Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Whatever Happened to Social Distancing?

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

For 10 weeks, law-abiding Americans submitted to the demands of so-called experts to maintain a 6-foot distance from our friends, relatives, and fellow human beings. That meant familiar gathering places such as restaurants, bars, hotels, and sports arenas had to close and remain closed indefinitely, causing economic hardship to millions.

When a few hundred law-abiding citizens, some lawfully carrying their personal weapons, marched in front of the Michigan state capitol to protest the nation’s most extreme stay-at-home order, liberals feigned outrage.

The “mask police” demanded that all Americans don intrusive face-coverings in public, supposedly to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The House of Representatives has switched to proxy voting despite its unconstitutionality, and Republicans have sued to stop this erosion of safeguards against improper procedures in Congress.

With citizens who respect the law stuck at home under lockdown orders by Democratic governors, the lawless seized the streets. Mobs of thousands of militants, many armed with crowbars, fire starters and other dangerous weapons, rampaged the darkened streets in search of soft targets to loot, burn and pillage in a senseless orgy of destruction.

The violent chaos is the tragedy that results from the absence of an armed citizenry, by which merchants defend their shops with their own lawful firearms. When a black professional basketball player saw his truck being vandalized by a protester in his residential neighborhood, the 6-foot, 6-inch, 225-pound athlete rushed out and beat up the vandal.

But we are not all as strong as giants who play in the NBA, and many of us rely on local police, sheriffs and mayors to protect our private property against lawlessness. The state governor, state police, and the national guard are there to be called in as needed to restore order.

Yet in city after city, all led by weak Democratic mayors, the police stood by while the life savings (and in some cases, the lives) of ordinary citizens went up in smoke. A police station was burned to the ground in Minneapolis and a federal law enforcement officer was shot and killed in Oakland.

The insurrection that has spread to more than 30 cities is fueled by socialists and anarchists who oppose President Trump and the Republican Party. This rebellion is built on three-and-a-half years during which elites in the liberal media and Democrats in Congress, who refuse to condemn the violence, ranted against our president.

The handful of giant companies that control our channels of communication have found profit in fomenting strife and division among the various groups that make up our body politic. Only last week the opulent high tech industry, which evades the brunt of the protests, used its monopoly power to essentially censor the president’s words on Twitter.

Twitter’s disparagement of President Trump by labeling his tweets would be comical if it were not so dangerous as politically motivated censorship. As a monopoly service provider, Twitter should not be allowed to regulate the statements of a political candidate to the advantage of his opponent in a contested election.

Decades ago, when the broadcast networks dominated politics, Congress passed a law to forbid network television from rejecting political ads based on their content. Another law established the Fairness Doctrine which required broadcast television and radio to present both sides of controversial issues of public importance.

Twitter, Google (which owns YouTube), Facebook (which owns Instagram), and other Big Tech companies enjoy monopoly power and immense wealth due to regulatory advantages conferred on them by government. They do not pay the real costs of the traffic that they attract, from which they profit, and they should not be picking sides in political discourse by placing derogatory labels on postings by political candidates.

Twitter gets its internet traffic without paying a dime for it. This free-riding by Twitter, Google and Facebook enable them to punish viewpoints they disfavor, in demeaning and sometimes secretive ways.

If Twitter had to pay its costs as radio stations do, it would be begging for a content-provider such as President Trump to post on its service and thereby attract other users and customers. Twitter would become more like talk radio, where robust competition to attract listeners results in less censorship, not more.

Google, meanwhile, uses secret algorithms that provide greater visibility to liberal websites and YouTube videos, while suppressing conservative views. According to a lawsuit in England, this is one way that Google uses its market power to choke off competition.

A court there has told Google either to produce its search engine algorithm by which it ranks websites in response to searches, or drop its defense to a lawsuit. The Trump Administration need not wait for a British court to compel transparency by the American behemoth, and the Federal Communications Commission should order Big Tech to disclose more than it has.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Folly of Vote-by-Mail for All

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The extended national lockdown caused by the coronavirus has led to many ideas for changing familiar patterns of the American way of life. But COVID-19 is no excuse for undermining the integrity of our presidential elections by switching from in-person to mail-in voting.

Until a few years ago, Election Day was a special event in which our sprawling nation came together on the same day to select our next president. Some states honor it with a holiday, and many employers give workers time off to vote.

Barely five months before the most important presidential election of our lifetime, with the Supreme Court on the line, is no time to convert the election machinery of more than 100,000 election precincts to an unprecedented, untested system of any kind. Yet Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer seeks to send absentee ballot applications to 7.7 million people on an error-ridden list of potential voters.

As President Trump rightly tweeted in response, “This was done illegally and without authorization. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!”

California Governor Gavin Newsom is taking Michigan’s mistake one step further. He issued an executive order to mail not just an application, but the actual ballot to the state’s entire voter registration list riddled with inaccuracies.

No state has ever done that before, including the five states that conduct mail elections, because it invites voting by people who are not eligible to vote. Voter intimidation, coercion, fraud, and other forms of illegitimate voting would be possible under blanket mail-in voting.

A new federal lawsuit has been filed to block Governor Newsom’s scheme. “Fraudulent and invalid votes dilute the votes of honest citizens and deprive them of their right to vote in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment,” it says.

Until now, only five states mail unrequested ballots to registered voters, but those states take additional precautions such as requiring verification of voter registrations. None of the five is a swing or battleground state whose electoral vote for president is in doubt.

All other states allow some form of absentee voting, and most of those permit limited mail-in voting for those who request it. States can more easily manage the integrity of a small number of mail-in ballots compared with being overwhelmed by everyone, even illegal aliens, voting by mail.

The costs are staggering, and states ask Congress to force taxpayers to foot the bill for this folly. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi already allocated $400 million in the CARES Act as handouts to states for mail-in voting, but that is not nearly enough.

The last presidential election had more than 128 million votes cast, and tens of dollars per mail-in ballot in new costs would be needed for sending and processing them. Democrats want $4 billion in new federal funding to pay for mail-in voting now.

Democrats even want unions to be allowed to collect ballots, but that would add unwanted intimidation of voters to the process. Unionized workers should be free from union coercion when they mark their ballots.

Allowing votes to be mailed until Election Day means that counting ballots and declaring a winner may not occur until weeks later. The post office can take up to ten days to deliver a letter, particularly amid high volume, and in a close election the outcome could change when ballots are lost in the mail.

Our political prosperity depends on the smooth transition of power. It is essential that there be a prompt, legitimate presidential winner, but close elections awash in mailed ballots would frustrate that essential goal.

In the key swing state of Pennsylvania, mail-in voting is being adopted for the first time this year, with restrictions. Ballots must be received, not merely mailed, by Election Day, because many letters are not postmarked anymore.

Ballot harvesting is not allowed in Pennsylvania, which is the pernicious practice of paid workers mailing a bundle of ballots supposedly cast by others. Millions of demented nursing home patients can have their “votes” harvested in this manner for the unfair advantage of a candidate funding the harvesting.

Democrats pretend that voter fraud would be small for mail-in voting, but they do not consider ballot harvesting and other chicanery to be fraud. A generation ago, they did not consider the corrupt Democratic political machine in Chicago to be fraudulent, either.

Supporters of mail-in voting rely on polling which seems to indicate public support for it. But those polling questions avoid mention of the immense additional costs and the susceptibility of mail-in voting to manipulation and corruption.

President Trump is right to oppose this attempt by Democrats to change our election system. Federal funds should be withheld from states that undermine our elections as Democrats are trying to do.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Contact Tracing? No Thanks.

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

First a Dallas hair salon owner was imprisoned for opening her store to earn a living. Next Texas has signed a $295 million contract for “contact tracing,” by which law-abiding citizens will have to submit to monitoring about when, where, and with whom they have been.

While this sounds like a dark episode in the history of the communist Soviet Union or China, it is being promoted by Democratic governors today on a massive scale never accepted in the United States. It even extends into liberty-conscious conservative Texas.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), the Chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, pointed out on the floor of the House that contact tracing would “allow big tech companies to surveil” citizens and “then turn that accumulated information over to the government.” Republican state legislators and Rudy Giuliani have likewise criticized the proposals for vast contact tracing.

