VIDEO: Poem ‘I am not a dress’ by a 14-year old suffragette written to save womankind thumbnail

VIDEO: Poem ‘I am not a dress’ by a 14-year old suffragette written to save womankind

By Dr. Rich Swier

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fiertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” — Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America.

There is a a 14-year old girl in Ireland who has stood up to bullying in her primary school because of her outspoken questioning of the transgender ideology raping reality across the world, and defying the truth about gender identity. The truth that there are only two genders: Male (XX) and Female (XY),

This 14-year old Irish girl decided to write a poem titled “I am not a dress” about her experiences under the pen name of “Brandubh.” She credits the inspiration for writing the poem to the women of the suffrage movement. She also compares this time in history to the same moments the brave women who fought for women’s rights during the suffrage movement – for had they not stood up, women wouldn’t be able to vote.

Today if women don’t stand up then they will cease to be women.

Watch and read Brandubh’s, @brandubh4, poem “I am not a dress”:

I Am Not A Dress…

A rebuke of gender ideology from a 14-year-old girl in Ireland @brandubh4

— Ashley St. Clair (@stclairashley) June 5, 2023

I am not a dress

We are women, we are warriors of steel.
Woman is something no man will ever feel.
Woman is not a skill that any man can hone.
Woman is our word and is ours alone.

I am not a dress to be worn on a whim,
A man in a dress is nonetheless a him.
Women are not simply what we wear.
If this offends you, I don’t care.

I am not an idea in any mans mind
And my purpose in life is not to be kind.
So while my rights are trampled every day of the week,
I will not stand by being docile and meek.

I am not defined by sexist lies.
There is more to a woman than that shallow guise.
That guise of dresses, bikinis and skirts.
Those clothes are not what womanhood is worth.

I am not a bitch, a TERF, a whore, a slag,
Hysterical, a witch, a slut, a slag.
NO! I am a woman, I am a female,
Who will not let her rights be put up for sale.

I am not defined by what men are not.
So to hell with cis misogynistic rot.
I am a woman, I am not a subset of my sex.
If this makes me a dinosaur, so be it, I’m a T-Rex!

I am not a bleeder nor a menstruator,
A womb carrier or uterus haver.
Those words and phrases are such a sham.
Just call me a woman, it is who I am.

We are women, we are warriors of steel.
Woman is something no man will ever feel.
Woman is not a skill that any man can hone.
Woman is our word and is ours alone.

The Bottom Line

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 26.3 reads:

“Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”

Article 29 reads:

  1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

I believe that the women of this world have had enough and are speaking out as women, mothers, daughters, granddaughters against those who want to take away their identities.

This is a counter-cultural revolution inspired by those like an Irish 14-year old named Brandubh.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: The Gripping Story Of A Mother’s Battle For Her Daughter’s Innocence Against Transgender Extremists


Italian PM Giorgia Meloni has decided to counter ‘Pride Month’ by launching ‘Family Pride Month’ which will instead promote traditional family.

She has also banned fake meat.🇮🇹

— Dr. Anastasia Maria Loupis (@DrLoupis) June 5, 2023

Housing Finance Watch: Purchase Rate Lock Volume Was Down 42% From 2019 While Rates Were Stable thumbnail

Housing Finance Watch: Purchase Rate Lock Volume Was Down 42% From 2019 While Rates Were Stable

By Edward Pinto

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Housing Finance Watch(Week 22, 2023)

By Edward J. Pinto | Tobias Peter | Sissi Li

Key takeaways:

  • Median rates stayed at 6 5/8% while daily 30-year rates retreated from their recent peak of 7.14% to 6.89% on June 5th, according to MND.
  • Purchase volume was 42% below 2019’s level.
  • Y-o-y HPA is projected to be around 1% in May, June, and first half of July 2023.
  • Metros with less affordability continue to have slower y-o-y HPA. The Western metros of San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, and Sacramento are already having y-o-y HPA declines.
  • Over time, if the unemployment rate increases to around 5.5%, price declines will spread to the low end of some FHA markets and to metros with stagnating or declining job growth.

PDF to full report

EDITORS NOTE: This AEI column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

0 0 Edward Pinto 2023-06-06 11:56:13Housing Finance Watch: Purchase Rate Lock Volume Was Down 42% From 2019 While Rates Were Stable

RNC Election Law Update thumbnail

RNC Election Law Update

By Dr. Rich Swier

Please see the document linked at the bottom of this column for important pending litigation, including cases in which the RNC is involved. Below is a high-level summary of state legislation highlights and important news. Please feel free to reply with any requests to follow any particular election law bills, rulemakings, or lawsuits. If there is anyone else you would like to receive this update, please send us their contact information.

On December 5, 2022, a liberal group represented by Perkins Coie filed a lawsuit alleging signature matching disproportionately disenfranchises young people, people with disabilities, and people of color. On December 22, 2022 and February 6, 2023, plaintiffs filed a first and second amended complaint .  On February 28, 2023, the Secretary of State filed a motion to dismiss which the court denied on April 17, 2023. On April 28, individuals supported by RITE moved to intervene in the litigation.

On April 27, 2023, the 11th Circuit ruled in favor of the state of Florida, RNC, and NRSC, in the challenge to SB90, Florida’s 2021 election integrity legislation. The law was upheld in its entirety, except for one minor component of the line warming ban. The court also remanded back to the trial court the question of whether the drop-box and registration delivery provisions violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court had previously permanently enjoined multiple provisions of SB90 including the required registration disclaimers for third party voter registration organizations (§ 97.0575(3)(a)), registration delivery provisions for third party voter registration organizations (id.), drop box regulations (§§ 101.69(2)-(3)), and line warming provisions (§§ 102.031(4)(a)-(b)). On May 18, 2023, the plaintiffs filed a petition for rehearing in front of the full 11th Circuit.
On March 16, the Elias Law Group filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that Florida’s wet signature requirement for voter registration applications violates the materiality clause of the Civil Rights Act. On April 5, 2023, the RNC and Republican Party of Pasco moved to intervenein the litigation. On May 26, 2023, the RNC’s intervention was granted.

On April 26, 2023, the LWV and FL NAACP sued Florida’s Secretary of State alleging that the state’s voter registration application violates the NVRA, specifically by not specifying the eligibility requirements for voter registration.

Florida has been hit with three separate suits this week following Gov. DeSantis signing SB 7050 into law:

  • On May 25, 2023, the Hispanic Federation, Poder Latinx, and Florida residents sued Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Secretary of State Cord Byrd over Senate Bill 7050 over its restrictions on third party registration organizations.
  • On May 24, 2023 the League of Women Voters of Florida and League of Women Voters of Florida Education Fund sued Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Secretary of State Cord Byrd over Senate Bill 7050 alleging the restrictions on third-party voter registration groups violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The law prohibits noncitizens and people with felony convictions from handling voter registration application, requires receipts to voters registering, and reduces the number of days for the third-parties to return the applications.
  • On May 24, 2023, the Florida State Conference of Branches and Youth Units of the NAACP, Equal Ground Education Fund, Voters of Tomorrow, Disability Rights Florida, Alianza for Progress, Alianza Center, UnidosUS and Florida Alliance for Retired Americans sued Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Secretary of State Cord Byrd over Senate Bill 7050. The plaintiffs challenge the imposition of fines, barring noncitizens and felons from registering voters, and retention of voter information for other activities.

In July 2021, the RNC, NRSC, NRCC, and GA GOP were granted intervention in 8 lawsuits, including the DOJ’s lawsuit against the state, challenging provisions of SB202. Thanks to the RNC efforts, these safeguards were in place for the 2022 election and the state saw record turnout. The cases have mostly been consolidated and the various plaintiff groups are filing a series of preliminary injunction motions on different provisions of SB202:

  • The DOJ, joined by four other plaintiff groups, filed a preliminary injunction motionin the SB 202 cases. They move to enjoin Georgia from enforcing (1) the reduction in the number of dropboxes and limitations on the use of dropboxes outdoors and during non-early voting hours; (2) the line-warming prohibition; (3) the absentee ballot deadline; (4) the out-of-precinct provisional ballot deadline; and (5) the ID requirement for absentee ballot applications. They claim these provisions violate the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.
  • The AME plaintiffs moved to enjoin enforcement of (1) the felony provision for the handling of absentee ballots and (2) the requirements that dropboxes be located at an election office and accessible only during business hours.
  • The NGP plaintiffs moved to enjoin enforcement of the line-warming restrictions.
  • The CGG Plaintiffs moved to enjoin enforcement of the birthdate requirement for absentee ballots.
  • The State filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, requesting that the court dismiss DOJ’s complaint. The State argues that the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in League of Women Voters clarified that proof of discriminatory impact is necessary to establish a VRA violation, which DOJ does not allege.

In CGG v. Raffensperger, one of the unconsolidated cases, plaintiffs filed a proposed amended complaint that drops the challenge to the voter ID law for absentee ballots and the narrowing of the absentee ballot deadline and adds a claim banning the early release of absentee vote totals.  Motions for summary judgment are due in July.

In another non-consolidated SB202 suit, one of the plaintiffs who challenged SB202 provisions banning the pre-filling of absentee ballot applications and required disclosures by third-party groups voluntarily dismissed its claims against Secretary of State Raffensperger. After litigating the case for well over a year, the plaintiff concluded its practices did not violate SB 202.

On May 2, 2022, a group of liberal organizations sued Georgia’s Election Board challenging a state law that requires handwritten signatures on absentee ballot applications. The groups seek declaratory and injunctive relief, requesting the court find that the so-called Pen and Ink rule violates the Civil Rights Act and to enjoin its enforcement. The RNC and GAGOP have intervened in the litigation. On March 9, 2023, the court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss.

The RNC, Iowa GOP, NRCC, and NRSC were granted intervention to defend against a lawsuit challenging provisions of SF413 and SF568. The trial set for March 21, 2022, was pushed back in light of discovery disputes between the Iowa legislature and plaintiffs. On March 16, 2022, the Iowa Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve these discovery disputes.  After a hearing over the ongoing discovery disputes on July 15, 2022, the court issued an order compelling discovery on August 18, 2022.
On March 17, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled that challenges to voting laws under the state constitution be evaluated under strict scrutiny instead of the more flexible Anderson-Burdick standard utilized in federal claims and in many states. On April 5, 2023, the state filed its petition for review with the Kansas Supreme Court. There will likely be opportunities for groups to file amicus briefs in support of the state’s appeal of the ruling.

On May 4, 2023, a Kansas federal district court ruled that the state’s restrictions on out-of-state organizations providing pre-filled absentee applications violated federal law.
On May 1, 2023, multiple Democrat groups sued Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin under the NVRA and 14th Amendment regarding the state’s requirements for people with previous felony convictions to re-register to vote.

On March 28, 2023, the U.S. District Court in Maine ruled in favor of the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), finding that the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) preempts Maine state law imposing fines and use restrictions on voter roll data because the state law creates obstacles to the transparency Congress intended under the NVRA. Maine’s Secretary of State had denied a request for voter rolls that PILF made in 2019. Maine passed a law that would restrict use and impose fines for unauthorized use of voter rolls produced to a requester.

RITE filed an amicus brief with the state Supreme Court in support of the state in Montana Democratic Party v. Jacobsen, involving challenges to several commonsense voting integrity reforms.

On September 30, 2022, the RNC and MI GOP sued Secretary of State Benson after she issued last-minute guidance on election challengers. Plaintiffs allege the guidance is inconsistent with state law and previous guidance and request the court to reinstate the 2020 challenger procedures. On November 3, 2022, the MI Supreme Court stayed the lower court’s decision. The case remains open at the MI Court of Appeals where the state has appealed the trial court’s preliminary injunction order. The state filed their opening brief on February 24, 2023. On May 26, 2023, the RNC and MIGOP filed their reply brief.
On March 13, 2023, the RNC and MIGOP filed its appellate brief in a suit challenging Flint’s refusal to hire an equal number of Republican and Democrat election inspectors. The lower court had ruled the parties did not have standing to bring the claim. The state filed its opening brief on May 15, 2023. The RNC’s reply brief is due on June 5, 2023.

New Hampshire 
In June 2022, Democrats filed two cases challenging SB 418 in NH which would require voters registering on Election Day to mail in proof of their identity within 7 days if they did not have documentation at the polling place. On September 1, 2022, the NH Republican State Committee motioned to intervene which was denied on December 21, 2022 and the NHRSC appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, which granted cert. Since then the parties have agreed to a stipulation to permit the NHGOP to intervene in the litigation.
New York     
In January 2022, the RNC and NYGOP, leading a broad bipartisan coalition of officeholders and concerned citizens, including Congresswoman Malliotakis and naturalized citizen voters, sued Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Council, and the New York City Board of Elections in state court over the “Non-Citizen Voting Law,” which illegally allows non-citizens to vote in city elections.  On June 27, 2022, Judge Porzio struck down the Non-Citizen Voting Law, explaining in his opinion that it violates the New York Constitution, New York election law, and the Municipal Home Rule Law. Appellees filed their appellate brief on October 10, 2022. On December 11, 2022, RNC filed its opening brief. The city and intervenors filed reply briefs on January 9, 2023.

In February 2023, four voters brought a lawsuit  in New York Supreme Court in Erie County against the Erie County Board of Elections. The lawsuit seeks an order of the court directing the commissioners of elections to count, canvass, and tally the write-in primary votes of candidates regardless of their party affiliation in primary elections. On March 28, 2023, the court ruled for the Petitioners and found that Chapter 480 of the Laws of 2021 was facially unconstitutional. The NY Attorney General appealed and on May 9, 2023, the court ruled in her favor.

North Carolina
On March 20, 2023, the federal district court for the Western District of North Carolina denied a motion to dismiss by the state in an NVRA challenge brought by two citizens in the state. The court also declined to adopt the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation to dismiss the suit for lack of sufficient pre-suit notice. The court also denied the motion to intervene by the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute. The suit alleges that North Carolina is failing to maintain accurate voter rolls and that the state is allowing ineligible voters to vote in the state’s elections. This is an important ruling to review for those interested in voter registration list maintenance issues.

