Tuesday, May 21, 2024

More Immigration, More Inflation, More Bankruptcies

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Bankruptcy filings increased by 16% in the first quarter of this year, compared with a year ago, and the familiar Red Lobster chain is shuttering 87 of its restaurants. Far from helping our economy, the 10 million new illegal aliens allowed in by Biden are driving up food and housing costs, while they cannot afford to keep Red Lobster in business.

Nearly thirty years ago, researcher John Lott published his influential book entitled, “More Guns, Less Crime.” In it he demonstrated how gun availability would decrease the overall crime rate, and that is what has happened as law-abiding citizens are allowed to keep and bear arms in nearly every state.

More immigration, more inflation” should be a sequel to that classic work. We have been victimized by the worst inflation of any president since Jimmy Carter, and a cause is that Biden has allowed the greatest influx of illegal aliens in American history.

Migrants drive up costs for necessities of food and housing, and the spike in demand caused by their relocation here increases prices. The “Law of Demand” is a fundamental principle that economics students learn in their first course: greater demand for something results in higher prices for it.

Already this year, the popular Family Dollar store has had to close 620 of its stores. Rue21 has closed 543 of its locations, while 99 Cents Only Stores have had to shut down 371 of its outlets.

Texas is known for its affordability, but today has among the worst inflation in our country as Texas struggles with many millions of illegals allowed in by Biden. Texas residents suffer from some of the worst “inflation stress” of any state, as reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Trump is far ahead of Biden in Nevada, which pundits struggle to explain in light of how Biden supposedly won that state easily last time. The “inflation stress” in Nevada is particularly high, and that flips voters against the man causing it: Joe Biden.

Inflation stress is also particularly bad among voters in Georgia, another key battleground state that has turned against Biden in polling. The inflation rate in Georgia is among the worst in our country.

Americans are having to spend more of their household budgets on food now than at any other time in more than 30 years. Housing prices have also spiked as 10 million illegals have picked up the more affordable locations, often with taxpayers footing their bills.

This is a replay of what happened in Poland last year, when an election was held after the incumbent political party allowed in millions of Ukrainian migrants. With a population merely one-tenth of the United States, allowing in so many migrants caused a shock to Poland’s economy which the ruling party apparently did not anticipate.

Inflation skyrocketed to nearly 20% last year in Poland, amounting to a terrible hidden tax that the voters would never have approved. Moreover, the adult migrants were more than 80% women, which creates a gender imbalance that will not straighten out for generations to come.

The result in the Polish election was predictable: the incumbent “Law and Justice” party lost by a wide margin, despite having enjoyed popular support since 2015. Now, with Leftists in charge, the mayor of Warsaw in that Catholic country has banned displays of the Crucifix and requires workers to recognize others by their preferred transgender pronouns.

In his recent speech in Minnesota, the strikingly fit and trim Trump laid out the immense harm caused by Biden’s inflation. With humor, Trump pointed out that he stopped eating bacon after it became so expensive under Biden.

Eggs also shot up in price as the illegals poured across our border. Breakfast is a never-skip meal in Mexico, which shattered the world record for egg consumption in 2021 with 409 eggs per person annually compared with only 281 per capita in the U.S.

Most of our country saw an increase in unemployment in the latest data, compared with a year earlier. California and Nevada, which are both destination states for illegals, have seen their unemployment increase to 5.3% and 5.2%, respectively.

The pivotal battleground states of Arizona and Wisconsin, both must-win states for Biden to return to the White House, had increases of nearly a half-percent in their unemployment rates. There is also an uptick in unemployment in Michigan.

Trump does not need to win all these states to prevail in November. Winning Minnesota would be mere icing on the cake, and Trump trails there by only a few percentage points.

Trump promised his audience in the North Star State that as president he would ensure "massive deportation" of those who are illegally in our country. Less illegal immigration will mean less inflation.

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, May 14, 2024

Biden Blunders by Suing Iowa over Immigration

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The bullies in D.C. have gone too far with Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit last Thursday against Iowa. Suing this state of Midwestern farmers is as much a political blunder as a legal one, as Biden trails in all battleground states similar to Iowa, including neighboring Wisconsin.

Iowa enacted a reasonable law last month making it a misdemeanor for an illegal alien, who has already been ordered to leave our country, to remain in Iowa. At a town hall sponsored by a pro-immigration group and attended by dozens of immigrants about this new statute, an anonymous written question asked, “Should I leave Iowa?”

The host sighed and replied, “Entiendo el sentido.” That means, in this context, “I see your point.”

Although Iowa is a thousand miles from the Mexican border, Biden “has secretly flown illegal immigrants into our state in the dead of night,” observed Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird. “Those who come into our country illegally have broken the law, yet Biden refuses to deport them,” Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds stated.

This new statute, Iowa Senate File 2340, makes it an aggravated misdemeanor for someone to remain in Iowa after being denied admission or previously ordered to leave our country. Upon signing this bill into law, Gov. Reynolds observed that “the Biden Administration has failed to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, putting the protection and safety of Iowans at risk.”

