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Federal Fiscal Shortfall Nears $1 Million Per Household

By James D. Agresti

The U.S. Treasury has published a major report revealing that the federal government has amassed $124.1 trillion in debts, liabilities, and unfunded obligations. To place this shortfall in perspective, it equates to:

  • $955,407 for every household in the U.S.
  • 29 times annual federal revenues.
  • 86% of the combined net worth of all U.S. households and nonprofit organizations, including all assets in savings, real estate, corporate stocks, private businesses, and durable consumer goods like automobiles and furniture.

The new data reflect the government’s finances at the close of its 2021 fiscal year on September 30, 2021. Unlike other estimates of the federal government’s red ink which extend into the infinite future, the figure of $124.1 trillion only includes Americans who are alive right now. Thus, it measures the financial burden that today’s Americans are placing on future generations.

Officially called the “Financial Report of the United States Government,” this 258-page publication is mandated by a federal law which requires the Treasury and White House to produce a full accounting of the government’s “overall financial position” each year. Beyond the national debt, this also includes the government’s explicit and implicit commitments. This methodology approximates the accounting standards that the federal government imposes on publicly traded corporations.

Although the report discloses information of crucial import to the citizens of the United States, Google News indicates that no major media outlet has informed anyone about it since it was released on February 17, 2022.

A Comprehensive Accounting

As explained in the report, the federal government’s budget is “prepared primarily on a ‘cash basis’.” This is an incomplete measure of its finances because cash accounting is the simplistic process of counting money as it flows in or out. For example, cash accounting ignores the pension benefits promised to federal workers until these benefits are actually paid, which is often years or decades after they are promised.

In contrast to cash accounting, this Treasury report uses accrual accounting, which measures financial commitments as they are made. The U.S. Government Accountability Office, the official watchdog of Congress, explains that the report uses accrual accounting “to provide a complete picture of the federal government’s financial operations and financial position.”

The federal government requires large corporations to use accrual accounting for their pension plans because this is the “most relevant and reliable” way to measure their financial health. The same applies to other retirement benefits like healthcare. The official statement of this rule explains that “a failure to accrue” implies “that no obligation exists prior to the payment of benefits.” Since an obligation does exist, failing to account for it “impairs the usefulness and integrity” of financial statements.

Nevertheless, the media and politicians routinely cite the federal budget and national debt, while ignoring the far more comprehensive and bleaker data from this Treasury report.

Federal Employee Retirement Benefits

The differences between the federal budget and the broader Treasury data have major consequences for future taxpayers, partly because pension and other retirement benefits are a large part of the compensation packages for government employees. When these benefits are included, civilian non-postal federal employees receive an average of 17% more total compensation than private-sector workers with comparable education and work experience. Postal workers receive even greater premiums ranging from 25% to 43%.

In 2020, federal, state, and local governments spent $2.13 trillion on employee compensation, which amounts to an average cost of $16,556 for every household in the United States.

The Treasury report shows that the federal government currently owes $10.2 trillion in pensions and other benefits to federal employees and veterans. To pay the present value of these benefits will require an average of $78,372 from every household in the United States.

Social Security & Medicare

A similar situation exists with social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare because, contrary to popular belief, these programs don’t save workers’ tax payments for their retirements. Instead, they immediately spend the vast majority of those taxes to pay benefits to current recipients. Thus, they are called “pay-as-you-go” programs.

In stark contrast, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis states that “federal law requires that private pension plans operate as funded plans, not as pay-as-you-go plans.” The reasons for this, as explained by the American Academy of Actuaries, are to increase “benefit security” and ensure “intergenerational equity.” Social Security and Medicare, on the other hand, have levied increasing tax burdens on succeeding generations of Americans and have accumulated trillions of dollars in unfunded obligations.

Federal actuaries measure the unfunded obligations of Social Security and Medicare in several different ways, but only one of them approximates accrual accounting. This is called the “closed-group” unfunded obligation, which is the money needed to cover the shortfalls for all current taxpayers and beneficiaries in these programs.

In the words of Harvard Law School professor and federal budget specialist Howell E. Jackson, the closed-group measure “reflects the financial burden or liability being passed on to future generations.” These burdens are $43.2 trillion for Social Security and $47.8 trillion for Medicare. To place these figures in context:

  • Social Security’s unfunded obligations amount to an additional $247,327 from every person who currently pays Social Security payroll taxes.
  • Medicare’s unfunded obligations amount to an additional $183,614 from every U.S. resident aged 16 or older.

Those shortfalls are what remain after the federal government has paid back with interest all of the money it has borrowed from Social Security and Medicare. This debunks the common myth that Social Security’s financial problems are caused by the federal government looting it to pay for other programs. Just the opposite, the federal government has repeatedly boosted Social Security by raising its payroll tax rate, increasing its inflation-adjusted taxable maximum, and injecting other taxes to its income stream.

Yet, the program is still facing insolvency, mainly because the ratio of workers paying taxes to people receiving benefits has fallen by 47% since 1960 and is projected to fall further.

Social Security and Medicare differ from true pensions because taxpayers don’t have a contractual right to receive these benefits. Nevertheless, paying these benefits is an implied commitment of the federal government, and federal law requires that these programs be included in the Treasury report.

Other Obligations

Beyond the national debt, federal employee retirement benefits, and Social Security and Medicare shortfalls—the Treasury details other obligations of the federal government. These, include, for example:

  • $123 billion in accounts payable.
  • $613 billion in environmental and disposal liabilities.
  • $231 billion in loan guarantee program liabilities.

Federal Assets

The Treasury report also measures the federal government’s commercial assets, such as:

  • $475 billion in cash and other monetary assets.
  • $1.2 trillion in property, plants, and equipment.
  • $1.7 trillion in receivable loans, mainly comprised of student loans.

The report, however, doesn’t account for federal stewardship of land and heritage assets, such as national parks and the original copy of the Declaration of Independence. While these items have tangible value, the report explains that they “are intended to be preserved as national treasures,” not sold to the highest bidder to cover debts.

In total, the government owned $4.9 trillion in commercial assets at the close of its 2021 fiscal year.

The Grand Total

Adding up the federal government’s debts, liabilities, and unfunded obligations and then subtracting the value of its commercial assets yields a fiscal shortfall of $124.1 trillion.

Moreover, the actual figure may be significantly worse because the Treasury’s data is based on federal agency assumptions that are optimistic in these respects:

  • A 2012 paper in the journal Demography found that the Social Security Administration is using an antiquated method to project life expectancies, and as a result, the program “may be in a considerably more precarious position than officially thought.”
  • When the federal government makes student loans, it projects that it will eventually reap a 9% average profit from interest on the loans. However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined that if the federal government accounted for the market risk of these loans, it would show an average loss of 12% on every dollar it lends. If President Biden forgives more student loans, as he is saying he may do, this would further increase the fiscal burden on future generations.
  • The Board of Medicare Trustees has stated that the program’s long-term costs may be “substantially higher” than projected under current law. This is because the price controls in Obamacare will cut Medicare prices for many medical services over the next three generations to “less than half of their level under the prior law.” The actuaries have been clear that this will likely cause “withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market” and “severe problems with beneficiary access to care.”

The Future is Here

In 2013, CBO ran a long-term projection of the publicly held debt, a partial measure of the national debt often cited by federal agencies and media outlets. This projection was unique in that it estimated what would occur under current federal policies and their economic effects, as opposed to other CBO projections that use unrealistic assumptions and budget gimmicks.

CBO’s 2013 projection estimated that the debt would grow over the next two decades to unprecedented levels unless the government changed course. Nine years later, the actual outcomes have been far worse, mainly due to more than $5 trillion in spending on “Covid relief” laws:

Drivers

Contrary to the media narrative that tax cuts and military spending are to blame for the runaway national debt, the primary cause is greater spending on social programs which provide healthcare, income security, education, nutrition, housing, and cultural services. These programs have grown from 21% of all federal spending in 1960 to 73% in 2020:

Under current laws and policies, CBO projects that almost all future growth in spending will be due to social programs and interest on the national debt.

Harmful Effects

broad range of academic publications explain that excessive government debt can cause far-reaching negative outcomes, such as lower wages, increased inflation, weak economic growth, higher taxes, reduced government benefits, or combinations of such results.

Likewise, the U.S. Government Accountability Office warns that “the costs of federal borrowing will be borne by tomorrow’s workers and taxpayers,” which “may reduce or slow the growth of the living standards of future generations.”

Such effects may have already begun. Although association does not prove causation, the national debt has risen dramatically over past decades, and with this, the U.S. has experienced episodes of historically poor growth in gross domestic productproductivity, and household income. Along with this, rapid inflation has set in, another common consequence of excessive government debt.

While some believe the U.S. government can spend and borrow with abandon because it can print money, one of the most established laws of economics is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The prolific economist William A. McEachern explains why this is so:

There is no free lunch because all goods and services involve a cost to someone. The lunch may seem free to you, but it draws scarce resources away from the production of other goods and services, and whoever provides a free lunch often expects something in return. A Russian proverb makes a similar point but with a bit more bite: “The only place you find free cheese is in a mousetrap.”

*****

This article was published by Just Facts and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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WHO, WEF, SDG, JRB…WTF

By Mark T. Cicero

This summer, the elites of the World Economic Forum (WEF) will convene in Davos Switzerland for Klaus Schwab’s annual confab of the Lear jet set. Part of this meeting is to ratify and endorse the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest draft of the International Health Regulations (IHR). This treaty has had virtually no coverage and it deserves scrutiny at the most minute level.

Background: The WEF is determined to create a more ‘perfect world’ by advancing their “Great Reset” for the purpose of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 (SDG). If you are not aware of this plan, you really need to get a better grasp of this. The SDG is the blueprint for global totalitarianism on a level never before seen on this planet. It was originally intended by Klaus Schwab et al. to be the Millennial Development Goals of 2000, but the world didn’t cooperate. Hence, the new 2030 deadline to make this happen. One of the key elements in their toolkit is the WHO. After all, who could object to an organization devoted to boosting global health?

WHO is run by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is an Ethiopian administrator (noted for his Marxist activism) with questionable credentials to put it mildly. He is completely in the thrall of the Chinese and Xi Jinping. Tedros helped promote the notion that Covid 19 did not originate in China, he praised their transparency and candor in dealing with the virus. He doesn’t have the medical qualifications to manage this organization other than his willingness to kowtow to the Chinese and Bill Gates.

Back to the subject at hand: the IHR as amended by good old Uncle Joe and his new representative to the WHO, Anthony Fauci.

Here are but a few of the gems from this:

1. WHO’s latest release pushes new digital vaccine passports to be used on a global scale.

2. The WHO openly states these personalized digital documents could “be extended to capture vaccination status to protect against other diseases” and may “be used for continuity of care or as proof of vaccination for purposes other than health care,” such as employment, university education and international travel.

3. Empower WHO’s Director-General to declare health emergencies or crises in any nation and to do so unilaterally and against the opposition of the target nation.

4. According to the Forward to WHO’s regulations, there is no specific limit to what constitutes a health emergency, and it is certainly not limited to pandemics. WHO’s domain includes: “8. a scope not limited to any specific disease or manner of transmission, but covering “illness or medical condition, irrespective of origin or source, that presents or could present significant harm to humans… “5. The WHO will have the unilateral power to determine if any member country warrants their intervention, whether the target country agrees or not.

