'Nuclear blast in cyberspace'

(RT.com) — A decision by US tech giants to permanently block US President Donald Trump’s accounts could have chilling implications for the democratic values America holds dear, Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman warned.

A move to ban an acting head of state taken by private American companies “can be compared to a nuclear blast in cyberspace,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page, adding that it is not the immediate impact but some long-term consequences that are the most concerning.

It has been a blow to the democratic values professed by the West,” she said, adding that the move simultaneously provided both the proponents of strict censorship and those advocating the total cyber-anarchy of the Darknet with a “watertight argument.”

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Mike Lindell: 79 million votes for Trump and 68 million for Biden

(GATEWAY PUNDIT) — Mike Lindell was at the White House on Friday for a meeting with President Trump. When he left the premises he ensured the faithful that President Trump would be President for four more years.

Mike Lindell has been working hard to right the wrongs of the stolen election. And last night he shared his information with the president.

On Saturday Mike Lindell sat down for an interview with Right Side Broadcasting Network.

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'Conservative' news outlets need to be deplatformed, says ex-Facebook exec

President Donald J. Trump speaks with reporters outside the South Portico entrance of the White House Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, before boarding Marine One to begin his trip to Fayetteville, North Carolina. (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

The assault on freedom of speech in America is accelerating, with a former Facebook executive calling for news outlets on the political right to be deplatformed by telecom giants including Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.

The stunning remarks Sunday came from Alex Stamos, the former chief security officer at Facebook, during an appearance on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

“We have to turn down the capability of these conservative influencers to reach these huge audiences,” Stamos declared.

“There are people on YouTube for example that have a larger audience than daytime CNN, and they are extremely radical and pushing extremely radical views. So it’s up to the Facebooks and YouTubes in particular to think about whether or not they want to be effectively cable networks for disinformation.”

Stamos then named two conservative influencers he thought should be targeted as soon as possible – Newsmax and OANN, the One America News Network – both of which he called a “problem.”

“We’re gonna have to figure out the OANN and Newsmax problem,” he said.

“These companies have freedom of speech, but I’m not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and such to be bringing them into tens of millions of homes. This is allowing people to seek out information if they really want to, but not pushing it into their faces. I think it’s where we’re gonna have to go here.”

Stamos’ comments came the same day that Parler, a popular right-leaning alternative to Facebook, was struggling to return to the internet, after being booted by Amazon Web Services for an alleged lack of moderation amid the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

“Hello world, is this thing on?” Parler CEO John Matze said in a static image posted on his homepage.

“Now seems like the right time to remind you all – both lovers and haters – why we started this platform,” he wrote.

“We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media. Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both. We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!”

Screenshot of Parler.com’s homepage on Jan. 17, 2021.

Parler now appears to be hosted by Epik, which also hosts Gab, a similar freedom-of-speech-friendly website, according to a WHOIS search.

Parler is engaged in a legal battle with Amazon, as the social site claims “Amazon was primarily concerned with whether President Donald Trump would migrate to Parler after his Twitter account was banned last week,” according to the Epoch Times.

Amazon wasn’t the only tech giant to drop the hammer on Parler, as Apple and Google removed the company from their app stores.

Matze told Fox News on Sunday he was surprised by the instant removal of his website: “Amazon, as usual, [was] basically saying, ‘Oh, I never saw any material problems. There’s no issues. You know, they played it off very nonchalantly. And so we had still even, you know, on the 8th and the 9th [of January], you know, we had no real indication that this was, you know, deadly serious.”

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Biden plans to ask Congress on Day 1 to grant legal status to 11 million illegal aliens

President-elect Joe Biden plans to make the creation of a path to citizenship for the nation’s illegal immigrants one of his top priorities upon taking office Wednesday.

Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming chief of staff, said Saturday that Congress will get the bill “on his first day in office,” according to KING-TV.

“This really does represent a historic shift from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda that recognizes that all of the undocumented immigrants that are currently in the United States should be placed on a path to citizenship,” said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, who was briefed on the bill, according to KING.

“I was pleasantly surprised that they were going to take quick action because we got the same promises from Obama, who got elected in ’08, and he totally failed,” Domingo Garcia, former president of the League of Latin American Citizens, told KING.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris had said Tuesday that the path to legalization would come in stages “first making them legal permanent residents, a status they could access within a period of eight years,” according to Fox News.

Harris said the immigration bill would hand out green cards immediately to immigrants who are covered by either the Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programs, according to Politico.

As a candidate, Biden had promised to “work with Congress to pass legislation that: Creates a roadmap to citizenship for the nearly 11 million people who have been living in and strengthening our country for years.”

In an Op-Ed for The Heritage Foundation, Mike Howell, senior adviser for the foundation’s executive branch relations and Lora Ries, senior research fellow for homeland security, made the case that Biden is using this proposal as a starting point to move toward a goal of unlimited illegal immigration.

This is perhaps the most important domestic policy issue at stake for America as we face single-party leadership in both chambers of Congress and the White House. And it couldn’t come at a worse time for our country as Americans struggle to keep businesses open and regain a public health footing from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 virus,” they wrote.

They warned that Democrats will make the most of their control of both houses of Congress as well as the White House.

“With the left in control of the U.S. Senate, the Biden administration has a Congress available to rubber-stamp its most radical immigration agenda items. And make no mistake: The left will not waste this political opportunity. Its leaders understand that mass immigration historically transfers into more leftist voters,” they wrote.

One consequence of Biden’s plan is that “the borders would be open and overrun,” they added.

“Promising amnesty has already resulted in a run on the border, or the ‘Biden Effect.’ Once the wheels start moving toward the largest amnesty in our history, the Border Patrol would be overwhelmed by illegal aliens seeking to get their claim to the most prized passport in the world — and all the government benefits that come along with it.”

Commentators on both the left and right said that there is more to immigration policy than turning illegal immigrants into citizens, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Such rewards will attract more people to illegally enter the U.S. to await their eventual green card, undermining border security,” Ries told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2014 to 2017 under then-President Barack Obama, said “the public attitude toward immigration enforcement is at a different place in 2021 than it was at any point prior to the Trump administration,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I think there just has been a lot of things about how immigration enforcement was executed under the Trump administration that didn’t sit right with a lot of Americans,” he said, “and that just creates a different attitude toward these matters and a different political calculation.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Companies that can decide 'truth' pose 'existential threat to democracy'

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

By Kalev Leetaru
Real Clear Politics

Last week Silicon Valley silenced the president. In unison, the social media giants, with an assist from Amazon and Apple, also eliminated their most popular conservative competitor and announced that their own moderation policies would now extend to other companies. Meanwhile, CNN openly called for Fox News to be banned from cable, while a major talk radio network issued new speech rules to its hosts, extending tech’s moderation policies to the offline world. Beyond all this, Congress and the European Union called for powerful new regulation of online speech.

As a handful of unelected billionaires declare sovereignty over digital speech, where might the coming months take us?

Twitter once touted itself as “the free speech wing of the free speech party” and rebuked Congress’ calls for it to ban terrorists, proclaiming that “the ability of users to share freely their views — including views that many people may disagree with or find abhorrent” — was its mission. Indeed, most of the early social platforms emphasized unfettered speech above all other considerations. Over the years, this utopian dream has given way to an emphasis on “healthy conversation” and ever-changing enforcement.

Yet for most of their existence, social media platforms have largely avoided censoring elected officials in the U.S. even as they have deleted the accounts of foreign leaders. That all changed last year as Silicon Valley for the first time began labeling President Trump’s tweets as “disputed” and “false.” As progressive segments of the public embraced this new censorship, platforms moved from merely fact-checking posts to deleting them entirely and threatening to ban some lawmakers.

The courts have repeatedly ruled that Trump’s Twitter account is an official government outlet and thus he is prohibited from blocking users with whom he disagrees. How then is a private company able to establish “acceptable speech” rules for a government publication or silence it entirely?

Perhaps more troubling is that speech rules no longer just govern social spaces. Uber, Lyft and Airbnb have all banned their services from being used by those whose online and offline political speech was deemed unacceptable. Facebook last year extended its reach to the offline world, banning certain kinds calls for protest while permitting others.

It was a remarkable sight to behold Democratic lawmakers and the press lamenting that Congress does not have the power to silence voices with which it disagrees and instead urging Silicon Valley to exercise the power only it holds: the ability to silence any voice from the digital world. And this plea came from the very lawmakers who had once condemned social platforms as dangerous monopolies.

Moreover, the companies’ announcements that they were permanently suspending the president referenced not potential illegal activity banned by law but rather the companies’ decision that permitting him to continue communicating with the nation posed too great a risk to democracy.

The companies themselves had little choice but to remove Trump or face even greater wrath from the new Democratic majority in Congress. Even the ACLU, in its condemnation of Twitter’s suspension of Trump, acknowledged the “political realities” of the incoming administration. Activist groups rushed to claim credit for silencing Trump, touting the high-level discussions they had had with Twitter leadership.

