Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Infrastructure Bills: Socialism on Steroids

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Under the innocuous title of “infrastructure,” a revamping of our society into a socialist state is hurtling through the Senate. A vote is expected as early as Wednesday on the first of two infrastructure bills that constitute a federal takeover of everything from child care to state transportation systems.

While our highways could use some repair, these Democrat-written bills are about nearly everything other than highway funding. The $3.5 trillion Democrat version includes federally controlled universal preschool, taxpayer-subsidized child care, low-income housing, free community college, and more Leftist fake energy projects like clanky windmills.

Child care, free indoctrination at community college, and radical environmentalism have nothing to do with infrastructure. Neither do inner city buses on which hardly anyone ever rides.

This is socialism on steroids. Not a single Republican yet supports the $3.5 trillion version, but Dems plan to pass it later on a 50-50 vote with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaker.

The tidal wave of printed money would not flow to improving highways and bridges, as Americans are misled to believe. Some of the dollars would be poured down the drain of mass transit which has never been economical, while preferred by liberals to make people more dependent on government.

These infrastructure bills would even hinder the ability of states to improve the highway system, by adding a layer of new federal oversight and control over the spending of funds on improvement of the open roads that have helped inspire the American dream. Family road trips, which many skipped last year due to Covid, would not be helped by these trillion-dollar spending packages.

Biden wants these bills passed before the August recess, which requires holding procedural votes soon. The vote initially planned for Wednesday is on the smaller $1.2 trillion H.R. 3684 being advertised as bipartisan, but its details have not yet been released so Republicans might not concur enough to overcome the 60-vote threshold for it to advance.

It is the $3.5 trillion version which is the bigger threat, as Dems plan to enact it through budget reconciliation without support by a single Republican. If the Senate parliamentarian agrees, the 60-vote requirement will not apply to that bill and it could become law through bypassing the ordinary filibuster rules and exploiting a simple majority.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is so outraged by this maneuver that he said Republicans should leave town in order to block the quorum requirement of 51 votes in the Senate. While bills can pass under reconciliation in the Senate with only 50 votes plus Kamala Harris, 51 votes including at least one Republican Senator are needed to establish a quorum in order to hold a valid vote in the first place.

Radical environmentalists now in control of the federal government do not like highways, preferring mass transit which is rarely economical, and unaffordable green energy projects. They want to divert infrastructure funds to urban entitlement programs and ridiculous pet projects that are just a bottomless pit of wasteful spending.

Although touted in the media as providing money for bridges and roads, in fact the infrastructure bills would impose a new set of federal controls on how states spend infrastructure money. That means the enviro-socialists running the Biden Administration could block necessary road improvements if arbitrarily deemed by liberals that they might somehow contribute to global warming.

Meanwhile, inflation under Biden has already sharply increased after being dormant for three decades under conservative fiscal policies established by a Republican-controlled Congress. Multi-trillion dollar spending programs dependent on more borrowing to pay for them will only fan the flames of greater inflation.

“I’m not sure what may happen, exactly how it’s going to be paid for,” Biden told reporters last week. There are only two options available for funding this: an increase in taxes, or an increase in borrowing causing greater pressure on inflation.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) observed last week that the $3.5 trillion Democrat infrastructure bill is “completely inappropriate for the country, which is already suffering from dramatic inflation.” Undeterred, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is determined to push this through without a single Republican vote.

Bird-killing and landscape-blighting wind turbines are hardly eco-friendly. In contrast, the efficient network of interstate highways that span our Nation are the envy of the world, lowering everyone’s shipping costs during the Covid pandemic and supported by drivers who pay federal taxes of 18.3 cents per unleaded gallon and 24.3 cents per gallon of diesel.

There is even a federal underground storage tank fee, and the notion that immense new taxes or borrowing is necessary to repair our infrastructure is not what this is really about. Instead, these bills are just another way for the Left to candy-coat their socialist agenda and railroad it through Congress.