Scheduled to take effect on July 1, this law authorizes Iowa officials to send illegal migrants to a border port of entry, allowing federal officials to deal with them there. Contrary to misleading claims by opponents of this and similar legislation in Texas, no state officials are authorized to deport anyone.

Biden’s DOJ relies on a Supreme Court decision against a 2010 Arizona law that created a state misdemeanor for violations of federal immigration law, and authorized police to arrest suspected illegal aliens who commit deportable crimes. Only two of the five Justices who joined that bad Arizona v. United States (2012) decision are still on the Court, and the three new Justices appointed by Trump would probably vote to overturn it.

The DOJ quotes that decision an astounding 14 times in its 19-page lawsuit against Iowa. As Justice Kennedy did so often during his 30 years on the Court, he resorted in that decision to vapid platitudes, saying that “the history of the United States is in part made of the stories, talents, and lasting contributions of those who crossed oceans and deserts to come here.”

The millions of illegals allowed in by Biden did not have to cross “oceans and deserts” to get here, but simply walked across our unguarded southern border. Courts should have retired the Arizona v. United States decision when Kennedy did, six years ago, because the Constitution protects the police power of every state to establish law and order within its own borders.

The Iowa law is similar to the good Texas law enacted last year. Biden has tied that one up in court, benefiting from an appellate panel assignment that includes one Biden appointee and one liberal Republican, who have blocked enforcement of Texas SB 4.

The DOJ’s recent lawsuit against Iowa was assigned to an Obama-appointed trial judge, who will presumably block its enforcement in June. But then this case will proceed quickly on an expedited appeal to the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, where the judges are 16-to-1 Republican-appointed, so Biden and the DOJ will not have a friendly Democrat majority as in D.C.

Nothing in the Iowa statute interferes with the ability of Biden to enforce federal laws against illegal immigration, which Biden has utterly failed to do. Nothing in the Iowa law interferes with Biden’s ability to frame foreign policy, unless his policy is to invite the whole world to resettle in the United States.

Trump vows to allow states to enforce laws as enacted in Texas and Iowa. Immediately upon Trump’s taking office on January 20, all of this lawfare by the DOJ can be terminated, and states can begin to reduce the unlawfulness caused by illegal aliens.

Seizures of deadly fentanyl by border patrol shot up nearly 6-fold between 2020 and 2023. Counterfeit fentanyl produced in Mexico and China, which has increased in one year from 71 to 115 million pills seized in 2023, is designed to look deceptively like lawful medication.

Farmer Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who visits all of Iowa’s 99 counties annually while maintaining a perfect attendance record in the U.S. Senate, told Biden in 2021 that “border security’s essential in keeping out public safety threats, and a cartel-controlled border presents our greatest criminal threat.” The D.C. elite heads for defeat in the Eighth Circuit at the hands of Iowa farmers defending our nation against the invasion.

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, May 7, 2024

RNC Steps Up for Election Integrity

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Early voting for the presidential election begins in September, and election integrity needs to be a top priority. Trump leads in polls, but a slim margin can be unfairly overcome by last-minute drop-box ballot dumps or mailed-in ballots not received until after Election Day.

Fortunately, the Republican National Committee (RNC), which just wrapped up its spring meeting at and near Mar-a-Lago in Florida, steps up its efforts to combat election fraud. Led by Michael Whatley as its new chairman, along with the telegenic Lara Trump as co-chair, the RNC has filed dozens of lawsuits in swing states to ensure compliance with laws concerning mail-in voting.

Last Friday, the RNC sued to stop the counting of ballots after Election Day in Nevada. The U.S. Constitution requires that there be one election day, not a week’s or month’s worth of backroom ballot counting.

Whatley said about monitoring elections, “You got to have observers and attorneys in the room when the votes are being cast, and when the votes are being counted. So we’re in the process of recruiting tens of thousands of volunteers, thousands of attorneys all across the country so that when we get into the election season, we’re going to be in the room.”

Last week help surprisingly came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, where three Democrat-appointed judges sided with Republicans to vote 10-4 to deny reconsideration of a good decision upholding the statute requiring signatures and dates on mail-in ballot envelopes in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had already approved this, but this litigation in federal court had prevented it from being enforced, and even now the ACLU vows to seek further review.

Whatley, whose emphasis on election integrity in 2020 in North Carolina enabled Trump to win that hotly contested battleground state, applauds this ruling as “a crucial victory for election integrity and voter confidence.” Whatley has led the RNC to file additional lawsuits in 23 states to enhance election integrity as posted on protecthevote.com.

In 2020 Pennsylvania allowed 2.7 million mailed-in ballots without any verification of signature or requirement of a witness or notary. Even far-Left California at least ostensibly requires verification of signatures on mailed-in ballots.

