The Unseen Cost of Government Largesse thumbnail

The Unseen Cost of Government Largesse

By Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

The U.S. government recently hit its $31.5 trillion debt limit after years of careening baseline spending on entitlements combined with emergency COVID-19 spending in the last few years to produce record-busting deficits. The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives, elected largely on economic concerns like inflation and runaway spending, now faces an obstinate Senate and White House. A showdown appears likely as does the ritual brow-beating of all those who object to simply raising the debt limit “without conditions,” as President Biden demands.

To those who will inevitably cry, “Don’t use the debt ceiling as a negotiating tool!” over the coming weeks and months, it should be pointed out that it is the only tool that has been even remotely effective at taming Congress’s appetite for spending. In the same way that an intervention is only possible when a drug addict is in crisis, debt limit negotiations are the only context in which Uncle Sam has accepted even modest constraints on government spending in recent decades.

Conservatives and libertarians rightly decry the rapidly-expanding national debt as an embarrassment, a threat to the nation, a root cause of inflation (as the Federal Reserve must expand its balance sheet to purchase the Treasuries that finance these huge deficits, as happened most clearly in the pandemic’s peak), and a promise of higher future taxes. While all these are accurate observations, one effect of massive government spending and deficits is often overlooked in the standard conservative critique: the forgone private investment of capital and therefore forgone economic growth, often termed the “crowding out effect.”

The basic idea is that there exists a total sum of money, or financial capital, that individual and institutional investors are willing to loan out or invest. Most economists call this the “loanable funds market.” The supply of loans, as with any supply curve, slopes upward and to the right. In other words, as the interest rate (the price of a loan) rises, more people will be eager to supply loans. In contrast, the demand for loanable funds slopes, like a normal demand curve, downward and to the right. That is, as the interest rate goes down, more people are interested in borrowing money. Just think of any normal supply-demand graph, but with the good in question being a loan rather than a physical good or a service, and the vertical axis labeled “interest rate” rather than “price,” as in other markets.

The demand for loanable funds is a function of how much capital investment businesses need (which is itself a function of how profitable those capital investments are), what quantity of money consumers need for purchases like homes and new vehicles, and how much money the government needs to borrow. In a game where the total supply of loanable funds per year is set, say at $5 trillion, every $1 trillion the government runs up in deficits is $1 trillion less available for private investment in the innovations that improve quality of life, bring us new medicines, and create new jobs.

Increased government deficits shift the demand for loanable funds to the right. As any student of elementary economics knows, this increases the price, or in this case, the nominal interest rate. Many private sector projects that make sense at 4 percent interest are no longer acted upon if the government runs such a large deficit that the interest rate must increase to 7 percent for investors to shell out the cash necessary to finance that deficit. Increasing the supply of loanable funds through monetary expansion, as happened in the COVID pandemic with breathtaking speed, can temporarily hide this effect. However, this spurs inflation that reduces real returns and hampers economic growth (the stock market’s dismal returns since runaway inflation started in late 2021 is one example of this result).

In contrast to the Keynesian “money multiplier” theory, which insists that government spending stimulates the economy by circulating money via transfer payments that otherwise would have remained in savings and uncirculated, savings in nearly all developed countries are not locked away gathering moths and rust, but invested. Of every dollar put in the bank, more than 90 percent is invested in loans for commercial enterprises, in home loans, and in bonds, and this doesn’t account for the fact that a larger and larger share of surplus savings in the United States are not in the traditional banking system, but in brokerage accounts, 401(k)s, and elsewhere.

Government spending does not multiply the economic power of money, it diminishes it. If the opposite were true, Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela would be among the wealthiest nations on the planet, since nearly all economic activity is facilitated through government spending in those nations. That they are not, but that nations with relatively free markets such as the United States, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Japan punch above their weight economically suggests that private investment in the innovations and technologies of tomorrow everywhere and always beats government transfer payments in facilitating economic growth.

Every dollar the government must borrow is a dollar not available for private businesses or individuals to borrow, and that reduces future economic growth and job creation. With America’s debt now hovering near 125 percent of GDP (before netting for debt held by government entities) and deficits topping $1 trillion yearly as far as the eye can see, we can no longer ignore this drag on the American economy.

AUTHOR

Nathan J. Richendollar

Nathan Richendollar is a summa cum laude economics and politics graduate of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. He lives in Southwest Missouri and works in the financial sector.

RELATED ARTICLE: Why Do Wages Rise? Not Because of Minimum Wage Laws, New Data Show

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

The IRS has Taxpayers Subsidize the ‘Iran Lobby’ thumbnail

The IRS has Taxpayers Subsidize the ‘Iran Lobby’

By Jihad Watch

And the double standard on pro-Israel and pro-Iran groups.


During the freedom protests in Iran, #NIACLobbies4Mullahs trended on Twitter.

It’s not the first time that Iranian refugees, dissidents and activists have denounced the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and accused it of acting as the ‘Iran Lobby’. But the over 300,000 tweets demonstrated the forceful opposition of Iranians to the regime and to the ‘Iran Lobby’. So did the marchers in Washington D.C. chanting, “NIAC is not our voice!”

“Iranians expect @TheJusticeDept to look into this hashtag: #NIACLobbies4Mullahs,” Arash Sobhani, a prominent Iranian-American musician and dissident, tweeted.

A Justice Department investigation of NIAC for violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) is long overdue and has been urged by Senator Tom Cotton and other legislators.

But the pro-Iran group has also maintained a tax-exempt status with the IRS for over 20 years and that’s all the more remarkable considering the very different treatment of pro-Israel groups.

The New York Times has spent over a decade urging the IRS to investigate pro-Israel non-profits. In 2021, antisemitic congressmembers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and Rep. Andre Carson, who met with Louis Farrakhan, signed a letter urging the Biden administration to crack down on the tax-exempt status of pro-Israel groups.

Treasury Secretary Yellen “must act to enforce US law and end these organizations 501(c)(3) status,” Rep. Tlaib tweeted.

If the Biden administration uses the IRS to go after pro-Israel groups, it will be following up on the work of the Obama administration which launched an unprecedented effort to shut down pro-Israel groups who were critical of its foreign policy including its empowerment of Iran.

In 2009, Z Street founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus applied for tax exempt status for the pro-Israel group. When the IRS refused to move forward, she was told that it “has to give special scrutiny to organizations connected to Israel.”

NIAC was never given this special level of scrutiny. Nor was the American Iranian Council, whose founder had run for the presidency of Iran and at whose events Biden had appeared.

In 2009, Eli Lake, then of the Washington Timeswarned that communications between NIAC founder Trita Paris and Iran’s UN ambassador “offer evidence that the group has operated as an undeclared lobby and may be guilty of violating tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws.”

IFMAT, an Iranian dissident site, alleged that, “according to NIAC’s own documents released during the lawsuit, the organization used to ‘defraud IRS [and] did not report lobbying.’”

The IRS however appeared to show little interest in NIAC and instead went after pro-Israel groups. While pro-Israel groups were asked to “explain their religious beliefs about the Land of Israel”, there’s no sign that NIAC has been asked to explain Shiite religious beliefs about Iran.

Before founding NIAC, Trita Parsi had created, “Iranians for International Cooperation” which admitted that it existed to “safeguard Iran’s and Iranian interests”. The same IRS, which had asked of a pro-Israel group, “does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?” did not seem especially interested in whether NIAC supported an Islamic terror state.

Parsi then moved on to the American Iranian Council before founding NIAC allegedly in coordination with Hamyaran which had been created by the Iranian government.

The IRS however decided to go after pro-Israel groups instead. Five of these groups were audited at the same time even as revelations about NIAC were emerging. “Israel is one of many Middle Eastern countries that have a ‘higher risk of terrorism,’” an IRS manager argued.

Israel had a higher risk of terrorism because Iran was targeting it with a terror campaign. But instead of scrutinizing the terrorists, the IRS decided that the victims of Islamic terrorism were the ones who really needed investigating.

In 2018, the case by Z Street was finally settled after eight years of litigation.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus told Front Page Magazine that, “One of the excuses given to Z Street by an IRS official was that the IRS had to make sure we were not ‘engaged in terrorism’ because we mentioned ‘terror’ in our mission statement. The part of Z Street’s mission that mentioned terror? ‘We will not engage with, negotiate with or appease terrorists.’ Yet Z Street’s application for 501(c)(3) status was sidelined for seven years while Z Street litigated the IRS’s unconstitutional application of Viewpoint Discrimination against us.”

The IRS demonstrated that when it came to Z Street and other pro-Israel groups, it was willing and able to scrutinize, investigate and harass them. It has demonstrated the same thing with conservative groups. It is not however willing to apply that same standard to the ‘Iran Lobby’.

And the reasons may be obvious.

NIAC Action, its sister PAC, endorsed Biden and declared, “our long, national nightmare is almost over. AP has called the race for Joe Biden.”

Jamal Abdi, the executive director of NIAC Action, was one of Biden’s bundlers and claimed that its members had dominated phone banks and donated $385,000 to Biden.

NIAC Action had gushed that, “our long, national nightmare is almost over. AP has called the race for Joe Biden”.

“It’s an obscene joke that NIAC was given and retains the U.S. government’s permission to provide its donors with the ability to write off their tax donations to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s U.S. cheerleading squad, NIAC,” Marcus, the founder of Z Street, told Front Page Magazine.

In Iran, protesters are putting their lives on the line for freedom. And some of them are calling for a long overdue investigation of the ‘Iran Lobby’ and its influence over American politics.

NIAC Action’s recent endorsements include Rep. Katie Porter, who now aspires to the Senate, Rep. Ro Khanna, who is seen as the successor for the Bernie Sanders camp and a possible presidential candidate, and antisemitic figures like Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

After over two decades of neglect by the IRS, NIAC has gained unprecedented influence.

NIAC’s nonprofit status is evidence of a glaring double standard by the IRS and a national security crisis.

