Both Republicans and Democrats have issues with the power and influence of “Big Tech.” Unfortunately, to derail these mammoth corporations, reckless “anti-trust” legislation, the American Innovation and Choice Act (S. 2992), is moving through the U.S. Senate at lightning speed. It will make whatever problems exist with this industry worse.
This legislation is authored by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and, if passed, will surely be the centerpiece of her next presidential campaign. Her involvement in promoting such legislation is not surprising, but what is disturbing is that some conservative Republican Senators such as Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and John Kennedy of Louisiana, have lent their support to the bill.
Klobuchar is a far-left Democrat, and this legislation is pleasing to her progressive supporters. It is astonishing that conservative Republican Senators are helping her achieve a legislative victory that will improve her chances of winning the Democratic Party’s 2024 presidential nomination. It may also help preserve the Democratic Party’s chances to maintain control of the U.S. Senate next year. Thus, working with Klobuchar is the last thing Senate Republicans should be doing right before the midterm elections.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) promised to push the legislation toward passage in the U.S. Senate this month. Schumer realizes that his tenure as Senate Majority Leader has been a complete failure, so he is hoping this legislation will give him a much-needed legislative win. To accelerate the bill’s passage, there have not been public hearings scheduled to give opponents an opportunity to expose the shortcomings of Klobuchar’s bill.
The American Innovation and Choice Act is an unmitigated disaster, which is why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Tax Reform, CATO, the American Enterprise Institute, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), all oppose the legislation. In the view of Jack Howard, the U.S. Chamber’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, S.2992 is “ripe with unintended consequences that if enacted into law would exacerbate inflation and damage America’s economy and economic competitiveness for years to come.”
To stop “Big Tech” monopolies, the bill gives vast new powers to unelected far-left federal bureaucrats at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This moves economic power and decision-making from the competitive private sector to the burdensome federal government. It will enhance regulations that promote centralized planning from government agencies that will be extremely harmful to our economy.
If passed, it is estimated S. 2992 will cost American consumers an additional $22 billion in service costs from online marketplaces. These extra costs would hit at exactly the wrong time for Americans when inflation is raging. U.S. Chamber’s Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President, and Chief Policy Officer, said this legislation “will fuel further inflation, limit choices, and undermine investment in innovation by injecting regulatory uncertainty into the marketplace at the worst possible time.”
Since gasoline has reached an average of almost $5 per gallon nationally and inflation is at a forty-year high, Congress should be focused on doing everything possible to reduce consumer prices.
Unfortunately, this bill will deliver increased costs for online companies Americans use for everything from purchasing groceries to entertainment.
An analysis conducted by the National Economic Research Associates concluded that, if enacted, this legislation would create higher costs for an array of consumers. For example, Amazon Prime users would pay more than $148 annually for the same services. With increased regulation of online platforms, including marketplaces, both businesses and consumers would have to absorb $319 billion in losses of combined technology services. Ironically, foreign based online marketplaces would not face any increased regulation or costs.
The bill will force credit card companies and major retailers to pass on increased costs to consumers at exactly the wrong time for struggling households. In addition, the bill may limit outside investment from venture capitalists in new “Big Tech” companies by up to 20%. This will hamper future growth and innovation.
Republicans have good reason to be upset at “Big Tech” for their horrendous censorship of conservative content. However, this bill does nothing to limit those practices. Instead, it punishes success, harms consumers and businesses, and gives the FTC tremendous new powers. Increasing costs for “Big Tech” is not wise in an inflationary environment when consumers are facing historic price increases.
Breaking up the “Big Tech” corporations will not solve the problems that our economy faces with surging inflation, foreign energy dependence, baby formula in short supply and bare grocery shelves. This bill will only make our problems worse as our online choices will be limited, more complicated, and costlier. In fact, some of our dependable services may be eradicated because of this bill.
Innovation will be hampered; new products will not be introduced as quickly and small businesses which rely on partnerships with “Big Tech” to sell their products online will be devastated and potentially will close if this bill becomes law.
While Republicans are rightly upset with “Big Tech” for their egregious censorship of conservative commentary, they are even more angered by the actions of a far-left Congress and our federal government. According to a poll conducted by Echelon Insights, 67% of conservatives are opposed to Congress regulating online activities.
This opposition is well founded for the federal government has a long history of harming private businesses by enacting onerous regulations. Reacting to the demands of consumers, private businesses, not the federal government, are best equipped to make needed adjustments to their services and products.
Our “Big Tech” industry is driving tremendous economic growth and is fostering the work of countless small businesses in our country. Online activity has become a part of almost every business and this trend only accelerated during the pandemic. It also impacts the lives of Americans in how we communicate, shop, socialize and entertain ourselves.
All conservatives must oppose governmental efforts to empower federal agencies and hamper consumer economic activity. Let us not create any additional costs for the already suffering American consumer.
The major problems in our society today are rarely addressed when Congress tries to “take action.” In the quest to solve a dilemma in our country, Congress creates more bureaucracy, more spending, and more debt.
Congress doesn’t resolve problems; it often makes them worse. Usually, the best thing for Congress to do is nothing. Therefore, Americans are safest when Congress is in recess.
With this track record in mind, it is frightening to consider the prospect of Congress solving various issues with “big tech.” An unwieldy piece of legislation has been introduced by a bi-partisan group of United States Senators, including Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tom Cotton (R-AR). It is titled “The American Innovation and Choice Online Act.”
Conservatives know that “big tech” censors right leaning opinions on a regular basis. There is a clear and consistent bias against conservatives. Unfortunately, this legislation does nothing to correct this issue, which is a violation of the 1st Amendment.
In contrast, the legislation limits the way technology platforms can deliver services such as same-day shipping or using a smartphone to locate a family member. During the pandemic, millions of Americans became reliant on the technological conveniences that will be targeted by this legislation. In a challenging economy, with runaway inflation, Congress should not be limiting the ways Americans can save time and money.
The legislation also limits the ability of technology companies to “self-preference,” which is a sales tactic that has been used by retail outlets for decades. In essence, “self-preference” is a way for technology companies to offer consumer and product promotions. Congress should not be involved in regulating the way technology companies offer promotions for veterans or any other group of Americans.
The bill will also punish small businesses that have partnered with big tech companies like Amazon, Etsy, or Apple. These small operators need the partnerships to increase their sales and stay in business. They do not need Congress creating more headaches and hurdles for them to succeed.
