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Texas lawyer charged after allegedly drugging pregnant wife with abortion pill

Texas grand jury indicted a Houston lawyer for allegedly spiking his wife’s drinks with abortion pills in an effort to end her pregnancy. 

Mason Herring, a 38-year-old Houston attorney and founder of Herring Law Firm, was indicted on two felony counts, including assault of a pregnant person, under charges handed down earlier this month by a Harris County grand jury. Court records show he was originally arrested in May and released on a $30,000 bond.

Herring and his wife separated early this year but were still working on mending their marriage, according to the assistant district attorney assigned to the case. In February, Herring’s wife told him she was pregnant with his child. 

“My understanding is that it wasn’t well-received by [Herring],” Anthony Osso, the assistant district attorney in the domestic violence division assigned to the case, said of the pregnancy, according to KTRK. “That came out through marriage counseling, as well as through text messages later on.”

By March, Herring reportedly began telling his wife that she must stay hydrated and gave her water that allegedly appeared cloudy. 

“On the morning of March 17, the defendant, Mr. Herring, goes by the house to bring breakfast and asks if he can bring her water in bed,” Osso said. “Again, [he] is talking to her about needing to stay hydrated. He says, ‘If you don’t do so, I’m not leaving.’ She thought it was odd. She thought the water was cloudy. She questioned him a little bit, but, nonetheless, did drink the water, and then he leaves and takes that cup.”

The woman then became severely ill and sought medical attention at a hospital. Doctors were unable to determine what exactly was wrong with her, according to KTRK. 

“She stated that she then began to suspect that something had been placed in her drink and that perhaps it was some kind of abortion drug,” the affidavit states.

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The wife set up cameras in the home where she was living and refused to accept water offered by Herring. She did, however, keep the water he gave her as evidence. 

“[On April 24], she checks the garbage cans and finds in the garbage can a pharmaceutical called Cyrux, which contains Misoprostol, which is a drug used to induce abortions,” Osso said.

Days later, a camera in the home where Herring was no longer living caught him allegedly pouring a powdery substance into a glass of water. He then brought the glass to his wife for her to drink. 

She contacted police soon after that incident, according to KTRK. 

“It’s manipulative,” Osso said. “It’s pre-meditated. What we are alleging Mr. Herring did, which we believe the evidence supports, is a pretty heinous act. To do that to someone who trusts you, it’s taking advantage of that trust.”

Osso said the woman did not lose the baby despite Herring’s alleged attempts to end the pregnancy. She gave birth slightly premature, but the baby is healthy. 

The Biden Admin Just Made Woke Investing Even Easier

    • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will allow plan fiduciaries to invest retirement funds into companies that promote climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.
    • The rule follows the overturning of a Trump administration rule that barred companies from evaluating ESG factors when making investment decisions.
    • The new rule “betrays” the interests of those who have funded the accounts and places “enormous pressure” on fiduciaries to focus on ESG factors over more significant factors, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will allow retirement plan fiduciaries to invest funds into companies that promote climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, according to a Tuesday DOL release.

    The DOL’s decision overturns a Trump administration rule that barred companies from evaluating ESG factors when making investment decisions, stating that the rule “unnecessarily restrained” the fiduciaries’ ability to weigh ESG factors that benefit plan participants financially. Despite the DOL’s belief that ESG will not hinder financial gains for those who have paid into the retirement plans, the new rule “betrays” the interests of those who have funded the accounts and places “enormous pressure” on fiduciaries to focus on ESG factors over more significant factors, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

    “The problem with the DOL rule is not that it permits fiduciaries to consider ESG factors,” Amberwave Partners co-founder and portfolio manager Dan Katz told the DCNF. “The problem with the rule is that it adds to the enormous pressure on fiduciaries to overemphasize ESG factors over other, typically more significant, factors that ESG ignores.”

    “This is a mistake and betrays the interests of the people who the US Department of Labor is supposed to serve: American workers and retirees,” Strive Asset Management Executive Chairman Vivek Ramaswamy told the DCNF.

    The DOL hopes that both retirement plans, pensions and companies that account for ESG will be able to benefit from the new rule, according to the release.

    “Today’s rule clarifies that retirement plan fiduciaries can take into account the potential financial benefits of investing in companies committed to positive environmental, social and governance actions as they help plan participants make the most of their retirement benefits,” Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said in the release. “Removing the prior administration’s restrictions on plan fiduciaries will help America’s workers and their families as they save for a secure retirement.”

    “DOL’s final rule released today includes 107 mentions of ‘climate change’ and yet does not mention ‘China’ once. Any fiduciary following this recipe is not likely to be a prudent steward of beneficiaries’ savings,” Katz said.

    In August, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis banned state fund managers from considering ESG when managing state funds.

    “This update to the fiduciary duties of the SBA’s investment fund managers and investment advisors clearly defines the factors fiduciaries are to consider in investment decisions and states that ESG considerations will not be included in the state of Florida’s pension investment management practices,” DeSantis’ office said in a press release.

    In October, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and State Treasurer Allison Ball called on the state’s Public Pension Authority and Teachers’ Retirement System to prove that they were not investing pension funds to promote ESG. Cameron and Ball state that ESG investing is illegal as it violates “statutory and contractual fiduciary duties” by trying to “force social change” instead of working toward profits.

    Ramaswamy believes the new rule defeats the DOL’s mission that “providing a secure retirement for American workers is the paramount and eminently worthy social goal,” saying the DOL should “scrap” the rule now, according to a July opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal.

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    US Bans Chinese Tech That Allegedly Lets China Spy On Military Sites

      The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday announced a ban on new imports of Chinese-owned telecommunications equipment, including the equipment suspected of surveilling sensitive U.S. military sites.

      The new rules, prohibiting U.S. sales and imports of equipment from companies including Huawei and ZTE, are the first to be implemented on the grounds they pose “unacceptable risk to national security,” FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said Friday. U.S. authorities have expressed concerns that Beijing could exploit the companies’ telecommunications installations across the country to collect data from U.S. sites, including nuclear and military sites in the U.S.

      “While we’ve flagged equipment as posing a national security risk, prohibited companies from using federal funds to purchase them, and even stood up programs to replace them, for the last several years the FCC has continued to put its stamp of approval on this equipment through its equipment authorization process,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement. 

      “But that does not make any sense,” she added.

      The FCC’s new regulations prohibit authorization of any new equipment from companies already listed on an existing log of communications and services that the FCC determines pose an “unacceptable” national security threat, and includes Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision and Dahua.

      The decision “sounds the death knell for all five companies and their operations in the United States,” Conor Healy, strategy and public affairs manager at surveillance research firm IVPM, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

      “This decision was not taken lightly,” Healy added. “This is one of the few issues in the last couple of years that Republicans and Democrats completely agree on, and the reason for that is that the security threats are real.”

