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Judge Slams Brakes on Noncitizen Voting

By John Fund • National Review

A New York State Supreme Court justice has ruled that a new law allowing 800,000 noncitizens to vote in local elections in New York City was unconstitutional. The case will be appealed to the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest judicial body, but it’s a promising start.

Justice Ralph Porzio noted that the state’s constitution explicitly says only eligible citizens can vote. That can be changed, but only by a vote of the people in a referendum, a move the hyper “woke” city council didn’t dare to embrace when it passed the law allowing green-card holders and work-visa holders the vote last year. They knew noncitizen voting is unpopular — even radical San Francisco voters gave the idea only 54 percent approval in 2016.

There are few limits on how far the woke Left will go to change the rules of voting. In 2019, a majority of House Democrats voted to lower the federal voting age to 16 years, from 18.

The very notion of noncitizen voting is fraught with peril, especially in a big city such as New York. Few experts believe that, in a place where noncitizen voting is allowed, there would be effective enforcement of laws still barring illegal aliens from voting.

In 2016, New York Board of Elections commissioner Alan Schulkin, a Democrat, was videotaped at a party by Project Veritas confirming the existence of voter fraud and decrying the city’s failure to require voter ID. “Certain neighborhoods in particular, they bus people around to vote,” Schulkin said on the tape. “They put them in a bus and go poll site to poll site.” Schulkin was promptly forced to resign for speaking his mind by then-mayor Bill de Blasio.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, himself the son of Cuban immigrants, has introduced a bill to prohibit federal funding to states and localities that allow foreigners to vote. “It’s ridiculous that states are allowing foreign citizens to vote,” Rubio says. “However, if states and localities do let those who are not U.S. citizens to vote in elections, they shouldn’t get U.S. citizen taxpayer money.”

I am in favor of having people legally living in this country establish ties to the community and have a say in their governance. As Howard Husock, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says, “the right way to bring noncitizens into the electoral process at the federal, state, and local levels is old-fashioned: encourage them to become citizens.” It’s not hard for legal residents to go that route — they must have been in the U.S. for five years, pay some fees, and pass a test, given in English, on U.S. institutions.

What is so unfair about the system we have now? The answer is that it doesn’t suit the blatantly political imperatives of the woke Left, and that is a key reason noncitizen voting must be rejected.


Biden Calls Gas Tax Holiday a ‘Big Help.’ Obama Called It a ‘Gimmick.’

Democrats denounce fuel tax suspension

By Ginger Morrow • The Washington Free Beacon

On the campaign trail in 2008, Obama said of the tax suspension, “We’re arguing over a gimmick that would save you half a tank of gas over the course of the entire summer so that everyone in Washington can pat themselves on the back and say they did something. Well, let me tell you, this isn’t an idea designed to get you through the summer, it’s designed to get them through an election.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) in April said gas tax holidays are “good PR,” but shared the concern that there is “no guarantee that the reduction in the federal tax would be passed on to the consumer.”

Rep. Peter DeFazio, (D., Ore.), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, agreed.

“Suspending the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax is not going to give consumers significant relief—if any at all,” DeFazio said in February, adding that the move may have negative effects. “Suspending the tax will blow a $26 billion hole in the highway trust fund this year and cause further delay in rebuilding our decrepit infrastructure and the tens of thousands of jobs that investment would have provided.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) also foresees road blocks for infrastructure projects. He said the suspension “just doesn’t make sense,” adding, “People want their bridges and their roads, and we have an infrastructure bill we just passed this summer, and they want to take that all away.”

The Free Beacon reported Monday that Biden is the least popular president in more than a century. Democrats are on the fence about his viability for a second term and bracing for a tumultuous midterm season.


The View Through Debbie Stabenow’s Windshield

By Peter Roff • American Liberty

The View Through Debbie Stabenow’s Windshield

Whether or not Marie Antoinette said rioting French peasants upset about the shortage of bread to feed their families should “eat cake” instead is not important. The idea that she did has been passed down, generation to generation, as the perfect illustration of how the isolated elites in a society can become hopelessly out of touch.

This is not just a problem for the rich but also for the powerful, who use their positions to grant themselves perks that alleviate the need for them to worry about the kinds of things that keep the rest of us at night.

