Commentary: Biden Is Making Russia Great Again

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Geneva, 16 June 2021

Under former President Donald J. Trump, for the first time in decades, the United States became a net exporter of natural gas and oil. That helped to keep global energy prices relatively low. It also gave the United States leverage over the international system in ways it had not enjoyed since before the 1970s.

Alas, the propagation of the novel coronavirus from Wuhan, China, along with the ceaseless lies of the Western “mainstream” media made such a prosperous and secure future under Trump an impossibility.

In the eight months since assuming office under a cloud of controversy, Joe Biden has done more to harm America’s inherent strategic advantages in the global energy market than any U.S. rival could have imagined. Under Biden, the United States has gone from being a net exporter of global energy to begging the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to produce more oil for the world to consume.

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Commentary: Parent and School Board Tensions Could Be Eased by School Choice

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

Public education has been under the microscope lately, especially since many states shut down in-person learning last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. With children learning from home via technology, many parents had the chance to hear what their children’s teachers were saying—and they didn’t always like it. In fact, many were downright disturbed by what public schools were teaching their children.

Parents should not be forced to sit by and watch as their children get indoctrinated with progressive ideas they don’t agree with. Assuming it is legitimate for the government—that is, the taxpayers—to fund education, the government should distribute those funds directly to parents in the form of vouchers and allow them to choose where to educate their children. Not only would this allow for more choice in schools, but it would also reduce much of the conflict we are seeing today between parents and school boards across the country.

A common response to voucher proposals is that they would allow parents to use taxpayer dollars to send their children to private religious schools, thus violating separation of church and state. In other words, atheists and progressives argue that they should not have to financially support schools that teach students religious worldviews.

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Scottsdale School Board President Stripped of Title, Refuses to Resign

Jann-Michael Greenburg

The head of the Scottsdale Unified School District has lost his gavel after his peers have voted to strip him of his title and asked for his resignation, which he flatly refused.

Jann-Michael Greenburg is under investigation by school district officials and the Scottsdale Police Department for his alleged involvement in keeping and sharing a set of online files containing personal information of parents who opposed the board’s COVID-19 mitigations, including information on some of their children. 

Greenburg’s father, Michael Greenburg, was listed as the owner of the files before they were taken from public view, according to the Scottsdale Independent.

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Commentary: Prosecution of Project Veritas Sounds Warning About Two-Tier Justice and Big State Corruption

James O'Keefe

Whatever else can be said about the FBI’s vendetta against James O’Keefe and Project Veritas, his investigative journalism enterprise, it is a useful reminder of two things: 1) that we increasingly live in a two-tier society in which the lower tier can expect the arbitrary intrusion of all the coercive elements of the state, and 2) that the fundamental legitimacy of many important American institutions is draining away rapidly like a full bathtub that is suddenly unplugged.

Scott Johnson at Powerline has an excellent summary of the case thus far.

Last Thursday, the FBI conducted a raid against two former employees of Project Veritas.

A few days later, they conducted a dawn raid against O’Keefe himself. It was the full monty.

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Arizona State University Professor Calls Traditional Grading Racist, Suggests ‘Labor-Based Grading’ Instead

Asao Inoue

Arizona State University professor Asao Inoue recently ranted about “White language supremacy in writing classrooms,” during which he called for abolishing traditional grading in favor of “labor-based grading.”

The latter method scores assignments based on the amount of effort students put towards in the work, devaluing quality and accuracy in the grading.

During Nov. 5 lecture at the University of Tennessee titled “The Possibilities of Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies”, Inoue claimed that “White language supremacy in writing classrooms is due to the uneven and diverse linguistic legacies that everyone inherits, and the racialized white discourses that are used as standards, which give privilege to those students who embody those habits of white language already”.

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Ric Grenell and Gloria Romero Commentary: A Plan to Deliver Equal Opportunity to Every Student in California

Group of young students working in classroom

When students are armed with a world class education, they can break down barriers and achieve their deepest dreams. However, in America today, big government and big unions are preventing students from receiving a quality education by forcing American kids to attend the school closest to them, even when it is totally failing. There is no school competition for kids who can’t afford to opt-out of the shoddy school they are forced to attend. This policy and practice especially impacts poor and minority children. But in our home state of California, we’ve had enough of failing government monopolies. We are launching a ballot initiative that will deliver educational freedom to every child in the state, regardless of where they live or how much income their parents earn.

We have all seen government schools that transition from safe havens for learning and hope into depressing institutions that fall short of educating tomorrow’s leaders. Parents are mad, taxpayers are frustrated, and our teachers are not supported by their union bosses. Nowhere is that reality truer than in states where big unions—like the California Teachers Association—control political decision makers with massive campaign war chests seized from their members’ obligatory dues. That’s why Fix California has launched a project to put a ballot initiative in front of voters in 2022—to emancipate students from the government monopoly on education.

