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Posts tagged ‘House’

FBI Whistleblower to Newsmax: Agency’s Upper Echelon Must Go

By Sandy Fitzgerald    |   Tuesday, 23 May 2023 03:07 PM EDT


FBI whistleblower Garret O’Boyle, whose testimony last week before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government detailed the retribution he faced after speaking out against the agency’s practices, told Newsmax on Tuesday that he thinks the “lion’s share of the upper echelons of management in the FBI” need to go. O’Boyle also said on Newsmax’s “John Bachman Now” that he’s been hearing from FBI personnel on all levels who agree with him and that they “see the same things.”

“Since my testimony, I’ve heard from several other agents and FBI employees from all over the nation, different field offices and they all are telling me, ‘We are with you.’ … That’s even up to the GS14 and GS15 level, which is your first-line supervisor and mid-level management,” O’Boyle said.

But he added that it’s the “senior-executive staff level and up through the assistant director, up to the director himself, need to clean house. I think it’s the only way that the FBI hopefully someday can become a respected institution again. But it certainly isn’t that right now.”

O’Boyle’s attorney, Jesse Binnall, who appeared with his client on Newsmax, said it angers him that the media has “absolutely no interest” in getting to the heart “of the misconduct that’s been going on in the highest levels of our government, both at the FBI and the Department of Justice.”

Binnall added that the media are more concerned about stopping former President Donald Trump than going after the FBI and DOJ, which will “stop at nothing to cover up people like Hillary Clinton, who have very seriously abused our system, and they’re never going to talk about people like Garret, who have courageously stood up for accountability.”

O’Boyle also said that he thinks the nation is at a “sad point” as it has a “two-tiered system” of justice.

“It’s very clear to anyone who’s paying attention,” he said. “The government will come for anybody they want, but if you’re in those upper echelons like Hillary Clinton, you can walk free and no one’s going to bat an eye.”


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McConnell: ‘Everybody Needs to Relax’ About Default

By Sandy Fitzgerald    |   Tuesday, 23 May 2023 03:27 PM EDT


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said “everybody needs to relax” about the possibility of a debt default, insisting that the United States will not default on its payments. 

“The last 10 times we raised the debt ceiling, there were things attached to it,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters in his home state, reported The Hill. “This is not that unusual. It is almost entirely required when you have a divided government.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the country could go into default on its debts by June 1, but McConnell insisted that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will reach an agreement.

“Regardless of what may be said about the talks … the president and the speaker will reach an agreement,” said McConnell. “It will ultimately pass on a bipartisan vote in both the House and the Senate. The country will not default.”

McConnell, who has strongly supported McCarthy, R-Calif., through the negotiations, has said repeatedly that Biden must reach a deal with McCarthy. 

McConnell had been expected to play a role in the talks but instead has maintained a supporting role, saying that any deal must come between the White House and the House Republicans. As a result, the Democrat-controlled Senate has not played a large role in the discussions. 

McConnell has joined McCarthy at the White House for some of the talks, but most of the discussions are now between teams; Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., lead the GOP; while Democrats are headed by White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, and White House Director of Legislative Affairs Louisa Terrell. 

Republican negotiators Tuesday said the White House is showing little urgency in the discussions, considering that the House 72-hour rule means a deal much be reached by later this week so a bill can be passed before Yellen’s June 1 deadline.

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Whistleblower Warns: ‘The FBI Will Crush You’

By Sandy Fitzgerald    |   Thursday, 18 May 2023 01:41 PM EDT


FBI whistleblower Garret O’Boyle, one of three testifying before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government Thursday, had a warning for any of his former colleagues who may be thinking about testifying against the agency: Don’t do it.

“The FBI will crush you,” O’Boyle warned, when committee member Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., asked him what he’d advise. “This government will crush you and your family if you try to expose the truth about things that they are doing are wrong, and we are all examples of that.”

O’Boyle said he would tell colleagues that he would take their complaints to Congress for them or put them in touch with Congress, “but I would advise them not to do it.” He admitted that not testifying would not solve the issues the FBI has, or shine light on corruption, but based on his experience, he’d still urge them to turn away.

O’Boyle’s words came at the end of a lengthy, often-heated hearing in which he joined two other FBI whistleblowers, Stephen Friend, and Marcus Allen, to testify about the retribution they experienced for coming forward with statements on several issues. This included the investigations into the Jan. 6, 2021, protests at the Capitol, the investigations of parents speaking out at school board meetings, and other instances that the Republicans on the committee say show the weaponization of the government against the American people. 

In O’Boyle’s case, he told the committee that he was forced to rely on charity after the FBI moved him and his family from Kansas to Virginia, but soon ended his assignment. He claimed the bureau blocked him for six weeks from getting his family’s personal property back.

Chairman Jim Jordan asked all three men for their reactions to the FBI’s activities against them, and all insisted they followed the oaths they had taken when they went to work with the agency. They agreed with Jordan that they felt the “full weight of the federal government” come down on them, particularly when the FBI sent a letter to members of the committee to inform them that the agents’ security clearances had been revoked. 

“Of course, they timed it perfectly,” said Jordan. “It’s in the letter to us yesterday. We knew they would. We knew it was going to happen that way.”

