Wall Street Firm Blackstone Invests $6 Billion in Single-Family Homes

"For Rent" sign in window of building

Investment firm Blackstone Group acquired 17,000 single-family rental homes on Tuesday in a deal worth $6 billion.

Blackstone, an asset management firm that focuses on alternative investments, acquired Home Partners of America (HPA) along with its 17,000 home inventory, the firm announced in a statement Tuesday. Blackstone will continue HPA’s business model of offering its tenants rent-to-own lease agreements, which allow the tenant to purchase the rental property after a certain amount of time.

“The fundamental premise of the HPA platform is to provide residents with the opportunity to live in their chosen home with the option to purchase it,” Blackstone’s Real Estate Senior Managing Director Jacob Werner said in the statement. “We intend to build on that goal and expand access to homes across the U.S.”

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Critical Race Theory Presented Before Board of America’s Oldest Military Academy

In a recent livestream, a Virginia state official gave a presentation on why the far-left and anti-White teachings of Critical Race Theory should be encouraged at the oldest military academy in the United States, the Daily Caller reports.

Janice Underwood, who holds the title of Virginia’s “Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer,” spoke before a virtual gathering of the Board of Visitors at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). In the lecture, Underwood promoted the racist writings of Robin DiAngelo, the author of the book “White Fragility.” She explicitly called for such “uncomfortable” ideas to be promoted at VMI, and said that such race-based thinking should be incorporated into “every single course” at the academy.

“Discomfort is to be expected,” Underwood continued, but encouraged the faculty to “lean into that discomfort. Walk towards the discomfort, not away.” She added that students at the academy must “engage in self-reflection and engage their own racial engagement and biases.”

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Police Departments in Multiple Major Cities Won’t Say If Gang Violence Is Increasing

Back of Police officers uniform

Police departments in several major cities would not say if gang violence in the region has increased in the last year, despite an overall increase in reports of violent crime.

Some police departments said the motive behind crimes isn’t always known while multiple others said they would not be able to provide any information unless a formal records request was submitted.

Over 1,600 violent crimes were recorded in 2021 and reported homicides were up 13% from last year in Washington, D.C., according to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The MPD does not publicly report instances of gang-related activity or offenses.

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Democrats’ Sweeping Voting Bill Fails to Advance in the Senate

Senate Republicans stopped Democrats’ sweeping voting rights bill from advancing on the Senate floor Tuesday, unanimously voting against beginning its debate and therefore essentially killing it.

Though every Democrat voted to advance the bill, Republicans labeled it as nothing more than a power grab by the majority, with GOP leadership vowing to stop it. The bill, dubbed the “For the People Act,” received 50 votes in favor, but needed 60 to overcome a legislative filibuster.

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Commentary: China’s COVID Coup

Xi Jinping

It is time for Americans to contemplate the possibility that the United States may be surpassed as the world’s most influential country. The Chinese have just won the greatest strategic victory in the last 30 years since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. However it originated, the novel coronavirus was repressed within China by recourse to draconian measures but was deliberately permitted to infect the rest of the world, enabling China to exploit the blunderbuss Western lockdowns and make a giant leap towards economic preeminence in the world. 

This push toward Chinese economic preeminence was something widely predicted prior to the Trump era but clearly was not happening in the first three years of the Trump presidency, as unemployment nearly vanished in the United States, illegal immigration was almost completely stopped, and American economic growth soared, generated by an increasing workforce and sharp gains among the lowest 20 percent of income earners. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic almost 16 months ago, however, the United States and the West generally have suffered a severe economic slowdown, vast increases in the money supply, and an epochal spike in unemployment.

Assuming the SARS-CoV-2 virus escaped accidentally, China must be credited for a remarkable coup of strategic improvisation in translating a public health crisis into a large economical and geopolitical advance at the expense of the West. The American indulgence in an entire summer of white-hating, statue-toppling, rioting, and denigration of American history, freedom, and values astonished the world. Moreover, it helped China propagate its message that democracy leads to chaos and waste and that the United States is an unreliable and unstable country. This argument is assisted by what appears to be the practice of the Biden regime of declaring American moral shortcomings to the world as Secretary of State Antony Blinken did in his unfortunate encounter with the Chinese foreign minister at Anchorage three months ago. 

