Friday, April 16, 2021

Democrats kick off push to pack Supreme Court with four new justices - Marisa Schultz


by Marisa Schultz

Lawmakers introduce bill to increase court from 9 to 13 justices

Democrats unveil bill expanding Supreme Court

A group of Democrats Thursday formally launched a legislative effort to pack the Supreme Court by adding four new justices, in a move that was hailed by progressive activists but quickly met with fierce GOP opposition and skepticism by Democratic leadership. 

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., along with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Judiciary Committee members Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., and Hank Johnson, D-Ga., stood outside the Supreme Court Thursday to announce their new legislation to expand the high court from nine to 13 justices. 

"We're here today because the United States Supreme Court is broken," Markey said, flanked by the Democratic lawmakers and activists. "It is out of balance. It needs to be fixed.

"Expanding the Supreme Court rights the wrongs the Republicans have done to this great court," Markey added. "Expanding the Supreme Court is equal justice and will ensure equal justice is dispensed to all Americans."

The Democrats said the far-right has hijacked the court thanks to "norm-breaking" moves by Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and expanding the number of justices is necessary to restore balance and integrity to the highest court in America.  


Nadler rejected the notion that Democrats were trying to pack the court with liberal justices and insisted it was Republicans who packed the court with maneuvers such as blocking the confirmation of Merrick Garland, former President Obama's Supreme Court pick, and ramming through Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation just before the presidential election. 

"We’re not packing [the court]," Nadler said. "We’re unpacking it."

The Judiciary Act of 2021 is just a two-page bill that would increase the number of justices on the court from 9 to 13, setting up an immediate opportunity for President Biden to nominate four new justices to be confirmed in the Democratic-led Senate.

The legislation has long-odds of passing Congress because unless Democrats abolish the filibuster, it would require 60 votes for passage in the Senate. 

But Markey said it's time to change the filibuster in order to pass the legislation with a simple majority.

"We must expand the court, and we must abolish the filibuster to do it," Markey said.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., talks about his legislation to pack the Supreme Court on April 15, 2021.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., talks about his legislation to pack the Supreme Court on April 15, 2021.

Biden himself has been cool to court-packing and has only endorsed setting up a 36-member bipartisan commission to study court reforms. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday Biden is awaiting the recommendations from the newly formed court commission before taking a stance.

"He's gonna wait for that to play out and wait to read that report," Psaki said. 


FILE - In this March 21, 2021, file photo people view the Supreme Court building from behind security fencing on Capitol Hill in Washington after portions of an outer perimeter of fencing were removed overnight to allow public access.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

FILE - In this March 21, 2021, file photo people view the Supreme Court building from behind security fencing on Capitol Hill in Washington after portions of an outer perimeter of fencing were removed overnight to allow public access.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Republicans immediately condemned the proposal as a delusional progressive attempt to nuke the Supreme Court. 

McConnell, who conservatives credit for reforming the court by preventing a vote on Garland and then changing Senate voting thresholds to confirm three of President Trump's nominees, immediately panned the court-packing proposal. He said the move is designed to "guarantee the rulings that liberals want" and would "destroy" the legitimacy of the court.

Progressives, however, said with Democrats in control of the House, Senate and White House now is the time to balance out the court, which currently has a 6-3 conservative majority.

Meagan Hatcher Mays, director of democracy policy at the liberal group Indivisible, said Republicans broke the trust that Americans have in the court.

She blamed McConnell for undoing Senate norms to ram through GOP-backed judges who are more loyal to "conservative political outcomes" than to the constitution. She said McConnell "bent over backwards" to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who is "hideously unqualified to serve on the bench."

"We are here because Mitch McConnell overplayed his hand," said Mays, a founder of the Unrig the Courts coalition. "He and Donald Trump got greedy and the American people noticed."


The constitution doesn't mandate the number of justices be set at nine. The number is set by Congress and it can be changed without a constitutional amendment. 

The Supreme Court's website notes the number of justices changed six times before settling at the current total of nine in 1869. 

Democrats said the number of 13 is timely because it reflects how the number of appellate courts in America has grown from nine to 13 with time. 

"Today begins a new era in terms of the Supreme Court," Johnson said. "It's been taken for granted for so long that the court has to be nine people ... There simply is no need to continue with a nine- person court given the circumstances that have been expressed."

Jones, a freshman lawmaker from New York's Westchester County, said the Supreme Court's decisions on campaign finance, gutting voting rights and partisan gerrymandering show the John Roberts-led court "is hostile to democracy itself."

Jones said the Supreme Court has been "an accomplice" to voter suppression and creating a path for the "far-right to remain in power". He said expanding the court is the remedy. 

"Our democracy faces its greatest test since Jim Crow,"  Jones said. "From the insurrection at the Capitol, to the racist voter suppression being attempted all throughout the United States of America, the far-right is at war with our democracy."

Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., speaks before the Supreme Court on April 15, 2021, on his legislation to expand the Supreme Court.

Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., speaks before the Supreme Court on April 15, 2021, on his legislation to expand the Supreme Court.

In addition to Biden, other Democrats are cool to the plan of court-packing. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chair of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee that has jurisdiction of the courts, said he's not ready to endorse the bill.

"I just heard about it," Durbin said. "I'm not ready to sign on yet. I think this commission of Biden's is the right move. Let's think this through carefully. This is historic."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday she also supports Biden's commission to study reforms and doesn't plan to advance the court-packing legislation to a full House vote.

"I have no plans to bring it to the floor," Pelosi said.