While there has been widespread support for Silicon Valley’s actions, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of the dangers in silencing a democratically elected head of state. Moreover, while Democrats are narrowly focused on the present, in a world in which lawmakers and activist groups can wield the monopoly power of social media to mute dissenting voices, what is to stop a future Republican Congress from using those very same powers to silence Democrats? Such is the slippery slope we find ourselves on.

And what about alternatives to Silicon Valley’s platforms? Social media companies have long argued that they are not monopolies because it is possible for competitors to challenge them.

Twitter clone Parler had emerged as just such a competitor, reaching number one on Apple’s App Store this week as conservatives flocked to its minimally moderated platform. Yet within days Apple and Google had banned the sale of it from their respective app stores and banishing it from mobile devices. Parler’s cloud hosting provider, Amazon Web Services, evicted it, taking the site offline until a conservative cloud provider agreed to host it. Yet even if it can rebuild in some fashion, without a smartphone app and blacklisted by most service providers, Parler will be merely a shadow of its former self.

In taking these steps, Silicon Valley cited Parler’s lack of strong content moderation as grounds for elimination. In their letters to Parler, the companies demanded that it adopt acceptable speech policies identical to their own.

Even offline media are not immune. Television channels must contract with cable carriers to transmit them into homes, syndicated radio shows must be hosted by stations, and even independent newspapers must have websites and mobile apps. With local news outlets diminishing, it is important to note that no matter how editorially independent some may be, all are still dependent on cloud providers, app stores, Internet service providers, etc. In the aftermath of Wednesday’s events at the Capitol, CNN openly called for cable carriers to drop Fox News, while Cumulus Media issued new acceptable speech rules to its conservative talk radio hosts.

Where does this leave us?

The nation’s founders chose not to give Congress the power to silence even a madman in the Oval Office, other than to remove him through impeachment. This week taught us that a handful of billionaires in California essentially have that power. Trump’s near-total disappearance from the digital world since his ban serves as a stark reminder of this.

The near-unanimous support from the new Democratic majority for this ban means Silicon Valley is now emboldened to eliminate any voice, no matter how powerful. It creates a dangerous normalization of the silencing of dissent.

The willingness of Uber, Lyft and Airbnb to ban some users for political speech shows that as technology companies’ tentacles reach into other industries, a new era of permanent societal exclusion, much like China’s “social credit” program, is emerging.

To some, the newfound emphasis on combating “misinformation,” with private companies as curators of permissible speech and definers of “truth,” might seem like a positive development. After all, threats of violence, racism, sexism, doxing, sedition, harmful medical advice and the like are damaging to society. Yet billionaires that can silence presidents, a Congress that can silence dissent and private companies deciding what is “best” for the nation and what constitutes “truth” pose an existential threat to democracy. In the end, the very future of our shared society hinges on the ability of Silicon Valley to balance thoughtful moderation with freedom of speech. Perhaps the answer is for the tech companies to become democracies themselves and let society decide what is best.

RealClear Media Fellow Kalev Leetaru is a senior fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security. His past roles include fellow in residence at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

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Dems laying groundwork for 'survival checks' to run forever

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Policy.]

By Matt Weidinger

Real Clear Policy

Even while $600 stimulus checks are being deposited in tens of millions of bank accounts, congressional Democrats are laying the groundwork for even greater stimulus payments, which some call “survival checks.” As Senate democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently said, “One of the first things that I want to do when our new senators are seated is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families.” With Democrats preparing to take power in Washington, a critical question will be whether such survival checks will be one-time payments or recur each month “for the duration of the pandemic,” as Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and others have suggested. But supporters of recurring payments ignore the fact that, once started, it might be politically impossible to turn off such massive new benefits, requiring huge federal tax hikes to cover their enormous ongoing cost.

Recurring monthly $2,000 checks would mirror the payments proposed in the “Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act” that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced in the Senate in May 2020. While not truly “universal” in that its payments would phase out for high-income households, Harris’s survival checks would significantly exceed other recently proposed universal basic income-like payments. For example, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang touted monthly $1,000 per adult “freedom dividends,” while Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in March proposed $2,000 monthly payments “to every household in America” for “the duration of the crisis.” Harris upped the ante to $2,000 per month per adult, plus $2,000 per up to three children. That means a household of five (mom, dad and three children) would receive an astonishing $10,000 per month in federal payments.

Those checks would flow regardless of whether adults are working; in fact, most of Harris’s payments would be made to households headed by workers. When one-time $2,000 checks were passed by the House in December, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described them as “socialism for the rich.” In truth, Harris’s payments amount to socialism for everyone except the very rich, with payments phased out only for single adults earning more than $120,000 and a married family of five earning above $300,000, closely matching the phaseouts of the House legislation.

Harris’s payments would continue until three months after the “health emergency” ends. There’s no telling when that would be, but even if payments lasted only six months, a family of five would receive a stunning $60,000 in federal payments. Starting such massive payments to most households would create enormous political pressure for simply extending the health emergency, or continuing payments beyond its end. Once started, payments might be politically impossible to shut down, especially for the incoming Democrat-led administration and Congress. The price tag would be ruinous — recent legislation suggests recurring $2,000 checks would cost over $600 billion every month, requiring federal taxes to triple to cover the annual expense.

The “survival check” moniker also suggests such payments are all that stand between Americans and destitution. That’s hard to square with current economic conditions, including the December unemployment rate of 6.7 percent — less than half the 14.4 percent rate in April and well below expert projections. It also completely ignores the extraordinary assistance that continues to be provided to tens of millions of Americans in need. That includes the latest $600 stimulus payments for most Americans, $300 per week additions to millions of unemployment benefit payments, expanded food stamp benefits, increased rental assistance, additional child care funding, and much more.

Unsurprisingly, survival checks come with heavy political implications, starting with the fact that “President-elect Joe Biden pledged that $2,000 checks would be a priority for his administration if Georgia delivered a victory to two Democrats running for Senate in a runoff election.” It’s one thing to satisfy a past campaign promise, but supporters of recurring payments aren’t stopping there. As the liberal Economic Security Project, a cheerleader for universal basic income schemes, bluntly noted, making survival checks recurring could unlock future “political dividends”: “(N)o voter will forget receiving a relief payment in the first few months of a new administration, especially if it continues monthly or quarterly and helps them meet their basic needs. That will pay crucial political dividends in the midterm elections and in the 2024 presidential race.” That naturally ignores the massive tax hike pain needed to keep such payments from further exploding federal deficits, which promises to be memorable as well.

Matt Weidinger is the Rowe Fellow in poverty studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Policy.]

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The senator and the sequel to 'Hot Tub Time Machine'

(Pixabay)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Markets.]

By A.J. Rice
Real Clear Markets

Hot Tub Time Machine is about to get another sequel. But instead of super talented funny men like Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson, the third installment of the franchise will star politicians like Mitt Romney, Larry Hogan, John Kasich and Ben Sasse.

The plot is to return the conservative movement to a super polite group of stiff losers who wait their turn to speak while inspiring no one. Colin Powell approves.

As President Donald Trump fights for America, the beloved cherub-like Sen. Ben Sasse, alleged Republican of Nebraska, fights for the media and the Democrats.

This is not a new problem. Sasse stood up as the Senate’s NeverTrumper all the way back in 2016. When Trump was fighting Hillary Clinton, Sasse was fighting Trump. When Trump was fighting the Obama administration’s Russia hoax, Sasse was fighting Trump. When Trump has fought socialism, Marxism, wokism, antifa, defund the police, and the entire Big Tech/media industrial complex, across four grueling years, guess where Ben Sasse was when he wasn’t in the hot-tub with Jeff Flake?

Teach your children to never grow up and be Ben Sasse.

Sen. Ben Sasse

Not one time during Trump’s successful term in the White House, did Ben Sasse put his own ego aside and step up for the conservative, American principles he claims he supports.

Donald Trump delivered the most conservative presidency since Ronald Wilson Reagan. Trump out-performed both Bushes by miles. His conservative accomplishments for America include:

  • The strongest job market, for all demographics, in decades
  • Tax cuts that strengthened the lower and middle classed and unleashed American business

  • Bringing jobs that the Bushies’ NAFTA sent to China and Mexico back to America

  • Historic peace deals between Israel and several of its Arab neighbors

  • Curbed illegal immigration through the wall and enforcement

  • American energy independence and dominance for the first time in decades

Where was Ben Sasse when Donald Trump was racking up win after win for Americans? Where was Ben Sasse when Donald Trump was donating his salary while making sure more and more Americans could find jobs and put food on their tables?

Sasse was sniping at Trump. Sasse compared Trump to the odious David Duke and even Hillary Clinton. Sasse became the media’s favorite Republican, like John McCain before him, by taking pot-shots at a more successful Republican.

In 2017, just four months after inauguration, Sasse was already sitting down for cozy interviews with the media and plotting against Trump. Trump was already fighting for his political life. He had been since before taking office. Sasse was preparing to frag him.

