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14 Signs of Totalitarianism

    We all know the cons of Twitter, but one of the pros is discovering new and interesting people.

    One of my favorite new follows is Benjamin Carlson, a public relations guru and former editor at The Atlantic. Carlson’s tweets are among the best you’ll find on Twitter, and he clearly has a keen understanding of the intersections between media and government, power and propaganda (both current and historically).

    One of his recent tweets caught my eye, and I share an adaptation of it below.

    1. Dissent is equated to violence

    2. Media is controlled

    3. The legal system is co-opted by the state

    4. Power is exerted to quash dissent

    5. State police protect the regime, not the people

    6. Rights—financial, legal, and civil—are contingent on compliance

    7. Mass conformity of beliefs and behaviors is demanded

    8. Power is concentrated in inner ring of elite institutions and people

    9. Semi-organized violence is permitted (in some cases)

    10. Propaganda targets enemies of the state regime

    11. Entire classes singled out for persecution

    12. Extra-legal actions are condoned against internal regime opponents

    13. Harsh legal enforcement against unfavored classes

    14. Private and public levers of power are used to enforce adherence to state dogmas

    The list is a bit troubling. At the very least, some of these techniques are playing out before our eyes. This is certainly not to say that the US is a totalitarian state, however.

    There are many definitions of totalitarianism, and I don’t believe one can seriously argue that the United States has arrived there. But authoritarianism is certainly in the air, and it emanates most strongly from our nation’s capital.

    While both the political Right and the political Left accuse each other of harboring tyrannical ambitions, the philosopher Karl Popper offered a clue as to when a legitimate government crosses the line and becomes a tyrannical one.

    “You can choose whatever name you like for the two types of government,” Popper wrote. “I personally call the type of government which can be removed without violence ‘democracy,’ and the other ‘tyranny.’”

    Popper’s quote is an important reminder: the people ultimately have the right to choose their government. In his seminal Two Treatises of Government, John Locke carved out what would become the foundation of America’s founding philosophy, as FEE’s Dan Sanchez recently explained.

    Equality, in the original sense, not of equal abilities or equal wealth, but of non-subjugation;

    Inalienable Rights, not to government entitlements, but to life, liberty, and property;

    Democracy, in the original sense, not of mere majoritarian voting, but of popular sovereignty: the idea that governments should not be masters, but servants of the people;

    Consent of the Governed: the idea that governments can only legitimately govern by the consent of the governed, i.e., the sovereign people;

    Limited Government: the idea that the sole purpose and proper scope of legitimate government is only to secure the rights of the people;

    Right of Revolution: the idea that any government that oversteps its limits and tramples the very rights it was charged with securing is a tyranny, and that the people have a right to resist, alter, and even abolish tyrannical governments.

    As the state drifts further and further from its moral purpose, it becomes more and more important to understand the rights of man and the limits of government.

    A version of this article appeared on the author’s Substack.

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    Trump explains why he refused to swap ‘Merchant of Death’ arms dealer

      Joe Biden has bragged repeatedly in recent days about swapping the “Merchant of Death” Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, who has “killed untold numbers” for an American lesbian basketball player who broke Russia’s drug laws and was sentenced to prison there.

      Now President Donald Trump has confirmed he refused to give up the criminal Russian, when it was proposed that he be exchanged for another American, U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who is serving time in Russian for a conviction that he charges was set up by intel operatives there.

      The Epoch Times reports Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform this weekend, “I turned down a deal with Russia for a one on one swap of the so-called Merchant of Death for Paul Whelan. I wouldn’t have made the deal for a hundred people in exchange for someone that has killed untold numbers of people with his arms deals.”

      The report explained Bout, 55, was given 25 years in prison in 2012 for “conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to a Colombian terrorist group committed to killing Americans.”

      Biden set him free in exchange for WNBA player Brittney Griner, 32, who pleaded guilty to violating Russia’s drug laws and was sentenced to prison.

      Trump noted that he had gotten other Americans detained overseas back to the U.S., and he would have done the same with Whelan, had he remained in office.

      The report explained Trump was critical of the Biden administration over its prisoner exchange agreement with Moscow.

      “The deal for Griner is crazy and bad. The taking wouldn’t have even happened during my administration, but if it did, I would have gotten her out, fast!” Trump explained.

      He has explained, previously on his social media site, “The Trump administration got 58 hostages released from various hostile countries without paying any money, or giving up anything. That is something, both in numbers and lack of remuneration, that has never been done before in any other administration.”

      He said that deal for Griner is “a one-sided disaster, and a BIG WIN FOR RUSSIA.”

      Whelan told CNN in an interview from his Russian prison that he’s been disappointed “that more has not been done to secure my release, especially as the four year anniversary of my arrest is coming up.”

      The White House claimed Russia wouldn’t allow Whelan to be included in the latest swap.

      “Americans welcome the release of Brittney Griner, but it shouldn’t have come at the cost of releasing one of the world’s worst arms dealers and creating a dangerous precedent for our enemies: detain Americans and Democrats will agree to set your worst killers free,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., warned.

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      Fired FBI Director James Comey Pushes Gun Control, Bashes NRA

      Fired FBI Director James Comey’s self-aggrandizement tour continued apace this week. Momentarily turning his attention from attacking President Trump, Comey used the occasion of a trip to the largely-disarmed United Kingdom as an opportunity to advocate for stricter U.S. gun laws and to level barbs at NRA.

      In an interview with the UK’s iNews published Tuesday, Comey appeared to express his support for ongoing efforts to restrict young adults ages 18-20 from acquiring firearms and for a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. Comey told the media outlet,

      Surely there are things we can agree upon that relate to who’s able to buy a weapon, what kind of weapon and at what age, what the capabilities of the weapon are, how many rounds does it hold, and things like that, that in no way threaten the rights under the US constitution of people to keep and bear arms.

      Comey’s statement on gun control is puzzling. Legislation that extinguishes young adults’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights is by its very nature a threat to, “the rights under the US constitution [sic] of people to keep and bear arms.” Moreover, so is a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. That’s not just NRA’s position; that’s the position of the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms in the District of Columbia v. Heller case.

      In Heller, the late Justice Antonin Scalia explained that the Second Amendment protects the ownership of firearms, “of the kind in common use at the time.” The AR-15, the favorite target of current gun ban legislation, is America’s most popular rifle. Moreover, Scalia Joined Justice Thomas to dissent from a denial of certiorari in the case of Friedman v. Highland Park, which concerned a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. In the dissent, Thomas wrote,

      The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

      Addressing NRA, Comey stated, “One of the worst things that goes on in the US is the current voice of the National Rifle Association, because it sells fear in the wake of any incident.” The former FBI director went on to add,

      [NRA’s] constant argument is: ‘It’s a slippery slope. If we restrict a particular kind of weapon or raise the age of purchase, it means the end of gun ownership in the US.’ And that argument is a lie… There’s no slippery slope in America when it comes to guns. It’s a concrete staircase, which is our constitution…. We just have to decide should we go up a stair or down a stair.

      While Comey might liken U.S. gun laws to a, “concrete staircase,” it’s unlikely many gun owners in jurisdictions such as California, New Jersey, and New York feel confident in their footing. For them the slippery slope of gun control is an everyday reality. Faced with a federal judiciary that is often unwilling to honor the rulings of the Supreme Court, as Justice Thomas has pointed out on numerous occasions, the Second Amendment offers these Americans little security.

