Friday, May 31, 2019

Will Mexico Pay for The Wall?

Washington, D.C. - May 30, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- President Trump tweeted,

"On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied,.."
This will undoubtedly cause a financial hardship on Mexico, in which paying to build the wall would seem like a less costly solution.

The Ponder holds that stopping illegals from crossing the border is just as much the responsibility of Mexico as it is ours. Mexico has not been doing their part.


THAT WAS QUICK: Mexico’s President Begs Trump For Friday Meeting on Just Announced Tariffs

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Too Much Paper Work for Border Patrol Agents

Washington, D.C. - May 30, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-WI, 6th) commented on Twitter, "I just met with border patrol agents at the Falfurrias checkpoint in Texas. 50% of their agents are tied up doing paperwork instead of protecting our border. This needs to change."

The Ponder agrees.

Shonda Ponder responded with, "Well, when you got that many people coming across, you got paperwork. Secure our border so they can't come across with a wall, and the paperwork will lessen."

Earlier today, President Trump commented on USA.Life, "Yesterday, Border Patrol agents apprehended the largest group of illegal aliens ever: 1,036 people who illegally crossed the border in El Paso around 4am. Democrats need to stand by our incredible Border Patrol and finally fix the loopholes at our Border!"

Surely someone can put two and two together.


High school student claims his freedom of speech was violated after MAGA hat censored in yearbook

Buy it: Besti Make America Great Again Donald Trump Slogan with USA Flag Cap Adjustable Baseball Hat Red
Source: Yahoo Lifestyle
May 24, 2019
School officials in Littlestown, Penn. are investigating after two "Make America Great Again" hats were censored in a high school yearbook. Littlestown High School administration said in a statement that the censorship of the pro-Trump apparel was a "mistake" that was not noticed before printing.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Introducing: American Family Association

The mission of the American Family Association is to inform, equip, and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture, and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission.

On their latest post they have posted:

ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Today's News from the American Family Association:

Target Throws Money at Gay Lifestyle
Source: American Family Association
May 28, 2019
Target's website has several pages dedicated to products that promote the LGBT lifestyle, many of which are specifically designed for children. For example, Target offers shirts that declare, "Love my dads," and another says, "Love my moms." Others shirts are emblazoned with the rainbow flag bearing the word "pride" superimposed.


Learn more by clicking HERE

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Amid censorship fears, Trump campaign 'checking out' alternative social network

Source: Politico
May 28, 2019
They've been banned from Facebook, purged from Twitter and blocked from Instagram. Some of them have been barred from setting foot on the continent of Australia. But you can still find them all on the fledgling social media network Parler.

The Twitter-like platform was initially hatched last year as a tool for digital news outlets to claw revenue back from big social networks like Facebook. But as those platforms purge some of the internet’s most inflammatory supporters of President Donald Trump over posts deemed dangerous or offensive, Parler has carved out a niche among these banned right-wing influencers — like Gavin McInnes, Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopoulos.


Check out Parler

Friday, May 24, 2019

Introducing The American Conservative Union

ACU says, "We believe that the Constitution of the United States is the best political charter yet created by men for governing themselves. It is our belief that the Constitution is designed to guarantee the free exercise of the inherent rights of the individual through strictly limiting the power of government."

They believe also that Conservative is the belief of the sovereignty of the individual.

You can visit their website by clicking HERE. Click the "About Us" link on the Menu button to learn more about them.

AT The Ponder, we believe, also, in the sovereignty of the individual. God made us all Priests and Kings over our own lives. The Constitution as much as reaffirms that by saying that all men are created equal with certain inalienable rights -- that is, rights that are given us by God through birth.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Introducing American Thinker

American Thinker is a daily internet publication devoted to the thoughtful exploration of issues of importance to Americans. Contributors are accomplished in fields beyond journalism and animated to write for the general public out of concern for the complex and morally significant questions on the national agenda.

Visit American Thinker by clicking HERE

Leaked internal document reveals Facebook wanted special scrutiny of Candace Owens's background, ideology, looking for reasons to ban her
Source: American Thinker
May 22, 2019
Facebook is being exposed as a naked propaganda organ that ought to be treated by law as a "publisher" legally responsible for the content it hosts, and not as a "forum" — the status it currently enjoys, exempting it from libel laws and other downsides to the content it spreads out to the world


ACLU Defends Free Speech

Source: American Civil Liberties Union
May 21, 2019
The ACLU of Iowa filed a lawsuit in federal court defending the right of a Montgomery County man to post criticism of a nearby county sheriff's office on his Facebook page.


Source: American Civil Liberties Union
May 22, 2019
Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional.


Monday, May 20, 2019

Censorship is the Issue

by: Shonda Ponder
CNN has recently held an interview with Jane Coaston, and Irin Carmon about Censorship. They hold that there is no proof of Censorship and that Facebook and Twitter have the right to do with their platform what they like because it is about THEIR freedom and not the user's freedom, and if we don't like Facebook and Twitter, we should move elsewhere.

While they have a point about choosing another platform, it looks as if CNN, a leftist news outlet, is downplaying the importance of allowing free speech and room for debate on sensitive topics.

The Ponder is about proving that Censorship exists and with who and how, and we are posting the reasons cited for the censorship.

Click Here to see CNN take Facebook and Twitter's side

Then, read the side of William Lohier at the New York Law Journal.

William Lohier, a student at Stuyvesant High School, is the winner of the annual essay contest sponsored by the Association of New York State Supreme Court Justices and the New York Law Journal. He had a lot to say on the matter of Censorship.

Click Here to read the article, How To Protect Free Speech in a Social Media Age

See also:

As Huawei Loses Google, the U.S.-China Tech Cold War Gets Its Iron Curtain
Source: The New York Times
May 20, 2019
Google said on Monday that it would limit the software services it provides to Huawei, the telecommunications giant, after a White House order last week restricted the Chinese company’s access to American technology. Google’s software powers Huawei’s smartphones, and its apps come preloaded on the devices Huawei sells around the world. Depending on how the White House’s order is carried out, that could come to a stop.


Don’t let Zuckerberg kill free speech
Source: The Frederick News-Post
May 20, 2019
Social media titans such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have more influence over our freedom than Supreme Court justices or U.S. presidents. But these internet executives are selling out core American principles for the almighty dollar. They’ll do whatever a host country demands. In China, Russia and even capitalist Singapore, internet freedom is already dead, without a murmur of protest by Zuckerberg and others.


I Am Turtleboy: A teacher turned blogger battles big tech censorship, threats, and political correctness to protect free speech and democracy

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Introducing a NEW Social Media Platform: USA.LIFE

by: USA.Life

Washington, D.C. - May 16, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- The new USA.Life "Christian Internet" helps Christians and churches "share the Gospel without censorship." USA.Life social network "replaces Facebook" and is "one of the greatest works of God, because it opens doors for teaching the Word of God," said Steven Andrew. He is the Christian Silicon Valley technology leader and pastor in charge of the effort.