Trump battled back against the media as it launched wave after wave of attack against him on the Russia hoax. Trump could have used some Senate support. He could have benefited if a conservative from the heartland had his back. He got none of that from Sasse. Instead, Sasse accused Trump of “weaponizing distrust in the media.” When Trump was fighting against the media as the enemy of the people, Sasse was making sure the media knew whose side he was on.

Trump had every right to call out the media for its campaign of lies against him. The media is dishonest. It’s untrustworthy. It is the hider of truth and the enemy of the people. Led by the New York Times, the media attacked the foundations of America itself through the 1619 Project and cancel culture. Most Americans rightly despise the media. But Sasse weaponized the media against Trump.

Trump used Twitter before his banishment to fight back, get around the lying media, and talk directly to the American people. What did Sasse do? He clapped back — at Trump.

When the media created the lie that Trump had not denounced white supremacists, which he clearly did immediately after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Sasse shamelessly helped push that lie forward.

As Trump built his astonishing success record, Sasse continued to attack him. In 2018, Trump’s second year, Sasse went to the media to tell the world that he was not on board the Trump train. The truth is, Sasse never even gave Trump or his ideas a chance.

February, 2019: Trump is still battling the media, still racking up conservative wins for America, and getting ready to face the Democrats for reelection. Where was Sasse? Head-faking that he just might run against Trump in the GOP presidential primary. That earned Sasse more fawning media coverage and helped the Democrats. It didn’t help Trump fight for America.

But fast forward to September 2019. Sasse is up for reelection to the Senate. Trump is successful and leading a conservative juggernaut in American policy. Trump has the approval of about 90% of Republicans. Sasse the NeverTrumper decides he needs a helping hand from the president he has spent years trashing.

Trump graciously endorses Sasse, and Sasse wins reelection to the Senate.

How does the allegedly conservative Republican senator repay Trump’s generosity?

By undermining Trump as he fights for the integrity of the presidential election, the foundation on which the legitimacy of our republic rests. Across 2020 before and after the election, Sasse has come at Trump over challenging the election, presidential pardons, even Trump’s quick walk to a historic church showing order had been restored after antifa rioters nearly destroyed it, and Washington DC’s inept mayor did nothing to stop them.

Sasse isn’t done kicking Trump. After protesters including some Trump supporters and antifa apologists broke into the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Sasse set a land speed record for getting to his keyboard to blame Trump. The fact that there were election irregulariries that rated attention, and that Democrats including Joe Biden had not opposed months of violent rioting and attacks on symbols of America across the nation, doesn’t seem to have ever entered Sasse’s mind.

Sasse is a waste of a Senate seat for the Republican party. In a nation seeking authenticity, Sasse is a steaming fraud. He uses the labels of “Republican” and “conservative” to undermine the republic and hand power to the opposition. He’s a menace to the party and to the principles he claims to cherish.

Does Sasse see a President when he looks at his reflection in the hot tub? Most likely. But the GOP has changed under Trump and no one is time traveling back to the days of losing honorably like John McCain did in 2008.

Ben Sasse, alleged conservative, has delivered no help to the most conservative president in decades. Parents, teach your kids not to be the fair-weather “friend” that Ben Sasse has been to Donald Trump. Teach them to be better than that.

 

A.J. Rice is CEO of Publius PR, a premier communications firm in Washington D.C. Rice is a brand manager, star-whisperer and auteur media influencer, who has produced or promoted Laura Ingraham, Donald Trump Jr., Judge Jeanine Pirro, Monica Crowley, Charles Krauthammer, Alan Dershowitz, Roger L. Simon, Steve Hilton, Victor Davis Hanson, and many others. Find out more at publiuspr.com

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Markets.]

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How the GOP can further 'empower the minorities in their ranks'

Rush Limbaugh’s longtime producer, Bo Snerdley, whose real name is James Golden (Twitter profile photo)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

By Autry Pruitt
Real Clear Politics

Almost two years ago, Rush Limbaugh call screener James Golden (also known as “Bo Snerdley”) and I met with a major Republican donor who claimed to be interested in supporting our organization, New Journey PAC. He expressed interest in one of our warnings — that Georgia would turn blue in 2020. More importantly, the donor wanted to know how to prevent this catastrophe.

James and I made the case that keeping Georgia red came down to courting Black voters well ahead of the election, with a significant concentration in the DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties. We also had an ambitious five-year plan, which he did not disagree with. But, unexpectedly, he couldn’t have cared less about pitching in. In his words: “Gentlemen, your cause is great, but you need to find someone who cares about this Black s**t.”

Well, do we care about “this Black s**t” now?

Fast-forward to 2021, and that sort of attitude — all too prevalent among establishment types — has cost the Republican Party its beloved Senate majority. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock edged out Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, granting Democrats full control of Washington, D.C.

The Democratic Party’s success came down to one block of voters: African Americans. The Georgia election was not about President Trump. Nor was it about unprecedented campaign fundraising. The election was a referendum on the Republican Party as it now exists in a post-Trump era. This was a disaster of epic proportions.

The prevailing notion among Black Americans (and most minority groups) is that Republicans don’t care about them. Think about it: No majority of any minority population votes Republican. Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Native Americans, and Indians all support Democrats by large margins.

While conservative pundits mocked Stacey Abrams, she developed a master plan and raised the money to execute it. Long before Republicans cared about the January runoffs, Abrams realized that Democrats could flip Georgia by maximizing Black turnout. Her quest was 10 years in the making. She figured out that Democrats could win the demographic battle. Republican leadership did not, until it was too late. Truthfully, I am still not sure that Republicans get it.

Nearly one-third of all Georgia residents are Black, and they turned out in droves for Ossoff and Warnock. Faced with Republican apathy toward them, why wouldn’t they turn out for an African American pastor like Warnock? In the Black community, you don’t become a respected reverend overnight. It requires years of training and proper vetting, not unlike a political candidate. In a “woke” America, Republicans underestimated the power of the Black church. By resorting to personal attacks on the shepherd of the flock, instead of criticizing Warnock’s core values, Republicans only reinforced the African American community’s support for him.

Many Black voters in cities like Atlanta have never knowingly interacted with a Republican, so it wasn’t difficult to vote against one. That’s what Republicans cannot fully grasp. Black voters don’t trust them because they don’t know them personally, and that’s precisely the problem. Yes, conservative organizers mobilized on the ground, but it was not enough and way too late. Conservatives did not make inroads in Black communities because they didn’t even go to those communities.

Early in the Trump administration, I had multiple meetings with Republican leaders. I urged them to go into Black communities two years early. All I received was a courtesy nod at these perfunctory meetings, presumably so Republican leadership could claim to have engaged with “Black voices.”

Looking ahead, we better pray that the Abrams playbook isn’t replicated elsewhere. In Mississippi, 37.8% of residents are Black — a higher percentage than in Georgia. What’s to stop Abrams from making her way over there and flipping that state blue?

That also opens up Louisiana, with a Democratic governor and a 33% Black population, along with Alabama and the Carolinas. The current Republican strategy is simply not sustainable. The sooner we realize it, the sooner we can start winning again.

So what can be done? Republicans need to empower the minorities in their ranks, including Black voices. Future candidates must be representative of today’s America.

But, even beyond future candidates, the conservative movement needs to realize that there are plenty of minority voices out there, and they must be featured at all levels. They need to be mainstreamed so people realize that Republicans don’t have to be white. Do the faces across conservative media look like us? Did they grow up where we did? Do they attend our churches? Do they go to our schools?

Stop playing the victim card. Stop bringing up a “rigged election.” We lost in Georgia, and that will remain a trend unless we face the facts.

Let’s start by caring about “this Black s**t” — before it’s too late.

Autry Pruitt is the CEO of New Journey, a political action committee dedicated to the realignment of the African American vote.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

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Huckabee: If we're going to impeach Trump, we better impeach Kamala Harris for bailing out BLM rioters

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says that if all politicians who are ever linked to rioting are to be removed from office, it might be time to start with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

In a Saturday interview with the Fox Business Network, Huckabee said that President Donald Trump’s comments on Jan. 6 prior to the Capitol incursion might not have been well-chosen, but he said Trump is not alone.

“Politicians say reckless things all the time,” Huckabee said, according to The Daily Caller.

“If we’re going to impeach Donald Trump for what he said, then we’d better impeach Kamala Harris for saying the things she did last summer about the rioters and looters — and even establishing a monetary fund to get them out of jail on bail so they could get back to the riots,” Huckabee said, The Daily Caller reported.

“Everybody should have a turn.”

Over the summer, Harris supported raising money for a group called the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which bailed out those behind bars in during the summer’s rioting. Staffers for then-candidate Joe Biden also contributed.

“If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota,” Harris wrote in a on June 1 Twitter post.

That comment drew national criticism.

A follow-up report by Fox News noted that the fund for which Harris was seeking donations bailed out individuals accused of murder and child abuse, as well as other crimes.

Huckabee has taken to social media to fight back against some of Trump’s critics.

Huckabee said that Trump’s actions at the time of the Electoral College certification vote and the Capitol incursion did not “serve the country’s interest very well.”

He said he disagreed with Trump’s high-pressure urging of Vice President Mike Pence to reject the results from states where Trump claimed election fraud took place.

