Progressive Democrat fails fact-check on her claim about poverty in America

Progressive Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington tried and failed to push a pro-tax narrative based on a faulty statistic about poverty in the United States.

Jayapal made the claim from her official social media account on Thursday.

“The U.S. has nearly ONE-THIRD of the world’s billionaires,” tweeted Jayapal.

“Meanwhile, our poverty rate is the 4th highest in the world,” she added. “Tax the rich.”

What are the facts?

An annual study by Wealth-X found in June that there were about 788 billionaires in the United States by the end of 2019, which accounts for more than a quarter of the billionaires in the world. That is not a third as claimed by Jayapal, but not significantly incorrect.

On the other figure, the United States has a poverty rate of 17.8%, which ranks about 105th in list including other major countries like the United Kingdom at 18.6%, India at 21.9%, Mexico at 41.9%, and South Africa at 50.5%. Jayapal might have relied on a figure that depends on poverty being defined according to the median wage, where the U.S. rates reportedly fourth worst.

The reaction

Many on social media didn’t take too kindly to Jayapal misleading use of poverty statistics.

“LOL, this is so ridiculous,” replied Jonah Goldberg of the Dispatch.

“Imagine what your view of the country must be to believe that the US’s poverty rate is 4th highest in the world. No one’s common sense told them to not hit on that one??” tweeted editor Jeryl Bier.

“This statistic is so bonkers wrong I cannot fathom how it could have made it past an elementary gut check, even if the gut belonged to an ardent Communist,” responded commentator Megan McArdle.

“I like Jayapal, but this is embarrassingly false. There are plenty of valid criticisms that can be made about the level of poverty in the US, but it isn’t even remotely close to having the fourth highest poverty rate in the world. These balderdash stats don’t help anything,” read another critical tweet.

Not all of the reaction to Jayapal’s tweet was negative. At least 2.2k people “liked” the tweet and signaled their approval for her misleading statistics.

Here’s more about taxing wealth in America:

Why Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax Won’t Work

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Progressive Democrats Propose Eviction Moratorium Far More Sweeping Than the One the Supreme Court Struck Down –

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the eviction moratorium imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it did so on the grounds that the agency’s order had exceeded the authority given to it by Congress.

Progressive lawmakers are now trying to remedy that flaw with a bill far more sweeping than the CDC’s defunct order. Their legislation also explicitly gives federal public health officials the power to issue eviction moratoriums during future disease outbreaks.

“Housing is a human right, not a bargaining chip to let fall between bureaucratic cracks,” said Rep. Cori Bush (D–Mo.) when unveiling the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021.

The bill, which has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), would halt “all residential eviction filings, hearings, judgments, and execution of judgments” until 60 days after the end of the federal public health emergency that the Trump administration declared in January 2020.

The CDC’s moratorium only barred the physical removal of tenants for non-payment of rent. Landlords were still within their rights to file for evictions. They could also have tenants removed for reasons not related to non-payment, such as violating the terms of the lease, damaging the property, or creating a nuisance for other tenants.

The Keeping Renters Safe Act does allow the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create exceptions to the eviction moratorium “protect the health and safety of others.” But the bill doesn’t require the HHS secretary to create those exceptions.

State-level moratoriums with narrow health and safety exceptions have put landlords in the position of housing legitimately dangerous and threatening tenants for months at a time.

That was the experience of Toni Akins, a small-time landlord who owns several units scattered across New England.

In May 2020, two of Akins’ tenants stopped paying the $1,400 they owed in monthly rent on a home she owns in Plainfield, Connecticut. According to Akins, her tenants refused all efforts she made to work with them on a payment plan. The situation worsened over the next several months, with her tenants making threats against her. They sent “text messages that they were going to come to my home, that they were going to come get me. [They sent] pictures of them holding guns,” she told Reason earlier this year.

