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A Deeper Look at Black Lives Matter and Its Impact

Standing behind vandals who attempted to pull down the bronze statue of Andrew Jackson near the White House last week is a loosely configured, increasingly well-funded network of Black Lives Matter activists bent on constraining and defunding law enforcement.

An area called Black Lives Matter Plaza became the staging ground for more than 100 demonstrators, many of them egging on the vandalism before police intervened.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, gave the official name to the two-block section of 16th Street NW two weeks earlier. Bowser had city workers neatly paint “Black Lives Matter” on the pavement in yellow, using large capital letters, and put up new street signs identifying Black Lives Matter Plaza.

Groups across the country say they identify with the movement. A centralized organization called Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, however, has more than a dozen official chapters in the U.S. and Canada–including the District of Columbia–with shared goals and objectives.

In an interview with The Daily Signal, a leader of the Black Lives Matter chapter in Denver said the chapters operate independently and pursue agendas that are particular to their location.

“There are other groups that don’t follow guiding principles, and we don’t endorse …read more


These 3 Groups Organized to Support Mail-In Voting

Political progressives who favor the expanded use of mail-in balloting have been telling the American people not to pay attention to that man on Twitter who sees a potential connection between their proposals and massive voter fraud.

The Brennan Center for Justice, Priorities USA, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law are three of the groups that, with an eye toward the November elections, are calling on government officials to make it easier to vote by mail.

In a tweet Monday morning, President Donald Trump said mail-in ballots “will lead to a RIGGED ELECTION!”

Barr: Mail-in Ballots ‘Absolutely Opens the Floodgates to Fraud‘ via @BreitbartNews. This will be the Election disaster of our time. Mail-In Ballots will lead to a RIGGED ELECTION!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020

“There is NO WAY (ZERO) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” Trump said in a May 26 tweet. “Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.”

The president directed this and a subsequent tweet at California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, who recently expanded mail-in balloting in his state.

His …read more


How Virginia’s Green New Deal Will Add to Residents’ COVID-19 Costs

While many Virginia residents are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19, their elected officials from Gov. Ralph Northam on down are increasing their financial burdens with radical Green New Deal-style programs, energy policy analysts say.

Renewable energy mandates and restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions recently signed into law by Northam, a Democrat, are economically and scientifically unsound, these critics argue.

Supporters, however, counter that the new environmental regulations are needed to put Virginia “on the path to clean energy” and help the state combat climate change.

The “Virginia Clean Economy Act” creates renewable standards that, for example, require Dominion Energy Virginia to be 100% carbon-free by 2045 and Appalachian Power to be 100% carbon-free by 2050.

The new law also says that almost all of the state’s coal-fired power plants must be closed by 2024.

The legislation was the result of “extensive stakeholder input and incorporates environmental justice concepts related to the Green New Deal,” the governor’s office said in April.

Tom Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, a Washington-based nonprofit that advocates free-market policies, argues that with the Virginia General Assembly’s shift this year from Republican to Democratic control, green energy initiatives became a top priority …read more


New York’s Request for Taxpayer Bailouts Said to Obscure Real Issues

New York officials who have asked Congress to provide more federal funds to alleviate the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic should make better use of existing resources and reevaluate their decisions, according to an analysis of a $500 billion “bailout” proposed by the National Governors Association.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, have expressed displeasure with President Donald Trump’s comments on Twitter and in media interviews when asked about the appropriateness of all U.S. taxpayers’ bailing out states that aren’t well run.

“Washington has no need to fund New York’s wasteful ways,” E.J. McMahon, research director at the Albany-based Empire Center for Public Policy, told The Daily Signal in an interview.

“If I was a governor of another state right now, I’d wish Cuomo would be quiet and go away, because the more it’s about him in New York, the less it’s about the actual issue,” McMahon said, adding:

Cuomo is sucking up all the oxygen talking about his problems. But behind his request for $500 billion–which is preposterous and just part of an old-fashioned haggle, to ask high–there is a serious issue that his bombast is masking. …read more


Free Market Group Calls for California, 4 Other States to Suspend Government Union Dues

If elected officials were to suspend the deduction of union dues from the paychecks of public-sector employees for three months, they could pump tens of millions of dollars back into the wallets of workers who are compelled to stay home, according to a free market think tank’s analysis of government records.

The savings would be particularly dramatic in California, which has more than 1.25 million public employees, the Freedom Foundation explained in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat.

The letter notes that California’s public employees pay an average of $800 a year in dues.

A three-month moratorium on deduction of government union dues “would pump $250 million back into the pockets of workers who earned them and need them during this emergency,” Bob Wickers, California director for the Freedom Foundation, said in the letter to Newsom.

“The best part is you could boost our state’s economy by nearly $250 million without costing California taxpayers a dime,” he wrote.