They also testified that their former colleagues have not reached out to them to support them after they found themselves put out. 

“I know for a fact that my former supervisor had a meeting with my squad shortly after I was suspended, and he told them that I was going to be arrested, fired, and charged. So if that’s not chilling, I don’t know what it is,” said O’Boyle.

Friend agreed, commenting that those who have reached out to him “have used encrypted ways to do it because they fear retribution.”

Allen added that he’s been “ghosted by everybody.” 

Earlier in the hearing, Allen testified that he was targeted based on “unsubstantiated accusations that I hold ‘conspiratorial views’ regarding the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and that I allegedly sympathize with criminal conduct. I do not.”

O’Boyle said the actions against him came after his testimony in another proceeding that the FBI prioritized investigations of anti-abortion activiy after the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned the Roe v. Wade decision on legal abortion. 

He said Thursday that he was forced to accept a new position in another state and that the FBI ordered him to report when his family’s youngest child was only two weeks old. 

Friend, meanwhile, said he has filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel saying he was suspended after he raised concerns about the FBI’s manipulation of crime statistics, the treatment of Jan. 6 defendants, and the agency’s use of SWAT teams. 

“The FBI weaponized the security clearance processes to facilitate my removal from active duty within one month of my disclosures,” he said, also alleging the agency “initiated a campaign of humiliation and intimidation to punish and pressure me to resign” and refused his request for records so he could get another job “in an obvious attempt to deprive me of the ability to support my family.”

He also accused the FBI’s Inspection Division of having “imposed an illegal gag order in an attempt to prevent me from communicating with my family and attorneys.”

The hearing was organized by Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and comes after the release publication of Special Counsel John Durham’s report that revealed the FBI lacked evidence to open its investigation on former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The hearing also comes after the Judiciary Committee’s Republicans released a 1,000-page report with the allegations of the politicization of the FBI and Justice Department politicization. 

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McCarthy: Too ‘Far Apart’ for Debt Deal by Weekend

By Eric Mack    |   Monday, 15 May 2023 02:37 PM EDT


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blasted President Joe Biden for being disingenuous and failing to negotiate on the House-passed debt ceiling package, saying time is running out and Biden wants debt default more than a deal.

“I still think it’s far apart,” McCarthy told a reporter Monday while walking through the Capitol Building. “It doesn’t seem to me yet they want a deal. It just seems like they want to look like they are in a meeting, but they aren’t talking anything serious.”

McCarthy cited the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report released recently that was forced to raise the debt estimates from the February report.

“In the meantime, we just watched the CBO come out and say we’re $100 billion further in debt,” McCarthy said. “It seems more like they want a default than a deal to me.”

Time is running out to reach a deal before the June warning of surpassing the debt limit and sending the U.S. into debt default for the first time.

“I think we’ve got to have a deal done by this weekend to have a timeline to be able to pass it in both houses,” McCarthy said.

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9 Questions Corporate Media Should Ask Biden About Latest Corruption Evidence But Won’t

BY: JORDAN BOYD | MAY 12, 2023


President Joe Biden talks to the press

Author Jordan Boyd profile




Corrupt corporate media outlets love scandal but when it comes to questions about whether President Joe Biden sold out the U.S. to enrich his family, they deliberately turn a blind eye.

There are plenty of questions ripe for the asking about the Biden family’s dealings with people tied to some of the nation’s biggest foreign adversaries. Republicans have spent months searching for answers, but every piece of evidence of corruption they uncover simply raises more questions. Meanwhile, press outlets that usually busy themselves with aiding Democrat investigations of this nature either deny the evidence or remain silent altogether.

Here are nine questions the corporate media should ask POTUS about his latest scandal but likely won’t.

1. What Exactly Is the Biden Family Business?

Perhaps the biggest question the American people deserve to know an answer to is: What exactly does the Biden family do to warrant massive payments from foreign nationals? Outside of spending decades influencing U.S. domestic and foreign policy, nobody seems to know.

“We know what [Trump’s] businesses were. I’m not saying whether I agreed with what he did or not but I actually know what these businesses are. What are the Biden businesses?” Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer asked during a press conference this week.

2. Why Did Your Unqualified Grandchild Get Paid?

Joe Biden’s son Hunter receiving checks from foreign energy moguls makes some sense if you overlook his suspect rise to fame in the international energy sector. Why at least one of Biden’s grandkids, some nieces or nephews, and even an ex-daughter-in-law are all on the receiving end of funds from foreign nationals is unexplainable.

Despite having no formal experience or education that would qualify them to receive payments from foreign energy companies or “legal fees,” bank records show that at least nine people, between Biden family members and their lovers, spent decades getting rich on at least $10 million from people associated with some of the United States’ biggest foreign adversaries.

3. How Many More Bidens Received Money from Foreign Nationals?

If Hunter’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle profited off of deals she claimed to have “my head buried in the sand” about, it’s more than fair to ask the president just how many more members of the Biden circle benefitted from these international deals.

4. Why Dilute Payments from Foreign Nationals?

Payments to the Bidens were diced up and transferred to a spread of Biden associates before hitting the family’s bank accounts. These transactions often occurred within weeks of significant political action by the then-vice president in the country of the transactions’ origins.