Akins’ initial attempt to evict her tenants for nonpayment of rent in September 2020 went nowhere because of an eviction moratorium imposed by Connecticut’s Democratic governor, Ned Lamont. That rule limited evictions to cases where there was a “serious nuisance”—defined in state law as a tenant who inflicts bodily harm on another tenant or landlord, who willfully destroys the property, or who is using the property for selling drugs or prostitution.

After one of her tenants obtained a restraining order against the other in October, Akins filed for eviction again on the grounds that her tenant qualified as a serious nuisance. Still, the process took several months, with Atkins’ tenant not agreeing to leave the property until March 2021. By that point, she says, he’d caused close to $24,000 in damages. “It took me about three months to clean up and repair and refurbish the property,” she says.

If these lawmakers have their way, Connecticut’s eviction regime would be applied across the country.

Their bill would also put federal public health officials in the position of being the nation’s landlord during any future disease outbreak.

The Keeping Renters Safe Act would amend existing public health law to give the HHS secretary the explicit power to “implement, maintain, or extend” a residential eviction moratorium to stop the international or interstate spread of a communicable disease. That power isn’t limited to stopping the spread of severe diseases like COVID-19. Some future HHS secretary would have the power to declare an eviction moratorium during a bad flu season, or even in response to the common cold.

When the Supreme Court struck down the last eviction moratorium in August, critics warned that the nation would soon see a wave of evictions.

So far, that wave hasn’t materialized. Data from the states and cities tracked by Princeton University’s EvictionLab generally show modest increases in evictions that are below historic averages almost everywhere. (Las Vegas is a notable exception.)

Writing in Slate, two EvictionLab researchers credit federally funded rent relief with keeping eviction rates low. That article also shows that eviction rates are higher in jurisdictions that are slower at getting rent relief out the door. But even in those places, eviction rates are hovering around historic averages.

Goldman Sachs’ prediction that the country would see 750,000 evictions by year’s end in the absence of a federal eviction moratorium is in line with what one would expect from a normal year.

That’s still a lot of evictions. But a federal moratorium was never intended to be a long-term solution for keeping people housed. Even in the worst of the pandemic, the CDC’s order was a blunt tool. Warren and Bush’s bill would make it blunter, while also giving public health bureaucrats a blank check to use it at any time in the future.

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Despite uproar over CRT, transgender policies, Loudoun County pushes ahead with yet another progressive initiative — reparations

It seems that one woke and wealthy county near the nation’s capital is addicted to controversy.

Over the last several months, chaos and uproar over have marked school board meetings and other public forum events in Loudoun County, Virginia, as officials have pushed critical race theory and transgender-affirming policies on residents.

Yet despite the intense backlash, county administrators are now resolved to move forward with another controversial progressive initiative — reparations.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted 6-3 this week to direct members from both the Board of Supervisors and the School Board Committee to study the issue and report back recommendations for possible solutions, the Loudoun Times-Mirror reported.

The local news outlet noted that the decision followed a joint apology from both committees issued last year for their role in “operating segregated schools, resisting integration and the persistent educational inequities that resulted from these actions,” which date back almost a century.

Speaking with WTTG-TV ahead of the vote, County Supervisor Juli Briskman dismissed the initiative’s connection to the anti-CRT movement and deemed it necessary to alleviate the harm the county and school board has caused the black community.

“The anti-CRT movement is much more about ‘today’ and what we’re teaching today. And my Board member initiative is looking back at potential harm that was because we operated segregated schools illegally against the ruling of Brown vs. the Board of Education,” Briskman said.

The supervisor was reportedly referring to Loudoun County’s efforts to continue segregating schools until 1968 — 14 years after the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

The Daily Mail reported that in 1956, Loudoun County supported a Constitutional amendment to direct funds towards paying for white children to attend private schools so they could avoid attending segregated schools.”

