An Alternative News Aggregator

News of the Day

"West Point always stressed that no matter the training, the real man/leader is exposed in the heat of battle."

- Anonymous

Subscribe to The Blaze feed The Blaze
Blaze Media
Updated: 40 min 14 sec ago

MLB star formally charged with human trafficking and sexual exploitation after alleged relationship with 14-year-old

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 07:35


Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was formally charged with sex crimes in the Dominican Republic after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old.

The young player was charged with sexual abuse, sexual exploitation against a minor, and human trafficking. The charges reportedly carry a potential sentence of up to 20 years.

It was previously reported that an anonymous tip provided to the authorities in July 2023 eventually ignited an investigation against Franco. The anonymous individual said that he or she had seen a media post that alluded to the possibility that Franco was in a relationship with the 14-year-old girl.

'Our investigation remains open, and we will continue to closely monitor the case.'

The 23-year-old shortstop was placed on administrative leave, a deal that was struck between Major League Baseball and its players association that took the player off the field but still paid him. It appeared the league wanted to see if Franco would be charged while keeping him out of the spotlight.

At the end of the administrative leave, the Rays reportedly requested that the MLB place Franco on the restricted list for not reporting to the team. Franco's bail conditions require him to stay in the Dominican Republic, and, therefore, he was unable to report to his major league team.

Now that the charges have been formally laid, the request was granted, ESPN reported, and the player will not be paid and not receive service time.

Authorities spent more than six months building the case after it was initially reported that Franco took the underage girl away from her home in Puerto Plata in late 2022, with the girl's mother allegedly giving consent for the relationship to continue.

As previously reported by Blaze News, a nearly 600-page document acquired by journalists in early 2024 stated that Franco started the relationship when he was 21 and the girl was 14. The shortstop also was accused of paying the child's mother $1,700 per month (for seven months) and gave her a new car.

The vehicle was for the mother "to allow the relationship and let her go out with him wherever she wanted," according to the document that quoted the underage girl.

The mother's home was raided in September 2023 with authorities finding 800,000 Dominican pesos ($13,700 USD) and another $68,500 USD hidden behind a frame. A separate seizure found $36,000 USD in the form of a guarantee certificate from a local bank, which was allegedly tied to payments from Franco.

The mother has been charged with money laundering.

"We are aware of the charges against Mr. Franco," the MLB said in a statement. "Our investigation remains open, and we will continue to closely monitor the case as it moves forward."

ESPN reported that it was able to reach Franco's U.S.-based lawyer, who confirmed he received the charging documents but declined to comment.

Franco was just a couple years into an 11-year, $182 million contract and was an All Star in 2023.

The preliminary hearing for his case will reportedly take place on August 14, 2024.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

JD Vance cuts straight to the heart of what animates Trump's nationalism — and it's not 'just an idea'

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 07:10


The National Conservatism Conference is a project of the Edmund Burke Foundation, chaired by Israeli-American philosopher Yoram Hazony. For years, NatCon has offered conservatives of different stripes and from different countries a rallying point to discuss ways of reinforcing, improving and thinking about their respective nation-states.

The organizers define "National Conservatism" as "a movement of public figures, journalists, scholars, and students who understand that the past and future of conservatism are inextricably tied to the idea of the nation, to the principle of national independence, and to the revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing."

The attempt earlier this year by socialist officials in Belgium to shut down a NatCon conference highlighted the perceived threat posed by speakers at these conferences — to leftist internationalism, globalism, and other schemes aimed at the erasure of borders and individual sovereign states. Some speakers ostensibly also threaten libertarian agendas.

'America is a nation. It is a group of people with a common history and a common future.'

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) revealed in an address at NatCon Wednesday the fundamental understanding underpinning his economic nationalism — an understanding that both attracted him to President Donald Trump's America First agenda and justifies the kind of protectionism that Vivek Ramaswamy criticized at the conference a day earlier.

According to Vance, while America was founded "on great ideas," it is not, as some have suggested, reducible to "just an idea."

"America is a nation. It is a group of people with a common history and a common future," said Vance. "One of the parts of that commonality as a people is that we do allow newcomers to this country, but we allow them on our terms, on the terms of the American citizens, and that's the way that we preserve the continuity of this project from 200 years past to hopefully 200 years in the future."

The senator reflected on the generations of his family who came up in central Appalachia and others like them — "people who love this country, not because it's a good idea but because, in their bones, they know that this is their home and it will be their children's home, and they would die fighting to protect it."

Vance emphasized that the people who have "fought for this country, who have built this country, who have made things in this country, and who would fight and die to protect this country if they were asked to" were not motivated to sweat, bleed, and potentially give their all for an abstraction — the idea of America — but rather for their homes, their families, and their children's future.

Vance indicated that while he was initially a critic of President Donald Trump, he became a "convert" upon recognizing that Trump's America First agenda was not devoted to the protection of an idea but rather to the protection and prioritization of concrete realities, namely the American people and their physical homeland.

Vance's citizen-centered nationalism accounts for his desire to secure the border, to axe immigration policies that flood the market with cheap foreign labor, to reverse the trend of de-industrialization and offshoring, and — as suggested in a recent New York Times interview — to apply "as much upward pressure on wages and as much downward pressure on the services that the people use as possible."

'There are still these weird little pockets of the old consensus that continue to bubble to the surface and continue to fight us on all of the most important questions.'

Blaze News previously reported that Ramaswamy suggested at the NatCon conference that moving forward, the America First movement has the choice of embracing one of two types of nationalism: "national protectionis[m]" — what some have alternatively referred to as economic populism — or "national libertarianis[m]." He advocated for national libertarianism and intimated that Vance is partial to national protectionism.

National protectionism, according to Ramaswamy, is animated by a desire to ensure that "American workers earn higher wages and American manufacturers can sell their goods for a higher price, by protecting them from the effects of foreign competition." National protectionists apparently also "believe in reforming the regulatory state to redirect its focus to helping American workers and manufacturers."

In his speech Wednesday, Sen. Vance made no secret of his national protectionism, instead doubling down on the kind of commentary that has sent libertarian observers into fits of rage.

Vance, who stands a good chance of becoming Trump's running mate, insisted, for instance, that America should not let China "make all of our stuff" and should instead re-industrialize America.

"Even the libertarians, even the market fundamentalists — and I think we have a few in the audience, and we won't beat up on you too much," said Vance, "even they acknowledge that you can't have unlimited free trade with countries that hate you. It'd be the equivalent of allowing the Nazi Germans in 1942 to make all of our ships and missiles."

"People recognize that that era has come to a close. Even the people who are generally going to disagree with us about how much to protect American industry from this point forward agree that you can't let the Chinese make all of your stuff," continued the Ohio senator. "And yet I will say that as much as we've made some great progress, there are still these weird little pockets of the old consensus that continue to bubble to the surface and continue to fight us on all of the most important questions."

Vance also noted that the "real threat to American democracy is that American voters keep on voting for less immigration, and our politicians keep on rewarding us with more."

He suggested that while Western elites are have been more than happy to flood "the zone with non-stop cheap labor," immigration has "made our societies poorer, less safe, less prosperous, and less advanced."

Jason Miller, senior adviser for the Trump campaign, indicated Monday that the former president is poised to announce his running mate within a week's time. Vance, whose name has been raised in the past by the campaign and who reportedly received a vetting package, appears to be a top contender for the role. As of Thursday morning, Vance — whose speech appeared to resonate well with Donald Trump Jr. — was the top named pick on Polymarket.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

'Miracle' amid tragedy: 1-year-old boy found alive alongside highway after older brother found dead in Beryl's wake

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 06:55


A grandmother in Louisiana is both celebrating and mourning after her 1-year-old grandson was found alive hours after the lifeless body of his 4-year-old brother was pulled from a lake.

A tragic storm

Hurricane Beryl hit landfall early Monday morning, unleashing heavy rain and knocking out electricity for some three million Texans. It also caused similar disturbances in Vinton, Louisiana, a city of some 3,400 residents just east of the Texas border.

On Monday afternoon, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office received a report of a body floating in a lake just behind the Vinton Welcome Center. The agency then released a brief description of the deceased on Facebook, calling him only "an African American child."

Soon afterward, Conswella Jack of Lake Charles, Louisiana, came forward, fearing that the body might be that of her 4-year-old grandson, Legend. Sadly, she was right.

'Looked like it was wrecked': Background of a troubled family

Already heartbroken, Jack then informed deputies that Legend has a 1-year-old brother, Kingtrail, whom she had not seen since her mother's funeral on Saturday.

'We were in the process of moving assets out to Vinton to search the body of water to see if we could locate the 1-year-old.'

Jack also shared information about her family that heightened everyone's concerns about little Kingtrail. Jack claimed that her daughter, 25-year-old Aaliyah Jack, is the mother of both boys. Though Aaliyah has legal custody of them, she had recently "fallen on hard times," Jack indicated.

So, Conswella Jack decided to care for Kingtrail, the boys' paternal grandmother watched over Legend, and Aaliyah Jack fled to Baton Rouge for reasons unknown. The family was reunited on Saturday at the funeral for Conswella's mother.

Aaliyah also attended the funeral. While there, she reassumed custody of her sons and left.

In the hours that followed, Conswella became frantic, trying to reach Aaliyah. "The next day, which was Sunday, after trying to call her, she finally reaches out to me, but it's a text," Conswella recalled. "She sent me a picture of a car in some bushes that kind of looked like it was wrecked."

Aaliyah made no further contact, and Conswella told investigators she worried that Kingtrail may have met the same fate as Legend.

"We were in the process of moving assets out to Vinton to search the body of water to see if we could locate the 1-year-old," said Calcasieu Sheriff Stitch Guillory.

'He smiled at me': A miraculous discovery

At around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, while deputies and the Jack family prepared for the worst about Kingtrail, a truck driver, unaware of the recent tragedy, was just going about his business, driving along Interstate 10 not far from the Vinton Welcome Center. Suddenly, he spotted something in a ditch alongside the road.

"There was a little boy sitting down in the embankment there," the unidentified trucker recalled.

"As I approached him, he smiled at me and then he started crying and walked toward me," he continued. "Once he walked toward me, I grabbed his hand and he stopped crying at that point."

The trucker then phoned police, who later confirmed that the boy was indeed the missing Kingtrail. Though he had suffered bug bites, he otherwise was in good condition and has already been released from the hospital.

Sheriff Guillory said his office views Kingtrail "as our miracle baby." "This kid spent two days out in the weather on the side of the highway," an incredulous Guillory said at a press conference. "Thank God that trucker seen him."

"Unbelievable."

'So blessed ... but also so hurt': Continued fallout

A warrant was later issued for Aaliyah Jack for failing to report a missing child, and she was soon taken into custody in Meridian, Mississippi, about 400 miles east of Vinton, Louisiana, where her boys were found. She is currently fighting extradition to Louisiana, where she faces a bond of $300,000.

Meanwhile, her mother has been left to grieve one grandson while fighting for custody of the other. "I was so blessed to hear the baby survived, but also so hurt because one is now gone," Conswella Jack said.

"It’s stressful because they're gonna put me through all what I'm about to go through just to get [Kingtrail] back," she continued. "I don't even have the funds for it, so I have to do everything I can to get that baby back, because ain't nobody know him like we know him."

Kingtrail is currently believed to be in state custody. So far, no cause of death has been determined for his brother, Legend, whose body had no obvious injuries when it was recovered. The results of the autopsy are pending.

Further charges in this case could be forthcoming.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

15 quotes from George Orwell’s ‘1984’ that are no longer fiction

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 06:30


George Orwell — mastermind of dystopian fiction or enlightened prophet?

It seems the latter may be the truer answer.

If you haven’t read the classic “1984,” the novel is a cautionary tale that follows a futuristic society dominated by a surveillance state that aims to redefine truth through rigid thought control.

Sound familiar?

While Orwell’s “1984” is technically categorized as fiction, a recent article from The Federalist by Monroe Harless poses the argument that the book contains a disturbingly high number of “descriptors of reality.”

Glenn Beck reads 15 quotes from the "1984," all of which are referenced in Harless’ article, that paint an accurate picture of the current state of America.

These 15 Lines From “1984” Are No Longer Fiction youtu.be

1. “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

2. “They add nothing to the wealth of the world, since whatever they produce is used for purposes of war, and the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war.”

3. “Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution … children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen.”

4. “I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.”

5. “… one knows the news is all lies anyway.”

6. “The sex impulse was dangerous to the Party, and the Party had turned it to account. They had played a similar trick with the instinct of parenthood. The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police.”

7. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end, we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible because there will be no words in which to express it.”

8. “Power is not a means; it is an end … The object of persecution is persecution.”

9. “How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“ Winston thought. “By making him suffer,” he said. “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own?"

10. “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four.”

11. “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.”

12. “DOUBLETHINK means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

13. “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered.”

14. “We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends.”

15. “The fabulous statistics continued to pour out of the telescreen. As compared with last year there was more food, more clothes, more houses, more furniture, more cooking-pots, more fuel, more ships, more helicopters, more books, more babies — more of everything except disease, crime, and insanity.”

All Glenn can say is, “That is where we are, America.”

To hear his commentary on the quotes as well as examples of how the U.S. federal government embodies Orwell's “1984,” watch the clip above.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

How the border crisis is making air travel more dangerous

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 05:50


Despite voluminous reports over the last three years about the many ways the border invasion is dangerous to Americans, new threats are still emerging. They are coming not just from the invasion itself but also from the White House’s weak, half-hearted attempts to address the problems it has largely created.

The New York Post recently told the story of a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston last year, when a man tried to stab a flight attendant and was stopped only because other passengers intervened. The intervention was necessary because, according to Sonya LaBosco, a retired supervisory air marshal speaking on behalf of the Air Marshal National Council, air marshals normally assigned to such cross-country flights have been redirected to the southern border to help with the security and humanitarian crises there.

Air marshals are highly trained professionals. They should not be repurposed to make sandwiches and distribute diapers at our overrun border.

But wait, defenders of the current administration’s chaotic immigration policies may argue, isn’t deploying more law enforcement personnel to the border a good thing? Under leadership with a sensible, America First border strategy, that would be true if the reinforcements were helping to prevent illegal entries.

Alas, air marshals sent to the border are “handing out water, making sandwiches, Uber Eats runs ... bringing diapers and stuff into the facilities and unloading trucks,” LaBosco said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

This is some of the most direct evidence yet that, as critics have long said since 2021, Border Patrol and other law enforcement are not really defending our border anymore but serving as a welcoming committee to the masses who have flouted our immigration laws by illegally entering the country. It is one of the worst examples of government malfeasance at a time when Americans’ faith in their leaders sits deservedly at record lows.

The Federal Air Marshal Service, as it is known today, began in 1968 and serves under the Transportation Security Administration. The need for covert law enforcement or counterterrorist agents on board commercial aircraft became urgent after the attacks of September 11, 2001, exposing the vulnerabilities of our air travel security.

“The long-haul flights are super important for us to be on because those are the same flights the 9/11 hijackers actually targeted and took that day on 9/11,” LaBosco said.

To compound the threat, potential terrorists may have an easier path into the United States today than they did in 2001 thanks to our surrendered borders. More than 400 foreign nationals from Central Asia and elsewhere identified as “subjects of concern” by the Department of Homeland Security have entered the country illegally in the past three years, brought in by an ISIS-affiliated smuggling network. Over 150 of them have been arrested, but 50 or more are still roaming the country.

According to DHS’ Homeland Threat Assessment, federal agents have encountered a “growing number of individuals” on the FBI’s terror watchlist trying to illegally cross the southern border. Given the gaps in the unfinished border wall and the lawless environment at the border, it would be naïve to assume that none of the attempts of potential terrorists to cross the border have been successful.

Adding insult to injury, more than 500,000 foreign nationals who so far have entered the country using the White House’s CBP One phone app are allowed to fly domestically without a photo ID, a privilege not granted to U.S. citizens and legal residents.

A timeout is in order to process the logic at work here. Air marshals are being taken off commercial flights and sent to help with the border crisis. Potential terrorists have entered the country illegally and may be allowed to board commercial flights without photo IDs — the same flights that now no longer have air marshals on them to prevent acts of terrorism. Make that make sense.

Even if another act of terrorism doesn’t occur on a flight, the threat to passengers from the lack of air marshals on board still exists. There is no shortage of news reports of unhinged individuals acting out during flights. Having an armed air marshal on the flight can neutralize a situation far more effectively than relying on other passengers to do so. The travelers on the aforementioned L.A.-to-Boston flight were able to subdue the potential stabber. Next time, a similar incident could just as easily result in someone being injured or killed for lack of a law enforcement agent on the scene.

Air marshals are highly trained professionals doing a vital service for the country. They should be allowed to perform that service and not be repurposed to make sandwiches and distribute diapers at our overrun border. It is yet another insulting reminder of our government prioritizing the needs of foreigners over the safety of its citizens.

Every American should own a pair of Anderson Bean boots

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 05:30


Cowboy boots likely originated in 16th-century Spain. From there, they made it to Mexico, an essential part of the vaquero’s uniform. But it wasn’t until they wound up on the feet of frontier Americans that they became truly iconic.

As student of the Western, I thought it behooved me to know something about the legendary footwear that won the West.

Every American Should Own a Pair of Anderson Bean Boots www.youtube.com

So I set out to find the most authentically American bootmakers in business.

It has been a humbling experience. I’ve discovered that I know very little about cowboy boots. I was originally going to feature Ariat Boots. I own a pair. They’ve gotten me through some vital moments: shoveling snow and trenching through floodwater yet also working perfectly at a wedding or funeral.

Let’s just say that after dealing with Ariat as a company, I no longer feel the same. It's a blessing in disguise, prompting me to venture into the unknown.

So I set out to learn about real cowboy boots. I polled a lot of people: What are the most American boots available?

I also discovered that I know a lot of people who know a lot about boots. My surveying led to three clear winners.

Third place was Lucchese. I spoke with someone on the company's media/PR team who was incredibly nice but in a somewhat off-putting way. Lucchese crafts breathtaking boots. But the price tag is enough to make you woozy. So to be fair, I can only afford to try them on. A few of the people I talked to said that Luccheses are the only boots they’ll wear.

The Duke wore them, and so did Gene Autry.

Tecovas came in second. Affordability, for one. $300 isn't outrageous for boots — good boots. I recently visited a Tecovas store in Austin, Texas. Quality gear. I never heard back from any of the company's publicists.

But one company earned the most votes by far: Anderson Bean Boots. A co-worker even connected me to Ryan Vaughan, the CEO. Before we began the interview, we prayed. It was lovely.

The conversation flowed in a blessed way. I walked away certain not only that he’s a good man and a God-loving man but also that he is at the helm of one of the more interesting small businesses I’ve encountered.

And by “small,” I mean that the company is devoted to crafting boots that will last a lifetime. Anderson Bean’s gorgeous footwear is truly handmade at the Rios Family factories in Mercedes, Texas.

Over the course of 30 minutes, Ryan and I discussed why he loves the boot business, the importance of retailers, and the demands of outfitting the Michael Jordans of horse training.

ALIGN: So I polled a ton of people to determine the best boot, and they overwhelmingly said, “Anderson Bean.”

RYAN VAUGHAN: Well, that's always music to our ears. It's nice when people can appreciate it, too, but that's obviously not what we're in it for. You bring up a bigger mission, and we always say we're not saving lives here, but we're trying to create opportunities. And that was actually felt at one point that I might be called to full -time ministry work and went and did a come-and-see weekend.

I figured out that the Lord said there's other ways that you can serve me, by plugging back into our community here and community service and then leading this company and trying to create opportunities.

I want a better way of life for everybody involved. Our core values, the first one is we will honor God in all that we do. And then we'll do the right thing when nobody is looking, and we go through the quality and supporting our retail partners. But we've got 235 lives that depend on what we're doing here, and families, and making sure that they can see what doing business the right way is. And hopefully the way I love my wife and love my kids and serve and [we] serve each other. So it's a tremendous responsibility.

There's a reason why there's not a lot of footwear manufacturing left in the U.S. You've got to do things the right way, and thankfully we've got people that respect it. We just had our human resource department put together a little list the other day. We've got 62 employees that have been with us for 10 years or more, and then you get up into the 40, and we've got three guys that have been with us 50 years or more. You get in, I think 12 in the 40 range, and that doesn't happen overnight. My father-in-law created an incredible foundation in this industry. So it's a heavy load to carry, but it's well worth it. Like I said at the beginning, when you follow God's will and go where he plants you, it's fun to grow there.

ALIGN: What does the title “Rios of Mercedes” mean, and how did that get started?

VAUGHAN: So the Rios family has been making boots since 1853. They started down in Mexico and came up to the border area of South Texas around the turn of the century. That was kind of when the border was getting secured. We had the U.S. military down here setting up Fort Brown and Fort Ringgold and Brownsville and Rio Grande City and policing to try to protect and try to create some opportunities for farming to come down to South Texas and take advantage of what we call the Magic Valley, which is a fertile valley area along the Rio Grande River here.

Zeferino Rios and his family moved up here to follow the money, and Zeferino settled in the town of Mercedes, which is the town where we still are, and his brother Abraham went up to Raymondville. So Abraham was Rios of Raymondville.

He really focused on making boots for the ranching families up in the cattle areas of Texas, and then Zeferino's family really focused on a lot of the dressier boots for all of the Midwestern folks that were moving down here to raise cotton and farm and vegetables and stuff. So that's the Rios of Mercedes. So yeah, a lot of people think it's Rio, Rio Grande River, but it's Rios of Mercedes.

ALIGN: That’s a classy name right there.

VAUGHAN: Yeah, any time I'm checking into a hotel and I tell them my email address, they always think I'm like a Mercedes-Benz dealer or something. (Laughs)

ALIGN: So are you from South Texas?

VAUGHAN: Yeah, from the Valley, my family's four generations down here. We were one of those families that came down here to farm. My great-grandfather was a cotton farmer, and they were up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, further north than that, moved down. And my grandfather ended up buying into a chain auto parts store called Burton Auto Supply, which was a store that started in 1919 down here. And my brother is still running it. My dad and uncles took it over, and then my brother runs it.

ALIGN: How did you wind up at the helm of Anderson Bean Boots? Take me back to the beginning.

VAUGHAN: My family was in the auto parts business. So we didn't really do a lot of ranch-y stuff. We were more neighborhood kids, played baseball. We had a big old half-pipe ramp in our back yard. We skateboarded and played football and soccer and everything, basketball. And my brother started chasing a gal in high school. She was a barrel racer, and he got in the show and cattle. He was four years older than me and doing the show cattle thing.

And so after I got out of junior high and moved into high school, I followed right in his footsteps and started doing that, at the FFA show cattle deal, and did FFA leadership and district, and he chased his girlfriend up to Sam Houston State in Huntsville, and she was a barrel racer up there.

Anyway, we ended up both going through the ag program, ag business, and yeah, it was a great path to take.

I knew my now-wife since pre-K, so I grew up with her, and her dad was in the boot business, obviously. They've been doing it for 50-something years, and so I always was kind of around it and knew what they did, and we dated in high school and stuff. So I'm very familiar with the industry, and thanks be to God, God put me in the Western industry for good. Not where I expected I was gonna be, but boy, it sure is a perfect place for me.

ALIGN: Amen. That's the beauty of where God takes us.

VAUGHAN: Yeah, it's following His will, it brings peace, and exactly where thankfully I landed was exactly where I needed to be. And boy, that's what people always say. What do I love most about my job? And it's this industry that I get work in. I mean, mom-and-pop retailers all over the country. And for the most part, they're second, third generation. They're in small community, rural community areas that are super conservative, Christian background, morals, values, they stand up. You can't have a successful small business in a small community if you're not doing things the right way, because you're going to see those same people that you're selling to at church and at school and in the restaurants. And you've got to be doing things the right way. And thankfully, that's what a lot of our retailers build their business around.

ALIGN: Do you remember the first time you put on a pair of Anderson Bean boots?

VAUGHAN: Well, I actually had my first pair that my father-in-law gave me up here. They were actually some Rios Mercedes, and they didn't fit me very well because I didn't know what size I was wearing.

I worked at a sale barn in Huntsville, a cattle sale barn, all through college, and I was wearing Red Wings and who knows what other boots, and he finally gave me a pair of boots.

I felt pretty cool because I knew how expensive they were. I had never worn boots that fancy. But they were some old rejects out of the outlet store, and I've still got them up on my trophy wall.

ALIGN: So where does the name Anderson Bean come from?

VAUGHAN: In the mid-80s, my father-in-law, Trainer Evans, and his partner, Pat Moody, decided that they needed to build a boot that was a little bit more price-point-oriented but still domestically made. So they took the model of Rios Mercedes and just shortened up a few steps in the labor process and tried to streamline some of the options and made it a little bit more of a production-type boot.