There is a lot more buried in this text but the net result is the same: if codified, the USA will have voluntarily given up its sovereignty to a Chinese puppet: Tedros. If you missed it this week, our vaunted head of the DHS, Mayorkas, has shelved his plan for a Disinformation Governance Board. This is less surprising now that the details of the new IHR become clearer: it has a far more stringent censorship program built into it.

If this is permitted to go forward, this country will have freely erased our Constitution and abandoned the Bill of Rights. Make no mistake, the first amendment will be suspended under this, the second amendment will be next. We begin an eighteen-month review countdown after this is ratified in Davos (which is when this becomes international law) so the time to act is now. Contact your Congressional representatives and let them know that this is not acceptable. This treaty will fundamentally change this country from the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” to the “Land of the Entitled Billionaires and the serfs who serve them”.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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How the United States Conquered Inflation Following the Civil War

By Lawrence Reed

Americans today are once again the victims of price inflation brought on by runaway government spending and printing of unbacked paper money.

According to the most recent polling data, the American public’s approval of Congress stands at a dismal 21 percent. Almost four times as many people disapprove of the job it’s doing.

That’s par for the course in recent decades. It’s the major reason the Washington sausage grinder earns so little praise. To be fair, though, let’s review an occasion when lawmakers got something right. I’m prompted to share this story now because its lessons are especially relevant considering today’s concerns about rising price inflation. The year was 1875.

The Civil War (1861-65) produced disastrous hyperinflation in the Confederacy and considerable currency depreciation of paper greenbacks in the North as well. A decade after Appomattox, Congress still had not made good on its promise to make its paper money redeemable in gold. But in January 1875, alarmed by the rise of pro-inflation agitators (the “Greenbackers,” later to become “silverites”), Congress passed the Specie Payment Resumption Act, which President Ulysses S. Grant later signed into law.

Politicians often break their promises, and this was yet another opportunity to do so. Congress could have declared, “We don’t have the gold necessary to honor our pledge, so we’ll pay gold for greenbacks at 50 cents on the dollar.” But lawmakers chose to be honest for once, and to meet their obligations fully. The Act provided that all paper greenbacks would be redeemable on demand “at par” (100 percent of the earlier promise), beginning on January 1, 1879.

When Rutherford B. Hayes succeeded Grant as President in March 1877, he knew his administration had less than two years to prepare the Treasury and the nation’s banks for redemption. He and his Treasury officials believed the best way to avoid a run on the banks in January 1879 was to shore up the country’s gold reserves. They did so largely by selling bonds to Europeans in exchange for gold.

Redemption Day came amid rumors that people would flood the banks with their paper greenbacks and demand the promised gold, but just the opposite happened. Hardly anybody showed up at bank teller windows asking for the yellow metal. Why? Because the Treasury had accumulated more than enough gold to take care of convertibility, and the public knew it. The lesson? When people have good reason to believe their paper money is “as good as gold,” they prefer the convenience of paper.

Former United States Circuit Judge Randall R. Rader writes,

The year 1879 brought the resumption of the redeemable currency. The consumer price index stabilized at 28 in that year. For more than three decades thereafter (World War I interrupted the price tranquility), the index never rose above 29 or dipped below 25. The index remained at 27 for a decade. Never did it rise or fall more than a single point in a year. The gold standard worked throughout that entire period to keep prices remarkably stable.

Americans today are once again the victims of price inflation brought on by runaway government spending and the printing of unbacked paper money. Does the Specie Payment Resumption Act of 1875 offer a model that could solve the problem? Yes and No.

Certainly, tying the dollar to a precious metal would exert a discipline desperately needed in monetary policy. Putting the Federal Reserve out of business would be a meaningful and positive reform as well; since its inception in 1913, it has given us one Great Depression, a bunch of recessions and a currency worth maybe 1/20th of its 1913 value. The Fed is an inflation factory, stumbling and fumbling from one self-inflicted crisis after another. Gold convertibility, as the 1875 act provided, would signify a restoration of integrity and monetary sanity that we haven’t seen in a hundred years.

But two big, fat elephants ensure that an 1875-like reform would immediately collapse unless they are summarily escorted out of the room. One is dishonest politicians. Washington is overrun with them—people who are interested first and foremost in short-term power and re-election and least of all in the long-term economic health of the country. Many are (pardon my bluntness) economic morons, oblivious to the red ink even as they drown in it.

The other elephant—the presence of which is a confirmation and consequence of the first—is a massive, annual budget deficit.

For half a century from 1865 until World War I, the federal government ran an almost unbroken string of budget surpluses. Today, it produces trillion-dollar deficits without batting an eye, and the President demands trillions more in spending and debt. If he announced today that the dollar would henceforth be backed by gold, the world would laugh, and you and I would rush to the banks with our paper before the gold ran out.

In other words, monetary discipline goes hand in hand with fiscal discipline. A return to sound money is impossible without a simultaneous return to sound budget management. In the face of a monstrous budget deficit and an even more frightening $30 trillion national debt, Congress just voted to ship $40 billion to Ukraine without cutting so much as a penny from anything else.

We have neither a Congress nor a President, and perhaps no public consensus either, that would permit anything remotely resembling the 1875 Specie Payment Resumption Act.

And until we do, the dollar is destined for further depreciation. Just as elections have consequences, so do destructive monetary and fiscal policies.

*****

This article was published by FEE, Foundation for Economic Education and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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Arizona Sends Kids as Young as 10 to Gender and Sexuality Chatrooms

By Laurel Duggan

The Arizona Department of Education directs students to LGBT-themed chatrooms for children as young as 10 to discuss gender and sexuality as part of its student resources.

The chatrooms are part of the department’s effort to support LGBT youths, and they were put together with the help of “members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community,” according to the Arizona Department of Education website. The website directs students to numerous LGBT resources, including local clubs, guides for gender transitions, and LBGT chatrooms.

Both of the chats linked to by the state Education Department have moderators, either volunteer or staff, monitoring conversations, some of whom work at LGBT centers.

The Gender Spectrum chatroom advertises online groups for “trans,” “non-binary,” and “gender-expansive youth” and can be joined by video, audio, or chat. Discussion groups are divided into age groups and facilitated by trained volunteers.

Students aged 13-16 and 17-18 are encouraged to sign up, but the 10-12 age group was at capacity, the website said.

“Gender Spectrum hosts free online groups for pre-teens, teens, parents, caregivers, and other family members and adults,” the description of the chatroom on the Arizona Department of Education website said. “These groups provide you with the opportunity to connect with others, share experiences, and feel the comfort of a supportive community.”

The other chatroom is called Q Chat Space and is targeted toward LGBT students ages 13 to 19, according to the state Education Department website. Chats are facilitated by staff who work at LGBT centers but are not mental health professionals, according to the Q Chat Space website.

The Q Chat Space project is put on in collaboration with Planned Parenthood and two LGBT groups, CenterLink and PFLAG.

The site also has a “quick escape” button feature at the bottom of the page that takes users immediately to a blank Google page.

“A Community for LGBTQ+ Teens … Find and give support, have fun, connect around shared interests and get good information,” the website says. “Chat with like-minded peers in live chats designed for you & by you, facilitated by folks who care.”

The Arizona Department of Education, Gender Spectrum, and Q Chat Space did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

*****

This article was published by The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

The Attack on the Justices of the Supreme Court is the Real Insurrection thumbnail

The Attack on the Justices of the Supreme Court is the Real Insurrection

By Ellie Fromm

The motto of the U.S. Supreme Court states “Equal Justice Under Law”. While everyone can agree with this simple statement, recently there has been no application of justice for the Justices of the Supreme Court. The protesters at the homes of the Justices have not been arrested. Remember, protesting outside of Justices’ homes to intimidate them is completely illegal. Along with illegally protesting on private property, pro-abortion groups and demonstrators have interrupted Catholic Mass in many churches, vandalized Catholic churches, and targeted pro-life groups, individuals, and businesses.

Lately, Jen Psaki, the former White House press secretary, has run herself in circles trying not to endorse nor renounce these illegal protests. While she encouraged peace, she never said to stay away from Justices’ homes. Senator Schumer, the Senate majority leader, has endorsed these “peaceful protests”, even though what they are doing is illegal. These protesters are angry, hateful, and screaming obscenities. They have also been threatening the Justices, their families, and the Supreme Court building. Protesting on the grounds of the U.S. Supreme Court, a public federal building, and protesting on Justice’s private homes are completely different. Justice Alito, whose draft was leaked, and his family have even been moved to an undisclosed location due to threats on their well-being from these protesters.

This is an insurrection against our Republic. Yes, I know, I said it. We frequently hear the “AN ATTACK ON OUR DEMOCRACY”! chant Democrats scream while claiming Jan. 6 was an insurrection. If that was an insurrection, then this attack on the Justices of the Supreme Court is an insurrection on steroids. The difference is that the people on January 6 went to the capitol building, which is known as the People’s house. Now, these protesters are going to private homes and intimidating not only the Justices but threatening their children too.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade would not outlaw abortion. It would give the decision back to the states, many of which already have abortion laws in place. The Constitution asserts that anything not explicitly written in the Constitution goes back to the states to be decided by the states. This allows for differences between the states within a united nation. It would be hard to create an amendment for abortion in the Constitution because, without the right to life, all our rights written in the Constitution are void. The right to life is the most basic, without which none of the others exist.

Some say they only support abortions in cases of incest or rape. Incest accounts for less than 0.5% of abortions and rape for 1% of abortions. On the other hand, 74% of abortions occur because women said the child would ‘dramatically change their life’. Since 1973, over 60 million babies have been aborted. Based upon that number, roughly 44.5 million of these babies have been aborted because they would be an inconvenience, or the mother didn’t want them. While some claim it is only a fetus, fetus is a Latin word that, when translated means ‘offspring’. Remember, as Dr. Suess once wrote, “A person’s a person no matter how small”.

For all 233 years of the Supreme Court an opinion draft has never been leaked. There has always been respect for Supreme Court Justices by the clerks of the court, even if they disagreed with them. They understood the rules that keep this democracy intact. Yet, all those years of respect have now been lost because of one rogue clerk who put his or her personal feelings, beliefs, and outrage above the welfare of the country. The clerk, when discovered, will have destroyed his or her career.

Hypocrisies are all too common within the Democrat Party today. It seems that if you don’t have the correct religion, skin tone, political party, or sexuality, you are of no use. Take Larry Elder for example. The left assumes every black person is a grateful Democrat. Yet Larry Elder, a conservative black man, runs against Gavin Newsom for governor of California and is suddenly the face of white supremacy. A black man. The face of white supremacy. Crazy!

If a Republican clerk of the Supreme Court had leaked an opinion, their name would already be all over the media and the FBI would be showing up at their residence. Yet, we still don’t know who leaked this document, let alone if they will be held accountable. It’s sad – it is unknown if we will find out who leaked this opinion or if they will be held accountable. Between the Covid pandemic, the 2020 federal election and the Biden administration, the past three years of our government have taken away pretty much all the faith and trust I had in our government. Over the last six years, with politicians going unpunished for crimes everyone knows they committed, it seems as if there are two sets of laws in this country. One set for the politicians, the high-tech oligarchs, and elite liberals, and one set for us, We the People.

