Commentary: Sunshine Might Be Free but Solar Power Is Not Cheap

Mississippi residents are consistently told that renewable energy sources, like solar panels, are now the lowest-cost ways to generate electricity, but these claims are based on creative accounting gimmicks that only examine a small portion of the expenses incurred to integrate solar onto the grid while excluding many others.

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Commentary: Frustrated by Police Inaction, the Pro-Life Movement Takes Up the Work of Law Enforcement

Last June a firebomb ripped through the CompassCare crisis pregnancy center in Buffalo, causing extensive damage but no deaths. Amid the rubble and soot, the words “Jane was here” were written on the wall, suggesting that the militant abortion rights group Jane’s Revenge was responsible. Almost immediately, authorities all the way up to the FBI assured the pro-life enterprise they would bring the perpetrators to justice.

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Commentary: Biden Document Discovery Doesn’t Add Up

Last week, CBS “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan asked Democratic Rep. Dan Goldman why President Biden would dispatch his personal attorney, who didn’t have proper security clearance, to his Delaware home to search for classified documents. Presumably, Brennan believed that when searching for classified documents, one should have the credentials to actually read them. Brennan’s focus on who was reviewing Biden’s papers touched on a potentially interesting line of inquiry. The question hanging in the air, however, relates to the discovery that started this whole process: Why would lawyers be “packing up” Biden’s office in the Penn Biden Center in the first place?

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Commentary: President Biden’s Tech Vision Will Hamstring Innovation

President Biden rang in the new year with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Republicans and Democrats, Unite Against Big Tech Abuses.” In it, the President spells out the supposed abuses of the tech industry and the consequences they have for society. He then outlines a political agenda to regulate the American tech industry and rightly recognizing the limits of executive power in this area. He concludes calling for bipartisan movement in Congress to achieve that vision. However, the President’s vision is immensely short-sighted and would do far more harm than good.

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Commentary: The Rise of the Single Woke (and Young, Democratic) Female

Soccer Moms are giving way to Single Woke Females – the new “SWFs” – as one of the most potent voting blocs in American politics.  

Unmarried women without children have been moving toward the Democratic Party for several years, but the 2022 midterms may have been their electoral coming-out party as they proved the chief break on the predicted Republican wave. While married men and women as well as unmarried men broke for the GOP, CNN exit polls found that 68% of unmarried women voted for Democrats. 

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Commentary: Public Schools Face Dramatic Rise in Student Misbehavior

Reports of student misbehavior have risen sharply in public schools, as districts also report widespread “stunted” social development among students.

Yet special education resources may not be able to cope with the subsequent rise in students with special needs.

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Commentary: Democrats’ Dark-Money Devotion

Secretive liberal dark-money groups spent hundreds of millions of dollars to boost Democrats’ 2022 midterm ground game, pushing the limits of election law while helping to reduce an expected red Republican wave to little more than a ripple.

Still smarting from the underwhelming midterm results, some Republicans are calling on party leaders to replicate those turnout efforts on the right or risk continued disappointments at the ballot box. But doing so is no easy task, veteran GOP operatives argue, especially considering Democrats’ reliance on union foot soldiers for tactical operations, and the sheer magnitude of the money and complex infrastructure their side is devoting to the effort.

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Commentary: Biden, Trump and the Pesky Presidential Records Act

He loves talking about what is in his garage, specifically the stock 1967 Corvette with the mighty 327-V8 that churns out 350 horsepower at the wheel and flies from 0-60mph in a respectable 5.9 seconds. Even now, after more than a half-century, the Stingray remains mint. Its paint, pristine.

The color from the manufacturer, President Biden makes a point of noting in interviews, is “Goodwood Green,” and it still looks just like the day it rolled off the assembly line because the motorhead obsesses over every inch of the car, a wedding present from his father. Joe Biden loves that car so much that he overshares, making his people cringe. As vice president, he once admitted to Car and Driver Magazine that he still strips down to “my bathing suit in my driveway” to wash and wax it. He was 69 years old at the time.

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Hunter Biden Accessed Garage Where Dad Kept His Corvette (And Classified Material)

Shortly after the White House announced that a second set of classified documents from the Obama administration was discovered in the Delaware home of the president – and immediately before Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of a second special prosecutor into misplaced classified presidential papers – Joe Biden tried to reassure the country by telling reporters that the sensitive documents were behind locked doors. 

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Commentary: Refunds of Federal Loan Overpayments Leave Student Borrowers with Your Money to Burn

For many college students, one of the most exciting events in a new semester is not listed on their school’s calendar: Refund Day.   