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Commentary: Recent History Suggests FBI Involvement in January 6

Remember Christopher Steele?

The author of the infamous 2016 “dossier” was an impeccably credentialed former British intelligence officer who, we were assured, had the goods on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. Nearly every major news and opinion outlet vouched for his reputation and reliable sources inside the Kremlin.

Steele frequently was described as an “ex-spy” in charge of a well-respected global consulting firm in London; he was alternatively a victim of Trump’s public taunts and a hero willing to risk his life and reputation to spare America the election of a Putin puppet.

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Kyrsten Sinema Reaffirms That She Will Not Support Abolishing the Filibuster

Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema reaffirmed her opposition to abolishing the 60-vote Senate filibuster, rebuffing progressives who have decried the legislative rule and called for its removal.

Sinema argued that scrapping the Senate rule would erode “democracy’s guardrails,” writing in The Washington Post that doing so would lead the nation to “lose much more than we gain.”

“It’s no secret that I oppose eliminating the Senate’s 60-vote threshold,” Sinema wrote. “I held the same view during three terms in the U.S. House, and said the same after I was elected to the Senate in 2018.”

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Commentary: The Biden No-Go Zones

Joe Biden

In American journalism, there are supposed to be some clear, nonnegotiable third-rails. 

One is zero tolerance for overtly racist language and comportment among our movers and shakers. Reporters, for example, for four years damned Donald Trump for his neutralizing summation that there were both “fine people” and extremists mingled among the hordes of protestors during their occasionally violent encounters in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

It mattered little to the media that Trump added qualifiers of “many” and “both” sides of the protests: 

We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides . . . And I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally—but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? . . . Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats—you had a lot of bad people in the other group, too.

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Biden Admin Considering Ending the Public Heath Order Allowing Officials to Expel Migrants Next Month

The Biden administration is considering ending a Trump-era public health order that’s allowed border officials to rapidly expel most migrants from Mexico on July 21, Axios reported Sunday.

The public health order, Title 42, was implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and border officials have expelled tens of thousands of migrants under the rule, according to Axios. Immigration advocacy groups and Democrats have criticized the Biden administration for the policy and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials protested using the order to expel migrants arriving at the border, Axios reported.

“It’s not a tool of immigration policy,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said of Title 42 during a trip to Mexico City Tuesday, Reuters reported. He added that the order would remain in effect as long as it would benefit public health.

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New York City Drops Majority of Rioting and Looting Cases from 2020

People looting Walgreens at night

Several borough District Attorneys in the city of New York have controversially decided to drop the majority of cases against rioters and looters who were arrested over the course of the last year, as reported by Breitbart.

The report first came from NBC New York, which says that “data reviewed by the NBC New York I-Team shows 118 arrests were made in the Bronx during the worst of the looting in early June.” Of those 118 cases, the Bronx DA has dismissed 73 cases, leaving only 45. There are still 18 cases open, and there have been just 19 convictions so far.

“In Manhattan,” the report continues, “the NYPD data shows there were 485 arrests. Of those cases, 222 were later dropped and 73 seeing convictions…another 40 cases involved juveniles and were sent to family court; 128 cases remain open.”

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Majority of Liberal College Students Not Proud to Be American, Favor Socialism, North Dakota State University Survey Finds

Findings from a new North Dakota State University survey reveal that the majority of students identifying as liberal or liberal-leaning are not proud of America.

In response to the question “Are you proud to be American?” 57 percent of liberal identifying students answered ‘no’. This is in contrast to the 73 percent majority of conservatives who answered ‘yes’ to the same question.

This response was generated from a nationwide survey which asked over 400,000 students from more than 1,000 American college campuses questions about their feelings on a number of social and political issues. NDSU publicly announced the survey on Thursday.

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Over 70 Companies Sign Progressive Groups’ Letter Supporting For The People Act

Legislators gather to discuss For The People Act.

Over 70 companies signed on to a letter Monday in support of the For the People Act, a voting bill proposed by Democrats seeking to reform large parts of the electoral process.

