Welcome to the Fourth Reich

Shortly after World War II ended, Americans were in shock as the horrors of the Holocaust were revealed. But they also took comfort from the fact that nothing like that could ever happen here. Or could it?

The plethora of new and ever-changing dictatorial edicts in many states today strikes me as eerily reminiscent of the Nazi’s series of escalating mandates that targeted the Jewish population. However, in our own case, we’re all the targets.

Consider the new piece of legislation proposed by congressional Democrat Bobby Rush, H.R. 6666. If you’ve read the Bible, you may blanch at the number of this bill, as well as at its content.

The bill calls for the creation of a civilian army of “contact tracers” to spy on American citizens, to determine whether any of us test positive for Covid-19—a flu virus so mild that most people have no idea they’ve contracted it. However, it can provoke serious, life-threatening illness in people in their 80s and 90s, especially those in nursing homes—and one would want to make sure anyone entering a nursing home is virus-free.

But that’s as far as this insane idea should go.

In case you needed another tip-off that the tracing program is good for the bad guys and bad for the rest of us: Bill Gates, George Soros, the Clintons, Governors Cuomo and Newsom, among others, are pushing it as hard as they can. A play-along Health Department official in Ventura County, while singing the praises of this unprecedented and astonishingly creepy plan, let the cat out of the bag: the “contact tracers” will come to your home, insist on testing you and your family, and may also insist on carting off any person who tests positive if you have “only one bathroom” in your home. As Dave Barry was wont to say, I am not making this up. The state could conceivably abscond with your 6-year-old child, or your spouse, taking them to a “safe” place for “quarantine.”

Never mind that in America, no one has the right to enter your home without your permission, unless he has a warrant—and no warrant is to be issued without “probable cause.” So the question comes down to this: are we, in fact, still in America?

This Stasi-style spying program, guaranteed to create informers, accusers, and snitches-in–waiting, is a thinly veiled persecution of our citizens. The crime? Being suspected of having been exposed to someone who was exposed to someone else who may possibly have had a cold—I mean virus. Here’s the kicker: any healthy person, even one with natural antibodies to Covid-19, and/or a robust immune system that could easily fight the virus off, is now at the mercy of the State, since he or she might “test positive.” Then all bets are off.

The devil, as usual, is in the details: the “best test,” the PCR, is not even a diagnostic test! Its usefulness, according to the Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis, who invented it, is restricted to research. Maybe that’s why it’s producing 80% false positives, as noted in a recent Chinese study. Yet your future may depend on a toss of the PCR dice.

Now let’s take a big step back: isn’t “herd immunity” what ends flu epidemics? Don’t we want people under 65 to get the virus, which is often asymptomatic, so we reach herd immunity and the virus peters out? In other words, isn’t testing positive a good thing? Or have the “experts” once again changed the narrative…

First it was all about “flattening the curve”—but the catastrophic “curve” turned out to be a mirage, projected by the UK’s disgraced Neil Ferguson and his Imperial College group’s wacko computer modeling. Well, anyone can make a mistake, right? Then it was our desperate need for ventilators—but we’ve since learned that ventilators are the wrong treatment for serious cases and tend to damage patients’ lungs, raising mortality rates rather than saving patients’ lives.

And why oh why must we continue to hear from the relentless Dr. Fauci, who singlehandedly depresses an entire nation, and when challenged, masterfully weasels out of his own public statements. Isn’t it about time for President Trump to snap out of the Faucian trance he seems to be in? No, Mr. President, we don’t need millions of dicey tests any more than we needed huge hospital ships or millions of ventilators for the millions of emergency Covid-patients who never materialized. And we especially don’t need a Fauci-touted, Bill Gates-funded vaccine. Thanks anyway. And whoever is advising you to green-light all this—fire ‘em!

If we’d done what we always do when a new viral epidemic strikes—that is, go on with our lives as usual—no masks, no “social distancing,” and no draconian “lockdowns,” renowned epidemiologist Dr. Knut Wittkowski says the virus would have likely peaked and ended within four weeks due to natural herd immunity. Yes, four weeks! Surely it must be clear to everyone by now that the virus is the least of our worries.

In fact, a far greater worry may commence as the “tracing” efforts begin. Imagine living in dread that anyone you meet may name you as a “contact” if they test positive. How’s that for restoring faith in community and normal social interaction?

Although PCR testing is useless for diagnosing Covid-19, it’s assuredly a powerful tool for terrorizing the public—especially if it is used as the basis to lock up those who defy the State. (And by “State” I do not mean the Trump administration, but the Deep State and assorted America-hating, globalist, One World Government/New World Order types.) Think for a moment how easy it would be, in this era of high-tech surveillance, for the powers-that-be to single out those they view as potential troublemakers: i.e., conservatives, patriots, Christians, NRA members, Republicans, Jews, libertarians, and truth-tellers of all stripes. Lo and behold, they all test “positive!”

And as we’ve seen with the ever-changing diktats from on high, the “only one bathroom” rationale may quickly morph into “only one kitchen,” etc., thus enabling the state to round up its targeted enemies for lengthy “quarantine”—perhaps in those FEMA camps citizen journalists have been warning us about for years. Just imagine the interrogations: Are you now or have you ever been infected with Covid-19? Guilty as charged. Now rat on your friends.

In a recent video conference, Bill Clinton and Gavin Newsom, with barely concealed glee, congratulated each other on their enthusiastic support for unleashing an army of newly minted Brownshirts, aka “contact tracers,” to hound American citizens and coerce us into being “tested.” Let me remind you that, in addition to their being worthless diagnostically, thousands of these tests given only a month or so ago were actually contaminated with the virus! No wonder so many were testing positive and getting sick! Accidents do happen.

Governor Newsom’s statement from that video is worth quoting: “The predicate for getting back to some semblance of normalcy is our ability to identify individuals through testing, to be able to trace their contacts, to isolate individuals that either have been exposed, or quarantine people that have tested positive. And that’s just going to require an army of folks, and the capacity of consideration from individuals to allow for their privacy to be impacted by that kind of acuity of attention based upon where they’ve been and who they’ve talked to.”

Gotta love “capacity of consideration” and “that kind of acuity of attention.” These phrases take Orwellian doublespeak to a whole new level. Bravo, Gavin! Let’s translate this poisonous prose into English: Gruesome Newsom, the self-appointed dictator of California, plans to send an army of cretins and thugs out to barge into your homes, to spit upon your privacy, your rights, your families, and your friends, or else. I doubt, however, that the tracers will be focusing said “acuity of attention” on the Newsom family.

Of course if this horrifically oppressive system were put into place, in spite of being utterly unconstitutional and an affront to the dignity, privacy, and independence of the American people, everyone would quickly come to loathe and fear it.

The answer? Ah, ask Mr. Gates.

Just a simple jab in the hand or arm. A Gates-funded, Fauci-backed, rushed-to-market, highly lucrative experimental vaccine! But don’t forget the Part B: Gates’ other dream come true: ID2020. That’s the end game. Get the vaccine and the chip permanently installed in your body, and you become chattel owned by the globalist elites who are behind this entire satanic program for which the virus was merely the ruse chosen to set it all in motion. Why now? Because they knew they had no one to beat Trump in November, and four more years of prosperity and nationalism might just derail their glorious, globalist New World Dystopia plan for good.

Think this can’t happen?

Think we’re still in America?

Think we should succumb to the social distancing—meaning no assembling for protests or for prayer, let alone for weddings, funerals, or summer barbecues? Wanna keep wearing masks as if we were living in a hospital instead of a country? Think we should just shrug our shoulders and accept the tracking, tracing, testing, sheltering in place, lockdowns, shutdowns, mandatory vaccinations, and mandatory ID2020—coincidentally reminiscent of the biblical “Mark of the Beast,” without which “no man may buy or sell”?

Are you figuring out why liberty matters?

It’s looking more and more like some of the wild conspiracy theories circulating on the Web for decades may be true. We’re surely at a tipping point, teetering on the edge of the totalitarian abyss. Yanking the country back from that cliff is our only hope. We rescue our nation, or we lose it.

As to the question so often asked after WWII: Can it happen here? We have already lived part way into the answer. The difference is that in our case, there’s no safe haven for us to flee to. America is the last stop.

© Cherie Zaslawsky

PODCAST: Proxy Voting Lets ‘20 People Control’ Congress, Warns Kevin McCarthy

Democrats passed proxy voting in their fourth coronavirus recovery bill on Friday. “Instead of 435 [people] representing districts across the nation … 20 people control all of Congress,” says House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, referring to the effect of Democrats’ proxy voting push.

“Each member can call up to 10 proxies,” McCarthy tells The Daily Signal Podcast. “So if the Democrats have 20 people, all holding 10 proxies, they can pass any bill.” He adds, “This is about bringing back the voice of the American public. … Now that voice isn’t even being heard because just 20 people decide what passes and doesn’t.”

Listen to the podcast, or read the lightly edited transcript pasted below.

We also cover these stories:


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicates his support for Sen. Lindsey Graham’s call to subpoena Obama administration officials to learn what they knew and didn’t know about surveillance of the Trump campaign.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls President Donald Trump “morbidly obese” in response to the news that he is taking hydroxychloroquine.
  • “I know the president wants to see those folks that go back to work to get a 7.6% cut in their payroll tax,” says top Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

The Daily Signal Podcast is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!

Rachel del Guidice: I’m joined today on The Daily Signal Podcast by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Congressman McCarthy, it’s great to have you on The Daily Signal Podcast.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: Thank you very much. I’m glad to be on.

Del Guidice: Well, thanks for being with us. So, in Democrats fourth coronavirus recovery package, they passed vote by proxy and you have been very outspoken about what they’re trying to do here. What is your perspective on all of this?

McCarthy: Well, it’s to take power away. We have 435 members that represent the entire United States. Districts are cut up evenly. We do a census every two years. Why? Because each district loans their voice and power to their member of Congress.

Now, with a proxy vote, instead of 435 representing districts across the nation that can be held accountable, 20 people control all of Congress, because each member can call up to 10 proxies. So if the Democrats have 20 people, all holding 10 proxies, they can pass any bill.

Now, how can that constituent’s voice be heard? How could that person be held accountable when you can see that [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi can sit in her office, write the largest bill that’s ever been voted on in the history of Congress, never going through one committee, never being questioned except coming direct to the floor with no other options?

And when you look at the bill, it mentions cannabis more than it mentions jobs. I mean, it’s cash for cannabis, with nothing to do with COVID.

Del Guidice: … The floor speech you had called this the most significant power grab in the history of Congress. Can you unpack this for a little bit? What did you mean by that?

McCarthy: … It gives more power to the speaker because it goes against directly what our Founders believed. Our Founders would be ashamed because they expect us to assemble.

If you’re on Capitol Hill right now, and you simply walk two blocks away, you can go to Starbucks and get a coffee or a tea. You can walk a hundred yards away from the House and you could see the Senate meeting.

The only place that’s not meeting is the House itself. Why? Because it provides more power to Nancy Pelosi to write a wish list for liberals inside her own office and just bring it to the floor—$3 trillion with no one even seeing it beforehand, no committees having input into it.

And that’s why, when you look at the bill itself, what did it do? It talked about pot, it talked about prisoners, it politicized federal elections, it prioritized illegal immigrants, and they talked about pensions—nothing to do with COVID itself.

Del Guidice: Looking at their vote by proxy provision, can you detail for us, for people who don’t know, what would this do? How would this change Congress? If you could say three or four things [about] what vote by proxy does, what are those things?

McCarthy: What proxy does [is] it gives the power away. It lets the power rest with only 20 people. It cannot be held accountable.

What’s so sad about this [is] just a few short weeks ago, Speaker Pelosi said actually on our floor, “We are the captains of the ships. We are the last to leave,” but proxy voting calls on Congress to actually abandon the ship, to be the first to leave for months or even possibly the rest of the session. So members never have to come back.

And this is more than about just opening a campus. This is about bringing back the voice of the American public. They are the ones who gave the voice to their constituents. But now that voice isn’t even being heard because just 20 people decide what passes and doesn’t.

Del Guidice: How would proxy voting change historical precedent?

McCarthy: Well, it goes against everything, which I believe is unconstitutional. How can 20 people determine there’s a quorum if the people are not here? Any bill that would be passed via proxy to determine a quorum I would believe wouldn’t stand the constitutional challenge.