“I think Mike Pence was right and the president was totally off the mark when it comes to what Pence could do. But that’s not an impeachable offense,” Huckabee said.

Huckabee said “the biggest consequence” of the Democrats’ second impeachment of Trump is that it clouds “four years of amazing accomplishments as president.”

The House last week voted to pass an article of impeachment against Trump. It’s unclear when a trial could take place in the Senate.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has already proposed impeaching President-elect Joe Biden over his activities in support of the dealings of his son, Hunter.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Liz Cheney puts her leadership role in 'peril'

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

By Philip Webmann
Real Clear Politics

Among the 232 votes in the House of Representatives to impeach Donald Trump a second time were 10 cast by Republicans — and now the GOP has a messy church fight on its hands. That’s  because one of the 10 breaking ranks was Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who chairs the GOP conference. The immediate question for House Republicans is whether Cheney should remain in that post after voting to impeach Trump. But this is a proxy fight. The broader question is whether Trump populism ought to remain Republican Party orthodoxy.

Each side is circulating petitions either supporting or opposing Cheney, though the conflict doesn’t cut the conference in half. At least not neatly. It was members of the House Freedom Caucus that began Wednesday morning by trying to force a debate about forcing her from leadership.

“She did this for her own personal political gain,” said Rep. Matt Rosendale. It was not a matter of conscience, the Montana freshman insisted. He told RealClearPolitics it was instead a betrayal meant “to elevate herself as one of the new leaders in the Republican Party,” before pausing to add, “the ‘New Republican party,’ if you will.” Who are these upstarts? According to Rosendale, they include those eager to put “the legacy of Trump behind them.” He paused again, this time to clarify: “When I say legacy, I don’t mean the legacy of the last 60 days that has been completely tainted and distorted.”

Trump’s record before last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol — the memory of Trump that Rosendale and others want preserved, anyway — is one of lower taxes and trade wars over manufacturing jobs, and anti-interventionism on the world stage. And though the president’s approval rating has plummeted since the mob action, he hasn’t fallen from grace with a certain segment of the party faithful. “Remember that as bad as this week was, and it was very, very bad,” said a veteran Republican aide with knowledge of all those involved, “Trump is still overwhelmingly popular in most of these guys’ districts and more popular than many of the [House representatives] themselves.

“Most members aren’t exactly going to be jumping at the chance to throw their names behind someone who impeached the top-polling politician in their district,” the aide predicted.

Rep. Andy Biggs, a Trump ally and the current HFC chairman, was calling for Cheney’s ouster before the impeachment vote on Wednesday. “The reality is she’s not representing the conference,” he said in a Fox News interview. “She’s not representing the Republican ideals.” She was “out there advocating for others to join her in impeachment,” he said. “That’s wrong, and I think she should resign.”

But Cheney, who was reelected to her post unanimously just three months ago, didn’t sound cowed. “This is a vote of conscience,” she told Politico. “It’s one where there are different views in our conference. But our nation is facing an unprecedented, since the Civil War, constitutional crisis.”

Cheney’s critics are concerned that she didn’t merely cast a vote of conscience. The day before the impeachment vote, she issued a blistering statement critical of the president, which many Democrats, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, used against Trump in Wednesday’s floor debate. “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” the statement said. “Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

It would take just 20% of the conference, just 42 members, to force a referendum on Cheney’s status. Then, a majority would have to vote against the chair for her to be deposed. Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who floor-managed the opposition to impeachment Wednesday, has signaled that he favors such a vote.

Jordan knows these kinds of fights. In 2016, he joined with North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows in a successful attempt to force John Boehner from the speakership and then gave his successor, Paul Ryan, fits over Obama-era budget battles. It was Trump who helped elevate the rebels from discontented budget hawks to national prominence. They backed him when others balked at the rise of the real estate tycoon with questionable conservative ideals. It worked. Their gamble earned them an ally in the White House where Meadows has served as chief of staff since late March.

Some now find the group unrecognizable compared to those conservative purists who once held Republican feet to the fire over the finer points of federal appropriations. “I have no idea what happened to the Freedom Caucus,” said former Rep. Mark Sanford, who fought alongside Jordan and Meadows to lower spending, a posture Republicans quickly abandoned once in power. “Maybe it was just a fraud from the very beginning.” An early member of the caucus, the South Carolina Republican said that a partisan kind of centrifugal force had spun conservatives away from principle, toward a cult of personality, and “out into the far yonder.”

The squabble over Liz Cheney remains an undercard fight to the larger impeachment conflict. After all, only nine of her Republican colleagues joined her in voting to remove the president from office, and those on both sides of the issue realize it will take time for the GOP to figure out its post-Trump identity. For now, members are left sniping back and forth on Twitter over party power struggles that probably don’t register with average voters.

“Liz has more support now than she did two days ago. She has gained immeasurable respect,” tweeted Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who also voted to impeach.  A former Air Force combat pilot who still serves in the National Guard, Kinzinger then took a pot shot at Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee: “We may have to also have a discussion about who in our party fomented this, and their roles as ranking members.”

Others, such as Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, tried to play peacemaker. Although he did not vote for impeachment, Crenshaw, another military veteran, tweeted his support for Cheney, saying she “has a hell of a lot more backbone than most, [and] is a principled leader with a fierce intellect.”

“We can disagree without tearing each other apart,” he added.

It wasn’t clear if the House Freedom Caucus was unified or had the votes to force a referendum. A spokesman told RCP early Wednesday that “all of our members are on board with removing Cheney” before clarifying that “no official position has been taken with HFC on Cheney as of now — just our chairman and a new freshman HFC member leading the charge.”

But there is dissatisfaction among those ranks with GOP brass. “I think that when Kevin and Steve supported an unconstitutional challenge to the election,” Rep. Ken Buck told reporters in a reference to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, “and when [Liz Cheney] is supporting a constitutionally flawed impeachment, we have leadership issues.”

A spokeswoman for the Colorado Republican later told RCP that despite that dissatisfaction Buck “does not support the Freedom Caucus letter going around calling for Liz Cheney to step down.”

Nor does it sound as though Cheney is inclined to go without a fight. “I’m not going anywhere,” she vowed.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

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Biden called on to defend ally from China's 'authoritarian' policies

Army Sgt. Abraham Boxx travels in a UH-60 Black Hawk during a medical evacuation drill at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, Jan. 2, 2021. Boxx moved to the U.S. from Australia to become certified as a flight paramedic in 2016 and later joined the Washington Army National Guard. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear World.]

By Clyde Prestowitz
Real Clear World

President-elect Joe Biden says he wants to face the China challenge squarely and alongside our allies. Beijing has offered Biden a golden opportunity to act immediately on his stated desire, as China is now illegally boycotting imports of Australian wine, coal, and other products.

Biden should swiftly launch consultations with major U.S. allies to establish an international consortium for buying and redistributing the wine and other products Beijing is boycotting.

In this way, the new U.S. president could quickly demonstrate that the ‘free world’ is not just a nice term. It is a force to be reckoned with and can counter Beijing’s authoritarian, mercantilist policies.

What’s at stake here is not merely wine and coal, or even free trade. It’s free speech, rule of law, and liberty from oppression. The conflict between Canberra and Beijing has been brewing for a long time. It began in February 2005, when China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zhou Wenzhong, arrived in Canberra to communicate a new strategy to senior officials of the Chinese embassy there. The two -part strategy was first to establish Australia as a reliable supply base for China’s continued economic growth, and then to drive a wedge into the Australian-U.S. alliance. Those present were given the assignment of figuring out how China could attain comprehensive influence over Australia economically, politically, and culturally.

We know this to be true because Chen Yonglin, first secretary for political affairs at the Chinese consulate in Sydney, was at the meeting. In June 2005, he walked out of the consulate and requested political asylum in Australia. He explained to stunned Australian officials at the time that “essentially, in accordance with their fixed strategic plans, the Communist Party of China had begun a structured effort to infiltrate Australia in a systemic way.”

In the ensuing years, Chinese companies came to control a large portion of Australia’s major pipelines and a large segment of its telecommunications infrastructure. Chinese firms also manage most of Australia’s big ports. Chinese billionaires began migrating to Australia

and making large political donations, as well as large donations to universities. All of the formerly independent Chinese language newspapers published by Australia’s Chinese community came to be owned from mainland China and to publish news that follows the Beijing line. China became the largest market for exports of Australia’s iron ore, coal, and other important minerals. It also came to supply a large number of students to study at Australian universities, and millions of tourists to sit on Australian beaches.

When I met with the head of a major Australian bank in the summer of 2018, he told me that while Australia and the United States had been allies in World War Two and later conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, America should not look for Australian soldiers if there were to be a dustup over Taiwan. Why not? Because, he said, Australia’s economy is so dependent on China.

In the past three years, political donation scandals and revelations of espionage and pressure tactics have led to a shift in Australian policies and attitudes toward China. Political donation rules have been toughened, as have rules on strategic investments. Australia’s leaders have also come forward to condemn China’s human rights violations, its militarization of the South China Sea, and most recently its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Specifically, Australia has called for an open, international investigation of the origins of the Covid-19 virus.

