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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, December 11, 2020

Northam Exposure on Virus Hypocrisy

by Tony Perkins: While California, New York, and other states have gone off the deep end on coronavirus restrictions, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) has been unusually quiet. That changed Thursday, when the radical leader broke his silence with a slew of new rules. And, like every other liberal leader, he didn't mind shaming churches in the process.

"This is a holy time for multiple faith traditions," Northam said at his press conference on Thursday. "But this year, we need to think about what is truly the most important thing. Is it the worship or the building? For me, God is wherever you are. You don't have to sit in the church pew for God to hear your prayers," Northam said. "Worship with a mask on is still worship. Worship outside or worship online is still worship."

Northam stopped short of the gathering orders that other liberals have watched the Supreme Court overturn. But he didn't mind shaming churchgoers all the same. "Quite frankly," he said, "we know that a lot of the spread is coming from this, because these individuals that are in a place of worship and contract the virus then go out to their place of work or to the grocery store or the convenience store or wherever and that's how this is spread." No one knows quite how Northam arrived at that conclusion since most of the contact tracing -- at least in overwhelmed cities like El Paso -- has led back to big box stores like Walmart or Costco. If anything, churches have been some of the safest indoor spaces, as pastors go to great lengths -- and expense -- to keep parishioners safe.

Justice Neil Gorsuch made reference to that in his opinion on Governor Andrew Cuomo's (R-N.Y.) unconstitutional restrictions. "No apparent reason exists why people may not gather, subject to identical restrictions, in churches or synagogues -- especially when religious institutions have made plain that they stand ready, able, and willing to follow all the safety precautions required of 'essential' businesses and perhaps more besides."

Liberals, who constantly accuse President Trump of making baseless claims, are doing exactly that here! Most churches who've opened in a reasonable manner haven't witnessed a single case -- let alone an outbreak. Maybe Northam, who wants to make infanticide a choice between "a woman and her doctor," ought to leave worship between a pastor and his parishioner.

While Northam resorts to public pressure, other states are stubbornly slapping churches with outrageous citations. In San Jose, Calvary Christian Fellowship was hit with more than $55,000 fines for meeting indoors. Earlier this week, Pastor Mike McClure was found in contempt of court for exercising his congregation's First Amendment rights. Still, he told "Washington Watch," he isn't budging. "I just think this is a time when we need to get together more than ever... They want us not to meet at all." But, he says, there's a higher law than man's law, and when the Bible tells us that we need to gather, that's what the body of Christ should do.

"They've been pushing against the church for a long time," he said, "and now they're inside the church telling us what we can and can't do [under] the First Amendment. So [we] have the right to redress... [They] have the right give me an answer to why we can't meet, because the virus is not killing everyone. And they have everybody scared to death." And yet, he went on, there are these double standards -- even in San Jose -- where people could riot, and that was fine. You could protest, and not hear a thing. So you know what, he said? I decided to "peacefully protest every week [by having services]."

In other states, like Colorado, pastors are having success by pushing back on one-sided restrictions. At High Plains Harvest Church, Senior Pastor Mark Hoteling won a major victory in Colorado. After he and others stood up and refused to be bullied, "the state is now back-peddling," he cheered. "They have lifted the capacity restrictions against churches, and we are now treated as any other essential business... Our intent all along," he said, "has been not to get an injunction to benefit High Plains Harvest Church, but all churches in Colorado." And, thanks to the court's order, that's exactly what happened.

Look, Hoteling urged, Christians need to keep pushing forward, because the reality is, "the state can do whatever it wants until it's stopped. And we're just a small rural church. But, you know, it's like David. I mean, we've got a small stone and a sling and we're going to keep swinging." And other churches -- all across the country -- should do the same.

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Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Center.
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Still Fighting, Vaccine Approved, Northam's Lecture

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer: Still Fighting
Yesterday, I joined dozens of conservative leaders in calling on state legislators in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to exercise their constitutional authority to appoint new electors in view of the massive irregularities that occurred in the 2020 election. You can read our letter here.

I am pleased to report that state legislators in Michigan and Pennsylvania filed their own briefs supporting the challenge filed by Texas and 17 other states. In addition, 106 members of Congress are also supporting the Texas lawsuit.

Vaccine Approved
The Food and Drug Administration's advisory committee voted 17 to 4 yesterday to approve Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine. It is hard to know what the rationale of the four dissenting votes could be.

The FDA also informed the CDC and Pfizer so they could begin "timely vaccine distribution." Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said this morning, "We could be seeing [Americans] getting vaccinated Monday, Tuesday of next week."

It can't be said often enough, and we need to say it to friends, family members and co-workers, that any fair history will recognize that Donald Trump and Mike Pence directed the fastest development of a new vaccine for a deadly disease in the history of mankind.

President Trump officially launched Operation Warp Speed in May. Because he knows how this city is a swamp mired in bureaucracy and inaction, it was Trump's natural instinct to light a fire under the bureaucrats to get this done.

He also brought in drug company executives and said, "This is a national emergency. I'm going to make this easy for you by paying for your vaccine. That way once we find one that works, we will have already stockpiled millions of doses."

The bottom line is that the Trump vaccine will cure the Chinese virus.

I don't believe for one second that if Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden had been president that they would have been able to do what Trump has accomplished because they are swamp creatures. If either had been president, we'd be waiting years for a new vaccine.

Another Peace Deal
Kudos to President Trump! Yesterday Morocco announced that it was joining the Abraham Accords and signing a peace deal with Israel. Morocco is now the fourth Muslim-majority nation to normalize relations with the Jewish state since August.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the latest agreement, saying, "

"I want to first thank President Trump for his extraordinary efforts to expand peace, to bring peace to Israel and the peoples of the Middle East. President Trump, the people of Israel and the State of Israel will be forever indebted to you for your magnificent efforts on our behalf. . . the light of peace on this Hanukkah day has never shone brighter than today in the Middle East."

I just want to remind you that the entire foreign policy establishment said that such agreements were impossible without first creating a Palestinian state, another fanatical Islamist state carved out of Judea and Samaria.

Four years ago, then-Secretary of State John Kerry declared:

"There will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world. I want to make that very clear with all of you. I've heard several prominent politicians in Israel sometimes saying, 'Well, the Arab world is in a different place now. We just have to reach out to them. We can work some things with the Arab world and we'll deal with the Palestinians.' No. No, no, and no. . .

"There will be no advance and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace. Everybody needs to understand that."

Thankfully, President Trump didn't buy into the "conventional wisdom." He has now secured four separate peace deals between Israel and Arab nations. That's four more than our most recent Nobel Peace Prize winning president managed to accomplish!

The Swalwell Scandal
I woke up this morning troubled by additional aspects of the Swalwell-communist Chinese scandal.

Imagine that someone you had come to trust turned out to be working for an enemy of the United States and was attempting to compromise you to hurt America and benefit their country. On top of that, this individual was someone with whom you were romantically involved.