… Think for a moment—you have a constituency, you go to your member of Congress and you want them to represent their district, but they pass their vote to another member who’s never been there, never heard from him, and they get to cast that vote.

Del Guidice: … Since you mentioned that, how could vote by proxy especially affect more moderate Democrats who sometimes do cross the aisle to work with Republican counterparts? How could that specifically affect them?

McCarthy: How it would affect them personally—I’m sure Nancy Pelosi will get their votes. So they may be a moderate or say they are, but they’re going to give their vote to the liberal wing of the party and they’re going to have no say.

They don’t have an ability inside a committee to change the course, to make the bill different or better. It only comes to the floor and they have no control over beating back because one member stands up there, here’s 10 votes to your one.

Del Guidice: With proxy voting, could a member choose who gets to cast their proxy vote or is it basically chosen for them?

McCarthy: They can choose. But what do you think the speaker’s going to be able to do? The speaker’s probably going to choose for them if they cannot come back.

If they’re on the floor and we’re bringing up a debate, a different amendment to change the bill and others, they have no say, the proxy gets to determine how the vote goes.

Del Guidice: So does proxy voting … essentially pave the way for an electronic remote voting system completely?

McCarthy: Well, it also puts in there that people can just stay home. And this goes against what I believe everyone wanted and the Founders, they wanted members to assemble. They wanted members to work.

If you remember Roger Sherman, now he’s the only Founder to sign all four great state documents. He said this in 1789, “When the people have chosen a representative, it is his duty to meet others from different parts of the union and consult and agree with them to such acts as are for the general benefit of the whole community.”

Now, Sherman is right, especially in a pandemic. Our presence is important. We are essential and we should be working.

Now, if you’re not here and not working, there is no voice for your district. And that’s what matters. It matters to our Constitution, it matters to our institution, and it matters for all those who come after us because that’s exactly what you’re talking about, that they would change the constitutional behavior.

If you look Article One, Section Three, Four, or Five, they believe Congress should meet.

Del Guidice: … Would [vote by proxy] become the new normal for Congress? And if so, how would that happen?

McCarthy: Right now they say it’s only during COVID, but I believe it will just continue on. We’ve watched that time and again, because it empowers the speaker more power, and that’s what she craves the most.

Del Guidice: When it comes to proxy voting, are there security risks involved too for the House, if everything were to move online?

McCarthy: Big security. If 20 people are given all the power, how does that person that gave their proxy away know if the bill changed or [if the] amendment was brought up or others? Just those 20 people can decide whatever happens.

Del Guidice: Looking at things from just a larger perspective regarding the bill, the latest coronavirus bill that was passed, what was your perspective on that bill as a whole, proxy voting aside?

McCarthy: The bill did not reflect what the country needed or desired because it never went through committee. It was written just by Nancy Pelosi. And the main elements of the bill were things that the Democrats from the socialist wing of the party have been trying to pass all year, long before COVID ever came through.

You look at the Democrats’ most important bill, H.R. 1. That dealt with federalizing the election, taking the power away from states. Well, they put that in the bill.

Releasing people from prisons—that’s something that they’ve been trying to do some quite time. Prioritizing illegal immigrants, making sure they’re receiving money instead of Americans themselves, that was in the bill as well.

So if you watch, a number of these bills had already passed by the Democrats and that’s what they hope to make.

Remember what the No. 3 Democrat Jim Clyburn said to all the conference, he believes COVID is a perfect time to restructure government in their view.

You’ve got freshmen congresswomen who love the idea that when the price of oil drops so hard that people are losing their jobs, they said they loved it.

They believed that they shouldn’t pass the bill when we were putting forth money for small businesses because they believed COVID gave them a leverage to actually restructure government, much like the majority whip set. And then we had [former Vice President] Joe Biden saying the exact same thing.

They don’t look at COVID as an opportunity to solve a virus and a concern for all of America. They look at it as an opportunity to restructure government in a more socialist, liberal view.

Del Guidice: In light of that, Congressman McCarthy, lastly, how do you think the U.S. should be dealing with COVID right now and what the House’s role is in addressing COVID?

McCarthy: The first thing we should do is make sure the $3 trillion we already passed gets implemented out there. The next thing we should do is make sure when it’s in the antibodies and the vaccines have all that they need to continue moving forward.

We should not be focusing on cannabis or election law or prisoners or others. We should focus on what keeps Americans safe.

The virus is here. We did not invite it, we did not ask for it, but we will defeat it together, if we work together.

But the idea of what the Democrats have done, using this as an opportunity to restructure Congress, so just 4.5% of Congress can decide what bill gets passed and others, instead of have a reflection of the nation themselves, that everybody has a voice in their government, but this is shutting it down.

Just why they keep government shut down itself, instead … Congress itself should be working because we are essential, what does that say to every truck driver that brings the food in or to the doctors or the dispatchers if Congress won’t work, but they will?

Del Guidice: Congressman McCarthy, thank you so much for unpacking this issue for us and for joining us on The Daily Signal Podcast.

McCarthy: Thank you so much.

PODCAST BY

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a congressional reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.

RELATED ARTICLES:

7 Highlights From National Coronavirus Panel’s New Recommendations

The Rule of Law and the Targeting of Mike Flynn

Let’s Trust Americans to Be Careful About COVID-19


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

For Dems to Succeed, Americans Must Fail — Inside the Left’s morbid agenda to destroy America’s middle class.

Many claim that the Democrats want open borders to import millions of new voters who will likely vote for Democrats.

Undeniably this is an accurate statement but only partially addresses the strategy behind the Democrats’ push for open borders and an end to immigration law enforcement as optimized by the creation of “Sanctuary Cities” and Sanctuary States and immigration mayhem that ensues.

Today’s Democrats bear no resemblance to the Democrats of the past.  Today’s Radical Democrats are hell-bent on seizing permanent political power at the expense of America and Americans.

Traditional Democrats supported American workers and addressed their concerns while Republicans backed up business owners’ goals of fewer regulations and greater profits.  This balance made sense and helped Americans and America to prosper.

My dad used to say that the easiest way to turn capitalists into communists is to take away their money.  Flooding America with millions of Third World workers who bring Third World expectations of Third World wages and working conditions results in the loss of jobs by millions of American and lawful immigrant workers and the suppression of wages for all workers.

Homeless rates soar as the cost of housing increases as more foreigners come to the United States and seek housing.  The increased demand for apartments drives up the price of housing even as jobs are lost and wages fail to keep up with increased costs of housing.

As more Americans lose their jobs and the ability to support themselves and their families- even if they dont lose their jobs, they will be drawn to the Democratic Party candidates who offer to provide Americans and aliens alike with economic assistance that they desperately need to survive.

Consider the May 12, 2020 news report published by PJ Media, Democrats’ $3 Trillion Bill Would Include a Massive Gift…to Communist China.

There are many elements of the proposed emergency funding bill concocted by Nancy “Let them eat ice cream” Pelosi and her fellow travelers of the Radical Democratic Party that have absolutely nothing to do with assisting struggling Americans and small businesses that were ordered shuttered because of the Coronavirus Pandemic that has sickened millions and has killed an estimated 80,000 Americans, thus far.  One of the most egregious components of this bill has been ignored by the media that is addressed by PJ Media.

Here is the relevant excerpt:

Theyve also prioritized Chinas economy in this one. The bill includes a provision that waives Chapter 83 of title 41, United States Code. Whats that?

Chapter 83 of title 41, United States Code, shall not apply with respect to purchases made in response to the emergency declared by the President on March 13, 2020, under section 501 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5191) and under any subsequent major disaster declaration under section 401 of such Act that supersedes such emergency declaration.

Chapter 83 of Title 41, United States Code is none other than the Buy American Act. That 1933 law prioritizes American manufacturers over others when the government makes purchases. The Trump administration strengthened the Buy American act last year. The Democrats’ bill would waive it permanently, allowing the government to purchase more goods from overseas, unrestricted.

Consider that the afore-noted Buy American Act was enacted by a traditional Democrat, President FDR who acted to protect American jobs and manufacturing the year after the Stock Market cratered on July 8, 1932 and stocks hit their lowest point.  Roosevelt also ramped up immigration law enforcement to protect jobs for American workers.

The Buy American Act requires that the federal government must prioritize the purchase of supplies from American companies when such made in America supplies are available.

This is commonsense and helps America and Americans.

Yet during the current crisis the Democrats want to eliminate this requirement that protects American jobs that has been on the books for nearly 90 years.  They are exploiting the pandemic crisis as a means for pressuring the Republicans and the President into ending this important long-standing law.

I doubt that any so-called journalists will even report on this major betrayal, let alone ask Pelosi or any other Democrat about why they included this provision in their proposed legislation.

It is clear that they seek to destroy more jobs Americans desperately need, especially in this post coronavirus era where tens of millions of Americans fear that they will have lost their jobs permanently when the U.S. economy slowly reopens.

Their proposed legislation would also provide amnesty to illegal aliens declaring aliens working illegally in the United States as “Essential Workers” even as many Americans have been kept from working because purportedly their jobs are un-essential!

If the Democrats were truly concerned about the plight of American and lawful immigrant workers and their struggling families, they should favor immigration law enforcement and suggest that for the meanwhile Americans should be able to take “essential jobs” to help them get through this unparalleled crisis.

Remember the Democrats’ mantra, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

This crisis has emboldened Radical Democrat’s to push an agenda that destroys the American middle class to propel more Americans into homelessness and dependency on the Democrats.

Indeed, the Democrats continue to push for passage of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” a legislative disaster I have come to refer to as the Overwhelm America Act.

On Sunday May 17, 2020 New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio was interviewed on Fox News by Maria Bartiromo.  Fox posted the video under the title, Mayor de Blasio: New York City will likely see more revenue losses without a stimulus.

During the interview de Blasio referred to the supposed “12 million undocumented folks” to describe the population of illegal aliens which has been estimated to be nearly double that number.  That number, however, is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

If legalized, everyone of those millions of illegal aliens would have the absolute and immediate right to bring in each and everyone of their minor children and their spouses as lawful immigrants.  Third World countries have many, many children.

It is not uncommon for such families to have more than six children each.  Additionally aliens could claim to have fathered children with women who are not their spouses.  It is entirely possible that each legalized alien could, on average, petition for more than three children each, considering that some aliens might not have minor children, don’t want them here or already brought them to the United States.

If, for the sake of argument, 25 million illegal aliens were given lawful status- and that number could be much, much larger, we could wind up with more than 75 million minor children being brought legally to the United States by this ill-conceived program, along with their other parent.

In other words, Comprehensive Immigration Reform could enable more than 100 million new immigrants to legally come to the United States, literally overnight!

Imagine the impact that tens of millions of children this would have on our schools, hospitals, mass transit, the power grid and other elements of critical infrastructure.  The cost of housing would climb still higher leading to more poverty, more homelessness and more crime.

When those tens of millions of immigrant children become adults they will flood the over-flowing labor pool.

Finally, if our political leaders would be sufficiently corrupt and stupid to provide an unknown number of illegal aliens with lawful status, there would be no way to interview these millions of illegal aliens who either entered the United States without inspection and/or violated multiple immigration laws after entering the United States.  There would be no way to conduct field investigations to verify the claims made in their application and to identify fraud.

Immigration fraud was identified by the 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, as the key method of entry and embedding for terrorists.

This is why I have also come to refer to Comprehensive Immigration Reform by another name, the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act” as I noted in an Op-Ed I wrote for the Washington Times Immigration bill a ‘No Go’ and that was quoted by then-Senator Jeff Sessions when he persuaded members of the U.S. Senate to vote down that terrible bill in 2007.

I also used that descriptive title in my responses to written questions from Senator Chuck Grassley when I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on March 20 2013 on the topic Building An Immigration System Worthy Of American Values.

Decent Americans are horrified by the growing number of homeless Americans.  The immoral Radical Democrats, however, are encouraged that their strategy to force Americans to trade their freedoms for food, shelter and other necessities is working.

For Radical Democrats, winning isn’t everything- it is the only thing!

©All rights reserved.

VIDEOS: America’s Economy Sabotaged by Totalitarian Dictators

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” –  Voltaire

“It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them.” –  Adolf Hitler

“The people want wholesome dread. They want to fear something. They want someone to frighten them and make them shudderingly submissive.” –  Ernst Rohm, Hitler’s chief of the SA (Storm Trooper)

“The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.” –  Joseph Mengele, MD, “Angel of Death” at Auschwitz

“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”  – Thomas Jefferson


How quickly we forget that in January President Trump restricted traffic from China, and Dr. Fauci was not pleased.  Fauci opposed eliminating flights from China. He disagreed and then ultimately, he agreed. That’s newsworthy.