      Moreover, the slippery slope isn’t pro-gun fear mongering, it’s gun control advocates’ stated policy. In a 1976 New Yorker interview, National Council to Control Handguns (precursor to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence) Chairman Nelson T. Shields stated,

      I’m convinced that we have to have federal legislation to build on. We’re going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily—given the political realities—going to be very modest… So then we’ll have to start working again to strengthen that law and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and again. Right now, though, we’d be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal—total control of handguns in the United States—is going to take time.

      Moreover, the character of recent gun control efforts has made Comey’s position untenable. In March, John Paul Stevens took to the opinion page of the New York Times to call for the repeal of the Second Amendment. In recent years, the New York Times and the Boston Globe have run pieces calling for firearms confiscation. On the 2016 campaign trail, Hillary Clinton lamented the Heller decisionrefused to acknowledge that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and endorsed Australia’s confiscatory gun control measures. Anti-gun protests are replete with calls to disarm citizens.

      An exchange that appears near the end of the iNews item might reveal the most about Comey. The fired FBI director explained that he chose not to carry a firearm while at the FBI, stating, “I was surrounded by armed people all day long. If I wasn’t safe in the hands of the FBI, then our country was really in trouble.” Here Comey admitted that despite being one of the nation’s highest ranking law enforcement officials, he was unwilling to concern himself with any personal responsibility for his own safety and the safety of those around him.

      Walker Was Insult To The Black Community

        On Tuesday night, Van Jones from CNN criticized Herschel Walker’s candidacy as the results of the Georgia Senate runoff were being announced. This is Walker’s first time running for political office, and he was chosen by former President Donald Trump to run against Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA).

        Neither candidate received a majority of votes in the November midterm election, which prompted a runoff according to Georgia law. Political commentators have raised doubts about the former football star’s suitability as a candidate.

        Jones said on a CNN panel, “Tonight is about Trump picking somebody who, frankly, used to be a hero. Herschel Walker used to be an inspiration. Now it means insult. He’s an insult to the Black community. And what you may see tonight is people coming out not just to vote in favor of a senator that they love, but just to vote against Donald Trump picking somebody like this and throwing this person at the voters in Georgia.” Jones called Trump’s selection of Walker “too clever by half.”

        Van Jones continued, speaking as if he were Trump, “I know, I’m going to put a Black guy against a Black guy. But the guy that he picked was the wrong Black guy.” Gloria Borger asked, “So you think it’s insulting?” Jones replied, “I think it’s insulting.” Walker’s campaign has been strange at times, with him talking about werewolves and “bad air” in China. Panelist Ashley Allison agreed with Jones and added that even if she were a Republican, she would be insulted by Walker’s candidacy.

        Allison said, “If you are Herschel Walker, you are an insult to the Black voters of Georgia. And honestly, I’m not Republican, but it would be an insult to me as a Republican to think that this is the type of person that I actually want to send to the United States Senate.”

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        American Girl Now Teaches Children They Can Change Gender

          It was Christmas 2001 and I was 8 years old. Running down the steep steps of my family’s New England home, I barreled into the living room to find wrapped presents plus one unwrapped gift by the fireplace—Josefina, an American Girl doll.

          I spent hours of my childhood playing with Josefina and a collection of other American Girl dolls that my doting grandmother graciously gifted my sister and me.

          The dolls were a source of creative play, but also education. I learned a great deal of American history, from the abolition of slavery to the Great Depression, through the books of historical fiction that accompanied each doll.

          But the company that used to be focused on teaching young girls courage through history today is telling them that they can change their gender.

          “Gender joy” is a section in American Girl’s recently released 96-page book “A Smart Girl’s Guide: Body Image,” recommended on Amazon for fourth graders through sixth graders.

          “The way you show your gender to the world through clothes and behavior is your gender expression,” one page reads, as seen in a photo originally shared by the British newspaper Daily Mail.

          “Being transgender is not an illness or something to be ashamed of,” the book continues. “If you’re questioning your gender identity—or if you already know for sure that you’re trans or nonbinary—talk with an adult you trust, like a parent or school counselor.”

          The page goes on: “If you haven’t gone through puberty yet, the doctor might offer medicine to delay your body’s changes, giving you more time to think about your gender identity.”

          “If you don’t have an adult you trust, there are organizations across the country that can help you,” author Mel Hammond writes.

          The last paragraph on the page is arguably the most concerning, telling young people that if they are “transgender or nonbinary, loving your body might feel a bit different than it does for a cisgender person.”

          It continues:

          Parts of your body might make you feel uncomfortable, and you might want to change the way you look. That’s totally OK! You can appreciate your body for everything it allows you to experience and still want to change certain things about it.

          It’s not hard to imagine a 10-year-old reading these words and asking, “If I don’t love my body, if I want to change parts of my body, or I feel unfordable about how I look, am I transgender?”

          American Girl’s colorful “Body Image” book also touches on racism.

          “In the United States today, the girls and women who fit the beauty standards tend to be … White,” page 69 reads. “It’s no secret that racism shapes who appears in TV, films, and advertisements.”

          “Body Image” is not without good advice to young girls, telling them that “real happiness comes from doing good, not looking good,” and encouraging kids to exercise and move their bodies every day.

          But there are plenty of good books that encourage girls about who they are without prodding them to question whether they are in fact girls or making them feel like victims or villains because of the color of their skin.

          Some of these positive books were published by American Girl years ago.

          American Girl was founded in 1986 by entrepreneur Pleasant Rowland, now 81, after a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. Rowland had the idea to create a series of books about American girls growing up throughout U.S. history.

          A doll would accompany each book character and historically accurate outfits and accessories would be sold for each doll, “so girls could play out the stories,” Rowland said in a speech marking American Girl’s 25th anniversary.

          Her vision became a phenomenal success, with American Girl making over $1 million in sales its first year.

          From its inception, American Girl was “a girl company, and anything that was good for girls was ours to give them,” Rowland said during the celebration in 2011.

          The company began to stray from its founding vision in 1998, when it was sold to Mattel, the maker of Barbie. At first, the change was subtle, but it didn’t take long for the company to depart from its focus on using dolls to tell stories of American history.

          Rowland’s vision of a company that would sell “anything that was good for girls” largely has been lost to an agenda that teaches children they can halt puberty, ditch their girlhood, and even hide “transitioning” from parents.

          A box holding my old American Girl dolls is in my parents’ house collecting dust, a shadow of a time when the innocence of children was protected.

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          Rumors Swirling The Biden Admin is Lying About Griner Swap and the US Marine

            Left-wing anthem-hater Brittney Griner was just released from prison. And while Biden is taking a “victory lap,” the American people are furious. Fox News reported that Brittney Griner was arrested in February before the start of the Russia and Ukraine war for bringing in vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis through a Moscow airport as she was returning to the country to play for a basketball league in the country.

            About 10 months later, just weeks before the Christmas holiday, Griner is coming home.

            “Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner,” the tweet read. “She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home.”

            Griner was arrested at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow on Feb. 17 after Russian authorities said she had vape cartridges with cannabis oil inside her luggage. On Aug. 4, Griner was given a nine-year sentence after pleading guilty, arguing that she had been prescribed cannabis for her pain and inadvertently packed it. Her sentence was upheld in October, and she was later transferred to a penal colony.

            Bout is known as the “Merchant of Death” and the possible swap for him was floated back in May. He was in the middle of a 25-year sentence in federal prison after he was convicted of conspiracy to kill Americans relating to the support of a Colombian terrorist organization.