On April 28, 2023, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued three opinions related to elections. It ruled 5-2 in Harper v. Hall, a redistricting case challenging state congressional and legislative maps. The North Carolina Supreme Court also reversed the trial court in Holmes v. Moore and reinstated photo ID. In Cmty. Success Initiative v. Moore , the court ruled in favor of the General Assembly that passed legislation related to felons voting rights and reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment. In Moore v. Harper, the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently askedfor briefing from both sides on the effect of the state Supreme Court ruling on the pending appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

On January 6th, 2023, Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans, and Union Veterans Council represented by Elias Group sued the Ohio Secretary of State challenging Ohio’s new election integrity bill: H.B. 458. The lawsuit challenges the in-person voter ID requirements, deadlines for ballot curing, and provisions regarding applications for and returning mail ballots. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on January 27, 2023. Ohio Republican Party and two citizen poll workers supported by RITE moved to intervene in the litigation. On April 18, 2023, Ohio Republican Party and the two citizen poll workers intervention was granted 

On September 1, 2022, the RNC, NRSC, NRCC, Pennsylvania GOP, and 12 individual voterssued Pennsylvania and all 67 counties for unlawful ballot curing in violation of state law and the U.S. Constitution. On October 21, 2022, the PA Supreme Court ruled 3-3 on the legality of the practice thus upholding the PA Commonwealth Court’s ruling denying the RNC’s and other plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction motion.  On March 23, 2023, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court dismissed the case on subject matter jurisdiction grounds and ignored the merits of curing.
Following the RNC’s win in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that ballots must be signed and dated as required by state law, the NAACP and John Fetterman filed two separate lawsuits in federal court. The RNC, NRCC, and PA GOP were granted intervention in the case and filed a motion to dismiss both cases. The NAACP amended its complaint with an Equal Protection claim comparing the requirements under the state statute and federal UOCAVA requirements. On January 17, 2023, the RNC filed a motion to dismiss in NAACP. On February 17, 2023, the RNC filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint in Eakin. The RNC filed motions in support of summary judgment in both NAACP and EakinBoth RITE and Lawyers Democracy Fund filed amicus briefs in support of summary judgment against the plaintiffs.

On March 28, 2023, two voters supported by Lawyers Democracy Fund brought a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania alleging a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendment right to vote and due process in Luzerne County. The claims arise from the 2022 midterm election when Luzerne County failed to supply enough ballot paper on Election Day.

The DOJ sued the State of Texas and the Secretary of State, challenging provisions of SB1, Texas’ 2021 voting integrity legislation. The DOJ claims SB1 violates Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act and Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act. The RNC, NRCC, NRSC, and Dallas and Harris County Republican Parties initial moved to intervene in the suits was denied. The party committees appealed and the 5th Circuit reversed and ruled that the Republican committees were entitled to intervention as of right. On May 24, the court denied plaintiff’s motion to dismiss. On May 31, 2022, the court granted the parties’ unopposed motion to stay pending appeal. On July 12, 2022, the court granted in part and denied in part defendant’s motion to dismiss, allowing only the claims brought by LULAC Texas, Voto Latino, the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans, and Texas AFT against the Secretary of State and Attorney General to proceed. On August 2, 2022, the court granted in part and denied in part defendants’ motion to dismiss, further limiting the claims allowed to proceed. Two interlocutory appeals as to the court’s August 2 judgment were filed in the 5th Circuit. The 5th Circuit has ordered the case bifurcated to separate out claims that involve the Legislature’s Intent. On May 26, 2023 summary judgment motions were filed including one from the RNC and other party committees.
On March 9, 2023, the RNC, the Vermont Republican Party, and two concerned citizens supported by RITE brought a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief applying an earlier Vermont Supreme Court ruling to challenge Winooski’s charter that allows noncitizens to vote in school board elections and on school budget questions. Winooski filed a motion to dismiss. Update: On June 2, 2023, the RNC and RITE plaintiffs filed a response to Winooski’s motion to dismiss. Since the results of these elections have statewide budget and policy impacts outside of the municipality, the Vermont constitution limits voting on those issues to United States citizens. The RNC and VTGOP previously sued cities of Montpelier and Winooski over their town charters in a facial challenge, but the VT Supreme Court held and left the door open for this as-applied challenge.

On November 11, 2022, a liberal group filed a lawsuit alleging signature matching disproportionately disenfranchises young people, people with disabilities, and people of color. On December 16, 2022, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. On January 12, 2023, the RNC and WA GOP filed a motion to intervene in the case. Plaintiffs oppose the intervention and the state has taken no position. On February 7, 2023, the court denied the motion to intervene filed by RNC and WA GOP. On March 20, 2023, the RNC and WAGOP appealed the denial with the Washington Court of Appeals and filed a reply brief on April 4, 2023. Oral argument on the appeal is scheduled for June 30, 2023.
On March 22, 2023, a complaint was filed with the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) against Tech for Campaigns for violations of Wisconsin election law. The complaint alleges the organization is providing improper assistance in completing a ballot and engaging in ballot harvesting. Presumably in response to the complaint, Tech for Campaigns modified the language on its website.

On September 23, 2022, an individual voter supported by the RNC and RITE sued WEC over its guidance that allowed absentee voters to change their votes after they are cast. RISE and the DNC filed motions to intervene. On October 5, the court sided with the plaintiff and granted a temporary restraining order, giving WEC until 4pm, October 7 to withdraw the unlawful guidance. On October 7, the DNC appealed the temporary injunction order and requested a stay of a temporary injunction with the WI Court of Appeals. On October 10, the appeals court granted the temporary stay pending a decision and requested a briefing on whether to grant the petition for an interlocutory appeal. Also on October 10, plaintiffs requested their case be transferred to a different court of appeals pursuant to state law. On October 12, the WI Supreme Court upheld the temporary stay, ordered briefing on the petition to file an interlocutory appeal, and asked the WI Court of Appeals to step aside until the high court issued a ruling on the venue issue. Update: On June 2, 2023, the RNC and RITE plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment.

A left-wing group, Rise, represented by Marc Elias, sued WEC on September 27 in a collateral attack on the White ruling argues that election officials should be allowed to accept absentee ballots with partial witness addresses if the official can discern the correct information. On October 3, the Wisconsin state legislature and Michael and Eva White filed motions to intervene. On October 6, the court granted the Wisconsin state legislature’s motion to intervene and declined the Whites’ motion to intervene. At a hearing on October 7, the court denied plaintiff’s motion for a temporary injunction, thus reinforcing that an address is complete if it contains “a street number, street name and name of municipality.” On December 22, 2022, the Whites filed an appeal of the ruling denying their intervention. On February 28, the Whites, as proposed-intervenors, filed their reply brief. There is also a pending League of Women Voters suit on the issue.

In 2021, an action was brought against the state over HB 0075, which required voters to present photo ID to vote.  In February 2023 the state district court dismissed the lawsuit, upholding the state’s ID requirement.

Legislation Highlights

The Connecticut Senate passed Senate Bill 1226 on a 29-7 vote. The bill recognizes the late Representative John Lewis and is aimed at protecting historically marginalized communities. In essence, the bill codifies several provisions in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 following the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder.

On May 30, 2023, the Connecticut Senate passed HB 5004 that allows an early voting period of up to fourteen days. The bill allows for early voting to begin fifteen days before election day and conclude on the second day prior to election day. The bill now heads to Governor Lamont’s desk where he is expected to sign it.

The State Senate has approved a constitutional amendment for no-excuse absentee voting.

The Louisiana House of Representatives passed and the Senate committee reported favorably HB 311 which proposes a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit the use of monies from a foreign government or nongovernmental source to fund elections, such as Zuckerbucks. The bill now heads to the full Senate where a two thirds majority is needed in order to pass.

On May 30, 2023, the Nebraska Senate advanced LB514 by invoking cloture. LB514, introduced by Senator Tom Brewer, lays out requirements for valid forms of identification to vote. This bill comes in wake of Nebraskan voters voting to approve voter ID in a ballot initiative last year. The bill now advances to the floor for a final reading by voice vote.

On May 30, 2023, Governor Joe Lombardo signed Senate Bill 406 that makes threats of intimidation and harassment or violence against election workers a felony. This bill comes after election officials across Nevada reported several instances of intimidation surrounding the 2022 general election. “It’s important we’re protecting the integrity of our elections and our employees across the board,” said Governor Lombardo.

On May 31, 2023, Pennsylvania Senators Coleman and Dush co-sponsored a memorandumstating that they will soon introduce legislation that will restore the primacy of in-person votes. The bill will allow voters who have submitted their absentee ballot the opportunity to appear at the polls, void their absentee ballot, and vote in person.

On May 28, 2023, the Texas legislature passed HB 1243 which will raise the penalty for illegal voting from a misdemeanor to a second-degree felony. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for his approval.

Virginia has adopted HB 1948 which removes the witness requirement for absentee ballots and replaces it with the requirement that the voter provide the last four digits of their social security number and their date of birth.

Other News

  • National: “GOP-led states plan new voter data systems to replace one they rejected. Good luck with that.”
  • AL: U.S. Supreme Court could decide soon whether Alabama’s congressional map violates the Voting Rights Act
  • AZArizona Gov. Hobbs vetoes more election bills from GOP-controlled legislature
  • AZ: Finchem, attorney ordered to pay $48K in sanctions in ‘groundless’ election challenge
  • CASecretary of State finalizing voting regulations aimed at Shasta County
  • CODenver has one of the few jails that gives inmates the chance to vote in person
  • FL: Hillsborough County voter system breach exposes 58,000 people’s information
  • FL: North Miami Beach mayor arrested on charges related to ‘voting irregularities’
  • FL: 3 civil rights groups file federal lawsuits over new Florida election laws championed by Gov. DeSantis
  • FLNew Broward elections office will prioritize security after past protests
  • ILHow did hundreds of noncitizens end up on Chicago’s voter rolls?
  • KYKY SOS eyes possible exit from ERIC.
  • MD: Rockville, Maryland debates on whether noncitizens should vote
  • MTWhitefish man charged with voter fraud in 2020 election
  • NC: Majority of NC voters support voter ID, new poll says
  • NCNC lawmakers expected to roll out major election law changes, with input from former Trump lawyer
  • NCState Republicans reintroduce election integrity Legislation
  • NYNew York lawmakers want early voting through mail
  • VTPhil Scott vetoes noncitizen voting in Burlington and voting for 16- and 17-year-olds in Brattleboro
  • WV: Fayette County Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Voting in 2020 General Elections

Voting Litigation Overview

©2023. Republican National Committee (RNC), 310 1st St SE Washington, D.C., 20003-1885, U.S.

Memory and Identity thumbnail

Memory and Identity

By The Catholic Thing

Francis X. Maier: We live in a time in which America’s future is at risk by methodically undermining the nature of the family, the memory of our culture, and the founding spirit of our nation . . . in other words, the things that anchor our identity as a free people.

The strip of Pennsylvania that meanders along the Delaware River is soaked in American history.  Quakers founded our borough of Yardley in 1682.  Washington crossed the Delaware just five miles north of our home.  Trenton, where the Hessians had such a bad morning after Christmas in 1776, and not just from hangovers, is a 10-minute ride from our driveway.  Princeton battleground in New Jersey is just another 15 minutes away, at most.  So our area is thick with reminders of the Revolution.

These weeks of early summer from Memorial Day (May) through Flag Day (June) to Independence Day (July) are redolent of patriotic zeal.  At our parish, after our Mass celebrating Pentecost, the congregation sang “America the Beautiful.” The voices were full-throated and sincere. The next day, on Memorial Day, we watched the town parade from the VFW post at the end of our block, along with hundreds of neighbors who lined the street.

Local parades can be Raggedy Ann affairs; long on enthusiasm, short on glamor.  But watching Korean and Vietnam War veterans salute the colors as if they were 20-somethings again, eyes filled with memory and emotion, while re-enactors in Revolutionary War garb march past with their fifes and drums. . .well, it’s a window on something sacred.  A thread weaving together generations.

Again and again, men have consecrated America’s virtues and best ideals on the battlefield.  They’ve done it with their blood.  And that leaves the rest of us with two obligations: gratitude; and the work of sustaining the best of the nation for which they sacrificed.

I mention all this to frame what follows.

A Catholic friend, a former officer and combat veteran whose sons also saw combat for this country, sent me the following email recently:

Historically, I’ve always defined myself as a “conservative,” i.e., committed to conserving this country’s founding values of God, family, country.  Those values today are despised and under assault by many of our most powerful institutions, including elite higher education, much of the media, the tech industry, and even the financial industry, including banks and money managers. Many corporations are intimidated by the tyranny of DEI and other “social scores” — think China — and as a result, they’re supporting an anti-family, anti-American agenda.

The speed of this change is breathtaking, and its permanence is unknown, especially given the on-going weaponization of the FBI, CIA, the judicial system, and other organs of state.  I still believe that most of the woke agenda lacks support from a majority of Americans.  But it succeeds through zealous advocates who’ve mastered the use of threats to manipulate individuals and institutions.

The recent behavior of the retail giant Target is insightful for its vulnerability to LGBTQ and transgender pressure.  I suspect many corporations have confused the energy and tactics of the trans community for massive public support.  I think Target’s behavior is repugnant to most people, but it may be true that it’s ”good for business.”  It may also be true that quite a few Americans have been frightened into passive acceptance.  The recent Target and Bud Light controversies may be a defining moment for the success or failure of woke tactics. I’m praying that it will be a watershed that brings back some common sense.

Two things are notable about the email: its obvious frustration, and an undercurrent of misgiving.  Did my friend risk his own life in battle, and lead his sons to risk theirs, to serve “God, family, country,” or merely another generous helping of destructive sex and what’s “good for business”?  It’s the kind of question my wife and I have asked ourselves.  We supported our eldest son when he was accepted at West Point. We were proud of the time he spent there.  Our feelings today are far more ambivalent.

In his book Memory and Identity, John Paul II noted that the nation, like the family, is one of humanity’s “natural” societies, and not the product of mere convention.  Neither family nor nation can be replaced by anything else.  Therefore a proper “patriotism is a love for everything to do with our native land: its history, its traditions, its language, its natural features. . . .Every danger that threatens the overall good of our native land becomes an occasion to demonstrate this love.”

Yet at the same time, while acknowledging John Paul’s wisdom, Charles Chaput warned that “A nation can become so corrupt and Babylon-like that it’s not worth defending, and America is no exception.”

The two statements are not incompatible.

Chaput went on to stress that it’s “proper, and important, for Americans to express gratitude for our democratic institutions. . . .[They’re] a remarkably durable design of government of which we ought to be proud, and to which we ought to be loyal.”  But that gratitude and loyalty must be earned by

a healthy society [that] respects and sustains the past, teaching children its history, and weaving together the generations. . . .The historical illiteracy of recent decades widens the conflicts between generations.  It also blinds us to the subtle — and more recently, crudely violent — transformations and erosions taking place in our political structures.  In many ways this illiteracy is far more perilous than any gap that separates different groups in a pluralistic society.

We live in a time that very much “threatens the overall good of our native land,” methodically undermining the nature of the family; the memory of our culture; and the founding spirit of our nation . . . in other words, the things that anchor our identity as a free people.  Many of the mouths that so easily accuse others of “racism,” “fascism” and “hate” are possessed by the same kind of venomous instincts themselves.

I suppose the lesson is this.  We need to remember and revere those who died for the founding beliefs and best ideals of America.  And as Christians, we need to live in a way that restores them in the nation’s heart.

You may also enjoy:

Russell Shaw’s The American Church, Going, Going . . .