When shown evidence that this person was a spy for a communist country dedicated to replacing the United States as the premier power in the world, any normal person would be irate. You'd feel a tremendous sense of betrayal, especially if they were working for a murderous regime that puts people in concentration camps.

Yet I have not found one interview Eric Swalwell has done expressing any anger toward Fang Fang. Swalwell's anger seems to be reserved for Donald Trump. As one columnist put it, Swalwell has been projecting his experience being compromised onto Trump.

Then I thought about something else.

We're being told that this Chinese spy was compromising Rep. Swalwell for nefarious purposes. At some point the FBI approached the congressman with disturbing information about her true identity. One would expect that the FBI would have arrested and charged Fang relatively quickly. But that's not what happened. She fled the country.

So inquiring minds want to know: Was she tipped off that the FBI was on to her? Was it Rep. Swalwell who tipped her off? Is that why he doesn't say anything negative about her because he knows what she knows about him? Swalwell would have a really good reason for wanting her out of the country because a trial would expose him as well as her.

We need a special prosecutor.

Northam's Lecture
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam imposed new mandates yesterday in response to rising COVID cases. He ordered stricter masking, imposed a curfew and limited gatherings to just ten people. But he didn't shut down churches this time because of the recent Supreme Court rulings, thanks to President Trump's appointees.

But Northam did lecture Christians. He urged Christians not to go to church, saying, "God is wherever you are. . . Worship online is still worship."

As a Christian, I believe that wherever two or more are gathered, He is there. But what I don't embrace is the notion that Ralph Northam is someone who should instruct my faith.

Let me remind Governor Northam where God also is. He is in every baby made in His image. But Northam said that if one of those babies managed to survive an abortion, that baby should be left on the table while the mother and her doctors decide how to dispose of the problem.

Northam may want to remind himself that God was there when that baby was conceived. Perhaps that is something he should address in his prayer life before he starts lecturing us about our prayer life.
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
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What is the Real Source of Native American Poverty?

A reflection on racial preservationism and tribal separatism.
by Jason D. Hill: The dire conditions under which Native Americans live in the United States are pitiful. Statistics grow dated by the month. According to the American Community Survey, one in three Native Americans live in poverty with a median income of around $23,000 per year.

Self-proclaimed experts on Native American poverty such as sociologist Beth Redbird point out that despite heavy investments in education, up to 80% of Native Americans move back to their rural communities. Given that poverty tends to be higher in rural areas, the poverty gap between Native Americans who live in rural areas and urban areas is larger than the white rural and urban gap. The conclusion is that poverty is not driven by the propensity of Native Americans to live in rural areas.

Redbird concludes that amazing things would happen if Native Americans had the same employment rates, occupations, levels of education, lived in the same geographic locations and were in the same types of white households as white Americans. She claims the payoff to education is not nearly as great as the payoff to jobs. In other words, if such conditions held, Native American poverty would decrease because poverty could be reduced for the Indian-only population by nearly 20% with employment.

She cites the abysmal failures of Native Americans to address their own economic development through tribal gaming and energy. Reports from the census show that when tribes started gaming establishments or energy projects that poverty rates did not decrease, and that few lasting jobs were created. In 2015 alone, casinos created about only 25 jobs, while energy had hardly any effect on reservations with more than 2,000 residents on average.

The solution? Redbird wants tribes to invest in a variety of job initiatives and to diversify economic opportunities. This will require federal negotiations and, Redbird admits, “Indians don’t have the highest trust in federal policy.”

Let us pause here and state the obvious. Autonomy, sovereignty and self-determination have simply not worked for American Indians. Their self-determination and alleged autonomy really rest on one set of collective entitlements after another to preserve their distinct tribal heritages to the detriment of economic growth and well-being. Even Redbird admits that economic well-being at the local level might look different for a tribe in Wyoming versus one in California—all of which lead to a variety of outcomes.

Protracted tribalism, which is a form of crude racial/ethnic or national collectivism, is atavistic and primordial. It is static and outside the evolutionary laws of history that steer towards progress. As racial preservationists, Native Americans have yet to enter modernity and are, therefore, still outside the historical process. When Western ethno-nationalists attempt to preserve just some semblance of their culture, they are called cultural chauvinists. When indigenous cultures do the same, they are said to be displaying cultural integrity. But cultural integrity practices by indigenous purists are predicated on a set of false beliefs about both American culture and about the culture the purists are trying to preserve. In the case of the latter, the idea that any culture can pretend to be a hermetically-sealed unit in a technologically-advanced civilization is foolish. The culture will atrophy. This is what is happening to Native Americans. Rather than modernize and update their cultures and incorporate the best within American culture to advance their economic well-being—assimilate to some degree like all other cultures—the American Indians hold fast to atavistic sensibilities that are now dated, primitive, and ill-equipped to lead them into the twenty-first century and beyond.

This leads us to the second point. Native Americans will continue to be poor and live decimated lives not only if they live by a separatist tribal logic, but if they hold to the philosophy that undergirds that moral logic: one of contagion. America is regarded as something they must inoculate themselves from because the prototypical American characteristics will not only annihilate their cultures; America and her genetic ancestors, the Europeans, were guilty of a heinous crime, so it is believed, that can never be forgiven: the crime of genocide against Native Americans.

This false belief—yes, it is false—has allowed American Indians to become certified, eternal moral victims with an iconic status meant to continue inducing shame among Americans. This victim status has been used to excuse every failure and every debilitation they have suffered on their reservations: opioid addiction, alcoholism, illiteracy, diabetes, high rates of hypertension and chronic depression. Post-Genocidal Stress Disorder was how I heard it described at a conference years ago.

Let us be clear. It is true that millions of Indians did die as a result of contact with whites; however, they died by contracting illnesses such as smallpox, measles, malaria, and tuberculosis against which they had no natural immunities. These were diseases whites transmitted unknowingly.

As Dinesh D’Souza points out in his book What’s So Great About America?, a few centuries ago, one-third of Europe’s population perished as a result of contracted diseases from Mongol invaders from the Asian Steppes. These diseases included the bubonic plague. This was not referred to as a genocide. Nor should it have been.

Genocide explicitly denotes an intention to wipe out an entire population. There were isolated incidents of European military commanders who did attempt to kill hostile Indian tribes by giving them smallpox blankets. This, however, was not a systemic policy adopted by Americans. Had the Americans truly intended to eliminate the entire population of American Indians they certainly had the military and firepower to do so.

Total annihilation of the Native American population was never a policy of the United States government. In fact, in his “Essays on the Races,” Alexis de Tocqueville noted that the American Indians never wanted Western civilization but that the white man was determined to shove it down his throat. The problem the American Indian faced, then, was one of forced inclusion. Blacks, Tocqueville reported, had a deep desire to share in the culture, privileges, and customs of white society, “but whites will never allow them to do so.” Their problem was one of forced exclusion.

