Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Court Slams Big Tech

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

A spectacular ruling against Big Tech censorship emerged Friday afternoon from our nation’s finest court, which presides in New Orleans over federal appeals from Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a new Texas law defended by the conservative Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton.

As enacted last year by the Texas legislature, HB20 requires social media platforms such as Twitter, Google (including YouTube), and Facebook, all headquartered in California, to stop censoring viewpoints they don’t like. Twitter banned President Trump in January 2021, and has been excluding many other conservatives ever since.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared last year when signing HB20 into law, “There is a dangerous movement by some social media companies to silence conservative ideas and values. This is wrong and we will not allow it in Texas.”

When criticized for their bias against conservative viewpoints, these California behemoths pretend they are like newspapers, who enjoy the freedom to print (or not print) whatever they like. By a 2-1 vote, the Fifth Circuit flatly rejected that comparison, along with the notion that censorship by social media monopolies is itself a form of speech deserving protection.

Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say,” held Judge Andrew Oldham, one of many superb judges appointed by President Trump. He was joined by Edith Jones, who has long been recognized as perhaps the finest jurist in the Nation.

In May, by a narrow 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked this good Texas law from going into effect pending appeal. Big Tech promises to make another trip to the Supreme Court, but this well-reasoned decision by the Fifth Circuit seems likely to survive.

The brilliant Judge Edith Jones, who has often been on the short list for appointment to the Supreme Court, wrote in concurrence that “it is ludicrous to assert, as NetChoice does, that in forbidding the covered platforms from exercising viewpoint-based ‘censorship,’ the platforms’ ‘own speech’ is curtailed.” The Texas law does not require the platforms to censor their own speech, and they hide their shadow-banning algorithms anyway.

Ken Paxton, who is certain to win reelection in November after soundly defeating a Bush family member in his primary, trumpeted his victory. Now “#BigTech CANNOT censor the political voices of ANY Texan!”

A partial dissent was authored by Judge Leslie Southwick, an appointee of George W. Bush. In a similar case from Florida reaching the Supreme Court later this week on a petition for certiorari, the inadequate Bush approach of allowing Left Coast Big Tech monopolies to abuse the rest of our country will be up for review.

Television networks are not allowed to censor speech in advertisements by political candidates, so why have social media monopolies gotten away with their censorship of conservative viewpoints? Emails uncovered in another case showed how Big Tech censored critics of Democrat policies, in order to pander to demands by the Biden Administration.

Far from banning dangerous users, as Big Tech and its supporters pretend in court, they have instead been banning conservatives, including Trump, for the political goal of helping Democrats. Yet mass shootings have been broadcast live over social media, sometimes apparently motivated by that publicity, and threats of violence have been posted by shooters on their accounts without being timely censored.

On Jan. 2, 2022, Twitter permanently suspended the account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) because Twitter and Democrats on Capitol Hill opposed what she was saying about Covid-19. She had tweeted about the government-run Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which posts data on deaths and injuries reported after receiving a Covid vaccine.

Twitter was not acting to prevent violence or trying to combat any hate speech when it halted the personal account of this popular congresswoman. She was subsequently reelected by a landslide in her primary in Georgia, yet Twitter falsely pretended that her tweets were somehow a menace to society.

Big Tech is beholden to liberals in government and has been taking orders about what to delete from Democrats on Capitol Hill. Biden himself has demanded that Big Tech exclude statements he dislikes from appearing on the internet, declaring in January that “it has to stop!”

In court Big Tech pretends it must have an unlimited right to exclude fringe groups and postings, or else so-called hate speech will overrun their platforms. But the internet developed just fine without an Orwellian Ministry of Truth based in California.

HB20 applies only to platforms having more than 50 million active monthly users, which means they are akin to public accommodations disallowed to discriminate based on viewpoint. Telephone companies and other common carriers are not allowed to prohibit comments based on their content, and neither should social media monopolies.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.zzzz

These columns are also posted on PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Fighting Back Against the Deep State

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

For ordinary mortals, a raid conducted by the Department of Justice against your home would be career-ending. But President Trump again exceeds expectations by fighting back and winning against the tactics of the Deep State.

A federal judge in Florida dramatically ruled in Trump’s favor last week, granting his request to retrieve the documents taken from his home, and transfer them to an independent special master for review. More significantly, the judge ordered the Justice Department to stop its overzealous investigation of Trump until the document review is completed.

The Deep State is hopping mad, joined by allies in the liberal media. A chorus of unjustified criticism has reverberated from Never-Trumpers, including former Attorney General Bill Barr, against Judge Aileen Cannon’s well-reasoned ruling in favor of Trump.

As a function of Plaintiff’s former position as President of the United States, the stigma associated with the subject seizure is in a league of its own,” Judge Cannon found. “A future indictment, based to any degree on property that ought to be returned, would result in reputational harm of a decidedly different order of magnitude,” she added.

Instead of accepting the judge’s wise ruling, the Biden Administration immediately filed a motion demanding that it be suspended during the appeal that Biden’s Justice Department plans.

On Monday, Trump’s attorneys pushed back hard. “In what at its core is a document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control,” they wrote, “the government wrongfully seeks to criminalize the possession by the 45th President of his own presidential and personal records.”

Trump’s attorneys rightly object to how the Justice Department, which is stocked with diehard political enemies of Trump, seeks to “proceed straight to a preordained conclusion” against him.