            He was dubbed the “Merchant of Death” because of his notoriety for running a fleet of aging Soviet-era cargo planes to conflict-ridden hotspots in Africa. His dealings inspired the Nicolas Cage film “Lord of War.”

            Meanwhile, US Marine Paul Whelan, another American imprisoned in Russia, was not a part of the swap. He has been jailed on espionage charges that his family and the U.S. government have said are baseless.

            And now, rumors are flying that the Biden admin is lying about the Marine. That’s what independent journalist Jordan Schachtel said today.

            Here’s what Jordan said in a tweet: “Biden Admin appears to be lying about Griner trade. They had the option to choose Whelan and declined.”

            President Trump is disgusted over this “stupid” swap, and said as much in a fiery Truth Social post:

            Don Jr. also slammed the absurd “swap.”

            Many Americans are furious.

            Blogger Matt Walsh knows why the US Marine was left behind:

            And Matt’s right…Look what Politico said:

            Here’s the first video of the prisoner swap:

            Here’s what people are saying online:

            “Leaving retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan imprisoned in Russia. Whelan has been in Russian custody for nearly four years. He was convicted on espionage charges that the U.S. has called false. Disgusting…”

            “Yep. So why didn’t he make the deal sooner? Why hasn’t he made deals for our other citizens held there?”

            “So, the lefty who hates America is freed, but the US Marine is still there. Makes total communist sense.” 

            “You are an absolute disgrace”

            “So we left the other American who’s been there FOUR YEARS, gave Russia their arms dealer back, and all we got was an anthem kneeler that can’t pack a suitcase without putting drugs in it?”

            “VP Kamela Harris is in this photo. When she was AG in California she was responsible for locking up hundreds of non violent offenders for weed. When asked about it in an interview she laughed about it.”

            “You are the most partisan, political, pos” 

            “Hope this changes her view on America, but I doubt it” 

            This is starting to feel like Obama’s Bowe Bergdahl fiasco on steroids.

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            Local Communities Take the Lead in Welcoming All

            Local communities across the country have long experienced the positive effects of growing immigrant and refugee communities.  As a result, many local governments, chambers of commerce, and nonprofits have been thinking proactively about how to create an environment that sends a message of inclusion and social cohesion, maximizes the contributions of all residents, and gives community members the tools they need to thrive together.

            New Americans have driven population growth, revitalizing neighborhoods across the country, spurring innovation, and enriching communities with cultural diversity. However, some local communities— like Gainesville and Miami-Dade County in Florida, and Lancaster County in Nebraska— face growing anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy agendas from state legislators. Despite the uphill battle these and many other communities face from their states, combined with stalled efforts to bring meaningful federal immigration reform, local leaders are driving the creation of communities that welcome all.

            To support and scale these pursuits, some initiatives like the Gateways for Growth Challenge (G4G) help local leaders facilitate local immigrant integration and inclusion by matching grants and technical assistance to develop a multi-sector strategic plan. Since the inception of the program, more than 70 communities across the United States—from Anchorage, Alaska to Austin, MinnesotaFargo, North Dakota to San Antonio, Texas— have captured, celebrated, and invested in the many social and economic contributions of New Americans.

            This spring, six G4G communities (Columbus, OhioDodge City, KansasGainesville, FloridaLancaster, Nebraska; and the first-of-its-kind joint collaboration between local governments Minneapolis, Minnesota and Saint Paul, Minnesota) are launching their strategic plans, joining 21 other communities that have done so through the program. Miami-Dade County in Florida, and Contra Costa County and San Mateo Counties in California will join these 27 communities by the end of 2022.

            These communities began the integration and inclusion process at the end of 2020, as cities across the country continued to learn to navigate the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and address larger systemic disparities, while thinking about ways to address the challenges and opportunities the immigrant communities face. After an extensive one-year community-based planning process, these six communities launched their first-ever strategic immigrant integration welcoming plans, featuring recommendations of tangible next steps to foster immigrant inclusion, from fueling economic development to expanding equitable access to education, civic engagement, and the economy, and building trust to create safe communities for all.

            The work does not end here—in fact it is only the beginning. These communities will work to develop toolkits and resource guides for immigrants, expand economic development opportunities for immigrants’ small businesses, hire a coordinator to oversee the implementation of the plan, and build language access training and services.

            As these and many other local communities have demonstrated, localities are taking charge of welcoming immigrantseven in the face of anti-immigrant sentimentsso that collectively the United States, a nation of immigrants, can thrive.

            The Release Of The Secret Twitter Files Prove That Democrats Fear, And Can’t Compete With, Conservative Ideas

              It’s been said that the way to destroy a bad idea is to allow it to be seen and evaluated by everyone, and the flaws would be obvious. That’s why Twitter killed anti-Biden opinion pieces, because the leftist policies of Biden and his pals couldn’t stand up to the traditional, patriotic arguments against them by conservatives, so they just eliminated those opinions. And now we have the high inflation, open borders, high fuel costs, ruinous New Green Deal policies, violent agitation from our enemies in China and Russia, sky-high crime in largely Democrat run cities and states, favored treatment of Democrat suspects like Hunter Biden and frivolous DOJ investigations for Republicans like Donald Trump (who was forbidden by the Twitter Nazis to communicate with American citizens while he was president), Rudy Giuliani and various others whose only crime was to support Donald Trump and his pro-American and pro-prosperity policies.

              The same is true of the covid Nazis. They silenced scientific opinion that would have allowed Americans to live normal lives during the pandemic and would have allowed schools to remain open, and would have prevented the firing of thousands of emergency workers and military personnel, because they refused to take the non-vaccine the Biden administration was pushing, simply by “disappearing“ their arguments from social media.

              It could be easily argued that Twitter committed treason by silencing the sitting president at the time, so he could not explain to the American public why the Democrat insistence on a complete shutdown and the forced vaccinations of all Americans were bad ideas.

              But the crimes against the constitution go much further than just Twitter shadow-banning. All of the leftist news/opinion agencies do the same thing against non-Democrat opinions, with CNN and other leftist groups not even reporting the latest Twitter revelations of these freedom-of-speech crimes, because censorship and silencing of competing ideas is what the political left always does, starting with the Socialist Nazis of Germany in the 1930s and the Cuba Communists of the 1960s. All leftists think alike and tend to silence all competitive thought and ideas, like the Biden administration and its misinformation/disinformation agency it tried to establish a few months ago, whose whole mission in life was to silence Republicans and eliminate any political competition.

              The intention of Biden’s planned disinformation agency was that Democrats could then block conservative opinion during a political campaign and deny a Republican presidential candidate a voice, and any resulting Republican administration would lose the opportunity, via the big-tech, social platform, of telling the public what is right about their ideas and what’s wrong with the Democrat position on everything, thereby censoring conservative ideas under the umbrella of preventing false information.

              The truth of the matter is that Democrats understood that they had to silence Donald Trump during his first administration, and during his attempt at a second administration, because there is no argument Democrats could make that could be more persuasive, convincing and vote-getting than Trump’s position on freedom and prosperity, so he had to be silenced.

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              Hillary Clinton on midterms elections, abortion rights; ‘We’re not going back’

              Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in on women at the ballot box and women’s rights in a recent interview, saying “We’re not going back.”

              In her interview with The 19th, a nonprofit news group that focuses on women’s issues, Clinton spoke about the power dynamics at home and abroad while encouraging women to run for elected office. 

