Tuesday, November 24, 2020

UBER, LYFT Wins Ballot Initiative on Labor Rights

Chicago, IL - November 24, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- On Nov. 3, 2020, Uber, Lyft and Postmates won a highly contested ballot initiative on labor rights in California, codifying that their workers will remain independent contractors, instead of employees. Mere weeks later, the companies are working to secure similar laws nationwide, including in Illinois and New York.

Prop-22, the California initiative, was supported by a record-setting $200 million and massive marketing campaign. Before and after Election Day, driver groups and labor advocates argued the gig companies were pushing misinformation to voters, causing confusion about how the law would affect workers' rights and protections.

The effects of Prop-22 are far-reaching for both corporate and lower-to-middle class America. Prop-22 effectively secured the long-term viability of gig companies, exempting them from the high costs of minimum wages, unemployment benefits, health insurance, and workers' compensation. Gig workers, on the other hand, have few protections and no safety net. For instance, a UC Berkeley Labor Center study estimates that drivers will be guaranteed only $5.64/hour (when accounting for time on the app, waiting for fares), under Prop-22. The law also leaves gig workers vulnerable in regards to work injuries and unwarranted deactivations (see: firings) from the platforms. Simply stated, when something goes wrong, the workers are left to fend for themselves.

Uber's CEO has stated publicly that the company is researching how to pass similar measures in other major markets. Crain's reported that Lyft has already launched a SuperPAC in Illinois with the goal of codifying its drivers' independent contractor status. Lyft also started a nationwide coalition called App-Based Work Alliance, with labor rights - or lack thereof - as the chief agenda.

"If voters understood the implications of Prop-22, they would have rebuked the law on its face," LegalRideshare attorney and co-founder Bryant Greening said. "The time is now to ensure voters appreciate the effects of these measures before they show up on local ballots."

Greening said many of his clients are fearful that Prop-22-like laws will sweep the nation. "Gig workers have steadily seen their rights and wages decrease, as gig companies search for ways to reduce costs," Greening said. "Our community must prioritize human rights over corporate profits."

LegalRideshare is the only law firm in the U.S. entirely dedicated to protecting gig workers after accidents and injuries.

"Boy Scout Lives Matter," Says Legal-Bay Lawsuit Funding, as they Near 100K Sex Abuse Claims Filed Via Bankruptcy Process

Washington, D.C. - November 24, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- Legal-Bay, The Pre-Settlement Funding Company, announced that while they are still funding a limited number of Boy Scouts of America Cases, they are appalled at the final tally of over 92K claims of sexual abuse and harassment already filed. Legal-Bay's last estimate of cases filed over the summer was around 25K, however, with a deadline of November 16 to submit all claims, that number has soared. Unfortunately, the high number of claims is putting a major strain on the settlement amounts awarded to plaintiffs at the culmination of their trials.

While the country's focus throughout much of 2020 was on Black Lives Matter protests and Donald Trump campaign rallies occurring amidst a worldwide pandemic, it was easy to ignore an equally significant epidemic unfolding throughout our country: The sexual abuse of our nation's children. Between a presidential election, escalating racial unrest, and COVID, the country's priorities have shifted away from these kids over the course of this tumultuous year.

Legal-Bay has never wavered in its dedication to children's causes. They've been supporting victims of childhood sexual abuse for years; it's an issue that has affected thousands of innocent children within organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, or state-run group homes.

Chris Janish, CEO of Legal-Bay commented, "Shame on America for turning their backs on the systemic sex abuse problem we have in this country in regards to children. Whether it be the Sandusky case at Penn State, the Larry Nassar assaults on our Olympic athletes, or the numerous BSA and Catholic Church abuse cases, these situations are horrific in nature and have caused life-long mental and emotional harm to almost every single victim. Our hearts go out to the survivors, and we hope that they'll see ample compensation along with more effective measures put in place to ensure that children are better protected in the future."

Due to the sheer number of claims being filed via bankruptcy courts, Legal-Bay predicts that the BSA cases and ultimate payments to victims could drag on for three years or longer. And due to BSA's limited assets and bankruptcy filings, plaintiffs may not see high settlement amounts or values. Cases will most likely be batched in tiers of categories ranging from the most severe to the least. However, certain Catholic dioceses that have substantial assets and fewer cases could see settlement values north of $1 million, even for individual lawsuits. Legal-Bay is constantly updating its underwriting criteria as the landscape changes with each new case and jurisdiction.

Legal-Bay remains committed to helping victims of sex abuse or sexual harassment by providing instant pre-settlement funding capital to pay bills as they wait out their court cases to settle. The company is also very active in funding all types of personal injury and accident cases, including car, boat, or truck accidents, as well as wrongful termination, workplace discrimination, wrongful conviction or imprisonment, police brutality, medical malpractice, commercial litigation, and more.

Aside from sexual abuse loans for settlements, Legal-Bay also provides pre settlement funding for all types of cases including personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, judgment on appeal, commercial litigation, and more. Their loans for lawsuits have helped numerous plaintiffs through many a financial crisis.

Legal-Bay's loan settlement programs provide immediate cash in advance of a plaintiff's anticipated monetary award. The non-recourse case funding—sometimes referred to as loans for lawsuit or loans on settlement—are risk-free, as the money doesn't need to be repaid should the recipient lose their case. Therefore, the lawsuit loans aren't really loans, but rather a cash advance.

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Free Speech Protects Sexual Orientation Change Efforts says Court

Washington, D.C. - November 24, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- Family Research Council (FRC) has praised the recent decision by a federal appeals court striking down two local ordinances banning sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) for minors. In the case of Otto v. City of Boca Raton, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled on November 20 that "these ordinances are content-based and viewpoint-based restrictions on speech," and thus "violate the First Amendment."

Both the city of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County in Florida had enacted laws similar to those in several states and other localities across the country, prohibiting what critics of the practice sometimes call "conversion therapy" for minors, on the argument that such therapy is harmful to clients.

However, FRC also released today an Issue Analysis based upon a literature review of 79 academic sources purported to show "measures of harm" from SOCE. As FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg documents in the report, none of the 79 studies provide scientific proof that SOCE is more harmful than other forms of therapy, more harmful than other courses of action for those with same-sex attractions, or more likely to be harmful than helpful for the average client.

Sprigg has written papers showing that sexual orientation can change, that SOCE therapy can be effective and is not usually harmful, and that even pro-LGBT sources have undermined the case for therapy bans.

"Legal restrictions upon the voluntary pursuit of, and assistance with, sexual orientation change represent an assault upon both freedom of speech and freedom of religion," said Sprigg regarding Friday's court ruling. "I hope this court decision marks the beginning of the end for these unconstitutional infringements on personal autonomy."

The two licensed marriage and family therapists who brought the suit, Robert Otto and Julie Hamilton, were represented by Liberty Counsel. The court's decision was written by Judge Britt C. Grant, with Judge Barbara Lagoa concurring. Judge Beverly B. Martin wrote in dissent.