Although the day differs on various campuses, the windfall result is the same: That’s when the millions of students currently taking out federal college loans find out how much of their approved amount is left over after the school has taken its share for tuition and other charges. Students can reject the refund and reduce their debt, or accept the money. Although they are technically required to spend it on education-related expenses, administrators acknowledged there’s no mechanism in place to monitor their expenditures. 

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Commentary: With Schools Ditching Merit for Diversity, Families of High Achievers Head for the Door

Alex Shilkrut has deep roots in Manhattan, where he has lived for 16 years, works as a physician, and sends his daughter to a public elementary school for gifted students in coveted District 2. 

It’s a good life. But Shilkrut regretfully says he may leave the city, as well as a job he likes in a Manhattan hospital, because of sweeping changes in October that ended selective admissions in most New York City middle schools. 

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Commentary: New Year’s Resolutions for a Better America

Entering the new year, it is traditional to set goals and pronounce resolutions to improve ourselves and our lot in life during the coming 12 months.

Although these resolutions are more often honored in their breach than their fulfillment, they are nonetheless a useful tool to focus our attention on our weak points, whether we have the fortitude to correct them or not.

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Commentary: Republicans Struggle with Young Voters

Now that the 2022 midterm elections are in the book, the post-election blame game for Republicans is underway. And there are plenty of explanations being suggested.

First is the group who say they never expected a “red wave.” Clearly their prognostication button had been on mute until now. Another group is blaming Republican opposition to early and mail-in voting. This may have had some effect, but a moderate one in comparison to 2020. For this, Republicans have no one to blame but themselves.

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Commentary: Younger Parents Say Their Kids Are Indifferent to the Flag

A new survey suggests that younger parents don’t share the same values or priorities for civics education as their older peers. According to the survey, conducted by RealClear Opinion Research and funded by the conservative Jack Miller Center, nearly nine out of ten Americans agree that teaching children about our nation’s founding principles is “very important.” But seven out of ten don’t think schools are doing a good job of it.

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Commentary: 2022 Is the Year ESG Fell to Earth

The year 2022 brings an end to an era of illusions: a year that saw the end of the post–Cold War era and the return of geopolitics; the first energy crisis of the enforced energy transition to net zero; and the year that brought environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing down to earth with a thump—for the year to date, BlackRock’s ESG Screened S&P 500 ETF lost 22.2% of its value, and the S&P 500 Energy Sector Index rose 54.0%. The three are linked. By restricting investment in production of oil and gas by Western producers, ESG increases the market power of non-Western producers, thereby enabling Putin’s weaponization of energy supplies. Net zero—the holy grail of ESG—has turned out to be Russia’s most potent ally.

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Commentary: With New Pricing Law, the Feds Can Make Drug Firms Offers They Really Can’t Refuse

President Biden has promised that the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law this August, will “lower the cost of prescription drugs and health care for families” thanks to provisions that allow the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate the price of some medications directly with pharmaceutical companies. 

Critics are decidedly less enthusiastic. They say the IRA’s new drug price provisions are more akin to government price-fixing than negotiation – an unprecedented power grab in health care. 

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Commentary: CDC Funding Decisions Based Largely on Politics, Not Science

For the second year in a row, the Centers for Disease Control has been caught ignoring science and letting liberal interest groups set its policies.

In 2021, the American Pediatric Academy and the Children’s Hospital Association tracked COVID-19 statistics in children and the data show no relationship between mask mandates and the rate at which children caught the disease. In the face of this evidence – and other data showing that masks harm children’s development, the CDC supported masking students after being pressured by the National Education Association (the nation’s largest teachers’ union).

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Commentary: Twitter Files Point to Urgent Need for Platform Transparency

December has been a whirlwind month in the Twitterverse. A new academic study argued that hate speech was surging on the platform, while new company owner Elon Musk countered that such tweets were being quietly hidden, so they didn’t count. High-profile journalists were abruptly suspended and restored with little explanation, with condemnations from the EU and UN. All the while, the so-called “Twitter Files” allowed an unprecedented inside look at the messy and controversial world of platform moderation. What can we learn from all of this about the how the social platforms at the heart of our digital democracies are run?

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Commentary: The FBI Copied Parts of the Debunked Steele Dossier Directly into Its Spy Requests

The FBI relied more extensively on Christopher Steele’s debunked dossier in their Russiagate investigation than has been revealed, inserting key parts from it into their applications for warrants to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign.

Agents did this without telling the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the precise wording was plucked directly from a political rumor sheet paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign or providing judges with any independent corroboration of the explosive allegations.

