In an attempt to maintain complete transparency, all research and statistical fact-checking for articles published in 2022 can be found below
A study published in 2011 in the “Current Biology Journal” by neuroscientists Ryota Kanai, Gertaint Reese, and co-written with Colin Firth and Tom Feilden showed that when hooked up to an MRI machine and given certain visual stimuli to see which parts of their brain lit up, and then cross-referenced that with the subjects’ political affiliation, Republicans scored higher in emotional recognition. Basically, more Republicans process information and make decisions based on their emotional core more so than Democrats.
in 2021, The US Justice Department repealed a policy put in place during Donald Trump's presidency that cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The Office of Justice Programs Maureen Henneberg said that prior grant recipients, including cities, counties and states that were recipients of the department's popular $250 million annual grant program for local law enforcement, will no longer be required to cooperate with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a condition of their funding.
A study written by David K. Hausman of the Stanford Department of Political Science made the evidence quite clear: sanctuary policies reduce deportations without increasing crime. Hausman combined Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation data and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime data with data on the implementation dates of sanctuary policies between 2010 and 2015. His efforts found that sanctuary policies reduced deportations of people who were fingerprinted by states or counties by about one-third. Those policies also changed the composition of deportations, reducing deportations of people with no criminal convictions by half—without affecting deportations of people with violent convictions. Sanctuary policies also had no detectable effect on crime rates.
In December of 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis put forth his “Freedom First Budget.” In it, he asked for $8 million in federal funding to contract with private transportation companies to transfer migrants out of the state. DeSantis' request comes as part of proposed series of legislative reforms that he wants enacted to resist President Joe Biden’s immigration policies and to fight back "against the Biden border crisis," he said. "The governor's proposals for protecting Floridians from the Biden Border Crisis are intended to implement the directives of the Executive Order he signed in September," the governor's spokesperson said. His plan? To round up illegal immigrants, put them on various planes and send them to "Delaware or Martha's Vineyard or some of these places.” DeSantis claims that if the immigrants were sent to such places, then “[the] border would be secure the next day." Given that DeSantis mentioned Martha’s Vineyard (which is in Massachusetts), and that state has six different sanctuary cities, it’s worth noting that this policy will end up sending illegal immigrants to places which will be much more open to their assimilation to our country. It’s perplexing given this is the exact opposite effect the GOP is looking for.
It does mean that the sanctuary city has limited the extent to which it will volunteer resources in support of federal immigration enforcement agents’ responsibility to enforce federal immigration law. These limits can take many forms: saying no to federal requests (known as “detainers”) to conduct joint patrols, refusing to jail an individual who has posted bond and a judge has said can be released, or refusing to gather more information—such as immigration status—than is needed to determine if an individual is eligible to receive services.
Federal law does not require compliance with federal requests to prolong detention. It does not impose an affirmative duty to gather information about place of birth or immigration status. It does not require localities to give local resources to assist federal immigration agents in carrying out their federal immigration enforcement responsibilities. So long as a local sanctuary policy does not limit communication or maintenance of information on a person’s immigration or citizenship status, it will not run afoul of federal law, and I know of no policies that restrict the sharing of such information.
The grant program at issue provides around $250 million a year to help fund investigative task forces, improve 911 call systems and crime laboratories, and reduce gang violence in prisons.
“[We will] block funding for sanctuary cities … no more funding. We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths,” Trump said in Phoenix. “Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities.”
Because of the level of penetration into the conservative mind this inaccurate information has had, Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana introduced S.875 to the senate in March, 2021 that would “make any city of country that has in effect any law or ordinance that is in violation of Federal immigration law ineligible for any federal grant, and for other purposes. https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/875/text
During the Summer of 2021, Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parsons and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt put out a statement against the Biden administration’s handling of the immigration problem that illustrates this misdirection clearly. "President Biden and the Department of Justice have decided to reward states and cities that refuse to cooperate with enforcing constitutional immigration laws that protect our citizens against foreign threats.” At almost every level of the GOP, you can find this sentiment mirrored.
“A library may get one or two [book challenges] in two years, or some librarians have never had challenges,” Wendy Woodland, the Texas Library Association’s director of advocacy and communication, said. “So, this is very rare and very unusual and different from the way challenges have been brought forth in the past.”