Like whether we’re going to have enough gas in the car to get to work in the morning.

Since coming into office, the Biden Administration has been at war with the American energy sector. Following the President’s lead, they believe climate change is an existential threat to the continued well-being of mankind that can only be thwarted if Americans are forced to go green.

That’s what’s really behind the sudden, continuing rise in the price of gasoline. It’s not, as President Joe Biden continues to assert, a transitory thing caused by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. It is the result of calculated policy decisions intended to roll back the energy independence that became a reality by the end of the Trump Administration.

There’s nothing wrong with green energy per se. Indeed, the United States would realize considerable benefit from the ability to rely on fuel coming from renewable sources like wind and solar and to be more efficient in the generation and use of power from fossil fuels so that less of it is wasted

All that can be achieved by market forces a lot faster and cheaper than by government mandates. The Biden Administration has chosen – regardless of the consequences – to force this upon us all, meaning that some people are now, in a period of inflation unseen for at least 40 years, to face the very real choice between putting gas in the car and food on the table.

Too many Democrats regard that as a good thing. They don’t blame the government for the problem. They blame the energy sector, which it criticizes for earning record profits because the price at the pump is up thanks to the shrinkage Biden and his cohorts have forced on the industry. The cancelation of new pipelines and oil and gas leases on federal lands are two among a handful of reasons domestic energy producers cannot respond to the increase in demand by increasing the supply to keep prices stable.

The energy markets are behaving as the President wants, given his belief, he can prioritize his strategy to increase the use of energy made from renewables and the need to bring down the price of gasoline.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre seemed badly ignorant of economic reality when she insisted during a recent press briefing that there was nothing inherently problematic with pursuing both objectives at the same time.

“What we’re trying to deal with right now is how do we lower costs for American families,” she said. “One of the things that we are seeing currently right now with oil refiners is they are using this moment,” she continued, “to actually make a profit.”

She can get away with shifting blame for a while but what does she suggest as an alternative? Does she think the energy sector should sell gasoline and other fuels at a loss? That’s a recipe for economic catastrophe, as would be the kind of nationalization of the sector that exists in so many other countries.

The problem is that Biden and Jean-Pierre and so many others are out of touch with what’s going on. The people aren’t rioting for gas yet, but it may just be a matter of time.

Consider the comments of Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who recently described a drive she made from her home state to Washington in an electric vehicle.

“After waiting for a long time to have enough chips in this country to finally get my electric vehicle,” the state’s senior elected Democrat said during a June 7 meeting of the Senate Finance Committee. “I got it and drove it from Michigan to here last weekend and went by every gas station and it didn’t matter how high it was.”

Stabenow doesn’t have to choose between putting food on her table and putting gas in her car. Rather than being grateful and understanding she’s insulated from reality because she enjoys elected privilege, she claims she’s mystified by the expressions of concern coming from the American people because they are routinely paying more than $100 for a full tank of gas. Wonderful.

An elected official, whose annual salary is just shy of $200,000, is driving a car that cost more than most Americans make in a year that the taxpayers probably pay for her to use, thinks high gas prices aren’t a problem because she doesn’t have to pay them anymore. That’s the kind of leadership that causes politicians to lose their heads.


VIDEO: Frontiers of Freedom Files with George Landrith, Tom Donelson & Dr. Larry Fedewa


How President Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness will make student debt worse

The president's plan to forgive $10,000 in student debt per borrower has several negative consequences.

By Jude Schwalbach • Reason Foundation

How President Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness will make student debt worse
Allison Bailey/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom

Many of the 43.3 million Americans with federal student loan debt totaling $1.61 trillion have anxiously anticipated President Joe Biden’s decision about student loan forgiveness. 

Last week, The Washington Post reported that the president’s plan, which sources say is nearing a formal announcement, will resemble his 2020 campaign promise to forgive $10,000 in federal student loans per borrower. The Committee for a Responsible Budget estimates this will cost taxpayers $230 billion.

While political firebrands such as Sen. Bernie Sanders have long supported substantially increasing federal higher education spending, including offering things like free college, President Biden’s proposal would represent a significant change in policy from previous presidential administrations, including Democrats.