The 11th Circuit decision was foreshadowed by comments in a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision, NIFLA v. Becerra, dealing with California's efforts to regulate speech by pro-life pregnancy centers. In the course of rejecting the argument that governments can regulate "professional speech" without offending the First Amendment, the Supreme Court directly criticized earlier appeals court decisions that had made the same argument in upholding state therapy bans. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that "this Court has not recognized 'professional speech' as a separate category of speech. Speech is not unprotected merely because it is uttered by 'professionals.'"

Monday, November 23, 2020

COVID Treatment

  • Regeneron’s treatment was given to President Donald Trump last month after he contracted Covid-19. While Trump received a number of drugs to combat the virus, he said after he was released from the hospital he expected speedy authorization of Regeneron’s therapy, crediting it with his recovery. It has now received an emergency-use authorization from U.S. drug regulators for treatment of early Covid-19 symptoms, adding to the expanding arsenal of therapies available to physicians at a time when the virus is surging. Read more...
  • Contrary to what some are saying about the drug, Regeneron was NOT derived from embryonic stem cells. Check out this article...
  • Saturday, November 21, 2020

    Apprenticeship Act, Belarus, Vaccines, and Sexual Misconduct

  • The House of Representatives passed the National Apprenticeship Act which would invest in increasing access to Registered Apprenticeships (RAs), codify and streamline existing standards that are vital to support RAs, and invest and expand the successful RA model to youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. The National Apprenticeship Act would invest more than $3.5 billion over five years to create nearly 1 million additional apprenticeship opportunities in existing and emerging industry sectors, according to U.S. Representative Adam Smith (D-WA, 9th).

  • Apparently, Belarus's election woes make ours look like small potatoes. This is one we need to be watching, to see how it all plays out. Read more...

  • October has now been declared "National Principles Month" officially. Read more...

  • U.S. Representative Darren Soto (D-FL, 9th) introduced the Helping Adults Protect Immunity Act (HAPI) Act to ensure more Americans can receive necessary vaccines, including any future COVID-19 vaccine, at no out-of-pocket cost. The legislation would create parity in vaccine coverage between traditional Medicaid and Medicaid expansion programs. The bill would also provide enhanced federal matching funds for states to better reach at-risk and vulnerable patient populations. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced the Senate companion bill. Read more...

  • Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chair of the House Military Personnel Subcommittee, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Defense Acting Inspector General (DOD-IG) Sean O’Donnell demanding an explanation for the delayed conclusion of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct against former Navy Auditor General Ronnie J. Booth.

  • The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report reviewing the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) management of their intellectual property. The report recommends HHS fix a deficiency in their commercial licensing process and publicly report more about the licensing of their intellectual property. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) requested this report in order to learn more about how taxpayer-funded research is being used to develop drugs and vaccines.
  • Tuesday, November 10, 2020

    Election News, Obamacare and COVID-19

  • In a memo to U.S. attorneys sent and made public Monday, Mr. Barr said investigations “may be conducted if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State.”

  • The head of President Donald Trump's efforts to challenge the 2020 election result has tested positive for the coronavirus, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

  • A group of Republican attorneys general on Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case challenging a lower court ruling that extended Pennsylvania's deadline to receive mail-in ballots.

  • The 10 attorneys general aligned their states with arguments from Trump’s presidential campaign, the Pennsylvania Republican Party and a pair of GOP state legislative leaders that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision usurped powers that the Constitution reserves for state legislatures.

  • Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development (HUD), has tested positive for the coronavirus, a HUD spokesperson said Monday, making him the second senior official who attended an election night event at the White House to contract the virus.

  • The court will hear a lawsuit Tuesday that likely represents Republicans’ last chance to knock out a health care law they’ve opposed for over a decade, and that President-elect Joe Biden is vowing to expand. One of the most-watched participants at the oral arguments will be Trump’s latest appointee to the high court, Amy Coney Barrett. Democrats during last month’s confirmation hearings portrayed her as the pivotal vote who could bring about the law’s demise amid an intensifying pandemic that’s sickened millions.

  • Sunday, November 8, 2020

    Election News from Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia...and New Cable News Network Coming!

  • Wisconsin Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos instructed a review of the state’s election results following concerns about mail-in ballots and voter fraud, according to Wisconsin State Journal.

  • A Nevada whistleblower has alleged that Clark County, Nevada election officials counted mail-in ballots despite concerns about signature validity. Clark County had previously raised red flags in the eyes of state Republicans, who pointed out ways its signature verification process (or lack there of) could be weaponized. Read more...

  • The Trump campaign has sued Arizona’s Maricopa County alleging that poll workers may have disenfranchised thousands of in-person voters on election day by incorrectly handling some ballots.

    The campaign announced its lawsuit in a press release on Saturday, claiming that some ballots cast on election day were marked as “overvotes” by the machines processing them, meaning the machine found that more votes were marked on the ballot than is allowed. Many overvote ballots were then canceled instead of being taken by a poll worker and counted by hand, the lawsuit says. Read more about this...

  • Jeanine Pirro parlayed that "Donald Trump is starting a new cable "news" network. I will host the flagship program."

    The Ponder is looking forward to that!

  • Georgia’s top election official is dispatching a team of investigators after a ballot “issue” was discovered in one of the counties most responsible for giving former Vice President Joe Biden the lead over President Trump. Read more...
  • Saturday, November 7, 2020

    USPS Whistleblower, Late Ballots, Election Software Glitch, COVID-19, Dead Men Voting

  • Project Veritas’ most recent Insider from Pennsylvania, a USPS Whistleblower, Richard Hopkins, has informed them that after going public with his allegations of supervisors back-dating ballots to November 3rd, his job has been threatened! A Go-Fund-Me account has been set up to support him!
    Check it out!

  • Ken Star has said that Ballots that arrive late are illegal, according to Supreme Court Law. Read about it...

  • U.S. Representative Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ, 4th) is calling on Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to call a special session of the AZ Legislature under Article IV of its state constitution to investigate the accuracy and reliability of the Dominion ballot software and its impact on their general election due to numerous "hiccups" across the country causing vote count irregularities. According to an article in USA Today, a failure to update the software was the cause of the "glitch".

  • White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, has tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Republican Senator Mitt Romney said the President was wrong, and called him "reckless", over claiming election fraud.

  • In Clark County, Nevada, a man who has been dead for three years rose from the grave to cast a ballot.

  • Introducing the Trump Accountability Project: Communism in Practice in America

    House Representative Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez (NY-14), and other Democrats, are voicing their plan to archive and make lists of all those who supported Donald Trump on social media to make them accountable. This is a blatant example of the coming persecution for those who don't agree with Democrats in the future. One such radical group supporting her is called "The Trump Accountability Project". Get ready to hear more about this...

    Check it out by clicking HERE

    Can you say "Mark of the Beast" rhetoric?