              “I really, truly believe that when women are denied their basic rights anywhere, it gives heart to those who want to take away rights somewhere else,” she said. 

              She also added that she hopes to see a female U.S. president in her lifetime. However, she will only vote for a woman who shares similar political views. 

              Hillary Clinton discusses President Biden’s “MAGA Republicans” speech on “The View,” in September. In a recent interview, she praised women legislators and said “We’re not going back” amid large gains for women at the ballot box. (ABC’s “The View”)

              “I hope it’s the right kind of woman,” she said. 

              “I think you’ll see women on the Republican side running this time, and they’re not women I would ever vote for, to be honest,” Clinton added. “I’m thrilled that they would run, but I’m not going to vote for a woman who would take my rights away, or my daughter’s rights away, or my granddaughter’s rights away.”

              The former first lady also praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is giving up her leadership role once the New Congress takes over next year, and Vice President Kamala Harris.

              “It’s always hard to be the first — I’ve got the scars to prove it — she knew it was going to be a hot spotlight,” Clinton said of Harris. “I think she’s handled herself with real grace and done what she could to make sure that the president’s agenda has been quite successful.”

              The publication noted that women played a major part in November’s midterm elections in which inequality and abortion and gun rights were of concern for many voters. 

              She pointed to victories in Kansas, Michigan and Kentucky, which each had measures to protect abortion access

              “We’re not going back,” Clinton said of the message sent by female voters. “If we don’t have representation and we don’t have women’s voices helping to shape the debate, then we leave a vacuum.”

              Obama-Appointed Female Judge Just Came Through For President Trump in a BIG Way

                Once again, the left is interfering in an election… This time it’s the 2024 election. President Trump announced that he would be running, and the second that happened, the Deep State jumped into action, namely, Biden’s DOJ. They will do whatever it takes to make sure he’s not president ever again. And I don’t think they have a “bottom.” I don’t think there’s anything that they won’t do… and I mean that very sincerely. But Team Biden recently hit a brick wall, and it was all thanks to an Obama-appointed female judge. She is the one who handed Trump the “victory” against Biden’s DOJ… I guess miracles do happen.

                Here’s the background: The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to hold Donald Trump in contempt of court for failing to comply with a subpoena issued this summer ordering the former president to turn over records marked classified, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

                The development comes after Trump’s legal team said it conducted searches at four locations just before Thanksgiving, finding two documents with classified markings at a storage facility in Florida. The Trump team turned over those two documents to the FBI and announced to a federal judge in Washington, DC, that they believed Trump was now in compliance with a 6-month-old subpoena.

                The Blaze reported that a federal judge rejected a request from the Department of Justice to hold former President Donald Trump and his legal team in contempt in the continued legal struggle over classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, according to several sources.

                Judge Beryl Howell reportedly told the two parties to solve their dispute themselves.

                The DOJ sought the contempt of court ruling after it said the Trump legal team was not responding properly to a subpoena in May requesting documents with classified markings. The subpoena was directed to Trump’s custodian of records, but it has not yet identified who that person is.

                Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung decried the actions of the DOJ in a statement after the decision.

                “The President and his counsel will continue to be transparent and cooperative, even in the face of the highly weaponized and corrupt witch-hunt from the Department of ‘Justice,’” said Cheung.

                “If the Department of ‘Justice’ can go after President Trump, they will surely come after any American who they disagree with,” Cheung continued. “President Trump is the only one who stands in the way of the un-American weaponization of law enforcement.”

                This was a “closed door/shadowy” ruling. But in the end, she did the right thing.

                I am sure this isn’t the end, but it’s wonderful to see President Trump score a victory.

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                Katie Hobbs’ Office Defends Asking Twitter To Take Down Posts Criticizing Them

                  The office of Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs of Arizona, who is also the governor-elect, has defended writing in 2021 to have Twitter censor tweets on the platform that were critical of her performance in office.

                  C. Murphy Herbert, Hobbs’ communications director, sent a message identifying two tweets critical of Hobbs to a nonprofit group called the Center for Internet Security (CIS), which is a consortium of governments, academic institutions and companies that seeks to mitigate cyber risks on the internet, according to Tuscon.com. Hobbs’ deputy, Assistant Secretary of State Allie Bones, called this part of Hobbs’ “job to make sure that voters are informed.”

                  “One of the ways we do that is by working to counter disinformation online that can confuse voters,” Bones said in an email to Tuscon.com.

                  “Is our entire election system foreign-owned?” read one of the posts, made by a user named @normal_every, which remains deleted and the account suspended by Twitter. The tweet refers to Sutherland Global Services, Inc. – a New York-registered corporation owned by Dilip P. Vellodi, an Indian-born businessman – which Arizona had contracted to help set up a voter database that is maintained and controlled by the state.

                  The other post by the same user includes images of a tender submitted by Sutherland listing two subcontractors for the project, software companies BPro, Inc. and ETSAZ, which are based in South Dakota and Arizona, respectively. It tags state Rep. Mark Finchem, the Republican candidate for secretary of State in the 2022 election, who lost to Adrian Fontes on Nov. 8 and has questioned aspects of Arizona’s elections infrastructure since 2020.

                  The nationality of the owners of these companies could not be confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation, though public searches showed that they have been in the United States for several years.

                  “These messages falsely assert that the voter registration system is owned and therefore operated by foreign actors,” wrote Herbert, adding that “This is an attempt to further undermine confidence in the election institution in Arizona.” Herbert’s email was written to CIS on Jan. 7, 2021, two months after the 2020 election and one day after the storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump to disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes that certified Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.

                  The database developed by Sutherland, which was implemented in 2019, per the removed tweets, has been overseen by Hobbs during her term as secretary of State, which began in 2019.

                  CIS later forwarded the tweets to Twitter, which removed them, according to documents in a separate federal lawsuit, Missouri v. Biden, where several states are suing the Biden administration for alleged censorship of critical viewpoints and the establishment of a now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board. “I wanted to let you know that both tweets have been removed,” wrote a Twitter official to Herbert four days later.

                  The revelation of these contacts between Hobbs’ officials and Twitter to suppress tweets has led to widespread criticism from conservatives. On Dec. 6, Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward sent a letter to outgoing Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich calling on Hobbs to be investigated for any violations of 18 U.S.C. § 241, a criminal statute for “conspiracy against rights,” and prosecute her if a violation is found.

                  “The First Amendment protects citizens’ speech from the government – not the other way around,” reads the letter, adding “we urge you to prosecute the offense or make an appropriate referral to the district attorney.”

                  In response to this criticism, Bones wrote that “it is standard practice for government entities, organizations and corporations alike to report content on social media that violate a platform’s terms of service.”

                  Other Republicans, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, have called for Hobbs to be federally investigated, while Lake, who is legally contesting Hobbs’ election as governor, has alleged that Hobbs committed a crime. The revelation comes after Democratic political actors, including Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, have been highly criticized for asking Twitter to remove private postings deemed critical of their political positions during the 2020 election, per files CEO Elon Musk released to writer Matt Taibbi.

                  Hobbs and Brnovich’s offices did not respond to a request for comment.

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                  Mom Shoots Man Trying to Steal SUV With Her Kids Inside

                  A mother shot a man who tried to steal her SUV while her two toddlers were still inside the vehicle in Dallas Wednesday night, police said.

                  It happened about 10 p.m. outside a Shell service station in the 100 block of West Camp Wisdom Road.