Yet Republican Governor Greg Abbott, ambitious to run for president in 2024, is imposing government tracking and monitoring of Texans under the pretense of combating coronavirus. He could conquer the virus by lifting unjustified restrictions on access to hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), but instead wants to find out who and where lawful Texans privately visited.

Far from helping society return to normal activities, contact tracing would terrify everyone into staying at home even more than they have already been. Everyone would have to think twice about whether a visit to someone might end up in a government database, or result in a mandatory unwanted 14-day quarantine.

This would also encourage more people to snitch on their neighbors, reporting on their daily movements. The society of narcs sought by liberals would grow worse under widespread contact tracing, even if promoted as merely being voluntary.

Lying to government agents is a crime in many jurisdictions, so those who are accosted by a contact tracer but do not disclose every person they visited in the last week could be prosecuted. Then citizens would face conviction for protecting people whom they do not want to be harassed by a visit from a contact tracer, who might himself be spreading the virus.

Contact tracing is an approach supported by George Soros, the billionaire Leftist who has been funding numerous liberal causes. He has donated heavily for open borders, which exacerbates the spread of unwanted viruses in the United States.

The real goal of the contact tracing is to use COVID-19 as a pretext to monitor the whereabouts of every American, perhaps through our smartphones, and take away our liberties. Republican political candidates will be tracked and leaks of their private information to the media would be inevitable under this scheme, while Democrats such as Joe Biden are given a pass on their far greater misconduct.

Child Protective Services bullies will be authorized to take children away from parents who have COVID-19, or who have been in contact with anyone who might have the virus. Contact tracing means that a visit to your home by a neighbor who later tests positive for the virus could result in the forced quarantining of you for merely having opened your front door to him.

Texas Gov. Abbott’s contract is with a federally funded contact tracing firm, MTX Group, about which he failed to consult the conservative Texas legislature before obligating the state. MTX Group will soon have a staff of 4,000 employees in Texas, including case investigators, epidemiologists, and contact tracers.

Meanwhile, regulators in Texas and other states continue to block access by residents to HCQ, the same medication which President Trump has successfully taken for more than a week to protect against COVID-19. In most states, including Texas, Trump would not have been able to fill his doctor’s prescription for this medication due to liberal interference.

The FDA, as misled by the pro-vaccine bureaucrat Rick Bright, Ph.D., continues to prohibit any use of the federal stockpile of 100 million doses of HCQ unless the patient is first hospitalized and a clinical trial is unavailable. President Trump’s successful use of this medication would not be permitted from the stockpile maintained under these senseless FDA regulations imposed by anti-Trump bureaucrats.

The conservative, can-do approach is to conquer a virus by treating it early and in a preventive manner, while the defeatist liberal approach is to ration resources while asserting government control over law-abiding residents. Gov. Abbott could follow the successful example of Republican Gov. DeSantis in Florida, who made HCQ available and kept businesses and beaches largely open.

Gov. Abbott has instead sharply restricted access to HCQ and closed businesses for prolonged periods, resulting in the imprisonment of a salon owner. The $295 million that Abbott is spending on contact tracing could have purchased HCQ treatments for half of the entire State of Texas, to reopen the state without the need for oppressive monitoring.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Restart Sports Without Gambling

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The shutdown of professional sports due to the Wuhan virus has exposed the increasing billions of dollars being wagered on these games, and the heightened dependency of state governments on revenue from this formerly illicit activity. When the NCAA cancelled March Madness, the annual college basketball tournament, states addicted to sports gambling lost millions of dollars in revenue from taxes on the betting.

Many were astounded when 15.6 million recently watched the first day of the NFL draft, a tedious event previously interesting only to diehard fans. But the audience this year was boosted by famished gamblers who wagered on which college students would be picked, and when.

That is a pathetic way to spend the family nest egg, or waste one’s time. Yet sports betting has mushroomed to tens of billions of dollars, particularly since the Murphy v. NCAA ruling by the Supreme Court in 2018 allowed states to ramp up sports gambling.

Legalized sports gambling then quickly spread to a total of 18 states, and just as quickly they are becoming hostage to the tax revenue it generates. With professional sports shut down due to COVID-19, state governments have lost this revenue while their residents save money.

There has been no local or state tax revenue from casinos since they were shut down nationwide, to the dismay of their owners including Indian tribes. Their losses benefit casino victims, including many American Indians and every other demographic group.

Democratic politicians complain about how the rich get richer even now, but sports and casino gambling constitute one of the biggest drivers of wealth inequality. Billionaire owner Mark Cuban estimated that the Supreme Court ruling authorizing sports gambling immediately doubled the value of franchises in the top four professional sports leagues.

Sports competitions should restart, as athletes are most able to overcome the Wuhan virus. But we can do without the smoke-filled casinos infecting the less healthy and the integrity of the games.

Democrat-controlled Las Vegas announced that it will reopen its casinos, despite how Democrats criticize Trump for seeking to reopen ordinary businesses. Apparently the concept of which businesses are essential is in the eye of the beholder.
Belarusian soccer and Ukrainian ping-pong are nearly the only professional sports which have carried on. This has left millions of Americans with little to bet on in sports.

This fall Las Vegas is set to be the new home for the Oakland Raiders as the NFL and other leagues embrace gambling and fantasy sports betting like never before. “Gaming management” seeks credibility by holding conferences at prestigious universities and offering accredited college degrees.

Sports bettors attended in March the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, which is a fancy name to legitimize the combination of two addictions: gambling and watching professional sports. Conference attendees enjoyed the cigar bar for a little rest and relaxation after a day of panel presentations.

But it turns out that COVID-19 was being spread at that cigar bar during the conference. According to Sports Illustrated, everyone who frequented the bar at that time contracted the virus.

Most recovered from the disease, but the shutdown of professional sports may have caused even worse symptoms for sports gambling addicts and states increasingly dependent on them. Desperate states may soon attempt to expand sports gambling as a way to try to make up for their lost revenue from legitimate businesses.

Democrat-controlled Colorado has now done just that. After heavy spending by gambling interests pushed through a referendum by a narrow 51-49% margin, regulators in that formerly conservative state made sports betting legal as of May 1st.

This was just in time for gambling interests to get “apps” into the state for the college and professional football seasons expected to begin in August, if the coronavirus crisis is over by then. Some NFL owners want to play without fans if necessary, and several taxpayer-supported stadiums had already been poorly attended even before the virus arrived.

The hypocrisy of owners of professional sports teams includes how they have harshly punished players who may have occasionally bet on games, while the owners themselves seek to profit from it. Baseball great "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, whom Babe Ruth imitated as the finest natural hitter he ever saw, was accused of gambling on the 1919 World Series but was acquitted in a court of law, and yet remains banished.

Some of the new state laws authorizing sports wagering allow owners to gamble in ways that players cannot. Meanwhile, states like Pennsylvania are imposing whopping taxes of 36% on revenue from sports gambling.

Professional sports should be reopened without the gambling, which most states recently allowed or seek to permit. The Department of Justice should fully enforce the Wire Act and other federal laws to end nationwide this exploitation of fans when seasons restart.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

HCQ Succeeds While Government Hoards

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

There are many new examples of the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as an early treatment of COVID-19, yet stockpiles of it waste away in government warehouses. Most of the 100 million donated doses will expire without ever being distributed to help dying Americans.

Ever since President Trump suggested that HCQ could be an effective treatment for COVID-19, Democrats have worked overtime to prove the president wrong. They falsely trumpeted the death of a man who ingested fish tank cleaner, an incident which his friends say may have actually been foul play to harm him while hiding the crime.

HCQ is a 55-year-old, inexpensive medication that is widely used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Like any drug it causes side effects in a small fraction of the population, but 55 years of successful use proves that it can be taken safely by most people.

Democrats were humiliated when an African-American state representative, Karen Whitsett, publicly thanked President Trump after she was cured of coronavirus by taking the drug that Trump recommended. At a caucus in her legislative district in Detroit, held over Zoom last Saturday, 15 Democrats unanimously passed a resolution to censure Rep. Whitmer for stepping off the plantation to give credit where credit was due.