My father-in-law, he's a fifth-generation West Texas feedlot cowboy. He said that the women who ran the ranch never got the praise and the credit they deserved. The ranching guys always used to go out and have the biggest dogs and kill the biggest deer and do all that, all the big cowboy stories. The women were at home raising them. He named it for his great-grandmother and his grandmother and his mother, Helen Anderson and Macie Bean.

And he just saw those women needed a little bit more credit and so named the boot company after them.

ALIGN: What makes Anderson Bean boots unique?

VAUGHAN: A lot of it starts with where we start. And that's really good relationships with our suppliers and that we try to treat our suppliers the way we want to be treated from our retailers. And that's being really loyal and paying well, giving them plenty of time to procure the materials and to do things the right way and just really build up relationships.

And so if you don't have good leather and good high-quality materials, the boots are not going to hold up, and so really building those relationships with the supplier, so that they know what our customers are putting the boots through to make sure that we have high-quality materials going into it. And that was one of the things that we started off with. We can build a cowboy boot in the United States ... made pretty much completely with materials to come in from other parts of the world, especially Mexico. [But] we decided that if we're going to build a boot in the U.S., we need to use U.S. suppliers.

We want to support the supply chain. A lot of the manufacturing moved out of the country, and it left a lot of our suppliers high and dry. And so we want to be really loyal to them. And thankfully they serve us really well.

So it starts off with the materials that we select, but then a lot of it is the construction, doing things the right way with a leather insole, a leather heel counter, and people go, “Well, what does that mean?”

It means that the boot molds to your foot. The more you wear it, the more it molds. Any time you get leather wet, the pores open up, and it just shapes around your foot. And then just using high-quality lining leather that rubs against your leg.

We use a latex water-based glue on a lot of the processes that breathes a lot better since it's water-based. A lot of other companies use a rubber cement that's cheaper and quicker. It creates a water barrier, a vapor barrier, so the boots get hotter.

In Texas and Oklahoma, in summertime, people go, ”My gosh, I'm going to wear a sandal, I'm going to the beach, it's so hot.”

Our customers kick it into full gear. I mean, that's when all of our team roping started up, all the high school finals, rodeos, and in fact, we've got the International Finals Youth Rodeo going on in Shawnee in a couple of weeks.

There's nothing better than a boot that you can take to the local cobbler, he can pull the sole off of them and knows how to rework them because they've got the guts in them. And so if you take decent care of a pair of leather boots, you can re-sole them four, five, six, seven times. And I mean, that boot, you may spend 350, 400 bucks on them, but 150 bucks every time you get a pretty much brand-new boot.

ALIGN: You often describe your boots as being useful. Like they're a tool. So what kind of beating can they take, and what does that mean for them to be a tool?

VAUGHAN: A lot of our core customer base is competitive horse show world, and so cutting horse, reining horse, reining cow horse, these are trainers. It'd be like if you were going to put Michael Jordan in a pair of cowhorses.

These guys are the top of their industry, and people pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars to train their horses. It's kind of like when you go to the Kentucky Derby, you watch it on TV. The trainers or the top notch, well, they're just training other rich people's horses for the most part, right?

But those guys and all of their staff are on horseback every day, training four, five, 10, 15, 20 horses. And so they ride, they wash those horses down, they're in the stalls, they're in the pens, they're in the manure, they're in the urine, they're back up on horseback, and especially the cutting horse guys, because those guys, they just ride and ride and ride and ride.

We always say it's best to kind of rotate your boots, let the leather dry. But these guys don't rotate. It's day in, day out. They're wet, they're dry, they're wet, they're dry. They've got spurs on them.

And so if we can build a boot that can hold up to that kind of wear and tear of a guy who uses that boot — they've got to compete in them. They've got to train those horses whenever it is. The competition is on; they've got to go. And so that's when we say that's a tool to let that guy be successful.

But then you get the real West Texas feedlot cowboys and these guys up in Montana and Dakota that are riding horseback — if you get a heel fall off your boot and you're in the middle of mountain country, there is no way to fix that. And so that's a tool that you've got to use, and you're riding up and down mountains and hills and in and out of streams and stuff. And so it's a livelihood for a lot of our customers that need those boots to actually survive and work.

And so I guess that's kind of the framework — whether we can build a boot strong enough for those guys and it'll last good enough for any normal guys like me and you.

ALIGN: Absolutely. Boots are so important. They’re what you wear to a wedding. They're what you wear to a funeral. They're what you wear in any really important event or even to the grocery store.

VAUGHAN: I think that's one of the things that brings you credit, whenever those guys are wearing the boots and the rest of the guys go, “Man, if that guy is wearing them, then" — you know, the same way with Michael Jordan in the Nikes.

That falls all the way down to the kids in sixth grade that are in the junior high team. They want a pair of those too because the best guys wear them, and that kind of works the same way with our world. And the other thing is, Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Amarillo: There's a horse show event going on in those towns just about every weekend, and these guys come from all over the country, and if you've got enough money to be in this industry and you're flying in and bringing horse trailers and things, you're probably a pretty big wig in your community, and so whatever you take and see, hats and saddles and tack and boots from Fort Worth, Oklahoma, and Amarillo, and you go back to your community, everybody's watching you and seeing what you're wearing, seeing what you're coming back with, seeing what kind of saddle you've gotten, and so you create all these little disciples all over the country from these guys that are the big wigs in their community with the coolest, newest things, and hopefully the best quality as well.

ALIGN: So Anderson Bean boots also happen to look really good. What goes into that aspect of it?

VAUGHAN: We don't do any direct-to-consumer sales. So we drew a line in the sand that we are only going to support our retail partners that built this brand up. We've got about 10 sales reps that travel the country — in fact, we've got Dallas market going on right now at the World Trade Center in Dallas, and so retailers come and visit, and they see samples, they see swatches, and they design boots for their store.

What that gives our retailers is that they are the design team. Leather suppliers will come down, and guys that don't know us will go, “Well, where's your design team?”

I like picking out leathers, and my wife does a lot of stuff, but our retailers design them. So say you got Michael Kahn that has Dollar Western Wear in Lubbock, Texas. Sales rep Doc Watson will go out there and show him some different samples, and Michael says I've got a fresh batch of Red Raider kids, freshmen, coming in. He says I want a good black, smooth ostrich. I need a good price point for those kids, but I want a red top and I want white and black stitching with white side seam and trim, and those kids are gonna be dancing.

Well, he'll design it exactly for that customer and that price point. But when those freshman kids roll in and they go, “Wow. I'll check out those boots," and they go in the store and they go, "Let me go see if I can find them cheaper online.”

Guess what: He designed those things exactly for his store. So he gets to make a nice margin on it, which is what a retailer needs to be able to save, keep his doors open. And that kid gets something that's unique and different. And so what really drives the Anderson Bean creativity is always having something unique and different. And our suppliers know we pay good. They know we hit the market fast.

We don't have to go through all this research and development and testing and things. I mean, I'll see a new skin and — in fact, we had our suppliers from South Africa our ostrich suppliers here a few weeks ago, and they brought in a cool olive green ostrich leather. Well, guess what, I'm showing that to retailers the next week. We're getting orders on it, and we hit the market, and you start seeing what different colors and different finishes there are.

I don't want to say we're industry leaders because we're so smart or talented; it's just because we move fast and we listen. And that means listen to what our retailers are asking for. And we're not smart enough to figure out what's going to be hot in fall of 2027, the way all these fashion brands dictate kind of what's coming and what's new. But yeah, unique hides and skins are our name. I mean, we do carpincho, we do stingray, we do kangaroo, we do elephant, hippo. We do beaver tail. We do giraffe, zebra. I mean, a lot of exotics and everything.

ALIGN: I saw a shark.

VAUGHAN: Oh yeah, shark.

The Little Tech agenda

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 05:15


Little Tech is our term for tech startups, as contrasted to Big Tech incumbents.

Little Tech has run independent of politics for our entire careers. But as the old Soviet joke goes, “You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.”

We believe bad government policies are now the number-one threat to Little Tech.

When this cycle is allowed to play out, when big companies can weaponize the government against startups, the result is stagnation and then decline.

We believe American technology supremacy, and the critical role that Little Tech startups play in ensuring that supremacy, is a first-class political issue on par with any other. The time has come to stand up for Little Tech.

Our political efforts as a firm are entirely focused on defending Little Tech. We do not engage in political fights outside issues directly relevant to Little Tech. But we will fight for Little Tech — for the freedom to research, to invent, to create jobs, to build the future — with all of our resources.

We find there are three kinds of politicians:

  • Those who support Little Tech. We support them.
  • Those who oppose Little Tech. We oppose them.
  • Those who are somewhere in the middle — they want to be supportive, but they have concerns. We work with them in good faith.

We support or oppose politicians regardless of party and regardless of their positions on other issues.

We are in this for the long haul.

America

America led the 20th century because we are pre-eminent in three dimensions:

  1. Technology – America drove the Second Industrial Revolution through the 1930s and then the Computer Revolution since the 1940s.
  2. Economy – America’s free market system created enormous societal wealth and dramatic improvements in quality of life for everyday people.
  3. Military – American military might drove victory in World War I and World War II, then catalyzed the unilateral surrender and dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Each of these dimensions reinforces the other two:

  • Our technology pre-eminence powers our economy and our military.
  • Our economic growth pays for our massive investment in technology and in our military.
  • And our military dominance keeps us safe from foreign threats and hostile ideologies that could crush our technology, our economy, and our people.

And America’s success has positive global spillover effects to much of the rest of the world. American technology is the global standard. The American economy is the leading production and consumption partner of many other nations. And the American military has maintained overall global peace and prosperity since World War II to a level unprecedented in world history.

Naysayers say America’s best days are behind us, that the 21st century will see America play a diminished role in all three dimensions.

We disagree. There is no reason American technology, economic, and military leadership cannot continue for decades to come.

There is no reason the 21st century cannot be a second American Century.

Startups

American technology leadership is the result of a complex system built over the last 150 years that includes our pioneering spirit, our work ethic, our rule of law, our deep capital markets, our higher education system, and long-term government investment in scientific research. And university, government, and corporate labs have all played key roles.

But the vanguard of American technology supremacy has always been the startup. From Edison and Ford to Hughes and Lockheed to SpaceX and Tesla, the path to greatness starts in a garage.

A startup is what happens when a plucky group of outcasts and misfits come together with a dream, ambition, courage, and a particular set of skills — to build something new in the world, to build a product that will improve peoples’ lives, and to build a company that may go on to create many more new things in the future.

The enormous advantage of any startup is a clean sheet of paper — a single shot to imagine and realize a different and better world.

But startups start with every other disadvantage. Specifically, they must go up against incumbent companies that have overwhelmingly superior brands, market positions, customer bases, and financial strength — incumbents that are out to strangle startup competition in the cradle.

Incumbents often have another enormous advantage — the ability to wire the government against startup competitors.

Dominant companies don’t start out that way. In fact, they start as startups, fighting their way uphill until they reach a position of power where they seek to lock in their gains, to pull the rope ladder up behind them. They inject themselves into the political system and seek regulatory capture — a wall of laws and regulations that protect and entrench their positions and that new startups cannot possibly scale.

The historical result of regulatory capture in market after market has been government-enforced monopolies and cartels.

And the motto of every monopoly and cartel is, “We don’t care, because we don’t have to.”

When this cycle is allowed to play out, when big companies can weaponize the government against startups, the result is stagnation and then decline.

There are many signs of stagnation and decline in the American economy today.

Economists measure the rate of technology improvement in the economy as productivity growth. And productivity growth today, after 50 years of the proliferation of the profoundly powerful technologies of the computer and the internet, is lower than before the 1970s.

The real-world consequences are staggering:

  • Low productivity growth means low economic growth.
  • Low economic growth means a low rate of improvement in quality of life for regular people, if not outright backsliding. See, for example, skyrocketing prices and stagnating quality of education, health care, and housing — sure signs of regulatory capture.
  • Low economic growth also means the rise of smashmouth zero-sum politics, as gains for one group of people necessarily require taking things away from other people.
  • Zero-sum politics lead to corrosion of the national spirit of opportunity and growth. We can feel this corrosion all around us.

The way to prevent this outcome is to encourage new startups — to drive innovation, competition, and growth — and to prevent big companies from weaponizing the government to crush them.

Problem

The American government is now far more hostile to new startups than it used to be.