Poll watchers traditionally safeguarded election integrity by watching what happens at precincts as people vote in person. Trump and other Republicans repeatedly win the in-person voting by landslides, only to have the elections taken away from them based on millions of ballots cast in a process that bypasses poll watching.

Ballot harvesting and drop-box ballot dumping, by which workers hired by Democrats bundle large numbers of ballots, combine with mostly unverified millions of mail-in ballots to overwhelm the voters who cast their ballots in-person on Election Day. There should be transparency as to who cast these mail-in ballots and what their alleged signatures look like, but candidates are denied any way to protect against fraudulent voting practices by opponents.

The RNC sued Arizona and Michigan to require them to perform signature matching on mail-in ballots. Without signature matching, Democrats can send in hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots using hired operatives while bypassing the voters themselves.

Michigan and Nevada, two must-win states for both Trump and Biden this year, have been slow in purging their election rolls of people who died or moved away. The RNC compared census data to voter registration and found discrepancies, and sued to enforce the federal law that requires these states to eliminate the phony voters.

Overpaid consultants do not win elections; volunteers do. More than half of the fundraising by RNC and Trump for the month of April came from small donors, and these grassroots are who need to be mobilized to overcome the monetary and media advantages held by Democrats.

Liberals obtained numerous court orders in their favor in 2020 to invalidate good laws, and they are suing again this cycle in places like the pivotal must-win state of Wisconsin. A lawsuit by progressives there seeks to toss out a reasonable law that requires all ballots be counted by 8 pm the evening of Election Day.

The RNC sought to intervene to defend this law, stating that it establishes “appropriate safeguards and transparency while still offering voters ample opportunities to cast a ballot.” Lawsuits like this should not be decided without the full participation of the affected Republican Party, but a state court unjustifiably blocked RNC and the local GOP from intervening.

Some wonder if Republican polling leads will be enough to overcome a predictable repetition of ballot harvesting, drop-box ballot dumping, and unverified mail-in signatures by Democrats. In the key swing states of the last two election cycles, oversight was not allowed by poll watchers to monitor signatures on millions of mail-in ballots.

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, April 30, 2024

Trump-Haters Hit a Brick Wall at SCOTUS

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Trump-hating prosecutors’ joy ride hit a brick wall in the Supreme Court last Thursday, where six Justices doubted and ridiculed liberals’ attempts to prosecute Trump in federal court. This was so thoroughly a rout of Biden’s minions that it also diminishes the impact of the ongoing New York County prosecution of Trump.

Delusional Biden supporters have expected federal prosecutors to rescue Biden by putting Trump on trial before the election. But a barrage of comments by a Supreme Court majority exposed fatal defects in this legal strategy of anti-Trumpers to win the presidential election by prosecuting Trump.

Chief Justice Roberts did more than reject the decision by the Democrat-dominated D.C. Circuit that went against Trump. Roberts mocked that decision for relying on a senseless tautology, which is also known as begging the question – assuming the truth of a statement without proving it.

Roberts observed that the reasoning of the prosecutors and lower courts is that Trump can be prosecuted because he is being prosecuted, without any review of whether the prosecution has any legitimate basis. In a rare rebuke of the D.C. Circuit that sits near the Supreme Court, Roberts essentially said that it had failed to do its job in this landmark case.

Roberts quoted this ruling by the D.C. Circuit: “A former president can be prosecuted for his official acts because the fact of the prosecution means that the former president has allegedly acted in defiance of the laws.” Roberts then pointedly asked the federal attorney, “Do you agree with that statement?”

The Biden Administration attorney responded, “Well, I think it sounds tautologically true,” which is another way of saying that the decision against Trump by the D.C. Circuit was senselessly circular. Dismayed by the government’s defense of the tautology, Roberts retorted, “I think it sounds tautologically true as well, and that, I think, is the clearest statement of the court’s holding, which is why it concerns me.”

Hot air suddenly rushed out of the High Court from the many Trump-haters gathered there in anticipation of blocking Trump’s reelection. There is no path for liberals to attain a majority on the Supreme Court without Roberts on their side, and he is apparently strongly against them in this immunity case.

Justice Gorsuch observed that future presidents could pardon themselves at the end of their terms to ensure that there would not be similar prosecutions of them. Justice Alito followed up by asking the attorney representing the Justice Department whether a president had the power to pardon himself.

To the further dismay of liberals, the government attorney said that the Justice Department has never taken a position on whether a president can pardon himself. So that opens the door to Trump issuing blanket pardons against prosecutions of him and his incoming staff upon taking office on January 20th.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett went beyond this pending case by asking whether county-level prosecutions should be allowed against a former president, which are ongoing in New York County and in Fulton County, Georgia. The government attorney then deflated liberals’ balloon further by admitting that county prosecutions could be shut down based on the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution.

Trump could not attend the Supreme Court argument on Thursday because he is stuck in a county-level prosecution against him in New York City, where a low-level judge just fined and threatened imprisonment of Trump for speaking out. But that case is looking increasingly irrelevant to the election, as the battleground states already have a dim view of “The Big Apple” as Manhattan was called in its heyday.

