Sunday, August 02, 2020
BY TYLER O'NEIL
Dr. Anthony Fauci testifying before Congress (Erin Scott/Pool via AP)
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Friday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) pressed Dr. Anthony Fauci on whether the government should restrict the massive Black Lives Matter protests across the country in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Fauci admitted that crowds full of people not wearing masks would likely spread the virus, but he refused to say whether or not protests would do so. He also refused to make any recommendations on limiting protests, even though he had made many recommendations in the past.
At one point, Fauci even insisted that “there’s no inconsistency” in preventing people from going to work, going to church, and going to school but allowing them to gather in massive crowds to protest.
“Dr. Fauci, do protests increase the spread of the virus?” Jordan began.
Fauci said he could only make a “general statement” about crowds.
“Well, half a million protesters on June 6 alone, I’m just asking, that number of people, does it increase the spread of the virus?” Jordan pressed.
“Crowding together, particularly when you’re not wearing a mask, contributes to the spread of the virus,” Fauci responded.
“Should we limit the protesting?” Jordan pressed.
“I’m not sure what you mean,” Fauci responded.
“Should government limit the protesting?” the congressman clarified.
Fauci stuttered, “I- I- I don’t think that’s relevant to…”
“Well, you just said, it increases the spread of the virus. I’m just asking, should we limit it?” Jordan insisted.
“Well, I’m not in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way,” the doctor said.
Jordan noted that Fauci has made “all kinds of recommendations” on subjects such as baseball, dating on Tinder, and government-mandated lockdowns. Fauci recently said there would likely be “no need” for a second coronavirus lockdown.
When it comes to protests, however, Dr. Fauci refused to take a position. “No, I think I would leave that to people who have more of a position to do that,” he said.
“Government’s stopping people from going to church, Dr. Fauci,” Jordan noted. He referenced the Calvary Chapel case, in which the Supreme Court recently allowed a Nevada ban to remain in place. Jordan quoted Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s dissent in the case.
“‘There’s no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesar’s Palace over Calvary Chapel.’ I’m just asking, is there a world where the Constitution says you can favor one First Amendment liberty, protesting, over another, practicing your faith?” Jordan asked.
“I’m not favoring anybody over anybody. I’m just making a statement that’s a broad statement. Avoid crowds of any type, no matter where you are,” Fauci insisted. “I don’t judge one crowd versus another crowd.”
Yet Jordan noted that violent riots have broken out at protests. “There’s been no violence I can see at church. I haven’t seen people at a church service go out and harm police officers and burn buildings,” he said. “But for 63 days, nine weeks, it’s been happening in Portland. One night in Chicago, 49 officers were injured.”
Jordan also noted that New Jersey cops arrested gym owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti for violating a lockdown order by operating their business. “Ian Smith, Frank Trumbetti were arrested for trying to open their gym,” he said. “But my bet is if these two individuals who owned this gym were outside, just in front of their gym, and all the people who were working out in their gym had been outside protesting, they would have been just fine. But because they were in the gym working out, actually running their business, they got arrested. You think that’s okay?”
“I’m not going to opine,” Fauci said.
“But do you see the inconsistency?” the congressman pressed.
“There’s no inconsistency, Congressman,” Fauci said.
“So you’re allowed to protest, millions of people in one day, in crowds, yelling, screaming, but you try to run your business, you get arrested? And if you stood right outside that building and protested, you wouldn’t get arrested? You don’t see any inconsistency there?”
Fauci again dodged the question. “I don’t understand what you’re asking me,” he said, refusing to opine on “who should get arrested.”
“You’ve advocated for certain businesses to be shut down. I’m just asking your position on the protest,” Jordan insisted. “We’ve heard a lot about hair salons. I haven’t seen one hairstylist, who, between haircuts, goes out and attacks police or sets something on fire. But we’ve seen all kinds of that stuff during protests. And we know the protest actually increases the spread of the virus.”
Yet Fauci refused to even admit that protests increase eh spread of the virus. “I said crowds. I didn’t say specifically. I didn’t say protests do anything,” he insisted.
“But do you understand Americans’ concern? Protesting, particularly according to the Democrats, is just fine, but you can’t go to work, you can’t go to school, you can’t go to church,” Jordan noted.
