Governor-Elect Hobbs Dictated Twitter Speech While Secretary of State

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Editors’ Note: Americans are learning more each day about the role of Twitter (thank you Elon Musk!!) in 2020 and 2022 election interference and the role of almost all social media platforms and search engines (especially FaceBook, Google and YouTube) as state actors and arms of the Democrat party. Note especially the sentence below about the Center for Information Security (CIS) ‘tapping’ Twitter to remove tweets by direction of Katie Hobbs. Also note that ‘CIS works with all 50 states in over 2,900 election offices nationwide’ and that CIS has received almost $200 million in federal grants since early in the Obama administration. Does this information explain or suggest that elections in America are no longer the critical instrument for citizens to be governed ‘by their consent’ as conceived by our Founders and the U.S. Constitution? 

 

Court filings reveal that Governor-elect Katie Hobbs dictated Twitter’s content moderation while serving as secretary of state.

According to the emails disclosed in court filings, Hobbs’ office asked the Center for Information Security (CIS) to review two tweets posted by an account with 21 followers. Within 30 minutes, CIS tapped Twitter to handle the issue, who promised to “escalate.” Twitter resolved the issue several hours later by removing both tweets.

“These messages falsely assert that the Voter Registration System is owned and operated by foreign actors,” complained Hobbs’ office. “This is an attempt to further undermine confidence in the election institution in Arizona.”

The exchange occurred last January, the day after the attack at the Capitol.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) told The Washington Post that they don’t interfere in election-related speech online. Instead, the government agency told the outlet that it deferred to CIS to engage in those issues.

In 2021, CIS shared through its Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing & Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) year-end report that it was “uniquely positioned to handle both cybersecurity and misinformation reports to protect election infrastructure.” The nonprofit disclosed that it created a communications hub — called the Situation Awareness Room (SitRoom) — to identify and address 2020 election threats with federal, state, local, and private partners.

CIS used its EI-ISAC to coordinate election officials, federal partners, and social media platforms.

“The success of these efforts in the 2020 election [Trump defeated?] established the foundation for expanded efforts on mis/disinformation reporting for future elections,” stated CIS.

CIS works with all 50 states in over 2,900 election offices nationwide.

CIS is a nonprofit founded in 2000; its president and CEO, John Gilligan, was formerly a senior intelligence and security advisor for the Air Force, Department of Energy, and White House Cyber Security Commission under the Obama administration. CIS has received around $196.5 million in federal grants since 2010 [beginning early in Obama administration], and nearly $3.7 million in federal agency cybersecurity contracts since 2005.

The coordination between Hobbs and Twitter was revealed in court filings for a case before the Louisiana Western District Court: Missouri v. Biden. At issue in the case is whether President Joe Biden and his administration violated the First Amendment by directing social media companies’ censorship of speech pertaining to COVID-19…..

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Read more at Arizona Independent Daily.

Recent Stock Rally Not Likely To Last

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Stocks and bonds have had a rough year in 2022.

Readers might remember, we forecast this as a “risk off” year quite some time ago, meaning a high probability of a dual bear market in both stocks and bonds.  From the beginning of the year, stocks had lost about 26%, putting us officially into “bear” market territory.

However, around the middle of October stocks began to rally and have retraced about 18% and taking the market back to major resistance at the 200-day moving average.  It has been a good two-month rally.  So good, in fact, many people are now changing their minds about what is ahead.

The market seems to sense that the Federal Reserve now sees progress on the inflation front.  The consensus view is that while perhaps two smaller hikes are ahead, the FED will soon pause, and then pivot back towards lower rates.  Hence the market is rallying ahead of expected interest rate cuts.  Expectations are the FED will pull off the “soft landing” for the economy.

While this view seems to have the market’s attention, we would suggest that the rally we have seen is likely simply a rally within an ongoing bear market that is not yet complete.  Students of market cycles suggest that bear market rallies are normal and that rallies should not be mistaken for a new bull trend.

If we are correct, there is a strong historical tendency for the market to be strong between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and after that period, early next year, the market will most likely resume its downward trend.

Here are some of the reasons this is likely:

Interest rates are already inducing a housing recession and homes are the single largest source of wealth for most consumers.

The savings rate is plummeting, suggesting all the Covid cash is running out.

The yield curve is inverted, that is short-term rates are above longer-term rates.  While no indicator is perfect, “the inverted yield curve” has been the most reliable indicator of a coming recession.

Stocks are not yet priced in the cheap range, and not yet priced for what is likely a poor earnings season stemming from recessionary conditions.

The Leading Economic Indicators have been down for now 8 months in a row.

The election results were enough to move the country to political gridlock but did not allow for Republicans to repeal the worst aspects of Biden’s economic policy.  The coming months will be full of investigations and partisan bickering but Democrats control the executive branch and the bureaucracy.  The Republicans have a very narrow margin in the House, and the Senate is deadlocked.

All it takes is just a few weak-kneed Republicans to keep Democrat policies in power.  History suggests there are plenty of such Republicans.