Marisa Schultz


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Georgia election official warns Biden to stop 'lies' about voting law: 'Someone is going to get hurt' - Ronn Blitzer


by Ronn Blitzer

Gabriel Sterling warned that President Biden's rhetoric could lead to the same results as President Trump's

Biden spreading 'lies' about Georgia's election laws: Ronna McDaniel

Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer and chief financial officer for the Georgia secretary of state's office, said he has the same sense of "foreboding" he had after November's election in the months leading up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. 

And once again, he claimed, it is due to "misinformation" coming from an American president.

In a new Washington Post op-ed, Sterling recalled how he faced death threats and was concerned about violence as then-President Trump made claims about the election. He warned that this and worse could happen again if President Biden does not change his rhetoric about Georgia's new voting law.


"Though I have not received any threats yet, thankfully, that same foreboding is creeping up again as the president of the United States and others once again spread lies about what is going on in Georgia," Sterling wrote. "So I plead with the president once again: Someone is going to get hurt. Your words matter. The facts matter."

Biden has been an outspoken critic of Georgia's law, but Sterling and others have pushed back against the president for spreading false information about the new legislation.


Sterling described how Biden falsely stated that the law decreases early voting hours when in fact it increases them, and how the president has compared the law to Jim Crow segregation laws, which Sterling called a "lie."

Noting that he may not agree with every part of the law, Sterling still urged the president to be honest when discussing it, emphasizing his point by repeatedly referring back to the Capitol riot.

"We saw just three months ago how election disinformation such as this can lead to violence," Sterling said. "It was wrong then, and it’s wrong now."


Ronn Blitzer


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The Attack on Natanz and the JCPOA - Dr. Ardavan Khoshnood


by Dr. Ardavan Khoshnood

Though it is constantly threatening to retaliate, Tehran has yet to do so. Will this time be different?


Anti-aircraft guns guarding Natanz nuclear facility, Iran, image via Wikimedia Commons

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,997, April 14, 2021

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In the morning hours of April 11, the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran was attacked, allegedly by Israel. The strike came at a sensitive time, as Iran and world powers are discussing Washington’s return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the removal of sanctions. According to Israeli estimates, as the Islamic Republic does not wish to jeopardize a US return to the JCPOA, its response to the Natanz strike will probably be belated and highly circumscribed.

On April 11, 2021, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced that its Natanz nuclear facility had had an accident that caused a blackout. A couple of hours later, the head of the AEOI, Ali Akbar Salehi, stated that the accident was in fact sabotage. The attack resulted in an explosion, and according to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence, a culprit has been identified and is being sought.

This is not the first time the Natanz nuclear facility has been attacked. The first strike is believed to have taken place in 2007, when the facility was targeted in a joint Israeli-US cyberattack. The attack inserted a malicious computer virus, Stuxnet, into the facility’s systems, resulting in heavy damage. The latest known attack on Natanz prior to the April 11 blackout was in July 2020, when an explosion at the facility caused serious harm to the centrifuges.  

The latest attack on Natanz came just one day after the Islamic regime, in breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) from 2015, launched advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges at the site.

While it is yet to be determined who was behind the attack, Iranian media put the blame on Israel. The Jerusalem Post states that the Israeli intelligence organization, Mossad, is indeed the likely culprit.

Why did the attack occur?

Even before Joe Biden won the US presidential election, it was clear to Iran experts that a Democratic administration would return to the JCPOA, which President Trump had left while in office. The Sunni Arab states and Israel are not satisfied with the way President Biden and his Special Representative for Iran, Robert Malley, are approaching Iran. It is believed by many observers that the US is prepared to lift all sanctions against Iran and blindly return to the JCPOA.

Tehran’s launching of its advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges may have been the reason why Israel decided to attack Natanz now. The strike is believed to have caused sufficient harm to the facility to delay the Islamic regime’s nuclear weapons program, and was thus a warning to Tehran that Israel will not tolerate these advancements. The attack was also a signal to the Biden administration that Israel will continue its operations in Iran as it deems necessary regardless of any deals the US might make with the country.

Last week, Iran met with world powers in Vienna to discuss the JCPOA. Negotiations will resume next week, and there is a strong possibility that Iran and the US will also meet. As Israel objects to the JCPOA as it currently stands, the attack on Natanz may have been a way for it to increase pressure on Tehran while communicating its position to the Biden administration.

Iran and the US might not choose to bring talks out into the open, but there is no doubt that they are engaged in talks behind closed doors. In view of the progress made in Vienna last week, it could very well be that Iran, the US, and the other world powers have already come to an agreement facilitating the removal of sanctions and a US return to the JCPOA. If that is the case, the attack on Natanz could be an Israeli reaction to any such understanding between the US and Iran.

How will Iran respond?

The Iranian FM blamed Israel for the attack and said Iran will take revenge. The hardline Iranian newspaper Kayhan, which is connected to the Supreme Leader, blamed the attack on Israel, the US, and unnamed European states, and said Iran must leave the JCPOA negotiations and punish Israel.

Iran finds itself in a difficult position. The Natanz attack is but one of a series of intelligence and counterintelligence failures the Islamic Republic has suffered in recent years. Though it is constantly threatening to retaliate, Tehran has yet to do so. Will this time be different?

The regime understands that a harsh response could jeopardize the JCPOA talks. Iran wants nothing more than for the US to return to the deal so the crippling sanctions can be lifted. Rouhani will therefore try to convince both the Supreme Leader and the top leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to hold their fire until the Vienna talks are over and the US has reentered the JCPOA. This is essential for the Iranian president, whose administration has been under heavy attack and criticism for a long time from other Iranian political factions, including the IRGC.