That has not gone down well in Beijing. In May, Australian barley exports to China were suddenly hit with anti-dumping tariffs. Then, Chinese imports of Australian beef were suddenly halted due to unexplained “health” concerns. In early November, Australian lobsters died while waiting for customs clearance in Shanghai. Timber imports were also halted due to “concerns about pests.” Chinese state media reported that imports of copper and sugar from Australia might also be cut.

This, mind you, from a country that had just celebrated leading the successful negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade agreement.

Australia responded by requesting talks to settle the issues. China answered in mid-November by presenting Australia with a list of fourteen grievances that it asked Australia to reflect upon and repair before there could be any resolution of the trade problem. Beijing went further still, saying that Australia was acting as if China is the enemy, and that if China is treated as an enemy it will indeed become an enemy.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded by saying that “Australian democracy and sovereignty are not up for trade.” China has responded by announcing reduction of imports of Australian wine.

Here is a chance for Biden to enlist the free world in a cooperative project to underpin Australia, send a message to Beijing, and, oh, by the way, get a drink of some very good wine.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear World.]

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Harvard students seek to revoke Trump graduates' diplomas after Capitol violence

(FOX NEWS) — They’re at it again.

Following last year’s efforts to ban Trump Administration officials from speaking on campus, Harvard University students are now circulating a petition that calls for revoking degrees from Trump supporters and aides who attended the elite Ivy League institution, FOX Business has learned.

The reason cited, according to a copy of the petition reviewed by FOX Business, is that supporters of President Trump were involved in spreading the “disinformation and mistrust” that led to last week’s deadly riot at the United States Capitol Building.

Read the full story ›

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Surprise! Americans identify 'biggest threat' to democracy

Children recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020 (RNC video screenshot)

By Andrew Trunsky
Daily Caller News Foundation

A majority of Americans see their fellow citizens as the “biggest threat to America’s way of life,” according to a CBS News poll released Sunday.

Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said that “other people in America” posed the largest threat to the nation, beating out “economic forces,” “natural world, disasters and viruses” and “foreign threats.”

Fifty-one percent of Americans surveyed also said that political violence would increase in the next few years, while only 18% said that it would decrease. The survey followed the violent riot on Jan. 6, where a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building, resulting in the deaths of five, including a Capitol Police officer.

Seventy-one percent of Americans said that U.S. democracy today is “threatened,” while only 29% said that it was “secure.”

The poll also indicated that Americans were cautiously optimistic about President-elect Joe Biden taking office. Fifty-one percent said that the coronavirus would get better once he took office, compared to 22% who said that it would get worse, and 48% said that the world would have greater respect for the United States compared to 34% who said the opposite.

The poll also showed that the pandemic is still most Americans’ top concern, with 47% saying that Biden’s top priority should be the coronavirus. Twenty-one percent said that Biden’s top priority should be the economy, and 10% said that it should be “political divisions.”

Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed also said that vaccine distribution in their respective states was moving too slowly, compared to just 9% who said that it was moving too quickly.

Forty-two percent said that Biden’s biggest challenge once taking office would be to overcome the political divisions in the country, a figure that was reflected later in the poll. Only 5% of Trump voters said that they held a favorable view of Biden voters, while only 4% of Biden voters said the same for Trump voters.

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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'Impeach Barack Obama': Lindsey Graham suggests liberals' worst nightmare

Joined by 10 Republicans, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted last week to impeach President Trump for a second time, a mere week before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The Senate trial for this politically motivated parting gift is slated to begin after Trump has left the White House. Wherever one stands on the role of Trump’s speech in inciting the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, the appropriateness of a post-presidency impeachment needs to be examined.

Aside from the fact that new evidence suggests the riot was pre-planned and according to a NPR report (and many others), that the former chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, Steven Sund, said “security officials at the House and Senate rebuffed his early requests to call in the National Guard,” the Democrats have triggered an action that sets a dangerous precedent for both past and future U.S presidents.

On Wednesday night, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is opposed to the impeachment of a former president, appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity.” He said if the Senate chooses to go forward with the Democrats’ foolish gambit, it could lead to future impeachments of former presidents. Graham asked, “Should we impeach Barack Obama because, for 24 hours, he never lifted a finger to help those people under siege in Benghazi? Where does this stop?”

In the terms of the old TV show, it’s the $64,000 question, the question that trumps all others: Is there ever an end to a former president’s culpability of actions taken during his time in office?

The failure in September 2012 of then-President Obama himself, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials to first prevent Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia’s attack on the American diplomatic post in Benghazi, and once it began, to provide assistance to Americans defending the facilities, are well-known and documented.

House Republicans completed a long and formal investigation and issued an exhaustive report in 2016 that detailed the attack that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including a United States ambassador.

In January 2017, Republicans controlled the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Anxious to get to work to “Make America Great Again,” the impeachment of the former president for his abdication of duty during the Benghazi assault was not part of their agenda.

Here’s what Graham told Sean Hannity: “We’ll play this out. We impeach the president today without any evidence. It’s just sheer hatred. If this becomes the norm, be careful what you wish for today. Under this theory, the radical left — if you can impeach a president after they’re out of office, why don’t we impeach George Washington? He owned slaves. Where does this stop? So, to my Republican colleagues, let’s stand firm for the idea — whether you like Donald Trump or not, he’s not above the law.”

“If he did something wrong, you know, you can face the consequences of the law. Impeachment is political. What we’re doing here is we’re impeaching the president without any evidence, without any witnesses and we’re going to have a trial after they are out of office. How do you survive as a president in the future? This will be an attack on the presidency in perpetuity.”Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

Our country is currently in crisis. First, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 Americans as of Sunday, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronvirus Resource Center. According to New York Times data, there have been about 23.8 million cases of the virus nationwide. This pandemic has devastated our economy and added trillions to the national debt.

Second, the U.S. must deal with a rising China whose ambition to dominate the planet is a clear and present danger.

Next, the majority of those who voted for Donald Trump believes that the Democrats stole the election through widespread fraud in six battleground states. The political divide in the U.S. is reaching pre-Civil War proportions.

Additionally, the mainstream media long ago lost any pretense of objectivity in reporting the news. It outlets, along with Big Tech, were instrumental in suppressing negative information about Biden and his family, and amplifying stories that were unfavorable to Trump.

The Democrats would rather make a spurious impeachment trial of a former president a major order of business instead of buckling down to address the multiple enormous crises we currently face. It really shows us who they are.

Graham is entirely correct when he said that “if this becomes the norm, be careful what you wish for today.”

Already, the newly minted Republican congresswoman from Georgia, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, has vowed to introduce articles of impeachment against Biden one day after he takes office. She argues Biden was abusing his power as vice president when, in 2015, he gave an ultimatum to then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor general who was investigating Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings, which employed Biden’s son Hunter as a board member, or Ukraine would not receive $1 billion in U.S. aid

Taylor Greene is correct that Biden’s threat, which he boasted about at a 2018 Council on Foreign Relations event, represented a quid pro quo, but do we really want to go down this road?

Do we intend to diminish the gravity of impeachment to such a point where it is used casually and frequently by one party against the other for political gain?

No serious deliberation took place in the House on Wednesday. Democrats delivered reckless and hyperbolic remarks on the House floor without providing any evidence that Trump instigated a riot.

Canadian commentator Conrad Black, as he always does, eloquently explained the Democrats’ folly in pursuing this baseless impeachment in a piece published Saturday.

“The article of impeachment that was passed this week is one third press clippings and contains no plausible legal charge,” he wrote. “Trump is accused of inciting an insurrection, which is a violent uprising against the government; this was what President Lincoln declared when 11 southern states seceded in 1861, starting a Civil War in which 750,000 Americans died.”

Democrats “ignored the months of ‘peaceful protests’ across the country all summer that killed scores of people, injured 700 police, and did $2 billion of damage to mainly minority-owned businesses,” Black continued.

“And now, in the most fatuous exercise in American political history, the House Democrats have launched an impeachment of the president with no argument, no evidence, no witnesses, no due process of any kind, for a proposed trial to remove the president from office well after he will have departed that office at the expiry of his constitutionally fixed term and to do so for conduct that did not occur. This will be a total fiasco and Trump’s enemies in their frenzy are endangering the claim of the United States to be a democracy governed by the rule of law.”

Laughably, the theme for Biden’s forthcoming inauguration is “unity.” If the Democrats truly seek unity, Biden should lean on congressional leadership to end this frivolous action immediately.

Because it doesn’t appear he is doing so, Graham is right to ask, “Where does it stop?” Where indeed.

That’s the $64,000 question — and one Democrats and the mainstream media are unable to answer.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Lockdowns cause 10 times more harm than good, says peer-reviewed study

 

A Canadian infectious-disease specialist who initially supported the lockdowns in response to the coronavirus has changed his mind, concluding in his peer-reviewed study that the harm is 10 times worse than the benefits.