AUTHOR

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

PODCAST: Biden’s Proposal—Increase National Debt By 57.8% thumbnail

PODCAST: Biden’s Proposal—Increase National Debt By 57.8%

By Conservative Commandos Radio Show

GUESTS AND TOPICS

TERRY JEFFREY 

Terry Jeffrey is editor in chief of CNSNews.com. Prior to that, he served for more than a decade as editor of Human Events, where he is now an editor at large. From 1987-91, he was an editorial writer for The Washington Times, which entered his investigative editorials about then-House Speaker Jim Wright for consideration for the Pulitzer Prize. In 1992, he served as issues and research director for Pat Buchanan’s first Republican presidential campaign. In 1995-96, he was national campaign manager for Pat Buchanan’s second Republican presidential campaign. Buchanan that year won the Alaska, Louisiana and Missouri caucuses, placed second in the Iowa caucuses, and won the New Hampshire primary.

TOPIC: Biden’s Proposal: Increase Debt By 57.8%

E. CALVIS BEISNER, PH.D.

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, www.CornwallAlliance.org, author of over a dozen books and over a thousand articles, former associate professor of historical theology and social ethics at Knox Theological Seminary and of interdisciplinary studies at Covenant College.

TOPIC: Setting the Record Straight on Climate Change

©AUN-TV and Conservative Commandos Radio. All rights reserved.

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New House Majority Attempts Debt-Defying Feat

By Family Research Council

Will Rogers used to joke, “Alexander Hamilton started the Treasury Department with nothing — and sometimes I think that’s the closest we’ve been to breaking even.”

Not many people saw the humor in that Thursday when the U.S. bumped its head on the debt ceiling, setting the stage for a titanic showdown over America’s spending. While Uncle Sam has maxed out his credit cards for years, the government has never owed anything close to $31 trillion — a failure the new conservative House majority has zero intention of repeating.

If anyone doubts whether the GOP means business, one look at the speaker’s race ought to tell the skeptics all they need to know. The group forged by five days of adversity over Nancy Pelosi’s successor is a hardened and united front now, determined to declare war on the reckless habits that got our country into this mess. Many believe one of the biggest victories the conservative holdouts won was the promise not to raise the debt ceiling until serious budget reforms are made.

Not surprisingly, Democrats are demanding that Congress raise the borrowing limit — no strings attached. Joe Biden, who called Republicans “fiscally demented” for trying to steer America away from the cliff, is insisting that conservatives who want new spending limits can pound sand. Of course, his refusal to negotiate with the GOP is rich considering that he’s added more to the national debt ($3.8 trillion) in two years than our country did in 61 years (1929-1990).

Biden’s pigheadedness is putting the two parties on a collision course for a knock-down, drag-out fight — the likes of which Washington hasn’t seen since 2011 and 1995 when other House majorities tried to put Congress on the spending straight and narrow. Meanwhile, the prospects of Congress coming to blows over America’s ballooning debt is making the media downright hysterical. The New York Times wrung its hands, writing that “breaching the debt limit would lead to a first-ever default for the United States, creating financial chaos in the global economy.” Other Chicken Littles panicked that Republicans will pull the plug on Social Security and Medicare.

The reality is, America has never defaulted on its loans (despite coming dangerously close under Barack Obama). Even now, the House GOP is working on an emergency plan to keep the government afloat while the two sides hammer out an agreement. Conservatives have said that non-Defense spending will be first on the chopping block, but that doesn’t mean, as Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) joked with me on “Washington Watch,” that “nasty Republicans are going to push grandma off a cliff.” “We’re going to start with non-Medicare, non-Social Security spending,” he insisted. But frankly, Harris said, we should ultimately have “a bipartisan agreement on how to control all our federal spending.”

And yet the media would have you believe that any Republican who wants to leverage the moment to help America sober up after decades of a spending binge is reckless. “Crazy even,” National Review’s Veronique De Rugy writes. The fact of the matter is, our fiscal house is a disaster “and Congress is to blame for it. … These people are upset about the symptom of the disease, not the disease itself.”

Ironically, these same media outlets didn’t seem the slightest bit concerned when it was Biden and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) opposing multiple debt ceiling hikes. Back in 2006 and 2004, the two men could’ve been mistaken for Ronald Reagan, saying such things as “This massive accumulation of debt … was the result of willful and reckless disregard for the warnings that were given and for the fundamentals of economic management.” That was then-Senator Joe Biden before voting against increasing the debt limit. Schumer was so against the idea that he ran ads about it.

Apparently, the press is messaging this debate the same way they did the speaker’s race: demanding Republicans stop whining and fall in line. Conservatives who didn’t earlier this month, who made demands of their next leader in exchange for their support, were “terrorists.” Today, when Republicans ask for everyone to come to the table, Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii) lashes out, “There is no table.”

In other words, Congress should just roll over and rubber-stamp more borrowing to fund the Left’s agenda. If that’s the House’s perfunctory duty, as the critics say, why even vote? Or, could it be that this is a neglected accountability tool for lawmakers to keep spending in check?

I know some Americans will yawn at the country’s predicament. We’ve become numb to the big numbers. Living within our means seems to be an ideal long lost in this age of excess and instant gratification. But as everyone eventually learns, borrowing of this magnitude is ultimately unsustainable — and it’s immoral for us to leave it to our children and grandchildren to pay Washington’s piper. This is a fight that needs to be had, and we need to have it now.

When Ronald Reagan took office, the government’s debt was $650 billion. By 2010, it had skyrocketed to $10 trillion. Now, we’re approaching three times that number. And it’s not because Republicans have been spending angels, and Democrats have been devils. Both parties have been irresponsible. But we can’t keep swimming in red ink as a country and hope to survive. We have to address it.

Some of the ideas floating through the conservative caucus are completely reasonable solutions like “no budget, no pay,” which withhold lawmakers’ pay when they don’t pass budgets. For years, they’ve been kicking the can of appropriations down the road, which has resulted in gigantic, unread, multi-trillion-dollar boondoggles like we saw in the December omnibus. No more, House conservatives said in the speaker’s fight. It’s time to send these 13 budgets through regular order — holding hearings, conducting mark-ups, and giving members time to digest and amend the bills.

In return for a debt ceiling increase, Republicans will almost certainly demand across-the-board cuts and savings. There are calls to balance the budget in 10 years and scale back on glutted entitlements.

“The bottom line is we can’t just keep raising the debt ceiling year after year and just whistling past the graveyard on this,” Harris warned. “[O]ur debt exceeds our entire output of our economy. We are beyond the point where Greece was about 10 years ago when they essentially went bankrupt, so it’s completely unreasonable for the president to not want to negotiate some spending control.”

He compared it to a teenager maxing out his credit cards and telling his parents, “Look, just raise my limit. Don’t talk to me about controlling my spending.” “It’s crazy,” Harris shook his head. “We will discuss it, and the president will have to negotiate … because the debt ceiling is not going to be increased by the House without some spending control.”

At the end of the day, the new majority may not be able to take the credit cards away, but they can put a serious dent in Congress’s allowance. True leadership means “the bucks stop here.” It’s time for Republicans to take charge — and not the plastic kind!

AUTHOR

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.

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There’s A Way Out Of The Federal Government’s Debt Pit

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

VIDEO: Billions of Dollars for Lost Wages During Pandemic Went to Improper Payments thumbnail

VIDEO: Billions of Dollars for Lost Wages During Pandemic Went to Improper Payments

By Open The Books

WASHINGTON, D.C. , The National Desk — Billions of taxpayer dollars for the COVID-19 Lost Wages Assistance program went to improper payments that the Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to control.

Open the Books founder Adam Andrzejewski joined The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat Friday morning to discuss the money.

“The president, by August of 2020, authorized FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to provide extra unemployment payments to people who had real needs,” he said. “It was up to $44 billion worth of extra payments. And eventually, very quickly, within 11 days, about $37 billion was allocated from the Federal Emergency Management System into the state’s unemployment aid system to provide additional dollars … There was $3.7 billion basically stolen from the program on these improper payments.”

It’s yet another case of economic fallout from pandemic-related programs.

Andrzejewski says it comes down to a “lack of control” that led to so much cash getting into the hands of the wrong people.

“Through the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, they piggyback off the state unemployment aid programs. And those add a complete lack of accounting control and fraud,” he said. “This is the greatest public fraud in the history of the country that came out of our unemployment state programs … Congress had allocated $800 billion to the Unemployment Aid Program, again to serve people who had real needs. And now we know that up to half of it, $400 billion, was stolen by criminals, cons artists and crime syndicates around the world.”

Andrzejewski says it’s a prime issue for the new Republican majority in the House to investigate within their fraud committees.

RELATED: Map: Congressional Earmarks in 2023

EDITORS NOTE: This Open The Books expose is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Newsom Twosome: Siebel Newsom’s Films – Shown In Middle Schools – Feature Porn, Radical Gender Materials, And Her Husband Gavin thumbnail

Newsom Twosome: Siebel Newsom’s Films – Shown In Middle Schools – Feature Porn, Radical Gender Materials, And Her Husband Gavin

By Open The Books

California Governor Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, are the dream team. He runs the state and she’s a nonprofit founder, entrepreneur, and filmmaker.

While her husband attends to state business, Siebel Newsom engages in her passion: advancing “gender justice” through her charitable nonprofit The Representation Project. According to tax documents the organization is “committed to building a thriving and inclusive society through films, education, and social activism.”

We previously reported that while the governor engaged in the highly unethical practice of soliciting 1,000 state vendors for $10.6 million in campaign cash, the first partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, solicited state vendors and the governor’s campaign donors for large gifts to her charity, The Representation Project.

However, Newsom’s charity shouldn’t have been soliciting anyone for donations throughout most of 2022.

Last week, our investigation broke the story that The Representation Project was not in compliance with the California Charitable Solicitation Act. Now, it’s clear that the charity spent last year engaged in big-money fundraising events with corporate executives and philanthropists – while its charitable filings were delinquent with the state.

Then, the Newsom nonprofit scrambled to submit their proper registration. Working with the California Attorney General, a process that normally takes days or weeks was completed in hours.

So, just what does Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s charity do – with the full support of her husband, the governor, and underwritten by the wealthy California establishment?

THE FILMS

Siebel Newsom, through her non-profit The Representation Project, has released four films advocating gender justice. The films are leased for screenings to individuals, corporations, and schools, and come with their own lesson plans. Schools spend between $49-$599 to screen these movies to children.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom is credited as a writer and director on each of these films. Two of the movies feature Gavin Newsom himself, and many of the lesson plan activities are oriented toward engaging children in social and political activism.

