How Many Times Did You Beat Your Wife?

The essential element in the question, “How many times did you beat your wife?” is its presupposition that the husband beat his wife.

Perhaps the best way to understand the ongoing debate surrounding Net Neutrality is to consider Noam Chomsky’s incisive observations on presuppositions in his book The Common Good (1998).

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” p43

Millennials have been indoctrinated with the presuppositions of the Leftist narrative for two decades. Climate change is a classic example. The climate change argument presupposes the validity of its foundational premise of global warming. When it became abundantly clear that the earth’s temperature always fluctuates and was in fact cooling the global warming enthusiasts disingenuously changed the name of their campaign from “global warming” to “climate change” without ever accepting the scientific facts of the earth’s cooling. Why? Because global warming/climate change was never about the weather – it was always about the redistribution of wealth from rich industrialized countries to poorer non-industrialized countries in the form of taxes, fees, fines, and non-compliance penalties.

Even testimony by Patrick Moore former co-founder of Greenpeace before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was not enough to convince millennials that global warming was a hoax because they had accepted the presupposition of the argument and were ideologically convinced they were saving the planet.

Oppositional views on climate change have actually been litigated. The court case against Mark Steyn attempted to silence Steyn’s oppositional views on climate change.

Steyn argued that if courts can silence free and open debate on scientific inquiry then freedom of speech is functionally dead. The pressure to conform in climate science is very real and the viciousness and hostility toward people who disagree is overwhelming. Anyone in the science community who challenges the “settled” science of climate change is considered unhinged or a dissident to be silenced – not a respected scientist or a climatologist to be heard. Climate science is functionally political science because redistribution of wealth is a political matter unrelated to weather.

So it is with Net Neutrality, FCC regulation 15-24 rescinded by FCC panel vote on 12.14.17. Millennials are now arguing passionately and persuasively to restore FCC 15-24 because they accept the suppositions of the argument that Net Neutrality is actually neutral. In fact, Net Neutrality, like climate change, is a partisan political weapon in the Leftist Culture War on America. Instead of redistribution of wealth, Net Neutrality seeks legalized censorship of the Internet by left-wing liberal Internet Content Providers. The social pressure to conform to the political narrative of Net Neutrality is as powerful and vicious as the social pressure to conform to climate change. This is how it works.

Net Neutrality was disingenuously introduced by Obama as a preventative measure to legally “protect” consumers from the “possibility” of Internet Service Providers (ISP) like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T charging for Internet usage based on website content. Obama’s diversionary tactic deceitfully focused public attention and debate on the possibility of fees related to content and away from the real Title II provisions that bind Internet Service Providers (ISP) to Net Neutrality but exempt Internet Content Providers like Google, Facebook, Twitter. It was a classic indirect approach – the eighth of eight classical maneuvers in warfare – a diversionary tactic that focuses attention away from the essential play.

The Tech-Left was instrumental in the formulation of “Net Neutrality” and helped write the new rules. Not surprisingly, the consequence was that the Leftist content providers who currently dominate the Internet were “free to restrain content by censoring out all conservative and libertarian views at will, without so much as an explanation to anyone why the objectionable views were banned.” Net Neutrality awards the Leftist content providers precisely what Obama claimed Net Neutrality was “protecting” the country from. FCC 15-24 gifted the power of complete legal censorship to the political Left!

Net Neutrality was rightfully rescinded because it was written to silence free and open debate on the Internet. Whoever controls the information controls the public because without free speech there is no freedom. The millennials who naively continue to argue that Net Neutrality must be restored should examine the presuppositions that continue to inform their opinions and examine the legalized censorship that was always the essential play in FCC 15-24.

Just as the redistribution of wealth is the underbelly of Climate Change and its essential play, legalized censorship of the Internet is the underbelly of Net Neutrality and its essential play. Both policies disingenuously presented as lively debates but actually just reinforcing the presuppositions of the system. “How many times did you beat your wife?”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Goudsmit Pundicity.

The Bundy Ranch/Bunkerville standoff — When Armed American Citizens Stood Against Their Government

The events associated with the stand-off in Bunkerville, Nevada in April of 2014, supporting the protection of sovereignty came seriously close to the U.S. Government agencies gathered there opening fire on their own citizens; yes, citizens of the United States. Among the citizens present and supporting a “cease and desist” against infringement upon local sovereignty were State Legislators from six states and former State Legislators from three states, current and former County Supervisors or Commissioners, several former City Councilmen from various states, a couple of former Mayors, former law enforcement officers, husbands and wives, and moms with children. Deriving from states across our country; yes, even as far as states along the east coast, and throughout all the western states up to Washington State, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota (possibly South Dakota as well, I am only recalling participants I personally met), and the list goes on and on. Citizens driving many hours to reach the outskirts of a town called Bunkerville in support of a family named Bundy. So many arrived some basic necessities had to be quickly organized; water bottles, bathroom facilities, food of multiple kinds, even parking and traffic flow all became significant issues with the large inflow of citizens. Several hundred (unofficial counts had the numbers around 450 to 600) with people coming and going but a large number remained constant through a long, hot and dusty few days.

The U.S. Government also arrived including Sniper Teams, a SWAT Team from LAPD, Department of Bureau and Land Management, and a fair number of FBI, including the Bureau’s Hostage/Rescue Team. Then there were assault teams from the County Sheriff in Nevada along with Las Vegas Police and Nevada State Police plus the U.S. Department of the Interior sent Federal Agents. As video and still photos will demonstrate at one juncture under a bridge, if the Lord had not intervened, it is very, very likely Federal Agents would have opened fire on citizens. It came terribly close.

But how did all this begin? Why so many federal departments present, and ready to clash with private citizens? The absolute arrogance, incredibly evident disrespect for citizens, the near impossibility to even communicate with federal agents or any of their liaison or Public Information Officers (PIO), and the aggressive manner clearly present was very sad and alarming. A partial answer as to how did all this begin is that a federal government that no longer respects the very Constitution they are supposed to defend; a federal government believing it is accountable to no one; a federal government (and its’ agencies and departments) that believes all citizens should be herded and then strongly managed for the welfare of the federal government; that sovereignty over one’s private property is by the choice of the federal government; that only the federal government can choose whether or not citizens can be left alone on any given matter are all part of the answer. In 2014, America was well on her way of losing Hope and fearing Change at the hands of Obama and his crew. The Bundy Ranch/Bunkerville standoff became a national overnight rallying cry for Americans to arrive, and take a stand against an out-of-control federal government changing America into something we were never, ever to become! To be sure there were several tense incidents and even clashes with federal authorities by citizens. And if you squinted, you could almost imagine what it must have been like for citizen’s way back in 1775 who stood on the grounds of Lexington and Concord and confronted tyrannical forces of the British who were not acting much more different than the tyrannical federal forces at Bunkerville in 2014.

Please read the investigative article below by Michael Stickler. Michael has provided some detailed testimony from the actual Bundy Trial which will shed even more light on the dark and sad days at Bunkervile in 2014. Thank you Michael Stickler for exposing the acts of a despotic federal government the Feds would greatly prefer the public didn’t know.


Dan Love Now a Whistle Blower?

Round-Up Operation

A Sad Day in The Bundy “Mis”-Trial

As a citizen of this great country, I have just experienced one of the saddest days in my life.

Let me explain…

I sat in the courtroom of day 15 of the Cliven Bundy trial (at this point that is six calendar weeks in the courtroom).  Over the previous weeks, I’ve made the journey from my Northern Nevada home, staying weeks at a time in Las Vegas, to watch the wheels of justice turn … slowly … painfully slowly.

It was clear from the beginning motions and evidential testimony of Special Agent in Charge Daniel P. Love — and from the additional officers that were involved in the round-up operations in April 2014 — that there has been much more to the story than most were aware.

While I have come into this story later than most who are involved, I have had access to Cliven Bundy like no one else.  I spent two months at the detention center in Pahrump, NV, carefully chronicling Cliven’s story as his biographer.  Since my release, I have immersed not only my entire life; but, my editors, and research team in the Bundy drama.

Going into the trial, I quickly recognized that because of my background, I was more educated on the issues than most folks in the courtroom.  As I listened to the opening statements, the prosecution’s witnesses, the cross examinations, evidentiary hearings, I didn’t hear much information that was new (at least, to me). Most of what I heard only confirmed all I had already written about in my book on Cliven’s story, Cliven Bundy American Patriot.

December 11th; however, was something different.

As we arrived in the courtroom this last Monday, I could see with stark disbelief that there were just a few spectators in the gallery – just four reporters and only a handful of Bundy supporters.  The jury had been called and waited in the jury room; the defendants, their attorneys, and the prosecution were in position and ready for a new week of battle.  Quietly, we waited for the judge to enter the courtroom and then the jury.

And we waited.

Nearly an hour we waited.

“All Rise,” the court clerk called out and Chief Judge Gloria Navarro entered.

As we retook our seats, Judge Navarro began; “I would like to get some clarifications on the mistrial motions. Though these matters are not ripe, I want and give the parties some idea of my concerns.” And, with that, she spent the next full hour listing each motion and 14 of her concerns. Of those she listed there were seven possible “Brady” violations.

The Brady Rule, named after the Court’s rulings in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), requires prosecutors to disclose materially exculpatory evidence in the government’s possession to the defense.

“Brady material,” that is, the evidence the prosecutor is required to disclose under this rule, includes: evidence favorable to the accused, evidence that goes towards negating a defendant’s guilt, evidence that would reduce a defendant’s potential sentence, or evidence going to the credibility of a witness.

While Brady violations have several remedies; only one of these – and the most drastic – is a mistrial.  Typically, a Brady violation is discovered after a trial has concluded and is used to petition the court to rule for a mistrial and to set aside the conviction. In order to win a mistrial, the defense must prove that there is reasonable probability that the outcome of the trial would have been different in order for a mistrial to be granted.

In the Bundy case, Judge Navarro may be considering a mistrial just as the trial has begun to gain steam, months away from its conclusion with a jury verdict. Most judges would prefer that the jury make the final verdict, as is in our legal tradition. But, there is yet another reason for Brady violation ruling: the proof that if the evidence were made available, the case would have taken a different light. And it is with this aspect that Judge Navarro may be taking serious consideration.

As careful as Judge Navarro was in listing her concerns, she did not give too many specifics.  In a previous (and rare) pre-trial order, Judge Navarro placed certain evidence under seal. Thus, by her own order, she cannot be overly specific. But, if you listen carefully and you understand the background as thoroughly as I do, you can extrapolate some of the issues at hand that might shed a “different light” on this trial.

Cliven Bundy has always taken the stance that the Federal Government has had no jurisdiction to take the action they did in impounding his cattle. Moreover, the government took the extraordinary action during the impound operation to surround his home, set up checkpoints, threaten his family, and physically abuse his family. He also told me that they had snipers surrounding his home. Ammon Bundy claimed to have seen the snipers’ red targeting lasers not only on him; but, dancing on the bodies of the Bundy children. And, much, much more.

Honestly, when I first heard of these things while incarcerated with Cliven and ‘The Bundy 19,’ (as he, his four boys, and the 14 other supporters who also had been arrested and detained with the 5 Bundy men before their trials) were called by the inmates in the detention center in Pahrump, I just figured Cliven was embellishing his story. To my surprise, after I was released and began the research for the book, there they were, in fact, snipers clearly visible in the videos of the various incidents related to the April 2014 cattle round up.

As it turns out, it was much worse than even Cliven knew.

All along, the prosecution has just scoffed, and dismissed, Cliven’s claims.

