people who are supporting Hamas understand that Hamas views their country’s civilians as shields in time of war and the enemy country’s civilians as legitimate targets. That has been illustrated by the attack on Israeli civilians on October 7th and Hamas’ use of their citizens as shields and for propaganda purposes.

On November 4th, The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Hamas has been holding up efforts to get Americans and other foreign nationals out of Gaza and into Egypt through the Rafah Border Crossing by putting its own wounded fighters on departure lists meant for Americans, dual citizenship holders, Palestinian civilians, and other foreign nationals, according to a senior Biden administration official.

Since Oct. 7, when Hamas first invaded Israel, people holding dual, American, or some other foreign citizenship have been trying to leave through Gaza’s southern border and into Egypt, but their efforts have been blocked by Hamas, who officials have said were making unreasonable demands in order to let them cross into Egypt.

The senior administration official provided insight into these demands during a background call with reporters on Friday. The official explained that Hamas provided the United States, Israel, and Egypt with multiple departure lists that included injured Palestinians who were wounded during the war and should be allowed to leave with Americans and other foreign nationals, which is not objectionable, the official said, but after vetting the individuals on the list, it showed many of them were injured Hamas fighters.

The review found that nearly a third of the wounded Palestinians on the first list were actually Hamas fighters and that it would be unacceptable to allow them to exit Gaza, the official said. While the administration would be happy to let injured Palestinian civilians out of Gaza, they just couldn’t let Hamas fighters leave on the departure list.

A deal was eventually worked out to let civilians (not fighters) exit the Gaza Strip, but this is an example of how Hamas is fighting this war. Israel is doing its best to limit civilian casualties, but when civilians are used to shield rocket launchers, there will be casualties.

We Need Fiscal Responsibility In Washington

On Friday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about this year’s budget deficit. One of the conclusions that can be drawn from the numbers is that so far electing Republicans to the House of Representatives has not had any impact (actually that’s because the lame-duck Democrat Congress passed bills that limited the 2023 Congress’ ability to curtail spending). However, now we have a speaker who seems to be less likely to continue previous shenanigans. The next few weeks are going to be very interesting in terms of the budget process.

The article reports:

The United States is increasingly losing the war against red ink.

Per new Treasury Department figures, the U.S. government is courting a worsening fiscal crisis. Officially, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the federal government ran a $1.7 trillion deficit for fiscal 2023, which ended Sept. 30. That’s up from a $1.4 trillion federal budget deficit posted in 2022.

But as highlighted by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Yellen’s math ignores another $300 billion in debt incurred by President Joe Biden’s student debt cancellations, bringing the actual total of the deficit under the president to a full $2 trillion. Fix that adjustment for fiscal 2022, and that year’s deficit amounted to a little less than $1 trillion.

This means that in just one year, sans recession and sans war, the federal government under Biden managed to double the deficit by more than $1 trillion. And in large part, it’s all thanks to his embrace of inflation, or at least inflationary spending.

Broadly speaking, the explosion of our national debt, which is now the size of the nation’s annual GDP, is primarily driven by our growth of government spending. While the rest of the nation pays handsomely for inflation with their paychecks, reduced in real terms of purchasing power, our wealthiest generation profits from the pockets of taxpayers. Thanks in large part to the cost-of-living adjustments for our entitlement programs, the three greatest categories of federal budget outlays — Social Security ($1.4 trillion), Medicare ($848 billion), and Medicaid ($616 billion) — grew by 11%, 12%, and 4%, respectively, from just last year.

The article concludes:

The stratospheric surge in bond yields should serve as a warning to Washington that even if the Fed won’t force the government to slow down the spending, the nation’s creditors will not continue to bankroll Uncle Sam without him paying a hefty premium for the privilege. While underlying demographic trends and the inherent, gerontocratic structure of entitlements predestined the nation to a certain fiscal fiasco long before the pandemic, the bipartisan embrace of wartime borrowing, and then Biden’s decision to double down on inflationary policy, have put the country on the path where not even the Fed can fight the deficit disaster on its own.

If Washington won’t listen to the Fed, perhaps it will begin to listen to creditors as the coffers continue to run dry.

We can’t afford to fund wars all over the world. The defense contractors love it, but the country will be destroyed by the debt incurred.

What Are We Aiding?

On Thursday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about aid to Gaza.

The article reports:

Israel’s ground assault on the Gaza Strip has yet to begin, but already, politicians and liberals are demanding Israel pause its assault to enable humanitarian relief to flow into Gaza. Speaking on the floor of the Canadian Parliament, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared, “Canada is calling for unimpeded humanitarian access and a humanitarian corridor so that essential aid like food, fuel, and water can be delivered to civilians in Gaza. It is imperative that this happen.”