Because of Gavin Newsom’s role in these films and because licenses are sold to schools which the governor is responsible for funding with tax dollars, auditors at OpenTheBooks.com felt the organization deserved further scrutiny.

Who’s Watching? 2.6 million students in 5,000 schools

According to The Representation Project’s Impact Report (2011-2021), the organization’s film curricula are being used in over 5,000 schools in all fifty states. The Representation Project claims over 11,200 copies of the curricula have been distributed, reaching more than 2.6 million students.

Tax records show that since 2012 the nonprofit has generated $1,483,001 in film screening revenue, although it is unclear how much money came from schools versus other sources. We asked The Representation Project for the number of California schools that purchased a screening license and received no response.

Auditors at OpenTheBooks.com watched Newsom’s movies and read the lesson plans. What we found was, at times, shocking: sexually explicit images, political boosterism, and something called “The Genderbread Person.”

SEXUALLY EXPLICIT IMAGES

Screenshot from “age-appropriate” middle school curriculum video for Miss Representation; see full video here.

Miss Representation’s curriculum links to “age-appropriate” video clips in its K-12 lesson plans and says that the full film is rated PG-14. (Certainly, parents may still object to clips from the “age-appropriate” film like the animated, upside down stripper shown above).

The film features strong language and women dressed provocatively:

  • Caroline Heldman, who is now executive director of Newsom’s non-profit, described women’s role in action movies as “the fighting fuck toy.”
  • Actress Daphne Zuniga, famous for Melrose Place and film parody Spaceballs, suggested women should “tell those fuckers to get penis implants,” in response to being told to get plastic surgery.
  • Middle school children are served images of upside-down strippers with little left to the imagination (see above).

Then, it gets worse.

Newsom’s film The Mask You Live In features the website addresses of porn sites including Porn Hub, MassiveCams, BDSM.XXX, and Brazzers.com. The pornographic images displayed in the film are tagged with descriptions such as “domination,” “face fuck,” “kinky couples,” and “…dirty brunettes.”

Newsom included images of naked or mostly naked women being slapped, handcuffed, and brutalized in pornographic videos. The pictures are graphic even when blurred. Screenshots of those scenes can be found HERE (VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED).

These jarring pictures are displayed with their corresponding porn website addresses – providing a roadmap for future exploration. The film seems to justify their harmful content by saying that “34% of youth online receive UNWANTED PORNOGRAPHIC EXPOSURE.”

However, 100% of the youth (or anyone else) receive unwanted or unwarranted pornographic exposure by watching Newsom’s movies.

In 2019, one parent filed a complaint about a screening of The Mask You Live In for his 12-year-old daughter’s class at Creekside Middle School in California. In an interview with The Sacramento Bee the father said,

“Some of the images when slowed down were not blurred, and even when they are blurred, it is obvious what is going on. It is absolutely profane and disgusting.”

An investigation found a substitute teacher accidentally screened the full version of the film rather than an “age-appropriate” version. However, The Representation Project recommends the full version for ages 15+.

Siebel Newsom’s idea is to protect children from highly exploitative and disturbing sexual media content seems to involve showing it to them personally.

BOOSTING GAVIN NEWSOM – THE COMPASSIONATE POLITICIAN

Screenshot of then-Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom in Siebel Newsom’s film, Miss Representation.

Gavin Newsom himself provides interview commentary for Miss Representation and The Great American Lie. 

Newsom speaks three times in Miss Representation and is portrayed as a champion of women’s rights—see this example from the middle school curriculum video (18:37):

“One of the first things I did when I came to San Francisco (as mayor) is I appointed a female police chief and appointed a female fire chief.”

Getting paid by schools to portray your politician husband as a standup guy to captive children in the classroom was such a winning idea, Siebel Newsom deployed it again in The Great American Lie.

Here, Newsom makes five appearances to deliver political talking points, including:

At the end of the day a budget is a set of values, budget reflects your values.”

“This notion of interdependence—that we’re all in this together, that we all rise and fall together—is absolutely true.”

“We’re not bystanders in this world, we have the ability to step up and solve big problems, we have done that in the past, it’s just a question of prioritization, of political will.”

Siebel Newsom’s provided companion curriculum require student discussion of Gavin Newsom’s points and are told to vote, and help others vote, for politicians “who show empathy through their support care [sic] policies.”

IMAGE 1

IMAGE 2

Activity from The Great American Lie curriculum for high school and college students. Students are asked to watch and discuss a clip of Gavin Newsom.

Call to action from The Great American Lie curriculum for high school and college students. Students are told to vote and help others vote for candidates “who show empathy through their support care [sic] policies”

Overview: Jennifer Siebel Newsom makes a movie portraying Gavin Newsom as a politician that supports certain policies, and then in the movie’s curriculum advises students to vote and campaign for politicians that support those policies.

Schools, which receive funding from the state, pay The Representation Project to show this movie, and use taxpayer-funded class time to facilitate these lessons.

In July 2022 Gavin Newsom signed a budget of $128 billion for state schools and community colleges.

THE GENDERBREAD PERSON

ACTIVITY: WHAT IS GENDER

Source: Genderbread Person activities from The Mask You Live In curriculum for middle and high school students.

Multiple lesson plans from The Representation Project promote radical notions of gender and sexuality.

One such lesson for middle and high schoolers includes the “genderbread person,” who aims to show children how biological sex, “gender expression,” “sexual attraction,” and “gender identity” exist on a spectrum, which can be mixed and matched.

While kindergarteners are spared the genderbread person in their curriculum, they are offered similar lessons on “gender identity,” introducing genders other than “boy” and “girl.”

A. GENDER IDENTITY AND EXPRESSION.

Gender identity and expression activity from The Mask You Live In curriculum for elementary school students, grades K-5.

LEFT-WING POLITICAL ACTIVISM – THE “PRIVILEGE WALK

Kids forced to watch The Representation Project films in schools aren’t just subjected to gender ideology, sexually explicit images, and Gavin Newsom’s one-liners. They’re being given a left-wing framework through which to see the world, and then prompted to conduct social and political activism.

In The Great American Lie curriculum, students are asked to do a “privilege walk,” divulging personal information in order to compare themselves to peers inside and outside the classroom. “Privileges” include being “a cisgendered man,” “white,” “born in the United States,” “straight,” and speaking English as a first language.

THE PRIVILEGE WALK ACTIVITY

Activity from The Great American Lie curriculum for high school and college students.

Speakers in The Great American Lie are clear about what “privilege” means—something you hurt other people with, something you should feel bad about, and something you should work to change.

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Trump Says GOP Should Not Cut Social Security As Part Of Spending Deal

By The Daily Caller

Former President Donald Trump is urging congressional Republicans to keep entitlement reform off the table as part of debt ceiling negotiations.

“Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security to help pay for Joe Biden’s reckless spending spree, which is more reckless than anybody’s ever done or had in the history of our country,” Trump said Friday in a video posted to TRUTH Social. “We absolutely need to stop Biden’s out-of-control spending. The pain should be borne by Washington bureaucrats, not by hard-working American families and American seniors.”

Republicans are threatening to oppose raising the debt ceiling if the increase is not accompanied by spending cuts. As part of Kevin McCarthy’s speakership negotiations, Republicans agreed to freeze the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget at FY 2022 levels. While defense hawks like Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul of Texas are pledging to leave defense spending untouched, others, such as Texas Rep. Chip Roy, are pledging not to “touch” Medicare or Social Security.

“Cut the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars going to corrupt foreign countries. Cut the mass releases of illegal aliens that are depleting our social safety net and destroying our country. Cut the left-wing gender programs from our military. Cut the billions being spent on climate extremism. Cut waste, fraud and abuse everywhere we can find it. And there’s plenty of it. But do not cut the benefits our seniors worked for and paid for their entire lives. Save Social Security, don’t destroy it,” Trump continued.

Social Security’s Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund is projected to become insolvent in 2033 if the program continues to pay benefits under current law, according to the Congressional Budget Office, meaning retirees will not receive full benefits. Some Republicans have acknowledged the program must be reformed in order to keep it solvent. Pennsylvania Rep. Lloyd Smucker floated means testing the universal program.

“We should ensure that we keep the promises that were made to the people who really need it, the people who are relying on it,” he told Bloomberg. “So some sort of means-testing potentially would help to ensure that we can do that.”

Social Security and Medicare combined make up more than 30% of the federal budget, and the number is set to increase as Baby Boomers continue to retire.

The U.S. Treasury on Thursday began taking extraordinary measures to avoid defaulting on the federal debt. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has estimated the government will go over the fiscal cliff at some point in June or July.

AUTHOR

MICHAEL GINSBERG

Congressional correspondent.

RELATED ARTICLES:

What Congress really needs for a debt limit deal

White House Budget Director Doubles Down: Trump’s 2021 Budget Won’t Cut ‘Social Security And Medicare’

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

The Smoke Grinder Government: How Gridlock Can Be Good thumbnail

The Smoke Grinder Government: How Gridlock Can Be Good

By Family Research Council

Back in the ’80s, I used to watch a quirky PBS show with my dad on woodworking called “The Woodwright’s Shop.” In one episode, host Roy Underhill introduced an old wooden folk toy called a “smoke grinder,” or “do-nothing-machine.” It consisted of a block of wood with dovetails cut into the top, with a handle attached that would spin along the grooves in an elliptical pattern. Just for fun, my dad built one, and it did exactly what its name implied: nothing.

Like the wooden toy before it, the 118th Congress all but threatens to be a smoke grinder government. The 2022 midterm elections missed the anticipated “red wave,” but, the GOP did gain control of the House of Representatives, ending two years of Democrat control of all three branches of government. And with control of the people’s house, comes the return of a term all-too-familiar to the nation’s capital: gridlock. Any controversial legislation passed by a Republican-majority House likely won’t make it past the Senate’s Democratic majority, much less have any chances of being signed by a Democrat president. Likewise, any controversial Democrat-led legislation will go nowhere. Forget being off to the races, major change in Washington won’t leave the treadmill for the next two years.