“It’s very hard to come up with any legitimate business reason to conduct transactions in this type of complex way,” Rep. Kelly Armstrong noted during a recent Oversight Committee presser. “Why would separate payments go to Hunter Biden’s business and to himself individually? Why would Walker transfer money from his business account to his personal account before distributing the money? Why are other Biden family members receiving any of these payments?”

These are fair questions, based not on speculation but on the pure facts outlined in the Biden family bank records. If the Bidens’ multimillion-dollar “business” is legitimate, the president shouldn’t have a problem answering basic questions about the complexity of transactions from Chinese, Romanian, and other companies.

5. How Many More Biden Bank Accounts and Shell Companies Are There?

Republican investigators say they’ve looked into four of at least 12 apparently Biden-linked bank accounts and have discovered “a web” of more than 20 companies that were “formed during Joe Biden’s vice presidency.” The question of how many more are out there has yet to be determined but could be helped with clarification from the president.

6. Why Did You Repeatedly Lie about Your Knowledge of Hunter’s Dealings?

During a presidential debate in October 2020, Biden told the nation that neither he nor any of his family members profited from overseas business deals with companies connected to communist China.

That is completely false. It’s also evident that Biden knew about his family’s dealings.

In fact, visitor logs show that Hunter’s associates visited the White House more than 80 times while the elder Biden was vice president. During some of these meetings, several of Hunter’s closest assistants and business partners met with Biden and Biden aides and even attended VP briefings. Vice President Biden also welcomed Hunter on several official trips on Air Force Two, which Hunter appeared to use to secure deals that would enrich his family.

Why would the president go to great lengths to lie over and over and over about it?

7. Should Presidents’ Families Make Money off of People Associated with Our Top Foreign Enemy?

The White House maintains Biden’s hands are clean. Yet, even if Republicans do not find a direct link between the president and the millions sustaining his family’s lavish lifestyles, as corporate media repeatedly and hypocritically demand, he is at least eligible for scrutiny just for his closeness to the alleged corruption.

Biden’s approval with Americans is already low. His proximity to the national security threat his family transactions pose only serves to further hurt that low trust.

8. Have You Instructed the DOJ to Avoid Taking Action against You and Your Family?

Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys in California and Washington, D.C. both apparently blocked the filing of criminal tax charges against Hunter Biden, according to one IRS whistleblower. The Department of Justice also gave potentially false statements about information on the Bidens’ business in China. And the FBI, which falls under the DOJ’s authority, has refused to turn over records that allegedly implicate Biden in a bribery scheme, despite a congressional subpoena. What’s stopping the DOJ from continuing to do what’s politically favorable for the president and his family by ignoring the issue at hand? Certainly not Biden.

9. How Many Media Outlets Have You Asked to Defend You amid the Investigation?

Comer asked Democrats this week “Do you want to continue covering up the Bidens’ influence-peddling schemes when the evidence is being placed right in front of you?”

The same can be asked of the corrupt corporate media which, since before the 2020 election, offered the president and his family not scrutiny but defense. From the moment House Republicans officially launched an investigation into Biden’s corruption, the press inaccurately asserted there was “no evidence of wrongdoing.” In addition to repeatedly taking the White House’s assertions of innocence at face value, the press tried to distract from the Biden family’s scandals by conflating that corruption with the Trump family’s conduct and blacked out coverage of Comer’s ongoing supply of evidence.

Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire, Fox News, and RealClearPolitics. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.

How House Weaponization Committee Republicans Can Get The Most From Their ‘Twitter Files’ Witnesses



Jim Jordan in committee hearing
Most committee hearings flounder because politicians waste time grandstanding, but lawmakers shouldn’t squander the chance to ask insightful questions of the ‘Twitter Files’ witnesses.

Author Margot Cleveland profile




Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger testify on Thursday before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Little they say will be new, yet because corporate media have refused to cover the story, many Americans remain ignorant about the massive scandals Taibbi, Shellenberger, and the other independent journalists have revealed over the last three months in the “Twitter Files.”

Here’s what the House committee must do to break the cone of silence. 

Introduce Taibbi and Shellenberger to Americans

Most Americans know little about Taibbi and Shellenberger, allowing the left to execute its go-to play when faced with inconvenient facts: call the messengers members of a right-wing conspiracy. The House’s weaponization committee should thus ensure the public knows neither Taibbi nor Shellenberger can be written off as conservative conspirators, much less “ultra MAGA.”

Hopefully, the two witnesses for the majority party will ensure their opening statements detail their non-conservative “credentials” — something Taibbi has attempted to do on Twitter, writing: “I’m pro-choice and didn’t vote for Trump,” and noting he is an independent.

Taibbi’s work covering politics for Rolling Stone and his “incisive, bilious takedowns of Wall Street,” as well as past appearances on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC, and his work with Keith Olbermann, are the non-conservative credentials Americans need to hear. 

Shellenberger’s biography likewise confirms he is no right-winger or Trump surrogate. Time Magazine named him “Hero of the Environment.” “In the 1990s, Shellenberger helped save California’s last unprotected ancient redwood forest, inspire Nike to improve factory conditions, and advocate for decriminalization and harm reduction policies,” his webpage reads — details helpful to highlight for the listening public.