The letter called on the Senate to pass the voting bill, calling it “one of the most significant pieces of legislation to strengthen our democracy since the Civil Rights era” and condemning recent Republican voting legislation, The Hill reports. The letter was backed by a number of advocacy groups such as Vote.org and Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote

“More than 360 bills in 47 states have been introduced to put up barriers to silence our fellow Americans’ voices, especially the voices of Black, Brown, young, disabled, and working class voters,” the letter said. “The For the People Act would override many of the abusive state laws that make it harder for millions to cast their ballots, and set national standards for free and fair elections.”

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Wisconsin Student Charged with Misdemeanor for Residence Hall Fire in Hate-Crime Hoax

Viterbo University

A former Viterbo University student has been charged with one misdemeanor count of negligent handling of burning materials after police say she set a fire inside her dorm in April for “attention purposes.”

Victoria Unanka, if convicted, faces a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine or nine months in prison, or both, according to the criminal complaint.

Unanka, through her attorney, entered a not guilty plea at a court hearing on Wednesday, the La Crosse Tribune reports.

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Some Majority-Black Chicago Schools Are Rejecting Calls to Remove Police from Campus

Two people looking at a computer screen

Public school officials in Chicago will let each campus decide if it will keep school resource officers for the fall.

But at least some majority black schools have indicated they want the cops in the building, with one council being accused of “upholding white supremacy.”

Ahead of the discussions and votes that will likely take place throughout the coming months, Chicago Public School students rallied to demand that the police be removed from the schools. CPS board members are appointed by the mayor, but schools have councils that can make some decisions.

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Commentary: Counterfeit Civics and Educating for American Democracy

A white protester showing support by raising his fist for the Black Lives Matter demonstration

The National Association of Scholars opposes the proposal, “Educating for American Democracy.” The proposal has attracted some well-meaning supporters, but they are mistaken about what Educating for American Democracy—EAD—would bring into being.

Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy is a “framework” that prescribes how American K-12 schools should teach civics. That word “framework” is part of EAD’s official self-description, and it deserves a closer look. In this case, the so-called “framework” is really a well-developed plan to impose a politically progressive program of instruction on almost all American students. The framework determines the ideas to be taught and the means by which these ideas would be conveyed and enforced. The content of EAD is antithetical to how the vast majority of Americans understand our country.

Precedents

We have been here before, several times. In the early 1990s, the academic Left hijacked the National History Standards. Under the Left, those “standards” projected a dismal view of the nation’s past, but a public outcry, led by former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Lynne Cheney, prompted a retreat. In January 1995, the U.S. Senate voted 99 to 1 to repudiate those standards.

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Commentary: Quashing H.R. 1 is Not Enough

People going to vote

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has upset the plans of his party leaders to jam though hyper-partisan legislation and tip the electoral balance in favor of Democrats for all future elections. Manchin, a secretary of state before he was elected governor, is refusing to end the filibuster, or to vote for H.R. 1, the cynically named “For the People Act.” Writing in the Charleston Gazette Mail, Manchin contends: 

The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner. . . . I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy . . .

H.R. 1, which Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to bring to the floor for a vote this week, proposes a near-complete takeover of elections by Congress; it would replace most state election laws, substituting new laws that in some instances are even worse than the “progressive” approach take in states like Minnesota and California. The proposed law also taps the people’s tax revenue for political campaigns and hijacks state rules on redistricting. 

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Commentary: Big Tech Only Has Itself to Blame for Republican Rethinking of Antitrust

Smartphone with display of social media apps

There are few, if any, political issues that now generate the breadth and intensity of bipartisan backlash as does the rise of Big Tech.

During Donald Trump’s presidency, the major parties largely diverged on their specific grievances against the woke Silicon Valley monopolists who serve as gatekeepers for America’s 21st-century public square. Republicans, by and large, focused on censorship of conservative online speech. Democrats, by contrast, tended to focus on economic concentration; the five American corporations with the largest market caps, for example, are tech behemoths Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google Alphabet, and Facebook. This divergence has stymied efforts to rein in the Big Tech oligarchy on issues such as Section 230, the 1990s-era provision permitting platforms to engage in publisher-like content-moderation decisions without being legally treated as publishers.

Conservatives still have myriad concerns with Big Tech’s noxious brew of speech suppressions, shadow bans, and unaccountable deplatformings. Those concerns are both legitimate and justified by Big Tech’s ever-expanding list of misdeeds. But there is an emerging sea change in the way conservatives conceptualize the relationship between Big Tech’s unfettered content-moderation leeway and the sheer economic clout wielded by the relevant corporate actors.

