Three ostensibly unrelated events in the first week of August are more connected than the media have acknowledged. Trump was unjustifiably indicted in D.C., the credit rating of the U.S. government was downgraded, and leading House conservatives signaled they are fine with defunding the federal government after September 30.
This downgrading August 1st of the federal credit score stunned the Biden White House, which howled in response. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued a statement calling it “arbitrary and based on outdated data.”
But House Democrats are predicting some defunding of federal programs and agencies after September 30, when the federal fiscal year ends, because Republican resolve has strengthened to halt runaway government spending. Congress has adjourned until September 12, leaving the divided legislature only a dozen session days to enact a dozen spending bills to keep the lights on in D.C.
Fitch Ratings, which lowered the credit score for the federal government, has been highly respected for more than a century, as one of the so-called Big Three credit agencies. It issued a warning earlier this year; subsequently many mistakenly assumed that the bipartisan deal in June to suspend the debt ceiling until 2025 had allayed concerns.
The sham indictment of Donald Trump in D.C. has given many Republicans no alternative to defunding a federal government weaponized for political gain against them. The army of prosecutors going after Trump includes campaign donors to Biden, and their indictment is as contrived as any ever seen in federal court.
Biden’s politicized DOJ recently demanded that the court gag Trump while he campaigns for president, which would infringe on the First Amendment rights of Americans to hear what the leading candidate has to say about vital national issues. “So, based on yet another Radical Left Hoax, I’ll be the only ‘Politician’ in American history not allowed to SPEAK,” Trump posted early on August 8 on Truth Social.
The charges against Trump pretend that he entered into a conspiracy, which means an actual agreement with others to do something unlawful. Disputing an election, speaking out against suspected election fraud and encouraging others to do likewise, is protected by the First Amendment and not unlawful.
The Biden donor-prosecutors misuse the conspiracy charge to litter the indictment with statements and actions by people other than Trump, and then wrongly accuse Trump of them. Charging someone with criminal conspiracy based on the actions of someone else can be a trick misused by prosecutors when they lack criminal evidence against their target.
Instead of convincing voters as Democrats hoped, Biden political hacks have poisoned the well in D.C. such that more Republicans are ready to stop funding federal agencies and departments misused by Democrats. Fitch’s lowering of the credit rating reflects the reality that the gravy train for unproductive activity in D.C., at the expense of working Americans nationwide, will not chug along forever.
Far from repelling voters from Trump, all indications are that his support grows stronger with each abusive indictment. The disconnect by the D.C. establishment is unsustainable, and inevitably Americans will realize that they need not continue to pay for this misuse of prosecutorial power by Biden campaign donors.
The House controls the purse strings, and one of its conservative leaders is the former college wrestler Rep. Bob Good (R-VA). He stated in August that “most Americans won’t even miss” the federal government if its funding were cut off, which will happen automatically if a new spending plan is not enacted by September 30.
Republicans who opposed the June compromise on the debt ceiling feel vindicated now, as almost immediately after that deal was struck Democrats began prosecuting Trump in Florida at a waste of millions of dollars. The political hacks being funded by Congress even indicted two low-level employees of the former president, presumably to terrorize them into turning against their boss.
This outrageous misuse of taxpayers’ money by federal prosecutors justifies conservatives opposing continued bankrolling of a federal government hijacked by the Left. The conservative House Freedom Caucus has already blocked one of the dozen spending bills needed by October 1 to continue the status quo in D.C.
The most recent indictment against Trump is in D.C., where 95% of its residents and jury pool voted against Trump in 2020, while the remaining 5% fear retaliation if they side with Trump. He cannot possibly obtain an impartial jury in that city, and this case should be moved immediately to nearby West Virginia where people actually work for a living.
House Republicans can selectively defund actions by the Department of Justice, as they did two decades ago in repeatedly prohibiting the use of federal funds to remove a large Latin cross in the Mojave Desert. The House should not be funding this harassment by DOJ of Trump as he campaigns for reelection.
