Edited by Michael Hernandez
(Editor’s Note: This is part of a compendium of recent significant events, culled from U.S. news and curated by Michael Hernandez.)
Sen. Josh Hawley Calls for Republican Party to Reform: ‘Time to Bury It, Build Something New’
ETHAN LETKEMAN (Nov 13) Breitbart News
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is calling for the Republican Party to undergo reform after it was projected the party would not regain control of the U.S. Senate Saturday night.
Hawley’s call to “bury” and “build” a new Republican Party comes after several within the party were hopeful; they would regain control of the Senate since they only needed to flip one seat. However, the GOP is now at risk of losing one seat in the Upper Chamber depending on the results of the Georgia Senate runoff in December.
The day before the Midterm elections, Hawley indicated his support for change within the party following his statement that he would not support Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for Senate GOP leadership.
“I don’t imagine I will, no,” Hawley reportedly said when asked if he would back McConnell. “I’m not sure if any other senator will run or not. Nobody’s indicated they would. But my view is that we need new leadership in that position.”
McConnell is facing intense criticism from within the party after the Super-PAC he is aligned with, the Senate Leadership Fund, withdrew ad spending for Republican candidate Blake Masters in the winnable Arizona Senate race to attack fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging McConnell ally Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in the Alaska Senate race.
The Missouri senator then joined Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and other colleagues in calling for the GOP senate leadership vote to be delayed until the Georgia Senate runoff results are determined.
“Exactly right. I don’t know why Senate GOP would hold a leadership vote for the next Congress before this election is finished,” Hawley said in response to Rubio’s call for the Senate GOP leadership vote to be postponed. “We have a runoff in #GASenate — are they saying that doesn’t matter? Don’t disenfranchise @HerschelWalker.”
Since he was elected in 2018, Hawley has been one of few Republicans to challenge the GOP establishment orthodoxy — which typically prioritized corporate interests and foreign interventionism in the past — in favor of prioritizing working and middle-class families.
The non-orthodox policies that Hawley has voiced support for include regulating and breaking up Big Tech, giving wage subsidies to low-wage workers employed by small businesses, creating tax credits for working-class families, and calling for the U.S. to withdraw from the World Trade Organization.
100 plus school boards flip red nationwide
Tara Mergener (Nov. 18) CBN News
While no overwhelming red wave emerged from the midterm national races, conservative groups involved in local school board races saw encouraging results. Education certainly mattered to voters on the local level and that resulted in school boards in several states winning conservative majorities.
Supporters see those wins as part of a larger trend giving Republicans the upper hand in this issue. The 2022 midterms follow two years of post-pandemic backlash. “Last year, almost everything we got on our tip line was about race. This year, probably about 75% is related to gender. A lot of the questions now are about social-emotional learning, data mining, and surveys were given without parental consent,” said Nicole Neily of Parents Defending Education.
“We were just really excited to see the results and we think it’s just the beginning of this wonderful parental rights movement around the country,” said Tiffany Justice of the organization Moms for Liberty.
On Nov. 8, it led school boards to flip in at least a half dozen states including Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida. “Every school board seat we flip makes a huge impact on their communities,” said Aiden Buzzetti of the 1776 Project PAC.
Recently front and center in the ongoing culture war, Florida made headlines again as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis got directly involved by making numerous school board endorsements. Since last year, at least 100 school boards nationwide have turned red with more candidates waiting in the wings.
“With every success, we get 10 more people to put their reputation on the line. Get their names on the ballot and make changes in their communities,” said Buzzetti. In this election cycle, these outside groups made an impact. For example, Moms for Liberty backed more than 250 candidates, and more than half won. Of the 50 or so candidates endorsed by the 1776 Project, about one-third were successful.
President Trump to run for re-election in 2024
By Brooke Singman (Nov. 15)| Fox News
PALM BEACH, Fla. – Former President Donald Trump announced that he is running for the 2024 Republican nomination for president, seeking to stage a dramatic return to the White House after having lost his bid for re-election to Joe Biden in 2020.