What is most disturbing about the bill is that, if passed, it will transfer power from the private sector to the radical bureaucrats in the Biden administration. Just recently, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called for Spotify and other audio streaming apps to “continue doing more” to censor unwanted opinions. This was started when Psaki and other Biden officials criticized podcaster Joe Rogan as spewing “misinformation.” In contrast, millions of Americans enjoy listening to his commentary and interviews and find his program both entertaining and useful.
Americans should make their own decisions about what programs to enjoy online, not the government. A very troubling aspect of this bill will be that it will increase the power of far-left Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan. One of her objectives has been to “reduce wealth inequality,” through regulation and other government actions.
These government agencies already wield too much power, it would be unwise to give them more power to regulate and thwart commerce.
Along with limiting services and increasing burdensome regulation, the bill will likely lead to higher prices for Americans. During an inflation surge, it is exactly the wrong time to pass legislation that will create fewer choices and higher prices for consumers.
Americans do not need our government picking the “winners and losers” in the private sector. Americans need the federal government to stay out of the private sector with as little regulation and interference as possible.
There is legitimate concern about the actions of some big tech companies. Some argue that these companies have become too powerful. However, the best way to combat that issue is through encouraging competition in the private sector. Our free enterprise system, if allowed to operate, always rewards companies that provide innovation and customer service.
Our country’s main problem today is a lurch toward more government and more socialism at the expense of our capitalist economic system. This bill will just be another attack on capitalism, which has served our country very well since our founding 246 years ago.
American consumers need more choice and better value and less central planning from our federal government. Our country needs an economic system that allows businesses to grow and prosper, not be punished for their success.
Before the next congressional vote, we must urge Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy to thoroughly examine this bill’s negative ramifications for American consumers. While the legislation may have good intentions, the unintended economic consequences for the American people will be both significant and adverse. Especially at this perilous time, any bill that does further damage to the economic standing of Americans must be defeated.
The left-wing policies of President Joe Biden have delivered untold suffering for millions of Americans, resulting in horrific approval ratings. Biden has been an utter failure at home and abroad. Of all his failures, his insane energy policies have caused the most financial harm to Americans.
As noted by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Biden and the Democrats are committed to a “radical Green New Deal agenda.” Under President Donald Trump, gasoline prices were below $2 per gallon and the United States became a net exporter of petroleum for the first time since 1949.
Once Biden became President, the Keystone XL pipeline was halted, and a moratorium was issued on new federal drilling leases. He ended all drilling leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) and eliminated an array of tax incentives for the oil and gas industry.
He also announced plans to convert the federal government’s fleet of 650,000 vehicles to all-electric. Combined, these policies placed our country in an extremely vulnerable position, as the war in Ukraine has exposed.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, gasoline prices have skyrocketed 47 cents per gallon, reaching the highest level since 2008. Average gasoline prices have now surpassed $4 and are racing to surpass the historic record of $4.11 per gallon.
This is catastrophic for the American economy and will lead to an even greater inflation rate, which is already at a four-decade high. In January, consumer prices surged 7.5%, with major increases in food, electricity and shelter contributing to most of the gain. With gasoline prices now exploding, Americans will experience even higher inflation in the future.
Unfortunately, American wages are not keeping pace with the surging inflation rate, so the average American is falling further behind economically. A recent Labor Department report showed that wages increased 4% in the last year; however, the inflation rate is at 7.5% and rising.
As the Biden administration tries to exert even more economic pressure on the Russians, there are ongoing discussions with other countries to ban the importation of Russian oil. United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, “we are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil.”
If this ban is enacted, it will surely inflict economic pain on the Russians. However, it will also lead to even higher energy costs for Americans, as we import 3.5% of our oil and 21% of our gasoline from the Russians.
Under President Biden, the United States has become an energy dependent country once again. We import oil from Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia. Nigeria, and Iraq, among other countries. It is outrageous that the United States is dependent on any authoritarian, socialist, or corrupt country for our energy needs.
With our vast energy resources, the United States should not be importing one drop of oil. We must stop sacrificing jobs and economic opportunity at the “green” altar of climate change.
The Biden administration’s record has shown that pursuing “green” energy and thwarting the production of more domestic oil and gas leads to higher prices at the pump and more dependence on foreign oil.
While these policies are pleasing to far-left “squad” members like U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), they are painful to working class Americans who must commute to work, buy their groceries, and try to provide for their families.
As gas prices have soared, Biden has refused to retreat from his “green” agenda, but he did authorize the release of thirty million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Supposedly, this will mitigate the economic damage from rising oil prices; however, it is a mere band-aid.
Daily, Americans use over 20 million barrels of oil. Thus, Biden’s decision is not enough to cover two days of American oil consumption.
The genuine answer to this dilemma is to return to the Trump energy policies. According to Scalise, “President Biden should immediately reverse his devastating policies that are causing gas prices to skyrocket and are giving Putin leverage against the rest of the world and return to the policies that were working under President Trump to create American energy dominance.”
To deal with these problems, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the Energy Freedom Act on Friday. The goal of the legislation will be to “make America energy independent again by accelerating federal permitting for energy projects and pipelines, mandating new onshore and offshore oil and gas lease sales, approving pending LNG export licenses, and generally speeding up solar, wind, and geothermal development.”
According to Cruz, America became energy dependent again “Because on day one of his administration, President Biden issued illegal and hostile orders aimed at American oil and gas producers, which have increased energy prices and directed profits to other oil exporting countries.”
While adversarial countries such as Iran and Russia raked in billions of dollars, our oil and gas industry suffered. Cruz believes that, if enacted, his bill will “create new jobs” and “lower energy costs.”
Ironically, the increased reliance of foreign oil has led to more environmental damage since other countries do not produce energy in environmentally friendly ways. Thus, expanding energy production in the United States is good for the environment. As Cruz notes, “modern energy production in the United States is far cleaner” than in any other country in the world “by every measure.”
The bill will reduce permitting red tape, prevent Biden from stopping lease sales and will end “the presidential permit requirement for cross-border energy projects.”
The United States needs to unleash our energy industry to benefit consumers, restore our economy and reduce our dependence on hostile countries. It is imperative that the needs of average Americans be placed above the demands of the radical climate change fanatics, who dominate the Biden administration.