Fauci also doesn’t believe the virus came from the Wuhan lab, despite the fact that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “expert” shelled out a total of $7.4 million to the Wuhan biolab for this research.  Fauci and other medical experts on the White House coronavirus task force are “Hillary Clinton sympathizers” with a vendetta against President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Time has proven that locking down the entire country for a virus that kills and hospitalizes less than seasonal flu has been a huge mistake promoted by VP Mike Pence and his unvetted Task Force globalists.  Both Fauci and Birx are tightly bound to WHO Director Tedros, a Marxist-Leninist apologist for China. Funds for their activities come from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which wants to vaccinate us all, just as they did in Africa with devastating results.  President Trump agrees to restore partial funding to WHO, run by a Marxist-Leninist.  Why?

Gates is a population reduction aficionado as are Anthony Fauci and George Soros.  Gates’ goal is not life, but death and the reduction of world population.

Inflating Statistics

A week ago, Dr. Birx said, “There is nothing from the (Center for Disease Control) CDC I can trust.”  She has expressed doubts about the CDC Control statistics’ reports and believes the CDC has dramatically inflated the numbers by at least 25 percent.  Birx and others reportedly feared that the CDC Control and Prevention’s data-tracking system was inflating coronavirus death rates and case numbers statistics.  Falsified death records are common.

Physicians throughout America have complained about being forced to falsely label the cause of death as Covid-19.  Dr. Scott Jensen, Republican member of the Minnesota Senate spoke to Laura Ingraham about the actual infection rates.

Birx is still claiming that the “shelter-in-place” directive was saving lives, but now we know that’s not true either. Over 36 million, or nearly 22 percent of Americans are without work; the economy continues going down the drain and many people have lost everything.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo came forth and acknowledged that new hospitalizations caused by COVID-19 are from individuals who did, in fact, stay home.  Fox News confirmed that the percentage of new coronavirus patients who listened to the government and stayed home is at 66%.

What Michael Smith of Wells, Maine wrote in the WSJ is absolutely true, “We have torched the house to rid it of spiders.”  He went on to say that the governments’ response will kill us if the virus doesn’t.  If unemployment hits 32 percent, some 77,000 Americans are likely to die from suicide and drug overdoses as a result of layoffs. Deaths of despair.

Vaccines

We can’t open now, says Chinese mouthpiece Dr. Tedros for the World Health Organization, not for five years. “It could take up to five years before the coronavirus pandemic is under control.” And WHO friend, Dr. Fauci, is not going to authorize reopening if the virus is not under control.

First, we had to flatten the curve, then we had to follow the data of gigantically flawed models, and now we need more testing, which only shows you how many more people have gotten this virus. It’s not enough. Now we need antibody testing. That doesn’t mean anything anymore. Now we need a vaccine.

Flu vaccines rarely cover the exact type of seasonal flu, and in any given year, a flu shot is only about 40-60 percent effective.  The CDC reported that the 2020 flu vaccine was 45% effective against type B and 37% effective against type A.  It’s doubtful a Covid-19 vaccine would be any better, and we certainly don’t want it mandated.

President Trump said in an interview last week that he is gung-ho to distribute a coronavirus vaccine as soon as it is developed.  “Our military is now being mobilized so at the end of the year we’re going to be able to give it to a lot of people very, very rapidly,” the president said in an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo.

If a flu vaccine is only 40 – 60 percent effective, why would a Covid-19 vaccine be any better.  No one has ever come up with a vaccine for the common cold virus or even for HIV-AIDS.  No thanks, I don’t want the speedily made vaccine that will inject my body with foreign elements that could well make me sick or shorten my life.

Oh, those lovely vaccines!  The 1960s polio vaccine that gave everyone soft tissue cancer was grown on monkey kidneys. The cancer-causing SV-40 monkey virus is genetically passed to your descendants.  And guess what?  The Daily Post is reporting that Bill Gates offered Nigeria’s House of Representatives $10 million if they passed a compulsory vaccine bill.

A Digital “Snapshot” for Every Injection

On May 12th, PRNewswire reported that ApiJect Systems America, Inc., a public benefit corporation based in Stamford, CT, announced that it has been awarded an HHS-DOD Title 3, Data Processing Agreement (DPA) contract valued up to $138 million to accelerate the building of a new U.S.-based, high-speed, population-scale emergency drug injection capability with prefilled syringes from its subsidiary RAPID USA Inc. RAPID USA’s emergency program, “Project Jumpstart” is being initiated to supply 500 million prefilled syringes by year-end.  Jumpstart will develop the capability to manufacture a minimum of 30 million prefilled syringes per month once therapeutic drugs and vaccines become available.

If coronavirus vaccines were planned to be optional – respecting the vaccine choices of individuals, not more than 100 million doses would be needed.  The fact that 500 million doses are being manufactured is an admission that the DoD and HHS plan to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory.  The DoD awarded a $238 million contract enabling prefilled syringes for the future Covid-19 vaccine.

The ApiJect syringes come with an optional RFID device enabling health care workers to track the GPS location of the syringes and record the identity of those being injected according to the company’s website.

Before giving an injection, the healthcare worker will be able to launch a free mobile app and “tap” the prefilled syringe on their phone, capturing the Near Field Communication (NFC) tag’s unique serial number, GPS location and date/time.  The app then uploads the data to a government-selected cloud database.  Aggregated injection data provides health administrators an evolving real-time “injection-map.” No thanks big brother!

Remdesivir v. Hydroxychloroquine

Dr. Fauci has never backed the very cheap 60-year-old drug, hydroxychloroquine.  In fact, he has criticized its usage.  Yet around the world, including within the U.S., this cheap drug has had excellent results, especially when given early in a Covid-19 diagnosis.  There is little money to be made with this drug and the accompanying antibiotic, Azithromycin.

Dr. Stephen Smith called hydroxychloroquine a “game changer” in the fight against Covid-19. He had been treating his Covid patients with hydroxychloroquine with a 100% cure rate. He believed that the fight against the virus was over, but he underestimated the nefarious forces in the medical establishment and how much money was to be made.

Ivette Lozano is a Dallas doctor who is treating her coronavirus patients with hydroxychloroquine and the recovery success rate of her patients is 100%.  In the following video she explains how Texas has passed a bill that disallows prescribing hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin without giving a diagnosis to the pharmacist.  They’ve eliminated the privacy of the HIPPA law because this drug is successful and cheap and obviously, they don’t want it used.

A recent Gateway Pundit article, brilliantly researched by Joe Hoft, exposed the connections with remdesivir.  The very first case of Covid-19 was in Washington state and the clinic where the patient was treated for declining health happened to have samples of the drug to give him intravenously.  He recovered.  By mid-February a Chinese company was mass producing remdesivir, despite studies showing a lack of benefit.

The drug is from Gilead Sciences and the clinical trials are being done by Dr. Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.  Dr. Fauci is behind the promotion of Gilead’s remdesivir and has worked with Gilead for years.

Gilead is partnered with Wuxi AppTec, an international pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device company located in China and owned in part by George Soros.

Gilead has endorsed and is engaged with a drug purchasing group, Unitaid which is an outgrowth of the United Nations, Millennium Declaration of 2000, which is now the U.N. Global Compact (sustainability via UN Agenda 2030).

Despotic States

Governor Wolf of Pennsylvania, (GOP Rep. Scott Perry called out Governor Wolf for killing elderly Pennsylvanians in nursing homes.) Governor Cuomo of New York and other states had ordered nursing homes to take Covid-19 patients resulting in thousands of fatalities to elderly and immune compromised patients within these facilities.  Long Island is now calling for a federal probe into more than 5,000 nursing home deaths.

If you thought the drones were bad telling us to keep our distance from each other, how about the Darpa Robot enlisted by police to enforce distancing.  The robots are able to scan anyone walking on the sidewalks, record license plates, use infrared vision, and one of the scariest uses of this technology is the capability to detect cellphone serial numbers within a designated patrolling area.  According to CBS, the devices are actively being used and can be seen in 16 states including New York at the Lefrak City Apartments in Queens and LaGuardia Airport. 

In Kentucky, now run by Democratic Governor Andy Beshear rather than Republican Governor Bevin, authorities have ordered Louisville residents who have been exposed to the flu virus, but won’t self-quarantine, to wear a tracking device to ensure they don’t leave the house.

In Tennessee, a 39-year-old homeless person who tested positive for the virus and was incarcerated at the local Nashville fair grounds, escaped and fled. He was stopped and arrested by Metro Nashville Parks police two miles from where he had been quarantined.  Metro Parks has charged the man with a single count of escape from a penal institution, a class A misdemeanor. The statute that defines this crime makes no mention of it being used to enforce quarantine orders.  And our Governor Bill Lee claims to be a constitutional conservative.

Senate hopeful Bill Hagerty’s stint as Tennessee’s Department of Economic & Community Development Commissioner ended with the Volunteer State becoming the “most dependent state in America for trade with China.”  He was appointed by ‘NeverTrumper’ Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in 2011.  Haslam proudly stated he did not vote for Trump.  At the expense of American workers, Hagerty’s first-choice candidate in the 2016 Republican primary was Jeb Bush.  And even after Jeb’s candidacy flamed out, he shifted to supporting pro-amnesty Marco Rubio.

In Ventura County California, Dr. Robert Levin, director of Ventura County Public Health spoke before the board of supervisors about a plan to hire up to 50 new “contact tracing investigators” to “find people who have COVID-19 and immediately isolate them, find every one of their contacts, make sure they stay quarantined and check in with them every day.”  He said they would be physically removed from their homes and isolated.  He had to walk it back!

The despotic Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island has told people to “social shame” those who refuse to wear masks.  Those with compromised immune systems should wear protection, but for healthy people, wearing masks actually can make them more susceptible to the virus.

And Amtrak now requires masks for all passengers.

Open Economy

Had we sheltered the compromised and elderly and allowed the economy to remain open, we may have had a higher number of deaths, but the immunity would have spread throughout the nation saving us from the debacle of debt, inflation, job loss, suicides, alcoholism, drug addiction, and domestic violence which has outnumbered the deaths from this virus.  We’ve been sold another lie; dumbed down Americans don their masks to go out into public.  I’m ashamed of my fellow citizens and how easily they were brainwashed with lies and propaganda.

Republican Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia celebrated the state’s lowest number of hospitalized coronavirus patients and the fewest number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators on Saturday, 15 days since he loosened lockdown restrictions in the face of persistent attacks from the mainstream media and the public disapproval of President Trump.  Currently, 995 people out of a population of 10.62 million, have died from Covid-19 in Georgia, according to the model, and it projects that number could climb to 4,691 by August 4.  But it hasn’t.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida ripped into the media for their failing, dire predictions of his coronavirus response.  He said to mainstream media, “You were all wrong about my state, we’re in better shape without draconian lockdown.”  He’s right.

Dr. Scott Atlas’ recent article in The Hill gives five facts as to why we need to reopen our economy, stop the panic and end the total isolation.

Resistance

A Seattle police officer sacrificed his job to speak the truth on the abuse of power by the government.  Greg Anderson is married with children, but he could not continue to follow orders he knew were against the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

A federal judge blocked Governor Beshear’s (D-KY) temporary ban on mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic from applying to religious services.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) halted a coronavirus testing program promoted by billionaire Bill Gates and Seattle health officials pending reviews.

The Texas Supreme Court halts expansion of mail-in voting during pandemic.

The Hill reports that legal challenges to the stay-at-home orders are gaining momentum.  The Wisconsin Supreme Court invalidated the state’s coronavirus health order, a decision that’s already generating momentum behind similar challenges across the country.

Atwater, California has declared itself a sanctuary city for businesses!

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer lost a fight to force a 77-year-old barber out of business.  Despite moving to sustain his livelihood and remain economically afloat, the Michigan governor pulled strings and issued a cease-and-desist order against Manke.

Ultimately, a Michigan judge ruled for Manke when the state’s Attorney General failed to make the bogus case that Manke posed “imminent danger to public health.”  The repressive fascistic Governor plans to keep the state closed until a vaccine is available.

And Michigan protesters plan “Operation Haircut” demonstration to push back against state’s ‘tyrannical’ stay-at-home order by Whitmer.