Trump, a Republican and the leader of the “Make America Great Again” movement, announced his third presidential bid on Nov. 15 during a speech at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida, home after having teased a bid since leaving office in 2021. “In order to make America great and glorious again. I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump said Tuesday evening to a crowd of supporters.
“But just as I promised in 2016, I am your voice. I am your voice. The Washington establishment wants to silence us, but we will not let them do that. What we have built together over the past six years is the greatest movement in history because it is not about politics. It’s about our love for this great country, America, and we’re not going to let it fail,” said Trump.
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“I am running because I believe the world has not yet seen the true glory of what this nation can be. We have not reached that pinnacle, believe it or not,” he continued, blaming President Biden for the current state of the nation. “In fact, we can go very far. We’re going to have to go far first. We have to get out of this ditch. And once we’re out, you’ll see things that nobody imagined for any country. It’s called the United States of America. And it’s an incredible place.”
Trump first won the presidency in 2016 against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. If he is elected again, he would become only the second president to retake the White House after having been ousted, a feat achieved by Grover Cleveland in 1892 after he had lost the presidency to Benjamin Harrison in 1888. A victory would make Trump the 45th and the 47th president. Since his loss, Trump has challenged the legitimacy of the 2020 election results, repeatedly claiming the race was “rigged,” due to the COVID pandemic-era process of mail-in ballots. Trump falsely claimed the election was stolen, and his legal team filed a slew of lawsuits in battleground states across the nation.
Trump’s announcement comes one week after the 2022 midterm elections in which Republicans did not obtain an anticipated “red wave” of victories. Democrats kept control of the Senate and if Republicans are able to capture a majority in the House, it is expected to be slight. The former president was heavily involved in the midterms, throwing his support behind Republican candidates across the nation. During the primaries, the majority of Trump-endorsed candidates were victorious, becoming the GOP nominee in their races.
The economy, which has been a top issue for voters during the 2022 midterm election cycle amid record-high inflation, was strong under Trump’s presidency—with an increase in middle-class family income, the lowest unemployment rate in half a century and unprecedented job growth. The stock market hit record highs, with the Dow closing above 20,000 for the first time in 2017 and topping 30,000 in 2020, and the S&P 500 and NASDAQ also hitting record highs.
Trump also worked to cut red tape and reduce regulations facing American businesses and workers, working to put in place policies to bring back supply chains from overseas, in line with his “Make America Great Again” and “America First” messaging. As for trade relations, Trump immediately withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and ended the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in January 2017, replacing it with the existing United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which included new protections for American manufacturers and workers.
Trump also signed an executive order making it government policy to “Buy American and Hire American,” and took action to stop outsourcing of jobs overseas. Another issue for Americans during the midterm election cycle has been energy and record-high gas prices. Under the Trump administration, Trump ensured that the U.S. was the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, but President Biden reversed some of those policies and refocused on clean energy.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration’s foreign policy message was one that focused on “peace through strength.” Trump withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal—which the Biden administration began taking steps to re-enter when he took office in 2021. Trump held a historic summit with Kim Jong Un in June 2018—he was the first sitting U.S. president to cross the demilitarized zone into North Korea. ICBM testing was paused during the Trump administration, but North Korea did continue to test for short and medium-range ballistic missiles. North Korea has been ramping up its ballistic missile testing under the Biden administration. Regarding the Middle East, the Trump administration brokered the Abraham accords, a “historic peace agreement” between Israel and the United Arab Emirates that normalized relations and created bilateral agreements regarding “investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, health care, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit.” In 2018, the Trump administration moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a relocation long debated in Washington – and one that showed the U.S. officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Trump’s administration also rebuilt the military, with more than $2.2 trillion in defense spending, delivering pay raises for service members and their families. Trump’s administration also created a new branch of the military— the Space Force.