“The efforts to undermine the education of students of color were intentional and deliberate,” Briskman later argued. “[The] residual impact of racist policies like school segregation and massive resistance created deep and lasting disparities in the black community and potentially inhibited the ability of black Loudouners to achieve the same degree of academic, economic, and social success as their white counterparts.”

She also claimed that the opponents to the county’s progressive initiatives — not county officials — are the ones making things political.

“I would just encourage our joint commission or whatever committee to come out of this to just ignore the outside noise because what’s happening in Fairfax and us, has little to do with us and in many ways has to do with ‘message testing’ for the 2022 elections and beyond,” she argued.

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Eight progressive Democrats vote against funding Israel’s Iron Dome, as angry words fly

In total, there were eight Democratic members of the House Progressive Caucus who voted against a bill providing $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome, while two voted present.

Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, a critic of U.S. foreign aid spending, voted against the bill on Thursday as well.

“My position of ‘no foreign aid’ might sound extreme to some, but I think it’s extreme to bankrupt our country and put future generations of Americans in hock to our debtors,” Massie wrote on Twitter ahead of the vote.

The final bipartisan vote was 420-9 with two members voting present. Reps. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Marie Newman (D-Ill.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Ill.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and Cori Bush (D-Mo.) voted no. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) voted present. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) reportedly voted no but later changed her vote to present.

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) criticized Tlaib on Thursday for declaring that she would vote against the Iron Dome funding.

“The Iron Dome has been crucial in saving countless Israeli lives from rockets fired by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah from Gaza and Lebanon into Israel,” said Deutch. “I cannot, I cannot allow one of my colleagues to stand on the floor of the House of Representative and label the Jewish democratic State of Israel an apartheid state. I reject it. If you believe in human rights, if you believe in saving lives, Israeli lives and Palestinian lives, I say to my colleague who just besmirched our ally, then you will support this legislation.”

Tlaib had characterized the funding as an “effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence.”

“We cannot be talking only about Israelis’ need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes,” she said.

According to the Times of Israel, the $1 billion funding represents about 60% of the amount the U.S. has spent on the Iron Dome since 2011.

Some progressive lawmakers had demanded that House Democratic leaders remove the funding for Israel’s missile defense system from a spending bill to keep the government funded through Dec. 3 of the year. 

The continuing resolution passed the House without the funding on Tuesday. After that, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, announced the House would be voting on a standalone bill with the Iron Dome funding.

Ahead of Thursday’s vote on the floor, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) argued that it was wrong for some of his colleagues to advocate for removal of the funding from the continuing resolution.

“We thank God each day for the Iron Dome, which intercepted 90% of the incoming rockets, saving countless lives,” he said. “Unfortunately, some of my colleagues recently used support for this defense system as a political football. They threatened to shut down the federal government, put at risk hurricane disaster relief and help for Afghan refugees all over support for Iron Dome.

“It was outrageous, but now we have a chance to act. Let’s pass this bill, support Iron Dome in our country and continue our historic bipartisan support for the US-Israel relationship, and the Senate should then immediately take up this standalone measure and not let it get bogged down in the ongoing debt ceiling and continuing resolution debate.” 

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Some of my progressive colleagues have a “problem” with defending Jews from attack, or something – HotAir

Do tell. Precisely which of Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s colleagues in the House Democratic caucus have a problem defending Jews from rocket attacks? I mean, I think we all know, but getting confirmation would be … illuminating, no?

Earlier this afternoon, The Hill reported that Democrats had nixed a billion-dollar sale to Israel for its Iron Dome system, an entirely defensive weapon that knocks missiles down before they hit their targets. Those get fired from Gaza and Lebanon primarily, and the missiles target civilian populations (via Jeff Dunetz, who has quite a bit more to say on this):

House Democrats will remove a provision originally included in a bill that would have helped boost Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system in order to keep the federal government funded through Dec. 3.

Democratic leaders are removing the provision from the bill, which was unveiled Tuesday morning, after some progressives objected, according to sources familiar with the last-minute snag.