Intended genocide and intended forced inclusion are neither logical nor existential corollaries.

The fundamental problems facing Native Americans today, it must be declared, is simply that, as a whole, they constitute a pre-modern set of groups comprised of individuals. They cannot have their cake and eat it too. They have excluded themselves from the ambit of universal inclusion by cultivating a separatist ethos. Their own valorization of tribal sovereignty and autonomy has proven to be a license to be spared the rigors of development required of the rest of mainstream society. They want the benefits of tribal/ethnic purity without the assimilative sacrifices that must be undergone to achieve any semblance of socio-economic and cultural parity with their American compatriots. Hence, a self-imposed arrested development is the existential concomitant of a life led outside the innovative and experimental processes in modern life that aid development, growth and change.

Native Americans will remain poor if they remain rooted to a false dichotomy between collective tribal well-being, and individual development and prosperity. In short, they ought to embrace the virtues of individualism and stop hyper-inflating collective well-being (still yet to be defined) as some unassailable good that behaves with the same invariability as do the laws of nature.

The entire collective versus individual well-being trope is passé. The atomistic individual in practice has always been a fictitious straw man devised by strong communitarians to win an inflated argument. No individual, regardless of how he conceives himself, has ever existed as a solipsistic agent apart from the community or society that he lives in. He is imbricated in a causal web of relationships that mediate his self-conception and his sense of how free he is in relation to the political configurations of his society.

Aside from embracing a healthy dose of American individualism, what Native Americans need is a remapping of the terms that determine communal relatedness, and a destabilization of the totalizing grammar of collective well-being that stifles individual growth, personal accountability and responsibility for one’s life.

If civilization had been left in the hands of Native Americans, it is obvious life would have remained as it was centuries ago for them: harsh, pastoral, and bucolic in places, but undeveloped. Modernization has to take place from within by embracing a philosophy of anti-collectivism, that is, anti-ethnic particularism at the cost of individual liberty. A thousand more casinos will not ameliorate anything—as the evidence has shown.

It is the philosophic transformation of the indigenous mind, that, coupled with a desire to divorce oneself from primeval ways of life by leaving the primitivism of the tribes and fully conjoining oneself to mainstream society that will see a radical transformation of indigenous life. For such a person the imperative is to move beyond his or her contemporary decimated pre-modern existence into what is simply the modern historical process.
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Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago, and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center.
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Legislation Introduced To Stop Medicare Physician Payment Cuts

U.S. Senator John Boozman
ARRA News Service: U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced legislation to prevent the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) planned physician payment cuts scheduled to begin January 1, 2021.

The Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020 would ensure payments to medical physicians are maintained at current levels for the next two years.

“Cutting physician payments is the last thing CMS should be doing when we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Patients deserve access to quality and affordable health care. This legislation is necessary to achieve this,” Boozman said.

“If our heroes this year are people who wear scrubs, then it is unconscionable to hit them with Medicare cuts as a New Year’s gift,” Hyde-Smith said. “This legislation needs to be passed before the holidays to provide relief to the very healthcare professionals who bear the burden of fighting this pandemic.”

“Health care providers in North Dakota and across the country face significant financial strain caused by COVID-19. They can’t afford these cuts, and we can’t afford to lose their services,” said Cramer. “Our bill helps ensure these providers can continue the admirable service they’ve displayed throughout the pandemic without having another reason to worry about their bottom line.”

“Many frontline health care providers face substantial Medicare reimbursement cuts beginning on January 1st. Our health care system is already under tremendous strain due to the pandemic. Our bill stops these cuts from taking effect and imposing any further burden on our providers during this public health emergency,” Cotton said.

“These reimbursement cuts primarily fall on the backs of health care providers across non-primary care specialties – from radiology to physical therapy to orthopaedic surgery. If these ill-timed payment cuts go into effect, they could have a devastating effect on providers, health care practices, and, most important, patient access to care,” said Collins. “Our legislation would halt these payments cuts from going into effect at the start of the New Year, helping to ensure that we do not further burden our health care system that is already struggling due to the pandemic.”

The legislation is supported by a number of health care industry groups including the American Medical Association, American Optometric Association, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.

“Our nation’s physicians are under incredible strain due to COVID-19, and this bill begins to correct a misguided and ill-timed policy that would cut health care spending in the middle of a pandemic. Time is running out to reverse these cuts and protect patients. We thank Sen. Boozman for his leadership on this issue and will continue to partner with him and his Congressional colleagues to protect patients’ access to quality surgical care,” said David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, American College of Surgeons Executive Director.

Last week, Boozman led a bipartisan group of senators calling on Senate leadership to stop the scheduled cuts.

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN).
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The Unbearable Lightness of White College Democrats

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Eighty-five percent of counties with a Whole Foods store voted for Joe Biden. That factoid, relayed by The Cook Political Report's David Wasserman, tells you something important about the election -- and about today's Democratic Party.

"The Democracy," as it was called in the 19th century, long thought of itself as the party of the people, the defender of the little guy, the side that stood up for the folks not able to stand up for themselves.

There was always something to this. From its formation to reelect Andrew Jackson in 1832, the Democratic Party has always been a coalition of groups not considered typical Americans but that together could form a national majority. Naturally, the precise composition of this coalition has changed over time.

Barack Obama's Democratic Party was a top-and-bottom coalition of those at both ends of the income, education and occupational scales. Obama, who, as an Illinois legislator, gerrymandered a top-and-bottom district for himself, provided substantive and psychological sustenance to both sides.

Joe Biden's Democratic Party has a different balance. The boy from working-class Scranton, as he is billed, ran best not in factory cities but in university towns.

His highest percentage in Michigan was in the county containing Ann Arbor, not Detroit. He ran stronger in Madison, Wisconsin's Dane County than in Milwaukee County; stronger in Iowa City than in Des Moines; stronger in Missoula, Montana, with its university than in Butte with its copper mines; just as strong in metro Columbus (Ohio State University) as in metro Cleveland.

Biden's strongest area in California was the San Francisco Bay (University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University). His strongest county in upstate New York was Tompkins (Cornell University). His strongest counties in North Carolina were Durham and Orange (Duke University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

White college grads -- Joel Kotkin's "gentry liberals," Arnold Kling's "highly educated elites" -- have become the dominant constituency in the Democratic Party. Even as the descendants of the party's blue-collar constituents have become Donald Trump Republicans, Democratic percentages among white college graduates have ballooned.

Pew Research Center polling showed white college graduates 50% to 42% Republican in 1994 -- the breakthrough year when Republicans captured the House after 40 years of Democratic control -- and 57% to 37% Democratic in 2019. That's happened even as they've become a larger percentage of the electorate.

To which an old-time Democratic Party boss -- Tammany Hall's Charles F. Murphy or Chicago's Richard J. Daley -- would have asked, "What do these people want?"