The unprecedented FBI raid on Donald Trump’s home (not his “country club” as former AG Barr sneeringly called it) is one of several ways the Deep State is trying to destroy Trump’s reputation. Another way is its relentless harassment of Trump’s supporters.

Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s finest advisers who was with him for all four years of his presidency, has reportedly been hit with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury. Other top Trump aides have also been required to testify before a grand jury apparently convened to try to indict Trump.

Even Trump’s attorneys have been targeted for retaliation by the Deep State. The sick joke today is that MAGA means “make attorneys get attorneys,” which is what many of Trump’s attorneys have had to do as they get harassed by the Deep State.

Even the federal judge who ruled for Trump has received death threats from someone who apparently hates Trump. Although concealed by the liberal media, a woman who left three voicemails threatening the judge was arrested last week in Houston.

The Biden Administration continues to abuse its investigatory powers by conducting a surprise seizure of cell phones belonging to Trump supporters. The cell phones of Boris Epshteyn and Mike Roman, both prominent supporters of Trump, were recently seized by the Justice Department.

It also reportedly issued dozens of broadly worded subpoenas in just the past week demanding information about the activities of Trump and his supporters in late 2020. This is an unprecedented assault against the top contender for the presidency in 2024.

Fortunately, Trump will regain his pardon power when he is reelected to the White House. But some weak Republicans are criticizing his promise to use it generously, including pardoning those prosecuted for joining the political rally at the Capitol on January 6.

These Republican critics of pardoning the victims of the Deep State fail to appreciate where the divide has developed in our country. It is no longer North versus South, but the D.C. elite versus the rest of the country.

Federal prosecutors have virtually unlimited resources without accountability, in contrast with local prosecutors. Federal Judge Aileen Cannon was right to hold that “the investigation and treatment of a former president is of unique interest to the general public, and the country is served best by an orderly process that promotes the interest and perception of fairness.”

The power brokers in D.C., through misuse of the Justice Department, wrongly attempt to decide for the entire country whether Trump will be our next president. The Deep State is going all out to do anything they can to block Trump from the White House and interfere with the Republicans gaining control of the House in less than two months.

Judge Cannon’s splendid ruling in favor of Trump was a flash of light amid this sea of darkness. From there it will go to the Eleventh Circuit, which hopefully by now recognizes how dangerous it is when the Justice Department insists on overzealous actions against the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

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 PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Big Weed Stealing our Water and our Health

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Big Weed” is the $33 billion-dollar marijuana industry that prefers to go by its euphemistic term cannabis. It is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to pass ballot initiatives in 5 states, defeat Republican candidates for office this November, and bring a pot store close to you.

For the first time in history more Americans smoke pot than tobacco. The Gallup poll reports that 15% of Americans use marijuana, while only 11% smoke tobacco.

Big Weed is far worse now than the pot of a generation ago. Each year it becomes more potent and harmful, with its average delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level rising by 28.5 percent in the last half-century.

The medical journal Lancet Psychiatry has just reported on a new study that the higher the potency of the marijuana, the higher the risk of developing a psychotic illness known as cannabis use disorder. Despite this, recreational marijuana is lawful in 19 states and Washington, D.C.

The increased use of marijuana is linked to upticks in homicides and suicides, a rise in medical problems, and an increase in pot-related fatal traffic accidents. Legalizing pot does not end the black market for it, as proven on Friday by the bust of an illegal pot operation in the California Bay Area where $4 million-worth of plants were seized.

The Cannabis Research Center at the University of California in Berkeley reported last year that there are still more illegal cannabis farms than lawful ones, a half-decade after California legalized pot under the pretext of ending the illegality. Bills headed to its governor now for signature include legalizing marijuana use for animals, and prohibiting employers from firing workers for off-job pot-smoking.

Voters in Missouri, Arkansas, Maryland, North Dakota, and South Dakota should not want to become more like California where advertisements to buy and smoke pot are everywhere. The pungent stench of marijuana crops extends for more than a mile, and the odor from smoking the weed reeks far worse than tobacco.

The marijuana ballot initiative in Missouri is a confusing 38 pages of single-spaced fine print, which should not have been allowed on the ballot. This bill would never pass the Missouri legislature, and should not be approved by voters.

Marijuana became legal in New Mexico in April, and almost immediately 478 licensed retailers of pot littered that state. That is more than two-thirds the number of pot retailers in Colorado, which has a larger population.

Big Weed is causing a big water problem in areas of the country suffering from the summer drought. Marijuana plants soak up huge amounts of water, and often the pot growers steal that water from neighbors who need it.

Deer Creek in Oregon has run dry because of the theft of its water by marijuana growers. Cannabis needs the most water during dry summer months when water shortages have worsened for everyone else.

In Humboldt County, California, cannabis plants have been diverting so much water that the wells of neighbors are running dry. A settlement in 2019 to address this has not been successful, and people are being asked to create their own ponds to try to maintain enough water for themselves.

Estimates are that cannabis requires 100 to 200 gallons of water to grow merely one pound of it. That translates to 10 or more gallons of water wasted for every tiny ounce of pot.

Legalizing pot a decade ago in Colorado caused an explosion in pot-growing there, legal and illegal, which has drained water away from the Colorado River on which Arizona and Nevada depend. Water-wasteful marijuana farming is surging at a 16% annual increase, and will triple in size in the next eight years.

On top of that, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit just ruled that states may be prohibited by the Constitution from limiting importation of marijuana into their states. Already vans are illegally selling marijuana on the streets of New York City, which has become so troublesome there that the mayor instituted a task force to crack down against it.