For example:

  • Regulatory agencies have been greenlit to use brute force investigations, prosecutions, intimidation, and threats to hobble new industries, such as Blockchain.
  • Regulatory agencies are being greenlit in real time to do the same to artificial intelligence.
  • Regulatory agencies are applying direct pressure to banks to cut off disfavored startups and founders from the financial system.
  • Regulatory agencies are punitively blocking startups from being acquired by the same big companies the government is preferencing in so many other ways.
  • The federal government as a customer in critical sectors like defense and intelligence is more wired than ever to favor big incumbents over innovative startups.
  • And the government is currently proposing a tax on unrealized capital gains, which would absolutely kill both startups and the venture capital industry that funds them.

The anti-startup bias that is increasingly pervasive across the American government is a clear and present threat to the health and vitality of American technology success — and therefore to the American economy, the American military, and the American people.

Why is this happening? In part, explicit decisions. In part, inertial drift. But also because tech startups as an industry do not show up in Washington, D.C., and in the political system the way big companies do. As long as this imbalance persists, the war on tech startups and the resulting threat to America will continue.

Therefore the need to politically defend Little Tech.

Opportunity

Reversing ruinous policies is just one side of the coin. We can also imagine positive policies that encourage tech startups to flourish — benefiting those startups and their customers and forcing big incumbents to stay vital and dynamic due to startup competition.

For example:

  • Regulatory reform in important industries like health care, education, and housing, to strip incumbents of their current regulatory capture and drive higher quality at lower prices.
  • Policies to reconstruct the American manufacturing sector around automation and AI, reshoring entire industries and creating millions of new middle-class jobs.
  • Reinvention of the American military industrial base by new companies building defense systems on the leading edge of autonomy and AI.
  • Environmental reform to encourage the development and deployment of nuclear power for unlimited clean energy production.
  • Expansion of high-skilled immigration to encourage foreign graduates of American universities and others to build new companies and industries here.
  • And a whole-of-government program to drive the success of U.S. technology companies globally against a hostile China and a regulation-crazed EU.

We have no doubt that an American government that actually wants startups to succeed and new industries to flourish would drive enormous increases in the standard of living of regular Americans and underwrite many more decades of American technology, economic, and military strength.

The glory of a second American Century is within our reach.

Let’s grasp it.

Editor's note: This article was originally posted as a thread on X.

Supreme Court begins rebuilding America’s constitutional order

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 05:00


The final flurry of U.S. Supreme Court rulings at the end of June brought several highly positive developments and one major disappointment. Multiple decisions curtailed the power of the federal government’s executive agencies, a much-needed corrective that begins a dismantling of the unconstitutional federal regulatory state.

Even more importantly, the rulings laid the groundwork for a restoration of the nation’s constitutional order to be developed much further in future cases.

'Courts interpret statutes, no matter the context, based on the traditional tools of statutory construction, not individual policy preferences.' We’ll see about that.

This includes reestablishing the separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government and the states’ authority over police powers and other matters the Constitution does not explicitly assign to the national government. There is much more work to be done on the latter, but this session’s decisions are a good start.

In a decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court ruled the Securities and Exchange Commission cannot use agency proceedings to prosecute people for fraud. Such cases must be decided in federal courts, the justices ruled in a 6-3 vote. Use of agency proceedings violates people’s Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial, the court said.

The decision will probably extend to other regulatory agencies and enforcement mechanisms. I agree with Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent that the ruling is “a massive sea change” and “the constitutionality of hundreds of statutes may now be in peril, and dozens of agencies could be stripped of their power to enforce laws enacted by Congress.” Sotomayor and the other dissenters argue that the dismantling of the regulatory state would be a very bad outcome. On the contrary, it would be extremely beneficial to the American people. Even more importantly, law enforcement without a trial is unconstitutional and profoundly anti-American.

In another 6-3 decision written by Roberts, the court ruled against prosecution of January 6 defendants for obstruction of justice under a law meant to stop people from destroying documents or otherwise tampering with evidence in criminal investigations. The majority recognized that the law was never intended to apply to every conceivable “obstruction” of “an official proceeding.” Meanwhile, two of the four charges in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case against Donald Trump are based on this statute.

In dissent, Justice Amy Coney Barrett argued that “statutes often go further than the problem that inspired them, and under the rules of statutory interpretation, we stick to the text anyway.” Such expansive interpretation of federal laws is judicial activism, plain and simple, and has been causing trouble for decades. Now, the justices argue regularly over the texts of the laws and the Constitution in the cases before them, a position known as textualism. That is a great improvement from the court’s many decades of activism.

Reining in activism

In a similar fashion, the court found in Snyder v. United States the prosecution of state and local officials for bribery under federal law is wrong because that authority belongs to the states. The states have the “prerogative to regulate the permissible scope of interactions between state officials and their constituents,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote for the majority. This decision is an important affirmation of states’ authority to use their police powers and a welcome limitation on the federal government.

In Grants Pass v. Johnson, the justices voted 6-3 to strike down a lower court’s ruling that a city could not fine or imprison people for violating public-camping ordinances if there are more homeless people than shelter beds “practically available” to them. “The enforcement of generally applicable laws regulating camping on public property does not constitute ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ prohibited by the Eighth Amendment,” the court ruled.

In addition, although the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment “prohibits certain methods of punishment a government may impose after a criminal conviction ... it does not impose [any] substantive limits on what conduct a state may criminalize.” For decades, the Supreme Court had been constricting the authority of states and local governments while expanding the reach of the federal government. The Grants Pass decision is a welcome reversal of that unconstitutional habit of judicial activism, restoring to states their full range of police powers.

Good riddance to Chevron deference

Finally, in a long-awaited decision, in Loper v. Raimondo the court removed federal agencies’ permission to craft regulations as they see fit provided that their interpretations of ambiguously worded congressional legislation are not embarrassingly unreasonable. Federal regulators have run wild for four decades under this doctrine, known as Chevron deference after a 1984 Supreme Court ruling, though the practice originated in the New Deal era.

The Chevron decision upended the constitutional order and promoted the massive expansion of the regulatory state. Members of Congress passed laws larded with generalities they could rely on the permanent bureaucracy to transform into greater government power while distancing the legislators from responsibility for those decisions.

The court’s decision to undo that harm in Loper is sweeping and unambiguous: “The Administrative Procedure Act requires courts to exercise their independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority, and courts may not defer to an agency interpretation of the law simply because a statute is ambiguous; Chevron is overruled.”

Writing for the 6-2 majority (Ketanji Brown Jackson having recused herself), Roberts flatly stated Chevron does not make sense and wrongly limits courts’ authority to decide on the legality of executive branch actions.

“Chevron cannot be reconciled with the APA by presuming that statutory ambiguities are implicit delegations to agencies,” the chief justice wrote. “That presumption does not approximate reality. A statutory ambiguity does not necessarily reflect a congressional intent that an agency, as opposed to a court, resolve the resulting interpretive question.”

Resolving statutory ambiguities is, in fact, the courts’ responsibility and area of expertise, Roberts noted: “Perhaps most fundamentally, Chevron’s presumption is misguided because agencies have no special competence in resolving statutory ambiguities. Courts do. The Framers anticipated that courts would often confront statutory ambiguities and expected that courts would resolve them by exercising independent legal judgment.”

The court’s decision to strike down Chevron deference does not encourage legislation from the bench, Roberts argued: “Courts interpret statutes, no matter the context, based on the traditional tools of statutory construction, not individual policy preferences.” We’ll see about that. Chevron deference arose as a way of keeping courts from making absurd reinterpretations of federal laws. The Supreme Court made the right decision in ending it, however, as it is indeed the judiciary’s job to make those mistakes if anybody is going to do so.

A First Amendment setback

Unfortunately, not all the court’s final-week decisions were decided as sensibly as these. In Murthy v. Missouri, the court gave the government permission to threaten, cajole, and bribe media organizations into supporting the president’s re-election campaign by suppressing bad news about the president and quashing readers’ and posters’ comments critical of Biden.

Instead of making a judgment on the facts of the case, which centered on the federal government’s actions, the court’s majority decided that the plaintiffs failed to “demonstrate a substantial risk that, in the near future, they will suffer an injury that is traceable to a Government defendant and redressable by the injunction they seek.”

The decision indicates the plaintiffs could sue the media organizations for damages for past actions, though of course the lawsuit was aimed at alleged Biden administration wrongs. The majority refused to stop the Biden administration now because the trial courts did not identify enough evidence to prove to their satisfaction that Biden’s team would pressure media organizations to do the same thing again this time around.

The dissent written by Justice Samuel Alito (with Thomas and Gorsuch concurring) argued that the plaintiffs provided plenty of evidence showing the Biden administration’s actions harmed the defendants.

“For months in 2021 and 2022, a coterie of officials at the highest levels of the Federal Government continuously harried and implicitly threatened Facebook with potentially crippling consequences if it did not comply with their wishes about the suppression of certain COVID–19-related speech,” Alito wrote. “Not surprisingly, Facebook repeatedly yielded. As a result, Hines was indisputably injured, and due to the officials’ continuing efforts, she was threatened with more of the same when she brought suit.”

Alito concluded the court’s majority shirked its responsibility to defend the public from censorship instigated by the federal government: “It was blatantly unconstitutional, and the country may come to regret the Court’s failure to say so.” The dissenters are right. The majority indulged in excessively cute reasoning to avoid a hot political issue.

Overall, the Supreme Court made significant progress this term toward restoring the nation’s constitutional structure. It emphasized separation of powers and the rights of states and people to govern themselves without federal interference in areas outside the Constitution's authority. This is an extraordinary and unexpected development of historical significance.

Making sense of the global managerial revolution

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 04:45


Always and everywhere, power attempts to centralize.

In his book “On Power,” the political theorist Bertrand de Jouvenel explains that power is always seeking to erode barriers to that process of centralization. In its most organic construction, civilization is formed out of overlapping spheres of social sovereignty. Man is a political animal, and none of us exist in complete isolation but instead find ourselves bound into a web of social dependencies and obligations. The family, church, tribe, guild, and fraternity each make demands on and provide for the needs of their members.

Particular peoples with particular identities and ways of being are the enemy of universalized bureaucratic management.

This network of voluntary and involuntary associations grants us identity and meaning while also providing us with a community within which we can practice virtue. Our dependency on and duty to these spheres sustain and define us, but they also serve as barriers to the centralization of power. Those with very specific familial, religious, and regional identities and obligations are far less likely to follow the dictates of centralized authority. Power must collapse these opposing spheres of power if it is to achieve its goals. Regional authorities, organic identity, and natural hierarchies are all barriers to the centralization of power.

Meeting a massive challenge

In the 1940s, James Burnham introduced the idea that a “managerial revolution” had radically altered the modern state. Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and liberal democracies like the United States may have significant differences, but ultimately each of these states rested on a managerial structure.

After the Industrial Revolution, the paradigm of mass production and mass consumption required a shift in social organization. Large bureaucratic structures were required to meet the logistical, technical, and social challenges of mass society, and those organizations required a new class of experts to operate them.

These mass bureaucratic structures promised a miraculous degree of material abundance. By operating at scale, logistical mastery would generate an enormous degree of wealth through efficiency. To reliably extract this degree of efficiency, the new class of experts would need to apply a standardized set of managerial techniques. Just as the uniformity of cogs in a machine is necessary for the operation of an assembly line, the mass managerial bureaucracy requires universalization to scale the massification of human organization.

In his book “Leviathan and Its Enemies,” the paleoconservative theorist Samuel Francis continued Burnham’s critical work by outlining the process by which the managerial revolution dissolved the competing structures of bourgeois capitalism. While capital had already revolutionized many competing social spheres, managerialism required their complete abolition.

Always and everywhere, power seeks to centralize, and managerialism gains strength through centralization via mass bureaucratic social organizations. Cultural and moral particularity from competing spheres of social sovereignty hinders the uniform application of managerial techniques.

The individual worker who has a large family with many children may be unwilling to devote his entire life to the corporation. The devout Christian may oppose commerce on the Sabbath or the practice of usury. The devout Muslim may require the observance of certain dietary restrictions. An individual whose family has lived in a region for generations may be unwilling to sacrifice the well-being of that particular community in the name of economic efficiency. Particular peoples with particular identities and ways of being are the enemy of universalized bureaucratic management.

From community to dependency

Francis observed that the managerial elite attempt to break down barriers to universal application by homogenizing culture. Hedonistic and cosmopolitan identities are highly malleable, so the managerial elite desire a deracinated population that can be easily manipulated. By replacing dependency on morally and culturally particular structures like family or church with dependency on mass managerial structures like public education or the welfare state, the managerial class can gain power over individuals and separate them from other social spheres.