Why is a Christian Internet needed? "Christians and conservatives are tired of falsely being called 'haters' by Facebook and Twitter for following the teachings of Jesus Christ," Andrew said.

Andrew built USA.Life to end the persecution of Christians and to bring revival to the nation. It is not a Christian only site, but is for all who love America.

Andrew believes Facebook's censorship of Christians could be billions of messages. "On my account alone, Facebook data reveals they block 5 million people per month from my reach. That is over 120 million messages censored the last two and half years." If you multiply this by how many other Christians are being censored, the number is billions of blocked Christian messages.

"Christians, churches and America need the hope of Jesus Christ - not the Gospel censored," he said.

"USA.Life allows users to freely quote the Bible without fear, like the founding fathers established. You can share the Bible teaches Jesus Christ is the only way to God not Buddha or Mohamed, and that homosexuality is sinful," Andrew said. "Following God is not hate speech, but is God's love and truth."

"If you want to go from censorship to true American freedom, then USA.Life is for you," he said.

"Christians and ministries are likely to see an increase in traffic," Andrew said. One Like at USA.Life may equal one hundred Like's at Facebook and Twitter, because USA.Life doesn't shadowban Christians.

To freely share the Gospel, it is important for "individuals and churches to sign up today" to "build the community to millions of people." Free accounts are available at www.USA.Life.

About USA.Life
"USA.Life social network is the answer to Facebook and Twitter censoring Christians, conservatives and liberty," says CEO Steven Andrew. With USA.Life users share life, liberty and happiness, and connect with those important to them. This is where friends, families, churches and businesses share photos, videos, news and messages, and join public and private groups. USA.Life is for all who love America. Get your free account at www.USA.Life.

We needed a choice. Now we have one. USA.Life is America’s new social network – the answer to Facebook and Twitter censoring Christians, conservatives, patriotic speech, family values and liberty. This is where you freely share and find life, liberty and happiness. 


Breitbart: Twitter Is Banning Conservatives for Posting Facts

Although Congress has focused on Facebook’s alleged censorship in recent weeks, Twitter continues to engage in mass bans of conservatives with little outside scrutiny. Increasingly, these bans come after users post “hate facts” — statements that are factually true, but politically inconvenient for progressives.


Introducing Freedom Fighter Lauren Southern

Lauren Southern is a Trump Supporter and a freelance journalist who covers news that no one else wants to cover. When she stood up for others who were censored on Facebook, well, Facebook banned her, too.

Read about it.

Visit her website and support her work.

Introducing Freedom Fighter Brian Kolfage

Brian Kolfage's "Right Wing News" page was banned from Facebook in 2018 for a short time, even though he had invested over $300,000 in advertising on Facebook. Since then, he has started the "We the People will Build The Wall" Campaign that has attracted over  $22 Million. He has also started a website to Fight for Free Speech

You can currently visit him on FB by clicking HERE

Introducing Diane Sori

I write, I post, I comment, I speak at meetings, and I co-host with Craig Andresen RIGHT SIDE PATRIOTS on CPR Worldwide Media. I also campaign and volunteer for candidates I believe in, and I attend other words I help spread the word...the truth...any and every way I can. And even though I am once again out of Facebook jail, I will continue to blog as I will NOT allow Facebook to ever silence me again. I hope all my true Facebook friends, subscribers, and members of my Patriots United Against Obama Propaganda group and my Stand United with Our Marine Heroes Against 'Urinegate' page, as well as my personal TL page, will check in from time to time to see what I have to say. While my postings might be somewhat controversial to some or my opinions might NOT always agree with yours, rest assured that what I say will always come from my heart, and will always put America and 'We the People' first and foremost.

Visit me by clicking HERE

Introducing American Action Network to Ponder

The American Action Network is a 501(c)(4) ‘action tank’ that will create, encourage and promote center-right policies based on the principles of freedom, limited government, American exceptionalism, and strong national security.  The American Action Network’s primary goal is to put our center-right ideas into action by engaging the hearts and minds of the American people and spurring them into active participation in our democracy.

Visit us by clicking HERE

Introducing Two Conservative Organizations to Ponder

Alliance Defending Freedom
Conservative Organizations
We've Defended Your Freedom Since 1994. The morning Alliance Defending Freedom was launched, Dr. Bill Bright told a story about a little boy who was lost in a wheat field. The townspeople frantically searched for the boy, but they couldn’t find him. Finally, one of the searchers suggested that they all hold hands and walk together across the field. They found the boy, but sadly, not in time to save his life. One of the searchers lamented, "If we had only linked arms sooner..." Dr. Bright compared the town’s story to the Christian community. The gathered Christian leaders—more than 30 founders of ADF—recognized that Christians, like the town, needed to unite in order to defend religious freedom before it was too late. And so, Alliance Defending Freedom was launched on January 31, 1994 to ensure that religious freedom did not share the same fate as the boy in the field.

Check it out...

Alliance for American Manufacturing
Conservative Organizations
Our mission is to strengthen American manufacturing and create new private-sector jobs through smart public policies. We believe that an innovative and growing manufacturing base is vital to America’s economic and national security, as well as providing good jobs for future generations. AAM achieves its mission through research, public education, advocacy, strategic communications, and coalition building around the issues that matter most to America’s manufacturers and workers.

Check it out...

Introducing Two Freedom Fighters: Candace Owens and Michelle Malkin

Candace Owens
Freedom Fighter
"Choosing to think has been one of the most transformative secrets of my life. It’s brought me closer to others and has opened the world up to me in a way that I never knew was possible. I believe if we can turn the dial on the way people view themselves, we can change the world instantly – for the better."

Check her out...

Michelle Malkin
Freedom Fighter
Blaze TV had this to say about Michelle:
"Social justice warriors are the biggest party-poopers on the planet, and Michelle is about to cast a level 20 banishment spell on their whining."

Check her out...

Fight Censorship!

To Our Readers:

We have, as of late, found our Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought, and many other freedoms (pick one) under attack like no other time in our nation's history since the Revolution. 

People are angry, but feel helpless as giant corporations who oppose these freedoms have determined to change the face of America into a social society where everyone is who THEY want them to be. 

Choice has been limited by growing monopolies. 

Facebook is in the forefront of censoring public thought. 

Our Constitution is in a crisis where online communication is concerned. 

Therefore, We, at The Ponder, are going to start promoting those who have been censored simply for standing up for Freedom, as well as those who are in line to be so. 

​It's time we all did. 

These people, groups and organizations are living martyrs for freedom. You don't have to agree with everything they say or do, but you HAVE to respect them enough to fight for their freedom to be who they are -- because they are ALREADY fighting for yours.

AS we do so, we may also find ourselves censored. So, we are asking YOU to support this effort by visiting an purchasing from the advertisers. If we can't afford a new and better platform should we find ourselves censored, then THEY would have won.