Later in the hearing, Jordan returned to the issue of consistency.
“I think all the First Amendment is important. Democrats seem to think it’s just the right to protest,” he said. Yet the First Amendment lists five freedoms: religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.
“The very first one the Founders mentioned was the right to practice your faith, but government’s putting all kinds of limits on Americans’ ability to do that, and Democrats are just fine with it,” Jordan said. ” I want consistency, that’s what I want.”
“Kids can’t go get what they need to put them on the path to achieving the American dream, but boy, they can protest,” he warned. “The ability to engage in your livelihood, the ability to have your kids get an education, the ability to practice your faith are just as important, in my mind, as protesting.”
Fauci may not have meant to encourage the disgusting inconsistency of arresting people for going to work or going to church but not for protesting, but he did say, “there’s no inconsistency, Congressman.”
Such a statement is absurd on its face. Of course, there is an inconsistency in this position. Jordan is right: gym owners, hairstylists, and parishioners do not take breaks from their business and worship just to engage in violent attacks on police officers and federal courthouses, but the Black Lives Matter protests — particularly in Portland — have provided cover for just that.
Fauci’s unwillingness to even admit that the protests would spread the coronavirus is shameful. His blanket insistence that “there’s no inconsistency” is even worse. This seems reminiscent of Fauci’s ridiculous claim that New York responded “properly” and “correctly” to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said this of New York, which served as the epicenter for the spread of the virus. He said this of New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) forced nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients from hospitals, likely exposing elderly New Yorkers, who are more vulnerable to the virus. This may have cost upwards of 10,000 lives. He said this of Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), who did not cooperate with Cuomo and delayed issuing a lockdown, allowing New York City to become the epicenter for the virus in America.
Fauci needs to clarify his position — and withdraw his ridiculous statement that there is “no inconsistency” on lockdowns.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.
Bill de Blasio Threatens to ‘Permanently’ Close Churches, Synagogues if They Meet During Coronavirus
Saturday, August 01, 2020
By Scott Johnson | POWERLINE
Kevin Williams reviews Thomas Sowell’s new book on charter schools in the July 27 issue of National Review. The review is published under the headline The Collapsing Case against Charter Schools.” The review opens:
Thomas Sowell — who will have just turned 90 when this review is published — could have retired by now. He could be publishing the memoirs of a celebrated intellectual or the late-career tracts of an éminence grise. What does he give us, instead? A methodologically rigorous, closely argued, data-driven case for charter schools, with very little high-flown rhetoric (I noted one exclamation point) and 94 pages of data tables. Charter Schools and Their Enemies is a bloodbath for Sowell’s intellectual opponents, and it ought to be a neutron bomb in the middle of the school-reform debate. But Thomas Sowell has been giving the reading public and the policymaking class some of the most intelligent advice to be had for many decades — why would they start listening to him now?
Much of Charter Schools and Their Enemies is dedicated to the seemingly simple — but not simple — project of comparing educational outcomes at charter schools with those at conventional public schools. He begins with an illustrative case that will be familiar to many conservatives: The Texas–Iowa public-school comparison. If you judged simply by scores on standardized tests, you would conclude that Iowa has much better public schools than does Texas. But there’s a wrinkle: White students in Texas outperform white students in Iowa, Hispanic students in Texas outperform Hispanic students in Iowa, and black students in Texas outperform black students in Iowa. But Iowa is very, very white, and Texas is not. The source of the disparity in standardized-test outcomes for white, black, and Hispanic students is of course the subject of some controversy, but those disparities are longstanding, they are similar in many cities and states and from urban to rural areas, and they are slow to change — with one important exception: in charter schools. In conventional public schools, the majority of the students are white or Asian; in charter schools, the majority of the students are black or Hispanic. Studies finding that charter schools perform only about as well as conventional schools actually tell us something very interesting: that in charter schools the racial gap in achievement has been significantly diminished and in many places eliminated, while in public schools it has not.