But, on Monday, we learned from Judge Navarro several things we didn’t know before:

SNIPERS: It turns out that there were indeed snipers. The Bundys have been saying this for years. The prosecution has denied it; but since, have acquiesced saying only that although there were some people lying down along the ridges, they were merely “Over-Watch” people – just guys with binoculars and radios. We learned; however, from Special Agent in Charge Dan Love (of all people), in his sworn testimony of October 25, 2017, that actually there were snipers. With guns. Now the prosecution is saying they were just “practicing” and there was nothing to it. My question is what were they “practicing” when they aimed their guns at unarmed American citizens? Does it stop being “practice” and become “implementation” only when they pull the trigger?

ORDERS TO CEASE OPERATIONS: It appears that de-escalation was not a personal option for Dan Love.  Pete Santilli was trying to get Love to understand that the Bundy protest was beginning to escalate beyond the Bundys’ local family and friends.  National and international media was taking an interest in the story and social media was beginning to blow up, with over one million views of the videos that had been posted of Davey’s arrest and the assaults on Margaret and Ammon.  And, of course, the existence of the Government’s so-called, “First Amendment” areas created by the BLM to contain the protestors well away from the focus of the protest were becoming explosive issues, as well.

Additionally, Love’s Washington D.C. superiors were taking notice of the protest size and media attention being gained and, not being able to control it to their narrative, they decided to cease the operation.  It seemed unpalatable that so many lawmakers were criticizing the BLM actions and, as the BLM director of media relations stated, they never could get ahead of the narrative that the media was carrying by saying “it was frustrating.” It’s also clear that this order was received by Love, as revealed in the October 25, 2017 (and following), testimony – again, under oath – of the BLM agents who ran the Communications Center and the Operations’ Agent Dispatch Desk therein. The agents in the Communication Center in the BLM compound were ordered to start packing up and shredding documents on April 10th.  Note: This was two full days before the events of the April 12th “Standoff” (as the Government called it) that following Saturday. That also seems to be the same day the FBI and the contract cowboys left, leaving only the BLM Law Enforcement element and NPS Rangers under Dan Love’s command.

PROSECUTORIAL INVOLVEMENT: We also know, according to the testimony of Dan Love on October 25, 2017, Love had a conference call with the then U.S. Attorney Dan Bogden in Las Vegas.  Together, they planned how they would bring Cliven to justice.  If they could get Cliven to be the one to release the cattle – or “Pull the Pin” (which meant to remove the pin on the gate holding the cattle) as it was referred to – then they felt they could charge him with impeding a federal officer in his duties and then tie Cliven and his boys into a conspiracy in relationship to all the other charges of weapons and assault of the Bundy 19.  What they didn’t anticipate is Cliven would never leave the stage area that day.

Now we also know that the now acting US Attorney Steve Myhre and his assistant prosecutor Nadia Ahmed, the actual prosecutors in the Bundy trials, were photographed at the Command Center compound during the round-up operations meeting with the Operation’s leadership. So, it seems, the prosecutors have become participants – or, at least, witnesses. They seem to have forgotten to mention that to the defense.

PROSECUTORIAL INVOLVEMENT II: It is also now known that acting US Attorney Steve Myhre was working with the Department of Interiors OIG office on a weekly basis to “aid” the OIG Inspectors’ investigation into the handling of the shredded evidence, Dan Love’s “lost” laptop, and his “lost” notebook. It was found that Mr. Myhre discouraged the investigators from interviewing anyone actually physically related to the act of shredding. On the stand, none – NOT ONE – of the responsible officers remember who did the actual shredding. They testified that they knew they hadn’t and they didn’t remember seeing anyone else do it; but, they knew they were ordered to do it. And, of course, the OIG investigators never interviewed any of them prior to their testimony. But, somehow, all that huge volume of evidence was shredded – as the photographs of the shred bags laid bare.  So, it seems again – this prosecutor has become a participant – or, perhaps – the architect, or at least, a witness.

THE BUNDY THREAT: The defense has been asking for copies of any evaluations from the government regarding the threat, if any, the Bundys might pose. It wasn’t until November 2017 that the prosecution coughed them up. Why? Because, again, Dan Love mentioned them under oath. It turns out that there was not one; but, in fact, five such Threat Assessments, starting in 2011, that all showed that the Bundys were a low threat risk.  The Government also paid a consultant – of sorts – $60,000 to evaluate the Bundys; no one knows why they were hired or where that report is, either. The only reason the defense knows about its existance is because they found the receipt in the discovery. Oops…

TECHNICAL SURVIELLANCE: Ryan Bundy remembered seeing a camera setup and monitoring the Bundy household during the weeks leading up to April 12, 2014. The prosecution flatly denied the existence of such a camera or its deployment or its coverage. They also claimed that the FBI was not involved in the roundup operations nor were they onsite. It turns out, yet again from Dan Love and another BLM officer, that the camera was there, maybe more than one of them, setup and maintained by the FBI. Moreover, the FBI had their own trailer within the compound and the live video feed from the camera(s) with parabolic-type (listening?) devices came into the compound. The defense teams have asked for the footage from those cameras and recordings from the listening devices, but the prosecution claims that no recordings were made and no one was watching them. Even Judge Navarro has had a hard time with this one – before it was impeached by yet another Government witness – the Chief of the Communications Center, herself, who testified that the FBI liaison ran the live feed and that the command element watched it regularly and especially as the ranks of the protestors began to swell.

WIRETAPPING: Also revealed through the testimony of Region 4 BLM Law Enforcement officer Robert Schilackin, who had come in from Colorado to help the Region 3 BLM Law Enforcement officer deliver to the Bundy family the BLM intent to enforce the refreshed court orders for removal of the Bundy’s cattle from the public lands (which lie under the Bundy’s grazing and water rights) and solicit from them what resistance to this BLM action the Bundys might mount. In his testimony, he admitted they had interviewed an employee of the Bundys’ and secretly recorded the conversation. When asked by the defense if he was aware that was a crime, he blew it off saying that it wasn’t a crime.

WIRETAPPING II: Officer Schilackin was similarly cavalier with his actions and perhaps, with Federal and state law, when he testified on cross examination that he had recorded his Region 3 partner’s telephone conversation with Ryan Bundy without revealing this fact at the beginning of the call to the parties. This thusly-“poisoned” recording was even played in court (first as snippets and then in its full 46 minutes) by both the Government and the defense, respectively.  He added that such recordings were “not part of the plan” – but, such recordings are done so routinely that it was never given a thought.

In the session without the jury’s presence between these two wiretapping admissions, the Judge allowed their use; but in passing, made mention of possible criminal charges and that they would be dealt with later – not wanting this trial to get bogged down on a separate issue.

WIRETAPPING III: It’s now clear, through revealed documents, the government has been listening in on attorney-client phone calls between the defendants and their counsel. The prosecutors want the public to believe that their content is ‘so mundane and innocuous’ that it has no bearing on trial, but that the recordings themselves have been reviewed by a special FBI team and marked as privileged. So, the recordings remain in the hands of the prosecution. But, if they are ‘so mundane and innocuous,’ why hide them?

SPECIAL FORCES: New revelations also included information that not only was the Clark County Sheriff’s Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team was deployed to the Toquah Wash on April 12, 2014; but, the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, The National Park Service Special Event Tactical Team (SETT), AND the Los Angeles SWAT team were all present on site and had been ready to deploy the entire week. Though apparently, they all departed when given the stand-down order on April 10th.

All along, Cliven Bundy has said that there were 200 armed, military-type government men and women surrounding his ranch. The prosecution said in their opening argument that there were only about twenty. We now know the official number is 197. The prosecutors reason excuse for not disclosing all of these other Special Forces Teams was that they were there for ‘training and practice’ and because they were never used. Hence, there was no need to disclose them to the defense teams.

DEPLOYMENT: Cliven Bundy has also said all along that he was surrounded for over a week. He said there were checkpoints and spying was done on him and his family. The prosecution denied such “crazy” notions. But, again, Judge Navarro’s concern is that the organizational chart that was created to explain the communication and reporting authority between the BLM, FBI, NPS, NV Highway Patrol, Las Vegas Metro, LA SWAT and all the other agencies deployed there is – of course – missing. Missing along with all the maps showing the agents deployment locations, the paperwork and handwritten materials – perhaps, all put though the shredder. Was this done all in an effort to cover-up the magnitude of what all was involved?

REPORTS: Another concern Judge Navarro has, is the revelation that some of the Government Criminal Reports, called 302’s, were written in November 2017 – NOT in 2014 as one would expect. And they were written only after being requested by the defense upon the testimony of Dan Love and the other BLM and OIG officers in October 2017. It seems that the reports may have been written to corroborate the narrative the prosecution has put forth and to dispute Love’s testimony.

HIT LIST: The most worrisome of all the concerns that Judge Navarro has on her decision plate is the revelation that there was an actual hit list maintained by the Government with Cliven Bundy’s name at its top. This list seems to be an actual shooting list that has only been revealed by a BLM agent who is now trying to cover his backside. This agent has become a whistle blower. When I asked Cliven about who it was, he wouldn’t answer me directly, only to say that this BLM agent is no longer employed by the government. I wonder who that might be…

As Cliven and I reviewed, “Well we got a couple of BM guys who have turned into whistle blowers, ya see. And all kind of things are coming out.”

“Okay, I need to ask, what this I am hearing about a kill, list? It’s all over social media,” I ask.

“Well yay, there has always been a kill list, for me. Remember the militia guys in front of the stage with me, they were there to protect my life. I was on the kill list for quite a long time. For two years I have had bodyguards. I have been on it for quite a few years.”

“In my own mind I don’t need a bodyguard. But, they were always been bodyguards around me … fer two years I have had ‘em.”

Then, now you read about what came out last Monday, you find out, well he was right.

“They had a kill list and I was number one on the kill list,” (he uncomfortably chuckles).” “This thing is more serious than most people want to think about it.”

“So,” I asked – somewhat stunned, “did they have a list that was like priorities of who to shoot first?”

“No it’s just a book, where a guy is keepin a kill list. Where they mark off guys they already got rid of.  I guess they had a big poster, up in there with my picture on it – the BLM office – with a big “X” thru it.”

I wonder if Dan Love’s “lost” computer and “lost” notebook will be “found” soon.

Of course, all of this stuff being hidden from them puts the defense at an extreme disadvantage. Not only has the prosecution not revealed these “Brady” documents; but, there are dozens of personnel that have not been subpoenaed, reports reviewed, or even the existence thereof known.

And this last Monday assistant US Attorney Daniel R. Schiess complained at length about how much work all of this ‘last-minute response’ to the defense requests has been to their office.  But it has been requests for discovery material that had never provided them before and whose existence was only just admitted to in court by the Government witnesses’ testimony. “Just last night the defense had file a 28-page motion for a mistrial (one of six that I count). We need time to answer.” The entire day, prosecutors Meyer and Ahmid sat uncharacteristically quietly. Not wanting to dig themselves in deeper, I wonder?

I mentioned at the beginning that on my way home that afternoon, I was sad. It’s an “in my gut kind of sad.” I wondered why I wasn’t angry or surprised. I was sad. In the few days I have had to think about this situation, I realized that my government, in the country that I love so much, was actually acting illegitimately – criminally – with its people. I had heard about it, denied that it could possibly happen, and had even seen it before in my own trials with the government. But never so defiantly. I told my friend that night, “I am sad because we depend and respect the judicial system, we rely on it’s fairness, for it to be just. And, I want this fairness for every accused, even the most heinous of criminals, let alone for Cliven Bundy… A simple rancher standing up for OUR rights.

UPDATE: The Second Whistler Blower has been identified as Larry Whooten. You can see his complaint the Associate Deputy Attorney General Andrew Goldsmith HERE

About Michael Stickler

Mike is an author, radio host, ex-felon, and a highly sought after motivational speaker.