      An FBI investigation in July found that Huawei equipment on cell towers could potentially capture Department of Defense communications, including those related to nuclear launch sites, CNN reported.

      However, the investigation preceded CNN’s reporting in July; concerns over Beijing co-opting Chinese-made communications technology, and the resulting federal probes, extend to at least the Obama administration, according to CNN, and intensified under the Trump administration.

      The investigation may not have definitively proven that Huawei equipment actually intercepted classified communications and relayed them back to China, a relatively difficult task, sources familiar told CNN.

      However, Carr, the senior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), told Reuters in July that Huawei equipment near military bases, including Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, could allow the Chinese government to surveil troop movements and other electronic activities. This could give away preparations for any future missile strike on China, he added.

      The Commerce Department subpoenaed Huawei in April 2021 for disclosures on the technology giant’s data collection and sharing policies, according to a 10-page document seen by Reuters. Huawei could access information related to cell phone usage, including message contents and geolocation data.

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      Canada: Montreal to Endorse Nationwide Handgun Ban, Police Content with Current Laws

      Politicians from the largest city in the Canadian gun control stronghold of Quebec plan to put their weight behind a raft of severe gun restrictions next week. According to a report from Radio Canada International, the Montreal City Council is set to vote Monday to adopt a resolution that would echo the Toronto City Council’s call for new federal gun controls.

      Following the shooting deaths of two people in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood by an attacker with an illegally obtained handgun in late July, the Toronto City Council adopted a resolution supporting several federal and local gun restrictions. The measure called for a nationwide ban on all handguns and semi-automatic firearms, a prohibition on the at-home possession of firearms, shuttering the remaining shooting ranges and gun clubs in Toronto, and a local ban on the sale of handguns and “handgun ammunition” within the city.

      Reports indicate that the Montreal resolution will push a similar agenda. The RCI item indicated that the Montreal measure will press Justin Trudeau’s federal government for a “nationwide ban on handguns and assault rifles.” The declaration will also call on the federal government “to impose enhanced background checks on owners and would-be owners of firearms.”

      City Councilor Alex Norris, who is set to present the resolution, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation this week, “We don’t see any reason for private individuals to be authorized to own such weapons… These are weapons that are principally designed to kill people.” Norris also contended, “We want to send a message to the federal government that we need tighter controls on firearms to make our cities safer.”

      According to the Montreal Gazette, the Montreal City Council is eager to pass the resolution Monday, as on Tuesday the Liberal-led federal government is set to begin a retreat in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Citing a federal government source, the publication noted that, “[c]abinet members will probably discuss gun control legislation there.”

      Regarding how the resolution might influence Trudeau’s decision-making, earlier this month Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s spokesperson Scott Bardsley indicated that the federal government was “open to all options.” Reiterating this sentiment on Wednesday, Trudeau stated, “[w]e are going to listen very attentively to, obviously, what the city council in Toronto has done, [and] what Montreal might do next.”

      Canada’s leading law enforcement officials are less enthusiastic than the politicians about the prospect of further gun controls. On Wednesday, newly-elected Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police President and Vancouver Chief Constable Adam Palmer has quoted by the CBC as saying that Canada’s current gun control regime is “actually very good.” The item also explained that the CACP is not seeking “any wholesale legislative changes” to the country’s gun laws. Summarizing some of Palmer’s comments, the news outlet reported, “[Palmer] says the issue isn’t law-abiding people who want to possess firearms, but rather people who are involved in criminal activity who obtain guns through illegal means.”

      Under current law, in order to own a firearm in Canada an individual must obtain a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL). Acquiring a PAL is contingent upon completion of a firearms safety course, a background check, and appropriate references. In order to own a handgun or certain semi-automatic long guns (restricted firearms), an individual must complete further firearm training requirements. Restricted firearms are required to be registered.

      NRA-ILA is following the developments in Canada and will keep Grassroots Alert readers apprised of this developing situation.

      Second Key GOP Senator Announces Support for Lee Amendment

        A second senator who voted for the Respect for Marriage Act will support Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s amendment protecting religious freedom, though she did not say whether she would insist on the amendment’s adoption as a condition for supporting cloture on the legislation.

        Republican Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis will support the Lee amendment if it is brought to the floor as an amendment to the Respect for Marriage Act, spokeswoman Stacey Daniels said Saturday, noting that Lummis previously cosponsored Lee’s First Amendment Defense Act while she served in Congress.

        “Any Republican who supports my amendment should oppose cloture unless the amendment is adopted,” Lee emphasized to The Daily Signal on Friday afternoon.

        Asked if Lummis will insist on the amendment’s adoption as a condition for supporting cloture, the senator’s team said that she is “hopeful her colleagues will join her in supporting” the amendment.

        The senator is still making up her mind on Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford’s amendment, Daniels added. That amendment also seeks to protect Americans’ religious freedoms.

        Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan similarly confirmed Friday that he supports the Lankford and Lee amendments and “has been working hard to ensure that these amendments get votes on the Senate floor.”

        In a letter sent last week directed at the 12 GOP senators who voted for the legislation, Lee emphasized that his amendment would “ensure that federal bureaucrats do not take discriminatory actions against individuals, organizations, nonprofits, and other entities based on their sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions about marriage by prohibiting the denial or revocation of tax exempt status, licenses, contracts, benefits, etc.”

        “It would affirm that individuals still have the right to act according to their faith and deepest convictions even outside of their church or home,” the senator added, urging the senators to oppose cloture on the bill unless his amendment is added.

        The Republican lawmakers who voted for advancing the Respect for Marriage Act, besides Sullivan and Lummis, are Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Shelley Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Todd Young of Indiana.

        Many of these lawmakers claim that the much-discussed legislation protects religious liberty. But opponents of the bill warn that it “puts a giant target on people of faith.”

        “The free exercise of religion is absolutely essential to the health of our Republic,” Lee wrote in his letter, which was signed by 20 of his Republican colleagues and first published by The Daily Signal. “We must have the courage to protect it.”

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        Soros vs. Trump: Groups push officials to ban Donald’s 2024 bid

          Billionaire activist George Soros is funding a group urging secretaries of state and other elections officials to ban Trump from running for president in 2024 by enacting the disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment.

          The group Free Speech For People, teaming with Mi Familia Vota, states on its website that on Jan. 6, 2021, “former President Donald Trump incited a violent insurrection, attacking Congress and our nation’s Capitol, in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.”

          The post-Civil War clause bars anyone from running for office who after taking the oath to protect the Constitution “engaged in insurrection” against the United States or gave “aid or comfort” to the nation’s enemies.

          Trump announced Tuesday he will vie for the Republican nomination in 2024, and ABC reported the two groups “are already working behind the scenes to mount a national push to get elections officials to stop him from being on the ballot because of Jan. 6 – even as similar such efforts have failed against other Republicans.”