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Lumber Futures Drop After Sustained Rise, Signaling Potential Price Drop for Consumers

Lumber

Lumber futures plunged further this week, seeing a price drop that hit 20% in a sign that the lumber market may finally reverse course from its dizzying price spike that occurred over the last few months.

The reversal was likely driven in part by a drop in homebuilding, which was down nearly 10% last month; general home repair also saw a similar decline.

Lumber manufacturers over the past several months have also been producing record levels of supply in response to the price surge.

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Nestle, Cargill in Human Rights Lawsuit

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Nestle USA and Cargill could not be sued for alleged human rights abuses that occurred overseas.

The plaintiffs, six Mali citizens enslaved as children on Ivory Coast cocoa farms supplying the food giants, sued Nestle and Cargill for damages, alleging the companies had aided and profited from child labor. The court ruled the corporations could not be sued for the overseas abuses.

“Nearly all the conduct they allege aided and abetted forced labor—providing training, equipment, and cash to overseas farmers—occurred in the Ivory Coast,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the majority opinion.

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College President Derides ‘Critical Race Theory’ Criticisms, Lauds Its ‘Widely Acclaimed Scholarship,’ Asserts ‘Critical Race Theory Is the New Communism’

Dr. Elliot Stern

Dr. Elliot Stern, president of Saddleback College, a public community college in California, issued an open letter commemorating Juneteenth that also voiced support for Critical Race Theory.  

Amid thoughtful comments on the historical significance of Juneteenth and the importance of commemorating Emancipation, Stern equated the ongoing backlash against Critical Race Theory to the “Red Scare” of the 1950s: 

“Politicians create bogeymen of scholars of race study and are passing laws to prevent schools from teaching widely acclaimed scholarship,” he wrote. “Critical Race Theory is the new Communism.”

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Idaho University Campus Ministry Students Encouraged to Take ‘Anti-Racist’ Classes

Two students walking on Northwest Nazarene University campus

A Christian university’s Student Government Association is recommending students take “helpful classes” related to “anti-racism.”

The Northwest Nazarene University Student Government Association sent out an email referring students to an anti-racism guide that promoted several social justice courses. This document, sent out in an October 19, 2020, email obtain by Campus Reform, was authored by SGA Campus Ministries.

This anti-racism guide contains a long list of poems, books, videos, and articles on the topic of racism. Many of these resources originate from widely-known proponents of critical race theory, such as Ibram X. Kendi and Robin Di’Angelo.

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60 Catholic Democrats Accuse Bishops of Weaponizing Eucharist Against Biden

Catholic church worship

Catholic congressional Democrats are accusing U.S. Catholic bishops of weaponizing the Eucharist against President Joe Biden.

Sixty Catholic Democrats issued a “Statement of Principles” Friday warning U.S. bishops against “the weaponization of the Eucharist.” Signers included Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro and New York Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez.

Most of the Democrats who signed the statement appear to publicly support abortion in direct conflict with Catholic Church teaching.

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GOP Reps Hope to Discourage Pelosi from Imposing More Abusive Rules with Lawsuit over Metal Detector Fines

Louie Gohmert and Andrew Clyde

Two Republican lawmakers are suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the fines they’ve been slapped with for violating her oppressive security screening rules.

Following the riot at the Capitol on January 6, Pelosi had magnetometers installed outside the chamber, and demanded that all House members be subjected to security screenings every time they enter.

Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) say Pelosi’s security measures are abusive and unconstitutional, and unless someone stands up to her “totalitarian” edicts, the abuses will only get worse.

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Conservative Sues Twitter, California Officials, and Biden Campaign Consultants For Colluding to Deplatform Him

Screen cap of Fox News interview

Conservative political commentator and attorney Rogan O’Handley is suing former California Secretary of State and now U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, current Calif. SoS Shirley Weber, Twitter, Team Biden campaign consultants SKDK, and others, for coordinating to deplatform him from Twitter after he tweeted his concerns about the 2020 election.

The Center for American Liberty in conjunction with the Dhillon Law Group, Inc. filed the federal civil rights lawsuit on Thursday in the United States District Court in Central California.

