Tuesday, January 31, 2023

GOP Charges Ahead on Education

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Proving once again that he is in touch with ordinary Americans, Donald Trump selected education for the first video message of his 2024 presidential campaign. On Saturday, Trump emphasized education in addresses in the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina.

School performance fell sharply during the pandemic, as liberal governors shuttered schools for prolonged periods and required masks at the expense of learning. Children became pawns in the tyrannical measures taken under the guise of responding to Covid.

The last full year before Covid was 2019, and it was the last year of 50 million students enrolled in public schools. That total has since fallen, and experts predict a long-term decline in public school enrollment for decades into the future.

Massachusetts, long ranked at the top nationwide in student achievement, has dropped to a 19-year low in its performance as the Democrat-controlled state pushes Leftist ideology in schools. The biggest declines in performance were by minorities and low-income students, and children who did not learn English at home.

Throughout the rest of our country, the decline in student achievement and increase in illiteracy is shocking. In Pennsylvania, the 3rd graders reading with the expected level of proficiency dropped from 60% to 50% over the last three years.

There was a red wave in Ohio in the last election, after Trump held many rallies there. Republicans increased their supermajority in its Senate, attained a supermajority in its House, and won both the governorship and the vacant U.S. Senate seat.

Now it’s time to cash in on that political capital by targeting the Ohio education system, which ranks in the bottom half nationally in learning basic reading and arithmetic skills. The very first bill introduced in the Ohio Senate is to take power away from an independent state board, which has failed to get the job done.

This bill would allow the Republican governor to appoint a new education director to establish curriculum and strong standards for academic achievement. Rather than diffusing responsibility, this legislation would establish one person to be publicly accountable for the failure to teach youngsters how to read and add.

Trump boldly calls for empowering parents to directly elect school principals, to hold them accountable for their failure to teach basic skills. A bestselling book in 1955 was Why Johnny Can’t Read, and the simple answer was because schools are not using the superior method of teaching kids how to read, which is phonics.

Nearly 70 years later, schools are still not using phonics, and as a result perhaps 45 million Americans cannot even fill out a ballot in order to vote as they intend. So instead some of those ballots are being filled out for them by political hacks, who are just fine with more illiteracy.

Young adults have long been bashful about never learning how to read, rather than question why some of their friends can read but they cannot. But as traditional inhibitions disappear on social media, young people are themselves beginning to ask publicly why they were not taught to read.

Those harmed by inadequate schools are a voting bloc that Republicans can and must reach in order to win future elections. Georgia and Arizona are two swing states that Republicans must win in 2024 to capture the White House, and both rank among the ten states having the most illiteracy.

When people cannot read, then they cannot access and process independent political information needed to fill out ballots in an informed way. The higher the illiteracy, the more ballots that are filled out as part of ballot harvesting and massive drop-box dumps, and the more difficult it is to win on principle.

Meanwhile, even a liberal Republican governor has apparently gotten the message that the public is fed up with liberal ideology in school, rather than instruction on basic skills. Last year Utah’s Governor Spencer Cox vetoed a bill that would have prohibited male-bodied athletes from competing in girls’ sports, as did the liberal Republican governor in Indiana.

In both states the Republican legislatures promptly overrode those vetoes that pandered to the Left. Likewise, the Republican Arkansas legislature overrode the veto by its anti-Trump Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson of a bill prohibiting transgender medical interventions on children.

Last week the Republican legislature in Utah passed a bill to prohibit transgender medical interventions on children, and its left-leaning Republican Governor Cox was smart enough to sign it into law the next day after it reached his desk. Lessons learned, with more political ground to gain ahead.

As illiteracy climbs in the United States, this new focus by Republicans on learning is a political necessity. Many traditionally Democrat voters have children in underperforming schools, and they are not learning to read as they should be.

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, January 24, 2023

Debt Ceiling Discipline Is Good Medicine

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Biden’s Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen forecasts a catastrophe if Republicans do not increase the debt ceiling, but average Americans seem unimpressed by Democratsdemands for another blank check on runaway federal spending. New polling shows Trump easily defeating Biden in their expected matchup next year.

Debt ceiling discipline is good medicine for the illness that plagues the federal government. Holding the line on the debt ceiling would force those who profit most from our federal government to help end its irresponsible spending.

It is difficult to see much value in the trillions of dollars being expended by the federal government annually as it has run up a $31.4 trillion national debt. That amounts to nearly $100,000 in debt for every man, woman, and child in America.

The agenda of radical environmentalism is costing more than a trillion dollars a year in federal regulations, electric car subsidies, solar and wind energy boondoggles, and limits on cost-effective energy. Ending all that should be near the top of the demands by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as he meets with Biden at the White House to discuss fiscal accountability.

