The W.C. Weekend Dispatch
Newsletter - Edition for August 5th, 2023
Welcome to this week's edition of The W.C. Weekend Dispatch. A well curated selection of articles that explore pressing cultural, and political news. For your convenience, we've provided the Dispatch Directory below, offering quick access to the articles from this week:
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Local: Ohio News
Ohio's Libertarians Grasp for Relevance With Hatch Act Complaint
The Libertarian Party of Ohio recently lodged a Hatch Act complaint against Secretary of State Frank LaRose, accusing him of illicitly campaigning for Issue 1 on the upcoming November ballot. The minor party alleges that LaRose has been unlawfully advocating for the passage of Issue 1 in his official capacity as Secretary of State. However, their complaint, which appears more like a publicity stunt than a legitimate grievance, is unlikely to yield any fruitful results. Instead, it merely underscores the Libertarian Party's marginal status within Ohio's political landscape.
With less than 0.4% of registered voters, the Libertarian Party of Ohio is virtually non-existent. As of October 1, 2021, there were 2,847 registered Libertarians in Ohio, out of a total of 7,982,501 registered voters. This means that Libertarians make up about 0.36% of Ohio's electorate. As they grapple with their diminishing relevance each election cycle, their primary tactic seems to be lodging nuisance complaints in a bid to secure fleeting media attention. This desperate grab for relevance is glaringly evident in their legally questionable Hatch Act allegation against the widely respected LaRose.
LaRose, who played a significant role in crafting Issue 1 and has been a vocal advocate for its passage, maintains that his support for the issue is purely personal. As Secretary of State, he asserts that he retains the right to promote causes that are separate from his official duties overseeing elections. The Hatch Act complaint lodged by the Libertarian Party hinges entirely on disputing this distinction.
However, it appears that LaRose is on solid legal ground. He can back Issue 1 personally without contravening the Hatch Act's prohibition on election interference by state officials. In contrast, the Libertarians, under their fringe banner, have no credible prospects of securing major offices. Their party seems to exist primarily to vex the major parties rather than to offer viable governance solutions.
This frivolous lawsuit targeting a well-regarded Secretary of State only serves to reinforce the Libertarians' reputation in Ohio as perennial vanity candidates seeking validation. They squander legal resources on technicalities because substantive policy debates do not favor their impractical platforms. As such, we can anticipate more of this type of desperate attention-seeking behavior from Ohio's inconsequential Libertarians.
It's worth noting that the Libertarian Party, despite its minimal impact on the political landscape, tends to detract more from Conservative and Republican votes than from Democrats. This point is particularly significant given that the party's fundraising efforts, which continue every election cycle, invariably culminate in a guaranteed loss. The question then arises: are these funds being used effectively, or are they merely fueling a cycle of guaranteed defeat?
Why the Left is Panicking About Issue One
In our continued coverage of Issue one, your Dispatch has delved deeper to understand the surge of financial support against the measure in Ohio. The influx of funds into the campaign opposing Issue one has raised eyebrows and prompted us to investigate the underlying reasons for this financial mobilization.
According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, Ohio voters agree 61 - 32 percent with the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. However, when broken down, the numbers tell a more nuanced story. Only 22 percent of Ohio voters believe abortion should be legal in all cases, while 33 percent say it should be legal in most cases. On the other side of the debate, 27 percent believe it should be illegal in most cases, and 10 percent believe it should be illegal in all cases.
These numbers indicate a clear divide in Ohio's electorate, with a significant portion of voters leaning towards more restrictive abortion laws. This is where Issue One comes into play. Critics argue that Issue One is a form of voter suppression as it would raise the threshold for citizen ballot initiatives to pass from 50% to 60%. It would also make it harder to get initiatives on the ballot by requiring signatures from 5% of voters in all 88 counties.
Opponents of Issue One, like activist Shorter (guest columnist at the Columbus Dispatch), argue that the issue makes it easier for legislators to act without accountability on issues like reproductive rights. She notes a separate ballot initiative in the fall seeks to enshrine abortion rights in the constitution, which Issue One would impede.