If Taibbi and Shellenberger’s prepared testimony omits these and other details, Chair Jim Jordan should open the hearing by asking the witnesses to share with the country their political and policy perspectives and then push them on why all Americans should care about the “Twitter Files.” 

Here, the committee and its witnesses need to remind Americans of the importance of free speech and that the silencing of speech harms the country, even when it is not the government acting as the censor. (In fact, I would argue it is precisely because our country has lost a sense of the importance of free speech that the government successfully outsourced censorship to Twitter.)

Guide Them So They Tell a Coherent Story

Next, the questioning will begin. Unfortunately, here’s where most committee hearings flounder because politicians prefer to pontificate than pose insightful questions to their witnesses. But in the case of the “Twitter Files,” Republicans can do both because the witnesses have already provided detailed answers to much of what the country needs to know in the nearly 20 installments they published over the last several months. 

Thus the goal of the committee should be to provide a platform that allows the witnesses to tell the story of the scandals uncovered. Ideally, then, committee members will lead the witnesses through their testimony as if each question represents the opening paragraph of a chapter, with Taibbi and Shellenberger given the floor to provide the details.

Start at the Beginning, the Best Place to Start

Committee members will all want to focus on the most shocking discoveries, such as the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story and the government’s demands to silence unapproved Covid messages. But those events merely represent symptoms of the diseased state of free speech Taibbi and Shellenberger uncovered, and the latter represents the real threat to our country.

Democrats, independents, and apolitical Americans will also be inclined to immediately write off the hearings as political theater if Republicans immediately flip to the Hunter Biden laptop scandal and Covid messaging. Both are important parts of the story, but Americans first need to understand the context.

Begin there: After Elon Musk purchased Twitter, he provided Taibbi, Shellenberger, and other independent journalists access to internal communications. What communications were accessible? What types of emails did the journalists review? How many? What else remains to explore?

Buckets of Scandals

The story will quickly progress from there, but how? 

While the committee could walk Taibbi and Shellenberger through each of their individual “Twitter Files” reports, the better approach would be to bucket the scandals because each thread the journalists wrote included details that overlapped with earlier (and later) revelations.

Remember: The scandals are not merely the “events,” such as the blocking of the New York Post’s coverage of the Hunter Biden laptop story. Rather, they go back to first principles — in this case, the value of free speech.

Twitter’s Huge Censorship Toolbox

Moving next to what Taibbi called Twitter’s “huge toolbox for controlling the visibility of any user,” the House committee should ask the witnesses to expand on those tools, which include “Search Blacklist,” “Trends Blacklist,” “Do Not Amplify” settings, limits on hashtag searches, and more. 

What were those tools? How often were they used and why? Did complaints from the government or other organizations ever prompt Twitter to use those visibility filters? Were official government accounts ever subjected to the filters? If so, why? 

Twitter-Government Coordination

The natural next chapter will focus on any coordination between Twitter and the government. Again, the “Twitter Files” exposed the breadth and depth of government interaction with the tech giant — from FBI offices all over the country contacting Twitter about problematic accounts to, as Taibbi wrote, Twitter “taking requests from every conceivable government agency, from state officials in Wyoming, Georgia, Minnesota, Connecticut, California, and others to the NSA, FBI, DHS, DOD, DOJ, and many others.” 

Internal communications also showed the CIA — referred to under the euphemism “Other Government Agencies” in the emails — working closely with Twitter as well. Other emails showed Twitter allowed the Department of Defense to run covert propaganda operations, “whitelisting” Pentagon accounts to prevent the covert accounts from being banned. The multi-agency Global Engagement Center, housed in the Department of State, also played a large part in the government’s efforts to prompt the censorship of speech. 

Both the Biden and Trump administrations reached out to Twitter as well, seeking the removal of various posts, as did other individual politicians, such as Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

To keep the conversation coherent, the committee should catalog the various government agencies, centers, and individuals revealed in the “Twitter Files” and ask the witnesses how these government-connected individuals or organizations communicated with Twitter, how they pressured Twitter, the types of requests they made, and their success. 

The “Twitter Files” detailed censorship requests numbering in the tens of thousands from the government. Asking the witnesses to expand on those requests and how individual Americans responded when they learned they were supposedly Russian bots or Indian trolls will make the scandal more personal.

Non-Governmental Organizations

Questioning should then proceed to the non-governmental organizations connected to Twitter’s censorship efforts. Again, the committee should first provide a quick synopsis of the revelations from the “Twitter Files,” highlighting the involvement of various nonprofits and academic institutions in the “disinformation” project, including the Election Integrity Partnership, Alliance Securing Democracy (which hosted the Hamilton 68 platform), the Atlantic Council’s Center for Internet Security, and Clemson University. 

What role did these organizations play? Have you reviewed all of the communications related to these groups? Were there other non-governmental organizations communicating with Twitter? How much influence did these groups have? 

Disinformation About Disinformation 

The story should continue next with testimony about the validity of the various disinformation claims peddled to Twitter. Internal communications showed Twitter insiders knew the Hamilton 68 dashboard’s methodology was flawed. Other emails indicated Twitter experts found the claims of Russian disinformation coming from Clemson, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, and the Global Engagement Center questionable. 