    Read more about this at Headline USA

    Read also:

    Leftists, Never Trumpers Begin Compiling Lists of Trump Supporters

    James Woods Hits Back With this Brilliant Response When AOC Starts Threatening to Target Trump Supporters
    While you are at it, put Shonda Ponder, editor of The Ponder News, on that list as well. I ain't giving up my beliefs and my morals for a paycheck.

    Friday, November 6, 2020

    Substantiated Claims of Election Fraud

    New Boston, TX - November 6, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- The Georgia Secretary of State has announced that there will be a recount, due to the closeness of the race. Over 40,000 military ballots are still not counted.

    Michigan County has flipped back to Trump after a software glitch was found and fixed. Apparently over 40 other counties in Michigan were affected the same way, so stay tuned for updates about this. GOP is demanding all votes be checked again after this incident.

    Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel is asking Minnesota State GOP Chairs to rally behind President Trump's allegations of election fraud. Apparently GOP has remained eerily quiet.

    Most reports coming from the media about the election are still saying Trump's claims are "baseless" and "unsubstantiated", in spite of evidence of election tampering and software glitches, voting irregularities and denial of access to poll-watchers.

    According to the Washington Times, "The Republican National Committee has legal teams on the ground in four battleground states and announced Friday there are numerous incidences of “voting irregularities.”

    Mitch McConnel maintains that regardless of who wins, there will be a "peaceful transfer of power".

    In Pennsylvania, thousands of provisional ballots will be set aside until officials can determine if they were valid, according to an order by the Commonwealth Court in a lawsuit brought by Republican candidates.

    The Ponder believes there is enough "substantiated evidence" based on "solid proof" that the presidential election has been compromised. President Trump deserves to be backed up on his claims.

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    2020 Election News

    STOP THE BIDEN STEAL: Sign the Petition
    Source: Marjorie Taylor Greene
    November 6, 2020
    This is the biggest VOTER FRAUD operation in American history.
    Sign your petition to STOP THE STEAL.
    Save America.
    Stop Socialism.
    Defeat the Democrats.
    -Marjorie Greene
    Congresswoman-elect (GA-R)

    Pennsylvania Lawsuit Alleges 21,000 Dead People Still on Voter Rolls
    Source: The Daily Signal
    November 6, 2020
    A legal group filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania alleging that the state has tens of thousands of deceased people on its voter rolls and that there is evidence of voting activity among the deceased.

    Michigan: GOP Claims Software Glitch Switched 6,000 Republican Votes To Democrat, 47 Counties Used Same Software
    Source: Daily Wire
    November 6, 2020
    Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Michigan GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox held a press conference on Friday outlining alleged irregularities and a software glitch that apparently caused 6,000 votes cast for Republican candidates to be inaccurately counted as votes for Democrats. According to Cox, the error was found and corrected after the county hand-counted the vote. The software, though, was used in the same capacity in 47 other counties across the state, she said, warning of possible similar glitches elsewhere.

    Mainstream Media CAUGHT Using Portland Riot Pic To Frame Election Integrity Protests As Violent
    Source: Gateway Pundit
    November 6, 2020
    In what appears to be a coordinated disinformation campaign (to quote the New York Times in their articles about Project Veritas), several news outlets associated with the Nexstar Broadcasting conglomerate are using a picture of a Portland rioter being arrested by police to falsely frame the elections integrity protests as being violent and out of control. The picture is from an entirely separate event and has absolutely nothing to do with the pro-Trump protests. The unsubstantiated and baseless story echoed by these outlets is full of conjecture and fear mongering, claiming that Trump supporters are ready to snap and commit widespread violence.

    CALLING ALL TRUMP VOTERS: Will You Support Republicans In 2024 If They Won’t Support Trump Now?
    Source: Gateway Pundit
    November 6, 2020
    Do Republicans really think they can ignore Trump and his 70 million voters and go back to the way things were? Do Republicans think they can ignore the forgotten people of America and then expect them to come out in record numbers to support them? Do Republicans think we can be disregarded and abused and that we will support them in the future?

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    Georgia Race Tightens, Officials Will Conduct Recount
    Source: NPR
    November 6, 2020
    They're saying that there are no widespread irregularities being reported and that any reports of voting issues are being investigated, will be investigated. Officials stressed at this press conference that this is a nation of laws and that those laws will be followed.

    Trump Won Highest Share of Non-White Vote of Any Republican Since 1960, Exit Polls Show
    Source: National Review
    November 4, 2020
    Roughly one quarter of non-white voters cast their ballots for Trump, according to an Edison exit poll. If the poll is an accurate reflection of final results, Trump will have won over more non-white voters than any Republican since Richard Nixon, who won 32 percent of the non-white vote in 1960 but lost to John F. Kennedy. Trump will also have improved on his performance in the 2016 election when he won 21 percent of the non-white vote.

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    Thursday, November 5, 2020

    FOX News: Oregon becomes first state to decriminalize hard drugs like heroin and cocaine

    Instead of treating drug users as criminals, Oregon will now offer them addiction services funded by marijuana tax revenue, which is more than $100 million a year in the state.

    Only small amounts of drugs are decriminalized, such as less than 1 gram of heroin or MDMA; 2 grams of cocaine or methamphetamine; 12 grams of psilocybin mushrooms; and 40 doses of LSD, oxycodone or methadone.


    American Thinker: Count and Recount Every 'Vote' Until You Win

    First, they tried to bring him down with a sex "scandal" that almost elevated a creepy lawyer to a Democratic presidential contender. Then they cooked up a baseless impeachment. A virus came from China to later derail what could have been a landslide win for him. Then numerous blatant push polls tried to demoralize his supporters. (Just pick one. Less than a week before the election, an ABC News–Washington Post poll gave Biden a 17% lead in Wisconsin. Is there any way to sue these two corrupt companies?)


    Philadelphia, PA - November 5, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. released the following statement on the Trump Campaign's major election integrity victory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

    "In a major victory for election integrity, election transparency, all Pennsylvania voters, and the rule of law, the Trump Campaign has prevailed in our suit challenging our Republican poll watchers’ complete lack of any meaningful access to the ballot processing and counting process.

    "The eyes of the country are on Pennsylvania, but Pennsylvania Democrats, led by their radical left Secretary of State whose only goal is to steal this election from President Trump, has kept eyes off of the absentee ballot counting process. That ends now in Philadelphia.

    "As a result of this incredible legal victory, the lower court’s order has been reversed. Now, according to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, ‘all candidates, watchers, or candidate representatives’ shall ‘be permitted to be present for the canvassing process’ and ‘be permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, including, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.'

    "For the good of the nation, every Pennsylvania county should follow the lead of this judge and provide access for observers to ensure transparency and integrity in Pennsylvania. That is the only way to ensure a fair, transparent election in which all Pennsylvania voters can have confidence their vote will count."

