THE EVENING EDITION By Mike Huckabee
Good evening! Here are some stories from me that I think you will want to read.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
THE LATEST NEWS
President Biden might think it’s fine to urge businesses to push forward with his vaccine mandate even after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a stay on it, but apparently, somebody at OSHA has actually read the Constitution. OSHA announced that it has “suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.”
2. COURT NEWS:
The Biden Administration continues its string of good luck: After the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals put a stay on his OSHA vaccine mandate, another court had to be chosen at random to fully adjudicate it. Believe it or not, that was done by pulling a ping-pong ball out of a bin. But it turned out to be an 8-ball for Biden, as the case ended up in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati rather than a liberal court like the 9th in San Francisco.
While the Fifth might have been even worse for Biden (they already made it clear that they have grave concerns about the constitutionality of this mandate and ripped it to pieces in their ruling), the Sixth is also likely to be hostile to such government overreach. Eleven of the 16 full-time judges were appointed by Republican Presidents, six of them by Trump. Counting all the semi-retired senior judges who still hear cases, the Sixth is 19-9 Republican.
Whatever happens there, it’s likely to end up in the Supreme Court, which is 6-3 conservative (although often 5-4 due to Roberts and assuming some of the others remember they’re conservatives on that day.)
See how important it is for Presidents to appoint judges, and how lucky we were that Trump appointed so many? That’s the one thing he did to protect America that Biden can’t undo, as much as Democrats may scheme and dream about it.
3. NO TREND TOWARDS EXTREME WEATHER IN THE DATA:
Recently, a story from last June out of British Columbia, Canada, made international news. It was revealed that a hospital doctor who’d been treating people made sick by an extreme heat wave became the first to diagnose “climate change” as the cause of a patient’s illness. He was having an asthma attack aggravated by smoke from a wildfire, which the doctor blamed on increasing heat waves caused by climate change. It gave eco-activists more fuel to pour on the fire (sorry!) of their cause.
But in all the media ballyhoo over the “climate change is now officially a pandemic!” narrative, did anyone bother to ask, “Was that diagnosis accurate, or just propaganda disguised as quackery?” Well, someone finally did.
Meteorologist Anthony Watts of the WattsUpWithThat.com climate change site, dug into the science. Since the diagnosis rested on the assumptions that wildfires are much worse now due to more frequent heat waves and higher temperatures caused by global warming, he examined both of those claims.
In a study called “Was Global Warming The Cause of the Great Northwest Heatwave? Science Says No,” University of Washington meteorology expert Dr. Cliff Mass wrote that “If global warming was producing extreme heat waves in our region, such as the event last week, there would be a long-term trend towards more extreme high temperatures.” But the records show that there had been “NO INCREASING TREND for more record high temperatures over our region during the past century.”
But what about all the worsening wildfires? We hear a lot about those in California, where state officials insist they’re caused by global warming and not incompetent forest management by leftwing state officials. Watts checked NASA satellite data, which shows a long-term decline in wildfires worldwide, with a 25% decrease of burned land area since 2003.
So if there is no increase in heat waves or wildfires, maybe the patient’s asthma attack wasn’t caused by a climate change apocalypse but by the fact that he has asthma and breathed in smoke from a forest fire, which have been happening in the Pacific Northwest since the dawn of time. It didn’t really require Dr. House to diagnose that.
Dr. Mass noted in his report, “A single event does not reflect climate, only a trend or changes in long-term average do.” I shouldn’t have to tell climate activists this, since it’s what they yell at us every time we make a joke about a global warming conference being canceled due to a blizzard (which happens more often than you’d think.) I suspect that’s really why they started calling it “climate change” instead of “global warming.”
4. KEEP THIS IN MIND WHEN YOU CELEBRATE IN NYC THIS YEAR:
Here's a perfect example of a tyrannical leftist politician’s delusions of grandeur: New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced that he will magnanimously "allow" people to gather in Times Square for New Year’s Eve, but ONLY if they have “papers” to verify that they are fully vaccinated or have had a negative COVID test in the previous 72 hours.