This behavior is not normal but for those of us in Generation Z (born between 1997-2012), this is all we have ever known. Since I began paying attention to the news when I was 10, and even more as I became older, I have noticed that no one can seem to get along or even be civil. One night, when I was talking to my parents about two years ago, I mentioned how exhausting it must be to work in the political sphere because it is always so amped up. Everything seems to be a crisis, and there is never an end to the number of crises. Also, none of the politicians seemed to be able to work together, even if their beliefs are the same. Someone always managed to get offended by the other. I genuinely thought this was normal behavior because it is all I have ever known. My parents assured me it is not normal and they have not seen this degree of incivility and tribalism before. We must inform and stress to younger generations that this behavior, these politics, and this culture is un-American and are not normal or if not changed we will never know better. We need to normalize civility and bring back honor to politics.

The left has put their own agenda above what is good and right for the country and the American people. George Washington warned against this exact behavior in his farewell address, where he said, “They serve to organize Faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force – to put in the place of the delegated will of the Nation, the will of a party: often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the Community”. These illegal protests are a scare tactic, meant to intimidate us into submission instead of standing up for our beliefs and the rights of unborn children. This is very similar to how the riots of summer 2020 began when BLM and Antifa began their intimidation and fear tactics. No more interrupting Mass, targeting pro-lifers, and intimidating judges. That is not the public square. Conservatives must take a stand for their country and their beliefs. Make no mistake, we are in a culture war. This heinous attack on the judiciary is an insurrection and must not be tolerated.

*****

Ellie Fromm is currently serving at The Prickly Pear as a Journalism Intern. Ms. Fromm is entering her senior year in high school and has been home schooled since preschool. 

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

Should President Biden Be Impeached? thumbnail

Should President Biden Be Impeached?

By Neland Nobel

Something big is going on in Trumpland. Recently a poll taken by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst found that over two-thirds of Republicans believe President Joe Biden should be impeached if Republicans take control of both houses of Congress in the coming mid-term elections. You can read more details about the poll by clicking here.

Rather than commenting on the poll or its methodology, we would rather ask a basic question. Is impeachment a good idea?

We have to admit after two impeachment proceedings against our guy, President Trump, the opportunity to pay back is tempting. As they say, karma can be a bitch.

This is particularly the case because Democrats impeached the President for colluding with Russia, which is something the Democrats made up as a campaign dirty trick. It would seem only just to pay them back for this perfidy.

But do we really want to go down that road?  By lowering the bar on impeachment some contend, we could make this simply part of an ever-deteriorating electoral process, to wit, the sore loser simply wants to paralyze their political opposition. Do we want to regularize such behavior?

This would result in constant political warfare within a country already deeply divided. Elections would hardly settle political issues, they would simply mark the first phase of protracted conflict. If this became normalized, we could make ourselves ungovernable.

Just because the Democrats set a bad precedent is no reason for Republicans to use that precedent. We could recognize it for what it was, that it was a very bad precedent, and therefore avoid using it, even if justified.

It could be argued that the very stability of our governance is at stake and that other means can be found, particularly at the ballot box to redress grievances.  And, maybe the judicial system will start to work at putting some guilty people in jail.

However, the bar was not so much lowered in the case of Trump as it was exploited in a way very destructive to the system. In this case, the Democrats did not have weak evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, they virtually manufactured the controversy and paid for it out of official Democratic campaign funds. They then conspired with the press and launched a bogus proceeding. They committed crimes in the process.

Maybe the Durham investigations will finally get at the bottom of the crimes far worse than Watergate and Hillary can try out a new orange jumpsuit. But it would seem, that the wheels of justice not only grind slowly, they sometimes don’t grind at all.

Many cases will be tried in Washington D.C., where the jury pool already looks like it is being rigged. One of the great frustrations of our era is many guilty parties are never charged, and if they are, they will get off. It would be nice to have confidence that the law would be impartially and judiciously applied, but there is a lot of evidence to the contrary.

It is pretty clear the FBI, the FISA courts, the CIA, and the Department of Justice, in fact, the entire judicial mechanism at the Federal level, have been compromised. After 8 years of Obama appointments, the Department of Justice became part of the conspiracy. Can we reasonably look to them to prosecute wrongdoers? The permanent bureaucracy protected by civil service rules runs the show, regardless of the possibility of a new incoming Republican Attorney General. Under this set of factors, getting justice from the judicial system seems like a low percentage bet.

Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised. We certainly hope so. It would be better for the system if Durham is wildly successful.

But if the system is so compromised, would that not argue for impeachment, which is both a political and judicial process, and it is done outside of the compromised law enforcement structure of the executive branch? It would seem to be the only alternative likely to achieve some kind of justice.

Then there are just the plain political optics of the thing. Increasingly, Republicans can frame Democrats as the party of hateful extremists, sexual deviants, Chinese Communist sympathizers, inflationists, and just plain incompetent. Most elections of late are actually won by which party successfully convinces the independent voter since Republicans and Democrats are so evenly matched.

Democrats have also made a hash out of our foreign policy by pulling prematurely out of one war and quickly getting us into conflict with the largest country in landmass, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and a nuclear power.

Democrat policies are directly responsible for the war on energy, resulting in near-run-away inflation and a food crisis. No matter how friendly the press, they can’t hide from Americans what is going on with food and fuel, something consumers buy every day.

Democrats are riding low in the polls.  Do we really want to do anything to distract them from self-destruction?

In short, Republicans can look like the sensible party compared to the Democrats. Even if some voters have some problems with us, we look more reasonable than they do. That will attract what conservative Democrats are left and many independents.  Hispanics are trending our way and we are likely to make progress with Asians and Blacks as well. It should propel Republicans to victory.

Would impeachment ruin that narrative? Would it make us look just as wacko as they appear?

Maybe, but maybe not. Where Biden is really vulnerable is his failure as the chief law enforcement officer to simply enforce the law fairly and without discrimination. We have immigration laws that are simply being ignored. If you don’t like the law, change it.  But until it is changed, his constitutional duty is to enforce the law. He just can’t pick and choose which laws he wishes to enforce. If he does, he is not faithfully executing his Constitutional executive functions.

He also is violating the law by brazenly calling his opponents’ white supremacist terrorists and using the intelligence and enforcement power of government to criminalize his political opposition, even down to the school board level. This is highly dangerous because if his followers believe it, the government will have to act against “terrorists.” In short, he is just one breath away from imprisoning his political opposition. For that, he deserves to be impeached because he is saying this over and over again.

Thus, this is not a case of just vindictive tit for political tat. This is not really political in the partisan sense, it is structural. Our chief law enforcement officer is breaking the law and failing to carry out the duties of his office. That is not a policy position, it is fact.

If framed in this way, does impeachment really look like we are being vindictive? Or, are we using the Constitution to remove a lawbreaking President because neither the Judicial branch nor the Justice Department can really operate under such circumstances? Notice how he threatens the independence of the Judiciary, another impeachable offense.

There are other areas of vulnerability such as selling his office for money in collusion with his son and possibly even hiding his declining mental condition.  But that might look petty while failure to honor his oath of office looks justifiable.

It is a tough call and we offer these thoughts for your consideration. Republicans better start thinking carefully about whether this is something they really want to do, and whether the political optics can be managed knowing full well the press will not be on our side. If the poll is correct, it would seem many have prematurely reached a conclusion without thinking things through.

We had better think carefully or we could do more harm than good to our cause.  If impeachment is to be done, it has to be for good cause, not spite.

Clearly, the first order of business is to win big in November. If we don’t, the whole argument is moot.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

Government’s Stupid Plan While Big Business Greases the Wheels thumbnail

Government’s Stupid Plan While Big Business Greases the Wheels

By Bruce Bialosky

All too often there is a proposal for a government plan that just makes one stare in disbelief at the proposing legislator’s gross ignorance. When you then see that the business community is complicit with said ridiculously stupid plan, it becomes obvious why many people no longer trust big organizations. Following is such a situation.

We have a housing crisis in California. It is not unlike what is going on across America. It is estimated there is a shortage of approximately 1.5 million units. Development has slowed down since the housing crisis that occurred in 2007-08. In California, the housing crisis has driven up prices and caused an exodus of many businesses along with the middle class. The only reason the population has not gone into free fall is the growth of two groups – illegal immigrants and the homeless. The government is taking tax dollars and developing homeless units for $500,000 and up – per unit.

Instead of resolving the underlying problems costs burdened by the government and restricting the development of new units created by the government, as usual, there is a new proposal. It does not address those problems but manages to create a solution so amazingly brainless that you just must stand there with your mouth agape.

Senator Toni Atkins is a powerful member of the California State Legislature. She was formerly the Speaker of the Assembly and is now head of the Senate. People listen when she makes a proposal.

She now has a proposal for a 10-year, $10 billion revolving fund where an individual or family may receive a down payment to purchase a home. The program allocates state funds to provide first-time homebuyers with an interest-free loan of 17% of the purchase price. The money must be repaid when the home is refinanced or sold and only then. As always, it sounds nice on its face, but let us look at the facts.

I understand how difficult it is to gather the down payment for your first home. The Beautiful Wife and I experienced that ourselves in 1987 when acquiring our first home. It has become even more challenging as the price of housing in California has soared. Times have changed and this is where this plan becomes dangerous.

The further you get away from an event the more people forget the pain that was inflicted. We had a housing collapse in 2007-08 that nearly brought our economy to its knees. The government, as always, blamed businesses for bad policies, but concurrent with the events of the time I documented that the root cause was federal government housing and loan policies.

People were simply walking away from their homes or rental properties because they had put little or none of their own funds into the property, per the government’s policy. That caused the collapse. With the decline of housing values, they were “underwater” and just gave the property to the lender with its government-insured loan.

I wrote at the time that some in our federal government had wanted to further expand the acquisition of homes by people with no “skin in the game.” Maxine Waters, one of our most “esteemed” members of Congress is now chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Ms. Waters stated just prior to the collapse that “If you can afford rent, you can afford a mortgage,” a statement so amazingly ignorant it still fascinates and especially now since she is in such a prominent position regarding the nation’s financial affairs.

Ms. Atkins wants to further Congresswoman Waters’ dream of having people with no skin in the game acquire a home. It is not hard to see these same people walk away once things again go bad. They have invested nothing so why should they care? In a repeat housing collapse these loans would just exacerbate the collapse.

Ms. Atkins’ ignorance is understandable. She has zero experience in the real estate market. However, she does excel at taking our money and redirecting it somewhere whether it makes no economic sense.

The ignorance of real estate people is inexcusable. That did not stop the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) from endorsing this dangerous plan. Their board supports this plan. Otto Catrina, C.A.R.’s president, stated “Many Californians can afford a monthly payment but need assistance with the down payment and closing costs, we are pleased to support a plan that provides an opportunity for financial security and housing stability so all Californians can realize the economic and societal benefits homeownership provides.”

After being a licensed real estate broker for 35 years and having a CPA practice with a substantial focus on real estate, it is obvious why I have not joined this organization.