As the latest Natanz attack is yet another humiliating indicator of the poor quality of Iranian security and intelligence, Rouhani and company may have neither the power nor the will to halt a response from the regime.

Still, according to Israeli sources, Iran will likely keep its powder dry for the time being (or retaliate in a highly circumscribed fashion) so as not to provoke either the Biden administration or Israel-friendly US Democrats who might turn their back on Biden’s pro-Iran policy. Once the US has rejoined the JCPOA, Iran will likely consider itself free to carry out more spirited attacks on Israel and Israeli interests, either directly or through its proxy Shiite militias in Lebanon (Hezbollah), Syria, Iraq, or Yemen.

View PDF


Dr. Ardavan Khoshnood a non-resident associate at the BESA Center, is a criminologist and political scientist with a degree in Intelligence Analysis. He is also an associate professor of Emergency Medicine at Lund University in Sweden. @ardavank


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Pelosi Hijacks Everything for Her Agenda -- Even the Holocaust - Rabbi Aryeh Spero


by Rabbi Aryeh Spero

Pelosi exploits the murder of six million Jews into a manifesto of Democrat false talking points and the demonization of millions of Americans associated with conservatism and who voted for President Trump.

One would expect the commemoration of something as tragic and sacred as the Holocaust be done in a respectful manner and not be manipulated for political goals. Such was not the case this week with Nancy Pelosi’s statement sent out on Holocaust Remembrance Day; known in Israel as Yom Ha’Shoah. Instead, she exploited the murder of six million Jews by Hitler and his regime into a manifesto of Democrat false talking points and the demonization of millions of Americans associated with conservatism and who voted for President Trump. It was sacrilege and shameful.

The first principle regarding the Holocaust is as follows: It was a unique, once-in-history genocidal plan to exterminate an entire race of people, Jews, across the globe simply because of who they were at birth. Unlike conventional warfare where antagonists may wish to eliminate those they are fighting, Hitler planned the systematic murder of those not only at war with him but those beyond the confines of the battle lines, searching for Jews worldwide even though they were not in the way of his territorial ambitions. They were murdered not for what they did or their conduct, but for simply being born into a people. While he did kill others during the war, the grand plan of Final Solution was specific to eradicating the Jewish people, no other group, from the face of the earth, leaving no trace of their ever having existed.

Holocaust Memorial Day was never established as a general memorial day for all those harmed during World War II, but as something specific to the once-in-history systematic implementation of that Final Solution plan to eradicate the Jewish people from existence and human history. The remedy for what happened is for the world to make sure, this time, that Never Again shall we stand by while adversaries, such as Iran, go about with plans to once again exterminate the Jewish people by destroying Israel, as is their announced plan, or by murdering all Jews worldwide who are Zionists, something every Jew is commanded to be.

In her statement, Pelosi writes: ”Seventy-six years after the Holocaust, shadows of dark forces of hate are again emerging in our nation with disturbing displays… even inside the United States Capitol on January 6.” How dare she!  Invoking the Holocaust and the hate of Jews by Hitler when describing the Jan.6 protest in D.C. is blatantly dishonest, disrespectful of those murdered by Hitler, and propaganda at its worst. This is low even for Nancy Pelosi, the godmother of today’s political viciousness, a Deep State game plan of lies which politicizes everything, crushing the soul of those things noble for political gain, slashing and burning so as to achieve One Party rule. Those that gathered in D.C on Jan .6, and virtually all who slowly walked through the Capitol, were engaged not in an act of hate against Jews. In fact, most Trump voters are supporters of Israel, and Jews, in contrast to the growing numbers of 24/7 severe critics of Israel, and even Jews, among today’s “woke” Democrat constituencies.

Pelosi talks of “Charlottesville,” the oft used Democrat talking point condemning President Trump for “siding with Nazi protestors.” This is one of the great lies in American history, reminiscent of Goebbels, who taught: "If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes a fact.” President Trump immediately condemned the neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, but he rightfully argued that in the streets that day were other groups, not neo-Nazis, with valid concern over the toppling of statues of heroes to many in the South. President Trump was correct, and courageous and honest, in differentiating between neo-Nazis (white supremacists) and those feeling warmth and devotion to their history below the Mason-Dixon Line. Loving your native history does not automatically make one a “white supremacist”.

Pelosi, like so many of today’s universalizers, points to attacks on black churches as part of the Holocaust phenomenon. Truth is, attacks on black churches are today, thank God, very rare. There are certainly no widespread, across-the-nation attacks on black churches as there was against synagogues in prewar Germany and during Kristallnacht. Nor has an attack on any black or Jew or white ever been government policy, whereas in Holocaust Germany attacks against Jews and synagogues were exactly government policy. One should never, in campaign-like style, exploit the Holocaust to advance theories about so-called “systemic racism” against blacks nor equate crime as something Holocaust-like. Though “progressives” refuse to admit this, the truth is that in America today, it is synagogues and Orthodox-looking Jews who are, statistics prove, the highest victims of hate crimes, hate crimes committed mostly by blacks, Muslims, and Hispanics, core constituencies of Pelosi’s party.