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Commentary: Nicaragua’s Brutal Catholic Crackdown

For millions of Christians around the world, the official religious Christmas season kicked off this week with a renewed sense of normalcy – an abundance of colorful lights, parades and processions, family and church gatherings, and even fireworks in some areas.

Many believers in countries where Christians are religious minorities such as China and India are embracing the festivities with new enthusiasm. Early December marks the first time annual public and private advent gatherings have been allowed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Commentary: ESG and the Clash of Values

New York Stock Exchange

In the third of his four part review of Terrence Keeley’s Sustainable, Rupert Darwall writes that ESG rests on a vision of the free-market economy that says capitalism needs to be led by people with the right values, which raises the question: Whose values? This makes ESG inherently divisive, explaining the pushback ESG is now generating in red states. Keeley proposes a solution in keeping with the pluralism and diversity of modern America.

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Commentary: ESG and the Perpetually Just-Over the Horizon Climate Apocalypse

Concern about catastrophic climate change has been the biggest factor driving ESG, yet the likelihood of climate change being catastrophic and the attainment of net zero are not open to debate or challenge by participants in financial markets. In the last of his four part review of Terrence Keeley’s Sustainable, Rupert Darwall argues that this undermines the function of financial markets as efficient, unsentimental allocators of people’s savings in a way that maximizes growth and economic well-being.

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Commentary: With Passenger Mask Mandate Gone, Flight Turbulence Stats Improve Markedly

The friendly skies too often resembled “season’s beatings” shopping brawls during the pandemic, as the number of arguments and even fistfights surged on-board. Viral videos of the flight-and-fight mayhem frequently had a common denominator – the federal government’s mask requirement. 

So it may come as little surprise that disruptions on commercial domestic flights have plummeted by 74% since the Biden administration’s mask mandate was  overturned by a federal judge in April. The current rate is 1.7 unruly passengers per 10,000 flights, down from 6.4 per 10,000 in February.  

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Commentary: The ESG Reality Is Not Doing Good But Feeling Good

ESG investment strategies can see investors giving up financial returns for no societal gain. In the second of his four part review of Terrence Keeley’s Sustainable, Rupert Darwall explores the implications of investment theory for ESG artificially constraining investment opportunities; the risks of regulators worsening an already inflated ESG bubble; and the distortions that arise from the widespread adoption of sustainability as an investment concept lacking an objective definition.

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Commentary: Review of Terrence Keeley’s ‘Sustainable’

ESG has its origins in a speech by UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at the Davos World Economic Forum in 1999. In the first of his four part review of Terrence Keeley’s Sustainable, Rupert Darwall shows how this created ESG’s dual mandate that accounts for its success – and its unsustainability as an investment strategy.

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Cross-Dressing Book for Pre-K Students Crossed the Line in Kansas

A school district that gave preschoolers a book on cross-dressing has changed its procedures for giving out books after news of the incident surfaced last week.

As first reported exclusively by The Lion and The Heartlander news sites, a 4-year-old preschooler in the Turner School District in Kansas City, Kansas, took home the book Jacob’s New Dress. It’s a picture book in which a little boy wears girls’ clothes and even competes with his friend Emily to be a princess.

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Commentary: Kevin McCarthy Is Not the Right Leader for the Moment

The administration is aiding and abetting an invasion of the Southern border. Our rights are being stripped away. We are at war and the enemy is within.

In response to this existential threat, we’re told that we need to entrust a congressman previously recognized as the “tech industry’s best friend” as our leader.

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Commentary: Solar’s Lofty Ambitions Are Consuming Ever-Larger Expanses of Land Down Below

Wedged in the southern flank of Virginia, Charlotte County is home to some 11,500 people who live amidst rolling hills and family farms, pastures and sawmills, a historic Civil War battlefield, and four townlets tinier than many suburban subdivisions.  

But this pastoral tableau will be swept up in the green revolution when construction begins here on the nation’s largest solar power facility east of the Mississippi River. The planned 800-megawatt Randolph Solar Project in Charlotte County will replace a commercial lumber farm of loblolly pines with 1.6 million photovoltaic panels covering an area equivalent to seven square miles. 

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Commentary: The ‘Crazy, Right-Wing Shooter’ Myth

If you only read the New York Times editorials, you’d believe that political violence in America is a “right-wing” problem. The Times has been warning of violence from the right for years, but on Nov. 19 and 26, they wrote two long editorials making these claims. The violence stems from the lies “enthusiastically spread” by Republican politicians. Democrats’ only complicity was their $53 million in spending on “far-right fringe candidates in the primaries.” The fringe candidates, it was hoped, would be easier to beat in the general election. 

