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Biden’s HHS Pushes ‘Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility’ Agenda to Racialize Government

President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services is creating a “strategic plan” to advance goals for “diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility” in the federal workforce, according to an internal document obtained by The Daily Signal. 

The strategic plan at HHS, implemented in response to Biden’s executive order in June 2021, will build on existing diversity initiatives already in line with administration policy. 

Because HHS is the largest grant-making agency in the federal government, awarding more dollars than all other agencies combined, its final strategic plan to increase diversity likely will influence who or what entities will be awarded grants in the future.

“We are a very multiethnic country. You cannot make decisions to apply the law differently because of skin color,” Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal when asked to comment on the HHS project. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

The HHS diversity plan, like those of other agencies, is supposed to be finalized by March 23. From that point forward, the Department of Health and Human Services must “establish quarterly goals and report annually on goal progress,” the document says. 

In late November, the Biden administration followed up on the …read more


Youngkin Poised to Withdraw Virginia From Multistate Climate Pact

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is pursuing a multipronged strategy to dismantle climate change regulations and hold down energy costs, his press secretary told The Daily Signal.

Government records indicate that Youngkin will rely on a mix of executive action, budget changes, and legislation to withdraw from the 11-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Some environmental activists and lawyers question the new Republican governor’s authority to exit the pact exclusively through executive action.

But Youngkin press secretary Macaulay Porter said the governor is committed to ending Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a “cap and trade” agreement to limit carbon dioxide emissions that is widely known as RGGI

“The governor pledged to withdraw Virginia from RGGI because of the unfair burden it places on Virginia ratepayers,” Porter said in an interview. “On Day One, he issued an executive order to do just that.” 

 “The executive action initiated the regulatory process to withdraw,” Porter added, “but he’s also supporting legislative action to make sure future governors cannot unilaterally put Virginia back into this failed and expensive program.”

Youngkin’s executive order set in motion a series of actions that will result in what it calls “a full report reevaluating the costs and benefits of …read more


Salvation Army Silent on Impact of Race-Based Training on Fundraising

Salvation Army chapters across the country saw a significant drop in donations in the weeks before Christmas because of fallout over a racially charged training curriculum, according to a nonprofit group that advocates “colorblind” policies. 

Chapters in California, Massachusetts, and Michigan are among Salvation Army locations cited by Color Us United as affected by its campaign against training materials, called “Let’s Talk About Racism,” that include tenets of critical race theory and anti-racism teachings. 

The church’s national headquarters has yet to announce fundraising figures for 2021, but it is evident that financial contributions to The Salvation Army have been “tanking,” Color Us United spokesman Christian Watson told reporters.

“It’s very clear their numbers have been hit hard,” Watson said of The Salvation Army during a virtual press conference Jan. 19. “You can either chalk it up to COVID or economic turmoil, or you can do what we claim is the probable cause—and that is Color Us United’s particular efforts against The Salvation Army’s woke curriculum.”

As previously reported by The Daily Signal, one session includes definitions of individual, structural, and institutional racism that claim whites are the beneficiaries of discriminatory policies. Another session makes the case that the larger Christian church, …read more


Salvation Army Should Apologize by Christmas for Racially Divisive Training, Watchdog Demands

Between now and Christmas, The Salvation Army has an opportunity to restore faith with members and donors who feel betrayed by an internal curriculum drawing on critical race theory and “anti-racism” teachings that they view as divisive and historically inaccurate, a leading critic of the training material says. 

Called “Let’s Talk About Racism,” the document has become a source of controversy, sparking a nationwide petition drive demanding that the faith-based charity rescind it. The petition, organized by Color Us United, a nonprofit devoted to “colorblind” principles on race, has pulled in more than 16,000 signatures to date. 

Kenny Xu, president of Color Us United, told The Daily Signal in an interview that he thinks The Salvation Army has until Christmas to restore the organization’s reputation and reestablish faith with outside donors and supporters as well as its own rank-and-file members. 

“One of the key rules of an apology I’ve learned in all my communications and public relations classes is that you have to do it fast,” Xu said. “They’ve already said they are withdrawing the curriculum for appropriate review. This means they are coming out with a replacement.”

“We want The Salvation Army to make a statement that recognizes and honors …read more


Salvation Army Conceals ‘Politically Charged’ Racial Teachings During Fundraising Campaign, Nonprofit Group Says

Rather than rescind racially divisive training material in response to objections from members and donors, The Salvation Army is concealing the internal curriculum during its annual Christmas fundraising campaign while continuing to pursue “politically charged racial ideologies,” an outside group alleges. 

A nationwide petition organized by the fledgling nonprofit Color Us United targets The Salvation Army’s little-known “Let’s Talk About Racism” curriculum, first publicized by The Daily Signal. 

The petition argues that the curriculum, advanced through The Salvation Army’s New York-based International Social Justice Commission, shows that the faith-based charity has veered off into a “woke ideology” that jeopardizes its mission. 

“The Salvation Army is the antithesis of a racist organization,” Kenny Xu, president of Color Us United and a contributor to The Daily Signal, said in an email. “In fact, it is a shining example of how charitable and colorblind America is. That’s why we launched this campaign. We want to save The Salvation Army from succumbing to divisive race-based policies.” 

On Thanksgiving Day, six days after The Daily Signal began making inquiries about the “Let’s Talk About Racism” training materials, The Salvation Army released a statement challenging what it described as “false claims” about the materials.