Putrid, Crime-Inducing Cannabis Spreads in Midwest
In the first few months since passage of a ballot initiative last November, Missouri has become home to a billion- dollar recreational marijuana industry. With virtually no money available to oppose the $10 million spent by the cannabis industry to fully legalize the weed, the initiative passed by 53-47% in this traditionally conservative state.
A total of 23 states have legalized recreational marijuana now. The liberal states of Colorado and Washington were the first to do so eleven years ago, also based on ballot initiatives that have been the central part of the cannabis strategy to become the $30 billion industry that it is today.
Federal law continues to ban this harmful drug, so it remains illegal to transport across state lines. But most of the marijuana sold is grown or imported into each state illegally, and Bible-Belt Oklahoma is overrun with illegal production and related crimes even though Oklahoma voters rejected legalizing cannabis earlier this year.
The harmful potency of pot has tripled from a generation ago, and one study showed a 3- to 4-fold increase in schizophrenia over the last 20 years. One in six teenage users of cannabis will become addicted to it, and those addicted become 3.2 times more likely to inflict self-harm and die from homicide, often after they spark the violence.
The skunk-like smell of cannabis plants and production facilities are rattling liberal regions. The stench of pot smoking is far worse than cigarettes, and a Brooklyn lawmaker who seeks to ban outdoor pot-smoking in cities says that it is the second biggest complaint to his office, after trash.
California journalist Ann Louise Bardach observed the odor of cannabis operations is “like a few dozen skunks letting loose at the same time,” and many have complained about its daily effect on students in California public schools. She told the British newspaper The Guardian that cannabis production causes “respiratory ills now, asthma and weepy eyes” to some residents.
Many of the “grows,” as cannabis cultivations are called, are still illegal to avoid the taxes and regulations. Legalizing pot in California caused the black market for pot-growing to boom to compete in a crowded market that has seen prices collapse by two-thirds in the last year, while many of the cannabis operations are run by out-of- town corporations rather than local farmers.
The mega-spending on ballot initiatives is how the cannabis industry has captured and victimized nearly half of our country, including places like Missouri where the Republican legislature did not want it. Then rampant exploitation and crime flows into a state as cannabis invades.
“We literally have thousands of pounds of finished marijuana from an illegal grow and illegal source,” California Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke announced at the end of July. Workers “were forced to process marijuana while staying in horrible living conditions to pay back the individuals that brought them across the border,” his office explained.
“The reality of legal weed in California: Huge illegal grows, violence, worker exploitation and deaths,” screamed a headline in the liberal Los Angeles Times last September. More than five years after pot was fully legalized in that state, the vast majority of sales continue to be of illegal rather than legal marijuana.
So it won’t be the many family-run farms in Missouri that benefit from this new billion-dollar enticement of violence, illegal aliens, and squalid working conditions. Instead, this will bring more crime to this conservative state, due to its easy ballot initiative process.
On August 8, the people of Ohio were overwhelmed by out-of-state dark money demanding a “No” vote on increasing its threshold for passing a ballot initiative to 60%, and it was voted down despite being the standard required in Florida. In supporting this good Ohio measure to increase the threshold for passing, Republicans including Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) sought to protect against out-of- state corporate and billionaires’ money enacting harmful laws through the ballot initiative process.
This change in Ohio was a way to keep pot-by-ballot- initiative out of that key battleground state, as the cannabis industry initially fell only 679 signatures short of the 124,046 total they need to put on the November ballot an initiative to fully legalize pot. They quickly and easily obtained thousands more signatures and qualified for the ballot as a statutory initiative, which fortunately the Ohio legislature could later repeal if it passes.
Congress rejects corporate pressure to legalize cannabis, as do most state legislatures. But spending tens of millions of dollars to push through a ballot initiative is pocket change to the cannabis industry, which continues to target conservative states like South Dakota and Florida where ballot initiatives are allowed.