History shows that by the time the FED is willing to cut rates, it was prompted by severe economic weakness, and that weakness is not good for stocks. History shows that AFTER the FED starts to cut rates, the bear market goes into another downward phase.

A recession is likely in both Europe and China.

A slowdown means less revenue, and when that occurs in a condition of massive overindebtedness, it means credit default problems. There has been a wild use of debt and leverage in the previous business cycle by both government and the private sector, and a slowdown will reveal that many entities will not be able to service their bloated debt.  The fantastic break in cryptocurrencies, SPACS,  and NFTs, are likely just the tip of a credit mess iceberg.  The Chinese real estate bust and the problems with international financial institutions like Credit Suisse are also signs of a coming credit crisis.

Bottom line, what does this mean for our readers?

It suggests taking advantage of the current strong rally to sell into the strength, getting the portfolio less exposed to stocks, and more exposed to cash, and hence preparing for another leg down in markets next year.

Modest positions in long-dated bonds could be a decent trade to exploit interest rate cuts next spring.

Some gold could prove helpful if debt defaults become serious and widespread.  Gold likely will do well if the FED gets cold feet and pivots back to easy money policies too soon to strangle inflation.

Extra cash is always helpful and helps stabilize the portfolio.

When the time comes to purchase stocks, you won’t want to.  We need much greater pessimism than we presently have, to build a durable bottom.

We don’t like bringing you this sober news but protecting our readership from financial harm requires us to humbly offer these opinions.

These are, of course, general macro-market views.  Your own particular situation is unique.  Be sure to consult soon with your financial advisor.

 

 

 

Twitter Execs Didn’t Have a Good Explanation for Censoring Hunter Biden’s Laptop, New Emails Reveal

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

After Twitter CEO Elon Musk teased a massive reveal Friday afternoon, journalist Matt Taibbi released a Twitter thread revealing the confusion at the social media company after it censored the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Taibbi’s Twitter thread, which Musk retweeted, revealed that Twitter’s top executives didn’t have a good explanation for censoring the story, but stuck with the decision, anyway. It also showed that Republican and Democratic congressional staff weighed in against the move.

Taibbi recounted that Twitter took “extraordinary steps” to suppress the Post’s Oct. 14, 2020, story reporting on emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop implicating Joe Biden in his son’s foreign business dealings. The social media company even went so far as “removing links and posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe.’ They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography.”

Twitter locked then-White House press secretary Kaleigh McEnany out of her account for tweeting about the story. Taibbi shared an email from then-President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign staffer Mike Hahn, who noted that all McEnany did was “cite the story and firsthand reporting that has been reported by other outlets and not disputed by the Biden campaign.”

“I need an answer immediately on when/how she will be unlocked,” Hahn added. “At least pretend to care for the next 20 days,” he added, referencing the election.

Taibbi next shared a message from public policy executive Caroline Strom, who asked her coworkers, “Are you able to take a closer look here?”

An analyst responded that “the user was bounced by Site Integrity for violating our Hacked Materials Policy.”

Yet it remains unclear what sparked the initial decision to censor the story, according to Taibbi.

“Although several sources recalled hearing about a ‘general’ warning from federal law enforcement that summer about possible foreign hacks, there’s no evidence—that I’ve seen—of any government involvement in the laptop story,” he wrote. “The decision was made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing a key role.”

Taibbi quoted one former employee, who said of the decision, “They just freelanced it.”

“Hacking was the excuse, but within a few hours, pretty much everyone realized that wasn’t going to hold. But no one had the guts to reverse it,” the employee reportedly added.

Taibbi shared a few messages illustrating the confusion. Communications staffer Trenton Kennedy wrote: “I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe, and I think the best explainability argument for this externally would be that we’re waiting to understand if this story is the result of hacked materials. We’ll face hard questions on this if we don’t have some kind of solid reasoning for marking the link unsafe.”

“By this point ‘everyone knew this was f—ed,’ said one former employee, but the response was essentially to err on the side of … continuing to err,” Taibbi added.

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s then-safety chief, cited “hacked materials” as the policy rationale, but noted that “this is an emerging situation where the facts remain unclear. Given the SEVERE risks here and lessons of 2016, we’re erring on the side of including a warning and preventing this content from being amplified.”

Brandon Borrman, then Twitter’s vice president of global communications, asked, “can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?”

Jim Baker, then-deputy counsel, wrote that “caution is warranted.” He suggested Twitter “assume” that the materials “may have been” hacked, even as he noted that “some facts” indicated “that the computer was either abandoned and/or the owner consented to allow the repair shop to access it for at least some purposes.”

Taibbi noted that some Twitter staffers seemed not to understand the basic tenets of the First Amendment and Supreme Court jurisprudence on it.

He cited an exchange between Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., who alerted Twitter to the “huge backlash” this move had been generating among members of Congress on the issue of “speech,” as in free speech.

Gadde replied, noting that McEnany’s account “was not permanently suspended—we requested that she delete the tweet containing material that is in violation of our rules and her account is restricted until she complies.”

Gadde noted that Twitter “put out a clarifying threat of Tweets earlier this evening to explain our policy around the posting of private information and linking directly to hacked materials,” as if this policy would resolve any free speech concerns.