          Meanwhile, the New York Times reported this week more evidence that the FBI had informants in the two groups that the Justice Department places at the center of their claim of an organized plot, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

          John Bonifaz, co-founder and president for Free Speech For People said, nevertheless, that Trump “is going to face legal challenges for his eligibility, but he will also face scrutiny from secretaries of state and chief election officials, regardless of whether there will be a legal challenge.”

          “So, it’s not required that there be a legal challenge for the secretary of state to hold up his or her responsibility and bar Donald Trump from the ballot,” he said.

          Soros is known for pouring billions of dollars into progressive causes over more than three decades, including some 75 district attorneys whose policies favoring criminals have been blamed in part for the spike in crime in America’s largest cities. Soros also funds drug legalization, euthanasia, open borders, globalism, Black Lives Matter, “defunding the police,” devaluing America’s currency and globalist efforts that degrade America’s sovereignty.

          Many ask why? Who is this man and why is he seemingly behind just about every major left-wing endeavor.

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          Biden’s EPA Holds Up Major Oil Refinery Amid National Fuel Crisis

            The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday announced that a large idled refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands will remain shut down until it acquires a new Clean Air Act permit amid a national diesel shortage.

            The St. Croix refinery, owned by West Indies Petroleum Limited and Port Hamilton Refining and Transportation, LLLC, has been shut down since June 2021 and will have to obtain a Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit which would require the operators to provide detailed air quality analyses and use sophisticated air pollution control technology, according to the EPA press release. At the same time, the U.S. only has 26 days of diesel remaining in its commercial inventories and a gallon of diesel is roughly $1.58 more expensive than it was in November 2021, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

            The refinery, which was once one of the largest refineries in the world, used to be able to process 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day into gasoline and heating oil, a form of diesel, according to Bloomberg. The price of heating oil was 65% higher in October 2022 than it was in October 2021, meaning that Americans in the Northeast of the country will pay significantly more to keep their homes warm during the cold winter months, according to the EIA.

            The Biden administration is also mulling a plan that would force oil companies to store a minimum amount of diesel in their fuel tanks, which could potentially exacerbate prices, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

            “I am committed to prioritizing the health and safety of underserved and overburdened communities across this country and holding polluters accountable,” EPA Administration Michael Regan said, according to the announcement. “This will ensure protections for St. Croix by requiring the refinery to operate in compliance with environmental laws designed to protect people’s health and the environment.”

            The EPA pulled the refinery’s operating permit in June 2021 after nearby residents complained that they were becoming sick from the facility’s fumes, forcing the previous operator to lay off its workers and sell the plant, according to Reuters.

            In late October, EPA inspectors said that the facility could catch on fire or release “extremely hazardous substances” which could harm St. Croix residents, according to an agency report. The agency also found “significant corrosion” on valves, pipes and other equipment at the site, according to an October letter sent to the owners’ lawyers.

            President Joe Biden has accused fuel producers of “war profiteering” by refusing to increase refining capacity amid global fuel shortages that were exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, in June, Biden’s EPA rescinded exemptions that would have allowed nearly 70 small-volume refiners to avoid blending renewable biofuels into diesel despite the fact that refiners claimed that this would hike costs and decrease output, according to an agency docket.

            Companies in the U.S. have also not built a major oil refinery in 50 years due to regulatory concerns and anticipation that the green transition will kill demand for fossil fuels. Energy executives believe that the administration’s negative attitude towards the industry is dampening investment, according to a June survey conducted by the Dallas Federal Reserve.

            The EPA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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            CBS News Continues Humiliating Themselves On Twitter, With Yet Another Mentally Unstable Tweet

              If you thought CBS could NOT humiliate themselves worse than they did when they announced they were leaving Twitter right after Elon reactivated President Trump’s account, you don’t know our idiotic mainstream media very well. These people have no “bottom” when it comes to looking like complete and total jackasses. CBS made this grand announcement, during a mass hysteria moment when many leftists were melting down on Twitter.

              Here’s what they said:

              CBS News is halting its activity on Twitter over Elon Musk’s turbulent and potentially devastating moves following his takeover of the company.

              “In light of the uncertainty around Twitter and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is pausing its activity on the social media site as it continues to monitor the platform,” Jonathan Vigliotti, CBS News national correspondent, said in a report about the latest chaos at the company on the “CBS Evening News” Friday.

              Now, they’re back, less than 24 hours later, with a new message.

              National Review reported on this silliness:

              The announcement came on the heels of Elon Musk’s pledging, on Friday, to reinstate formerly banned Twitter accounts, including those of Jordan Peterson, Kathy Griffin, and the Babylon Bee. On Saturday, Musk issued a public poll via his own Twitter account to determine whether users wanted Donald Trump to be allowed to rejoin the platform. Despite Trump’s account’s reinstatement, the former president has not yet expressed any willingness to return to the platform, since he has set up a rival social-media outfit.

              Following these developments, CBS decided to suspend all of its official social-media activity on Twitter, including its flagship account with nearly 9 million followers. This announcement came at a difficult time for Musk, as he tries to navigate Twitter toward financial solvency after massive layoffs, high-profile resignations, and uncertainty over his new monetization initiatives. Some pundits initially speculated that CBS’ move might be the first in a series of media outlets’ rushing to ditch Twitter.

              Well, that certainly didn’t happen. They’re back and tweeting away.

              These people are all completely insane.

              Here’s what CBS said in their second deranged tweet: “After pausing for much of the weekend to assess the security concerns, CBS News and Stations is resuming its activity on Twitter as we continue to monitor the situation.”

              What exactly are they “monitoring” anyway? Good Lord, these people are stupid.

              And they all wonder why trust in our crazy, emotionally unbalanced media is at record lows. Who can take these nincompoops seriously?

              Here’s what people online are saying:

              “Lmaoooo you didn’t even last 24hrs”

              “Congrats on making yourselves look like a complete joke.”

              “CBS don’t go away mad, CBS just go away.”

              “After pausing for much of the weekend, I have assessed that you’re a bunch of partisan clowns instead of a serious news organization. I continue to monitor the situation.”

              “This is not an airport, no need to announce your departure or arrival.”

              “no one cares if you leave”

              “Go away. You sound like you think you are some type of authority here. You are nothing but propaganda that nobody wants here.”

              “Lol… You people are clowns”

              “You were unable to stay off Twitter for a day—that’s how addicted you are to peddling leftist propaganda.”

              “During that pause, everyone on this app was safe from misinformation.”

              “Why is CBS monitoring the situation? You don’t own Twitter. Only Elon can monitor Twitter. If you don’t like it. Shop for a commie platform that you’re comfortable with.”

              “Congrats on being the CNN PLUS of Twitter boycotts”

              “You people are pathetic.”

              “I wonder why trust in corporate media plunges to the lowest level ever?”