In “Cliven Bundy: American Terrorist Patriot”, author Michael Stickler went behind the razor wire of a federal detention center for 60 days to get Bundy’s real story. (ClivenBundy.net)

RELATED ARTICLE: This Case Against Western Ranchers Shows Why Americans Are Right to Fear Government

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Cliven Bundy’s family and supporters parade after his cattle were released by the Bureau of Land Management back onto public land. Photo by Jason Bean / Associated Press.

The Humanitarian Hoax of Net Neutrality: Killing America With Kindness

The Humanitarian Hoax is a deliberate and deceitful tactic of presenting a destructive policy as altruistic. The humanitarian huckster presents himself as a compassionate advocate when in fact he is the disguised enemy.

Barack Obama, the humanitarian huckster-in-chief, weakened the United States for eight years presenting his crippling policies as altruistic when in fact they were designed for destruction. His late term passage of FCC 15-24 the Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order in the Matter of Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet, named Net Neutrality, was no exception.

Humanitarian hoaxes are deceitfully given positive sounding names that disguise their negative intent and mislead the trusting public. The Affordable Care Act was not affordable, the Southern Poverty Law Center is the enemy of free speech, George Soros’ Open Society Foundation funds anarchy all over the world. The deceptive names are the opposite of what the organizations and policies actually do. So, “Net Neutrality” sounds constructive and fair but it is actually a Leftist attack on Internet freedom designed to restrict freedom of speech – particularly the opposition speech of conservatives and libertarians. This is how it works.

The World Wide Web (WWW) for non-governmental commercial use has been an open unrestricted American business since its launch over twenty years ago. The WWW is the 21st century public square for information sharing in the world. Internet business is divided into two separate sections. There are Internet Service Providers (ISP) like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T and there are Internet Content Providers like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter. In 2015 Obama disingenuously decided to “protect” the open Internet and passed regulation FCC 15-24 deceptively tagged “Net Neutrality.” Roger Stone has written an exceptional article on the subject explaining what it all means.

To summarize, the FCC has the authority and discretion to decide to apply rules or not to apply rules – it can choose who to regulate vigorously and who to disregard. The new rules were specifically written under Title II provisions that stipulate Internet Service Providers (ISP) are to be bound by Net Neutrality. So, “Net Neutrality” binds Internet Service Providers to the rules but exempts Internet Content Providers.

The Tech-Left was instrumental in the formulation of “Net Neutrality” and helped write the new rules. Not surprisingly, the consequence is that the Leftist content providers who currently dominate the WWW are “free to restrain content by censoring out all conservative and libertarian views at will, without so much as an explanation to anyone why the objectionable views were banned.” It is complete censorship and very dangerous – it is the Humanitarian Hoax of Net Neutrality.

The leftist elites in Silicon Valley funded generously by George Soros embraced Marshall McCluhan’s famous saying “the medium is the message.” They understood that political control is only possible with communication control – control the medium and you control the message. The purpose of Net Neutrality was control of the Internet to control its ideological content.

Net Neutrality is a serious stealth attack on free speech in the public square that legalizes censorship by Internet Content Providers on the WWW. The left-wing liberal narrative already dominates American universities, the entertainment sector, and the mainstream media. Net Neutrality is a power grab for the WWW. There is no freedom without freedom of speech. If the Leftist behemoths are free to regulate and censor content on the Internet then we no longer are living in a free society or a free world – we are living in the dystopian society described by George Orwell in his famous book 1984.

Chairman Ajit Pai, Trump’s designated Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), generously described the 2015 FCC 15-24 ruling “a mistake.” He pointed out that the Internet grew and thrived for nearly 20 years before the implementation of Net Neutrality under pressure from the Obama White House. “For one thing, there was no problem to solve. The internet wasn’t broken in 2015,” said Mr. Pai. “We were not living in some digital dystopia. To the contrary, the Internet has been one thing, perhaps the only thing in American society, that we can all agree has been a stunning success. Not only was there no problem, the solution hasn’t worked.”

The good news is that Ajit Pai ended the FCC 15-24 deception on December 14, 2017 with a 3-2 FCC panel vote victory. Of course the Left is already challenging the outcome with their predictably hysterical “end of the world” cries that are exactly the OPPOSITE of what the repeal of Net Neutrality will accomplish. Consider the following Leftist predictions courtesy of Breitbart:

  1. The End of the Internet As We Know It!
  2. The end of Net Neutrality means the “silencing” of gays and “marginalized communities.”   
  3. The end of Net Neutrality is an attack on “reproductive freedom.”
  4. SUICIDE! ABUSE! MENTAL HEALTH! ANOREXIA! BUZZWORD!
  5. The end of Net Neutrality will lead to a new civil war.
  6. The end of Net Neutrality is the end of free speech on the internet.
  7. The end of Net Neutrality means the end of democracy.
  8. $14.99 for Twitter!
  9. The end of Net Neutrality means the FCC chairman will try to meme – the ONLY true prediction.

Net Neutrality is a signature Obama humanitarian hoax promising Internet fairness but delivering Internet unfairness and legalized censorship. Only in the Leftist/Orwellian world of subjective reality is censorship considered “fair” and truth labeled “hate” speech. In the real world of objective reality censorship remains against the law in America and freedom of speech protects the truth. Obama’s Net Neutrality is a deceitful attempt to bypass the Constitution and award exclusive control of Internet content to the Leftist behemoths that currently dominate the WWW.

Barack Obama continues to lead the Leftist Democrat Party with its “resistance” movement. It is the party of the Humanitarian Hoax attempting to destroy American democracy and replace it with socialism. The single greatest threat to America is the absence of freedom of speech which is precisely the goal of the foiled Humanitarian Hoax of Net Neutrality. Be glad that FCC 15-24 has been rescinded. It is not the end of the world, it is the beginning of a new era of deregulation and renewed protection of our precious freedoms.

EDITORS NOTE: The column originally appeared in Goudsmit Pundicity.

VIDEO: Growing Number of Obama DOJ/FBI Anti-Trump Abuses

Judicial Watch Sues FBI for Records About Removal of Alleged Anti-Trump FBI Official From Mueller Team

The FBI and Justice Department are engulfed in a rule of law crisis because of new revelations of evident bias among FBI officials and key DOJ prosecutors. Recently, we exposed how Andrew Weissmann, a top Mueller special counsel deputy has anti-Trump bias.  And this week, we’re in the forefront of a related scandal about an anti-Trump bias infecting the top echelons of the FBI.

Just yesterday, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FBI for records about the removal and reassignment of Peter Strzok, a former deputy to the assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, from the special counsel’s investigative team led by former FBI director Robert Mueller. Strzok also was the FBI’s chief of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illicit email server, interviewing Hillary Clinton himself on July 2, 2016.

We filed the suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia after the FBI failed to respond to an August 17, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation (No. 1:17-cv-02682)). Judicial Watch seeks:

  • All records regarding the assignment of FBI Supervisor Peter Strzok to the special counsel’s investigation led by former Director Robert Mueller.
  • All records related to the reassignment of FBI Supervisor Peter Strzok from the special counsel’s investigation to another position within the FBI.
  • All SF-50 and/or SF-52 employment forms, as well as all related records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the FBI and any other individual or entity.

According to reports (here and here) Strzok was reportedly removed from the Mueller investigative team in August and reassigned to a human resources position after it was discovered that he and an FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, who worked for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and with whom Strzok was allegedly carrying on an extramarital affair, “exchanged text messages during the Clinton investigation and campaign season in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.”

Strzok reportedly oversaw the FBI’s interviews of former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn; changed former FBI Director James Comey’s language about Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding her illicit email server from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless;” played a lead role in the FBI’s interview of Clinton and is suspected of being responsible for using the unverified dossier to obtain a FISA warrant in order to spy on President Trump’s campaign.

It is disturbing the FBI has stonewalled our request about Mr. Strzok’s demotion for four months. One can only conclude the FBI and Justice Department, including Mr. Mueller’s operation, wanted to hide the truth about how Strzok’s and Page’s political biases and misconduct have compromised both the Clinton email and Russia collusion investigations.

Agent Strzok’s texts about Hillary Clinton and President Trump are responsive to another Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit but have not yet been produced by the FBI.

We worked the airwaves hard this week to educate Americans on the anti-Trump rule of law crisis.  You can view our important Fox hits here and here.  We also have been highlighting our battles on OANN here and here.

Obama State Department Cut Deal with Hillary to Keep Call Log, Schedules Secret

It has been clear all along that Hillary Clinton was doing things at the State Department that she doesn’t want anyone to know about. Judicial Watch already exposed her email scandal, but the secrecy went beyond emails.

Judicial Watch just released Obama State Department documents showing former Secretary Hillary Clinton and her then-Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin were permitted to remove electronic and physical records under a claim they were “personal” materials and “unclassified, non-record materials,” including files of Clinton’s calls and schedules, which were not to be made public. Outrageously, the documents show the Obama State Department records would not be “released to the general public under FOIA.”

Curiously, the new records also show that Huma Abedin was allowed to take five boxes of “physical files” out of the State Department that include records described as “Muslim Engagement Documents.”  (We recently found how Abedin’s controversial Islamist activist mother advised Clinton speechwriter to exclude references to “democracy/elections/freedom” and “empowerment of women” for Clinton speech in Saudi Arabia.)

We found the info about the secret Clinton-State Department deal thanks to our two-year-old Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for:

Any and all DS-1904 (Authorization for the Removal of Personal Papers and Non-Record Materials) forms completed by, or on behalf of, any of the following individuals:

  • Former Secretary Hillary Clinton
  • Former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills
  • Former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin
  • Former Deputy Chief of Staff Jacob Sullivan

The documents include a list of official and personal calls and schedules that Clinton removed, which carry a special notation that the documents were not to be made public records. The notation is on an addendum to a DS-1904 signed by Clarence N. Finney Jr., then-director of the Office of Correspondence and Records, who was the reviewing officer:

NOTE: The Secretary’s call log, grid and schedules are not classified, however, they would not be released to the general public under FOIA. They are being released to the Secretary with this understanding. [Emphasis in original]

  • Electronic copy of “daily files” – which are word versions of public documents and non-records: speeches/press statements/photos from the website, a non-record copy of the schedule, a non record copy of the call log, press clips, and agenda of daily activities
  • Electronic copy of a log of calls the Secretary made since 2004, it is a non-record, since her official calls are logged elsewhere (official schedule and official call log)
  • Electronic copy of the Secretary’s “call grid” which is a running list of calls she wants to make (both personal and official)
  • 16 boxes: Personal Schedules (1993 thru 2008-prior to the Secretary’s tenure at the Department of State.
  • 29 boxes: Miscellaneous Public Schedules during her tenure as FLOTUS and Senator-prior to the Secretary’s tenure at the Department of State
  • 1 box: Personal Reimbursable receipts (6/25/2009 thru 1/14/2013)
  • 1 box: Personal Photos
  • 1 box: Personal schedule (2009-2013)

(JW has a pending request for the deposition of Finney in separate litigation concerning Clinton emails and the Benghazi terrorist attack.)

The originals of some Clinton documents were retained, such as the call logs and schedules. For other records, including material that predates Clinton’s tenure, there is no indication that a copy was made. The most significant of these are her personal correspondence and gift binders, which could reflect Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative ties.

Through our previous investigations we made public numerous examples of Clinton’s schedule being broadcast via email through her unsecure, non-government server (for example, see hereherehereand here).

The records also contain a list of materials removed by Clinton accumulated by Robert Russo, Clinton’s then-special assistant, including PDFs of Clinton’s “correspondence in response to gifts … thank you and acknowledgements,” as well as other records.

The documents indicate that Clinton removed a physical file of “the log of the Secretary’s gifts with pictures of gifts.”