In the November elections, Republicans must run on a platform which includes energy independence. After paying $4 per gallon for gasoline, voters will be receptive.
Polls show that Americans are angry with the radical agenda of the Biden administration. Some political analysts believe that Republicans will sweep to victory in the 2022 midterm elections. Sadly, none of this will be possible without election reform.
The will of the people will only be expressed if there are free and fair elections in this country. Most Republican activists are convinced that the 2020 election was stolen from President Donald Trump. The media, Democrats and establishment Republicans call this claim the “big lie.”
Thus, we are to believe that Democrat candidate Joe Biden, a man who held almost no rallies and spent most of the presidential campaign in his basement, generated a historic vote total of eighty-one million in the 2020 election. In the campaign, Biden attracted only a few thousand people to all his public events, whereas President Donald Trump attracted two million people.
While Trump had enthusiastic supporters, Biden was supported by voters who were motivated by their hatred of the President. In the campaign, Biden displayed obvious signs of mental decline. During the first year of his presidency, Biden’s mental incapacity has grown significantly. Unfortunately, our country is stuck with a mentally incompetent and potentially fraudulent President.
Such a disaster must be rectified. It will start with a massive outpouring of outraged voters in the 2022 midterm elections. To make sure this surge of voters is accurately registered in this upcoming election and all future elections, there must be zero tolerance for voter fraud.
In the past year, approximately twenty states have passed election reform legislation. In Louisiana, we must join this movement and take steps to guarantee our elections are clean. Unfortunately, several strong election reform bills were vetoed by Louisiana’s liberal Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards after the last legislative session. One election bill that was signed by the Governor was Senate Bill 221. If the bill were really a major step toward election reform would Edwards have signed it?
The bill created a commission that will make new voting machine recommendations to Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, who will make the final decision. The new voting machines in Louisiana will have to create an auditable paper voting record and cannot be connected to the Internet.
The problem is that the ultimate decision will still be made by Ardoin, a former lobbyist, who assumed the position of Secretary of State after sexual harassment allegations forced his predecessor to resign.
In two previous failed attempts, critics, including voting machine vendors, have maintained that Ardoin tried to steer a multi-million-dollar new contract to Dominion Voting Systems, which is paid by the state to maintain all our old voting machines.
In the last election, many Trump supporters raised questions about the safety and integrity of the Dominion voting machines. In response, Dominion has tried to bludgeon their critics by filing lawsuits against them totaling $1.3 billion.
One Dominion critic is renowned election analyst Colonel Phil Waldron, who was invited to testify before the Louisiana voting commission. Waldron has asserted that the President of a communist Chinese bank is on the board of directors of a private equity firm that owns Dominion. He also has stated that the only company with access to the codes and testing for Dominion is based in Shenzhen, China. While Dominion has rejected these claims, they certainly merit further investigation at a minimum.
Dominion machines have been primarily used in Louisiana for many years. Their machines are also used in over twenty states, including all the battleground states that Biden won in 2020.
With such controversy about Dominion voting machines and software, how can Louisiana voters have full confidence in our elections? At a minimum, all foreign influence must be removed from Louisiana elections. It is imperative that a full-scale and independent audit be conducted. For complete confidence, voting should be done on hand-marked paper ballots that are scanned. There must be no opportunity for any outside influence or hacking of our election results.
The Secretary of State does not support such reforms. He strongly defends the conduct of his office and the integrity of the vote in Louisiana with our Dominion machines.
Many Louisiana residents disagree with Ardoin and believe the 2019 gubernatorial election results were suspicious. In my view, after the 2020 presidential race, all election results should be viewed with suspicion.
Based on my research, which I outlined in several articles for The Hayride, Louisiana voters have a right to be concerned. As an example, I raised questions about vote totals in recent elections in selected precincts in Jefferson Parish.
This generated a furious response from the Secretary’s political operative John Tobler, who made a variety of personal attacks against me. Tobler is a long-time political consultant who has served in a variety of state government jobs and now works for Ardoin as a political adviser.
Instead of spending his time on the state payroll attacking a commentator raising questions, it would be a better use of his time to provide the voters of Louisiana with elections that were beyond reproach. Instead, Tobler doth protest too much.
In his most recent response to my series of articles on questionable election numbers in our state, Tobler points to election “stats,” and further, he argues that he and his boss are doing, “a damn good job of keeping our elections clean.”
Really, the “stats” show that? According to a recent U.S. Census report, there are 383, 997 residents in Orleans Parish. The census also says 20% are under eighteen, so they cannot legally vote, which leaves approximately 307,197 adult residents.
If 5% of this total are illegal aliens or undocumented migrants, and the figure is probably much higher, this leaves us with a total of 291,837 voting age residents of New Orleans.
Let us estimate another 2%, an extremely low estimate, are former felons who have not done the paperwork required to reestablish their right to vote. This leaves us with a total of 286,000 non-felon, legal adult residents who can register to vote.
If 60% of these individuals registered to vote that would yield 171,600 registered voters in Orleans Parish. If 70% of them registered to vote that would be 200,200 registered voters. If 80% of the eligible legal adults registered to vote that would be an exceedingly high percentage, unrealistically high, and it would result in 228,800 registered voters.
So how many registered voters does the Secretary of State claim are legally registered to vote in Orleans Parish? He claims there are 273,640 registered voters in the parish. What?! This is an astounding 96%!
Who in his right mind believes 96% of the eligible citizens in Orleans Parish are legally registered to vote? No one, that’s who.
Mr. Tobler, you declare that you and your boss are doing “a damn good job of keeping our elections clean,” but we have problems galore. We cannot completely trust the voting machines, nor can we trust the voter rolls.
Mr. Tobler, instead of constantly patting yourself and your boss on the back and attacking me, wake up, do your job, and give the citizens of Louisiana honest vote counts.
Stop spending your time and taxpayer money trying to convince us that we have honest vote counts, when the “stats,” as you like to call them, show the opposite.
After nine months of the far-left policies of President Joe Biden, the American economy is on the ropes. He inherited an economy moving in the right direction after a year of the pandemic. Unfortunately, he has squandered this momentum by bowing to pressure from the socialist wing of the Democrat Party.
The President started his administration by issuing an executive order shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline. This decision, along with a moratorium on issuing new drilling leases in federal territory, contributed to the country becoming energy dependent once again. With domestic oil production lagging, the Biden administration begged the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase oil supplies. Predictably, OPEC refused this request.