Let's keep America great! FIGHT TYRANNICAL CENSORSHIP!

So, I am no longer going to be doing things as before. Instead, I'm going to do what I do best: PROMOTE and bring attention to those who are giving you truth and being attacked for it!

You need truth to fight in this current war against freedom in America. There are too many sources for me to post all of the information available. So, I'm sending you to the sources!


Shonda M. Ponder, Editor

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Protecting American Votes and Elections Act of 2019


Washington, D.C. - May 16, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., joined Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and 11 other Senate co-sponsors today to introduce an expanded version of Sen. Wyden's bill to protect American elections from foreign interference by mandating hand-marked paper ballots and setting new cybersecurity standards for all federal elections. The bill provides the strongest protection for American elections of any proposal currently before Congress.

The Protecting American Votes and Elections Act of 2019 is co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., is introducing the companion bill in the House of Representatives.

The PAVE Act requires paper ballots and statistically rigorous “risk-limiting” audits for all federal elections – two measuresrecommended by experts in a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2018? report on election security. Read a summary of the bill here.

“The Russian government interfered in American elections in 2016 and if we don't stop them, they and other governments are going to do it again. The administration refuses to do what it takes to protect our democracy, so Congress has to step up. Our bill will give voters the confidence they need that our elections are secure,” Wyden said. “The PAVE Act scraps insecure voting machines that are juicy targets for hackers and replaces them with reliable, secure hand-marked paper ballots. It gives states the funding they need to defend their election systems and puts the Department of Homeland Security in charge of setting strong security standards for every federal election.”

“If the 2016 and 2018 elections taught us anything, it is that our election security systems are woefully inadequate,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “The Trump administration’s response has been lackluster, foreign actors continue to attempt to infiltrate our elections, and now there are serious concerns about Trump’s willingness to accept the results of the 2020 election. Mandatory paper ballots and risk-limiting audits are imperative to maintain the American public’s confidence in our elections.”

“The PAVE Act is a robust and common sense plan to finally safeguard our elections. States have been left in the lurch, exposed to malicious meddling by foreign adversaries and struggling to keep up,” Senator Blumenthal said. “Congress should set meaningful cybersecurity standards and provide resources to help states modernize and secure their voting machines. On election day, Americans must be able to trust that their choice is fairly and accurately counted.”

“The Mueller report made it clear that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and yet we have seen no plan from the Trump administration on how to combat foreign governments from attacking future elections,” said Senator Markey. “The PAVE Act would codify commonsense practices and help ensure that our country is able to withstand any threats to our democracy. The integrity of American elections must be unquestioned and unimpeachable. Attacks on our elections are not just attacks on a party, but on the entire country.”

“We know our foreign adversaries are trying to hack into our voting systems, so it is downright irresponsible not to use existing, better, more secure alternatives,” said Senator Merkley. “Oregon has been a trail blazer in securing elections by issuing every voter a paper ballot. Congress should follow suit and implement this system nationwide to protect every American’s vote and the integrity of our democracy.”

“Americans deserve safe and secure elections that aren’t threatened by foreign adversaries. In Illinois, a state whose election database Special Counsel Mueller confirmed the Russians broke into, this investment is critical to protect our voting system,”Senator Duckworth said. “Senator Wyden’s PAVE Act, which requires paper ballots and post-election audits, is a common-sense approach to upholding the integrity of each American’s vote and strengthening our election security. In the aftermath of the special counsel’s investigation into the 2016 election, this legislation is more important than ever.”

“Elections are at the heart of our democracy. We must strengthen our election systems to limit their vulnerability to hackers and foreign interference,” said Senator Warren. “This bill takes important steps to maintain the integrity of our democracy by updating aging election infrastructure and mandating the use of paper ballots and post-election audits to protect against cyberattacks.”

“Voting is one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and we must never allow our elections to be vulnerable to interference again,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The PAVE Act would help ensure the validity of election results by requiring a paper receipt for every vote, providing states with the resources they desperately need to upgrade their voting machines, and creating new cybersecurity standards at the voting booth. Congress has a responsibility to secure the integrity of our elections, and I am proud to join with Senator Wyden to introduce this bill that strengthens our country’s election infrastructure.”

“American intelligence officials have made it clear that we face an ongoing threat to our elections from foreign adversaries and hackers. We must take action to protect the integrity of the vote,” said Senator Baldwin. “This legislation to require paper ballots and secure our federal elections is a commonsense solution that will strengthen election security and help protect our democracy from foreign interference.”

“We need to be honest about the fact that a foreign government interfered in the 2016 election—and that if we continue to do nothing to improve our election infrastructure, we’re leaving our country vulnerable to attack once again,” said Senator Harris. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation because paper ballots are the single best way to secure our elections. Foreign governments can’t hack a piece of paper.”

Key Provisions

The new PAVE Act bans internet, WiFi and cellular connections for voting machines, and gives the Department of Homeland Security the authority to set, for the first time, minimum cybersecurity standards for voting machines, voter registration databases, electronic poll books used to 'check in' voters at polling places and election night reporting websites.

The bill also provides state and local governments with $500 million dollars to buy new, secure ballot scanning machines, and $250 million to buy new ballot marking devices to be used by voters with disabilities. It also permits the federal government to reimburse states the cost of conducting post-elections audits, as well as the cost of designing and printing ballots.

These measures, collectively, are necessary to fix the vulnerabilities in our election infrastructure highlighted by Russia in 2016, to secure our elections from foreign hackers and give voters confidence in election results.

Bipartisan Kennedy-Carper Bill To Stop Paying Dead People Advances Out of Committee

by: Senator John Kennedy (R-LA)

Washington, D.C. - May 16, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) advanced the bipartisan Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act. The bill, introduced by Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) would help save millions of taxpayer dollars by curbing erroneous payments to deceased individuals.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains the most complete federal database of individuals who are reported to have died. However, only a small number of federal agencies have access to this official list, and most federal agencies rely on a slimmed down, incomplete and less timely version of the death information. In addition, most Inspectors General lack access to the complete death information. As a result, many federal agencies make erroneous payments to people who are actually deceased.

In the Senate, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Gary Peters (D-MI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Bipartisan companion legislation was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.).

“Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be wasted on paying government benefits to dead people. We know the dead people aren’t cashing those checks. Their relatives are,” said Sen. Kennedy. “It’s just throwing hard-earned taxpayer money into the pockets of con artists. We can easily do something about that.”

“As government officials, one of our most important responsibilities is to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Senator Carper. “That’s why, for years, I have worked across the aisle to assess federal government spending and eliminate billions of taxpayer dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. But there is still work to be done. With a little hard work and bipartisanship, we can take the common sense steps necessary to reduce improper payments and put these funds to better use for the American people.”