The receipt of gifts by federal employees in the Executive Branch is regulated:

A “prohibited source” [of gifts] under the regulations is one who seeks official action from the employee’s agency; one who does business or seeks to do business with the agency; one whose activities are regulated by the employee’s agency; one whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duties; or an organization a majority of whose members fit any of the above categories.

A gift is given “because of” the employee’s official position if it would not have been offered “had the employee not held the status, authority or duties associated with his Federal position.” Gifts that are “motivated by a family relationship or personal friendship” may therefore be accepted without limitation.

We already know the Obama State Department let Hillary Clinton steal and then delete her government emails, which included classified information. But these new records show that was only part of the scandal. They show that the Obama State Department had a deal with Hillary Clinton to hide her call logs and schedules, which would be contrary to FOIA and other laws. When are the American people going to get an honest investigation of the Clinton crimes?

Judicial Watch Sues California and Los Angeles Over Dirty Voter Registration Rolls

Judicial Watch is the nation’s leader in the legal effort to ensure the integrity of our elections.

To that end, we took a big step forward with the filing of a federal lawsuit against Los Angeles County and the State of California over their failure to clean their voter rolls and to produce election-related records as required by the federal National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) (Judicial Watch, Inc.et al. v. Dean C. Logan, et al. (No. 2:17-cv-08948)).

We filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California’s Western Division on behalf of Judicial Watch, Election Integrity Project California Inc., and Wolfgang Kupka, Rhue Guyant, Jerry Griffin, and Delores M. Mars, who are lawfully registered voters in Los Angeles County.

We argue that the State of California and a number of its counties, including the county of Los Angeles, have registration rates exceeding 100%:

Eleven of California’s 58 counties have registration rates exceeding 100% of the age-eligible citizenry.

Los Angeles County has more voter registrations on its voter rolls than it has citizens who are old enough to register. Specifically, according to data provided to and published by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Los Angeles County has a registration rate of 112% of its adult citizen population.

The entire State of California has a registration rate of about 101% of its age-eligible citizenry.

We point out that this is due in part to the high numbers of inactive registrations that are still carried on California’s voter rolls:

About 21% of California’s voter registrations, or more than one in five, are designated as inactive.

California has the highest rate of inactive registrations of any state in the country…. Los Angeles County has the highest number of inactive registrations of any single county in the country.

Although these inactive registrations should be removed after a statutory waiting period consisting of two general federal elections, California officials are simply refusing to do so.

We explain that, even though a registration is officially designated as “inactive,” it may still be voted on election day and is still on the official voter registration list. The inactive registrations of voters who have moved to a different state “are particularly vulnerable to fraudulent abuse by a third party” because the voter who has moved “is unlikely to monitor the use of or communications concerning an old registration.” Inactive registrations “are also inherently vulnerable to abuse by voters who plan to fraudulently double-vote in two different jurisdictions on the same election day.”

We sent a written request for public records on November 16, 2017, and another on November 29, 2017, seeking information about “the number of inactive registrations on the voter rolls in Los Angeles County,” but we were told each time that there were no responsive records.

Last summer, we sent a broader request for voter roll records that Los Angeles County and the State of California are required by the NVRA to keep and to make publicly available. Nothing was produced in response to this request. We point out that it is impossible to believe that there were no responsive records:

Los Angeles County, with over five million active voters and massive list maintenance responsibilities, and the Secretary of State of California [must] have exchanged emails responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] request for “all email or other communications between the Secretary’s Office and all California County voter registration officials concerning . . . [i]nstructions to the counties concerning their general list maintenance practices and obligations” and “[n]otices to the counties concerning any failure to comply with their voter list maintenance obligations.” Such emails should have been produced.

Federal law is clear. Section 8(a)(4) of the NVRA requires states to implement a program to remove ineligible registrants; and to turn over relevant records and information. We argue:

Los Angeles County is failing to properly conduct the list maintenance required by the NVRA by failing to properly train employees, failing to require and enter registrants’ birthdates, and failing to timely process reports that registrants have died, have committed disqualifying felonies, are mentally incompetent, or have registered twice.

Our lawsuit asks the court to enjoin Los Angeles County and the state of California from further violating the NRVA and to compel them to “develop and implement a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove from Los Angeles County’s rolls the registrations of ineligible registrants.” We also want to inspect and copy the requested voter roll records.

We sent a notice-of-violation letter in August 2017 threatening to sue California and certain of its counties over their violations of the NVRA. California was one of 12 states to receive such letters from Judicial Watch.

Bottom line is that California may have the dirtiest election rolls in the country. Federal law requires states to take reasonable steps to clean up their voting rolls. Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections. This lawsuit aims to ensure that citizens of California can have more confidence that their elections are fair and honest.

Judicial Watch Senior Attorney and Director of its Election Integrity Project Robert Popper recently provided testimony to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity concerning the NVRA. Popper was formerly Deputy Chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.

We sent notice-of-violation letters threatening to sue 11 other states having counties in which the number of registered voters exceeds the number of voting-age citizens, as calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee. Judicial Watch informed the states that should they fail to take action to correct violations of Section 8 of the NVRA, it would file suit.

We previously filed successful lawsuits under the NVRA against Ohio and Indiana that resulted in those states taking several actions to clean up their voting rolls. We are currently suing Kentucky over its failure to remove ineligible voters as required by the NVRA, and we are suing the State of Maryland and Montgomery County over their failure to release voting-related records.

We are being assisted by Charles H. Bell Jr., of Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP; and H. Christopher Coates of Law Office of H. Christopher Coates.

Judicial Watch Asks Supreme Court to Restrain FCC Ability to Impose Government Control Over the Internet Through “Net Neutrality”

President Obama and his minions spent eight years illicitly drawing as much power as they could to Washington D.C., and we’re doing our part to rectify that.

We have joined the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) in submitting an amici curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the court to hear the appeal of the 2015 case regarding an Obama-era FCC decision that reclassified broadband Internet as a public utility so that it could impose its restrictive net neutrality rules (United States Telecom Association, et al. v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America (No. 15-1063)).

We argue that the circuit court’s decision “undermined the constitutional separation of powers” by allowing the FCC to directly intervene in the broadband Internet economy.

Our amici brief also argues that the lower court’s ruling will expose the FCC to undue influence from politicians and lobbyists now and in the future:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit gave an administrative agency like the Federal Communications Commission extended future powers to destroy enormous amounts of national wealth by reclassifying and regulating broadband Internet service… The result will be constant risk of damage to a major portion of the American economy and a simultaneous increase in wasteful rent-seeking behavior and agency lobbying. Amici are additionally concerned that unless this Court acts to rein in an unchecked administrative state, federal separation of powers doctrine will be badly undermined.

Additionally, we and AEF argue that the D.C. Circuit’s decision “is blessing Congress’ evasion of its constitutional responsibility to make laws. This will lead the executive branch to continue to usurp this authority with bolder and more inventive interpretations of decades-old statutes until eventually all real lawmaking power will lie in the executive and the judiciary.”

In May 2017, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FCC seeking records of the Obama White House’s influence in the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband Internet as a public utility so that it could impose its restrictive net neutrality regulatory rules (Judicial Watch v. Federal Communications Commission (No. 1:17-cv-00933)).

On May 18, 2017, the FCC voted to propose a new review of the Obama-era net neutrality regulations passed in 2015 on Internet service, which greatly increased the FCC’s management of Internet content delivery and operations. In July, we and AEF submitted comments to the FCC:

[T]he prior FCC was not content to merely protect Internet openness. Rather than adopt simple rules toward that end, the prior FCC adopted a raft of economic regulations that serve little purpose other than to bring a thriving and successful industry to heel, placing it under the control of federal regulators. This was a simple power grab, taking decision-making authority away from entrepreneurial businesses and putting it in the hands of the FCC.

Judicial Watch/AEF also highlighted the political motivation behind the Obama FCC “power grab” that produced this “politically corrupted decision” to regulate the Internet:

The prior FCC’s adoption of the net neutrality regulations was a politically corrupted decision, which will do far more to increase the wealth of Washington DC power-brokers and lobbyists than it will to protect consumers… These net neutrality rules are a far-left, base-appeasing federal power grab. The regulations as written are certain to increase the amount of rent-seeking behavior already present in a usually smoothly functioning industry. As industry players position themselves to curry favor with federal bureaucrats possessed of far-reaching adjudicatory powers, Internet innovation, investment and consumers all will suffer.

The Judicial Watch/AEF comments were quoted twice in the FCC’s recent order:

Should the hypothetical harms that proponents of Title II imagine eventually come to pass, application of the antitrust laws would address those harms. fn. 517 … Judicial Watch Comments at 12 (asserting that “most of the potential or imagined future violations of net neutrality principles are already illegal under antitrust laws, including acts like website blocking, charging monopoly rents, collusion between industry players, and unfair competition. The existing antitrust laws can already be enforced against broadband providers by the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, and the 50 State Attorneys General.”)

And to the extent an ISP has market power, antitrust law would only allow such ISPs to engage in pro-competitive paid prioritization practices. fn. 910 Judicial Watch Comments at 9-10 (“Allowing a two-sided market to flourish is more effective than regulation for keeping consumer prices low even in true monopoly provider cases, which broadband Internet is likely not, given the ubiquity of wireless broadband.”)

The Obama FCC’s attempted takeover of the Internet under the fake guise of “net neutrality,” which was blessed by the D.C. Court of Appeals, must be stopped and not allowed to serve as a precedent for further expansion of unconstitutional actions by the federal bureaucracy.

The Trump-controlled FCC just voted this week to undo Obama’s Internet takeover.  But this court battle could determine whether a future administration could come back with another government power grab of our Internet freedoms.

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The Washington Post Exposes Pelosi Lie on National Reciprocity

As the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Of course, such a record would be an improvement for the Washington Post’s gun coverage. However, over the past year, the Post’s Fact Checker column has provided readers with a handful of well-researched pieces challenging the ridiculous assertions made by some gun control advocates. This week brought their latest, where writer Glenn Kessler admonished House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for her recent comments on H.R. 38, or the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.

Specifically, the article targeted a December 6 tweet from the former House speaker, where she stated,

Inviting violent criminals to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives

Inviting domestic abusers to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives

Inviting convicted stalkers to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives

Yet the @HouseGOP just voted to do exactly that #StopCCR

Earlier that day, the House passed H.R. 38 with bipartisan support by a 231-198 vote. The legislation would require states that issue Right-to-Carry permits to recognize the Right-to-Carry permits of all other states. Under the House legislation, law-abiding individuals from states where a permit is not required would also be able to carry in other states so long as they carry valid photo identification.

In relation to the tweet, a Pelosi spokesman told Kessler that the “information [was] provided by Everytown for Gun Safety.” Pelosi’s office also told Kessler that “the bill is terrible.”

Going to the heart of the matter, Kessler pointed out that the categories of individuals Pelosi listed are already prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law. Specifically, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) prohibits possession by any person,

who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year

who is subject to a court order that—

(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and

(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
(ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury;

who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

States have small variations on the scope of individuals they prohibit from carrying firearms, but federal law targets the broad categories Pelosi mentioned. Explaining this fact, Kessler noted, “the differences among most states may loom larger in the gun debate than in reality.” Moreover, Pelosi should be well aware of the federal prohibition concerning those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; in 1996 she voted to approve the final version of H.R.3610, which contained this restriction.

Kessler went on to note that some form of Right-to-Carry reciprocity is already the law for the vast majority of states. In fact, a majority of states already either recognize carry permits from all other states, or recognize the permits of any state where their permit is recognized – without any further conditions.

Pelosi’s dishonest tweet earned her a well-deserved three out of four Pinocchios from the Post. However, there is a solid case for a fourth.