These measures, coupled with massive spending bills designed to rapidly expand federal debt levels, have resulted in skyrocketing inflation, supply chain problems and weaker than expected labor market gains. Biden will exacerbate this crisis if he is successful in convincing Congress to pass legislation that will add $5 trillion in new federal spending on a host of progressive causes such as combating climate change.
Biden will fund this package by gargantuan tax increases and an army of new Internal Revenue Service agents who will investigate the checking accounts of millions of average Americans with transactions of $600 or more. The goal will be to increase tax revenue to the federal government to pay for the trillions of dollars in unneeded and wasteful spending.
In response to these ongoing troubles, former Obama administration Economic Council Chairman Jason Furman tweeted, “the economic problems we’re facing (inflation, supply chains, …) are high class problems.” This insane tweet was retweeted by the Biden administration’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain.
Despite the nonsense spouted by Furman and supported by Klain, it is obvious that inflation is the tax that hurts the working class the most. If you are in the “high class” earning millions of dollars per year, inflation is undoubtedly not a problem. These wealthy “high class” Americans can afford an increase in the price of groceries or gasoline, but the working class will have to struggle to pay these additional costs.
Furman and Klain seem oblivious to the difficulties of average Americans. These ivory tower liberals are elitists, who consort with Deep State bureaucrats, leftwing activists, and Democrat Party donors. These progressive bureaucrats have no conception of the economic pain of average Americans.
Over the past year, the “high class” problem of rising prices has resulted in an inflation rate of 5.4%, the worst in 13 years. With wages increasing only 4.6% in the past year, Americans are truly falling further behind. In addition, the inflation rate does not include surging grocery prices and skyrocketing gasoline prices.
In the past year, the price of a gallon of gasoline has increased 50% to $3.27. All these increases impact working class Americans who must shop, commute to work and pay monthly bills with income that is not keeping pace with inflation.
Incredibly, in an interview, Furman declared that inflation was a “good thing.” This asinine comment assuredly does not ring true with struggling Americans who do not believe spending more of their hard-earned money on household necessities is a “good thing.”
Furman compounded his blunders by dismissing the supply chain problems and the backlog of ships waiting to dock at the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as the result of Americans “buying so much stuff.” Yes, this “stuff” is not arriving on our store shelves and this “stuff” might not be available when Americans want to buy their Christmas presents. It is beyond distressing that a top official of the Biden administration endorsed such outrageous comments.
Former Trump administration Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney criticized Klain’s social media tweet. He said that “Your job as Chief of Staff is to make the President look good.” Instead of making Biden “look good,” Klain created another controversy for an administration that is in total disarray.
Mulvaney also noted that if Klain’s tweet indicated a belief that inflation was “a problem only for the rich, then he probably should be fired because that’s just so tone-deaf.” Yes, Biden should fire Klain for displaying total disregard for the economic pain of Americans.
Instead of admitting their mistake and asking for the forgiveness of the American people, the Biden administration circled the wagons again. In a media briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended Klain’s post by maintaining the Biden administration has “made progress in the economy and what would be worse in our view is that the unemployment rate was at 10%.”
Of course, an unemployment rate of 10% would be worse than the current rate of 4.8%, but the controversy about Klain’s tweet involved his belief that inflation was a “high class” problem. Every American should realize that such a claim is a lie.
Regarding the current employment situation, the economy created only 194,000 new jobs in September, according to the latest labor report. This was well below forecasts of 500,000 new jobs in September. The nation’s economy is struggling in all areas and the weak labor report is just another troubling sign.
To have such “tone-deaf” comments endorsed by the Biden administration should tell the American people a great deal about the ideology and motivation of this White House. They are as out-of-touch as any administration in American history.
Their goal is to remake America with more federal government control, more spending, more taxes, coupled with less freedom, and less economic power for individuals. This is an administration that values decision making and power at the federal government level and has little to no regard for the middle-class Americans who are the backbone of our economy.
From the vaccine mandates to their economic policies, it is clear this administration has no respect for our constitutional rights. Will this attempt to radically change our country succeed? It depends on whether Americans get involved in the effort to save their country.
Congressional Democrats, with the help of some Republicans, are championing several pieces of legislation to rein in the power of major Big Tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. The goal is to stop antitrust and monopolistic behavior by these tech giants who have enjoyed tremendous growth in recent years.
These bills have been introduced in the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, chaired by U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI). One example is H.R. 3816, named the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act.” The bill’s authors contend the legislation “restores competition online and ensures that digital markets are fair and open.” Unfortunately, the bill “restores competition” by using the tool of big government, instead of promoting a market-based economy.
The problem is that liberal Democrats cannot be trusted to promote enhanced access, security, or fairness online. In the view of Russel Dye, Communications Director for House Judiciary Committee Republicans, “Anyone trusting the Democrats to protect conservative speech on the internet is not living in reality.”
These bills are not designed to stop online censorship as Democrats have no interest in conservatives having a robust voice on the internet. In fact, these bills are being championed by politicians such as U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) who led the charge to impeach former President Donald Trump. These are also the type of politicians who supported efforts to remove Trump from online platforms and ban many other conservatives from social media.
U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) has a more sensible approach. His bill, the “One Agency Act,” would consolidate enforcement of antitrust violations against Big Tech companies from multiple agencies into the Department of Justice. According to bill co-sponsor, U.S. Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA), the “One Agency Act” would “improve the federal government’s ability to police anticompetitive behavior by Big Tech and other major corporations by consolidating antitrust jurisdiction into one agency.”
In contrast to Jordan’s goals, Democrats are advocating legislation that authorizes government agencies to increase regulation and oversight of private companies. This could lead to abusive overregulation. According to Rachel Bovard, Senior Director of Policy for the Conservative Partnership Institute, many conservatives in Congress are “concerned with any proposal that might give the Biden government more authority to harass business along ideological lines.”
This legislation, which has curiously attracted some GOP support, would give broad new powers to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In the Biden administration, both the DOJ and the FTC will likely pursue anti-competitive and anti-business regulations that will be harmful not only to these large corporations, but also to the overall economy. One anonymous Republican congressional aide confided to Axios that this legislation will give the Biden administration “broad powers to rework corporate America in their vision.”
The last thing our country needs is for more of corporate America to imitate the far-left agenda of the Biden administration. Clearly, this legislation is a congressional attempt to garner more power for a progressive administration at the expense of “Big Tech.”