Sowell’s major analysis considers the overwhelmingly black and Hispanic student populations in both charters and conventional public schools in New York City. Why these students? For one thing, Sowell has gone to great lengths here to compare students who are very similar to one another. In fact, Sowell’s main study is limited to charter-school students attending class in the same building as conventional public-school students in the same grade, in schools that are majority-black and -Hispanic, with a special focus on the charter-school networks that meet in five or more buildings, meaning the biggest charter groups: KIPP, Success Academy, Explore, Uncommon, and Achievement First. Focusing on these New York City students has a couple of added benefits: New York keeps track of students by ethnicity and socioeconomic status, facilitating a better apples-to-apples comparison, and — crucially, for the purposes of this kind of study — it assigns children to charter schools through a lottery. Parents have to nominate their children for a spot, and there is presumably some difference between the parents who bother and the parents who don’t, but the charter schools are not able to cherry-pick the best students and thereby pad out their performance numbers.
And the numbers? That’s the bloodbath I mentioned.
There is, as one would expect, significant variability in the performance of the charter schools, just as there is significant variability in the performance of the conventional public schools. (And here it bears underscoring: Charter schools are public schools, publicly funded and serving public-school students; the difference is that charter schools are relieved of some of the constraints imposed on conventional schools by public-sector unions, their financial interests, and the political interests built atop those financial interests.) In almost every case, the charter schools — including the worst of them — outperformed the conventional public schools operating in the same buildings, in the same neighborhoods, serving very similar students. In most cases, the share of charter-school students achieving proficiency or better on standardized tests was a multiple of the number of the conventional public-school students doing so; similarly, in most cases the number of conventional public-school students receiving the lowest classification on those same tests was some multiple of the number of charter-school students doing so. Sowell lets the data speak for themselves, reporting the high and low English and math figures for each of his comparison sets.
(Sowell’s convention is to group the grade levels the charters and conventional public schools have in common in each of the buildings they have in common; so, for example, if a charter school has four grades in common with public schools in five buildings, that produces 20 grade levels for comparison. It looks a little weird at first, but it makes sense.)
For the charter schools, the data are a litany of triumph, and for the conventional public schools, they are a lamentation….
Williamson concludes his review on a bitter if realistic note: “Our political culture is sick, and many of our institutions are corrupt. Many of them would not be capable of acting on what they could learn from Charter Schools and Their Enemies even if they were so inclined, which they aren’t. Thomas Sowell is a national treasure in a nation that does not entirely deserve him.” The review makes for compelling reading. I wanted to bring it to the attention of readers along with Sowell’s new book.
Mark Levin devoted a recent episode of Life, Liberty & Levin to an interview with Sowell about the book. I can’t find a video of that interview online, but Peter Robinson got there first last month just after Sowell had turned 90 (video below).
Thomas Sowell: A legend at 90
Friday, July 31, 2020
By Shannon Bream, Bill Mears | Fox News
The Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote has denied a request to halt construction of President Trump’s border wall over environmental concerns.
A number of groups, including the ACLU and Sierra Club, had asked the high court to get involved again after the justices last year cleared the way for the administration to use military funds for construction while the case played out in the courts.
A federal appeals court had ruled against the administration last month, but the justices, for now, have given another temporary victory to the administration.
"The fight continues,” said Dror Ladin, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “Every lower court to consider the question has ruled President Trump's border wall illegal, and the Supreme Court’s temporary order does not decide the case. We’ll be back before the Supreme Court soon to put a stop to Trump’s xenophobic border wall once and for all.”
The four liberal justices dissented from Friday’s order.
In June, the Supreme Court also declined to hear an appeal from a coalition of environmental groups that pushed back against the Trump administration's construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The groups, led by the Center for Biological Diversity, challenged a 1996 law giving the president authority to fight illegal immigration and border crossings, and limiting some legal challenges.
The coalition claimed that the Trump administration did not conduct sufficient environmental impact studies for the construction and that endangered species like the jaguar and Mexican wolf would be adversely affected by the barrier.
They had asserted in their case that the law’s allowance for the secretary of Homeland Security to waive any laws necessary to allow the quick construction of border fencing violates the Constitution’s separation of powers. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals had dismissed the case, citing a prior case from 2007 with "a nearly identical context."
"This Court finds that precedent persuasive, and it compels the conclusion that Plaintiffs' complaint fails to state plausible constitutional claims as a matter of law," the Circuit Court's ruling said.