Pelosi boasts of having led a delegation to visit Auschwitz. Normally that would be admirable, if done for pure reasons rather as a springboard for Democrat talking points blaming conservatives and Republicans for “again creating the shadows of the same dark forces and hate.” However, let it be known, when we urged Pelosi to ostracize or censure Ilhan Omar for Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks, Pelosi refused. We held a rally in D.C. asking that, as Speaker of the House, she pass a stand-alone resolution condemning anti-Semitism, an anti-Semitism swelling loudly among some of her caucuses. Pelosi refused. She may be good on symbolism, but she is AWOL in denouncing anti-Semitism by itself. Her Holocaust statement, likewise, condemns anti-Semitism only if tied to Democrat talking points. It sounds good but is often a verbal a cover for acting oppositely. I have the same objection to President Biden’s use of Holocaust Memorial Day to push for the LTGB political agenda.

The most obvious hypocrisy in all of their Holocaust P.R., is Pelosi’s and Biden’s renewal of funds to the PLO, an organization committed to Israel’s destruction, and which uses these funds to support terrorism and murder against Jewish citizens in Israel. So too, Biden’s jump start of talks and future funding for Iran, a state that proudly declares its intentions to wipe all Jews living in Israel off the face of the earth. Mr. Biden: Iran and the P.L.O. would love a genocidal Final Solution against Jews, similar to how their Grand Mufti was part of the planning with Hitler for the original one back in the '40s.

Under Pelosi’s control of D.C., we now have troops throughout D.C. reminding us not to be too active in our public assembly; we have a loss of freedom of speech and religion, an attempt to remove the ability for self-defense, constant propaganda, the big-lie routine perfected by Goebbels, and remarks from Pelosi describing her opponents as “enemies of the State.”  If anything, one of the true lessons of the Holocaust is to be wary of such conditions. We know where it can lead!

Image: Gage Skidmore

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.


Rabbi Aryeh Spero is president of Caucus for America,, and author of Push Back: The Battle to Save America’s Judeo-Christian Heritage.


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How Palestinian Leaders Treat Their Refugees - Khaled Abu Toameh


by Khaled Abu Toameh

They want millions of Palestinians to remain stuck in refugee camps so that the Palestinian leadership can continue milking the world for money.

  • These Palestinian officials, in other words, would rather see their people continue living in devastating poverty as refugees rather than improve their living conditions and search for new opportunities in Western countries. They want millions of Palestinians to remain stuck in refugee camps so that the Palestinian leadership can continue milking the world for money.

  • The assault on the woman triggered a wave of condemnations by Palestinian activists, who took to social media to express outrage over the Palestinian leadership's decision to use force against Palestinian refugees.

  • The Palestinians who protested outside the PA embassy in Beirut, however, seem somewhat dubious that this new American money will go into the right hands. The protesters have been in Lebanon for several years now and the Palestinian leadership has done precious little to assist them.

  • Judging from experience, it is safe to assume that the Palestinians in Lebanon would be lucky to see a single dollar of the Biden administration's new aid package. This is what happens when Western donors shower money on a corrupt and ruthless Palestinian leadership that sends its thugs to beat up starving refugees who are begging for help.

On March 31, militiamen from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction arrested three Palestinian activists in Lebanon's Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp who protested against the Palestinian leadership's failure to help the refugees from Syria. Pictured: Palestinians in Ain al-Hilweh protest on January 31, 2020. (Photo by Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP via Getty Images)

The Palestinian leadership, which is about to receive tens of millions of dollars from the Biden administration, has once again proven that it does not tolerate any form of criticism, even if it comes from impoverished Palestinian who fled their homes in Syria.

This leadership has also shown how it cares nothing about the problems facing its people, especially those who were forced to flee their homes in Syria after the beginning of the civil war there in 2011.

The number of Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon is estimated at 27,000, according to statistics from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). These refugees suffer from harsh living conditions as a result of the scarcity of relief aid and lack of stable financial resources.

About 87% of the Palestinian refugees displaced from Syria to Lebanon suffer from absolute poverty, according to UNRWA.

On April 12, members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction in Lebanon used force to disperse dozens of Palestinians who were demonstrating outside the PA embassy in Beirut.

The protest was organized by Palestinian refugees who fled from Syria to Lebanon in the past decade. The protesters came to the embassy to ask for help in solving their humanitarian and economic crises. They also demanded that the embassy issue them Palestinian passports or travel documents so that they could leave Lebanon to start a new life in other countries, including the European Union and Canada.

The message the protesters sought to relay to Abbas and the Palestinian leadership: If you do not want to give us financial aid, at least help us move to other countries where we might live in dignity and earn a decent living.

Embarrassed by the protest, the PA embassy summoned its security guards and scores of Fatah activists from different parts of Lebanon to disperse the refugees.

On March 31, Fatah militiamen in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon arrested three Palestinian activists who protested against the Palestinian leadership's failure to help the refugees from Syria.

Some Palestinians officials accused the protesters and activists of being part of a "suspicious project" to resettle Palestinians in the West.

These Palestinian officials, in other words, would rather see their people continue living in devastating poverty as refugees rather than improve their living conditions and search for new opportunities in Western countries. They want millions of Palestinians to remain stuck in refugee camps so that the Palestinian leadership can continue milking the world for money.

Videos posted on social media platforms showed the Fatah thugs and security guards pushing back and beating the protesters. One of the embassy guards was filmed slapping a Palestinian woman on the face.

The assault on the woman triggered a wave of condemnations by Palestinian activists, who took to social media to express outrage over the Palestinian leadership's decision to use force against Palestinian refugees.

Some of the activists created a hashtag on Twitter titled "May your hand be broken" -- a reference to the security officer who slapped the woman on the face.

"Give the Palestinian refugees a glimmer of hope, not a slap on the face," commented an account belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Lebanon.