Democrat Gov. Whitmer listed abortion as a non-elective procedure during Covid’s lockdown.  She even decided to categorize it as “life-sustaining.” This woman is a murderer in so many ways…unborn babies, her constituents, and the survival of Michigan businesses.  She is the epitome of evil.

Conclusion

Are Americans waking up to the attack on our country?  They better, or these power-hungry neo-Nazi autocrats will strengthen the control over their constituents and we can kiss freedom good-bye.

©All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Okay, I’m Done. We Did Our Part. It’s Time to Re-open.

This is No Time for Green Giveaways

Trump’s Baptism Scene

While the Corleone family of Godfather fame was the embodiment of mob life and the acquisition of money, power and prestige through criminal activity, the Trump family––in stark contrast––embodies the nose-to-the-grindstone, upward-mobility glory of the American Dream.

Nevertheless, when I think of the fanatical, maniacal and relentless persecution, accusations, vilification, and sabotage that President Trump has experienced for the past four years at the hands of crazed Democrats––both in and out of office––the infamously stunning Baptism Scene at the end of Godfather One comes immediately to mind.

In that scene, Michael Corleone––who attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he met his future wife Kay, and who then left college to join the U.S. Marines after the attack on Pearl Harbor––is featured in the baptism ceremony where he has been asked to be the godfather of Michael Rizzi, the infant son of his sister Connie and her husband Carlo Rizzi, in 1955.

The solemn ritual takes place in the splendiferous Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral––built in 1809––a Roman Catholic Church on Mulberry Street in New York City. It is held shortly after the funeral of Michael’s father, the powerful Don, Vito Corleone.

Before Don Vito’s death, however, he and Michael––the ordained heir to his father’s mafia fiefdom––concoct a complex plan to vanquish all their enemies.

As Michael’s wife Kay holds the infant––who is bedecked in a lace-embroidered baptismal gown handed down through generations––the ceremony begins, with the priest intoning in both Latin and English––Let us pray, mercifully hear our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord; Oremus: Preces nostras, quaesumus, Domine, clementer exaudi––and then sprinkling the baby’s head with the Holy Water that symbolizes purification and his admission to the Christian Church.

As the organ music builds, Michael says “I do” to renouncing Satan, to renouncing his sins, and to becoming the infant’s godfather. In each renunciation––there are five of them––he reaffirms his commitment to be worthy of this honor.

And with each surge of music in which the priest sprinkles Holy Water on the infant’s brow and Michael affirms that he has renounced his sins, the audience sees Don Vito’s and Michael’s master plan being executed with balletic precision.

The Godfather: Baptism Scene

PAYBACK

It took years––of intrigue, treachery, heartache––for Michael Corleone to exact revenge on the Corleone family’s enemies, just as it has taken years for the truth of the betrayal of President Trump to be revealed.

But in D.C., the bad guys are usually not shot down in elevators or in a hooker’s bed. Rather, justice is worked through an Attorney General, a special prosecutor, and a handful of honest politicians.

In this case, as it turned out, “the best and the brightest” of the Obama regime and the “best and the brightest” of the leftist media were no match for the singular brilliance of President Trump. His political enemies should have known that for the man who dealt for half a century with the union sharks and cutthroat politicians in New York City, as well as mob bosses on which the fictional Godfather dons were based, the D.C. swamp denizens were small potatoes.

Fuggedabout the fact that these slithery creatures are not honest, moral, ethical, or trustworthy––they are simply not that smart.

It is now clear that President Trump has beaten the Obama regime and the leftist media decisively. Over the next several months, we will see these reptilian putative criminals brought to justice.

FICTIONAL CROOKS                               ALLEGED CROOKS

Mob boss Victor Stracci                                 James Comey, former director of Obama’s FBI.

Mob boss Emilio Barzini                                John Brennan, former director of Obama’s CIA.

Mobster Moe Greene                                      James Clapper, former DNI for Obama.

Mob boss Philip Tattaglia                               Leftist shill, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

Traitor Salvatore Tessio                                 Hillary Clinton, former Sec. of State for Obama.

Traitor Carlo Rizzi                                          Barack Obama!

And that is not to omit the 35 bottom-dwellers involved in the Russian-collusion hoax, the roles of whom Willis L. Krumholz spells out in sordid detail, including Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, Joseph Pientka, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Christopher Steele, Loretta Lynch, Victoria Nuland, Glenn Simpson, on an on––all in obsequious service to the Obama regime.

Not to forget Samantha Power, Obama’s Ambassador to the rancid United Nations, who former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said was “the largest unmasker of U.S. persons in our country’s history”––and her ignominious and possibly criminal role in asking that the identity of Gen. Michael Flynn be revealed in classified intelligence reports seven times between Election Day 2016 and the inauguration of President Trump on Jan. 20, 2017, although she testified later of having “no recollection” of the requests, as reported by Miranda Devine in the NY Post.

Let us remember that the fish always stinks from the head. It now appears that this dishonorable cabal was led by Barack Obama and those who financed his own peculiar––indeed fishy––rise to power. And those who participated in the crashingly failed attempts to destroy the Trump presidency––the Russian-collusion hoax, the Stormy Daniels hoax, the Ukraine hoax, the impeachment hoax, the leaking, the lying, the spying, and the media whores who to this day cover for Obama’s many failures and scandals––including this one, Obamagate––are now on the threshold of paying the piper, so to speak.

It may be true that the wheels of justice move slowly. But right now they are moving in the right direction, in the direction of identifying and hopefully indicting and imprisoning the already-disgraced people who participated for the past four years in undermining and trying to destroy a duly elected President of the United States.

Gitmo, anyone!

©All rights reserved.

Biden Campaign Hires Interpreter To Translate His Speeches Into English

U.S.—The Biden campaign is facing a real communication problem as Joe Biden’s speeches are growing more and more nonsensical. In order to overcome this challenge, aides have hired an interpreter to translate everything he says into normal, human-style English.

“My fellow Americans, pickle hamster meatloaf. The thing. Potato!” Biden began.

“My fellow Americans, thank you for being here this evening,” the interpreter translated.

Biden continued: “This pandemic has cost us more than 85,000 jobs as of today. Lives of millions of people. Millions of people. Millions of jobs.” He then nodded at the translator to interpret that into something resembling plain English.

“Uh… the, uh, pandemic has cost us tens of millions of jobs, and 85,000 have tragically lost their lives,” she interpreted frantically.

But she struggled to keep up as his speech got less and less coherent.

“Peanut butter M&Ms and my fellow U.S. Americans in the Iraq. Platypus!” was translated as “We must make sure Donald Trump does not continue to rob America of its future,” while “Farley farley farley farley farley hufaaaaaaaar!” was translated as “I am the best choice to beat Donald Trump.”

As Biden’s speech concluded, he said farewell: “Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-PTANG. Zoom-Boing. Z’ nourrwringmm!”

“God bless you, and God bless America.”

RELATED POLITICAL SATIRE:

Trump Appoints Angry Honey Badger As New Press Secretary

Governor Newsom Orders Ballots To Be Sent To Every Cemetery In State

Reminder: Adolf Hitler Also Wanted To Go Outside And Do Things

Democrats Promise To Chew Up Cash, Tenderly Regurgitate It Into Mouths Of Voters

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

CNN Buries the Trump Lead

Election polling is big-time news these days. Unless the media doesn’t like the results. Then, apparently, it’s not news at all. Take CNN, NRO’s Kyle Smith says. They just spent a pile of money to ask voters what they think of President Trump. Believe it or not, his approval ratings have never been higher — not that viewers would know it, since CNN virtually ignored the numbers altogether.

It took RealClearPolitics to break the story on CNN’s poll, since the network decided that a Target shopper without a mask was of more national consequence than the president making a statistical comeback. Only digging under dozens of other headlines did Kyle Smith find a single reference to the results.

“CNN seemed oddly unenthused about its own poll. And the story to which the homepage linked doesn’t even mention that Trump had never scored higher in a CNN poll… But the single most surprising and newsworthy detail of the poll was that Trump holds a seven-point lead over Biden in 15 battleground states.”

And here’s where it gets truly comical. The outlet is so desperate to downplay Trump’s surge that it draws attention to the “small sample size” and insists that “it’s difficult to determine… whether the movement is significant or a fluke…” Funny, CNN didn’t seem to think any of its Biden-leaning polls were a coincidence. Yet now, when the president has an advantage, the results must suddenly be wrong. Is it any wonder Americans have such little confidence in the mainstream media? Agendas like this one only fuel the country’s distrust.

Unfortunately for the liberal media, the president’s numbers aren’t just improving overall, they’re suggesting a stark contrast on issues that matter the most. Asked who they trusted to handle the economy, 54 percent of voters said Donald Trump. Far fewer — 42 percent — said the same about Biden.

Obviously, this polling — or any polling — isn’t the end-all, be-all for Trump. There are plenty of obstacles for the White House to overcome, including a crisis environment where even a sneeze in the wrong direction can mean a full news cycle of blame. As anyone who paid attention in 2016 knows, surveys only tell one part of the story. A lot like the mainstream media, it appears.


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


RELATED ARTICLES:

To Teach His Own: The Rise of Homeschooling

Colorado’s Signature Issue

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Muslim Brotherhood Operative on Facebook’s Content Oversight Board

PART I

When it comes to Islam, Facebook seems unable to get things right. It has made life more difficult for sober islamocritics such as Robert Spencer, censoring their content, while favoring those who attempt to deflect such criticism with charges of “racism” and “Islamophobia.”

Recently Mark Zuckerberg decided it would be a good thing – Diversity! Inclusivity! — to appoint the Yemeni journalist and political activist Tawakkol Karman to the Content Oversight Board of Facebook, a position where she will be well-placed to protect Islam and Muslims from their critics. It is not only those islamocritics who are up in arms at Karman’s appointment, but a great many Muslims are horrified as well. For Tawakkol Karman is not only a Muslim, but a fervent admirer of the Muslim Brotherhood.

To many around the world, Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Khalid Karman is known as the first Arab woman — and the second Muslim woman — to win a Nobel Prize, for Peace, in 2011. She won the prize for several reasons. First, there is her record of “activism,” which some may find underwhelming. In Yemen, she campaigned against systemic repression by the government, and demanded inquiries into corruption and other forms of social and legal injustice. In 2005, she founded an organization, Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC), to help train women in media skills, and to promote the work of female journalists in Yemen. WJWC also produces regular reports on human rights abuses in Yemen, so far documenting more than 50 cases of attacks and what it claims are unfair sentences against newspapers and writers. In 2007, Tawakkol began organizing weekly protests in Yemen’s capitol, Sana’a, against government mismanagement. She also shows up regularly at Change Square, where she holds court inside a tent when not haranguing her followers outside.

Karman is not shy about proclaiming her own greatness. At the “Official Website of Tawakkol Karman,” you will find listed (I haven’t corrected the English) some of her Outstanding Achievements:

  • The lady of year 2011 according to the readers and subscribers of Yahoo website;
  • One of the Top 100 Global Thinkers selected by the Foreign Policy Magazine;
  • Among the most strongest 100 Arab women;
  • Awarded the Courage Award by the Embassy of United States of America, Sana’a in 2008;
  • One of the seven women who change the history for the year of 2009;
  • Member of Transparency International’s Advisory Council;
  • Member of High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development;
  • She granted the honorary degree of doctor of law from Alberta University-Canada

It has been suggested that the main reason she was chosen to share the 2011 Peace Prize with two other women, both from Liberia — the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leybah Gbowee, a “peace-and-women’s-rights-activist” – is that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee was that year under pressure to find a Muslim female recipient and Tawakkol Karman fit the bill, checking all the right boxes as a fighter “against governmental suppression” of dissent and as a “promoter of women’s rights.”

What the Nobel Peace Prize committee did not know, or did not care about, was that Karman held a senior position in Yemen’s Al-Islah Party, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood known for its extremist and violent agenda. In 2013, she was a strong supporter of Mohamad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood member who became, briefly, the President of Egypt. She wrote an article in Foreign Policy about Egypt; her title says it all: “Mohamed Morsi is the Arab World’s Nelson Mandela.”

Aside from being a senior member of the Al-Islah Party, which had strong ties to the MB, Karman also had ties to the Brotherhood’s Yemeni branch, an Islamist movement founded by Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani, a man who appears in Washington’s Specially Designated Global Terrorist list. She claims to have severed those ties to the MB in Yemen, but many wonder whether her move was merely a cosmetic exercise to deceive gullible Westerners.