However, the real motivation behind the push for Issue One becomes clear when we consider the broader context. The significant financial resources being funneled into the campaign against Issue One are not born out of a desire for democratic fairness. Instead, they are a calculated response to polling data that suggests Ohioans are not in favor of unrestricted abortion access. The proponents of Issue One understand this and are hoping that with enough funding and mobilization, they can secure a slim majority in favor of their position, a position that does not reflect the true sentiments of Ohio's population.
The debate over Issue One is not only about constitutional amendments or voting percentages. It's about the future of abortion rights in Ohio. As we approach the election, the stakes are becoming increasingly clear. The influx of money and resources into the campaign against Issue One is not about ensuring the will of the majority is respected. It's about attempting to push through a measure that Ohioans do not support. As such, the outcome of this issue could have far-reaching implications for the future of abortion rights in the state.
[OSU student: 'We must call out Issue 1 for what it is: voter suppression.' - Brielle Shorter - Columbus Dispatch]
Ohio, Big Investments and Low Cost of Living
Ohio has long been known for its affordability and quality of life. Now the Buckeye State is seeing a wave of major investments by companies, paired with a still low cost of living, that make it an attractive destination.
Ohio recently received one of its largest economic development wins ever, with Amazon announcing plans to invest over $7 billion in the state. This includes massive new data center campuses near Columbus that will create over 1,500 jobs. The tech giant cited Ohio's skilled workforce and logistical advantages in choosing it for this major expansion.
Amazon's giant investment comes as Ohio continues to rank as one of the most affordable places to live in the U.S. Multiple cities were recently named by U.S. News and World Report as top affordable locations based on low home prices compared to income, reasonable property taxes and livable median household incomes.
Youngstown placed 2nd most affordable nationwide, offering a revitalized downtown and median income under $30,000. Further down the list were Toledo at #21, praised for outdoor recreation and close proximity to other Great Lakes cities, and Dayton at #22 which provides both a lively urban core and cozy suburban communities.
Looking across the state, many cities boast strong affordability and quality of life. Niles offers cultural attractions near the Cleveland metro area. Mansfield provides a great mix of urban energy and nature. Sandusky gives access to Lake Erie shores. And places like Canton, Zanesville, Warren and Steubenville abound with museums, scenic rivers, and small town appeal at budget prices.
Surprisingly, despite these affordability factors, Census data shows Ohio's population declined slightly in 2021 and 2022 after a small increase in 2020. The reasons for this demographic shift are unclear. However, with major investments coming and diverse job opportunities, Ohio may be poised to stabilize and eventually return to growth.
While the cost of living stays relatively low, job opportunities are expanding with major projects like Amazon's as well as other industrial investments. And Ohio maintains a diverse economy with strengths in sectors like finance, biotech, auto manufacturing and more that provide abundant career paths.
With household budgets going further and new companies choosing Ohio for large job-creating investments, the state offers the total package of affordability and economic opportunity. Buckeye State residents can enjoy unique local charms without breaking the bank as the economy grows. This combination helps explain why both businesses and families should be voting for Ohio with their feet.
National American Headlines:
The Devon Archer Transcript
The House Oversight Committee recently released a transcript of Devon Archer's testimony, a business associate of Hunter Biden. Coupled with Archer's interview with Tucker Carlson, these documents provide a clearer picture of former Vice President Joe Biden's involvement with his son's business dealings. The details, as relayed by Archer, indicate a more direct and deeper involvement of Joe Biden than he has previously acknowledged, suggesting a cover-up and a breach of trust with the American people.
Devon Archer's testimony frequently alludes to the significant value of the "Biden brand" in their business dealings. When probed about the brand, Archer confirms, "By 'brand' you mean the Biden family, correct?" He further clarifies that while he doesn't wish to speculate on percentages, the Biden name undeniably added a unique value to their ventures. This sentiment is underscored by Archer's statement, "I think Burisma would have gone out of business if it didn't have the brand attached to it," highlighting the weight the Biden name carried in these dealings.