"The assault on a Palestinian refugee in front of the Palestinian embassy is a stain on all [Palestinian] officials," wrote social media user Ahmed Abu Shaer.

Lebanese political analyst and Middle East expert Nidal Sabeh accused Mahmoud Abbas's "thugs" of beating the woman. "Doesn't this harebrained behavior require the intervention of the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and human rights organizations?" Sabeh asked on Twitter.

"The conditions of the displaced refugees from Syria are dire," complained Palestinian refugee Yousef Atallah. "The Palestinian embassy [in Beirut] is not fulfilling its duties toward the refugees."

On April 7, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the US was planning to restart economic, development, and humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people. The assistance, he said, includes $75 million in economic and development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza, $10 million for peace-building programs and $150 million in humanitarian assistance for UNRWA.

The Palestinians who protested outside the PA embassy in Beirut, however, seem somewhat dubious that this new American money will go into the right hands. The protesters have been in Lebanon for several years now and the Palestinian leadership has done precious little to assist them.

Palestinian leaders are currently preoccupied with preparing for next month's parliamentary election. The plight of the displaced Palestinians in Lebanon is not on their busy agenda.

It is mortally embarrassing for Abbas, ahead of the election, to see Palestinians protesting against his failure to help them with their tragic conditions. Judging from experience, it is safe to assume that the Palestinians in Lebanon would be lucky to see a single dollar of the Biden administration's new aid package. This is what happens when Western donors shower money on a corrupt and ruthless Palestinian leadership that sends its thugs to beat up starving refugees who are begging for help.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter


Khaled Abu Toameh is an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem.


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Had Obama Not Played the Race Card, George Floyd Might Be Alive - Larry Elder


by Larry Elder

A reflection on the Instigator-in-Chief.


George Floyd might be alive had former President Barack Obama not, for eight years, consistently play the anti-cop race card.

Despite receiving more white votes than 2004 Democratic candidate John Kerry, Obama said: "The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives — you know, that casts a long shadow, and that's still part of our DNA that's passed on. We're not cured of it. ... Racism — we are not cured of it."

Obama's own presidential victory demonstrates that America is not "systemically racist." In 2007, Gallup found that fewer Americans (5%) said they would not vote for a Black person than said they would not vote for a woman (11%), referring to his nomination rival Hillary Clinton. The same Gallup poll found that 24% and 42% of Americans, respectively, would not vote for a Mormon, referring to Mitt Romney, or for a person who would be 72 years old when he became president, referring to Sen. John McCain.

Early in Obama's first term, an incident in Cambridge, Massachusetts, gave him a golden opportunity to defuse the lie that the police engage in "systemic racism" against Blacks. The Cambridge police briefly arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, a Black friend of Obama, in his home. Gates, back from a trip, couldn't open his front door and reportedly asked his driver to help. A neighbor, observing two people she did not recognize trying to force open the front door of Gates' home, called 911. The cops arrived and politely asked Gates to exit the home so the police could determine ownership. Instead, Gates mouthed off and was briefly arrested.

Obama said, "The Cambridge police acted stupidly." But the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association and the Cambridge Police commissioner insisted the officer simply followed protocol. Obama's statement infuriated officers all across the country and set up a template for the Obama administration: Cops systemically engage in unlawful anti-Black racial profiling.

Suppose Obama had not insultingly denounced the Cambridge police. Suppose, instead, Obama had said: "I've just spoken to my friend, professor Gates. I reminded him that he is a role model and that his behavior with the Cambridge police officer, who was merely doing his job, was unacceptable. We need to understand as Americans that officers typically have a difficult job. Yes, there are bad cops, but for the most part, they're trying to do their best. And contrary to popular perception, the police, in recent years, have killed more unarmed whites than Blacks. It is a lie, not supported by the evidence, that cops are killing Blacks just because they're Black. This is not your grandfathers' America. It is our job as civilians to be respectful, polite and by all means comply. Comply; you won't die."

Suppose Obama encouraged Blacks to comply with the police and that if one feels mistreated, to get a name or badge number and sort it out later. Eric Garner died after an encounter where New York City cops arrested him for selling cigarettes. Had he not resisted, he would likely still be alive. Jacob Blake was shot several times by the Kenosha, Wisconsin, police when they suspected him of reaching for a knife. Had Blake complied, he would not be in a wheelchair today. Would that have encouraged Black suspects like George Floyd to respond differently to an encounter with the police?

Obama knows the statistics and studies. He knows there is no evidence of anti-Black "systemic racism" on the part of the police. But the political Obama knows that Black anger and resentment translate into Black votes. How many routine police encounters with Blacks escalate into something far more serious because young Blacks believe the "systemic racism" lie pushed by Black Lives Matter and their sympathizers?

Polls rate Barack Obama as one of the most admired people in America, particularly among Black Americans. Out of office, he maintains respect, power, stature and influence. As president, he could have saved lives by putting truth over politics. He chose not to. As a former president, he still can.

Mr. Obama, tell the truth. Save lives. It's not too late.


Larry Elder


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Jewish fraternity at Rutgers egged during Yom HaShoah ceremony - Dan Verbin


by Dan Verbin

During a 24-hour reading of the names of Holocaust victims on Yom HaShoah, a group of students threw eggs at the Alpha Epsilon house.

During a 24-hour reading of the names of Holocaust victims on Yom HaShoah at a Rutgers University Jewish fraternity, a group of students threw eggs at Alpha Epsilon Pi’s house.

Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy issued a statement this week on social media saying that the university was “deeply disturbed” by what occurred and by the harm it has caused Jewish students on campus, reported Rutgers student newspaper, The Daily Targum.

“All members of our campus community deserve to learn and work in an environment in which they feel fully safe, valued and respected, free from (anti-Semitism) and all other forms of hate and discrimination,” he wrote.

Molloy stated that the incident highlights the need for the school to implement additional education and awareness programs to combat anti-Semitism. The Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity has started an outreach program to Jewish students and will also release anti-Semitism resources to the general student body starting next week.

“As we go through the diversity strategic planning process, we will attend closely to this and follow up with members of the Jewish community to ensure your voices and perspectives are reflected in our path forward,” Molloy said. “Again, I express my sincere support for our Jewish students, faculty and staff, and my full commitment to ensuring that all members of our community feel a sense of belonging here at Rutgers-New Brunswick.”

The Rutgers University Police Department is investigating the incident.

Over the weekend, the Rutgers Student Assembly released an Instagram statement expressing their support for Jews on campus.

“We, as a beloved community, must be vigilant in our condemnation of such heinous acts, continue to hold those who perpetrate such hate accountable and work to develop a culture where such actions never occur,” said the statement by assembly President Nicholas LaBelle and Vice President Arielle Dublin.

Jewish on Campus, a Jewish student organization, posted an anonymous student quote on Instagram, stating that anti-Semitism is an ongoing problem on the Rutgers campus.


Dan Verbin


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Newsom Senate Appointee Alex Padilla Charts Path to One-Party State - Lloyd Billingsley


by Lloyd Billingsley

Kamala Harris’ replacement claims the electoral college is America’s “original sin.”


“But let’s go back to the Electoral College, right? That’s not one person, one vote. It’s one of those long-lasting things that needs to be corrected. Go back to the founding of our nation and how imperfect it was, from the original sin in the Electoral College. We’ve made a lot of progress on a number of things, but representative democracy still needs some work.”

That was California Senator Alex Padilla to host Bill Maher on HBO’s “Real Time” last Friday. Maher said there were four Senators from the Dakotas representing 2.5 million people “and you represent – one guy represents 20 million. That’s got to change, right?”

“It should change, on a number of fronts,” Padilla responded, predicting that California’s state policies would spread to the national level. That invites a look at the polices California has been developing under Padilla, secretary of state since 2015. After the 2016 election, Padilla refused to cooperate with a federal probe of voter fraud, a longstanding practice in California and surging in recent years through the state’s imported electorate.

More than 22 million people are illegally present in the United States, according to a study by scholars at MIT and Yale. Pew Research pegged the figure at 11 million, and for years it stood as the official count. It now emerges that 11 million is more like the number illegally present in California alone. When he announced a lawsuit against the Trump administration in 2019, attorney general Xavier Becerra displayed a sign claiming 10 million “immigrants” in California.

When illegal aliens get driver’s licenses, the California Department of Motor Vehicles automatically registers them to vote. In 2015, Padilla told the Los Angeles Times, “at the latest, for the 2018 election cycle, I expect millions of new voters on the rolls in the state of California.” True to form, by March, 2018, the DMV had given licenses to more than one million illegals. Padilla wouldn’t say how many illegals voted in 2018, but his previous reference to “millions” provides a ballpark figure.

From 2016-2018, “caravans” of illegals began showing up at U.S. ports of entry in California, the place on the border most distant from Central America. Once in California, the acquisition of a driver’s license makes any illegal “migrant” a registered voter. In March of 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered mail-in ballots for every registered voter in the state.

That included the millions of “new” voters Padilla celebrated. As in 2016, 2018 and 2020, the secretary of state failed to reveal how many illegals voted. When Sen. Kamala Harris got the nod from Biden, Newsom tapped Padilla to take her place. Nobody voted for Padilla, but he quickly ramped up the rhetoric against elected Republicans.

“Donald Trump, and a lot of his enablers, must be held accountable,” Padilla told CalMatters in January. Asked if he would vote to censure or expel Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, Padilla said, “Yes, I think they have to be held accountable. . . I think the nation would be best served if they were no longer in the Senate.” And Donald Trump “did just have a huge role in the rebellion and insurrection of January 6th. He’s been fanning those flames for four years.”

Padilla has been expanding voter fraud for years and as he told Maher, he now wants to “leverage the size of our state,” to make changes on “a number of fronts.” As Katy Grimes of the California Globe explains, Padilla knows that the House is based on proportional representation based on population and each state gets two senators regardless of population. But as with many on the left, Padilla claims “the U.S. Constitution isn’t fair, and wants to throw it out.”

In Padilla’s vision, the Electoral College of the Constitution is replaced by an imported electorate. In effect, foreign nationals replace legitimate citizens and legal immigrants in the voting booth. The surging caravans are basically drives to bring in more voters and as Joe Biden said in 2014, illegal immigrants are “already Americans,” so the border is essentially meaningless. The rule of the Democrat party replaces the rule of law, but there’s more to it.

California is also a pioneer of ballot harvesting, on full display in 2010. San Francisco district attorney Kamala Harris, the beneficiary of Willie Brown’s “poontronage,” was so poorly regarded that even the Sacramento Bee endorsed Republican Steve Cooley. He held the lead on election night but the same SEIU drones who ran Harris’ campaign dredged up enough “provisional ballots” to give Harris a victory of less than one percent some three weeks later. If anybody thought that was voter fraud it would be hard to blame them.