By focusing on abstract issues, the managerial elite can locate their decision-making centers well outside the nation itself. This makes it almost impossible to hold real power accountable.

Progressive secular humanism, or wokeness, allies with the managerial revolution by disincentivizing the creation of opposing spheres of sovereignty. It stigmatizes family formation and traditional religion, labeling them as low status. Organic identities are replaced with more general and commodifiable identities, which can be consumed and discarded. In the name of liberation, individuals are stripped of every natural duty and dependency, making them entirely reliant on the managerial regime. Without the protection of competing social spheres, deracinated individuals are left defenseless against the state and corporations that demand total allegiance.

In addition to outlining the cultural assimilation required by managerialism, Samuel Francis predicted that its internal logic would compel it to pursue globalization. Managerial structures produce their abundance through large-scale organization, necessitating the continuous expansion of logistical networks. Nations’ boundaries are arbitrary barriers to the mass bureaucratic mindset, and once the managerial elite complete their revolution within their own borders, they will naturally turn outward. New markets mean access to new consumers, natural resources, and laborers, but the revolution is never purely economic.

Managerial regimes find it easier to coordinate with other managerial regimes of the same order, which is why the United States and the wider West have been obsessed with the spread of liberal democracy.

George W. Bush and other conservatives have often been mocked for the idea that at the heart of every nation lies a liberal democracy yearning to be free, but this is simply an extension of the universalism that the managerial revolution demands. Massified national organizations naturally seek to expand their power by becoming international organizations. The World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Economic Forum, NATO, and several other international entities are constantly seeking to add new nodes to the managerial network, creating a loose globalized managerial order without any formal name.

These organizations always emphasize problems of an international scale. Global warming, pandemic response, and world overpopulation are all issues that are too large for any one nation to address on its own. By focusing on large and abstract issues, the managerial elite can locate their decision-making centers well outside the nation itself. This makes it almost impossible for the citizens of that nation to hold real power accountable even as they continue to participate in the democratic process.

McCulture trumps tradition

For the ever-expanding network of managerial bureaucracy to spread profitably into new regions, it must successfully homogenize culture. It is not enough for a culture to become uniform inside a nation; it must become uniform across the entire international network.

The conversion of nations into liberal democracies assists in this process. Democratic elites must introduce mass media, bureaucratic organization, and therapeutic amelioration if they are to achieve the kind of social engineering that is required to maintain power under a system of popular sovereignty.

New democratic leaders in foreign countries thus benefit greatly from connecting their subjects to the global network of managers already established by the West. Mass media begins its work, and McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Apple stores soon follow.

The good news for those who see the nation as the best social organization for human flourishing is that the current managerial order cannot last.

The traditions and history of the nation are slowly worn away as a tide of foreign culture flows in. International organizations become major employers as well as cultural staples and grow in importance until they are so integral to the operation of the country that no one can imagine how they ever got along without them. Managers and personnel flow over borders as naturally as the goods those organizations produce.

The very idea that the people differ in any significant way from those of any other country slowly disappears. No group has claim to any given nation because all nations are now part of the mass managerial network. The managerial elite develop international class interests because their interdependent networks make the nation itself an interchangeable unit.

Managing a government is seen as no different from running an international corporation or a non-governmental organization. All these entities feature similar bureaucratic structures, and managers have an easy time moving between them.

Humans aren’t widgets

Just as it sought to homogenize culture inside its original borders, the global managerial order must break down the particularities of the nations to which it seeks to expand.

This is why wokeness has gone international, with movements like Black Lives Matter gaining traction in countries like England or Ireland where no history of racialized conflict existed. Starbucks is running ads about transgenderism in India for a reason, and it has everything to do with coffee consumption when properly understood. The United States is using gay rights as part of its justification to send billions of dollars in military aid to both Ukraine and Israel.

Progressive secular humanism is the universal acid meant to dissolve all cultural particularity and turn the people of each nation into blank slates onto which managerial techniques can be freely pressed.

The good news for those who see the nation as the best social organization for human flourishing is that the current managerial order cannot last. Humans are not interchangeable widgets. We are not meant to lose our heritage, traditions, religions, and languages for a bureaucratic Tower of Babel.

Like Soviet communism, managerial liberalism has made faulty assumptions about human nature that will doom it. Late-stage managerialism will eventually fall apart. The question is whether Western nations will have leaders ready to guide their people to a brighter future.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a talk delivered on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, at the fourth National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C.

​Can tech save entertainment — from itself?

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 04:30


Not many people think of Larry Ellison, the irascible scion of tech giant Oracle, as a media mogul — much less a Hollywood heavyweight. But with his son David’s rise to head Paramount on the heels of a deal merging his Skydance Media production studio with Paramount, the elder Ellison now counts his second major family foray into the belly of the corporate cinema beast.

His first, by way of daughter Megan’s once white-hot Annapurna Pictures, drew him in deeper than, no doubt, he’d planned. After an extraordinary spate of acclaimed hits — including some, like "Zero Dark Thirty," that put the company into an intimate, if temporary, relationship with deep state image shapers — Annapurna began bleeding cash on underwhelming films. In 2018, with the numbers in the tank and top brass racing for the lifeboats, Larry stepped in to right the ship.

Since then, the whole film and television industry has been turned upside down. A bitterly ironic casualty of the revolutionary policies so many celebs and execs fanatically support, or supported, Hollywood still hasn’t recovered from the corporatist consolidation, COVID-era lockdowns, BLM-era wokeficiation, and #MeToo-era virtue-signaling that pushed so many Americans away from the comforting and escapist entertainment fare generations had grown up on.

But what Hollywood wants to blame for its woes is technology: tech that scared the unions into mounting the strike from hell and tech that forced the industry out into the deep waters of streaming, where outsiders like Netflix and Amazon dominate but nobody really knows how to make money. It’s tech that turned teens into small-screen consumers with the cultural memory of a goldfish, squandering years of prime entertainment obsession on TikTok instead of the greatest films and shows in history — the pattern seemingly set by Spotify, where net listens overwhelmingly belong to an elite group of all-time most popular acts.

Worst of all, tech has put Hollywood in the deeply unwelcome and foreign terrain of unpopularity, both internal and external. Inside the tent, writers hate the push to automate development and scripting in accordance with the new “content creation” ethos; producers hate the conglomerates’ penchant for simply canceling completed films that the computers say are a greater cost liability released than written off as a loss; creative executives feel set up for failure, pressured to spend until something hits or until they lose their job on their first flop. Then there’s the identity politics: Insiders know woke flicks and girlboss slop struggle, yet whichever way they turn for alternatives, some aggrieved group will drag them on socials.

And outside the industry, consumers are skeptical, fatigued, and hungry for soulful, normie fare that Hollywood seems to have lost the ability to deliver. Theaters are now increasingly screening old classics, and some maverick outfits with a conservative or Christian bent are landing a hit or two here and there, but the public at large, which still relies on visual narratives more than books or computers to make sense of their place in the unfolding world, needs more.

All told, the entertainment industry appears to be ripe for “disruption” of the type that tech has become so stereotypically good at producing … except for the fact that tech has already done this, and the situation seems to be more at an impasse than ever. Some insist that AI has already solved this problem, pointing to recent leaps in prompt-and-automate computer animation, which allegedly will become cinema-quality within a handful of years. But if OpenAI’s business model is any indication, all the best advancements will be sold or licensed to the same managerialist behemoths whose mergers and acquisitions have made them too big to win at human scale.

The push toward gigantism is afflicting even more nimble companies that should know better. A24, which found success with smaller, cooler, more recognizably human films, recently seized on the chance to scale up with a big influx of cash and a seemingly bolder business plan — pivot more resources into more popular “genre” fare, inject its special sauce of edgy aesthetics and artful chops, and profit. Alas, its first big swing — an ambitious TV series spinning the Friday the 13th intellectual property into a sprawling origin story linking the franchise’s milestone films into a single tale — is on the brink of disaster, over budget, under-scripted, and the blame game in full swing.

What’s a tech-monied movie mogul to do? It’s comforting to some to think this moment shows that, culturally, only digital “tech” can save us from televisual “media,” and comforting to others to think the reverse. But for ordinary Americans, and extraordinary artists, the truth is that oversized companies of either type are the problem — at least until some of them can prove they understand that the humane genius for soulful art grows from the soil up, not from the top down in a lab. If techies and their heirs can see that, they’ll soon sweep legacy Hollywood aside. If they don’t? The future of video art will belong to the people.

The best internet advice column ever!

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 04:15


How do I stop losing interest in my girlfriends? It is sad to keep going through the initial elation of following the chase, getting together, and then gradually tolerating them less and less until that eventually turns to resentment. What do I do to break the cycle and build a lasting relationship?

How, indeed. As an ancient sorceress I have many powers, but “fixing” the standard avoidant is beyond even my capabilities. One thing you have to realize, which it appears you have begun to do, is that what you are addicted to is the “chase.”

What appears to drive you is not the search for a mate with whom you can build a life but the period of infatuation in any new relationship during which you can project endless fantasies onto the other person. Naturally, once you actually get to know the other person, who also happens to be a flesh-and-blood human being with her own habits, idiosyncrasies, and desires, it becomes impossible to sustain those initial fantasies.

No long-term relationship can ever survive on the expectation that everything will be as it was during the infatuation stage. At some point you have to accept that there is another person if front of you, and you have to take the good with the bad. And hopefully the good far outweighs the bad.

If you can’t do that, then you will have to endure your fate as a romantic Flying Dutchman ship, doomed to sail the seas forever without ever successfully reaching port. Either way, you’re going to have to accept one version of reality or another, because by refusing to accept the first, in which you can truly love another person in spite of her imperfections, you will be accepting the second version by default. The choice is yours.

How would you deal with a spouse who has a history of hiding credit card debt? A few years ago, I discovered my wife had racked up about $2,000 of credit card debt on her new card that we opened together. She never had a credit card before, so I let it slide and paid the bill. A year later, I was again blindsided by an $8,000 credit card bill on this same credit card. I had a newborn and the marriage was relatively new still, so I paid off the debt and took total control of our finances. That seemed to work and did not cause any issues between us. I would regularly check her card like a parent checking in on a teenager. Fast-forward five years and a few children, and I almost forgot it ever happened. My grip on finances loosened to the extent that I stopped asking to see her accounts. However, I recently discovered she had a new $6,000 balance, which she had been paying off slowly, completely destroying her credit score and piling up monthly fees and interest charges in the process. She had also been going into my wallet and making purchases on our grocery credit card to make it look like she never ordered anything. I have no interest in implementing strict rules or regular checks any more, and I am tired of it all. With all that said, she is an amazing mother, wife, and friend.

That is a tough situation, and you’re not alone in this kind of conundrum. Financial infidelity affects something like 30%-40% of couples and definitely leads to damaged trust in a relationship.

Let’s start with the positives first: You mentioned that your wife is, despite her less-than-desirable financial acumen, an amazing wife, mother, and friend and that you have a few children together. That definitely counts for a lot, and I think those positive qualities are worth keeping in mind when you decide how to work through this understandably very frustrating issue.

You did not specify what exactly your wife is spending money on — is it on frivolities like collectible Stanley cups or on household needs that are simply not in the approved budget? Given that she was hiding the purchases, I will assume the former, but it is worth at least investigating the latter before implementing stricter budget measures.

If you have an agreed-upon budget and your wife is just going over because she’s an impulsive spender and truly just seems incapable of managing finances despite her best efforts, you might want to consider getting her a credit card for household expenses that has a set limit that is in line with the monthly budget. This way, you won’t feel the need to babysit her spending every month, but if she does need to go over that limit sometimes, it will force you two to have a transparent conversation about how money is being spent. This won’t magically transform your wife into a financial sage, but it will perhaps restore some peace to that area of your lives so you can focus on more positive things.

How do I massively improve my life in two years?

The best piece of wisdom I’ve come across for undertaking any sort of massive overhaul is to approach it as you would approach renovating an old house: one area at a time and never all at once.

Focus on three core areas, for example: health, relationships, and interests. Let’s say your goals are to improve your fitness, make more friends, and pick up a new hobby. You might be tempted to kill three birds with one stone and do something crazy like join a running club or get into pickleball, but this would be a terrible mistake. Two years from now, you will find yourself in slightly better shape but with many acquaintances who lack real common interests and a hobby that has now fallen out of fashion. And then you will be almost exactly where you started.