In the 1990s, the answers very fairly obvious. Affluent voters wanted tax rates held down, and they wanted their verdant suburban and trendy central city neighborhoods protected from violent crime and welfare dependency.

Led by Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson and New York's Rudy Giuliani, local Republicans and some Democrats cut violent crime and welfare rolls by more than half. In Washington, Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton assisted and encouraged this process and largely froze tax rates.

Today's college graduates, more numerous than their 1994 predecessors and schooled on increasingly "politically correct" campuses, don't have such concrete goals. They're unfazed by marginal Obama-era tax increases and untroubled -- so far, anyway -- by the vertiginous increases in homicides after the May 25 incident in Minneapolis.

What they want out of politics is not so much anything concrete as it is symbolic: assertions of opposition to what they regard as America's "systemic racism," and opposition to assertions of "America first," whether that means enforcement of immigration laws or "xenophobic" restrictions on travel from China, where COVID-19 originated.

In Democratic primaries, these voters, as I wrote in June, "flitted from one candidate to the next, tilting toward Sen. Kamala Harris after she whacked Joe Biden for opposing busing in the 1970s, then luxuriating in Sen. Elizabeth Warren's stentorian assurances that, on every issue, 'I have a plan for that,' then swooning for the assured articulateness of then-South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg."

They seem chemically dependent on denunciations of Donald Trump, to the point that subscription- or ratings-hungry news media feel obliged to lard not just news accounts but even food pages and movie reviews with "Orange Man Bad" sneers. Trump is routinely described as a "racist" with no evidence cited.

White Democratic college graduates' central faith is that they oppose other Americans' systemic racism. Nearly a majority of them told pollsters they were bothered that Joe Biden is a white male in his 70s. Only about 30% of black and Hispanic Democrats feel the same, according to Pew. One group has more concern for ethnic origin and personal style than for real-life consequences for actual people.

White Democratic college graduates complain that Trump acts childishly; is impervious to criticism and fixated on symbolic trivia; and refuses to confess error or admit defeat. Fair criticism or self-description? Or both?

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.
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Michael Barone shared article via Rasmussen Reports.
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Is Our Second Civil War — also a ‘Forever War’?

by Patrick Buchanan: Who was not stunned to learn that as Trump seemed to be pulling ahead in the voting count on Nov. 3, suddenly, around midnight, the vote counting appeared to stop in the crucial swing states, and we were told it would begin again early the next morning? Why the halt?

When the Electoral College meets Monday, it will almost surely certify former Vice President Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. And he will take the oath of office Jan. 20.

There is, nationally, a growing if grudging realization of that reality.

Yet millions of Americans will refuse to accept the legitimacy of that election and its outcome and will continue to believe, with President Donald Trump, that it was “rigged.”

“Was the 2020 election stolen by the establishment to get rid of a president, Donald Trump, whom it loathed?” will be debated decades hence — as are questions such as, “Did FDR have advance knowledge the Japanese were going to attack?” and, “Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone in Dallas?”

That perception that something was afoot first arose in the minds of millions in the hours after the election on Nov. 3, when 83% of Republicans polled by Gallup said they did not believe reports of Trump’s defeat.

Things perceived as real are real in their consequences.

And there was justification for that perception. Who was not stunned to learn that as Trump seemed to be pulling ahead in the voting count on Nov. 3, suddenly, around midnight, the vote counting appeared to stop in the crucial swing states, and we were told it would begin again early the next morning? Why the halt?

Again, things perceived as real are real in their consequences.

The Washington Post reports this week that, midway between Election Day and Inauguration Day, only 27 congressional Republicans would acknowledge Biden’s win. Some 220 GOP members of the House and Senate — 88% of Republicans serving in Congress — would not say who won the election.

And Trump continues to fight on, millions behind him, to persuade public officials in such battleground states as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada to withdraw their certifications.

He is said to be working the phones to get Republicans in Congress to reject the designation of Biden as president.

He has joined a suit by 17 states’ attorneys general to have the Supreme Court accept Texas’ argument that late alterations in the voting processes in four swing states be declared unconstitutional and illegal.

Among the more credible charges is that, due to the pandemic, late changes were made in the voting processes of states, especially with mailed-out and mailed-in ballots. The contention is that votes cast as a consequence of changes done contrary to state laws or constitutions should be thrown out. Most of those votes came from the urban precincts where Biden’s margins were massive.

While some 50 lawsuits filed in Trump’s cause may have been rejected in courts, the hourly allegations of fraud in the collection and counting of ballots have given credence to a generalized belief that Trump was cheated of votes he received and Biden received votes that were illicitly cast.

Where will this leave us Jan. 20?

American politics will be even more poisoned and polarized than it has been for the last four years. Tens of millions of Americans will see themselves as disfranchised and believe that the greatest champion they have had in decades was illegally driven from power by the same deep state-media conspiracy he fought for four years.

Reinforcing this perception is the sudden revelation this week that Biden’s son Hunter is indeed the target of a federal tax investigation.

That is a story the mainstream media not only refused to cover but sought to bury. And it further buttresses a widespread belief that the mainstream media were in the tank for Biden and will use the power they have to fix the outcome of future American elections in favor of the establishment to which they belong.

For scores of millions of Americans, the mainstream media have lost any credibility and moral authority they once had.

The media have spent four years promoting the falsehood that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump conspired to steal the 2016 election, a charge for which the two-year Robert Mueller investigation could not find any substance at all. They championed the cause of impeachment of Trump over a single comment in a phone call to the president of Ukraine.

And all the while, they painted Trump as racist, sexist, homophobic and treasonous, and his followers as torch-carrying deplorables.

The hypocritical calls from the mainstream media today for us all to come together, after the atrocities they perpetrated, boggle the mind.

Amazing. And now that the Democrats appear to have captured the White House, the message is, “Can’t we all just get along?”

What lies ahead?

Some see secession. But though secession is unlikely, a secession of the heart has already taken place in America. We are two nations, two peoples seemingly separated indefinitely. Can a nation so divided as ours, racially, ideologically, religiously, still do great things together, as did the America of days gone by, to the amazement of the world?
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Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior adviser to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.
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Remote Learning Isn't Working

Keeping our kids out of school poses a greater threat to their health than COVID-19.
by Brian Mark Weber: Earlier this year, fears over the coronavirus shuttered classrooms across the country as school systems opted for makeshift online learning. At the time, the stopgap measure seemed like the only way to keep our kids both safe and engaged with their schooling.

Despite growing pains faced by teachers and students suddenly forced to learn in front of computers, the overall impact on the ability of students to learn was unknown. Months later, though, the evidence now shows many children are failing their online classes. Remote education may be fine for some adults, but most kids need to be in schools with their teachers and classmates.

And the emerging statistics are even more troubling for certain demographics.

Take Virginia, for example. As education reporter Hannah Natanson writes in The Washington Post, “A report on student grades from one of the nation’s largest school districts offers some of the first concrete evidence that online learning is forcing a striking drop in students’ academic performance, and that the most vulnerable students — children with disabilities and English-language learners — are suffering the most.”