At first Biden indicated that he would not negotiate with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling, and then Biden reversed himself and asked McCarthy to sit down with him. Next, perhaps feeling the heat from radicals on the Left, Biden reversed himself again and said he would not agree to any spending cuts sought by Republicans in exchange for increasing debt.

But if anyone thought the more liberal Republicans in the Senate would resolve bumping into the debt ceiling, they were mistaken. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly unable to muster even 9 Republican votes there to increase the debt ceiling without concessions by Biden to reduce spending.

The liberal media used to claim that government shutdowns have helped the Democrats, and Republicans should not dare to allow the feds to run out of money again. But that Chicken Little talk is apparently scaring no one now, when the political winds are blowing strongly toward unplugging Washington, D.C.

For the past two years the news from the Capital has been a stream of harassment by the federal government of Trump, his supporters, average Americans, and now even Biden himself. The breaking story Tuesday was about Mike Pence having some classified documents at his Indiana home, for which the FBI showed up in person to retrieve as though there were any significance to some old paperwork.

The Senate is uncharacteristically deferring to House Speaker McCarthy to negotiate with Biden, perhaps because McCarthy is more charismatic and tougher than the leadership in the Senate. McCarthy consistently has higher approval ratings than McConnell, whose record-low polling made it more difficult for Republicans to regain their majority in the Senate.

Much of the federal government debt is owned by foreign governments, including communist China. Like the stock market and every other investment, the free market should be the guiding principle and those that want perpetual funding of the federal government should bear some risk, too.

Federal spending is doing more harm than good. Millions are currently being spent to interfere with the upcoming 2024 presidential election, which should be decided by voters rather than by Merrick Garland as Attorney General.

Harmful federal programs far outnumber helpful ones. Federal spending on the Covid pandemic totaled trillions of dollars, but the outcome was worse here than in poor countries where their governments spent almost nothing on the issue.

Federal spending on education has resulted in rampant illiteracy, leaving most high school graduates ill-prepared to do college-level work. Student achievement has declined significantly in recent years, as the federal government spends billions pushing an ideological agenda rather than teaching Johnny and Janey how to read.

Last weekend the federal government did nothing to protect Atlanta from the fires set by Antifa protesters. Last week Georgias Governor Brian Kemp was hobnobbing with globalists at their annual conference at a Davos, Switzerland ski resort, before his state capital was looted and at least one police car set ablaze.

Federal spending is devoted to the cushy Deep State jobs in D.C., with their lavish pensions that are driving up the federal deficit, rather than safeguarding our cities. Most federal workers look forward to early retirements that will pay them most of their annual salaries for the rest of their lives as they do nothing.

The astronomical costs being imposed by Bidens opening of the southern border to millions of illegal aliens should be part of McCarthys negotiations. The debt ceiling should not be raised unless and until Biden secures the southern border to end the tidal wave of illegal migrants, who are adding trillions of dollars in future new costs.

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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Globalism Failure at Davos Summit

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Predicting an imminent worldwide recession, global business elites convene at the Alps ski resort of Davos, Switzerland as they do every year in seeking to expand their policies for their own benefit. But this time even liberals are observing how fringe this annual summit has become, and many politicians are staying away.

Donald Trump has been the leader in criticizing these globalists, and his footsteps in the upcoming presidential election loom large there and at the White House. Biden is strikingly absent, and is not even sending his VP or Cabinet officials to this World Economic Forum gathering from January 16 to 23, supposedly to discuss “Cooperation in a Fragmented World.”

Perhaps the global elite have already decided to toss Biden overboard, by finding classified documents at his home and office and using the same prosecutorial modus operandi that has been inflicted on Trump. By fanning the flames of this scandal Dems could nominate a fresh new candidate, such as the carefully nurtured Pete Buttigieg who was touted as an “emerging leader” on the WEF website.

This year atop the Davos agenda are the nutty ideas for the world to eat insects instead of meat, and attain happiness by owning nothing. The common view of those gathering in Davos is that reducing the people on Earth would be beneficial in reducing energy use, but that would also reduce overall prosperity.

Elon Musk was invited but publicly declared that he would not be attending because its agenda is boring. He also commented on how the billionaire elite falsely think there are too many people on our planet, and that the “environmental sustainability movement ... has gone too far.”

Debunking an argument that the population control agenda is just a “conspiracy theory,” Musk retorted that the elite indeed want and seek less human population. “This is neither a ‘right’ nor a ‘left’ issue,” Musk said.

People are viewed by many billionaires as a threat to their wealth and hoped-for power, while Musk and Trump are special in welcoming all that the public has to offer. The billionaires who convene annually at Davos are a paranoid group who should be kept as far away from political influence as possible.

Meanwhile, news came during the second day of this conference that China’s population is actually shrinking, contrary to the fear-mongering about population growth. This is the first time since its famine more than 60 years ago that China is losing population, which a liberal New York Times headline screams is a “demographic crisis.”