Cannabis has a devastating effect on the soil, as pot-growers often deplete the nutrients of land and leave it barren while they move on to harm more soil elsewhere. Traditional agriculture rotates crops so the soil remains viable indefinitely.

On July 21, Senators from the East and West Coasts introduced the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act in the U.S. Senate to try to expand marijuana nationwide. The cannabis industry is complaining that it is not making enough money, but opportunity for that industry means harm for others.

Senators in the Midwest and flyover country should reject special legislation for the cannabis industry. Water in the Midwest is plentiful and let’s keep it that way for our legitimate crops and comfortable living.

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 PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Biden’s Botched Border

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

By opening our southern border to endless streams of illegal aliens, and planting them throughout the United States, President Biden has effectively nullified a vast swath of U.S. law. Last month the Supreme Court upheld an injunction against Biden’s lawless policy, in a case to be argued in December.

While that case entitled U.S. v. Texas was percolating through the lower courts, there were 2.2 million encounters with illegal aliens in the last reported nine months. This surpasses the record set by the entire first fiscal year of the Biden regime and “is the worst it’s ever been,” according to Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX), whose district includes part of the border.

Meanwhile, Biden blocks lawful visitors like tennis star Novak Djokovic from playing in the U.S. Open, merely for declining the Covid vaccine. Yet Biden allows millions of unvaccinated illegal aliens to pour over our southern border because they are presumed to be future Democrat voters.

A Republican delegation visited the problem firsthand last week after hearing complaints by the sanctuary New York City Democrat mayor, Eric Adams, about how Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has bused 1,500 of the migrants to the big city. “That’s but a small taste of everyday life on the border and they’re starting to realize it is overwhelming,” said Rep. Gonzales.

Overwhelming indeed. Crime statistics from Texas show in the last year 259,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 433,000 criminal offenses, among which there were 800 arrests for murder and more than 10,000 charges for sexual offenses.

Texas border cities were initially reluctant to join Gov. Abbott’s bold busing of migrants to liberal northeast cities. But the continued lack of attention by the Biden administration to this crisis has prompted El Paso and others to give illegals showing up in their cities a long-distance ride on Gov. Abbott’s buses, too.

The Republicans visiting the southern border included two candidates for Congress from New York. They point out how their state’s Democrats have exacerbated the problem of illegal immigration by giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, along with welfare, housing, and other benefits.

Many of the illegal migrants hop off the bus in more desirable conservative regions along the way, like Tennessee, if they get a chance. But officials there do not want the illegals either, and ask Abbott to keep the migrants on the buses until their destination of the Big Apple.

Chad Wolf, the former acting Homeland Security Secretary, pointed out that Biden’s catch-and-release approach to illegal aliens is illegal. Wolf observes that Biden destroys incentives for lawful immigration now that one “can simply walk across the border in the middle of the desert and be allowed to stay in the United States.”

As declared by 19 state attorneys general in their amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Texas, “In the last 17 months, the volume of unlawful immigration has soared to levels unseen in the United States in decades – and, quite likely, ever. So too have the resulting burdens placed on the States.”

They add that “the current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is an unmitigated disaster. The number of illegal crossings per month is at levels unseen in at least a generation.”

When referring to Republicans, Democrats talk about how no one is above law, yet Biden has acted unlawfully in letting illegal aliens in. He improperly set aside Trump Guidelines that blocked the unlawful border crossings by migrants.

New York City’s “Adams talked the talk about being a sanctuary city, welcoming illegal immigrants into the Big Apple with warm hospitality,” Texas Gov. Abbott points out. “Talk is cheap. When pressed into fulfilling such ill-considered policies, he wants to condemn anyone who is pressing him to walk the walk.”

I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief,” Gov. Abbott adds with a touch of humor. El Paso, a border city in Texas that prided itself as an Ellis Island of the southwest, is fully on board with Abbott now also.

New York City is flush with wealthy companies, many of the world’s richest people, and pompous politicians who promote its status as a sanctuary city. Yet it is reportedly straining under the influx of merely a tiny percentage of the illegals whom Biden is allowing to flood Texas, Arizona, and elsewhere.

Javier Villalobos, the Republican mayor of McAllen, Texas, observes about managing the illegals: “If we can do that, they can too. I know they can do it,” referring to New York City as it receives a relatively small handful of the overall total.

Biden halted work on President Trump’s border wall, and repealed Trump’s good “Remain in Mexico” policy. Biden deserves all the blame for this crisis.

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 PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Court of Appeals Should Halt Anti-GOP Prosecutions

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Liberal county prosecutors in heavily Democrat Fulton County, Georgia, are terrorizing a U.S. Senator, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and the former U.S. Attorney and Time Man of the Year, Rudy Giuliani. The ultimate target of this politicized investigation is, of course, Donald Trump.

We are within 90 days of the midterm elections, when Department of Justice policy prohibits this kind of political mischief by prosecutors. Last week unhinged county prosecutors tracked down another Trump attorney, Jenna Ellis who resides in Colorado, and are forcing her to testify as they try to get at Trump.

To liberals, criticizing election fraud is a crime, and the heavily Democrat grand jury will recommend any indictments requested. Every Republican connected with Donald Trump who criticized the last election is at risk of being indicted by such Democrats, in violation of their constitutional right to speak out.

For a year-and-a-half no evidence of any crimes by these Republicans has surfaced, but as the midterm elections approach liberals rush for indictments. Last week the news was that Rudy Giuliani, Mr. Law and Order himself, is a target of the investigation.

