Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Trump Defeats Planned Parenthood in Ninth Circuit

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Last month the first physician to run Planned Parenthood in nearly a half-century was forced out because she actually wanted to focus on women’s health. Her firing proved what many Americans already knew, which is that Planned Parenthood exists primarily to promote abortion rather than women’s health.

Taxpayers should not be required to fund this pro-abortion organization, and in a remarkable series of rulings even the Ninth Circuit agreed, for now. With seven new Trump judges on that court, the Ninth Circuit is no longer the liberal playground where Planned Parenthood has been able to snap its fingers and get everything it wanted.

Apparently Planned Parenthood did not see the memo about changes at the Ninth Circuit. Planned Parenthood sued in that jurisdiction to block new rules by the Trump Administration which limit the use of taxpayer dollars by abortion advocacy groups.

These new rules improve upon restrictions installed during the Reagan Administration, but which Clinton repealed and George W. Bush failed to reinstate. From the inception of the family planning program known as Title X, the federal government has been prohibited from spending money to promote abortion as a method of family planning, but that limit has mostly been ignored.

Trump’s fabulous new rules reinstate the original goals of Title X, by banning use of its money to refer for abortions. These rules require separating any affiliated abortion clinics, ending the standard requirement of abortion counseling, and restricting which employees can promote abortions while receiving federal dollars.

Planned Parenthood wants to continue to receive the $60 million in handouts from the federal government under Title X, but without complying with the new rules. Imagine how far that amount would stretch if it were spent on lifesaving medical care for the poor, rather than on abortion advocacy.

Before Trump began appointing judges to the federal bench, Planned Parenthood could have quickly persuaded a federal court to block the new rules, and prevailed on appeal.

Even now, Planned Parenthood won as it always has at the district court level, which issued an injunction upon demand by Planned Parenthood against the Trump Administration. The appeal went to the Ninth Circuit, where Planned Parenthood has won so often before.

Assignment is random to three-judge appellate panels in the U.S. Court of Appeals. In the Ninth Circuit, that means a random pick from among 16 active judges appointed by Presidents Clinton and Obama, 12 active judges appointed by Presidents George W. Bush and Trump, and 18 mostly liberal judges who have senior status, including 4 appointed by President Jimmy Carter.

But in a statistically unlikely assignment, three Republican-appointed judges were picked for the panel. They unanimously blocked the district court decision, allowing the Trump Administration rules to go into effect during the pendency of the litigation.

Planned Parenthood then sought rehearing “en banc,” which in most U.S. Courts of Appeal would include a full sitting of all the active judges. But only 11 random judges out of 28 sit en banc in the Ninth Circuit, because its court is so large.

Planned Parenthood came up with the short end of the stick again. It drew an en banc panel that was 7 Republican-appointed judges, and 4 Democrat-appointed ones; Planned Parenthood lost 7-4.

All four of the votes for Planned Parenthood were by judges appointed to the Ninth Circuit by President Clinton. All seven of the votes against Planned Parenthood were by Republican appointees, including two nominees by Trump who provided the margin of victory, and Planned Parenthood’s unusual attempt to convene a new sitting of all 28 active judges was too much even for Democrat appointees who still hold a majority there.

Planned Parenthood has since declared that it will pull out of the Title X funding program if it does not persuade another court to enjoin the new rules. Apparently the organization would rather forgo the $60 million in taxpayer funding than have to limit some of its abortion advocacy and referrals.

There is plenty of money among wealthy liberals who support Planned Parenthood, so do not expect it to close its doors any time soon. Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires could easily fill that funding gap without making much of a dent in their own fortunes.

But what this battle is really about is the credibility of Planned Parenthood, and whether it can force its opponents to pay its bills while it promotes abortion. Prior Republican administrations and Congresses have promised to do this, but the Trump Administration is the first to actually achieve it.

Two unusually Republican draws of judicial panels in the Ninth Circuit resulted in this tremendous victory. Four more years of President Trump will ensure more of these wins without relying on the luck of the draw.

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, August 13, 2019

#MeToo Takes on the Deep State

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The #MeToo movement takes on the Deep State over the Epstein scandal, and the shadow government may have finally met its match. The outrage by feminists against Jeffrey Epstein for evading justice while allegedly providing underage girls to powerful men has even the New York Times demanding answers.