Natanson adds, “Fairfax’s data shows that children who are engaged and care deeply about school — children in stable home situations, whose parents have sufficient resources — will stay engaged in an online environment, while children whose temperament, socioeconomic status or home situation have historically barred them from academic achievement will slip further and further behind.”

Across the country, the results are equally alarming.

“A study of 4.4 million students,” reports The Washington Free Beacon, “found that test scores of black, Hispanic, and poor children took the biggest hit from school closures. Math scores of vulnerable students dropped up to 10 percentage points from last year. Minority parents in California are suing the state over its mandatory school lockdowns, which the plaintiffs claim have left their children behind. Furthermore, a large study in October found that schools aren’t driving infections.”

In Montgomery County, Maryland (the state’s largest school district), The Washington Post reports, “More than 36 percent of ninth-graders from low-income families failed the first marking period in English. That compares with fewer than 6 percent last year, when the same students took English in eighth grade.”

Such clear evidence might force teachers unions and politicians to reconsider their support of lockdowns. After all, even Dr. Anthony Fauci now says the classroom is the best place for the intellectual and psychological well-being of students, after having repeatedly and wrongly expressed the opposite opinion for months.

So now that we know online learning is leaving many children behind, isn’t it time to get them back into the classroom? The data continue to clearly show that young people are the least vulnerable of all groups to COVID-19.

Not so fast.

Democrat politicians and teachers unions don’t want to send kids back to school, knowing all along that it’s hurting the very children they claim to care about. Instead, they’re using the issue to push a broader agenda.

As Reason Foundation school-choice director Corey DeAngelis writes, “In their report on safely reopening schools, for example, the Los Angeles’ teachers union went beyond detailing the safety needs of teachers and students, also calling for politicians to enact a wealth tax, Medicare for All, and a ban on charter schools.”

Just once, it’d be nice if teachers unions put kids’ well-being ahead of political expediency, but that’s probably too much to ask. They’ll hold children hostage for as long as they can get away with it.

Fortunately, some parents are growing tired of watching children increasingly become victims of misguided political decisions, and they’re speaking out to get kids back in school sooner rather than later.

For all the talk we hear about “listening to the science” when it comes to COVID-19, no one seems to be listening to what the data now clearly show: Online learning is hurting America’s students.
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Brian Mark Weber writes for The Patriot Post
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How Trump Can Remain In Office No Matter What

by Cliff Kincaid: Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed suit to overturn the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and hand the presidential election over to Donald Trump. But what if that doesn’t work? What if the corrupt Chief Justice John Roberts figures out a way to kill the legal action or avoid what the facts require? What does Trump do then?

Trump and his family and various Republicans have raised tens of millions of dollars to overturn the election fraud. Will all of that money be wasted because Republicans were incapable of guarding against election theft? Trump’s supporters don’t want to be saddled with a “presidential occupant” by the name of Joe Biden whose days are numbered in the oval office because of his rapidly progressing onset of dementia.

Vic Biorseth has the answer, articulated in his "Open Letter to President Trump Recommending Election Nullification" and published on his Catholic American Thinker website. Trump must stay in office and nullify the fraudulent results through executive power.

Vic is an ordinary American who served his country in the military and is not happy about the prospect of the backers of China Joe Biden staging a coup and taking control of the executive branch. Appealing to Trump, he writes, “If state governments, the US Congress and the US Supreme Court fail to act to overrule the corrupted and defrauded election results in several if not all American states, then it falls on you to act in your capacity as the chief law enforcement officer in the American government to do so.”

It sounds radical to some, but what would the Courts and the legislative branch do about it? They would, of course, scream and yell. The RINOs like Mitt Romney would act horrified. Former CIA man and Attorney General Bill Barr might resign. Who cares?

In the same way that Lincoln used executive power to hold the country together during the Civil War, Trump can do the same. Let Joe Biden take a trip to California to declare himself president. Let him be president of California, Oregon, and Washington State.

I am on many email lists, including those of Trump, and I have just received another appeal for funds, declaring, “This may be the most important email I ever send you.” Trump goes on to say, “I want to provide an update on our ongoing efforts to expose the tremendous voting irregularities that took place during the ridiculously long November 3rd Election. As President, I have no higher duty than to defend the laws of the Constitution of the United States. That is why I am determined to protect our Election system – which is under attack – but I cannot do it alone. I need YOUR HELP.”

The key phrase is that, “As President, I have no higher duty than to defend the laws of the Constitution of the United States.”

If the Court guts the Paxton lawsuit, does the president’s oath to defend the Constitution suddenly evaporate? No way. That’s when Trump must step up to the plate and declare that his authority is on a par with that of the Supreme Court. On that basis, he stays in office and prevents the phony “President-elect” Joe Biden from assuming power.

As Vic Biorseth puts it, “In adjudicating the Marbury v Madison case the Supreme Court established the principle of Judiciary Review, [by which the Court can] quite properly [declare a] law [or an action] to be unconstitutional, null and no law. The Presidency and the Congress have precisely the same power to nullify anything that is unconstitutional. The fact that they have never done it yet does not mean that they cannot do it.”

Vic Biorseth is not a lawyer but he has common sense and the ability to understand what is at stake. He also knows that the presidency is not to be given away because of massive fraud. He explains, “The Constitution nowhere grants any of the three coequal branches of government any interpretive authority over itself that is in any way superior to the interpretive authority of the other two branches.”

That means Trump’s interpretation of his powers is as valid as any other interpretation. And based on the Lincoln precedent, a beloved leader, it is the right one in this case.

Biorseth concludes: “Any time before a fraudulently elected candidate is inaugurated, while you are still President, if the state governments, the Congress and the Supreme Court have failed to overturn this fraudulent election, then you must overturn it, and let the fur begin to fly. You can nullify it by simply declaring it to be unconstitutional, null and void, thereby establishing a new Constitutional Principle of Presidential Review.”

In his open letter to Trump, he then adds, “You can and should demand that Congress set a new date for a new election, requiring only paper and pencil ballots, only absentee ballots allowed, and with a one-day voting restriction.”

If the Paxton lawsuit fails, because of political considerations, secret pressures, or other factors raised by John Roberts and the liberal judges, this is the only way forward, except for an actual declaration of martial law.

People are not contributing tens of millions of dollars to Trump’s Election Defense Fund just to see him walk away from the oval office if the “High Court” rules against him on spurious grounds. That’s when Trump must exercise his constitutional authority to stay in office until a fair and honest election is held. Anything less would be a dereliction of duty.