The story of Tawakkol Karman’s appointment to the Content Advisory Board at Facebook is at Arab News:

Unsurprisingly, Facebook’s choice has prompted outrage on social media networks, with many worried that it will bring the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideas right into the heart of the biggest social networking company in the world.

“She has not denounced the extremist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of risk consultancy Cornerstone Global Associates, told Arab News.

On the contrary, there is everything [sic] to believe that she continues to espouse the hate speech that has been a mark of the Brotherhood in general.”

Given her prominent role in the revolution that toppled Yemen’s former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, Karman’s Nobel Prize is not without merit, say political analysts. But they add that her advocacy of extremist causes can hardly be glossed over.

“Karman was considered a symbol of the Yemeni revolution against the rule of Saleh, but over time she has become associated with intolerance, discrimination and lack of neutrality,” Hani Nasira, a terrorism and extremism expert, told Arab News.

Soon after Karman was awarded the Nobel Prize, she was invited to Doha and [was] personally congratulated by Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader and preacher of hate, whose fatwas call for suicide bomb attacks and who praises Hitler for “punishing” the Jews.

After conveying to her his message of “support” for the Yemeni people, Al-Qaradawi gave Karman a copy of his book, “Fiqh Al-Jihad,” as a gift.

Such easy rapport with a personality as controversial as Al-Qaradawi calls into question Karman’s political beliefs, despite her ostensible split with the Brotherhood’s Yemeni branch.

It also rings the alarm about the judgement of Facebook, a social networking behemoth that claims to be an unbiased arbiter of international political discourse.

Facebook has never been an “unbiased arbiter” when it comes to Islam. It has consistently privileged defenders of the faith, and made life difficult — by taking down posts or making them impossible to find – for islamocritics. It is not surprising that a Muslim Brotherhood admirer such as Tawakkol Karman would be appointed to Facebook’s Content Oversight Board; Facebook either does not know, or more likely does not care, about Karman’s dangerous liaisons.

“We understand that people will identify with some of our members and disagree passionately with others,” a Facebook Oversight Board spokesperson told Arab News.

Board members were chosen to represent diverse perspectives and backgrounds that can help with addressing the most significant content decisions facing a global community.”

Would Facebook place a strong supporter of President Trump on the Content Oversight Board, to increase its diversity and inclusivity? Or a supporter of Matteo Salvini in Italy, or of Marine Le Pen in France, or of Victor Orban in Hungary? What about a supporter of Prime Minister Netanyahu? No, I didn’t think so either. They’re all, you see, “extremists.” Unlike Tawakkol Karman.

Facebook declined to respond to specific questions regarding Karman’s links to extremist groups. But clearly the platform has put its credibility on the line by bringing her on board.

Facebook “risks becoming the platform of choice for extremist Islamist ideology,” Nuseibeh, who is also chair of UK-based nonprofit Muslims Against Anti-Semitism, told Arab News.

“With Karman’s appointment, Facebook’s argument that it is an impartial platform is severely weakened. There is no guarantee that Karman will not have a direct editorial influence on what Facebook allows to be published.

“Would Facebook, for example, appoint Aung San Suu Kyi, another Nobel laureate, to arbitrate in disputes over posts related to the Rohingya atrocities in Myanmar?”

Nuseibeh added: “Karman, to much of the world, is what Aung San Suu Kyi is to the Rohingyas.”

Karman’s abrasive personality became evident during the Arab Spring protests, which began with Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” in 2011 before spreading out to other Arab countries including Yemen.

Previous Yemeni protest leaders who had aligned with her called her “dictatorial,” someone who went against the consensus of peaceful movements by urging young protesters to march on in the face of imminent danger.

“She called for that march, the police brutally attacked it and 13 people died,” one protest organizer who declined to be named told Reuters in 2011.

“She didn’t apologize for it and it really upset a lot of people.”

She was willing to sacrifice her young followers – sending them on a march that previous protest leaders opposed because of the “imminent danger” posed to the marchers by the police – for no other reason than to promote herself as a protest leader. Tawakkol Karman, of course, never marched in these protests; that would have been too dangerous.


PART II

Tawakkol Karman is a supporter of Qatar, the Arab world’s staunchest supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of Turkey, which under President Erdogan has become the other main promoter of the Brotherhood’s agenda..

In recent years, Karman’s utterances have tended to hew closely to the party line of her two leading patrons, Qatar and Turkey, while being reflexively critical of the actions of Saudi Arabia.

For instance, in an interview with the Saudi daily Al Riyadh in 2015, Karman praised the Arab coalition and its role in restoring the UN-backed government in Yemen.

She called it a “savior” and posed for a picture with President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who she described as “the legitimate leader of the country.”

At that time she was supporting Saudi Arabia and UAE in the help they gave the internationally recognized government in Sana’a, led by Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi. But that did not last long.

A few years later, she suddenly changed her tone to accuse Saudi Arabia and the UAE of committing war crimes in Yemen, and demanded the toppling of regimes in Egypt and Bahrain.

It was no coincidence that all the four countries she denounced happened to have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, for its refusal to abandon support for extremists.

She turned on Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain for the same reason: all four had cut ties to Qatar, because that state had consistently shown support for the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, whose cause was also dear to Tawakkol Karman’s heart. Had Facebook known of her passionate attachment to the MB, would they have had second thoughts about naming her to the Content Oversight Board? One likes to think so.

“Karman’s loyalty to, and association with, governments that flout all norms of democracy, such as Qatar and Turkey, deprives her of any claim to neutrality and objectivity,” Nasira said.

Her political rhetoric encourages extremism, divisiveness and shunning of those who disagree with her current loyalties.

Numerous posts on her Twitter handle and Facebook page attest to her desire to see specific Arab governments destabilized and toppled.

She has called on Bahraini, Algerian and Tunisian citizens to revolt against their governments, and accused the Egyptian army of being full of terrorists.

Again, Karman is consistent in her support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Bahrain, Algeria, and Tunisia have all come down hard on the MB, and therefore, in her view, the people of those countries must overthrow their governments, and the rulers she deems insufficiently “Islamic” in their views. The Egyptian army, which is engaged in a endless battle with MB, is described – in Karman’s customary hyperbole – as “being full of terrorists.” The Egyptian army is ruthless, all right, in its pursuit of MB members, but no one could fairly describe it as “being full of terrorists.”

“Saudi Arabia should be worried. All the Gulf countries should be scared, except for Qatar,” Karman can be heard saying in an undated video clip broadcast by Yemen TV.

The Gulf Arabs should be “worried” about what? Karman means they should be worried about popular uprisings, for according to her, except for Qatar, they have lost the support of their people. No evidence is presented for this. There have been no popular protests against the governments in Saudi Arabia (save for a small group of Shi’a, who briefly rioted eight years ago), the Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, or elsewhere among the Gulf Arab states. There have been violent protests in Qatar, however, in 2019, by the migrant workers who could no longer stand the abuse they endured from their employers, nor could they tolerate the widespread practice of employers withholding their wages. Qatar’s reputation for such mistreatment apparently doesn’t bother that Nobel-winning “rights activist” Tawakkol Karman. As long as Qatar supports the MB, its abuse of foreign workers doesn’t concern her. Besides, those discontented foreign workers in Qatar are not Arabs, and Tawakkol Karman is both an Islamist and an Arab supremacist.

Karman’s unremitting hostility towards Saudi Arabia and the UAE has made her almost a natural choice for stewardship of the Qatari-funded and Turkey-based Belqees TV station.

The consensus view of many Middle East political observers is that Karman is an Islamist activist who is firmly embedded within regional and international networks backed by Qatar and Turkey.

“Karman is an extremely divisive figure whose judgement is severely impaired by her many years of (harboring) extreme political bias,” says Nuseibeh.

As for Facebook, the company “has only one choice to make and that is to sever all ties” with Karman, he told Arab News.

“If it doesn’t, Facebook would be on the side of promoters of hate speech, extremism and anti-Semitism.”

Facebook likely had no knowledge of Tawakkol Karman’s connection to Qatar and to the Muslim Brotherhood when it offered her a position on the Content Oversight Board. It’s a company worth $600 billion, but it couldn’t spare the money or take the time to conduct due diligence on Karman before appointing her to such an important post. It might have taken a Facebook employee five minutes – no more – to conduct an online search that would have revealed the disturbing sympathies of Tawakkol Karman for the Muslim Brotherhood. The company had decided it would be a good idea to have a Muslim and, even better, a Muslim woman – More Diversity! More Inclusivity! — on the Content Oversight Board as one of Facebook’s internal censors. Karman fit the bill. And she had won a Nobel Peace Prize. Mark Zuckerberg knows that Nobel Peace Prize winners are, by common consent, among our Great and Good. Yes, I grant you, there is Arafat… That’s all Facebook knew about her – Muslim, female, Nobel winner — and that was apparently all it needed to know. Muslim, female, Nobel winner — what’s not to like?

As an unswerving supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, Karman certainly is a promoter, as Ghanem Nuseibeh says, of “hate speech, extremism, and antisemitism.” Simply take a look at the best-known MB website, that of Hamas, which is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, for prompt confirmation of its “hate speech, extremism, and antisemitism.” Or consider Tawakkol Karman’s warm meeting in Doha with Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose fatwas call for suicide bomb attacks and who praises Hitler for “punishing” the Jews.

Is that what Mark Zuckerberg wants on his Content Oversight Board? Someone who admires a man who calls for suicide bomb attacks and praises Hitler for “punishing” the Jews? Or will there be signs of sanity yet, and an invitation withdrawn, from the head office at 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park?

COLUMN BY

RELATED ARTICLES:

Diversity in Utah: Imam on Terror Watch List Delivers Prayer at State Senate

Florida: Saudi Muslim pilot who murdered three at naval air base was al-Qaeda jihadi, spent years planning attack

Ramadan in Pakistan: Yet another Hindu couple forcibly converted to Islam

Ramadan in India: Muslims throw bombs and torch Hindu businesses, police stand by and do nothing

Ramadan in India: Two Muslims poison river that is only water source for people in area, thousands of fish killed

Switzerland: Turk may remain in the country despite raping a young, unconscious woman

Islamic Republic of Pakistan: Two teen girls killed for honor by cousin over 52-second video of them with young man

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

Tale of 2 States: New York’s COVID-19 Death Toll Far Greater Than Florida’s

Florida and New York are states with similar population sizes, but dramatically different approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York has almost 30 times as many coronavirus-related deaths as Florida, with a heavy concentration among senior citizens, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, gained praise in the media for his performance in press conferences if nothing else, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has been heavily criticized in media reports.


When can America reopen? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, is gathering America’s top thinkers together to figure that out. Learn more here>>>.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


New York has had about 348,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 28,000 deaths as of May 17, according to the CDC. Florida, meanwhile, had about 46,000 cases and 2,000 deaths.

The population of New York state is 19.5 million, while Florida is home to 21.5 million.

“Gov. DeSantis understands Florida and knows how to interpret data and use science to guide the state during this health care pandemic,” the governor’s communications director, Helen Aguirre Ferre, told The Daily Signal in an email. “He worked quickly to protect the vulnerable, increase testing, promote social distancing, support hospitals and protect health care workers, and prevent introduction [of the virus] from outside of the state.”

Ferre added:

When the media was howling because there were folks on the beach, Gov. DeSantis prohibited visitations to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. In addition, Gov. DeSantis prohibited nursing homes and long-term care facilities to [allow] COVID-19 patients who were discharged from hospitals to be returned to their facilities.

He established COVID-19 dedicated nursing homes. In addition, he required comprehensive screening of staff and vendors entering these long-term care facilities. Testing and contact tracing was a priority for all Florida residents in addition to providing precious PPE [personal protective equipment]. Impeding those who were fleeing from other states where there was community spread of this virus was also important.

In New York, senior Cuomo administration officials contend that the federal government was too slow to ban European flights that primarily stop at major airports in New York or New Jersey.

From January through March, about 13,000 flights came through these airports from European locations carrying about 2 million passengers, the officials told The Daily Signal on background.

New York also does more testing for the coronavirus than other states, which is one reason the recorded rates are higher, they said. Add to that, New York City has the most dense population in the United States.

New York and Florida have a similar percentage of total COVID-19 deaths among those 65 and older. Seniors made up 83% of deaths in Florida, 77% in New York.