There are few lawful profits in the cannabis industry, as ordinary investors and small businesses have been learning the hard way while watching their capital evaporate in smoke. Instead, legalizing pot makes it possible for the illegal operations to sell their weed to the unsuspecting public.
Transgender Train Derails in Sixth Circuit
Republican legislatures in 22 states have banned the use of irreversible gender-changing procedures on children, overcoming the governor’s veto in six of those states. But in a half-dozen of the 22 states, liberal federal judges blocked these good laws in response to lawsuits by liberal groups including the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center.
This summer saw the first appellate decision, and it’s welcome news. On July 8, two of the finest appellate judges in the country, Jeffrey Sutton and the Trump-appointed Amul Thapar, delivered a setback to the transgender agenda by ruling to reinstate Tennessee’s new law against transgender operations on minor children.
The margin was 2-1 on the Sixth Circuit appellate court, with a Democrat-aligned judge dissenting. Appeals are still pending of bad district court decisions in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, and Kentucky, where beneficial state laws were blocked by federal judges.
Other states have refused to protect children from transgender operations, and this cultural battle is far from over. In California, a recall campaign rages against a few conservatives who were elected last year to a school board near Los Angeles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, considered the foremost health authority in our country until it mishandled the Covid pandemic, has come out entirely on the side of the transgender agenda. Recently the CDC’s website endorsed the ludicrous idea of “chestfeeding,” whereby transgender persons without breasts attempt to fake the production of breast milk with the use of dangerous drugs.
Politics is downwind from culture, and the Netherlands crowned as the winner of its Miss Universe pageant a man competing as a trans woman. Sporting an elegant hairdo, this winning candidate had previously competed on the television show “Holland’s Next Top Model.”
The University of Cincinnati, ironically located in the same city where the Sixth Circuit presides, rescinded its reprimand of a teacher for flunking a student for using the term “biological woman.” Megan Rapinoe, the outspoken retiring player on the U.S. women’s soccer team, indicated she would welcome male-bodied trans women into that sport, even though her own women’s team was easily defeated by an under-15-years-old boys team.
The media and many judges are firmly on the side of the transgender movement, and they expect to win. A Clinton-appointed judge just ordered a public school to let a boy who identifies as a girl to use the girls’ bathroom, overriding a policy adopted by the elected school board in the town of Mukwonago, Wisconsin.
Law schools have fully embraced transgender follies, and unfortunately many courts will do likewise. The Supreme Court hires all of its law clerks from a handful of elite law schools, and those clerks perform the influential task of screening and describing cases before the Court either agrees to hear them or simply denies “cert” on a lower court decision.
The Supreme Court denied a recent application by West Virginia to reinstate its sensible law keeping boys out of girls sports, ducking this raging controversy just as the Court dodged all appeals about election fraud. For decades the Supreme Court accepted abortion cases only when the appeal was by the Left, and it will be interesting if Leftists appeal Judge Sutton’s decision against them.
Two years ago, Harvard Law School welcomed its “first transgender women of color” as teachers at the school. They joined two transgender men on the faculty, one of whom maintains a personal website that brags about “working with sex worker art collective that protested digital gentrification.”
Judge Sutton’s ruling is persuasive, and carries added weight due to his strong reputation as a “feeder” of clerks to the Supreme Court. Judge Sutton is notorious in some quarters for ruling against legal recognition of same-sex marriage in the case that was later overturned by the now- retired, left-leaning Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Tennessee’s new law, which was scheduled to go into effect on July 1st, prohibits “surgically removing, modifying, altering, or entering into tissues, cavities, or organs” of any person under the age of 18. It also bans “prescribing, administering, or dispensing any puberty blocker or hormone” to minor children.
“The State plainly has authority, in truth a responsibility, to look after the health and safety of its children,” Judge Sutton wrote with the concurrence of Judge Thapar. “Tennessee could rationally take the side of caution before permitting irreversible medical treatments of its children,” they added.