Better to approach one thing at a time in three- to six-month increments. Join a gym. Once that becomes an integrated part of your routine (and you might have even made some friends), pick up an interesting hobby like cooking or, if you have a death wish, free climbing.

In a year, you will be in better shape and have more entertaining topics to discuss than, say, someone who has only been playing pickleball. And now you can go about widening your social circle by attending events or activities in your city. If you follow this method, you will be far better off than someone who, in the midst of a crisis of meaning, just joined a running club.

My girlfriend is Russian. Any advice for establishing deeper trust with a woman whose ethnic background is not exactly known for being warm and welcoming?

The only advice I can give you is to practice sprinting fast enough to outrun her father’s shotgun. Best of luck.

How do I lose weight?

In a world of off-label semaglutide prescriptions, being overweight is a choice. I say this having happily made my choice while sitting in a cabin in Georgia, eating my second fried peach pie of the day.

If you’re someone who has struggled with being overweight much of your life due to thyroid or hormonal issues, then I’m afraid I can’t in good faith offer you easy solutions. But if, like me, you’ve just been eating too many apple cider donuts and brisket sandwiches the last few weeks, you’re just going to have to suck it up for a few months and do the work. Download a calorie-tracking app, diligently track everything you consume, and hit the gym, or at least opt for long daily walks.

And if you’re just the plain fat, lazy American that Europeans accuse you of being and you have some extra cash lying around, then call your doctor and say you want the good stuff. After you’ve cheated your way to your target weight, be sure to go on social media and tell everyone how you lost weight just from eating raw meat and cutting out carbs.

Biden’s ‘lawfare’ against Trump erodes trust in justice

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 04:00


On a humid Tuesday in February, a 42-year-old Harvard Kennedy School graduate and former economics professor found himself accused of terrorism. Surprisingly, his calls for peaceful protest in the previous weeks had sparked the accusation that he was encouraging violence. Leopoldo López had always considered himself an advocate for political change through peaceful and legal means.

But now, prosecutors likened the father of two young children to a Nazi and the president called him a fascist. In a nationwide televised address, that same president called for López to turn himself in. These accusations also had international ramifications. In the address, the president announced the expulsion of three foreign diplomats for allegedly facilitating the protests.

The Biden regime believes America’s future is not for the American people to decide. It’s for Joe Biden (and his handlers) to decide.

In response to the expulsion of diplomats, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called Venezuelan President Maduro’s accusation that U.S. diplomats facilitated the protest “baseless and false.” These events took place in 2014 in Caracas, Venezuela — an actual banana republic — but you might think this sounds like the United States in the 2020s.

López's protest was intended to call for the removal of President Maduro through constitutional and democratic means, such as a recall referendum. The protests turned violent after López was arrested. While he was behind bars and unable to communicate publicly, the Venezuelan government blamed López for the violence.

The accusations against him should sound absurdly recognizable. According to the journal Foreign Policy:

The star witness for the government was a linguistics professor named Rosa Amelia Asuaje, who claimed López had used “subliminal” messages in his speeches and writings which called for violence. But when cross-examined by the defense, Asuaje recanted, stating that “López’s messages are not subliminal; they are clear, direct, and specific. They call for non-violence. There was never a call to violence by López.”

Not even one. Sound familiar?

Regarding the accusations that the United States had anything to do with the protests, Psaki went on to say, “As we have long said, Venezuela’s political future is for the Venezuelan people to decide. We urge their government to engage all parties in meaningful dialogue.” I find it interesting that Psaki, speaking for the Obama-Biden administration, said that the future of a nation is for its people to decide, presumably through the electoral process. That was what López was encouraging!

Fast forward to November 9, 2022, the day after the midterm elections, when Joe Biden, addressing the possibility of former President Donald Trump running again, said, “We just have to demonstrate that he will not take power, if he does run, making sure he, under legitimate efforts of our Constitution, does not become the next president again [sic].”

Keep in mind that Biden’s statement preceded the no-holds-barred lawfare campaign that was unleashed against President Trump. Two things are clear from that statement. First, the Biden regime believes America’s future is not for the American people to decide. It’s for Joe Biden (and his handlers) to decide. Second, the entire purpose of the Biden regime’s lawfare against President Trump is to prevent his return to office. There’s no question about it. Joe Biden himself specifically acknowledged that as the intent.

But one thing is less than clear. The lawyer in me can’t help but wonder what Biden meant in this context when using the word “legitimate”? Nothing about the prosecution of Trump seems like it can be lumped in with “legitimate efforts” “under ... our Constitution.”

The Leopoldo López example in Venezuela is just one example of many indicating that President Biden and key members of his administration know what they’re doing to the country. They know it reflects many hallmark characteristics of a banana republic. They’re intimately familiar with how business operates in illegitimate, despotic regimes. As we say in Utah, “This isn’t their first rodeo.”

Less than one week after Biden’s statement, on November 15, 2022, President Trump announced his intention to run again in 2024. This was seemingly the trigger the Biden regime had been waiting for to launch its nuclear lawfare initiative.

Three days later, three significant events occurred in each of the prosecutions of Donald Trump, demonstrating a coordinated effort to obstruct Trump’s return to power.

First, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee the U.S. Department of Justice’s cases against Trump. Then, Nathan Wade, one of the top Fulton County Trump prosecutors, had eight hours of meetings at the White House, signaling a high level of cooperation. And finally, Matthew Colangelo left his prominent position as the number three at the DOJ to join Alvin Bragg’s office in New York City to help lead Bragg’s witch hunt against Trump. What a grand coincidence that these things happened on the same day!

These actions, meticulously detailed by Breitbart News reporter Bradley Jaye, underscore a deliberate strategy to block Trump’s return to power using constitutional pretenses.

What this means

I suspect that many Americans find the Trump prosecutions shocking for the same reason that I do. These prosecutions lack any regard for prudence and care for the stability of our nation. For the first time in American history, a president has brought criminal charges against his leading political opponent, a former president. Leaders motivated by what’s in the best interests of our country would depart from such precedent only if the cases were legally airtight, watertight, and patently necessary in a way that was obvious to the public. A true statesman would recognize that this dangerous precedent could completely undermine the public’s faith in our legal and political systems. A true statesman would take such steps only if unambiguously compelled to do so by the circumstances — and even then, reluctantly.

The Biden regime, on the other hand, seems eager to “get Trump,” regardless of the societal cost. Rather than proceeding only with patently compelling charges, each of the prosecutions has had to manipulate statutes, interpret the law broadly, and engage in legal creativity to target Trump. This reflects a reckless disregard for the stability of our political system.

'Rule of law' means whatever they say it means. They have the power; therefore, they are the law.

Such a manipulative prosecution would be bad enough under ordinary circumstances. But in this case, the intention of the prosecution, as indicated by Biden’s statement on November 9, 2022, is to undermine the will of the voters. This puts the electorate and elected officials on unequal footing. The Biden regime is using the power of the executive branch to thwart and actively counteract the will of voters.

This calls into question the legitimacy of so many actions taken by the Biden administration. For if the Biden regime was unconcerned with winning re-election based on popular will, why would the regime concern itself with popular will on any other matter? This, in turn, uproots the idea that the execution of our laws is based in the law as enacted by legislators acting on the will of the people. In other words, in the minds of the populace, this threatens the rule of law.

Legendary political philosopher Harry V. Jaffa described the problem with such regimes as this, “Caesarism ... destroyed the balance of Rome’s mixed or republican constitution by destroying the senate and patrician class. It thereby destroyed all rule of law, overthrowing all republican equality between government and the governed within Rome.” In our present case, the Biden regime is “overthrowing republican equality between government and the governed” by explicitly undermining the will of voters and manipulating the judicial system to that end. Jaffa goes on to say, “Yet Caesarism presented itself as the most democratic of regimes, because Caesar’s power was ostensibly exercised entirely for the benefit of the people.”

The good news is that the increase in President Trump’s poll numbers and fundraising in response to each step of the prosecution shows that much of the country sees right through it. Still, we are left wondering what powerful people with such reckless disregard for our political and judicial systems will do next.

What comes next

In a case of irony that could inspire an Alanis Morissette song, the Democrats have framed each indictment and conviction of Donald Trump as a matter of upholding the “rule of law.” In the days after the New York Trump conviction, I noticed this phrasing was used consistently by a wide number of Democrat politicians and leftist pundits in response to Alvin Bragg’s conviction of President Trump. Here are a few examples:

My longtime Senate colleague Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) posted on X, “As I’ve said all along: no one is above the law—not even a former president. Consistent with the rule of law, a jury of his peers found the former president guilty on all counts.”

Also on X, another colleague, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), posted, “It’s simple. He broke the law. He got caught. He got convicted. Is this crime as serious as the others he committed? No. But the rule of law applies to everyone. And this won’t be the last conviction.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) posted on X, “Donald Trump is a convicted felon. This verdict is not a win for any single person. It’s a win for an idea. The idea that we all follow the same rules. The rule of law won today.”

These are just a few examples of many leftists using this exact phrase, “rule of law.” Did they have some sort of strategy meeting to decide to all post the same thing on X? Conservatives are often tempted to “own the libs” by pointing the hypocrisy of such statements. While it may be fun to own the libs, it is unwise to underestimate their contortions of language.

Each time the Supreme Court overturns any aspect of a prosecution against President Trump, leftists will attack the court as illegitimate. They’re already laying the groundwork.

The question we must ask is what do they mean by “rule of law”? Understand, the ideology of progressivism is founded in relativism. To them, words have no objective meaning, only the subjective meaning they intend in their use of the phrase. All of this to say, “rule of law” means whatever they say it means. They have the power; therefore, they are the law. To them, the “rule of law” means the rule of those with power. They may be using the phrase to refer to their act of dressing these prosecutions in the norms of our legal system, but on another level, what they mean is that Donald Trump is not above their power.

Sanctimonious use of the phrase “rule of law” allows them to characterize anyone who disagrees with or even questions the verdict or indictments as opposing the rule of law. Take for instance my Republican colleague from Maine, Sen. Susan Collins. She is perhaps the most moderate member of the Republican Senate conference. Anyone who has met her would describe her as professional and competent. In response to the verdict in the New York case against President Trump, Collins said, “The district attorney brought these charges because of who the defendant was rather than because of any specific criminal conduct.”

This was a reasonable noninflammatory statement. In response, on her MSNBC show, Jen Psaki accused Collins of “undermining faith in our justice system,” endangering the people serving in the justice system, and “fueling the potential for violence.” Just as with Leopoldo López in Venezuela, anything the regime disagrees with can be characterized as instigating violence. This is not to pick on Psaki in particular. I’m using her as an example because we know from earlier that Psaki is intimately familiar with how business is done in banana republics. She knew what she was doing here.

In that same segment, Psaki accused the entire Republican Party of undermining the rule of law, saying, “This is a party that once prided itself on being ‘defenders of the law.’ Law and order was basically their campaign refrain.” She went on to say, “It's clear that Trump is not going to end this assault on the rule of law anytime soon.”

Most interestingly, in that very same segment, Psaki played a clip of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) in which he said something undeniably true: “I do believe the Supreme Court should step in, obviously, this is totally unprecedented. And it’s dangerous to our system. I think that the justices on the court, I know many of them personally, I think they’re deeply concerned about that as we are. So, I think they’ll set this straight.”

Psaki attacked Johnson for saying this, not on the merits of his argument that the conviction of Trump is unprecedented and dangerous for our system, but by mischaracterizing his statement. She said, “So Speaker Mike Johnson is essentially saying there — and I think this is so important to repeat — ‘I know these guys. They’re on our team. They’ll quote, set things straight.’” The message she’s sending here is that Supreme Court justices are on the same team as Republican politicians and that team, according to her, is the anti-rule-of-law team.

Not only are they seeking to delegitimize anyone who disagrees with them as opposing the rule of law, they are actively characterizing any higher court who may disagree on the legal merits as partisans who oppose the rule of law. Each time the Supreme Court overturns any aspect of a prosecution against President Trump, leftists will attack the court as illegitimate. They’re already laying the groundwork.

Paul Morigi/Stringer/Getty Images

Assailing the judiciary

This is part of a larger pattern. The left has systematically attacked conservative Supreme Court justices for years. Most recently, the left has attacked Justice Samuel Alito because his wife briefly flew an upside-down U.S. flag at their Virginia home and an Appeal to Heaven flag at their New Jersey home. Democrats insisted this was evidence that Alito should recuse himself from January 6-related cases pending before the court. Similarly, the left has called for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from January 6-related cases because his wife, Ginny, in her professional career as a conservative activist, was involved in exploring the irregularities of the 2020 election.