When I contacted the organization, I asked their spokesperson whether the board had forgotten about the last housing crisis. She refused to answer the question. I then asked the second reason that makes this plan so amazingly egregious. I stated I would expect Senator Atkins not to know that the problem with the housing market is an issue of supply; not demand. Did the board not know this when they endorsed the proposal?

Every home sale in California becomes an auction. There are multiple bidders on each home driving the price up as they try to be the winning bidder. There is a severe lack of supply with demand far exceeding the supply. Why anyone would create a program to further increase demand staggers the imagination. Why C.A.R. would not counsel Senator Atkins on this defines how big business goes along with government programs only to feather their own nests.

When I asked the spokesperson why the C.A.R. endorsed this plan in the face of the severe supply shortage, she asked “Don’t you support people owning their own homes, the American dream?” I answered I believe every American should be able to own a 4,000 sq. ft. home (true). She scoffed at that.

It is understandable why Senator Atkins would make this proposal. Her understanding of the housing market is a millimeter thick. It is the obligation of a big trade organization to educate the legislators on the facts. The history of no-money-down home acquisitions and the upside-down supply and demand issues in the market make this plan outrageously ill-advised, yet the C.A.R. has gone along with it.

It is no wonder Californians and people across America no longer trust the government and big business, and believe they are simply lining each other’s pockets.

*****

The article was published by Flash Report and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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Yuma, Dinesh D’Souza and Election Integrity in Arizona

By Shawnna Bolick

Editors’ Note. The following is a message to the supporters of AZ Representative Shawnna Bolick (LD 20) who is currently a Republican candidate for the Arizona Secretary of State. We share Ms. Bolick’s deep and ongoing concern about the integrity of Arizona elections, ballot harvesting, and fraudulent voting with the readers The Prickly Pear. Secure and fair elections are a primary role of the Arizona Secretary of State, Arizona’s Chief Election Office.

Yuma, Arizona has mass voting fraud caught on tape.

2000 Mules, a film by Dinesh D’Souza which debuted in early May, exposed the depth of the organized election fraud that occurred in the 2020 Presidential election and 2021 Georgia runoff election. Using the same cell phone proximity data that law enforcement uses to catch criminals, they found that “mules” were collecting ballots and stuffing ballot boxes in multiple key swing states, including Arizona. Up to 400,000 fraudulent votes, enough to flip many states, were involved in this criminal enterprise because these “mules” were being paid between $10 to $40 per ballot.

When I saw the movie and considered the evidence D’Souza showcased, I was disappointed, but not entirely shocked. When we passed a law prohibiting ballot harvesting, the DNC unsuccessfully sued Arizona to keep the practice alive. The practice is flourishing. Democratic Party-aligned non-profits have historically harvested ballots, but the scope of their fraud in 2020 was more extensive than we could ever imagine.

We will continue to have question marks about the 2020 election. It is clear to me that the ballot box stuffing was highly organized. Yuma’s law enforcement has raided these non-government organizations for false voter registrations, duplicate voting, fraudulent use of absentee ballots and impersonation fraud.

I’ve been rallying our efforts to secure elections in the legislature since I was elected, but I’m running into a lot of opposition. Before 2000 Mules released, we were offered an informational hearing in the House to hear the evidence they presented to the FBI and the AG’s office, but Speaker Bowers denied the hearing. I can be forward thinking and assist in passing laws to secure our future elections, but there are obstructionists preventing Arizona from truly improving the integrity of the process. That’s why I’m running for Arizona’s Chief Election Officer—the Secretary of State—to prevent 2020 from happening under my watch.

ICYMI [In Case You Missed It] a few weeks ago, my legislative office received six public records requests from left wing organizations, including one from The Washington Post. Afterall, it is an even year (aka an election year). We were asked to forward all communications my office had with Ginni Thomas. The Left went crazy over my response to an auto-generated form email sent. You can read it here for yourself.

I bet many other legislators across the US received similar emails from millions of frustrated voters after the November 2020 election. Why are the lazy lamestream reporters requesting such items now?

Hold firm, Justice Clarence Thomas!

*****

Learn more about Shawnna Bolick at www.bolickforarizona.com.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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Price Controls on Fuel Would Be Disastrous for Americans

By Daren Bakst and Jack Spencer

In classic Washington style, liberals in Congress are advancing a bill that most assuredly would make a bad situation much worse.

In response to soaring fuel prices, liberals seek to shift blame away from Bidenflation and onto producers through the so-called Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act.  A more appropriate title would be the “Driving Up Prices and Fuel Rationing Act,” because that is exactly what it would do. 

The bill would empower state and federal authorities to bring civil actions against fuel suppliers who engage in what the bill terms “unconscionable pricing.”

By using highly subjective and undefinable terms to trigger action against fuel suppliers (over unlimited timeframes), the bill would provide politicians and bureaucrats near limitless power to interfere with energy markets.

The result would be a federal price control system for consumer fuel. The United States attempted price controls at the pump during the 1970s, and it was an unmitigated disaster. Why would Congress want to take us back to the ’70s, with interminable gas lines and “sold out” signs at station after station?

Prices are important signals that convey information to the marketplace. High prices tell companies to produce more, and low prices tell them to produce less. By interfering with that natural market process, this proposal actually could make gasoline shortages worse, forcing companies to lose money or even risk prosecution for trying to expand production while covering their costs.

Congress needs to understand that unforeseen market shifts can happen, causing a misalignment between supply and demand. This affects prices, and those prices are how markets bring alignment between consumers and producers.

These price fluctuations aren’t the problem, they’re the solution. Stop prices from adjusting and the misalignment between supply and demand will continue or even worsen into shortage. And then, watch out!

When government policy, such as this legislation, prevents producers from offering products at market prices, producers may produce less of the product (or even stop producing it altogether) and limit capital investment to provide for future demand.

When prices don’t reflect corresponding supply reductions, consumer demand will fail to adjust, instead of chasing a dwindling supply. Fewer goods with high demand are a recipe for shortages.

The Federal Trade Commission knows this and has warned: “If natural price signals are distorted by price controls, consumers ultimately might be worse off, as gasoline shortages could result.”

The economic carnage of price controls is bad enough. But layering them over the Biden administration’s anti-energy agenda would make meeting the artificially high demand for gas even more difficult. 

Indeed, the bill is just an extension of the left’s war on energy. The chilling effect it would have on investment and innovation would not only impact fuel prices today but well into the future. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers reportedly called this price-gouging bill “dangerous nonsense.”

Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow for environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, makes the point about the nonsensical nature of the price-gouging argument in this way: “If major oil companies can simply manipulate gas prices upward, why would they have endured six years of considerably lower prices prior [to] 2021?”

It isn’t just nonsensical and flawed economics. The bill is also harmful because it diverts attention from the actual problems and the real solutions.

And many of the actual problems when it comes to gas prices aren’t hard to identify. The Biden administration and liberal legislators are pushing a war on conventional fuels that is driving up prices.

The Biden administration has been trying to blame the high gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin. But the public hasn’t been buying this misinformation campaign, properly recognizing that gas prices were soaring well before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Retail prices for regular gasoline already had risen by 48% from the week ending Jan. 25, 2021 (when President Joe Biden took office), to the week ending Feb. 21, 2022 (three days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine).

Currently, gas prices are over $4 per gallon, and in some areas of the country, they exceed $5 per gallon.

Liberals, though, act as if they have nothing to do with what’s happening. Blame is the name of the game, not responsibility. Now the left’s blame game is turning up the heat on the oil and gas industry.

But this is hardly new. Like clockwork, when there are higher than normal gas prices, liberal legislators and administrations (such as the Obama administration) will try to blame it on price gouging instead of their own failed inflationary policies.

The Federal Trade Commission, though, consistently has found that allegations and claims of gas price gouging and related anti-competitive concerns are unfounded.

Policymakers need to remove government intervention that is driving up prices, not try to pass a bill that would double down on heavy-handed government.

*****

This article was published by The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

China Starting Next Global Crisis By Gobbling Up Sri Lanka

By Gordon Chang

On May 12, India confirmed that it would provide a desperate Sri Lankan government 65,000 metric tons of urea, pursuant to an existing $1 billion credit line. The sale, which overrides New Delhi’s ban on the exports of the commodity, relieves severe pressure on the government of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka since the end of March has been wracked by violent protests.Shoot-on-sight” orders have for the most part restored order, but the unrest has led to the replacement of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, once the country’s dominate political figure. His brother, the president, is unlikely to survive the tumult. The ongoing economic and financial crisis is Sri Lanka’s worst since independence from Britain in 1948.

Sri Lanka is only the world’s opening act. Disturbances there constitute the first in a series of crises about to engulf vulnerable countries, perhaps even large ones. The war in Ukraine, aggravating underlying problems in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, is shaking just about every corner of the planet.

Events in Sri Lanka also highlight how China is going about dominating the world. Beijing is corrupting national leaders, drowning them in debt, and ultimately destabilizing their governments. Beijing, it appears, is particularly targeting democracies.

India’s urea, a fertilizer, will allow Sri Lankan farmers to plant in the May-August Yala cultivation season. It comes at a time of critical need. The country was spending about $400 million annually to import fertilizer but had not been able to make purchases recently due to the lack of foreign exchange. The government last year, to conserve currency reserves, banned chemical fertilizer.

The finance ministry reports that the country has only $25 million in usable foreign reserves on hand, hardly sufficient to service obligations. Sri Lanka is scheduled to repay $7 billion in debt this year, a part of the $26 billion due by 2026. The country’s total foreign debt is $51 billion.

The chemical fertilizer ban forced farmers to abandon paddies, and some joined the recent protests.

There is, as a result, hunger in the country, and soaring food prices have fueled protests. “I’ve been living in Colombo for 60 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Vadivu, a domestic worker, to AFP in March. “There’s nothing to eat, there’s nothing to drink.” This month, food prices there, Sri Lanka’s most-populous city, tripled in the space of a few days.

The new prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said he would ensure that everyone had three meals a day. “There won’t be a hunger crisis, we will find food,” he told the BBC.

That is a promise Wickremesinghe may not be able to keep. Sri Lanka cannot solve its problems on its own. The COVID-19 pandemic ended tourism, a main source of revenue. Moreover, the Russian invasion of Ukraine—both countries are big sources of tourists for Sri Lanka—killed hopes for a recovery this year.

The issue, however, goes beyond tourist arrivals. The Ukraine war looks as if it is ending a decades-long period of globalization, and this transition is going to be difficult for countries that are especially dependent on others. The Sri Lankan crisis, therefore, is only the beginning. “Sri Lanka is the first country to buckle under the mounting economic pressures triggered by the war in Ukraine,” London’s Guardian stated. “It is unlikely to be the last.”

Sri Lanka also faces another difficulty: China. The dominant Rajapaksa clan, long thought to be in Beijing’s pocket, borrowed heavily from Chinese sources for misconceived ventures. Many of the “white-elephant projects” are in the Hambantota district, the home of the Rajapaksas.

The Hambantota port, losing $300 million in six years, was ill-conceived from the beginning. Port operators, therefore, were unable to service $1.4 billion in loans from China. Close to the port is a rarely used $15.5 million conference center. Thanks to a $200 million loan from China, Sri Lanka was able to build the nearby Rajapaksa Airport, which could not pay even its electricity bills.