                  “It happened so fast,” said the woman, who asked to be identified as Michelle because she feared for her family’s safety. “Not even five minutes, not even five minutes. It happened so fast!”

                  She asked not to show her face on camera as she recounted the incident.

                  The mother had stepped inside the gas station when a man climbed into the driver’s seat and tried to drive away, according to police. Michelle said her 2-year-old and 4-year-old children were still in the back seat.

                  She jumped back into the vehicle and ordered the man to stop the car.

                  “I seen my two babies still back there,” Michelle explained. “I’m asking the man, ‘hey, my kids are back here. Stop! Pull over! Pull over!’ He’s not even acknowledging anything about my kids.”

                  Elon Musk release: ‘Biden team’ had direct line to Twitter to censor Hunter laptop story

                    As promised, Elon Musk released information about Twitter’s suppression of the New York Post’s blockbuster stories before the 2020 election presenting evidence from a laptop abandoned by Hunter Biden that the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate was covering up his family’s sale of access to the White House to the likes of Chinese Communist Party companies, and Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs.

                    Musk began releasing the information Friday evening tweet by tweet through independent journalist Matt Taibbi.

                    So far, it shows the Biden White House had a direct line to Twitter to remove information it didn’t like.

                    Taibbi posted a screen shot of a message between Twitter employees showing that by 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine.

                    One executive wrote to another: “More to review from the Biden team.”

                    The reply came back, “Handled.”

                    See the message via Taibbi’s tweet:

                    Taibbi’s ongoing thread begins here:

                    Earlier this week, Musk’s measures to protect free speech on Twitter, including the elimination of its COVID “misinformation policy,” were met with a promise by the White House to keep “a close eye” on the social media platform.

                    The new Twitter owner made it clear he believes the stakes are high.

                    “This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead,” he tweeted Monday.

                    At the White House on Monday, Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the White House has been “been clear, that when it comes to social media platforms, it is their responsibility to make sure that when it comes to misinformation, when it comes to the hate that we’re seeing, that they take action, that they continue to action.”

                    “Again, we’re all keeping a close eye on this, we’re all monitoring what’s currently occurring, and we see, we see it with our own eyes what you all are reporting, and just for ourselves, what’s happening on Twitter.”

                    On Monday night, some Twitter users noticed the platform had dropped its COVID-19 misinformation policy. A post on the “transparency page of Twitter’s website said: “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misinformation policy.”

                    During the pandemic, many censored or suppressed tweets, labeled “misinformation,” expressed viewpoints that are now acknowledged to be true or legitimate arguments, such as the ineffectiveness of masks, lockdowns and vaccines, and the theory that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.

                    Earlier this month, Apple restricted the use of its file-sharing tool AirDrop in China, which has been used by protesters to communicate without the risk of government censorship, Bloomberg reported.

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                    Feds Crack Down on Taxpayers While Ignoring Own Improper Payments

                      The Inflation Reduction Act gives the IRS an additional $80 billion to hire 87,000 more agents with the hope of bringing in about $200 billion in additional tax revenues over the next 10 years. But in 2021 alone, the federal government spent $279 billion of taxpayers’ money on improper payments.

                      This glaring double standard—cracking down on taxpayers who have to navigate a 7,000-page tax code as the federal government fails miserably at making the proper payments in the programs it designs and administers itself—shouldn’t exist.

                      At a cost of more than $2,000 per household, Americans are paying more for bureaucrats to send faulty payments—to the wrong people or in the wrong amounts—than they are for some of the core functions of the federal government.

                      Improper payment rates across most of the federal government’s 78 reported programs are high enough to put any private sector company out of business. But a handful of large programs account for the vast majority of improper payments.

                      Nine programs accounted for 94%, or $262 billion, of improper payments in 2021. Health insurance programs and child-related tax credits have the highest rates of improper payments: More than 1 in 5 Medicaid dollars, more than 1 in 4 earned income tax credit dollars, and more than 1 in 3 children’s health insurance program dollars were improper payments. [Note that in the below, Medicare incorporates three Medicare programs: fee-for-service, Medicare Advantage, and prescription drugs.]

                      The program with the worst track record in 2021 was the Department of Veterans Affairs’ long-term services and supports, which properly paid only 27%, or $708 million, out of $2.6 billion in total payments.

                      Improper payments mean taxpayers pay more and beneficiaries receive less. Had those VA payments been properly paid, up to four times as many veterans could have received services, or taxpayers could have saved billions of dollars.

                      Moreover, the $279 billion in improper payments for 2021 is an understatement. It doesn’t include improper payments in some of the most problematic programs, such as Obamacare subsidies and the disastrous Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

                      The 2021 improper payments figure includes only $78 billion in improper unemployment insurance benefits, but my own analysis found that $357 billion in pandemic unemployment insurance benefits (which were in effect from March 2020 to September 2022) went to people who were not unemployed.

                      Pandemic unemployment insurance programs will likely go down as the biggest fraud in U.S. history. Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of the criminals who stole taxpayers’ money will be prosecuted.

                      While the pandemic unemployment insurance programs were temporary, improper payments in the federal government are both long-standing and rising.

                      First, no one ever spends other people’s money more carefully than they spend their own, and the same is true of the federal bureaucracy spending taxpayers’ money. And, second, the federal government has expanded so far beyond its original purpose—now spending four times as much transferring money from some people to others as it does on national defense and the justice system combined—that efficiency and accountability have fallen by the wayside.

                      Between 2005 and 2021, gross domestic product increased 79%, federal program payments rose 228%, and improper payments skyrocketed 522%.

                      Despite an array of legislation and regulatory directives that seek to hold federal programs accountable, improper payments continue to run rampant. For example, a former assistant director of forensic audits and investigative service at the Government Accountability Office, Linda Miller, explained in congressional testimony this year that federal programs are supposed to check the federal Do Not Pay database before issuing payments, but they ping the database and then issue the payments before receiving the results from the database.

                      And the sheer growth in federal spending and transfer payments—as opposed to core functions of government—has made it all the more difficult to protect the integrity of taxpayers’ dollars. In 2021, 4 of every 5 tax dollars the federal government collected, and 1 of every 2 dollars it spent, went to transfer payments.

                      Virtually all the $3.3 trillion in federal payments sent out in 2021—at a cost of $25,000 per household in America—were for things outside the traditional functions of the federal government.

                      My recent report, “As Administration Cracks Down on Taxpayers, Government’s Own Improper Payments Go Unchecked,” provides more than a dozen recommendations for policymakers to prevent improper payments and protect the integrity of taxpayers’ money.

                      The basic tenets of those recommendations, which include using part of the $80 billion in IRS funding to create a new Taxpayer Integrity Office within the Treasury, boil down to:

                      1. Determining whether individuals filing for benefits are who they claim to be.
                      2. Verifying that they are eligible for the benefits they claim.
                      3. Imposing accountability on program administrators who fail to follow required system checks and who exceed improper payment limitations.
                      4. Limiting the number of government programs Americans need to interact with in their everyday lives.

                      By applying better verification metrics, imposing accountability on program administrators, and limiting the number of government programs that Americans need to interact with, policymakers can limit what they need to take in taxes so that more Americans can decide—without bureaucratic approval—what they want to spend their money on and when they want to spend it.