Epstein was apparently protected by the Deep State for more than a decade, receiving extraordinary favoritism right up until his final moments of life in jail. At first the liberal media reacted to his death by calling anyone who questioned the circumstances a “conspiracy theorist,” but the media has since flipped amid pressure by liberals themselves not to let Epstein’s scheme off the hook.

No one can pretend that Epstein “acted alone” all those years, which is the favorite refrain of the Deep State when it wants to close the lid on investigatory failures about other famous crimes. Epstein obviously had powerful allies, starting with Bill Clinton, as well as pilots to fly them and others on the “Lolita Express” staffed by underage girls to serve for their satisfaction.

There are surely dozens, if not hundreds, who must have been in on Epstein’s illicit activities and unexplained accumulation of massive wealth. Bill Clinton himself traveled numerous times on Epstein’s private airplane, which included a bedroom for the pleasure of his travelers.

This former high school teacher who became the billionaire owner of luxurious properties and even his own island in the Caribbean evidently had much he could have said about Clinton and other favorites of the Left. Perhaps Epstein’s cohorts think his death should close the case, but instead it should make getting the truth easier without his army of lawyers hiding behind a plea bargain which can be voided now.

The Department of Justice was prosecuting Epstein a decade ago when special intervention apparently let him off. Attorney General Bill Barr should unseal all those records in his department now that Epstein is dead.

It has been reported that someone then called the U.S. Attorney and told him that Epstein “belonged to intelligence” and to drop the investigation and prosecution, which the U.S. Attorney immediately did. As a result, Epstein received a plea bargain that was so unusual that some have even called it illegal.
Ah, so that is how the Deep State obtains favoritism for its own. It can stop investigations of itself by insisting – or pretending – that the perpetrator is a member of “intelligence” and thus cannot be prosecuted.

James Clapper, once the Director of National Intelligence, famously lied under oath to Congress and yet was never prosecuted for it. It appears that anyone who “belonged to intelligence” is considered above the law, and that using those magic words can get a U.S. Attorney to drop even the strongest of cases.
Meanwhile, millions of ordinary folk languish in federal prisons, many even dying there, while no friend of the Deep State is ever held accountable. But this time the #MeToo crowd is on the case, as they may consider the alleged crimes of Jeffrey Epstein to be comparable to capital offenses.

Alexander Acosta, who was the U.S. Attorney, has refused to confirm or deny the published account of why the Epstein case was compromised. No one has explained why the plea bargain given to Epstein was so preferential that it even protected his accomplices against being brought to justice.

Now Attorney General Barr has identified “serious irregularities” at the jail where Epstein was allowed to commit suicide despite being under a suicide watch. Barr promises a full and thorough investigation, and for once liberals seem to be supportive of this Trump nominee.

But the investigation should not be limited merely to the Manhattan jail cell where Epstein died. Rather, Barr should release to the public all the files on the federal investigation and cover-up of Epstein a decade ago.

Peeling back the layers of cover-up for Jeffrey Epstein could finally bring down the Deep State and its own perverse way of protecting some while destroying others. Was the preferential treatment of Epstein motivated in part to protect Bill Clinton?

Like Epstein, Clinton has been able to get away for decades with conduct that would have landed any Republican in prison long ago. But the Epstein scandal and the clamor by all sides of the political spectrum may finally bring some accountability to Bill Clinton, after all these years.

Important revelations could also result from a full probe into Epstein’s unexplained accumulation of wealth. There are reports that Epstein handled the $29.3 million jackpot on behalf of the still undisclosed winner of the Oklahoma Powerball lottery in July 2008.

If Attorney General Barr digs deep, state lotteries or other government corruption might be brought down, too. And not a moment too soon.

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, August 9, 2019

We Choose Truth Over Facts

This is Joe Biden's new campaign slogan.

This was probably just a slip of the tongue, but it does symbolize his extreme leftward political shift. Right-wingers deal in facts. Left-wingers have ideological concepts that they promote as truths. Biden has stumbled across a good insight into political thinking.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Leftist vitriol is getting worse

I thought that RedState.com was a bunch of Republican Trump-haters, but it now says:
While the press continues to blame Republicans for their “rhetoric,” there’s no question that the vitriol we’ve seen from the left this week dwarfs anything anyone on the mainstream right has ever said or done in a political setting. Period. Calling entire voting blocks white supremacists, doxxing donors, yelling for the death of a Senator, asserting Republicans want mass shootings to occur, threatening people for their political activities, asserting the President wants to exterminate a race – these are not the rantings of sane people looking for de-escalation of rhetoric. They are the drivers of escalation in our rhetoric and it’s reaching dangerous levels.