…The problem in Gaza, however, has seldom been a lack of aid. Beyond apocalyptic claims, Gaza was never a prison or concentration camp. Its population was not barely sliding by. It outperformed many countries such as India, Bosnia, Brazil, and oil-rich Azerbaijan in key health and welfare indicators. The Gaza Strip is dense, with around 15,000 people per square mile, but that is less dense than Tel Aviv (21,000 people per square mile), at which Hamas regularly launches missiles.

There are other reasons to be wary about international aid. Hamas rules Gaza with an iron grip. To channel assistance into Gaza while Hamas remains empowered is akin to trusting the North Koreans to distribute oil and food to citizens rather than to fuel their military. Then, there is the diversion of assistance in other ways. Hamas videos openly bragged about digging up water pipes to convert them to rocket launchers, and the Japanese aid logo marks Hamas sandbags. To bail Hamas out simply signals there will be no consequence for such diversion.

This brings us to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, founded in 1949. The UNRWA helped settle Palestinian refugees displaced in Israel’s War of Independence. Israel settled a near equal if not larger number of Jewish refugees, who today are fully integrated into the Jewish state. In 1951, UNRWA reported, “There must be a firm goal of terminating relief operations. Sustained relief operations inevitably contain the germ of human deterioration.”

Hamas is not interested in forming a viable state–they are simply interested in driving Israel into the sea. Until they stop training kindergarten children to hate Jews and be terrorists, they will not be a contributing member of the world community. Giving them aid only reinforces bad behavior.

When Failure Gets You Promoted

On Monday, The American Thinker posted an article about Gareth Joyce, the CEO of Proterra, a company that manufactured rechargeable buses. The company has received more than $8 billion in seed money given to it by the federal government. The company declared bankruptcy this summer.

The article reports:

Joyce sits on what is known as the ITA, or the International Trade Administration, and according to a Washington Examiner report out today on the matter:

Under the International Trade Administration, the group ‘advises the President of government policies and programs that affect U.S. trade performance; promotes export expansion; and provides a forum for discussing and resolving trade-related problems among the business, industrial, agricultural, labor, and government sectors.’

If someone received billions of dollars, and still can’t keep a company afloat, then clearly their idea is terrible, or they blow at running a business—or realistically, probably both.

The article concludes:

Furthermore, Proterra’s demise specifically presents like Solyndra under Barack Obama—for more on this, read a blog I wrote on the issue a few weeks back here.

Yet, thanks to a criminal and unconstitutional tax code, and corrupt politicians, I have no say whatsoever in who my seized wealth subsidizes. This is the modus operandi of the Establishment though—Jackass and Elephant alike— running political popularity contests while we foot the bill.

Would you be surprised to learn that Proterra was once recognized by the World Economic Forum as a “Technology Pioneer”? I didn’t think so.

Our government has been hijacked by anti-American interests and foreign operatives keen to sabotage the economic prosperity of America first… which is exactly why Joyce still has a place in Biden’s regime.

If failure gets you promoted, what is the incentive to succeed?

Avoiding Moral Equivalency

On Thursday, The Washington Examiner posted an article cautioning Americans to beware of moral equivalency in the war between Israel and Hamas.

The article notes:

Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza is brutal and devastating, and some very large X, formerly Twitter, accounts are saying that hundreds of Palestinian children have been killed. This is awful, and if true, it’s tempting to lump Israel’s killing of Palestinian women and children into the same category of evil as Hamas’s killing of Israeli women and children on Saturday. But that would be a grave moral error.

At the same time, some of Israel’s defenders make a different moral error. They point to the depravity and evil of Hamas’s terrorist attacks and the wanton murder and rape of Israeli innocents and suggest that Israel is justified to use any means it wants to eliminate Hamas or at least its ability to kill Israeli Jews. This view ignores crucial moral distinctions.

The first moral distinction is about intention. Hamas planned its invasion so as to kill as many defenseless Israeli civilians as possible. It stormed a music festival to kill everyone there and sent death squads into kibbutzim. This was the deliberate murder of innocents, including children, which is evil beyond words. Hamas’s slaughter of Jewish children is made more evil by the ethnic animus behind it and the presumed intention to spark a broader war in the Middle East.

To the extent that the Israeli bombing of Gaza kills Palestinian children, it’s a different sort of evil, and very likely a defensible, necessary evil. (I’m writing in generalities because we don’t have many confirmed reports on Israel’s tactics and strategies.) If you bomb the location of a terrorist cell or rocket depot, but your bombs also kill civilians, that is not deliberate targeting of civilians, it is collateral damage — a regrettable, anticipated, but unintended consequence of necessary military actions.