Beyond the value of the brand, Archer's testimony reveals that Joe Biden's interactions with Hunter's business associates were not only frequent but also direct. He states, "Hunter Biden would occasionally put Joe Biden on speakerphone during meetings with business associates." The sheer frequency of these interactions, approximately 20 times over their partnership, suggests a deeper connection than mere casual conversations. Furthermore, Joe Biden's presence at dinners with these associates is telling. A dinner in spring of 2014 at Cafe Milano saw the attendance of significant figures like Kenes Rakishev, Karim Massimov, and Yelena Baturina, among others. Archer confirms, "Joe Biden had dinner there." Another dinner in spring 2015 had Joe Biden present, with discussions around topics like the World Food Programme.
One of the most significant revelations from the recently released transcripts of Devon Archer's testimony is the request for assistance from D.C. made by Mykola Zlochevsky and Vadym. During a meeting at the Four Seasons, they approached Hunter Biden for help with the government pressure they were facing in Ukraine. Archer recalls, "The request was I think they were getting pressure and they requested Hunter, you know, help them with some of that pressure."
This plea for assistance, coupled with Archer's veiled references to seeking help from D.C., casts a new light on the intricate web of interactions involving former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and their business associates. It points towards a more significant involvement of Joe Biden than previously admitted.
Our initial read of the transcript, detailed in an earlier article, has found compelling evidence that Joe Biden is indeed the "Big Guy" referred to in Hunter's communications. This revelation, drawn from Archer's own words, raises serious questions about the extent of Biden's involvement in these dealings. The potential implications for his political career are profound, as this new evidence contradicts his previous claims of non-involvement. As the story continues to unfold, it's clear that the truth is far more complex and potentially damaging than Biden's public statements suggest.
In light of these revelations, the picture of Joe Biden's involvement with Hunter's business dealings has become increasingly clear. The frequency of interactions, the leveraging of the Biden name, and the requests for D.C. assistance all point towards a deeper connection than previously acknowledged.
The recent disclosure of a hand-signed letter during Tucker Carlson's interview with Devon Archer further substantiates these claims. This evidence, coupled with the insights from the transcript, provides a compelling case for a formal investigation.
As the story continues to unfold, the need for transparency and accountability from Joe Biden becomes paramount. The implications of these interactions, especially considering the office he holds, are significant and warrant immediate action. Speaker McCarthy has already alluded to the possibility of impeachment proceedings. Given the mounting evidence, it's clear that impeachment isn't just a possibility, it's a necessity.
Read the full transcript yourself, here.
Trump’s Indefinite Indictment
In what can only be described as a blatant attempt at election interference, former President Donald Trump is once again being dragged through the legal mud. The recent indictment by Special Counsel Jack Smith is not just a legal maneuver; it's a clear political play. With Trump leading in every poll as the front-runner for the upcoming elections, the timing of this indictment is more than suspect—it's an affront to the democratic process.
The charges, which include conspiracy to defraud the US and obstructing election certification, are not just legally questionable but are an attempt to criminalize protected political speech. How can one prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump knowingly made false claims about election fraud? This indictment threatens the very essence of free speech, potentially criminalizing common election challenges and political rhetoric.
Moreover, the use of rarely invoked statutes to prosecute Trump is a concerning precedent. Inferring intent in such legally ambiguous ways is not just legally dubious but is a clear overreach. Today it's Trump; tomorrow, who will it be?
The scene outside the federal courthouse in Washington DC was tense, a stark reminder of the January 6 Capitol riots. Trump, set to be arraigned before Judge Tanya Chutkan, is no stranger to her. She has ruled harshly against January 6th protestors in the past. But this isn't just about past rulings; it's about the future of our democracy.