              Liberals have a mental illness. It’s called “Trump Derangement Syndrome” and it literally makes people do unexplained, mentally unstable things.

              We need to find a cure. FAST.

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              Biden Administration Creates New Parole Program for Ukrainians

              The Biden administration announced a special parole program for Ukrainians that began April 25. The Uniting for Ukraine program is a first step toward the administration’s commitment to welcoming up to 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion of the country, which began in February. The program is a streamlined process for Ukrainian citizens to request permission to travel to the United States and apply for Humanitarian Parole once at a port of entry. 

              Uniting for Ukraine allows individuals and organizations in the United States to apply on behalf of a Ukrainian citizen and their immediate family to come to the United States. Once at a port of entry, the Ukrainian citizens can apply for Humanitarian Parole, which will usually be granted for two years. This parole also makes them eligible for work permits. For a Ukrainian citizen to be eligible, they must have been a resident of Ukraine as of February 11, 2021. They also must have a sponsor in the United States and meet background checks and medical clearance requirements (including having a COVID-19 vaccination).  

              To apply for this program, a Ukrainian citizen’s U.S. sponsor—either an individual or organization—must file an I-134 Declaration of Support. This form, which is most often used with other applications, can be submitted online for this program. After that application is submitted, the sponsored individual will be vetted and go through background checks. If approved, the individual receives permission to fly to a U.S. airport where they will then apply for Humanitarian Parole. The notice in the Federal Register makes it clear that the approval for travel does not guarantee the person will receive Humanitarian Parole. However, it seems unlikely the government would deny someone who has been pre-vetted and approved to travel to a port of entry. 

              Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, thousands of people fleeing the violence have made their way through Mexico to seek protection at our southern border. The Biden administration has responded by exempting Ukrainians from its Title 42 expulsions policy, and more than 12,000 Ukrainians have been processed and admitted to the U.S. to date. With this program in place, Ukrainians attempting to enter the United States at the southern border will now be turned away. Instead, officials must direct them to apply through this program. It is unclear how Ukrainians who are already at the southern border will be treated. 

              This policy has been compared to the treatment of Afghan nationals, who were evacuated from Afghanistan to the United States or third countries as part of the Operation Allies Welcome. Afghans—in contrast to Ukrainians—have been required to apply for Humanitarian Parole with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services through the regular process of filing an I-131. This has led to significant delays, where Afghans are waiting long periods of time without parole and therefore without the ability to apply for work permits. 

              Of course, the special treatment of both Ukrainian and Afghan citizens lies in sharp contrast to individuals from other countries—particularly Central and South America and Africa—who have been fleeing violence as well only to be turned away at our borders.  

              The United States has the capacity to welcome people fleeing violence on humanitarian grounds, and the Uniting for Ukraine program is a clear example of a policy that the federal government can implement when the will exists to help specific groups of people in need of our protection. We should not be biased in determining who is deserving – we can and must do more for people fleeing danger and persecution around the world.  

              ‘Back with a vengeance!’ Project Veritas unbanned from Twitter

                The undercover investigative group Project Veritas returned to Twitter Sunday evening after Twitter CEO Elon Musk ended its 21-month exile that began under previous ownership.

                James O’Keefe, founder and president of the journalist group, made the announcement by video Sunday evening on his freshly reinstated account.

                “Project Veritas officially reinstated, back on Twitter 647 days after the Project Veritas Twitter account was wrongly disabled because we filmed a lamppost outside a Facebook executive’s house,” O’Keefe began.

                “Not only are we back, we are coming back with a vengeance!”

                “One week from Tuesday,” he continued, “we are going to launch on Twitter, on the Project Veritas Twitter page exclusively, a new federal whistleblower showing how unaccompanied children at the border are being exploited by the United States government.”

                He then included a brief clip to preview that investigation, in which O’Keefe asks a whistleblower for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Has there ever been an investigation as to what is happening to the kids that get sent to these addresses that don’t exist?”

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                “HHS, once they turn the child over, is no longer legally responsible,” responds the whistleblower, whose identity is electronically concealed.

                “I don’t believe this is something that HHS, the agency, wants people to know.

                “Anyone who is recruiting and transporting minors for the purpose of labor, that is trafficking.”

                At the end of the teaser, O’Keefe concludes by saying: “Stay tuned and be brave. Always do something.”

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                Michigan voters pass measure protecting abortion rights, other pregnancy-related decisions

                Voters in battleground state Michigan elected to protect abortion rights during Tuesday’s midterm elections, joining California and Vermont in the decision to enshrine the measure in the state constitution.

                The initiative came months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which gave states the power to protect or ban abortion. The decision in June lead to near-total bans in a dozen states and was a hot topic leading up to the midterms.

                According to The Associated Press, supporters in Michigan collected more signatures than any other ballot initiative in state history to get it before the voters.

                The passing of Proposal 3 puts a definitive end to a 1931 ban on abortion that had been blocked in court, but could have been reviewed. It also affirms the right to make pregnancy-related decisions about abortion and other reproductive services, such as birth control, without interference.

                Michigan State University junior Devin Roberts said students seemed “fired up” and that the school’s polling sites had lines of voters throughout the day, the AP reported. Roberts said the ballot measure was one of the “main drivers of the high turnout.”

                “There’s a lot of energy for Prop 3 on campus right now, whether you agree with abortion or not,” Roberts said. “I think students want to have the same rights that their parents had when they were younger.”

                According to AP VoteCast, about two-thirds of 90,000 voters surveyed on the issue said abortion should be legal in most or all cases. About 1 in 10 voters said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.

                The same survey showed about 6 in 10 voters were dissatisfied or angry with the Supreme Court’s decision, compared with fewer who said they were satisfied or happy.

                James Miller, 66, of Flint, Michigan, said he thought of his daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters when he voted in favor of the measure, according to AP.

                “I think we should do the right thing for women,” Miller said. “It’s her body; it’s her privacy.”

                Michelle Groesser, of Swartz Creek, Mich., told the Associated Press she opposes abortion, but believes any ban would likely have a few exceptions. She said “in a perfect world, I personally would want all life preserved.”

                Opponents to the measure said protecting abortion rights could have far-reaching effects on other laws in the state, such as one requiring parental notification of an abortion for someone under age 18.

                Legal experts said changes to other laws would only happen if someone sued and won, a process that could take years and has no certainty of success, AP reported.

                Brian Bauer, 64, of Mundy Township, said the proposal was confusing, so he voted against it.

                Bauer told the AP he is an abortion opponent who supports some limited exceptions, “but nobody’s willing to throw (in) any kind of compromise … it’s either a yes or no vote.”

                Biden Admin Agrees To Fund Climate Reparations At UN Summit

                  The Biden administration and nearly 200 world governments agreed on Saturday to a framework that would have richer countries compensate poorer nations for damages allegedly caused by carbon emissions at the United Nations COP27 climate conference, according to Reuters.