The goal of this weaponized prosecution is two-fold. First, Democrats want something to swing the polls in order to hold onto their bare majority in the U.S. House, and second, Democrats want to make sure that no one dares question their fraud-prone elections ever again.

Billionaire Leftist George Soros, who has invested heavily in supporting radical prosecutors nationwide, must be giggling with delight. He may have found a way to turn the country blue with baseless prosecutions generating a stream of scandalous headlines against Republicans.

Sen. Graham was doing his job when he made inquiries about the reported unusual election results in Georgia in 2020, where signatures were never verified on hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots. It is a constitutional right for all Americans to question and criticize elections, yet some liberals want to turn that into some kind of crime.

Sen. Graham should not have to answer intrusive questions under oath from a political opponent in a dusty county courtroom in Georgia, about legitimate inquiries he made concerning the election results more than a year-and-a-half ago. For liberals to spawn national biased headlines by making this an issue on the eve of the midterm elections is doubly wrong.

Sen. Graham appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to defend his senatorial privilege under the Speech and Debate Clause. Incredibly, that court is allowing the circus in Fulton County to continue, although it temporarily delayed the process until the scope of questioning is narrowed.

Republicans should not have to answer questions by a partisan Democrat prosecutor about why and how they questioned a reported election result. No Republican is accused of fabricating votes, so there is no crime to be asked questions about.

The chilling of the First Amendment right to criticize election fraud is what Democrats want. Only a federal appellate court might stop their interference with the midterm elections.

Fulton County is overwhelmingly Democrat and it is impossible for a Republican to obtain a fair grand jury or trial there. The Georgia legislature recognized last year the likelihood of fraud in that county, and its election reform bill permits state intervention in county elections.

A retired federal judge is serving as the state election board chairman, and he said at its first board meeting that “accountability and knowing that there are people watching the processes and making sure that they are trustworthy ... that’s what we want and what the citizens want.” But that cannot happen if any Republican who criticizes the process gets harassed before a Democrat grand jury.

A Georgia state court judge shut down an attempt by the partisan prosecutor to haul a state legislator before the grand jury for hostile questioning under oath, after the revelation that the prosecutor hosted a fundraiser for his opponent. The court order prohibits the county prosecutor, Fani Willis, from publicly claiming that the legislator is a subject of the grand jury’s investigation.

After the Eleventh Circuit paused the attempt to question Sen. Graham, the Obama-appointed district judge gave him until only 9 a.m. on Wednesday to file a motion to explain how he wants the court to limit the scope of questioning. But no U.S. Senator should be subjected to any questioning by a county prosecutor of the opposing party on the eve of an election, or be put at risk of a politically motivated indictment.

The Supreme Court did not defer to a partisan recount of the 2000 presidential election in Florida, and unhinged Democrats in Georgia deserve no deference now. Their partisan attempt to interfere with the midterm elections should be stopped immediately by federal courts.

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 PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Stop Political Prosecutions

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

More than a week after the gestapo-like raid of President Trump’s home, the Democrat-controlled Justice Department has disclosed nothing to justify that unprecedented action against America’s leading presidential candidate. As a first step among many to come, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) filed Articles of Impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland, who admitted that he approved the raid.

Attorney General Garland has taken measures to silence the voice of millions of citizens of the United States by persecuting the former duly elected and lawful President of the United States, and potential Presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump,” the first Article of Impeachment reads.

Refusing to take questions after making a brief statement, Garland continues to stonewall demands for an explanation of his egregious violation of the constitutional rights and dignity of a prominent U.S. citizen. On Monday, under Garland’s supervision, the Justice Department filed a motion asking a court to continue suppressing the affidavit that was submitted to obtain the search warrant, and the court will hear this motion on Thursday.

Garland’s conduct is an affront to our democratic republic, and it improperly disrupts our upcoming elections in 2022 and 2024. His armed raid on the home of the leading presidential candidate while refusing to disclose the basis for it cannot stand.

For once, major news networks sided with Trump supporters in asking the magistrate judge, whose legal career includes defending the pilots and others associated with the disgraced Jeffrey Epstein, to unseal the affidavit. Judge Bruce Reinhart, whom Trump has sought to recuse from this case, has concealed the supporting affidavit filed to obtain the search warrant.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits raiding anyone’s home except “upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” With those immortal words the Founders put this essential safeguard into the Bill of Rights against the abuse of federal power that just victimized Trump.

Political persecutions hide behind secrecy, and transparency would help stop them. There was no justification for federal agents to demand that Mar-a-Lago staff turn off the surveillance cameras so that the agents could violate limits on the scope of the warrant without accountability.

Despite the deliberate intimidation caused by more than 30 armed agents ransacking Trump’s home, his skeleton summer staff courageously refused the agents’ improper demand to turn off the cameras. Yet there remains no accountability for how federal agents tried to hide their own misconduct from surveillance.

This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country,” Trump said on Truth Social about the raid. The following day Garland’s DOJ tracked down pro-Trump Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) while he was on a family vacation, so that three armed agents could make a surprise grab of his cell phone in front of his young children.

A personal cell phone, like one’s home, contains much private and confidential information that government has no right to see, and Trump points out that the raid against him stole his confidential documents. Rep. Perry is not genuinely suspected of any wrongdoing, and neither is Trump with respect to documents he lawfully kept as president and had the right to declassify and take with him.

Every American should be frightened by this outrageous infringement on constitutional rights for political gain. It may be impossible to seat 12 jurors who are not themselves scared by these tactics by the Biden Administration, in a future criminal trial or grand jury deliberations against a Trump supporter or even Trump himself.