Israel does not have a duty to avoid all collateral damage. It would be impossible to reduce Gaza civilian deaths to zero, given that Hamas is known to put military resources in schools and hospitals.

Expect the media to make a big deal out of civilian deaths in Gaza. However, the Israeli Defense Forces have warned civilians to leave targeted areas. Hamas has prevented them from leaving. The difference is seeing civilian casualties as the high cost of war and seeing civilian casualties as useful propaganda tools. It should also be noted that Gaza has never built civilian bomb shelters. Israel has them throughout the country. That is the difference in the attitudes of the leaders of the two countries.

When Lying Gets You Promoted

On Sunday, The Daily Caller posted an article about some of the appointees to the Biden administration. Some of the names are very familiar.

The article reports:

Several of the 51 former intelligence officials who signed a letter casting doubt on the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 presidential election have ended up serving in roles with President Joe Biden’s administration.

In less than three years, the Biden administration has brought on six out of the 51 former intelligence official signatories of the October 2020 letter arguing that the leak of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” Earlier this week, Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) selected three signatories of the letter to join a federal “intelligence experts” national security group, according to an announcement on Tuesday.

These 51 intelligence officials already knew that the laptop was real and the information on it was valid, yet they lied to influence an election. They should be in jail–not in government.

In case you have forgotten, in July 2023, The Washington Examiner reported:

An FBI official told the House Judiciary Committee in a transcribed interview this week that at least one top agent and likely others who were warning social media companies about a “hack and dump” operation ahead of the 2020 election knew Hunter Biden’s laptop was real.

Laura Dehmlow, head of the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, said, according to excerpts of the testimony obtained by the Washington Examiner, that her then-colleague Brad Benavides “certainly” was aware of the laptop’s authenticity.

The Daily Caller notes:

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former CIA Operations Officer Paul Kolbe will be members of the new group, which will advise DHS on intelligence and national security matters including “terrorism, fentanyl, transborder issues, and emerging technology,” according to the DHS announcement. All of them signed onto the October 2020 letter casting doubt on the legitimacy of the Hunter Biden laptop before the presidential election.

The Daily Caller News Foundation verified the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop contents in October 2020.

Is there anyone out there who still believes that the 2020 election was legitimate? Is there anyone out there who doesn’t believe that Americans need to do everything they can to make sure 2024 is an honest election?

It Pays To Be The Son Of “The Big Guy”

On Saturday, Breitbart reported that a fourth IRS whistleblower has come forward claiming that prosecutors in Washington, DC, and California previously blocked now-special counsel David Weiss from charging Hunter Biden in those jurisdictions.

The article reports:

“Mr. Weiss went to the U.S. Attorney’s Office — I can’t recall the dates — and they did not agree to prosecute the case in D.C.,” Waldon (IRS agent Darrell Waldon) told the House Ways and Means Committee during a transcribed interview in September, the Washington Examiner reported.

“I’m aware that it was presented to the District of Columbia and, at some point, the Central District of California, I believe,” he added.

…As the investigation progressed, Weiss never charged Hunter Biden in the jurisdictions of Washington, DC, or California. Instead, he formed a sweetheart plea agreement with Hunter Biden that collapsed in July under judicial scrutiny. Shapley’s testimony in April reportedly triggered the plea deal, filed in Delaware. Weiss later brought three gun-related charges in Delaware against Hunter Biden.

This testimony is interesting because of the way it relates to the testimony of Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The article reports:

The recent testimony by Waldon, who was Shapley’s boss, is notable because Attorney General Merrick Garland testified Wednesday that nobody had the authority to block Weiss from charging Hunter Biden, though “they could refuse to partner with him.”

“You said [Weiss] had complete authority, but he’d already been turned down. He wanted to bring an action in D.C. and the US Attorney there said, ‘No, you can’t’ — and then you go tell the U.S. Senate, under oath, that he has complete authority?” House Oversight Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked.

“No one had the authority to turn him down; they could refuse to partner with him.” Garland replied.

“You can use whatever language — ‘refuse to partner’ is turning down,” Jordan replied.

“It is not the same under a well-known Justice Department practice,” Garland claimed.

Waldon previously confirmed Shapley’s notes presented to Congress regarding an October 7, 2022, meeting between Waldon, Shapley, and Weiss, among others. “Darrell asked me to shoot an update from today’s meeting. Darrell — feel free to comment if I miss anything,” the top line of the email read.
The level of corruption in our current Justice Department is breathtaking.