But what if this was a good thing? Don’t get me wrong, dysfunction — especially in the essential functions of government — is rarely helpful. But what if instead of dysfunction, the gridlock imposed by a two-party system was a function for good? As the conservative magazine National Review launched, its founder, William F. Buckley, Jr. famously wrote that its mission was to, “stand athwart history, yelling Stop.” Indeed, it is good to bring traffic to a halt when the bridge up ahead is out. Motion doesn’t necessarily drive morality. And for governments, there are quite often times when their inaction serves their people better than action. At the very least, an inactive government can be far less expensive to the people who fund it.

But bringing government to a halt is not the only thing that happens in a gridlock situation. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives has wasted no time introducing legislation that is doomed to fail. For example, the House just passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act, which requires legal protection for babies born alive during an abortion, by a vote of 220-210. The bill will go nowhere in a Democrat majority Senate. And even if somehow it miraculously broke through a Senate filibuster and made it to the desk of the pro-abortion President Biden, there’s little mystery as to what he would do with it. All this raises the question, why bother?

For starters, 210 elected representatives of the people are now publicly on record as voting against providing life-saving protection to newborns. The significance of this one vote cannot be understated. It underscores for the nation just how polarized America is on this issue. What once may have masqueraded as middle ground has given way to a giant sink hole. The curtain on an issue once framed by abortion supporters in terms of a woman’s “choice” has been pulled back to reveal its ugly fruits, and those fruits are oozing with the fermented rot of evil.

In his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul wrote, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). This is a must for Christ’s church, and it wouldn’t hurt for Congress to follow this directive as well. The right thing to do isn’t the right thing because it’s effective. The right thing to do is the right thing because it is right. Daniel’s service in Babylon didn’t revolutionize pagan Babylonian society, but it did preserve a legacy of doing the right thing in the eyes of the Lord.

After all is said and done in the 118th “smoke grinder” Congress, we may not get the fruit we desire. Much of the fruit may be ugly, stunted, and underdeveloped. But we can help the fruit that we end up with to grow in the long run. If wrongs can be thwarted, let them be thwarted. And if right can be attempted, let it be attempted. And if darkness can be exposed, let it be exposed and allow that exposure to someday break the smoke grinder and deliver the unity we need.

AUTHOR

Jared Bridges

Jared Bridges is editor-in-chief of The Washington Stand.

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

Migrant Encounters At The Southern Border Hit New All-Time Record thumbnail

Migrant Encounters At The Southern Border Hit New All-Time Record

By The Daily Caller

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) migrant encounters at the southern border surpassed 250,000 for the month of December, the highest ever recorded, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) source, who requested anonymity as they weren’t authorized to speak publicly, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The new total surpasses May 2022’s more than 241,000 migrant encounters, which was the highest DHS ever recorded before December 2022. The total encounters include Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations encounters of migrants both at and between U.S. ports of entry.

Fox News first reported the new record.

In December, Republican states and the Biden administration fought over whether or not to scrap Title 42, the Trump-era public health order used to quickly expel illegal migrants to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Illegal immigration surged during that time period in places like El Paso, Texas, where hundreds of migrants crossed into the area in a matter of days in anticipation of Title 42 expiring on Dec. 21 due to a previous court ruling that the Supreme Court quickly paused.

The influx in El Paso drew the attention of President Joe Biden, who visited the area Jan. 8 in his first border visit.

Biden’s tenure in office has been marked by years of record migrant encounters. In fiscal year 2022, CBP encountered another record of more than 2.3 million at the southern border.

Biden announced Jan. 5 new efforts to expel illegal migrants from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua to Mexico. The plan also means that migrants from those countries who don’t cross illegally will have the opportunity to apply for asylum at U.S. ports of entry if they have a U.S. sponsor.

CBP didn’t respond to a request for comment.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Carter introduces Fair Tax Act thumbnail

Carter introduces Fair Tax Act

By Dr. Rich Swier

Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) today introduced H.R. 25, the Fair Tax Act, to replace the current tax code with a national consumption tax known as the Fair Tax.

“Cosponsoring this Georgia-made legislation was my first act as a Member of Congress and is, fittingly, the first bill I am introducing in the 118th Congress,” said Rep. Buddy Carter.

“Instead of adding 87,000 new agents to weaponize the IRS against small business owners and middle America, this bill will eliminate the need for the department entirely by simplifying the tax code with provisions that work for the American people and encourage growth and innovation. Armed, unelected bureaucrats should not have more power over your paycheck than you do.”

Joining Rep. Carter as original cosponsors are Reps. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Scott Perry (R-PA), Bob Good (R-VA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Bill Posey (R-FL), Gary Palmer (R-AL), Jim Banks (R-IN), and Barry Loudermilk (R-GA).

©Congressman Buddy Carter. All rights reserved.

Congress’s 4,155-Page Omnibus Bill Is a Symbol of American Decadence thumbnail

Congress’s 4,155-Page Omnibus Bill Is a Symbol of American Decadence

By Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

An eight-ream bill is no sign of legislative nobility.


On December 20th a handful of Republican senators shuffled before an audience of reporters prepared to issue fiery polemics on the year-end omnibus bill which sat, heavy and ponderous in all its eight-ream absurdity on a wheeled cart before the five-senator assemblage.

“DANGER: $1.7 trillion of hazardous debt” read one of the mock-hazard signs decking the cart. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul declared the bill an “abomination,” while Utah Senator Mike Lee skewered the unseemly pressures to freeze it into law by proclaiming the process “legislative barbarism.”

Every year it happens with textbook repetition: Washington politicians procrastinate in releasing a colossal expense prospectus for the following year which unfailingly runs thousands of pages, requests billions of dollars, and is granted mere hours of scrutiny before being thrust to a congressional vote. The process is riddled with partisan intimidations and shrewd slandering. Democratic politicians trot out folksy pleas about supporting struggling Americans, to which, naturally, passing the bill is postured to achieve. Most Republicans cave to its smothering inevitability; a minority bitterly protest.

The omnibus bill earns its name from its practice of absorbing a collection of smaller bills into one vote. You might be tempted to call this government efficiency, but think again. In reality, it’s the gateway of legislative sloppiness and profligacy. And you might be tempted to believe Washington’s Christmas tradition is paternal benevolence for the common man but this too is a smokescreen. If our political overlords actually cared for our future in the manner of responsible stewards they would not bankrupt the nation. They would not smuggle dozens of silly congressional pet projects into our legislative initiatives. They would not make a mockery of the political process by demanding decisions on bills scarcely proffered hours of review. They would not egregiously spend money we did not have. They would not thoughtlessly shovel funds to any hungry bureaucratic mouth in the country. They would not insult American taxpayers by destroying our currency, snowballing our debt, and wrapping it all in a veneer of charity and Progress. Grim and apocalyptic though this indictment may be, it is nevertheless the bitter truth.

As Americans, we have become numb to the money-gobbling maneuvers of the bureaucratic machine. We hardly flinch at billion-dollar price tags, not because we do not cognitively register such a number as large but because we feel detached from its significance. We do not feel connected to its consequences. We don’t even feel particularly sure about what the spending figures should be, so bewildered by the dizzying complexity of contemporary American politics are we. We put our fingers to the glass and watch but we cannot seem to stretch our fingers out and really touch the harrowing reality of a $1.7 trillion bill or a $31 trillion in national debt. Such numbers fail to disquiet our consciences. Why?

Here are a few potential reasons.

  1. Nobody talks about fiscal conservatism anymore. Republicans love to rhapsodize about this fixture of their intellectual tradition but few are those who actually extend this principle from token rhetoric to the necessary scolding and refashioning efforts of current regimes. No matter whether they claim democratic or republican status, administrations do a sordid job of expenditure restraint. This equivalence between the parties is sobering indeed, indicating that the majority of republicans do not know how to defend small-government and balanced budgets with any authentic confidence. You might hear “fiscal conservatism” sprinkled throughout the campaign trail for its old-fashioned appeal and knack for attracting votes, but it is no longer practiced by those in Washington. Longtime champion of fiscal restraint Sen. Rand Paul has made entreaties for years that are drowned out by the opportunism and apathy swarming the Capitol.
  2. Nobody is sure why fiscal conservatism even matters: Government money has been lamentably scrubbed of morality. It bears no qualms about tempering its quantity or maintaining its quality due to an ethical contract with the people. Money has no scruples attached to it anymore. The modern conscience conceives of it as a hollow instrument; a neutral tool to get from A to B. But what is money really made of? Where does it get its value? In what ways can it be a wonderful thing and in what ways can it equally be a dangerous thing? Few care to mull these questions.
  3. Nobody quite feels the consequences of reckless spending yet: Because we raise debt ceilings with impunity and have thrown that old burden of balancing budgets out the window, we stay disconnected from the ramifications of fiscal hedonism. It is hard enough for politicians to make difficult choices that affect life beyond their term limits, because where’s the motivation in that? And so, money becomes this distant, untouchable relic that no one wants to poke at.

And so, not only have we lost a certain emotional reaction to government spending (i.e. an instinctual discernment of when it hits a threshold of moral questionability) but we have also lost an intellectual grasp of it (i.e. an understanding of why extravagance cannot persist in perpetuity.) All of this adds up to a mass desensitization that leaves us dangerously acclimated to an environment that pretends money is a plaything and not actually the beating heart a civilization.

Here are some of the ways in which this unlucky acclimatization has occurred:

  1. Money added is rarely scaled back: In government, addition is the path of least resistance. Subtraction has poor incentives, can be politically painful, and sounds mean and parsimonious to us Americans who see government as our rightful purse strings and sympathetic caretaker.
  2. Added bureaucracy is rarely reviewed or pruned: More money inevitably feeds more bureaucratic cubicles. Bureaucracy is a curious animal: one that has a considerable appetite for more money and workers and administrative projects, but one that also has a deadening effect and leaves decay in its wake. In this way, bureaucracy has always bizarrely appeared to me as a life/death personification. If one thing is for sure, it will seek to justify its existence and once breathed form by taxpayer dollars, will lunge for more funds to legitimize its continuance.
  3. Law becomes more complex and disorienting: As sentences rain from keyboards and paper churns from the printer and more thousand-page legal monstrosities are produced, we end up building on a (new-ish) toxic American tradition of unintelligible, byzantine law. The less lucid and graspable the law is to the public, the less accountable government becomes—and the more fuzzy the political vision of the masses grows. After all, do we even know what laws were passed in the year-end omnibus bill? More worryingly still, do our politicians even know? Is this state of affairs normal? Would we call it a natural progression? I would warn against this particular temptation: the temptation to believe that increasing complexity is a sign of sophisticated progress, of governmental fine-tuning. It is not. It tangles with its serpentine requests and chokes with its punishing demands. And it throws a veneer of precision and compassion (owing to its seeming charity) over it all. As a general rule of thumb, when edicts becomes more profuse and complex and fail to remain concise and coherent to the public, they are unequivocally not serving the masses. (They are probably serving the elites.)