Highlighting these facts and then asking the witnesses to elaborate on the revelations, organization by organization, will advance the story for the public. 

Funding Sources

Next up should be the funding of those organizations, which came from government grants and often the same few private organizations. Here the Committee should ask Taibbi the status of his research on the financing of these organizations — something the journalist indicated last month he is delving into.

Taibbi also suggested the Global Engagement Center’s funding should be looked at in the next budget. Why? What should the House know before it makes future budget decisions?

Connecting the Censorship Complex Dots

After these details have been discussed, the committee should connect the dots as Taibbi did when he wrote: “What most people think of as the ‘deep state’ is really a tangled collaboration of state agencies, private contractors and (sometimes state-funded) NGOs. The lines become so blurred as to be meaningless.” 

Read that quote — and other powerful ones from either the emails or the journalists covering the story — to the witnesses. Hopefully, staffers already have the best quotes blown up and ready for tomorrow.

Can you explain what you mean, here, Mr. Taibbi? What “state agencies”? What NGOs? Mr. Shellenberger, do you agree? What governmental or non-governmental players did you see involved? 

What Was the Media’s Role?

Asking the witnesses about the media’s involvement will then close the circle on the big picture, which is ironic given the press’s role in circular reporting — something even Twitter recognized. Hamilton 68 or the Global Engagement Center would announce Russian disinformation and peddle it to the press, Twitter, and politicians. Then when Twitter’s review found the accounts not concerning, politicians would rely on the press’s coverage to bolster the claims of disinformation and pressure Twitter to respond. And even when Twitter told the reporters (and politicians) the disinformation methodologies were lacking, the media persisted in regurgitating claims of Russian disinformation.

Can you explain how the press responded when Twitter told reporters to be cautious of the Hamilton 68 database? What precisely did Twitter say? Did you find similar warnings to the media about the Global Engagement Center’s data?

Specific Instances of Censorship 

Then the committee should focus on specific instances of censorship, with the Hunter Biden laptop story and Covid debates deserving top billing. 

While Republicans care most about the censorship of the laptop story, this committee hearing is not the place to put the Biden family’s pay-to-play scandals on trial. Rather, Americans need to understand four key takeaways: The laptop was real, the FBI knew it was real, the FBI’s warnings to Twitter and other tech giants prompted censorship of the Post’s reporting, and the legacy media were complicit in silencing the story. Having the witnesses explain why Twitter censored the story with the goal of conveying those points will be key.

However, highlighting the censorship of Covid debates offers a better opportunity to cross the political divide of the country and to convince Americans that the hand-in-glove relationship between media and government threatens everyone’s speech. Stressing that both the Trump and Biden administrations pushed Twitter to censor Covid-related speech will also bolster that point.

The committee should start by summarizing the various Covid topics considered verboten — the virus’ origins, vaccines, natural immunity, masking, school closings — and then stress that the science now indicates the speech silenced was correct. Highlighting specific tweets that were blocked and medical professionals who were axed from the platform, while asking the witnesses to explain how this happened, will show the public the real-world implications of a Censorship Complex governing debate in America.

Where Do We Go from Here?

The committee should close by giving Taibbi and Shellenberger the floor, asking: “Where do we go from here?” 

The “Twitter Files” revealed that the government and its allies did not limit their efforts to Twitter but pushed censorship at other platforms, and also that a new “cottage industry” in disinformation has already launched. How do Americans know they are hearing the truth? How do we know the government is not manipulating or censoring the truth? 

Furthermore, if the same Censorship Complex that limits speech on social media succeeds in canceling alternative news outlets, and if the legacy media won’t provide a check on the government, how do we preserve our constitutional republic? 

That last question is not for tomorrow’s witnesses, however. It is for every American.

Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

    How 31 Republicans Just Betrayed The Country To Reward Illegal Immigration, Worsen Inflation, And Pay Off Democrats’ Donors

    Reported By Rachel BovardNOVEMBER 8, 2021

    At nearly midnight on Friday, 13 House Republicans gave Speaker Nancy Pelosi the votes she needed to pass the so-called “bipartisan infrastructure bill” — colloquially known in DC as the BIF. In doing so, these House Republicans, among them two members of the House GOP leadership team, all but guaranteed House passage of Joe Biden’s hotly partisan, $2 trillion reconciliation bill, which represents the largest cradle-to-grave expansion of federal power since the New Deal.

    Over at National Review, Philip Klein called the move by these 13 Republicans “political malpractice,” and a “betrayal.” He’s right, particularly on the first point. 

    Republicans who supported the bill predictably justified their vote as one for “roads and bridges,” pointing to the benefits that the bill’s largest provisions — like the $47 billion in climate funding and the $66 billion for the failing Amtrak system, provided without any reform — will ostensibly bring to their districts. 

    As Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) told The Hill, “I thought it was good for our district, I thought it was good for our country.” Meanwhile, left-of-center commentator Andrew Sullivan huffed about the “fanatical tribalism” being applied to a bill about infrastructure.

    That the BIF was a bill solely focused on infrastructure may have been true at the bill’s conception. But for months, a single and unavoidable political reality has been obvious: the substance of the bill hardly mattered. Rather, the infrastructure bill was but a chit, a chess piece, in forcing through passage of the larger, hotly partisan reconciliation legislation. Their fates were linked; one would not pass without the other. 