The curriculum …read more


Climate Models Overlook Benefits of CO2 and ‘Lukewarming,’ Data Scientist Says

Rather than relying on climate change models that could be the basis of expansive and costly regulations, policymakers should instead question those models, focusing on the legitimacy of their underlying assumptions.

So says The Heritage Foundation’s chief statistician said at a recent climate change conference in Las Vegas that preceded the international summit in Glasgow, Scotland, that concludes today. 

While the Biden administration continues to pursue regulatory policies based on a concept known as the “social cost of carbon,” increased carbon dioxide emissions have led to a “greening of the planet,” Kevin Dayaratna, principal statistician and data scientist for The Heritage Foundation, said in his presentation at the Heartland Institute’s 14th international climate change conference. The nonprofit, Illinois-based free market think tank attracted dozens of scientists, economists, and academics from across the globe to the conference, which ran from Oct. 15 to 17. 

The Heartland Institute also hosted a Climate Reality Forum in Glasgow on Nov. 2 and 3 during the two-week United Nations climate change conference

The Heartland Institute is a co-sponsor of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, which has brought together scientists, researchers, and scholars from across the globe who dispute U.N. …read more


Taxpayers Take School Board to Court for Trying to Silence Parents’ Criticism

Four taxpayers in Pennsylvania have decided enough is enough after footing the bill for a school board attorney who told them that the school system could limit their First Amendment rights.

The taxpayers filed a free speech lawsuit in federal court that could set a precedent for invalidating policies that shield both school administrators and elected officials from public criticism. 

“Our lawsuit seeks case precedent to establish that citizens cannot be censored or intimidated by government officials for exercising their First Amendment rights at a school board meeting,” Simon Campbell, a former member of the Pennsbury School Board, told The Daily Signal.

In their suit, Campbell and three other taxpayers whose children are or were enrolled in Bucks County’s Pennsbury School District ask the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to strike down school board policies used to “censor” citizens who dissent. 

The Institute for Free Speech, a Washington-based nonprofit law firm, represents the four plaintiffs. Their suit names Pennsbury School Board officers and other members as well as the board’s lawyers and current and former district officials. 

Michael Clarke, an attorney for the Pennsbury School District who is among the defendants, is on record informing parents and other residents that …read more


Pennsylvania Lawmakers Move to Block Newly Cleared Climate Regulations

No sooner did a Pennsylvania state commission narrowly approve new climate regulations this week than state lawmakers advanced a resolution to prevent those rules from taking effect.

The five-member Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted 3-2 on Wednesday to approve “cap and trade” regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions, endorsed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, in an executive order in October 2019.

Republicans on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted Thursday to approve a concurrent resolution to spike the regulations. They were joined by state Rep. Pam Snyder, a Democrat, whose district includes Greene, Fayette, and Washington counties.

The regulations would enable Pennsylvania to become part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate agreement to address climate change that includes 11 New England and mid-Atlantic states.

Government regulators in participating states compel electric utilities to purchase carbon allowances at quarterly auctions whenever the power companies surpass the cap on carbon dioxide emissions established by RGGI, as the pact is known.

During the Wednesday meeting, Commissioner John Soroko made a motion to disapprove of the regulations, which failed 3-2. Commissioner Murray Ufberg then made a motion to approve the regulations, which passed 3-2.

The Pennsylvania …read more


Climate Regulations Reach Critical Turning Point in Pennsylvania

If an independent panel votes down proposed regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions in Pennsylvania, state lawmakers will have added leverage to prevent Gov. Tom Wolf from joining a multistate initiative to address climate change.

However, if the panel approves the regulations in a meeting Wednesday, Wolf’s executive agencies likely would gain latitude to move forward with plans to implement cap-and-trade rules in step with 11 other states in New England and the mid-Atlantic that are part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Either way, September is shaping up to be a critical month for the future of carbon taxes and other anti-carbon measures that have drawn bipartisan opposition in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Since the commonwealth is No. 2 only to Texas in oil and gas production, according to government figures, the final decision on the cap-and-trade proposals will have significant ramifications across state lines.

Even if Pennsylvania’s five-member Independent Regulatory Review Commission votes yes on the carbon dioxide regulations, the state’s Office of Attorney General has 30 days to review their legality.

The General Assembly also could adopt a resolution opposing the regulations, despite the commission’s OK. Since legislative committees already have expressed disapproval of Wolf’s climate regulations, …read more


Big Salaries at Conservation Group Created by Congress Raise Eyebrows

While working to restore wildlife and plant habitats, a federally chartered conservation foundation pays lavish salaries to officers at the expense of environmental initiatives that are central to its mission, policy analysts and former employees say.

Compensation figures in Form 990 tax records prepared for the IRS ought to raise questions about the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s internal financial practices and the potential impact on conservation programs, a former employee told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

Top officials, including Jeff Trandahl, the foundation’s executive director and CEO, receive annual compensation packages that appear to be “out of proportion” with those at other nonprofit conservation groups, said Alex Echols, who was the foundation’s deputy policy director from 1995 to 2000.

Trandahl received $1.29 million in annual compensation in 2018 alone, according to the most recent available Form 990 tax records. By comparison, CEOs with other nonprofit conservation groups fell well short of Trandahl’s salary in recent years.

In 2017, Sierra Club Executive Director Dan Chu was paid $238,000 and American Forest Foundation President and CEO Thomas D. Martin made $386,560. In 2018, then-Natural Resources Defense Council President Rhea Suh made $543,741 and then-National Audubon Society CEO David …read more