The arrogance of some county prosecutors was laid bare by a body cam in New York that captured a county district attorney refusing to pull over when caught red-handed driving 55 mph in a 35 mph zone, despite the lights and siren by the police officer.

The DA ranted after parking at her home, “You know what? If you give me a traffic ticket, that’s fine. I’m the one who prosecutes it, OK? Just go ahead and do it.”

I understand the law better than you,” the DA declared while defying the officer’s lawful commands. Because of the DA’s belligerence, the officer had to call for help from another officer on this routine traffic stop for speeding.

The polite police officer said, “I’m doing my job. You say you’re a DA?” The haughty NY Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley shot back, “I am THE DA.”

On Tuesday, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) filed a formal ethics complaint against the federal prosecutor, Jack Smith, for interfering with the upcoming election by seeking to accelerate a trial of Trump. She observes that his “conduct has brought disrepute to the Department of Justice and the entire federal government.”

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, April 23, 2024

1968 Returns as Biden’s Nightmare

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Politics repeats itself, and the presidential election of 1968 has returned as Biden’s nightmare. On Monday, student protests shut down in-person classes at Columbia and disrupted Yale, New York University, and Harvard, sparking many arrests.

The upcoming Democratic National Convention could face worse turmoil in Chicago, the same place where the Democrats held their 1968 convention amid anti-war riots that caused a bad impression with voters. Even Chicago’s very tough Mayor Richard J. Daley was unable to control the violent protests, which television cameras broadcast nationwide.

Today, with an emasculated police force and none of the law-and-order that ruled Chicago decades ago, the growing unrest could be disastrous for Biden’s reelection. Mass arrests, like that initiated by New York University on Monday, will become necessary and will not play well with young voters whom Biden desperately needs.

There was a strong third-party candidate in 1968 just as today there is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Democrats are doing all they can to obstruct his access to ballots. The Biden Administration recently again denied RFK Jr.’s customary request for Secret Service protection, forcing his campaign to divert millions of dollars to spend on security.

More bad news for Biden arrived on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition to review a ban in Texas on no-excuse mail-in voting by those under 65 years old. Ballot-box stuffing through the mails, with unverified signatures, is how Biden claimed victory in Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in 2020, but the High Court just allowed states to rein in early voting abuse.

Ending America’s involvement in foreign war, which in 1968 was Vietnam, is a pivotal issue among young voters. Pushing through Congress a $61 billion package to extend the war in Ukraine for as long as it takes,” as he promised, Biden has made himself the pro-war candidate.

The only member of Congress born in Ukraine, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN), voted against this bill that pours more fuel on that fire without spending a dollar on our own border security. Rep. Spartz, who faces challengers in her primary on May 7, tweeted her opposition to the America Last uniparty on X.

A uniparty in Washington is failing the American people,” Rep. Spartz observed. “I spoke on the floor in support of my amendment to eliminate an additional blank check of $16B to @POTUS Biden hidden in this bill by increasing the emergency presidential authorities to spend for any foreign country or international organization - ANY - true blank check,” she added.

In other words, the bill just passed by the Republican-controlled House includes a $16 billion handout to Biden to spend however he likes, much of which could be used for political gain. One recent “national security” project by the Biden Administration is to “train at least 200 LGBTQI+ community leaders … with preference given to trans and intersex community leaders” to advance their ideology in India.

Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) has shown it is impossible for Ukraine to win this war against Russia, so the continued funding delays peace. Sen. Vance explained in an op-ed in the New York Times that “Russia has nearly four times the population of Ukraine” and “Ukraine needs upward of half a million new recruits,” while the “average Ukrainian soldier is roughly 43 years old” and already fatigued from 2 years in battle.

Ukraine lacks four million 155-millimeter artillery shells. But after doubling our capacity, we produce only 360,000 annually, which is less than one-tenth of what would offset Russia’s 5-to-1 artillery advantage.

Rep. Spartz points out that only $13.8 billion of the Ukraine package passed by the House will actually go toward direct military aid. Lobbyists, globalists, Leftists, and well-connected insiders in Washington and Kiev will get much of this $61 billion package.

The presidential election in Ukraine scheduled for March 31 was canceled by Zelensky to remain in power indefinitely, so it is unclear how many Ukrainians even support his government.

George Washington warned Americans against entanglement in foreign conflicts, in his Farewell Address published in 1796. Yet on Saturday Democrat congressmen were waving Ukrainian flags in the House of Representatives to celebrate deepening American involvement in that unwinnable war.

History and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government,” Washington warned Americans in words probably drafted by his brilliant aide, Alexander Hamilton. “A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils,” they prophetically cautioned.

Perhaps the House Democrats who unanimously voted for the Ukraine package privately realize that billions of it could support partisan liberal goals. It would not be a surprise if a chunk of it is routed through lobbyists and others toward electing liberals or enacting their state ballot initiatives throughout America this Fall.