Post-Empire Flavor

What does one see when they gaze upon a 4,155-page bill? A symbol of American decadence. A pile of legal jargon so exhaustive its efforts look undeniably frantic. This utter excess inspires notions of blind mania. What are we doing and why? Is there any principle behind governmental motion? Are there any scraps of real thought or prudence? Or is the impetus merely zombie-like bureaucratic appetite? No matter how comprehensive and caring we would like our present government to appear, the rot cannot be fully concealed. An eight-ream bill is no sign of legislative nobility. It is an insult to the common people. It makes for a ridiculous picture of thoughtless excess. It just looks stupid at first glance. This intuitive, gut-level reaction is important. It’s the embarrassing truth of our attempts at managerial sophistry laid bare. It’s worth mentioning that empire decline is marked by an apathetic watering-down of principle, by money deterioration, and by administrative overextension. Checkcheckcheck.

The larger government grows, the more money it absorbs; sure. But the less functional it becomes too. It ossifies, and its vibrant principles start to decay under the dead weight.

Once a certain threshold in size is reached (and who’s to say exactly where that is) organization lapses into oppression. Vibrancy lapses into atrophy. And decent functionality lapses into chaotic disarray. The lesson?

Overreach and you snuff out life. Congress’ proud 4,155-page creation is a post-empire emblem if there ever was one. Do not be fooled by the legislation’s size: it represents a floundering American system, not a vibrant one.

AUTHOR

Lauren Reiff

Lauren is a writer of economics, psychology, and lots in between. To read more of her work, follow her on Medium.

RELATED ARTICLE: Nancy Pelosi’s Other Legacy: A Mountain of Debt for Our Children

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

Migrants are ‘Drinking All Day,’ ‘Having Sex in the Stairs’ in Taxpayer-Funded Luxury New York Hotels: Whistleblower thumbnail

Migrants are ‘Drinking All Day,’ ‘Having Sex in the Stairs’ in Taxpayer-Funded Luxury New York Hotels: Whistleblower

By The Geller Report

The Democrats plunder our hard earned money for this! We are funding our own ruin and demise.

While people can’t buy food or heating oil, etc., these evil clown do this?

An employee at Row, one of New York City’s best-known hotels, became a whistleblower Wednesday after he released video and photos of illegal immigrants trashing the hotel and leaving fresh food out to rot.

“It’s a disgrace,” Row NYC employee Felipe Rodriguez said on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“The chaos that we see at the Row today is [caused] by migrants being drunk, drinking all day, smoking marijuana [and] consuming drugs,” Rodriguez said.

He also said that the Row is struggling with “domestic violence” among migrants, young people “having sex in the stairs,” and a fight between a migrant and a hotel security officer. One whistleblower exposed the “chaos” at the Row NYC hotel after New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency in response to thousands of migrants bussed to the city in recent months.

Nearly a ton of taxpayer-provided food gets tossed in the trash every day at a massive Manhattan hotel being used to house migrants — because they’d rather secretly cook their own meals on dangerous hot plates, a whistleblowing worker has revealed.

Disturbing photos show garbage bags full of sandwiches and bagels awaiting disposal at the four-star Row NYC hotel near Times Square, where the city pays a daily rate as high as $500 per room, hotel employee Felipe Rodriguez told The Post.

“It’s a crime to be throwing out so much food,” he said.

Other images show a hotel room littered with empty beer cans and bottles following a wild World Cup viewing party in November, Rodriguez said.

Migrants are ‘drinking all day,’ ‘having sex in the stairs’ in taxpayer-funded New York hotels: whistleblower

‘The ones that have all the power are the migrants,’ Felipe Rodriguez said

By Jeffrey Clark | Fox News January 12, 2023:

Hotel workers have lost our power to migrants: Row NYC employee Felipe Rodriguez

Exposed: Whistleblower reveals illegal migrants drink, party and fight in hotel NYC is putting them up in.

An employee at Row, one of New York City’s best-known hotels, became a whistleblower Wednesday after he released video and photos of illegal immigrants trashing the hotel and leaving fresh food out to rot.

“It’s a disgrace,” Row NYC employee Felipe Rodriguez said on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“The chaos that we see at the Row today is [caused] by migrants being drunk, drinking all day, smoking marijuana [and] consuming drugs,” Rodriguez said.
placeholder

He also said that the Row is struggling with “domestic violence” among migrants, young people “having sex in the stairs,” and a fight between a migrant and a hotel security officer.

One whistleblower exposed the “chaos” at the Row NYC hotel after New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency in response to thousands of migrants bussed to the city in recent months.

One whistleblower exposed the “chaos” at the Row NYC hotel after New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency in response to thousands of migrants bussed to the city in recent months. (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress)

Rodriguez shared videos of fresh, “good food” sitting out to rot in trash bags because “the migrants don’t want to eat them.”

“They said they don’t like it,” he said. “This is all food that is going to waste. This is insane.”

More than 36,400 migrants have come to New York City in the last few months and have been housed at just 14 hotels, according to Rodriguez.

The migrants in New York City have “carte blanche” to do as they wish, Row NYC employee Felipe Rodriguez told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

The migrants in New York City have “carte blanche” to do as they wish, Row NYC employee Felipe Rodriguez told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Rodriguez explained that the employees have lost control over the hotel. He said the migrants have started to believe they own the place.

“The form in which they keep their rooms is horrendous. They don’t clean it, they don’t fold their clothes. They’re hoarding clothes, they’re hoarding whatever they can hoard,” he said.

“There’s no accountability,” Rodriguez added.

Rodriguez said that he struggled in 2017 to pay his car, gas and electricity bills, but that the migrants have none of those responsibilities.

“There was a lot of stuff that I had to be responsible for. Fortunately for the migrants, they got the government of the United States to hand them carte blanche to pretty much do as they wish. They go in and out of the hotel at will,” he said.

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

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

The Insurrection of General Milley thumbnail

The Insurrection of General Milley

By Jihad Watch

“Okay, I get it, it’s illegal, it’s wrong.”


“The riots over the summer, you know, I could make a case that those riots were riots organic to an aggrieved community that perceived that they had various injustices throughout their life,” General Mark A Milley told the J6 Committee. “It was sheer, unmitigated anger that expressed itself in the form of mass violence and rioting. And, okay, I get it, it’s illegal, it’s wrong.”

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had previously justified the study of “white rage”, went on to defend the riots and the double standard at the heart of the J6 Committee.

“I don’t think the intent of those riots was to overturn the United States Government and to destroy the Constitution of the United States of America,” he argued.

The mobs assaulting police officers, burning flags, attacking federal buildings in sieges, like the one in Portland, reminiscent of Fort Sumter, and calling for the destruction of America under the guidance of an organization of “trained Marxists” demonstrated that it was an insurrection.

And Gen. Milley’s testimony showed that he sympathized with the insurrectionists.

An account had described Milley pointing to a bust of Lincoln during the Black Lives Matter riots and telling Trump, “That guy had an insurrection. What we have, Mr. President, is a protest.”

The J6 testimony provided an opportunity to dig into Milley’s definition of an insurrection.

On the one hand, Gen. Milley conceded that, “All the President has to do is walk outside the White House and yell three times, you know, ‘Insurrectionists, disperse.’ And he just has to yell it, right? And then he can do it, according to the law of 1807 or whatever year it was, right?”

But Gen. Milley along with other woke brass did everything possible to dissuade Trump from doing so. Using a report assembled by his subordinates, he argued that an insurrection should have “significant national security implications”, which he claims that massive nationwide riots that included attacks on federal buildings and the White House somehow did not.

There, as so often, Gen. Milley contradicted himself, mentioning that, “I don’t want to go into anything classified, but there were other countries exploiting some of this stuff.”

A mass insurrection by Marxists, black nationalist secessionists and other domestic terror groups exploited by enemy nations is the definition of a national security threat. Gen. Milley knows this because Russian plans during the Cold War had included such scenarios.

Using his report, Gen. Milley contended that, “fifteen hundred people rioting in three or four cities of America at a moment in time” did not qualify as an insurrection, but somehow J6 did.

Gen. Milley’s definition of an insurrection involves scope and scale, but there’s no metric under which the Black Lives Matter riots at their peak were smaller in scope than J6.

And yet, Milley cheerfully told the J6 Committee that he began taking a step that he doesn’t appear to have taken during the BLM riots, that “immediately following the 6th, I knew the significance, and I asked my staff, freeze all your records, collate them, get them collected up.”

Why did records involving a riot need to be classified?

“The document — I classified the document at the beginning of this process by telling my staff to gather up all the documents, freeze-frame everything, notes, everything and, you know, classify it. And we actually classified it at a pretty high level, and we put it on JWICS, the top secret stuff. It’s not that the substance is classified. It was I wanted to make sure that this stuff was only going to go people who appropriately needed to see it, like yourselves,” Gen. Milley admitted.

On his own initiative, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs had classified documents involving a political incident, not because of any innate need, but to make sure that only the politically correct would gain access to them.

What’s in those documents? Whatever is there is meant ‘for leftist eyes only’.

Throughout his testimony, Gen. Milley insisted that he was only a public servant.

“I cannot issue orders in my name. That’s illegal,” he told the J6 Committee, describing his position as an.”advisory role, not in the chain of command, but, yes, in the chain of communication And that applies to everything, by the way. I know the Speaker Pelosi call and some other things came under a variety of criticism, but that’s all part of the role of the Chairman, is to be part of the chain of communication, not part of the chain of command.”

Gen. Milley was asked about the call involving Trump, during which Pelosi said, “‘You know he’s crazy, don’t you,’and she is reported to have said, General Milley, that you agreed with her.”

In his response, Gen. Milley appeared to confirm that he did so.