President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign promises were modest by comparison. President Obama sought to expand Pell Grant access to low-income students and eliminate government subsidies to private student lenders. Even Obama’s 2014 executive order that sought to forgive some federal student loans only did so after 20 years and required borrowers to make regular payments via the Pay As You Earn Initiative.

By comparison, the Biden administration’s plan is a major departure from Obama’s more modest and measured approach to student debt. While it would certainly be popular with many of the people who have $10,000 of their student debt forgiven, public opinion is quite divided over how to handle college student debt.

CNBC national poll conducted in January of 2022 found that 34% of respondents supported loan forgiveness for all student loans. Only 27% of respondents opposed student loan forgiveness entirely. However, 35% of respondents supported a middling approach, preferring loan forgiveness only for those “in need.” 

Supporters of student loan forgiveness for those in need may be pleased to hear that President Biden’s proposal is reportedly going to be means-tested, with individuals eligible for student loan forgiveness if they have an income of less than $150,000 ($300,000 for couples).

The Washington Post editorial board notes some of the problems with that cut-off:

These provisions, while welcome, would not stop the policy from becoming yet another taxpayer-funded subsidy for the upper middle class. The president’s means test would be almost useless, as some 97 percent of borrowers would still qualify for forgiveness. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan watchdog, estimates that such a plan would cost at least $230 billion, that 71 percent of the benefits would flow to those in the top half of the income scale — and that a quarter of the benefits would go to the top 20 percent. Even this does not express fully how regressive the policy would be, because many recent graduates from medical, law and business schools would qualify for forgiveness even though their lifetime income trajectories don’t justify it.

Similarly, The Wall Street Journal has reported that more than 40% of all student loan debt is held by individuals with advanced and lucrative degrees, such as doctors and lawyers. 

Only one-third of Americans have bachelor’s degrees. These individuals are statistically likely to earn more than the two-thirds of Americans who don’t have those credentials.

This means that many taxpayers nationwide, 85% of whom do not have student loan debt, would now be paying off the student debt of their college-educated peers who, in many cases, enjoy greater affluence because of their college degrees. 

Importantly, this loan forgiveness proposal does not actually address the major problem of rising college costs. Biden’s plan would likely only exacerbate what many have labeled the student debt crisis. 

The American Enterprise Institute’s Beth Akers points out that there will definitely be a change in borrower behavior after any sort of debt reduction. She wrote

“Economically rational people will respond to that dynamic by choosing more expensive programs of study and borrowing more than they would have otherwise. The result: a pool of outstanding student debt growing even more quickly than before.”

This means that Biden’s proposal would incentivize future students to invest in riskier loans under the hope or assumption that their loans could later be forgiven. Such a plan is a disaster in the making that, over the long-term, could significantly expand Americans’ already ballooning student loan debt.

In fact, even if President Biden does reduce student loan debt by $10,000 per borrower, the Committee for a Responsible Budget reported that the total student loan debt would return to its current level in just three years, assuming no change in borrower behavior.

Instead of debt reduction, policymakers should consider reforms that have a lasting effect and address the rising cost of college. Extricating the federal government from the student loan business altogether or placing strict annual and lifetime caps on federal student loans could help encourage universities to stop hiking their costs.

At the end of the day, any sort of student loan forgiveness is a bad policy since it does not hold individuals accountable for their financial decisions. In fact, it would represent a massive betrayal of public trust. Many people worked to pay off their student loans. Others chose less expensive colleges to avoid student debt. Some people didn’t go to college at all because they decided they couldn’t afford it.

It may be well-intentioned, but President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is a recipe for disaster. It would potentially encourage bad borrowing behavior going forward. It would disadvantage those who made significant sacrifices to avoid or minimize their student debt. And, perhaps worst of all, it would force American taxpayers who didn’t go to college to pay for student debt they chose to not accrue and from which they will not benefit.


America’s Most Important Economic Storyteller Is Confused

By Derek Thompson • The Atlantic

As somebody who’s paid to tell stories about the economy, I always find it satisfying to assemble data points to produce a compelling pointillist picture about the state of the world. But these are rough times for economic pointillism. The data are all over the place, and the big picture is a big mess.