Another Victoria resident who pushed for book removals was Cindy Herndon. “It’s nothing that I have against anybody in any community,” said Herndon, 64. “I don’t have any resentment or lack of respect for them. It’s just about protecting the children and exposing them to things that they really don’t need to see right now.” Her complaint for the title "Black Flamingo" was distilled into one specific issue. To her it seemed to “sexualize children, especially into alternate lifestyles, and make them want to be someone else than who they were born to be.”
Victoria, Texas resident, Amy Garvel joined other residents and formed a group which combed through the library’s online catalog looking for this same type of pornographic material. They compiled a list of more than 200 books they found inappropriate, ranging from picture books to young adult books, Garvel said. Garvel herself submitted two requests for removal for the books “If I Was Your Girl” by Meredith Russo and “Rick” by Alex Gino. “My goal is really to protect the children in our community in general, not just my own children,” said Garvel. “I’m hoping that [the library] sees that we’re not trying to censor books that we’re trying to protect our children. I mean, the library was one of the last places that we could feel safe.”
Afterwards, Flory Malloy, a self-described mother of seven with a doctorate in biblical studies, told council members she felt the library system and its appeal process seemed pointless because in the end, books that are challenged remain on the shelves. “The process ended with a denied appeal to remove the book,” she told council members as she described one challenge that appeared to go nowhere. “It seems to be a point of pride for the Irving Public Library that they have never removed a book as the result of this process, so what’s the purpose of this time-consuming review process?”
The book, which follows a gay teenager who starts a teen sex advice column, was said by Stropfer that “it tells you that you can have a loving relationship with a person of your same gender,” he said during an October 14, 2021 meeting. “Everybody’s not going to like everything. It’s not something that I enjoyed reading, but I understood what the purpose of it was, and what the outcome was supposed to be.”
local public libraries are not regulated by the state. Instead, they are usually part of a county or city budget funded by local taxpayers. Therefore, rules for public libraries, including complaints about content, are determined at the local level.
From calls in Virginia to burn “sexually explicit” books in a school library to a wave of challenges to titles by authors ranging from Toni Morrison to Alison Bechdel, the American Library Association (ALA) is charting an unprecedented rise in attempts to ban books in libraries. “It’s a volume of challenges I’ve never seen in my time at the ALA–the last 20 years. We’ve never had a time when we’ve gotten four or five reports a day for days on end, sometimes as many as eight in a day,” says ALA director Deborah Caldwell-Stone. “Social media is amplifying local challenges and they’re going viral, but we’ve also been observing a number of organizations activating local members to go to school board meetings and challenge books. We’re seeing what appears to be a campaign to remove books, particularly books dealing with LGBTQIA themes and books dealing with racism.”
On October 25th, 2021 Republican State Rep. Matt Krause, asked school districts to report if they had any of 850 books that "might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex." Not surprisingly, Krause’s wide-ranging list included well-regarded nonfiction and fiction works focused on LGBTQ identity, race and history. The Amnesty International tome “We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures” is one notable example.
When you start digging into OSHA and look at what it can and cannot do as it pertains to employee health, the government approved mandates are spelled out pretty succinctly. Per OSHA’s “Indicators of Occupational Health Surveillance” (which has been around since 2007), the case it presents clearly outlines the need of medical testing and keeping tabs of employee health. “[Millions of] U.S. workers are injured on the job or become ill from exposure to hazards at work. These work-related injuries and illnesses result in substantial human and economic costs for workers, employers, and society; estimated direct and indirect costs of work-related injuries and illnesses are approximately $170 billion annually.” Keep in mind, these are pre-Covid numbers. The OSHA file continues by explaining how this is done. “The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) convened a work group that identified priority occupational health conditions to be placed under surveillance, addressed cross-cutting surveillance concerns, and made recommendations regarding the role of states in a comprehensive nationwide surveillance system for work-related disease, injuries, and hazards. CSTE recommendations led to the generation of 19 occupational health indicators (OHIs) and one Employment Demographic Profile.” By using a national database, it allows for the CDC to track the potential spread of diseases or other illnesses that may be targeting certain groups of workers.
"Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly. Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category," the unsigned opinion in the businesses case says.