                  Wealthy nations will create a “loss and damage” fund that will provide money to countries that have suffered from climate-related “disasters” such as droughts or hurricanes, according to a draft proposal seen by Reuters. However, most of the details of the financial framework will be decided and agreed upon in 2023 at the next COP conference that will take place in Dubai.

                  “There is only an agreement to agree next year, which is not an agreement,” Energy and Environmental Legal Institute senior legal fellow Steve Milloy told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This is a face-saving fake deal to keep stringing poor countries along in order to keep the Paris hoax alive.”

                  A senior Biden administration official told The Wall Street Journal that the deal would not legally bind the U.S. into paying for developing countries’ climate damages. The Biden administration initially considered the plan unnecessary and opposed “loss and damage” funding, arguing that there are alternative methods to secure climate funding for poor nations.

                  COP27 has been dominated by the debate surrounding a plan to compensate developing nations for climate damages, according to Reuters. The European Union said Thursday that it would support such a framework if China, the world’s chief polluter, would provide funding and if the money raised was exclusively earmarked for poor developing countries to ensure that China did not benefit from the proposal, according to the WSJ.

                  After agreeing to the climate financing framework, the U.S. also called for the inclusion of a pledge to phase out all fossil fuels which would build on the 2021 agreement to “phase down” coal use, according to Bloomberg.

                  The White House and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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                  Kristi Noem Says GOP Should Look Past Donald Trump In 2024

                    Kristi Noem, the Republican governor of South Dakota, recently stated that former President Trump’s announced reelection attempt in 2024 is not the “greatest opportunity” for the Republican Party.

                    If we only target one demographic, we’re not reaching out to all of America. Our mission is broader than simply engaging Trump supporters or detractors. “Our mission is to talk to every single American,” Noem, who has been mentioned as a possible GOP candidate for 2024, told The New York Times.

                    Even though Trump supported Noem’s reelection bid in the 2018 midterms, she now says Trump isn’t “the best opportunity” for the party.

                    The Republican governor of South Dakota, who just won a second term in office, is still on the list of potential candidates the party is considering to run in Trump’s stead.

                    Just one week after the Republican Party’s disastrous midterm results, Trump vowed that he will make a third run for the White House. However, a rising number of major figures inside the GOP are distancing themselves from the former president and pushing for another candidate to run.

                    In the midterm elections, the Republican Party was unable to produce the “red wave” many had predicted. They only narrowly won control of the House of Representatives. Several of Trump’s preferred candidates were soundly defeated.

                    One midterm indicator that Trump’s influence may not be as effective as once was is the defeat of Trump-backed Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake in Arizona by Democratic secretary of state Katie Hobbs, a race that was so close that it wasn’t called until six days after Election Day.

                    While Trump predicted last week that he would receive “very little” credit for helping politicians win in the elections, his influence over the campaigns would still be clear.

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                    Shopify Targets Law-Abiding Firearm Businesses

                    This week, Canadian e-commerce host Shopify changed their company’s firearm policy with disastrous effects for law-abiding U.S. gun businesses that use their e-commerce services. Shopify’s abrupt overnight decision to block the sale of specific firearms is a reversal of their previous business model and creates financial hardship on gun shops that currently use Shopify. One example of a company impacted by Shopify’s gun policy is Franklin Armory.

                    According to Franklin Armory President Jay Jacobson, Franklin Armory has contracted with Shopify for e-commerce services since 2013. Besides hosting Franklin Armory’s retail store, the company’s website, which is built around Shopify’s services, has been the landing page for the company’s blog, served as a resource for downloadable catalogs and safety manuals, and provided contact information for Franklin Armory, dealers, and distributors. Over the past five years, Franklin Armory has spent at least five-hundred hours per year developing, updating, and crafting their online presence using Shopify’s services. Given the number of employee hours, Jacobson estimates Franklin Armory has spent well over $100,000 in developing their website using Shopify’s e-commerce solutions.

                    Franklin Armory has over 25,000 customers routinely using their website to learn about their latest products and purchase gun accessories and complete firearms (which are then shipped to their local FFL.) Franklin Armory dealers and distributors use Shopify’s e-commerce services to show MSRPs, product specifications, and provide their customers with information regarding the current availability of merchandise associated with Franklin Armory. To be summarily shut down for selling a lawful product in commerce is exceedingly damaging to their business. Even just trying to move their site to a new vendor is a substantial undertaking and lengthy process.

                    Jacobson told the NRA, “Unfortunately this is not the first time Franklin Armory has been discriminated against for selling a legal product in the most heavily regulated industry in the country. Something needs to be done to prevent this repressive censorship.”

                    Needless to say, Jacobson is right. Something must be done to counter the pervasive gun censorship environment prevalent in both the United States and Canada.

                    Let Shopify know how you feel:

                    Facebook: Facebook.com/Shopify

                    Instagram: Instagram.com/Shopify

                    Twitter: @Shopify

                    Website: www.Shopify.com/Contact

                    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Declares ‘Invasion’ at Southern Border

                      Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, on Tuesday declared an invasion at the southern border, invoking state powers to provide enhanced security and to return illegal migrants to Mexico.

                      Abbott invoked the invasion clause of the Texas Constitution, allowing him to deploy National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety personnel to turn illegal migrants back to Mexico, build a border wall, and designate the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorists.

                      Migrant encounters at the southern border are on pace to hit another record year after there were more than 2.3 million recorded in fiscal year 2022.

                      Abbott has long argued that the Biden administration hasn’t done its part to address the illegal migration influx, and in response, he mobilized state resources in March 2021 as part of his “Operation Lone Star” to secure the border. Several Texas counties for months sought to pressure Abbott, who on Tuesday won reelection for the governorship, to make the declaration of invasion.

                      In the meantime, Abbott has bused thousands of illegal migrants to Washington, D.C.; New York City; and Chicago, cities designated as “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants.

                      “I invoked the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. & Texas Constitutions to fully authorize Texas to take unprecedented measures to defend our state against an invasion,” Abbott wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

                      “I’m using that constitutional authority, & other authorization & Executive Orders to keep our state & country safe,” he added.

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                      Goodbye, Donald

                        A consensus is emerging among Republicans that it is time for Donald Trump to get off the stage and stop damaging his party and his country. It is reflected in tomorrow’s New York Post cover:

                        In the same paper, John Podhoretz, never a Trump fan, writes: “Here’s how Donald Trump sabotaged the Republican midterms.” Trump’s record is bleak.

                        Liberal fundraisers actually put money behind Trump-endorsed candidates in GOP primaries all over the place to help them prevail so that Democrats could face them in the general election. It was transparently cynical and an abuse of our political process. But it worked like gangbusters.