“Some progressives objected”? Which progressives objected to the US resupplying the defense of Jews in Israel? John McCormack tried to get an answer from progressive leader Jayapal, who avoided specificity:

Well, actually there is a reason to fund it now, which is that Israel has had to deplete its supplies recently. Hamas touched off a war this summer, again, and Hezbollah fired rockets at Israel last month. Both took their toll on Iron Dome supplies, and Israel wants to purchase them from the US to make sure their system remains ready to respond to more attacks. Clearly some Democrats don’t want Israel to defend itself, and it would be instructive to get a clear answer as to who any why.

Fellow progressive Rosa DeLauro tried to paper over the embarrassment, but leading moderate Josh Gottheimer made his displeasure known:

A spokesperson for House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said that funding for the Iron Dome “will be included in the final, bipartisan and bicameral” defense funding bill later this year.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), a leading centrist, expressed frustration that the Iron Dome funding was being removed but stopped short of threatening to vote against the bill.

“The Iron Dome protects innocent civilians in Israel from terrorist attacks and some of my colleagues have now blocked funding it,” Gottheimer tweeted. “We must stand by our historic ally — the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Indeed. It’s likely that the Senate will force that funding back in on this round anyway, and that will make this a rather stupid and embarrassing stunt on the part of progressives. Why not fund it now, rather than later, if it will get funded anyway? The only achievement unlocked in this stunt is to make the entire House Democratic caucus complicit the anti-Semitism of a few of its members.

So again — who are these Democrats who would prefer to leave Jews defenseless in the Middle East? Maybe Joe Biden can get to the bottom of that, considering that he declared our support for Israel’s security “unequivocal” in his speech at the UN just a couple of hours before progressive Democrats made it look pretty darned equivocal. So for that matter does whatever intestinal fortitude resides within the Biden administration and Democratic leadership. Isn’t it grand to see our standing with our allies improve in the Biden era?

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Congressional Progressive Caucus Prepares to Block Infrastructure Bill if Reconciliation Budget Fails

The then Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders takes the stage with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez at a campaign rally at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H., February 10, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is deliberating whether to deploy its members to kill the $1 trillion Biden-backed infrastructure bill if the accompanying massive social spending plan House Democrats spearheaded fails to advance.

The $3.5 trillion reconciliation package includes provisions for the Democrats’ legislative priorities, namely education, childcare, climate change, and paid-family and medical leave.

House Speaker Pelosi has signaled that she won’t proceed with the main bipartisan bill unless the reconciliation bill follows it, while Republicans are unified in opposing the extremely expensive latter measure.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal told Politico that the majority of her coalition, which comprises 96 members, has privately shared it is prepared to thwart the infrastructure bill in protest unless it is a package deal with the Democrat-spearheaded measure.

“Even if there were Republicans that come along” to support the Senate infrastructure in the House, Jayapal said, “we will have more individuals, more Democrats who are going to vote it down without the reconciliation bill.”

“I feel very confident in our numbers, and it is far beyond 20,” she added.

On Monday, the House reconvenes to resume legislative proceedings for two weeks. This session is expected to see a final vote on the infrastructure framework that Biden introduced many months ago.

To pass the reconciliation bill, Democrats need 51 votes in an evenly divided Senate, a difficult feat to achieve with moderate senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema objecting to it. In a major blow to the Democrats’ aims, Manchin recently rejected the massive $3.5 trillion plan, citing its gargantuan price tag and inflation concerns. To appease Democrats, Manchin announced he would be amenable to a reconciliation budget in the ballpark of $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion, but that lower ceiling was not good enough for Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“It is absolutely not acceptable to me. I don’t think it’s acceptable to the president, for the American people, or the overwhelming majority of the people in the Democratic caucus,” Sanders said on CNN last week in reference to the Manchin’s downsized proposal.

Ocasio-Cortez has refused to budge on the reconciliation bill moving in tandem with the original package. She slammed Sinema recently over her criticism of the social bill’s cost.