Trump appointed and had three conservative justices confirmed to the Supreme Court during his presidency — Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
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Meanwhile, Trump’s administration worked to make communities safer, signing the First Step Act into law–the first landmark criminal justice reform legislation passed to reduce recidivism and help former inmates successfully rejoin society. A law-and-order president, Trump delivered support for law enforcement and put a major focus on protecting and securing the U.S.-Mexico southern border.
Fox News’ Kelly Laco contributed to this report.
“A President Compromised” report released by Republicans
By Timothy H.J. Nerozzi (Nov. 17) | Fox News
Republican Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan alleged at a press conference Thursday that President Biden was actively involved in overseas business dealings alongside his son Hunter. Comer, citing whistleblowers, asserted that the Biden family “flourished and became millionaires by simply offering access to the family.”
“Was Joe Biden directly involved with Hunter Biden’s business deals, and is he compromised? That’s our investigation,” Comer said. Comer is the incoming chair of the House Oversight Committee and Jordan is expected to soon chair the Judiciary Committee/ The representatives alleged that Hunter Biden and Joe Biden participated in “waste, fraud, and abuse” in international business dealings. The Republicans released a report Thursday outlining their findings.
Read the Report:
12 Republicans vote with Democrats supporting same-sex marriages
KATHERINE HAMILTON (Nov 16) Breitbart News
Twelve Senate Republicans voted with Democrats on Wednesday for the far-left “Respect for Marriage Act,” which is reportedly designed to provide federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. Lawmakers voted for the measure 62-37 after a bipartisan group of senators made changes to the bill to include a clause about religious liberty. With the amendment agreed upon, the bill will go back to the House before going to President Joe Biden. The White House has expressed support for the measure.
The 12 Republicans who voted for the bill include Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Todd Young (R-IN).
The Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) was introduced following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, due to Democrats’ unfounded concerns that the Supreme Court could use the Dobbs decision to overrule the Court’s Obergefell gay marriage decision. The measure passed the House in July with the help of 47 Republicans, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed to postpone a vote until after the midterms so that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle could attempt to address religious liberty concerns.
RFMA would repeal the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act and would require the federal government to recognize any marriage that was “valid in the place where entered into.” The bill would also require every state to recognize every same-sex marriage that “is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into.”
As a report from Slate noted, the bill “does not go as far as Obergefell. In that decision, the Supreme Court directed every state to license same-sex marriages—that is, to issue a marriage certificate to same-sex couples. The RFMA does not codify this component of Obergefell.” According to the report:
So the RFMA does not force Texas to issue a marriage certificate to a same-sex couple. But it does force Texas to recognize a marriage certificate issued to a same-sex couple by New Mexico. In a post-Obergefell world, a same-sex couple in Texas could drive to New Mexico, obtain a certificate, and force Texas to respect their marriage like any other.
The bill does have a “private right of action” clause, which would allow “any person who is harmed by a violation of subsection (b)…[to] bring a civil action in the appropriate district court of the United States against the person who violated such a subsection for declaratory and injunctive relief.” The law would also allow an attorney general to bring civil action against any person who violates the law.
Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) are responsible for the added amendment, entitled “No Impact on Religious Liberty and Conscience.” That amendment states that nothing in the law “shall be construed to diminish or abrogate a religious liberty or conscience protection otherwise available to an individual or organization under the Constitution of the United States or Federal law.” The amendment also states that: Consistent with the First Amendment to the Constitution, nonprofit religious organizations, including churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, nondenominational ministries, interdenominational and ecumenical organizations, mission organizations, faith-based social agencies, religious educational institutions, and nonprofit entities whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion, and any employee of such an organization, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.
Any refusal under this subsection to provide such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges shall not create any civil claim or cause of action. But religious liberty proponents say the amendment does nothing to shield Americans who have a traditional view of marriage from being targeted under the law. Heritage Action for America Executive Director Jessica Anderson released a statement saying RFMA is an “unnecessary piece of legislation that provides for lawsuits against those who simply hold a different view on marriage.” She continued: It seeks to put the federal government in charge of marriage, wipes out the rights of individuals to act in accordance with their personal beliefs, and discriminates against religious people treating them as bigots under the law. To make matters worse, the Senate is only now considering the bill in a lame-duck period after the American people voted.