Frightening his political opponents, as Biden is doing, is a threat to the survival of our Republic. Other than Rep. Greene’s valiant effort to impeach Garland, little has yet been done to bring accountability to Democrats’ one-sided persecution of Trump supporters.

One reason for this unjustified federal raid may be to goad Georgia prosecutors into indicting Trump or his supporters, and on Monday they informed Rudy Giuliani that he is a target of their witch hunt. An Obama-appointed federal judge ordered Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to testify in Georgia before a grand jury assembled there in an effort to indict Trump supporters.

Graham vows to appeal the Obama judge’s impertinent demand, citing the constitutional provision that members of Congress “shall not be questioned in any other place” for their statements. Political issues are to be presented to American voters to resolve at the ballot box, not by hauling members of one political party before a state grand jury.

Representative government does not work when the party in power can terrorize its political rivals with surprise raids on their homes and intrusive demands to testify in one-sided investigations. The next Congress, convening in less than 5 months, must act quickly to rein in liberals’ unhinged persecutions of their political rivals.

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 PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Shocking Raid of Trump Means Garland Must Go

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

By launching a surprise attack on President Trump’s home in Florida, while Trump was away, the Biden Administration has breached even its own low standard for decency. Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland should resign immediately for allowing it.

My beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump said Monday evening. “They even broke into my safe!”

The supposed pretext for this raid—to recover some obscure old presidential papers for the National Archives—cannot be taken seriously. Such a trivial pursuit would hardly justify this unprecedented assault and the massive federal resources thrown at it.

Joe Biden’s presidency has brought a series of humiliating defeats for the United States. The Taliban defeated Biden in Afghanistan; millions of migrants stream across our southern border; and the Chinese Communist Party lobbed missiles at Taiwan during House Speaker Pelosi’s visit.

No, the real reason for this raid on Trump is as plain as the advancing dementia on Joe Biden’s addled face. With each successful election result this year, Trump is on track to win back the White House in 2024, and panicky Democrats are exploiting their control of the federal government to try to prevent that from happening.

This raid was executed on the 91st day before the upcoming midterm election on November 8. That timing over a non-urgent issue was apparently a futile gesture to comply with longstanding Justice Department policy to avoid upsetting the political process within 90 days of an election.

This unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump declared at the end of the day-long assault. “It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for President in 2024 … and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections.”

For more than a year, a committee of partisan Democrats on Capitol Hill, joined by two renegade Republicans, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, have been trying to prosecute Trump for anything under the sun. Kinzinger is already a lame duck, and Cheney is certain to receive a well-deserved comeuppance in her Wyoming primary election next week.

Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries”—or Ukraine, he might have added. “Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before.”

Unfortunately Ukraine, where the main opposition party is outlawed while opposition politicians are jailed or exiled, is the apparent model for how Democrats are running the U.S. government. Biden has spent tens of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars propping up that corrupt regime, but now we learn that most of the arms we shipped to the region failed to reach their final destination and cannot be accounted for.

The raid on Mar-a-Lago is reminiscent of the predawn arrest in 2019 of Trump’s friend Roger Stone, who described opening his door and “staring down barrel of two assault weapons [and] a dozen other FBI agents in the background, all wearing night goggles, full SWAT gear, side arms, and so-on. On the ground was a large metal device used to break down a door which was unnecessary.”

Also executed in Florida, additional FBI agents even arrived by boat despite how Stone always complied peacefully and would have driven himself to any courthouse. He was ultimately pardoned for the politically motivated accusations against him.

Agents of the Deep State “essentially went through every square inch of my house, literally every square inch. They removed all of my electronics, my computer, my laptop, my iPad, a lot of computer disks, none of which” had any relevant evidence, Stone explained.

Using similar shock-and-awe, the army of FBI agents who ransacked Trump’s home and office without proper supervision may have viewed, copied, photographed, or taken more than the search warrant authorized. The Constitution limits searches to the particular items listed or area of a home set forth in a search warrant, but abusively going beyond the warrant is unfortunately common practice.

Politically motivated prosecutions will be on the ballot next Tuesday when Wyoming Republicans vote against Cheney, and again in November when all Americans can vote against incumbent Democrats at every level of our government.

Republicans running for the U.S. House and Senate must commit to stopping these abuses as soon as they retake the Congress next year. At a minimum, they should subpoena all DoJ records, emails, and personal cell phone data relating to the possible prosecution of Trump, so the public can see what is really going on behind closed doors in the politicized Department of Injustice under Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland.

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 PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Latest Biden Fail: Monkeypox

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

As Americans try to put Covid behind us, another frightening virus has invaded our country: monkeypox, which causes hideous disfigurement one might see in a science fiction horror movie. Monkeypox originated in Africa and was kept out of our country by President Trump, but Biden has allowed it to spread to 47 of our 50 states.

The Democrat Governors of California, Illinois, and New York have declared a state of emergency, as New York City did last Saturday and San Francisco did Thursday before that. San Francisco’s mayor absurdly declared that the virus “impacts everyone equally” although nearly all cases have occurred in men who recently had sex with other men.

The Biden administration has failed to develop testing and quarantine protocols for this dreadful new virus, as his Cabinet tiptoes around political correctness about it. A week ago this administration presented Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who is married to another man and is Democrats’ frontrunner for president based on the latest New Hampshire poll, to explain Biden’s monkeypox policy to CNN.