O’Handley spent years developing a verified Twitter account with 440,000 followers only to find his account permanently suspended at the direction of the Secretary of State’s office, according to a press release from Center for American Liberty.

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Portland Police Department Says It Doesn’t Track Gang Activity as Gang Violence Rises

Silhouette of person holding gun up

A spokesperson for the Portland Police Bureau told the Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday that the department doesn’t track gang activity despite reports detailing an increase in gang violence in the city.

Police officials estimate half of the 470 shootings that have injured more than 140 people in Portland, Oregon, this year were gang-related, the Associated Press reported June 10. Law enforcement officials have been investigating multiple shooting incidents a week where between 50 and 70 shots were fired as gang attacks increase.

“In Portland, ‘gang violence’ is not a category of crime,” a department spokesperson told the DCNF Wednesday.

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Commentary: The Inevitable Fruits of Critical Race Theory

Captured in a metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia primary school, seated amongst his classmates, this photograph depicts a young Asian-American school boy, who was in the process of creating a drawing, and was choosing from a box of crayons, the colors he’d use in order to bring his ideas to life. It is important to know that these objects are known as fomites, and can act as transmitters of illnesses.

A black man went on a multistate shooting spree recently. The suspected gunman, Justin Tyran Williams, said he specifically targeted white men in his rampage that left five wounded. “Basically, [Williams] explained throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him, and also what he described as military-looking white males had taken from him,” Columbus (Georgia) Police detective Brandon Lockhart testified Monday.

A racially motivated mass shooting would be the number one news story on CNN . . . were the races reversed. But a black man intentionally shooting white men is just not that interesting to those outside of conservative media.

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IRS Denies Tax Exemption to Christian Group, Associates Bible with GOP

Woman's hands with Holy Bible and taking notes

A top Internal Revenue Service official told a Christian group that “Bible teachings are typically affiliated” with the Republican Party as a rationale for denying its application for tax-exempt status. 

The Texas-based Christians Engaged filed an appeal on Wednesday to the IRS’ denial, objecting to the tax agency’s assertion that it is partisan. 

In a May 18 denial letter, IRS Exempt Organizations Director Stephen A. Martin said Christians Engaged is involved in “prohibited political campaign intervention” and “operate[s] for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the [Republican Party].”

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Commentary: Only National Conservatism Can Unite the West and Contain China

Person waving flag outside of window

“Europe will be your revenge,” are the purported words of West German Chancellor Conrad Adenauer to French Prime Minister Guy Mollet in 1956. The quip was related to America’s siding with Egypt and the USSR during the Suez Canal Crisis against Great Britain, France and Israel. Regardless of Adenauer’s precise intention, the quote underscores the fact that the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) has always suffered fissures, even if it held together long enough to win the Cold War and longer still, for NATO and the EU to expand into Central and Eastern Europe.

Whether the Suez Crisis in the 50s, Charles de Gaulle’s unilateral withdrawal of France from NATO’s high command structure in the 60s, Willy Brandt’s overtures to the East via Ostpolitik in the 70s, or Reagan’s placement of strategic intermediate range nuclear warheads in West Germany in the 80s against the wishes of the German left, European-American rivalries and conflicts of interest have always been part and parcel of the Atlantic Alliance. And yet the alliance remains important, because North America and Europe share indissoluble bonds that cut across religious, political and cultural history. Modern democracy — despite its relativization and ‘deconstruction’ by progressive historians — was incubated in the West. For this reason alone the alliance is of value: because Western nations share a common heritage. Commonality breeds loyalty and fosters cohesion, both of which are necessary for the preservation of norms and traditions. Europe and North America have a lot in common with one another, and therefore they share a collective interest in preserving what makes them unique within the vast panoply of human political arrangements.