It is Pelosi’s central thesis that H.R. 38 poses a public safety risk. Kessler addressed this by pointing to a letter to congressional leadership in support of H.R. 38 from Missouri Attorney General Joshua D. Hawley and signed by 23 other state attorneys general. Kessler cited a passage that stated, “Concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding members of society, and those States that allow for reciprocal concealed-carry permits have not encountered any significant safety issues.” However, other information in the letter and data and research on Right-to-Carry further refute Pelosi’s contention.

Elsewhere in the letter, Hawley, citing a law review article on the subject, explained,

In Texas, for example, state data on permit holders shows that, compared to the general public, they are “ten times less likely to commit a crime, eleven times less likely to commit an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and seven times less likely to commit deadly conduct with a firearm.”

A similar scenario has played out in Florida. As of June 30, 2017, there were 1,784,395 valid Concealed Weapon Licenses in the state. From July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, the state revoked or suspended 6,739 permits for any reason; a rate of 377.6 per 100,000. If limited to just license revocations, the rate is 83.6 per 100,000. FBI data shows that there were 726,396 arrests in Florida 2016, which is 3,524 arrests per 100,000 in population. Clearly, permit holders are far more law-abiding than the general public.

Moreover, violent crime has fallen by half since the early nineties, and at the same time, the popularity of Right-to-Carry has exploded. Since hitting an all-time high violent crime rate in 1991, 26 states have enacted “shall-issue” Right-to-Carry laws. In addition to this simple analysis, the vast majority of social science research on Right-to-Carry laws has found that these laws either have no effect on crime or have caused a modest decrease.

Throughout 2017 there has been mounting pressure among Democrats for Pelosi to relinquish her role as House minority leader. The concern is understandable. For years Pelosi has had poor favorability numbers, but now it appears she can’t even rely on the Democrat-friendly Post for fawning coverage. At least four times this year the Post has highlighted Pelosi’s lies about major legislation or the Trump administration. We’ll leave it to House Democrats whether they are comfortable being led by a politician who tells lies the left-wing media won’t even tolerate.

On Net Neutrality: Do You Trust Government or the Private Sector?

By Doug Logan

Net Neutrality is aflame again as the FCC voted today to repeal Obama-era net neutrality regulations. This decision was heavily opposed from such internet giants as Facebook, Google and Twitter, causing the internet to be chock full of statements opposing the FCC’s decision.

However, what really is Net Neutrality, and is this reversal of the decision really the “End of the Internet” as many of these sites are claiming?

In the end, the answer to that question will depend on whether you believe government regulation of the internet is the best solution to keeping it open, innovating and competitive — as was the philosophy behind the Obama regulations — or whether you believe that private enterprise responding to market demands is best situated for accomplishing that — as had been the case the previous 20 years.

It’s worth understanding both sides to really grasp what is at stake.

At its core net neutrality means that your Internet Service Provider (ISP), should not be able to filter or give preference to any website or content on the internet and should remain “neutral” to whatever is passing over its network. This means that regardless of the ISP’s business, political or religious leanings; the content to a conservative news site, a porn site, the ISP’s own services, or a competitor’s services; all content should be treated exactly the same.

This idealistic viewpoint is not one that most people disagree with. Just like most people agree with the idealist comment that we should “Save the environment”, most people believe that the internet should remain as neutral as possible. The disagreements center around how this should best be accomplished, and what should be required to make it happen. Essentially, these debates center around a couple of big questions.

  1. Who do you trust more, the government or private telecommunication companies?
  2. Who do you think should have to pay for faster access to a service; the consumer of the service or everyone who has internet access?

Trust of the government vs. private telecommunications companies

On February 26, 2015, under the leadership of Obama-appointed Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC reclassified broadband Internet providers as “Common Carriers” as designated in Title II of the Telecommunications Act as amended in 1996 and stated they would be selectively applying the Title II provisions to allow the promotion of an “Open Internet”. This Title outlines everything from the required licensing for broadcasting, to provisions that require a telecommunications provider to provider access to their networks to competing entities in order to lower the barrier of entry and encourage innovation. The administration never stated which provisions of Title II would be enforced, and which would not be enforced; which leads to a lot of questions. Google is hopeful that some provisions could increase broadband availability, but other areas such as licensing, if applied; could very much stifle its growth.

Both Wheeler’s majority statement at the time, and dissenting opinion of Commissioner Ajit Pai, and now Chairman, support the concept of an Open Internet. The difference in their opinion’s is how they think an Open Internet is achieved.

Chairman Wheeler believes that an Open Internet must be obtained by government regulation, and states that ISP’s cannot be trusted:

“We know from the history of previous networks that both human nature and economic opportunism act to encourage network owners to become gatekeepers that prioritize their interests above the interests of their users.”

Ajit Pai on the other hand believes that the private sector has been doing a good job from 1995 to 2015 of providing an Open Internet, and it is in fact government regulation that will prevent this from continuing to happen:

“For twenty years, there’s been a bipartisan consensus in favor of a free and Open Internet… today, the FCC abandons those policies. It reclassifies broadband Internet access service as a Title II telecommunications service. It seizes unilateral authority to regulate Internet conduct, to direct where Internet service providers put their investments, and to determine what service plans will be available to the American public. This is … a radical departure from the bipartisan, market-oriented policies that have served us so well for the last two decades. “

If you follow former  Wheeler’s train of thought, the private sector is always going to make decisions in its own self-interest and we need a larger government control of the internet to protect the consumer and make sure everything is dealt with fairly. The best way to support an Open Internet is to have the FCC regulate it.

If you follow current Pai’s train of thought, the government consistently stifles innovation and growth with regulation, and this should never be applied to the internet. The best way to support an Open Internet is to require the private sector to disclose anything they might do to prioritize, or inhibit traffic to individuals; and let the consumer enforce an open internet with where they buy internet access.

There is a lot of data that can go into supporting either of these viewpoints, but this all boils down to; which do you trust more to do the right thing, the government or the private sector?

Who should pay for faster access to a service?

Stating that the internet should be neutral to the content it is delivering sounds great in concept, but depending on how you interpret what this can create some pretty large technical hurdles to overcome. Internet speeds can be impacted by how far away the server is from your physical location, how many connections to the internet backbone your ISP has, where those connections are, how big those connections are, the amount of traffic flowing on each one of these connections, which traffic is prioritized, and even which traffic is completely blocked. These all come at a cost, and there is a big question on who should pay for this cost, and what is actually required for a “neutral internet”.

Pro-FCC Regulated Net Neutrality advocates state that there should not be “Fast Lanes” or “Pay-To-Play” allowed by ISP’s. Essentially what they’re saying is that if Netflix wants its content to reach Comcast subscribers faster, Netflix shouldn’t be able to pay Comcast for their content to arrive faster than competitor Amazon Video; and likewise, Comcast can’t require Netflix to pay in order for their content to be delivered to their users. Doing so, supporters state, would be anti-competitive since it would give one provider an upper hand over another provider.

Anti-Regulation individuals would argue, however, that it costs Comcast quite a bit of money to expand their network in order to handle the bandwidth-intensive requirements of Netflix or any video provider, and so who should bear the cost of that? If they charge Netflix reasonable fees for Netflix to put a server on the Comcast network, Comcast subscribers can get Netflix much faster and at a lower cost to Comcast and only Netflix users will pay for it via possible increases in Netflix dues. If they expand their network so that every single plan they have can benefit, they have to increase the prices for every single subscriber across the board to cover the costs, both video and non-video users; or they need to start filtering plans so that only higher costs plans get the higher speeds; delivering the Netflix speeds to only a certain class of user. Requiring Netflix to pay would be considered “Fast Lanes”, and filtering traffic to video on some plans would definitely be considered not net neutral.

As a result, based on these viewpoints; supporters of FCC regulated Net Neutrality tend to support the concept that every single end-user of a service should help pay the costs of everyone having a neutral internet, regardless of how much of the internet an individual actually consumes.

Anti-FCC regulation individuals on the other hand tend to believe that those individuals who consume a service should have to pay the costs associated with delivering that service. This either means that the service, like Netflix, may need to pay for their content to be put in a place where it can be delivered faster; or there may need to be special plans that allows access to certain content while other plans do not. This creates the most fair and Open Internet as costs are more user-based, and some are not subsidizing others.

Net neutrality conclusion

The American public generally agrees that we should have an open, and neutral internet, where no  provider should be able to filter or block content in order to promote their own financial gain or ideological viewpoints.

The question is: Should government regulate the internet to maintain innovation, growth or creativity? Should the cost of this free and Open Internet be distributed among all who use it? Would failure to have the government step in now result in an internet that ISPs take advantage of for their own financial gain at the expense of competition and freedom of ideas?

Or would government’s involvement stifle innovation and limit competition, and risk someday the government filtering internet content like it now does TV content. Is  the best way to promote a free and Open Internet to require ISP’s to disclose how they filter/prioritize their networks; and let the demands of the consumer force the internet to remain open? This means that the consumers of the services will be the direct individuals responsible for the costs of obtaining those services.

ABOUT DOUG LOGAN

Doug Logan is a long-time cyber security expert and Founder and CEO of Cyber Ninjas. He is also the Chief Technologist at U.S. Cyber Challenge.

RELATED ARTICLE: YouTube Temporarily Suspends Ajit Pai’s Parody Video on Copyright Grounds

RELATED VIDEO: PSA from Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

5 Myths About Tax Reform, and Why They’re Wrong

Next week, the House and Senate will take their final votes on tax reform. The president’s goal is to sign the legislation into law before Christmas.

Although there are still some unknown details, the important parts of the bill for most Americans are already known and would greatly improve our current, woefully out-of-date tax code.

The bottom line is that taxpayers across America can expect a tax cut. The bill would lower tax rates for individuals and businesses, double the standard deduction, and significantly increase the child tax credit.

The bill is also pro-growth and pro-American worker. The economy could grow to be almost 3 percent larger at the end of 10 years. That translates to more than $4,000 dollars per household, per year. American families could finally get a real raise.

Americans deserve to know the truth about the proposed tax reform packages. There are several myths going around about what the proposed plan would do.

Here are a few of them, and why they’re wrong.

Myth 1: This is just a tax cut for the rich, and it will actually raise taxes for everyone else.

The truth is in fact the opposite. The Senate tax bill increases the amount of taxes paid by the rich and, according to the liberal Tax Policy Center, 93 percent of taxpayers would see a tax cut or no change in 2019. It found similar results for the House bill.

Both tax bills would actually increase the progressivity of the U.S. tax code. That means fewer people at the bottom will pay income taxes, and people at the top will see their share of taxes paid increase.

The Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards notes that the Senate tax bill cuts income taxes for people making $40,000 to $75,000 a year by about 37 percent. People making over $1 million see a cut of only 6 percent.

In two recent Daily Signal pieces, we calculated how 12 different taxpayers would fare under each of the tax plans. The results show that almost everyone will see a tax cut, and only the wealthiest families are at risk of their taxes going up.

Under the current tax code, the top 10 percent of income earners earn about 45 percent of all income and pay 70 percent of all federal income taxes. The U.S. tax code is already highly progressive, and these tax reforms will only increase the trend of the wealthy paying more than their share of income earned.

Myth 2: Repealing the individual mandate will raise taxes on the poor, raise insurance premiums, and kill 10,000 people a year.

Only in Washington can removing a tax penalty be considered a tax increase.

Tax reform will likely repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, which imposes a tax penalty anywhere from $695 to upward of $10,000 for not purchasing the type of health insurance mandated by the federal government.

Depending on income and available health insurance options, the federally mandated health insurance comes with subsidies paid to the insurance company that can range from no more than a few dollars to over $12,000 a year per individual, and upward of $20,000 per year for families.

Repealing the mandate would not force anyone to give up their coverage or forego their current tax credits. It would just make the Obamacare insurance optional, and thus increase health care choices.