Robert Royal’s Of Witness and the Only True Safety


Francis X. Maier

Francis X. Maier is a senior fellow in Catholic studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Biden Wants To Give Power Over Defense Contracts To Climate Activist ‘Cabal’ Bent On Curtailing Economic Growth thumbnail

Biden Wants To Give Power Over Defense Contracts To Climate Activist ‘Cabal’ Bent On Curtailing Economic Growth

By The Daily Caller

The Biden administration is pushing to give veto power over major Pentagon contracts to a group of climate activist groups that advocate for establishing “guardrails” on economic growth, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

The administration proposed a rule in November that requires major contractors for the Department of Defense (DOD), NASA and Government Services Agency (GSA) to submit climate-related goals to a consortium of activist organizations, called the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), for validation. If the SBTi rejects the contractor’s plan to reduce emissions, the company would no longer be eligible to compete.

However, the groups behind the SBTi are part of the Global Commons Alliance, a climate activist network that seeks to limit economic development and set up international watchdogs to monitor climate pledges of governments and private companies, according to a DCNF review of the network’s activities. The Alliance’s components advocate for limits on consumption, redistribution of resources between rich and poor people and a more ambitious set of goals to mitigate perceived changes to the climate.

Additionally, scientists involved in the Alliance have argued for the need to limit Earth’s population to preserve the climate.

The Biden administration is “placing our defense needs in the hands of these people whose interests may not be in defense,” Dan Kish, a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, told the DCNF.

“These seem to be offshoots of the interests of the World Economic Forum — people who consider themselves smarter and better and wealthier and more powerful than the rest of the subjects of the world, and seek to impose their will,” he added.

‘Playing God’: The Coalition Of Climate Orgs Behind The SBTi

In 2015, sustainability professionals from the World Resources Institute (WRI), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and UN Global Compact came together after the Paris Climate Accords to find ways for corporations to set benchmarks and devise plans to meet the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, according to Technology Review. The SBTi emerged from the coalition, and is working on developing guidance for so-called science-based emissions reduction goals for various industries.

The groups behind the SBTi also created the Science Based Targets Network, or SBTN, to “[build] on the momentum of the [SBTi],” according to the group’s website, which lists the SBTi’s constitutive organizations as “among our core founding partners.” The SBTN helps companies and cities create and monitor targets, which it calls Science Based Targets for Nature, in a bid to preserve nature “in line with scientifically defined limits and on a socially equitable basis,” according to the group’s website.

However, the SBTN relies on research from the Earth Commission, an organization seeking to establish “guardrails” on human activity to protect the climate; both organizations operate under the umbrella of the Global Commons Alliance.

“The goal is to translate the scientific guardrails defined by the Earth Commission, into tangible science-based targets for nature, specifically tailored to cities and companies by the Science Based Targets Network,” the Earth Commission’s website reads.

In a February 2023 journal article, scientists from the Earth Commission stressed the importance of reducing “indirect drivers” of climate change, such as human population size and growth.

“Many of the factors causing global biodiversity decline are associated with economic growth and speculation,” the researchers wrote in the journal article. Achieving “justice” and a “nature-positive” society requires “reducing over-accumulation of capital” and associated excess production and consumption among wealthy countries.

Additionally, a November 2022 paper sponsored by the Earth Commission, which called for a “radical redistribution” of resources, found that if everyone on the planet had minimum access to life necessities, the planet’s climate disaster triggers would be violated by up to 26%. “Having ‘too little’ therefore results from others having ‘too much,’” the authors conclude.

In practical terms, states can even-out resources between rich and poor countries through “taxation, internalizing costs, overseas aid, universal basic incomes, voluntary limits on consumption, and education,” according to the scientists.

In May, the SBTN introduced new environmental targets, broadening their scope to include not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions but updating so-called “planetary boundaries” meant to restrain the scope of human economic activity to protect human, animal and plant habitats.

Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, explained the concept of planetary boundaries to the DCNF: “We have far exceeded the ‘carrying capacity’ of the Earth.”

“So first, let’s figure out exactly what it is (for example, no more than one billion people), which can then be the basis for imposing ‘science-based’ policies to make people less numerous and a lot poorer.” Such policies would send the earth “back to the Stone Age,” he said.

“These people are basically playing God,” said Kish.

The Earth Commission and the SBTN overlap in terms of shared resources, founding partners and aims under the umbrella of the Global Commons Alliance, while the groups that founded both the SBTi and the SBTN are partners of the Alliance, their websites show. While the Biden administration’s rule only mentions the SBTi, experts suggest it opens channels for the other groups to influence how the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies decide which companies should receive government contracts.

“SBTN is a separate but related organization [to SBTi] focusing on SBTs beyond climate,” SBTN spokesperson Arabella Stickels told the DCNF.

“We shouldn’t be delegating the authority for what’s important for our national defense and our national defense contractors to some third party groups,” Kish told the DCNF.

‘Less Bang For Our Buck’

Under the Biden administration’s proposed rule, the SBTi will effectively have veto power over key Pentagon contracts.

According to the proposal, any company holding $50 million or more in contracts with the DOD, NASA or GSA must report all second and third-order greenhouse gas emissions generated by its operations. Two years after the rule goes into effect, they’ll also be required to submit a “science-based target” to the SBTi for validation.

If they fail their inspection, the SBTi will return the target and offer the company a second chance to submit a more appropriate emissions reduction target.

In practical terms, that means groups involved in the SBTi are “establishing not only industrial policy, but military policy,” Kish told the DCNF. “And that means that we’ll get less bang for our buck.”

The SBTi “appears to be a cabal and is certainly a racket,” Ebell said.

The DOD awarded roughly $383 billion in contract spending in 2021, according to analysis firm Deltek; however, the Pentagon’s largest defense contractors aren’t featured in the SBTi dashboard yet, meaning they haven’t yet committed to the initiative.

The #SafeAndJust #EarthSystemBoundaries are finally live, in @Nature:

For 4+ years, the Earth Commission @SafeJustPlanet has worked to quantify the conditions needed for the Earth and everything that lives on it to thrive.

Read on 🧵👇

— Global Commons Alliance (@globalcommonshq) May 31, 2023

The Pentagon did not say whether or how the department would work with the SBTN, though it maintains that combating climate change is a top priority.

“All requirements are pre-decisional as the rule proposal is pending,” Kelly Flynn, a DOD spokesperson, told the DCNF. “We have nothing further to provide at this time beyond what is stated in the proposed rule.”

Empowering the SBTi to make decisions regarding key Pentagon contracts could undermine Congress’ authority to allocate funds for national defense, according to Kish.

“Congress is one that appropriates and allocates the money for the defense of the nation, which is one of our premier reasons for being in the social contract that we have under the Constitution,” said Kish. Yet, the Biden administration is seeking “to offshore this to some people who have some grand ideas who are then going to impose their will on our defense contractors,” Kish said.

The White House did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.



Investigative reporter and Pentagon correspondent.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Complete Collapse’: Here’s How ESG Destroyed One Nation’s Economy

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Hilarious: Weingarten, Parents ‘Getting Really Angry’ at DeSantis’ Education Policies thumbnail

Hilarious: Weingarten, Parents ‘Getting Really Angry’ at DeSantis’ Education Policies

By Discover The Networks

Friday on MSNBC’s Deadline, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten claimed hilariously that people are “getting really angry” at the education policies of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).

Anchor Nicolle Wallace said, “I want to come back to the other policy which is I think the most unpopular of all in sort of this new mom’s group and the polling that’s out is the book bans.”

Weingarten said, “Two things are unpopular, the book bans and also why you would get rid of social emotional learning when we have a mental health crisis? We have to make sure that kids feel okay.”

Fact checks: no books are being banned in Florida, and it’s not a teacher’s job to make “kids feel okay.” Social emotional learning is leftist indoctrination, not education.

She continued, “So the craziness here is people are starting to feel the deprivation and they’re getting really angry. Just like on Dobbs there’s a sense you’re taking something away from my child because of what you’re doing. This, why are you doing this? Why are you taking this away from my child? Why don’t you let my child and her teacher decide what is right? And the other thing I’ll say is there are processes to figure out curriculum. We don’t get it right all the time. But we use those processes that the school boards have. That’s why we have school boards that are voted on by parents.”

Fact check: parents are angry not at DeSantis, but at school boards and at subversive teachers grooming kids with sexually explicit materials. Weingarten is a bullying liar and Nicolle Wallace a propagandist, and American parents have had enough of being gaslighted.

Randi Weingarten

30 Known Connections

Critical Race Theory & Contempt for America

On July 27, 2021, Weingarten penned a opinion piece in favor of teaching the tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT), an academic discipline which maintains that: (a) society is divided along racial lines into (white) oppressors and (black) victims, similar to the way Marxism frames the oppressor/victim dichotomy along class lines; and (b) America is permanently racist to its core, meaning that the nation’s legal structures are, by definition, racist and invalid. “Culture warriors are suddenly labeling any discussion of race, racism, discrimination or struggle as critical race theory in an attempt to drive a wedge between Americans and prevent the full and accurate teaching of the American Experiment,” wrote Weingarten. Although “it’s a contrived uproar over something that is not even taught in elementary and secondary schools,” she added, “we need to know the unvarnished truth about our history so we can do better.” “My union, the American Federation of Teachers, will defend any member who gets in trouble for teaching honest history,” pledged Weingarten. “We have a legal defense fund ready to go. And we are preparing for litigation as we speak.”

During a July 2021 broadcast of the MSNBC program Deadline: White House, Weingarten condemned a newly passed Texas law that, by her telling, “basically says that teachers are supposed to say that slavery is a betrayal of the founding principles of our country.” “Now, you know that that’s not true,” Weingarten continued. “I mean, there’s lots of great founding principles of our country, but slavery was embedded in the Constitution.”

To learn more about Randi Weingarten, click here.


Messages Prove CDC Worked with Teachers Union to Keep Schools Closed

LOL: Newsom Claims DeSantis Guilty of ‘Kidnapping’ Migrants

Axelrod: Biden’s Approval on Economy ‘Bad, Especially Relative to What He’s Achieved’

Obama Slammed on Twitter After Calling for More Gun Control

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Californication of America thumbnail

The Californication of America

By Dr. Rich Swier

Ronald Reagan served as the 33rd governor of California for two terms, from 1967 to 1975.

Governor Reagan was a fiscal conservative. Here’s his first budget as governor of California.           

                               GENERAL FUND


                                            1966-67            1967-68                 Change

State Operations:     $1,057               $986                       -$71

Local Assistance:        $1,899             $1,994                    $95

Capital Outlay:            $43                   $7                          – $36

Totals:                         $2,999               $2,987                   -$12

The California Budget & Policy Center reported on Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2023-2024 budget stating,

Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2023-24 California state budget on January 10, projecting a $22.5 billion shortfall that the administration would solve through a series of trigger cuts, delays or deferrals of spending authorized in earlier years, and withdrawals or reductions of planned one-time spending. The $223.6 billion spending plan would protect many ongoing investments made in prior years, but would not draw down state reserves, which are projected to total $35.6 billion.

Since Ronald Reagan was governor California has, under Democrat rule, created a budget shortfall that is 8 times the total size of Reagan’s first budget.

California Budget & Policy Center reports,

After two years of strong state revenue growth, the administration is now projecting that General Fund revenues for the three-year budget window ending with the 2023-24 fiscal year will be $29.5 billion lower than estimated in the 2022 Budget Act, before accounting for transfers into the state’s rainy day fund. This is notably lower than the Legislative Analyst’s Office’s previous estimate of a $41 billion revenue shortfall for the same period.

The downgraded revenue estimate largely reflects a major decline in the personal income tax revenue forecast, consistent with slowing economic growth and a weaker stock market — in part resulting from multiple actions by the Federal Reserve raising interest rates in an attempt to moderate inflation. However, the revenue forecast does not anticipate that the economy falls into a recession, in which case the administration estimates that revenue losses could be anywhere from $20 billion to $60 billion greater, depending on the severity of the recession.

The Californication of America

In 2012 Reuters reported on 10 States With Enormous Debt Problems. Reuters reported,

America’s 50 state governments owe $4.19 trillion, including outstanding bonds, unfunded pension commitments and budget gaps, according to a new report.

At $617.6 billion, California had by far the biggest total debt, more than twice the total of No. 2, New York, with $300.1 billion owed, according to State Budget Solutions, a research and non-partisan advocacy group.

Today, we additionally have our national government addicted to spending our hard earned tax dollars irresponsibly.

On June 3, 2023  on President Ronald Reagan’s OMB Director  wrote,

If there was ever any doubt, now we know: Speaker Kevin McCarthy has straw for brains and a Twizzlers stick for a backbone. He was within perhaps a few days of breaking the iron grip of America’s fiscal doomsday machine, yet inexplicably he turned tail and threw in the towel for a mess of fiscal pottage.

We are referring, of course, to the impending moment when the US Treasury would have been forced to forgo scheduled vendor or beneficiary distributions in order to preserve incoming cash for interest payments and other priorities. That act of spending deferrals and prioritization would have obliterated the debt “default” canard once and for all, paving the way for a nascent fiscal opposition to regain control of the nation’s wretched public finances.

And there should be no doubt that we were damn close to that crystalizing moment. After all, Grandma Yellen herself forewarned just last week on Meet The Press that absent a debt ceiling increase, the Treasury Department would have to prioritize payments and leave some bills unpaid:

“And my assumption is that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, there will be hard choices to make about what bills go unpaid,” Yellen said on NBC’s “Meet the Press…….“We have to pay interest and principle on outstanding debt. We also have obligations to seniors who count on Social Security, our military that expects pay, contractors who’ve provided services to the federal government, and some bills have to go unpaid….”

And, of course, that prioritization and deferral could have been easily done. Federal receipts are now running about $450 billion per month, meaning that after paying $61 billion of interest, $128 billion for Social Security, $26 billion for Veterans and $47 billion for military pay and O&M there would still be $188 billion left to cover at least 50% of everything else.

Read more.

Fiscal irresponsibility is not by accident. Today big government is the opiate of the people’s elected officials from the school house to the White House.

By passing Schumer, McConnel and McCarthy’s ‘Fiscal Irresponsibility Act’ of 2023 and Biden signing it into law according to  here’s his fiscal projections for the United States government, near and long term, by category:

Current 10-Year CBO Baseline for FY 2024-2033:

  • Revenues: $60 trillion;
  • Spending: $80 trillion;
  • New Debt: $20 trillion;
  • Mandatory Spending & Net Interest: $59 trillion;
  • Discretionary Spending for Defense & Veterans: $12 trillion;
  • Total Spending Exempted From Cuts in McCarthy Deal: $71 trillion;
  • % of Baseline Spending Exempted From Cuts: 89%

OMB Record of National Defense Outlays, FY 2017 to FY 2023 and McCarthy Deal Amount for FY 2024:

  • FY 2017: $599 billion;
  • FY 2018: $631 billion;
  • FY 2019: $686 billion;
  • FY 2020: $725 billion;
  • FY 2021: $754 billion;
  • FY 2022: $766 billion;
  • FY 2023: $815 billion;
  • FY 2024P: $909 billion.