In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Dr. Ari Joffe explained that he supported the lockdowns after “initial false data” suggested the infection fatality rate was up to 2% or 3% and that more than 80% of the population would be infected.

Dr. Ari Joffe (Image: Canadian Critical Care Trials Group)

“But emerging data showed that the median infection fatality rate is 0.23%, that the median infection fatality rate in people under 70 years old is 0.05%, and that the high-risk group is older people especially those with severe co-morbidities,” he said in the interview, published Jan. 9.

Joffe’s paper is titled “COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink.” He’s a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, and a clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at University of Alberta.

Explaining further to the Toronto paper why he initially supported the lockdowns, Joffe noted he’s not trained to make public policy decisions.

“I was only considering the direct effects of COVID-19 and my knowledge of how to prevent these direct effects,” he said. “I was not considering the immense effects of the response to COVID-19 (that is, lockdowns) on public health and wellbeing.”

He listed the “staggering” amount of “collateral damage” due to the lockdowns.

  • Food insecurity [82-132 million more people]
  • Severe poverty [70 million more people]
  • Maternal and under age-5 mortality from interrupted healthcare [1.7 million more people]
  • Infectious diseases deaths from interrupted services [millions of people with tuberculosis, malaria and HIV]
  • School closures for children [affecting children’s future earning potential and lifespan]
  • Interrupted vaccination campaigns for millions of children, and “intimate partner violence” for millions of women.

“In high-income countries, adverse effects also occur from delayed and interrupted healthcare, unemployment, loneliness, deteriorating mental health, increased opioid crisis deaths, and more,” he told the Toronto newspaper.

False dichotomy

He pointed out that government and public health experts did not conduct a formal cost-benefit analysis of various responses to the pandemic.

A full cost-benefit analysis was the aim of his study, and early in his research he realized that “framing decisions as between saving lives versus saving the economy is a false dichotomy.”

“There is a strong long-run relationship between economic recession and public health,” he explained. “This makes sense, as government spending on things like health care, education, roads, sanitation, housing, nutrition, vaccines, safety, social security nets, clean energy and other services determines the population well-being and life-expectancy.”

He said he also had underestimated the effects of loneliness and unemployment on public health.

“It turns out that loneliness and unemployment are known to be among the strongest risk factors for early mortality, reduced lifespan and chronic diseases,” he told the Toronto paper.

He also took into consideration that “in making policy decisions there are trade-offs to consider, costs and benefits, and we have to choose between options that each have tragic outcomes in order to advocate for the least people to die as possible.”

“It turned out that the costs of lockdowns are at least 10 times higher than the benefits. That is, lockdowns cause far more harm to population wellbeing than COVID-19 can,” he told the Sun.

In contrast to Joffe, a top coronavirus adviser for Joe Biden was against lockdowns before he was for them. Michael T. Osterholm, a professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, formerly advocated the “focused protection” strategy now promoted by epidemiologists at Stanford and Oxford advising Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: With a 99% survival rate for most, according to the Centers for Disease Control, let the healthy go about their business while protecting the vulnerable, the people over 70 with multiple life-threatening diseases.

Osterholm warned in a March 21 op-ed for the Washington Post of the high economic and social costs of “the near-draconian lockdowns” in effect at the time in China and Italy, which ultimately don’t reduce the number of cases. In November, however, he advocated a national lockdown of four to six weeks.

The CDC estimates a 99.997% survival rate for those from birth to age 19 who contract COVID-19. It’s 99.98% for ages 20-49, 99.5% for 50-69 and 94.6% for those over 70. Significantly, those who died of coronavirus, according to the CDC, had an average of 2.6 comorbidities, meaning more than two chronic diseases along with COVID-19. Overall, the CDC says, just 6% of the people counted as COVID-19 deaths died of COVID-19 alone.

Focused protection

Joffe said he now supports the “focused protection” approach in which “we aim to protect those truly at high-risk of COVID-19 mortality, including older people, especially those with severe co-morbidities and those in nursing homes and hospitals.”

In the interview with the Toronto Sun, he discussed the “contagion of fear” that guided policymakers, based on the initial false modelling and forecasting.

“Popular media focused on absolute numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths independent of context,” he said. “There has been a sheer one-sided focus on preventing infection numbers.”

Joffe cited economist Paul Frijters writing that it was “all about seeming to reduce risks of infection and deaths from this one particular disease, to the exclusion of all other health risks or other life concerns.”

“Fear and anxiety spread,” Joffe said, “and we elevated COVID-19 above everything else that could possibly matter.”

“Our cognitive biases prevented us from making optimal policy: we ignored hidden ‘statistical deaths’ reported at the population level; we preferred immediate benefits to even larger benefits in the future, we disregarded evidence that disproved our favorite theory, and escalated our commitment in the set course of action,” he said.

Joffe pointed out that in Canada in 2018, there were more than 23,000 deaths per month and more than 775 deaths per day.

On Nov. 21, for example, COVID-19 accounted for 5.23% of deaths in Canada and 3.06% of global deaths.

“Each day in non-pandemic years, over 21,000 people die from tobacco use, 3,600 from pneumonia and diarrhea in children under 5-years-old, and 4,110 from tuberculosis,” he noted. “We need to consider the tragic COVID-19 numbers in context.”

He called for taking an “effortful pause” to “reconsider the information available to us.”

“We need to calibrate our response to the true risk, make rational cost-benefit analyses of the trade-offs, and end the lockdown groupthink,” Joffe said.

Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@wndnewscenter.org.

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'Hardcore leftist' charged with plotting violence at state Capitol may have ties to terror group

A Florida man and reportedly self-described “hardcore leftist” was arrested Friday after he called for violent protests Sunday at the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee.

Daniel Baker of Tallahassee, who prosecutors said was once a member in a group registered by the federal government as a terrorist organization, was seeking to organize an attack on any protesters who might show up at the Florida Capitol on Sunday.

Baker is charged with “transmission in interstate commerce [of] a communication containing a threat to kidnap any person or threat to injure the person of another,” according to a criminal complaint.

Baker had planned to surround  any protestors and use weapons to keep them in the state Capitol building, according to a Department of Justice news release published Friday.

“Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped,” said Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. “The diligent work in this case by the FBI and other public safety organizations has averted a crisis with this arrest, and we will not stop in our efforts to detect, deter, and disrupt anyone else planning to incite or commit violence.”

“In these perilous times, we are steadfastly committed to being as transparent as possible about the work your government does to protect public safety and uphold the rule of law,” Keefe said. “While extremists who plan mayhem may skulk in the shadows, it’s important that we force them into the light and bring them to justice.”

Baker received an other-than-honorable discharge in 2007 after one year in the Army, having gone AWOL before his unit was to deploy to Iraq, according to the criminal complaint. In 2017, he joined the People’s Protection Units to fight against the Islamic State in the Syrian civil war, according to the complaint. The group is part of the Kurdistan’s Working Party, which is designated by the United States government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

The complaint quoted an article describing the scene in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest over the summer in which Baker called himself a “hardcore leftist.”

The complaint stated that Baker “has traveled across the United States to participate in protests that have resulted in violence to include joining the CHOP/CIIAZ movement in Seattle, Washington, and Nashville, Tennessee” during the summer of 2020.

In a video posted on Baker’s YouTube channel on Aug. 1, according to the complaint, he posted images of himself medically treating victims of a shooting in the Seattle protest zone.

The same account contained a video of what’s described as Baker acting as a sniper in Syria.

The complaint stated Baker “has posted and informed his followers on how to debilitate law enforcement officers by filling up balloons with paint and to throw them at law enforcement.

“Baker continues to threaten the use of violence in the United States and has made multiple threats to those who he claims to be white supremacists, fascists, United States persons with different ideologies than his, and allies of the United States. Baker has promoted the killing of United States military officers. In addition, Baker informed his followers on social media to prepare for war,” it stated.

The document traced some of Baker’s violent social media posts, beginning with one from Oct. 2 that read, “This is war. Are you willing to take up arms with us yet? Buy guns and join us this November. We are voting from the rooftops.”

The pace picked up last month.

“Trump still plans on a violent militant coup. If you don’t have guns you won’t (sic) survive 2021,” Baker posted on Dec. 10, according to the complaint.

“It’s time for some of you to wake up and realize trump is going to put up a fight. Some of your neighbors will shoot at you,” he posted two days later.

Two days after that, according to the complaint, Baker posted a picture to Instagram account of the words “Hospitalize your local fascist.”

In a Jan. 12 posting on Facebook according to the complaint, Baker wrote, “Death to amerikka of course, f— the president, current and elect.”  That same day he created an event he called “Defend Tallahassee.”

His arrest showed authorities are serious about controlling political violence, Keefe said in the news release.

“This arrest serves as a message to anyone who intends to incite or commit violence in the Northern District of Florida: If you represent a threat to public safety, we will come for you, we will find you, and we will prosecute you,” he said.