Pete Buttigieg claimed then that the Biden administration was “working aggressively” against this virus, when asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether it was “doing enough to stop the spread of monkeypox.” Liberal CNN omitted questions about blocking monkeypox at our southern border, after cases were discovered on the Mexico side in early June.

Are there any measures that you think airlines and trains and buses need to take to stop further spread,” the Secretary of Transportation was asked by CNN. “Such as implementing enhanced screening for symptoms at airports and train stations?”

Yet Buttigieg had no answer to that obvious question, and moved on to repeat his canned talking points. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has no real qualifications to become president but the intense push by wealthy Democrats for an LGBTQ married man to lead the White House makes Buttigieg their presumptive nominee after Biden.

Buttigieg is on record as opposing religious exemptions from vaccination, so if Biden has his way then millions of federal and healthcare workers, plus the military, may soon be subjected to a mandatory monkeypox vaccine. Meanwhile, the Biden administration shockingly allowed the 20 million doses of this vaccine to expire.

This outbreak must be met with urgency, action, and resources, both nationally and globally,” the New York City mayor Eric Adams declared. He viewed Covid with such senseless seriousness that unvaccinated Brooklyn basketball star Kyrie Irving was banned from playing and he cheered his team from the stands in close proximity to other fans.

In the early days of the Covid pandemic, ordinary Americans were harshly fined and even imprisoned for keeping their small businesses open to eke out a living for themselves. Yet nothing of this sort is even suggested for dealing with monkeypox and festivals or parades spreading it.

People are so worried about being politically correct that they are unable to function,” Trump once observed. The costly inaction by the Biden Administration on monkeypox seems to be due to its fear of crossing the LGBTQ community in any way.

Public health officials are focusing more on trying to change the name of “monkeypox” rather than limiting it. While the virus was spreading rapidly in New York City last week, its public health commissioner Ashwin Vasan sent a letter to the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urging him to rename monkeypox because of “potentially devastating and stigmatizing effects.”

The WHO names diseases, not viruses. The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) has that responsibility, and it properly rebuffed this politically driven demand by Democrats to change the name of this virus, which should not have a candy-coated name.

That Committee informed NPR that the term “monkey” will probably remain part of any new name given to the virus, which may not be modified for a year or two anyway. Its data secretary informed NPR “the consensus is that use of the name ‘monkey’ is sufficiently separated from any pejorative context such that there is no reason for any change.”

Democrats know that letting the “monkeypox” virus into our country is not good for Biden’s approval rating and their chances in the upcoming midterm elections, but they should be held politically accountable for failing to keep this virus out of our country. When President Obama let the Ebola virus into the United States shortly before the midterm elections in 2014, Republicans gained 9 seats and a commanding control of the U.S. Senate.

The window for getting control of this and containing it probably has closed,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb recently told CBS. That means monkeypox could sink Democrats further in the upcoming midterm elections, as yet another failure by the Biden administration to secure the American borders against foreign harm.

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 PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Legislative Pardons Should Correct Unfair DC Trials

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Only 5% of Washington, D.C. voters cast their ballots for Donald Trump in 2020, reflecting how thoroughly anti-Trump the jury pool is there. It appears impossible for anyone perceived to be a Trump supporter to receive a fair jury trial in D.C.

There is a 100% conviction rate by D.C. jurors of anyone associated with Trump, while there has been a 100% acquittal rate for prominent Democrats. The jury selection process in the trial of Steve Bannon included startling revelations of how much animosity people in government-funded D.C. have for Trump and his supporters. 

In his second term as president Donald Trump would finally dismantle the Deep State, and details are already circulating of his credible plan to replace tens of thousands of federal workers to make this happen. Some jurors may fear a loss of their government job if Trump returns to power, or sooner retaliation by liberals who might post home addresses of jurors who dared to vote in favor of Trump or his supporters.

It is often said that a prosecutor can lead a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and a D.C. jury might even convict that ham sandwich if it were associated with Trump. It may be impossible to find 12 people in D.C. who would not face some kind of retaliation if they were to side with a Trump-supporting defendant in a trial.

Retirees and housewives are typically the most independent-minded jurors, but there are few of them in D.C. Nearly every family in that city is dependent on government in some way for income, which is why Trump received only 5% of their votes in the last election.

Trump could not obtain a fair trial on anything in D.C., and Democrats are salivating at the possibility of charging him before a jury there. It would be like a presidential debate before moderators and an audience that were handpicked to be stacked 95% against Trump.

Democrats plan to checkmate Trump by getting him before a D.C. jury on unprecedented charges. Trump-hater Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been doing everything she can to push criminal charges against Trump, while time is running out for her with less than 3 weeks left before her primary in Wyoming.

Fortunately, the Constitution does not permit unfair checkmates. When one or two political branches abuse their power, as we watch the Democrat-controlled House improperly collaborating with the Justice Department, then frequent elections in the House and its ability to check-and-balance other branches should block the overreach.

Republicans are predicted to retake control of the House of Representatives in January. Republicans should announce now that they will reverse all injustices inflicted by the Pelosi-picked committee that pursued its jihad against Trump.

The Republican House should rescind all of the Democrats’ votes for contempt, and also vote that the subpoena on which Bannon was prosecuted was invalid when issued. This should require reversal of his conviction, and dismissal of the similar charges against Peter Navarro.

The House should then pass resolutions of pardon for every target of the Democrat-controlled Select Committee on January 6th, including Bannon and others who exercised their constitutional rights as supporters of Trump. A pardon of Trump is not needed at this time but by pardoning Bannon and others the House would signal a willingness to protect Trump against any politically motivated prosecution.