While the China phone call has been widely reported, Gen. Milley apparently placed “50 or 60” other phone calls to the Russians, the French, the Japanese and even the Islamic terror state of Qatar which is an ally of Iran and a key backer of the Muslim Brotherhood, to convey “stability”.

That is a very long chain of communication.

Gen. Milley claims to be deeply concerned about the Constitution and civilian control of the military, yet he repeatedly undermined the president, cabinet members and other civilian appointees for his own political agendas. Under the guise of being a good advisor, he initiated processes, like the political classification of materials, the double standard on riots or the phone calls that usurped the constitutional authority of the executive branch. And he’s still at it.

While belligerent in congressional hearings toward Republicans, Gen. Milley was pathetically eager to help along the J6 Committee right down to selectively classifying documents for political reasons. He decries the politicization of the military, yet everything he’s done has been to further shift the military leftward. His only resistance to leftist political pressure came when he tried to dissuade Rep. Schiff from proposals to recall and court martial General Flynn.

“I’ve become a lightning rod for the politicization of the military. And I am constantly strung out as an individual and also with Secretary Austin and others, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Sergeant Major of the Army. There’s a whole bunch of us that have been,” Gen. Milley complained.

Secretary of Defense Austin is a political appointee. Chief of Naval Operations Michael Gilday has been among the most aggressive in pushing racism and hatred for this country.

“Some of it is comments that I made in testimony about critical race theory and white rage,” Gen. Milley conceded. “Months of this constant drumbeat that is very damaging, in my view, personally, to the health of the Republic, because there is a deliberate attempt, in my view, to smear the general officer corps and the leaders of the military and to politicize the military… and I think that’s something that we need to avoid.”

Gen. Milley once again gets it backward. Military leaders like him have the obligation not to politicize the military. Civilians have a right to be critical of military leadership: especially when it stakes out political territory and takes sides.

Instead of acting to restore an apolitical military, Gen. Milley continues to help the Biden administration further politicize it while blaming retired officers and other critics of his actions.

“When 137 generals recently signed a letter that Secretary Austin and I are, you know, the worst thing since sliced bread and we’re lower than, you know, whale stuff and we should be court-martialed and treason and all that kind of stuff, all former retired flag officers — I will say, none of them were four-stars, though; we had a couple three-stars — that’s politicization,” he objected.

Retired officers are not politicizing the military when they express their opinions. Gen. Milley is politicizing the military when he states that, “if generals are out there writing editorials about politics, I think that’s an issue. If you want to be involved in politics as a general officer, retired general officer, or a retired commissioned officer, you ought to run for office.”

On Gen. Milley’s watch, active duty personnel have repeatedly been allowed to express leftist and even anti-American views, to clash with civilians on social media and berate journalists, even while any hint of criticism of the Biden administration has led to court martials.

Just compare the respective fates of Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller and Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley has used his position to, at worst, conduct and, at best, sign off on an insurrection that threatens the constitutional order he swore an oath to protect. The insurrection is cloaked in bureaucratic shenanigans like the selective classification, in providing misleading advice, using double standards and initiating treasonous actions.

Any serious investigation of the crimes committed in 2020 needs to begin with Gen. Milley.

AUTHOR

DANIEL GREENFIELD

RELATED ARTICLE: New Israeli Government Bans PLO Flags, Transfers Terror Cash to Terror Victims

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

The “360,000 Amigos” thumbnail

The “360,000 Amigos”

By Center For Security Policy

President Biden and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts have been dubbed the “Three Amigos.” We should call the scheme he announced on the eve of their meeting this week the “Three-Hundred-and-Sixty-Thousand Amigos.”

That’s the number of aliens expected to be brought here this year from four deeply problematic countries through a gambit that is arguably illegal and certainly unauthorized by Congress. As first revealed by the author of Overrun, Todd Bensman, the administration is now enabling people who would otherwise have paid cartels to smuggle them into this country to skip that expense and grave danger.

Instead, they’ll be authorized in their home countries to “lawfully” migrate, then flown here equipped with work papers and money – all at U.S. taxpayer expense. This process may obscure, but will only exacerbate today’s border catastrophe.

Court-ordered injunctions and impeachment proceedings can’t come soon enough.

This is Frank Gaffney.

AUTHOR

Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Founder and Executive Chairman.

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

Radical K-12 Reform: Pay Homeschoolers thumbnail

Radical K-12 Reform: Pay Homeschoolers

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

Governments should focus on funding effective education.


What if we just cut through the morass of programs and take all the money being provided at the federal and state level and put it into individual student endowment accounts?

The late 1970s in the United States was a time of surprising deregulation. It was the beginning of the end for the telephone monopolies. Those inside the regulated industries, and the regulatory agencies, warned of doom and disaster if competition were allowed. The doomsayers were wrong. The free market provided solutions that were impossible to forecast. Competition and the profit motive brought out the best that humans can create.

Communications solutions today are employing far more people than the old phone monopolies, and are delivering services never dreamed of in that era. The forecasts of disastrous unemployment and system collapse if the phone monopolies were opened to competition were totally and completely wrong.

K-12 is the phone monopoly of our time.

This seems like the best time in years to truly reform K-12. However, the focus seems to be on charter schools, leaving behind thousands of students in poorly performing districts, and most proposed solutions leave out homeschooling.

The fundamental problem is the lack of competition. There is a simple way to introduce it.

Individualised investment

Instead of pouring money into the local school monopolies, the solution is to simply endow individual students. Open the door to the free market in a meaningful way.

We should create an individual educational endowment fund for each K-12 student. Student endowment funds would pay out annually for students who achieved minimum grade level knowledge, including to the parents of homeschooled students. The determination of minimum achievement would be through testing, with the tests also from free market providers.

Providers for students who did poorly would not be paid, leaving twice the annual amount available next year to educators who could catch them up. Seriously underperforming students would accrue several years of catch-up funding, providing extra incentive for the type of personalised attention that would benefit them. Military veteran servicemen and women teaching small groups of students, developing personal relationships, can change lost kids into enthusiastic young adults.

Opening educational services to the free market will allow for practical job-related instruction and college level courses to be included as providers fight for market share.

Competition among educational providers will make full use of technology, will provide useful training for actual jobs, and will deliver far more education for the same money. Gamification will keep students involved in ways that existing K-12 material can’t touch.

Instead of leaving dropouts to fend for themselves, the funds should remain on deposit indefinitely, allowing those who get their act together after some time in the adult world to get an education.

Modelling the idea will show that existing school structures and transportation fleets will be used, more than with charter schools. Most school systems will continue as they are, but a new element of potential competition will focus their efforts.

Essential pruning

A major early effect might be defunding some inner-city school systems, with the carry-over of endowment funds providing an incentive to corporate providers. These districts are a disgrace, but there is almost no way to change them now. Defunding poor performance in a way that will bring new providers could work.

The new providers will be renting space and transportation for their offerings in most cases from existing school districts. Just as with telecom deregulation, it will take several years to see the full impact, but requiring minimum accomplishment for payout will protect students and taxpayers as solutions evolve.

Homeschooling pods will explode, but those kids will still participate on local sports teams, and transportation to practice (and back) will also be rented from existing fleets by their parents.

Special needs students would still have extra funding, but at an individual student level.

Let’s end the monopoly. Let’s open the door to competition.

Unleash technology, but pay only for results.

Homeschoolers would be an unstoppable force for reform if a realistic plan to pay them existed. The endowment idea would do it.

Stark contrast

I was radicalised on this issue by an experience with a black tow truck driver. When I was in the Army during the era of the draft, my platoon had a bunch of black guys from inner-city Detroit. Our off-duty pastime in Germany with no English language TV was reading paperback novels. They were traded over and over, and it was common to see everyone on his bunk with his head propped up reading. The black guys read effortlessly.

Recently I needed a tow, and a black tow truck driver did a good job hooking me up and handling his equipment. He was a solid guy, the same type as the guys I knew in the Army. As we rode to the destination, he said he had graduated from one of the big inner city high schools.

When we got to the destination, he asked me to help him do the paperwork, and as we worked through it, I discovered that he could hardly read. This is ridiculous. These schools are a disgrace. Here is a guy who will probably never be able to read effortlessly because of terrible, crappy inner-city schools he was stuck in.

The black guys in my platoon from inner city Detroit went to schools that didn’t have unions in the 1950s and 1960s. School management was adequate at that time to produce acceptable results. They became the Motown generation that led to ending segregation and providing great music that I still enjoy.

Preference falsification among Democrat voters on K-12 has created a situation where explosive change can occur. The Overton Window can suddenly shift. K-12 seems to be that issue.

What is needed is a practical method. Endowment Accounts provide that method.

There is no way to fix the current K-12 situation beyond radical demonopolising. I can see a future where school infrastructure is owned by large competitive providers in much the same way Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc. operate today, fighting for market share by providing educational services that work and that kids and parents want.

This is a great opportunity to apply technology and dramatically improve the way we educate our children.

AUTHOR

Richard Illyes is a retired electronic designer and programmer in rural Texas south of Houston. He is an active pilot and flight instructor and flies off a grass strip at his place outside Alvin, where… More by Richard Illyes

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

House Passes Rules Package. Here’s What Conservatives Won thumbnail

House Passes Rules Package. Here’s What Conservatives Won

By The Daily Caller

Twenty House Republicans who initially opposed a Kevin McCarthy speakership extracted a slew of concessions from the Californian in exchange for their votes, devolving power away from chamber leadership and back toward rank-and-file members as well as themselves personally.

On the 12th and 13th speaker ballots, 15 Republicans flipped to support McCarthy. They cited negotiations between the Californian’s allies and some of the holdouts that will give members of the House Freedom Caucus representation on key committees, cut spending, and schedule key bills for votes. The complete terms of the agreement have not been fully released, although bits and pieces have been made public. The process has rankled some members of the Republican conference who argue that the agreement gives the Freedom Caucus an unfair level of influence in the lower chamber.

The official House rules package, which all but one Republican voted for, passed Monday. It includes a single member motion to vacate the chair as well as a requirement that tax increases receive 60% support before becoming law. The rules also require that legislation have only one subject, and give members 72 hours to read bills. Republicans are also creating a new Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government under the House Judiciary Committee.