Khanna replied, “But this seems a violation of the 1st Amendment principles. If there is a hack of classified information or other information that could expose a serious war crime and the NYT [The New York Times] was to publish it, I think the NYT should have that right.”

“A journalist should not be held accountable for the illegal actions of the source unless they actively aided the hack,” the congressman added. “So to restrict the distribution of that material, especially regarding a Presidential [sic] candidate, seems not in the keeping of the principles of [the 1964 Supreme Court case] NYT v. Sullivan.”

Khanna continued, “I say this as a total Biden partisan and convinced he didn’t do anything wrong. But the story now has become more about censorship than relatively innocuous emails and it’s become a bigger deal than it would have been.”

Carl Szabo of the research firm NetChoice sent Twitter staffer Lauren Culbertson an email with the results of a quick poll involving congressional staffers. The survey suggested that a “blood bath” would await the company in congressional hearings, and that nine Republican staffers said, “this is a tipping point. It’s just too much.”

One staffer said the scandal represented “tech’s ‘Access Hollywood’ moment and it has no Hillary to hide behind.” Another said, “tech is screwed and rightfully so.”

Meanwhile, Democratic staffers suggested the censorship hadn’t gone far enough.

“In their mind, social media … doesn’t moderate enough harmful content so when it does, like it did yesterday, it becomes a story. If the companies moderate more, conservatives wouldn’t even think to use social media for disinformation, misinformation, or otherwise.”

Szabo added, “When pushed on how the government might insist on [more tech moderation], consistent with the First Amendment, [the Democratic staffers] demurred: ‘the First Amendment isn’t absolute.”

Taibbi noted that Twitter’s Hunter Biden move followed an increasing censorship trend. While “some of the first tools for designing speech were designed to combat the likes of spam and financial fraudsters,” outsiders started “petitioning the company to manipulate speech.”

He cited an exchange between Twitter executives, where one sent a list of items “to review from the Biden team,” and the other would reply, “handled these.” (Micah Lee, a blogger at The Intercept, noted that the tweets in the particular list Taibbi included contained revenge porn.)

Although Twitter received and honored requests from both team Trump and team Biden, “the system wasn’t balanced” but rather “based on contacts,” and Twitter’s staff leaned heavily Democratic. Indeed, Twitter staff long have leaned left, with 99% of their donations going to Democrats in the 2022 midterms, as they did in previous years.

“Today’s revelations demonstrate once again that Big Tech is an ideological monopoly policing Americans’ speech,” Kara Frederick, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Tech Policy Center, said in a prepared statement about Taibbi’s reporting. “Big Tech’s control of information and access to the digital space undermines free speech, interferes in our elections, and jeopardizes U.S. national security.” (The Daily Signal is The Heritage Foundation’s news outlet.)

“Musk has done what lawmakers should have already accomplished: exposing Big Tech companies as foot soldiers of the progressive Left,” Frederick added. “When Americans believe the 2020 presidential election outcome would have changed given information deliberately hidden by the Left with the help of Big Tech, apologies from former Silicon Valley executives will not cut it.”

Although it is impossible to know what would have happened had Twitter not suppressed the Post’s reporting on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, a Media Research Center poll conducted in the days after the 2020 election found that 36% of self-described Biden voters said they were not aware of the evidence behind claims that Joe Biden was personally involved in his son Hunter’s business deals with China, a claim bolstered by emails found on Hunter’s laptop. Thirteen percent of those voters (4.6% of all Biden voters in the sample) said that if they had known the facts, they would not have voted for Biden.

Such a shift away from Biden would have given Trump the election, according to the Media Research Center’s analysis of the election results. Had the Biden-China story seen the light of day, Trump would have won the election with 289 electoral votes, the analysis claimed.

Twitter also banned conservatives, including a Heritage Foundation expert, shortly before the 2022 midterms.

Frederick added that “Americans should not have to rely on billionaires to deliver this necessary transparency,” and that elected officials should “constrain Big Tech’s pernicious practices. It is past time for aggressive reforms and proper oversight to ensure that Big Tech is held accountable.”

*****

This article was published in The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Give The Gift Of True American History With These Wonderful Biographies For Children

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Photo credit: Joy Pullman/The Federalist

Everyone was reading the Heroes of Liberty books in my home for Thanksgiving, from the early elementary kids to their twenty-something aunts and uncles to their grandpa.

 

After I opened a box containing the children’s history series Heroes of Liberty and set the books on the playroom table, I hardly saw five of my six kids for the next three days. (My sixth is 2 years old and never sits still.) They were all gobbling down the beautifully illustrated biographies of notables such as Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Harriet Tubman, and Alexander Hamilton, pitched at ages 7 to 12 — exactly the ages of my oldest four.

Even though my children are notorious readers because we don’t allow them screen time except for Monday movie night, this was still a slightly startling development. Usually, I have to carefully source books for my kids by interest and age. Even low-screen kids like mine turn up their noses at certain books, according to each one’s persnicketies. This series, however, captured the attention of every one of my readers. And not just them.