10-Year Baseline Spending That The McCarthy Deal Leaves Unscathed:

  • Social Security: $18.8 trillion;
  • Medicare: $14.8 trillion;
  • Medicaid, Obamacare and Child Health: $8.0 trillion;
  • Veterans Disability and Comp: $3.0 trillion;
  • Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Credit: $0.9 trillion;
  • Aid to Aged, Blind and Disabled: $0.7 trillion;
  • Military retirement: $0.9 trillion;
  • Total Mandatories Unscathed: $47.1 trillion;
  • % of CBO Mandatories Baseline: 98%;

Non-defense Discretionary Outlays:

  • FY 2017: $610 billion;
  • FY 2018: $639 billion;
  • FY 2019: $661 billion;
  • FY 2020 $914 billion;
  • FY 2021 $895 billion;
  • FY 2022: $912 billion;
  • FY 2023: $936 billion;
  • 6-Year Increase: +53%

Numbers don’t lie. But politicians who are addicted to bigger and bigger government do.

 concludes his column thusly,

“[T]he ‘compromise deal’ is a hideous joke, and Kevin McCarthy truly does have sawdust for brains and a Twizzlers stick for a backbone. There is no other way to interpret the facts. In fact, just five months into his Speakership, McCarthy has already earned his place on the Wall of Shame right along side of Speaker John Boehner and Speaker Paul Ryan.”

Add to this list of those who have sawdust for brains and a Twizzler stick for a backbone Senators Chuck Schumer, Senator Mitch McConnell and Joseph Robinett Biden, Jr.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz in and email wrote,

On Wednesday night, the House of Representatives took one of the most consequential votes of the 118th Congress, passing the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 and raising the national debt ceiling. Nothing about this piece of legislation is fiscally responsible. In reality, the Biden-McCarthy debt limit deal is a major win for the Democrat party, as it papers over America’s problems with unknowable sums of debt and gaslights reckless inflation-inducing spending. Americans are already suffering through Bidenflation, and this bill guarantees that it’s only going to get worse.

Last year, the American people gave Republicans the majority in the U.S House of Representatives because they wanted us to rein in the Democrat party’s out-of-control spending for woke and weaponized agencies. Yet Speaker McCarthy and President Biden chose to go behind the backs of hard-working Americans and negotiate a deal that cements the historically high COVID-era spending levels as the baseline for future spending. This bad deal adds $4 trillion to the debt in less than two years, funds 87,000 new IRS agents, and ensures Democrats don’t have to deal with the political fallout of raising the debt ceiling prior to the 2024 election. I can’t imagine a better deal for Democrats and a worse deal for our nation.

Even the purported policy “wins” are largely cosmetic budget gimmicks or waivable at Biden’s whims. It is disgraceful we have Establishment Republicans celebrating “work requirements” being traded for reforms that make the SNAP program more costly for taxpayers and more accessible to the homeless.

Only four Republicans remain in Congress who have never voted to raise the debt limit, and I’m proud to be among them. One of the principal mandates members of Congress have with their voters is to fight inflation. I refuse to be complicit in this bipartisan bankruptcy, and I will remain steadfast in my fight to put America First.

The Bottom Line

America has now become California when it comes to fiscal irresponsibility. From Reagan to Newsom and from Reagan to Biden we have seen government spending grown exponentially. Spending in California and now America are the new opiate of the people.

We agree with Bob Williams, president of State Budget Solutions, in that,

“Drastic reforms, innovations and political courage are needed to put our states [and federal government] back on the road to fiscal survival.”

We need more politicians who put America and Americans first by stopping any effort to raise the debt limit. Cut spending, don’t increase the debt needs to be the rallying cry of every American.

Time to “Make California and America Fiscally Sound Again!”

Time to drain the swamp from LA to DC of these spineless spendthrift wonders.

©2023. Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

10 Things for Christians to Remember during Pride Month thumbnail

10 Things for Christians to Remember during Pride Month

By Family Research Council

We all know it’s coming and in various ways we are bracing for it. You’ll be navigating workplaces, city streets, social media feeds, and corporate events celebrating it. The first thing to understand is that “Pride month” does not mean the same thing to everyone.

For many, Pride month is seen as a month of inclusivity and tolerance where people are seen and reminded that they matter. In significant ways, these are values that Christians share. But there’s so much more to it.

The message of Pride is not that you matter because you are created in the image of God, a message Christians not only agree with but started. No, Pride is a declaration of independence against nature and nature’s God. It is a claim that we can do whatever we want and no one can stop us. Live your truth. Live authentically.

In addition, for many, the symbolism has come to represent oppression, intolerance, and hate. The rainbow flag, which has now become much more than a rainbow, represents a movement that is pushing speech codes, that has closed businesses, and harassed people because they did not share a commitment to the sexual revolution or would not affirm that men can become women and get pregnant.

It’s interesting that Pride month falls right in the middle of Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. On Memorial Day, we celebrate those who gave their lives for our freedom. On the Fourth of July, we celebrate our independence from tyranny and those who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor so we could live as free people. Our nation, and those who died for it, get one day. But the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence get an entire month. If that doesn’t seem right, it’s not.

But let’s not get angry or panic. How do we think soberly, act biblically, and maintain our joy as we wade through this month-long celebration of sin?

Here are a few things to remember.

1. Pride celebrations are not new.

Although pride parades down the streets of America’s cities are a relatively recent development, people making a declaration of independence from God is so old it is almost cliché.

In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:2-3). However, Eve, with Satan’s help, convinced herself that doing things her way would help her become like God. Perhaps she decided she was spiritual, not religious.

She observed that the tree was good for food, that it was a delight to the eyes, and that it was desirable to make one wise (Genesis 3:6). She convinced herself that her rebellion would not be rebellion at all but virtue. She had followed the old rules long enough and found them to be stifling of her individuality. She was ready to chart a new path and live her truth and even convinced her husband to join her celebration. They may have even felt a sense of pride as they freed themselves from the bondage of God’s rules.

Basically, Adam and Eve started these parades and we’ve all participated in various ways and with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

2. You can love the way God wants you to or the way the world wants you to, but not both.

Much will be said about love this month. T-shirts, memes, and parade signs will declare that “love is love” and that “love wins.” Whether Christians can agree with these sentiments depends on how “love” is defined. Proponents of the sexual revolution would have us believe that we show love for someone by affirming identities, indulging desires, and encouraging each other to “live your truth.” But God’s definition of love is very different.

Scripture reminds us that “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). But then it goes on to remind us that love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). This crucial verse is where God’s understanding of love and the world’s understanding of love diverge. God’s love forbids the celebration of things God does not celebrate. The world’s understanding of love requires it.

This means that a Christian’s unwillingness to celebrate Pride month will be seen by the world as an act of hate and by God as an act of love. Christians must choose whose definition of love they will accept.

3. No one is beyond the love or reach of Jesus.

While Christians are right to separate themselves from celebrations of sin, we should be equally careful to avoid a different but equally bad kind of pride — self-righteousness. If Christians have any goodness within ourselves, we do not deserve the credit. After all, “[God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).

Rather than a sense of self-righteousness, Jesus modeled how our hearts should respond to people who are lost:

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Matthew 9:36-38).

When we see crowds who are lost, we should be moved to compassion, not self-righteousness.

4. Don’t be afraid.

This month, some will encounter a city street lined with rainbow flags or unwittingly expose their child to sexual revolutionary propaganda on “Blues Clues” and be prone to despair. Don’t despair.

Fear is never from God. (2 Timothy 1:7). Whatever situation you are dealing with, God is not surprised by it, nor is it beyond His control. However, He knows we are prone to worry, which is why Peter encourages us to cast all our anxieties on him (1 Peter 5:7). The same God who formed the mountains and put the planets into orbit is aware of the situation and handling it.

The good news is that our moments of weakness are the moments God does His best work in us. While the culture takes pride in their independence from God, we should boast in our dependence:

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Maybe we should start our own pride parade; it would be kind of the same but also very different.

5. Being a Christian is supposed to feel weird.

One of the challenges of Pride month is that Christians often feel different. Most of us would prefer not to feel different. We want to blend in and be noticed only for how nice we are to people. But when someone at work is going from office to office asking people if they want a rainbow sticker for their window, the only way to blend in is to conform. So now you feel different.

But that’s how it’s supposed to feel. This is not our home. “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11). We aren’t supposed to do or love the same things as the world around us. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). If being a Christian makes you feel different than other people, good. You are different. The real problem would be if you never felt different.

6. Don’t give an inch.

It’s possible to avoid feeling different, just do what everyone else is doing. Just provide your preferred pronouns or tolerate a rainbow flag in your office window. Other times, all you must do is keep your mouth shut. But don’t do it. The path of compromise only seems easy, but it’s not. After all, “The fear of man is a snare. But whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

It’s easy to rationalize seemingly small compromises. All Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego needed to do to avoid being thrown into a furnace was bow (Daniel 3). Surely, God would understand that they weren’t actually worshipping the idol. Right? They could have easily told themselves they needed to stay alive and maintain a good relationship with the king who had shown them so much trust. After all, God couldn’t use them if they were dead. But remember, it’s not you who is going to do the work, it’s God. God did change the heart of the King, but he did not use their influence, he used their obedience. Give Him your obedience.

7. Remember what you’re saying “YES” to.

During Pride month, Christians are required to say no to some things. We can’t participate in sin (Ephesians 5:11) nor can we celebrate evil (1 Corinthians 13:6). So you may be accused of being “anti” everything. These are moments it’s helpful to remember that anytime you say “no” to one thing its because you’re saying “yes” to something else. Something better.

When we say “no” to doing whatever you want sexually, it’s because we are saying “yes” to virtue, discipline, delayed gratification, and the satisfaction and intimacy that comes from forming relationships God’s way. When we say “no” to the idea that boys can become girls, we are saying “yes” to finding our created purpose. When we say “no” to surrogacy so that a child can be placed with two dads, it’s because we are saying “yes” to each child being known and loved by both their parents. When we say “no” to bad ideas, it’s because we’re saying “yes” to better ideas. Every time.

8. Pray for those who curse you.

One reason Christians shouldn’t be surprised when we are misunderstood or mistreated is because Jesus spent significant time telling us what to do when it happens. “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:28). Our responsibility is not to avoid every conflict, but to respond to it correctly when it happens.

That means we have to pray for those who treat us poorly. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). Praying for those who treat us poorly helps us love people, even if they don’t love us back. “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:46) This is the goal of every day of every month. Pride month changes nothing, it just gives us more opportunities to love people the way Jesus does.

9. Pride comes before a fall.

It’s ironic that those who started “Pride” events used the term “pride” to describe them. They named their entire movement after one of the seven deadly sins; a sin that Proverbs assures us is the prelude to our destruction: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). It is almost as if God was looking to make it obvious what was actually happening here. Just as we would be wise to avoid celebrating “Wrath Month” or a “Lust Parade,” Christians should be wary of celebrating pride. After all, we know what happens next.

10. God will have the last word.

In Daniel chapter 5, Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, throws a party while an invading army is gathering around the city. He was so confident that the walls that had protected him his whole life would continue to protect him that he mocked an invading army by inviting his military to party rather than prepare for battle. Belshazzar was very confident, or at least he wanted to project confidence. Then God interrupted his party.

In a scene that gives us the phrase “the writing on the wall” the hand of God showed up and wrote a message on the wall. The interesting thing about the message is that Belshazzar was not able to read it, after all, he summoned Daniel to interpret it for him. Nevertheless, “the king’s face grew pale, and his thoughts alarmed him; and his hip joints went slack, and his knees began knocking together.” What we see here is what happens when fake power meets real power. The world is filled with people who have some form of cultural or political power, but when they are confronted with real power, their confidence disappears immediately.

Pride month is fake power celebrating its fake power, and it will survive only until God decides He has had enough. And that moment is coming. Our job is to make sure we’re doing what we can to remind people where the real power is and that opposing Him will never be a good decision — which is the opposite of pride.


Joseph Backholm

Joseph Backholm is Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council.


Did the Police just arrest a Christian Man for Quoting the Bible at PA Pride Event?!?!

Can anyone confirm this?! The AMERICA you grew up in no longer exists!!!

— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) June 6, 2023


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

How to fix the FBI: An initial proposal to start a national discussion thumbnail

How to fix the FBI: An initial proposal to start a national discussion

By Center For Security Policy

With all the talk of “abolishing the FBI,” few envision what would happen to our country if we were suddenly left without a federal service to fight interstate crime and child trafficking, conduct effective counterintelligence, and come up with the necessary technology and training for law enforcement and investigators.

Here is an initial plan to get a national conversation started.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, as its name states, is only a bureaucracy. It is not a sacred institution. It is not a brand to be protected at all costs. It is a bureaucratic structure mandated by law to perform necessary functions to investigate federal crimes, combat foreign spies, and not much more.

When that structure fails to do its job well, when the people within it fail to live up to the professionalism necessary to enforce the law objectively, and when that bureaucracy loses the public trust necessary to perform its lawful duties, it’s time for a change.

The danger of considering an institution “sacred,” as some do with the FBI, is that it is somehow beyond question, permanent, untouchable, indeed sacrosanct.

The danger of protecting a brand at all costs is that, when the integrity of that brand has been compromised, the institution resorts to any form of deception and intimidation to protect the façade from even constructive criticism. Director Christopher Wray has filled J. Edgar Hoover’s shoes in that regard.

It’s time for such a bureaucracy to go. The Bureau has become too large, too centralized, too opaque, too politicized, and too duplicative of other agencies to continue.

Like it or not, America needs federal law enforcement. It needs solid counterespionage and counterintelligence capabilities to combat foreign spies and agents and to neutralize their operations. The country needs strong and professional capabilities against child trafficking, illegal narcotics trafficking, cyber crime, financial crimes, terrorists, and crimes against the federal Constitution. It needs some sort of federal mechanism to help states fight crime in their own jurisdictions.

That doesn’t mean the FBI is still the answer. We already have a Drug Enforcement Administration. We have a number of counterterrorism services. We have a standing cybersecurity organization with police powers. We already have a world-class financial crimes capability in a separate agency. And so on.

Over the past two decades, the FBI has returned to what longtime Director J. Edgar Hoover had turned it into: A domestic intelligence service with police powers. This is incompatible with our constitutional form of government. Thomas J. Baker, an FBI veteran who started his career under Hoover and, even in retirement, continued working with the Bureau, saw the entire metamorphosis up-close as he related in his new book, The Fall of the FBI: How a Once Great Agency Became a Threat to Democracy.