Key provisions in the bill include:

Allowing Federal Agencies Access to the Complete Death Database. Under current law, only federal agencies that directly manage programs making beneficiary payments have access to complete death data. The act allows all appropriate federal agencies to have access to the complete death data for program integrity purposes, as well as other needs such as public safety and health.

Requiring Use of Death Data to Curb Improper Payments. The act would require that federal agencies make appropriate use of the death data in order to curb improper payments.

Improving the Death Data. The legislation would establish procedures to ensure more accurate death data. For example, the bill requires the SSA to screen for “extremely elderly” individuals. This is in response to a 2015 Inspector General Report that identified 6.5 million individuals currently listed as being older than 112 years of age as still alive.

Organizations that supported the bill in 2018 included American Commitment, Americans for Tax Reform, Coalition to Reduce Spending, FreedomWorks, National Taxpayers Union, Project on Government Oversight, 60 Plus Association, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

SNAP, Health Insurance, Abortion, Uranium, Haunted Dolls, Police

Today's Interesting News

May 10, 2019
House Bill 3343 would establish the Restaurant Meals Program as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services. The program would allow those enrolled in SNAP to use their benefits on meals at fast-food restaurants.


Newsom aims to restore health insurance mandate
Source: ABC 10 News San Diego
May 15, 2019
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has launched a statewide tour to promote his health care proposals, which include requiring everyone to purchase health insurance and offering subsidies to families of four with incomes as high as $150,000 a year.


Alabama Senate approves near-total abortion ban
Source: KSLA News 12
May 15, 2019
The bill makes performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony unless the mother’s health is in danger.


Ohio school closes after enriched uranium detected, officials say
Source: FOX News
May 15, 2019
An Ohio school district has sent hundreds of students home early for the summer after the presence of a radioactive material used in the creation of nuclear weapons was detected inside its middle school.


Thousands Of “Haunted Dolls” That Are Supposedly Inhabited By Real Spirits Are Being Sold On Etsy And Ebay
Source: End Times Headlines
May 15, 2019
Once upon a time, it would have been unthinkable to try to sell “haunted dolls” that are supposedly inhabited by real spirits in America. But in 2019, apparently, anything goes.


Police Now Going Undercover as Construction Workers
Source: America Uncensored
May 15, 2019
The Free Thought Project has reported on many stories over the years about police schemes designed to separate the citizens from their money but carried out under the ostensible notion of “keeping you safe.” One of these cases has surfaced out of Illinois recently showing just how far police will go to ticket people for alleged traffic offenses.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Bernie, Same-Sex Marriage, Russia Probe, Walk Away, Ellen, Organ Donation

Today's News

Seriously? A "sex strike"?

Yay. I'd rather liberals go on sex strikes than kill babies. If they don't get pregnant, abortion clinics will not be needed.

Last I heard, unwanted pregnancies come from having sex. -- Shonda Ponder

Uh Oh: Young People Sour on Bernie, Support for Senator Drastically Plummets
Source: Western Journal
May 14, 2019
Three years ago, cheering young people across the country “felt the Bern,” but these days, it seems like they’re feeling more of a dull ache.


Barr appoints prosecutor to examine Russia probe origins
Source: Politico
May 14, 2019
Attorney General William Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and determine if intelligence collection involving the Trump campaign was “lawful and appropriate,” a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.


The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump

‘Arthur’: PBS Kids Series’ Season Begins With Same-Sex Wedding Of Teacher Mr. Ratburn
Source: Politico
May 13, 2019
It was a big day for the kids in Mr. Ratburn’s grade-school class — and, by extension, the children (and parents) who watch the long-running PBS Kids series Arthur. In today’s Season 22 premiere of the animated show, Arthur and his friends learn that their teacher Mr. Ratburn was going to be married.



‘Walk away’ founder surprises Hollywood cameras with anti-Democrat message on red carpet at Daytime Emmys
Source: Biz Pac Review
May 8, 2019
Brandon Straka boldly stepped up to a surprised pair of Hollywood reporters during a red carpet moment at the Daytime Emmys in Pasadena, California last weekend, taking over a minute of airtime to promote the movement which encourages people to “walk away” from the Democratic Party.


Get your Walkaway Movement Political Unsilent Minority T-shirt by clicking HERE

Ellen DeGeneres: Trump Not Welcome On My Show
Source: Breitbart
May 2, 2019
In an interview with Today host Matt Lauer Thursday, DeGeneres was asked if she would ever invite the president on her show for an interview, as she did with former president Barack Obama and former 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.


Death by organ donation: Euthanizing patients for their organs gains frightening traction
Source: Breitbart
May 2, 2019
In an interview with Today host Matt Lauer Thursday, DeGeneres was asked if she would ever invite the president on her show for an interview, as she did with former president Barack Obama and former 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.


Measles, God, Tariffs, Censorship, Scams

US measles cases still climbing, topping 800 for year
Source: KSLA
May 14, 2019
U.S. health officials say this year’s count of measles cases has surpassed 800, a growing tally that is already the nation’s highest in 25 years.


‘So Help Me God’ No More: Democrats Give House Traditions a Makeover
Source: New York Times
May 11, 2019
“I think God belongs in religious institutions: in temple, in church, in cathedral, in mosque — but not in Congress,” said Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. What Republicans are doing, he continued, “is using God.”


God, Government and Globalization

Coast seafood supplier weighs in on Chinese seafood tariffs
Source: KXOL
May 10, 2019
President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that the United States would raise tariffs on seafood coming in from China from 10% to 25%. Some of the seafood includes tilapia, tuna, crab and shrimp.


HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship (Inalienable Rights)

Facebook Bans Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Other Far-Right Figures
Source: Bloomberg
May 2, 2019
Facebook Inc. said it’s banning a number of controversial far-right figures, including Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer, for violating the social-media company’s policies on hate speech and promoting violence.


Nebraska passes bill to outlaw scam calls from fake numbers
Source: NBC
May 2, 2019
Scam artists who use fake phone numbers to trick people into answering their calls would be violating the law in Nebraska under a bill passed in the Legislature.


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Fighting Big Pharma

by: Shonda M. Ponder

Washington, D.C. - May 7, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- We can all agree that the cost of prescription medication is outrageous. When you can get admitted into the hospital and then find that the hospital charges you $100 for one Tylenol pill that you can buy at the store for $3.00 a bottle, there is a big problem. Something has to give somewhere.

So, we have prescription price gouging, prescription costs and prescription abuses as issues today.

I'm sure a lot of you have received a card in the mail for you to use when you go to Walmart to get your prescription filled. I'm not sure how that works, but the way I understand it is it's supposed to give you a discount of some sort. My question is, if Walmart can afford to give a card to all it's customers for a discount, then why can't Walmart just give the cheaper price, period? It doesn't make sense.

The only reason Walmart (or pick any store) is able to do things this way is because no one really pays attention, and everyone needs their prescriptions filled.