    - Justin Clark, Trump 2020 Deputy Campaign Manger and Senior Counsel

    Click here to read the order.

    Supreme Court orders Pennsylvania Democrats to respond in ballot dispute

    The lawsuit takes issue with a state Supreme Court ruling that postmarked ballots be presumed to have been mailed before Nov. 3, even if not clearly postmarked to that effect.

    Trump campaign files lawsuits in 3 states and seeks recount in Wisconsin

    The day after the election, the Trump campaign says it has filed lawsuits Wednesday in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and will ask for a recount in Wisconsin.
    READ MORE by clicking here

    And, rightfully so. Anyone who was watching the election numbers knows that Trump had these states before we all went to bed. Suddenly, a bunch of votes were shipped in, not verified and all had Biden's name on them. Sounds fishy to The Ponder!

    According to a report by Michelle Malkin, the count was secretive and poll watchers were refused admittance to watch.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2020

    Federal Judge Blocks Trump Rule Designed To Impede Immigrants Seeking Green Cards

    U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman in Chicago, Ill., rejected a rule Monday implemented by the Trump administration that aimed to deny green cards to immigrants utilizing food stamps and other public benefits. The decision applies nationwide, not just in the state of Illinois.

    Read the whole article at NPR by clicking HERE

    Read Illinois Advocates Commend Federal Court Ruling Striking Down Public Charge Rule from the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights by clicking HERE

    Newt Gingrich: If election riots break out, Trump should follow Lincoln’s advice

    In Lincoln’s Lyceum Address of January 1838, titled “On the Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions,” he described mobs as the enemy of law-abiding citizens. He also captured the exasperation of citizens when government does nothing to suppress the mobs.

    Lincoln, who was only 28 at the time, said this about mobs:

    “Having ever regarded Government as their deadliest bane, they make a jubilee of the suspension of its operations; and pray for nothing so much, as its total annihilation.

    “While, on the other hand, good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws, and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country; seeing their property destroyed; their families insulted, and their lives endangered; their persons injured; and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better; become tired of, and disgusted with, a Government that offers them no protection; and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose.

    “Thus, then, by the operation of this mobocratic spirit, which all must admit, is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any Government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectually be broken down and destroyed, I mean the attachment of the People.

    “Whenever this effect shall be produced among us; whenever the vicious portion of population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and bum churches, ravage and rob provision stores, throw printing presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure, and with impunity; depend on it, this Government cannot last.”

    Read the full article at FOX News by clicking HERE

    Sunday, November 1, 2020

    Texas events canceled after 'Trump train' surrounds Biden campaign bus on interstate

    Fox News Reports:

    LOS ANGELES - The Biden campaign canceled at least two events in Texas on October 30 after vehicles carrying Trump flags and signs surrounded one of its campaign buses traveling from San Antonio to Austin, according to Democratic officials.

    Shortly after this, Forbes posts this Headline:

    Trump Claims Supporters Were ‘Protecting’ Biden-Harris Bus Surrounded On Highway

    OMG! It was a JOKE, Forbes! Get OVER it!

    I'm laughing.

    Saturday, October 31, 2020

    Trump Administration Delists Gray Wolf from Endangered Species List

    Washington, D.C. - October 31, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- “In Eastern Washington, and especially in Northeastern Washington, wolf predation on calves has become common. I regularly hear from people who’ve seen wolves around their property and who cannot defend themselves without risking a felony,” said McMorris Rodgers. “By delisting the gray wolf and restoring local decision-making, we can allow people in our state and community to use science-based wolf management practices that will benefit both our endangered and native animals while protecting farmers and ranchers. As the Obama administration made clear in 2013, the gray wolf is recovered. Unfortunately, the gray wolf was not delisted. Thank you to the Trump administration for respecting local decision-making and delisting this recovered species in the lower 48 states,” stated U.S. Representative Cathy Rodgers McMorris (R-WA, 5th).

    More than 45 years after gray wolves were first listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Trump Administration and its many conservation partners are announcing the successful recovery of the gray wolf and its delisting from the ESA. U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt was at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge to announce that state and tribal wildlife management agency professionals will resume responsibility for sustainable management and protection of delisted gray wolves in states with gray wolf populations, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) monitors the species for five years to ensure the continued success of the species.

    The Service based its final determination solely on the best scientific and commercial data available, a thorough analysis of threats and how they have been alleviated and the ongoing commitment and proven track record of states and tribes to continue managing for healthy wolf populations once delisted. This analysis includes the latest information about the wolf’s current and historical distribution in the contiguous United States

    “Today’s action reflects the Trump Administration’s continued commitment to species conservation based on the parameters of the law and the best scientific and commercial data available,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “After more than 45 years as a listed species, the gray wolf has exceeded all conservation goals for recovery. Today’s announcement simply reflects the determination that this species is neither a threatened nor endangered species based on the specific factors Congress has laid out in the law.”

    In total, the gray wolf population in the lower 48 states is more than 6,000 wolves, greatly exceeding the combined recovery goals for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Western Great Lakes populations.

    The gray wolf is the latest in a strong list of ESA recoveries that includes the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, American alligator, brown pelican and 48 other species of animals and plants in U.S. states, territories and waters. Countless more have improved or stabilized. Collectively, these successes demonstrate that the ESA can make a difference for imperiled species.

    No administration in history has recovered more imperiled species in their first term than the Trump Administration. Since 2017, thirteen species – and now the gray wolf – have been determined to not be either a threatened species or endangered species under the ESA’s List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, and another seven species have been downlisted from endangered species to threatened species. To provide context for this in looking at other administrations in their first term, the Obama Administration recovered six species; the Bush Administration recovered eight species; and the Clinton Administration recovered nine species.

    “President Trump’s Administration has focused on proactive measures, including partnerships with organizations, to ensure listed species flourish to the point of recovery,” said Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Aurelia Skipwith. “Today is a win for the gray wolf and the American people. I am grateful for these partnerships with States and Tribes and their commitment to sustainable management of wolves that will ensure the species long-term survival following this delisting.”

    By the early part of the 20th century, the gray wolf had become scarce across almost the entire landscape of the lower 48 states. But, the dedicated efforts of partners that included states, tribes, conservation organizations and private landowners working together under the auspices of the ESA, brought this great predator back to healthy, stable numbers. Gray wolves in the United States exist primarily as two large, genetically diverse, stable to growing populations broadly distributed across several contiguous U.S. States, with an additional large population in Alaska that was never listed.

    Gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains, where a healthy and sustainable population roams across Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and eastern portions of Oregon and Washington, were previously delisted. These states have since managed this delisted population effectively and responsibly. Wolves have even expanded into western Oregon, western Washington, northern California and most recently in northwest Colorado.

    The Western Great Lakes wolf population in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the largest outside Alaska, is also strong and stable. These states have been key partners in wolf recovery efforts and have made a commitment to continue their activities. The states of Washington, Oregon, California and Colorado are also committed to conserving wolves, as demonstrated by their development of management plans and laws protecting wolves.