Eliminating the Obamacare individual mandate will not reduce any taxpayer’s income by a single cent. It will, however, reduce the tax bills of many individuals and families—based on their own choices—by hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

The individual mandate with its penalties is also not the “glue” that holds Obamacare together, as some have claimed. It never was.

“The lifeblood of the law is the generous taxpayer insurance subsidies, which attract and maintain the historically sluggish enrollment,” explains senior Heritage Foundation senior fellow Robert Moffit. Repealing the mandate will not precipitate doomsday for insurance premiums.

While it is extremely difficult to predict how insurance premiums would change without the individual mandate penalty, we do know that eliminating the penalty will prevent low- and middle-income individuals and families from having to subsidize the high medical costs of others.

One particularly outrageous claim is that due to people voluntarily choosing alternative health care solutions, 10,000 people will die each year because the government is no longer forcing Americans to buy health insurance.

Two economists reviewed these claims and found the exact opposite. They found that there is “poor evidence linking insurance coverage to mortality” and that “the mandate may in fact be elevating death rates in some populations.”

When you factor in the economic growth and higher wages from tax reform, the tax bill could actually save lives.

Myth 3: Corporations and their rich owners will receive a huge windfall.

Politicians who don’t want tax reform claim that cutting taxes for business will only help the rich.

Despite the name—“corporate” tax reform—the burden of the corporate income tax falls almost entirely on workers in the form of lower wages. Americans are undoubtedly skeptical about this claim, but the realities on the ground are actually quite simple.

When business taxes go down, workers’ wages go up.

That’s not just the result of corporate benevolence. Rather, wages rise because higher profits translate to additional investments that make workers more productive, and businesses that don’t pay workers what they are worth will lose them to competitors who do.

American corporations pay a federal income tax rate of 35 percent—one of the highest in the world. If tax reform can lower that rate to 21 percent, American businesses and the workers they employ will be globally competitive again. Businesses will invest more, hire more workers, and be forced by the laws of supply and demand to raise wages.

This is exactly what happened over the past decade and a half in neighboring Canada. In 2007, Canada began lowering its corporate tax rate. And guess what? Wages grew significantly faster in Canada than other comparable countries.

Most economic researchers agree. A recent review of 10 separate studies published between 2007 and 2015 concluded that when governments cut corporate taxes, workers receive almost all of the benefit through higher wages.

Myth 4: Tax reform will be bad for seniors.

Retirees may be the most concerned about what tax reform will mean for them, as most rely on relatively fixed incomes.

But, the proposed reforms are good news for retirees. For the most part, they would be less affected than other Americans, as the proposed reforms would not change the way Social Security and investment income are taxed.

Many retirees would in fact benefit from the tax bills’ doubling the size of the standard deduction.

While seniors’ earnings and pension income would be subject to new individual income tax brackets and rates, those changes would actually mean tax cuts—not increases—for an overwhelming majority of seniors and retirees.

Myth 5: Tax reform won’t grow the economy, it will only add to the debt.

Congress rightly allowed the tax reform bill to decrease revenues over 10 years by $1.5 trillion—about 3.5 percent of projected revenue. But such “static” budget scores provide zero useful information about how the reform will actually affect the deficit.

Properly designed tax reform will lead to a larger economy and higher wages. Each of these economic benefits can result in more tax revenue.

A recent Heritage Foundation analysis shows that the Senate tax reform bill could boost the size of the U.S. economy by almost 3 percent over the long run.

Other estimates are even more optimistic. Nine leading economists recently described how the economy could see a boost of up to 4 percent due to tax reform. The President’s Council of Economic Advisers believes the economy could grow between 3 and 5 percent, a range that was independently verified by three economists from Boston University.

Tax reform that grows the economy could result in more than $130 billion of new federal revenue in every year outside the current budget window. And that’s using the most conservative of the estimates above.

More optimistic estimates would bring in well north of $200 billion, making up most—if not all—of the static tax cut once the economy reaches its new larger potential.

Congress’ spending addiction shouldn’t stop tax reform, but the tax cuts will be short lived if Congress continues to increase spending every year.

The fact remains that our deficit cannot be eliminated with tax increases. Believing it can denies the fundamental problem: The deficit is driven by out-of-control spending. Spending is where congressional deficit hawks should turn their attention.

It is true that the proposed tax reform packages would mean big changes for individuals, families, and businesses across the United States. Overwhelmingly, however, these changes would be resoundingly positive.

Lower- and middle-income families would receive the largest tax cuts, and they would be the primary beneficiaries of business tax reforms that would generate higher wages and more job opportunities across America.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Adam Michel

Adam Michel focuses on tax policy and the federal budget as a policy analyst in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

Portrait of Rachel Greszler

Rachel Greszler is a senior policy analyst in economics and entitlements at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. Read her research.

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U.S. factories closed out 2017 with a boom.

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People of Florida 2, Lobbyists 0. School Board Term Limits Advance Again!

Today we learned once again that the power of the grassroots here in Florida can overcome any special interest, no matter how entrenched.

The Local Government Committee of the Constitutional Revision Commission just passed School Board Term Limits by a 5-1 vote, meaning we are one step closer to letting Florida voters decide in 2018 whether eight years is enough for all school board politicians.

The School Board remains one of few areas in Florida government where there are no term limits yet, except for a single county (Duval).

I have to tell you, the way we passed the committee today was great. First, our sponsor — Collier School Board member Erika Donalds — gave an awesome pitch for term limits. Then, like clockwork, the biggest and most powerful lobbyists in Tallahassee got up one by one to bash term limits. These guys were angry. They know they stand to lose a lot of influence over incumbents if we succeed.

Erika handled their flimsy objections with no problems. Then, one commissioner, Bob Solari of Indian River, announced he would oppose term limits. At this moment, the gallery full of lobbyists and special interests gave Solari an ovation! They were so proud that someone stood up for their swamp.

However, one minute later, the committee voted and term limits WON, 5-1. Solari and his influence-peddling friends were crushed.

So how did the lobbyists lose? It’s simple. For the last few weeks, you and people like you have been making calls and sending emails nonstop to this Commission to let them know the people want term limits. Lobbyists have no such army behind them. They have deep pockets, sure, but they lack real citizens taking action to get things done.

Citizen energy is term limits’ secret weapon.

We’ve come a long way, but School Board term limits still aren’t on the 2018 ballot yet. This measure has to pass a drafting committee and then be elevated to the full Commission level for a final vote. But today’s action brings us one big step closer.

The Commission will even be touring Florida before taking a final vote, so you’ll have an opportunity to appear in person and make the case. I’ll email you when it comes to your town.

Thanks for your continued support,

Nick Tomboulides
Executive Director
U.S. Term Limits

Libs on Speech: Succumb, All Ye Faithful

Churches used to be where people went to escape the turmoil of the world. Now, with an outbreak of violence, the turmoil is coming to them. A wave of radicalism is boiling over, and America’s houses of worship are bearing the brunt. In the three months between January and March, there were more than 100 bomb threats called into Jewish community centers. Arsonists are attacking mosques at a furious rate. And I don’t have to tell you what happened at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

“Unfortunately, our society no longer seems to place the same value on religious belief,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said somberly.

“In fact, it often feels that in this modern society, religion is met with disdain and an attitude of militant secularization. We live in a time where violence and threats of violence are routinely used to scare people from practicing their religious beliefs.” As a culture, he went on, “we must make clear that we value this vital right to exercise religious freedom, and do what we can to encourage and foster this faith, for the good of the country. That’s why it is important we make clear that threatening places of worship, threatening religious institutions, and deterring good people from practicing their faith and exercising their right to do so, will not be tolerated.”

This week, members of Congress put their full force behind his words, passing — almost unanimously — a bill called the Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act of 2017. By a vote of 402-2, leaders from both parties are sending a powerful warning to anyone targeting men and women of faith: you will pay. Specifically, the law would give faith leaders more tools to fight this outbreak of violence, vandalism, and harassment. Threats to property, like bomb threats or anything else that keeps Americans from worshipping, will be severely punished. Congress wants to clamp down on the extremists putting faith in the crosshairs, upping the penalties to three years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. It’s an important policy, but an even more significant message that this Congress won’t stand by while evil men try to shake the faith of our country.

We applaud the House for protecting the churches physically — now it’s time to protect their freedom to speak. The secular Left is doing everything it can to keep that from happening, including an impressive takeover of the mainstream media’s talking points on the Johnson Amendment. For the last couple of weeks, while Congress deals with the snags in the two tax bills, liberals have ramped up their misinformation machine — spitting out dire warnings about the supposed effects of letting religious groups speak openly.

Their predictions, that churches will become underground PACs which funnel “dark money” through the process, is being passed off as legitimate journalism in places like CNN (which is apparently less concerned about fact-checking than it is about keeping Christians from engaging in the political process). Liberals scream that this is campaign finance law in disguise, another ridiculous talking point that the authors of the legislation have repeatedly debunked. Under the language of the House’s tax bill, nonprofits can use political speech only in the ordinary course of business and with very limited money.

As Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), House Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) have explained until they’re blue in the face that there is absolutely no way under this bill that churches are suddenly going to become underground party operatives. This is just about leveling the playing field that was tipped more than 60 years ago — and interpreted by liberal administrations like Obama’s as an excuse to go after religious groups with the full weight of the IRS behind them.

If the Senate agrees to the House language, Lankford, Scalise, Hice and Johnson explain, this is what will happen (hardly the stuff of nightmares): “An environmental nonprofit that sends out an e-newsletter educating its readers about the climate positions of candidates wouldn’t have to fear an audit. A church employee who distributes election voter guides (for which her church did not incur any cost for distribution) could not be punished by the IRS.” Besides, the trio continues:

“The bill also requires that any expenditure related to these activities are de minimis — that is, only minimal and not outside the usual expenses of the organization — to ensure that the organization’s primary function remains charitable or religious in nature… The criticism that our legislation would subsidize religious organizations’ politics demonstrates a double standard for faith-based entities. Leaders and employees of other entities that receive federal funding — such as hospitals and universities — are welcome to advocate for political causes and contribute to them. The IRS does not threaten to punish them when they engage in political speech.”

Liberals are scared all right — but not of churches becoming political PACs (a claim even they can’t substantiate). What they’re terrified of is greater engagement from the Christian community. After last year’s election, they understand how influential evangelicals can be, and they’ll do anything to keep history from repeating itself. If they can keep pastors from firing up their congregations on moral issues, they think they can limit the churches’ influence in the culture. The Framers, John Daniel Davidson points out in the Federalist, would have found this whole idea absurd. “Certainly, the idea that pastors and other clergy aren’t allowed to weigh in on elections or political issues from the pulpit would have struck the Founding Fathers as not only strange but inimical to the idea of a constitutional republic (especially since one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, John Witherspoon, was a Presbyterian minster).”

“Pastors, rabbis, and imams can’t be expected to stay silent on social matters like abortion, gay marriage, and transgenderism — or, more to the point, stay silent about candidates who espouse views of those matters that are hostile to the teachings of their faith. The same goes for more conventional political matters, such as war, immigration, and welfare. Religion has a lot to say about all those things, and religious leaders have a First Amendment right to speak to their congregations candidly about them — and about the candidates and officeholders who will make laws pertaining to them,” Davidson argues.

This is a priority of the president, as he reiterated to me again yesterday at a meeting with evangelical leaders in the Oval Office — and it should continue to be a priority of this Congress as it finishes up its work on tax reform.

Contact your leaders and remind them that free speech is for everyone.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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GUILTY: Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Company Surrenders In First Successful Prosecution [+video]

In the first successful prosecution of Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trafficking network, the companies DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics have admitted guilt in a $7.8 million settlement with the Orange County District Attorney’s office for selling baby body parts for profit.