When several dozen people filled my home for the long Thanksgiving weekend, the phenomenon repeated among all ages. Everyone was reading the Heroes of Liberty books, from the early elementary kids to their twenty-something aunts and uncles to their grandpa. They sat in the living room passing the volumes around like a funny cat video. Except these held their attention far longer and gave them far more meaningful scope for thought.

Kid-Attractive and Sturdy

The series consists of well-bound, engaging, inspiring, and accurate biographies with child-attractive illustrations. They have a high-quality look and feel. As a mom of kids who read books to bits, I know that the strong hardcover binding will help these books last, hopefully all the way to my grandkids.

I prefer a slightly more elegant and detailed illustration style, but I’m unusual in my strong taste for the traditional. It makes sense for the illustrations in these books to meet at the intersection of quality comic book and animation. It is certainly several steps up in quality from the illustrations I like least in children’s books: those that imitate the artistic efforts of preschoolers, who have the excuse of undeveloped fine motor skills.

The poor bindings and illustrations of many good older books I regularly introduce to my kids often repel them before they even open the cover. This series cleverly attracts children even if its pictures don’t rise to Sistine Chapel-level artistic standards. If I had to choose between the two artistic possibilities, I’d make the same choice as the series editors, because there’s no point in putting out a book people don’t read.

Extremely High Production Quality

Also delightfully surprising was the amount of text these books contained, and how interesting the fact-driven storytelling was. I’ve read thousands of picture books with my children and hundreds of children’s books about American history. This series is competitive with the best I’m aware of, if not the best of their own category. It is delightful to see something at this level of quality from a smaller and conservative-marketed publisher, due to the cliché of religious and conservative materials often not being quality-competitive with big corporate.

There are indeed good history books for kids (try the Cornerstones of Freedom series; a few are politicized but most are solid), but I don’t know of any this good that provide a toe-for-toe counterpart to the heavily politicized junk biographies filling library shelves in the children’s history section. That is why I also set aside my reservations about writing biographies of living people such as Amy Coney Barrett — those already exist of leftist counterparts like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so they ought also to exist of exemplary Americans such as Barrett. These biographies should truly be on every school library’s shelves.

If your public library doesn’t already have these and allows patrons to request titles as mine does, request that your local library purchase this set. Also, or alternatively, buy your own if you’re able — you won’t regret this investment in your family’s self-education. Since this series is sadly less likely to land on those shelves due to the library and teaching profession’s deep political bias, parents, grandparents, and others have an obligation to provide children good histories when our corrupted public institutions will not.

Honest about American History

Like me, the Heroes of Liberty editors are clearly not interested in replacing leftist propaganda in children’s history with conservative propaganda. The series does no propagandizing, as I (perhaps foolishly) worried given its affiliation with conservative personalities. The books instead simply state true and compelling facts in an easy-to-follow story form and let the truth speak for itself.

Here’s an example from the Harriet Tubman biography in the series: “…blacks were not only free in Philadelphia,” where Tubman escaped from slavery. “They were also active in public and religious life. The city was home to the Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of the Abolition of Slavery, the oldest anti-slavery society in the country. Its first president was Benjamin Franklin.”

As mentioned, these are all simple and simply stated facts. Yet in themselves they undercut several false narratives about race and American history, including that black Americans lack agency, and that the American founders were wholesale slavers and the Constitution they produced a “pro-slavery document.”

It’s utterly refreshing. These books destroy false historical narratives without displaying bitterness or bias and without fulfilling the lies and smears always launched against such efforts, such as claims that conservatives “don’t want to talk about slavery or America’s sins.” When appropriate, these books absolutely do so. The Tubman biography, for example, is not at all shy about illustrating the horrors of slavery in age-appropriate detail. In fact, it does an exemplary job of educating about American chattel slavery.

Here’s another example of that from the Hamilton biography: “Then there were also the slave markets where human beings were bought and sold, like cattle, in plain sight. Young Alexander saw it all. And he never forgot what he saw. It all shaped who he would become.” On the same page as this text is an illustration of a slave auction.

Although the books do not shy away from tragedy in their subjects, both personal and national, they also are deeply hopeful because they show how these great Americans worked to rise above the inevitable tragedies of life. This is why biography is known as an inspirational genre, even when it necessarily treats of difficult subjects. At its best, biography reveals human nature and ideally human greatness amid life’s suffering and sometimes crippling constraints. Very little better reading material can be made available to all, but especially children, who like all of us need such examples to look toward as they grow.

Definitely Worth Buying

I’ll admit, I was skeptical of this series until I looked at them. Now I and my children are dedicated fans. My 7-year-old, whom I required to tell me what he had learned in exchange for giving him the next book in the set, summed up with this: “If you stop reading anywhere, it’s a cliffhanger.”

It’s refreshing as a parent to be able to trust the writers and publishers of a book so I don’t have to pre-read, scrutinize, and pre-emptively guard my children’s minds from those who seek to prey upon them with popular lies. It’s refreshing to learn facts about my beloved country and its wonderful people that celebrate the human spirit and especially its peculiar American expressions. It’s refreshing to let my guard down and just enjoy reading about American history with my children from a trustworthy source that isn’t trying to push us in any direction politically, but just to tell true human stories of our ancestors and their dreams, failures, and achievements.