    This final rule excludes Mexican wolves as that species remains listed under the ESA. The final rule will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    In 2013, the Obama Administration’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that gray wolf recovery goals had been achieved, yet the effort to delist the animal from the ESA was met with politically-motivated attacks and lawsuits by radical environmental groups. Management of gray wolves was transferred from the states to the federal level following two 2014 U.S. District Court decisions that reinstated gray wolves under the protections of the ESA.

    The best available scientific and commercial information continued to indicate the gray wolf does not meet the definitions of a threatened or endangered species. With a range-wide population of more than 6,000, gray wolf recovery efforts have exceeded the combined goals for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Western Great Lakes populations. In Washington state alone, there are at least 108 known wolves in 21 known packs, including at least 10 breeding pairs, and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation reported 37 wolves in five packs.

    The gray wolf joins the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, American alligator, brown pelican and 33 other species of animals and plants in U.S. states, territories and waters that have been brought back from the brink with the help of the ESA.

    On March 15, 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to delist the gray wolf and announced the opening of a 60-day public comment period on the proposed action, ending May 14, 2020. In response to requests, the Service extended the comment period until July 15, 2019, to allow all interested parties additional time to comment on the proposal and to allow for a public hearing. In addition, a final peer review report on the proposal was made available on June 3, 2019.

    On May 28, 2019, 35 U.S. Representative wrote a bipartisan letter in support of the proposed rule, urging the Administration to use the best available science to delist the gray wolf. Click here to read the letter.

    In the 115th Congress, Rep. Newhouse introduced H.R. 6784, the Manage Our Wolves Act, which passed the House on November 16, 2018. In Washington, the gray wolf is only listed as endangered in two-thirds of the state. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has publicly supported changing the federal designation in order to fully implement their local management plan. Click here and here to read the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 2015 and 2018 letters requesting the federal delisting of the gray wolf.

    See more information by clicking HERE.

    Rice Introduces Bill to Require Election Security Reports for Congress and State Election Officials

    (Washington, D.C. - October 31, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (D-NY, 4th), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced the Election Security Assessments Act (H.R. 8697), which would require the Director of National Intelligence to submit annual reports on pre-election threats to Federal elections to Members of Congress and State election officials.

    “Foreign interference in our elections represents one of the gravest threats to American democracy in the history of our nation,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “Given what is at stake, it is absurd that Director Ratcliffe and the Trump Administration at large have been tight-lipped and dismissive about these threats. Seemingly for fear of harming the President politically. The Election Security Assessments Act will require that information sharing take place and ensure that Congress and State election officials are not left in the dark about the threats facing our elections.”

    Rice’s introduction of the Election Security Assessments Acts comes following Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s decision to scale back election security briefings to Congress. These briefings were retrenched despite U.S. intelligence that Russia and other actors are still interfering in the 2020 election.

    Full text of the Election Security Assessments Act can be found here.

    Friday, October 23, 2020

    Mental Illness, Wildlife Tracking, Hunter Biden, Voting, Masks, Jim Crow, Criminal Justice Reform, Google

    Report: Public Knowledge Applauds Antitrust Suit Against Google
    Source: Public Knowledge
    October 20, 2020
    The U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. The suit focuses on how Google has monopolized the search engine market as well as the market for general search advertising. The suit comes after our recent letters urging the Justice Department to review Google’s conduct for anticompetitive behavior in the search and advertising technology markets.

    Report: Retail Industry Opposed Criminal Justice Reform in at Least 18 States
    Source: Public Citizen
    October 16, 2020
    Despite the reform rhetoric and pledges many retailers made following protests against racism and police violence, a report released today by Public Citizen shows that retailers and retail industry groups have fought criminal justice reforms and advocated for harsher shoplifting sentences in at least 18 states. Most of the time – in 11 states – the retail industry prevailed against reformers.

    Mass Media Ignores Purge of Black Candidates from Tennessee Ballot during Presidential Debate
    Source: Public Advocate USA
    October 23, 2020
    Public Advocate of the United States president Eugene Delgaudio calls on Attorney General William Barr to launch a criminal investigation into Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen and the national Democratic Party as well as Republican operatives who are helping them inflict Jim Crow election rigging against black people in the South.

    CDC Issues Mask Recommendation for Public Transportation, Rep. Price Urges Stronger Mandate
    Source: U.S. Representative David Price (D-NC, 4th)
    October 20, 2020
    "I’m glad the CDC is finally 'strongly recommending' passengers and workers wear masks when utilizing public transportation, despite political pressure from the White House to ignore and downplay the COVID-19 threat,” said Chairman Price. “However, I urge the CDC to go a step further. A mandate would ensure even more people adhere to this simple yet effective method to slow the spread of the virus—protecting riders, workers, and the general public. As mentioned in the guidance, local transmission can grow quickly into interstate and international transmission when infected persons travel without wearing a mask and in close proximity to others.”

    Citi Bike Miami Offers Free Rides on Election Day
    Source: Citi Bike Miami
    October 21, 2020
    “Voting is a right that defines our country, and we are excited to offer free rides for you to cast your vote. We are going to get you to the polls and back,” said the Citi Bike Miami management team. Each person participating will receive a promo code valid for two free rentals good for 30 minutes each.

    Rep. Posey’s Statement Concerning the Discovery of Hunter Biden’s Laptop
    Source: U.S. Representative Bill Posey (R-FL, 8th)
    October 20, 2020
    “Having a mental illness is not a crime, yet it is treated like one time and again,” Congresswoman Porter said. “It is crucial we connect those in crisis with appropriate resources so they can get the care they need. Too often individuals with mental illness and intellectual and developmental disabilities are subject to unnecessary violence and are cycled in and out of our justice system when they’d be much better served by other community resources. This common sense legislation would enable mental health providers to be first on the scene when 911 is called for a mental health emergency, making our communities safer for all.”

    Portman, Coons Introduce Legislation to Combat Wildlife Trafficking
    Source: Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
    October 22, 2020
    “The revelation of information contained on a laptop purportedly belonging to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden is deeply troubling and raises serious questions about the foreign policy practices of the Obama Administration, and more particularly the practices of then-Vice President Biden.

    Reps. Porter, Cárdenas, Pressley, and Scanlon Introduce Bill to Protect Individuals with Mental Illness, Disabilities from Police Violence
    Source: U.S. Representative Katie Porter (D-CA, 45th)
    October 20, 2020
    “Having a mental illness is not a crime, yet it is treated like one time and again,” Congresswoman Porter said. “It is crucial we connect those in crisis with appropriate resources so they can get the care they need. Too often individuals with mental illness and intellectual and developmental disabilities are subject to unnecessary violence and are cycled in and out of our justice system when they’d be much better served by other community resources. This common sense legislation would enable mental health providers to be first on the scene when 911 is called for a mental health emergency, making our communities safer for all.”

