President Donald J. Trump’s last White House chief of staff told supporters at the April 24 House Freedom Fund reception and dinner at the president’s Palm Beach, Florida resort club Mar-A-Lago why they did not have to worry about House Minority Leader Kevin O. McCarthy (R-CA-23) taking the gavel in the next session of Congress.
“The House Freedom Caucus is choosing the next speaker,” said former North Carolina congressman Mark R. Meadows, as he returned to his seat after his remarks at the fundraiser for the House Freedom Fund’s political action committee–according to a political operative, who attended the event and heard the remark themselves.
As recently as last summer, few people outside academia had heard of critical race theory, whose central claim is that racism, not liberty, is the founding value and guiding vision of American society. Then, President Trump issued an executive order last September banning the teaching of this “malign ideology” to federal employees and federal contractors.
Trump’s ban was blocked by a federal judge in December and immediately revoked by Joe Biden upon occupying the White House in January. Since then, federal agencies and federal contractors have resumed staff training on unconscious bias, microaggressions, systemic racism and white privilege – some of the most common but also most disputed concepts associated with the four-decade-old academic theory.
Now critical race theory is about to face a major real-world test: a spate of lawsuits alleging that it encourages discrimination and other illegal policies targeting whites, males and Christians. But unlike Trump’s executive order, which ran into First Amendment problems by prohibiting controversial speech, the lawsuits name specific policies and practices that allegedly discriminate, harass, blame and humiliate people based on their race.
The National Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing next month to investigate challenges levied by the union that attempted to organize Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama, according to CNBC.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) acting regional director Lisa Henderson will preside over the hearing on May 7 and has the power to order a new unionization election, CNBC reported.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) filed charges with the NLRB against Amazon on April 19, alleging that the company had intimidated and threatened employees throughout the election.
A group of Christian college students is suing the U.S. Department of Education, alleging that Title IX’s religious exemption allows federally-funded religious colleges and universities to discriminate against LGBTQ students.
The Religious Exemption Accountability Project filed the lawsuit in an Oregon federal court on March 29. The suit aims to prohibit any students from using federal tuition grants, student loans, and any other federal financial aid at post-secondary schools that uphold biblical beliefs on gender and sexuality.
“REAP’s lawsuit asserts the constitutional and basic human rights of LGBTQ+ students, seeking to end the sexual, physical and psychological abuses perpetrated under the religious exemption to Title IX at thousands of federally-funded schools, colleges and universities across America,” according to the organization’s website.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday vehemently denied providing Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif with secret information about Israeli strikes on Iranian interests in Syria, an allegation which Republicans seized on to call for Kerry’s ouster from the Biden administration.
“I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false. This never happened – either when I was Secretary of State or since,” Kerry tweeted in response to reports of his interactions with Zarif.
Iran International, a London-based outlet, and The New York Times reported that Zarif said in a secret audio recording that Kerry had informed him that Israeli forces had struck more than 200 Iranian targets in Syria.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) called China the “most sophisticated” actor of foreign countries subverting our biomedical research in last week’s Senate hearing on the topic. This follows the release of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (DNI) Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community earlier this month. That assessment, cited by Sen. Burr, noted that “China will remain the top threat to US technological competitiveness as the CCP targets key technology sectors and proprietary commercial and military technology from US and allied companies and research institutions associated with defense, energy, finance, and other sectors.”
In the Senate hearing, panelists disclosed several disturbing cases of research theft by the CCP and its agents. Dr. Michael Lauer, Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), testified that Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, fired its CEO and five other senior people for connections to the Thousand Talents Program. Gary Cantrell, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations at the Office of Investigations of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services, provided in written testimony examples of two researchers who had been compromised with China ties as found by OIG fraud investigations.
Cantrell’s first example was a professor of internal medicine who led a team conducting autoimmune research at The Ohio State University and Pennsylvania State University. This professor pled guilty in late 2020 to making false statements to federal authorities to get $4.1 million in NIH grants and failing to disclose “his participation in a Chinese Talent Plan and his affiliation and collaboration with a Chinese university controlled by the Chinese government.”
Going into this decennial reapportionment, it appeared that states’ congressional delegations were poised for widespread reshuffling of the deck. New York was on the cusp of losing two seats, while Texas and Florida were in a position to pick up three and two, respectively. Given the legislatures that control redistricting in these states, it seemingly offered substantial opportunities for Republicans to redraw the lines in ways that boosted their chances in the House significantly.