Time for the FBI to go the way of the OSS

After World War II, the country reassessed its entire national security structure, abolished certain agencies – even ones that performed with extraordinary success and heroism – and carefully considered something new. It abolished the Department of War, reorganized it, merged it with the Department of the Navy, and created the Department of Defense. It abolished its wartime foreign intelligence bureaucracy, the Office of Strategic Services, and later created an entirely new Central Intelligence Agency – being careful to vet the CIA of the Communist Party members who had proliferated through the OSS. And so it’s time for the FBI to go the way of the OSS, but without a centralized replacement.

Unfortunately, the realities of the world require our government to have most of the capabilities that the public expects the FBI to perform. To start a national conversation about what to do with the FBI, here is an initial proposal after years of consideration. This proposal does not claim to have all the answers. It provides a rough blueprint to break up the FBI while preserving important national functions. It recognizes that legal authority, administrative and personnel issues, training, ethos, and so forth are far larger matters that deserve separate consideration.

FBI structure and what to do with it

The latest major reorganizations in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations divided the FBI into six major branches, each of which are divided into units called divisions. These branches and divisions are important to understand if we are to figure out what to do with the Bureau. The six branches are:

  1. National Security Branch;
  2. Intelligence Branch;
  3. Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch;
  4. Science and Technology Branch;
  5. Information and Technology Branch; and
  6. Human Resources Branch.

All perform or support an awkward and unstable combination of law enforcement and domestic intelligence functions.

Let’s look at each branch one by one. We can then see what functions complement or duplicate those of other agencies, and transfer those branches or divisions to those respective agencies, paring down the Bureau as we go. The idea is not to create new agencies of any kind.

National Security Branch. The National Security Branch is arguably the most politicized and compromised component of the entire FBI. This branch must be broken apart.

Within the National Security Branch is a Counterintelligence Division, whose most famous chief was Peter Strzok. This division has seldom done well to combat foreign intelligence services in a strategic fashion, which is why the independent Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive was created in 2001. Unfortunately, after a promising start under non-FBI counterintelligence professionals, the office, since-renamed the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), was virtually taken over by the FBI and rendered it ineffective as a strategic counterintelligence entity. The FBI Counterintelligence Division has become extremely politicized, going along with the Steele Dossier and Russia collusion narrative and treating legally protected speech as treason. Interim solution:

  • Transfer the FBI Counterintelligence Division to the NCSC under a new leadership and ethos, with a limited number of personnel billets to force undesirable FBI personnel out of the transfer. NCSC says its role is to “lead and support the U.S. Government’s counterintelligence and security activities,” so the FBI division is redundant. This is a dangerous move, though, because the NCSC is both flaccid and politicized.
  • Parcel out the Counterterrorism Division, the Terrorist Screening Center, and related elements of the National Security Branch to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and remove NCTC from the Department of Homeland Security into an independent and small counterterrorism agency.
  • Move the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate of the National Security Branch to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (to be dealt with later).

These steps will leave the FBI without a National Security Branch, while keeping the important public functions, and remove the most toxic branch out of the Bureau.

Intelligence Branch. The FBI Intelligence Branch is responsible for the collection and synthesis of information into analytical products and coordination with other agencies. The fact that the FBI has an entire Intelligence Branch shows that it is no longer a law-enforcement agency but, indeed, a European-style domestic intelligence apparat with police powers. There are legitimate reasons for different agencies the federal government to have strong intelligence analysis, but when centralized into a single agency or bureau, that analysis is subject to abuse. The Intelligence Branch is also opaque and armored against constitutional checks and balances like legislative oversight. Interim solution:

  • Divide the Intelligence Branch along topical and functional lines, and parcel them out to other agencies with the legal authority and obligation to perform those varied work functions.

Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. The third branch, Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, performs an amalgam of functions patchworked together since 9/11. This is an important branch of the FBI and, though manipulated politically from the Justice Department, is said to be not as politicized as the National Security Branch.

Just as a patchwork is not an integrated body but is sewn together, this branch can be carefully taken apart. The Criminal Investigative Division of the branch does the important work of combating organized crime, transnational crime, certain violent crimes, certain crimes against children, investigation of public corruption and financial crimes, and violations of civil rights laws. Interim solution:

  • Transfer as many criminal investigative functions as possible to the states, with federal block grants to states that wish to, but cannot afford, to perform these functions on their own.
  • Transfer the financial crimes unit to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Transfer the remainder of the Criminal Investigation Division to the United States Marshals Service, the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency, with few scandals in its history and little politicization.

The branch’s Cyber Division duplicates the functions of other agencies. Interim solution:

  • Transfer the Cyber Division’s security functions to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and move CISA out of the Department of Homeland Security to become an autonomous agency.
  • Transfer the Cyber Division’s cyberintelligence functions and resources to the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC).
  • Transfer the Cyber Division’s law enforcement functions and resources to the very competent U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The Response portion of the branch, called the Critical Incident Response Group, is a crisis management unit that puts the FBI at the center. Interim solution:

  • Transfer the Critical Incident Response Group to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which needs a whole new rejuvenation of its own; and to states that seek those resources and responsibilities.

The Services component is to assist victims of terrorism and crime. A separate unit, International Operations, coordinates federal law enforcement abroad to investigate transnational crimes. Interim solution:

  • Transfer Services to other agencies like FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services, and, with the support of block grants, to any willing state governments.
  • Transfer experienced International Operations personnel to other agencies that perform law enforcement work abroad.

Science and Technology Branch. This small branch creates new scientific and technological methods, products, and training for the rest of the FBI’s operations. It provides important support to state and local law enforcement. Its forensic sciences department is responsible for fingerprint, DNA, and other biometric analysis, scientific analysis necessary for criminal investigations, computer forensics, and safe transporting and preservation of evidence and hazardous materials. It also runs the FBI’s world-class crime lab, FBI information services, the National Crime Information Center, and technical collection and analysis. Interim solution:

  • This branch provides so many important uses nationwide that it should become an autonomous stand-alone center like FEMA, but run by a rotating board of state governors.

Information and Technology Branch. With its principal purpose to manage FBI information and maintain and upgrade the Bureau’s information system, this branch can be abolished, with necessary talent and resources transferred to other agencies that assume the above FBI functions.

Human Resources Branch. With all the other FBI branches now transferred to other agencies, there is no more need for a Human Resources Branch. Interim solutions:

  • Most of its staff have become so politicized that they are unsuitable for government service and should not be transferred anywhere.
  • The sole exception is the FBI Academy, which sits in this branch. The FBI Academy has a valuable purpose as basic training for FBI agent recruits and for other types of training. Since it offers almost no national security or counterintelligence training, the Academy performs more of a law enforcement training function and should be transferred to the U.S. Marshals Service.

With these transfers – the reverse of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which absorbed independent entities into a centralized bureaucracy – the United States will maintain its necessary federal law enforcement and national security functions without an FBI.

Other issues

Dividing and scattering the FBI’s key functions is easy to propose but very complicated to do. One of the key problems is personnel: Substandard and bloated management at the top (few if any should be transferred anywhere except out), politicization and unprofessionalism in certain branches and field offices, a training and bureaucratic ethos at odds with the agencies that would inherit FBI functions, and a danger that an influx of FBI management into those agencies would have the opposite of the desired effect without strong leadership.

Material and personnel resource transfers to other agencies should be reduced in size to force the attrition of redundant, non-essential, and substandard personnel at the discretion of the receiving agencies.

As we redistribute the functions of the FBI central apparat, we face the problem of providing too much power to other agencies, especially elements of the Department of Homeland Security bureaucracy. One of the virtues of transferring certain FBI functions to DHS is that it removes them from the hyper-politicized Department of Justice. DHS is a separate matter in itself and is another main target for downsizing, and decentralization, and depoliticization, but that must follow the dismantling of the FBI.

And then there is the very serious question of the power of the central government as a whole. Many FBI functions can be given up completely and left up to the states, funded where necessary by federal block grants that permit the states to spend the money as they see fit without federal interference.

Like the OSS did in World War II, the FBI has performed extraordinarily valuable functions. As with the OSS, the FBI has become fatally flawed with personnel unsuitable for, or dangerous to, government service. While one can romanticize about the OSS and the FBI, the fact is that neither is or was a “sacred” institution. Neither operated with a congressional charter. Indeed, the idea of the FBI being sacred smacks of secret police-speak, for it was the Soviet KGB that called itself the “holy of holies.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is just a bureaucracy and a brand that must use obfuscation, deception, and intimidation to maintain its luster. It has failed to execute its constitutional potential. It has serially abused its authority and the public trust. It has become too politicized to function legally. It is a rogue organization that resists congressional oversight. And it is populating itself with new, politicized cadres who will make tomorrow’s FBI far worse.

The only way to fix the FBI is to take it apart, parcel out the useful functions, and close down the rest. Now it’s time for a good national discussion about how to do it.

A full PDF of the Report can be downloaded HERE.


J. Michael Waller

Senior Analyst for Strategy.

RELATED ARTICLE: Introducing your passport to the digital gulag

EDITORS NOTE: This Center for Security Policy column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Protestors Turn Out Against Florida Immigration Law in ‘A Day Without Immigrants’

By Federation for American Immigration Reform

Last Thursday [June 1, 2023], protestors across Florida held a walkout against a recently passed immigration law under the banner of “Un Día Sin Inmigrantes,” or “a day without immigrants.”  According to NBC News, protests were also scheduled in several other states, including California, Georgia, Minnesota, Illinois, Oregon, Texas, South Carolina and Colorado.

Signed into law last month, FL Senate Bill 1718 is set to go into effect on July 1st, and is one of the strongest state immigration laws to-date.  However, for the very same reason, it has been targeted by protestors and advocates as an attack on immigrants (whether illegal or not).  Among the commonsense provisions in the bill, it prohibits issuing identification documents to illegal aliens and requires employers with 25 or more employees to use the E-Verify system.  The bill would fine employers $1,000 per day for failing to use E-Verify and makes it a felony to use a fake ID to gain employment.

Some businesses were closed in Florida in support of the protest.  Outside one restaurant closed in Fort Lauderdale, protestors gathered to chant and wave flags from their home countries.  The restaurant’s owner, Isis Cordova, said, “I managed to get legal status in this country, and I said one day when I have documents I’m going to raise my voice. I’m also going to speak up for those people who don’t have a voice.”

Opponents of the law claim that it will result in an exodus of illegal aliens from Florida, damaging the state’s economy and leaving critical business sectors without workers.  Samuel Vilchez Santiago, Florida director of the American Business Immigration Coalition, has said that the effects will be particularly acute in the agriculture, construction and hospitality industries. “These are industries where immigrants make up the vast majority of workers, and not allowing businesses to be able to utilize these workers will have a really big impact on our economy and their ability to create jobs,” Vilchez said.

However, supporters say that the concerns are overblown, and that the legislation will help prevent employers from driving down wages in those industries by employing cheaper illegal workers.  In a statement, CEO and President of the Florida Trucking Association, Alix Miller, said that although he was aware of the arguments, he was not aware of any issues due to the law.

In signing the bill, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said:  “In Florida, we will not stand idly by while the federal government abandons its lawful duties to protect our country. The legislation I signed today gives Florida the most ambitious anti-illegal immigration laws in the country, fighting back against reckless federal government policies and ensuring the Florida taxpayers are not footing the bill for illegal immigration.”

That statement is consistent with FAIR’s latest cost study, showing that illegal immigration costs American taxpayers more than $150 billion annually.  In Florida alone, it is estimated that there are 1,185,000 illegal aliens, for a 2023 cost to Florida taxpayers of $8.04 billion, or $986 per household.

After the law was passed, at least one major advocacy group, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), issued a travel advisory for Florida.  Domingo Garcia, the president of LULAC, claimed that the law creates “a clear and present danger to Latinos in Florida and to Americans in general.”

With the protests receiving extensive coverage in Spanish language media and advocacy groups continuing to voice their opposition, the controversy shows no signs of dying down.  In the weeks and months ahead, FAIR will continue to track the law’s implementation and work to support policies that protect American taxpayers and fight back against the Biden Administration’s abuse of our immigration laws.


Help Wanted: Law Enforcement Staffing Challenges at the Border thumbnail

Help Wanted: Law Enforcement Staffing Challenges at the Border

By Federation for American Immigration Reform

In May, FAIR wrote about a newly released report by the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security that raised red flags about the “unsustainable” methods of staffing at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and their impact on morale.  In response to that report, the House Committee on Oversight is holding a hearing Tuesday with the sole witness being the Inspector General.  The hearing will “examine the current management of law enforcement resources and highlight how the Biden Administration’s policies have catalyzed the crisis at the southern border.”

According to the Inspector General, the dramatic increases in border encounters, have magnified existing “staffing challenges” at CBP and ICE. The Inspector General, therefore, conducted an audit to determine: (1) whether CBP and ICE are properly managing law enforcement staffing resources; and (2) the turnover rates for CBP and ICE, and whether the agencies have an effective plan to replace departing officers.

Overall, the Inspector General found that CBP’s and ICE’s workloads “have outpaced their current staffing” and described the agencies’ current management of staffing needs as “unsustainable.”  The workload has grown tremendously, the IG wrote, yet despite the greater workloads, “staffing levels have remained the same.

The IG also pointed out that the flow of migrants and traffic into the U.S. has far outpaced the number of CBP and ICE agents, which has consistently hovered around the number authorized by Congress.

The IG warned that “[u]nless CBP and ICE assess and make strategic changes to how they manage staff at the border…heavier workloads and low morale may lead to higher turnover rates and earlier retirements among these employees.”  This could further worsen staffing challenges along the southern border and impede CBP’s and ICE’s ability to carry out their missions.

Sadly, many agents and officers also told the Inspector General that the priorities at work had changed.  Officers at six ports of entry told the IG that CBP leaders prioritized “maintaining the flow of traffic and minimizing wait times” over security.  Border patrol agents at two different stations told the IG that they felt pressure to process and release migrants as quickly as possible to move them out of the facilities.  Nearly half of CBP respondents and over half of ICE respondents said they had to take on additional work outside their traditional responsibilities.

In addition, 20 percent of CBP agents said they felt unable to perform their primary law enforcement duties of securing the border. One border patrol agent said that all of the manpower in his station was being delegated to do processing instead of deterring or apprehending illegal aliens.  A combined 24 percent of CBP and ICE respondents said they plan to leave their agency within the next year.

The IG also explained in detail how overtime was typically forced on agents, rather than being voluntary.  This resulted in many agents working double shifts and, over the course of a year, several extra weeks of work.  Some agents told the IG that they had reached the statutory limit for how much overtime they could submit early in the year.

Finally, the IG noted that the change in immigration policies during the Biden Administration has also hurt morale at the agencies.