Trump must not in the end bow down to the lawyers. He must save the nation no matter what. Otherwise, his legacy will forever be tainted and his voters totally disillusioned.
--------------------------
Cliff Kincaid is a veteran journalist and media critic, and is the president of America's Survival, Inc.
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Shagged

While Swalwell and the Democrats were pushing the Russia collusion hoax they were colluding with Communist China.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Shagged, Swalwell and the Democrats, pushing the Russia collusion hoax, they were colluding, with Communist China ----------------------
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Why the Texas Election Lawsuit is Different

We’re fighting for the Constitution because the Constitution requires fair and honest elections.
by Catherine Mortensen: With more than 100 different election fraud lawsuits filed since the November 3 election and allegations of international conspiracies involving multiple companies, banks, and countries, it can be confusing. But the Texas legal challenge stands out because it would undo the state electoral college certifications and toss the presidential race to the House of Representatives.

To help make sense of it all, Americans for Limited Government (ALG) took our questions to one of the nation’s most respected legal scholars, Kim Hermann of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, a Georgia-based public interest law firm that advocates limited government, individual economic freedom, and the free enterprise.

What we know:
  • Eighteen states have joined Texas in its lawsuit that seeks to halt presidential electors in four battleground states from casting their votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) filed the lawsuit before the Supreme Court on Tuesday against Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — all states Biden won.
  • Paxton argues that electors from those states should not cast their votes because the states unconstitutionally changed their voting processes to allow for mail-in voting.
  • The attorneys general of seventeen states that President Trump won filed an amicus brief on Wednesday. Those states are: Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.
  • Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) filed a separate briefin support of the case.
  • President Trump has asked to intervene in the case, which means if the Supreme Court takes the case, and they allow him to intervene, he will become a party in the case.
  • 62 electoral votes are at stake in MI, GA, WI, and PA.
ALG: What make the Texas lawsuit different?

Hermann: It pulls together the fact that a number of states did not follow their state law. This case is not about fraud or Covid. It is not about the ballots or changing of ballots. This case is about the disregard for statutory procedure. It’s about elected officials disregarding the law.

Take Georgia, for example, the state legislature passes laws pursuant to the Constitution about how the election should be run. It requires the secretary of state to do A, B, C, and D. What this lawsuit does, is point out that maybe step B wasn’t always done. Or maybe A, B, and C were done but D wasn’t done.

The lawsuit simply states, elected officials need to follow the law and if they don’t like what the law says or they don’t like the procedure then they should work to get it changed the right way. But they cannot change it unilaterally.

ALG: But Covid does factor into the lawsuit, right? Hermann: I think these states used the Covid as an excuse to change the rules. That doesn’t mean the rules were changed after Covid and that is also a really important point about this lawsuit. A number of these states changed the rules before Covid. But they are pointing to Covid as the excuse because they can. I think it’s going to be really important that the courts and the public pay close attention to the timing of when these changes occurred – in many cases, they were in the works for a long time. A number of states disregarded the law the entire time. ALG: How soon can we expect to hear from the Court and what action might the Court take?

Hermann: Texas has asked for an expedited briefing and I would not be surprised if the court gets back with a response within a week to 10 days. The court could stop the electoral college from formally voting on Dec. 14.

ALG: You say this isn’t just about Donald Trump or who wins this election, why?

Hermann: The 2020 election has got to stand alone as a one-off. Elected executive branch officials should never be allowed to unilaterally change state election laws because of a pandemic, a health reason, any reason. If they want to do that, they have to do it through their state legislatures, they can’t disregard the law.

At the end of the day, we’re fighting for the integrity of our election. We’re fighting for the Constitution because the Constitution requires fair and honest elections. The elected officials in these and quite possibly other states disregarded the law and they are putting the Constitution and the very foundation of our country in jeopardy.

ALG: Thank you, Kim. I think it is important that every American who wants free and fair elections in the future contact their state lawmakers and demand a full, honest election audit.

To take action, go to ElectionAuditNow.org.
---------------------
Catherine Mortensen is Vice President of Americans for Limited Government.
Tags: Catherine Mortensen, Americans for Limited Government, why, Texas lawsuit, is different To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Crazy! Minneapolis Cuts Police Funding by $8M Amid Crime Surge following Summer Riots

. . . Budget does not cut authorized number of officers after veto threat from mayor!
Minneapolis Police Department (Dec 8, 2020 Stats)
by Tyler Olso: The Minneapolis City Council passed a budget Thursday morning that will cut its police funding by $8 million and use the money for mental health and violence prevention programs.

The plan for the shifting of police funding, called "Safety for All," follows the city council's stalled attempt to completely dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department earlier this year. Minneapolis experienced widespread protests against racism and police brutality -- which often turned into riots -- that were sparked after George Floyd, a Black man, died while in Minneapolis police custody.

"The City Council adopted a 2021 budget!!" Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender tweeted early Thursday. "All the #SafetyForAllBudget proposals passed for 2021. Mental health, violence prevention, oversight and more."
Added Steve Fletcher, who represents Ward 3 in Minneapolis: "In 2021, our city will implement mental health emergency response, support community safety programs, add violence prevention capacity and improve police accountability."

"Thanks and congratulations to everyone who advocated for these important investments to make our city safer and more just," Fletcher continued. "It’s a big win and an important first step toward a transformed system of public safety."
The Minneapolis Police Department's overall budget is $179 million, which means the $8 million cuts represent only a fraction of the department's overall budget.

But Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis President Bob Kroll told Fox News that the city council's actions will still seriously harm the police department and public safety.

"The City Council is decimating the police department," Kroll said. "The number of working officers is the lowest it’s been in 50 years. Murders, shootings, and other violent crimes are approaching record levels. Our officers are severely overworked, understaffed, and cannot keep the public safe with these cuts."

Fox News is awaiting a response from the Minneapolis Police Department after a request for comment.

The council also made a last-minute change to the plan that avoided making any cuts to the number of officers in the city after Mayor Jacob Frey threatened to veto the budget. The current cap on the number of officers in the city will therefore remain at 888 rather than the 750 the council initially included.

The council earlier this year coalesced behind a plan to completely dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with unarmed professionals that would respond in circumstances that normally involve police, like mental health calls and domestic disputes.

The city's charter commission, however, opted not to put that issue to voters in a referendum, effectively pushing it off until at least 2021. Jeremiah Ellison, a Minneapolis City Council member and the son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, at the time said that he was still committed to eventually dismantling the police department.

"This is NOT the last chance we will have to dramatically rethink public safety in our city," he said. "We will quickly be in 2021 budget discussions, we will continue to ramp up community engagement on the future of public safety, and we will revisit the charter change for the 2021 ballot."

Meanwhile, Minneapolis is dealing with a drastic spike in violent crime.

According to police data, more than 500 people have been shot in Minneapolis this year – twice as many as 2019. Murders are up more than 50%. There have also been nearly 5,000 violent crimes, the highest level in the past five years.

And though the widespread riots may have subsided temporarily, there is the potential for more unrest in the new year. The four officers who are facing charges in Floyd's death will stand trial starting March 8.