China’s Vice Premier Liu He made no mention of its own demographic crisis during his speech on Tuesday at Davos. Instead, he urged the world to increase cooperation and depart from the Cold War approach, which means accepting that China has replaced the United States as the world’s only hegemonic superpower.

Chinese leaders are unable to reverse the harm they inflicted on themselves by their one-child policy that for decades forced couples to limit their families. Chinese couples today do not want to have enough children to sustain its population, which is considered by experts to be an irreversible trend now.

Meanwhile, believers in the misguided population control ideology are among the 3,000 attendees in Davos. They have turned the town of Davos into a military zone as they exclude the rest of the public from visiting.

Multiple military-style checkpoints are set up around the village to ensure that none of the hoi polloi or real reporters can see what is going on there. Many of the participants stay at the same Grandhotel Belvédère hotel that closed itself to the public to prepare.

In attendance this time is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is on political life support in a state that Trump carries by 40 points, meaning it is unlikely Manchin can win reelection when his seat is up in 2024. Globalists push bans on coal production, which is central to the West Virginia economy, and Manchin may be angling for a post-Senate job by attending.

Several governors are also oddly in attendance, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-IL), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), and Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA). The agenda of globalists in Europe would not seem to be helpful to the states of Illinois, Michigan, and Georgia, but for a half-century these conferences have been a breeding ground for distorting American policy.

The Swiss government authorized a deployment of up to 5,000 troops to protect the pampered elite who flew in on their environment polluting private jets, while pontificating to the world about their unproven theories of climate change. A warmer winter is, in fact, helping to save lives in energy-depleted Europe amid the crisis caused by the seemingly perpetual NATO war in Ukraine.

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, January 10, 2023

New House Can Stop Weaponized Prosecutions

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Conservatives asserted themselves in the election for Speaker of the House and, now that Kevin McCarthy has been picked, action is needed to shut down weaponized prosecutions. Our Republic is imperiled by improper attempts to prosecute Republican leaders.

In the last act of the Democrat-controlled Congress before handing the gavel to McCarthy, Democrat minority leader Hakeem Jeffries reduced the chamber to groans with his Mickey Mouse-style recitation of 26 couplets, one for each letter of the alphabet. For the letter G he shouted “governance over gaslighting.”

Governance over gaslighting, indeed, will be the method of the new Republican House. In becoming next in line to the presidency after our hapless vice president, McCarthy pledged to form and fund a new subcommittee to expose and stop the weaponization of the FBI and other government agencies against the president’s chief political rival, Donald Trump.

Headlines are filled with leaked news from liberal-controlled investigations that should not even exist. The Democrat-controlled Fulton County, Georgia grand jury completed its secret report that may recommend indictments of top Republicans, and the Justice Department issued subpoenas on Republican officials over two-year-old conversations with Trump.

On Monday, conservatives flexed their muscle in the House by electing a young Trump-supporting congressman from rural Missouri, Jason Smith, as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Smith was a late entry in that race and yet overcame the less conservative, older Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) on the second ballot.

Meanwhile, the new Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the two-time winner of the NCAA Division I wrestling championship when he was in college. He also won his state wrestling championship all four years in high school, and at one point defeated a future Olympic gold medalist.

As Chairman, Jordan should perform the equivalent of the “Fireman’s Carry” takedown, a wrestling move that uses an opponent’s aggression against him. He can issue subpoenas against the unhinged investigators who interfere with Trump’s ongoing reelection campaign to return to the White House, with a penalty of contempt for liberals who refuse to comply.

Presidential elections need to be protected by Congress against political hacks who disguise themselves as prosecutors. Our Republic and its democratic processes should not be thwarted by low-level county prosecutors or unaccountable Deep State operatives who seek to change the course of American history by making unprecedented allegations of non-existent crimes.

We learned Monday night that the Penn Biden Center, a so-called think tank funded by donations from China, improperly possessed classified documents from Biden’s time as Vice President more than six years ago. Yet there is no million-dollar investigation of Biden, while biased prosecutors have relentlessly harassed Trump and even raided his home over documents that he had securely locked and protected.

The Republican House should crack wide open the one-sided investigations of Trump at every level, while similar conduct by top Democrats has gotten a pass. Our Nation depends on free and fair elections and that cannot be achieved if biased prosecutors do the bidding of Democrats trying to block Trump’s reelection.

While Republicans do not have a majority in the U.S. Senate, they do not need one to shine a bright spotlight on the misuse of government by Dems against Trump and his many supporters. The House should rescind its own contempt resolutions against good folks like Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, for their non-existent “crimes” of protecting President Trump.

The House should pass resolutions to pardon individuals who have been improperly convicted, or imprisoned without a trial in the D.C. Gulag where they are deprived of medical treatment. Such legislative pardons are untested in courts but could be attached to pet projects that Biden and other Democrats demand the House to enact for their special interests.