Former Congressman Joe Walsh's comments are telling. He believes the charges could be politically beneficial for Trump, painting him as a martyr in the eyes of Republican voters. If this is the state of our democracy, where a former president can be dragged through the courts based on dubious charges during an election season, we are indeed in a dark place.
But here's the more sinister implication: even if Trump does win the presidency again, this indictment sets the stage for a presidency mired in legal battles. It's a repeat of his previous term, where legal pressures constantly overshadowed his tenure. This isn't just about Trump; it's about the future of the presidency itself. Can any president effectively lead if they are constantly dragged into court?
In essence, this indictment is more than just a legal challenge; it's a clear and present danger to our democratic processes. The implications are clear: this is an attempt to influence an election and undermine a potential presidential term. It's a dark day for our country, and we must recognize it for what it is: a sham and a disgrace.
The Rising Tide of School Choice: A Beacon of Hope Amidst Challenges
The landscape of American education is witnessing a seismic shift. Several states that have recently created or expanded school choice programs are experiencing robust demand from parents, signaling a growing appetite for educational alternatives. This surge in demand is a testament to the power of choice and the desire of parents to secure the best possible education for their children.
In Indiana, the state's voucher program saw a 20% growth for the 2022-23 academic year, even before income limits were removed. Similarly, Florida awarded over 268,000 income-based scholarships after making its program universal, a significant increase from the previous 183,925. Arizona, too, saw a surge in interest, with 47,667 new education savings account applications approved following an expansion in eligibility.
Newcomers to the school choice arena, West Virginia, Iowa, and Arkansas, also witnessed large increases in ESA applications after launching their new programs. These figures underscore the popularity of school choice options when implemented effectively.
However, the success of these programs is not without challenges. For these initiatives to fully succeed, more parental awareness and smooth operation will be needed. The supply of private school seats may initially limit some programs, but it's expected to expand in response to demand.
Despite these promising developments, the path to school choice is not without its adversaries. The National Education Association (NEA) is investing heavily in an attempt to reverse Nebraska's new school choice program. The state recently introduced $5,000 tax-credit scholarships for private schools, capped initially at $25 million.
A group called Support Our Schools Nebraska, funded by the NEA, is seeking signatures to put the repeal of this program on the 2024 ballot. The NEA argues that the scholarships will defund public schools, despite Nebraska allocating more public school funding in conjunction with the scholarships.
In Nevada, hundreds of students may lose their tax-credit scholarships after a funding increase expired and wasn't renewed. To partially offset the shortfall, Nevada's Republican governor is directing $3 million in COVID funds.
These instances highlight the political and funding efforts to roll back new choice programs against union opposition. The NEA's attempts to undermine modest school choice gains in Nebraska and Nevada underscore the ongoing struggle for educational freedom.
The rising tide of school choice is a beacon of hope for many families seeking better educational opportunities for their children. Despite the challenges and opposition, the popularity of these programs where they have been well-implemented is a promising sign. As the fight for school choice continues, it's clear that the demand for educational alternatives is not just a passing trend, but a powerful movement that's here to stay.
[The Rising Demand for School Choice -WSJ]
The Battle Over AP Psychology in Florida: A Stand for Educational Integrity
The recent clash between Florida and the College Board over the content of the Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology course has sparked a heated debate. At the heart of the controversy is a section on gender and sexuality, which Florida has recently restricted in instruction through 12th grade. The College Board, however, has refused to remove this longstanding section, asserting that any course without it cannot be called "advanced placement."
This conflict is not an isolated incident but part of an ongoing battle between the College Board and Florida over the teaching of race, gender, and sexuality. The College Board's refusal to modify the course content, citing a refusal to "censor" college-level content, has led to a standoff with the state. Florida officials have accused the College Board of "playing games," asserting that they did not ban the course but merely requested content changes.
The American Psychological Association supports including gender and sexuality as necessary for human development studies. However, scholars and psychologists like Jordan Peterson have repeatedly criticized the concept of gender fluid studies being included in any lesson plan that pertains to mental health. They argue that gender-affirming care is not only scientifically unfounded but can also lead to harmful side effects.