Kamala Harris moved on to the U.S. Senate and now the “Biden-Harris administration,” replaced by Alex Padilla. Meanwhile, Xavier Becerra, once on Hillary Clinton’s short list as running mate, replaced Harris as state attorney general and is now back in Washington as HHS boss for Biden-Harris. In a burgeoning one-party Democrat state, what goes around comes around.

* * *

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore


Lloyd Billingsley


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Signs of Dem desperation as legislators bypass Biden’s commission and plan to introduce court-packing legislation today - Thomas Lifson


by Thomas Lifson

[W]hat’s up? Why not wait 180 days for the fig leaf presidential commission to bolster the flimsy case?

Why have a group of Congressional Democrats symbolically flipped the bird to “the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States” that President Biden created by Executive Order only 6 days ago?  Andrea Widburg has an excellent blog on these pages today on the announcement and its place in the broader plan of the Dems to alter the institutional framework of governance so as to ensure permanent Democrat majorities.

That group of purported “experts” appointed by Biden’s Executive Order was stacked to likely yield a result congenial to expanding court so as to hand a rubber stamp majority to the Dems, as Bloomberg reported:

The commission skews left, with progressives holding a 3:1 ratio to conservatives, according the Ilya Shapiro, of the libertarian Cato Institute think tank. (snip)

The panel also leans heavily on professors, with just a handful of members whose experience isn’t primarily in legal or political academics. Moreover, approximately 80% are graduates or otherwise affiliated with just two schools—Harvard and Yale.

Supreme Court Building photo by Todd Martin CC BY-NC 2.0 license

Mitch McConnell, who for all his faults masterminded confirmation of the court’s current majority, saw the commission as a threat:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tore into President Biden's new commission studying potential changes to the Supreme Court on Friday. 

McConnell released a statement calling Biden's commission, which will study topics including whether to add more seats to the nation's highest court, a "direct assault on our nation’s independent judiciary."

McConnell also reminded Biden of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s position on expanding the court beyond nine justices.

"Nine seems to be a good number. It's been that way for a long time," Ginsburg said in a July 2019 interview. "I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court."

"Rational observers know well there is nothing about the structure or operation of the judicial branch that requires ‘study,’" McConnell said Friday.

"Constitutional scholars and the justices themselves have repeatedly affirmed the position of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: ‘nine seems to be a good number.’"

With a plan in place to provide a rationale from “outside experts” for packing the court, why jump the gun?

Adding to the peculiarity was Rep. Jerry Nadler playing coy about it yesterday after a piece in The Intercept broke the news of the plan. Newsweek reported:

Rep. Jerry Nadler refused to confirm or deny whether Democrats were planning to expand the Supreme Court, when asked by Rep. Jim Jordan on Wednesday.

Jordan, a Republican representing Ohio's 4th congressional district, cited an article from The Intercept during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Nadler. (snip)

Nadler, a Democrat who represents New York's 10th congressional district, refused to answer Jordan's question, while another member of the committee said the Republican's query was out of order.

"That is not the subject of the markup," Nadler said.

A markup is the term used in Congress for the process of debating, amending or rewriting legislation in a committee.

"Expanding the Supreme Court, the report that the chairman is…" Jordan said. Nadler cut in, however, saying again: "That is not the subject."

Jordan pressed on, expressing incredulity that legislation to expand the court being sponsored by the committee's chairman "is not something to be talked about on the House Judiciary Committee."

So, what’s up? Why not wait 180 days for the fig leaf presidential commission to bolster the flimsy case?

I can think of two possible reasons, which are not mutually exclusive.

One is the incredible narrowness of the Democrats’ control of Congress. The Senate is tied 50-50, so only Kamala Harris’s tiebreaker vote as VP gives the Dems the ability to pass legislation – if the filibuster is not invoked or if it is repealed. In the 435 member House, Nancy Pelosi can only lose 2 Democrat votes if she wants to pass legislation, so narrow is her majority.

The prospects of holding onto the support of all Democrat Senators and House members 180 days from now (i.e., half a year closer to the 2022 election) are not good, considering the escalating crisis on the border, which is a matter of grave and going concerns across the country. Add in the possibility of a military crisis overseas as Russia masses troops near Ukraine and China makes escalating threats against Taiwan and expansionist moves in the South China Sea.

So, it might be that the Democrats jumping the gun see this particular moment as possibly their last chance to remove the Supreme Court as a check on their ability to govern tyrannically.

The second possibility relates to an already established pattern of Democrat legislative legerdemain: abuse of the budget reconciliation process to bypass the filibuster, which Senators Manchin and Sinema both swear they will protect. Check out this tweet from Rep. Mondaire Jones, one of the Dems planning to introduce the court-packing legislation today:

If the Democrats try to add court-packing to the infrastructure bill, which they are openly contemplating ramming through the Senate using budget reconciliation, it just might pass. A huge spending bill offers huge opportunities for bribes incentives to individual senators and reps, people like Manchin and Sinema, whose constituents would like to see multi-billion dollars in federal funds flowing their way thanks to the “infrastructure” bill.

All in all, the Democrats seem desperate, as if they see their last chance to hold onto power possibly slipping from their grasp unless they change what amounts to the rules of the game right away, while they still have the narrowest possible majority and a senescent president still holding onto office.

Daniel McCarthy and Kurt Schlichter offer views of the crisis they see looming for the Democrats. Were it not for the fully propagandistic role of the major media supporting them, the public would already have turned against them with fury for the incompetence of Biden’s first 3 months in office and the unleashing of racialist mobs. With public approval of the media roughly at the level of used car salesmen, that media cofferdam will not hold against the public through November 2022. It is now or never, I believe a growing number of Democrats believe.