“In general, on a statewide basis, Florida is doing much better than New York,” Norbert Michel, director of the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “Florida has much fewer deaths and deaths per capita and per 100,000 than New York; this fact holds even if you remove New York City from the state data, though the differences are much smaller.”

The high fatality rate in New York City from the coronavirus skews the statewide numbers, he said.

Florida also is doing better during the pandemic across every category of those 45 and older, as the New York death toll is 15 to 20 times higher than Florida across every category, Michel said.

“Regardless, the death rates by age are worse in New York. If New York City is the primary driver of high death totals and high death rates, then the same comparison still applies; the only thing that would change is that we would have to say New York City is doing much worse than Florida,” Michel said.

Cuomo also has faced criticism for a March decision, later reversed, to send patients back to nursing homes after they tested positive for COVID-19.

“Florida and New York had very different protections for nursing home patients,” Michel said. “The nursing home policy [in New York] was insane. The state was basically sending someone to an early grave. … If it is the case that the infection was already widespread before anyone knew about it, the state was still literally sending people back into it.”

To help free up beds in hospitals in late March, the New York state Health Department issued an order to nursing homes: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”

The Long Term Care Community Coalition in New York opposed the Cuomo policy of sending COVID-19 patients back to nursing homes.

Similarly, the American Medical Directors Association, in a March 26 statement, said: “Unsafe transfers will increase the risk of transmission in post-acute and long-term care facilities, which will ultimately only serve to increase the return flow back to hospitals, overwhelming capacity, endangering more healthcare personnel, and escalating the death rate.”

Cuomo administration officials said residents returning to nursing homes after testing positive for the virus were quarantined from other residents, following federal guidelines for them to be kept in separate facilities with different caretakers from the rest of the population. A total of 12% of the state’s fatalities were from nursing homes, a Cuomo administration official said. 

“It was one of the giant red herrings of all time,” the official told The Daily Signal. “I would take our state law over any state law that says you can discriminate [against] potentially the most feeble, at-risk, vulnerable people in our society.”

In early May, The New York Times reported that 1,600 previously undisclosed deaths occurred in New York nursing homes, bringing the total number of deaths at nursing homes to almost 5,000.

One more factor: Cuomo didn’t order the New York City subway to be sterilized on a nightly basis until early May, even though the first COVID-19 cases were reported March 1.

Another Cuomo administration official contended that new cleaning policies were in place March 3, two days after the state’s first confirmed coronavirus case.

New York is unique among U.S. cities in having a subway that operates around the clock; closing it was not an option. As more people stayed home more often, however, it was feasible to close down for nightly sterilization beginning May 5, the official said.

COVID-19 deaths in New York City total 1,403.72 per 100,000 for those ages 75 and older, according to the city’s data. The death rate drops to 560.85 per 100,000 for those 65 to 74; 171.49 for ages 45 to 64; and 18.4 for ages 18 to 44. The rate is 0 for those under 18.

Although New York City has more people living in close proximity than any other American city, specific policies played a role in the death toll for both the city and state, said Arpit Gupta, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute who co-authored a report with recommendations for reopening New York City.

“I would point to large, dense cities in Asia such as Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, and in Hong Kong,” Gupta told The Daily Signal. “Density is not destiny. Those cities made policy decisions that New York didn’t that have contributed to the death toll we’ve seen.”

As of May 13 in Florida, COVID-19 had claimed the lives of 53 people ages 45 to 54, or 0.24 per 100,000; 138 ages 55 to 64, or 0.64 per 100,000;  296 ages 65 to 74, or 1.4; 391 ages 75 to 84, or 1.82; and 378 ages 85 and older, or 1.8.

In New York state as of May 13,  COVID-19 had killed 1,267 people ages 45 to 54, or 6.5 per 100,000; 3,039 ages 55 to 64, or 15.6 per 100,000; 4,818 ages  65 to 74, or 24.7; 5,603 ages 75 to 84, or 29; and 5,881 ages 85 and older, or 30.2.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

RELATED ARTICLES:

How Franciscan University of Steubenville Is Helping Students in Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

A Proposed ‘Health Defense Operations’ Slush Fund Won’t Protect US From Future Pandemics

Grassroots Petition Urging Governors to ‘Reopen Their States’ Tops 100,000 Signatures

Pill Pushers Exploiting COVID-19 to Promote Risky Telemedicine Abortions


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

Obamagate — How Obama administration apparently weaponized intel agencies for political attacks

There is strong evidence that President Barack Obama’s administration improperly weaponized U.S. intelligence agencies in multiple and shocking ways against Donald Trump and other political enemies.

It appears the Obama administration did this in a number of ways, including: fraudulently obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to spy on American citizens; promoting the Democratic National Committee-funded dossier assembled by former British spy Christopher Steele that was filled with lies about Trump; politicizing intelligence analysis; leaking intelligence; and spying on political opponents and journalists.

In the period when he was a presidential candidate and president-elect, Trump and his aides seemed to have been the major targets of this misuse of American intelligence for political purposes. But they were not the only targets.

It is imperative to uncover the extent of the Obama administration’s abuse of U.S. intelligence for political purposes. This must include a full list of every American unmasked from intelligence reports – Trump aides, members of Congress, and ordinary Americans – and who made these requests.

It would be irresponsible for the intelligence community and Congress to turn a blind eye to this abuse simply because it happened years ago. Wrongdoing by the Obama administration in this scandal – which President Trump has dubbed “Obamagate” – must be exposed to ensure such actions never take place again.

This week’s revelation that an astounding 39 Obama administration officials – including then-Vice President Joe Biden – made 53 requests to unmask incoming Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s name from National Security Agency phone intercepts between Election Day on Nov. 8, 2016 and Jan. 12, 2017 was a bombshell.

The stunning revelation regarding Obama administration spying on Flynn by secretly recording his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. at the time appears to confirm allegations by President Trump and his supporters of a broad effort by the Obama administration to weaponize intelligence to undermine the Trump presidency shortly before it began.

Flynn was simply carrying out his duties by making contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period after Trump was elected president. It is perfectly routine for incoming members of a new presidential administration dealing with foreign affairs to contact foreign officials to introduce themselves before taking office.

Making this worse, the 53 unmasking requests by Obama administration officials are probably the tip of the iceberg of the Obama administration’s abuse of National Security Agency intelligence to target Trump aides.

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif. confirmed this in a Fox Business interview this week on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” when he said the Flynn unmasking scandal is “even worse than this” because “a whole lot” of other Trump associates were unmasked.

With this in mind, it is frustrating to see former Obama officials, the mainstream media and some former intelligence officials brush off the Flynn unmasking requests by claiming such requests are “normal and routine” and that all relevant rules and laws were complied with.

As a former CIA officer who helped process requests to unmask the names of U.S. citizens from National Security Agency reports, I know that unmasking requests are not normal and routine. And I believe these requests raise serious civil rights and legal issues that have not yet been addressed.

From my 25 years working in U.S. government national security jobs, I know how sensitive and rare unmasking requests are.

Names of U.S. citizens mentioned in U.S. intelligence reports – often National Security Agency communications intercepts – are redacted because under U.S. law, America’s foreign intelligence services are normally not permitted to spy on U.S. citizens.

Although senior U.S. officials are permitted to ask for the identity of a redacted name in an intelligence report (an unmasking request), such requests are unusual and the requestor must have a “need to know” the identity of the U.S. person to understand the foreign intelligence information or assess its importance.

When the request is approved, the unmasked identity is released only to the person who requested it – not to everyone who might have seen the original version of the report.

For example, during my time at the State Department from 2001-2006, Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage made about 100 demasking requests. Then-Under Secretary of State John Bolton only made 10 in four years.

Ironically, Senate Democrats made Bolton’s unmasking requests an issue during his 2005 nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations by falsely claiming these requests were improper and made to intimidate people and gain political advantage.

Then-Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said at the time that unmasking requests were “rarely requested” and made “infrequently” by “non-career political appointees such as Mr. Bolton.”

An April 14, 2005, New York Times article said this about unmasking requests in connection with the Bolton confirmation hearings: “The identities of American officials whose communications are intercepted are usually closely protected by law, and not included even in classified intelligence reports. Access to the names may be authorized by the N.S.A. only in response to special requests, and these are not common, particularly from policy makers.”

The above statements about the rarity of unmasking requests are consistent with what I witnessed during my government career. In addition, the National Security Agency tightened the rules in 2005 on unmasking because of the controversy over such requests caused by the Bolton hearing.

The Obama administration, however, appeared to weaken the unmasking rules.

The Obama administration expanded access to National Security Agency information in February 2016 and on January 12, 2017. Both changes appeared to allow larger numbers of government officials to have access to unmasked names of Americans in intelligence reporting.

Even more troubling was a major rollback by the Obama administration in rules protecting members of Congress from unmasking requests.

I know from my five years on House Intelligence Committee staff of longstanding sensitivity by lawmakers that U.S. intelligence agencies could be used by the executive branch to spy on a president’s political enemies. For this reason, until 2013 there were strict limits to keep members of Congress out of intelligence reporting and to prevent unmasking their names.

Under a policy in effect in the 1990s, unmasking requests of the names of members of Congress were extremely limited and generally had to be reported to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

According to the Wall Street Journal, these rules were tightened further with “a 2011 NSA directive [that] required direct communications between foreign intelligence targets and members of Congress to be destroyed, but [gave] the NSA director the authority to waive this requirement if he determines the communications contain ‘significant foreign intelligence.””

However, in 2013 the Obama administration significantly weakened rules on unmasking the names of members of Congress from intelligence reports. The requestor’s reason could now merely be “to fully understand the intelligence.”

Rules on notifying Congress also were weakened. National Security Agency officials henceforth would notify Congress when members were unmasked from intelligence reports “as appropriate” and would determine “whether and to what extent congressional notification would take place.”

The Obama administration appeared to take advantage of these rules changes in 2015 when it obtained private conversations from National Security Agency reports of U.S. lawmakers who opposed the Iran nuclear deal in meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The rule changes on unmasking the names of members of Congress have a direct bearing on the Obama administration’s unmasking of Trump aides.

Since there no longer was a prohibition on using U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on members of Congress, Obama officials probably reasoned there was nothing to prevent them from spying on members of a presidential campaign or an incoming presidential administration. This helps explain the hundreds of unmasking requests regarding Trump aides in 2016 and early 2017.

So what should happen now?

In addition to an investigation of spying on American citizens by the Obama administration, all Obama administration rule changes making it easier to unmask the names of members of Congress and ordinary Americans from intelligence reports need to be reversed immediately.

There also should be a requirement in the law restricting when U.S. officials can unmask the names of members of a presidential campaign or incoming administration from intelligence reports or otherwise spy on them. These rules should include a requirement for congressional notification if such spying is deemed necessary in the future.

Finally, I want to know why career intelligence officials cooperated with unmasking Trump campaign and transition officials at the request of the Obama administration.

Since the prohibition on spying on American citizens and keeping the names of U.S citizens out of intelligence reports are cardinal rules of the U.S. intelligence community, how could career intelligence officers agree to process hundreds of these requests? Why did none of them file complaints with their inspector general or the congressional intelligence oversight committees?

The hundreds of unmasking requests of Trump campaign and transition officials made by the Obama administration were in no way routine and necessary. I believe carrying out these unmasking requests was a huge ethical lapse by dozens – maybe hundreds – of U.S. intelligence community employees that must be addressed by the White House and the leaders of our intelligence agencies.

Originally published by Fox News

COLUMN BY

About Fred Fleitz

Fred Fleitz is President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy. He recently served as a Deputy Assistant to President Trump and Chief of Staff to National Security Adviser John Bolton. He previously worked in national security positions for 25 years with CIA, DIA, the Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read his complete bio here. Follow Fleitz on Twitter @fredfleitz.

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

YouTube bans content that contradicts WHO on Covid-19, despite its track record of misinformation

The policy represents a betrayal of the pioneering platform’s founding principles.


YouTubers are being silenced if they don’t agree with the United Nations on public health. As The Verdict reports:

YouTube will ban any content containing medical advice that contradicts World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus recommendations, according to CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Wojcicki announced the policy on CNN on Sunday. WHO is an agency of the UN, charged with overseeing global public health. The Verdict report continues:

Wojcicki said that the Google-owned video streaming platform would be “removing information that is problematic”. She told host Brian Stelter that this would include “anything that is medically unsubstantiated”.