                        As Kevin Robillard of the Huffington Post noted on Wednesday afternoon, when a Michigan Democrat named Hilary Scholten was finally declared the winner of her House seat against a raving lunatic named John Gibbs: “With this race call, every single Republican who won their primary with help from Democratic meddling has lost in the general election.”

                        The Democrats played Trump like a violin, and he joined in enthusiastically because his megalomania blinded him to political reality. He is a loser.

                        Earlier this evening I was on the Bolt Report with Andrew Bolt on Australia’s Sky News. Offline, Andrew asked what I thought about his view that Donald Trump contributed greatly to the Republicans’ midterm failure. He knew my answer because he had already read this post. Our on-air conversation was mostly about how Trump has become a liability to the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

                        Trump is toast. He has a few fanatical followers, most of whom were never reliable Republicans or even consistent voters. They can go down with his ship if they want to. But the rest of us need to look ahead and begin the process of choosing a vastly better candidate in 2024. That will be a low bar.

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                        Michigan, Vermont Abortion Measures May Push Transgenderism for Kids

                          The transgender agenda appears to have weaseled its way onto the ballot in two states, but voters may not know it. Hidden in the language of two proposed state constitutional amendments is a “right” to transgender medical interventions that would undermine parental rights and make children vulnerable to “treatments” that would leave them scarred, stunted, and infertile, critics allege.

                          Michigan’s Proposal 3 would establish a “fundamental right to reproductive freedom” in the state constitution. The proposal’s text says this “entails the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care” (emphasis added).

                          The state’s Planned Parenthood chapter has disputed the claim that this amendment to the Michigan Constitution would have any impact on what it calls “gender-affirming care for minors.”

                          Vermont’s Proposal 5, which would add a new Article 22 to the Vermont Constitution, states “that an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

                          Neither measure stipulates that the reproductive “right” in question applies only to adults above age 18, and neither says that it applies only to women or to abortion. Critics argue that the inclusion of sterilization in the Michigan list is deliberate, and that both constitutional amendments would enable courts to declare controversial transgender medical interventions a fundamental “right” for minors, excluding their parents from such decisions.

                          Michigan

                          Michigan’s Proposal 3 specifically mentions “sterilization” and says that “every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom.” Supporters have praised the measure for eliminating laws requiring parental notification in a minor’s abortion decisions, and opponents argue that the elimination of parental rights also would extend to transgender issues. One of the organizations that helped craft the measure told The Daily Signal that it would “have no impact” on transgender issues, however.

                          Organizations that support the amendment, such as the ACLU of Michigan and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, state explicitly online and in a “Frequently Asked Questions” document that the constitutional amendment would “repeal parental notification of abortion for minors.”

                          “Proposal 3 is a constitutional amendment that would repeal Michigan’s parental consent laws, allowing children to have abortions and undergo gender hormone treatments without parental consent or knowledge,” Christen Pollo, a spokeswoman for Citizens to Support MI Women & Children, an organization opposing the amendment, told The Daily Signal. She noted the ACLU and Planned Parenthood documents.

                          “A constitutional right to ‘sterilization’ presumably includes a right to be sterilized to align one’s sex and gender identity,” John Bursch, vice president of appellate advocacy and senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom and a former solicitor general of Michigan, wrote in the Detroit Free Press. “It’s not clear that Michiganders support a constitutional right to cross-sex sterilization. But it’s certain that a majority would not support a 12-year-old girl’s right to sterilization without her parent’s notice and consent.”

                          “Regardless of what you think about gender reassignment, the notion that children would be able to undergo gender change surgeries or hormones without parental knowledge is an extreme policy that is not supported by good moms and dads in Michigan,” Pollo told The Daily Signal. “Yet that is exactly what Proposal 3 would allow for. And it should be no surprise that Planned Parenthood is pushing for this: they are now the second-largest provider of gender hormone therapy and have ad campaigns targeting children with puberty blockers.”

                          “If Proposal 3 passes, this won’t just be where they are headed—it will be a constitutional right,” she added.

                          A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan contested these arguments, however.

                          “Proposal 3 would affirm the fundamental right to make and carry out decisions without political interference in matters relating to pregnancy,” the spokesperson told The Daily Signal in a statement Friday. “This includes decisions about birth control, abortion, prenatal care, and childbirth. Proposal 3 would have no impact on gender-affirming care for minors.”

                          “It is telling that Proposal 3 opponents are trying to make this ballot campaign about anything other than the actual purpose of the proposal,” the spokesperson added. “They know that the clear majority of Michiganders want abortion to remain legal and want women to be able to make their own decisions about birth control, pregnancy and childbirth. They know they can’t win on the facts, so they’re spreading disinformation. Proposal 3 would restore the rights Michiganders had under Roe v. Wade. It’s that simple.”

                          Although the proposal would restore abortion rights in Michigan, it arguably would go beyond Roe, which allowed states to restrict abortion after the point of fetal viability and impose constraints such as parental consent requirements.

                          “The bill could easily have been written to refer to abortion explicitly and exclusively,” Jay Richards, senior research fellow in religious liberty and civil society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in response to the Planned Parenthood spokesperson. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

                          “Instead, it refers to some ill-defined right to reproductive freedom,” Richards said. “The only reason to do that is to use the fight over abortion to expand into other jurisdictions of the social revolution. I would also note that many Planned Parenthood facilities dispense cross-sex hormones, so they have a financial stake in gender-transition procedures.”

                          Michigan’s Democratic attorney general, Dana Nessel, has endorsed the amendment.

                          “We have to vote yes on Proposal 3,” Nessel said at an October rally during which she opened up about her own experience.

                          After trying to get pregnant for a while, Nessel said, she finally conceived—triplets. Yet her doctor advised her that she would have to abort one of the babies to save the other two.

                          “I took my doctor’s advice. I had a procedure, and now I have two beautiful 19-year-old boys,” she recounted.

                          Pro-life advocates may counter the idea that Nessel’s procedure constitutes the same kind of abortion they would prefer to outlaw, but the attorney general used her experience as an argument, nonetheless. Neither Nessel nor the ACLU of Michigan responded to The Daily Signal’s request for comment on the transgender implications of the proposed constitutional amendment.

                          Vermont

                          Vermont’s Proposal 5 is not technically a ballot initiative but the final step in amending the Vermont Constitution with the addition of Article 22. While the amendment does not include language regarding sterilization, opponents argue that its broad terms open the floodgates for transgender applications.

                          “I believe the course is clear. Article 22 is meant to purposefully open Pandora’s box and then bar future legislators from doing anything about it,” Matthew Strong, executive director of Vermonters for Good Government, an organization opposing the amendment, told The Daily Signal in an email statement. “Minor/children’s transgender issues is just one of many intended goals with this, and the extreme agendas in the school system are already hard at work on this.”