“Since FY 2019, immigration policies have shifted significantly as the United States experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and transitioned from one administration to another….Our interviews and survey comments showed staff frustration and lower morale related to changing policies, especially when the respondents felt the changes were inconsistent with their law enforcement duties. In the view of some law enforcement personnel, these policies have made it difficult for them to enforce the laws and carry out their mission; one said they felt as if they were doing their job “with one hand tied behind [their] back.”

While the IG gave credit to the Department of Homeland Security for taking some proactive steps to mitigate the situation, the Inspector General made three recommendations.  The recommendations focused on better coordination with experts around staffing needs, reviewing actions to determine if efforts are working, and better communicating with frontline staff about duties and responsibilities.

The Biden Border Crisis is not only affecting families and communities from the border to the interior of the country, but it’s affecting the men and women who make sacrifices to protect the border and secure our nation. Today’s hearing is an opportunity for members of Congress to get at the bottom of the DHS workforce crisis, to ask the Inspector General more in-depth questions about his audit, and encourage accountability from the Secretary of Homeland Security.

*To watch the Committee on Oversight hearing, visit their website here.


Romanians Are Flooding The Border At Record Numbers And Committing Fraud Across The U.S. thumbnail

Romanians Are Flooding The Border At Record Numbers And Committing Fraud Across The U.S.

By The Daily Caller

  • Romanian migrants who are in the country illegally, some of whom are known to have crossed the southern border, are committing crimes in several areas of the country, according to law enforcement alerts obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • A surge of Romanian illegal migrants has been recorded at both the southern and northern borders of the U.S., many of whom were apprehended and found to have criminal histories, Border Patrol officials told the DCNF.
  • “They all claim asylum/credible fear, just like everyone else. Hoping that we’ll process them and release them to the NGOs,” one Border Patrol official told the DCNF.

Romanian migrants in the country illegally, some of whom are known to have crossed the southern border, are suspected of crimes across the country, according to internal law enforcement alerts obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The law enforcement alerts, which span from Florida to Pennsylvania and New York, warn of Romanians who have committed financial crimes and are known to be in the country illegally, and have deportation orders. Border Patrol recorded 5,895 encounters of Romanian migrants in fiscal year 2022 at the southern border, up from 4,029 in fiscal year 2021 and 266 in fiscal year 2020, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.

When they have to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Romanian migrants often give addresses of hotels or other temporary housing that make it impossible to track them, one agency official told the DCNF.

“Romanians are involved in a lot of fraud. To avoid detection, they tend to give temporary addresses and/or just quit reporting,” the ICE official, who is based on the west coast, said.

A local sheriff’s office in Florida sent out an alert in February seeking information on two suspects who crossed the southern border illegally from Romania, one of whom “completed a sleight of hand” by only paying for $3,600 of the $9,600 for the purchase of eight gold coins.

The two were later seen at another coin vendor in Florida.

“Subject crossed illegally through the southwest border and was subsequently apprehended by Border Patrol,” a note on the alert for the two suspects, who were both identified as Romanian, read.

In April, Florida law enforcement stopped a vehicle with two Romanian nationals they discovered were in the U.S. illegally who possessed “fraudulent passports, fraudulent credit cards, $4,000 in U.S. currency, covert cameras concealed to hide (for possible ATM PIN harvesting), (3) skimming devices, a thumb drive, and an ATM pin pad cling device,” an official alert stated.

A device seized from the vehicle possessed bank information of “thousands of victims.”

“Customs and Border Patrol placed an immigration detainer on the subjects and an FCIC/NCIC check confirmed that one of them has an active INTERPOL warrant out of Sweden for theft,” the alert states.

One senior Border Patrol official working along the southern border said many of them have criminal histories that mainly include theft, larceny, fraud, domestic violence and driving under the influence when they’re apprehended.

“They all have criminal records when they show up. Rarely single adults. They usually show up in family units, and it’s a pain in the ass too get approval for family separation, so that we can house, prosecute the offender,” the senior Border Patrol official told the DCNF.

“They all claim asylum/credible fear, just like everyone else. Hoping that we’ll process them and release them to the NGOs,” the official said.

A Border Patrol agent also working along the northern border, which has also experienced an uptick in Romanians illegally crossing, told the DCNF that many of them have “INTERPOL [International Criminal Police Organization] hits,” adding that those subjects are “removed.”

“Last one we caught had an asylum court date, but missed it because he decided to go back to Romania,” the agent said.

An international alert in February notified law enforcement of three Romanians with “open cases with ICE for deportation.” The three individuals were part of an operation to install “skimming devices” in Pennsylvania Walmart self-checkouts.

Yonkers Police arrested the group in New York, which also had “pawn records” showing they sold “numerous pieces of jewelry, to include a Rolex watch and gold coins,” the alert stated.


RELATED ARTICLE: Border Agents Arrest Illegal Migrants With Drugs, Thousands In Cash At Northern Border

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Plans to Slaughter 200,000 Farting Cows to Save Planet from ‘Global Warming’ Inbox

By The Geller Report

It starts with cows..

if this kind of inhumanity and carnage is heralded as some kind of ‘benefit to planet’, their is a madness afoot. The ruling class has lost its collective mind and they mean to take us down.

In the latest effort to reduce emissions from agriculture, Ireland said it may kill 200,000 cows. Meanwhile, climate activists have American farms and ranches in the crosshairs.

By: Kevin Killough, Cowboy State Daily, June 02, 2023:

Climate activists are coming for livestock producers and farmers.

European governments have been targeting the agriculture industry for several years. The Telegraph reports that Ireland’s government may need to reduce that country’s cattle herds by 200,000 cows over the next three years to meet climate targets.

In an effort to reduce nitrogen pollution, Reuters reported the European Union last month approved a $1.6 billion Dutch plan to buy out livestock farmers.

Front And Center

Now the Biden administration is targeting American agriculture.

Special President Envoy For Climate John Kerry recently warned at a climate summit for the U.S. Department of Agriculture that the human race’s need to produce food to survive creates 33% of the world’s total greenhouse gasses.

“We can’t get to net-zero. We don’t get this job done unless agriculture is front and center as part of the solution,” Kerry said.

Microsoft Billionaire Bill Gates also is obsessing about cattle emissions, providing financial support to companies that are developing seaweed supplements and gas masks for cows.

It’s ‘Groupthink’

Katy Atkinson, an agricultural advocate who raises cattle in Albany County, told Cowboy State Daily that this conversation on emissions from the industry isn’t considering the beneficial impacts of cattle to the environment and the climate.

“Groupthink happens a lot around the climate change conversation. We get tunnel visioned on one piece of it without considering the full ramifications of what’s going to happen if we remove cattle from the land,” Atkinson said.

She said cattle contribute to drought resistance, soil health and wildfire reduction. Just before cattle were introduced to North America and the industry began raising them, Atkinson said there were thousands of buffalo roaming the plains.

Cows and buffalo are both ruminants, which is a type of animal that brings back food from its stomach and chews it again. These animals’ digestive systems produce methane emissions. Today’s cattle population is similar in numbers to that of the buffalo herds.

“So, the methane emissions from ruminant animals aren’t anything new,” Atkinson said.

Trapping Carbon

Cattle also benefit plant life, Atkinson said.

“You need ruminant animals to forage grasses, because they’re the only things that can,” she explained.

Pigs, for example, are monogastric and can’t break down high fiber content in grasses. Cow’s digestive system can break the grasses down, and then they fertilize the ground.

So, through proper cattle grazing management, Atkinson said the cattle she’s raising are helping plants to grow.

In the atmosphere, the methane they burp out — most of it is released through the mouth of the animal — breaks down in 10 to 15 years into carbon dioxide and water. The plants that cattle help to grow use that carbon dioxide. The carbon then gets put back into the soil through the grasses’ roots.

“So the cattle are essential in helping to keep that carbon trapped in the ground,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson said cattle have other benefits to the climate that are being ignored in the focus on just their emissions. Whenever soil cracks or fissures, it releases carbon into the air.

The animals walking upon the soil compacts it and helps keep the carbon trapped in the soil.

She said one study done by the University of Florida found that between 10% and 30% of the world’s carbon storage is found under the feet of U.S. cattle.

Keep reading.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Children’s Choir Singing the Star Spangled Banner Forced to Stop by Capital Police ‘Because It Was Considered a Demonstration’ thumbnail

Children’s Choir Singing the Star Spangled Banner Forced to Stop by Capital Police ‘Because It Was Considered a Demonstration’

By The Geller Report

So BLM and Antifa can burn down cities, murder innocent people, loot and riot and it’s righteous raising tens of millions of dollars from America’s biggest corporations but children singing the National Anthem pose a threat. Drag shows for children are promoted by the Democrat government but children singing the National Anthem pose a threat.

It’s revolution time.

A children’s choir singing the Star-Spangled Banner were told to stop singing by Capital Police because it was considered a “demonstration.”

Police told the Choir Director to stop “Because this is considered a demonstration and we don’t allow demonstrations in the Capitol.”…

— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) June 4, 2023


Pamela Geller

RELATED ARTICLE: J6 Patriot John Strand’s Story of Persecution and Prosecution for Doing Nothing Wrong

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Rebranding flags as rainbows dissolves the ties that bind our countries together thumbnail

Rebranding flags as rainbows dissolves the ties that bind our countries together

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

When national flags are inverted into mere utopian abstractions, they become little more than concrete symbols of coercive oppression.

The advent of June means annual Gay Pride Season is here, that one month of the year (apart from the other eleven) when homosexuality is officially promoted by the State all across the Western world. You can’t move for LGBTQ rainbow flags of one sort or another out in public these days, the symbol’s new-found all-pervasiveness leading some sceptics to compare it to a Nazi swastika.

During last year’s Pride Month, UK actor turned politician Laurence Fox, leader of the small anti-woke Reclaim Party and former candidate for London Mayor, marked the occasion by posting the mocking refrain “Oh blessed and most holy month!” together with the following doctored image of Pride flags to his 300,000-plus followers on Twitter.

Fox was speedily criticised by Jewish and Holocaust Memorial groups, as well as being temporarily Twitter-banned for causing offence. But, as Fox argued, the freedom to cause offence is just one aspect of freedom of speech. Furthermore, by suspending him, the pre-Elon Musk social media giant was demonstrating clear double-standards, as “You can openly call the [Union Jack] a symbol of fascism and totalitarianism” on the site but “You cannot criticise the holy flags” of Gay Pride.

As if to prove this, Fox’s then-Deputy Leader in the Reclaim Party, Martin Daubney, posted the following tweet, recasting Britain’s flag as a mashed-up Nazi swastika too.

“So, is this worthy of a ban?” he asked. As far as I am aware, the answer was “no”, and so Daubney kept his account. Unlike gays, patriots can be compared to fascists with total impunity.

Fox’s Book of Martyrs

Pride 2022 came not long after the Platinum Jubilee celebrations marking 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, an occasion marked both by an outbreak of mass Union Jack flag-waving amongst the patriotic general public, and an equal outbreak of flag-hating amongst the ostentatiously unpatriotic hard-left.

Again hoping to illustrate his opponents’ double-standards here, Fox retweeted the following contribution from conservative-leaning political commentator Dominique Samuels, showing Pride flags arrayed all down what was actually central London, but looked rather more like some hypothetical gay Nuremberg.

Some people may find the Nazi comparison overblown. Yet it is not that Fox or his allies were literally claiming that Gay Pride Month is as bad as actual Nazism here, as some critics chose to misinterpret matters, more that the Pride flag and the swastika were similar in a generic sense, i.e., as very visible symbols of enforced ideological conformity. Fox could have digitally added the Communist hammer and sickle to the flag instead and made his point equally as well.

As Fox said, public “acceptance and celebration” of the flag were now ruthlessly “enforced with a sense of hectoring authoritarianism.” It was not as if Queer Quislings were about to start another Holocaust or invade Poland, but they might well try and get you sacked, cancelled or even imprisoned.

As if to prove this, one of Fox’s rival metropolitan politicians, Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell, used her position of political influence to plead with the police to arrest the brazen thought-criminal, an appeal Fox quickly responded to:

The Fascistic Mr Fox?

Fox may not have been arrested by the thought-police himself, but a private citizen with a much less awkwardly prominent national media profile soon was. Darren Brady, a 51-year-old British Army veteran from Aldershot, retweeted Laurence’s original rainbow swastika meme, then found himself placed in handcuffs by Hampshire Police on the grounds his action had “caused anxiety” to some unnamed complainant.

Hampshire Police had offered to downgrade Brady’s “offence” from a full-blown criminal incident to a mere “non-crime” (which it already was anyway), if he had only agreed to remove his post and pay them £80 to attend an in-house Maoist gay re-education course. Brady bravely refused, instead informing Laurence Fox directly about what was going on.

Fox then turned up at Brady’s home together with ex-policeman Harry Miller of the Bad Law Project campaign group, who was then himself also arrested for obstructing the police in their duties. Fox captured all this on film, accusing the cops of acting “like the Gestapo”, no doubt prompting more complaints from left-wingers angry about precisely the wrong thing here.

Political football

Britain is hardly alone in its increasing public replacement of the national flag with the rainbow one. During the 2022 FIFA World Cup held over in Qatar, the US soccer team made headlines after redesigning their badge so the usual red and white of the Stars and Stripes was replaced with garish gay rainbow colours instead, on the walls of their training-base and media branding.

Objecting to their Qatari hosts’ highly negative legal attitudes towards homosexuality, “Be The Change” now became the US team’s main slogan rather than, say, “Kick The Ball”, which is what they’re supposed to be paid to do, pure and simple, nothing else. “ONE NATION”, reads the US rainbow badge’s accompanying slogan. No: TWO NATIONS, by specific design.

By transforming their badge into blatant ideological propaganda, US Soccer recklessly subverted the formerly largely neutral and uniting image of the national flag and replaced it with the contentious, fragmenting political emblem of an agenda which is clearly not agreed upon by all. The message is as clear as it is queer: unless you, too, support the specific partisan line being pushed here, then you’re not truly an American, and your support is just not wanted. And yet, despite this, “We are a group that believes in inclusivity,” the team’s Newspeak-fluent goalkeeper Sean Johnson claimed.

Apart from all those who disagree with your agenda, of course, Sean: they are not true Americans at all, just worthless Far-Right bigots. They must be excluded, not included. Homosexuals were perfectly free to support national sports teams before their players all suddenly became swathed in rainbows for no good reason, you know: persons of any sexuality could, it was a complete and utter irrelevancy to all concerned. But no longer, it would appear.

The US soccer team “isn’t representing America” any more, one irritated fan accurately complained online. “America’s colors aren’t rainbow.” Indeed not, but that is the whole point.

Flags of convenience

Liberals of today wish to dismantle their countries’ national flags as a proxy for dismantling their nations themselves, in a much wider sense. The flag, as microcosmic symbol of a macrocosmic nation state, embodies a real, particular, settled physical community with borders, based upon timeless things such as a shared language, culture, traditions, religions and ethnicity.