The review copies the Heroes of Liberty team sent me will be donated to a K-12 school library to encourage, educate, and inspire as many children as possible. We will be buying the forthcoming books as they arrive and donating those, too — after we’ve all gobbled them up in our living room. For Christmas, birthdays, and beyond, the Heroes of Liberty team is offering Federalist readers an amazing 20 percent off with the special code FED22.

Quite frankly, I would go with the 12 books for $129 or all 14 currently published for $159 Christmas specials — that’s a ridiculous steal for brand-new hardbacks, and the series is worth it. It’d be a wonderful and enduring present for a special child or family in your life. The two-year book-of-the-month subscription offers a similar value with the bonus of your recipient getting to look forward to personalized mail each month — something my kids absolutely adore.

*****

This article was published at The Federalist and was reproduced with permission.

Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Here’s her printable household organizer for faith-centered holidays. Sign up here to get early access to her next ebook, “101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation.” Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Mrs. Pullmann identifies as native American and gender natural. She is the author of several books, including “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books. Joy is also a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs.

RNC Launches Tactical ‘Review’ After Midterm Flop

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Republican National Committee is launching a “review” of the party’s tactics after the party’s below-expectations performance in November’s midterm elections.

The committee, which will be composed of RNC members, should have its findings in the first half of 2023, Politico reported. Mississippi RNC committeeman Henry Barbour and California committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon will lead the review, expected to begin after the Dec. 6th Georgia senate runoff.

A separate “Republican Party Advisory Council” will be formed to bring new voices into the party to help improve minority and suburban female outreach, Politico reported.

Members of the council will include former Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Alabama Sen.-elect Katie Britt, Texas Rep.-elect Monica De La Cruz, Michigan Rep.-elect John James and former Arizona senate candidate Blake Masters, according to Politico. (RELATED: How The GOP Establishment Made An Avoidable Mistake In The Midterms)

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, meanwhile, issued the following statement: “As we assess the midterms and plan for 2024, we are gathering a diverse range of respected leaders in our movement to join together and help chart a winning course in the years to come. I am thrilled that this talented group of Republicans will be shoulder to shoulder with us as we work to grow our party, hold Democrats accountable, and elect Republicans,” Politico added.

It comes as McDaniel potentially faces a leadership challenge from New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, who received national attention for running a closer-than-expected gubernatorial campaign in his home state. Zeldin said in an email he is “very seriously” considering running for RNC Chair, Politico previously reported.

She is also receiving a leadership challenge from MyPillow CEO and close Trump ally Mike Lindell, Axios reported. Lindell announced his challenge to Steve Bannon on Monday.

McDaniel received the endorsement of 100 committee members in an open letter, more than the majority needed to win another term. The election will take place during the committee’s winter meeting early next year.

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This article was originally published in the Daily Caller and is reproduced with permission.

Arizona Set to Certify the Lake-Hobbs Race; Here Are 3 Key Takeaways

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Arizona Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake said “stay tuned” as the Copper State is going to officially certify the controversial gubernatorial race between her and Katie Hobbs on Monday.

Lake, who lost by less than one percentage point to Hobbs and has refused to concede, cannot file her lawsuit under Arizona law until state officials certify the election results. That process will take place on Dec. 5, when Arizona’s governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and chief justice will validate the election outcome based on official results submitted by the state’s 15 counties.

In a video posted on social media, Lake said her lawsuit will include “at least one smoking gun” based on whistleblowers who have contacted her campaign. “I’m working with a team of patriotic, talented lawyers on a legal case to challenge the botched elections,” she said, adding that they will file the lawsuit per Arizona state law.

“And you’ll want to stay tuned for this one,” she said. “Trust me.”

Lake plans to sue Arizona’s largest county next week to overturn her election loss, sources familiar with the matter told TIME, as the state’s election system is beset by turmoil more than three weeks after Election Day.

The Legal Battle
On Dec. 1, U.S. District Judge John Tuchi granted the motion for sanctions (pdf) filed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors against Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

“It is to make clear that the Court will not condone litigants ignoring the steps that Arizona has already taken toward [elections] and furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process,” Tuchi said in the report, according to Phoenix’s KPHO CBS 5 News.

“It is to send a message to those who might file similarly baseless suits in the future,” the judge added. Lake will now have to pay a fine and reimburse Hobbs’s attorney fees. While the judge feels the sanctions must be enough to “deter repetition” of similar allegations in the future, he has not yet made clear how much Lake will have to pay.

Lake’s lawsuit was filed against Maricopa County election officials over their administration of the midterm elections on Nov. 23. Among the allegations was that of Maricopa County’s 223 polling centers: at least 118 locations experienced problems when “the County’s ballot printers produced ballots that were not printed darkly enough for the County’s vote tabulation machines to read the ballots.” Lake also asked the court to require Maricopa County election officials to produce records on how they conducted the midterm elections.