During Trump’s presidency, left wing media wisdom dictated that Trump had sullied America’s relationship with the EU and NATO by calling the former out as a trade rival and the latter —Germany in particular — as a freeloader on American security guarantees. But as European political columnist Jorge Gallarza pointed out in Newsweek, the prospect of a Biden Presidency — and with it, Biden’s wisdom and appreciation of the true importance of the American relationship with Europe — does not appear to have tipped the geopolitical scales towards Anglo-European rapport. In January, the EU signed a trade deal with China that could have just as easily been postponed until Biden took office to allow for the president’s feedback. Likewise, well after Biden won the election, President Macron of France pontificated — in typical multilateral idealism fashion — about Europe’s future role in world affairs as one of “strategic autonomy.” The writing was on the wall: in a world in which China is on the rise and America appears to be sputtering, Europe will be largely neutral.

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Commentary: As Great as a Mom May Be, Kids Still Need Their Dads

by Christopher Becker   “Smokin’ Joe,” a biography of late heavyweight boxing champion and 3-time Muhammad Ali foil Joe Frazier, was recently reviewed by Gordon Marion in The Wall Street Journal. Among the notable details is the fact that five different women gave birth to Frazier’s eleven kids. This occurrence…

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Judge Rules Christian Baker Jack Phillips Must Make ‘Gender Transition’ Cake

Jack Phillips

A Colorado baker and self-described cake artist who won a 2018 victory at the Supreme Court faced a related setback this week when a state court ruled in another case that the law requires him to make a cake to celebrate a gender transition. 

Denver District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones ruled against Jack Phillips, the Christian owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, in the case of Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop. 

“The anti-discrimination laws are intended to ensure that members of our society who have historically been treated unfairly, who have been deprived of even the every-day right to access businesses to buy products, are no longer treated as ‘others,’” Jones wrote Tuesday in a 28-page opinion.

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Commentary: New Harvard Data (Accidentally) Reveal How Lockdowns Crushed the Working Class While Leaving Elites Unscathed

"Closed until further notice" sign

Founding father and the second president of the United States John Adams once said that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” What he meant was that objective, raw numbers don’t lie—and this remains true hundreds of years later.

We just got yet another example. A new data analysis from Harvard University, Brown University, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation calculates how different employment levels have been impacted during the pandemic to date. The findings reveal that government lockdown orders devastated workers at the bottom of the financial food chain but left the upper-tier actually better off.

The analysis examined employment levels in January 2020, before the coronavirus spread widely and before lockdown orders and other restrictions on the economy were implemented. It compared them to employment figures from March 31, 2021.

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Commentary: What Greek Epics and Their Teachings on the Special Relationship Between Fathers and Sons

Greek statue of man's face

Father’s Day inspires mixed emotions for many of us. Looking at advertisements of happy families could recall difficult memories and broken relationships for some. But for others, the day could invite unbidden nostalgic thoughts of parents who have long since died.

As a scholar of ancient Greek poetry, I find myself reflecting on two of the most powerful paternal moments in Greek literature. At the end of Homer’s classic poem, “The Iliad,” Priam, the king of Troy, begs his son’s killer, Achilles, to return the body of Hektor, the city’s greatest warrior, for burial. Once Achilles puts aside his famous rage and agrees, the two weep together before sharing a meal, Priam lamenting the loss of his son while Achilles contemplates that he will never see his own father again.

The final book of another Greek classic, “The Odyssey,” brings together a father and son as well. After 10 years of war and as many traveling at sea, Odysseus returns home and goes through a series of reunions, ending with his father, Laertes. When Odysseus meets his father, however, he doesn’t greet him right away. Instead, he pretends to be someone who met Odysseus and lies about his location.

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Portland Police Department’s Rapid Response Team Unanimously Resigns

Portland Police SUV

On Wednesday, every single police officer on the city of Portland’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) submitted their resignations from the team, according to the Daily Caller.

All 50 officers from the RRT will continue to serve as regular police officers, but will no longer lend their services to the volunteer division that was aimed at combating riots and other forms of widespread unrest. In a press release announcing the resignations, the RRT described its “primary role” as being “to provide public safety at crowd events when there was a threat of harm to the community.” Its members were all trained in “crowd psychology and behavior, team formations and movements, the use of enhanced personal protective equipment, use of force, de-escalation, and arrests.”

The most likely motivation for the mass resignation was the recent indictment of one member of the RRT, Officer Corey Budworth, who faces a single charge of “assault in the fourth degree” after using force to stop a violent rioter in August of 2020.