At nearby Wayne State University, a 92-year-old researcher, Dr. Ananda Prasad, was fortunate. He could prescribe an HCQ zinc therapy for himself when he contracted the virus, and he attributes his recovery to this treatment.

Other elderly patients have been lucky to have a child who prescribed them HCQ. Dr. Daniel Amen reportedly stepped in to save the lives of his elderly parents, age 88 and 90, by prescribing HCQ and azithromycin to enable them to recover from COVID-19.

Anna Fortunato is a 90-year-old Long Islander who was hospitalized with COVID-19. She was so ill that her daughter asked for a priest to give her the last rites of the church, but the hospital refused to allow a priest to visit her bedside because it was too risky.

After taking HCQ, she recovered and was discharged after two harrowing weeks in the hospital. Mrs. Fortunato is looking forward to celebrating her 91st birthday in June with her family.

“I had a good husband, and my children are beautiful,” she recounted to the AP. “I’ve lived to see grandchildren, and great-grandchildren … so I AM fortunate.”

At the other end of New York State, in the town of Albion near Buffalo, 94-year-old Norma Longrod was hospitalized with a fever and tested positive for the coronavirus. “We also did treat her with hydroxychloroquine, which is a medicine out there we’ve talked about in the press,” the hospitalist medical director explained.

“I’m much better – much, much better than when I came here. They thought that I was not going to make it,” Mrs. Longrod said after her recovery.
Grandmother Jean Boccard, 97 years old in Broward County, Florida, was admitted to the hospital with a case of COVID-19. Like many people her age, she also had multiple underlying health conditions including heart disease.

“I want to get out of here, the food is terrible,” Mrs. Boccard complained, like many hospital patients. “And I get no sleep because they’re always coming in and looking at me.”

With the help of a devoted son, Mrs. Boccard found Dr. Mike Perl who prescribed HCQ along with an antibiotic called Z-Pak. Two weeks later, she was out of the hospital and ready to resume her normal life.

At a veterans home in Lebanon, Oregon, William Lapschies is one of at least 15 residents who tested positive for COVID-19. The 104-year-old World War II veteran made a full recovery after his family found a doctor who treated Mr. Lapschies with hydroxychloroquine.

But most Americans continue to be denied access to early treatment by HCQ, while it rots in government warehouses. Medication expires after a while, and at this rate the much-publicized donations of HCQ to governments by well-meaning companies will end up being thrown out rather than used to save lives.

Interference with early access by patients to HCQ by Anthony Fauci, FDA bureaucrats, and Democratic state officials, despite HCQ’s proven 55-year track record to be safer than other medications easily accessible by Americans, has exacerbated this crisis beyond all justification. Liberals object to access to HCQ by Americans for early treatment of the Wuhan virus, but at the same time arrange for government to hoard the medication.

If this invasion by a foreign enemy were using conventional warfare of guns and tanks, then the conservative response would be to arm the American people quickly with as many guns and ammo as possible. Instead, this invasion is by a foreign virus, and government should not be impeding access by Americans to medication for immediate self-defense.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Government Unions Should Bear Their Share

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Government unions should not be shifting the costs of the shutdowns to the laid-off employees of private businesses. Yet that is the approach sought by Democratic governors of large states as they demand massive bailouts of their government workers who have sat idly by.

Public schools are closed throughout the country, and their bloated bureaucrats have enjoyed an extended vacation at home. They should not receive paychecks, at public expense, which are being denied to waitresses, manicurists, and hair stylists.

The sooner everyone is allowed to get back to work, the better. But in the meantime it is terribly unfair to shift the burden of being out of work from government workers’ unions onto the backs of those who toil for less money and pensions in the private sector.

Yet that is what liberal Democratic governors seek by demanding massive federal bailouts for their state and local governments. Public school teachers and other government workers should be bearing an equal amount of loss from the work stoppage, rather than being propped up by extraordinary handouts.

While businesses have laid off or furloughed millions of workers, Democrat-controlled “blue” states have not. We should be hearing less news about private businesses having to let go of their workers, and more news about blue state governors needing to trim their oversized bureaucracies.

“Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states … and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help?” Trump aptly tweeted on Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that the poorly run states be allowed to file for bankruptcy, but that is not the answer either. That approach would reward those in control and a pile of attorneys, while leaving creditors holding the bag on defaulted loans and diminishing the ability of other states to obtain favorable credit.

Instead, liberals should cut state and local spending, which is something they have never been willing to do. The belt-tightening should include scaling back the luxurious pensions for state workers at taxpayer expense.

McConnell is right to take the position that “there’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations.” Government employees have no greater entitlement to paychecks for not working.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is suggesting an income guarantee for every American. But instead of trying to put everyone on the government payroll, Pelosi and other Democrats should be downsizing the government workforce.

The United States Bankruptcy Code has long prohibited states from filing for bankruptcy to avoid their obligations for the same reasons that many other debts are not dischargeable in personal bankruptcies. Meanwhile new money, such as bailouts, should only be for new services and not for old debt like pensions.

Many of the same states seeking a federal bailout now have repeatedly defied efforts by the Trump Administration to rein in the runaway costs of illegal immigration, for example. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has repudiated federal policy against illegal immigration by issuing drivers’ licenses to attract more illegals.

Now Cuomo declares that McConnell is somehow being “vicious” by opposing handouts to his and similar states. Cuomo epitomizes the entitlement mentality that snaps at whoever objects to sending them more money.

Cuomo failed to protect health care workers in his state, who toiled on behalf of coronavirus patients without the benefits of proper masks or access to prophylactic use of hydroxychloroquine. Cuomo insisted on placing people infected with COVID-19 in nursing homes where it quickly spread and unnecessarily killed many thousands of elderly residents.

Meanwhile Cuomo has failed to take fiscally responsible measures in trimming expenses of state government, even though millions of workers for small businesses have been laid off. Families of laid-off workers should not be required to pay for Cuomo’s state employees to do little at home.

Nor should liberal governors be allowed to stiff lenders who have supported their states with loans, which would result from giving states a right to file for bankruptcy. Rather, governors should realize that their wells are going to run dry if they continue to pay illegal aliens and others full entitlements and salaries as though nothing has happened.

McConnell kept funding for state governments out of the most recent bailout bill, which Trump signed into law last Friday. Resistance to these bills is growing, and congressmen are recognizing that their constituents do not want an endless stream of trillion-dollar “stimulus” packages.
Biden, whose mind seems as quarantined as his body, scoffs at the $2 trillion spending bill by saying it is not nearly enough. His promises to spend far more in exploitation of this crisis must be rejected.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Don’t Bail Out the Shutdown States

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

A proposal by two senators to send $500 billion to state governments, due to the coronavirus, would be a horrible incentive. It would encourage governors to keep their economies closed despite their losses in tax revenues from the lack of business activity.

Some Republican-led states have courageously reopened or remained open for business, and their money should not be taken and sent to mostly Democrat-controlled states who ordered people to stop working. States should have an incentive to reopen, as the Republican Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia is doing, rather than receiving bailouts to remain closed.

Yet Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) want to appropriate a half-trillion dollars to state governments in addition to the $150 billion which the last bailout bill sent to them. These handouts to state governments would remove the fiscal pressure to reopen their economies.

Under Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, New Jersey has impeded access to early and prophylactic treatment for COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients, resulting in avoidable deaths from the virus. Gov. Murphy has also infringed on the rights of protesters who demand that the overly broad shutdown end.

New Jerseyan Kim Pagan faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for merely organizing a protest, which is a constitutional right, against the suffocating stay-at-home order by Gov. Murphy. State governments should bear their own losses as their own governors fail to protect constitutional rights while continuing these oppressive shutdowns.

Availability of early and preventive use of medication to guard against harm by the coronavirus would enable all states to safely open. Yet Democratic governors continue to block access to life-saving medication such as hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), and deny its use until a coronavirus victim is hospitalized near death and cannot be saved by any treatment.