Lake, who has repeatedly questioned the integrity of Arizona’s midterm elections, has vowed to “continue fighting” the results of what she described as a “botched” election. Through social media, Lake also alleged that voting machine issues and long wait times for in-person voting “discriminated against people who chose to vote on Election Day.”

“Given instances of misprinted ballots, the commingling of counted and uncounted ballots, and long lines discouraging people from voting, as demonstrated in the attached declarations, these records are necessary for Plaintiff to determine the full extent of the problems identified and their impacts on electors,” the suit reads.

Lake’s complaint further charges that “the Defendants failed to detect, prevent or timely remedy this problem during setup and testing of their polling stations,” and “although poll workers tested the printers, according to observers they did not test whether the tabulators could read the test print.”

“People were still able to vote, it was just a matter of maybe not voting in the way they wanted to,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said during ballot tabulation on Nov. 8. “We do not believe that anyone has been disenfranchised, because no one has been turned away.”

Other legal action includes:

  • April 22 – A lawsuit (pdf) was filed by Lake and Republican candidate for Arizona Secretary of State Mark Finchem—both endorsed by former President Donald Trump—requesting that the state’s two largest counties—Maricopa and Pima, respectively—use only paper ballots during the November midterm election.
  • June 8 – Lake and Mark Fincham filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction against Hobbs and the Maricopa and Pima County Board of Supervisors
  • July 18 – Defendants Bill Gates, Clint Hickman, Jack Sellers, Thomas Galvin, and Steve Gallardo in their official capacities as members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (“the County”) filed a Motion for Sanctions against Lake and Mark Fincham…..

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Continue reading this article at The Epoch Times.

Explaining Maricopa County’s Corrupt “Free and Fair” Midterm Elections

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The future looks grim, with inflation high and the power of rigged elections on the Democrats’ side. Those who dare to speak out are soundly silenced, as America seems to be on an unstoppable train toward a Venezuela-style situation of corruption, poverty, and darkness. And running roughshod over the people are none other than both Republican and Democratic election officials, who seem to be blasting their way down the corruption track.

On Monday, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Gates, a Republican, followed through with canvassing the county’s election results, fulfilling a “statutory responsibility” despite a “plethora of reports from election workers, poll watchers, and voters, including the county’s admission of widespread printer problems.”

The five-member Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to certify the election despite major grievances aired by an outraged public during a four-hour-long meeting preceding the vote. “Secure and accurate” was the mainstream media’s description of the botched election, though even Chairman Gates acknowledged “this was not a perfect election. There were issues,” adding, “but we were transparent about that.”

On Sunday, Maricopa County’s elections department had responded to portions of a multifaceted request by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office seeking explanations of the problems that marred Election Day voting, including the malfunctioning of tabulators that were unable to read ballots, an issue affecting some 71 vote centers, which represents 31 percent of the 223 centers that were open on November 8.

In its nine-page report, the county defended its actions yet also admitted its errors within a single statement: “While Maricopa County’s printer issue in 2022 impacted more Vote Centers than normal, every voter was afforded the ability to legally and securely cast their ballot.”

During Monday’s review of the issues, Board Chairman Gates promised, “we will do everything we can to make sure this does not happen in future elections.”

Meanwhile, county officials have reported that roughly “one percent of total ballots cast ultimately couldn’t be counted at polling sites by those [faulty] machines but were later tallied at the county’s elections center.” Consider that it took all day to resolve the printer issues and implement setting changes, from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. There is no question that many voters chose not to wait in the hours-long lines, or that many people who were told to vote at a second polling center didn’t make it to that center to vote.

During public comments at Monday’s meeting, angry citizens pointed out the flaws of the compromised election, with many demanding a redo. A repeated conflict of interest is that Katie Hobbs, the acting secretary of state — who oversees elections — refused to recuse herself from the process, despite running as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate. Then there is Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, who served as co-chair of the Latinos for Katie Hobbs Coalition, now a member of Hobbs’ transition team.

As The Gateway Pundit exposed in its coverage, the conflict-of-interest list runs long. In addition to the above,

  • Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, who oversaw early voting, founded and operated the Pro-Democracy Republicans PAC, a dark-money PAC aimed at eliminating candidates with a MAGA agenda.
  • Maricopa County Chairman Bill Gates, who oversaw the election on Election Day, openly rooted against Trump-Endorsed candidates, calling their win in the primaries a “catastrophe” and saying, “I think they are electable, which is frightening.”
  • Katie Hobbs threatened to sue any county that did not certify this election and hand her the Governorship. She is moving forward with a lawsuit against Cochise County for delaying certification.

“No Choice” but to Certify

Maricopa, along with Arizona’s 14 other counties, had a deadline of Monday to collect their final votes and report the results to Secretary of State Hobbs’ office, which threatened lawsuits and felony charges should a county refuse to certify.

As of Monday morning, two counties — Mohave and Cochise — had delayed certification in protest of the widespread issues that disenfranchised potentially thousands of voters in Maricopa County, whether through mechanical error or a more sinister manipulation of the electorate system. No one really knows what happened that day.