“It was made very clear at the beginning of this process that this bipartisan deal, if it even survives the Senate, the only chance that it has at passing the House is if the House passes the Senate bill and if the Senate passes the House bill, which is largely in reconciliation,” AOC said on CNN last month.

As a last strategy, some congressional progressives believe they can leverage the infrastructure bill to pressure moderate Democrats into capitulating and supporting the social spending package.

“A lot of us agreed to move the bipartisan bill with the understanding that the House was going to move them together. It’s certainly not my preference to let the bipartisan bill go without an agreement on reconciliation,” former Democratic House member Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) told Politico.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

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Canada’s Conservative Party: ‘inclusive, diverse, forward-looking, socially progressive’

(LifeSiteNews) — Erin O’Toole, the leader of Canada’s Conservative Party, is feeling confident. The election is Monday, and party insiders believe they have a good chance of beating Justin Trudeau. In fact, they have spent the past weeks attempting to assure Canadians that there is very little difference between O’Toole and Trudeau except for the fact that you might be sick of Trudeau and there’s a new guy who’d like the job.

O’Toole ran for leadership of the party by dubbing himself a “True Blue” Conservative. I wasn’t sure what it meant then; I’m even less sure now. Over the past weeks and months, O’Toole has systematically stabbed every sector of the Conservative base in the back, hoping that his betrayals will gain him enough centrists to make up for those who defect to Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada.

Canadian firearm owners? The moment Trudeau attacked O’Toole on his platform, he promptly amended it.

Carbon tax? Erin O’Toole doesn’t object to the concept — he just wanted a better, more efficient one. He can afford to lose votes in Alberta, after all.

Vaccine passports? O’Toole is on board with it, and as a military man will probably do a better job of implementing it than Trudeau would.

And as for social conservatives, he couldn’t wait to sell them out. He promised the most active portion of his base only one thing: Conscience rights for physicians. The moment he was pushed on the issue by a Globe and Mail reporter, he switched his position. Medical professionals who do not want to participate in chemically castrating children or abortion or assisted suicide will, under an O’Toole government, be required to provide effective referrals.

Erin O’Toole voted for a “conversion therapy ban” that would ban some forms of prayer and even conversations between pastors and parishioners despite members of his own caucus seeking to have the legislation amended; he voted against a law that would ban aborting baby girls just because they are baby girls. On abortion, O’Toole wants Canadians to know that he is just as pro-choice as Trudeau is.

On Facebook this week, O’Toole made another pitch to Canadians, promising that the new Conservative Party, under his leadership, will be “inclusive, diverse, forward-looking, socially progressive.”

Which means that Erin O’Toole supports the LGBT agenda (including transition for children), killing children in the womb as a fundamentally Canadian value, and is disinterested in protecting the privacy rights, conscience rights, and freedom of speech of Canadians.

The fact is that 80% of the Conservative caucus is pro-life and voted to ban gender-selection abortion — but Erin O’Toole doesn’t care what his MPs believe. The Conservative Party is now “socially progressive” because he says so, and when he assures Canadians it will stay that way, he means that he will fight to ensure that any MP who seeks to protect children in the womb or stand up for fundamental freedoms keeps his or her trap shut.

That goes for social conservatives, too. He wants us in the tent but off the platform. Shut up and vote. He’s hoping we hate or fear Justin Trudeau so much that we’ll vote for someone who has genuine contempt for us and believes in the progressive transformation of society every bit as much as Justin Trudeau does. Journalists have marveled that O’Toole seems impervious to attempts by the Liberals to fearmonger about his conservative agenda. That’s because he doesn’t have one.

I understand strategic voting. I understand how badly we need Trudeau to be evicted from office. But Erin O’Toole’s total contempt for everything I stand for and his incessantly repeated promises to carry on Trudeau’s transformation of this country make it impossible to support him.

Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.