There are plenty of legitimate conservative complaints about Big Tech. There are not enough conservatives employed in these Silicon Valley giants. There is too much of a left-wing agenda at these companies and there is clear bias against conservatives, who are regularly censored. However, these bills are not about content moderation. Instead, the goal will be to foster more oversight by a very liberal administration with an anti-business agenda.
These bills will also hurt small businesses across America by creating new restrictions on how products can be sold on Facebook and Amazon marketplaces. Likewise, millions of consumers who access these small business marketplaces will be harmed as well.
If this legislation becomes law, it will become more difficult to purchase products Americans desire or need for their families or businesses. It will also become arduous for consumers to use online searches and mapping to find small businesses throughout the country.
All these changes would be happening at exactly the wrong time. As COVID-19 remains a major concern around the country, small businesses need the easiest and most efficient ways to reach their customers. Limiting access to their clientele during this crisis will be particularly harmful.
Conservatives do not want more government regulation. They want a fair opportunity to express their views, debate the issues and give contrary opinions to the “lies of the mainstream media.” They want protection of their privacy and security in online transactions, shielded from hacking and other criminal activities.
Republicans in Congress, especially conservative leaders like GOP Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), should not be supporting any legislation that expands the power of government at the expense of a market-oriented economy. These bills add layers of bureaucratic regulation, while limiting personal freedom.
If passed, this legislation will lead to online experiences that will be more time consuming, more expensive, more confusing, and less satisfying. As consumers, Americans want choice, convenience and value and have grown accustomed to the easy access to information provided by these Big Tech companies.
While the legislation will harm American Big Tech companies, it will do nothing to rein in the activities of major Chinese conglomerates that will benefit. It is no surprise that some of the largest American business organizations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are opposed to the legislation.
Americans enjoy taking advantage of the conveniences provided by their laptops, their phones, and their watches. To prevent these products from becoming obsolete, let’s keep the government, which never met a problem it didn’t make worse, away from these devices.
Almost all of the largest cities in the United States are governed by hard-left Democrats. In fact, there is only one Republican Mayor among the top 15 cities in the country and only three among the 30 largest cities.
All of the problems in our urban areas today are almost exclusively the result of the failed Democratic Party leadership. While previous generations of Democrats might have tried to find bi-partisan solutions to long standing problems, the party’s leaders in 2021 are woke leftists interested only in pushing their radical agenda.
The result has been outmigration, soaring crime rates, a drug epidemic, broken families, failing public schools, an increasing number of blighted properties, high poverty and unemployment rates, an obsession with a race-based agenda and rising antipathy toward law enforcement officers. No wonder people are fleeing our cities in hopes of finding safety and a better quality of life.
Recent headlines show the absolute destruction that is ongoing. In New Orleans, there was another shooting early Saturday morning on Bourbon Street, in the French Quarter, the city’s premier tourist destination. In this case, five people were shot. Sadly, this type of carnage is becoming a regular occurrence in the Crescent City. New Orleans is suffering from a shortage of police officers and an abundance of criminals.
In Philadelphia, police department leaders are lamenting a shortage of officers as few new recruits are coming forward to replace the large number of retirements. Currently, the department is already understaffed, and the problem will only grow worse.
In Los Angeles, crime is skyrocketing while George Gascon, the new woke District Attorney, is pledging to dismantle his office’s Hardcore Gang Division. This decision is baffling to many citizens as statistics show that gang violence has contributed to approximately 60% of the murders in the first 110 days of the year.
Portland, Oregon has been a cesspool of rioting and looting ever since the death of George Floyd made national headlines last Memorial Day. Incredibly, it has never stopped. Last weekend, stores were set ablaze and burglarized. On Friday, a large mob of anarchists spray painted storefronts with graffiti, broke windows, and terrorized diners in a restaurant.
After the latest incidents, the far-left Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, asked citizens to “call the police” if they see protesters “dressed in all black.” It is much too little, much too late for Wheeler, who has been punched and ridiculed by Antifa affiliated thugs. He has not been able to enjoy a meal in a restaurant or even live peacefully at his home. Protesters, dressed in black, staged a sit-in at Wheeler’s condo building and even hurled “bags of rubbish” and other objects at him as he was walking down a street.
The chaos is also continuing in Seattle, the epicenter of Antifa related violence. In this city, the far left created an autonomous zone, attacked a police precinct headquarters, and basically declared war on law abiding citizens. The craziness never stopped due to incompetent and fearful leadership.
This week, Motion Church, based just south of Seattle, was forced to cancel a speech by Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA. After the speech was announced, a Seattle Antifa organization threatened to destroy the church.
This threat forced the church’s Pastor, Roger Archer, to make his decision. According to Archer, “cops don’t have the manpower to protect the several properties used by the church.” He claimed, “the soft targets of churches, the elderly, women, children, and law-abiding citizens are vulnerable to anarchists who live free of the fear of reprisal.”
Archer also correctly noted that “What recent history has taught us is there’s an apparent lack of interest at the state level of leadership to protect decent, taxpaying citizens. Those terrorist mobs know that there is no consequence for their lawlessness. They have nothing to lose and nothing to fear.”
Archer is right, while the FBI and Department of Justice are busy arresting and prosecuting all the individuals who entered the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, there have been few, if any, repercussions for those involved in approximately 275 riots that have occurred in Seattle and other cities across the country since last summer.
Americans can thank the woke Mayors and the woke Department of Justice for contributing to the anarchy and destruction on the streets of America’s cities.
This is especially true in New York City, led by hopelessly left-wing Mayor, Bill de Blasio. During his tenure, New York is being decimated by not only the pandemic, but also by rising crime. In 2020, shootings increased by almost 100%, while murders increased by 44%.
One factor in this increase is that New York police officers do not feel any support from the Mayor. There have been multiple incidents, many captured on video, of police officers being viciously attacked by criminals, who face almost no penalties for their actions.
It is no surprise that in 2020, an astounding 5,300 police officers retired or quit. This is a 75% increase from 2019. As more police officers leave, the crime rate will continue to rise, and taxpayers and business will continue to flee. In response, Mayor de Blasio has continued to pander to the far left and failed to address the concerns of police and terrified citizens.