“So people saying ‘take vitamin C; take turmeric, we’ll cure you’, those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she said. “Anything that would go against World Health Organisation recommendations would be a violation of our policy.”

While the decision has been welcomed by many, some have accused the streaming giant of censorship.

To be clear, for American YouTubers, this kind of censorship is not a violation of their constitutional right of free speech. The First Amendment protects citizens against government censorship, and YouTube is a private platform. Were the US government to force the private owners of YouTube to continue broadcasting certain videos against their will, that would be much more a violation of the First Amendment.

While YouTube’s decision is not unconstitutional, it is unwise, exhibiting far too much deference to central authority in general and to WHO especially.

The World Health Organization is far from infallible. Its handling of information throughout the coronavirus emergency has been a long string of failures. As policy analyst Ross Marchand has recounted here on FEE last week, WHO failed to raise the alarm as the coronavirus rapidly spread through China during the crucial early period of the global crisis in January of this year. Then, as Marchand wrote:

The global bureaucracy uncritically reported that Chinese authorities had seen “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus” on January 14, just one day after acknowledging the first case outside of China (in Thailand). WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for his “political commitment” and “political leadership” despite these repeated, reprehensible attempts to keep the world in the dark about the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump recently announced that the US would cease its funding of WHO over its many coronavirus-related failures.

And it is not just American conservatives who have been critical. As FEE’s Jon Miltimore wrote:

Our World in Data, an online publication based at the University of Oxford, announced on Tuesday that it had stopped relying on World Health Organization (WHO) data for its models, citing errors and other factors.

This raises an interesting question: would YouTube censor Oxford if it posted a video on the coronavirus issue with recommendations based on data that contradicts WHO’s?

As Miltimore wrote, “Recent reports suggest US intelligence agencies relied heavily on WHO in its national assessment of the COVID-19 threat.”

This is gravely concerning because bad information leads to bad policies. This is true not only for government policy (like mayors, governors, and heads of state deciding to largely shut down the economy in their jurisdiction), but for the policies of private decision-makers like doctors, business-owners, and individuals making decisions about the health and overall lives of themselves and their families.

Indeed, WHO’s misinformation early in the crisis squandered the most precious part of the world’s prep time, which likely crippled the public’s responses and may have cost many lives.

YouTube risks compounding that tragedy by now insisting that the public’s response to the coronavirus emergency conforms even more strictly with WHO’s dubious pronouncements. Wojcicki wants to protect WHO’s recommendations from contradiction. But WHO’s recommendations are necessarily informed by WHO’s information, which has proven to be extremely suspect. Sheltering untrustworthy pronouncements risks amplifying their dangerous influence.

So, it is ironic that YouTube justifies this policy in the name of protecting the public from dangerous misinformation.

It is true that many videos contradicting official pronouncements are themselves full of medical quackery and other misleading falsehoods. But, censorship is the worst way to combat them.

For one, censorship can actually boost the perceived credibility of an untruth. Believers interpret it as validation: evidence that they are onto a truth that is feared by the powers-that-be. And they use that interpretation as a powerful selling point in their underground evangelism.

Censorship also insulates falsehoods from debunking, allowing them to circulate largely uncriticized in the dark corners of public discourse.

This makes censorship especially counterproductive because it is open-air debunking that is one of the most effective ways to counter misinformation and bad ideas. As Justice Louis Brandeis expressed in a US Supreme Court opinion, the ideal remedy for bad speech, “is more speech, not enforced silence.”

Again, YouTube has a right to set the terms of service of its own website. But the general principle applies here as well: the truth has a much better fighting chance with a proliferation of competing voices than with inquisitorial efforts to circumscribe discourse within a narrow orthodoxy.

Moreover, WHO’s track record of misinformation is not exceptional among government organizations in neither its degree of error nor in its disastrous impact. Governments and the experts they employ not only get things wrong but have frequently proven to be fundamentally wrong-headed on big questions.

To take another example in the realm of public health, it is increasingly widely recognized that the high-carb, low-fat diet recommendations, as depicted by the the USDA’s “Food Pyramid,” and successfully promoted for decades to the population by the US government and the most respected authorities on dietary science and epidemiology, was basically backward. Science journalist Gary Taub tells the whole story of bad science, corrupt influence, and obtuse orthodoxy in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories.

Again, bad information leads to bad advice which leads to bad choices. So how much illness and even death was caused by generations of Americans uncritically swallowing “official” diet advice and by Americans largely only having one choice on the “menu” of diet advice?

The more we centralize decision-making and the management of actionable information, the wider the scope of the damage caused by any single error. But if we let a thousand errors bloom along with a thousand truths, any single error will be circumscribed in its damage and more likely to be corrected through experience and counter-argument.

Champions of policies like YouTube’s like to cast the issue in simplistic terms: as a black-and-white battle between respectable experts and wild-eyed crackpots. But the issue is more complex than that.

It is just as often a matter of overweening technocrats making pronouncements on matters that are way beyond them in complexity, that involve factors that fall way outside their domain of expertise, and that drastically impact the lives of millions or even billions. For example: a few dozen epidemiologists, with limited understanding of economics and a great many other relevant disciplines, holding sway over whole economies.

It is also a matter of dissenting experts being silenced along with the actual crackpots.

And, perhaps most fundamentally, it is a matter of weakening the individual’s ability to discern between truth and falsehood, good advice and bad, by denying them the responsibility and practice of doing so in the first place—of turning self-reliant, free men and women into irresponsible wards to be led by the nose like dumb, deferential livestock by their “expert” caretakers.

That is not where we are, but that is the direction that the rigid enforcement of centralized orthodoxies tends toward.

Let’s choose a different direction. YouTube, do better. Trust your users more. Treat them like human beings with all the capacities for learning, growth, discourse, and cooperation that are the distinctive glories of being human.

After all, that is what made you great in the first place. Your very name is derived from your original faith in the individual. YouTube (a crowd-sourced, individual-driven, pluralistic platform) is what made the boob tube (centralized, institutionalized, and homogenizing broadcast television) largely obsolete. As such, you had a starring role in the internet’s democratization of information and learning.

Don’t betray that legacy. Not now. Not when we need open platforms for the free flow of information and discourse more than ever.

COLUMN BY

Dan Sanchez

Dan Sanchez is the Director of Content at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and the editor-in-chief of FEE.org. He co-hosts the weekly web show FEEcast, serving as the resident “explainer.” … More by Dan Sanchez.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Google Making it Harder to Find News the Left Doesn’t want You to See

Home: How lockdown taught us to value the refuge we took for granted

How should we tackle conspiracy theories about Covid-19?

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

PODCAST: What Does Facebook’s New Oversight Board Mean for Conservative Posts?

Facebook recently announced the first 20 members of its new oversight board. The role of the board is to guide Facebook through decisions on what controversial content should be allowed to stay up or be deleted.

Michael McConnell, professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a co-chair of Facebook’s oversight board, joins the podcast to discuss what the institution of the board may mean for conservatives and how he plans to work alongside the liberal members of the group.

We also cover these stories:

  • President Donald Trump is critical of Obama administration officials who “unmasked” his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
  • Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina is stepping down from his chairmanship of the Senate Intelligence Committee while his stock sales are investigated.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticizes Democrats’ $3 trillion coronavirus package.

The Daily Signal Podcast is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Virginia Allen: I am joined by Michael McConnell, professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a co-chair of Facebook’s new oversight board. Professor McConnell, thank you so much for being here today.

Michael McConnell: It’s a pleasure.

Allen: To begin, can you just tell us a little bit about the mission and purpose of Facebook’s oversight board and how you came to be one of the four co-chairs of the board?

McConnell: The mission and purpose is that, over the years, Facebook has become the leading platform of communication around the world. And with that have come controversies and problems: What gets posted? What comes down? And the company realized that it was not a good thing for any one entity, even itself, to be making these important free speech decisions.

What they decided to do was to create an outside board of independent-minded people with experience in free expression issues to give a second look to the decisions made by the company about content moderation.

So if you post on Facebook and Facebook decides to take your message down, then you can come to the oversight board for a second opinion on that. And Facebook has agreed that it will comply with the oversight board’s decisions.

Now, as for me, I don’t exactly know, nobody really tells you where your own name comes from, but I do teach freedom of speech and religion and press right in Facebook’s backyard at Stanford.

So I guess in Silicon Valley, when you’re talking about issues of that sort, my name would come up pretty quickly. I’m also a former federal judge, so that probably also attracted some favorable attention.

Allen: Well, we’re certainly glad to see you on the board. You have said that Facebook has one of the most influential roles to play in deciding what can and can’t be said in our culture today. That’s a little scary, but I think that you’re absolutely right.

How does Facebook saying this is or is not something that you can say on our platform threaten free speech in general?

McConnell: Facebook from the beginning has had some restrictions. It is a platform that’s supposed to be a good place for families, and so it’s had, for example, an anti-nudity policy, quite rigid anti-nudity policy from the beginning. And other issues have come up over time.

They have what they call the Facebook Community Standards, which is an elaboration of their policies and what can and can’t be expressed. It’s right on the net. You can look it up and read the Community Standards for yourselves. Many of those, though, are, as you would expect, somewhat vague and subject to different kinds of interpretation, so that leads to many controversies.

Now, as a mechanical matter, first there’s the use of AI and algorithms to find some kinds of impermissible content. … I’m not much of an empirical guy, but I think something like 80% or 90% of this is elimination of bots, which are artificially-generated posts that aren’t coming from human beings at all, and AI is pretty good at identifying bots.

But in addition to that, Facebook has three different monitoring centers around the world, each of them having about 10,000 employees who review the posts and see whether they comply with Facebook Community Standards.

Then on top of that, someone who doesn’t like the decision that Facebook has made has the right to appeal it within the company, and they would get a yes or no answer, but no explanation.

That’s where it rested or has rested up until now.

And the idea of the oversight board is to give people an opportunity to appeal these decisions to a group of independent outsiders who will take another look, make a decision, and this time actually provide an explanation or rationale in writing so that people can find out why their post was up or why it was down, and we’ll be able to evaluate whether the decisions are being made on a reasonable and a neutral, ideologically and culturally neutral, basis.

Now, the difficulty of this is that the volume is so immense, with billions of posts and hundreds of thousands of controversies.

Obviously, the oversight board, we’re all going to be working part time. We can’t begin to look at all of the appeals. So one of our tasks is going to be to figure out how best to select from that mass of possibilities the cases to focus attention on.

So we’re going to have a committee, a case selection committee, that looks at a large number of these cases quite quickly and superficially, and then identifies the ones that will have the most impact.

We could talk about the criteria for that, but the main point is that even once we’re up and running, not every dispute can go to the board, and we’re only going to be able to decide a tiny fraction of the appeals.

Allen: … [It’s] interesting to hear some of that background. I do want to ask just about how we kind of as conservatives should be viewing this board, because here at The Heritage Foundation, we’ve experienced Facebook pulling down our content over wording that they saw as objectionable, and later they did restore that content. But this is a pattern that we see with Facebook.

So with the implementation of the oversight board, are you optimistic that conservative groups and individuals will be treated impartially on the platform?

McConnell: We’ll see, but it’s my hope that this is going to be one of the major contributions of the board, is to bring a kind of ideological neutrality to these decisions.

It’s hard to know exactly what the source of all these problems has been, but you think of Facebook as a profit-making company and it responds to consumer pressure, and it just so happens in this world that the most pressure, the loudest, noisiest voices tend to be those who are advocating censorship, and often of censorship of people on the conservative side of the spectrum. And companies respond to the squeaky wheel.

It’s my hope that when an outside group that has pledged to be ideologically neutral and objective then takes a look at this—and in a more deliberative way where we don’t really care about Facebook as a company, what we care about is the charge to promote freedom of expression in a neutral way—I’m hoping that this board will have the effect, maybe not in every single case, and I’m sure no one is going to agree with all of the decisions, but overall to have a more even-handed and fair-minded and certainly more transparent system.

Allen: Yeah. Do you know how the board anticipates handling hate speech issues, for example? These are issues that can often involve pretty complicated matters. So let’s say that someone posts a cartoon that is making fun of Islam in a Muslim-majority country, how would the board deal with that?

McConnell: I can’t speak to any specific question because that’s what we’ll be deciding. Hate speech is both a real problem, on the one hand, but also an extremely slippery concept on the other. And if it’s interpreted to include merely being offensive or annoying or insulting, then freedom of speech values are really seriously compromised.