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Commentary: The Promise of Habit-Based Learning

Something has gone awry in American education. For example, over the past decades, the U.S. has dropped to the bottom of international rankings for developed countries in math. This decline has coincided with education reform, a shift that has emphasized understanding and downplayed practice. Could something that sounds so sensible have possibly been responsible for the drop?

The brain has two major learning systems. One is based on practice, and leads to fast, automatic behavior. This system is not accessible by conscious thought and is the source of intuition. The second system is based on deliberate thought—it is slow but flexible. You are consciously aware and can verbalize what you have learned. These two systems are roughly analogous to Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s “thinking, fast and slow.”

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Commentary: A Republic if You Can Teach It

President Biden has a civics lesson that he is fond of and regularly repeats. It is about how the United States is unique in the world because of the founding ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.

“Unlike every other nation on Earth, we were founded based on an idea,” he notes before adding that “while we’ve never fully lived up” to those principles, “we have never given up on them.”

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Commentary: Europe Shows a Clear Link Between Immigration and Crime

Violent crime is becoming common in Sweden, shocking residents of the famously placid Scandinavian nation, where horrific acts of violence have become “all too familiar,” according to Common Sense Media, part of a Swedish nonprofit organization.   

Since 2018, Swedish authorities have recorded an estimated 500 bombings, while what they describe as gang shootings have become increasingly common. The country reported a record 124 homicides in 2020 and many residents were shocked in April when violent riots injured more than 100 police officers.  

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Commentary: A GOP Majority Will Pushback on Corporate America

The results of the 2022 midterms will be dissected endlessly. But among the political ramifications is a very important question for American business executives: With Big Business increasingly involved in political debates (and usually taking sides against Republicans), how will the relationship between the two change under a new GOP House majority?

One answer is that companies should be ready for a wake-up call. This Republican majority will be more populist and less deferential to massive corporations than any that has come to power in the past. Never has the disconnect between executives, employees, and customers been so apparent.

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Commentary: Large Racial Reading and Math Performance Gaps Persist as Children Age

The dominant response to the recently-released NAEP Report Card on 4th and 8th grade proficiency scores has been to focus on the adverse effects of school closures: declining competencies, particularly for the lowest performing students. What is buried in the report is the continued alarmingly low black student scores on both reading and math sections and their inability to close the racial gap as they move from the 4th to 8th grade.

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Commentary: An American Tradition Is Chronic Anti-Poverty Waste via the Federal-to-Local Distribution Pipeline

For six years, beginning in 2014, the accounting firm for the Southeast Alabama Community Action Partnership warned administrators that the organization was doing a poor job of managing the millions of dollars in taxpayer money it received annually for its poverty-reduction work, including home energy assistance and foster grandparenting.  

In 2018, a longtime employee filed a federal complaint alleging that the group spent public money profligately on extravagant travel and for other unauthorized purposes, and that it retaliated against employees who questioned its financial practices. 

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Commentary: Department of Health and Human Services Giving $4.5 Million to Train on Implicit Bias

by Adam Andrzejewski   The Department of Health and Human Services is awarding $4.5 million in grants to public colleges to train maternal health providers in implicit bias. The grant summary states, “the purpose of this program is to address implicit bias among maternal health care providers to reduce health…

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Commentary: Future of Healthcare Reform with Divided Government

Are the political parties ready – and actually capable – of working together on healthcare reform? Last week’s elections might provide a clear path forward for both parties to show the American people that they are ready to govern in at least one way – through a simple means: making access to telehealth permanent.  

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Commentary: Majority of American Voters Rightly Concerned About Vote Fraud

Watching the news, you’d be led to believe that vote fraud doesn’t exist in the United States. Since the election on November 8, news article after news article has simply dismissed any claims of vote fraud as “baseless” (New York Times and CNN) and “without evidence” (NPR, New York Times, and Washington Post). Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is lambasted for “stoking fears on mail-in ballots.” And the news coverage was no different after the 2020 election.

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Commentary: GOP Botched Early-Voting Ground Game

Two days before Brian Kemp bested Stacey Abrams by more than seven percentage points in their closely watched rematch, the Georgia governor did something unusual for a Republican candidate in the 2022 midterms: He expressed confidence about where he stood and cited early voting as a top reason.

“We’ve also had record turnout for early voting, which ended this Friday. It’s been an incredible turnout, and we feel good about things,” Kemp told Trey Gowdy, the former congressman and host of Fox News’ “Sunday Night in America.”