    Wednesday, October 21, 2020

    Barrett Nomination, Oceans, Charities, Civil Rights, COVID Relief, Weather

    Norton, Bass Send Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Opposing Vote on Supreme Court Nominee
    Source: U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.)
    October 20, 2020
    Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) commends Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) for introducing the “Ocean Based Climate Solutions Act” today. The bill would authorize federal funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to invest in ocean-based solutions to greenhouse gas emissions and conservation of coastal communities, as well as outline a national policy to protect 30 percent of the ocean by 2030.

    Source: Outdoor Industry Association
    October 20, 2020
    “As chair of the CBC’s Judicial Nominations Task Force, my investigation into Judge Barrett’s writings and record on the Court of Appeals compel me to raise strong objections again to her nomination to the Supreme Court,” Norton said. “Her disregard for precedent endangers hard-won precedents that African Americans disproportionately rely upon, such as the Affordable Care Act.”

    Ways and Means Oversight Panel Members Demand Answers on 28,000 Charities Losing Tax-Exempt Status
    Source: U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ, 9th)
    October 20, 2020
    U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, led all panel members in demanding answers from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) sudden revocation of the tax-exempt status of 30,000 nonprofit organizations. This decision imperils charitable organizations aiding Americans struggling through the pandemic.

    Source: Open MIC (Open Media and Information Companies Initiative)
    October 21, 2020
    Advocates designed the principles both in response to the current risks to civil rights – including COVID-19, a surge in hate-based violence, private sector and government surveillance, and disinformation on social media platforms designed to manipulate or suppress voter participation – and with an eye toward how technology can meet its promise and affirmatively promote justice and equity.

    Reps. Pallone, Schiff, Bilirakis, Speier and Titus Announce Library of Congress Will Recognize the Armenian Genocide
    Source: U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ, 6th)
    October 21, 2020
    The decision to change the subject heading by Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, was announced after bipartisan letters were sent to the Library and a formal request was initiated by the University of California-Los Angeles library. This change comes after both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation recognizing the facts of the Armenian Genocide in 2019. Dr. Hayden informed the Members in a phone call.

    Democrats Continue To Block Additional COVID Relief
    Source: Senator David Perdue (R-GA)
    October 21, 2020
    “It’s absolutely shameful that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi continue to hold up real relief that could help the American people today,” Senator Perdue. “Once again, the Senate voted on a critical COVID-19 package focused on getting people back to work, getting kids safely back to school, and beating this virus with more resources for PPE, testing, and vaccines. Instead, Democrats are still trying to push their radical, socialist policies to be included, which have nothing to do with COVID-19. We have already secured $2.9 trillion in federal funding directed at helping American workers, businesses, families, hospitals, and communities. In Georgia, we specifically directed over $47 billion to help our state combat this crisis. It is time for the Democrats to stop holding Georgians and the American people hostage and work with us to deliver this much needed relief. As I have done from the start of this pandemic, I will continue fighting every single day to beat this virus and to secure additional assistance to help all of our communities.”

    Peters Bipartisan Bill to Predict & Mitigate Space Weather Threats Signed Into Law
    Source: Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)
    October 21, 2020
    A severe space weather event, such as a solar flare or coronal mass ejection, has the potential to seriously disrupt the electric power grid, communications networks including cellular phones and GPS, satellites and aircraft operations. That’s why Peters worked to advance the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow (PROSWIFT) Act.

    Monday, October 19, 2020

    Elections, Hunter Biden, Veterans, Suicide Hotline, Private Schools

    Today's News from "Other" Sources

    Two key Texas counties — Democratic stronghold Harris and traditionally red Denton — are setting early voting records
    Source: The Texas Tribune
    October 19, 2020
    As of Friday, 27% of registered voters in Denton County had cast their ballots in the 2020 election — surpassing the county’s 2016 turnout of 18% on the fourth day.

    Leftists blast Trump over viral video showing him give money at church: 'Cheap bastard'
    Source: The Blaze
    October 19, 2020
    President Donald Trump was excoriated on social media Sunday after a viral video showed him placing a wad of $20 dollar bills into the collection bucket at a Las Vegas church.

    Ratcliffe says Hunter Biden laptop, emails 'not part of some Russian disinformation campaign'
    Source: FOX News
    October 19, 2020
    Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Monday said that Hunter Biden’s laptop “is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” amid claims from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff suggesting otherwise.

    Today's News from "OUR" Sources

    President Trump Signs Sen. Moran’s Groundbreaking Veterans Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Bill into Law
    Source:Senator Jerry Moran- (R - KS)
    October 18, 2020
    “Many of our veterans are suffering from daunting, sometimes overwhelming mental health challenges, that have only been made worse by this pandemic, and lack access to modern, effective and compassionate mental health care and suicide prevention services,” said Chairman Moran. “Today, President Trump signed into law the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act that will reform mental health care at the VA by hiring and training more professionals in this field, developing innovative methods to reach veterans with care, and establishing a grant program to better collaborate with community organizations across the country already serving veterans. This is a significant day for veterans, and I am grateful to Ranking Member Jon Tester, President Trump and many of my colleagues for working tirelessly this Congress to get this landmark bill signed into law and improve suicide prevention research, services and programs for our nation’s veterans.”

    Source: U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA, 6th)
    October 17, 2020
    The bill will unite the nation’s suicide prevention and mental health hotlines under three digits: 9-8-8. Americans with questions or concerns about their mental health or the mental health of a loved one will be able to dial 9-8-8 and get help within the next two years.

    Private Schools Not to Receive Cares Act Funding
    Source: National School Boards Association
    October 8, 2020
    “NSBA commends the South Carolina Supreme Court for ruling in accordance with the amicus brief the association filed in this case. The South Carolina Supreme Court found, as we highlighted in our argument, that funneling public CARES Act aid to private schools is unlawful. Furthermore, we are extremely pleased that during oral argument Justice Kaye Hearn identified NSBA as having drawn the Court’s attention to recent federal court rulings rejecting the U.S. Department of Education’s misinterpretation of the CARES Act’s intent.

    Friday, October 9, 2020

    Childhood Trauma, Free Lunch, Congressional Pay Raises, Pelosi, F-35 Jets

    Reps. Maloney and Pressley to Introduce Bold Legislation to Address Growing Childhood Trauma Crisis
    Source: U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY, 12th)
    October 8, 2020
    “Childhood trauma and insecurity is a public health crisis in this country,” said Chairwoman Maloney. “Congress must pass the Children’s Protection Act and the STONG Support for Children Act to ensure that the federal government prioritizes the health and wellbeing of our children and is a partner in breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma fueled by race and class discrimination. Every child deserves to grow up feeling safe and supported with the tools they need to create their best future, and federal actions should never undermine this bedrock value. I’m proud to continue the work of the late Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, who held the first ever Congressional hearings on childhood trauma.”