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                      Trump Received Mysterious Phone Call During “Dinnergate” Warning Him He Was Being “Setup”

                        Kanye West hasn’t lost his mind. He’s lost his ability to generate news and make money. So, now, he’s doing both in really destructive ways. When I heard about this silly dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Kanye, Nick Fuentes, and Milo, I knew something was up. I was convinced very early on that Kanye was getting paid big bucks to take down President Trump and MAGA. And the more this nonsense plays out, the more I know I am right. Now, you might think I should have on a “tinfoil” hat, and that’s fine, but this is what I think is going down right before our eyes. And now, this latest revelation really seals the deal for me.

                        So, it turns out that this whole “dinner” thing was a setup. Milo already admitted that to NBC, saying they wanted to “destroy” Trump. But now, we have more information on what went down, and thanks to the fine folks over at Post Millennial, we’re learning that during this dinner, where Kanye and his posse imposed on Trump, he got a phone call from a lawyer of his, telling him he was being “setup.”

                        So, how did this lawyer know such a thing?

                        Well, it’s a crazy story, actually. It turns out that Kanye also uses the same lawyer, and while he was texting back and forth with Nick Fuentes about the plot, he accidentally texted the lawyer and ended up spilling the beans.

                        The lawyer then turned around and told conveyed the details to Trump’s team, who then called him, and told him.

                        Imagine sitting there, not knowing who half the people are at the table, and then you get this mysterious phone call saying you’ve been “ambushed.”

                        Let the poor guy eat his damn dinner…

                        The Post Millennial has more details:

                        Amid an incredibly anti-semitic tirade made by Kanye West (Ye) while appearing Alex Jones’ Info Wars with Nick Fuentes, Fuentes revealed another aspect of the notorious Thanksgiving dinner he had with Ye and Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

                        Speaking in regards to how he was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to get into Mar-a-Lago, Fuentes revealed that Ye had sent a text message to Nick Gravante that was meant for Fuentes. Gravante is a lawyer that is representing former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.

                        “And then it turned out that Ye had accidentally sent a text message to a lawyer that both Trump and Ye share, and forwarded him some intel that Karen gave to us about how we were going to have the Trump meeting, how to read his body language and the kinds of things that maybe we should avoid, or things we might want to say,” said Fuentes.

                        “And so before the dinner, Ye actually forwarded that to a lawyer, who then in the middle of the dinner, apparently called Trump to say hey, Karen Giorno is involved, this is a setup. You guys are being set up right now.”

                        “It was really just based on a misunderstanding,” Fuentes added.

                        When Jones asked who this lawyer was, Fuentes asked Ye if they could say the name, to which Ye said, “I don’t mind any names.”

                        Fuentes revealed that the lawyer in question was Gravante, and continued on to say, “because we pulled up in the car and Ye said ‘hey, I’ll forward you these notes,’ so he forwarded it to me and I said, ‘hey, I didn’t get the text,’ and we kind of brushed it off, and we found out later he meant to send it to Nicholas Fuentes, he sent it to Nicholas Gravante on accident.

                        Has there ever been a human being in history, who’s been so sabotaged, backstabbed, and ambushed like President Trump? It’s unreal.

                        If they’re not trying to ride his coattails, they’re trying to destroy him. It’s one of the most horrific, and unfair things I’ve ever seen.

                        My God, leave this man alone.

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                        U.S. Census: A Closer Look at the Fastest Growing Minority Group in the United States

                        Data from the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau show that there are approximately 20.7 million Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States—comprising 6.2 % of the U.S. population—that make up the fastest growing minority group in the United States.

                        In the last decade, the U.S. Asian population grew by 35.5 %, reaching almost 20 million people in 2020. For their part, Pacific Islanders also saw robust growth, going from 540,000 to almost 690,000, an increase of 28 %, from 2010 to 2020.

                        The 20.7 million strong AAPI community is also one of the most diverse in the country not only in terms of ancestry but also in terms of socioeconomic well-being. This reflects the disparate histories that each group of Asians and Pacific Islanders has faced in the United States.

                        In ancestry, the data show that Chinese Americans were the largest AAPI group in the United States, numbering more than 4.24 million, followed by Indian Americans (4.21 million), and Filipino Americans (2.9 million). Among AAPI immigrants, India was the most common country of birth, followed by Mainland China, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

                        Source: AIC analysis of 2019 American Community Survey Microdata

                        Source: AIC analysis of 2019 American Community Survey Microdata

                        While more prominent than ever in American public life, the rise in anti-Asian bias attacks and rhetoric have brought new attention to numerous stereotypes that have long plagued Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.

                        One of the most problematic, the perpetual foreigner stereotype, depicts Asian American and Pacific Islanders as outsiders and aliens regardless of where they were born or how long they have lived in the United States. This all, of course, runs counter to reality and data. Asians and Pacific Islanders have a long history in what is now the United States, dating back to the 18th century. After decades of significant immigration from Asia following the 1965 removal of discriminatory country quotas, the AAPI population is increasingly U.S.-born, with the U.S.-born AAPI population now growing faster than the AAPI immigrant population.

                        The AAPI community is as diverse economically as it is in terms of ancestry. This runs counter to another stubborn stereotype, Asians as a ‘model minority.’ This stereotype holds that all Asians and Pacific Islanders are highly educated and economically successful. This has the effect of holding up selected AAPI groups while hiding lingering challenges and struggles of many other vulnerable Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

                        Looking at median incomes in 2019 among the 15 largest AAPI ancestry groups, we find a wide range of median incomes. Indian Americans had the highest median income at $79.903, followed by Taiwanese Americans ($72,832), Japanese Americans ($66,821), and Filipino Americans ($62,931), in comparison to a median income of $51,038 for non-Hispanic Whites. Meanwhile, Bangladeshi Americans ($40,374), Hmong Americans ($41,378), and Nepalese Americans ($45,033) fell at the lower end of the income distribution. This represents a significant income gap within the AAPI community.

                        Source: AIC analysis of 2019 American Community Survey Microdata

                        While the AAPI community contributes significantly to the economy as a whole—for example, AAPI households earned more than $783.7 billion in income in 2019—a closer look reveals that the AAPI community, and AAPI immigrants in particular, suffer from high levels of income inequality. AAPI workers in the top 10 % of the income distribution earn almost 10 times what the bottom 10 % of AAPI workers do. Among white workers, this ratio is much lower at 7.8, and even lower for Hispanic Americans at 7.5.

                        Further contradictions exist as well. On average, more than half, or 54.7 %, of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans have a college degree, compared to barely 1 out of 3 people in the United States overall. While Asian and Pacific Islander Americans are more likely to have a college degree, a higher share of them lack a high school diploma compared to the U.S. overall. This means that Asian and Pacific Islanders are disproportionately distributed at the opposite ends of the educational spectrum, while AAPI workers rank among some of the highest earners in the United States, many others, especially those without a college degree, have less stable and far more modest incomes.

                        Source: AIC analysis of 2019 American Community Survey Microdata

                        The relationship between education and earnings is also not straight-forward. While almost half of all Bangladeshi American hold a college degree, as a community they suffer from some of the highest poverty rates in the country, with 19.1 % living under the poverty line.

                        These data points show some of the tremendous advancement that Asians and Pacific Islanders have made in the United States despite a difficult history. This history includes the Chinese Exclusion Act, the internment of Japanese Americans, wars in Indochina, violence against Sikh Americans post-9/11, and most recently, increases in anti-AAPI sentiment during the Covid-19 pandemic. While providing evidence of being able to overcome these challenges, these data points also expose areas where serious challenges remain for many AAPI communities, especially AAPI immigrants and refugees when it comes to questions of poverty, education, and legal status in the United States. With about one-fifth of the U.S. population growth now attributable to Asian and Pacific Islanders, the future of America is now inexorably tied to the well-being and success of the AAPI community.