In Colombo, there is Sri Lanka’s answer to Dubai: the Chinese-funded Port City, an island of 665 acres of landfill and a “hidden debt trap.” In that city is also the never-opened-to-the-public Lotus Tower, also funded by China. “What is the point of being proud of this tower if we are left begging for food?” asked Krishantha Kulatunga, the owner of a small stationery store near the landmark. “We are neck-deep in loans already.”

China extended around 17% of the country’s total debt. Very few know the full extent of the indebtedness to Chinese parties because there are hard-to-track loans to Sri Lanka’s state firms and to the country’s central bank.

Whatever their amount, Chinese loans have broken Sri Lanka. In April, it declared a suspension of repayment of foreign debt. The BBC reports that the suspension, the first default since independence, is “largely because it cannot service loans from China that paid for massive infrastructure projects.”

China is the world’s predatory lender, something evident from its Belt and Road Initiative, also known as BRI. Beijing’s grand infrastructure project specializes in roads, ports, and railroads that have, like the Sri Lankan projects, little or no commercial justification. So far, 146 countries have signed BRI memo agreements with Beijing. Some of them find themselves in hock to the Chinese.

The Chinese have established a pattern. “China extends debt on onerous terms, backs up authoritarian governments when there are financial collapses or civil disobedience, and then takes everything it can find,” Cleo Paskal of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told Gatestone.

This pattern is evident in Sri Lanka. In December 2017, Beijing took control of the Hambantota port, grabbing 70% of the equity and signing a 99-year lease, after that project could not repay high-interest loans extended by China. Now there are concerns that Hambantota will eventually become a Chinese naval base.

China’s admirals have long eyed Sri Lanka: In both September and October 2014 the Sri Lankan government allowed a Chinese submarine and its tender to dock at the Chinese-funded Colombo International Container Terminal.

A base in Sri Lanka would allow Chinese aircraft and surface combatants as well as submarines to cut sea lanes in the Indian Ocean and force next-door India to divert military assets to a threatening presence.

It is no coincidence that Djibouti, also heavily indebted to Chinese parties, is now the site of China’s first offshore military base.

“This pattern is deep, entrenched, and expanding, and so it’s like the dominoes have all been set up and Beijing is perfectly happy to have them fall down so that it can come to the rescue economically and politically and entrench itself even more,” Paskal noted.

Sri Lanka is now looking for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, but that is not necessarily a good idea. The international community should not be helping a voracious China gobble up small, vulnerable societies.

“It’s not financial restructuring that you need, it’s political restructuring that you need before you should put in any more money,” Paskal said. “If the IMF bails out Sri Lanka without ensuring that it is no longer aligned with Beijing, it will have subsidized Chinese investment and politically reinforced a country that becomes a Chinese proxy.”

*****

This article was published by the Gatestone Institute and is reproduced with permission.

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A Supermarket Checker on Prices, Life and Whole Foods

By Craig J. Cantoni

One of the many jobs that I held before and during my college years in order to pay my college bills was a supermarket checker. Maybe that’s why I like to strike up a conversation with checkers to see how they’re feeling about their job and issues of the day.

A recent visit to a local Tucson supermarket was no exception. During checkout, I asked the forty-something checker if customers were complaining about rising prices for groceries.

“Oh, yeah,” she replied, “but I can’t blame them, as I have the same complaint. If prices get any higher, I finally might be able to stick to a diet and lose weight.”

She added, “Even worse, although I live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in the ghetto, my rent was just increased from $830 to $1,150 per month. A Florida company owns the apartment complex and must think that it’s beachfront property.”

Continuing, she said, “I haven’t been able to afford to fix the air-conditioner in my car for two years, so when I get off work this afternoon, the car will be hot enough to cook a roast, if I could afford a roast.”

Listening to her woes, I felt fortunate that groceries aren’t a financial burden to my wife and me, although we’re retired and spend about $800 a month on them.

The conversation with the checker occurred on the day of our weekly shopping at Basha’s supermarket, a local chain with prices comparable to Safeway or Fry’s (Kroger). The bill was $116.67. Produce accounted for $69.21 of that amount, and bread, yogurt, cheese, lemonade, half-and-half, spices, and three pork steaks accounted for most of the remainder of $47.46. At $2.90 a pound, the steaks were a bargain.

Every three weeks we drive 20 minutes to a Walmart to stock up on canned goods, crackers, snacks, dairy products with a long shelf life, paper products, cleaning supplies, health and beauty products, and maybe a bottle or two of wine. Most of these items cost 30% to 50% less than their cost at Basha’s. Our total Walmart bill is typically about $250, or, on a weekly basis, about $84.00.

This means that we’re spending a little over $200 per week on groceries and associated items ($116 or so at Basha’s and $84 or so at Walmart). On a monthly basis, that comes to about $800, not counting a restaurant meal or two a week.

No doubt, grocery bills are considerably higher for people who buy a lot of prepared foods, snacks, designer water, soda, sports drinks, and liquor. Of course, the bills are even higher for those with kids at home.

Costs must be out of sight for those who buy groceries, snacks, and booze at convenience stores, which, amazingly, account for something like 30% of all grocery spending in the US. Many of the patrons are working-class guys, who, one would think, can least afford the high-mark-ups in convenience stores. Some of them pull up to the gas pumps at convenience stores in a humongous pickup truck and fill the tank with $100 or so of gas.

My 11-year-old RAV-4 looks like a 90-pound weakling next to the behemoths, and I probably look like a dork. Or maybe I look like a 90-pound weakling and my car looks like a dork.

The prices at Whole Foods are even higher than the prices at convenience stores and are way over my level of frugality, for quality that isn’t noticeably better than the quality at Basha’s, or, for that matter, at Walmart. For the few times that I’ve gone into a Whole Foods, I’ve gotten lightheaded from hyperventilating at the prices and pretentiousness. Not only that, but my RAV-4 develops an inferiority complex when I park next to a Tesla, Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, or other luxury brands that dominate the parking lot.

Judging by bumper stickers, many patrons of Whole Foods are progressives, which means that they see themselves as caring about the poor, social justice, and climate change.

I wonder how checkers see them.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

Federal Judge Halts Biden Administration from Revoking Title 42 Immigration Enforcement thumbnail

Federal Judge Halts Biden Administration from Revoking Title 42 Immigration Enforcement

By Neland Nobel

A federal judge in Louisiana on Friday stopped the Biden administration from revoking Title 42, a public health authority that allows illegal immigrants to be quickly deported during a health emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays in the Western District of Louisiana issued the order in a case filed by the attorneys general of Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri. The case later grew to 21 states. Texas also filed a separate lawsuit in a federal court in Texas. The attorney’s general argues ending Title 42 violates federal law and places an unfair financial burden on the states.

The administration announced it was ending Title 42 effective Monday, May 23, and estimated that roughly 18,000 people would enter the U.S. illegally a day once it was lifted.

In response to the judge’s ruling, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said, “I’m so proud of the lawyers from our office who just got our Temporary Restraining Order to keep Title 42 in place. We will continue to fight the Biden administration’s open border policies.

“Title 42 is one of the last tools we have left in our toolbox to stop an even greater flood of illegal immigration into our country,” he said. “While this is a good win, we gotta keep fighting. I’m going to do everything I can to stop the overreach of the Biden administration; and make sure that we enforce our immigration laws and … do everything we can to protect American taxpayers.”

The Biden administration later Friday said it disagreed with the ruling and would appeal it. “The authority to set public health policy nationally should rest with the Centers for Disease Control, not with a single district court,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. However, in compliance with the court’s injunction, the administration will enforce Title 42, she said. “This means that migrants who attempt to enter the United States unlawfully will be subject to expulsion under Title 42, as well as immigration consequences such as removal under Title 8.

“As the appeal proceeds, the Department of Homeland Security will continue planning for the eventual lifting of Title 42 in the light of CDC’s public health judgment, at which point anyone who attempts to enter the country unlawfully will be subject to Title 8 Expedited Removal proceedings if they do not have grounds to remain in the United States.”

The lawsuit that led to Friday’s ruling is one of many filed by Brnovich and other attorneys general in response to the Biden administration’s open border policies. Since Biden took office, an estimated 2.5 million people have entered the U.S. illegally even with Title 42 in place.

Due to widespread nonenforcement of immigration laws by the administration, the number of people entering illegally continues to break new records nearly every month.

Last month, more than 234,000 people were encountered entering the U.S. illegally, the greatest number in a single month in recorded U.S. history. That’s a 1,376% increase from the 17,106 encounters reported in April 2020 under the Trump administration.

These numbers exclude at least one million who’ve entered the U.S. illegally and evaded capture, known as “got aways,” according to estimates previously reported on by The Center Square. Last month, there were between 58,000 and 71,000 got aways recorded by Border Patrol, numbers that aren’t published publicly.

At a news conference in the Rio Grande Valley this week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas maintained that ending Title 42 wouldn’t “mean the border is open on May 23,” KHOU 11 News Houston reported. “We continue to enforce the laws of this country,” he said. “We continue to remove individuals who do not qualify for relief under the laws of this country.”

Deportation was down last year by 70%, and at least 1.2 million people with deportation orders remain in the U.S. and haven’t been deported. Mayorkas has begun gutting Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation units across the country, according to recently retired ICE officials and law enforcement officers who’ve reached out to The Center Square. Last fall, Mayorkas also instituted widespread immigration policy changes, including declaring that being in the U.S. illegally isn’t a crime, even though federal law says it is.

Mayorkas has also radically altered the asylum process by granting administrative personnel judicial authority to adjudicate claims when Congress has only authorized judges to do so. Fourteen attorneys general, also led by Arizona, Louisiana, and Missouri, sued over this policy, hoping to halt it.

“Right now, immigration judges who are suffering a 1.6 or 1.7 million case workload, now they have exclusive jurisdiction,” Mayorkas said. “We are giving the asylum officers that jurisdiction. That is going to take what is now on average a six-to-eight-year-plus process between the time of encounter and the time of ultimate asylum adjudication to under a year.”

In the meantime, the attorney’s general said they will take the win handed to them on Friday.

“Once again, the courts rule against Joe Biden’s lawless agenda,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “Title 42 is one of the last remaining protections we have from a deluge of illegals coming across our border. I am glad for our state and our nation that It will remain in place.”

The administration will appeal the ruling, and the matter is likely to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

*****

This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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11 Examples of Defensive Gun Use Dispel NYC Mayor’s Concerns on Open Carry

By Amy Swearer

Any week now, the Supreme Court will render its decision in the pivotal Second Amendment caseNew York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, where a majority seems poised to strike down New York laws that effectively prohibit law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms in public for self-defense.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, recently lamented the likely outcome of the case, telling reporters that city residents should be “very concerned” and noting that his administration “did our job of getting the guns off the streets.”

Respectfully, Mr. Mayor, your city’s soaring violent crime rates prove that you haven’t succeeded in getting guns off the streets. In fact, New York’s entire legal framework succeeds only in rendering law-abiding New Yorkers defenseless in the face of criminals who continue to illegally carry firearms and use them to commit heinous acts.