Our Founders intended for the House of Representatives to be the preeminent governmental body in our country, to wield powers far in excess of all other branches of government. No one can become a member of the House without being directly elected by the people, and members must stand for reelection every two years.

Revenue-raising bills can originate only in the House, in further reflection of the Founders’ intent to give it the greatest authority. The Constitution also authorizes the House to act alone when it impeaches a president, which is something Democrats exploited twice against President Trump.

Whether the House may act alone, or with the Senate, in issuing a legislative pardon has never been decided by a court of law. In 1974, the Justice Department’s highly respected Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) recognized the lack of any federal precedents on this issue, and gave an opinion supporting a legislative pardon power by Congress concerning the president but not generally of others.

The OLC’s view was that a president cannot judge and pardon himself because of the inherent conflict of interest, and by the same logic a president has a conflict of interest concerning declining a pardon to his political opponent. It falls upon the upcoming Republican House to exercise its legislative pardon power for Trump supporters, thereby ending the political prosecution strategy pursued by Democrats.

Tyranny-by-prosecution happens in dictatorships. House Republicans should now announce their plan to protect Trump and his supporters against this injustice.

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 PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Trump Overcomes Boycott by Trump-Haters

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Pandering to the liberal media, the Professional Golfers’ Association last year canceled its big annual tournament that it had scheduled at a Trump golf course. This began the PGA-led boycott of Trump's top-ranked golf courses, to the delight of Trump-haters.

Golf courses are how Donald Trump earns a living. By boycotting his golf courses, the Left cuts off Trump’s income and his financial means of funding his legal defense and political work.

But now Trump overcomes their boycott. Next week his same PGA-rejected golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, will host an LIV tournament, and many of the top players have switched from the anti-Trump PGA to the pro-Trump LIV side.

Greg Norman, a supporter of Trump, is the CEO of LIV (pronounced as in “live free”). He will also hold another tournament this year at Trump's golf course in Miami, where tickets have already sold out.

Norman has assembled a group of Trump-friendly golfers who want to Make Golf Great Again. The anti-Trump media are treating the golfers with questions as hostile as those they ask Trump.

Hanging in the balance is whether the vicious liberal boycott of Trump’s properties – akin to a military blockade – will hold against Greg Norman’s valiant effort to breach it. The golfing world has suddenly become a proxy war over Trump’s political future.

The liberal media ambush golfers who have switched to LIV with odd questions about playing on Trump’s golf courses, which was never controversial before. “Lefty” Phil Mickelson, one of the greatest ever and the biggest name to join LIV, was impertinently asked last month, “How do you feel about playing on Trump courses?”

Implicit in that question is that someone should have qualms about playing on a golf course owned by Trump. Mickelson responded, “I care more about the quality of the test of golf, the quality of the golf course, the fan experience and their ability to see and view the golf, and the challenge of what the venue provides for the players.”

Liberals do not quit, and when reporters came after Mickelson with hostility again last week at the British Open, he became blunter in his response. “Let it go, dude. … I couldn’t be happier.”

Sergio Garcia, the Spanish golfer having many fans worldwide, played at a Trump charity golfing event nearly a decade ago after other celebrities began shunning Trump. Garcia switched to LIV, and on Monday he announced that he was leaving the hostile European circuit altogether.

The Scotland Open banned players who switched to the LIV-Trump side, but then a court issued an injunction allowing them to play. The prestigious Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia, has not yet banned any of the LIV players from its event next spring.

An outspoken critic of LIV, Rory McIlroy, was leading the British Open this past weekend to the delight of anti-Trumpers. Now called the Open Championship, this major tourney was played at the historic St. Andrews course in Scotland, where the game was invented 250 years ago.

But with a record-setting flourish of birdies on the final 9 holes, a 28-year-old Aussie named Cameron Smith won a stunning upset on Sunday. The liberal media were shocked when Smith implied that he, too, might be interested in joining LIV, and thereby playing in its Trump-course tournaments.

Trump-haters were also apoplectic when the black NBA great Charles Barkley, an outspoken supporter of Democrats, emphatically responded to a question about his interest in becoming a television commentator for LIV. “So, to answer your question, yes, I’m gonna 100 percent meet with LIV.”

Liberals made the United States dependent on Saudi oil, yet suddenly opponents of Trump have a problem with golfers being paid by it. Because LIV is funded by Saudi Arabian investments, liberals pretend that Trump is turning his back on victims of Saudi Arabia, including a murdered journalist and those who died in 9/11.

But if critics of Trump consistently object to Saudi Arabia, then they should have complained louder against the pilgrimages by Obama and Biden to the Saudi king, and protest buying Saudi oil. The public wants tournaments at Trump golf courses, and Trump spoke more against Saudi misconduct than any other president.

Greg Norman is doing for professional golf what needs to be done to the NFL and other professional sports whose executives are more liberal than their fans. Norman, who succeeded as a golfer with 331 weeks as the world's #1 player, is taking the game back from the liberal tyrants and restoring it to the fans and players.

Players should be able to compete in an LIV tournament at a Trump golf course without fear of retaliation by the liberal-controlled PGA, who Trump observed on Monday is the real “disloyal” group. Last one out of the anti-Trump PGA should turn out its lights.