    This was a choice made very clearly, and very openly, by congressional Democrats. In June, Pelosi stated“There ain’t gonna be no bipartisan bill, unless we have a reconciliation bill,” a sentiment she reiterated in October when she confirmed “the bipartisan infrastructure bill will pass once we have agreement on the reconciliation bill.” 

    House Progressives made the linkage of the two bills central to their strategy of leveraging concessions in the reconciliation legislation, refusing to provide votes for the BIF until their reconciliation demands were met (six of them ended up refusing to support passage the BIF, paving the way for House Republicans to be the deciding votes).

    Even President Joe Biden tied the fate of the infrastructure legislation to the reconciliation bill. He did so explicitly in June, then said he didn’t really mean it after Senate Republicans expressed outrage (but then 18 of them voted to pass the bill in August, anyway), and then linked them again in October when he told House Democrats that infrastructure “ain’t going to happen until we reach an agreement on the next piece of legislation,” reconciliation the infrastructure bill.

    So to claim that a vote for the infrastructure legislation was merely a vote for “roads and bridges,” devoid of any other major political context, is just willfully ignorant of the obvious and openly stated politics at work. A vote for the infrastructure bill was very clearly a vote for the reconciliation legislation. The inability to understand this reality raises not only questions of basic political acumen, but of the ability of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s leadership team to hold their conference together on consequential votes.

    It’s worth unpacking a few of the provisions in the reconciliation bill that this group of Republicans will help make possible. Among them:

    • A 10-year amnesty for illegal immigrants, which includes work permits and driver’s licenses and cannot be undone by future administrations for a decade.
    • Provides millions of dollars in funding for the IRS to enforce the Biden administration’s plan to review every bank account with $10,000 or more. 
    • Expands and shores up provisions of Obamacare.
    • Eliminates the statutory cap on employment visas, effectively allowing Big Tech companies and other mega-corporations to prioritize hiring foreign workers over American workers.
    • Facilitates enforcement of Biden’s vaccine mandate by increasing OSHA penalties on businesses up to $700,000 per violation and provides billions in funding for the Department of Labor to increase enforcement.
    • Mandates taxpayer coverage of abortion, leaving the long-agreed upon Hyde amendment out of the bill.
    • Provides half a trillion dollars in climate spending, including clean energy tax credits to subsidize solar, electric vehicles, and clean energy production, as well as federal spending on clean energy technology and manufacturing, all while limiting domestic energy production, thereby increasing dependence on Russia and China.
    • Provides roughly $400 billion for expanded government childcare and universal pre-K, which pumps millions into failed Head Start programs, excludes support for families who prefer at-home child-care arrangements, and by requiring that preschool teachers have a college degree, will reduce the availability of child-care options.
    • A host of new taxes, and a giant tax cut for the rich: by including a repeal on the cap for the state and local tax deduction, Democrats will provide a $30 billion net direct tax cut for the top 5 percent of earners, largely in blue states where the state and local taxes are much higher.

    The “Build Back Better” reconciliation legislation is a bill that transforms the role of the state in every aspect of an individual’s life, while expanding key Democratic priorities like amnesty, abortion, cheap foreign labor, a dysfunctional health care system, and invasions of financial privacy. And consideration of the bill in the House wasn’t made possible by the Democrats in the majority, but by House Republicans.  

    There are those, like Sullivan, who will still bemoan that political polarization has taken over even relatively popular policies like infrastructure. But politicizing the infrastructure bill was the clear and unambiguous choice that Democrats made when they linked the two bills. To expect most Republicans to be as tin-eared and politically naive (or, like Rep. Adam Kinzinger, as openly tied to Democratic priorities) as the group of 13 is ridiculous. It’s asking them to act against their own self-interest. 

    Democrats drafted a partisan reconciliation bill with no Republican input, full of provisions they knew Republicans wouldn’t support, and then hijacked an otherwise bipartisan bill to ensure passage of its much more expansive and partisan cousin. This was a specific choice Democrats made, and Republicans are not responsible for it — nor should they be expected to vote for a bill that is the stated gateway to related legislation with which they profoundly disagree.

    Regardless, the infrastructure bill now goes to the president’s desk. Eighteen Republican senators helped pass it in August, and so did 13 House Republicans (for a total of 31), knowing full well they were also voting on the amnesty-filled, abortion-funding, financially-snooping, cheap-labor loving reconciliation bill, gave it the required boost. Betrayal, as Klein noted, is not too strong a term.

    Rachel Bovard is The Federalist’s senior tech columnist and the senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute.

    While Your Attention Was Diverted to Charleston, House Passed Unconstitutional TPA

    waving flagPosted by 5 hours ago

    Imperial President ObamaI admit that there are always things that seem to be used in order to cover up other things that are being done. Last week the House shot down the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill, but passed the Trade Promotion Authority (both are unconstitutional). With the coverage of the Charleston Church shooting in South Carolina, the House advanced the TPA again, and this time it passed.