I look at the stock market, where valuations have collapsed. Okay, so markets are trying to tell us that future growth will be slower. Then, I see that consumers expect persistent inflation over the next five years. A growth slowdown with sticky inflation? Unusual, but not unprecedented. Consumers are glum about economic conditions but optimistic about their own finances, and they’re spending money on services and leisure and travel as if they’re eager participants in a booming economy. So everything is terrible, but I’m doing fine? Okay, that’s psychologically rich. Nominal gas prices are at record highs, but unemployment is near multi-decade lows; mortgage interest rates are rising quickly, but they’re at historically normal levels. So, things are bad, but also good, but also crummy, and maybe fine?

Regrettably, there’s another, significantly more important economic storyteller that also seems deeply confused about the economy. That would be the Federal Reserve.

Just six months ago, the Fed said it expected that prices would normalize in 2022, and it forecast that a key inflation index would average 2.6 percent growth this year. But now it projects that 2022 inflation will be twice as high, at 5.2 percent. Three months ago, the Fed signaled that it would raise a key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points in June. But this week, the Fed changed its mind after getting spooked by a few inflation reports and suddenly decided to jack up the federal-funds rate by 0.75 points, its most significant increase in 28 years.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s explanation for the rate change was baffling. He claimed that the number of job openings in the economy pointed to “a real imbalance in wage negotiating” but also said that the labor market had practically nothing to do with inflation. He explained that headline inflation has soared largely because of supply-side issues, such as the war in Ukraine’s impact on the gas market, that the Fed can’t really do anything about. But he also insisted that the Fed had to up the ante on interest-rate hikes to bring down inflation by reducing demand. He insisted that he didn’t want to send the economy into a recession, but the Fed’s own economic forecasts project several consecutive years of rising unemployment—something that generally happens only in a recession.

The full story only barely holds together. In the Fed’s view, inflation is partially caused by the labor market, but also not caused by the labor market; it’s largely a supply-side issue that the Fed can’t fix, but the Fed is going to try desperately to fix it anyway; and we’re hopefully not getting a recession, but we’re probably getting a recession. Like I said: baffling.

What the Fed is actually trying to do here—as opposed to the story it’s telling about what’s happening in the economy—is clear, yet extremely difficult: It is trying to destroy demand just enough to reduce excess inflation but not so much that the economy crashes. This a little bit like trying to tranquilize a raging grizzly bear with experimental drugs: Maybe you bring down its core temperature but also maybe you leave the big guy in a coma. The Fed could succeed. It could get Americans to spend a little less, borrow a little less, and loan a little less, and this synchronized decrescendo in economic activity would almost certainly reduce inflation. But here’s the problem: If global energy prices don’t come down and global supply chains remain tangled by Omicron variants and other natural disasters, we might end up with the worst of both worlds: destroyed domestic demand and constricted global supply. Slow growth and high energy prices could mean the return of the dreaded stagflation.

In the next few months, you should be prepared for the economic situation to get even stranger. Markets might be on the lookout for signs that the Fed is successfully crushing domestic demand. In other words, some investors will be hoping that the housing market stalls and retail spending slows, because these are signs that the Fed’s policy is working. We will be in an upside-down world where bad news (the economy is slowing down) is interpreted as good news (the Fed’s policy is working), and good news (consumer spending is still red hot) is interpreted as bad news (the Fed’s policy isn’t working).

For much of this century, the Fed has been an island of relative competency in a sea of institutional failure. But the Fed is neither an all-knowing artificial intelligence nor a band of wizard oracles sent from the future to stabilize price levels. The people who work there are fundamentally pundits with an interest-rate lever. They’re folks like you and me, telling stories about an economy that they’ve recently gotten wrong, wrong, wrong, and then kinda right, and then wrong again. I don’t know if this is comforting or terrifying to you, but it’s the full truth: Right now, we are truly all confused together.


The Iran Crisis Is Here

Biden must abandon his quest for a nuclear deal

By Matthew Continetti • The Washington Free Beacon

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei / Getty Images

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about: This week Iran escalated its war against the West.