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, July 13, 2021

Vaccine Police Roll Up Their Sleeves

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

A third of Americans will not voluntarily receive a vaccine against the Wuhan virus, as politicians who rely on polls have known. The origin of the Wuhan virus is the Chinese Communist Party, but America’s response should not have the same mindset.

Contrary to Dr. Fauci’s recent outburst against “red states and places in the South that are very highly ideological,” it is not merely Trump supporters who oppose mandatory vaccination. Many Bernie Sanders supporters and Biden voters also resist, as illustrated by health care workers who quit their jobs rather than submit to mandatory vaccination.

Biden alarmed freedom lovers by saying “now we need to go to community-by-community, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and oftentimes, door-to-door – literally knocking on doors” to push Covid vaccination. His Secretary of HHS Xavier Becerra insisted that “it is absolutely the government’s business” who has not been vaccinated.

Just south of Florida, Cubans are rising up against totalitarianism there. “Homeland and Life,” shouts the viral rap song that led to an outpouring of protests against communist rule.

“You, five nine [1959]. Me, double two [2020],” is its refrain. Communist dictator Fidel Castro took control of Cuba in 1959, with encouragement by Leftists (he was even welcomed to speak at Harvard), and the song refers to that takeover as the “evil revolution.”

Yet to the vaccine police, the outpouring of anti-communist protests in Cuba is supposedly about access to vaccination, rather than pent-up opposition to decades of dictatorship. The popular song which inspired these protests says nothing about vaccines, and everything about freedom.

Despite billions spent by Biden on the most intense vaccination effort ever, only two-thirds of Americans are even partially vaccinated against Covid-19, and a smaller percentage fully so. Adverse vaccine reactions remain underpublicized, while the CDC reports that 9,048 deaths have been registered with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) concerning the Covid vaccine.

Missouri has seen a 50% increase in its coronavirus cases in the last week, and nationwide there is a 47% spike in Covid with 43 states reporting a week-to-week rise. Incidence of the flu decreases in summer months, but the opposite is occurring for Covid amid mass vaccination.

For the first time, health officials are now warning that vaccinated individuals who are immuno-compromised – as millions of Americans are – can still contract and die from Covid. Roughly 20% of the new Covid cases in the ICU at the University of Kansas Health System are vaccinated persons, and deaths from Covid among the vaccinated are reported in England.

"Breakthrough infections" is the euphemistic term used to describe contagion of the disease by people who were vaccinated against it. The term implies that such infections are rare and unexpected, when in fact they are frequent enough to burden ICUs at hospitals now.

Yet liberals continue to scapegoat the unvaccinated, and particularly Trump supporters, for this growth in the spread of Covid. The vaccinated population appears to be the real super-spreader, as the ostensibly healthy Typhoid Mary infected dozens a century ago while working as a cook in New York.

Vaccination is supposed to make it safe to have unmasked attendance at NFL games beginning next month, despite how attendance at Trump rallies last fall was prohibited by Democrat governors in battleground states. After a year of berating everyone to wear masks, the CDC now says it is unnecessary for vaccinated people.

Japan has handled Covid far better without widespread vaccination than the United States and England have with it. Japanese are risk averse about vaccination and do not discriminate against the unvaccinated; their upcoming Olympics will be held without fan attendance.

If Covid vaccination worked as promised, then Covid cases should be decreasing rather than climbing. None of the promoters of vaccination warned that vaccination might lead to more Covid cases rather than less.

Mandatory vaccination is ideological, not scientific. No matter what the data show, the true believers demand more vaccination even though it is correlated with an increase in Covid cases overall.

“It needs to be hard for people to remain unvaccinated,” declared Shanghai-born CNN commentator Leana Wen, the former president of Planned Parenthood. Not only is that approach not working, the overreliance on vaccination seems to be making the spread of the disease worse when our nation should be overcoming it.

Progress was being made against Covid prior to the mass vaccination, when President Trump personally overcame the disease with early treatment. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and other Trump supporters contracted the disease and then treated it early, with enormous success.

Last week the College of Charleston, South Carolina, reversed its mandatory vaccination policy, and other colleges should do likewise. Biden should admit that vaccination alone is not going to end the Covid pandemic, and he should start promoting early treatment as Trump did more than a year ago.