Do We Have Any Idea Who The Federal Government Is Working For?

In the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln stated, “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.(source here). Currently it seems as if government of the people, by the people, for the people has been replaced by government of the ruling class, for the interests of the ruling class, and only for the ruling class. There is a lot of money floating around Washington, D.C., and I am sure there are a lot of skeletons in the closet in Washington, D.C., that many politicians don’t ever want to see the light of day. So when someone is actually held accountable or not held accountable, there are probably more reasons behind it than we will ever know. However, recently it seems as if a lot of chickens are coming home to roost.

On Thursday, The Washington Examiner reported the following:

A third IRS official confirmed that Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss faced roadblocks when attempting to bring charges against Hunter Biden, contradicting denials issued Wednesday by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

IRS Director of Field Operations Michael Batdorf told the House Ways and Means Committee in a closed-door interview on Sept. 12 that he felt “frustrated” by the refusal of the Justice Department to approve tax charges that IRS agents viewed as well-supported by evidence, according to a transcript of the interview obtained by the Washington Examiner.

He also said the IRS removed agent Gary Shapley, a whistleblower, from the Hunter Biden case at the direction of Weiss despite having done nothing wrong.

Batdorf’s testimony was the latest piece of evidence to suggest Weiss did not enjoy the unfettered authority to pursue Hunter Biden that Garland and others claimed he had.

In July, The Federalist reported:

Shapley said U.S. Delaware Attorney David Weiss waited out the statute of limitations related to 2014-2015 financial crimes allowing the president’s son to evade additional charges. In June, news broke of a plea deal struck between Weiss and Hunter Biden limited to two misdemeanor tax crimes and a single felony charge over illegal firearm possession. The latter is forgiven after 24 months of sobriety, an agreement placed in jeopardy if the mysterious White House cocaine was linked to the first family’s son, who wrote a book on his struggle with drug addiction.

“In November of 2022, the statute of limitations was set to expire for the 2014 and 2015 charges in D.C., which included the 2014 felonies for the attempt to evade or defeat tax and fraud or false statement regarding Burisma income earned by Hunter Biden,” Shapley said.

Hunter Biden served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company raking in excess compensation despite having no prior experience in the industry.

“The statute of limitations had been extended through a tolling agreement with Hunter Biden’s defense counsel, and they were willing to extend it past 2022. Weiss allowed those to expire,” said Shapley.

It would be nice if Hunter Biden and those who let the statute of limitations run out on Hunter Biden’s crimes were held accountable for their actions.

The Real Data vs. What We Have Been Told

On Monday, The Washington Examiner posted the following headline:

If economic growth seems too good to be true, that’s because it is

I would revise that headline slightly to “If economic growth is so good, why do people seem to be struggling financially?”

The article reports:

Perhaps the most notorious example this year has been the jobs numbers published by the Biden administration. Consider the newly released August jobs report. While the economy added 187,000 jobs last month, previous months were revised down by 110,000 jobs. That means 59% of the employment growth last month was jobs we thought we already had.

In fact, every monthly employment report this year has been revised down, meaning the economy has been adding fewer jobs than initially believed. Worse, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published its semiannual benchmark revisions showing jobs were overestimated by more than 300,000.

Between the downward adjustments for the monthly data and the semiannual benchmark, the number of jobs has been revised down by almost 700,000. That’s 30% of the jobs initially estimated to have been added this year. Adding insult to injury, government jobs were revised upward with the semiannual benchmark.

To be clear, jobs data are normally revised, and occasionally, several months in a row will be revised in the same direction, sometimes heavily. But this year stands out because so many of the statistics have consistently turned out to be worse than initially estimated.

Other labor market indicators have followed this pattern. The number of job openings, a proxy for labor demand, has not only fallen over the last several months but previous levels were also revised down. The latest estimate shows job openings are now 2 million below the initial figure for the start of the year.

And the problem goes beyond the labor sector to the general economy. The revised estimate for gross domestic product in the second quarter of the year removed an eighth of the previously estimated growth, falling from 2.4% to 2.1%. Investment and business income, in particular, are in bad shape.

The media in America has brought us to the point where we have a choice either to believe what we see or what we are being told. We are told that Bidenomics is working and that we are all better off under President Biden. What we see tells a different story. It is our choice as to whether or not we believe our eyes or what we are being told.

Bidennomics At Work

On September 12, The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Median household incomes peaked at $78,250 in 2019, the year before the pandemic. They declined in 2022 to $74,580, a year that saw inflation soar, undercutting household purchasing power.