Steve Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas School of Law, said the ruling on the business mandate could have wide-reaching effects in future cases about the power of government. "These cases were not referenda on vaccine mandates—which can still come from states, local governments, and private businesses—they were referenda on whether these kinds of expert policy decisions are better made by agency experts accountable to the President or by judges accountable to no one," Vladeck said. "And if the answer is the latter, that's going to be true long after, and in contexts far beyond, the immediate response to the Covid pandemic."
The court allowed to take effect the vaccine policy rolled out in November by the US Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which sought to require the Covid-19 vaccine for certain health care workers at hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. According to government estimates, the mandate regulates more than 10.3 million health care workers in the United States. Covered staff were originally required to get the first dose by December 6, 2021 and the mandate allows for some religious and medical exemptions.
It’s also important to know that tracking occupational injuries, illnesses, and hazards has been an integral part of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) since its creation by the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970.
"This is a simple, basic proposition: If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in an ICU unit, and you’re not going to die."—President Joe Biden, July 2021. And with that quote, he armed the Republican party who has disavowed the need for a vaccine mandate to the teeth.
Millions of people across the country have been vaccinated. As of July 12, 2021, more than 159 million people had been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. With 48 states and territories reporting, there were 5,492 confirmed breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among them. Those cases included 5,189 hospitalizations and 1,063 deaths. That data shows that among vaccinated people, approximately 0.0033% were hospitalized and 0.00067% died.
PragerU Video “Are The Police Racist?”
… last comprehensive look at the racial makeup of justifiable and non-justifiable shootings—a 2001 study that used more than two decades of U.S. Bureau of Justice data—showed black suspects as being shot at more frequently than white suspects. “At the moment, there are no comprehensive statistics on whether the police do inappropriately shoot at black males more than they do at white males,” said James. “Although isolated incidents of black males being shot by the police are devastating and well documented, at the aggregate level we need to understand whether the police are shooting black unarmed males more than they are white unarmed males. And at the moment, nobody knows that.”
He's stated, "In 2015, after watching Walter Scott get gunned down, on video, by a North Charleston, S.C., police officer, I set out on a mission to quantify racial differences in police use of force. To my dismay, this work has been widely misrepresented and misused by people on both sides of the ideological aisle. It has been wrongly cited as evidence ... " He continued, "There are large racial differences in police use of nonlethal force. My research team analyzed nearly five million police encounters from New York City. We found that when police reported the incidents, they were 53% more likely to use physical force on a black civilian than a white one. In a separate, nationally representative dataset asking civilians about their experiences with police, we found the use of physical force on blacks to be 350% as likely. This is true of every level of nonlethal force, from officers putting their hands on civilians to striking them with batons. We controlled for every variable available in myriad ways. That reduced the racial disparities by 66%, but blacks were still significantly more likely to endure police force."
Also, it has to be noted that while sheriff Aaron Appelhans is more than qualified for the job, many constituents feel that he was hired as a cover up. This stems from a deputy's fatal shooting of an unarmed, mentally ill man named Robbie Ramirez during a traffic stop in 2019. This stoked fierce backlash that carried over into 2020's protests over racial injustice and police brutality.
The realities, when looking at nationwide statistics, shows that race is a huge contributing factor to police shootings. Not only that, but a 2021 study by The Lancet (a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal that is among the world's oldest and best-known general medical journals) found that 30,800 people died from police violence in the U.S. between 1980 and 2018—and 17,100 of them (more than 55%) were misclassified or unreported in official vital statistics reports. Researchers also found that Black Americans were 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans. Nearly 60% of these deaths were not attributed to police violence in government data. That’s the highest level of underreporting for any group.
A 2020 study by professor of health and sciences and Epidemiology Matthew Miller featured in a piece published by Northeastern University examined the racial disparities and numbers of deaths and found some (un)surprising results. His research was done in response to a statement made by ex-President Trump who claimed that though black people are dying at the hands of law enforcement, there are more white people falling victim to law enforcement. The 2020 study by Miller found that Black people are shot and killed by police at twice the rate that white people are. Overall, close to 1,000 people are shot to death by police officers in the U.S. every year, according to a database maintained by The Washington Post. It is true that a majority of those victims are white people. Miller stated, “That’s only because there are so many more white people than there are Black people in our country." He continued, “Although Black people represented 12% of the population in the states we studied, they made up 25% of the deaths in police shootings." By comparison, Miller says, white people represented 62% of the population—and made up 54% of the deaths in encounters with police.