                          “The Legislature’s word choice makes the long-term goal very plain,” Strong argued. “By using the word ‘individual’ instead of ‘woman,’ it removes gender and age restrictions on whom this applies to. We allege that this constitutional amendment was written BY Planned Parenthood, FOR Planned Parenthood” (emphasis his).

                          Strong noted that the speaker of the Vermont House, Jill Krowinski, is a former vice president of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Neither Krowinski nor the Planned Parenthood affiliate responded to The Daily Signal’s requests for comment.

                          Strong noted that Article 22 cleared two votes in each of the state’s two legislative chambers and its appearance on the ballot represents the final step of the process.

                          “It was rushed through during the pandemic and very few Vermonters knew about it,” Strong said.

                          State Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Washington County, a spokeswoman for Vermonters for Good Government and a critic of the measure, highlighted an exchange that took place as the Legislature considered the amendment.

                          “Even the proponents have stated that anything in terms of future interpretation will be ‘up to the courts’ —in this case, the Vermont Supreme Court,” Donahue told The Daily Signal.

                          She argued that “‘Reproductive autonomy’ is an ever-evolving term, not set in time and certainly not limited to what anyone claims it might mean today. Quite literally anything that is related to reproduction in any way is wide open to inclusion, and anything interpreted as a barrier to access to that right would be open to being found unconstitutional.”

                          “Courts do look for evidence of legislative intent when language is open to interpretation, and there was direct discussion about keeping it available to future health care interpretation and a specific choice to not place limiting language to specify direct enumerated rights,” Donahue added. “There is also clear intent about access for minors, including without parental consent or even notice. Because minors currently are protected in access to abortion (without parental consent or notice)—with limitations rejected by the Legislature in 2019—that would be used for equivalence to any other reproductive rights, including surgical ones.”

                          Donahue highlighted an exchange from January, in which state Rep. Carl Rosenquist, R-Franklin County, raised concerns about religious liberty and worries that the proposed constitutional amendment would “compel private health care providers to provide care that violates their moral or religious beliefs.”

                          State Rep. Ann Pugh, D-Chittenden County, a lead sponsor of the amendment, responded: “My understanding is [that] when rights are in conflict, we go to court. And that is the role of the courts to decide, or a judge.”

                          Rosenquist was presenting “a conflict of rights,” Pugh said.

                          An ACLU representative agreed, saying, “Yes, that is the correct response.”

                          Proposal 5 “encompasses more than just abortion. It protects both women and men,” Vermont Solicitor General Eleanor Spottswood said. “The language of Proposal 5 is actually based on a long line of case law, protecting the rights to choose or refuse contraception, to choose or refuse sterilization, the right to become pregnant and the right to choose abortion.”

                          Spottswood added that “difficult cases where fundamental rights of different parties are pitted against each other are decided by the courts.”

                          Pugh defended the constitutional amendment as necessary to provide clarity.

                          “In this turbulent time, we must have clarity,” Pugh said in October, Vermont Business Magazine reported. “The lack of a definitive enumeration of reproductive liberty in Vermont’s Constitution, the threats to Roe v. Wade being weakened or overturned by a very conservative U.S. Supreme Court, and the cloud of multistate efforts to erode reproductive autonomy all build a strong case for [Proposal] 5.”

                          The state lawmaker noted that Vermont has “intentionally chosen not to limit or restrict” access to abortion. “We have long recognized that decisions related to reproductive health care and abortion are deeply personal and private, and are best left to a woman and her doctor,” she said.

                          Neither Pugh nor Spottswood responded to The Daily Signal’s requests for comment. Sen. Becca Balint, D-Windham County, and Sen. Tim Ashe, D-Chittenden County, the lead sponsors of the amendment, also did not respond.

                          Vermont for Reproductive Liberty, the campaign in support of the constitutional amendment, did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment on the transgender issue.

                          Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, has endorsed the amendment.

                          “Vermont has a long tradition of supporting a woman’s right to choose,” Scott said in a prepared statement in July about the amendment’s proceeding to the November ballot. “These decisions are deeply personal and belong between a woman and her health care provider, free from government interference.”

                          “In Vermont, we solidified the right to choose in law, and now Vermonters have the opportunity to further protect that right in our constitution,” Scott said. “It is more important than ever to make sure the women in our state have the right to make their own decisions about their health, bodies, and their futures.”

                          Scott’s office did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment about transgender fallout from the amendment.

                          Analysis

                          Michigan and Vermont aren’t the only states with abortion-related measures on the ballot Tuesday.

                          Kentuckians will vote on a constitutional amendment expressly stating that there is no right to abortion. Montanans will vote on a measure declaring that infants born alive at any stage of development are legal persons.

                          Californians, meanwhile, will vote on a constitutional amendment stating that the state can’t “deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions,” including abortion and contraceptives.

                          Heritage’s Richards told The Daily Signal that the Michigan and Vermont ballot questions allow for expansive interpretation for transgender issues, while the California one does not.

                          “My sense is that the Vermont bill has precisely the same problems as the Michigan bill, and almost certainly intentionally,” Richards said. “Vermont just talks about ‘reproductive autonomy’ while Michigan talks about ‘reproductive freedom,’ which, as we’ve noted, almost certainly includes everything from taxpayer-funded contraception and surrogacy to gender transition procedures.”

                          Meanwhile, he noted, “California’s seems to be focused mainly on abortion and contraceptives. But there’s a reason that California can be more specific: The state has already passed a law making the state a magnet for teens seeking cross-sex hormones and gender-reassignment surgery. So the California Left has no need to sneak that in with vague wording in a bill presumably about abortion.”

                          Controversial ‘Treatments’

                          Transgender medical interventions for children have become a divisive political issue. Although transgender activists argue that children are more likely to commit suicide if schools and parents don’t encourage their transgender identities, it remains unclear whether affirmation and controversial medical interventions actually help students with gender dysphoria.

                          Medical interventions can have dangerous lifelong effects, even those that do not involve the surgical removal of healthy sex organs. So-called puberty blockers, for example, actually introduce a disease into a patient’s body, according to Dr. Michael Laidlaw, an endocrinologist in Rocklin, California. Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism occurs when the brain fails to send the right signal to the gonads to make the hormones necessary for development.

                          “An endocrinologist might treat a condition where a female’s testosterone levels are going to be outside the normal range,” Laidlaw told PJ Media. “We’ll treat that, and we’re aware of metabolic problems. At the same time, an endocrinologist may be giving high levels of testosterone to a female to ‘transition’ her.”

                          Cross-sex hormones also can have serious, long-term side effects, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular events.

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                          Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in ‘Remain in Mexico’ Case

                          Over three years after the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) went into effect, the Supreme Court finally heard oral arguments in a case about the program, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Rather than debate the legality of the program itself, Tuesday’s arguments were about a different question altogether: whether the Biden administration has the legal authority to end it.