“Despite nominal gains, historically high inflation resulted in a decline in real median household income,” said Liana Fox, assistant division chief for economic characteristics in the Census Bureau’s Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division.

That’s about a $300 a month decrease.

The article continues:

The figures released on Tuesday showed that poverty was flat, with about 11.5% of the population, or 38 million people, below the poverty line, which was $29,678 for a family of four.

The bureau also reported a jump in child poverty by one metric, the supplemental poverty measure, or SPM, from 5.2% to 12.4%. The increase was attributable in large part to the expiration of the temporary expanded child tax credit implemented by Democrats and President Joe Biden as a form of pandemic relief. The SPM, unlike the official poverty measure, includes tax credits in calculating household resources.

The question that needs to be asked in next year’s election is, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

Who Wins Under Bidenomics?

On Saturday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about Bidenomics, the name given to the Biden administration’s economic programs.

The article reports:

President Joe Biden announced $12 billion in corporate welfare to U.S. automakers and their suppliers this week to subsidize a transition from gasoline-powered cars to electric cars.

This should be understood as part of the long-term effort to ban gasoline-powered cars while insisting that they are not banning gasoline-powered cars.

Check out this paragraph in this CNN article on the subsidies: “The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported last year that aggressive, pollution-slashing changes in the global transportation sector — including the transition to EVs — could reduce the sector’s emissions by more than 80%.” The New York Times likewise writes in its article on this $12 billion in handouts: “Transportation is responsible for about one-third of the greenhouse gases generated by the United States, pollution that is dangerously heating the planet.”

But more interesting than the climate angle here is the redistribution angle. Biden administration officials present this corporate welfare as a way to help auto workers.

The article notes:

“Under Bidenomics, building a clean energy economy can and should provide a win‑win opportunity for auto companies and unionized workers who have anchored the American economy for decades.”

This is literally trickle-down economics. Biden gives billions to big business in the hope that big business will pass the money on to workers. The irony is that Biden always pretends to hate “trickle-down economics” and claims that Bidenomics is the alternative.

“Here’s the simple truth about trickle-down economics,” Biden said this summer: “It didn’t represent the best of American capitalism, let alone America.”

This is totally empty rhetoric, as Biden’s $12 billion corporate welfare to automakers shows.

Actually, Bidenomics is simply a plan to raid the American treasury, bankrupt the country and force everyone into a government-controlled crypto-currency. The only way to recover the American economy is to lower taxes on people and corporations, reduce regulation, and decrease government. The chances of that happening under a Democrat administration are non-existent.

The War On Crisis Pregnancy Centers

On Friday, The Washington Examiner reported that Judge Iain Johnston issued a preliminary injunction halting the enforcement of Illinois‘s new law targeting crisis pregnancy centers.

The article reports:

Judge Iain Johnston issued the preliminary injunction without comment after the group filed suit against the legislation, arguing that enforcing the “vague and overbroad speech regulations undermines [NIFLA] ability to advocate their faith-based position” and freedom of association.

Glessner said that the injunction is “also a big win for pro-life pregnancy centers whose First Amendment rights have been blatantly attacked by the state of Illinois who want to force them to go against their deeply held beliefs that women deserve better than abortion.”

The article concludes:

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action praised the passage of the law last week, calling the bill “a crucial step towards safeguarding bodily autonomy and reproductive health care.”

Repro Transparency Now, a nonprofit group with the mission of eliminating crisis pregnancy centers, was involved advocated for the legislation along with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and said upon its passage that “Illinois will play a historic role in the fight for bodily autonomy and holding anti-abortion [crisis pregnancy centers] accountable for their deception.”

Neither Planned Parenthood nor Repro Transparency Now has issued a comment on the preliminary injunction.

“Across the nation, pregnancy help ministries are being discriminated against by laws that target their life-
affirming work,” said Peter Breen, executive vice president and head of litigation for the Thomas More Society, which is representing the National Institute of Family Life Advocates. “The injunction granted today sends a strong, clear message to the country that the First Amendment protects pro-life speech.”

There are a few problems with the statements made by the people supporting the elimination of crisis pregnancy centers. It’s not bodily autonomy when someone else’s body is involved. A baby has totally different DNA than its mother, and thus is a separate being. Killing your child is not reproductive health care–it is murder. Crisis pregnancy centers provide help and support for pregnant women in need. They provide diapers, baby clothes, formula, furniture, and other items to help with the financial challenges that having a child can create. The also provide encouragement and helpful information to help the pregnant woman move forward. Fighting to shut down crisis pregnancy centers shows a total disregard for the well being of women who choose to have their babies.