I want you to think about that. Have you ever seen Times Square on New Year’s Eve? Have you even been in Times Square on any typical weekend night? It’s like a giant sardine can of humanity. On New Year’s Eve, upwards of 100,000 people will be cramming into a few city blocks. How will they check everyone’s “papers”? Well, New York City Police will have to set up “security checkpoints” and make everyone who enters the area show vaccine documents and a photo ID.
Hold on! A PHOTO ID?! This sounds like a racist attempt to suppress minority participation in New Year’s Eve! Also, after all the police budget cuts under DeBlasio, they don’t even have enough cops to keep New Yorkers from robbing and shooting people, but they have enough to stand around on New Year’s Eve, demanding to see 100,000 sets of "papers" to ensure it’s “safe” for people to stand around outdoors?
Oh, well, at least New Yorkers will have a really good reason to celebrate the arrival of the new year. It means that at long, long last, Bill DeBlasio will finally be leaving office.
5. CALIFORNIA DEMOCRAT ANNOUNCES HER RETIREMENT:
California Rep. Jackie Speier announced that she will not run for reelection in 2022, becoming the eighth Democrat to abandon what many of them must surely be sensing is a sinking ship.
As the predictable disasters caused by leftist policies multiply and poll support collapses, many Democrats fear that 2022 is shaping up to be an electoral bloodbath for them. And it’s all their own fault. They made the worst mistake that Democrats can make: actually putting their policies into effect.
As long as they campaign like moderates and govern just enough to the left to keep government growing, cronies enriched and donations rolling in, Democrats are set for life. But these Democrats made the terrible mistake of listening to wackjobs like AOC, actually taking socialist ideas seriously and imposing their agenda, from open borders to massive spending to overweening government power to defunding police to radical identity politics to shutting down the domestic fossil fuel industry.
These policies work great in the fevered imaginations of hothouse academics and dorm room potheads, but they have a century-long record of 100% failure in real life. The media kept parroting nonsense like “We’re all socialists now,” and they were dumb enough to believe their own PR agents. Now, they're terrified that they’re about to pay the price.
If there’s one thing leftists hate worse than individual freedom, it’s personal accountability. So look for a lot more of them to start getting out while the gettin’s good.
6. LAWSUIT ON PA ELECTION LAW ATTRACTING ATTENTION:
Sometimes former President Trump points us to some really interesting stories that we might otherwise have missed. In an email bulletin Tuesday from his Save America PAC, he linked to an article by former CIA operations officer and security expert Charles “Sam” Faddis at a website called "AND –- Expert Analysis and Commentary." The case Faddis analyzes, filed in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, deals with the constitutionality of a change in Pennsylvania election law signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on October 31, 2019.
“The results of the suit [Doug McLinko vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State and Veronica Degraffenreid],” Faddis says, “could have major implications for future elections and potentially for ongoing efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.” The date for a hearing hasn’t been set yet, but “those interested in the question of election integrity will be watching for that news with intense interest.”
Apparently, Degraffenreid is named in the suit because at the time of the election, she was working in the Pennsylvania Department of State as the Special Advisor on Election Modernization. Perhaps she was specifically involved in the push to get mail-in voting passed for 2020, but we have no details on that. She is now acting Secretary of the Commonwealth and oversees elections. She previously served in North Carolina as Director of Election Operations and, going back further, worked for almost ten years in the North Carolina Department of Justice, specializing in “redistricting and election-related litigation.”
As Faddis describes it, this is a very straightforward, narrowly focused case that was brought by someone who clearly has legal standing –- as you will see –- Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko, a member of the Bradford County Board of Elections. The plaintiff says that when the Pennsylvania legislature passed “Act 77” in 2019 and went to “no excuse” mail-in voting, they violated the state constitution, which specifies four instances when absentee voting is allowed:
a. “When they are absent from their residence on the election day because of business.”
b. “[When they are] unable to attend in person because of illness or disability.”
c. “[When they are] unable to attend because of the observances of a religious holiday.”
d. “[When they are] unable to vote because of election day duties.”