Supporters of the legislation have said the expected consideration of a Tillis-Collins-Baldwin amendment would address the religious liberty problems in the original bill — but it would not. It is a messaging exercise that has no teeth, and religious Americans would still be subject to discrimination and targeting under the bill. Any senator who’s serious about religious liberty would be insisting on the inclusion of the Senator Mike Lee’s amendment based on the First Amendment Defense Act, which would actually protect religious liberty. Rather than respecting individuals, this legislation would open them up to persecution, fines, and punishment.
The Heritage Foundation’s Roger Severino wrote that the so-called religious liberty amendment would “provide nothing that is not already guaranteed.” He wrote: And it doesn’t cover areas where forced participation in same-sex celebrations still occur, such as with private bakers, florists, photographers, and other wedding vendors. …The drafters of these amendments are conjuring the illusion of religious freedom while undercutting it at every turn.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said the bill “opens the door to American persecution.” He wrote for the Washington Stand: Not only is this language light years more radical than the justices’ ruling seven years ago — cracking down on parents, charities, adoption agencies, teachers, Christian schools, counselors, and Bible-believing professionals — the government would be declaring open season on anyone who believes in marriage as it’s always been: the union of a man and woman.
The advancement of RFMA is yet another instance of Senate Republicans providing the votes needed to pass overreaching Democrat legislation, which includes broad-sweeping bills concerning gun control and infrastructure.
Chuck Schumer wants Republican Senators to work with Democrats
PAM KEY (Nov. 14) Breitbart News
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Monday on CNN’s “This Morning” that he was meeting with Senat Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the wake of midterm election results to convince Republican senators to ditch so-called “MAGA Republicans.”
Co-host Kaitlan Collins said, “Are you going to talk to Mitch McConnell? What does that look like?” Schumer said, “I’m going to say to the Republicans in the Senate who are not the MAGA Republicans, stop letting them lead your party. Work with us to get things done. I intend to sit down with Mitch McConnell and express that.” He continued, “I intend to sit down with him and say we should be working together. You’re not going to get the extremists in your party to work with anybody, but the rest of us can work together and get some real things done for the American people.”
Operation Christmas Child deadline is Nov. 2
(Nov. 17) CBN News
As Thanksgiving approaches, many American families and children are giving thanks and giving back—to children in need around the world through Operation Christmas Child.
Donors who have been preparing shoebox gifts filled with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies can drop them off now during National Collection Week until Nov 21. More than 4,500 drop-off sites are currently open across the nation.
In a Facebook post, Franklin Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse, highlighted the work of Operation Christmas Child, calling each box “a Gospel opportunity—to millions of children around the world.”
Besides giving information about the project, Graham asked his followers, “Would you join us in praying for the children who will be receiving these boxes, that they would come to know just how much God loves them! “
Operation Christmas Child has been collecting and delivering shoebox gifts to children worldwide for nearly three decades. In 2022, the organization hopes to collect enough shoeboxes to reach another 11 million children. This year, Operation Christmas Child expects to deliver its 200 millionth shoebox to a child in Ukraine.
There’s still time for individuals, families, and groups to transform empty shoeboxes into fun gifts. The project of Samaritan’s Purse partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of God’s love to children in need.
A step-by-step guide is available on the How to Pack a Shoebox webpage. Participants can also find the nearest drop-off location and hours of operation for their shoebox gifts. The online lookup tool is searchable by city or ZIP code. Signs at each location will identify the drop-off.
Founded in 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has collected and distributed more than 198 million shoebox gifts to children in 170 countries and territories, according to the Operation Christmas Child’s website.
(Michael Hernandez, co-founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted at [email protected] and is editor of “America: The End and Our Hope”.)