Fox News' Alex Pappas, Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
By Matt Vespa | Townhall.com
Source: AP Photo/ Richard Shiro
Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and 2012 presidential candidate, has died. Cain contracted the coronavirus at Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally, so expect a lot of concern trolling from the liberal media in the coming hours, which compounds this tragic event. Cain was known for his triple nine plan (aka “9-9-9 plan”) when he ran for the Republican nomination for president, which involved a nine percent personal income tax, a nine percent corporate tax, and a nine percent federal sales tax. His campaign did face allegations of sexual misconduct, which helped sow the seeds for his failed presidential bid. He later became a radio host and commentator.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
By District Herald
When they say “Black Lives Matter,” it is clear the left does not mean black lives like the one of Bernell Tremmell.
Tremmell was well-known in his Milwaukee community for being an outspoken advocate for President Donald Trump. He would spend his days out in the heat at City Hall or in his neighborhood with his homemade signs urging people to reelect the president in November.
On Thursday afternoon, the 60-year-old activist was fatally shot in broad daylight outside his business, Expression Publications. The storefront was covered in signs with bible verses, along with “Vote Donald Trump 2020,” and “Re-Elect Trump 2020.” The suspect reportedly drove up, shot him, and drove away.
Ingraham: Do you know his name?
Law enforcement sources told “The Dan O’Donnell Show” that they do not yet know the motive for the murder, since they have not yet made any arrests, but “detectives are investigating the possibility that Tremmell was killed over his political beliefs.”
Reggie Moore, Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention director, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he had “intervened in a dispute between Trammel and a young man” that he thought was “related to a Trump sign that Trammell was carrying.”
It is unclear if the altercation was a factor in his death.
“I had an interaction with him last Saturday across the street from Walmart on Capitol Drive,” one woman who did not wish to be identified told the radio show. “It was the second time I had seen him with his Trump sign and I pulled my car over to chat with him. What a nice, friendly man! We chatted for several minutes, and I told him I was proud of him and he’s very brave to put himself out there so visibly as a Trump supporter!”
Heavy.com reports that a man named Kevan Penvose wrote on Facebook that Trammell “was a man with whom I hardly ever agreed about anything he wrote on his signs, but also, as a Rasta street preacher, he was one of the people that make my neighborhood so uniquely wonderful. Around 12:30 this afternoon I heard gunshots nearby as I was working at my dining room table. Soon after, I was reading reports on social media of a shooting around the block, at the location of this one-of-a-kind storefront that I’ve walked by a million times… Peace and light, Ras Bernell.”
Anyone with information on the murder of Tremmell is being urged to contact the Milwaukee Police Department.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
By William Haupt III | The Center Square
In this June 19, 2013, file photo, Tea Party activists rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Photo By J. Scott Applewhite / AP
“This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are.”
– Plato, Motto Tea Party Alliance
The Boston Tea Party in 1773 was more than a mercantile protest by the Sons of Liberty targeting the abusive Tea Act and Townshend Act. Although America strongly opposed the Townshend Act, their rebellion was in response to the continued violation of their rights by the English. As patriots destroyed an entire shipment of East Indian tea that night, they sent a message to the British: They were “mad as hell and refused any future abuse of their natural and God-given rights as free men.”
The Boston Tea Party was one of the most significant events in world history. It was an American resistance movement against the violation of the right to representation during the historic Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinking undermined the authority of the monarchy to exercise total control over the people. It provided the impetus for the revolutions of the 18th century that fostered the principle of the inherent rights of man to self rule. And those rights can’t be violated by anyone.
Photo:CNBC Radio Show Annotator Rick Santelli
On Feb. 19, 2009, in the wake of numerous government attempts to repair an economy that “it broke itself,” CNBC radio show annotator Rick Santelli set off a powder keg of protests when he told viewers, "We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July! All you capitalists that want to show up at Lake Michigan, I'm going to start organizing!"
Within a week, average Americans began forming Tea Party groups around the nation as a result of Santelli's rant. Within months, Tea Party protests consumed America.
“Challenging our leaders is as American as it gets.”
– Rick Santelli
As the President Barack Obama and his liberal Congress continued their assault on the Constitutional and natural God-given rights of average Americans, within two years the Tea Party movement had shifted the entire political equation. Considering Obama had been swept into office with a mandate driven by Black voters to “fundamentally change America.” and given a massive majority in Congress to do it; this proved again that Americans “were as mad as hell and were not going to take abuse any longer.”