In Minneapolis, weak, woke leftist Mayor Jacob Frey has turned over his city to protesters demanding “justice for George Floyd.” However, the no-go zone created near the intersection where Floyd died has seen an enormous reduction in customers, mostly hurting local African American business owners.
One area restaurant proprietor, Alexander W., told the New York Post that city leaders “left me in danger.” He said, “They locked us up…left us behind…left me with no food, no water, nothing to eat.”
Hopefully, the citizens in these woke hellholes will eventually realize that the best way to improve their plight will be to stop voting for Democratic Party politicians, who deliver only poverty, misery, violence and, ultimately, failure.
President Joe Biden is a shadow of his former self. Long gone is the aggressive, pugnacious, and partisan Democrat who mistreated Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his confirmation hearings. Today, Americans see a President who is clearly mentally diminished and is getting worse on a daily basis.
During the campaign, Biden refused to submit to a cognitive test. When asked by CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett if he would take a test, Biden snapped, “No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? Come on man, that’s like saying, before you got in this program, if you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?”
Biden refused to take a test because it would show he is in mental decline. His last medical report was issued in December of 2019. While his doctor, Kevin O’Connor of George Washington University, labeled Biden “vigorous” and fit to successfully perform as President, that view was not shared by other experts.
Dr. David Scheiner, the former personal physician for Barack Obama, claimed that Biden was “not a healthy guy.” In fact, U.S. Congressman Ronny Jackson (R-TX), the former White House physician for President Obama and President Donald Trump, said Biden “does not have the mental capacity, the cognitive ability to serve as our Commander-in-Chief and head of state.” He also reiterated a concern shared by many Americans, “I really think that he needs some type of cognitive testing before he takes over the reigns as our Commander-in-Chief.”
Unfortunately, no such testing has been conducted in recent months. Americans have no idea when Biden took his last cognitive test. Biden is now President and Americans are being subjected to the uncertainty of a person with serious mental issues serving in the most important position in the world.
Ever since his inauguration, President Biden has been making frequent misstatements and obvious gaffes. The most recent episodes occurred on Friday. Earlier in the day, he forgot to put on a mask after finishing a speech. Then, after a trip to Houston, TX, Biden made a series of troubling statements. He referred to high profile U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) as “Shirley.” Also, he mispronounced the name of Congresswoman Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D-TX) twice. After the mistakes, he asked “What am I doing here?”
Ironically, Biden stumbled upon the ultimate question that needs to be answered. In his first two presidential campaigns, Biden was a stunning failure. In 1988, he was forced out of the race after his repeated plagiarism was discovered. In 2008, he bombed again as a presidential candidate, barely registering 1% support.
Biden was rescued politically when Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama chose him for the vice-presidential slot. This selection was not made because of any great chemistry between the two men. Obama chose Biden even though he made a stunningly racist comment. Biden referred to Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
Clearly, Biden was chosen because he was born in Pennsylvania and could theoretically appeal to white, working class voters in the Rust Belt. During eight years on the same ticket, President Obama did not value Biden as a Vice-President and never invited him to his personal quarters in the White House for a visit. Biden admitted this embarrassing fact in a recent CNN town hall meeting.
Obama held Biden in such low regard that he did not encourage him to run for President in 2016. Instead, he endorsed Hillary Clinton. In the 2020 election, Obama only endorsed Biden when it was apparent to everyone that he would be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
Obama’s reluctance about Biden extended to many leaders in the Democratic Party. It was only after the surge of U.S. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the presidential primaries that leading Democrats decided to rally around Biden. Top Democrats knew a socialist like Sanders could not win the presidency and they reluctantly backed a mentally compromised Biden as their choice.
In the presidential campaign against Trump, Biden barely left the basement of his home. He held few events and news conferences so he would have few opportunities to stumble. Although he performed adequately during the two presidential debates, he made plenty of other verbal blunders and curious comments during the race.
After the election, his mental decline has become obvious. To cover for his cerebral issues, he has not held a formal press conference and has only been interviewed a few times by friendly reporters. His one town hall meeting was broadcast on CNN, a pro-Biden network that supports his agenda and uses most of its airtime fuming about President Donald Trump and his supporters.
On a typical day, Biden will make a statement or issue an executive order. He will give a speech filled with bumbled or contorted language and then immediately exit the room as reporters are ushered out shouting questions. This is in contrast to President Trump who gave impromptu press conferences constantly.
Sadly, the liberal mainstream press is covering for Biden. If Trump had acted in such a manner during his first five weeks, there would have been a press uproar. Eventually, these mental problems will be too severe to hide and even the liberal media will have to report on these issues.
Biden is mentally deteriorating as most astute observers knew he would. His condition has become so worrisome that 31 House Democrats are demanding the control of the “nuclear football” be removed from the sole authority of the President.
In the background, smiling and patiently waiting, is Vice President Kamala Harris, a socialist with radical views on a range of issues. To bolster her position, she has the full support of former President Obama and his political entourage.
She knows that her ascendancy will come sooner rather than later.
Harris is biding her time, as the countdown has begun.
In the 2020 election, extreme reformers failed miserably. Some House Democrats, such as House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), were furious with the far-left members of their party gaining control of the airwaves and promoting such messages as “Defund the Police” and “End Cash Bail.” They believe this rhetoric cost Democrats many contested congressional seats. In the wake of riots and out of control crime in many urban areas this year, voters sent a message that public safety is a major concern, even in the most liberal areas.
For example, earlier this year, New York had to scale back criminal justice reforms enacted in 2019. At that time, their state legislators passed a measure that eliminated all forms of cash bail for non-violent offenders and forced prosecutors to turn over all evidence within two weeks of arrest.
The result in New York was predictable as repeat offenders released into the community committed horrific crimes. Not only was the public upset, but the prosecutors and police were upset as well. Eventually, the reforms were changed, led by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both liberal Democrats. Thankfully, cash bail was returned for a variety of crimes, while prosecutors were given over a month to provide their evidence. The new rules went into effect in July of 2020.
In the most liberal state in the nation, California, voters passed a variety of criminal justice reform measures in November. Thus, funding will be shifted from police to social services, oversight of law enforcement will increase, sentences will not be increased for petty crimes and parolees will be given the right to vote. However, on one issue important to extreme reformers, the voters were clear, cash bail, which guarantees that defendants appear in court, will remain.