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, April 16, 2024

Federal Judges Side with Transgender Agenda

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

On Tuesday a 2-1 Democrat majority of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated a good West Virginia law protecting girls’ sports against invasion by male-bodied transgender students. The Richmond-based tribunal held that West Virginia’s Save Women’s Sports Act violates the federal Title IX law, which was enacted to protect girls’ sports, and also that West Virginia’s protection of girls’ sports may further violate the Constitution.

The Biden-appointed judge who wrote this absurd decision repeatedly used the propaganda term “sex assigned at birth,” as if sex were arbitrary and merely “assigned” to a newborn. On the contrary, biological science teaches that sex is determined long prior to birth, and does not change.

The transgender issue is boiling over in the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court, after earlier dodging this same transgender case and at least two others, sat on an emergency application by Idaho for an unusually long time of nearly two months before rendering a decision Monday that ducked the substance of a conservative Idaho law.

Two dozen states, including Idaho, have enacted laws protecting children against transgender operations and treatment, while the Supreme Court sidesteps the issue. Most of these laws have been challenged in federal courts by groups pushing the trans agenda, and the day after last Christmas a Clinton-appointed judge ordered a sweeping injunction blocking enforcement of Idaho HB 71.

But rather than affirm the authority of states to protect vulnerable children against irrevocable medical interventions, the Supreme Court instead rendered merely a procedural decision that cautioned against overly broad injunctions. In splintered opinions that Chief Justice Roberts refused to join, the Court reined in the Idaho federal district court without addressing the substance of the law.

There are billions of dollars at stake in profits from medical interventions for transgender purposes, and anyone in higher education who criticizes this lucrative field would risk losing career opportunities. By a wide margin, the most pro-transgender jurisdiction in our country is Washington, D.C., which might explain why the GOP-controlled House and Supreme Court have been so weak on this issue.

Three years ago Arkansas was the first state to ban transgender procedures on children, yet federal courts have still not allowed its good law to take effect. In an en banc sitting of 10 judges on the Eighth Circuit last Thursday to review this law, nearly all of the Republican-appointed judges were unwilling to ask substantive questions of the ACLU attorney for the transgender plaintiff.

With Republican-appointed judges silent as though on the sidelines, the questioning was dominated by the court’s most liberal member, Obama-appointed Judge Jane Kelly, who apparently thinks the Arkansas law somehow discriminates on the basis of sex. Such a ruling by the court would trigger the difficult-to-satisfy standard of heightened scrutiny, by which legislation is typically invalidated.

Leftists who deny sex differences try to invalidate laws they don’t like by concocting arguments that they are discriminatory. Meanwhile the transgender culture holds a grip on D.C., and on most federal courts which depend on liberal law schools for their clerks.

On Friday, the Democrat governor of Kansas vetoed a bill protecting minors against transgender treatments and surgeries, even though a similar bill has passed in half of our country, overriding the governor’s veto in four states. Laws enacted in Kentucky and Tennessee were upheld by an appellate court, while a similar law in Alabama was reinstated by a different appellate court because the district court applied an incorrect standard to block it.

Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the Kansas state senate, but the vote will be close in its state house. The outcome may depend on which legislators happen to be in attendance on the day that an override vote is held there.

Trump held a spectacular rally on Saturday evening in northeast Pennsylvania, considered by Biden to be his backyard where he grew up. There is even a President Biden Expressway in nearby Scranton, although a petition to restore the highway’s original name has attracted 17,000 signatures.

Trump attracted a vast overflow crowd on the chilly evening, withstanding a blustery wind that created challenges for Trump’s airplane to land there. Trump scored many points talking about energy, explaining how Biden’s war on coal and oil have caused runaway inflation and hurt many in Pennsylvania.

Trump courageously spoke out against the trans agenda, and vowed to cut off funding of schools that impose transgender indoctrination on students. Trump included the trans agenda along with critical race theory as propaganda which the federal government should not be funding.

Trump is the first major candidate to pledge to defund schools that mislead our children with transgender and other leftist ideologies. It is increasingly necessary to use the power of the purse to stop the transgender train.

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, April 9, 2024

Double Whammy Against the Trans Agenda

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The transgender movement received an unexpected setback from two very different authorities on Monday. Pope Francis, who has been applauded by liberals in many other contexts, declared that efforts to change a person’s biological sex are unacceptable as an affront to human dignity, while the leading association governing sports at 250 small colleges rejected allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports.

This double whammy came as the transgender movement had been riding high. The media had promoted a statement by Dawn Staley, the women’s basketball coach who led her South Carolina Gamecocks to an undefeated 38-0 championship season, that so-called transgender women (a.k.a men) should be allowed to compete in women’s basketball.

The sport of basketball is a good illustration of how wrong it would be to allow men to invade women’s sports. The best-ever college women’s basketball player, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, is “only” 6 feet tall, but the average men’s basketball player is at least 6-6 and some are over 7 feet tall.