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Catholic Bishops Pass Measure to Draft Statement Prohibiting Some Politicians from Receiving Communion

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) overwhelmingly approved a measure to draft a statement laying out whether politicians who counter church teaching may be denied Communion during Mass.

Nearly 170 out of the 229 total U.S. bishops, or roughly 75% of the conference, voted in favor of the measure on Friday, according to The Pillar reporter J.D. Flynn. The vote, which only needed two-thirds of the bishops to vote in favor to pass, suggested that a broad range of bishops across the ideological spectrum supported drafting a statement.

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U.S. Government Allocates $3.2 Billion for COVID-19 Antiviral Pills

Department of Health & Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services will invest $3.2 billion to develop and manufacture COVID-19 antiviral medicines, it announced Thursday.

The initiative, funded as part of the American Rescue Plan, is designed to accelerate research into antivirals as well as build platforms for urgent response to future viral threats, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement Thursday. Specifically, the plan expands antiviral clinical trials, forms partnerships between health agencies and pharmaceutical companies, and funds “drug discovery groups” tasked with innovating new antiviral medicines.

“New antivirals that prevent serious COVID-19 illness and death, especially oral drugs that could be taken at home early in the course of disease, would be powerful tools for battling the pandemic and saving lives,” said chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci in the statement.

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First Democratic State Will End Its Unemployment Benefits

John Bel Edwards

Louisiana will be the first Democratic-controlled state to roll back its $300 a week unemployment benefits enacted by federal programs.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill Wednesday that stops the weekly payments on July 31, but raises Louisiana’s maximum jobless benefits to $275, starting in 2022, according to the legislation.

Louisiana is joined by 25 other Republican led states that have prematurely slashed the weekly pandemic benefits from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which were not set to expire until Sept. 6, 2021. Jobless claims were up 412,000 last week, according to the Department of Labor.

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Black Young Adults Raised by Two Parents Are Way More Likely to Obtain College Degree, Study Finds

A study released Friday demonstrates a “clear connection” between incarceration for black young adults and family structures.

Children of all races are much more likely to go to college and to avoid both poverty and prison if they are raised in a two-parent family, a study conducted by the Institute for Family Studies found. Forty-eight percent of black children live in single parent homes, the study said, citing data from the March 2020 Current Population Survey, while 37% of black children live in homes headed by both their biological parents.

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LinkedIn Blocks Profile That Mentions Tiananmen Square Massacre

Tiananmen Square Protest

A Swedish journalist living in Taiwan was told by LinkedIn to edit his profile Thursday due to the presence of prohibited content.

Jojje Olsson, a journalist who writes prolifically on China, posted a tweet Thursday with an email from LinkedIn informing him that his profile and activity was not viewable in China as it contained “prohibited content” in the education section. The email told Olsson that LinkedIn would review his profile’s accessibility if he was willing to “update” the education section of his profile.

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A Parent-Led Rebellion Against Critical Race Theory Is Storming School Boards Across the Country

Young girl reading a book

A parent-led rebellion against Critical Race Theory is storming school boards across the country and demanding accountability for what is being taught to American children.

At least 165 local and national groups have formed to combat Critical Race Theory (CRT) instruction in schools across the U.S., an NBC analysis found. Many of these groups were founded by parents appalled to discover what was being taught to their children. Their advocacy has launched small town CRT debates onto the national stage, spurring far-left activists and establishment media outlets to accuse conservatives of ignorance and in some cases, racism.

“Parents are right to revolt against critical race theory in the classroom,” senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and anti-CRT writer Christopher Rufo told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Children are not inherently ‘oppressors’ and should not be implicated for historical crimes on the basis of their race. That’s the kind of propaganda that belongs in a Soviet history museum—not American K-12 classrooms.”

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Chief Diversity Officer Who Compared Trump to Hitler Reinstated After Defense Department Investigation

Richard Torres-Estrada

The US Special Operations Command reinstated its head of diversity on Thursday after an investigation concluded he did not violate any Defense Department policies in a series of controversial Facebook posts.

Richard Torres-Estrada was named Chief of Diversity & Inclusion for the Defense Department’s US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in March, but was reassigned pending an investigation into his social media activity, which included a post comparing then-president Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.

The investigation found that Torres-Estrada’s posts violated no Defense Department (DoD) policies and he could return to his job, Military Times reported Thursday.