Contemporary Western liberals – both progressive, transnationalism-loving left-wing social ones and GDP-worshipping right-wing economic ones alike – would much prefer to replace this very concrete and limited concept with something much more abstract and limitless instead, a more homogenised, borderless, truly global society based on allegiance to supposedly “universal” human values, not traditional particularist ones – like Gay Pride, for example.

The rainbow flag stands as a proxy for this impossible dream. It is a flag not of any actual existing nation, but of the desired imaginary, non-existent, progressive, universalist non-nation of tomorrow: that is, the flag of Utopia. And the word “utopia”, etymologically speaking, means, quite literally, “no-place”. That is what you are really being forced to salute when paying enforced obeisance to the gaybow flag – the intended (but never actually to be achieved) perpetual liberal-enforced global moral dictatorship or New Jerusalem of tomorrow.

In the disingenuous name of freedom, all soon-to-be non-nations must be forced to kneel to this flag: even non-Western ones which do not belong to us, like the Muslim nations of the Middle East, the majority of whose populations and rulers simply do not share our own present rulers’ supposedly “universal” values at all. Under other, non-gay-related circumstances, this process would surely be labelled pejoratively as “colonialism”, would it not?

One nation under God

Another flag-related controversy to hit during the 2022 World Cup came when US Soccer, advertising an upcoming match between USA and Iran, posted an image of the Iranian national flag which had been doctored to remove the large red emblem which normally sits in its centre.

Significantly, the emblem in question is actually a written word: “Allah”, the holy Muslim name for God. US Soccer said they had erased God’s name to show solidarity with the women of Iran who were then being persecuted by the ruling extremist clerics simply for, as US Soccer put it, “fighting for [their] basic human rights”. I have some personal sympathy for the oppressed females of Iran myself, but the unspoken symbolism of this act was very telling.

Here is a particularist local or national value – belief in the Muslim God – being erased in favour of a transnational globalist abstraction – human rights. However, human rights are not universal, because, whatever progressives might say to the contrary, many human values are not universal either. Most people over here in the West might think it awful the women of Iran don’t have full political rights and freedoms; but, likewise, most people over there in Iran might think it equally appalling women in the West have the freedom and right to marry one another and raise children.

Like alchemy in reverse

No culture’s values are entirely universal. Each particular set of human values is particular to each particular nation, empire, culture or civilisation. Ironically, those traditions and values which do seem closest to being genuinely near-universal in nature – ones relating to core things like family structure, sexuality, gender binaries, crime and punishment, in-group ethnic allegiance, and so forth – are precisely the ones our own utopian universalists are currently doing their very best to try and dissolve along with our traditional flags.

There is a saying of the alchemists of old: “solve et coagula”, or “dissolve and then coagulate”, used to describe the melting down of separate chemical substances and then re-amalgamation of them all together into one large, undifferentiated mass within the furnaces and alembics of their demon-haunted laboratories, in impossible pursuit of making gold.

When the flags of all nations, with their multifarious separate colours and patterns, begin to be melted down by globalists and then reconstituted anew into more generic multicoloured rainbow ones intended to be flown in every nation under the sun instead, even those that don’t want to, like Iran and Qatar, forging all that was once separate and different into one generic and eye-offending lumpen mass, then an analogously similar process is at work.

Coincidentally, the classic alchemical process was said to have several distinct separate stages to it, each bearing a different colour, like green, yellow or red: the colours, in fact, of the rainbow. (And, in terms of the common alchemical stages of whiteness, blackness, etc, those of the new extended Progress Pride flag so easily transformed into a swastika by parodists online.)

Yet literal-minded alchemists, both then and now, have always proved themselves sadly deluded. What results from today’s process of enforced political alchemy will surely not be a utopian world of purest gold. Instead, it is more likely to be a dystopian dictatorial realm of basest lead. A world, for instance, in which innocent military veterans can be arrested for posting harmless, but politically incorrect, joke images online.

Instead of doctoring his rainbow flags into swastikas last year, perhaps Laurence Fox should actually have defaced them all with hermetic occult sigils of the Philosophers’ Stone instead.


Steven Tucker is a UK-based writer with over ten books to his name. His next, Hitler’s & Stalin’s Misuse of Science, comparing the woke pseudoscience of today to the totalitarian pseudoscience… More by Steven Tucker

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘The Lost City: The Forgotten Virtues of Community in America’ thumbnail

‘The Lost City: The Forgotten Virtues of Community in America’

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

An unspoken social contract used to link community to the existence of strong authority.

As a long-time former editor of Governing magazine, Alan Ehrenhalt is an expert on local political and governance issues in America. More than a quarter of a century ago, he wrote a little-known classic which is essential reading for all those interested in community.

The Lost City: The Forgotten Virtues of Community in America“ focuses on the city where Ehrenhalt grew up, Chicago, and the era which many Americans of various backgrounds look back on with fondness – the 1950s.

In the years following the release of “The Lost City,” the extraordinary strength of civic life in mid-20th century America was brought to a far larger audience by Professor Robert Putnam.

Here, Ehrenhalt takes the reader on a tour of Chicago (and by extension, America) by focusing on the lives of the parishioners in St Nicholas of Tolentine parish, the people in the African-American urban ghetto of Bronzeville and those living in the new and prosperous suburb of Elmhurst.

Ehrenhalt’s analysis also demonstrates the greater social harmony enjoyed by those labouring under the various constraints of the unspoken social contract which linked community to the existence of strong authority.

Across all three communities, a strong religious pervaded, but particularly in St Nick’s parish, as it was affectionately known.

Here, we get a sense of what urban Catholicism in America was really like. Chicago, Ehrenhalt writes, was the largest American archdiocese, containing more than two million practising Catholics, along with 400 parishes (a number that was then growing by six parishes on average each year) and 300,000 parochial school students.

Here as elsewhere, Irish priests presided over a diverse range of European ethnicities. Not only did the church draw together the great bulk of parishioners each Sunday, it was also the centre for most of the social activity.

For the men, the Holy Name Society reigned supreme, with activities ranging from bowling leagues and golf outings to Eucharistic Adoration and attendance at packed monthly talks.

For women – here as elsewhere the more religiously committed of the sexes – there was the Altar and Rosary Society, whose members cleaned the church, prepared food for parish meetings and promoted Marian devotions within every family home.

In this setting, the source of the authority was clear. The saintly Monsignor Fennessy strode through the parish in his cassock, imparting wisdom in his Irish brogue, while at the same time, his intimidating and authoritarian curate Father Lynch – who had served as a Marine chaplain on the bloodiest beaches during the Pacific campaign – handled the day-to-day running of such a large parish.

Aside from the religious conformism within a pre-Vatican II parish, Ehrenhalt details the various ways in which those living inside the parish’s boundaries had fewer choices than their modern counterparts: including when it came to the jobs they did or the stores they shopped in.

Some were far less fortunate. Black Chicagoans had far less say over where they could live, let alone what they could do with their lives.

In this community known as Bronzeville, institutions such as black churches, black businesses and social institutions (such as the Chicago Defender newspaper) and the Democratic Party machine were of paramount importance.

The exodus to suburbia was one of the most consequential social processes in the 20th century, and Ehrenhalt’s third profile is of one such community to the west of the city, where many World War II veterans flocked to raise their families in peace and prosperity.

In Elmhurst, civic society had to be created almost from scratch, and the spirit of this epoch allowed for this: indeed, it necessitated it.

“The new suburbanites were not fleeing community, or even the particular communities they were leaving behind… But they believed, with the faith of the 1950s, that community was something they could simply recreate in the place they were moving to. And they did everything they could to recreate it, with an energy that sometimes bordered on compulsiveness,” the author writes.

Throughout the book, Ehrenhalt is at pains to avoid engaging in a nostalgia-driven argument, and he freely acknowledges that the near-universal popularity of social clubs, functions and organisations carried with it disadvantages for those who would have preferred a more detached or independent life.

There were also real limits to the meaningfulness of much of this togetherness. One burst of enthusiasm in Elmhurst led to the creation of a new Presbyterian church which quickly developed into a large congregation.

This new suburban religiosity, though, had clear parallels with the rise of popular preachers who Ehrenhalt suggests “seemed to offer religion as something comfortable and almost effortless, a pleasant reassurance against personal doubt and insecurity.”

Ehrenhalt cannot be fairly accused of looking at the past through rose-tinted glasses, and he also makes clear that the restoration of a greater sense of community (which most people today likely aspire to) can hardly come about with the restoration of social authority (which most people today would likely recoil from).

“Authority and community have in fact unravelled together, but few mourn the passing of authority,” he reflects.

Disciplinarian teachers, stern parents and harsh clerics who preached an uncompromising Gospel were never popular, but they played an important role in preserving an orderly way of life.

Indeed, Ehrenhalt notes the way in which the common perception of widespread social repression prior to the social revolution of the 60s (including in popular history and literature) often comes directly from the pen of those who were disgruntled with their minority status within a broadly contented social milieu.

“Much of the image of American Catholic life in those years comes from the work of former Catholics who considered the church they grew up in not only authoritarian but destructive of their free choices and creative instincts,” Ehrenhalt explains, before adding that “[i]f you visit a working-class Catholic parish in a big city, and ask the older parishioners what they think of the church in the days before Vatican II, they don’t tell you that it was tyrannical or that it destroyed their individuality. They tell you they wish they could have it back.”

Ehrenhalt vivid description of Chicago’s neighbourhoods in the heyday of civic engagement and the subsequent decline ties in neatly with the work of other authors who have focused on community, and in particular the ground-breaking work of Robert Nisbet.

As with the central argument of “The Lost City,” Nisbet’s criteria for defining community made clear that some form of authority had to exist – which he observed came about through habit or custom.

Even more striking (and to some, off-putting) than Ehrenhalt’s emphasis on moral authority is the stress which he places on sin: the common belief that it truly existed, and that it had to be resisted.

Towards the end of “The Lost City,” Ehrenhalt revisits the three communities to show how much had changed. Gone are the lines outside the confessionals of the much more sparsely attended St Nick’s and gone are the cassocks which the priests once wore.

In Elmhurst, the close-knit and geographically based ties which were established so quickly had fallen apart to be replaced by much looser connections, with one of the key driving forces being the rise of two-job families where neither parent had the time needed “at home for the gestures of community that bound the original residents together.”

And while the residents of what was Bronzeville now had immeasurably more freedom in a racially integrated city, many of the more affluent black citizens had exercised that freedom to leave to find new homes in areas less plagued by social dysfunction and crime.

Ehrenhalt’s analysis is profound and has relevance far beyond Chicago. A similar decline to what occurred in St Nick’s parish can be witnessed in more extreme form in a country like Ireland, where the moral authority of the Catholic priesthood had been even more elevated, and where its fall from grace has been even more precipitous.

The author’s wise reflections on the false and ahistorical narrative which has been created about the recent past certainly deserves the attention of those aspiring to set right the historical record in time.

There is little hope of a sudden return to community, but Ehrenhalt notes the various examples in recent history (such as Victorian Britain) where ordered liberty was restored after a period of social disorder.

“For that to happen anytime soon,” he concludes, “the generations that launched the rebellion will have to force itself to rethink some of the unexamined ‘truths’ with which it has lived its entire adult life. It will have to recognise that privacy, individuality, and choice are not free goods, and that the society that places no restrictions on them pays a high price for that decision.”

Everything that has occurred since the publication of this book in 1996 suggests that those who have led the liberal charge towards ever greater permissiveness will not pause to consider what has been lost, as well as what has been gained.

Those who recognise the value of a communitarian bargain that places limits on our behaviour can still learn from Ehrenhalt and take heart from the prospect that what was torn down could yet again be recreated.


James Bradshaw writes on topics including history, culture, film and literature. More by James Bradshaw

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Lab-grown ‘meat’ worse for environment than retail beef: Study thumbnail

Lab-grown ‘meat’ worse for environment than retail beef: Study

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

The lab-grown meat industry is propped up more by hopeful modelling than favourable data.

The high-tech utopia we keep hearing about will have to wait, if a recent pre-print study on laboratory-cultured meat products is to be believed.

According to researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of California, Holtville, “sustainable” meat alternatives have a carbon footprint that is likely “orders of magnitude” higher than retail beef based on current and near-term production methods.

Cultured meat production may be pumping out between four and 25 times more carbon dioxide per kilogram than regular beef, according to the new research, which assessed energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through all stages of production.

If the study passes peer review, its conclusion would be damning: lab-grown meat, long touted as a clean, green alternative to the traditional butcher process, could be harming the planet more than the industry it’s trying to displace.

Truly, who could have guessed that growing meat in giant steel bioreactors using highly-processed pharmaceutical products would be worse for the environment than a herd of cows chewing grass?

The researchers did not rule out the possibility that technological advances that enable a move from using pharmaceutical-grade ingredients to their food-grade equivalents could eventually tip the scales in favour of artificially grown meat.

“It’s possible we could reduce its environmental impact in the future, but it will require significant technical advancement to simultaneously increase the performance and decrease the cost of the cell culture media,” according to UCD food scientist Edward Spang.

However, the team’s findings suggest that in its current state, the lab-grown meat sector is propped up more by hopeful modelling (read: wishful thinking) than favourable present-day data.

Derrick Risner is another of the UCD food scientists who worked on the study. He wrote that their findings were important “given that investment dollars have specifically been allocated to this sector with the thesis that this product will be more environmentally friendly than beef,” adding, “my concern would just be scaling this up too quickly and doing something harmful for the environment”.

According to Science Alert, which reported on the pre-print study:

While cultured meat uses less land than herds of cattle or flocks of sheep, not to mention less water and antibiotics, environmental costs of the highly specific nutrients required to grow the product rapidly add up.

These include running laboratories to extract growth factors from animal serums, as well as growing crops for sugars and vitamins.

Then there’s the energy required to purify all of these broth ingredients to a high standard before they can be fed to the growing meat lumps. This energy-intensive, extreme level of purification is needed to prevent introducing microbes to the culture.

In their research, the California-based team also reviewed the most climate-friendly beef production systems already in operation today. They found that these outperformed even the best synthetic meat processes available.

The California researchers are not the first to have reached the conclusion that real beef is better for the planet than artificial alternatives.

A 2019 University of Oxford study published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems likewise found that the energy used to make cultivated meat could release more greenhouse gases than traditional farming.

Modelling traditional versus lab-grown meat options 1,000 years into the future, the team in Oxford concluded that synthetic meat would only be “climactically superior” depending on “the availability of decarbonized energy generation and the specific production systems that are realized”.

Reporting on the 2019 research, Vox summarised: “Yes, cows produce a lot of methane, and methane is very bad for global warming. Yet it only lasts in the atmosphere for a dozen years. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, lasts more than a century. And you know what releases a lot of CO2? Labs — including those that make cultured meat.”