Currently, in California, residents are taxed exorbitantly at every turn, with the ruling party’s promise that those dollars will ostensibly be spent on improving the state. That’s a lie on many fronts, but it’s especially untrue in education where failing government schools continue to be rewarded by more tax dollars and virtually no accountability. Tax dollars are siphoned off in the form of required union dues and are funneled straight into the coffers of corrupt unions financing campaigns of politicians who ensure the gravy train keeps flowing. It is a crooked cycle that has destroyed government education across the country.

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Commentary: On Critical Race Theory, the Left’s Manipulations and Double Standards Are No Match for the Truth

"End Racism Now" sign and "Black Lives Matter" in a crowd

People old enough to remember the academic culture wars of the late 1980s and early ’90s have a special insight into this year’s controversy over critical race theory. I don’t mean insight into the identity politics of the old days and into the identity politics of 2021, though the basic features are the same whether we are talking about the English syllabus in college in 1989 or the equity lesson in elementary school this fall. I mean, instead, the particular way in which liberals have handled the backlash once the trends in the higher education seminar of yore and in the 6th grade classroom of today have been made public. 

Here’s what happened back then. In the 1970s and ’80s, a new political awareness crept into humanities teaching and research at elite universities, casting the old humanist ideals of beauty and genius and greatness as spurious myths, as socially constructed notions having a political purpose. We were told that they are not natural, neutral, or objective. No, they are Eurocentric, patriarchal, even theological (in that they presumed a transhistorical, universal character for select masterpieces). Shakespeare, Milton, Bernini, et al., were not on the syllabus because they were talents superior to all others. No, they were only there because  the people in control were institutionalizing their biases. This whole canon thing, the revisionists insisted, was a fake. As Edward Said put it in “Secular Criticism,” “The realities of power and authority . . .  are realities that make texts possible,” and any criticism that skirts the power and authority that put Shakespeare on the syllabus and not someone else is a dodge. 

They could diversify, then. That’s what the skepticism enabled them to do. They could drop requirements in Western civilization. They needn’t force every student through a “great books” sequence. The “classics” are just one possibility among many others. That was the policy outcome at one tier-one campus after another. 

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Wyoming Governor Signs Bill Funding Legal Defense Against Federal Vaccine Mandate Challenges

Mark Gordon

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday signed legislation prohibiting public entities from enforcing the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

House Bill 1002, which was the only piece of legislation passed during the Wyoming Legislature’s special session, also provides $4 million in funding for any legal challenges against federal vaccine mandates.

“No public entity shall enforce any mandate or standard of the federal government, whether emergency, temporary or permanent, that requires an employer to ensure or mandate that an employee shall receive a COVID‑19 vaccination,” the bill reads.

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Arizona School District Opens Probe into Dossier Assembled on Parents Opposing Board President

An Arizona school district announced Friday night is has hired a forensic investigator to determine if school resources were used to “compile, access or modify” a private dossier on parents critical of the school board president.

The Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) acknowledged it was aware of allegations that the dossier may have been assembled by School Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg’s father, Michael, a local activist, and some of its contents shared by the school board president.

The district “began the process of hiring an independent forensic investigator to determine if any school resources were used to compile, access or modify the private dossier allegedly created and maintained in Google drive folders by Mark Greenburg, the father of SUSD Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg, and shared by the latter,” Superintendent Scott A. Menzel announced.

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Commentary: Trump Justice Department Official Invoked Executive Privilege at January 6 Select Committee

In a 15-page letter obtained by American Greatness and prepared by his attorney, Jeffery Clark,  the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil division in President Trump’s last few months of office, invoked executive privilege today before the January 6 Select Committee.

Clark, who has been under intense media scrutiny for attempting to address election illegalities in the 2020 presidential election, was subpoenaed by the committee on October 13. Committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D- Miss.) claimed Clark thwarted “the peaceful transfer of power.” Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee last month prepared a lengthy report accusing Clark of working with Donald Trump to overturn the election results.

Harry W. MacDougald, Clark’s lawyer, explained to Thompson why Clark would not testify. “Because former President Trump was properly entitled, while he held office, to the confidential advice of lawyers like Mr. Clark, Mr. Clark is subject to a sacred trust—one that is particularly vital to the constitutional separation of powers,” MacDougald wrote. “As a result, any attempts—whether by the House or by the current President—to invade that sphere of confidentiality must be resisted.”

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Commentary: Conservatives File Suit to ‘Derail Biden Climate Railroad’

Michael Regan

Michael Regan began his tenure as President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator by dismissing dozens of outside scientific advisers appointed during the previous administration — part of an effort to “ensure the agency receives the best possible scientific insight to support our work.”