On May 1, 2019, Angie Craig's (D-MN, 2nd) bill, the CREATES Act, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee. This bill would prohibit brand-name pharmaceutical companies’ current practice of blocking generic and biosimilar manufacturers from making more affordable, safe generic and biosimilar alternatives. The bill has strong bipartisan support and is backed by the AARP and Association for Accessible Medicines.

Capitalism and competition is what has made America great today. To have big pharmaceutical companies block the competition is to suppress freedom for innovation. If you don't like the competition, the proper move is to change your goal. The goal should not be to extort hard earned money from the people who support you unnecessarily. So, The Ponder supports Craig's effort.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on drug pricing, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) asked, "What if we gave the FTC the authority to look at that sort of patent thickets and decide whether there was a noncompetitive effect and provide an equitable remedy?”

“I think that would make perfect sense and that would deal with the problem here… This is an abuse of the system, and giving the FTC power to deal with it will be a great development," answered Michael Carrier, Professor Of Law at Rutgers Law School.

Giving the FTC more power, in The Ponder's view, however, only works depending on the administration. There needs to be a more stable, long-term solution.

While conservatives also are supporting a change in the high cost of prescription medication, liberal think tanks are taking action. An unprecedented and first-of-its-kind congressional score card will be the center of a new accountability push by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Social Security Works, and former Cigna Executive Wendell Potter’s Business Initiative for Health Policy — putting Big Pharma in the center of the 2020 debate. Swing state polling in key presidential states also shows voters support progressive drug-pricing policies and taking on Big Pharma. The Ponder can't wait to see which conservatives also take up the cause and how.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Matter of Conscience

by: Shonda M. Ponder

New Boston, TX - May 5, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- On Thursday, May 2nd, President Trump announced a finalization of a rule on conscience protection in a statement during the National Day of Prayer. In his remarks, the president stated, “Just today, we finalized new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students, and faith-based charities. Together, we are building a culture that cherishes the dignity and worth of human life. Every child – born and unborn – is a sacred gift from God.”

The rule ensures that The Department of Health and Human Services implements the full set of tools appropriate for enforcing conscience protections passed by Congress. These federal laws protect providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage for, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide.

The Conscience Protection Act has been introduced, on April 1, 2019, with 80 additional Members of Congress co-sponsoring the bill. The Conscience Protection Act would take the next step in protecting the rights of conscience for medical providers by guaranteeing a private right of action for individuals whose conscience rights have been violated, and supporting Americans in having freedom of religion and conscience in healthcare. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced one in the Senate as well.

On May 2, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the issuance of the final conscience rule that protects individuals and health care entities from discrimination on the basis of their exercise of conscience in HHS-funded programs. Just as OCR enforces other civil rights, the rule implements full and robust enforcement of approximately 25 provisions passed by Congress protecting longstanding conscience rights in healthcare.

The final rule fulfills President Trump’s promise to promote and protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious liberty, a promise he made when he signed an executive order in May 2017 protecting religious liberty. In October 2017, the Department of Justice issued guidance encouraging other Departments, including HHS, to implement and enforce all relevant religious freedom laws.

As a result, in January 2018, following the launch of its new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, HHS announced the proposed conscience rule. OCR received over 242,000 public comments, and analyzed and carefully considered all comments submitted from the public on the proposed conscience regulation before finalizing it.

This final rule replaces a 2011 rule that has proven inadequate, and ensures that HHS implements the full set of tools appropriate for enforcing the conscience protections passed by Congress. These federal laws protect providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide. It also includes conscience protections with respect to advance directives.

The final rule clarifies what covered entities need to do to comply with applicable conscience provisions and requires applicants for HHS federal financial assistance to provide assurances and certifications of compliance. The rule also specifies compliance obligations for covered entities, including cooperation with OCR, maintenance of records, reporting, and non-retaliation requirements.

“Finally, laws prohibiting government funded discrimination against conscience and religious freedom will be enforced like every other civil rights law.” said OCR Director Roger Severino. “This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life. Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in healthcare, it’s the law,” Severino concluded.

“I support President Trump in his remarks today and in his efforts to protect the conscience of Americans who provide health care. Just last month, I led 80 Members of Congress in introducing the Conscience Protection Act, H.R. 2014, which amends the Public Health Service Act to prevent any federal, state, or local government from penalizing or discriminating against a health care provider if the provider does not participate in highly controversial abortion practices. As a physician and lawmaker, I support conscience protection because I strongly believe that health care providers should not be forced to violate their conscience when providing care for patients, and I applaud President Trump and his administration in their efforts to support conscience protection for all Americans,” said Harris.

Doug Lamborn (R-CO, 5th) also expressed his approval, saying, "Our doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals should never be forced into performing actions that violate their conscience. Americans of faith are moved with compassion to enter the medical field, often serving the most vulnerable populations. I am proud that doctors and nurses of faith who seek to save lives, will never again be forced to end them."

Among the organizations that support the new rule is Alliance Defending Freedom. “One of the freedoms Americans have cherished most is the freedom to live according to their faith and conscience, free from government coercion. Unfortunately, ADF clients and other nurses, doctors, and health care providers have faced discrimination and even have lost their jobs because of their commitment to saving life. We commend the Trump administration and HHS for this commonsense rule that simply ensures longstanding federal conscience laws are enforced so that no American is forced to choose between violating their beliefs and serving those most in need. By ensuring that entities receiving federal funds do not violate health care entities’ and individuals’ freedom of conscience, this rule preserves diversity in the healthcare field and maintains respect for the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm," said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek.

However, the rule addresses more than abortion. It also addresses transgender issues. This rule allows those in healthcare to refuse to assist is gender transformation services if their religion or conscience says it is wrong, as well as sterilization or assisted suicide.

ACLU calls it discrimination, saying, “Once again, this Administration shows itself to be determined to use religious liberty to harm communities it deems less worthy of equal treatment under the law. This rule threatens to prevent people from accessing critical medical care and may endanger people’s lives. Religious liberty is a fundamental right, but it doesn’t include the right to discriminate or harm others. Denying patients health care is not religious liberty. Discriminating against patients based on their gender or gender expression is not religious liberty. Medical standards, not religious belief, should guide medical care."

Rosie Phillips Davis, PhD, president of the American Psychological Association commented, “Health care providers’ religious- and conscience-based right to act according to their beliefs is already enshrined in law and needs not be expanded. This rule is likely to prevent access to reproductive health care and information, particularly for low-income and minority women, and could also prevent access to care and information for other populations, specifically lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and individuals living with HIV and AIDS. This so-called ‘conscience rule’ is flatly unconscionable.”

“Thanks to President Trump and HHS Secretary Alex Azar for overturning the Obamacare mandate that violated the religious faith and moral convictions of faith-based medical providers,” said Executive Director of the Faith and Family Coalition, Tim Head. “This new rule lifts a cloud of fear that has hung over people of faith for nearly a decade, and ensures that doctors, nurses, and other health providers will no longer be subjected to litigation, harassment, and persecution simply for expressing their religious beliefs.”