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Commentary: To America’s Permissive Addiction ‘Fix,’ Critics Just Say No

After nine years as a homeless drug addict in Los Angeles, Jared Klickstein finally checked himself into a drug treatment center. Unlike the program he had gone to six years before, which had hot tubs, acupuncture, and trips to the beach, this one, in North Hollywood, was deadly serious about personal responsibility. Clients kept a strict schedule. They did chores. They scrubbed toilets. “No hot tubs,” Klickstein said. 

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Commentary: Climate Amnesty Will Not Happen

“Let them eat cake,” famously attributed to Marie Antoinette by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, has become universal shorthand for a monarch’s total disregard for her famished citizens stealing and wreaking havoc in the streets to survive. World leaders are making the same faux pas this week at their opulent stay in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, for COP27, the United Nations’ climate change conference.  

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Commentary: In the Left’s New Tack on Abortion, Pro-Lifers See a Miscarriage of Facts

Democrats have run hard on abortion this election cycle. Since the Supreme Court in June overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling finding a right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution, Democrats have spent $320 million on midterm campaign ads favoring abortion rights, 10 times the $31 million they’ve spent on ads related to inflation, which was consistently rated as voters’ top concern.  

They have used those ads and public appearances to advance a legal interpretation of abortion as including miscarriages and other problem pregnancies to suggest –– misleadingly, abortion foes say –– that under Republican restrictions women would run afoul of abortion law for the care they receive for common but serious and even life-threatening prenatal complications.  

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White House Defends TikTok Outreach Amid Bipartisan Security Concerns

On August 9, 2021, Benito Skinner, the Millennial Generation comedian known online as “Benny Drama,” posted a video on TikTok of his day-in-the-life experience as a White House intern, photocopying, making unrequested nail appointments for then-Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and generally making a mess.

All of it was for laughs, but there was a reason the Biden administration invited him into the West Wing. They wanted Millennials and members of Gen Z to hear a public health message from the TikTok influencer: “We need to get shots in the arms of every single American.”

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Commentary: Trust Teachers to Make Their Own Decisions Regarding Union Membership

American’s respect for teachers is high coming out of the pandemic, according to a new EdChoice poll — placing them among doctors and members of the military as some of the most respected professionals in the country.

A whopping 70 percent of Americans respect the men and women who teach our children — yet across the nation, teachers are prevented from making their own decisions when it comes to key aspects of their job: their membership in a teachers’ union.

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Commentary: Democrats Face Historic Headwinds in Tuesday’s Midterm Elections

Regardless of all that wispy smoke Democrats and their allies in the news media are blowing, key polls suggest Republicans are still likely to win back control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday’s midterm elections and have a better than even chance to take over the Senate.

Historically, one of the strongest indicators – perhaps the strongest indicator – of how a party will do in midterm elections is the job approval rating of the incumbent president. Parties of presidents who are down in the polls usually lose congressional seats. Parties of presidents up in the polls generally gain seats in the midterms.

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Commentary: Social Media Companies Continue to Profit from Self-Harm Content

The web’s earliest days were marked by optimism that the digital world would be an unfettered force for good. It would sweep away censorship and oppression, connect the planet, and empower anyone, anywhere, to be heard by the world. Over time, however, the web’s darker byproducts have become more apparent, with companies’ own research confirming the harms that social media, in particular, is having on teens. A recent report sheds light on Twitter’s role in promoting adolescent self-harm like cutting – and the company’s seeming inability to stop it.

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Commentary: Biden’s Migrant Policy Worsens Central America’s ‘Root Causes,’ Critics Say

When Vice President Kamala Harris visited Mexico last year, she cited poverty, crime, and political instability as “root causes” driving millions of migrants to cross the U.S. border. 

But some critics with regional expertise say Biden administration policies, which migrants have interpreted as an invitation to travel north, have severely worsened those root causes, destabilizing large swaths of Central America and Mexico. The torrent of people moving across the region has delivered billions of dollars to the coffers of human smuggling rings and the drug cartels that have taken advantage of America’s overwhelmed border patrol to deliver fentanyl and other deadly substances to the United States.  

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Commentary: With States Hands-Off, Homeschooling Takes Off

South Dakota epitomizes the rapid growth of homeschooling in America. Guided by the principle that parents, not the government, have the right to determine what and how their kids are taught, homeschooling families have overturned existing rules and batted down attempts over the last decade to impose new ones in many states, including South Dakota. 

What’s left in much of the United States today is essentially an honor system in which parents are expected to do a good job without much input or oversight. The rollback of regulations, coupled with the  ill effects of remote learning during the pandemic, have boosted the number of families opting out of public schools in favor of educating their kids at home.  

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