The cuts to the Minneapolis Police Department come amid widespread debate over whether significant cuts to police funding are effective policy or politics for Democrats. President-elect Joe Biden was opposed to the police defunding movement within his own party during the presidential election.

Biden, in fact, has backed increased funding for community policing efforts.

"Let's get the facts straight, I not only don't want to defund the police. I want to add $300 million to their local budgets to deal with community policing to get police and communities back together again," Biden told KDKA in August.

He did answer "yes, absolutely," to a question on whether the U.S. should "redirect" funding from police departments earlier in the year, but largely walked that answer back later in the presidential campaign.

Now, with Biden set to assume office in January, those who do support defunding the police are warning the broader Democratic Party that they are "not going away."

"What we’ve heard so far from the Democratic Party is what they’re not going to do," defund advocate Andrea Ritchie told Mother Jones. "I don’t expect they will be supportive of the main demand from the streets ... It's gonna be a fight. We're not going away."
----------------------------
Tyler Olson covers politics for FoxNews.com. Fox News' Hollie McKay, Evie Fordham, David Rutz and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Article shared under Fair Use Doctrine.
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What Texas Case at Supreme Court Could Mean for the Presidency

by Rachel del Guidice: Texas this week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its complaint that the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin unconstitutionally changed the rules in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Does the Texas lawsuit make a legally sound argument, and how likely is it that the Supreme Court will hear it?

President Donald Trump also asked Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to argue the case since he is a former solicitor general of the state. How likely is that to happen, and what could it mean?

Hans von Spakovsky, manager of The Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow in Heritage’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, joins us to answer these and other questions about the Texas complaint.


Rachel del Guidice: I’m joined today by Hans von Spakovsky. He’s the manager of The Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Hans, it’s always great to have you with us on “The Daily Signal Podcast.”

Hans von Spakovsky: Well, thanks for having me back, Rachel.

Del Guidice: So, the latest in the ongoing election saga, which you actually wrote about for The Daily Signal on Tuesday, is that the state of Texas has filed an unprecedented motion with the Supreme Court asking … to file a complaint with the court against the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin over the 2020 presidential election.

So, Hans, before we go further, can you take us up to speed on what’s going on here?


Von Spakovsky: Sure. Under the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has what’s called original jurisdiction over disputes between states. What that means is that if one state wants to sue another state, they don’t have to go to a lower federal court. They can go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But under federal law and under the rules of the Supreme Court, if a state wants to sue another state, they can’t just file a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court. They first have to ask permission and the Supreme Court has to approve it before the lawsuit can proceed.

And that’s exactly what Texas did on Monday. They filed a motion asking for permission to sue those four states. They attached their complaint that they would like to get filed to that motion.

Seventeen states have now filed an amicus brief on the side of Texas saying the court should take the case. Six states filed a motion to intervene and actually become parties on the side of Texas. And the Supreme Court told the four states that Texas wants to sue that they have until 3 o’clock on Thursday to file a brief explaining why they should not be sued.

Del Guidice: Well, Hans, what are some of the main points that the complaint alleges as it does address irregularities, as you talked about, in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin? Can you talk about some of the main things that are discussed in this complaint?

Von Spakovsky: Yeah, the complaint, actually, it’s very well written and it goes into great detail on the changes that were made or the rules governing the election process in each of those four states. And what the complaint in essence is saying is that those changes in the rules were not done by and approved by the state legislatures in each state.

Instead, those changes were made either by state officials inside the executive branch or the state governments, like the secretaries of state in Georgia and Pennsylvania, or by judges.

And the problem with that, Texas says, is that under the U.S. Constitution, the Electors Clause, the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the authority to set the rules for presidential elections, not state governments. So what that means is that the state legislatures in all four of those states, they could have made those changes, but they didn’t.

And those government officials who made those changes—and probably the best example is Pennsylvania. Remember the state law there says absentee ballots have to be received by the end of Election Day.

Instead, the secretary of state, with the approval of the state Supreme Court, said, “Well, we’re just going to override that state law and we’re going to accept absentee ballots received up to three days after Election Day.”

What Texas says is all of those changes in the rules and all of the ballots that were cast according to those changes in the rules were all invalid votes. And that therefore the Electoral College votes of those four states should not be allowed to be counted.

They also make another claim, which is a violation of equal protection. Remember equal protection is the part of the 14th Amendment that says one person, one vote.

Under the Bush v. Gore decision 20 years ago in Florida, what the Supreme Court said is that means that every vote inside a state has to be valued the same. And you can’t have different standards in different parts of the state for what counts as the vote.

And again, Texas goes through in great details and describes certain changes that were made by election officials that, in fact, treated absentee ballots cast in some parts of the state differently from absentee ballots cast in other states.

As a result of all of that, Texas, the voters of Texas, and the voters of other states who actually complied with the U.S. Constitution, they were damaged. They were cheated because the changes those four states made, Texas says, altered the outcome of the presidential election.

Del Guidice: I actually was going to ask you more about one person, one vote. If we can unpack that a little bit more. That was one of my next questions.

Von Spakovsky: Sure.

Del Guidice: Was that violated? … Do you think [the Supreme Court will] address it if they do decide to hear the case?

Von Spakovsky: Yeah. Again, if you go to Pennsylvania, one of the very specific examples that Texas gives is this: In Pennsylvania, state law says that if an absentee ballot is received from a voter and it is defective, it’s not in compliance with state law, it’s supposed to be rejected.

So in other words, for example, if a voter forgets to sign the absentee ballot, which is a requirement under state law, election officials have no option other than to simply reject the ballot and not count it.

Instead, Texas says, and … we all know this is true, election officials in two urban areas in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, they set up a cure process.

In other words, when an absentee ballot came in that was not compliant with state law, rather than rejecting it, they would call and contact the voters and say, “You need to come in and fix your ballot. If you forgot to sign it, you need to come in and sign the ballot. Otherwise, it’s going to be rejected.”

Voters in the rest of Pennsylvania were not given that option to cure their ballots because election officials there actually followed state law. And what Texas is saying is that set up, basically, a two-tiered system with voters in those two big cities being given more of an opportunity to vote than other voters. And that violates the one person, one vote standard.

Del Guidice:> Hans, as you mentioned earlier, there are now at least 17 states that have joined this lawsuit. Do you think that puts pressure on the Supreme Court to hear this case?

Von Spakovsky: It does put pressure on them. The way this works is, like I said, Thursday [at] 3 o’clock was the deadline for the four states to respond. Usually on Fridays, the justices at the Supreme Court have an internal meeting where they discuss and vote on potential new cases to take.

So I suspect that what’s going to happen, is on Friday, there will be a formal vote inside the Supreme Court on whether or not to give Texas approval to continue with this lawsuit.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, but one thing I will say about this is that while I think there is actually substantive merit to the claims being made by Texas and now all these other states, from a legal standpoint, it’s kind of a Hail Mary pass to try to convince the Supreme Court to take up a case that could potentially change the outcome of a presidential election.