The court found it unlikely that the Supreme Court would create a new constitutional right to transgender operations, when no such right has existed in the Constitution for 235 years. “Life-tenured federal judges should be wary of removing a vexing and novel topic of medical debate from the ebbs and flows of democracy,” the Sixth Circuit majority concluded as they reinstated the Tennessee law.
Democrat Demagoguery Heats Up “Climate Reparations”
America’s Climate Czar, John Kerry, traveled to China this summer to meet with its top officials about climate change, which today means everything from droughts to floods to inevitable heat waves. There was never any Senate confirmation for this office, yet Kerry reports directly to Biden without transparency for Kerry’s large staff.
The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability caught up with Kerry shortly before his trip to ask a few obvious questions. His answers were more alarming than anything genuinely caused by forever- changing weather patterns.
The committee Chairman, Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), asked Kerry, “Are you planning to commit America to climate reparations? That is to say, we have to pay some other country because they had a flood or they had a hurricane or a typhoon or a wildfire.”
While many today are familiar with the concept of slavery reparations, being seriously considered by the liberal California politicians, climate reparations have been demanded by some countries for several years now. Natural disasters have occurred worldwide since the beginning of time, but are blamed now on energy use by industrialized nations such as ours.
“No, under no circumstances,” was Kerry’s response to Rep. Mast’s question about whether the Biden Administration will obligate our country to pay climate reparations to foreign governments. But a close review of what Kerry publicly stated elsewhere suggests that there could be a “mental reservation” lurking here.
Well known to philosophers, biblical scholars, and legal experts, a mental reservation is an incomplete response due to a perceived greater good, by relying on a private interpretation of the question asked. To reduce this, the oath taken by Members of Congress includes the phrase “without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”
“We have to pay” was the premise of the question, connoting a legal obligation that Kerry denied. But voluntary climate reparations are definitely being considered, and are on the agenda for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) scheduled to occur on Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 in the oil-rich kingdom of Dubai.
The vehicle for climate reparations is a global “loss and damage fund,” about which Kerry needs to be pinned down. Already some NATO countries in Europe have committed to send taxpayer dollars to this fund, which has existed since last year under the UN Environment Programme office.
In an interview last January with Britain’s left-wing newspaper The Guardian, Kerry indicated the U.S. would contribute to the loss and damage fund for the benefit of foreign countries claiming to be damaged by climate change. So he considers it a voluntary contribution, but it would burden American taxpayers with a legal obligation.
“How can you look somebody in the eye, with a straight face, and not accept the notion that there are damages, there are losses? We see them all around the world,” Kerry declared earlier this year to the British press.
Kerry made similar comments to the congressional committee. Incredulous, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) asked Kerry “why do the good folks in east Tennessee – they work very hard for their dollars – why do they have to pay for a flood in Africa or South Asia?”
Kerry responded, “We’re not specifically paying for a flood in Africa although sometimes money may go to something like that but the United States is proudly the largest humanitarian donor in the world … we try to help the world.” That opens the door to the Biden Administration sending hard-earned American dollars to the globalist “loss and damage fund,” which is climate reparations by another name.
Meanwhile, our competitors like China are using the most cost-efficient energy, coal, to its maximum benefit. In 2021, China had its biggest increase in coal use and energy consumption since 2011, and Kerry is doing nothing meaningful about that.
China approved more coal-fired power plants in 2022 than any year since 2015. Yet Kerry praised China for what Kerry called its “incredible job” of increasing renewable energy, which supplies only a tiny fraction of total energy consumption.
Kerry merely chastised China gently about coal, despite how China is building six times as many new coal plants as the rest of the entire world. We won’t be able to compete with China if our economy shifts to inefficient wind turbines and solar power.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), showing that he is not intimidated by Deep State bullying of him in seizing his cell phone while on a family vacation, interjected in Kerry’s testimony to explain why world leaders give lip service to the global warming agenda. “Because they’re grifting like you are, sir,” Perry told Kerry when he invoked foreign leaders who side with Democrats, while expecting reparations.