On June 8 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution calling on Iran to explain traces of uranium that it found at three undisclosed sites of nuclear activity. Hours before the IAEA vote, Iran disconnected security cameras from one of its declared nuclear sites. Then Iran began taking down IAEA cameras throughout its territory. The world’s nuclear watchdog is flying blind. “When we lose this,” IAEA director Rafael Mariano Grossi told reporters, “then it’s anybody’s guess” what Iran is doing.

But we know what Iran is doing. Iran is playing hardball. For over a year now, the Biden administration and its European partners have attempted to lure Iran back into the 2015 nuclear deal, a.k.a. the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Those negotiations have failed. Iran keeps upping the ante. It wants Biden to drop sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, its terrorist army, and to guarantee that future presidents won’t back out of the deal. The first demand is harmful to national security and a political hot potato. The second is impossible. Result: deadlock.

Deadlock that favors Iran. The mullahs have used the months of jaw-jaw to prepare for war-war. Ayatollah Khamenei has placed radicals in top positions, including the presidency. His proxy forces have spread violence in Iraq, Yemen, and throughout the Greater Middle East. He has plotted to assassinate U.S. officials. He has evaded sanctions. And he has built up his stockpile of nuclear fuel.

Iran has enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. Last week, David Albright and Sarah Burkhard of the Institute for Science and International Security (the good ISIS) wrote that “Iran’s breakout timeline is now at zero.”

Swell. How does President Biden respond? He says there is still time to make a deal that even his lead negotiator, State Department official Robert Malley, admits is “tenuous at best.”

The complacency is maddening. The other day, when a reporter asked National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan for his thoughts on Iran’s dispute with the IAEA, Sullivan said, “From our perspective, we have to view these on separate tracks, and that’s how we’re going to proceed.” Translation: We won’t let Iran’s hostile behavior get in the way of appeasement.

On June 9, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Iran’s moves against the IAEA are “counterproductive and further complicate our efforts to return to full implementation of the JCPOA.” Also, the sky is blue. What’s Blinken going to do about it? “We continue to press Iran to choose diplomacy and de-escalation instead,” he said.

This is willful blindness. Iran made its choice. It rejected diplomacy and de-escalation. It opted for confrontation and resistance.

Yet America is too preoccupied, too distracted, too overwhelmed to act accordingly. Inflation, crime, the border, guns, abortion, and Ukraine command the public’s attention. The growing danger from Iran does not. Meanwhile, the secretary of defense is a background player. The secretary of state and the national security adviser are staffers, not independent leaders. The president is 79 years old and not good at his job. This moment demands confidence, willfulness, boldness, imagination, and risk. What we get are odd ramblings from Biden on Kimmel.

Things must change. Iran policy is a good—and urgent—place to start. Step one is to face reality. Close the open hand that the ayatollah has spat upon. Demand enactment of snap-back sanctions. Adopt the bipartisan Senate bill that would integrate air and missile defenses in the Greater Middle East. Call for a massive defense buildup. Ease restrictions, limits, and delays on lend-lease to Ukraine, then take the same approach to arming Israel and our Gulf partners (as well as Taiwan). Recognize the importance of the Abraham Accords as the foundation for regional stability. And revive the military option to demonstrate our seriousness.

The drift toward global disorder began after former president Obama decided not to enforce his red line against chemical weapons in Syria. That was almost a decade ago. One way to repair the jagged breach in American credibility and American deterrence would be to make good on our longstanding promise that Iran won’t obtain the world’s most terrible weapon.

The current path leads to a world where America is ignored, where Israel’s existence is threatened, and where the risk of nuclear war is greater than it is even today. We’ve been telling ourselves for a while that such a world would be unacceptable. Let’s act like it.


What I Learned From My Father About The Prodigal Son

We can see ourselves as the prodigal or elder son at different stages of life, but we ultimately are called to progress to spiritual fatherhood.

By MIKE KERRIGAN • The Federalist

man walking holding little boy's hand

PIXABAY

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” So said Mark Twain, and so have felt countless sons. Well past twenty-one, I continue to be astonished at how much my old man has learned.

A memory illustrates. Early last year, I was driving home from Mass with my family on Sunday morning. There the readings had included the Gospel of Luke’s parable of the prodigal son. It’s the tale of the headstrong son who demanded and squandered his inheritance and then begged for forgiveness, his older brother who never rebelled, and the father who loved them both.