In a lopsided vote, 56.4% of California voters rejected Proposition 25, which would have ended cash bail and replaced it with an algorithm threat assessment that would determine whether or not a defendant would be a flight risk or show up for court proceedings. This new process would have possibly cost the taxpayers of California hundreds of millions of dollars to implement. More importantly, it would have subjected the citizens to unnecessary danger. There would be no assurance that the defendants would appear in court to answer the charges against them. Many fugitives would become wanted fugitives under this new system, which is comparable to what happened in New York.
In New Orleans, Louisiana’s most liberal city, voters soundly rejected candidates running on an extreme reform agenda promoted by a group called PAC for Justice. This is notable because Republicans only comprise 10% of the electorate in New Orleans.
The motto of these seven progressive candidates was to “Flip the Bench.” All the candidates were previously public defenders and supported a platform that included eliminating or reducing the use of the bail system, removing discretion from judges to hold defendants pre-trial and ending any fees or fines paid by defendants who plead guilty or are convicted for their crimes.
Of the seven candidates, only two were victorious, and it is entirely possible that the reason for their victory was not their affiliation with PAC for Justice. According to Gambit Weekly, both victorious candidates started campaigning two years before the election and had earned support from many organizations and stakeholders far beyond the “Flip the Bench” campaign.
The five candidates supported by the PAC for Justice lost even though they outspent their opponents by a wide margin. Another factor that may have impacted the outcome for the “Flip the Bench” slate was that the founder of the movement was Norris Henderson, who was convicted of a heinous crime and has repeatedly claimed that he was innocent and exonerated. Despite his controversial background, he was able to solicit massive donations from philanthropic groups and major donors from across the country.
Along with the PAC for Justice, two other progressive organizations, Working Families Together and NOLA Defenders for Equal Justice, lent their support to the seven “Flip the Bench” candidates. The groups financed slick mailers, billboards, and a coordinated media campaign for these candidates. On Election Day, paid workers distributed professional flyers at high traffic spots and near voting precincts.
Despite a huge financial advantage, five of the seven candidates running on this ticket lost, with a meager 37% average vote total. These candidates advocated such extreme positions that they were not supported by the leading Democrats in New Orleans such as Mayor LaToya Cantrell and U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond.
A major reason for their defeat was a third-party campaign which highlighted the background of Norris Henderson in a series of social media ads, as well as television and radio commercials. In their TV commercials, viewers were reminded that Henderson was found guilty of murdering a teenage girl while she was riding her bike to school. Instead of being wrongly convicted as he claimed, the ads emphasized that he was convicted twice of the crime and never exonerated. It asked voters to “remember the Flip the Bench candidates who have forgotten Henderson’s murder victim.”
Another factor in the election was the rapidly rising crime rate in New Orleans. The murder rate in 2020 will far exceed last year’s total. In fact, the 2019 murder rate was surpassed in September of this year. With crime on the increase, even the voters of New Orleans, which are overwhelmingly Democratic, did not want to support “Flip the Bench” candidates because they advocated extreme positions that would not hold offenders accountable.
With such decisive results in New Orleans, California and other areas, voters have sent a clear message to political leaders and future candidates. While voters want a justice system that is fair and constructive, they will not embrace an agenda that lacks accountability.
Measures such as defunding police, ending cash bail and removing discretion from elected judges to keep communities safe are not supported by a substantial majority of voters. This is true even in California and New York, our most liberal states, and in New Orleans, one of our most liberal cities.
Over the last few decades, Americans have enjoyed an ever-increasing love affair with the games of college and professional football. Eventually, the National Football League (NFL) surpassed Major League Baseball to become the country’s top sports attraction.
Unfortunately, in recent years, political activism has interfered with Americans being able to enjoy the game. It started to move in a disturbing direction in 2016 when San Francisco Forty-Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to protest during the playing of the National Anthem before the start of each game. His kneeling protest was adopted by other players, causing an uproar in the country. The practice continued in 2017 but diminished during the last two seasons.
Everything changed with the death of George Floyd in May of this year. Street protests have led to shootings, rioting, looting and the destruction of property worth billions of dollars. Even more troubling, police officers and protesters have been injured and killed.
These protests have migrated into many sporting events, including the game of football, both in the NFL and in the collegiate level, where the top conference is the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The current policy of the SEC is for all players to stay in the locker room while the National Anthem is performed, but the protests have been expressed in other ways.
Prior to the start of Saturday’s Ole Miss vs. Florida match-up, players and coaches took a knee “to acknowledge the unrest in our country surrounding the treatment of African Americans. We will continue to support social justice efforts as members of the Southeastern Conference and members of our respective communities.”
Vanderbilt University players displayed social messages on their helmets. There are 15 approved messages, including “Black Lives Matter,” and “No Justice No Peace.” Players for the universities of Georgia and Arkansas wore “equality” patches on their jerseys.
While college football players protested, NFL players have spent the past several weeks expressing outrage at police brutality and the treatment of African Americans in our country. The league decided to play the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the “Black National Anthem,” prior to the start of all the games during the first week.
During the first few weeks of the season, a variety of players have protested either by remaining in the locker room during pre-game ceremonies or by raising a fist or kneeling while the National Anthem was performed. These actions were approved by the NFL, which changed its stance on the issue.
In fact, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for the league. He said, “We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
Along with Goodell’s apology and on-field symbolism, the NFL became financially involved in the issue by pledging $250 million in donations over a ten-year period to combat “systemic racism.”
Undoubtedly, these actions are popular with players and those who believe in social justice activism. However, there are plenty of fans who feel otherwise, and will take out their frustration by not watching football on television.
Diminished ratings will severely hurt the NFL during this pandemic because the league’s revenues will be much lower since stadium attendance is either extremely limited or not permitted at all.
As the 2020 season has now moved into week three, it seems that television viewers are leaving in droves. For last Thursday night’s NFL game, the television ratings sank to a four year low with only 5.43 million viewers, barely edging the viewership for the ABC show Celebrity Family Feud.
This entire year has been a ratings disaster for the NFL with both Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football experiencing massive declines in viewership.
There is a simple explanation for why this is occurring. Millions of Americans want to watch football as a distraction from their everyday troubles. For these viewers, the last thing they want is to be reminded of the national political battles on the football field or during league sponsored lectures masquerading as commercials.