“You are going to have to trust the people that are put on this committee, and I’ll tell you what, if there’s something fishy going on, I’ll come out of the SCIF and tell you, but a lot of it will be behind closed doors, it will be classified information. If we find anything illegal or unconstitutional, we will bring it forward,” Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie told Tucker Carlson of the committee.

However, most provisions negotiated by the leadership team and the GOP holdouts are not included in the rules package voted on by members.

“It has to do with personnel, how members of the conference will be appropriately distributed to key committees. It is about policy imperatives. There are critical issues that we must address,” North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop told reporters Friday.

McCarthy named Florida Rep. Byron Donalds to the GOP Steering Committee over the weekend, making him the second Freedom Caucus member, along with Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko, on the panel. The Steering Committee doles out committee assignments to the Republican conference writ large. The Steering Committee chose Tennessee Rep. Mark Green, also a member of the Freedom Caucus, to lead the House Homeland Security Committee on Monday. Green beat out Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a McCarthy ally and staunch critic of the Freedom Caucus, for the gavel.

“They should be represented like all the other caucuses, but they shouldn’t have more than other members have. We should have equal representation on these committees,” New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis told The Dispatch of Freedom Caucus committee appointments. “I think that’s probably where a lot of members will draw the line.”

pic.twitter.com/c380OTUQn5

— Rep. Mary Miller (@RepMaryMiller) January 7, 2023

Another provision, intended to balance the federal budget within 10 years, would freeze the Fiscal Year 2024 budget at FY2022 levels. This could lead to steep defense cuts, since the FY 2022 budget included $782 billion in defense spending, while the FY2023 budget raised that number to $858 billion. Key Republicans like incoming Appropriation Committee chairwoman Kay Granger of Texas are pledging to oppose any defense cuts, although the plank still has some members nervous.

We don’t want to go back to sequestration. That would be very damaging to our military in a very dangerous world,” incoming House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul of Texas told the Daily Caller.

“What we need to have conversations on is how that breaks down into defense and non-defense. Those still have to be had. I can tell you it won’t be on the backs of our troops,” Florida Rep. Mike Waltz added.

Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales cited the possibility of defense cuts in a Sunday interview explaining his lone GOP opposition to the rules package.

“When you have aggressive Russia and Ukraine, you’ve got a growing threat of China in the Pacific, you know, I’m going to visit Taiwan here in a couple of weeks, how am I going to look at our allies in the eye and say, I need you to increase your defense budget, but yet America is going to decrease ours,” he told Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.”

AUTHOR

MICHAEL GINSBERG

Congressional correspondent.

RELATED ARTICLES:

7 Key Reforms in New House Rules

What Stalling McCarthy Really Showed Us; Brazilian Protesters Raid Their National Congress

Here’s Why 15 Republicans Flipped Their Support To Kevin McCarthy

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

In 2022, The IRS Went After the Very Poorest Taxpayers thumbnail

In 2022, The IRS Went After the Very Poorest Taxpayers

By The Geller Report

And so many of them vote Democrat — Stockholm Syndrome.

I am sure they are comforted in their freezing beds in the knowledge that Ukraine is living large on their dime.

In 2022, the IRS Went After the Very Poorest Taxpayers

By: Liz Wolfe, Reason Magazine, January 5, 2023: (thanks to Van):

Despite $80 billion in new funding, the agency is living up to its reputation of hassling low-income taxpayers over rich people.

On Wednesday, Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) released data provided to it by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on audits performed by the agency in fiscal year 2022. Despite the infusion of new funding earmarked for the IRS via last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, the agency continued historic trends of hassling primarily low-income taxpayers, with relatively few millionaires and billionaires getting caught up in the audit sweep.

“The taxpayer class with unbelievably high audit rates—five and a half times virtually everyone else—were low-income wage-earners taking the earned income tax credit,” reported TRAC, noting that the poorest taxpayers are “easy marks in an era when IRS increasingly relies upon correspondence audits yet doesn’t have the resources to assist taxpayers or answer their questions.”

In fact, “if one ignores the fiction of auditing a millionaire through simply sending a letter through the mail, the odds that millionaires received a regular audit by a revenue agent (1.1%) was actually less than the audit rate of the targeted lowest income wage-earners whose audit rate was 1.27 percent!”

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, directed $80 billion worth of new funding over the next decade to the IRS so it could hire 87,000 new workers, purportedly to better target millionaire and billionaire scofflaws. The Biden administration and credulous journalists claimed that this would in no way increase audits for those making under $400,000 annually—suspect assurances not provided within the text of the actual bill. This increased capacity meant only those at the top would be targeted, supporters insisted. But this ignores how the IRS’s incentives work and how agencywide reform might be too heavy of a lift.

Correspondence audits—which are conducted via mail, and are the type frequently used when interacting with the poorest of taxpayers—are much easier and cheaper to conduct than other types of audits. Plus, the earned income tax credit is easy to get wrong. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that new hires with experience in the field will take almost three years of ramp-up time, with more junior new hires taking longer. The lag time between 2022’s infusion of funding, and legitimately increased capacity, will be enormous—if the agency can even snag the best in the industry when TurboTax and H&R Block will surely be swelling their own ranks. It makes sense that, given a dearth of experienced auditors not likely to be fixed soon, the agency would rely on the easiest and least time-consuming types of audits.

But be suspicious of the idea that an infusion of cash will solve longstanding problems within the IRS. This is, after all, the agency that sent $1.1 billion in child welfare payments to the wrong people over the course of merely five months during the pandemic. It’s the agency that was hacked back in 2015, resulting in the personal information of more than 700,000 taxpayers being compromised. It’s the agency that has been foolishly going after Americans who hold $10,000 or more in a foreign bank since 2010, never mind the fact that many of them are middle-class expats, not folks with yachts in the Mediterranean. And it’s the (leaky) agency that enabled the richest Americans’ intimate financial information to be thumbed through by ProPublica readers. It will take more than a little cash to fix all this, and, as the IRS’s competence and tenacity increase, so too will the tenacity of the vast infrastructure of accountants and lawyers hired by the rich to creatively minimize their tax burdens.

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

RELATED TWEET:

Watch: Newly-elected Speaker Kevin McCarthy: “I know the night is late, but when we come back, our very first bill will repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents.” pic.twitter.com/1IAbz27NsR

— TV News Now (@TVNewsNow) January 7, 2023

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

Here’s What Concessions Were Made in Battle for Speaker of the House thumbnail

Here’s What Concessions Were Made in Battle for Speaker of the House

By The Geller Report

We shall see, won’t we? But huge props to the Freedom Caucus for getting it done.

The 20 restored a rule that allows the House to vote to fire specific federal government employees…

— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) January 7, 2023

Newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had to make numerous concessions to win over a holdout group of populist Republicans in order to secure their votes. Here are the key concessions McCarthy had to make, including what some Republican strategists say is the key one—allowing just one member to move to vacate the speaker’s chair, giving McCarthy a fragile grip on power.

In a 20-minute speech following the vote, McCarthy laid out his priorities for the 118th Congress, including securing the southern border, combating “woke” indoctrination in American schools, and unleashing domestic energy production.

The House now plans to vote on a hefty rules package, which includes a series of concessions that the 20 holdout Republicans pushed for.

Some GOP strategists hailed the rule changes as a major win for the House Republicans Conference—the party caucus for Republicans in the House of Representatives—saying it marks the first time in decades that they have independent authority from leadership.

McCarthy’s road to the gavel was rocky, involving 14 rounds of failed votes before the 15th round brought victory. In order to secure the support of the holdout Republicans, McCarthy had to offer a series of concessions.

Republican strategists say the key concession is found in subsection “q” of the new House rules package (pdf). It reinstates a centuries-old rule allowing just one member to move to vacate the speaker’s position.

Such a motion would be made via a so-called “privileged resolution,” which supersedes all other business except adjournment.

“Anyone, anywhere, any time,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said on Thursday on Capitol Hill, commenting about the power this concession grants to members to try and oust their speaker in a vote of no confidence.

Were this motion to be invoked, McCarthy would need a majority of 218 votes to remain as House speaker.

“This effectively neuters McCarthy

“This might be one of the biggest conservative victories since @DaveBratVA7th,” she added, referring to former Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who in 2014 as a Tea Party-backed economics professor delivered a major shock to establishment Republicans by defeating then House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in a primary, with Brat hammering him as soft on immigration.

While the move-to-vacate concession has received perhaps the most attention, members of the Freedom Caucus—of which most of the holdout Republicans are members—won another major compromise in the form of more seats on key committees.

Freedom Caucus Representation on Rules Committee

McCarthy has committed to giving members of the Freedom Caucus more seats on the powerful House Rules Committee.

The committee exerts tremendous power in Congress by setting the terms of debate, deciding what amendments can be added to draft legislation, and determining what gets sent to the floor—or blocked.

The Rules panel usually operates as a tool of the speaker but with more representation, conservatives will gain the ability not only to help bring key amendments to the floor on their priority issues—like government spending or abortion—but they’ll also have more opportunities to have their voices heard.

It’s unclear how many seats on the 13-member Rules panel will be given to Freedom Caucus members, with Time reporting that it’s four, though it did not cite a source, while Politico reported it’s three, citing anonymous sources.

In recent Congresses, the majority party held nine seats on the panel and the minority four.

The incoming chair of the Rules Committee, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told Politico that “we’ve had plenty of Freedom Caucus members before” and that “we’ll be fine.”

Overall, McCarthy agreed to a number of reforms in House procedures that empower the rank-and-file members and reduce the power of the speaker.

Hard Line on Debt Limit

Another of McCarthy’s high-profile concessions to conservatives contained in the draft rules package involves agreeing to replace the current “pay-as-you-go” requirements with a “cut-as-you-go” measure.

This would prohibit the consideration of legislation that increases mandatory spending within a five-year or ten-year budget window.

The draft rules package also repeals the so-called “Gephardt Rule,” setting up a separate vote on the debt limit. Currently, with the rule in place, the House automatically sends a joint resolution to raise the debt ceiling when the House adopts a budget package, with the change giving conservatives more scope to push for reduced spending.

“They’re going to say that unless they have very steep spending cuts in domestic programs … they won’t vote for it,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) told The Independent.

Republicans are still reeling from last month’s passage of the mammoth $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, with many objecting to both the price tag and process, with Freedom Caucus members expressing the most vehement opposition.