Undoubtedly, the left will repeat these calls for recusal anytime a case related to the Trump prosecution is pending before the court. I expect they will also call for Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett to recuse themselves from any Trump prosecution-related cases on the grounds that they were each appointed by the 45th president.

Fortunately, the decision to recuse rests with each individual justice. Still, the left will accuse each of them of not respecting the rule of law and declare any ruling that undermines the left's prosecution of Trump as illegitimate.

If Democrats have complete political power, they will go to extreme lengths to destroy the court and the judicial system.

Let’s go back to Biden’s November 9, 2022, statement where he made that point that he will make sure “under legitimate efforts of our Constitution” that Trump doesn’t become president again. This is emblematic of the mentality of the people in Biden's regime. Anything they do is legitimate in their minds. Anything that stands in their way is illegitimate. As such, it’s likely that leftists will not only call rulings that undermine their effort to prosecute Trump illegitimate, but they will also likely declare that the Supreme Court itself is illegitimate.

In this scenario, Democrat lawmakers will call for reforms to the Supreme Court, impeachment of justices, and court packing. For this reason, we must all hope and pray that Democrats do not win the White House and both chambers of Congress in November. If they have complete political power, they will go to extreme lengths to destroy the court and the judicial system.

In fact, the left is already far down this path. In response to the court’s July 1 ruling in the Trump immunity case acknowledging that a president has absolute immunity for actions stemming from his core constitutional authority and presumed immunity from prosecution for all other official actions, Democrats attacked and threatened the Supreme Court.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasted the ruling, saying, “This disgraceful decision by the MAGA SCOTUS — which is comprised of 3 justices appointed by Trump himself — enables the former President to weaken our democracy by breaking the law. It undermines SCOTUS's credibility and suggests political influence trumps all in our courts today.” In other words, Schumer is arguing that the court is illegitimate because three justices (Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Barrett) were appointed by Trump.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) went even further. “The Framers of the Constitution envisioned a democracy governed by the rule of law and the consent of the American people,” he said in a statement. “They did not intend for our nation to be ruled by a king or monarch who could act with absolute impunity. House Democrats will engage in aggressive oversight and legislative activity with respect to the Supreme Court to ensure that the extreme, far-right justices in the majority are brought into compliance with the Constitution.”

Rather than provide any argument against the opinion of the court, Jeffries merely attacked the justices as “far right” and threatened to legislate in a way to bring them “into compliance with the Constitution.” Based on the lack of substance to Jeffries’ argument, compliance with the Constitution can be fairly interpreted as compliance with what Democrats want.

They’ve already signaled their intentions for the reforms to the Supreme Court that Jeffries described. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have already introduced legislation that would subject justices to onerous recusal requirements.

In just the last few weeks, on June 12, 2024, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin attempted to pass the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act of 2023. This legislation, among other things, would allow anyone to file a complaint against a Supreme Court justice that would then be adjudicated by a panel of judges. It would require any group — including nonprofit conservative groups — filing an amicus brief to disclose anyone who has donated to that group, which would expose those donors to harassment by the left. And it would establish a requirement for justices to recuse themselves in certain instances. This bill could take conservative justices and lawyers off the playing field in important cases such as those resulting from the prosecution of President Trump.

Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, John Kennedy, and I blocked the passage of this bill on the Senate floor. I’m sure any of my Republican colleagues would have done the same. Thankfully, the Senate filibuster, which would require 60 votes to pass such legislation, remains in place for now, preventing this type of bill from passing.

But, with only a two-seat Republican majority in the House at the time of this writing, it’s easy to imagine a scenario where, by some unfortunate accident, Democrats obtain a majority. Combined with their control of the Senate and the White House, Democrats could nuke the filibuster and impose such a law before the November election.

Anyone who dares dissent from this action would be labeled an opponent of the so-called rule of law and a threat to “our democracy” as Democrats are fond of calling our constitutional republic. Much like Leopoldo López in Venezuela, those of us who would stand against it would be accused of instigating violence. They’re already accusing us of that.

This isn’t conspiratorial “doomerism.” These are just the facts about the situation in which we find ourselves. This could spin out of control quite easily. While we will all pray and do everything that we can to ensure that President Trump returns to the White House through a fair election, we can’t put all our eggs in one basket. The stakes are too high. We must win a majority in the Senate.

Understanding the situation

The Democrats' strategy seems to be unfolding in a series of steps:

1. Frame their efforts in the Trump prosecution as upholding the so-called “rule of law.”

2. Portray anyone on the right who disagrees with the verdict as opposing the “rule of law.”

3. Accuse conservative justices of not respecting the “rule of law” for not recusing themselves and for overturning Trump convictions.

4. Declare the Supreme Court illegitimate for not upholding the “rule of law,” leading to calls for impeachment, court packing, etc.

5. Label anyone who disagrees with their actions in the name of the “rule of law” as a threat to “our democracy.”

The Democrats have already begun attacking the Supreme Court, targeting Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. They aim to sow doubt about the court’s impartiality and integrity. These attacks undermine the court’s credibility and prepare the ground for potential court packing or impeachment efforts. Their ultimate goal is to lock conservatives out of the White House, maintain long-term control over key institutions, and prevent conservative influence in the nation’s highest court.

When Biden refers to “legitimate efforts of the Constitution,” he aligns with the left's interpretation of legitimacy. Should lawfare against Trump succeed, the GOP-controlled Senate would be the last significant obstacle in the left's path to achieving these aims. This alignment underscores the Democrats’ intention to reshape the political and legal landscape in their favor.

A Republican-controlled Senate may stand as the last line of defense against potential efforts by the Democrats to impeach Supreme Court justices and pack the court. If Trump loses the election, the Democrats will intensify their efforts to reshape the judiciary to maintain long-term political dominance.

A Republican Senate could block such attempts, preserving the integrity and independence of the Supreme Court. This balance of power is crucial in preventing one party from wielding disproportionate influence over the nation’s highest judicial body, thus maintaining the checks and balances essential to our republic. I explain the profound risks presented by court packing in my 2022 book, “Saving Nine: The Fight Against the Left’s Audacious Plan to Pack the Supreme Court and Destroy American Liberty.”

The prosecution of Donald Trump by the Democrats is a calculated move to destabilize the nation by undermining trust in political and judicial systems. This strategy, cloaked in the rhetoric of the “rule of law,” risks undermining the very principles of democracy they claim to defend.

The future of America hangs in the balance as these legal battles unfold. The outcome will determine not only the next four years but also the integrity of the nation's Madisonian institutions. As the Democrats continue their calculated destabilization, it is imperative to recognize the long-term consequences for national stability and the rule of law.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a longer essay titled “American Injustice and Donald Trump” that will appear in an upcoming book spearheaded by U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and eight Republican Senate colleagues entitled “We Do Not Consent.” The collection of essays will be published later in July.

Our brave new world: The ‘brother’s keeper’ plantation state

Thu, 07/11/2024 - 03:45


Around every sin that our nation has committed — sins we are committing now and will commit in the future — will be found bad people posing as good, knowingly twisting the plain meaning of widely held values to cover and excuse the ugliest of ends and means.

The best example of this newspeak on stilts is Barack Obama’s use and abuse of the book of Genesis to fundamentally transform the great American experiment in self-government.

Americans need to wake up to this leveling con and reject it root and branch. We are not the keepers of our brothers. We are our own keepers.

He did it with two words: “brother’s keeper.” And he got a political amen!

For the unchurched, I can tell the story quickly. In Genesis, Adam and Eve had two kids: Cain and Abel. At least for a while.

One day, Cain, in an act of sibling rivalry, crushed his brother’s skull with a rock. Shortly afterward, Cain encountered God walking outside the Garden, and God asked him where his brother Abel was. To which Cain replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Which is a pretty good, textbook answer, unless you know exactly where your brother is because you killed him.

Obama takes a solid answer that was used to cover up a crime against man and God and then uses Cain’s lie to introduce a new understanding of man that is neither faithful to God nor America nor mankind.

Cain’s answer to God captures the truth of a brother’s relationship with his brother, man to man, and a government to its citizens. We are not the keepers of our brothers. We are neither created nor intended to be one another’s keeper. Abel was supposed to be his own man and his own keeper. And the same goes for the rest of us.

Of course, a brother in need deserves our help, but this assistance — under normal circumstances — should be temporary, not a way of life. The exception has become the rule and the new purpose of the keeper state.

Obviously, not everyone can be kept. A brother’s keeper state requires a sizable keeper class — a new administrative aristocracy — whose claim for the privileged status of keeper is rooted in its deep concern and service to the least of its brothers.

The keepers of our brother’s state have grown powerful by pouring new meaning into our shared language that defines us as a people. The Bible — the great liberator of man — has been and continues to be used and abused against its plain intent. The same with our Declaration of Independence and its “all men are created equal.” The keepers purposefully leave it all vague and rhetorical, casting it as a struggle between good and evil.

Once upon a time, we all knew what “equality” meant and didn’t mean. Appealing to it and living up to it are what fueled our country’s upward arc.

Today, “equality” and the new holy keeper trinity of diversity, equality, inclusion is indistinguishable from an angry, leveling, racist egalitarianism. The brother’s keeper state is, in reality, a plantation state. Intergenerational dependency is the soil the brother’s keeper plantation cultivates.

Keeper plantation equality requires turning social safety nets into a hammock that creates dependency by design. The goal is not to get you off it but to keep you on it — and voting for it.

You never hear Obama or any keeper quote St. Paul’s admonition that “a man who will not work, will not eat.”

And let’s not forget the signal it sends to those who are working hard and honestly for what welfare gives to others without condition or effort. Acting white, chumps.

Keeper plantation equality means depriving black and Latino children the possibility of achieving a decent education by protecting failing tax-funded schools and foreclosing any means of escape.

Keeper plantation equality means eliminating “gifted and talented” programs in schools because not every child is gifted and talented.

Keeper plantation equality also means not prosecuting crimes because doing so would have a “disparate impact” on “communities of color.” Never mind that the victims of these crimes tend to be overwhelmingly black and brown.

Adding further insult to injury, this anti-American vision of America is justified in the name of black America, and yet in the end, it hurts its “beneficiaries” the most. To point this out, however, is to be deemed racist, or worse, an Uncle Tom or Aunt Tammy.

Everything this party of slick talkers says is a falsehood dressed up as truth and held up as gospel. It hurts the head to follow their inverted, anti-American, and anti-common sense reasoning. But once you think through it, it all starts making sense.

The conditions that sustain a free people are obstacles to their brother’s keeper purpose. As we are seeing unfold in real time — and as we have seen long before now — progressive keeper dreams, put into action, are black, brown, and middle-class nightmares. Continue to vote for it, and the rich will get still richer, the middle class will shrink, and those who are black and brown will drown.

Americans need to wake up to this leveling con and reject it root and branch. We are not the keepers of our brothers. We are our own keepers.

Donations to Biden campaign are imploding, sources tell NBC News: 'The money has absolutely shut off'

Wed, 07/10/2024 - 19:00


An NBC News report cited several sources close to the Biden re-election campaign saying that campaign donations had imploded since the disastrous presidential debate.

The sources close to the campaign said that it had already faced a downturn in donations, but it has worsened into a crisis after President Joe Biden flailed and bumbled through the CNN debate with former President Donald Trump.

'Donors are negative... I don’t think they buy it.'

“It’s already disastrous,” said one source.

“It’s already disastrous,” said another source.

Two of the sources said that donations from major donors were trending toward being cut in half for July, or even more.

“Donors are negative. They had a call with the president. The call seemed so contrived to people; I don’t think they buy it,” said a source about a national fundraising call by Biden with donors.

“They called on people who were the most loyal, die-hard," the source continued. "There were no tough questions for the president."

The sources said that donations did pick up after the debate but then plummeted very soon afterward.

'We’ll do it without them.'

Biden campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt tried to deny the report.

"That’s not accurate," she said.

"On grassroots fundraising, the first seven days of July were the best start to the month on the campaign — and many of those were first-time donors," Hitt added. "On the high-dollar side, we’ve had folks max out since the debate, as well."

However, the report noted that Hitt would not release the number of people who had maxed out their donations after the debate.

Sources said that the campaign believed donors who abandoned the campaign would return just to keep Trump out of the White House, and if they didn't, the campaign was prepared to push forward without them.