They are going for broke. It’s our job to make sure they fail and do go broke, politically.

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.


Thomas Lifson


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Donald Trump and Andrew Jackson: History Repeats Itself - Andrew W. Coy


by Andrew W. Coy

Rather than looking like John Adams or Jimmy Carter or Bush 41, Trump is showing a remarkable resemblance to President Andrew Jackson.

If the Progressives (socialists, globalists, Deep State) were hoping President Trump would go quietly into that dark night, they are sadly mistaken.  If the Progressives were praying that Trump would cower in obscurity after November of 2020, their prayers have not been answered.  If the Progressives were dreaming that Trump and the Trumpsters would never be heard from again, their dreams have become a nightmare.

Rather than looking like John Adams or Jimmy Carter or Bush 41, Trump is showing a remarkable resemblance to President Andrew Jackson.  The political histories are remarkably similar.  As we approach the first 100 days since Biden was suspiciously placed into office, President Trump and the MAGA nation have done anything but concede, anything but beg for forgiveness, and anything but accept the fraudulent results of the 2020 presidential election.  As Trump might quote Andy Jackson, these first 100 days with Biden resemble another "corrupt bargain," and he's not going to stand for it.  It appears that patriots are not going to stand for it, either. 

Trump has summoned politicians, donors, Trumpsters, MAGA nation, and potential rivals to Mar-a-Lago to map out the political future.  Trump is endorsing governors, congressmen, senators, attorneys general, and secretaries of state.  Trump appears to be all in for the off-year elections of 2022 and the presidential election of 2024, and he wants to make sure he controls as many of the chess pieces as possible.

By doing this and appearing so certain, Trump freezes the rest of the possible GOP candidates for 2024.  They cannot move if there is a likely Trump candidacy for re-election in 2024.  The most obvious examples of this are Nikki Haley and Mike Pence.  Trump is supporting "his" populist candidates, building up plenty of political IOUs and favors, and trying to build a framework, legal system, and culture such that the presidency cannot be stolen from him...again.

This is much like what Andrew Jackson did between 1824 and 1828.

When Donald Trump took the office of president in January of 2017, one of the first things he did was to put up a bust of former president Andrew Jackson.  A current president giving a shout-out" to President Jackson seemed odd.  Old Hickory certainly is not much favored in today's woke history and politically correct politics.  But upon further analysis, Trump and Jackson do seem similar.  Jackson was a populist; put America First; loved America; was foul-mouthed; despised the corrupt ruling class despite his own wealth; and was insanely hated by the Washington, D.C. permanent class.  Trump like Jackson, was never accepted by the refined and cultured circles of the D.C. elite.

One thing President Trump did not know back in January of 2017 was just how much he would be like Old Hickory — especially when it came to running for president and a corrupt bargain by his enemies costing him a questionable election.

In the election of 1824, Jackson and three others ran for president.  Jackson had the most popular votes as well as the most Electoral College votes — but not enough Electoral College votes to win.  John Q. Adams was able to convince Henry Clay to give Adams all of his electoral college votes.  And soon after that, Adams gave Clay the position of secretary of state.  So within this corrupt bargain, Adams became president, Clay became secretary of state, and Jackson became mad as hell.  Jackson called out this "corrupt bargain" for four long and bitter years.  The masses, the populists of that time, felt that Jackson had won, and thus they had been cheated out of their own votes.

History repeats itself because human nature does not change.

The corrupt bargain today centers on the Progressive mass media (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, N.Y. Times, Washington Post) and Big Tech (Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon) and their collusion with the Deep State of Washington, D.C.  The usual suspects of the Progressive media and the oligarchs of Big Tech in Silicon Valley have done two desperate acts that were clearly unfair, borderline illegal, and certainly unconstitutional to hurt Trump's re-election chances of 2020.  First, they reported non-news or unfounded news or simply fake news against Donald Trump for five years to make him look bad.  Second, they refused to report any real and accurate negative news that would hurt Joe Biden's candidacy.  Not a word about Biden's diminished cognitive skills, China's blackmailing of the Biden family, Hunter Biden's reported felonious behavior, or Biden's misogynistic behavior.  All censored for political reasons — for five straight and unyielding years.

In the writing of history, almost as important as what the historian writes is what the historian does not write.  In the history books, what is not put on the written page is as crucial as what is written.  Big Tech and the Progressive media did not want anything on the written page that negatively affected Biden's chances.  They censored unauthorized critical information.  This censorship of real news probably changed the course of history.  Certainly, today's corrupt bargain's censorship and Pravda/TASS type of behavior changed the 2020 election result outcomes.

Only impending events — such as Biden's mental state, the illegal alien border crisis, Chinese/Biden corruption, turning our backs on Israel, or a Chinese invasion against Taiwan — will determine the exact results of this modern-day corrupt bargain.  A collusion by the elites, oligarchs, and the Deep State that stifles "unauthorized" free speech; censors real news; casts questionable, fraudulent ballots; and then tells the masses to "sit down and shut up or else" tends to make 80 million voters want to do things they normally would never consider.

Andy Jackson came back four years after the first corrupt bargain to win the presidency in the elections of 1828 and then 1832.  Only time will tell whether today's Corrupt Bargain II will end as favorably for President Trump and MAGA nation as it did for President Jackson and the people of his time.  As always, at the end of the day, in a democratic republic, it will be up to the American people...hopefully.

Image: David via FlickrCC BY 2.0.

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.


Andrew W. Coy


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