The House can subpoena and compel testimony, and should do so immediately. The House controls the purse strings for all of the federal government, and if Democrats refuse to cooperate then Republicans should be prepared to cut off the funding of D.C. and other liberal enclaves.

The officials in Fulton County, Georgia, who have interrogated Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and many Trump allies should receive subpoenas soon from the House Judiciary Committee, to answer questions about why they are interfering with the 2024 presidential election. Protecting the integrity of that upcoming election against scurrilous accusations by rogue prosecutors is central to the House’s authority, and it has jurisdiction to pursue this.

Questions should include what precedent prosecutors can cite for misusing their power to interfere with the reelection campaign of the presumptive Republican nominee. If Georgia county officials refuse to show up and testify, then they should be held in contempt of Congress as Democrats were so fond of doing to Republicans over the last two years.

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, January 3, 2023

Higher Ed Should Answer for Idaho Massacre

The Phyllis Schlafly Report By John and Andy Schlafly

The arrest of a graduate student for the gruesome murders of four Idaho college students has attracted worldwide attention. Reports suggest a DNA match to that of the suspect, Bryan Christopher Kohberger, whose own attorney said the suspect was shocked merely “a little bit” by his predawn arrest 2,500 miles from the crime scene.

The media portray this crime as an isolated deranged act by one loner whose true motive remains unknown. In fact, the suspect was enrolled in graduate school and employed by nearby Washington State University, where he was working as a teaching assistant at the time of the murders.

Kohberger should have been more closely vetted before he was accepted into a publicly funded Ph.D. program. Without the support of Higher Education and its pipeline to public funding, he would not have killed in Idaho.

A professor at his prior university described him as a “brilliant” student based on a course she taught him over Zoom. Kohberger also pursued studies under another professor known as a prominent expert on the notorious Dennis Lynn Rader, who confessed to committing 10 murders in Kansas and referred to himself as BTK for “bind, torture, kill.”

Kohberger was living alone in an apartment complex among other graduate students in Washington State, not far from the Idaho crime scene.

Liberals cannot blame guns for this crime, which the police believe was committed with a long, heavy hunting knife. People familiar with that type of knife say its blade quickly becomes dull with use, requiring the killer to use enormous force to bludgeon his victims.

Kohberger was apparently supported by government subsidies common for most graduate students in Ph.D. fields of study, even useless ones. This able-bodied 28-year-old was embarked on a multi-year path of higher education that offered him plenty of idle time now and doubtful future employability.

A 28-year-old man needs a real job to stay on track toward becoming a productive contributor to society. Yet higher education consists of many programs that do not teach a marketable skill or put students on a responsible career path.

The system of handouts for those who pursue higher education enabled Kohberger to develop oddities such as reportedly preferring not to eat a meal that was cooked in pots or pans previously used to cook meat. Meanwhile, drug use among many grad students is generally prevalent, as has been mentioned on the Reddit website.

The taxpayer bailout of Higher Ed will come under scrutiny on February 28 when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Biden’s plan to stick Americans with potentially hundreds of billions of dollars in unpaid student loans. Two lawsuits challenge Biden’s debt forgiveness program: one brought by a half-dozen states, while the other by former students who were partially or completely excluded from the relief.

In addition to its dubious graduate program in criminology, in which Kohberger was enrolled, Washington State University features advanced degrees in many fields lacking enough jobs in the private sector. Anthropology, athletic training, educational psychology, and experimental psychology are among the fields that should not be awarding advanced degrees at taxpayer expense. 

Most graduate programs are funded by government largesse, even to the point of giving graduate students a generous stipend for living expenses. Kohberger was likely funded by taxpayers as he allegedly went on a killing spree a few miles away from his campus.

Nationwide, more than 1.75 trillion (not just billion) dollars in student loan debt has piled up. Students who go on to graduate school are typically unable to pay down any of this debt, and the longer they stay in graduate school the longer they can typically postpone being held in default on that crushing debt that their unwillingness to work causes.

We don’t know if this particular grad student stands to benefit from Biden’s massive debt forgiveness plan. But if this young man had been compelled to get a regular job, instead of being encouraged to postpone life by going to graduate school, then this horrible crime might not have happened.

Phyllis Schlafly worked a 48-hour-a-week job, commuting an hour each way, in order to fully pay her way through college in the 1940s. Almost no students do that today, and with Biden promising to waive loan obligations there is little reason for students to work to pay for what they can obtain for free.

This suspected killer reportedly had an addiction to heroin while in high school, and his gaunt look with his spacey stare prompted some to wonder if he was still on drugs. Few would be surprised if the murderer was high on drugs that desensitized him to this allegedly horrific violence, reminiscent of how the shocking drug-related Charles Manson murders of 1969 ended the hippie era.

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.