Instead, the reapportionment numbers announced by the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday were something of a wash. Only seven states lost seats while six gained seats.
There were notable outcomes here: California lost a seat for the first time in its history. Rhode Island – widely expected to be reduced to a single-member state – held onto its two House seats (in fact it wasn’t a terribly close shave). New York, even with COVID deaths pushing it toward a loss of two seats, lost just one.
A recent study by Yale University indicates that if the Democratic Party continues overtly promoting “anti-racism” rhetoric, it could lead to a mass alienation of their own base in upcoming elections, as reported by the New York Post.
The study was conducted by Yale’s Micah English and Joshua Kalla, whose goals with the survey were to find out “how racial attitudes shape policy preferences in the era of Black Lives Matter and increasing liberal views on racial issues.” But, utilizing an online survey method, they soon found that issues based explicitly on race where less likely to galvanize the party’s base than issues based more on economics.
To determine this, the study asked voters about various issues such as student debt cancellation, the Green New Deal, universal healthcare, and legalizing marijuana, amongst others. These issues were presented in three different ways to various respondents: They were either framed around “racial justice,” framed as “economic justice,” or explained completely neutrally. Actual rhetoric from Democratic politicians was incorporated into each method of questioning, and the issues were all emphasized as being part of the Democratic Party’s platform.
A former official in the Obama administration was charged Tuesday with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a charter school he founded, and using the funds to help finance a luxury apartment in Manhattan.
Seth Andrew, who served in the Obama White House and Department of Education, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements to a financial institution in connection with a series of banking transactions he conducted in 2019.
Federal prosecutors allege that Andrew ripped off his own charter school organization, Democracy Prep Public Schools, to the tune of $218,005.
A Los Angeles-based jail reform group led by BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors spent nearly $26,000 for “meetings” at a luxury Malibu beach resort in 2019, according to campaign finance records reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Reform LA Jails dropped $10,179 for “meetings and appearances” at the Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club in Malibu, California, and another $15,593 at the Malibu Conference Center, a corporate conference facility owned by the resort, according to the records, which covered the time period between July and September 2019. Guests at the 200-acre resort, where rooms start at $600 a night, have exclusive access to a private five-acre strip of the Malibu coast.
The records show that the payments were made on behalf of the jail reform group by a consulting firm owned by Asha Bandele, a longtime mentor of Cullors and co-author of her 2018 biography, “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.”
I have been thinking a good deal recently about Arnold Toynbee’s much-quoted observation that “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” As an historical proposition, I’d say that it was like the story of the curate’s breakfast egg. “I’m afraid you’ve got a bad egg, Mr. Jones!” “Oh no, my Lord, I assure you!” the curate replied. “Parts of it are excellent!”
And yet we all see the pertinence of Toynbee’s point. While there are, as a matter of historical fact, plenty of civilizations that succumb to invasion, occupation, and subjugation, there are also many that wither from within from a failure of self-confidence, of (for the Bergsonians out there) élan vital, of what your philosophy graduate student likes to call thumos: spirit, gumption, “heart,” manliness.
The fact that no one can even speak of “manliness” today without looking over his shoulder these days is an index that thumos is on the endangered species list (along, as it happens, with sperm counts in the Western world). Why this should be is a fraught question—something whose answer is “overdetermined” as our Freudian friends like to say.
In the weeks leading up to Gov. Tim Walz’s “pause” on youth sports, state officials were privately scrambling for evidence to support the restrictions, at times admitting that “there isn’t much,” emails released Monday reveal.
“Here’s the way it should work: There is data, then there is a decision, then there is communication,” Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, explained at a Monday Senate hearing. “It’s not, ‘We need a message. Go find me the data that matches it.’”
Benson and her Republican colleagues published a trove of emails between state health officials and members of Gov. Walz’s staff ahead of Monday’s informational hearing.
As COVID-19 cases surge in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is expanding her mask mandate order to include toddlers.
“The mask requirement previously exempted children younger than the age of 5. Expanding the mask rule to children ages 2 to 4 also requires ‘a good faith effort to ensure that these children wear masks while in gatherings at childcare facilities or camps,'” according to The Detroit News.