                        John Podesta Is Back In The White House. Here’s Why You Should Worry

                          John Podesta, a famed political operative who cut his teeth in three Democrat administrations, is back in the White House. This time, Podesta sits in a key transactional position where he will spearhead President Joe Biden’s climate initiatives, which should concern all Americans.

                          On Sept. 2nd, the White House announced that John Podesta would serve as senior adviser for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, where he will oversee the implementation of the $370B in green energy funds included in the partisan reconciliation package that Democrats passed in August.

                          Podesta will serve as chair of the president’s National Climate Task Force in support of this effort where he will be tasked with distributing the funds. The timing of Podesta’s hiring also comes as Biden is considering a 2024 presidential run.

                          The Economist noted the recent shift of the U.S. federal government playing a more significant role in an industrial policy that closely resembles that of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

                          The bipartisan infrastructure bill included $20B in clean-energy incentives and $8B towards creating electric vehicle charging stations. The CHIPS+ bill had $52B towards chips production and $170B towards research.

                          Taken all together, it adds to about $100B in annual spending over the next five years. Much of the scientific funding would need to be approved by Congress next year, which gives Republicans some leverage.

                          Podesta would have responsibility for structuring the law’s grant programs, clarifying language for tax credits, and touting its economic potential to create jobs, Politico reported. Up to this point, he will have now played a role in three of the last Democratic administrations.

                          He founded the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm, along with his brother Tony in 1988. Chinese technology firm Huawei has retained Podesta’s brother Tony as a lobbyist, Politico reported.

                          The White House has not instituted any special recusals, prohibitions, or other barriers for Podesta, even though he had backed several climate lobbying efforts before joining the administration, RealClearPolitics reported. The outlet calls attention to Podesta’s long relationship with Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss billionaire as something that could raise red flags.

                          Wyss had been a financial backer of many environmental groups and progressive causes, The New York Times reported.  Recipients of those funds later backed progressive causes almost exclusively and helped Democrats as they regained control of the White House.

                          Wyss was also one of the early financial supporters of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think-tank founded by Podesta in 2003 to provide a progressive counterweight to the conservative Heritage Foundation. Podesta served as its president and CEO until he stepped down in 2011.

                          In 2007, Podesta co-authored a CAP piece with Peter Ogden, “Global Warning: The Security Challenge of Climate Change.”

                          Critics see the appearance of a foreign billionaire funding a think-tank to generate research and a lobbying effort that claims climate change is terrible to produce legislation that would benefit his green energy investments and has now installed someone from that think-tank to distribute the funds to the benefit of Wyss and other green energy investors.

                          Republicans will raise questions of potential conflicts of interest in having someone like Podesta, who is unaccountable and has been through the revolving door several times between senior government positions and the influence industry.

                          Democrats will argue that Podesta’s early recognition of the threats posed by climate change gives him more credibility on the issue and that his prior government service should be viewed as an asset, rather than a liability, in being able to distribute funds effectively by being more familiar with the government bureaucracy.

                          Podesta’s background as chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign suggests that he may have been brought in to distribute some of the funds to ensure they have the maximum political benefit entering the 2024 presidential race.

                          Some question why electric vehicles need subsidies and bans on gasoline-powered cars if they are much better than the alternative. Climate change activists point out that electric vehicles emit fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline cars. However, creating batteries for electric vehicles requires burning coal in place like China, where most battery producers are located, and extracting rare earth minerals like Cobalt in Congo that often rely on child labor for mining.

                          This shortage of available materials is one reason that electric cars are currently prohibitively expensive for most families.

                          Whenever the federal government is handing out billions of dollars, there are opportunities for waste, fraud and abuse.

                          The Solyndra scandal still haunts Democrats from the Obama era after the solar power company received more than $500M in taxpayer funds.

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                          Pro-choice activists see abortion as ‘winning issue’ in GA Senate runoff despite pro-life gov’s landslide win

                          Democrats who focused on abortion for months ahead of the midterm elections failed to unseat one of the most pro-life governors in the country. However, in the Georgia Senate runoff, the issue is still seen as a deciding factor.

                          The party spent over $320 million campaigning on abortion this election cycle, pouring more into the issue than inflation and crime, but after pro-life Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp won his re-election in the Peach State, it is unclear what role the “winning issue” will play in the Georgia Senate runoff between Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP candidate Herschel Walker on Dec. 6.

                          A Fox News poll from late October, conducted before the election, found that at 38%, inflation was the top issue to Georgians — an increase from 28% in July. Among inflation voters, Walker was ahead by 43 points. Abortion was the most important issue to 18% of voters and election integrity was on the top of the minds to 12%, with Warnock leading both groups by at least 40 points. Despite Warnock having an edge when it comes to Georgians who are voting on abortion, voters in the state re-elected a GOP, pro-life governor.

                          “The human right to life is a winning political issue when voters have access to the truth, and the pro-life message speaks louder than the lies of the abortion industry,” Lila Rose, president of Live Action, told Fox News Digital in an exclusive statement. “On Election Day, strong pro-life candidates including Governor Greg Abbot of Texas, who has presided over a legal end to almost all abortion in Texas, and Governor Brian Kemp in Georgia, who signed the popular Heartbeat Bill, were resoundingly re-elected.”

                          Rose, a prominent pro-life activist, proposed that the candidate who stands with the “truth that human life begins at fertilization” will ultimately prevail. 

                          “The abortion industry and its allies failed to achieve a clear victory, even after spending over $400 million dollars telling lies about how abortion at any time, for any reason, and subsidized by taxpayers is a worthwhile policy. Life is a winning issue when candidates stand firmly and boldly on the truth that human life begins at fertilization and abortion is the cruel and violent killing of an innocent child.”

                          Planned Parenthood Votes Georgia, on the other hand, firmly believes that the issue of abortion shaped the 2022 midterm elections and ultimately aided pro-choice candidates in getting elected.

                          “Abortion undeniably redefined the midterms and motivated people to the ballot box like never before, defying history and punditry to further prove that reproductive freedom is a winning issue in Georgia and beyond,” Amy Kennedy, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Votes in Georgia, told Fox News Digital. 

                          Kennedy noted that various polls ranked abortion as a top voter priority and that Georgia gaining 500,000 new registered voters, with about 4 million total ballots cast, was a result of the abortion debate driving more voters to the polls. 

                          “Planned Parenthood Votes has worked around the clock to elect these abortion rights champions in Georgia, and we will carry that momentum forward through the Dec. 6 runoff to ensure that abortion remains top-of-mind for voters and that Georgians return Sen. Raphael Warnock to Washington,” Kennedy said.

                          Walker, the Republican nominee seeking to oust Warnock, revealed in a debate that he supports the Georgia legislature’s ban on abortion after six weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. Walker was recently accused of paying for an ex-girlfriend’s abortion, but affirms that the unproven claims are false and simply an attack on his campaign.

                          Sen. Raphael Warnock, the self-labeled “pro-choice” pastor,” was vocal about his pro-abortion stance throughout the cycle, but did not specify what, if any, limitations he supported. 

                          “The women of Georgia woke up one summer morning to discover that a constitutional right that they had enjoyed for half a century had been taken away from them in one fell swoop,” said Meredith Brasher, Warnock for Georgia Communications Director, on what role abortion will play in the upcoming runoff. “Georgians want a Senator who will stand up for women’s fundamental rights. Herschel Walker wants a national ban on abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother – a position that is out of step with where most Georgians are, Democrat or Republican.”