At the time, Regan (pictured) called it a “reset.” Opponents grumbled that it looked more like “a purge.” Now, one of those advisers, Stanley Young, has filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the agency of violating U.S. law; the suit also seeks an injunction to halt the work of his former committee.

The legal dustup is the latest rearguard action from the right on environmental issues. Conservatives see the case as their best chance to thwart the Biden administration’s multi-agency approach to combating climate change, seen as hostile to the fossil fuel industry.

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Pennsylvania Republicans Blast Wolf Administration’s Role in Private Election Grant Process

Tom Wolf

Legislative Republicans excoriated Gov. Tom Wolf for “playing favorites” after a report concluded his administration helped only Democratic counties secure $21 million in private grants ahead of the 2020 election.

Broad + Liberty reported the Pennsylvania Department of State and various left-wing groups worked together to funnel private grant funding to Democratic-leaning counties without offering the same assistance to Republican-leaning counties. 

“This latest report indicates the administration and the Department of State played favorites when they connected certain counties to large sums of grant funding while ignoring other counties,” Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, said. “Not only did this create unequal access to voters, but it also essentially disenfranchised voters in counties that did not receive equal funding.” 

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Biden’s Approval Hits New Low in FiveThirtyEight Tracker

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden’s approval rating hit a new low of just over 43% in FiveThirtyEight’s polling tracker as he confronts multiple economic and legislative headwinds.

Biden’s approval stood at 43.5%, and has steadily declined since July. His disapproval stood at 50.6%, the highest of his presidency.

Biden’s slide has coincided with another spike in coronavirus cases, a messy Afghanistan withdrawal and economic challenges ranging from supply chain issues to inflation. He has also pinned much of his domestic agenda on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and his sweeping budget, but left-wing and moderate Democrats have yet to agree on a compromise that would give both the votes needed to pass the House, where they hold just a three-vote margin, and the 50-50 Senate.

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Commentary: Newly Uncovered Documents Show Senior Virginia Officials Smearing a Whistleblower to Avoid Congressional Oversight

VA office of Administration

Whistleblowers—and the truths they tell—far too often become the first casualties in the clash of bigger forces with other agendas. People tend to oversimplify complex stories to fit their preferred political narrative or to protect their own interests.

If the facts do not fit neatly into a convenient set of preconceptions, too often they are ignored, dismissed, or twisted to cater to well-known biases. This tactic is common among those who are the subject of whistleblower disclosures. They often attempt to change the subject to avoid accountability by pointing a finger at the whistleblower, even if they don’t know who it is.

It’s probably just a “disgruntled employee” who has “an axe to grind.” The implication is that there is no need to look into it. Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Commentary: The Bidenization of America

Joe Biden

Day by day, as the Biden Administration crashes into utter shambles and a cloud of dust reminiscent of 9/11, the Bidenization of America becomes more stark and horrifying. 

I can remember no more pitiful words from a senior American government official in 65 years than Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s complaint that the Taliban government in Kabul was disappointing in its lack of “inclusiveness.” (To be sure, that is not all it lacks, and that could hardly have been a surprise.) 

Nor can I think of any diplomatic initiative by a senior American government official more certainly doomed to ludicrous failure than environment ambassador John Kerry’s recent trip to China requesting the collaboration of the People’s Republic in this administration’s hell-bent-for-leather assault on what it is trying to identify as climate change. 

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Commentary: School Board Elections and the Impact on Critical Race Theory in America

Protestor with megaphone, talking

Over the last few months, the U.S. has engaged in intense discussion over “critical race theory.” As Americans have debated the impact of CRT, several states have banned CRT from the public school curriculum, while other states are using it as part of that curriculum. The debate over CRT’s merits or dangers has prompted ideological battles in school board elections. This article looks at the increased activism around school board elections and its broader ramifications.

Past politicization of school board elections

Though school board elections may not seem as exciting as a presidential or even congressional race, they have taken on greater importance in recent years. In 2005, the city of Dover, Pennsylvania faced a contentious court case known as Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, which ruled that the school district’s teaching of intelligent design violated the separation of church and state. Shortly after the trial concluded, the district held its school board elections, and all the school board members who favored the teaching of intelligent design lost their reelection bids, at least in part due to their position on the issue. The election generated much discussion.

In the early 2010s, school board races saw partisan involvement through the Tea Party movement. Generally, candidates affiliated with the Tea Party ran on platforms of greater political accountability and lower property taxes. Carl Paladino, a former Republican nominee for governor in New York, won a race for the Buffalo school board on a Tea Party-type platform. The school board later ousted Paladino for making offensive comments about former First Lady Michelle Obama.

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