This reality was made painfully obvious during recent mass public shootings in New York state, including one Saturday in Buffalo where the perpetrator’s manifesto explained in detail how New York’s strict gun laws “put him at ease” by ensuring that his victims, even if armed, would have a more limited capacity to fight back.

The right to keep and bear arms plays a pivotal role in protecting law-abiding Americans when the government cannot or will not be there at the moment those Americans are victimized.

Almost every major study on the issue has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, according to the most recent report on the subject by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For this reason, The Daily Signal each month publishes an article highlighting some of the previous month’s many news stories on defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place. (Read other accounts here from 2019, 2020, 2021, and so far in 2022.)

The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in April. You may explore more by using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database. (The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.)

  1. April 1, St. Paul: A man fatally shot his daughter’s ex-boyfriend after he kicked in the family’s front door in the middle of the night and threatened her, police said. The former boyfriend had a long history of domestic violence, including three prior convictions for domestic assault dating to 2006. He was facing additional domestic violence charges—all related to alleged physical assaults against the man and his daughter—and had active warrants out for his arrest.
  2. April 5, Somerset, Kentucky: A man was assaulting his girlfriend inside their home when a juvenile came to the woman’s defense, retrieved a handgun, and fatally shot her assailant, local officials said.
  3. April 7, Brownsboro, Texas: A would-be burglar who broke into a house by smashing through glass in the front door found himself face-to-face with the homeowner, who—armed with an AR-15—held him at gunpoint until police arrived. The burglar was arrested, but police said they were unable to locate a second, female suspect believed to be his accomplice.
  4. April 8, Melbourne, Florida: A man sitting in his truck outside a friend’s house was confronted by an acquaintance who, angry about an earlier argument, opened fire on him, police said. The man grabbed his own handgun and shot back. When the handgun jammed, the man—still under fire—grabbed an AR-15 from his backseat. During the ensuing shootout, he got out of the truck to use it as cover. He eventually retrieved a second AR-15 from his trunk and maintained his defensive fire until his assailant ran away. Police were able to find, arrest, and charge the man with several felonies.  No one was injured during the shootout, police said.
  5. April 11, Las Vegas: A teenager was arguing with someone on a residential street when a neighbor, who was walking his dog, tried to intervene, police said. The teenager pointed a gun at the man and threatened him, but he was legally carrying his own gun and fatally shot the teen. Police said the man acted in lawful self-defense, wasn’t arrested, and won’t face charges.
  6. April 14, Charleston, South Carolina: A man called police to say that another driver had shot at him, but his story quickly fell apart when other witnesses reported that he was, in fact, the aggressor in a violent road rage incident. Officers arrested the man, who is accused of tailgating a female driver, throwing a soda can at her car, and then threatening her with a gun before firing several rounds at her. She grabbed her own gun from the glovebox and shot back in self-defense, police said.
  7. April 17, Philadelphia: Two armed men with fake badges impersonated police officers, forced their way inside a home, and attempted to zip-tie a resident’s hands, police said. The resident quickly realized that the men were not real cops, drew his own gun, and fatally shot one of them. The second intruder, who fled, was not immediately captured. The resident encouraged fellow Philadelphians who can legally own guns to buy one to protect themselves from violent crime.
  8. April 21, Brentwood, Tennessee: When a woman’s estranged husband violated a protection order and showed up at her apartment without permission, she called her father and brother for help, police said. When they arrived, the husband lunged at them, so the brother shot him three times, wounding him. Police said the husband would be charged with stalking and violating a protection order when he is released from a hospital.
  9. April 25, Cleveland: A man held a store employee at gunpoint and grabbed cash from an open register, police said. As he turned around to flee, another employee tried to follow him out, so he shot at her. This employee, however, was armed. She returned fire, striking the robber in the leg. Responding officers couldn’t find the injured robber, but recovered his abandoned backpack with the gun still inside.
  10. April 27, Princeton, West Virginia: A homeowner discovered a man breaking into his vehicle in the middle of the night, then held him at gunpoint until police arrived. Responding officers found several items in the man’s possession that had been stolen from area residents, including the backpack in which the man had placed the other items.
  11. April 29, Miami: An employee at a demolition and trash hauling company confronted a man who was trying to steal a catalytic converter from a car in the company lot, police said. Instead of fleeing, the would-be thief ran at the employee while wielding a saw, so the employee drew his firearm and shot him. The wounded thief dropped the catalytic converter and fled, but police later found him and his stolen getaway car.

It’s clear that, try as they might, law enforcement officers simply cannot be there to defend most citizens from violent crime at the moment they are victimized. The Second Amendment enables these innocent Americans to have more of a fighting chance against criminals who would harm them.

And what’s more, the data is clear that concealed carry permit holders are, as a class, one of the most law-abiding segments of the population.

Mr. Mayor, New York has nothing to fear from a future where its law-abiding citizens are allowed to defend themselves in public with firearms.

New York’s violent criminals, on the other hand? They should feel a little more afraid.

*****

This article was published by The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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Lawmaker That Skipped Months of Session After Wife Had Baby Hit With Ethics Investigation

By Tom Joyce

Arizona State Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, is requesting his chamber’s ethics officers hold one of his colleagues accountable for his poor attendance.

Shope filed an ethics inquiry into what should be deemed appropriate statute for when an office is declared vacant due to a politician’s absences.

Shope filed the letter because of the attendance record of Sen. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, who has been absent from the legislature for more than two months so far this session.

“There is an expectation from voters within the state of Arizona that their lawmakers show up for work on a daily basis,” Shope said in a press release. “It is my belief that our current senator representing District 26, which covers north Tempe, northwest Mesa, the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community and parts of south Phoenix, is taking advantage of the system. Missing 63 days and counting from the legislature, while collecting a legislative salary of $24,000 on top of more than $4,000 so far in per diem payments, is completely unacceptable for the taxpayers who are footing the bill without any representation on matters important to them. I am asking our Senate Ethics Committee to consider recommendations on statutory and rule changes to hold our state lawmakers to a higher standard than the present.”

Shope hopes for an expedient process to figure out how the chamber will address what he called a “dangerous precedent.”

Mendes responded to the accusations Friday, calling Shope’s actions a move to deflect attention from Sen. Wendy Rogers. The Flagstaff Republican is facing an investigation over comments many took to infer that a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, was the work of federal agents.

“Setting aside how patently ridiculous it is to compare protecting my newborn from COVID-19 to employing the same type of rhetoric that incited the racist murder of 10 innocent people, Republicans are clearly trying to deflect from the fact that they are afraid to do their responsibility and remove Sen. Rogers from public office,” Mendez told The Center Square via a Senate spokesperson. “The reason why they are afraid is simple: they know that it’s Rogers who speaks for the modern Arizona Republican Party.

“Finally, I’m unaware of any efforts by Sen. Shope to allow for remote voting away from the Capitol in order to protect my baby from COVID. If he would like to join me in calling for remote voting, I’d be happy to commit to a perfect attendance record.”

Current state law says that an office is vacant if the legislator is not present for three consecutive months. Additionally, under the Rules of Procedure of the Senate Ethics Committee, this group of lawmakers within the committee can provide advisory opinions on rule changes regarding the ethics of its members.

Mendez is married to Rep. Athena Salman. Unlike her husband, the Tempe Democrat isn’t under the same scrutiny as Mendez.

Salman wrote House Speaker Rusty Bowers in January, requesting an extension of the Legislature’s COVID-19 rule change allowing lawmakers to vote remotely. The request was denied, though both Mendez and Salman were granted excused absences for their months away from their chambers.

In his letter, Shope said that he thinks three months is too long of a time; he requested that the committee shortens that span.

“While this law is the current controlling authority for deeming an office vacant, I believe three months is a far too lengthy period of time for any member of the legislature to be away from the Capitol and not voting on important legislation,” he wrote in the letter. “Therefore, I request that the Committee consider changes to statute that reflects a more appropriate timeframe for Senate members’ offices to be declared vacant when they refuse to be present at the Capitol.”

*****

This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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Banned on Twitter; Nothing Compared to Washington Post

By Bruce Bialosky

I quit Twitter at the same time I abandoned Parler — right after Big Tech ganged up on that site to kill it off because it was presenting a different voice. I found Twitter to be an angry wasteland of malcontents. Then came the eruption with the acquisition of Twitter by the new Darth Vader (Elon Musk).

We don’t need to analyze that entire saga as the matter has been thrashed over ad nauseum. We do know that one of Twitter’s problems is angry, low-quality communication. The Twitter people determined anything you (conservatives) might say is “hateful” while allowing anyone to spew any ugly words formerly banned in public communications with impunity.

I subscribe to the Washington Post because I am into self-flagellation. I have always believed in reading people of varying viewpoints to understand what they are thinking and saying instead of going on others’ analyses. As you know, a remarkably successful entrepreneur owns WAPO. The paper does not seem to ever be questioned as to how it addresses issues. WAPO’s “quality” has reached the level Twitter’s nastiness.

Below, I have copied a recent week’s worth of WAPO’S various headlines and sub-headlines in editorials and opinion pieces. The items below include a wide array of their opinion writers and an editorial by the Editorial Board. We know that in a publication like this the headline for a column is not written by the columnist, but it does closely resemble the tone of the column. The sub-headlines do come from the columnist. Obviously, the editorial page editor and the Editor-in–Chief endorse this kind of writing.

The job Kevin McCarthy sold his soul for might elude him

When you’ve lost Tucker Carlson, you know you’ve probably lost the speakership.

By Jennifer Rubin

The Republican primaries have gone off the rail.

What happens when some of these clowns get elected?

By Paul Waldman

Michigan Republicans put truth vs. lies on this year’s ballot

Opinion ● Opinion by the Editorial Board

More Sean Hannity texts, more corruption

The bottomless trove of journalistic corruption that is Sean Hannity’s text history.

By Erik Wemple

McCarthy’s lying at the border cements him as the Great Prevaricator

It’s easy to tell when McCarthy is lying: His lips are moving.

By Dana Milbank

A Speaker Kevin McCarthy would mean only more debacles like this one

McCarthy is a dissembler who isn’t shrewd enough to cover his tracks.

By Karen Tumulty

The GOP war on democracy is working. Just look at Ohio

Republicans tell their state supreme court to stuff it, and Trump federal judges give them a thumbs-up.

By Paul Waldman

Amend the Constitution to bar senators from the presidency

The Senate has become a theater of performative behaviors by senators decreasingly interested in legislating and preoccupied with using social media for self-promotion.

By George F. Will

This used to be a serious newspaper. It seems like it has reoriented itself by needing to be in with the nasty Twitter crowd.

George Will’s column is included not because it is nasty, but because it is a stunning waste of print space. Really, why would he write something that is never going to happen?

The headlines are nasty enough, but the sub-headlines are something that should not ever be in a serious publication. Of course, one of the headlines wrote about the war on democracy. Other than that being tiresome, it likewise displays a childish attitude of small thinking. If you don’t support my ideas and my candidates you are destroying the fabric of the country. Instead of suggesting people like Speaker Pelosi stop with the disgusting language, they are echoing it. To get an interview with her?