                          Unlike in the prior DACA case, when observers generally agreed that the Trump administration could end DACA if it went through the right procedures, the state of Texas successfully obtained a court order blocking the Biden administration from ever ending MPP. Going even further, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to even consider Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas’ second attempt to end the program in compliance with the original court order.

                          At oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court, many justices were skeptical of Texas’ arguments that the Biden administration was required to keep MPP in place. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) only says that DHS “may” use the legal authority behind MPP.

                          Multiple justices also pointed out that under Texas’ arguments, even the Trump administration would have been violating the law. The former administration used MPP for a relatively small number of people crossing the border and exempted entire classes of people from being returned to Mexico.

                          Under questioning from Justice Thomas, Texas Solicitor General Judd Stone agreed that the state of Texas could have sued the Trump administration when it put MPP into place. However, he said they probably wouldn’t have sued because the Trump administration’s violation was to a lesser degree.

                          Justice Roberts expressed a lot of skepticism to this response, saying “I think it’s a bit much for Texas to substitute itself for the Secretary and say that you may want to terminate this, but you have to keep it, because it will reduce to a slight extent your violations of the law.”

                          Stone also faced significant pushback on his attempt to argue that the lower court’s order doesn’t force the Biden administration to negotiate with Mexico. At one point, when Stone argued that the order itself doesn’t mention Mexico, Justice Kagan laughed and asked him, “What are we supposed to do, just drive truckloads of people into Mexico without negotiating with Mexico?”

                          Despite the skepticism of much of Texas’ arguments, multiple justices expressed concern that the Biden administration was releasing too many people at the border. Even though Texas had previously disclaimed any challenge to the Biden administration’s use of parole to release people at the border, questions about parole dominated the arguments. Kavanaugh even said he believed the scope of DHS’ authority to release people on parole was at the “heart of the matter.”

                          Under the law, DHS may release any individual on parole if it determines that there is “significant public benefit” to doing so. Since that law was passed in 1996, the government has long determined that it can consider detention capacity when deciding on a case-by-case basis whether to grant parole.

                          Texas argued that considering detention capacity when deciding to grant parole is illegal. That argument didn’t appear to get much support from the justices. Justice Barrett noted that Texas would likely lose the case if the Supreme Court disagreed with them on the scope of the parole power, and Justice Kavanaugh emphasized that courts usually give a lot of discretion to the executive branch to determine when something is in the “public benefit.”

                          The current state of renewed MPP under the Biden administration didn’t come up much at the court, except for Solicitor General Prelogar’s observations that keeping MPP in place imposes enormous fiscal and diplomatic costs on the United States.

                          Although the Justices seemed to care little about the practical realities of MPP, the program continues to grow every day. Last month, nearly 1,000 people were returned to Mexico under the program. And on April 21, the Biden administration announced the creation of a website where people returned to Mexico could file requests to be taken out of the program or given new screenings for fear of persecution in Mexico.

                          The Supreme Court is unlikely to issue a decision until late June. Even a decision in favor of the Biden administration doesn’t mean that MPP will be terminated. At that point, the lower court would still have to consider the Biden administration’s renewed October 2021 attempt to terminate MPP. Despite the October memo not being before the court, Justice Kavanaugh expressed significant skepticism that the Biden administration had explained itself enough in its 39-page memo terminating the program.

                          Unfortunately, that suggests that even a victory for the Biden administration in this case may not be enough in the long run to end MPP.

                          Voters Pass Amendment Forcing Kansas City to Increase Police Spending

                            Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday requiring Kansas City to increase spending on its state-controlled police department, according to The Associated Press.

                            The amendment effectively raises the amount of general revenue the city must use for police from 20% to 25%, the outlet reported. The Missouri General Assembly passed legislation earlier in the year to make that change, and the constitutional amendment was designed to ensure that the legislation not run afoul of the unfunded mandate provision in the state’s constitution.

                            Kansas City leaders like Mayor Quinton Lucas, a Democrat, had tried and failed in 2021 to allocate part of the department’s budget to social service and crime prevention programs, according to the AP.

                            Violent crime has plagued Kansas City in recent years. In 2020, it had the eighth-highest estimated violent crime rate per 100,000 people of any U.S. city with a population that size or larger, based on FBI and Census Bureau statistics cited by The Detroit News.

                            Lucas tweeted Wednesday that courts were “the next battle field” in efforts toward local control of the police department, predicting “the current system falls in the next decade.”

                            “The question is if police labor orgs get on board for higher wages, benefits, and influence for their rank and file or keep playing status quo,” he said in a tweet.

                            “We will work with the city to determine our final budget and work within the confines of that adopted budget as we always have,” the Kansas City Police Department told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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                            Anne Hathaway tells ‘The View’ that ‘abortion can be another word for mercy’

                            During the latest episode of ABC’s “The View,” celebrity guest Anne Hathaway claimed that “abortion can be another word for mercy.”

                            “My own personal experience with abortion and I don’t think we talk about this enough, abortion can be another word for mercy,” she said.

                            Elaborating she said, “We don’t know. We don’t know.” Hathaway added, “We know that no two pregnancies are alike, and it follows that no two lives are alike, it follows that no two conceptions are alike. So how can we have a law, how can we have a point of view on this that says we must treat everything the same?”

                            Co-host Joy Behar prompted Hathaway’s remarks during the latter part of the show, asking her about her abortion-themed post marking the 16th anniversary of her film, “The Devil Wears Prada.”

                            Behar read the post Hathaway shared to Instagram earlier this year, shortly after the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court, saying she would be part of the “fight” for abortion rights.

                            During the latest episode of “The View,” Anne Hathaway claimed that “abortion can be another word for mercy.”

                            “We’re in the fight every day. We’re in the fight every minute. And you mentioned ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ turning sweet 16.  Some 16-year-old’s life has been irrevocably changed because of the overturning of Roe v. Wade,” she said.

                            The actress tied her role in the film to the loss of abortion rights, saying, “I played a young woman who was starting out her career. And when you are a young woman starting out your career, your reproductive destiny matters a great deal.”

                            She continued, “And I just – it had just happened and I just – I think about it all the time. I think we all think about it all the time, and what the implications are and what it means to live in a country that puts us in this position.”

                            Hathaway mentioned that if she played the role today, she “couldn’t take that for granted. I couldn’t take that freedom for granted, the freedom of choice.”

                            In one of her signature roles, Hathaway portrayed Andy Sachs in the 2006 hit movie, who is forced to navigate a fashion magazine’s notoriously demanding editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). 

                            The actress added, “And by the way, this is not a moral conversation about abortion, this is a practical conversation about women’s rights, and by the way human rights, because women’s rights are human rights.”

                            Hathaway has long been a progressive advocate on abortion rights. The Oscar-winning actress is known for her dramatic and comedic roles in such movies as “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Ocean’s Eight,” and “Les Misérables.” Her most recent film is the drama “Armageddon Time.”

                            The title of the page