Democratic Gov. Murphy has prohibited early access by requiring a positive test result on all prescriptions for HCQ, which many credit for helping them recover from COVID-19 if used early. A new study of 973 patients in France showed remarkably better results for patients who were given HCQ as an early treatment along with azithromycin.

The researchers conclude that HCQ medication “is a safe and efficient treatment for COVID-19,” yet it remains blocked for millions of Americans exposed to or infected by the virus. Nursing home residents are sitting ducks for this virus as they are denied this medication until they get too sick for any medication to help them.

Growing protests at state capitols illustrate how badly governors, mostly Democrats, have handled this crisis. President Trump himself has expressed support for the protesters, and has voiced his own objections to the ongoing interference with our economy by Democratic governors.

Meanwhile, non-coronavirus patients are being denied medical procedures and treatments which they need. Health care workers are being laid off throughout the country because ordinary medical care has been prohibited by the shutdown orders.

Massive bailouts to hospitals send them money for not being available to the public. These create the wrong incentive of perpetuating the shutdowns rather than allowing healthy economic pressure to force reopening.

President Trump could invoke his emergency powers to override state governors who interfere with our economy and block access to needed medical treatments. If we were in a conventional war, the president would prohibit interference by state officials with war-related efforts.

Yet some Democratic governors seem to be driven by ego rather than doing what is best for their residents. New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is in a nasty spat with the Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City over who gets to decide if public schools there will remain closed for the rest of the school year.

In 1992, Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles of Florida blocked efforts by President George H.W. Bush to help victims of Hurricane Andrew, which ravaged that state shortly before the presidential election. President Bush then stood down and was predictably blamed by the media for not doing more, when instead he should have overridden the politically motivated interference.

Today Democratic governors are determined to impede President Trump’s helpful new guidelines for Opening Up America Again. Trump recommends reopening our Nation in three stages, depending on local conditions, and urges all 50 states to begin implementing Phase One immediately.

Trump’s guidelines are merely recommendations, so Democrats have an election-year political incentive to undermine them as much as they can. Trump has repeatedly warned that the cure would be worse than the disease if “the greatest economy in the history of our country” is damaged beyond repair, but Democrats seem unconcerned.

Trump is working daily to restore the old normal, where Americans had no fear of crowding together in restaurants, bars, and sports stadiums. Federal funds should not be sent to Democratic governors who resist reopening.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Phyllis’s deep impact on contemporary politics

An essay in The Atlantic, a liberal magazine, about the new Hulu TV series:
We’re Living in Phyllis Schlafly’s America
A striking new miniseries reveals the conservative author’s deep impact on contemporary politics.

If, as per baudelaire, the greatest trick the devil played was convincing the world that he didn’t exist, the irony of Phyllis Schlafly’s legacy is that she undermined women so efficiently that her pernicious influence on American politics hasn’t gotten the credit it deserves. During the 1970s, Schlafly was camera-ready pith in pearls and a pie-frill collar, a troll long before the term existed, who’d begin public speeches by thanking her husband for letting her attend, because she knew how much it riled her feminist detractors. Armed only with a newsletter and a seeming immunity to shame, Schlafly took a popular bipartisan piece of legislation—the Equal Rights Amendment, which affirms men and women as equal citizens under the law—and whipped it up into a culture war as deftly as if she were making dessert.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Leftist Tyrants Exploit Shutdowns

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

It did not take long for leftist tyrants to exploit shutdown orders in mostly Democratic states. From Michigan to Kentucky to California and even to Texas, public officials are abusing their authority to infringe on fundamental rights of Americans.

The Democratic Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, was promoted into office by the liberal media as a kinder, gentler alternative to his conservative predecessor, Matt Bevin. But as many on the right anticipated, Beshear is a tyrant in sheep’s clothing as he bullies the large evangelical community there.

Beshear declared that churchgoers on Easter Sunday would have their license plates recorded and be required to quarantine for daring to attend a service on that special day. This First Amendment-infringer then tweeted out a picture of his family enjoying the sunny day outside, illustrating his hypocrisy.

On Fire Christian Church sought and obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the City of Louisville to prohibit it from interfering with drive-in church services on Easter. The federal judge who issued this order in favor of religious liberty, Justin Walker, has been nominated by President Trump to the influential D.C. Circuit.

Another Democratic governor, whom the President calls “Half” Whitmer, has become a tyrant in Michigan. There, however, an intense backlash has initiated a recall petition drive which has already attracted hundreds of thousands of signatures.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen “Half” Whitmer has gone so far as to order people to stay in their “main” home, which prohibits them from traveling to and taking care of their many cabins and cottages which line the Great Lakes of Michigan, Huron, and Superior. A state fond of boating and fishing has become a totalitarian society more like North Korea or Cuba.

In California, seven young people not expected to be vulnerable to the virus got together for some harmless drinks Saturday night in Santa Cruz and were slapped with tickets totaling $7,000 in fines. Further south, off Malibu, a man was arrested merely for using his paddle board far from anyone else.

Contrast all this with Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and her highly effective way of handling the Wuhan virus, which causes COVID-19. Governor Noem, like eight other Republican governors, has kept her state open throughout this crisis, relying on freedom and responsibility to combat the virus.

Last night she announced that she has obtained one million doses of hydroxychloroquine for use by her residents, the medication that has been so effective in other countries and in certain locations in the United States in minimizing harm from the disease.

The media have pounced on governors like Noem who have kept their economies running, by printing stories that such policies result in “hot spots” like one supposedly breaking out in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Washington Post said that this “experience has been harrowing” because a total of 57 new COVID-19 cases recently arose there in one day among workers at a production plant.

But what is “harrowing” is the interference by Democrats with early medication by hydroxychloroquine, an inexpensive, generic drug. Nearly all of the 25,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 were not allowed access to this medication for early treatment.

A nursing home in Democrat-controlled Washington State suffered 37 fatalities from COVID-19 without using the medication early to combat the disease. In contrast, a nursing home in Republican Texas which suffered a similar outbreak has welcomed and applied the medication, and has suffered only one fatality as reported by NPR.

Even the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has been pandering to the liberal media by imposing an overly broad shutdown of that warm-weather state, which has interfered with necessary medical care such as fixing broken bones or receiving hormonal treatments. Abbott hopes to run for president in 2024 but it is difficult to see why he thinks that shutting down Texas is good for anyone.

Some point out that “flattening the curve” of infections by the virus has the effect of prolonging the pandemic and exposing the public to an inevitable resurgence. Instead, early treatment and the development of herd immunity might be a better way to address this.

But there is little money to be made in early treatment by generic medication or in herd immunity, and no political power to be gained by it. Democratic governors are emboldened by their newfound attention, and they are wrongly attempting to tell President Trump when to reopen the economy, not vice-versa.

Meanwhile, many hospitals are empty and workers have been furloughed due to the blocking of beneficial operations and treatment. In Pennsylvania, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s shutdown order has caused the Lehigh Valley Health Network to furlough more than 900 staffers, resulting in the irony of empty hospitals due to overreaching by Democrats in dealing with a pandemic.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Most important political organizer in American history

The NY Times reviews the forthcoming Mrs. America Hulu series:
Rick Perlstein, a historian of the American right and the author of the forthcoming book “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan,” called Schlafly “probably the most brilliant and important political organizer in American history.”

What Schlafly understood, Blanchett said, was that many American women did not see feminism as the answer to their problems.

“Women who had been working, in a traditional way, in the home, felt judged and marginalized,” Blanchett said. “They felt that they had been told by the feminists that they were less-than.” Schlafly harnessed this contempt with great success. But she was never able to gain a foothold in the Republican establishment.

“Mrs. America” paints its leading lady not as a villain but a plausible female version of that hoariest of contemporary TV conventions: the antihero.
The show will release the first three episode April 15 on Hulu.

Most important political organizer in American history

The NY Times reviews the forthcoming Mrs. America Hulu series:
Rick Perlstein, a historian of the American right and the author of the forthcoming book “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan,” called Schlafly “probably the most brilliant and important political organizer in American history.”

What Schlafly understood, Blanchett said, was that many American women did not see feminism as the answer to their problems.