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 PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

Friday, July 15, 2022

How Biden Stole the Election

Ann Coulter tells how prominent Democrats have a history of not accepting election results, and writes:
The real cheating in the 2020 election — and every other election in recent memory — wasn’t that Iran, China or Chavez were manipulating our voting machines. It wasn’t the ballot harvesting allegedly exposed in Dinesh D’Souza’s movie, “2,000 Mules.” It was what liberals were doing right in front of our faces.

Democrats have what are known as “unmotivated voters.” As such, they need battalions of “Get Out the Vote” activists to track down the bored and the lazy. (Yes, the same marginalized people whom liberals claim are having their lifelong dreams of voting dashed by GOP “voter suppression” schemes can’t be bothered to get out of bed on Election Day.)

Over the years, Democrats have lured their voters to the polls with a free ride, a box lunch and walking-around money — even a gurney, if that’s what it takes. Volunteers give the voters detailed, childlike instructions on exactly how to fill out their ballots. Luckily, unionized government workers have plenty of time on their hands to “organize” voters.

Without these sorts of military-style operations, the day after the election, Democrats will find out half their voters overslept and forgot to vote.

Consequently, COVID was like manna from heaven for the left. It provided the perfect excuse to demand even more time for volunteers to round up the uninterested. No-excuse absentee ballots, mail-in ballots, drop boxes, months of early voting — all of it: Advantage Democrats.

Until Republicans stop being pushovers and shut down all mail-in balloting, all early voting, all drop boxes, and pass a federal law requiring ONE DAY, a NATIONAL HOLIDAY, to vote (which is fully within Congress’ constitutional authority), Democrats have a gigantic, unfair advantage. That’s not cheating. It’s being smarter than Mitch McConnell.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Time’s Running Out for Democrats

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Joe Biden’s approval has continued to fall, despite the Democrats’ efforts to prop him up. In the latest New York Times/Siena poll, Biden’s approval rating is down to only 33%, which is far too low for Democrats to retain control of Congress or the White House.

Early voting for the midterm elections begins in less than 3 months, with the vacation month of August in between. Time has nearly run out for Democrats to save their sinking ship.

With both Houses under Democrat control, public confidence in Congress has fallen to only 7%, as measured by Gallup. Confidence in the mostly liberal television news networks has fallen to only 11%.

Democrats had been counting on televised congressional hearings about the pro-Trump rally at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 to be the game-changer they need to retain power, but their strategy hasn’t worked. According to a new Harvard/Harris poll, 53% consider the hearings biased, 63% feel Congress should be working on more important matters, and 67% say the hearings are dividing our country.

The fizzling of implausible testimony against Trump has boomeranged against the J6 Committee. The nonpartisan Secret Service disavowed the accusations by the surprise witness Cassidy Hutchinson, whose bizarre hearsay testimony would not be allowed in a real court.

The much-ballyhooed testimony by former White House counsel Pat Cipollone was another nothing-burger. He testified that he thought Trump should have conceded the election, but Cipollone is no expert on election procedure and his uninformed opinion is irrelevant.

In December 2020, Trump supporter Patrick Byrne lambasted Cipollone, calling him a “leaker.” “Trump is lied to by his own advisers,” Byrne said then about Cipollone and others, after a meeting with them and Trump.

Flailing away, Democrats have since turned to a harmless Tweet sent out by Trump a half-month before January 6. After wasting many millions of taxpayer dollars and a year-and-a-half on this witch-hunt, anti-Trumpers resort to what was public on Trump’s own Twitter account all along.

Trump merely invited supporters to attend his own rally on January 6, which is not a crime. The harsh punishment of Trump supporters who participated in that peaceful assembly does not help Democrats.

New signs emerge that Democrats are turning against their own president. A startlingly negative assessment of Biden in Saturday’s New York Times, followed by a column there on Monday saying that he is too old to run again, suggest that Biden may become a scapegoat for liberals.

In fact, Biden is several years younger than Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, and Pelosi is younger than her own heir apparent, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD). Election fraud, not Biden’s age, may be why people overwhelmingly reject him now.

Biden was placed in the White House through rampant ballot harvesting and the use of unattended ballot drop boxes, which were just declared illegal by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. These ballot dumps, often in the middle of the night, were done by hired Democrat ballot harvesters in battleground states.

Attorney General Bill Barr refused to investigate or challenge these and other unlawful election procedures, but instead quit and thereby left his office vacant at a crucial time. During his recent book tour, Barr had the gall to blame Trump for not spending $20-30 million of his own money to do the job that Barr should have done at the Department of Justice.

As a result of his unjustified carping against Trump, Barr was subpoenaed by Dominion in its lawsuit against Fox News. Barr will be required to answer under oath whether he had personal knowledge about voting procedures exploited by Democrats in 2020, and he can explain under oath how he did nothing to investigate anomalous results.

Election integrity is an issue that too many Republican officials have run away from for far too long. Last week’s ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court vindicates Trump’s position that the 2020 election was conducted improperly.

The collapse in Biden’s ratings is not due to low unemployment or any desire for gun control, which Biden signed into law amid much fanfare a few weeks ago. His low approval rating may not even be due to his age.

Instead, Biden’s problem may be that many of the votes supposedly “cast” for him in 2020 were the result of paid ballot harvesters dumping ballots into illegal absentee drop boxes. Those ballots could have been filled in for “voters” who never felt any allegiance to Biden.

If more than 80 million Americans earnestly voted for Biden less than two years ago, then Biden would have more support today. If millions of ballots were filled in by paid ballot harvesters, Biden's low approval today is partly the result of too few people wanting him in the first place.

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 PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.