By Monday afternoon, Mohave County’s Board of Supervisors, in a vote of 4-0, chose to canvass the election, with two supervisors telling the press that they felt pressured to certify, that they had “no choice” but to vote yes or face a felony.

Mohave County Supervisor Hildy Angius and Chairman Ron Gould were among the fear-filled and bullied. Angius reportedly spent part of Monday talking with constituents and Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, and felt that between the choice to certify the election or “essentially void the county’s votes in the state canvass,” the latter would “certainly disenfranchise” voters.

“I vote aye under duress,” Gould said at the meeting. “I found out today that I have no choice but to vote aye or I’ll be arrested and charged with a felony. I don’t think that’s what our founders had in mind when they used the democratic process to elect our leaders, our form of self-governance. I find that very disheartening.”

Meanwhile, Cochise County’s Board of Supervisors was less cowardly and thus slapped with two lawsuits, one by the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, which demanded a canvass be completed by Thursday, and another by Secretary Hobbs, who said the three-member board could be charged with serious crimes for violating Arizona’s election laws. The county board is expected to meet Friday to further review the certification of ballot tabulators.

In a letter dated November 21 to the Cochise County board from State Elections Director Kori Lorick, Lorick stated that Hobbs is legally bound to approve the statewide canvass by next week, and that Cochise County’s votes would be void if they were not reported in time. The stakes are high because if those votes are not counted, two reportedly close races, one a U.S. House seat and another for state schools chief, would flip from Republican to Democratic.

Kari Lake: A Fighter the Left Fears

Of all candidates, Kari Lake is the one that the Left cannot let win. An outspoken supporter of election reform, the charismatic former TV host has called for a return to paper ballots and same-day voting. Of her gubernatorial race, which shows Hobbs leading by a thin margin of some 20,000 votes, Lake has vowed to continue to fight “sham elections” and to expose the “botched election, where half of Election-Day voting centers were inoperable,” and “Arizonans were expected to wait in line for two, three, four, even five hours, simply to exercise their sacred right to vote.”

“Maricopa County, where it took two weeks to count votes, is the poster child for broken and botched elections,” said Lake in a statement on Twitter. “But if you bring up any of these issues, you are labeled an ‘election denier’ or a conspiracy theorist.” Indeed, the Democrats don’t want anyone talking about shoddy elections, and they will shut down those who try.

But Lake is fearless, and her message is a plea to Americans to stand up, to speak out about their extraordinary experiences at the polls, and to demand accountability and election reform. For her part, Lake has moved to litigate a case challenging the elections. Having already filed one lawsuit, she hinted at another coming soon.

“You simply can’t make this stuff up,” she exclaimed, explaining that any ethical person would move to investigate and correct the issues. “We the People will not forget. God will not forget. And I will not quit.”

*****

This article was published by  The New American and is republished with permission.

The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America

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Deflating Everywhere, Fastest in San Francisco & Seattle. Phoenix & Dallas Roll Over Too

In several markets, prices plunged even faster than they’d spiked.

 

From the peak in May, house prices in the San Francisco Bay Area dropped by 11.6%, in the metros of Seattle by 11.3%, San Diego by 7.9%, Los Angeles by 6.0%, Denver by 5.7%; in the Dallas metro, prices dropped by 4.3% from the peak in June, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index for “September,” released today, which consists of the three-month average of closed home sales that were entered into public records in July, August, and September, of deals that were made sometime around June through August – that’s the time frame we’re looking at here.

This is the second month in this downturn that the index, which lags reality on the ground by 4-6 months, is showing month-to-month house price declines in all 20 metros in the index.

The biggest month-to-month drops occurred in:

  • Seattle: -2.9%
  • San Francisco: -2.9%
  • Las Vegas: -2.4%
  • Phoenix: -2.2%
  • Dallas: -2.1%
  • San Diego: -2.1
  • Denver: -2.0%

Month-to-month drops of 2% or more in the Case-Shiller Index (a three-month moving average that smoothens month-to-month volatility) occurred only during Housing Bust 1 and in the current downturn.

Phoenix metro:

  • Month over month: -2.2%.
  • From the peak in June: -4.4%.
  • Year over year: +12.6%
  • +15 points in three months since peak, -20 points in last three months of spike…..

*****

Continue reading this article at Wolf Street.

Arizona Secretary of State’s office Sues Cochise County After County Fails to Certify Election

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Cochise County, Arizona, failed to certify its 2022 general election results by the state-mandated deadline, and now the Secretary of State’s office is taking action.

The Cochise County Board of Supervisors did not vote to certify the 2022 general election results on Monday, November 28; state law requires counties to certify their election results within 20 days of an election.

The Board of Supervisors voted 2-1 to delay certifying the election results until at least December 2. However, the Secretary of State’s office is demanding it reverse course. The Secretary of State’s office filed a lawsuit this week, demanding the county certify the election results.

Cochise County, Arizona, was the only one of the state’s 15 counties that failed to certify its election results by the state’s deadline.

Part of the reason Cochise County voted to delay the certification of its election results is allegations that the machines used to tabulate votes in the county were certified by an unaccredited lab. However, the Secretary of State’s office says that’s not true.