“The Conscience Rule fulfills President Trump’s promise from his 2017 Executive Order to promote and protect religious liberty for faith-based organizations to operate within the tenets of their faith without fear of government bureaucrats infringing upon their First Amendment rights,” added Head.

The National Organization of Women argue that "His conscience rule is morally bankrupt, legally indefensible and unconscionable for anyone who cares about the constitutional protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." NOW President Toni Van Pelt added that, "NOW supports a legal challenge to this blatantly political policy. We will work tirelessly to keep it from taking effect and continue to demand protection for women’s right to health care."

Opponents call the rule "discriminatory" and "dangerous." This is only true if the patient seeking these services do not have the option of choosing a healthcare provider, doctor or service from someone who does not find it offensive to perform. Judging from the number of services provided, and the success and funding of Planned Parenthood's reach, I don't think that is a problem.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Censorship on Gun Enthusiasts

by: Shonda M. Ponder

New Boston, Texas - May 4, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- There has been a lot of activity among haters of the 2nd Amendment lately. Those who claim they are there to protect and defend the Constitution seem to do everything they can to make sure that their constituents can't.

According to the Firearms Policy Coalition, Nevada is considering a dangerous gun law that will effect gun owners in the state.

AB 291 is a dangerous bill that will implement a statewide ban on rate of fire increasing devices and will also allow local governments to institute a patchwork of dangerous gun free zones. This bill has already passed through the Nevada Assembly, and is on its way to the Nevada Senate.

"If Nevada is to keep its right to bear arms then all Pro-freedom, pro-Second Amendment, Nevadans must fight to stop AB 291 in the Senate. They must make their voices heard and Take Action Today," says FPC.

In the meanwhile, The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the firearms industry trade association, commended Congress’s passage of the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R. 1222). The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI, 3rd), Rob Bishop (R-UT, 1st) and Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA, 50th) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Companion legislation (S. 94) was previously passed by the Senate. The bill will return to the Senate for a legislative formality, but is expected to pass by unanimous consent as the bill language is identical, and be sent to President Donald Trump for enactment.

“This has been a key piece of legislation for NSSF to grow and sustain hunting and recreational target shooting that will additionally benefit wildlife conservation. We are deeply appreciative to our leaders on both sides of the aisle and on both sides of Capitol Hill for their perseverance and foresight to benefit state wildlife agencies, recreational target shooting and sustained wildlife conservation,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “This is crucial legislation that will give state fish and game agencies more flexibility to use Pittman-Robertson excise taxes dollars raised from the sale of firearms and ammunition to enhance existing public shooting ranges and to build new ones to meet the growing need for additional places for target shooters to participate in their sport. Public shooting ranges provide hunters a place to sight in rifles and shotguns before hunting seasons, for people to take firearm safety and hunter education courses and, for recreational target shooters to enjoy their sport.”

All this comes in the wake of Google deciding to prohibit any advertising on its platforms that have to do with gun sales.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Montana at Large) sent a letter to the CEO of Google, Mr. Sundar Pichai, demanding Google reverse its prohibition on hunting advertising.

Daines’ and Gianforte’s letter was in response to Montana’s Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) having its hunting advertisement rejected by Google. In Google’s response to RMEF, a Google employee claims the advertisement is considered “animal cruelty and deemed inappropriate to be shown on our network.”

After two hate crimes last week, one at a synagogue in Poway in California, and another at a school in Charlotte, North Carolina, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), while begging for Republicans to join her anti-2nd Amendment crusade, is proposing three pieces of legislation. An assault weapons ban, an extreme risk bill and a bill to raise the legal age to purchase assault weapons to 21, just 21 years old, which would match the existing age restriction for handguns. She claims to do this in remembrance of two Americans. Lori Gilbert-Kaye, a 60-year-old worshipping at Chabad Poway, who stepped in front of the gunman in the shooting to save others, including her rabbi, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. The second is Riley Howell, a student at UNC Charlotte in class when the shooting broke out. He reportedly charged the gunman, pinning him down until officers arrived, very likely saving the lives of his fellow classmates and giving up his own in the process.

Feinstein failed to take into account that had either of those two heroes had a weapon for self defense, they likely would still be alive. This is what gun-free zones do, kill good guys.

Feinstein is also whining about Instagram users who have tried to buy or sell guns using the platform only to have their conversation blocked. Feinstein thinks there should be further action to censor gun enthusiasts. She and a few other Senators wrote a letter.

“…[D]espite Instagram’s ban of gun sales on its platforms, users are nonetheless able to facilitate firearm transactions by directing potential buyers to other methods of communication,” the senators wrote to Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “Unfortunately, it is not enough to simply ban such sales. Effective monitoring and the suspension of accounts in violation of these policies is essential.”

The letter was cosigned by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

That's it. Lets just get rid of all those who wish to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights so the 2nd Amendment can go away peacefully is her line of thinking on this.

And then, finally, some Senators are considering the removal of the NRA's 501(c)(4) nonprofit status due to alleged "self dealing".

The 2nd Amendment is in danger. All it takes is for those who believe in it to keep quiet and remain complacent to let it slip away. Then, none of us will be safe from a potential (or otherwise) abusive government.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Is H.R. 9 Good for the U.S.? The Ponder takes a look....

by: Shonda M. Ponder

Washington, D.C. - May 3, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- On May 2, the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 9, Climate Action Now, a bill that would require the Trump Administration to remain in the Paris Climate Accord, establish new goals to reduce emissions and develop a plan for how the United States will meet these goals to "protect" our environment. This bill calls on the President to develop and make public a serious plan for how the United States will meet commitments to reduce pollution and remain a leader in green technology and the creation of good-paying clean energy jobs. The Paris agreement was unilaterally accepted under President Obama. H.R. 9 prohibits the use of any federal funds to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The Bill passed by a vote of 231 to 190.

Two amendments were accepted into the final bill package. The first amendment offered by Norma Torres (D-CA, 35th) would prevent the President from using this plan to prevent states, like California, that want to set more ambitious goals to address greenhouse gas emissions. The second amendment offered by Adrianno Espaillat (D-NY, 13th) would include in the findings section that the Paris Agreement addresses the importance of climate justice, especially in relation to human rights, where communities of color are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards and environmental health burdens.

“Texas is a leader in wind energy; we know that we can reduce our emissions and create good-paying jobs in the process,” said Allred. “It's imperative the United States join the rest of the world in addressing the climate crisis. Meeting the conditions of the Paris Agreement will help bolster our clean energy sector by working toward a healthier planet for future generations. It’s time we rise to the occasion and act," said Colin Allred (D-TX, 32).

Jodey Arrington (R-TX, 19th) is no fan of the Paris Climate Accord.

“The Paris Agreement was fundamentally flawed. It would have forced us to spend billions to subsidize the biggest polluters like India and give Russia and China a pass until 2030. Worst of all, it would have cost America hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs, undermining our economic growth and penalizing the American people.