Now, you mentioned the Muhammad cartoons episode, and it is interesting that several members of the board had real-world experience with that particular controversy.

One of the co-chairs, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who was the prime minister of Denmark when that controversy was going on, she defended the publication of those cartoons, even though part of the result of that were some deaths from people being attacked by people offended by the cartoons.

And yet, her reaction was that freedom of speech demands … the ability to publish things of that sort, even if they are offensive to some people.

There was another member of the board from the Middle East itself who publicly defended the publication of the cartoons, which was really quite an act of courage.

Allen: Yeah, absolutely. Gender identity is another controversial issue that, obviously, we see come up quite a lot in the news, with some activists arguing that using someone’s birth gender instead of their adoptive gender is hate speech. Twitter has already banned misgendering people. How do you anticipate Facebook handling this issue and similar ones?

McConnell: I don’t know. That might very well be a particular case that comes up, and I can’t anticipate how my colleagues and I will be deciding particular questions.

Allen: Yeah. … That’s very fair. We’ll wait and see.

Well, yourself and John Samples, the vice president of [the Cato Institute], are really the only known figures on the political right among the first 20 board appointees. Are you confident that your views and opinions will actually be heard?

McConnell: Well, let me tell you, I don’t intend to be sitting around as a potted plant. If my voice is not heard, I won’t be around for very long. I won’t put up with it.

Allen: I like it. Straightforward answer.

The board is internationally very diverse, and it represents countries from all over the world. And some, such as the Free Speech Alliance, have raised concerns about this, saying that the board will be unable or unwilling to embrace America’s First Amendment ideas of free speech. Is this a concern that you have?

McConnell: I think that anyone needs to be concerned, because it is true that the American understanding of freedom of speech is often more expansive than that elsewhere. But the two points about it, one is that, politics and ideology and free speech around the world are complicated.

So there are quite a few people, even on the board, and I really mean people around the world, who live under authoritarian regimes that are hostile to freedom of speech. And their politics of the dissidents may not be very similar to the politics of American conservatives, but they, in many cases, are as passionately committed to freedom of expression as any of us may be.

And we have members of the board who grew up under extremely adverse, even totalitarian, circumstances. And for them, freedom of speech is part of what they live and breathe.

The second thing about this is that these influences can both go both ways. And I understand that there are those who worry that the less libertarian notions of freedom of speech that we often see around the world will influence speech in the United States through this board. But it’s my hope that it will be the other way around, that this will be an opportunity for American free speech values to have a platform and to become more influential abroad.

Allen: Considering just that diversity among the oversight board, are you confident that the board will be able to really act and rule in unity in those situations where it really matters, on important issues around free speech?

McConnell: I don’t know. It’s really something we have to see. I see this board as an experiment rather than a panacea, and a couple of years from now, ask me that question again, and I can give you more of my reaction.

I do think that there are grounds for hope, though, because although there is a tremendous diversity of all kinds of dimensions among the members of the board, I think that they all do have in common some very serious commitment to freedom of expression within the cultures from which we all come.

And I hope and think I have reason to hope that that is going to play out and that the board will be able to work together for a world in which people can speak and also be safe.

Allen: How do you hope to influence your fellow board members to maybe more so embrace those principles or free speech for those who might just be a little bit more apprehensive to do so?

McConnell: Oh, I’ll need a little prayer for that. I have been an advocate for freedom of speech and freedom of religion my entire adult life. I have carried this message even within American academia, which is no less homogeneous than some of the environments we’ll be working in here.

I really believe that John Milton and John Stuart Mill and Thomas Jefferson had it right when they argued that the suppression of free opinion, [the] suppression of error, as John Milton would call it, is not good for human beings and for society. And if that’s right, then maybe the message will carry.

Allen: Yeah. Now, you said very clearly earlier, which I appreciated that, if your views and opinions are not really, I guess, taken seriously and upheld on the board that you wouldn’t stick around. But considering the fact that you are one of the only figures on the board that is conservative, are you at all worried about other board members trying to push you out?

McConnell: No, it never occurred to me.

Allen: OK, good. I’m glad to hear that.

I know that some conservatives are concerned that Facebook essentially has created the oversight board to be almost like a shield for themselves, so that they won’t have to necessarily take that brunt of when there is kind of questionable action taken. Do you think that there’s weight to this argument?

McConnell: Well, I don’t really care what Facebook’s motivation is. What I care about is that this is a mechanism for a second look and for contradicting Facebook when it is improperly taking material down. And that’s what really matters.

Allen: Yeah. I want to ask you one other content question. In our generation, increasingly we constantly see a lot of memes on the internet, and sometimes those memes can be quite crude. They use kind of various types of humor and content that can be offensive.

So how do you anticipate really navigating humor as a factor when you’re considering what stays up, what comes down, what’s constituted as hate speech, what’s not?

McConnell: I think it’s going to be hard. Not just humor, but satire, too, and deliberate exaggeration. … Especially in the United States, this is part of the way we communicate, through humor and satire and exaggeration. And to treat all of these things as if they were just straightforward statements of fact would just be a massive misunderstanding of the social phenomenon.

I do worry that, around the world, these things … are different norms and different understandings. And while I think that it’s essential that the same standards of freedom of speech are applied everywhere, I do think it’s important for the board to be culturally sensitive, so that something that might be understood to be a satire in the United States, a similar thing might not be understood as that elsewhere.

We need to make sure that we are as culturally literate as possible, so that we understand the meaning of these communications in the context where they occur. It’s not going to be easy.

Allen: Yeah. It’s certainly a challenge. Now, what are two or three things that you hope the board can implement over the course of the first year or so that will really empower Facebook users to feel comfortable exercising their free speech rights on the platform?

McConnell: First of all, I think it’s going to be very helpful to have some explanations of reasons. I think one of the biggest frustrations for Facebook users is that it’s been such a black box, that no one really knows why one thing is up and why something else is down. And the oversight board is going to explain the reasons for what we do.

… Whether you like the decisions or not, I just think getting reasons is going to be a big advantage.

Second thing is, I think that, at least I hope, that the board is going to be independent-minded enough to be able to take a step back from all of the kind of noise and pressure of the moment.

Social media is plagued by a kind of mass hysteria that is deeply contrary to both liberty and just to rationality. And I do hope, and I really do when I say hope, I’m very hopeful that this board is going to be able to separate itself from that and not to succumb to that.

Let’s see, a third thing? This is probably not on the immediate agenda, but something that I would like to see us do eventually is to take a look at the fact-checking process.

We will not be in a position ever to overrule fact-checking on each individual piece, but I think we might be able to, and I hope we’ll be able to, do some auditing of the fact-checking process and see how it’s going.

I think there are serious concerns that fact-checking is biased and perhaps not always as factual as it is made out to be. I think the principle of fact-checking is a very good idea, but if political bias is smuggled in in the name of fact-checking, we all are made much worse off as a result.

And we would need to look at this objectively and not just … assume that it’s so problematic, but also not assume that just because people call themselves fact-checkers, that they’re necessarily all that interested in the facts.

Allen: Professor McConnell, what would you say to conservative Facebook users who, frankly, are worried that the oversight board in the long term will mean more censorship of their content on Facebook?

McConnell: I don’t actually understand why it would. I think that the overwhelming sort of institutional drive here is going to be the opposite. That the demands for more censorship are powerful out in the world of Facebook’s customers.

I think that to have a process which is focused on deliberation is going to be a calming influence for that. I don’t see why it would be an aggravating influence. …

I also think that if people look at the records of the members of the board, not with a point of view of what is their politics, but rather from the point of view of what has been their stance on freedom of speech, that people should be reassured. Conservatives should be among those who are reassured.

I am now old enough, gray hair and all, … to remember when sort of left progressives used to be—part of their orthodoxy was to defend freedom of speech, even for people that they disagreed with. That, I think, has been going away. It’s been diminishing in power in the United States and elsewhere, but it isn’t gone. It isn’t absent. It is still a very respectable and somewhat common view.

I think that many members of this board, even if you can look at them and say, “Well, I don’t like their politics,” … are going to be standing up for freedom of speech for people that they don’t necessarily agree with.

Allen: Professor McConnell, thank you. I just really appreciate hearing your insight and your perspective. I think this is incredibly helpful, and I hope it’s a great resource for all of our listeners, so thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it.

McConnell: Thank you for the chance.

PODCAST BY

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a news producer for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal podcast is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

White House Challenges Left’s Pandemic Playbook Narrative

The White House pushed back on the media narrative that the Obama administration left behind a pandemic “playbook” for the Trump administration.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday that the playbook from the Obama administration was an insufficient packet of paper, and that the Trump administration’s own pandemic response exercise in 2019 exposed its shortcomings.

On Thursday, Dr. Rick Bright, a senior adviser at the National Institutes of Health who filed a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump, told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health that the administration should have known more about the coronavirus.

As a result, Bright said, “we were not as prepared as we should have been.”


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


“We missed early warning signals and we forgot important pages from our pandemic playbook,” Bright said. “There will be plenty of time to identify gaps for improvement.”

Much of the mainstream media, including CNN, Politico, and PBS, ran with the narrative that the Obama administration left a pathway for the Trump administration to better handle the coronavirus.

That wasn’t the case., McEnany said during the Friday press briefing.

“Some have erroneously suggested that the Trump administration threw out the pandemic response playbook left by the Obama-Biden administration,” McEnany said, holding up documents from the podium. “What the critics fail to note, however, is that this thin packet of paper was replaced by two detailed, robust pandemic response reports commissioned by the Trump administration.”

“In 2018, the Trump administration issued our pandemic crisis action plan,” she said, adding:

Further, from August 13th to the 16th, the Trump administration conducted the Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise. This was a pandemic simulation to test the nation’s ability to respond to a large-scale outbreak.

In January of 2020, [the Department of Health and Human Services] issued the Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise after-action report. This exercise exposed the shortcomings in legacy planning documents, which informed President Trump’s coronavirus response.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

RELATED ARTICLES:

‘Operation Warp Speed’ Seeks COVID-19 Vaccine by January

This Nonprofit Empowers African American Community During COVID-19

Failures of an Influential COVID-19 Model Used to Justify Lockdowns

Feed the Heroes Delivers a Hot Meal to DC’s Hospital Workers, First Responders

RELATED VIDEO: Hopkins: Britain, Boris and Lethal Socialized Healthcare.


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


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

Unfit To Print Episode 52: Biden Busted In Flynn Unmasking Scandal

RELATED ARTICLES:

‘Grossly Incompetent’: Trump Fires Back At Obama’s Criticism Of Leadership During Coronavirus

Republican Strategist Explains What Trump Should Do About Obamagate And China

EXCLUSIVE: Don Jr. Reacts To ‘Hollywood’ Howard Stern Takedown

These Are The Republicans Who Want To Continue Spending After The US Debt Passes $25 Trillion

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

‘AUDACITY OF GROPE’: FLASHBACK: Here’s Jon Stewart Making Fun Of Biden For Sniffing Girls

Former Comedy Central host Jon Stewart once did a segment poking fun at then-Vice President Joe Biden for his propensity to uncomfortably touch and sniff women.

The February 2015 segment on “The Daily Show” featured Stewart, along with then-Daily Show “Senior White House Correspondent” Samantha Bee, cracking jokes in between footage of Biden’s many awkward public appearances with members of the opposite sex.

Introducing the segment as “Joe Biden: You Only Have One F#@King Job!”, the former Comedy Central host jokingly told Biden that his mission as vice president is a “simple” one, “You show up!”

“We’ve already seen, that remorse about lady touching is the one thing Joe Biden will not feel,” he quipped.

After playing footage of several odd encounters, Stewart pretended to put soap in his eyes to wash out the image of Biden putting his head uncomfortably close to a young girl.

“Aaaaah! I can still see it! Aaaaah!” he panned. “What could you possibly be saying to her?”

Stewart called it a “Senate right of passage” for “Delaware Joe” to feel “up one immediate member of your family” before giving Biden credit for being “good on women’s issues in general.”

“It’s the moments with actual women he seems to have a problem with,” he said.

Later in the segment, Stewart switched to Bee, who pretended to come “from a one on one interview with Vice President Biden.”

The Hill’s Joe Concha pointed out that virtually no comedian would “dream of doing this now.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Protester Screams At Joe Biden: ‘Answer For The Women And Children You Groped!