There’s no coming back from this for the media. There will never be a time when a majority of the country trusts them again. They will always now be looked on with scorn by far more people than those who approve of their actions. No amount of rehabilitation post-Trump is going to save this current generation of journalists and cable news pundits from the credibility death spiral they chose to enter.

These people have lost it. They are so caught up in their bubbles that they can’t even function with any sense of rationality. As the press as an institution finally burns to the ground, they have no one to blame but themselves and things are only going to get worse.
The leftist game plan is to keep accelerating the name-calling until Pres. Trump and his supporters cave into their demands.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

“Soulless” Gamer Shot Up El Paso

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The 21-year-old who shot up the El Paso Walmart was a “soulless” video game player. He cooperated with authorities during his interrogation afterward, and officials should release to the public his answers to many important questions.

It is unlikely that the killer’s motives fit the narrative of “white nationalism” that is being pushed by the national media. For starters, the accused shooter, Patrick Crusius, is a registered Democrat who was critical of Republicans.

The British press is often the best source of information when these tragedies occur, because the American media try to spin and suppress the news to fit their political narrative. The shooting was not domestic terrorism, but was the product of a loner who grew up on video games rather than healthy relationships.

In a manifesto he apparently posted shortly before opening fire on a crowd of back-to-school shoppers, Crusius refers to “Call of Duty,” which trains boys to kill and kill again. People who knew him in high school described him as a “gamer” for his devotion to playing video games.

One of his few friends was of Egyptian descent, and it is implausible that the killer was a “white nationalist.” Another student who knew him in school said “he never spoke of anything political or talked about guns or had any hatred toward minorities,” as reported by the Daily Mail.

Instead, the real problem is that he is “soulless,” as another high-school acquaintance characterized him. His crime might be described as one of nihilism, which is an ideology of despair that has motivated rootless young men toward violent crimes throughout human history.

He had no girlfriends and participated in no extracurricular activities in high school, recalled one classmate who knew him there. He apparently did not have any genetic psychiatric disorder, as his twin sister was considered to be well-adjusted.

Nearly four times as many young men are avid video game players compared with young women, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center study. The average gamer spends more than 7 hours each week playing video games, and many boys spend more than 40 per week consumed by the impersonal games which impede their social development.

Crusius became unemployed and it is not yet known how he passed his time each day. Politically, he was not “right wing” or pro-Trump by any stretch of the imagination.

On the same weekend as the El Paso and Dayton shootings, 55 people were shot in Chicago, of whom 7 died. The grim total included two mass shootings: one in which 8 people were shot by the same gunman, and another in which 7 were shot by the same gunman.

Liberals do not want to talk about the massacre in Dayton because it was by a supporter of Elizabeth Warren. Connor Betts, who was killed by police near the outset of his rampage, had posted that he did not think socialism was being adopted quickly enough.

Betts does not fit the “white supremacist” narrative either. Betts described himself as a “leftist,” and is seen in a photograph wearing the patch “Against all Gods.”

He killed 9 people and injured 27 in a mere 30 seconds, which suggests that he got his training on violent video games, too. It is unfathomable that someone could inflict such rapid, deadly harm so quickly without practicing to kill.

Liberals predictably call for gun control after every mass shooting, but they are silent about how these young killers became desensitized to murdering people. It is dangerous to addict unemployed young men on games similar to what the Army uses to desensitize soldiers to killing.

Democrat frontrunner Joe Biden acknowledged the video game problem, to the dismay of Anderson Cooper during a CNN interview on Monday. “It is not healthy to have these games teaching kids this dispassionate notion that you can shoot somebody and just sort of blow their brains out,” Biden observed.

Studies show that playing violent video games increases aggressive behavior. This is found to be true across ages and cultures, which is hardly surprising.

The Supreme Court would not likely strike down new bipartisan legislation to protect minors against addiction to violent video games, as it did in 2011 when five Justices said the “publishers” of such games have a First Amendment right to sell their products to children. Since then one Justice in the majority (Kagan) has expressed regret for her decision, and two others have been replaced.

Just 10 days before the weekend shootings, a U.S. House committee conducted a hearing into what was called the “youth vaping epidemic” in which the founder of Juul was harshly condemned for making his products so attractive to teens. It is time for a similar spotlight to be cast on the dangerous video game industry.

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.