The political consequences of that would be very serious, and there may be justices on the court who, despite the valid legal issues, aren’t willing to do that.

Del Guidice: So if this case does go forward and the Supreme Court does decide to here it, Hans, when do you think the soonest would be that the case is heard?

Von Spakovsky: Oh, I suspect that if they actually decided on Friday to take the case, they would probably schedule oral arguments as soon as possible.

They probably wouldn’t do it this weekend, but I would suspect they might schedule oral arguments by Monday, just a couple of days further along to hear oral arguments, because obviously, they’re well aware of the dates of the meeting of the Electoral College and how a decision has to be made extremely quickly about this.

Del Guidice: Well, … another hypothetical question—

Von Spakovsky: Sure.

Del Guidice: If the case is taken up by the court, would you say that this would potentially be unprecedented in American history? And if so, why or why not?

Von Spakovsky: Yeah, it is unprecedented. We’ve never had a situation before, at least that I’m aware of, in which the Supreme Court was asked to invalidate the votes of four different states.

And the remedy that Texas is asking for is, one, to declare that the way those four states administered their elections violated the U.S. Constitution, and therefore, their electoral votes should not be counted. And instead, they should be ordered to hold a new special election.

As an alternative, Texas requests if the elections … already [had] been certified, Texas asked that the court order the legislatures of each state to appoint a new set of electors in compliance with the U.S. Constitution.

Del Guidice: The New York Times reported on Wednesday that President [Donald] Trump has asked Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to argue this case. Hans, what do you think of this? And how likely is it that this will happen? And if the senator does argue this case, how do you expect this to go?

Von Spakovsky: Well, Ted Cruz, … before he was a U.S. senator, he was the solicitor general of Texas. In other words, he was the state official designated with arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

He’s a very experienced litigator. He has argued numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, he was a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court early in his career for William Rehnquist. So if he were to argue the case, Texas would have a very good person up there argue the case for them.

But keep in mind, this was not filed by the Trump campaign. This was filed by Texas. So it would be entirely up to Texas to decide who would argue the case for them.

I think that [the] Trump campaign has asked for permission to intervene in the lawsuit if the Supreme Court gives it’s go-ahead. But again, we’re all just going to have to wait to see what Supreme Court does about this.

Del Guidice: We can’t predict what the justices will end up doing, but it definitely seems unlikely, of course, that Justices [Elena] Kagan, [Sonia] Sotomayor, or [David] Souter would be sympathetic to the Texas case.

But do you have any predictions, Hans, on how Justices [Clarence] Thomas, [Neil] Gorsuch, [Brett] Kavanaugh, [Amy Coney] Barrett, or [Samuel] Alito would view this case? And what are your thoughts as well on Chief Justice [John] Roberts who’s often now become a swing vote?


Von Spakovsky: Boy, I really can’t predict how the justices will rule. I think you’re correct that the three liberal justices on the court, I don’t think there’s any question that they will vote to refuse to let the case go forward.

Chief Justice Roberts has become the switch-hitter, the person who switches his vote, ever since Justice [Anthony] Kennedy left the court. I suspect because of the politically controversial nature of this, there’s a good possibility that he would vote with the liberals.

How the five remaining justices will go on that, I don’t know.

I think there are serious constitutional issues that have been raised, and I think they really need to be dealt with certainly for future elections to ensure that state officials within the executive branches of those state governments don’t just think that they can override election rules and laws set by the state legislatures.

I think that would lead to potential chaos in other contentious elections as this election has been contentious. But how they’re going to vote, I just can’t predict.

Del Guidice: Hans, I have another hypothetical for you. If this case does go to court in Texas, what happens to the 2020 election in these four states? Do they have another presidential election? How does this affect the national election itself? And could this potentially delay the next president’s inauguration?

Von Spakovsky: We’ve never had anything like this happen before. As I said, Texas is asking the court to declare that the electoral votes of those four states should not be counted and that those four states be forced to either have new elections or for the state legislatures to appoint new electors.

Again, we’ve never had anything like this happen before that I’m aware of in American history.

All of that would have to be done before Jan. 20. If not, there actually is a federal statute that says that if the outcome of a presidential election has not been determined by Jan. 20, the date of inauguration, the acting president of the United States shall become the U.S. speaker of the House.

So even if this controversy went on, Donald Trump would not remain as the president. Instead, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, assuming she’s reelected as the speaker, would become the acting president of the United States while this is resolved either in the courts or with new elections.

Del Guidice: On the flip side, Hans, if this case goes to court and Texas loses, what are the implications for future elections?

Von Spakovsky: I think the implications, frankly, are dangerous.

The Constitution is very clear that it’s state legislatures who set the rules for how a presidential election will be conducted in their state. And I think it’s dangerous to have a situation in which state court judges and other judges interfere with those state laws and change the rules in the middle of an election.

I think it’s also dangerous if state officials, governors, secretaries of state, and others think that they can simply override state laws and change the rules in the middle of an election.

And the reason for that is that governors, for example, are partisan elected officials. And they might, if they can get away with this, change the rules governing election to favor the candidates of their political party. That’s why you don’t want that kind of thing to happen, besides the fact that it violates the Constitution.

So I think this has been a very dangerous development this year, one that the courts need to deal with and prevent from happening in the future.

Del Guidice: Well, Hans, are there any other possible outcomes besides an outright win, or not win, loss for Texas? And how else in this swing could the Supreme Court decide to rule?

Von Spakovsky: Well, look, I guess it’s possible that the Supreme Court could allow this case to go forward, could make a ruling on the merits of the case and say that these local officials violate the Constitution when they change the rules.

But on the other hand, the court might not be willing to provide the remedy that Texas wants to declare the votes of so many voters to have been invalid. So they might rule on the legal issue without providing the remedy that Texas is seeking.

Del Guidice: Hans, you had alluded to this earlier, but does this lawsuit have any implications for states’ rights? And would you say Texas is trying to control how other states handle their elections?

Von Spakovsky: Well, I have no doubt that’s the argument that would be made by the four states when they reply to this. I have no doubt that they will be arguing that how they run their elections is no business of Texas.

But Texas, I think, actually makes a very strong argument, which is that the process of electing a president and a vice president is a national, in scope, election. And that if one state violates the Constitution and engages in behavior that alters the outcome of a presidential election, that that damages the voters of Texas and other states that have followed the law and have followed the Constitution.

So I actually think that is a sufficient claim to give Texas standing to bring a lawsuit like this.

Del Guidice: Well, we’re going to continue following this. I’m sure we’ll circle back with you next week, Hans. Thank you so much for joining us on “The Daily Signal Podcast.” It’s always great to have you with us.

Von Spakovsky: Sure. Thanks for having me.
-------------------------
Rachel del Guidice is a congressional reporter for The Daily Signal.
Tags: Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal, Hans Von Spakovsky, Texas Case, Supreme Court, the Presidency To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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