That is the nicer writing of the headlines sampled above. Dana Milbank used to be a reasoned columnist but went over the edge when Trump was elected. He is calling the minority leader of the House of Representatives a liar, the same elected leader most analysts believe will be the new Speaker of the House come January 2023. Not only does he call him a liar but states in a callow comment that McCarthy lies anytime he speaks. This is sophisticated writing?

As bad as Milbank is he pales in comparison to the unctuous Karen Tumulty. She calls McCarthy a dissembler on which I had to refresh myself. A dissembler is a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he or she does not hold to conceal his or her real thoughts or motives. Otherwise, she is stating McCarthy purposely deceives us, and he is deceiving himself. Though she really has no knowledge of his thinking in this regard, she is just projecting.

By far the most egregious is loathsome Paul Waldman who uses his perch as a WAPO columnist to try and outdo the hatemongers on Twitter. He used this opportunity to call a broad group of Republican candidates clowns. He doesn’t just disagree with them or think their opponents more worthy – they are simply clowns. And his editors published that.

I have not even mentioned one columnist calling all Michigan Republicans liars who are intentionally misleading the residents of their state and the one who says Sean Hannity is corrupt or Minority Leader McCarthy is the newest version of Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO. If you read further into the columns, they are filled with hate. A different hate than the kind they characterize on Twitter, but it is hate as indicated by the headlines. Actual hate that radiates from the pages unlike the characterized hate that Twitter frames.

I consider there to be three nationally significant newspapers – the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and The Washington Post. I know the WSJ would never allow this kind of writing. I left out the various columns attacking Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

There is nothing that could be said on the new Twitter that is worse than is said on the Washington Post op-ed pages.

*****

This article was published in FlashReport and is reprinted with the permission of the author.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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Yuma County Announces Voter Fraud Investigation

By Neland Nobel

The following excerpt is from a press release from the Yuma County Sheriff:

“The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) and the Yuma County Recorder’s Office (YCRO) are working together to actively examine cases of voting fraud from the 2020 General Election and now a recent pattern of fraudulent voter registration forms leading up to the 2022 Primary Election.

As of March 2022, YCSO has 16 voting/registration open cases. All relevant evidence is being formally documented by the Yuma County Recorder’s Office and further investigated by the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office.

Some examples of voter fraud Yuma County is currently seeing are the following:

• Impersonation fraud: Voting in the name of other legitimate voters and voters who have died or moved away.

• False registrations: Falsifying voter registrations by either using a real or fake name, birth date, or address. This is being done by outreach groups who are paid for each registration form they submit, therefore, are out soliciting voters into unnecessarily re-registering or falsifying forms with Yuma County resident’s identities.

• Duplicate voting: Submitting multiple votes or registering in multiple locations and voting in the same election in more than one jurisdiction or state.

• Fraudulent use of absentee ballots: Requesting absentee ballots and voting without the knowledge of the actual voter; or obtaining the absentee ballot from a voter and either filling it indirectly and forging the voter’s signature or illegally telling the voter who to vote for.

If you suspect or witness individuals committing any of the mentioned voting frauds, share their name or any other identifying information to law enforcement immediately.

The majority of voter fraud cases in Yuma County are related to duplicate voting (typically charged as illegal voting and false voter registration). Under Arizona law, illegal voting is a class 5 or class 6 felony. A person found guilty faces up to 2 or 2.5 years in prison, fines, restitution, loss of voting rights, and/or probation.

YCSO and YCRO advise all Yuma County residents to go directly to the Yuma County Recorder’s Office or Arizona Secretary of State’s Office to register to vote, check their voter registration status and/or update their voter registration in advance of the voter registration deadline of Tuesday, July 5, 2022. You can also visit www.servicearizona.com to use the online registration system.

Do not fill out voter registration forms in the community unless it is a County employee as these are being processed.

If Yuma County voters find any incorrect information in their current voter registration record, please notify the County Recorder’s Office immediately at (928) 373-6034 or voterservices@yumacountyaz.gov.

Anyone with information regarding voter fraudulent schemes or believe they have been a victim of a fraudulent vote, please contact the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office at 928-783-4427 or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous. You can also visit our website at www.yumacountysheriff.org to submit an anonymous tip.

Information Released By: Tania Pavlak, Public Affairs Specialist.”

It is interesting that the action taken by Yuma County comes quickly on the heels of the release of the documentary film 2000 Mules.

The movie, which we have reviewed here, spends considerable time on the situation in Arizona, particularly in Yuma and Maricopa counties.  Whether this investigation is just a coincidence or is connected to the movie, is not the most relevant factor.  The most important factor will be whether substantial evidence of fraud is uncovered.

The movie 2000 Mules is now back in selected theatres or it can be streamed by clicking here.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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The FDA/WIC Role in the Baby Formula Debacle

By Daniel Kotzin

There have by now been an acute shortage of infant formula in the United States for months. Despite government claims to the contrary, it is unlikely to end anytime soon.

This turn of events was utterly predictable. Indeed, it was all but inevitable, as the government agencies responsible for providing safe, readily available infant formula have been neglecting their mission for decades.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a regulatory agency that exists for the purpose of ensuring the safety and availability of certain products. One of the products for which the FDA is responsible is infant formula.

If infant formula causes harm, both the maker of the formula and the FDA are responsible. However, if infant formula is unavailable, only the FDA is responsible. No private entity has a duty to produce or sell formula.

Along with the FDA, the other relevant agency is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Their self-described mission is “to increase food security and reduce hunger.”

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is one of the programs that the FNS administers. WIC was established almost exactly 50 years ago. Its remit is to help children under the age of 5, along with pregnant and nursing mothers, to meet their nutritional needs. Currently, over half of American infants participate in the program.

By the 1990s, pregnant women and mothers who came to WIC for help, advice, and support feeding themselves and their children were often confronted with intrusive, irrelevant questions about their personal lives and medical histories, and relentless pressure to vaccinate themselves and their children. Sometimes, access to food was directly tied to immunization status.

In December of 2000, an Executive Memorandum was issued indicating that immunization status should never be used as a condition of eligibility for WIC services, but that efforts should be focused on “increase immunization levels among children participating in WIC programs.”

Ever since WIC has shamelessly been using its position of power and trust to convince women who come seeking food that what they really need is vaccines. Why, if you go to WIC’s website, is there a “spotlight” on “COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 – 11”? No children ages 5 – 11 are served by WIC.

WIC does not seem to have devoted as much attention over the years to providing nutritional support as it did to providing vaccination support, but it did leverage its purchasing power and institutional influence to essentially grant 3 companies an oligopoly on the production of infant formula in the United States.

One of these companies is Abbott Laboratories. A 2011 report by the USDA pegged Abbott’s share of the market at over 40%.

In February, The FDA shut down Abbott’s largest plant for manufacturing infant formula. Obviously, this caused a major national formula shortage.

With an Orwellian flourish, the Biden Administration blames Abbott for the shortage, because it is not producing enough formula. But it is the Biden administration itself that is preventing Abbott from producing it.

And besides, Abbott Laboratories is a publicly held corporation that exists for the purpose of making money. WIC, on the other hand, is a government agency that exists for the purpose of feeding mothers and small children.

Furthermore, the government has not only granted an oligopoly to three companies, but has also burdened the entire industry with a myriad of gratuitous, often inscrutable regulations, and has effectively forbidden the importation of formula from abroad. A shortage was only a matter of time.

If the FDA can’t or won’t do its job, it should at the very least get out of the way and let market forces do theirs. Instead, the agency continues to prioritize maintaining its own power and influence and continues to pursue an agenda that is often at odds with its institutional mission, undernourished babies be damned.

If the FDA and WIC did what they were established to do, instead of devoting an inordinate amount of time, money, and energy to self-promotion and vaccine promotion, perhaps there wouldn’t be so many babies in America suffering from malnutrition. 

Perhaps there wouldn’t be so many small children going to bed hungry. Perhaps there wouldn’t be so many desperate mothers, crying themselves to sleep, wondering how they will feed their little one tomorrow.

*****

This article was published by The Brownstone Institute and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

Inflation: What Causes It, and When Will it Subside? thumbnail

Inflation: What Causes It, and When Will it Subside?

By James L. Caton

We have been living under the illusion that the relationship between nominal GDP and the quantity of circulating currency is dead. This illusion began in 2008, when the Federal Reserve began expanding the value of its assets without expanding the value of circulating currency. Instead, banks were paid to hold this newly created money on account at the Federal Reserve. The newly created money, thus, did not generate inflation despite expectations among many that high inflation was imminent.

In the long run, inflation is determined by the rate of expansion of circulating currency and growth in real productivity. Real productivity growth is deflationary but tends to be modest and relatively stable. Thus, the growth rate of circulating currency tends to be correlated with the growth rate of total expenditures, as well as inflation.

After the 2008 Financial Crisis, the rate of inflation hovered around 1.7 percent. From the end of that crisis until recently, the velocity of currency trended downward modestly, mirroring the fall in long-term nominal interest rates. Figure 1 conveys this relationship between velocity of currency (right axis) and the nominal interest rate paid on 30-year US Treasuries (left axis).

It is true that an increase in the quantity of money will support a proportional increase in the level of expenditures, as long as the velocity of currency is stable. A more sophisticated expression of this truth holds that the velocity of currency is stable with respect to interest rates. Over the last several decades, the velocity of money currency has tended to follow the downward trend in interest rates. Although the relationship has not been 1-to-1, expansion of the stock of currency has tended to positively impact the level of total expenditures and the price level. For much of this period, the stock of circulating currency grew at a rate of about 7 percent while the rate of growth of nominal GDP was often in the range of between 3 percent and 5 percent.

In accordance with this logic, the FOMC has responded to increasing inflationary pressure by reducing the growth rate of currency in circulation as the level of nominal GDP has broken above the pre-2020 trend. In the meantime, however, the balance sheet continued to expand into the first quarter of 2022. This recent correlation between balance sheet expansion and the annual rate of inflation has led many to believe that the Fed’s current stance is too easy. The balance sheet increased for much of the previous decade without generating significant inflation. Circulating currency serves as reserves that support lending within the financial system. Policymakers and protocols governing monetary policy – for example, the Overnight Reverse Repurchase Agreement Facility – have supported stability in the level of currency in circulation. Stability in the path of NGDP tends to reflect stability in the path of circulating currency. Not coincidentally, the jump in the path of currency in circulation that began in the first quarter of 2020 has been followed by a similar jump in NGDP and in CPI (vertical line indicates start of first quarter of 2020). Those who would like to predict the future path of nominal GDP and of the price level should focus on currency in circulation, not the size of the balance sheet.

Inflation, Balance Sheet Expansion, and Fed Solvency

Claims linking inflation to the size of the balance sheet may stem, in part, from the focus of Fed officials on the size of the balance sheet in recent months. Recent statements by Fed officials reflect that higher inflation readings have made these policymakers increasingly concerned about the size of the balance sheet.