But go online, and the State of Pennsylvania says this: “Any qualified voter may apply for a mail-in ballot. You may simply request this ballot without a reason.” And according to Act 77, they can.
They do at least require a form of I.D. or the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court looked at another case and declared an earlier version of “no-excuse” mail-in voting passed by the state legislature in 1923 unconstitutional under Pennsylvania law. So why did the present-day legislature think it was permissible for them to put one in place in 2019? A court may determine that they have...NO EXCUSE.
If that’s the case, it means that to change from in-person to “no-excuse” mail-in voting, they would have had to amend their state constitution. But that’s a process that takes time, and they bypassed that one little inconvenience.
So, moving to the all-important question of “standing” to bring this suit, how is McLinko affected by this law? “As a member of the Board of Elections,” the suit reads, “McLinko must oversee the lawful administration of all aspects of elections, including voter registration, the voting process, and tabulation of votes. He must also certify the results of all primary and general elections in the county to the Secretary of State.” He says that because the move to mail-in voting was done unconstitutionally, he was being required by the state to “act unlawfully.”
One would think that if anyone had standing to challenge the constitutionality of state election law, it would be him.
As Faddis points out, this suit has nothing to do with such allegations as hacked voting machines or ballot stuffing, though we would point out that any expansion of mail-in voting certainly encourages the latter.
Finally, what is the plaintiff asking for? He requests a declaratory judgment saying that Act 77 violates the state constitution and is void –- as in, a legal nullity –- and calls for “any and all other appropriate relief.” Faddis explains to us non-attorneys that by implication, any action taken on the basis of this law would be a nullity as well.
Certainly, the state would have to return to in-person voting. Considering the possible effect this might have on changes to election law made (unconstitutionally) in other states, we’d bet that Marc Elias and his team of lawyers are on it like white on rice. As Faddis writes, “The implications for the November 2020 election remain unclear.”
The “fact”-checkers at POLITIFACT took a look at this issue --- not the specific case brought by McLinko but about what Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley has said about Act 77 --- and rated his claim about the law’s unconstitutionality “mostly false.” They say the state constitution doesn’t specifically ban absentee balloting, but it seems the case is easily be made that in specifying only a few instances when it’s allowed, the constitution implies that it is not allowed across the board.
They do offer some interesting points about the law’s passage. For example, Republicans supported it at the time, at least in part because it included a provision against straight-ticket voting. But we would think the fact that it was a bipartisan bill to begin with should help take the partisanship out of this whole argument. Both Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature passed this law to get certain provisions that they wanted. That does not mean the law is constitutional.
POLITIFACT really is just acting as an advocate for the “nay” side of this argument because, well, they’re POLITIFACT and that’s what they do. But a court, not the partisan advocates at POLITIFACT, will rule on the law’s constitutionality and McLinko’s claim. Sadly, elections are increasingly being won by lawyers, and as we've said, to keep from being bulldozed our lawyers have to be better than their lawyers.
An earlier suit regarding the constitutionality of Act 77 was filed about a year ago by multiple plaintiffs including congressional candidate Sean Parnell, and a Commonwealth judge said it had merit, but the state Supreme Court dismissed it with prejudice, not for lack of merit but for not having been filed “in a timely manner.” Parnell said he’d take the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
By the way, if you’d like to know more about Charles “Sam” Faddis, he has quite a resume as a homeland security and terrorism expert and appears on FOX NEWS, FOX BUSINESS NEWS, NEWSMAX and other news outlets. After 20 years with the CIA, he serves as senior partner and executive consultant at Artemis LLC, whose experts have “decades of experience in the Intelligence Community, Special Forces and Military Communities and the Private Sector.”
His books include “WILLFUL NEGLECT: The Dangerous Illusion of Homeland Security” and the very timely “BEYOND REPAIR: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.”
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