The Freedom Foundation also sent letters to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, asking them to consider the three-month moratorium on deducting union dues. DeWine …read more


6 Things to Know About Anthony Fauci as He Helps Shape Response to Coronavirus

Before his name and face became ubiquitous to Americans through news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, Anthony Fauci made his mark as a key figure working to end the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

Fauci, a 79-year-old Brooklyn native, also gained media attention after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when he made the case for a stronger defense against bioterrorism.

A veteran medical researcher and career immunologist, Fauci has testified before Congress multiple times. He has served as a public health adviser to six American presidents.

The son of a pharmacist and grandson of immigrants from Italy and Switzerland, Fauci has been part of the National Institutes of Health since 1968, when he was hired as a clinical associate.

In 1984, Fauci became director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of several smaller agencies within the National Institutes of Health, and he has held that post ever since.

A gifted academic who graduated first in his class with an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1966, Fauci reportedly was an ardent New York Yankees fan in his youth despite growing up in a neighborhood dominated by Brooklyn Dodgers fans.

Fauci currently is rarely out of the public eye as a key …read more


Teacher Takes Union to Court for Ignoring Supreme Court Ruling on Dues

Pennsylvania’s largest public employee union needs to stop evading a landmark Supreme Court ruling, an art teacher argues in a lawsuit that could undo key provisions of state labor laws.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association continues to negotiate provisions to give it “fair share fees” in collective bargaining agreements, despite the fact that the highest court in the land ruled those fees unconstitutional, a lawyer who represents the art teacher told The Daily Signal in an interview.

“PSEA specifically has a history of thumbing its nose at Supreme Court precedent, and it has sometimes required litigation to make them comply with the court’s rulings,” Nathan McGrath, litigation director at the Fairness Center, said of the teachers union.

The Fairness Center, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, represents art teacher Greg Hartnett and three other public school teachers who sued the Pennsylvania State Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association.

Hartnett and the others argue the teachers union shows “a willingness to challenge or ignore Supreme Court precedent,” and that the teachers should not be forced to pay the union’s fair share fees.

The case, Hartnett v. PSEA, is with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which …read more


White House Talks Up Economic, Environmental Renewal to Replace Blight

Entrepreneurs have been unleashed inside blighted communities to bring economic opportunity where it is needed most, thanks to President Donald Trump’s deregulation and revitalization initiatives, administration officials said Friday.

Scott Turner, executive director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, discussed such progress with Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, during a conference of conservative activists near Washington.

Turner, a former pro football player, told the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference that opportunity zones created during the Trump administration are bringing “stakeholders” back into “stressed communities” for the first time in decades.

“Poverty has no color, poverty has no party,” Turner said. “Poverty affects all of us and when you’re in poverty, you don’t care about party.”

A total of 8,764 opportunity zones have been identified in economically depressed areas throughout the country, according to government figures. Opportunity zones, created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that Trump signed into law in December 2017, give investors tax benefits in exchange for providing capital in such neighborhoods.

The zones have both an economic and social impact, Turner said.

“Opportunity zones are bringing long-term sustainability,” he said. “Our vision is for generational impact on our country. Conversations …read more


What to Do About Our ‘Tech Cold War’ With China

China wants to use artificial intelligence and 5G technology to “control the world” and undermine human rights, a Heritage Foundation national security analyst said Friday during an annual gathering of conservative activists.

U.S. policy makers and industry leaders “need to be honest” about the challenges posed by China and close off points of vulnerability that made it possible for the communist regime to steal American technology, James Carafano said.

Carafano, the think tank’s director of international and foreign policy studies, spoke during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC.

“The crux of the problem is there is a law in China that basically says if you are a Chinese company then any data you have, then we [the Chinese government] have free access to that data,” Carafano said. “If Chinese companies are global, then China has global access to data. … China wants to use data to control the world.”

Carafano described 5G, an abbreviation for fifth-generation, as a “transformative technology” that is just the “tip of the spear” of what should most concern U.S. leaders in and outside government who are working to safeguard intellectual property.

Carafano was joined for the discussion by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, …read more


After Years of Paying Illegal Union Fees, Government Workers Seek Refunds

After successfully leading a nationwide charge against government-sanctioned union mandates, Mark Janus could end up back before the Supreme Court.

In a continuation of his legal case, the former child support specialist for the Illinois government asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule that union officials must refund thousands of dollars in union fees taken from his paycheck.

But a three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled in November that Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees could keep the fees it collected from Janus.

Janus asked for a refund of fees the union collected prior to the Supreme Court’s landmark June 2018 decision in his favor, the 7th Circuit panel explained, saying it was not clear whether that decision was meant to be retroactive.

In Janus v AFSCME, the Supreme Court decided that under the First Amendment government workers cannot be forced either to join a union or pay union fees as a nonunion member. The decision affects about 5 million government employees in 22 states who no longer are required to financially support the political activism of public employee unions.

Janus has petitioned the full 7th …read more