“The Paris Agreement was little more than political window dressing, but its negative effects on our economy would have been real: higher energy costs for our working families and a big wet blanket over our growing economy. Meanwhile, the United States leads the world in reducing carbon emissions – more than China and the EU combined.

“We can and must balance environmental stewardship, economic growth and energy independence if we are to maintain American environmental and economic prosperity. HR 9 would force our President to agree to a bad deal that would achieve none of the above, and I strongly oppose it," Arrington explains.

“The Paris agreement unwisely tied the hands of American economic growth while allowing the world’s largest emitters of pollution to continue unabated until at least 2030,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO, 4th) who noted China’s role as the world’s largest polluter, accounting for more than half the planet’s carbon pollutants in 2017. “The Chinese government would love for the United States to adhere to this agreement which could cost the American economy over $250 billion dollars and a loss of 2.7 million jobs within the next ten years,” added Hartzler.

Jim Costa (D-CA, 16th) argues against the statement that jobs will be hurt and not created. He says, "My amendment does just that by helping create a clean energy economy that provides good-paying 21st century jobs for millions of Americans."

John R. Curtis (R-UT, 3rd) argued that, “Twice, I offered a good-faith amendment that would bring transparency to the emissions produced by all countries in the agreement, including foreign heavy polluters like China—both times it was shot down on a partisan basis. I want to ensure our efforts actually improve the environment, avoid damaging our economy, and are based on facts, not politics.”

Curtis's proposed amendment to HR 9 was voted down during the “Foreign Assistance Budget and Policy Priorities” House Foreign Affairs hearing last month. Only 3 Republican amendments were considered compared to the 26 Democrat amendments that were debated.

Rep. Curtis spoke on the House floor to outline his concerns about the costs and effectiveness of the legislation, the potential job losses in rural America, the United States innovation and technological development that have resulted in the US already leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas, and his frustration that China—the earth’s largest greenhouse gas polluter—is shown leniency.

After passing the bill, Don Beyer (D-VA, 8th) and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA, 47th) made a joint statement, in which they said, “The climate crisis is a public health issue. It is an economic issue. It is a national security issue. It is a civil rights issue. We are proud to pass the first bill in a decade to do something about it, and we expect to follow the Climate Action Now Act with further legislation.”

Brendan Boyle (D-PA, 2nd) commented on an amendment to the Bill, saying, "My amendment stands for the American leaderships that was displayed throughout the development of the Paris Agreement under the Obama Administration. The Paris Agreement, for the first time, brought all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. The Agreement chartered a new course in the global climate effort. It essential that we retain our commitment to the Agreement.”

According to Kevin Brady (R-TX, 8th), however, “The potential fallout from the Paris Agreement is devastating – slashing the U.S. economy by $2.5 trillion, costing nearly 400,000 jobs, and drastically increasing electricity costs for the average family. By refusing to allow President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Democrats are stifling domestic innovation and raising the cost of living for hardworking Americans. "

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA, 11th) proposed an amendment that requires the Administration to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to produce a report on the impacts of withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement on U.S. workers and U.S. global economic competitiveness. The amendment was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mo Brooks (R-AL, 5th) was concerned that the bill would hurt America and helps competitor nations. "In particular, the Paris Climate Accord calls for America to give away tens of billions of dollars to other countries.[1] That’s tens of billions of dollars America does not have, has to borrow to get, and cannot afford to pay back.[2] What’s worse, pollution controls are costly," he said continuing with, “Worse yet, the Paris Climate Accord, unfairly holds America to stricter standards than the world’s worst polluters. For example, China and India, two horrific polluters, have no new air pollution control obligations until 2030, at the earliest! Contrast the abysmal environmental record of China and India with that of America! America’s carbon dioxide emissions are being cut. Between 2005 and 2017, America’s carbon dioxide emissions fell by 12.4% on an absolute basis and by 19.9% on a per capita basis![4] America did our pollution control part WITHOUT the Paris Climate Accord!”

Brooks concluded, “Finally, the economics of the Paris Climate Accord increases worldwide pollution by forcing very good pollution control plants in America to close and be replaced by plants in other countries that allow much worse pollution than we would ever allow in America. In sum, the Paris Climate Accord decreases the standard of living for Americans while increasing worldwide pollution levels. That is bad for America and worse for Mother Earth.”

Larry Bucshon (R-IN, 8th) slammed the bill, saying, "Democrats are using climate change as a political tool to strengthen Washington’s control of the economy and consumer choice, without any guarantees of actually reducing emissions, which is why I cannot support this legislation."

Bucshon claims that the bill increases energy prices for ratepayers, and burdens small businesses with regulations while giving a free pass to the world’s largest polluters, such as China, Russia, and India. He stated his solution to the problem by saying, "The right way to tackle climate change policy is by continuing to remove barriers to innovation, incentivizing more clean energy, and putting forth realistic, free-market solutions driven by the American consumer – a proven approach that has already resulted in significant emissions reductions in the United States.”

President Obama formally accepted the Paris Agreement, under the United Nations climate change treaty, in late August 2016. President Trump announced less than ten months later, in June 2017, that the United States would withdraw—following the terms of the agreement.

The United States is leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to innovation and technological development, by showing a decline in carbon emissions in 7 of the past 10 years. As stated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in their Global Energy & CO2 Status Report:

“In the United States, the emission reductions seen in 2017 were reversed, with an increase of 3.1% in CO2 emissions in 2018. Despite this increase, emissions in the United States remain around their 1990 levels, 14% and 800 Mt of CO2 below their peak in 2000. This is the largest absolute decline among all countries since 2000."

The Climate Action Tracker, a European consortium of research organizations, found that the participating nations’ commitments will not meet the temperature goals in the Paris Agreement.

The European Climate Action Network, another think tank, reported last summer that all European Union countries are off target: No single country in Europe is performing sufficiently to meet Paris Agreement goals. And those that have been making the most progress on their promises, did not make large commitments in the first place.

At the same time, we have the United Nations Emissions Gap Report, released in November 2018, which assessed the situation and reported that all these countries will have to at least triple their efforts to meet the Paris Agreement’s basic goals—if not increase their goals five-fold to meet more stringent temperature targets, regardless of the economic impacts.

These facts seem contradictory to the statement that Sean Casten (D-IL, 6th) made of Trump's withdrawel from the accord, saying, "It is economically foolish. It is economically naïve and it cedes leadership to China and others on the defining challenge of our time. That is foolhardy."

“The environment in the United States isn’t getting dramatically worse as those on the other side claim. We are increasing economic growth while simultaneously reducing emissions, a feat accomplished by free-market innovation and technological advances. We shouldn’t tie the hands of American innovators to an accord that puts other nations first and punishes the United States," says Jeff Duncan (R-SC, 3rd).