“Daniel Baker’s actions show that he is a dangerous extremist, and the law-abiding public is safer now that he has been arrested. We are, and will remain, on high alert and will take all appropriate actions against credible threats to the people of our District.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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White House lists hundreds of Trump accomplishments

(Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

Amid President Trump’s war with establishment media and its Democratic Party allies over the past four years, many of the president’s achievements have been ignored, downplayed or cast in a negative light.

Now, with Democrats bent on permanently staining his legacy and preventing him from ever running for office again, the White House is taking it upon itself to list his accomplishments.

Paul Teller, a deputy assistant to the president, distributed on Friday an updated list of accomplishments that number in the hundreds.

It will be available on the White House website until Inauguration Day next Wednesday. And it can be read here in a pdf file.

The list recounts the many measures the administration took to help create the conditions for an unprecedented economic boom, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, that produced the lowest recorded unemployment overall and for blacks, hispanics and women.

Along with tax relief and massive deregulation, there were the fair trade deals and measures that led to America becoming energy independent for the first time in nearly 70 years.

Nearly 7 million people were lifted from food stamps, poverty rates for African Americans and hispanics reached record lows, income inequality fell for two straight years, and the bottom 50% of American households saw a 40% increase in net worth.

The creation in impoverished neighborhoods of nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones, which tax capital gains on long-term investments at zero, are poised to lift an estimated 1 million Americans from poverty.

Even amid the pandemic, an October 2020 Gallup survey found 56% of Americans said they were better off than four years ago.

As Trump predicted, the nation experienced a “V-shaped recovery” from the impact of the coronavirus lockdowns. During the third quarter of 2020, the economy grew at a rate of 33.1%, the most rapid GDP growth ever recorded.

For farmers, the administration successfully negotiated more than 50 agreements with countries to increase foreign market access and boost exports, supporting more than 1 million American jobs.

Trump signed into law landmark criminal justice reform, and his administration took strong measures to stem hate crimes, gun violence and human trafficking.

In education, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expanded “school choice,” allowing parents to use up to $10,000 from an education savings account to cover K-12 tuition costs at the public, private or religious school of their choice.

In health care, there was the elimination of the Obamacare individual mandate that became a “financial relief to low and middle-income households that made up nearly 80 percent of the families who paid the penalty for not wanting to purchase health insurance.”

More recently, Trump announced unprecedented reforms that dramatically lowered the price of prescription drugs.

He brought unprecedented attention and support to combat the opioid crisis and took action to seize illegal drugs and punish those preying on Americans.

In the judiciary, Trump nominated and confirmed more than 230 federal judges. He appointed three Supreme Court justices, expanding its conservative-appointed majority to 6-3.

A total of 54 judges were confirmed to the United States Courts of Appeals, making up nearly a third of the entire appellate bench. Trump filled all Court of Appeals vacancies for the first time in four decades. He flipped the Second, Third, and Eleventh Circuits from Democratic-appointed majorities to Republican-appointed majorities and “dramatically reshaped the long-liberal Ninth Circuit.”

On the border, more than 400 miles of “the world’s most robust and advanced border wall” has been built, cutting illegal crossings along those stretches by more than 87%. The practice of “catch and release” was ended, and Trump signed an executive order to strip discretionary federal grant funding from sanctuary cities.

There was the rebuilding of the military and the defeat of ISIS. And the administration reformed the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve care, choice and employee accountability.

The U.S. secured a $400 billion increase in defense spending from NATO allies by 2024, and the number of members meeting their minimum obligations more than doubled.

The U.S. withdrew from the costly and ineffective Paris Climate Accord and the one-sided Iran nuclear deal. After pulling out of the Iran deal, the U.S. imposed crippling sanctions on Iran’s terrorist regime.

After every president since 1994 waived the mandate by Congress, Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The U.S. acknowledged Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and declared that Israeli settlements in the West Bank comply with international law. Trump removed the U.S. from the U.N. Human Rights Council because of its anti-Israel bias.

The Trump administration brokered historic peace agreements between Israel and Arab-Muslim countries, including the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain and Sudan. It also brokered a deal for Kosovo to normalize ties and establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

Trump was the first American president to address an assembly of leaders from more than 50 Muslim nations and reach an agreement to fight terrorism.

The White House also boasts of the public-private partnership, Operation Warp Speed, that led to the development of two vaccines in just nine months, five times faster than any vaccine in American history.

Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@wndnewscenter.org.

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N.Y. Times pushes idea of wearing 2 masks at once to combat COVID

Most of us are old enough to remember back to March 2020, less than a year ago. That was a month in which multiple health officials, including U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, advised against wearing masks to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“It actually does not help, it’s not been proven to be effective in preventing spread of coronavirus amongst the general public,” Adams said of mask-wearing in an interview with Fox News.

Since then, health officials have seemingly changed or updated their recommendations countless times. We’ve heard so many conflicting reports of which face coverings work and which ones don’t.

However, a new suggestion from The New York Times may just be the craziest one that we’ve heard yet.

“As cases of the coronavirus continue to surge on a global scale, some of the nation’s most prominent people have begun to double up on masks — a move that researchers say is increasingly being backed up by data,” Katherine J. Wu of The Times wrote.

That’s right, it’s may no longer be sufficient for you to walk around in a mask at all times. Instead, you should consider walking around with two masks on simultaneously (though Wu acknowledged that “Double-masking isn’t necessary for everyone”), according to our establishment media.

Wu claimed there is research that supports wearing two masks, but that data is not found anywhere in the article. She shared data suggesting that masks are somewhat effective in curbing the spread of the virus, but nothing comparing the effectiveness of one mask versus two masks.

Furthermore, while some studies may show mask-wearing to be effective, there is also evidence of the virus spreading rather easily despite mask mandates.

Take the state of California, for example. A Thursday article in the Los Angeles Times said that “one in three Los Angeles County residents have been infected with the coronavirus, according to new estimates by county scientists.”

Those numbers come despite Los Angeles County having some of the strictest mandates in the country.

Health officials and the establishment media alike are realizing that masks cannot stop this pandemic. At best they can slow the spread somewhat; at worst they can have little to no effect.

So are they being honest about these revelations? Hardly. Instead, the media wants us to think that if we just keep wearing more masks, maybe then all of our troubles will disappear.

Meanwhile, the dishonesty of government officials about mask-wearing mirrors their dishonesty about the pandemic in general.

We have effectively gone from “15 days to slow the spread,” to “shut down the country until a vaccine is available,” all the way down to “even with a vaccine, you still have to wear a mask, or maybe even two.”

One of the more laughable parts of The New York Times article comes in the form of a quote from Lindsey Marr, an “expert in virus transmission at Virginia Tech.”

She admitted that there must be a point where “we run the risk of making it too hard to breathe” by wearing too many masks.

Yes, what a good deal that is. You may suffocate under the fabric of endless homemade masks, but at least you will not contract COVID-19. As a student at Virginia Tech, I would like to apologize for that suggestion.

Not to worry though, Wu assured us that we have “plenty of breathing room before mask-wearing approaches that extreme.”

The question many Americans, including myself, now ask is this: Where does it end? At what point do we decide that these restrictions have gotten out of hand?

Being told to consider wearing two masks seems like as good of a point as any to me.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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'Pop culture will take your kids to hell,' warns James Dobson

Dr. James Dobson

The result of Democrats controlling Washington will be “more regulation, less freedom, more taxation, less religious liberty, more socialism, less democracy [and] more funds for abortion,” contends James Dobson.

And, he said in his latest newsletter, there will be “less support for the sanctity of human life, less funding for the military, more illegal immigration, more restrictions on speech, less patriotism, more wasteful spending, less support for families, more regulations on business, more appeasement of China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea, less support for the electoral college, trillions more dollars for climate nonsense, more LGBTQ propaganda, less moral compunction, more governmental corruption, less oversight of elections, more ‘cancel culture,’ fewer police officers, more gun control, and less government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Dobson is the founder of Focus on the Family, the James Dobson Institute and host of the “Family Talk” radio program.

He previously described Joe Biden’s declared support of transgender surgery for children as “lunacy.” And he warned of Biden’s plan to “bring an open season on the unborn child.” And he said, “Biden’s regime will also usher in other forms of moral depravity.”

Dobson, who has advised multiple presidents, written 71 books and broadcasts on more than 1,300 radio station, said the Democrat’s agenda could cost America its “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

He said nation is facing a “momentous and dangerous” time.

The U.S. Supreme Court “lamely punted” away an opportunity to evaluate critical issues concerning the legitimacy of the 2020 election, he said.

The court was the “one institution” that could have sort out the truth, he said.

Dobson noted a new Quinnipiac University poll that found 38% of voters believe there was widespread fraud during the November election. But now, he said, the issue is “unresolved.”

With Democrats winning the two Georgia Senate seats, the upper chamber is now in the hands of Vice President Kamala Harris, Dobson noted.

“As I warned in December, there will be no checks and balances within our system of government. The most radical ideas promoted by President Joe Biden and his majority party will be enacted,” he wrote.

For example, he said Americans should expect approval of the “horrendous” Equality Act.