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Jayapal Staffers: Progressive Rep Mistreats Staffers, Who Earn Less Than $15 Per Hour. Some Seek Therapy

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (AP Images)

U.S. Representative Pramilla Jayapal (Wash.) is a leftist Democrat who wants a $15 per hour minimum wage. She ceaselessly harps on “workers’ rights.” Yet the “progressive” leader is also reportedly a whip-cracking tyrant whose congressional office is a white-collar sweatshop.

Staffers for the Indian immigrant work so many hours their pay is as little as that of a Walmart employee, Buzzfeed reported in a brutal exposé. Such are Jayapal’s demands that staffers seek therapy. One broke down in a crying jag.

One wonders whether Jayapal serves a crust of moldy chapati for lunch.

Long Hours

Though “Jayapal is one of the highest-profile progressives in D.C. and the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, 14 former staffers from throughout her nearly five years in Congress describe a dysfunctional and volatile workplace,” the website reported. “There is, they said, a serious disconnect between how she talks about workers’ rights and how she treats her own staff.”

The grim working conditions, staffers say, are intolerable:

They described Jayapal as a boss who berated staff in front of others, demanded grueling hours, and maintained an office culture marked by constantly changing expectations and little tolerance for error, to the extent that some staffers sought therapy and questioned their careers in public service. Since taking office, Jayapal has had one of the highest staff turnover rates in the House, due in large part, former employees said, to the unrealistic standards she sets. “It’s not sustainable to be able to stay for too long,” one said….

“I’ve worked in bad environments before, and I have worked in some awful environments before for some awful people. I’ve been colleagues with some awful people,” one former Jayapal staffer said. “I have never worked in a place that has made me so miserable and so not excited for public service as Pramila Jayapal’s office.”

Such are the working conditions that Jayapal has one of the highest turnover rates for Capitol Hill staffers. She ranks 33 of 539 congressmen from 2017 through 2020. One staffer accepted a pay cut to get away from her, while another, after a year of fighting for a raise, finally gave up and quit. It was an ordeal “emotionally, physically, and mentally.” 

“Jayapal has also been known allegedly to berate staffers, at times publicly,” Buzzfeed reported:

In one early 2019 instance, she yelled at a staffer in the anteroom of a House Budget Committee hearing over how an interaction with a witness had gone, according to sources who learned about it immediately or shortly after it happened. Despite the encounter taking place in a back room, there were several witnesses, including employees from other offices. The witnesses said the employee, who was then new to staffing Jayapal at hearings, was in tears after it happened. The staffer who was yelled at declined to provide comment for this story; Jayapal’s office confirmed the incident and said she apologized afterward.

When Jayapal put on a few pounds because her tight schedule conflicted with her time at the gym, she blamed a staff member.

At least six staff members have sought a check up from the neck up. Jayapal’s answer for that? “It is horrible to imply that accessing mental health services is a bad thing,” her spokesman said. “The Congresswoman has worked to destigmatize mental health care and pushes hard to ensure every person has the full range of care they need.”

One reason they staffers needed a shrink is that Jayapal drives them day and night:

Not only was it common for [staffers] them to be online and working at odd hours, but they said taking time off on weekends and holidays was often out of the question.

Several former Jayapal employees said they frequently worked more than 12 hours a day, sometimes from 8 a.m. to past midnight without meaningful breaks. While this is common across Capitol Hill, especially when the legislative calendar or a particular national crisis calls for it, it is striking in the context of a lawmaker with a reputation as a labor champion.

Low Hourly Wage

The labor champion brags about breaking immigration law to bring wage-busting illegal aliens into the country. 

But the mind-numbing hours raise questions about Jayapal’s commitment to the $15 per hour minimum wage, one of the progressive movement’s sacred cows. Jayapal’s own assistant earns $42,500 annually, a piddling sum for the Washington, D.C., area. That’s about $20 for a standard 40-hour week or 2,080-hour year. But again, Jayapal’s staffers don’t work 2,080 hours a year.