I had always identified with the prodigal son, and figured everyone else did, too. This is partly due to my Irish heritage which, according to William Butler Yeats, means I have an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustains me through temporary periods of joy.

I said this to my wife, Devin, as we drove home from church. She said she understood the sentiment, but admitted at times feeling a certain kinship with the dutiful elder son. We clearly had interpreted the lesson differently, which surprised me. I decided to consult my father to break the tie.

I called him from the car, asking which character in the parable he identified with most. “Easy,” he answered. “The father.” Believing God alone had been, well, perpetually cast in that role, I never thought picking the father was an option. It seemed my dad, when faced with multiple-choice options (a) or (b), was puckishly choosing (c) as a write-in answer. Or so I thought.

Weeks later I shared the breezy exchange with Dr. William Muse of Knoxville, Tennessee. Muse, a contemporary of my father, is a dear friend whom I figured could use a smile. We were together in Dallas where he was tending to his daughter, Amanda, who was dying of cancer. Sad of heart but undaunted in his Catholic faith, he somehow found time to counsel me.

“Read this,” he said, pitching me Catholic priest and writer Henri Nouwen’s spiritual classic “The Return of the Prodigal Son.” It’s a meditation inspired by the author’s response to a reproduction of Rembrandt’s eponymous and hauntingly beautiful painting. How strange the book was there in Amanda’s bookcase, my own poor man’s tolle lege experience“Your dad is not wrong. None of you are.” 

I devoured the book. It taught me that while we tend to be each actor — prodigal son, elder son, even the father — at different stages of life, we ultimately are called to progress to spiritual fatherhood. That is, we’re called to love one another exactly as the compassionate father did, with self-emptying hearts of mercy.

After all, neither the justice the prodigal son demanded nor the justice the elder son expected ultimately satisfies. Knowing this, the father gave his heirs freely and fully not the mere justice they sought but the far greater mercy they needed. 

Justice may even the scales, but in mercy, the world is remade anew. As a broken world, so a penitent man. As we need merciful forgiveness, so must we grant it. As we are loved by God, so must we try to love one another. For nothing you have not given away, as C.S. Lewis wrote, will ever really be yours.

In other words, in the parable of the prodigal son we are, in fact, called to identify with the father, just like my old man said. 

A Dutch painter inspired a fellow countryman priest centuries later, whose book helped a Tennessee doctor explain the true meaning of fatherhood to a North Carolina lawyer, but make no mistake. I was once again astonished at how much my old man had learned.


Attorney Generals Demand Biden Admin Stop Colluding With Big Tech To Censor Speech

By Jordan Boyd • The Federalist

Facebook censorship

IMAGE CREDIT THOUGHT CATALOG/PEXELS

Attorneys general in Missouri and Louisiana filed a motion for preliminary injunction this week demanding a court stop Big Tech companies from colluding with the federal government to inform their political censorship sprees, after the White House has repeatedly bragged about exploiting its relationships with social media companies to suppress information the Biden administration deems “problematic.”

In the motion, Missouri AG Eric Schmitt and Louisiana AG Jeff Landry argue that the Biden administration, in partnership with Meta (formerly Facebook), Twitter, Google’s YouTube, and other Silicon Valley giants, has taken advantage of Big Tech’s grip on the social media platform market to suppress any speech contrary to their chosen narrative

“Freedom of speech is the very bedrock of this great nation, and needs to be protected and preserved. The federal government’s alleged attempts to collude with social media companies to censor free speech should terrify Missourians and Americans alike,” Schmitt said in a statement. “The federal government must be halted from silencing any more Americans, and this motion for preliminary injunction intends to do just that.”

The fed-inspired decision to “shadow-ban, de-platform, de-monetize, de-boost, restrict content access, and suspend many speakers, both temporarily and permanently,” a press release announcing the motion states, has silenced people “from doctors and scientists, to the owner of a conservative radio show, to everyday Americans who dare to voice their opinion in the public sphere.”

As noted by the state attorneys, it was during the height of the government’s panic over Covid-19 that Big Tech censored the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration who criticized the bureaucrats calling for continuous national lockdowns. The “extensive social-media censorship on multiple platforms” endured by authors such as Dr. Martin Kulldorff and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya came shortly after emails between then-Director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci demanding a “quick and devastating … takedown” of the group’s criticism.