If athletes want to get involved in politics, they should run for elected office. If they want to be involved in the criminal justice system, they should become police officers, lawyers, or judges. If they want to become social justice warriors, they should sign up to work as counselors or volunteer with a community based non-profit organization helping those in need. Otherwise, they can play football, or other sports, and do their activism on their own time, as opposed to doing it while hard working Americans are watching on television.
Unless the NFL and college football change course, the television viewership will never return to full strength. In fact, it is already too late for some viewers left forever because of their disgust with the politicization of athletics.
This exact scenario worried the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, who speculated that the activism may hurt the NFL’s football ratings. He noted that the majority of his team’s fans recognize “what this great country is and what this flag stands for.”
Yes, Mr. Jones, not only your fans, but most NFL fans also appreciate the greatness of this country and our American Flag. As we can see from the decline in ratings, social justice activism is not as popular as good old-fashioned patriotism.
It is an uneasy scenario for any Louisiana resident. Imagine you are heading to a hospital for medical care. Since you are heading right to the hospital, that probably means it is for an emergency. A team of doctors, nurses, and support staff check you in, figure out what’s wrong, and deliver the time-sensitive treatment you need; as they do, you’re thankful that you have health insurance which covers emergency treatment.
Unfortunately, when you open your mailbox a few weeks later, you discover an outrageous bill for some aspect of your hospital visit, such as the charges for the emergency room doctor or the anesthesiologist. This bill is not for a co-pay, or payment against your deductible, but the full price tag of that service. It could be thousands of dollars in charges for health care services that you were sure would be covered.
This situation is what is called surprise medical billing. For more than one year, our U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy has been working tirelessly to generate support among his colleagues to stop it. Not surprisingly, the insurance industry is fighting back. Their high-priced lobbyists are targeting Senator Cassidy to weaken his bill, known as the STOP Surprise Medical Billing Act.
Surprise medical bills are most often the result of a billing dispute between insurance companies and the doctors and hospitals who deliver treatment. In theory, these disagreements should not negatively impact the patient, but the reality is quite different as too many people are getting stuck with exorbitant bills.
When insurers refuse to cover an out-of-network provider, patients get caught in the middle. This is one of the problems addressed by Senator Cassidy’s STOP Surprise Billing Act. It would remove patients from the dispute completely. Due to this benefit and many others, Cassidy has recruited 30 bipartisan sponsors for his legislation.
In fact, Senator Cassidy is spearheading the effort to end these surprise attacks on our pocketbooks by adopting Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR), which encourages all parties to come together for arbitration. Hopefully, insurers and healthcare providers will come to an agreement; however, if they cannot resolve the dispute themselves it gets decided through an independent mediator. Everyone gets fair treatment.
This commonsense approach is being opposed by insurance companies, which are funneling millions of dollars into lobbying efforts. Their self-serving goal is to create a system that benefits them, and their leading proponent is Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). He is pressuring our Senator Cassidy to abandon IDR for a system of reimbursement that favors rates set by the insurance company.
Their favored approach is known as “benchmarking.” It sets reimbursement rates for out-of-network providers to in-network reimbursement rates. It also grants complete negotiating leverage to insurance companies.
Under this plan, emboldened insurers would have the ability to drive down reimbursement rates and put enormous financial strain on doctors and hospitals. Rural and urban health care providers, who do not have enough resources to make up for the lost revenue, would become particularly vulnerable.
If enacted, Senator Alexander’s plan would threaten countless doctors and hospitals with the risk of financial ruin. In addition, at the time when Americans need healthcare the most, hospitals may be forced to close and salaries for critical care workers may be cut as much as 20 percent or more. Most importantly, it will lead to less access to healthcare for patients.
Amid a pandemic, Alexander’s plan is not a solution. Instead, it will make our current crisis much worse.
We must encourage Senator Cassidy to hold firm to his current legislation, which has a companion bill in the House. His approach is the best for patients, healthcare providers, and insurers. It is time we solved the problem which is negatively impacting so many people in Louisiana.
IDR is the “fix” forward to protect patients from surprise medical bills while keeping secure the health access and affordability our families need. Please tell Senator and Dr. Bill Cassidy to stand by his bill, which ends surprise medical billing the right way.
Americans used to be able to enjoy sporting events without being lectured about their political beliefs. It used to be a nice diversion from the pressures of everyday life. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Today, sports are just one more area of life that has been overtaken by social justice warriors.
In the two months since George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, the world has changed significantly. For example, major businesses in America are fully onboard with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement as almost 300 top corporations have pledged support for the cause. Even though the founders of BLM admitted their “Marxist training,” no corporations have backed down from supporting the controversial aims of the organization.
The woke social justice warriors also control Hollywood, the media, most politicians, and the entire world of professional sports. On the opening night of Major League Soccer, players wore BLM shirts and either knelt or raised their fists during the National Anthem. African American driver Bubba Wallace drove a BLM car in NASCAR, which banned Confederate flags at their events.
Across the woke world of sports, fans will witness a variety of social justice messages this year. They will be featured on jerseys and, in the case of the NBA, the words “Black Lives Matter” were painted courtside in Orlando.
The NFL will surely see plenty of kneeling during the National Anthem this season. Also, in week one, the “Black National Anthem” will be played for audiences prior to the National Anthem.
The latest professional sport to begin an abbreviated season is Major League Baseball (MLB). This season, support for BLM will be widespread. The Boston Red Sox proudly displayed a Black Lives Matter billboard near Fenway Park.
Gabe Kapler, the manager of the San Francisco Giants, expressed support for his players kneeling during the National Anthem. According to Kapler, “I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality and I told them I wanted to amplify their voices and I wanted to amplify the voice of the Black community and marginalized communities as well.”
Several Giants players knelt while the National Anthem was played during an exhibition game. It seems likely the kneeling will continue. Several members of the Cincinnati Reds also knelt during an exhibition game.
In response, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!” While the President obviously is speaking for millions of Americans, his views are not shared by MLB. The organization tweeted “It has never been about the military or the flag. The players and coaches are using their platforms to peacefully protest.” Another MLB tweet read, “supporting human rights is not political.”
Some MLB fans may disagree, for the league did not feature many kneelers prior to this season. This will be a new cause for MLB players this season and it remains to be seen how fans will react.
Will all this social justice messaging be well received by average fans? It will be interesting to see if ratings decline like they did in the 2017 NFL season when players started to kneel during the National Anthem. This year much more is happening after the George Floyd incident, but the question remains, are sporting events the appropriate forum?