Spending Reduction

Two other budgetary measures in the draft rules package involve restoring a point of order against a net increase in budget authority for amendments to general appropriations bills and restoring a point of order against budget reconciliation directives that raise net direct spending.

The draft rules package also restores a requirement for a three-fifths supermajority (from a simple majority) vote on increasing the tax rate, another win for conservatives who oppose Washington’s freewheeling tax-and-spend initiatives.

Another measure involves provisions for spending reduction account transfer amendments and requires all general appropriations bills to have spending reduction account sections.

Other concessions include one that would require 72 hours before a bill could come up for a vote and establishes several panels to investigate various issues of concern, including setting up a subcommittee on “weaponization” of the federal government.

The proposal for the subcommittee comes after Republicans recently signaled that they want a top-to-bottom investigation of the FBI after the so-called “Twitter Files” disclosed that the agency pressured Twitter to censor Americans’ free speech.

Before the rules package can be voted on, the process requires that members are first sworn in.

“If McCarthy tries to back out of any concession, he won’t have the votes for any rules package and we’re back to a stall. Congress can’t move without a rules package affirmed,” Ellis said in a post on Twitter.

Process requires the vote for speaker to happen first, member swearing-in, then rules package; however, if McCarthy tries to back out of any concession, he won’t have the votes for any rules package and we’re back to a stall. Congress can’t move without a rules package affirmed.

— Jenna Ellis 🍊🦅 (@JennaEllisEsq) January 7, 2023

“Bottom line: With this rules package, the 20 have achieved an historic accountability oversight and check on leadership and the Speaker’s power,” she continued. “I would consider this a TOTAL WIN for Gaetz & Co, the MAGA movement, and therefore America. Declare victory and let’s get to work!”

Attorney Jenna Ellis, who represented the 2020 Trump campaign, said in a post on Twitter.

This effectively neuters McCarthy. The original 20 have a pact that if McCarthy does anything outside his promises, they will vote to not retain and he’s gone.

— Jenna Ellis 🍊🦅 (@JennaEllisEsq) January 7, 2023

Rep. Andrew Ogles Reveals What Concessions Were Made in Battle for Speaker of the House

By: The Epoch Times, January 7, 2023:

Although not yet sworn in, first-year Congressman Andrew Ogles from the Tennessee Fifth District found himself in the middle of a historic maelstrom when he arrived in Washington on Dec. 31, 2022, in the company of his family.

But Ogles knew a bit of what he was getting into because he had already become a member of the Freedom Caucus and was already involved in the ongoing negotiations that, as of this writing, seem to have vastly reformed the way the U.S. Congress will do business in exchange for allowing Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to become Speaker.

Ogles should be known to many Epoch Times readers for his participation in the unique primary debate—using domain experts instead of journalists to ask the questions—sponsored by this company in concert with the Nashville Republican Women.

Little did we know, nor probably did he, that Ogles would end up being one of the 20 to instigate this monumental change they say will return the Congress to the original intention of the Founders as The People’s House.

I spoke with Ogles by phone the night of Jan. 6, 2023, before the roll call vote during which, it was said, two of the remaining rejectionists who couldn’t accept McCarthy personally would absent themselves so that the magic number would be lowered and the new Speaker could go over the top.

Apropos, Ogles informed me that what many had guessed was true. His absence from voting in a previous round was also planned. He waited to see that all was going according to plan before stepping forward to flip his vote to McCarthy after the initial round.

For Ogles, the basis of all the negotiations was to establish the rules of the game in Congress that had been altered over the years beyond recognition. As he pointed out, the rules of a game almost always determine the winner.

He shared with me a list of some of what has been roughly negotiated to date. The devil, as always, is in the details.

  1. As has been reported, it will only take a single congressperson, acting in what is known as a Jeffersonian Motion, to move to remove the Speaker if he or she goes back on their word or policy agenda.
  2. A “Church” style committee will be convened to look into the weaponization of the FBI and other government organizations (presumably the CIA, the subject of the original Church Committee) against the American people.
  3. Term limits will be put up for a vote.
  4. Bills presented to Congress will be single subject, not omnibus with all the attendant earmarks, and there will be a 72-hour minimum period to read them.
  5. The Texas Border Plan will be put before Congress. From The Hill: “The four-pronged plan aims to ‘Complete Physical Border Infrastructure,’ ‘Fix Border Enforcement Policies,’ ‘Enforce our Laws in the Interior’ and ‘Target Cartels & Criminal Organizations.’”
  6. COVID mandates will be ended as will all funding for them, including so-called “emergency funding.”
  7. Budget bills would stop the endless increases in the debt ceiling and hold the Senate accountable for the same.

That’s all Ogles would tell me for now, but there is undoubtedly more in ongoing negotiations that could continue even after the final Speaker vote. No word, from him anyway, on committee assignments or agreements, although there are discussions on positions for Freedom Caucus members. Ogles did acknowledge his own interest in the Financial Services Committee, due to his economic background, or the Judiciary Committee.

No word either, so far, of a different kind of Jan. 6 investigation, unless that is intended to be wrapped into the new “Church” Committee.

I asked Ogles if there would be bad blood, as many are warning, after these days of heated negotiation. He denied it. The Republican majority, he said, was too small to afford that, and they all knew it.

Knowing human nature, I wouldn’t have completely believed him on that one had I not heard the resounding and welcoming applause given for every flipped vote. Many of those who voted for McCarthy were one hundred percent in favor of the changes negotiated by the 20, who may well be rewarded in the history books for their initiative.

What has been going on is being referred to as “chaos” by Democrats and the media, including, regrettably, many at Fox News and other supposedly right-leaning outlets. Still, others claim this has been a victory for the “extreme right, imposing their views.”

Keep reading.

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

RELATED TWEET:

The 20 restored a rule that allows the House to vote to fire specific federal government employees…

— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) January 7, 2023

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McCarthy’s Concessions to Freedom Caucus and What They Mean

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

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy Officially Declares Himself A Dictator thumbnail

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy Officially Declares Himself A Dictator

By The Geller Report

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky has officially signed a controversial new law expanding his administration’s control over Ukrainian news media, much to the concern of media unions and press freedom organizations who accuse the Eastern European leader of stifling free speech.

The terrible consequences of this U.S. funded bloodbath.

Ukraine’s Zelensky Signs Anti-Free Speech Law, Tightens Control Over Media

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reduced freedom of speech in his country by expanding government control

By: Andrew White, Valient News SXervice, January 3, 2023:

krainian President Volodimir Zelensky has officially signed a controversial new law expanding his administration’s control over Ukrainian news media, much to the concern of media unions and press freedom organizations who accuse the Eastern European leader of stifling free speech.

According to a report by the Hill, Zelensky’s new law allows his National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council, made up of his own appointees and those appointed by parliament, to have more control over what Ukrainian news outlets and journalists report on.

With the signing of his new law, Zelensky’s regulatory agency “can effectively shut down news sites that aren’t registered,” alleges The Kyiv Independent.

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine in a statement last month claimed the controversial law posed a “threat” to press freedom in Ukraine, comparing it to similar laws in “the regime of dictatorial Russia.”

“Such powers are clearly excessive,” the organization wrote. “No one has yet managed to tame freedom of speech in Ukraine. It won’t work this time either.”

The law comes after Zelensky’s 2019 law, which gave the government regulatory authority over the media in his first year in office.

Zelensky has been battling accusations of authoritarianism, particularly after he criminalized his most popular opposition parties and banned his country’s largest Orthodox church.

BlackRock will be advising Zelensky on “reconstruction” funding for Ukraine, Valiant News reported. Perhaps coincidentally, a senior BlackRock executive currently sits as a top advisor to the US Treasury Department on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In a press release last Wednesday, Zelensky, who recently appeared in front of Congress to demand even more money for Ukraine, revealed that he had a conference call with Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock.

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

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

Biden Flees Winter Storm, Stays at Island Home of Wealthy Donors thumbnail

Biden Flees Winter Storm, Stays at Island Home of Wealthy Donors

By Discover The Networks

President Joe Biden escaped winter’s chill with a trip to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he and First Lady Jill are staying at the home of wealthy donors, according to the Daily Wire.

The Bidens will celebrate New Year’s Eve in the tropics as much of the country digs itself out of a massive Arctic blast and flight cancellations leave thousands of travelers stranded.

“As they have done previously, the President and the First Lady are staying at the home of their friends Bill and Connie Neville,” the White House told reporters. Bill Neville is a tech executive and his wife Connie is a self-employed designer.

The Bidens are not paying to stay at the villa, which has an in-ground pool and direct beach access, and their vacation comes a few weeks after the Nevilles’ names appeared on the celebrity-packed guest list for the president’s first state dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron on December 1.

Federal Election Commission records show more than $10,000 in contributions in 2020 by “William” Neville and Connie Neville from the Virgin Islands to Biden for President, the Biden Victory Fund.

“Hunter’s laptop and other evidence show Biden’s record of converting his public office into private gain,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, according to the New York Post. “So it is no surprise Biden is getting a free luxury vacation from a wealthy donor who ‘coincidentally’ received primo White House state dinner tickets.”


Joe Biden

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Reacting to Trump Supporters Swarming the Capitol: Biden Calls Them “Thugs,” “Domestic Terrorists,” and “White Supremacists” and Says That Police Are Racist

On January 7, 2021 — in response to a January 6 incident where several hundred Trump supporters had swarmed into the Capitol building in Washington to protest what they viewed as an illegitimate presidential election outcome — Biden made the following remarks to the nation:

“Yesterday, in my view, was one of the darkest days in the history of our nation…. They weren’t protesters — don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob of insurrectionists, domestic terrorists…. The past four years, we’ve had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law clear in everything he has done. He unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of our democracy from the outset. And yesterday was the culmination of that unrelenting attack.

“He’s attacked the free press who dared to question his power, repeatedly calling the free press ‘the enemy of the people.’ Language at the time he first used it, I and others said, has long been used by autocrats and dictators all over the world to hold on to power…

“And then yesterday … Inciting a mob to attack the Capitol, to threaten elected representatives of the people of this nation, and even the vice president, to stop the Congress from ratifying the will of the American people in a just-completed free and fair election….

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RELATED ARTICLE: NYC Mayor Flees City Ahead of Storm: ‘I Deserve Private Time’

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