Absent a solvency crisis, however, a larger balance sheet is most likely to be associated with lower interest rates and lower rates of real income growth. This program of balance sheet expansion, called quantitative easing, influences resource allocations by asset class and maturity length. While some might hope that quantitative easing stimulates aggregate demand, there is little empirical evidence or theory to suggest that it does. Since the Federal Reserve began expanding the balance sheet greatly in excess of circulating currency, the rate of real GDP growth has fallen to historic lows. For much of this period, the level of GDP was below its potential path. And as the Fed began balance sheet reductions in 2017, these reductions were accompanied by relatively higher rates of real GDP growth. In the least, it is unlikely that quantitative easing supports expansion of aggregate demand.

Quantitative easing certainly impacts resource allocations. The Fed’s acquisition of subprime mortgages during the 2008 Crisis lowered the risk of financial insolvency for firms that would have been left holding these mortgages. This was intended to help stabilize a housing market that was in meltdown and seems to have helped that market weather the liquidity crisis. Along with purchases of long-term US Treasuries, this policy was also intended to lower interest rates at the upper end of the yield curve. The most noteworthy effect of quantitative easing, then, has been to allocate credit toward particular classes of borrowers.

While balance sheet expansion has not been the cause of inflation over the last decade, this does not mean that the Federal Reserve can expand the balance sheet without limit. Balance sheet expansion absent expansion of circulating currency is not inflationary so long as there is not a mismatch between the assets and liabilities sides of the balance sheet. Assets yield income. On the other hand, much of the liabilities side of the Fed’s balance sheet implies income payments that must be made by the Fed in order to maintain solvency. As long as the income earned by the Federal Reserve exceeds expenditures, the Fed remains solvent.

Expansion of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet simultaneously increases interest-earning assets and liabilities that require interest payments from the Fed. The Federal Reserve prevents inflation by simultaneously borrowing the funds that it uses to pay for assets purchased. For example, the Federal Reserve may credit interest-bearing deposit accounts or may borrow funds at interest from the overnight lending market in order to offset currency created via its purchase of assets.

Monetary stability requires that the interest payments from the Federal Reserve are provided from the receipts adding to its income rather than from money creation. That is, Federal Reserve profits need to remain positive. Positive profits, defined by income above operating expenses, are remitted to the US Treasury. Negative profits either must be paid by the US Treasury or must be covered by the creation of new money. Negative profits would likely hurt investor confidence.

The assets side of the balance sheet is supposed to constrain the liabilities side. Insolvency occurs when the value of liabilities are not offset by the value of assets. Insolvency could occur, for example, due to rising interest rates. Suppose that investors lose faith in the ability of the Federal Reserve to maintain low and stable inflation. Rising mortgage rates would devalue mortgage-backed securities already held by the Fed that comprise a significant portion of the Fed’s assets. Thus, as interest rates rise, the Federal Reserve will likely need to begin reducing the size of the balance sheet in order to 1) reduce losses on the assets side of its balance sheet and 2) to reduce interest payments that it owes to institutions and investors. As long as the Federal Reserve remains solvent and investors expect that it will remain solvent, a large balance sheet cannot, on its own, be the cause of inflation.

At present, there seems to be little reason to doubt the ability of the Federal Reserve to remain solvent as even doves like Lael Brainard, who was recently confirmed as Vice Chairwoman, are calling for aggressive tightening.

Will Inflation Continue to Rise?

As the year-over-year rate of inflation has increased, many commentators have begun to reflect on the relationship between easy money and inflation. However, few of these commentators have been consistently correct in their evaluation of Fed policy. Most do not differentiate between an increase in the Fed’s balance sheet and expansion of currency in circulation. Over the last year, year-over-year rates of inflation have been rising as a result of the increasing rate of expansion of circulating currency orchestrated by the Federal Reserve during 2020. The good news is that annualized monthly and quarterly rates of inflation have been stable over the last year. The Federal Reserve began moderating this expansion of currency in circulation in the last year as nominal GDP returned to its pre-crisis trend. Nominal GDP has overshot this trend, which is why we have been experiencing relatively high rates of inflation. But there is reason to expect that this overshoot is currently somewhere close to its greatest extent.

If excessive increases in inflation and the growth rate of nominal expenditures are caused by excessive increases in the growth rate of circulating currency, then we should expect inflation to ease in the near future as the rate of expansion of currency in circulation has moderated. 

The swift expansion of circulating currency by the Federal Reserve helped expenditures to bounce back immediately after plunging in the second quarter of 2020. The growth rate of currency in circulation has been back to pre-crisis rates for at least 2 quarters. We should expect inflation and the growth rate of expenditures to follow and inflationary winds to subside as a result.

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This article was published by AIER, American Institute for Economic Research, and is reproduced with permission.

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America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

Mom Reads Aloud Purported Assignment Given To Daughter. School Board Cuts Her Mic Because It’s Too Obscene thumbnail

Mom Reads Aloud Purported Assignment Given To Daughter. School Board Cuts Her Mic Because It’s Too Obscene

By Chrissy Clark

A Nevada school board temporarily cut off a mother from speaking as she read an assignment reportedly given to her 15-year-old daughter, according to video footage of a school board meeting.

One mother alleged that a teacher at Clark County School District — the nation’s fifth-largest public school district — forced her 15-year-old daughter to memorize and recite “pornographic material.” When the mother began reading the alleged assignment, the school board temporarily cut the mother’s microphone over obscene language.

“This will be horrifying for me to read to you, but that will give you perspective on how she must have felt when her teacher required her to memorize this and to act it out in front of her entire class,” the mother said.

The assignment allegedly read, “I don’t love you. It’s not you, it’s just, I don’t like your d**k. Or any d**k in that case. I cheated Joe.” The mother was immediately cut off after she read the assignment.

Board of Education member told the mother that they cut her off for the use of profanity.

“If you don’t want me to read it to you, what was it like for my 15-year-old daughter to have to memorize pornographic material and memorize it and portray —,” the mother said before her microphone was silenced.

Clark County School District told the Daily Caller that the mother “was given their full time for public comment.” A complete video shows the school board allowed the mother to complete her thought.(RELATED: High School Questionnaire Asks Why Straight People Are So ‘Sexually Aggressive’)

The mother claims that she met with the district with the help of a parent advocacy group. She said she is hopeful that the district will correct the situation without terminating the teacher.

Clark County School District told the Daily Caller that it is “investigating the circumstances surrounding a class assignment consisting of a student-generated writing exercise that produced content not conducive to student instruction.”

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This article was published by Daily Caller and is reprinted with permission.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.

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Buffalo Shooter’s Personal Diary Is Pretty Clear About His Sources Of Inspiration

By Laurel Duggan

Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron said his beliefs were inspired by websites Reddit and 4chan, which he began using during COVID-19, and listed his favorite subreddits in his personal diary.

Media outlets blamed Tucker Carlson and Republicans for inspiring the shooter, but he condemned Republicans in his diary, never mentioned Carlson, and expressed that he was politically left-leaning.

“I almost spent a year planning this attack … Oh how time flies, if I could go back maybe I’d tell myself to get the fuck off 4chan,” he wrote in one diary entry.

The 18-year-old who was charged in the Saturday shooting deaths of ten people in a Buffalo, New York, supermarket revealed in his diary that his radical beliefs originally developed in communities on 4chan and Reddit.

Before the shooting, which occurred in a predominately black neighborhood, Payton Gendron published a 106-page manifesto online describing himself as a “white supremacist” and “anti-Semite.” Gendron said explicitly in his diary that he developed his beliefs from 4chan and Reddit after the start of the pandemic.

“My current beliefs started when I first started to use 4chan a few months after covid started. Many of which I got from 4chan’s /pol/ page and links found in /nsg/ and threads like that,” he wrote in a diary entry labeled Jan. 30, referring to 4chan discussion forums.

Gendron also credited Reddit with forming his beliefs and listed several Reddit forums in which he frequently posted. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Times The Media And Democrats Openly Cheered ‘Replacement Theory,’ Which They Now Call Racist)

“Of course, many of my beliefs come from reddit too. Many subreddits I joined have been banned but they show up on r/AgainstHateSubreddits all the time,” he wrote Jan. 30. “One’s that still around includes r/greentext, r/4chan, r/PoliticalCompassMemes, r/SocialJusticeInAction, r/LoveForLandlords, and r/AntiHateCommunites, of which I am actually in their discord.”

Numerous media organizations attempted to link Gendron with the Republican Party and prominent conservatives like Tucker Carlson for inspiring Gendron while largely overlooking the shooter’s own words, in which he blamed online forums including Reddit and 4chan while condemning the Republican Party.

NBC News’ Ben Collins said Carlson is someone “directly trying to preach” to extremists like the Buffalo shooter, while a Rolling Stone commentary piece said the shooter was a “mainstream Republican,” and a Washington Post piece linked his ideology to Carlson and two other Republicans. A New York Times article also blamed Carlson for promoting “replacement theory,” the idea that elites are replacing white Americans with immigrants to gain political power, which was referenced by Gendron in his diary.

Some of these commentators speak frequently about online disinformation and the importance of stopping the spread of conspiracy theories. Collins writes about misinformation and extremism for NBC News and frequently expresses concern about the potential real-life consequences of online misinformation, tending to apply the “disinformation” and “conspiracy” labels to groups and arguments on the right side of the aisle.

“It makes no sense how democrats and republicans see themselves so differently from each other yet they have 95% of the same views,” Gendron wrote Feb. 19. “Ascend into eco fascism my brothers.”

“Same things apply with democrats vs republicans. Both are controlled by Jews,” he wrote March 7.

Gendron shared what appear to be the results of a quiz that showed his political views to be far-left and slightly authoritarian.

“I don’t think this is that inaccurate to my political beliefs. I tend to have quite a mix between conservative and progressive values though,” he wrote.

“I tend to be progressive when it comes to the development of science but conservative when it comes to culture,” he wrote in another post.

Gendron said he had used a Reddit page about mass killers to plan out his attack in a March 31 post.

“Look at what people did before tou, [sic] I’m trying to find info on other mass shooters and see what they did and what to improve on. r/masskillers is very helpful,” he wrote. “Imagine if I went in on March 15 not knowing my gun wasn’t properly lubed and I had a failure to feed on every shot I took, that would be quite embarrassing.”

At one point Gendron speculated that he could have gotten off 4chan and had a normal life.

“I almost spent a year planning this attack,” he wrote April 26. “Oh how time flies, if I could go back maybe I’d tell myself to get the fuck off 4chan and worldtruthvideos and get an actual life. Too late for that now.”

A moderator for r/SocialJusticeJusticeInAction told The Daily Caller News Foundation he was unaware of the subreddit being mentioned in the shooter’s diary prior to the inquiry and said the subreddit does not tolerate racism or bigotry.

Reddit, 4chan, and the moderators of the subreddits r/AgainstHateSubreddits, r/greentext, r/4chan, r/PoliticalCompassMemes, r/LoveForLandlords and r/masskillers did not respond to TheDCNF’s requests for comment.

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This article was published by The Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

America is now aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called disinformation a “threat” that needs to be addressed with federal law enforcement power. (Is it coincidental that Elon Musk will shortly take Twitter private and re-establish a free speech platform in America?)

This new DHS office is the Biden Speech Police and represents an existential threat to our First Amendment and our Republic. Please click the adjacent red TAKE ACTION link for the resources to inform your Senators and Representatives about this unconstitutional and tyrannical assault on American Free Speech and our fierce rejection of it.