“If major donors don’t come along, we’ll do it without them," is how the campaign is characterized by the sources.

‘I don’t know what f***ing movie is playing.'

Donors are also finding it difficult to reach out to their networks because of doubts that Biden will stay in the race.

“You can’t reach out to someone, because someone could say, 'Geez, I didn’t know, he has dementia,’” said a top bundler to NBC News. “Right now, it’s like someone asks, 'You want to go see a movie?’ And in this case I’m saying, ‘I don’t know what f***ing movie is playing.'"

On the other side of the aisle, the Trump campaign reported that its donation website had crashed due to overwhelming demand after Trump was found guilty of 34 charges related to a hush payment made to adult film worker Stormy Daniels.

Later, it said it had garnered more than $53 million in the 24 hours after the guilty verdict.

In July, the Trump campaign reported $331 million in donations in the second quarter while the Biden campaign reported only $264 million in donations.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Woman used severed thumb of 'sugar daddy' to steal his money after his murder, DC police say

Wed, 07/10/2024 - 17:40


Police said that a woman used the severed thumb of a murdered man in order to gain access to his smartphone and steal his money from cash apps.

The gruesome details in the death of Fasil Teklemariam were revealed in court documents, according to the New York Daily News.

'The suspects reportedly used the money to purchase marijuana, alcohol, and Uber rides.'

Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police said that the remains of 53-year-old Teklemariam were found on April 5 in his apartment in the northwest part of the city. He was stabbed several times and also was missing a thumb.

Although investigators said someone used cleaning products to try to cover up their involvement, a footprint was detected at the apartment. They also were able to identify suspects based on surveillance footage at the scene. Police said the suspects concealed their identities while walking up to the apartment building but not while inside.

In late June, police arrested 19-year-old Audrey Miller and charged her with first-degree murder and armed-felony murder in relation to the man's death.

Later, they arrested a second woman named 22-year-old Tiffany Taylor Gray on July 1 and filed the same charges against her.

An autopsy determined that Teklemariam suffered from several lacerations and multiple blunt-force fractures to the head.

Court documents said that an anonymous witness told police that Gray knew Teklemariam and had referred to him as her "sugar daddy," according to the Washington Post. That witness also claimed that the group that attacked the man had cut off his thumb and used it to steal money from cash accounts on his smartphone.

The suspects reportedly used the money to purchase marijuana, alcohol, and Uber rides, after they had stolen electronics and other property from the murdered man.

Police said they were able to obtain footage of Teklemariam and Miller entering the apartment four days before his body was found.

Hours later on the same day, Miller and a group of people were able to gain entry into the same apartment by following another resident going in.

Video allegedly captured the suspects entering and leaving the apartment several times afterward.

Investigators also found that Teklemariam had filed a report against Gray accusing her of stealing his phone and taking $1,600 from his cash app after changing the password to his Google account.

Police said they have not recovered the severed thumb.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

‘Blaze News Tonight,’ starring Jill Savage, premiers TOMORROW

Wed, 07/10/2024 - 17:00


Get your news free from left-wing propaganda

If you want to stay up to date on the latest happenings in America sans left-wing propaganda and media lies, then you’re in the right place.

Watching the news gets a much-needed makeover with “Blaze News Tonight,” starring Jill Savage alongside co-hosts Matthew Peterson, Blaze Media’s editor in chief, and Christopher Bedford, Blaze Media’s senior editor for politics and Washington correspondent.

Our newest nightly news show launches tomorrow, July 11, at 8:00 p.m. EST on BlazeTV and YouTube. Get provocative opinions, expert analysis, and breaking stories you won’t see anywhere else: "Blaze News Tonight" is the only daily news show you need.

Tune in tomorrow as Blaze Media launches your new go-to news source — where real journalism is the only journalism you’ll hear.

Weeks after hosting ritzy fundraiser for Biden, George Clooney calls for his replacement: 'It's devastating to say it'

Wed, 07/10/2024 - 16:40


Hollywood actor George Clooney called for President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race only weeks after he stood next to him at a million-dollar campaign fundraiser in California.

Clooney wrote Wednesday that he loved and respected Biden but that Democrats would lose the election if the 81-year-old insisted on staying in the race.

'The one battle he cannot win is the fight against time.'

"I love Joe Biden. As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him. Believe in his character. Believe in his morals. In the last four years, he's won many of the battles he's faced," Clooney wrote in the New York Times.

"But the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time. None of us can. It's devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe 'big F-ing deal' Biden of 2010. He wasn't even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate."

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau told CNN that he was at the same fundraiser for Biden and "every single person I talked to at the fundraiser thought the same thing" as Clooney's observation.

"I was there and Clooney was exactly right," he added.

Political strategist David Axelrod called the op-ed "devastating" and "impactful."

'Would it be messy? Yes. Democracy is messy.'

Clooney went on to address the argument against Biden dropping out that it would be far too complicated and chaotic.

"Would it be messy? Yes. Democracy is messy. But would it enliven our party and wake up voters who, long before the June debate, had already checked out? It sure would," Clooney continued.

"The short ramp to Election Day would be a benefit for us, not a danger," he added. "It would give us the chance to showcase the future without so much opposition research and negative campaigning that comes with these ridiculously long and expensive election seasons."

A campaign official responded to the Clooney op-ed by telling CNN that the actor had left the fundraiser three hours before Biden did, implying that Biden had greater stamina than Clooney.

"Ok," Jake Tapper replied sarcastically.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

TikTok’s biggest Biden fan doubles down; gets DESTROYED on Piers Morgan

Wed, 07/10/2024 - 16:00


While liberals across the country have begun waking up to the realization that Joe Biden is not fit to be president, some are still fast asleep — and it doesn’t appear they’ll be waking up anytime soon.

One of those liberals is famous TikTok influencer Harry Sisson, who appeared on a panel alongside Dave Rubin of “The Rubin Report” on “Piers Morgan Uncensored.”

While Rubin and Morgan both agree that President Biden needs to step down in light of his clear mental decline, Sisson appears to have seen an entirely different debate.

“President Biden should be the nominee,” Sisson says definitively, before trying to take a shot at Rubin: “I wonder where Dave got his M.D., where he got his degree to specialize in neurology.”

“And I just find it funny how he’s saying, ‘Oh, we shouldn’t respect Biden and Karine Jean-Pierre, but I’m sure that he’s voting for the convicted felon and the proven sexual abuser, who defamed his victim, and he gives his respect to him every single day,” he continues.

Rubin isn’t having it.

“Hey Harry, do you think that Joe Biden is cognitively able to be president? Yes or no,” he asks the influencer.

“Yes, I do. You can check out the neurology report he had earlier this year in February where it said there was no concern, no cognitive disorder. That’s coming from an actual doctor,” Sisson says proudly.

“We’re making this up. Everything we see every day, the inability to say one complete sentence. We’re all making it up,” Rubin says, shaking his head.

Sisson continues to double down on his delusion even after Morgan shows him a clip of Biden completely out of it and calmly explains the situation we’re in.

“This is a quite dangerous situation I think, where the most powerful man in America right now is not able to function properly at a time when the world feels quite perilous and needs a sharp president of the United States,” Morgan says, asking, “When you watch him, do you feel remotely reassured that he’s completely in charge?”

“Yeah,” Sisson says. “I think that this is all just hyperbole, like this is nonsense. I don’t know why we’re talking about Biden’s mental state when we can just look at his record.”


Want more from Dave Rubin?

To enjoy more honest conversations, free speech, and big ideas with Dave Rubin, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Chuck Todd admits top cabinet official told him Biden was not in condition to run again — two years ago

Wed, 07/10/2024 - 15:40


MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd revealed that a top cabinet member told him two years ago that President Joe Biden was in no condition to run again for president.

Todd made the comments during the latest edition of his own podcast, the "Chuck ToddCast," while speaking with senior political columnist Jonathan Martin of Politico.

'This is one of those classic open secrets.'

"I'm not gonna out the cabinet secretary. But I had a cabinet secretary two years ago, OK, two years ago, out of the blue ask me, 'Do you really think he's gonna, he can't run again, like this?'" said Todd.

"And I said, 'Well you have more interaction with him than I do,' and they said, 'I don't have a lot of interaction with him,'" he continued.

"This is a pretty senior cabinet secretary, and this was two years ago," he emphasized again. "This is one of those, classic open secrets, a nonversation, right? It's the story everyone knows, and everybody was afraid to talk about."

He went on to defend the media by saying that it's only as good as the sources who aren't willing to lie.

'The entire narrative on Joe Biden is going to change.'

Later in the podcast, Todd admitted that all of the revelations about Biden's condition were ruining his reputation and legacy.

"Everything I have learned, it has made me want to rethink a lot of the Biden biography. I still can’t believe he ran for president in the first place, given that his family was in crisis in 2018," said Todd.

"You look at what has happened, I can’t believe he has put his family through this," he added. "And now, looking at his behavior now, in clinging to this, I think the entire narrative on Joe Biden is gonna change, in that everything’s always been about his ambition and his ambition comes first.”

Martin responded that it all depends on whether Biden wins or loses.

That possibility has soured for the Biden campaign since the implosion at the first presidential debate on CNN. More and more voices are calling for Biden to step down, and polls show that he has lost support while Trump gains an advantage just months ahead of the November election.

'I'm gonna vote for the dead guy, but I'm really angry with him.'

Todd also said on the podcast that Biden would hurt down-ballot races in places like California. He said that he had heard from "extraordinary angry Biden voters," who intimated to him that they would still "vote for the dead guy, but I'm really angry with him."

He went on to say that the negative feeling would lead to reduced turnout and a loss of some seats for Democrats.

Todd still held out some hope for Democrats, however. He said that although Biden lost the debate disastrously, Trump could still lose the election if he doesn't follow through on the campaign.

"It's not that Trump got a bump, it's that Biden lost support. Trump hasn't gained all that much," Todd noted.

Todd has been excoriated and torched by many on the left over the years for not sufficiently defending Democrats. Some have even demanded that he be fired for what they perceive as a right-wing bias.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

NYC Mayor Adams wants to roll back and 'correct' sanctuary policy: 'Previous administration made a big mistake'

Wed, 07/10/2024 - 15:08


New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) recently doubled down on his comments about rolling back the city's sanctuary policies that act as a magnet for illegal aliens entering the country, SI Live reported.

On Tuesday, Adams announced that he would support a bill proposed by the Common Sense Caucus, a group of bipartisan New York City Council members, to repeal laws enacted by former Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). Specifically, if passed, the legislation would revoke parts of the city's Administrative Code that prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

'I'm going to voice my concern about that.'

Council Member Robert Holden (D), one of the bill's co-sponsors, said last month, "We have enough criminals in this city; we don't need to import more and protect them as well."

"Repealing the laws that have created a sanctuary city status is common sense," he declared.

Adams initially expressed interest in modifying the policy earlier this year amid the city's struggle to provide humanitarian aid and shelter to the influx of illegal aliens.

During a February town hall meeting, Adams told residents, "The overwhelming number of migrants and asylum-seekers that are here, they want to work. I still don't understand why the federal government is not allowing them to work. They need to have the right to work, like all of us that have come to this country have had the ability to do so."

"But those small numbers that have committed crimes, we need to modify the sanctuary city law that if you commit a felony or violent act, we should be able to turn you over to ICE and have you deported," he added.

Adams has previously claimed that the city's sanctuary policies have prevented him from addressing issues arising from the increase of illegal immigrants. According to the mayor, New York City "inherit[ed] a national crisis."

Adams slammed de Blasio on Tuesday for taking the city's existing sanctuary policies too far. Under de Blasio's legislation, NYPD officers are barred from honoring ICE detainer requests. As a result, local law enforcement must release illegal alien criminals instead of handing them over to federal immigration officials. ICE agents are then forced to locate the individual on the street, which is far more dangerous, costly, and time-consuming.

"I think the previous administration made a big mistake. I think we need to correct that aspect of it," Adams remarked. "New Yorkers have a right to be safe in their city. The same way anyone breaks the law or does something violent to New Yorkers, I'm going to voice my concern about that."

According to the New York Sun, more than 200,000 illegal immigrants have arrived in New York City since 2022.

Holden recently told the Daily Caller News Foundation, "It's encouraging to hear the Mayor's support for our effort to repeal sanctuary city laws."

"Despite a combative City Council, he can make it happen by advocating for the Charter Revision Commission to include this proposition on this year's ballot for the people to decide," he continued. "New Yorkers will make the right choice: let's get it done!"

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Pages

The Blaze