                          A Georgia News Collaborator poll surveyed Georgia voters before the election about where they stand on their state’s laws on abortion. About 62% of Georgians either somewhat or strongly oppose the state’s law, passed in 2019, that restricts abortions once cardiac activity can be detected by an ultrasound, which usually lands around the sixth week of pregnancy, while 32.3% either somewhat or strongly support the law. The poll was conducted from September to Oct. 4, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

                          Though a majority of voters may disagree with Georgia’s pro-life Heartbeat BIll — which restricts abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected and was recently blocked by a federal judge — it did not stop Governor Kemp, a strong proponent bill’s, from winning his statewide race in November.

                          Despite Democratic candidates placing heavy focus on their pro-abortion positions ahead of the midterms, pro-life Kemp was re-elected as governor of the Peach State with more than 53% of the vote, while his Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams, who went all in for abortion and supported little to no limitations, was defeated. Abrams’ loss came under fire just weeks after comments she made before the election, claiming abortion will help alleviate inflation and that it is “fallacy we know exactly when a pregnancy starts.”

                          “Brian Kemp was re-elected as Governor in Georgia by a landslide after signing the Heartbeat Bill, in part because of strong support from evangelical and pro-life voters, and Kemp is fully engaged in campaigning for Herschel Walker in the Senate runoff on December 6,” Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of Faith & Freedom Coalition, said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Raphael Warnock voted to reimpose Roe v Wade on all 50 states by codifying it into federal law, which would repeal all common sense restrictions on abortion, including late-term abortion bans and heartbeat laws.”

                          Reed concluded that Walker encompasses the values of the average Georgia voter and that his pro-life position may benefit him in the December runoff. “Warnock’s extremism on this issue and Kemp and Walker’s support for Georgia values will boost Herschel in the runoff election.”

                          United States Senate Passes Radical Respect for Marriage Act

                            The United States Senate has passed the Respect for Marriage Act without a vital amendment that conservatives had pushed to protect religious freedom.

                            The bill’s supporters have claimed that the much-discussed legislation protects religious liberty. But opponents of the Respect for Marriage Act, including religious institutions like the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, desperately warned ahead of the vote that it “puts a giant target on people of faith.”

                            The legislation repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, obliges those “acting under color of state law” to recognize same-sex marriages, and orders the federal government to recognize marriages that are deemed valid by one or more states.

                            Twelve Republican senators, who had previously voted to advance the legislation, voted for the final passage of the bill: Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Shelley Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Todd Young of Indiana.

                            Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee had repeatedly raised concerns about the contents of the Respect for Marriage Act, urging Democrats and Republicans to come to an agreement on his amendment creating a strict policy that the federal government can’t discriminate on either viewpoint of marriage, whether same-sex or traditional.

                            The senator’s amendment failed, 48-49, after a vote Tuesday. The amendment had a 60-vote affirmative threshold.

                            On Tuesday, all of 12 Republican senators who had previously voted to advance the Respect for Marriage Act voted for Lee’s amendment except Collins. Democrat West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin also voted for the Lee amendment. Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford’s and Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s amendments similarly failed, both 45-52.

                            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 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.”

                            Sullivan confirmed to The Daily Signal on Friday that he supported the Lankford and Lee amendments and “has been working hard to ensure that these amendments get votes on the Senate floor.”

                            Lummis similarly shared over the weekend that she would support the Lee amendment, though she did not say whether she would insist on the amendment’s adoption as a condition for supporting cloture on the legislation.

                            “Members of Congress who voted for this bill and claim to support religious liberty are either naïve or don’t understand the laws they are passing,” said Roger Severino, vice president of domestic policy at The Heritage Foundation, in a statement. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

                            “Despite polling showing that their constituents oppose this legislation, they refused to adopt Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s amendment that would have protected the religious freedom of millions of Americans without taking away a single benefit or legal entitlement from same-sex couples,” Severino said.

                            “As a result, the tax-exempt status of religious schools and nonprofits is now up for debate. Additionally, the Left will try to use the bill to sue faith-based adoption agencies and contractors to drive them out of business as they have done in multiple states and localities already.”

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                            House Dems Reward Pelosi With New Title; Names New Caucus Room After Her Too!

                              In recognition of Nancy Pelosi’s 20 years as head of the conference, House Democrats have given her a new title and proposed a resolution to rename a famous caucus chamber in her honor.

                              House Democrats are getting ready to usher in a new generation of leadership, most likely led by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, as Pelosi prepares to stand aside from her leadership position as the new Congress is inaugurated in January (D-NY). However, the party is indicating that Pelosi will hold a respected position inside the House conference even as she continues to serve as a rank-and-file member of the lower chamber.

                              A resolution to rename the historic caucus chamber in the House Cannon Building as the “Speaker Nancy Pelosi Caucus Room” was introduced on Tuesday by House Administration Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). Such bills might become law before the new year, when Republicans will assume control of the House and Pelosi will stand down as speaker. This is because they only need a simple majority in the House to pass.

                              The caucus chamber has special significance to House Democrats because it was there that the committee looking into the Capitol disturbance on January 6 submitted its findings. A “little tribute to a towering person” who “has been a solitary force for good over her 35 years in the House of Representatives,” according to Lofgren, the name was done.

                              Not every member of the House Administration Committee, though, loved the idea.

                              Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI), one of two Republicans on the committee, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner that “Congressman Steil is focused on reopening the People’s House that Speaker Pelosi has held closed for far too long.”

                              According to a statement from Lofgren, “She has dedicated her life to the dignity of the American people, to the defense of our Democracy, and always primarily — to the children and posterity of our Nation.”

                              In the meanwhile, Pelosi was unanimously elected “Speaker Emerita” by members of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Wednesday. Committee co-chair Rep. Eric Swalwell referred to Pelosi as “the most consequential legislator Congress has ever known.”

                              He continued, “We are fortunate she will stay in our ranks.

                              The accolades come as House Democrats prepare to elect a new party leader on Wednesday, with Jeffries widely poised to succeed Nancy Pelosi. If this happens, Jeffries will become the first black politician to hold the position of party leader in either chamber of Congress.

                              Midway through November, Pelosi made the announcement that she will step down as House speaker while continuing to represent California’s 12th Congressional District.

                              Democrats praised Pelosi for her long career in response to the news, but Republicans said they were eager to move on from her.

                              Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the third-ranking House Republican, declared that “House Republicans earned our Majority” and that “Nancy Pelosi will no longer hold the Speaker’s gavel.”

                              During her 20 years as party leader, Pelosi had established herself as a prominent target for Republicans. Democratic candidates and lawmakers were frequently linked to the House speaker in election attack commercials in an effort to derail their campaigns. Many GOP members were eager to criticize Pelosi after she announced she would stand down as speaker.

                              Rep. Jeff Duncan tweeted, “Thank you for offering your retirement from House Leadership today, Speaker Pelosi, but I believe the American people fired you first.”

                              Within minutes of Pelosi’s resignation announcement, her two top lieutenants also made it clear they would stand aside to make room for the next wave of Democratic leadership. After the current Congress’s term ends, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) stated he would leave his No. 2 position, while Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said he would continue in leadership but as deputy Democratic leader.

                              Following the Wednesday leadership vote held behind closed doors, Jeffries, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA), and Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-CA) will move up to the top three positions.

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