“You might want to keep track of these items as they occur. This is just the beginning,” he said. “America and Western civilization will never be the same, because it is not possible to back up on a freeway. Once radical changes are implemented, they will become ensconced in law and culture. I am most concerned about what all this means for the next generation. Children are extremely vulnerable to leftist curricula in the public schools.

“Specifically, I am worried about parental rights and the legality of home schooling. It is the only protection for kids,” he said. “Writing now to parents and grandparents in 2021, never in history has it been more important for you to defend your kids and your rights to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Fight for it with your very lives. If you are too intimidated or distracted to give priority to your children, the popular culture will take them to hell.”

He continued: “We conservative Christians are now experiencing one of the most difficult challenges of our lives. Everything we have fought to defend and preserve seems to have been lost. … We conservative Christians have been ridiculed and out-voted at almost every turn. We have won a few battles, but there have been many devastating losses, especially during 2020. Some may be asking, ‘What should we do, Lord?'”

The answer, he said, is to keep battling.

“We must not abandon our conservative politicians who are up against formidable opposition from the Left. Our Bible-believing pastors are facing unrelenting pressure, and it isn’t going to get easier. Godly teachers and professors need to know we have their backs. Many Christians in the military may feel lonely and overwhelmed. Police officers and firefighters need to know we are praying for them. Those of us on the home front must not cut and run. Your children are watching you daily. Don’t disappoint them at this time of crisis. We must stay in the field.”

Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@wndnewscenter.org.

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Josh Hawley's 'family fun day' event canceled after hotel is trolled for hosting 'traitor'

(DAILY MAIL) — Missouri Senator Josh Hawley is facing an escalating financial crisis after his $5,000 a ticket ‘family fun’ fundraiser was canceled by a hotel in Florida.

The fundraiser was canceled after liberal lawyer Daniel Uhlfelder tweeted a photo of the event on Friday branding Hawley a traitor. He also asked Loews Hotels and Universal Orlando why their Portofino Bay Hotel were hosting the February event for the Republican.

Hawley, 41, once considered a rising Republican star, has been branded a ‘traitor’ by multiple Democrat and Republican politicians for his highly publicized ‘fist pump’ to the pro-Trump crowds, who later stormed the Capitol in a violent assault on January 6.

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Lindsey Graham blames Pelosi for Capitol riot

(DAILY MAIL) — Lindsey Graham suggested Sunday Nancy Pelosi is to blame for thousands of pro-Trump protesters breaching the Capitol earlier this month, claiming it is the House Speaker’s job to provide Capitol security.

‘To see people come and take over the Capitol – the House and the Senate – beat officers, defile the seat of government. How in the hell could that happen? Where was Nancy Pelosi? It’s her job to provide Capitol security,’ the South Carolina Republican, and staunch ally of President Donald Trump said during an interview on ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’

He added: ‘We’ll get to the bottom of that.’

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Rand Paul warns GOP senators: Voting to convict Trump would cause mass exodus from party

Senate Republicans who vote to convict President Donald Trump of an impeachment charge even after he leaves office just to twist the knife will be cutting the party’s throat, according to Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

The House voted to impeach Trump last week, claiming that he incited insurrection against Congress with his words and actions on the day of the Capitol incursion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate trial on that charge will not take place until Trump, whose presidency ends Wednesday, leaves office.

McConnell has been quoted as privately saying he would like to see the Senate punish Trump. If the Senate convicts Trump on the House article of impeachment, it could move to bar him from holding elected office.

Speaking on Friday’s “Ingraham Angle” on Fox News, Paul said Republicans need to step back from the brink.

“I don’t often get ask my advice from leadership [about] how they should react. But my unsolicited suggestion would be this: They will destroy the Republican Party if leadership is complicit with an impeachment or if leadership votes for an impeachment, they will destroy the party,” Paul said.

He added that he does not offer this opinion as a dyed-in-the-wool Trump loyalist.

“I have opposed President Trump when I thought he was wrong, I’ve been for him when he was right, we did a lot of good things throughout the Trump presidency,” Paul said.

“Impeachment is purely a partisan thing, it’s for these moral, ‘Oh I’m so much better than you and you’re a bad person because I’m so moral.’ These are the kind of people that are going to do this.”

Paul said convicting Trump will do lasting damage.

“Look, I didn’t agree with the [Capitol] fight that happened last week, and I voted against overturning the election, but at the same time, the impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion, but if Republicans go along with it, it’ll destroy the party.

“A third of the Republicans will leave the party,” he predicted.

“This isn’t a right or wrong debate. This isn’t about, anymore, about the Electoral College, this is about the future of the party, and whether you’re going to ostracize and excommunicate President Trump from the party. Well, guess what? Millions of his fans will leave as well,” he said.

During his Friday interview, Paul scoffed at the deployment of troops that are turning Washington into a “militarized zone.”

“They’re checking congressmen as they come in to see if they have a sharp pencil or a sharp pen. so it’s gotten ridiculous,” he said.

Paul noted that government rarely shrinks after expanding.

“We have to resist this,” he said. “We have to have security, obviously, but living in a war-time state … there’s a danger of over-reacting.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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'Homegrown insurgency': Gen. McChrystal compares MAGA rioters to al-Qaida

(DAILY MAIL) — Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal has compared the MAGA riot to the evolution of Al-Qaeda saying in both instances people followed a ‘powerful leader’ who ‘justified their violence’, as he warned America is headed for a homegrown insurgency.

McChrystal, the former commander of American troops in Afghanistan, said there are terrifying parallels between the birth of the terrorist group responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks and the violent siege on the US Capitol last week that left five dead and sent shockwaves around the world.

Donald Trump has given his supporters ‘legitimacy to become even more radical’, he told Yahoo News, with his Stop the Steal rhetoric now a radical rallying cry similar to the Lost Cause adopted by the Southerners in the American Civil War.

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Huge percentage of voters fear violence before Biden's inauguration

The National Guard and riot police at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2020. (Video screenshot)

By Mary Rose Corkery
Daily Caller News Foundation

Nearly three-fourths of registered voters are worried about violence before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to a poll published Friday.

The Hill-HarrisX poll found 73% of voters are somewhat or very concerned about violence leading leading up to Jan. 20. It also showed that 27% were unconcerned.

Security measures for the inauguration have increased substantially since Jan. 6, when a mob breached the Capitol building. The deadly riot grew from a protest against Congress’s certification of the presidential election results.

Concern about violence before Biden’s inauguration was widely shared among political parties, with 87% of Democrats, 59% of Republicans and 75% of Independents worried about unrest, the poll found. Over half, or 54%, of Democrats said they very concerned about violence before the inauguration.

Multiple agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI, are teaming up with the Secret Service to help with inauguration security.

Around 21,000 National Guard members will head to Washington, D.C., Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday, according to The Associated Press. Officials have said more National Guard troops may be added depending on security threats.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a Thursday briefing that they’re finding and investigating multiple online threats concerning the inauguration.

The poll surveyed 2,854 registered voters and there was a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage point. The poll was conducted from Jan. 8 through Jan. 11.

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Push to reopen everything compared to riots at U.S. Capitol, white supremacy

A giant clothespin representing the U.S. economy chokes Uncle Sam during a Reopen America rally in Stuart, Florida, on Friday, April 24, 2020. (Photo by Joe Kovacs)

By Bradley Stein
Daily Caller News Foundation

The head of a Washington state teachers union compared the push to reopen “everything” to “white supremacy” during a school board zoom call on Wednesday.

Scott Wilson said in the meeting, “There are decisions to be made. You stand on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol as people break down barriers and head to the doors. Do you follow?”

“We must not ignore the culture of white supremacy and white privilege. We have seen it in the free to breathe, the reopen rodeos and rallies,” he continued.

“We speak of care of all students and yet we listen and attend to voices saying re-open everything, I’m free to breathe, supporting white privilege.”

He suggested parents struggling to help their children with COVID-19 related depression are an example of “white privilege”.

“They complain their children are suicidal without school or sports. As a father daily surviving the suicide of my son, I find these statements ignorant and another expression of white privilege,” stated Wilson.

Health Commissioner Dr. Amy Person stood by her recommendation to reopen schools in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“I have released recommendations for school districts that have successfully returned children to elementary schools without evidence of outbreaks or secondary transmission in schools,” Person told the DCNF.

“They can begin looking to phase in the secondary students at the end of the month, providing they are following the appropriate infection control protocols and have the capacity to continue the early identification of cases and close contacts,” she added.

Though declining to comment on Wilson’s statements, she said, “Public health decisions on recommendations for school openings are based on weighing the risks of communicable disease along with the health risks of educational failures and mental health needs. They are very carefully considered and complex decisions and are not based on politics.”

Public Affairs Director Shane Edinger provided a statement to the DCNF on School Board Superintendent Michelle Whitney’s behalf, stating, “Many people have expressed that they were offended by certain comments and have called on the district to take action. The district does not endorse or condone any individual’s viewpoint.”

Edinger also commented on the proposed reopening of schools. “Our elementary schools are already open for students. We’re working on our plan to bring back middle school and high school students,” said Edinger.

Scott Wilson did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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