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Group of GOP Representatives Call on Biden to Take Cognitive Test

Joe Biden on the phone

Over a dozen Republican members of the House of Representatives have publicly called on Joe Biden to take a cognitive test, in order to determine whether or not he is truly mentally capable of being President of the United States, the New York Post reports.

The group of Republicans is led by Congressman Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), who represents Texas’s 13th district and previously served as Physician to the President under both Barack Obama and Donald Trump. On Thursday, the letter sent to Biden by the group claims that the test is necessary “so the American people know the full mental and intellectual health of their President.”

“They deserve to know that he can perform the duties of Head of State and Commander in Chief,” the letter continues. “They deserve full transparency on the mental capabilities of their highest elected leader.”

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Commentary: China’s Threats to Taiwan Are Threats to American Prosperity

Semiconductor

The dictatorial, repugnant, and repressive Chinese government has ended freedom in Hong Kong. Now it threatens Taiwan, the most important producer of semiconductors for American products — jeopardizing America and her prosperity.

Most American producers are suffering shortages of semiconductors, and if China prevails in its quest to take Taiwan, China will be positioned to shut down American industry by refusing to ship semiconductors to the United States. A Sino-American embargo would precipitate the shuttering of automobile, appliance, and military equipment production, the internet, and processors in virtually every product and industry.

With laser focus, China’s government strengthens its military and economy, as our federal government officials — the most mendacious and incompetent since the FDR depression — weaken American manufacturing and commerce, subvert truth, and squander time and resources on the vacuous follies of gender politics and climate change.

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Biden’s DOJ Comes Out Swinging Against West Virginia, Arkansas Trans Laws

The Department of Justice argued in court filings Thursday that transgender legislation passed in West Virginia and Arkansas is unconstitutional.

The DOJ filed statements of interest supporting lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against West Virginia’s House Bill 3293 and Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act,” otherwise known as the SAFE Act.

The West Virginia bill bans biological males at public schools from participating in women’s sports in middle school, high school, and college. The SAFE Act prohibits physicians from performing gender transition procedures, such as puberty blockers or “top” and “bottom” surgeries, on minors.

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Phill Kline Commentary: Canceling Liberty

My first brush with cancel culture was in the ninth grade in 1975. Corporate daycare operators teamed with the state to cancel my mom’s in-home daycare referral business, which competed with corporate daycare. The “corporate connected” successfully pushed for new regulations to effectively shut down in-home daycare to control and enhance their market.

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Commentary: Gaming Through the Rumors and Unthinkables of China and the COVID-19 Virus

For over a year, the American establishment and media borg have ostracized anyone who dared to connect the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic with the Chinese military-sponsored, level-4 biosafety Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

Then, suddenly and without apologies for their past demagoguery, “journalists” and “experts” concede that the nearby Wuhan lab may well be the most likely genesis.

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Georgia Investigator’s Notes Reveal ‘Massive’ Election Integrity Problems in Atlanta

Person with mask on at a computer.

In a nationally televised interview in January, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rattled off an impressive list of measures his state used to ensure the November election count was accurate. “We had safe, secure, honest elections,” he declared to “60 Minutes.”

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Supreme Court Unanimously Sides with Catholic Adoption Agency in Religious Freedom Case

The United States Supreme Court has unanimously sided with a Catholic adoption agency in a religious freedom case regarding same sex unions.

The court ruled 9-0 that the city of Philadelphia’s refusal to contract with Catholic Social Services (CSS) unless CSS agreed to ‘certify same-sex couples as foster parents” violates CSS’s free exercise of the First Amendment.

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Jobless Claims Increase to 412,000, Above Economists’ Projections

Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 412,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending June 5, when 375,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised down from the 376,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Koch Network Says Congress Must Make Amnesty for Illegals a Priority

The highly-connected and well-funded network of donors, think tanks, and other institutions run by the Koch Brothers is pushing for Congress to “immediately prioritize” amnesty for illegal aliens, as Breitbart reports.

The Koch network’s declaration comes on the anniversary of the unpopular, controversial, and highly unconstitutional “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program, an executive order signed by then-President Barack Obama to give blanket amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegals. Obama had signed the order after failing to get the program passed by Congress in the form of the Dream Act.

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