“Women who had been working, in a traditional way, in the home, felt judged and marginalized,” Blanchett said. “They felt that they had been told by the feminists that they were less-than.” Schlafly harnessed this contempt with great success. But she was never able to gain a foothold in the Republican establishment.

“Mrs. America” paints its leading lady not as a villain but a plausible female version of that hoariest of contemporary TV conventions: the antihero.
The show will release the first three episode April 15 on Hulu.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Deadly Delay by Dr. Fauci

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

“You go to war with the army you have,” said President Bush’s Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “Not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

Rumsfeld’s profound words have never been more important, as our nation has been called to war against an unseen enemy, the Chinese coronavirus. It’s time to summon and employ the resources we have today, not wait months or years for more studies, more data, and more proof that a promising medication is safe and effective.

President Trump, our commander-in-chief in the war against the virus, is a man of prompt and decisive action, and he takes pride in signing a “right to try” law in 2018. But he is being hamstrung by a Hillary Clinton-supporting federal bureaucrat named Anthony Fauci whose advice has stymied early, widespread use of hydroxychloroquine against the Wuhan virus.

Dr. Fauci is the George McClellan of the war on the coronavirus. General McClellan, the first commander of Union forces in the Civil War, had to be removed by President Lincoln when he persistently failed to engage the enemy.

Imagine if Fauci had been in charge of the decision to use the atom bomb in 1945. Atomic energy is an unproven technology, he might have exclaimed, while the Japanese continued to slaughter our soldiers, sailors and Marines in the Pacific theater of World War II.

Or think if Fauci had been General Douglas MacArthur’s aide-de-camp during the Korean War, when MacArthur proposed the daring Inchon landing maneuver which conquered the North Korean Army. We need more studies, Fauci might have said, before supporting the amphibious assault behind enemy lines.

Or what if Fauci had been advising General Washington about crossing the Delaware on December 25, 1776. The snow, the waves, the rickety boats, the shortage of proper clothes and shoes, the lack of good intelligence about the enemy camped on the other side -- all these factors needed more study before Fauci could be 100% sure that Washington would succeed.

“These are the times that try men’s souls,” Thomas Paine wrote in his newly published pamphlet that Washington had read aloud to his troops before they boarded the boats on Christmas night. When the survival of your country is at risk and your soldiers are dying on the battlefield, there’s no more time for studies.

No medications have been thoroughly studied in time-consuming clinical trials for any new virus, including COVID-19. But we have solid evidence that a 65-year-old drug called hydroxychloroquine has helped many COVID-19 patients recover, and that it has also prevented many other people from getting the disease.

This medication is already being taken regularly by hundreds of thousands of Americans who suffer from lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. As far as anyone knows, no one has ever died from taking a recommended dose of the drug.

As America’s deaths from the virus exceeded 1,000 in a single day, there is no time for methodical studies to help another thousand COVID-19 patients who may die tomorrow. They should immediately be given the best medication available, whether exhaustively tested to Fauci’s satisfaction or not.

Karen Whitsett, a Michigan state representative, is one survivor who powerfully validates the benefits of hydroxychloroquine, which Dr. Fauci continues to disparage as unproven. A Democrat, she represents a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Detroit which has been ravaged by COVID-19.

“I thank God the president of the United States mentioned that drug because it did save me,” Whitsett said. “If President Trump had not talked about this it wouldn’t have been something that would be accessible for anyone to be able to get right now,” the lawmaker said.

When Whitsett arrived at the hospital with symptoms of the virus, she found that her own governor, a fellow Democrat named Gretchen Whitmer, had issued an order prohibiting the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients. Michigan was one of a number of states that have limited the use of the drug because so-called experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci claim it is unproven.

“I did have a difficult time, even that day, obtaining the medication because of an order that was put down in my state,” said Whitsett. “And it was on that day so you can imagine how terrified I was that I had to beg and plead and go through a whole lot to try to get the medication.”

Within hours of taking her first dose of hydroxychloroquine, Representative Whitsett was already feeling much better. “It has a lot to do with the president,” the lawmaker told The Detroit Free Press. “He is the only person who has the power to make it a priority.”

As Bob Dylan wrote, “how many deaths will it take ’till he knows that too many people have died?” Dr. Fauci should stop blowin’ in the wind.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Judge rules in favor of Phyllis's true Eagles

Bloomberg reports:
One nonprofit founded by late conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly didn’t infringe the trademarks of another after the two split over the 2016 presidential election, an Illinois federal court said.

Eagle Forum was formed by Schlafly in 1975 to “support causes related to the modern conservative political ideology.” In 2016, EF’s board of directors was divided as to whether to support Ted Cruz or Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary. After a falling out, Schlafly and other Trump-supporting board members left to form the nonprofit Phyllis Schlafly’s American Eagles.

EF sued PSAE for allegedly misusing its trademarks, including its registered...
The rest of the article is paywalled.

That is correct. Some rogue Trump-haters took over the political arm (EFc4) of Eagle Forum in 2016, and attempted to oust Schlafly. She was dying, and they believed that her health would prevent her from stopping the takeover, and that she would be dead before any judge ruled on the lawsuit they filed. Now they have burned all the assets on failed legal actions, and are desperately seeking donations to pay legal fees.

The term "Eagles" has been primarily used for those loyal to Phyllis Schlafly. The main Eagle organizations are still firmly in the control of those Eagles. Control of EFc4 depends on a lawsuit that is still pending. The rogue faction that sued Phyllis and EFc4 has used every trick to delay the trial, and postpone a decision on their ridiculous claims.

The above lawsuit was based on the idea that the EFc4 rogue faction somehow owned Phyllis's political activities, and could dictate who she could or could not endorse for President. The whole thing was absurd. Phyllis did not even draw a salary from EFc4, and never took orders from EFc4. She gave orders to EFc4, not the other way around.

The rogue faction not only wanted to kick Phyllis out of EFc4, but also wanted to block her other political activities. The fact is that she was entirely withing her constitutional rights to express any political opinions she wanted.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

End the Economic Shutdown

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Statewide lockdowns are not the way to fight the Chinese coronavirus. The vast majority of the counties, small towns and medium-sized cities across America are not at significant risk for COVID-19, and the millions of Americans who live there are needlessly suffering the consequences of an induced economic coma.

“Our people want to return to work,” Trump tweeted this morning. “The cure cannot be worse (by far) than the problem!”
Widespread unemployment lasting more than a few weeks would be a social catastrophe far greater than even a worst-case scenario that might result from the coronavirus pandemic. Civil society breaks down quickly when ordinary people are prevented from earning a living, supporting their families, and paying their bills.

Yet a handful of big-city-dwelling governors have implemented a “one size fits all” approach by shutting down places of business which are not responsible for spreading the virus. In several states, regulators have even interfered with the use of hydroxychloroquine, the drug which shows great promise to prevent and treat this new disease.

New York Governor Cuomo could have focused his lockdown on the densely populated urban area where the coronavirus was actually spreading. Instead, he imposed a complete shutdown on every farm, village, township and county across the Empire State, in regions where residents are at low risk.

Illinois Governor Pritzker shut down his entire state to address an issue that primarily affects Chicago, even though 80 of the state’s 102 counties have yet to report a single case of the virus and most other counties are in the single digits. California Governor Newsom closed the vast interior of his state based on an outbreak in its coastal cities.

Pennsylvania is mostly open space, farms, forests, mountains and two big cities, yet its Democratic Governor Wolf closed all “non-life-sustaining businesses” across the entire state. He then ruled that stores selling guns and ammunition were “non-life-sustaining businesses,” although their thousands of customers obviously disagree.

On Monday a divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the forced closing of a gun store, handing gun-grabbers a victory they could not have otherwise obtained. The court provided no explanation for upholding Pennsylvania’s sweeping shutdown of nearly every business there.

This misguided one-size-fits-all approach crippled our economy and torpedoed our stock market. Not even the largest federal stimulus in history can replace the private economies of our largest states.