Adrianno Espaillat (D-NY, 13th) implied that climate change was racist, saying, “Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by climate change, yet are the least responsible for contributing factors and stand to lose the most if we fail to address climate change in ways that present real comprehensive solutions."

Apparently, not all the Republicans felt the same way as Bucshon and Arrington. Kathy Castor (D-FL, 14th) was appreciative of those that voted in favor of the bill, stating, "I’m thankful for the Republican members who embraced bipartisanship today and voted in favor of this bill."

Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming at large) called the bill a "sham", saying the bill would "dictate what people can buy, how they can travel, what they can eat, and how they can make a living."

Passage of the Climate Action Now Act follows the establishment of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which was created on January 9, 2019. The Select Committee is tasked with developing creative, effective solutions to prevent and reverse the climate crisis while providing strong, urgently-needed oversight and investigatory actions.

The bill will now be referred to the Senate.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Transportation and Freight Infrastructure

Today's News from the Lawmakers

AFP: Tax Hikes are the Wrong Way to Fund Roads and Bridges
Source: Americans for Prosperity
May 1, 2019
“If Congress wants to find money to modernize our roads and bridges, we encourage them to look to their own pockets – Americans have been filling them up for years. Instead of proposing a $2 trillion catch-all ‘infrastructure’ bill and asking hard-working Americans to fund it by paying more at the pump, Washington lawmakers should cut the red tape and stop wasting the tax dollars we give them.”


Congresswoman Schakowsky To Amtrak, Trump: Invest In Our Rail Infrastructure and Employees
Source: Jan Schakowsky (D-IL, 9th)
May 1, 2019
“Rail service has a long history of spurring innovation and growth in our great nation. And once again, it has a potential to spur commerce and expansion. Instead of seizing on that opportunity, Amtrak executives and the Trump Administration are seeking drastic cuts that eliminate jobs and set the stage for even more reduction in rail service. And the rail service that does remain will see a drastic loss in quality, with the elimination of food service and even replacing some segments with bus service. President Trump promised to invest $1 trillion in our nation’s infrastructure, and yet every budget he has proposed has actually cut Federal infrastructure spending. We need robust, long-term investment in our rail systems, both for the Chicago area and our nation,” said Congresswoman Schakowsky.


Chemical Distributors Advocate for Transportation Policy and Continued Chemical Facility Security Measures on Capitol Hill
Source: The Ponder News
May 1, 2019
More than 90 members of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) are meeting with Congressional representatives and regulatory officials today in Washington, D.C. Chemical distributors—who process, formulate, blend, re-package, warehouse, transport, and market chemical products that are essential to our daily lives—will advocate for legislation addressing the nation's truck driver shortage, for a fully-operational U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) to usher in needed freight rail reform, and for reauthorization of a critical anti-terrorism program that keeps our nation secure.


Chemical Distributors Advocate for Transportation Policy and Continued Chemical Facility Security Measures on Capitol Hill

by: National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)

Arlington, VA - May 1, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- More than 90 members of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) are meeting with Congressional representatives and regulatory officials today in Washington, D.C. Chemical distributors—who process, formulate, blend, re-package, warehouse, transport, and market chemical products that are essential to our daily lives—will advocate for legislation addressing the nation's truck driver shortage, for a fully-operational U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) to usher in needed freight rail reform, and for reauthorization of a critical anti-terrorism program that keeps our nation secure.

"In passing the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act (DRIVE-Safe Act), Congress would be a step closer to solving the growing truck driver shortage by expanding the age for interstate drivers to 18 years old," said NACD President Eric R. Byer. "Recent estimates indicate motor carriers are lacking 50,000 truck drivers—a number only expected to increase. In 2017, chemical distributor fleets and their third-party logistics partners traveled over 415 million miles delivering products. Across the board, industries and consumers are feeling the crunch of rising truck freight costs. It's crucial that Congress takes action."

During their time on Capitol Hill, NACD members will connect with policy makers and influencers on issues impacting chemical distributors across the country. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), original co-sponsor of the DRIVE-Safe Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, will provide insights on the legislative playing field. The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter will also share her analysis on upcoming trends shaping policy issues.

In addition to advocating for the DRIVE-Safe Act and its two-step apprenticeship program that would give younger drivers a chance to enter the industry safely while keeping freight moving, NACD members will also revisit the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), the program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to identify and regulate high-risk chemical facilities to protect against security threats. Though CFATS was successfully renewed through April 18, 2020, the program still needs a multi-year reauthorization to allow the industry to make long-term facility investments to safeguard the nation's chemical security.

Finally, attendees will continue to advocate for a full, five-member STB. As one of the only agencies with federal oversight of freight rail, NACD members will encourage Congress to nominate and confirm STB members who will make decisions based on economic realities and founded on free market solutions.

NACD members will also have the opportunity to sit down with regulators to explain how their small businesses are impacted by federal regulations, from environmental policy to trade concerns to the truck driver shortage. They will meet with Alexandra Dunn of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Brenda Smith of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Ray Martinez of the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Auction of firearms for noted outdoorsman's estate draws over 1,000 bidders

by: Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company

Columbia City, IN - May 1, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- For decades, Dwight "Boob" Goble was widely known as a legendary marksman, trapshooter and collector of fine firearms. So when Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company offered more than 375 firearms from the Goble estate's collection, the response was beyond enthusiastic.

"Mr. Goble, who died in January, was well known and loved among shooters, outdoorsmen and collectors throughout the area, and we had a huge inventory, including rare guns and vintage ammunition, with more than 1,000 bidders in all for each of the two days," said Schrader agent Phil Wolfe, who managed the event near Columbia City.

"We had 765 registered bidders online for the simulcast bidding, and the online bidders purchased 38 percent of the inventory. We had buyers in at least 25 different states, as well as one in Netherlands, who bought a Winchester 1890 12-gauge pump. Everything sold, and believe it or not, there is a lot more to come as we continue to take this collection to auction," said Wolfe.

One highlight didn't even involve the sale of a firearm, but rather a rare Daisy BB gun. "A double barrel Daisy with the original box went for $800, which is just remarkable. We also had a very rare 4-gauge shotgun, and others from L.C. Smith, Parker Brothers and others," said Wolfe.

Mental Health

Today's News from the Lawmakers

CCHR Condemns FDA's Approval of Electricity-Zapping for 'ADHD' Kids
Source: The Ponder News
May 1, 2019
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a device to zap a low-level electrical pulse through the forehead of 7-12 year olds as treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).[1] But the mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR), says with concern that some psychiatrists have now turned to the FDA to approve a device that "electro-shocks children into docility."


FDA permits marketing of first medical device for treatment of ADHD
Source: The Ponder News
April 22, 2019
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has permitted marketing of the first medical device to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The prescription-only device, called the Monarch external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) System, is indicated for patients ages 7 to12 years old who are not currently taking prescription ADHD medication and is the first non-drug treatment for ADHD granted marketing authorization by the FDA.