    In a 218-208 vote (previous vote was 219-211), with 28 Democrats and 50 Republicans voting in favor of the bill, the House advanced the fast track bill which would illegally delegate authority to the Executive Branch to work out trade agreements. As I’ve pointed out before, trade agreements involve tariffs (taxes). As such, those must originate in the House of Representatives.

    Article I, Section 7 of the US Constitution states:

    All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives…

    This is not a treaty, it’s a trade agreement. Too many people are confusing the TPA with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is a treaty. I do believe confusion is exactly what is being perpetrated on the American people at this point in order to advance the agenda.B2A_FvyCMAE14px

    The Hill reports:

    The House on Thursday took the first step toward resuscitating the White House’s trade agenda by passing legislation granting President Obama fast-track authority.

    The bill now goes to the Senate, where the White House and GOP leaders are seeking to strike a deal with pro-trade Democrats.muslim-obama

    The Senate is now expected to vote on the legislation, but that is presumed to pass since they have already passed before. This is a vote to re-establish America’s credibility,” said Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI).Reality 2

    Previously, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) attempted to justify such actions by saying that the TPA wouldn’t give Obama more authority and chastening others that said such legislation would undermine the law. But it does, in fact, do that. Furthermore, if this is passed through the Senate and the TPP is approved, there is no doubt that American jobs will be lost, which is, in part, why the TAA was also attempting to be pushed through.

    All of this is setting America up for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. There is no question about that. RT reports:

    Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is a vocal critic of the deal because of a provision called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). The provision would mediate disputes between foreign investors and a government, which Warren believes will inhibit regulation and pose a threat to American sovereignty.

    ISDS is designed to address the problem of uneven national economic policies in an interconnected global economy. Foreign investors have to deal with the risk of having their investments seized if and when a new government comes to power and decides to nationalize the businesses of foreign industries. While this isn’t a risk in a stable company with a strong judicial system like the United States, it is a genuine risk in other countries without such stability. ISDS is an arbitration process that uses sanctions to put pressure on governments who have unfairly seized property.

    That means that ISDS would allow foreign investors to make complaints against the United States, which is a point that many take issue with. Warren argues that the agreement could “tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations.”kingobamafingerconstitution-300x204Many opponents of the TPP worry that multinational corporations could argue that environmental, financial and minimum wage regulations could qualify for a dispute under ISDS, potentially costing the United States expensive damages.

    Sorry conservatives, but Republicans are once again selling us out right along with many Democrats. They are selling out American jobs, sovereignty and most of all they are not following the rules of the Constitution they swore to uphold and defend. The push is on now to see if Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) will take to the Senate floor and provide a filibuster for this unconstitutional legislation.

    freedom combo 2

    Three ways GOP could save trade bill

    waving flagBy Scott Wong and Mike Lillis – 06/15/15

    URL of the Original Posting Site:

    GOP leaders have no good options as they scramble to resuscitate a trade package that is critical to President Obama’s economic agenda. Congressional Republicans and Obama suffered a jarring defeat on Friday, when trade opponents voted down a workers’ aid bill in a bid to scuttle a larger Senate-passed package that would pave the way for a sweeping trade pact with Japan, Vietnam and nine other Pacific Rim nations. The opposition came from Republicans, who widely reject the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program on ideological grounds, and from Democrats who saw taking down TAA, a program they’ve long championed, as their best chance to sink an accompanying bill allowing trade promotion authority (TPA), also known as fast-track.

    Although the House passed the TPA bill the same day, the rule governing the process requires approval of the TAA bill before fast-track can reach the president’s desk. Monday saw a flurry of phone calls and meetings between party leaders, including one between Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). GOP leaders huddled Monday in Boehner’s office but they didn’t settle on a path forward. By Monday night, the Speaker’s office announced that the House would buy more time, voting on a rule Tuesday that would give the chamber until July 30 to take another vote on TAA.

    But earlier in the day, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had warned: “The longer something like this sits out there, the harder it is to bring it back.”

    Here are three possible scenarios that could play out in the coming days and weeks: 


    What might be the easiest of several options is still a heavy lift for backers of the president’s trade agenda.

    As GOP leaders have suggested, the House could soon vote again on the workers aid program — a vote that, if successful, would send the fast-track legislation to Obama’s desk. The challenge is that, following Friday’s 126-302 vote against TAA, Obama and Boehner need more than 90 lawmakers to switch their votes from no to yes. And after bucking the president and voting to derail his trade package on Friday, there are few political upsides for Democrats to reverse course now. Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas), a pro-trade Democrat, said Monday that he’s pushing the idea of sweetening TAA to provide Democrats more incentive to get on board — something along the lines of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) recent proposal to include a highway funding bill alongside trade legislation.

    “I think we could get a few more Republicans, but the question is: How do you get more Democrats over here?” Cuellar said.

    While it’s highly improbable Democratic rebels would switch their TAA votes en masse, there are a handful who expressed a willingness to reconsider their votes the second time around. Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas), who like Obama is a Chicago Democrat, initially told his colleagues during a closed-door caucus meeting last week he would vote for the aid bill and against fast-track. But when the vote was called Friday, he reneged and voted against both.

    His spokesman said Gutiérrez “wanted to make clear that he opposed TPA.”