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, July 6, 2021

Who Wants to be “Primaried”?

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

“Primaried” has become a popular term for dealing with disappointment by entrenched incumbents in both political parties. It means an attempt to defeat an official in his own primary, an enormous political embarrassment.

Primary challenges are a healthy way to shake up the status quo in politics. The grassroots thereby rise up and overcome the enormous advantages of incumbency to replace a RINO with a conservative.

Fear of being “primaried” is the real reason for the sudden new interest by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in the southern border, after years of his inaction. Gov. Abbott arranged for photo ops of himself with Donald Trump during their joint visit to the border last Wednesday.

Texas can afford to complete the building of the wall that Trump started, and Abbott has finally hinted at doing so. The timing may have more to do with the early Texas primary and the field of Republican candidates running against Gov. Abbott.

A month before, Texas GOP Chairman Allen West released a compelling video of him speaking in front of the incomplete border wall south of El Paso. Then, most appropriately on Independence Day, the retired lieutenant colonel and former congressman announced his candidacy against Gov. Abbott in the Republican primary.

Sen. Ted Cruz’s successful toppling of the seemingly invincible David Dewhurst in the 2012 Senate GOP primary immediately comes to mind. Texas Republican voters cast their ballots for those who speak out and do more.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who has already won a preliminary ruling against President Biden’s “equity” agenda and prevailed in statewide elections, is another conservative pondering a run against Gov. Abbott in the primary, to be held on March 1st. If Gov. Abbott cannot muster 50%, then a runoff election will be held which historically favors the more conservative candidate.

Abbott’s inaction on election integrity is as stark as his failures on the southern border. While Georgia, Florida, and Iowa enacted bills to restore some election integrity, Texas has still not acted, and risks becoming a battleground state.

After dithering for a month, Gov. Abbott finally called for a special session of the Texas legislature to begin later this week. But he has been slow in designating issues for this special session, which must include election integrity.

In its final decision of its Term, the Supreme Court gave states the green light to reduce election fraud by reining in lax voting procedures. Justice Alito, writing for the 6-3 Court, firmly rejected a common liberal argument against voting procedure changes.

“Disparate impact” is a Leftist test for invalidating any law that might arguably have a greater impact against a minority group. It is possible to mine statistics and object to almost any law, even criminal laws, as impacting one demographic more than another.

“We also do not find the disparate-impact model employed in Title VII and Fair Housing Act cases useful here,” Justice Alito wrote for the Supreme Court on July 1, in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. Liberals may regret pushing that issue, now that the High Court rejects it in a ruling fully applicable nationwide to all election laws.

Justice Alito added that the Democrats’ argument “would also transfer much of the authority to regulate election procedures from the States to the federal courts.” He thereby blocked attempts at judicial activism in interfering with good state election reforms.

This conservative decision should help defeat the 8 lawsuits that were filed against Georgia’s new election law, which properly requires identification for mail-in voting. Even Biden’s Department of Justice has piled on with its own lawsuit to interfere with the reasonable Georgia law in cleaning up its election system.

Meanwhile, another good decision was rendered by the Supreme Court on its final day. Likewise split 6-3, the Court rejected snooping by California through the identities of donors to conservative nonprofit groups, including one located in Michigan.

Overreach by California and other Leftist states is a growing problem, as they try to export their tyranny to the Midwest and other red states. California Democrats have no business sticking their noses into organizations headquartered elsewhere.

The internet has created new ways to harass people for merely exercising their First Amendment rights to speak out or donate. California’s overreach was too much for even Chief Justice Roberts, who held for conservatives in Americans for Prosperity v. Bonta, despite last year allowing California to shut down churches.

“It is hardly a novel perception that compelled disclosure of affiliation with groups engaged in advocacy may constitute as effective a restraint on freedom of association as other forms of governmental action,” wrote Roberts while quoting an earlier NAACP case on a similar point. Yet many liberals today seek to infringe on First Amendment rights that were upheld in the famous NAACP case.

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.