“If you were to divide [salaries] into an hourly wage, it would probably be like $12 to $15 an hour” considering all those hours, a staff member said of the Dickensian pay scale. “Which is not ideal when considering, like, we are advocating for a $15 minimum wage.”

“Ultimately, despite believing in Jayapal’s cause and having a certain image of her,” Buzzfeed observed, “former staffers were largely disappointed by the reality of working for her.” 

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The Progressive Freakout and the Growing Blowback

Recent data from the Cooperative Election Study shows 20 percent of atheists have participated in a march or protest, compared with 6 percent of white evangelicals. Forty percent of atheists have contacted a public official, compared with 24 percent of white evangelicals. Fifty-two percent of atheists have donated to political candidates, compared with just 26 percent of white evangelicals. Pull back further, and the divide between progressives and conservative evangelicals shows the former, not the latter, more actively involved in protest and politics.

As progressivism secularizes, politics becomes religion. Virtue signaling replaces a Christian ichthus fish on the back of a car. Outrage becomes a signal for identifying heretics. If one is not outraged, one just might be a heretic to secular, progressive zealots.

This past weekend, college students took to stadiums across America to experience the joy of fellowship and football. Across television networks and social media, progressives decried the activity as unsafe. Outdoor festivities again became superspreader events in ways mass protests and ransacking small businesses did not during the riots and protests surrounding George Floyd’s death in summer 2020.

The Supreme Court let a Texas law stay in place because the plaintiffs in the case sued the wrong people. The Supreme Court refused to halt the law because the Court does not stop laws. The Court only stops people from enforcing the laws. When the wrong people are sued, the Court has no power to stop them. Progressives insisted, despite the dereliction of duty by the plaintiffs, that the Court should stop the law anyway. While four justices would have done so, they would have deviated from legal precedent.

Undeterred, instead of blaming the plaintiffs for their collective screw-up, progressives assailed the Supreme Court, Texas, former President Donald Trump, conservatives and babies. They fixated on the worst-case scenario – rape. According to progressives, women who are victims of rape will have to carry their babies to term and face untold psychological trauma. They patently ignored that Texas cannot stop a woman from traveling to another state to terminate her child. Nor did they care to point out that rape accounts for, at most, 1 percent of abortions. To listen to the commentary on television, one would think rape and pregnancies therefrom happen constantly. Meanwhile, one doctor admitted to killing dozens of children in the run-up to the law taking effect, none because of rape, but rather because of the mothers’ convenience.

As the remains of a hurricane went up the East Coast, sending flooding with it, progressives freaked out about climate change. Never letting a crisis go to waste, politicians and supposed experts paraded onto television screens across America demanding Americans give up their way of life to stop storms. Storms will not be stopped by a battery-powered car. One would be hard-pressed to realize that from the media coverage.

Podcaster Joe Rogan received ivermectin from his doctor. The inventors of the drug received a Nobel Prize for ivermectin’s contribution to human progress. The drug has saved billions of people from blindness and parasitic infestation. It is also used in livestock, and a few people have tried to ingest dosages meant for horses. Rogan, however, got it from his doctor. Some doctors believe the well-documented anti-inflammatory properties of ivermectin can help prevent or combat the so-called cytokine storm whereby COVID-19 triggers a release of inflammatory proteins called cytokines into the bloodstream. The Food and Drug Administration has discouraged ivermectin prescriptions pending further study.

Progressives freaked out about Rogan and his doctor while assailing Texas for getting between a woman and her doctor. All of the freaking out is theater. In the postmodern age, one demonstrates one’s commitment to a particular truth or cause through performance. The screaming and wailing on social media and television is performance designed to both signal one’s commitment to a supposed truth and identify the heretics who choose not to perform.