So while start-ups in Silicon Valley continue to pour millions of investment capital into poor substitutes with a bigger carbon footprint than Betsy, do your part for the environment and order your favourite fillet next time you dine out.


Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate… More by Kurt Mahlburg

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘Horrifying’: 21 State AGs Back Florida Parents’ Lawsuit against School for Secret Trans Talks with Daughter thumbnail

‘Horrifying’: 21 State AGs Back Florida Parents’ Lawsuit against School for Secret Trans Talks with Daughter

By Family Research Council

On Wednesday, 21 state attorneys general filed a joint amicus brief in support of two Florida parents who are suing their daughter’s middle school for engaging in private talks with the then 13-year-old about her gender identity without her parents’ knowledge or consent.

The lawsuit filed by January and Jeffrey Littlejohn alleges that school officials at Deerlake Middle School in Tallahassee implemented a “transgender support plan” after their daughter questioned her gender at school without informing them. When January Littlejohn found out about the situation and confronted the school, she was “told by the school guidance councilor [sic] and vice-principal that they could not disclose what had been talked about in the meeting, and that Littlejohn’s daughter needed to give consent by-law for her parents to be informed about or be present for future discussions.”

“Eventually we did see the transgender support plan, which was a six-page document that they completed with my daughter, [who] was 13 at the time behind closed doors, where they asked her questions that would have absolutely impacted her safety, such as which restroom she preferred to use and which sex she preferred to room with on overnight field trips,” Littlejohn said.

The document also asked what names and pronouns the student preferred, as well as whether or not the student wanted to inform their parents about the transition. “The plan also stated to use her birth name when speaking to us in effect to deceive us of the social transition that had occurred,” Littlejohn explained.

After a federal district court in Florida sided with the school, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen led a coalition of 21 state AGs in filing an amicus brief in support of the Littlejohns’ continued legal fight.

“This is a very seminal case,” he contended on Thursday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.” “I mean, look, you’ve got a situation here where a public school has basically inserted itself between a child and the child’s parents, and that should horrify everyone. What’s even more horrifying is that a federal district court in Florida found that that was okay, which is why we’re going up to the 11th Circuit.”

Knudsen continued, “It’s a long-standing facet of American jurisprudence that parents are the primary decision makers for their children. We call them minors for a reason. They haven’t reached the age of majority yet, to use a legal term. We don’t let minors join the military. We don’t let them consume alcohol. We don’t let them vote until they’re 18. And there’s good reason for that because their brains are not fully developed. We know this from science, but we also know from thousands of years of just being humans that parents are in a better place to make decisions for their children.”

In addition to Montana, the states who signed on to the brief include: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

In response to Perkins’s question about where a court ruling against the parents could lead, Knudsen was frank. “Does it go next to actual transitioning? Does it go to surgery? … You’re asking the right question — where does this end? That’s what’s so concerning about this.”

The Montana attorney general went on to assert that alternative forms of schooling have only increased in stature in recent years as a result of a variety of public education controversies.

“I would argue that between COVID and some of these crazy decisions that we’re getting out of some school districts, this has been a boon for homeschooling,” Knudsen said. “It’s been a boon for Christian education. It’s been a boon for private schooling. School choice has really benefited from this. And I don’t think the schools probably intended on that. But I think it’s a positive outcome here.”

Perkins concurred, commending Knudsen for his leadership in support of parental rights. “We’ve got to make sure that we have individuals like you that are protecting the rights of parents to make those decisions, because don’t think they’ll stop just with their gender transition. They’ll reach to try to keep [parents] from making educational choices.”


Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

GOP Rep Calls Abortion the Fruit of the ‘Church of Satan,’ Loses His Leadership Position thumbnail

GOP Rep Calls Abortion the Fruit of the ‘Church of Satan,’ Loses His Leadership Position

By Family Research Council

A pro-life Republican state representative lost his leadership position for saying that abortion is the fruit of the “Church of Satan.”

North Carolina State Representative Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort) responded to a Democratic representative who tried to justify her decision to have an elective abortion by citing her church membership and belief in the “power of God.”

The exchange came during the General Assembly’s debate over whether to override the veto by Governor Roy Cooper (D) of a bill to protect most unborn babies from abortion beginning at 12 weeks.

State Rep. Diamond Staton-Williams (D-Cabarrus) said she and her husband decided to abort their third child “after much consideration, thought, and, of course, prayer.”

She did not say whether she had an abortion before or after 12 weeks. Yet she said the bill would remove a “God-given right.”

She then implied her Christian faith endorsed her decision to have an abortion. “I am someone who has grown up in the church and believes in the power of God. I know that I go through trials and tribulations. I know we all will,” said Staton-Williams. “And I know that, ultimately, I have been given the freedom of mind to make decisions for myself.”

Rep. Kidwell reportedly said privately to another Republican on the floor that any church that supports abortion sounds like the “Church of Satan.”

The Satanic Temple does, in fact, teach that “The Satanic Abortion Ritual” is “a sacrament which surrounds and includes the abortive act.” The rival Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey, eschews the term “sacrament” but declares that abortion “should be within the rights of the pregnant person.”

“I think it’s using the Lord’s Name in vain to say you would make a decision to have an abortion as a result of prayer,” North Carolina Values Coalition Executive Director Tammi Fitzgerald — who was in the chamber when the exchange took place — told The Washington Stand. Lawmakers should only present their stand as biblical “if it conforms with Scripture.”

The Bible proclaims a life-affirming message and has been consistently interpreted to prohibit abortion for 2,000 years by both traditional Christianity and Judaism.

Invoking her childhood church membership seems “an apparent attempt to shield herself from criticism” for embracing harmful policies, David Closson, director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand. He noted that Staton-Williams has also “touted her progressive views on LGBTQ issues,” such as membership in an LGBT pressure group’s “Electeds for Equality,” a group of politicians “who publicly align themselves with the larger movement for LGBTQ” political power.

“Let’s be clear what is happening here: The representative is cloaking anti-biblical views, positions that directly contradict the Bible’s clear teaching, into religious-sounding language in an attempt to find a middle way. But there is no middle way when it comes to these issues. You are either on the side of Scripture or against it,” Closson told TWS.

Democrats have increasingly attempted to shroud their support for abortion-on-demand and LGBTQ issues in religious rhetoric. U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who calls himself a “pro-choice pastor,” has said, “I think that human agency and freedom is consistent with my views as a minister.” The Bible tells Christians, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (I Peter 2:16).

Other Democrats regularly speak of abortion-on-demand only in religious language. “The right to have an abortion is sacred,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) last June. “The right to an abortion is non-negotiable. Reproductive freedom is sacred,” said the Twitter account of Senator John Fetterman (D-Pa.).

But “the Bible’s teaching on life, marriage, and sexuality is straightforward, and no attempt to find a middle way on these issues will ultimately prove successful,” Closson told TWS.

House leaders proved more successful in leveraging outrage over Kidwell’s comments to wrench him out of House leadership. “To challenge a person’s religion when they share a deeply personal story … that is beneath the dignity of this House, and that is beneath the dignity of any elected office,” fumed House Minority Leader Robert Reives (D).

House Majority Leader John Bell (R) asked Kidwell to resign his leadership position as deputy majority whip, and Kidwell complied.

Yet Bell’s decision did not mollify local Democrats, who demanded Kidwell step down from office altogether. Dare County Democratic Party Chair Susan Sawin said Kidwell’s belief that Christianity does not endorse abortion renders him “unfit to serve.” Kidwell, one of the founders of the state’s House Freedom Caucus, has regularly drubbed his Democratic opponents at the polls, carrying more than 60% of his district in both of his elections.

After Staton-Williams’s comments, the Republican-controlled legislature voted to overturn Cooper’s veto of the life-protecting bill, which the Democrat vetoed at a massive outdoor rally on May 13, the day before Mother’s Day. Republicans needed exactly 60% of the total vote to uphold the Care for Women, Children and Families Act (S.B. 20). The GOP held exactly that margin — 72 out of 120 members of the General Assembly and 30 out of 50 senators — after Rep. Tricia Cotham (R-Charlotte) switched parties in April. Both chambers enacted the pro-life protections by overriding Cooper’s veto on May 16 in separate, party-line votes.

“I’d just like to thank the heroic efforts of Republicans in the House and Senate of finding common ground and passing historic legislation that will save thousands of unborn babies. It was no less than a miracle that they were able to pass a bill,” Fitzgerald told TWS.

Yet the dueling narratives and continuing fallout over the debate “reminds us that worldview is always just beneath the surface of the day’s headlines,” Closson concluded.


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council. 

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Under Investigation for Partisan Behavior, DOJ Commits More Partisan Behavior thumbnail

Under Investigation for Partisan Behavior, DOJ Commits More Partisan Behavior

By Family Research Council

House Republicans have threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against FBI Director Christopher Wray over his defiance of a House Oversight Committee subpoena, which demands an unclassified document it suspects will expose Joe Biden’s complicity in his family influence-peddling scheme. Wray reportedly agreed to turn over the document on Friday. At the same time that it has seemingly stonewalled Congress to protect Democrats, the Department of Justice (DOJ) — of which the FBI is a part — is unashamedly pursuing other legal battles that are widely perceived as partisan.

In a May 3 subpoena, the House Oversight Committee directed Wray to turn over all FD-1023 forms containing the word “Biden” produced during June 2020 by Tuesday, May 30. An FD-1023 form is a standard form for internal FBI communications. The highly specific request was based on “whistleblower disclosures” alerting them to the existence of “an unclassified FD-1023 form that describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions,” wrote House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in an accompanying letter. “It has been alleged that the document includes a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose.”

However, the FBI refused to comply with the subpoena or even acknowledge the existence of the document. “They are not above the law,” said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who called Wray and told him to send the document on Tuesday, the deadline. “We have jurisdiction over the FBI, which they seem to act like we do not.”

In a Tuesday press release, Chairman Comer announced, “Today, the FBI informed the Committee that it will not provide the unclassified documents subpoenaed by the Committee. The FBI’s decision to stiff-arm Congress and hide this information from the American people is obstructionist and unacceptable.” He stated his intention of “taking steps to hold the FBI Director in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a lawful subpoena.”

After talking to Wray, Comer issued another press release on Wednesday, “Today, FBI Director Wray confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 form alleging then-Vice President Biden engaged in a criminal bribery scheme with a foreign national. However, Director Wray did not commit to producing the documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee.” Wray “offered to allow us to see the documents in person at FBI headquarters,” but Comer made “clear that anything short of producing these documents … is not in compliance with the subpoena” and would result in contempt proceedings.

In response to mounting pressure and possible contempt charges, Wray agreed to turn over the document on Friday.

Wray’s pretense for withholding the document was that it might reveal a confidential human source. But Grassley responded, “The FBI has apparently leaked classified information to the news media in recent weeks, jeopardizing its own human sources,” yet refuses “to provide a specific unclassified record” to Congress.

Wray’s action (or inaction) constitutes “defiance of a legitimate congressional subpoena,” Grassley warned. Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy agreed, writing that Wray is “about to be held in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena that he has no lawful basis to defy.” He explained that “the executive branch can legitimately defy congressional subpoenas” in circumstances where the legislature attempts “to usurp or undermine the constitutional authority of the president,” but that those circumstances are irrelevant to the FBI, which Congress created.

The only plausible reason for Wray’s stonewalling tactics is to shield President Biden by withholding information that is at best embarrassing and at worst criminal. The House Oversight Committee is conducting a widespread investigation into the Biden family, which has begun to unearth what appears to be a sordid web of foreign influence-peddling. From a partial review of bank records, the committee has already tracked over $10 million in foreign cash — from places like China, Ukraine, and Romania — through 21 shell corporations to at least nine members of the Biden family — for no discernable reason other than Biden’s influential position as vice president under Barack Obama.

Oddly enough, the DOJ’s protection of the Biden family seems to do less with his position as president and more with his affiliation as a Democrat. Earlier this month, news broke that a former federal prosecutor had reported bribery allegations to the DOJ as early as October 2018 — while Biden held no governmental office, and while Trump was in the White House — but was ignored.

Meanwhile, political figures who are not Democrats can expect the DOJ to target them and their family members just as zealously as they shield the Bidens. On Wednesday, May 31 — the same day Wray told Comer he would not deliver the subpoenaed document — the DOJ announced it had filed a civil action against 13 coal companies owned or operated by Jim Justice III, son of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, Jr. (R), to collect $7.6 million in penalties. The press release alleged the companies had committed 130 violations of federal law over a five-year period (2018-2022) and had received “over 50 cessation orders.”

The timing of this announcement raised suspicions. A poll conducted last week of the West Virginia Senate race showed Governor Justice leading incumbent Senator Joe Manchin (D) by 22 points. It’s too much to ask anyone to believe that, after 50 cessation orders over five years, the DOJ just happened to file suit a week after a poll showed Justice III’s father with a massive lead over an incumbent Democratic senator. “Utterly brazen,” responded Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “When I said the Biden DOJ is the most political & partisan DOJ in history, I wasn’t kidding…” It’s also noteworthy that the alleged violations began in 2018, the year after Governor Justice switched to the Republican party.

The DOJ’s political interference was also on display in its refusal to prosecute Rachael Rollins. As U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Rollins leaked “non-public, sensitive” information acquired in her official capacity in an attempt to help Boston City Councilman Ricardo Arroyo in the Democratic primary for Suffolk district attorney against Kevin Hayden, then the interim D.A., according to a 161-page report published in May by the DOJ’s internal watchdog agency, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Rollins, who resigned in May, then “falsely testified under oath” by denying she had leaked non-public information. Although the OIG recommended prosecution, the DOJ declined to prosecute Rollins.

It’s not that the DOJ is too busy to investigate alleged wrongdoing by those on the political Left. No, they’re working hard not to investigate. An IRS whistleblower who participated in the DOJ’s investigation into Hunter Biden, the president’s son — which has dragged on since at least 2018 without charges — said last week, “There were multiple steps that were slow-walked — were just completely not done — at the direction of the Department of Justice.” He added that the “deviations from the normal process” were “way outside the norm.” Instead of correcting the discrepancies or speeding up the investigation, the DOJ (not knowing the whistleblower’s identity) got the IRS to remove the entire team from the investigation.

To the uninitiated, the notion that America’s premier federal law enforcement agency has hopelessly prostituted the integrity of its mission for the short-term benefit of left-wing politicians sounds far-fetched, even conspiratorial. But when one monitors their actual behavior, evidence of politicization soon becomes overwhelming. The question, “is the DOJ politically biased?” becomes such a foregone conclusion that it seems to belong in a TV advertisement, right after the question, “Can Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?”

Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said last week, “I think the DOJ and FBI have lost their way. I think that they’ve been weaponized against Americans who think like me and you, and I think they’ve become very partisan.” He said he would replace Wray on Day One and “[clear] out people who are not doing the job.” He isn’t the only one who thinks that should be done.


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.