The motion follows a complaint from the state attorneys last month against the Biden administration and other federal officials for engaging in “open and explicit censorship programs” such as the Department of Homeland Security’s “Disinformation Governance Board.”

“Having threatened and cajoled social-media platforms for years to censor viewpoints and speakers disfavored by the Left, senior government officials in the Executive Branch have moved into a phase of open collusion with social-media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social-media platforms under the Orwellian guise of halting so-called ‘disinformation,’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘malinformation,’” the original petition states.


There Is No Plan

The closer attention you pay to Biden, the less he has to say

By Matthew Continetti • The Washington Free Beacon

Getty Images

President Joe Biden is “rattled,” according to NBC News, and “looking to regain voters’ confidence that he can provide the sure-handed leadership he promised during the campaign.”

How? By trying to change the media narrative. On May 30, Biden published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that explained “My Plan for Fighting Inflation.” The next day, Biden wrote a “guest essay” for the New York Times on “What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine.”

Bad poll numbers and a collapsing domestic and international situation have excited the typically drowsy president into action. There’s a problem, though. The closer you read Biden’s op-eds, the less he has to say. This new, annoyed, engaged Biden may be a prolific writer and speaker. But he’s not an incisive one. He won’t admit that there is a connection between his ideology and America’s problems. He can’t decide between giving Ukraine the weapons necessary to defeat Russia or settling for a war of attrition.

Biden’s Journal op-ed is a masterclass in passing the buck. He doesn’t bring up his “plan for fighting inflation” until midway through his thousand-word piece. My inner college professor wanted to send the article back to him with suggestions for revision. Number one: Always move your best material to the top!

The plan itself is gauzy and thin. “The Federal Reserve has a primary responsibility to control inflation.” You wouldn’t know that from listening to Progressives, including some of Biden’s nominees to the Federal Reserve, who argue that the Fed’s interest in price stability distracts it from promoting full employment, green energy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Now Biden wants the Fed to correct not only its mistakes, but his own. Let’s see if his faith in an independent central bank can stand the test of higher interest rates, higher unemployment, and lower incomes.

Parts two and three of Biden’s inflation plan are the remnants of his Build Back Better agenda: some clean energy and housing subsidies here, a few tax hikes there. He mentions his use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices, but not his appeals to Venezuela and OPEC to boost the oil supply. As for the obvious answers to America’s energy problems—a complete reversal of Biden’s hostility to oil and gas exploration and production, huge investments in nuclear power, and emergency efforts to increase refinery capacity—Biden has no words. His devotion to the environmental lobby and to green energy blinds him. If the Progressive Left rejects nuclear power, the “clean energy future” it desires won’t arrive.

This mismatch between ends and means is visible in Biden’s Ukraine policy. The president tells New York Times readers that the United States sends Ukraine weapons “so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.” The desired end state is “a democratic, independent, sovereign, and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression.” And Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is in the driver’s seat. “I will not pressure the Ukrainian government—in private or public—to make any territorial concessions.”

All good. Why, then, limit the weapons deliveries to systems with ranges of 40 miles? Why slow-walk and agonize over each tranche of support? Why engage with Russia in farcical and dangerous negotiations over Iran’s nuclear weapons? Why not take a more active role in peace talks between Ukraine and Russia? The Biden policy is static even as the shape of the war changes in ways that favor the aggressor. The president’s goals are laudable. But his tactics are calibrated for a war that Ukraine is winning.

And Ukraine is not winning. At least not now. The Ukrainians defeated Russia’s attempt at regime change. But they have been less successful in removing Russia from eastern Ukraine and from their port cities in the south and southeast. Absent a change in Biden administration policy—in the ranges of weapons systems America provides Ukraine, in the establishment of a humanitarian corridor to relieve the Russian blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports, or in a major diplomatic effort—the war will turn into a frozen conflict with no clear resolution and with mounting humanitarian costs. How that situation would help anyone, including Biden, is unclear.

Then again, little Biden says or does makes sense from the vantage point of either policy or politics. He’s right to be rattled. He’s also clueless.


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