Meanwhile, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi exploited the crisis with a bill to impose a nationwide mandate for 15 days of early voting, which favors Democratic ballot harvesting by a political machine. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), who was instrumental in making Joe Biden the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, declared that the virus crisis is “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer delayed passage of the Republican stimulus bill in the Senate to give time for Pelosi to present her House version, which could alter elections for years to come. She introduced the 1,400-page Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, filled with pork including a multi-billion-dollar down payment on the Green New Deal.

Ironically, studies suggest that the oncoming warm weather may cause the coronavirus to subside, just as it has not spread so much in our warmer southern states or the southern hemisphere. Along with effective medical treatments, warmer weather could bring the crisis under control sooner, as President Trump predicts.

Anthony Fauci, a career bureaucrat who gushed in an email released by Wikileaks that a speech by Hillary Clinton once brought him to “tears” in support, misleadingly disparaged successful uses of the anti-malaria treatment as merely “anecdotal.” In fact, a French study supports use of that medication, and innovation with other safe medications should be encouraged.
Another leaked email reveals that Dr. Fauci was an enthusiastic admirer of Hillary Clinton in 2016, when she was running against Trump for president. It’s time to show Fauci the door and stop deferring to him.

At a cost of merely $6 billion, every American could be given the anti-malaria medication to protect against contracting the disease. This pales in comparison to the trillions of dollars in damage being inflicted against our economy.

In India, where U.S. drug makers have offshored much of their production, the government is arranging for its health care workers to receive the anti-malaria medication as a precaution. But in our country, pharmacy regulators in four states have mysteriously prohibited that salutary use.

Meanwhile, Pelosi’s bill seizes the crisis to try to tilt future elections in her favor by mandating early voting, mail-in voting, ballot harvesting (which is ballot collection by paid activists), online voter registration, and no-excuse absentee ballots in every state. President Trump is right to speak against Pelosi’s bill and call for a quick end to economic shutdowns by Democratic governors.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

End the Economic Shutdown

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Statewide lockdowns are not the way to fight the Chinese coronavirus. The vast majority of the counties, small towns and medium-sized cities across America are not at significant risk for COVID-19, and the millions of Americans who live there are needlessly suffering the consequences of an induced economic coma.

“Our people want to return to work,” Trump tweeted this morning. “The cure cannot be worse (by far) than the problem!”
Widespread unemployment lasting more than a few weeks would be a social catastrophe far greater than even a worst-case scenario that might result from the coronavirus pandemic. Civil society breaks down quickly when ordinary people are prevented from earning a living, supporting their families, and paying their bills.

Yet a handful of big-city-dwelling governors have implemented a “one size fits all” approach by shutting down places of business which are not responsible for spreading the virus. In several states, regulators have even interfered with the use of hydroxychloroquine, the drug which shows great promise to prevent and treat this new disease.

New York Governor Cuomo could have focused his lockdown on the densely populated urban area where the coronavirus was actually spreading. Instead, he imposed a complete shutdown on every farm, village, township and county across the Empire State, in regions where residents are at low risk.

Illinois Governor Pritzker shut down his entire state to address an issue that primarily affects Chicago, even though 80 of the state’s 102 counties have yet to report a single case of the virus and most other counties are in the single digits. California Governor Newsom closed the vast interior of his state based on an outbreak in its coastal cities.

Pennsylvania is mostly open space, farms, forests, mountains and two big cities, yet its Democratic Governor Wolf closed all “non-life-sustaining businesses” across the entire state. He then ruled that stores selling guns and ammunition were “non-life-sustaining businesses,” although their thousands of customers obviously disagree.

On Monday a divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the forced closing of a gun store, handing gun-grabbers a victory they could not have otherwise obtained. The court provided no explanation for upholding Pennsylvania’s sweeping shutdown of nearly every business there.

This misguided one-size-fits-all approach crippled our economy and torpedoed our stock market. Not even the largest federal stimulus in history can replace the private economies of our largest states.

Meanwhile, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi exploited the crisis with a bill to impose a nationwide mandate for 15 days of early voting, which favors Democratic ballot harvesting by a political machine. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), who was instrumental in making Joe Biden the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, declared that the virus crisis is “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer delayed passage of the Republican stimulus bill in the Senate to give time for Pelosi to present her House version, which could alter elections for years to come. She introduced the 1,400-page Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, filled with pork including a multi-billion-dollar down payment on the Green New Deal.

Ironically, studies suggest that the oncoming warm weather may cause the coronavirus to subside, just as it has not spread so much in our warmer southern states or the southern hemisphere. Along with effective medical treatments, warmer weather could bring the crisis under control sooner, as President Trump predicts.

Anthony Fauci, a career bureaucrat who gushed in an email released by Wikileaks that a speech by Hillary Clinton once brought him to “tears” in support, misleadingly disparaged successful uses of the anti-malaria treatment as merely “anecdotal.” In fact, a French study supports use of that medication, and innovation with other safe medications should be encouraged.

Another leaked email reveals that Dr. Fauci was an enthusiastic admirer of Hillary Clinton in 2016, when she was running against Trump for president. It’s time to show Fauci the door and stop deferring to him.

At a cost of merely $6 billion, every American could be given the anti-malaria medication to protect against contracting the disease. This pales in comparison to the trillions of dollars in damage being inflicted against our economy.

In India, where U.S. drug makers have offshored much of their production, the government is arranging for its health care workers to receive the anti-malaria medication as a precaution. But in our country, pharmacy regulators in four states have mysteriously prohibited that salutary use.

Meanwhile, Pelosi’s bill seizes the crisis to try to tilt future elections in her favor by mandating early voting, mail-in voting, ballot harvesting (which is ballot collection by paid activists), online voter registration, and no-excuse absentee ballots in every state. President Trump is right to speak against Pelosi’s bill and call for a quick end to economic shutdowns by Democratic governors.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Countering Biden’s Gender Play

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

At CNN’s Democratic debate on Sunday night, even the moderators were stunned when Joe Biden, out of the blue, pledged to pick a woman as his running mate. It was a calculated move designed to put President Trump in a box, while embarrassing Bernie Sanders for his reluctance to do likewise.

Biden is vulnerable with women voters, with videos documenting his groping of women and girls. But his female running mate will try to deflect this issue by going on the offensive, as Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar proved they are capable of doing.

Biden hopes to make gender a top issue in the presidential race this fall, even more so than last time. In addition to picking a woman for vice president, Biden also promised to appoint “the first black woman” to the Supreme Court.

Upcoming High Court rulings on three major gender-related issues no doubt influenced Biden’s strategy to play the gender card. Each case could yield a 5-4 decision that will drop like a bombshell in the presidential campaign.

In one case, the Court will decide whether states can require abortionists to comply with basic standards requiring them to be available for follow-up on their complications. Oral argument two weeks ago did not go as well as feminists hoped, and a divided ruling could inject abortion into the fall presidential debates.

In another case, the Court will decide whether the federal law that bans discrimination “on account of sex” should also prohibit discrimination on account of sexual preference. In a third case, the Court will decide if “sex” means biological sex, as everyone thought it did when Congress passed the law, or whether sex now includes gender expression or transition to the opposite sex.

No matter how the Court rules in these cases, Joe Biden will use them to invoke feminist theories about gender. But misusing the courts to change the meaning of our written law is the essence of judicial activism, which Republicans rightly oppose.

Biden may even toss in his support for the failed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which also contains the loaded phrase “on account of sex.” A president has no role in amending the Constitution, but ERA was the final point of contention between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter during their only debate in 1980.

Reagan was fully prepared to address this issue, and defended his opposition to ERA well. Rather than amend the Constitution, Reagan said, ERA supporters could have worked on revising any discriminatory laws.

In fact, ERA would invalidate the Violence Against Women Act which Joe Biden brags that he wrote and passed in 1994. Gender distinctions would not be allowed in any federal or state law if ERA were to become part of the Constitution, as Biden seeks.

In 2000 the Supreme Court invalidated as unconstitutional Biden’s handiwork in trying to extend federal jurisdiction, in United States v. Morrison. But ERA would vastly expand federal mischief over gender.

Biden himself was the vice president for eight years, and before that he was in the U.S. Senate for decades. While there he cast many votes which are totally out of sync with today’s progressive Democratic party, not to mention the populist coalition that elected President Trump.