“The Secretary of State’s Office provided supporting documentation that confirmed Cochise County’s election equipment was properly certified,” a spokesperson from the Secretary of State’s office told The Center Square. “The Board of Supervisors had all of the information they needed to certify this election and failed to uphold their responsibility for Cochise voters.”

The Secretary of State‘s lawsuit says that Cochise County failed to certify the election results without offering any justification. Therefore, it plans to proceed with statewide election result certification on December 8, with or without the Cochise County results.

“Thus, the Board’s inaction not only violates the plain language of the statute, but also undermines a basic tenet of fair and free elections in this state: ensuring that every Arizonan’s voice is heard,” the Secretary of State’s office wrote in the lawsuit. “The Board’s unprecedented inaction should not disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters in Cochise County.”

If the state refuses to certify the Cochise County election results, it would change the results of at least one election, if not more.

Without votes from deep-red Cochise County, the Sixth District U.S. House race would flip from Republican to Democratic, as The Washington Examiner reports. It would shrink the House Republican majority from 222-213 to 221-214.

A spokesperson for the Cochise County Board of Supervisors told The Center Square in an email, “The county does not have a comment on pending legal matters.”

*****

This article originally appeared in The Center Square.

A Slow Bloat to China

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Since the US birthed the entrance of China into the World Trade Organization in 1998 under Bill Clinton, the two nations have formed an unstable alliance of sorts.  The thinking of Western elites has been that if China did well, they would become more like the West.  They would become integrated into the global economy, and start becoming more democratic and less of a military threat to the US.

In hindsight, the whole project looks like a tragic and dangerous mistake.

For the US, our industrial elites found a source of ultra-cheap labor and an environment of minimal regulation.  Factory after factory, and job after job, was shipped to China.  As a result, US shelves were filled with less expensive Chinese goods, which helped keep US inflation down.

Politicians have loved this relationship on several levels.  The increase in the supply of inexpensive goods helped masked the inflation caused by deficits and easy money policies pursued by the Federal Reserves.  We wound up with asset price inflation, which the elites love since most of their money is in tradable securities, but subdued goods inflation.

Secondly, many American political leaders forged a close association with China and the huge money to be made.  A good example is the Bush Family. Neil Bush, the lesser-known son of the Bush Family, runs a think tank exclusively based on Chinese relations.  But Mitch McConnell, and certainly the Biden Family, are also deeply involved.  Many US political leaders are known to be knee-deep in Chinese investment and are subject to Chinese influence.

Major corporations that own media assets such as Disney (ABC News) and Bloomberg are invested heavily in China.  From the NBA to Nike shoes, many of the most “woke” corporations made their economic bed with the Communist Party of China.

What China got was economic growth necessary to support its vast population and growing military power.  The deal basically with the Chinese people was this: give up all that talk about freedom and religious expression, and we will pull you out of poverty.  Just work hard and support the Communist Party and things will keep improving, the Chinese people were told.

We have covered previously for you the bear market in China, the real estate bust, and the related banking crises.

What happens in China will be felt here.  Not only is China a huge buyer of US Treasury Bonds (although they have been big sellers of late), they are an integral part of our supply chain in critical areas such as pharmaceuticals, auto parts, plumbing supplies, and semiconductors.

Without cheap Chinese manufacturing, US inflation will likely be higher than it has been, and without recirculating the Chinese surplus in the balance of trade back into Treasury bonds, our interest rate structure will likely be higher now for years to come.

Social and economic issues, coupled with draconian Covid lockdown policies, are destabilizing the country.  Chairman Xi is more infatuated with becoming the second coming of Mao, and is more intent on gaining and maintaining power than he is on reforming the dictatorship of the party. The bargain of “give up your freedom for economic security” may fall apart if China cannot deliver the standard of living expected.

We are not suggesting that China will topple anytime soon as the government there can and will use repression.  US elites have so much at stake they will avert their eyes until conditions cannot be ignored. No use talking about human rights when the NBA needs Chinese TV viewers, right?

Although Chinese economic statistics are notoriously unreliable, economic growth is slowing significantly in China and the financial crises keep re-surfacing.

Like the US, elites in China have built a bubble economy, which is a program of government “investment” fueled by cheap credit and debt.  Like here, when things slow down, the credit pyramid becomes unstable.  It is a top-down, centralized economic policy that only gives lip service to market forces. Central planning has never worked, and it won’t work in China as well.

With debt to GDP levels already at 300% of GDP, swilling the elixir of cheap money and debt, will likely not do the job now.  The patient is already in withdrawal from an over-indulgence in credit expansion.

However, it is clear though, that China is increasingly becoming unstable and that as a supplier, they are not reliable.  Further, they are rapidly becoming a military threat.

Below are two videos that will brief you on the demographic, economic, political, and social issues now gripping China.

To some of you, this may seem like a problem that is far away and of little consequence to the US.  If you think that, you are sadly mistaken.  We are far too deep in this relationship at almost every level and the same can be said for our allies in Asia.