The DaVinci companies harvested and sold late-term aborted fetal parts from Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties for 7 years, and made kickback payments to Planned Parenthood. The OCDA credited CMP’s investigative journalism reporting with prompting their investigation.

This news comes right after the U.S. Department of Justice has announced their own investigation of Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby body parts in violation of federal law, which David Daleiden discussed on December 11th on Fox News Channel with Tucker Carlson:

CMP’s statement is available here:

Two of Planned Parenthood’s business partners, DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics, have admitted guilt in a $7.8 million settlement with the Orange County District Attorney for selling aborted baby body parts from Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties for profit in violation of federal and California law. The OCDA’s press release credits citizen journalism reporting from The Center for Medical Progress for prompting the investigation of baby body parts trafficking in Orange County.

“The DaVinci companies’ admission of guilt for selling baby parts from Planned Parenthood is a ringing vindication of CMP’s citizen journalism methods and accuracy,” says CMP Project Lead David Daleiden. “In light of the news that Planned Parenthood is now under federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for the sale of fetal body parts, the next step is for Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties to be held accountable under the law for their 7-year-long aiding, abetting, and profiting in DaVinci’s criminal scheme to sell baby parts for profit.”

You can watch CMP’s previous undercover journalism about Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties and their relationship with the DaVinci companies here.

Planned Parenthood and their business partners’ commodification of our unborn brothers and sisters is an atrocity against humanity that deserves the full attention of the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice.

4 Highlights From Christian Baker’s Wedding Cake Case at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday [November 5, 2017] in a closely watched case dealing with free speech, religious liberty, and same-sex marriage.

Specifically, the justices considered whether the state of Colorado can force Jack Phillips, a Christian baker, to create a custom cake for a same-sex wedding against his deeply held religious beliefs.

Attorneys for Phillips clearly explained that he seeks to exercise his freedom only to speak messages that he agrees with, while still welcoming all customers into his store. The First Amendment’s free speech and religious liberty clauses protect his freedoms to do just that.

In a lengthy and charged oral argument, the nine justices wrestled with how Americans who hold different views on marriage in our post-Obergefell society can continue to live with each other in mutual respect.

Here are some highlights of the argument.

1. Mutual Tolerance Is Essential in a Free Society

In one of the most charged exchanges of the day, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy questioned Colorado Solicitor General Frederick Yarger about whether a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission who compared Phillips to a racist and a Nazi demonstrated anti-religious bias—and that, if he did so, whether the judgment against Masterpiece should stand.

After disavowing the commissioner’s comments, Yarger argued that the ruling should still stand. But Kennedy returned to the issue again, telling Yarger that “tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual. It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs.”

Kennedy also pointed out there were other cake shops that would have accommodated Charlie Craig and David Mullins, the same-sex couple who requested a cake for their wedding.

In a similar line of questioning, Justice Samuel Alito pointed out that the state of Colorado had failed to demonstrate mutual tolerance when it only protected the freedom of cake artists who landed on one side of the gay marriage debate—namely, the state’s side.

When three religious customers went to cake artists to request cakes that were critical of same-sex marriage, those cake artists declined—yet Colorado did not apply its anti-discrimination statute to punish the artists. But when Phillips declined to create a cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage, Colorado imposed a three-pronged penalty that drove him out of the wedding cake business, causing him to lose 40 percent of his business.

2. Compelled Speech for Everyone

The irony of the comparison of Phillips to a Nazi is that both the ACLU lawyer representing the gay couple (David Cole) and the Colorado solicitor general admitted the state could rightfully force cake artists to celebrate the racist ideals of white supremacy, or one of the most infamous events in world history, the Holocaust.

At one point, Justice Stephen Breyer followed up on a question from Justice Neil Gorsuch about whether a cake artist could be forced to create a cross-shaped cake for a religious group that shared the beliefs of the KKK. Cole responded that if the cake artist did so for the Red Cross, then yes, the artist would have to do so for the religious group as well.

Similarly, Justice Samuel Alito asked Colorado if a cake artist who created a cake with words celebrating Nov. 9 for someone’s anniversary could also be forced to create the same cake to celebrate Nov. 9, 1938.

On that infamous night, known as “Kristallnacht,” the Nazis launched their pogrom against Jews by burning over 1,000 synagogues and damaging more than 7,000 Jewish businesses.

In the exchange with Alito, the Colorado solicitor general said that cake artists could not discriminate on the basis of identity, but could discriminate on the basis of messages. Gorsuch later responded, saying that’s exactly what Phillips has argued.

Kristen Waggoner of Alliance Defending Freedom argued Jack Phillips’ case before the Supreme Court. (Photo: Jeff Malet/The Heritage Foundation)

3. Disagreement Does Not Equal Discrimination

Kennedy also challenged Colorado and the ACLU on their argument that Phillips discriminates on the basis of identity, rather than his idea of what constitutes a marriage. In an exchange with the ACLU attorney, Kennedy called the repeated attempts to characterize Phillips as discriminating on the basis of identity “too facile.”

During the oral arguments, the court appeared to recognize what is patently obvious from the facts. Phillips welcomes all people into his store, encourages them to buy off-the-shelf items, and will make custom-designed cakes for them provided they don’t ask for items that violate his beliefs.

He has served gays for the 24 years his store has been in operation and welcomes their business to this day. He does not discriminate against anybody because of their identity.

So comparisons to shopkeepers in the Jim Crow South who sought to keep the races “separate but equal” are a smear that divert attention from the real issue: Phillips simply disagrees with the state on the issue of marriage.

Roberts appeared to recognize this when chiding the ACLU for lumping in supporters of traditional marriage with racists, noting that in Obergefell, the court had said support for traditional marriage is rooted in “decent and honorable” premises.

Jennifer Marshall of The Heritage Foundation holds a sign outside the Supreme Court. (Photo: Jeff Malet/The Heritage Foundation)

4. Orthodoxy Determined by the State

Finally, the oral arguments revealed the scope of how far the state of Colorado is willing to go to impose its views of marriage on citizens. In one line of questioning from Roberts, Colorado admitted that it would force Catholic Legal Services to provide a same-sex couple with legal services related to their wedding even if it violates Catholic teachings on marriage.

And in questioning from Alito, the ACLU answered that the state could force a Christian college whose creed opposes same-sex marriage to perform a same-sex wedding in its chapel.

Like many Americans, Phillips seeks to work in a manner consistent with his deeply held religious beliefs, including on marriage. In order to follow his conscience, he has turned down requests for cakes that contain messages expressing certain ideas: Halloween and divorce, anti-American themes, and even anti-gay messages.

What he has never done is turn away anyone because of who they are.

The Supreme Court should uphold the rights of all Americans to work according to their religious beliefs and to be free from government intrusion that would force them to speak messages in violation of their deeply held beliefs.

After its decision in Roe v. Wade, the court respected the freedoms of Americans on both sides of the abortion debate. It rejected the argument that opposition to abortion is rooted in animus toward women because it recognized that there are many other rational reasons why people oppose abortion.

This is no different. There are many Americans who support traditional marriage for reasons that have nothing to do with animus toward gays. All Americans will benefit when free speech and religious liberty are robustly protected.

The court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop can help foster more civil dialogue on marriage so that we can all live according to our consciences and in peace with one another.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Emilie Kao

Emilie Kao is director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: Wedding Cake Baker’s Backers Say Fight Is for Everyone’s First Amendment Rights, Not Just His

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

In 1 Chart, the Differences Between the House and Senate Tax Reform Bills

The House and Senate have now each passed different versions of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Both bills are a big improvement to America’s out-of-date tax code and could boost the economy by almost 3 percent, leading to more jobs and higher wages for working Americans.

Both bills cut taxes for individuals and businesses, largely repeal the state and local tax deduction, and allow businesses to invest more in the American economy through temporary expensing.

The bills now head to a conference committee where a unified bill will be crafted. Here are some of the major differences you need to know about:

In addition to these differences, the House bill repeals or scales back many credits and deductions that are largely left intact by the Senate.

For example, the House bill caps the mortgage interest deduction for future home buyers; repeals the deductions for medical expenses, private activity bonds, and student loan interest; and eliminates credits for historic rehabilitation, energy production, and orphan drugs. The Senate largely leaves each of these provisions intact.

The conference committee has a tough, but doable, job ahead of it. It has the opportunity to borrow the best components of each bill to further enhance the proposed reforms’ benefits for all Americans.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Adam Michel

Adam Michel focuses on tax policy and the federal budget as a policy analyst in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: These 229 Businesses and Groups Support Tax Reform

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

Dramatic drop in number of refugees entering the U.S. in first 2 months of fiscal year

The President now has completed the first two months of what will be his first full year in admitting refugees to the US and we see numbers are dramatically lower. 

In fact they are so low that if the present pace continues until the end of the fiscal year, September 30th, less than 20,000 could be the final tally.

As readers know the Trump Administration set the CEILING for this fiscal year at 45,000, but that is a ceiling, not a target!

Doing okay, but I continue to argue that simply dropping numbers isn’t enough because the next Prez could raise the numbers higher to make up for lost time. The entire program should be abolished and if the President and Congress want a program they need to work on it.  Removing the middlemen contractors should be the first order of business when (if!) they put America First!

Trump thumbs up flags

I caution readers to not get too excited by the dramatic downward (so far) trend because if past years are any indication there is usually a lull in the first few months followed by a summer uptick then a huge flood comes in in September because everyone is pushing to reach the ceiling (with the exception being the year Obama and Trump shared the fiscal year).

In FY 17 Obama was pouring them in in the first months while in the closing months Trump was slowing the flow.

(See chart below through October 31 to see monthly admissions.  Note the ceiling numbers and the ultimate admissions numbers.) And, do you see that dip in the middle of FY11, that is when those Iraqi refugee terrorists were arrested in Bowling Green, KY and caused the whole huge Iraqi flow to America to grind to a halt as they needed to be rescreened.

Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart had a look at the numbers here yesterday, however he concentrated on the November numbers which were available yesterday at Wrapsnet.

I’ll focus my attention on the numbers in this fiscal year which includes the months of October and November combined.

For the first two months of FY18 we admitted 3,108 refugees. If that pace continued for the year the total would be less than 20,000 (again 45,000 is the ceiling).

The resettlement contractors*** must be having hissy-fits as they ‘bid for bodies’ (aka paying refugee clients) as each must fight to keep its taxpayer-funded budget from imploding.

***Update*** The wailing began yesterday as Jewish and Lutheran refugee contractors saw the numbers, see here.  The Lutherans esp. need the cold hard cash refugees represent because they have some funny-money problems going on there, here.

So what do the Muslim numbers look like?

There is no question that the Muslim percentage of refugees has dropped precipitously this fiscal year, again see Leahy for November.

Muslim refugees account for 16% of the flow this fiscal year which is way down from nearly 50% during some of Obama’s years in office.

My calculations indicate that of the 3,108 total refugee admissions for those two months, 487 are Muslim. That works out to about 16% for the two months.  Wrapsnet has the various Muslim sects designated like this:

Amadiyya: 7 total, all from Pakistan

Moslem: total 362

Tops in that category: Burma 111, DR Congo 35, Eritrea 50, Ethiopia 23, and Somalia 107 plus smaller numbers from other countries (Those from Burma are Rohingya)

Moslem Shiite: total 45

Tops in that category: Afghanistan 13, Iraq 29

Moslem Suni: total 73

Tops in that category: Iraq 27, Somalia 19, Syria 22

It makes me laugh to see those Iraqi numbers.  We have the Sunnis and Shiites fighting each other in Iraq and then we bring in the two opposing sides!  Will they continue their centuries of quarreling in your city?