In a 2020 study published by Brookings Institute, they looked at the law and the numbers, but also added the needed context to show that this crime bill was not all roses. "Did the 1994 crime bill help decrease the rate of violent crime? Probably, although the rate had begun to decline before the bill went into effect. Did the bill contribute to the expansion of incarceration? Again, probably so, although the bulk of the growth occurred in the fifteen years before the bill was enacted and has fallen significantly for nearly fifteen years."
The study continues showing that though polls hold that over 80% of black people want more police presence, not less, oftentimes surveys don’t ask the right type of questions about policing—questions that would get at complexity and nuance.
All the data from the Department of Justice that MacDonald is claiming proves that black people are a larger cause (percentagewise) of robberies, murders, and assaults was also the basis for the Washington State University study done by Lois James running the simulations in the first place.
Between 1980-2008, the U.S. Department of Justice found that 84% of white victims were killed by white offenders and 93% of Black victims were killed by Black offenders. In 2018, the FBI reported that 81% of white victims were killed by white offenders, and 89% of Black victims were killed by Black offenders. In 2017, the FBI reported almost identical figures — 80% of white victims were killed by white offenders, and 88% of Black victims were killed by Black offenders. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/29/fact-check-meme-shows-incorrect-homicide-stats-race/5739522002/
54 members of Congress and 182 senior-level congressional staffers have violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law.
That lawmakers and top congressional staffers face minimal and inconsistently applied penalties for violating the STOCK Act, and that it's nearly impossible to comprehensively obtain "public records" about senior-level staffers' personal finances.
Nearly 75 federal lawmakers who held stocks in COVID-19 vaccine makers Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer in 2020, with many of them buying or selling these stocks in the early weeks of the pandemic.
That 15 lawmakers tasked with shaping US defense policy that actively invest in military contractors.
That more than a dozen environmentally minded Democrats who invested in fossil fuel companies or other corporations with concerning environmental track records.
Documents showed that Texas Republican Michael Burgess, a 10-term lawmaker who is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on health (which has jurisdiction over health insurance), sold 100 shares of stock in the health insurer Cigna Corp. on November 19, when it closed at $210.51 a share. The stock's price plummeted during the following several days before rebounding in December. Burgess certified that he became aware of the trade on November 23, and by federal law, he had until December 23 to publicly disclose the trade—but didn't do so until December 31.
In December of 2021, Pelosi made her stance crystal clear: lawmakers should not be barred from trading stock. “We are a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that,” Pelosi, whose husband holds tens of millions of dollars worth of stocks and options, told reporters.
Scofflaws are supposed to pay a late fee of $200 the first time they file a report about their stock trades late, and increasingly higher fines are supposed to follow if they continue to be late—potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars in extreme cases. But that rarely happens.
A Federal Reserve analysis from 2016 shows that a relatively small share of American families (14%) are directly invested in individual stocks. It also shows that a majority (52%) have some market investment—mostly from owning retirement accounts such as 401(k)s. New York University professor Edward Wolff, whose job it is to track wealth in America, found that even though almost half of all households owned shares either directly or indirectly, the richest 10% of households controlled 84% of the total value of these stocks.
I think the best quote on how America should look at how to combat stock manipulation—legal or otherwise—comes from Adena Friedman, CEO of NASDAQ. “As we look at these new technologies that are available to anyone, including investors, I think it’s also important for regulators to understand that manipulation is manipulation, whether it’s happening through a new technology medium or it’s happening through traditional mail.”
A 2022 poll conducted by Data for Progress showed that when it comes to banning members of Congress from trading stocks, 67% of voters support a ban.
When asked about these poll results, along with the results found in the Conflicted Congress report, Pelosi made her feelings clear. Though she did affirm that members of Congress should report in a timely manner by saying “We have a responsibility to report. But If people aren’t reporting [stock trades], they should be.” Yet, when asked about a full ban, she was completely dismissive. “No,” she said. Continuing, "We are a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that."
Two days after her statements, Paul Pelosi bought stock in Alphabet worth between $500,001 and $1 million. He also bought shares in Disney worth between $100,001 and $250,000 during the same time. In fact, over the course of five days, Paul Pelosi purchased stock worth anywhere between $1,750,007 and $3,600,000.