Joe Biden presided over the Clarence Thomas hearings, and it was Biden himself who voted to send the nomination to the floor of the Senate without a recommendation. Justice Thomas has served with distinction for nearly three decades ever since, yet Biden has never apologized for allowing that proceeding to become a “high-tech lynching” as Thomas accurately described it.

Biden’s reputation as a moderate is undeserved, and can be easily debunked after he gets the Democratic nomination. He supports sanctuary cities and opposes President Trump’s policy of deporting criminal aliens, which would prevent many of the horrific crimes by illegal aliens against women and girls.

Among numerous other examples, Trump or his running mate could cite the brutal kidnapping, rape, and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Texas by an illegal alien, Humberto Leal Garcia. Garcia was tried and sentenced to death, but the Obama Administration, with Biden as Vice President, attempted to intervene for Garcia.

Justice was then delayed for 17 years as the Obama-Biden Administration tried to prevent the execution of the illegal alien Garcia for brutally raping and killing the young girl. Her nude body was found next to a massive rock used to smash her face to death, and a stick protruded from her dead body.

Garcia denied his guilt until he was strapped to the gurney in a Texas death chamber, after the state ultimately overcame the obstruction by the Obama-Biden Administration. The illegal alien Garcia then admitted his guilt and apologized, a minute before he was justly given the lethal injection.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Virginia Liberals Embrace Gambling and Gun Control

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Boosted by pro-gun-control millions in donations by Mike Bloomberg in the last election, newly empowered liberals in Virginia extended their legislative session this past weekend. They enacted sweeping gun control and also broad expansions of gambling, which is backwards from what would help enhance prosperity and freedom.

It will soon be legal in Virginia to bet on football games and other sporting events, except for contests involving Virginia college teams. This unleashes a new, costly addiction for the millions of sports fans in the state who can soon waste their family savings in addition to their precious time.

A misguided ruling by the Supreme Court in 2018 opened the floodgates to the legalization of sports gambling by states, but many states have wisely declined the invitation. Studies have shown that the poor are most hurt by legalized gambling, and they are the least able to afford it.

A total of 15 states currently allow some form of sports gambling, and five other states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws to legalize it. There appears to be a race to the bottom as states compete with each other in facilitating the massive waste of time and money by their residents which such gambling entails.

The Supreme Court ruling in Murphy v. NCAA ignored the obvious vices of legalized sports gambling, which range from corrupting the games to causing people to lose their savings. While justice is supposed to be blind, it should not be blind to the immense harm caused by decisions like this one.

The Court observed that “gambling was largely banned throughout the country” by the end of the 19th century, but then omitted the reasons why. Its corruption of politics was one reason, and gambling will surely corrupt sports too.

For this reason the NCAA, which governs college sports, has long opposed gambling on its games. “The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering, which has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests and jeopardizes the student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community.”

Families, already fed up with how Thanksgiving Day and Christmas have become rituals of senseless watching of football games, can expect financial losses now too. In California, Indian tribes are gathering signatures on petitions to put sports gambling at tribal casinos throughout the state on its ballot in November.

Professional sports leagues used to be strongly opposed to allowing gambling on their games, but greed has led them to search for more sources of revenue, and gambling has that allure. People who bet on games are more likely to watch them, and that may help stem the general decline in television ratings.

The scandal of the Houston Astros’ stealing signs to help them win the World Series a few years back should be sobering enough. Yet Major League Baseball stands now with the NFL and NBA in wanting people gambling on their games.

The Democrat-controlled Virginia legislature also authorized casinos for nearly a half-dozen cities in Virginia, including its state capital of Richmond, provided their residents approve in local referenda. With gambling interests vastly outspending the opposition, it will be difficult for pro-family groups to keep the casinos out of these Virginia towns.

No one keeps statistics about how many young men drop out of school or quit their jobs due to a gambling addiction. But enough of them apparently are for a frequent question to a professional poker player to be something like “I want to quit my job (or school) to become a pro poker player, and I seek advice how.”

Elections do have consequences, and harmful ones to the people of Virginia. The historic city of Richmond, also the seat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, will be invaded by slot machines and roulette wheels thanks to the Democrats who swept in last November.

Meanwhile, the Democrats pushed through irrational gun control, placing a limit of one handgun purchase per 30 days even by law-abiding citizens. In addition, background checks are extended to include all gun sales, except between family members.

Earlier the same legislature passed a so-called red-flag law to authorize a judge or magistrate to seize anyone’s guns based on allegations about instability of the owner. Second Amendment rights are secure in Virginia now only to the extent the judicial system allows it for an individual.

More than 100 towns in Virginia have responded to the liberal push for gun control there by announcing that they will not comply with the unconstitutional provisions. There has even been talk of rural areas breaking away from the Deep State-controlled northern Virginia, where many of the residents either work for the federal government or make big money lobbying it.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Bernie Scares Even Liberal Dems

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

“Crazy Bernie,” President Trump calls the 78-year-old junior senator from tiny Vermont, and the nickname does not describe a harmless oddball. Senator Sanders’ success has frightened the financial kingmakers in the Democratic party.

When Bernie refused to apologize for praising the communist dictators of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, Democratic insiders got alarmed at the prospect of losing Florida, home to thousands of refugees from those countries. Since Bernie won by a landslide in Nevada, full panic has set in.

Two high-profile Democrat contenders pulled out within hours of each other after the South Carolina primary, to endorse Bernie’s rival, Joe Biden. That was not a mere coincidence, but the result of an apparent behind-the-scenes effort to stop Bernie from obtaining the nomination.

“Quid pro quo!” Trump bellowed at a rally in North Carolina in response. Rather than investigate non-existent collusion by Russia for Trump, someone should investigate what may have been promised to the other contenders to abruptly withdraw and endorse Biden.

But millions had already voted early, prior to this sudden transformation of the Democrat primary into a two-man race between Bernie and Biden. This may be too little, too late by the Democrat Establishment to derail Bernie’s candidacy as he attracts crowds surpassed only by Trump himself.

On Sunday Bernie drew audiences totaling 25,000 in California, which is rich in delegates and young voters who are enthusiastic about Bernie’s quasi-revolutionary message. In the state having an enormous gap between rich and poor, Bernie’s attacks on billionaires play exceptionally well.

Liberal Democrats have only themselves to blame for the pickle they find themselves in. They stoked the flames of class warfare to try to bring down Trump, and instead fomented a problem within their own party.

The rejection of Sanders by older black voters is the only impediment keeping him from locking up the nomination already. Sanders has had much greater success with Hispanics than with African Americans, and no one has fully explained why.

Pundits pretend that Biden inherits support by blacks for Obama, for whom Biden served as Vice President for eight years. But that was years ago and it is unlikely that many voters care for whom Biden carried water in the White House.

Instead, illegal immigration is probably a major reason for the immense divide in support for Sanders, both racially and geographically. Black voters in South Carolina are not likely to support Sanders’ agenda to open our southern border and let hordes of low-income workers come in.

Latinos are more enthusiastic about Bernie’s demand that driver’s licenses be given nationwide to illegal aliens, and that the spigot be turned on for more entitlements to flow to them. Bernie swept Nevada after pandering to illegals in a way that does not sell so well to Democrats of any race in the South.

More difficult to explain is why liberal elites in the Northeast have turned against Bernie, hammering him with disparaging comments. Bernie’s policies are what these other Leftists have themselves advocated for years.

But Bernie really means it, and that seems to alarm those who advocated similar policies merely to attract votes against Republicans. Bernie intends to go after billionaires and Wall Street and crony capitalism, from which many liberals derive their wealth.

The inability of billionaires to make a difference in the race may be disconcerting to the power-brokers behind the curtain. Tom Steyer spent over $250 million of his own fortune on his campaign and yet did not win a single delegate.

Bernie, in contrast, raised $34.5 Million in the fourth quarter, with an average donation of only $18.53, plus $25 million in January and another $46 million in February. The have-nots are fueling his candidacy, and the Democrat Establishment is running scared from them.