As progressives continue making secularism a religion, the ritualistic outrage will get more intense, but this will also help discredit the progressive cause. Most people don’t have time for outrage these days as they struggle to get by thanks to progressives closing schools and causing inflation with massive spending binges.

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Existential Threats and Progressive Scaremongering – RedState

“The terms, they are a-changin’” – S.T. Karnick

In this day and age, thoughtful college students are besieged by the intellectual left.

I suppose it begins when a supposedly woke professor, quite like his or her counterpart government functionary or mainstream media talking head, chooses to avoid punishment.

With conscious willfulness, he or she, in vague, veiled terms, portrays free-market ideas of the intellectual right as existential threats to each student, without specific explanation.

In an effort to defraud taxpayers and parents, many professors cloak conservatism, capitalism, and/or climate skepticism in a dark and condescending epithet, such as neoliberalism, globalism, and climate denialism.

Sadly, many leftist professors’ instructional strategy is to saddle the young adult with existential threats, rather than merely teach the classics and empirical science.

Certainly, such leftist tropes as climate catastrophe, identity grievance, and voter suppression have no place in the teaching of either the hard or soft sciences.

When I grew up and went to school, this fraudulent behavior was known as cowardice, and this condescension was just plain prejudice.

Notwithstanding the menschitude of Noel Coward, cowardice is caused by an unexamined fear.

Prejudice is just that: a pre-judging, an assumption or provision of unearned guilt on someone.

Such professors are caught in a language sinkhole, in which a leftist term for itself often means its opposite, and a leftist complaint about the right often better describes leftist inadequacy.

Colloquially, the use of the term capitalist was initiated by Karl Marx.

The right has since assumed the mantle of this moniker as a true adjective describing those championing the free market.

More recently, the right has seen its former appellation of liberal, or classical liberal, appropriated by the left and placed on its head.

The left is continually devising new terms, either to bless a leftist meme, or to denigrate a virtue of the right.

Current rally-cry terms spread by the left refer to concepts that leftists purport to believe in: sustainability, social justice, diversity, inclusion, equity, and systemic racism. Each term is sparsely defined, if, indeed, it is defined at all.

For instance, the term colonization is meant to display disdain of the right, in reference to Western hegemony in the Third World. (As if unfettered immigration is not colonizing.)

An acolyte of the left will also use code words to merge with another leftist, such as: frame, critical, lean-in, people of color, “let me be clear,” and “come on, man.”

The choice on the part of each leftist to use such a codeword is aptly termed “virtue signaling,” to portray the person’s supposed holiness or wokeness to another leftist.

Another language tactic a true believer leftist will semi-consciously use is to promote an official, alarmist “narrative” of the current news, which has almost apocalyptic importance, but then is completely forgotten a few days later.

Even the term “progressive,” denoting a denizen of the fashionable socialist left twilight, is not really an apt moniker. Socialism, with its inevitable dystopia featuring the equality of poverty and the universality of misery, is more properly named “regressive.”

Many times, a leftist’s specious use of terms such as “science” or “settled science,” is merely an attempt to support tenuous political claims with shaky “facts,” a dark, religious scientism.

A truly awakened leftist ideologue will realize that his or her personal and social liberty derives directly from his or her individual freedom.

For instance, an actually improved natural environment derives mainly from each business saving time and money, making an honest profit by each employee working to improve methods and to cut costs through industry, ingenuity, and frugality.

Similarly, improved gender and racial harmony is actually achieved through the ordinary working of universal suffrage (one person, one vote) and economically and politically free television, radio, and internet.

Whether feared or embraced, the looming end of a student’s college career will offer freedom that he or she will enjoy upon inevitably entering the capitalist working world.

For the world does run on capitalism. One can’t get away from it. Capitalism is like water and air, a resource for humanity’s survival. May each snowflake, cupcake, and intellectual newbie embrace capitalism as the good which makes dreams possible, and keeps nightmares at bay.

Joseph Davis ([email protected]) is the head librarian at The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank located in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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