By the way, if you run your own numbers at Wrapsnet I encourage you to use the fiscal year numbers instead of annual year because this whole program is run on a fiscal year basis.

Have a look at the entry numbers for each month since FY2008 (a Bush year) below:

Screenshot (55)_LI.jpg

Notice what the tricksters at the DOS have done here. Obama set the FY17 ceiling as he was walking out the door at 110,000.  Note that he had 7 previous years where he could have done the same. Why didn’t he?   Trump legally reset it at 50,000, but the DOS left the 110,000 there because they want to make Trump look as mean as they possibly can compared to their dear leader Obama, and so that their media lackeys can continue to write about Obama’s 110,000 level that was really pie in the sky.  110,000 could never have been accomplished.

***And here for new readers are the nine federal resettlement contractors paid by you to place refugees in your towns and cities.  These middlemen get paid by the head for their ‘charitable good works,’ so they have no incentive to ever see a reduction in numbers.

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Find out who is in charge of refugee resettlement in your state…

VIDEO: At the Crossroads IV — Energy & Climate Policy Summit

I just got back to California last night after a packed week in our nation’s capital. Happily, it was by far the most impactful week I’ve ever spent in DC.

The most exciting development during the trip is something I can’t talk about yet, unfortunately–and its outcome is uncertain–but there is a real chance I will help shape a new project that will give tens of millions of people access to energy for the first time. I should know within six months.

Now, what I can talk about.

Yesterday I spoke at the “Crossroads IV: Energy and Climate Policy Summit” hosted by the Heritage Foundation and the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). I gave the latest version of my “Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” talk. (Starts about 2:14:00 in.) If you haven’t heard me speak in a while make sure to check it out as I’ve added some new content, particularly about how to properly frame the discussion.

Also, make sure to watch the appearance by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. I was very impressed by him; he clearly cares and thinks carefully about both industrial progress and environmental quality. (One interesting point he made is that previous EPAs didn’t care about environmental quality because they were on their anti-carbon crusades.) I didn’t get to meet him this time around because he left immediately for a flight, but I will make sure to in the future. I would certainly like to help his efforts in any way that I can.

Thanks to the TPPF, especially Brooke Rollins and Chip Roy, for inviting me. Also thanks to the Heritage Foundation, who sponsored one of the first Moral Case for Fossil Fuels launch events back in 2014.

On Wednesday morning I spoke to the Congressional Coal Caucus. Congressman Andy Barr of Kentucky invited me and he was joined by about seven other Congressmen, including Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota. I discussed how coal supporters have failed by “arguing to 0” (including defending coal primarily based on jobs) and outlined how they could “argue to 100” that coal is good because it is so often the best form of energy for human flourishing.

I also had some meetings with major thought leaders and political officials. It’s very gratifying that The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels has given me the opportunity to have a real influence on energy policy.

You can also check out two of my recent recent interviews. In my appearance on the Wealth Formula Podcast, we delved deep into how to have constructive conversations about fossil fuels (and controversial issues in general). You can listen to that here.

I also had a fun interview with the Renegade Report about my debate at Africa Oil Week, where I got to discuss some of the things I learned during my trip to Africa. You can listen to that here.

ALSO: Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help your organization turn non-supporters into supporters and turn supporters into champions.

1. Hire me to speak at your next event.

If you have an upcoming board meeting, employee town hall, or association meeting, I have some new and updated speeches about the moral case for fossil fuels, winning hearts and minds, and communications strategy in the new political climate. If you’d like to consider me for your event, just reply to this message and put “Event” in the subject line.

2. Fill out the free Constructive Conversation Scorecard to assess where you are and where you want to be in your one-on-one communications.

Email it back to me and I’ll send you my step-by-step Constructive Conversation System that will enable you to talk to anyone about energy.

3. Hold a Constructive Conversation workshop.

For the last two years I have been testing and refining an approach to one-on-one conversations that anybody can use. I call it the Constructive Conversation Formula. If you have between 5-20 people who interact frequently with stakeholders and want custom guidance on how to win hearts and minds, just reply to this email and put “Workshop” in the subject line.

The Secretive, Taxpayer-Financed Settlement Fund Used by Lawmakers Accused of Sexual Harassment

Staffers who are the targets of unwanted sexual advances on Capitol Hill should not have to endure a lengthy mediation process and pay the legal bills as lawmakers secretly draw on a mysterious slush fund to settle the accusations against them, an advocate for taxpayers argues.

In the event of a monetary settlement of sexual harassment complaints, members of Congress can draw on a taxpayer-funded account set up within the Treasury Department to cover their legal expenses and settle cases.

The account has paid out $17 million in the past 10 years, public records show, although it is not clear how much of that was for cases of sexual harassment.

“Right now, it’s very unclear to the taxpayer where this money is going,” Grace Morgan, director of external affairs for the Washington-based Taxpayers Protection Alliance, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

“We don’t know who is getting paid the settlements and why they are getting paid the settlements,” Morgan said Monday. “The $17 million figure does not distinguish between sexual harassment claims and other general workplace claims. There is no information and no transparency.”

The spotlight fell on the question of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill after the scandal that brought down Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein prompted dozens of women, and men, to blow the whistle on the sexually predatory practices of major business, entertainment, and media figures ranging from actor Kevin Spacey to news anchor Charlie Rose.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the longest-serving member of Congress, has been accused of sexual harassment by two former staffers. Several women, although none of them staffers, also accuse Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., of groping them.

When a congressional staffer decides to press ahead with allegations of sexual harassment, he or she must navigate a four-step process administered through an agency called the Office of Compliance. The steps: counseling, mediation,  administrative hearing or civil action, and appeals.

“This turns out to be a 180-day process, and it’s not very fair or just to the victims,” Morgan said.

Nor is the amount paid out as the result of sexual harassment accusations against lawmakers currently public information, she said.

“We also need a full investigation into the $17 million and what has been paid to victims, how much involves sexual harassment claims and how this impacts taxpayers,” Morgan said.

‘Initial Spike’

For starters, the Senate passed a resolution requiring training on sexual harassment for senators and their staff. The House was expected to follow suit Wednesday.

Although an “initial spike” in sexual harassment complaints is likely to occur when new procedures go into effect, congressional employees will benefit over the long term from a healthier workplace, Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Monday.

Comstock, sponsor of a resolution targeting sexual harassment and discrimination that has attracted broad, bipartisan support, said she expects the House to adopt it.

The resolution would require “all House members, officers, employees, including interns, detailees, and fellows” to complete “anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training” during each annual session of Congress.

Comstock said she also will explore a legislative fix aimed at preventing the use of taxpayers’ money to cover settlement expenses when employees accuse lawmakers of sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, the resolution stipulates that lawmakers and employees complete training regarding sexual harassment within 90 days of the start of a one-year session.  New employees must complete the training within 90 days of their hire date.

Where the current, 115th Congress is concerned, individual lawmakers and staffers must complete training no later than 180 days after its second one-year session begins in January.

‘A Changed Culture’

The House vote Wednesday marks a “watershed moment” of bipartisan support for a resolution that will begin a step-by-step process for implementing “fundamental reforms that change how [sexual] harassment is detected and prevented,” Comstock told The Daily Signal.

“We are looking at what can be done by resolution and what needs to be done legislatively,” the Virginia Republican said:

What we want is a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of behavior and a changed culture so that people can be free from this kind of harassment. We would also like to streamline the process for victims to come forward with any complaints so that it is not so long and drawn out. It should be a victim-friendly process.

BuzzFeed first reported that Conyers, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, reached a settlement in 2015 with a former staffer in a wrongful dismissal complaint. She alleged that she was the victim of unwanted sexual advances from Conyers, now 88.

Conyers “repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sex acts, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public,” BuzzFeed reported.

Tuesday morning, news broke that another former staff member had leveled accusations against the congressman.

The accuser, Deanna Maher, said Conyers made unwanted sexual advances toward her on three different occasions while she ran his district office in Michigan between 1997 and 2005, according to the Detroit News and other media reports.

Four women have come forward to accuse Franken, 66, of sexual harassment, beginning with Leeann Tweeden, a radio talk show host who described his behavior during a USO tour in 2006, two years before he was elected senator. Another woman, Lindsay Menz, said Franken groped her while having his photo taken with her at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair.

Legislation Possible 

Co-sponsors of Comstock’s resolution include fellow members of the House Administration Committee: Chairman Gregg Harper, R-Miss.; ranking member Robert Brady, D-Pa.; and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.

Looking ahead, Comstock said she would like to see additional steps taken to ensure taxpayers would not be on the hook to cover legal settlements following allegations of sexual harassment.

“For that, we would need new legislation,” she said.

The House Administration Committee scheduled a hearing for Dec. 7 to review possible actions under the Congressional Accountability Act, the 1995 law specifying that certain civil rights, labor, workplace, and health care laws must apply to Congress.

That law also created an independent agency, the Office of Compliance, which is led by a five-member, nonpartisan board of directors and four executive staff members appointed by the board.

The Office of Compliance is charged with advising members of Congress, congressional staff, and visiting members of the public on their rights and their responsibilities in the workplace setting.

The office also offers advice on potential changes to the Congressional Accountability Act. Its general counsel has independent investigatory and enforcement authority for certain violations of the law.

‘Needs to Be Reformed’

After receiving multiple media inquiries about taxpayers’ money being used to cover the costs of settling sexual harassment allegations against lawmakers or legislative branch employees, Susan Tsui Grundmann, executive director of the Office of Compliance, released figures showing more than $17 million has been spent since 1997 to cover the settlements.

Not all of the complaints covered by the $17 million involved sexual harassment. Some were allegations made under the Americans with Disabilities Act, while others involved potential civil rights infractions.

Neither Grundmann nor other officials have made public a detailed breakdown of how and why the $17 million was spent.

The idea behind the Congressional Accountability Act was to apply the same set of anti-discrimination and civil rights laws governing other Americans to members of Congress and their staffs. But the 1995 law created a taxpayer-financed “Awards and Settlements” account in the Treasury Department to cover the cost of legal settlements.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance, which is nonpartisan, focuses on educating the public about the effects of excessive taxation and spending at all levels of government.

Morgan, the organization’s director of external affairs, said the settlements fund appears to be used to insulate Congress from much-needed accountability and transparency.

“I would like to see a system where members of Congress themselves have to pay the settlement, or they have to go through the dispute process,” Morgan said in the interview, adding:

As it stands now, the victim has to pay for her own legal fees,  where the member of Congress gets the federal funding for their lawyer. It’s a very long, drawn-out process that needs to be reformed.

The Office of Compliance would be responsible for administering the training created by the House resolution.

Aggressive Action

Comstock said she anticipates more complaints will be filed against members of both the House and Senate as employees become more familiar with what sexual harassment is.

“We might see an initial spike in the number of complaints as people develop a better understanding of what constitutes harassment,” the Virginia Republican said. “But the end result will be a more positive, healthy work environment.”

Congress could learn from how corporate America and the military moved to address questions of sexual harassment, she said. Both institutions have wrestled with similar issues for many years and their procedural changes could be instructive, she said.

“They have addressed this problem very aggressively,” Comstock said, and she believes in-person training is more effective than online sessions.

In a change long familiar to many other workplaces, the House resolution would require every lawmaker’s office to post “a statement of the rights and protections provided to employees of the House of Representatives under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.”

What happens next, assuming the House adopts the resolution Wednesday, will become more clear after the Administration Committee’s Dec. 7 hearing.

While it may be challenging for Americans inside and outside Congress to come to terms with misconduct that involves public officials who agree with their political views, Comstock said, the safety and well-being of employees should be paramount.

“I think it’s best to stay out of the team politics and instead focus on the right policies,” she said.

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.

Portrait of Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Kevin. Twitter: @KevinMooneyDC.

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