Would that six-inch-plus difference in average height be a fair match-up? Of course not, and no amount of testosterone reduction or other gender changing procedures can offset such an innate disparity between men and women athletes.

The 20-0 vote by the governing body of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to prohibit biological males from competing in women’s sports is eminently reasonable. The NCAA should soon follow its lead and stop the insanity of allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated in 2019 that 1.8% of high school students, or roughly 275,000, disagree with their own biological sex. Thousands of them compete as athletes.

Today a desire for accolades, scholarships, publicity, and lucrative compensation for NIL (name, image, and likeness) motivate millions of athletes. Some would do anything to win, including changing their gender.

The clarity of this new ban on unfair participation by biological men in women’s sports by the NAIA was met with disdain by the liberal media, who have outsized influence over the NCAA and pro sports due to lucrative television contracts. Most NAIA members are Christian colleges, while some are public institutions.

The Pope did not refer specifically to sports, but spoke broadly in general terms to prohibit all transgender interventions: “Desiring a personal self-determination, as gender theory prescribes, apart from this fundamental truth that human life is a gift, amounts to a concession to the age-old temptation to make oneself God.”

Officially entitled “Dignitas Infinita,” which is Latin for “Infinite Dignity,” the Vatican announcement was developed over a period of more than five years and reflects many prior papal statements affirming the reality that we are all created male and female. It condemns transgender operations and treatments, as part of its rejection of all modern degradations of human dignity including abortion.

The Pope’s message decries how “in recent decades, attempts have been made to introduce new rights that are neither fully consistent with those originally defined nor always acceptable. They have led to instances of ideological colonization, in which gender theory plays a central role; the latter is extremely dangerous since it cancels differences in its claim to make everyone equal.”

The reference to gender theory as ideological colonization is a tip of the hat to the booming African churches, which strongly resist efforts today by liberal Europeans and Americans to “colonize” them with leftwing propaganda. African Christians have overwhelmingly rejected social agendas promoted by liberal elites from the U.S. and Europe.

The greatest possible difference that exists between living beings” is the “sexual difference” between male and female, this papal document confirms. “This foundational difference is not only the greatest imaginable difference but is also the most beautiful and most powerful of them. In the male-female couple, this difference achieves the most marvelous of reciprocities.”

It thus becomes the source of that miracle that never ceases to surprise us: the arrival of new human beings in the world,” this Catholic document continues. “All attempts to obscure reference to the ineliminable sexual difference between man and woman are to be rejected.”

It follows that any sex-change intervention, as a rule, risks threatening the unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception.” This is a full stop for Leftists, medical universities, and law schools that are pushing hard for transgender operations and treatments, often at taxpayer expense.

In response, Biden’s press secretary reiterated his full support of the transgender agenda. But Biden is on the wrong side of 62 million American Catholics, many Christian colleges, nearly all African churches, and female student-athletes everywhere, and this issue may be one reason why polls show young supporters of Biden fleeing to the Republican side.

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, April 2, 2024

Reversing the Birth Rate Decline

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Cultures as different as Italy and South Korea are facing the same crisis: declining birth rates that have fallen far below what is needed to sustain a population and an economy.

Italy just reported another drop in its birth rate to its record low, decreasing by a startling 34.2% since 2008. There were nearly twice as many deaths as births in Italy last year, and the average number of children per woman has declined to only 1.2, far below the 2.1 necessary for a population to survive.

Every year I look at the birthrates and it’s kind of depressing,” Elon Musk told Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome last year. “One can’t depend on other countries for immigration. Italy is the people of Italy. Please make more Italians.”

South Korea, a prosperous nation with more Christians than any other faith, is in panic mode as its birth rate per woman fell to only 0.72 in 2023 and is projected to fall further this year. The country we saved in the Korean War is on a path to self-destruction by failing to have enough children.

Measures being considered in South Korea are instructive because the United States is on a similar course, as our birth rate has continued to fall since Obama was elected president in 2008. Young women are the demographic most influenced by political ads, and billions have been spent by the Left in promoting every alternative other than starting a family and having children.

CBS News recently reported that a South Korean company Booyoung is providing employees with a bonus of $75,000 for each new child that they parent. South Korean tax law allows companies to treat such bonuses as business expenses up to that amount, while American tax law generally fails to incentivize having and raising children.

Booyoung Chairman Lee Joong-keun candidly predicts that if the birth rate decline in South Korea continues, then “Korea will face a crisis of national existence 20 years from now, including a decline in the economically productive population and a shortage of defense personnel to ensure national security and maintain order.”

The United States is not far behind. The American birth rate declined by nearly 25% between 2008 and 2022, to only about 1.6 per woman today.

Demographic trends are very difficult to reverse, as children from small families tend later to have small families or no children themselves. Political leaders in Italy and many other countries recognize the plummeting birth rates as a crisis.