    McAdams backs measure for greater accountability, restoring trust in Congress
    Source: U.S. Representative Ben McAdams (D-UT, 4th)
    October 8, 2020
    “This bill creates a number of reforms to improve trust in and accountability of Congress. It includes items I have been fighting for, such as stopping automatic pay raises for members of Congress and requiring ‘no budget, no pay’, meaning that Congress must do its job passing a budget or they don't get paid,” said Congressman McAdams.

    Source: U.S. Representative Roger Marshall (R-KS, 1st)
    October 9, 2020
    “The USDA has taken the lead on ensuring that our nation’s children have access to warm, nutritional meals, no matter their schooling situation or the family’s ability to pay,” said U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. “As a father, grandfather and physician, I am committed to ensuring that our children, especially those unable to return to the classroom, are provided access to school lunches and provided an opportunity for access to at least one hot meal each day. Since the start of this pandemic, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has ensured that the USDA and its meal programs were responding to the needs of the schools and communities that it serves, and I applaud this next step in maintaining nutritional support for our most vulnerable.”

    Pelosi's Stalling Will Hurt Americans – That's Wrong
    Source: U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA, 23rd)
    October 9, 2020
    “Remember, we’ve done four separate COVID relief bills – I have been an integral part of all of them. Every time we’ve done this there’s been one common denominator that’s slowed the process down – Speaker Pelosi.

    Menendez, Reed on National Security Implications of Trump Administration’s Rushed Sale of F-35 Jets to UAE
    Source: Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
    October 9, 2020
    “There are numerous questions as to how the national security interests of both the U.S. and Israel will be served, or undermined, by such a sale. We fear that the Trump Administration’s recklessly accelerated timeline will preclude sufficient and comprehensive consideration of these issues by the national security professionals in the Departments of State and Defense, as well as by the Congress.” wrote the Senators in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. “U.S. national security and the safety of American troops could be seriously compromised by this sale. The F-35 is one of the most advanced aircraft in the world, giving the United States and its allies and partners a tremendous military advantage. This therefore creates an immense counterintelligence threat against this aircraft. ”

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020

    Sen. Lee Responds to Netflix Defense of “Shameful” Movie Promotion

    Washington, D.C. - October 6, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement Monday after reading Netflix’s response to an earlier letter Sen. Lee sent Netflix about the movie Cuties.

    “Just over three weeks ago, I joined a chorus of concerned Americans in expressing our outrage and disgust at the film, Cuties, distributed by Netflix. I wrote to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to share these concerns and request that Netflix explain whether or not the potential exploitation of young girls depicted in the film violated federal law. I later discussed my concerns in more detail with Netflix employees by phone. I have to say that I am unsatisfied by Netflix’s response.

    “Asked whether the sexualization of young girls depicted in Cuties constituted criminal conduct, Netflix offered only conclusory statements in denial. I am not convinced.

    “But setting aside the legal question, there is a more pressing moral question. Netflix itself acknowledges that the conduct of the young girls in Cuties “is inappropriate, shameful, and a hallmark of a cultural failing.” I couldn’t agree more. What I cannot understand, however, is how Netflix can condemn the conduct depicted in Cuties, while celebrating the film and filmmakers who asked several underage girls to stand in front of a camera and engage in that same “inappropriate, shameful” conduct for all the world to see.

    “I reiterate my call for Netflix to cease distributing Cuties. Until it does so, Netflix lacks the moral standing to speak to any cultural issue.”

    You can read Sen. Lee’s letter to Netflix here.

    You can read Netflix’s response here.

    Monday, September 28, 2020

    Federal Judge Certifies Class, Orders Trump Administration to Stop Denying Pandemic Relief Funds to Incarcerated Persons

    Oakland, CA - September 28, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- On September 24, 2020, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an Order certifying a nationwide class of people incarcerated in state and federal prisons, and granting the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction requiring the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and the United States of America ("Defendants") to stop withholding CARES Act stimulus funds from plaintiffs or any class member on the sole basis of their incarcerated status.

    A Treasury Department Inspector General report confirms that, as of early May 2020, the IRS had determined that at least 80,000 incarcerated people were eligible for payments of over $100 million. The Judge's order will thus result in desperately needed economic assistance of over $100 million to be delivered to members of the Class.

    Congress passed the CARES Act to provide sorely needed economic assistance during the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Incarcerated persons, and their families on the outside, are among the most economically disadvantaged people in the country. Indeed, according to one study, people who are incarcerated had a median income of only $19,185 before their incarceration, compared to $41,250 for non-incarcerated people. Low-income families are disproportionately more likely to have a relative behind bars. The same is true for Black, Latino and Native families.

    The Treasury, however, has refused to issue stimulus payments authorized by Congress to eligible incarcerated persons, thereby further exacerbating the economic disadvantages they and their families suffer.

    The lawsuit alleges that over 1.4 million incarcerated people have been affected by Defendants' actions. Many rely on financial assistance from their friends or families on the outside, people who are already suffering in the current economic crisis.

    The plaintiffs are Colin Scholl and Lisa Strawn. The Lieff Cabraser legal team representing them and the proposed class are Kelly M. Dermody, Yaman Salahi, and Jalle H. Dafa, joined by Eva Jefferson Paterson, Mona Tawatao, Lisa Holder, and Christina Alvernaz of the Equal Justice Society. Kelly Dermody and Eva Paterson have been appointed Co-Lead Class Counsel.

    The defendants are the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the United States Commissioner of Internal Revenue Charles Rettig, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and the United States of America.

    Sunday, September 27, 2020


    Washington, D.C. - September 27, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- The House of Representatives passed H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act. This legislation increases research and development across all forms of energy generation, funds the science to support breakthrough technologies and modernizes the country’s energy infrastructure.

    “This legislation is about winning the race to the jobs and technologies of the future. Western Pennsylvania has done it before,” said U.S. Representative Connor Lamb (D-PA, 17th). “Our people drilled the first oil wells, built the first nuclear plant, and changed the world with the shale revolution. We can and must do it again. Government research has always been a key ingredient in winning the race and creating jobs, and this bill will help make sure that Western Pennsylvanians will provide energy and technology to the nation long into the future.”

    In addition to expanding research for Fossil, Wind, Solar, Nuclear energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, H.R. 4447 also increases research for industrial technologies that can increase efficiency and drop emissions; boosts funding for electric vehicle manufacturing in the U.S.; increases federal programs to make homes and buildings more energy efficient; facilitates commercializing the scientific breakthroughs developed at our national labs; and more than doubles the authorization for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (known as ARPA-E), which funds the most innovative and moonshot-style research projects.

    The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) located in Western Pennsylvania is the lead lab for Fossil research, and under the bill will research Carbon Capture Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) technologies, methane leaks, and rare earth elements, among other relevant areas.

    Click here for more information on the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act.