    On the GOP side, leadership aides have said they don’t expect to add many more Republicans to their TAA tally. They’ve topped out at around 93 GOP yes votes, and Democrats must vote for TAA if they don’t want the multibillion-dollar program to expire in September, aides said. But one GOP lawmaker predicted there were dozens of other Republicans prepared to switch their votes to yes if there was movement on the Democratic side of the aisle. “I think that there are probably 30 to 40 Republicans that would change their vote from no to yes, and so they are trying to get another 30 to 40 Democrats from no to yes so that they can move it forward,” the GOP lawmaker said Monday.Reality 2

    Lawmakers watching Friday’s failed TAA roll call on the electronic vote board said there was a group of Republicans who waited until the last second to cast their vote, suggesting they might be open to supporting the aid legislation. They included North Carolina Reps. Richard Hudson and George Holding, GOP sources said, though a Hudson aide denied he would flip his vote. Another possible yes vote is conservative Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who had been whipping support for the fast-track bill but voted no on TAA. “People like that could potentially switch,” the GOP lawmaker said. 


    The Senate-passed trade bill, which combined TAA and TPA, was cobbled together to attract enough bipartisan support to defeat a Democratic filibuster. It just squeaked by, with 62 senators — including 14 Democrats — voting in favor.

    House GOP leaders decided to split the package into separate votes, hoping there would be enough Democratic support to move the TAA piece, while Republicans would do the heavy lifting on TPA. That strategy collapsed when Democrats, behind Pelosi, killed TAA. If TAA fails a second time, GOP leaders might decide to push the Senate package as a whole. Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.), another pro-trade Democrat, predicted Monday that they have the votes to pass it, though it would be a nail-biter due to opposition on both sides of the aisle.

    “I don’t think there’s some magic formula that President Obama can put on the table and make all of the Democratic concerns about TPA disappear. And I don’t think there’s some magic formula that John Boehner can put on the table to make all of the Republican concerns about TAA disappear,” Connolly said. “I don’t think there are any easy options here.”

    A House Democratic leadership aide said Monday that there wouldn’t likely be any significant Democratic defections, making the whip counting easier for Republicans whipping the vote. “Any Democrat who is already on the record supporting TPA has a very clear, vested interest in seeing it pass,” said the aide, whose boss supports Obama’s trade agenda. Liberalism a mental disorder 2


    A third option: The House could vote again on just the fast-track bill and either send it to the Senate or try to merge it with the Senate-passed package.

    But both of those scenarios have their challenges. Because a stand-alone TPA bill would not be tied to a workers’ aid provision, aides believe the legislation would lose support from the 14 Senate Democrats who helped pass it last time. The absence of the TAA legislation would also erode support in the White House. Cuellar said he’s been in several conversations with administration officials since Friday’s vote, and they’ve vowed not to back any trade package that excludes the additional help for workers displaced by trade deals. “They personally told me they’re not going to deal without TAA,” he said.

    But McCarthy, in a briefing with reporters Monday, didn’t rule out that option.

    Cristina Marcos and Jordan Fabian contributed to this report, which was updated at 8:18 a.m. on June 16.Picture3 freedom combo 2

    The Battle for Control of Congress In 2014




    • House GOP have 198 safe seats. House Democrats have 162 safe seats. House GOP have a 36 seat advantage over the Democrats in terms of safe seats.
    • There are 75 seats being contested and for the Democrats to become the majority again they need to win in 56 of these 75 seats. This means they need to win all 26 seats they have a small lead, plus all 17 seats they are tied, plus 13 of the 32 seats that the GOP have a small lead.
    • Senate GOP have 41 seats safe or not up for grabs. Senate Democrats have 40 seats safe or not up for grabs.
    • Senate GOP have a 1 seat advantage over the Democrats in terms of safe seats.
    • There are 19 seats being contested and for the GOP to become the majority again they need to win in 10 of these 19 seats. This means they have to win all 5 seats they have a small lead plus 5 of the 8 seats they are tied.
    • For the Democrats to keep a majority they have to win all 6 seats they have a small lead plus 4 of the 8 seats they are tied.

    It is obviously a lot closer for the battle to control the US Senate than it is for the battle to control the US House.

    vote 01

    vote 02vote 03vote 04

    We may not know the outcome after the general election on November 4, 2014 if Georgia and Louisiana contests are still in play. There is a Libertarian

    Click on image to see movie trailer and more

    Click on image to see movie trailer and more

    candidate in Georgia for US Senate who could receive enough votes to keep any candidate from receiving 50% of the votes plus 1. If this happens then a runoff is held for the top 2 vote getters on Tuesday January 6, 2015.

    There are no party primaries in Louisiana. All candidates from all parties appear on the open primary ballot. If no candidate receives a majority (50% of the vote plus 1) on November 4, 2014, then a runoff is held between the top two vote getters on Saturday December 6, 2014.

    There are 33 states electing 36 US Senators in 2014, and 19 of these states have closely contested elections with 100 days before the general election. The projections with respect to which seats are contested can change between now and then. Please get out and vote for the Republican candidate in these 33 states. Our country is never going to be able to get on the right track again if the majority of voters continue to elect Democrats to the US Senate. If you live in one of the 17 states that is not electing a US Senator in 2014, then consider adopting a Republican candidate to donate money and time to make calls to get out the vote. The future of this republic is on the line


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