Taiwan’s birth rate has fallen to only 0.87, far less than half of the 2.1 children per woman needed just to survive long-term. Although a conservative country, Taiwan has turned to liberal approaches such as more government-funded child care, which have never succeeded in boosting the birth rate.

Beginning in 2019, Hungary addressed its declining births by providing a $30,000 loan to newlyweds that is forgiven if they have three children, which makes more sense than Biden’s trillion dollars in student loans. Conservative policies by Viktor Orb├ín, the pro-Trump leader of Hungary, have increased its birth rate, which used to be the lowest in the European Union when he started and now exceeds the EU average.

Trump and the Republican Party could lead in promoting policies that encourage American families to have more children. Trump himself has a beautiful family with five children and ten grandchildren, and our country would benefit by hearing about pro-family childbearing as a campaign issue.

A pro-birth message fits well with the Republican platform of creating good jobs for Americans, which occurred from 1980 through 2007. The Obama-Biden policy of shipping our jobs to other countries while allowing in a flood of immigrants to take jobs here has been a factor in decreasing our birth rate.

Larger families typically require a good job for the husband as breadwinner in order to create a stable family life. That model, featured in many popular television shows from 1950 through the 1980s, has disappeared in the economy and in Hollywood.

Western liberals, led by then-First Lady Laura Bush, criticized Afghanistan during the U.S. occupation for not sending more women to higher education, but our birth rate is only one-third of Afghanistan’s. By contrast women comprise nearly 60% of U.S. college students, far outnumbering men there while racking up over a trillion dollars in student debt.

Studies show that, on average, the more time that women spend in higher education, the less likely they want to have children. Students are misled into thinking that advancement in educational degrees and corporate America will be more rewarding to them than having children, when it is family life that brings greater long-term benefits.

Elon Musk, one of the wealthiest men in the world, talks as much about the need to increase the birth rate as he does about own successes. Most world leaders, other than Democrat politicians, agree.

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, March 29, 2024

Random Phone Call defeated the ERA

Article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Opinion: How a random phone call defeated the Equal Rights Amendment

Mark R. Rank

ometimes history is shaped by monumental forces. Sometimes history is shaped by chance and luck. In the 1970s, Phyllis Schlafly played a pivotal role in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment. But as I explain in my forthcoming book, “The Random Factor,” Schlafly’s involvement almost didn’t happen.

Congress first debated the ERA in 1923. It was then introduced into every Congressional session until 1970, but routinely failed to reach a floor vote.

That changed in 1972, when the amendment was finally approved by the House and Senate and sent to the states for ratification. It stated, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

Schlafly believed passage of the ERA would cost women certain traditional privileges. But by the time she fully engaged in the fight, the amendment had been ratified by 30 states, needing only eight more to become law.

Schlafly’s opposition proved decisive. Her ability to raise concerns and fears, and to get those concerns heard in a wider context, was widely seen as the key component in turning the tide against the amendment, which eventually fell three states short of final ratification.

As political scientist Jane Mansbridge wrote, “Many people who followed the struggle over the ERA believed — rightly in my view — that the Amendment would have been ratified by 1975 or 1976 had it not been for Phyllis Schlafly’s early and effective effort to organize political opponents.”

When I interviewed Schlafly in St. Louis in 2011, she was 86. We talked about a wide range of issues, but most surprising was the fact that her involvement with the ERA was the result of a completely chance event. It was a twist of fate that would change the direction of the country.

One day in November 1971, a friend of Schlafly’s in Connecticut called from out of the blue. Would Phyllis be interested in speaking at the local public library? Schlafly said she’d consider it, and suggested that she could address the strategic balance of arms between the United States and Russia — a long-standing area of interest.

“No, no,” the friend said. “I don’t want to hear about that. We want to hear about the Equal Rights Amendment.”

“I haven’t looked at it,” Schlafly replied, “and I don’t know whether I’m for it or against it.”

“I’ll send you a packet of material,” the friend responded, “and I know which side you will be on.”

The friend sent the materials. Schlafly spoke at the library, which in turn jump-started her efforts to spearhead the opposition to the ERA.

But what might have happened if Schlafly hadn’t received that phone call?

I asked her just that. She said that in all likelihood she would have continued writing and speaking about the strategic balance of arms and would not have gotten involved with the ERA — or if she had, it would have been too late to prevent its ratification.

Could someone else have played a similar role in halting the ERA? Possibly. Would that person have been as effective as Phyllis Schlafly? Unlikely.

What we do know is that Schlafly played a key role in bending history. Had that Connecticut friend not phoned when she did, our nation and politics might look very different. They certainly would look different with respect to the ERA, which would have become the 27th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

(The actual 27th amendment, ratified in 1992, requires that any salary changes for members of Congress don’t take effect until after the next House election. No amendment has been ratified since.)

It is not an exaggeration to view the defeat of the ERA as an initial step in the country’s move toward a more conservative direction that has continued over the last 50 years, and that a random telephone call set in motion that movement.