    California Republican Congressman Opposes Democrats Partisan Energy Takeover Bill

    The White House threatens to veto the Democrat's energy bill

    Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after voting against H.R. 4447, the Democrats’ Partisan Energy Takeover Bill. H.R. 4447 promotes far left energy policies that will cost American taxpayers more than $135 billion dollars.

    LaMalfa said: “This legislation is another attempt by Democrats to force expensive, unreliable, and unrealistic ‘Green New Deal’ priorities on the American people. This bill also completely disregards the needs of rural America, prioritizing billions in funding to large cities. California is again facing expected power shut-offs because of the policies found in this legislation. Forcing the rest of the country to adopt the failure of California’s energy policy is wrong. Additionally, by effectively forcing a phase-out of hydropower, thousands of Northern Californians are put at risk to lose their clean, reliable energy source. This legislation is the House Majority’s absurd attempt at pandering to urban environmentalists, and does not contain real solutions for rural Americans, like encouraging the use of hydropower, investing in biomass power development that will help reduce wildfire risks, and increasing water storage.”

    Specifically, H.R. 4447 includes the following provisions:

  • $36 billion for electric vehicle (EV) related programs, including federal-fleet mandates requiring at least half of all light-duty vehicles to be zero emission or hybrid by 2025
  • $650 million for areas to convert to electric school busses and EV infrastructure
  • $17.5 billion for city-oriented conservation block programs
  • $20 billion to establish a federal “green bank” to subsidize green energy projects
  • Effectively bans new pipeline projects
  • Discourages new investment in hydropower
  • Saturday, September 26, 2020

    Creating National Standards for Aquaculture

    Washington, D.C. - September 26, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- On September 24, 2020, Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act (S. 4723) in the U.S. Senate. The bipartisan AQUAA Act, which has companion legislation in the U.S. House, would support development of an offshore aquaculture industry in the U.S. to increase the production of sustainable seafood and establish new economic opportunities in federal waters.

    "The expansion of domestic offshore aquaculture is a win-win for American communities nationwide," said Bill DiMento, president of Stronger America Through Seafood (SATS) and vice president of Corporate Sustainability and Government Affairs at High Liner Foods. "Growth of the American aquaculture industry would create new jobs, provide new business opportunities and grow our economy as our country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the opportunities that aquaculture can provide American communities, there is growing bipartisan support and momentum for federal action on aquaculture."

    The AQUAA Act would establish National Standards for offshore aquaculture and clarify a regulatory system for the development of aquaculture in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The legislation would also establish a research and technology grant program to fund innovative research and extension services focused on improving and advancing sustainable domestic aquaculture.

    The expansion of aquaculture, one of the most resource efficient methods of producing animal protein, would complement the wild fish sector to meet growing demand for American seafood while protecting our fisheries and natural resources. In addition to boosting growth for the seafood industry, American aquaculture would provide a new market for U.S. farmers, specifically for crops such soybeans, corn and peas, which can be used to create fish feed and ease pressure on ocean resources.

    "With our extended coastline, expansive ocean resources, skilled labor force, superior technology, and ample feed sources, the U.S. has the potential to be a global leader for aquaculture production. However, our potential will remain untapped unless and until federal action is taken to clarify the permitting process. SATS applauds Senators Wicker, Schatz and Rubio for working across party lines to bring awareness and encourage debate in Congress on the topic of expanding domestic aquaculture," DiMento concluded.

    Tony Dal Ponte, vice president of SATS and general counsel at Pacific Seafood, said, "Expanding domestic aquaculture can help give a much needed boost to the American economy. A clear, predictable regulatory framework will benefit not just the seafood industry, but also the coastal communities who rely on it to support their local economies and provide stable, year-round employment opportunities."

    "Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector, but the U.S. lacks a comprehensive, nationwide system for permitting in federal waters," said Senator Wicker. "This deficiency prevents the development of aquaculture farms, leading to more seafood imports. Our legislation would establish national standards for offshore aquaculture, enabling U.S. producers to create jobs and meet the growing demand for fresh, local seafood."

    "Hawaii leads the nation in modern and traditional aquaculture practices," said Senator Schatz. "With this bipartisan bill, we can expand aquaculture opportunities, opening suitable federal waters for responsible growers. It will create new jobs, spur economic growth in our coastal communities, and ensure our oceans are managed sustainably now and in the future."

    "Marine aquaculture presents an enormous opportunity for Florida's economy and for the food security of our nation," said Senator Rubio. "I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation, alongside Senators Wicker and Schatz, that would streamline the rules for this important industry and responsibly promote its success."

    The companion bill for The AQUAA Act in the U.S. House, H.R. 6191, was introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D, MN-7) and Congressman Steven Palazzo (R, MS-4) in March 2020. The AQUAA Act complements the May 2020 Presidential Executive Order on American Seafood Competitiveness, which outlines a process for developing Aquaculture Opportunity Areas in federal waters, a key to supporting a domestic offshore aquaculture industry.

    Stronger America Through Seafood (SATS) advocates for policies and regulations that help secure a stronger America through increased U.S. production of healthful, sustainable, and affordable seafood.

    Friday, September 25, 2020

    Family Research Council Condemns Attacks on Amy Barrett's Faith

    Washington, D.C. - September 25, 2020 -- (The Ponder News) -- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins called out the ongoing anti-Christian smear campaign against prospective Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, currently under consideration for Justice Ginsburg's vacant seat. Among others, members of the Left and the media have attacked Judge Barrett in the last few days for her religious beliefs. Barrett has made clear in multiple statements that her Catholic faith does not dictate her duties as a judge, but this still has not stopped those on the Left from imposing what amounts to a religious test.

    Family Research Council Tony Perkins responded to the attacks on Judge Barrett:

    "While the confirmation processes for Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh were not tame by any means, what we will most likely see in the coming weeks, given the stakes of this nomination, will make those earlier confirmation battles look like a dispute in small claims court. The startling level of anti-Christian bias already on display against Barrett reveals how far outside of the mainstream the Left has become and how determined they are to oppose whoever President Trump nominates to fill this vacancy.

    "Whoever the Supreme Court nominee is, she must be prepared to defend her religious beliefs under intense scrutiny. But she should also know that she will not stand alone. In fact, 'Remember the dogma' like 'Remember the Alamo' may become an enduring battle cry for religious liberty," Perkins concluded.

    Travis Weber, Vice President for Policy & Government Affairs at Family Research Council, added:

    "No person should be forced to undergo the smears that Amy Coney Barrett has undergone just because they want to remain faithful to their beliefs and serve the public in our nation's judiciary. What she went through during her confirmation for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and what she is already facing again, is a total disgrace. I thought we were past unconstitutional religious tests a long time ago. Based on what Judge Barrett has undergone, I was mistaken."

    Read also:

    ACB & Anti-Christian Bigotry

    The Amy Coney Barrett Handmaid’s Tale smear that just won’t die