The Tea Party movement was a grassroots effort to shrink the federal government to its original Constitutional size. The movement was comprised of groups of concerned citizens who believed America was moving away from its core principles of limited government and democracy. Mark Williams, president of The Tea Party Express, spearheaded opposition to government-run health care and helped Republicans take back the Congress after the passage of Obamacare in 2010.
Tea Partiers were patriotic, religious middle class conservatives. But the left attacked them as right wing extremists. They viewed them as a resistance movement against Obama’s change campaign.
The left and their media condemned them as a race-based patriarchy, angered and outraged over Obama’s ethnicity? Yet over 30 percent of its members were non-white. The left had union members and professional paid agitators disrupt peaceful Tea Party protests against the passage of Obamacare.
Yet after Obama’s second election, the steam quit flowing from the party’s tea pots. They viewed the GOP's Mitt Romney as a booby prize, but felt people would be “mad as hell again” since they lost their health insurance and premiums doubled under Obamacare. But Romney was a wimp compared to media mega messiah Obama, and the Tea Party was left standing at the altar. And membership dwindled as they put their tea pots back in storage. Today, there are few active Tea Party groups in America.
Although many tea partiers came out of hiding claiming responsibility for Trump’s victory, they were most likely drinking cannabis tea. President Trump was elected by the average American who was “mad as hell again” after watching the economy flounder in limbo for four years. They were fed up living under a regime that catered only to identity groups and did nothing for the average American.
From the time Trump threw his hat in the ring, he was castigated by the media and the far left. He is the first president to be impeached before even being elected. He restored America as the leader of the free world. Until the COVID-19 crisis, he had the highest sustained economic growth in history. No other president has had higher minority employment numbers. Yet Trump is tarred and feathered by liberal media and leftists everyday. Why is the Tea Party in hiding when our president needs help the most?
"No matter how good my numbers are, I can’t do anything right.”
– Donald Trump
Ten years after the Tea Party movement began, the House Tea Party Caucus is long gone. So too are almost of all the 87 House Republicans elected in the biggest GOP wave since the 1920s. In a recent telephone survey, Rasmussen found only 8 percent of all voters identify with the Tea Party, and just 10 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of it. Back in 2010, this polling organization found that 39 percent of voters surveyed identified as Tea Party members and 41 percent had a positive opinion of them.
During Trump's first two years, the lack of support from the Tea Party groups cost the GOP control of the House. There was little support from conservative organizations to force House members to actively pursue putting Obamacare out of its misery. There was even less to build a wall to protect America from illegal immigration. Then the GOP lost the House to the socialist left.
“We’ve got lots of lobbyists here. But where's labor, activists, community leaders and voters?”
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
The Tea Party was the only faction in the Republican Party that was actually concerned about civil liberties, evidenced by Sen. Rand Paul's efforts to safeguard the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. While the Tea Partiers had a fetish for intransigence over compromise, that would have raised the bar on eventual compromises on policies for the moderates and conservatives. Today, the socialist left is garishly demanding and won’t compromise on anything that doesn’t benefit socialist causes.
Billie Jean King told us, “Victory is fleeting.” Average Americans, not patriotic organizations or Tea Party groups, elected Donald Trump. And most average Americans are not activists or members of organized political groups. They depend on citizen-led political groups to inform and mobilize them when Congress and the president need help with policy and legislation. Yet Tea Parties fell asleep at the wheel of liberty before Trump was elected and can’t be found when he needs their help now.
Obama was chosen by the far left to usher in the era of Democratic Socialism and ration our liberty one new law at a time. They were set to finish the job with Hillary Clinton when Donald Trump flew into Washington on a Leerjet to save us from total self destruction. Yet the Tea Party failed to help him.
“Nobody should ignore the fires around you after a victory, while they still burn.”
– Rick Santelli
The left is “mad as hell” and the media has helped them beat up Trump and the GOP since he was elected. They are well financed and organized, raging war in precincts and the streets with paid leftist mobs to win the next election. Where is the Tea Party now? If they don’t come out of hiding soon and brew up a potion to rekindle the fires of patriotism, they’ll be nothing more than a line in the first new left history book after next election.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
Contributing Columnist William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.