Fittingly, one of Phyllis Schlafly’s last public appearances was in support of Donald Trump’s successful run for the presidency in 2016. At a rally in St. Louis on March 11, 2016, the 91-year old Schlafly gave her ringing support.

A single telephone call from 45 years prior was in all likelihood the reason that Schlafly was asked to give her final conservative endorsement and share the stage with the future president of the United States. In fact, that telephone call may have indirectly helped pave the way for the rise of Donald Trump.

The contours of American society are shaped by many forces. But never underestimate the role of chance. In the end, history was changed not by a monumental action or event, but by a purely chance occurrence that has continued to ripple throughout the social and political contours of American society.

Rank is the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of the forthcoming book, “The Random Factor: How Chance and Luck Profoundly Shape Our Lives and the World around Us.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Landslide in Ohio Shows GOP Path to Victory

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The stunning landslide by underdog U.S. Senate candidate Bernie Moreno in the Ohio GOP primary shows the way for Republican victory throughout the all-important Rust Belt this fall. Pennsylvania, Michigan, and nearby Wisconsin can all be won with Moreno’s campaign theme: creating jobs for Americans.

Polling showed a too-close-to-call race between Moreno and the establishment-favored candidate, state senator Matt Dolan. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and the popular former U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R) endorsed Dolan, who is the powerful state Senate Finance Committee Chairman.

Moreno is a former car salesman who campaigned that “for too long, the men and women who move Ohio forward, American workers, have been left behind by career politicians.” He was endorsed by Donald Trump and Sen. JD Vance (R-OH), who stated at a Trump rally that all of the net job growth under Biden’s presidency has gone to the foreign born, while during Trump’s presidency the job growth went to American citizens.

I am so sick of Republicans that will say ‘I support President Trump’s policies, but I don’t like the man,’” Moreno declared to a cheering crowd. “This man wakes up every day fighting for us, fighting for this country.

Trump’s rallies are a gold mine for our country and Republicans this year, without the Covid restrictions of 2020. From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, 2020, the crucial period just prior to early voting, there were no Trump rallies in the key swing states of Michigan, Georgia, or Arizona, and only one in Wisconsin.

Trump’s Ohio rally boosted Moreno to victory, and more rallies like that in other Rust Belt states can work wonders. Emphasizing the issue of manufacturing jobs is a winner for all Republicans.

Tyson Foods just announced that it is laying off 1,300 workers in an Iowa city of only 8,000. Many suspect that Tyson will replace those workers with migrants, and a federal tax break called the Work Opportunity Tax Credit provides employers an incentive of up to $9,600 for each new hire from certain targeted groups, plus housing benefits.

A quarter of the new jobs during the Biden presidency have been government employment, which burdens taxpayers with no net benefit. Much of the remaining job growth consists of part-time second jobs and other low-wage work rather than well-paying manufacturing jobs.

Wage growth is sharply declining in the U.S. Many of the most desirable companies to work for have announced job cuts, including American Airlines, Alphabet (Google), Citigroup, UPS, and Amazon.

Winning Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia or Arizona is all Trump needs to retake the White House in 7 months. Michigan is more dependent on car manufacturing than Ohio, and last Wednesday Biden delivered a death knell to the auto industry.

Biden issued regulations through the EPA that will require most new cars and trucks to be electric vehicles or hybrids in less than a decade, by 2032. Unless reversed, the new rules will transfer hundreds of thousands of automaking jobs from Michigan to China, which is churning out electric vehicles more cheaply than anyone else.

Biden follows the lead of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has required that electric vehicles comprise most new vehicle sales by 2028, and by 2035 all sales of new cars, SUVs, and light trucks must be electric. Biden gave California a special waiver from the Clean Air Act to allow leftwing environmentalists to impose their own emissions requirements, and 11 additional states foolishly plan to adopt California’s unrealistic ban on gasoline-powered cars.

Biden’s pro-China car mandates will bankrupt Detroit’s auto manufacturers. EVs are immense money-losers for the “Detroit Three” companies, totaling less than 4% of sales by General Motors and Ford last year.

This issue can flip Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to the Republican side, as it has already done for Ohio. Both Michigan and Pennsylvania depend on manufacturing jobs, and cold Wisconsin winters require gasoline-powered cars rather than the temperature-fussy EVs.

Biden’s campaign recognizes that he has a jobs problem. Immediately after the Ohio primary Biden traveled to the swing state of Arizona to announce an $8.5 billion handout and $11 billion in loans to support Intel’s new semiconductor facilities to make chips on which electric vehicles depend far more than traditional cars do.

Biden is also taking advice from Democrat Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), who is up for reelection, opposing the planned takeover of US Steel by a Japanese company. Left-leaning Politico reports that “Sen. Bob Casey and other Democratic Rust Belt senators have been pushing Biden toward ever-more-populist trade and economic policies.”

Biden’s gestures are too little, too late. His policy of opening the border to illegal immigrants hurts American jobs, and his war on Detroit automakers by mandating EVs produced by China is devastating to the American worker.

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.