Bernie is openly contemptuous of the elites in the Democrat Party, and in the Senate he is an independent rather than a Democrat.

The most common occupation of Bernie’s donors is “teacher,” and the U.S. Postal Service is one of his donors’ most common employers. Wal-Mart, which has a non-unionized workforce thought to be conservative-leaning, is another common employer of Sanders donors.

The small average donation means that Sanders can raise far more from his same supporters if necessary. He has emphasized that the Democrat Party should not deny him the nomination if he wins merely a plurality rather than a majority of delegates.

Sanders has raised much more from small donors than Joe Biden has from large ones. Meanwhile, Mike Bloomberg can use his personal wealth to vastly outspend Sanders, but that cannot translate into enough votes or delegates for Bloomberg.
The result is a delightful quandary from the perspective of Republicans, who expect that the nomination of Sanders would pave the way to a recapture of the House of Representatives by the GOP in November.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Antidotes Needed For Coronavirus

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The coronavirus is throwing our economy and even our presidential election into uncertainty, as the dreadful disease spreads to Europe and South Korea. Fear of contagion is not rampant yet in the United States, but a negative impact on our economy is already being felt and could worsen quickly.

The globalism that Donald Trump was elected to confront has struck back in a big way. Now President Trump is being forced to deal with the disastrous free trade which makes our economy so dependent on the economies of other nations.
It never had to be this way. We enjoyed prosperity for centuries without being whipsawed by what happens in China, South Korea, or Italy.

But those economies may nosedive due to the spread of the coronavirus. A dozen towns in Italy, some near its business capital of Milan, have been essentially quarantined due to the deadly virus, which has spread to more than six regions in that country.

The Italian stock market fell by 5% in one day, because panic and isolation are not good for business. For a virus which originated in China, its devastating impact on distant Italy is alarming indeed.

While the Italian stock market is small compared to ours, the real shock was how this deadly disease has spread so much in an unexpected place so far from China. If this pandemic has become this severe in Italy, then how can the rest of Europe and even the United States remain untouched?

There has been the lingering suspicion that the communist Chinese government has not been candid about the spread of the disease within its own borders. Communist dictators have never been known for honesty and transparency, and they have every reason to mislead the world about the harm they cause.

If free speech were allowed in China then we could all learn from the internet the full extent of the risks and challenges. Instead, we hear only what the communist Chinese want us to hear.

Some experts admit now that a worldwide spread of the disease is inevitable. While Trump deserves credit for keeping coronavirus mostly out of the United States, he deserves the most credit for warning against open borders.

Trump’s tariffs were a step in the right direction to reduce our dependence on the Chinese economy. It’s unfortunate that prior presidents did not take similar steps, which would have helped insulate us from this crisis.

Free trade advocates never warned us about how it would result in an undesired dependency by our economy on health issues in cultures unlike ours. The mingling of unclean animals in a food market in China has caused our stock market to suddenly drop by more than 1,800 points in two days.

Stephen Moore, the nominee by Trump to the Federal Reserve who was then blocked by the Establishment club which excludes any outsider, astutely calls the coronavirus the "black swan" of the presidential election. The term means an extraordinarily rare event that is unpredictable and almost impossible to assess as to its impact.

The biggest threat to the reelection of President Trump is not Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, or Mike Bloomberg. It is the impact the coronavirus will have on our economy which became too dependent on foreign trade because of the policies of Trump's predecessors.

Undecided voters shift to the Republican side when they want more security, as they did when the Ebola virus created panic shortly before the 2014 midterm elections. But if the coronavirus causes the bottom to fall out of our economy, then voters may not recognize globalism as the real culprit.

The media will wrongly blame President Trump for any downturn caused by the disease. During the reelection campaign of President George H.W. Bush in 1992, the media blamed him for a delay in relief after Hurricane Andrew, even though it was the Democrat Florida Governor who blocked the assistance.

More than 20% of our imports are from China, and some American businesses are already feeling the pinch from a reduction there due to the coronavirus. Tourism is also important to our economy and nervous travelers can be expected to cancel trips rather than risk being quarantined somewhere.

President Trump can avoid the reelection campaign mistakes of prior Republicans by getting out in front of this corona catastrophe. The political antidote is to explain how overreliance on trade and migration from China put us in this economic quandary.

Ending the over-regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which keeps beneficial medication off the market for years longer than necessary, would yield medical antidotes against deadly new viruses. The free market could then quickly meet this challenge with effective antidotes if the FDA were not impeding and delaying every innovative cure.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Early Voting Sparks Brokered Convention Nightmare

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

A contested or brokered convention is the worst nightmare for the Democrat or Republican Parties, because it fractures the base and alienates the supporters of candidates not picked. Neither major party has had a protracted, contested nominating convention since 1952, and neither party wants one.

The modern presidential primary system has made a brokered convention unlikely. While some candidates establish themselves as frontrunners for a nomination, other candidates drop out and voters then coalesce around a few candidates, and ultimately the nominee.

The staggering of the primaries should have a salutary winnowing effect. After a few primaries the more popular candidates become clear, and eventually one of them secures enough delegates to ride into his party’s convention as the nominee and the flagbearer for the party in the general election.

But pervasive “early voting” undermines this process, leaving a hodgepodge of too many candidates continuing to win votes after they ceased being serious contenders. By mailing thousands of ballots weeks before primary day in a particular state, its voters then choose among many candidates who will drop out prior to the primary day in that state.

California, the biggest prize of all, lists about a half-dozen people on its ballot who have already dropped out of the race. Yet California Democrats have been mailing their ballots in early, well before the primary election day in that state.
Half of the Democrat primary voters in California are expected to vote early by filling out ballots listing candidates who have or will soon lose any chance of winning. These ballots fail to guide the nomination process towards a successful conclusion.

Political commentators act as though the race among the Democrats will narrow by the time Californians cast their ballot, but early voting frustrates that helpful process of elimination. It is unclear whom the early voters would have preferred among a narrower field of candidates.

The results from California will not be known immediately, either, thanks again to this disastrous early voting. It takes time to tally mail-in votes, and in a general election the votes from California continue to be counted for weeks after Election Day.
Some Democrats, recognizing the self-inflicted harm caused by this process of early voting, are telling each other not to cast ballots early in primaries. Democrat leadership does not want a brokered convention, or a repeat of their fiasco in Iowa when results were delayed.

“Sure, I’d wait,” said Darry Sragow, an experienced California campaign manager, in explaining why he prefers not to vote early in a primary. “If one of the candidates trips up three days before the primary and I already cast my vote, I’m gonna regret it.”

Regret it indeed, particularly if the candidate for whom one voted drops out, or changes his position in an unacceptable way, or commits an unforgivable gaffe. In each of those situations the early voter who cast his ballot for that candidate is stuck.
It is cost-prohibitive to allow early voters to change their ballots prior to the election, and yet voting rights would seem to require that. After all, a juror can change his vote before a verdict is rendered, and the change will be recognized.

A traditional election, without thousands or millions of mailed-in early ballots, yields results on the night of the election. But time for delivering and opening mail causes weeks to go by before final results can be tallied and announced for early voting in a high-turnout election, causing chaos and a loss in public confidence.

Despite this, some political consultants tell people to vote early. One argument is that people should vote early in case they die before Election Day, which is not an issue for most voters and such ballots are not even counted in some states.

Proportional voting, also fashionable among Democrats, further interferes with the goal of coalescing around a winning nominee. Democrat primaries typically award delegates based on the proportion of votes received, rather than the winner-takes-all system preferred by Republicans, but proportional voting makes it harder to win a majority.

The left-leaning FiveThirtyEight blog, which does extensive statistical analysis to predict election outcomes, declared last week that the likelihood of a contested Democrat convention “is high and increasing.” The socialist Bernie Sanders is considered the most likely nominee, but he has only a 38% chance now of winning a majority of pledged delegates prior to the convention.

A floor fight at the convention would be an unmitigated disaster for Democrats, but one for which they would have only themselves to blame. By promoting early voting and insisting on proportional voting, the Democrat Party has created a system whereby it is more difficult for any candidate to win prior to its convention.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.