In a surprising turn of events, Florida's education commissioner announced that the AP Psychology course could be taught "in its entirety" in an age-appropriate way. This statement led the College Board to reverse its stance, now allowing districts to offer the full course, including the gender and sexuality section.
However, the path forward remains uncertain. With over 28,000 Florida students having taken AP Psychology last year, districts are now left scrambling with the course in limbo. It's unclear how districts will proceed and whether changes will be required under Florida's rules.
The controversy over the AP Psychology course in Florida underscores the ongoing struggle over the content of education in the United States. It's a stark reminder of the need for educational content to be based on sound scientific principles, not ideological agendas. As the situation unfolds, we can only hope that the Florida board closely monitors the content included in these courses, ensuring that they uphold the integrity of education and the mental health of students.
[In a Reversal, A.P. Psychology May Be Allowed in Florida Schools After All - NYT]
The Immigration Crisis: Biden's Policies and the Urgent Need for Border Control
The southern border of the United States has seen an unprecedented surge in illegal immigration since President Biden assumed office. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, law enforcement encountered a staggering 1.7 million migrants. The first eight months of FY 2022 have already seen over 1.5 million apprehensions. The months of April and May set consecutive records, with 235,478 and 239,416 illegal crossings, respectively. It's anticipated that June will set yet another record.
This surge in illegal immigration is a direct consequence of the Biden administration's swift replacement of effective immigration measures with failed Obama-era policies. Within weeks of taking office, President Biden cancelled the construction of the border wall, a measure that had decreased illegal entries by 87%.
The Biden administration is also determined to end Title 42, despite knowing that lifting it will result in an estimated 18,000 migrants encountering the southern border each day. Furthermore, the administration plans to reinstate the Obama-era "catch and release" policy, which allows illegal immigrants, including those with dangerous backgrounds, to disappear into the United States.
In May 2022, Biden implemented a policy presuming most migrants crossing illegally from Mexico are ineligible for asylum. This policy was met with legal challenges from migrant advocacy groups, leading to a federal judge blocking it in July on the grounds that it violated existing asylum laws. However, a federal appeals court has since extended a pause on the judge's order, allowing the asylum restrictions to stay in place while the legal challenge continues.
Biden officials argue that these stringent rules are necessary to address the surges in migration at the southern border. While illegal crossings significantly declined after the new asylum policy was implemented, July numbers suggest a potential rebound.
As a candidate, Biden pledged to reverse Trump's immigration policies. However, his struggle with border issues as president underscores the effectiveness of Trump's approach to immigration. The case could ultimately reach the Supreme Court to decide whether Biden's asylum restrictions are lawful.
The record flow of illegal immigrants and the ongoing legal battle over Biden's policies underscore the urgent need for effective border control. It's crucial that the court upholds these restrictions to prevent a further influx of illegal immigrants. The current administration's immigration policies have already led to an unprecedented surge in illegal crossings, and further leniency could exacerbate the crisis.
Podcast of the Week
Crimefellas - The Michael Knowles Show
In this week's edition of The Dispatch, we strongly recommend our readers to tune into a particularly enlightening episode of the Michael Knowles show. In this episode, Knowles meticulously dissects the ongoing controversies surrounding the Biden administration, offering a comprehensive analysis that is both insightful and thought-provoking.
The primary focus of the episode is the unfolding scandal in the White House, a topic that Knowles navigates with his signature blend of sharp commentary and in-depth knowledge. He scrutinizes the so-called "Biden Timeline," shedding light on the inconsistencies and questionable actions that have marked this administration's tenure.
However, the episode doesn't stop at the White House's doorstep. Knowles broadens the scope of his discussion to encompass the myriad issues plaguing the Biden administration as a whole. He delves into the numerous problems that have arisen within the Department of Justice, highlighting the controversies that have cast a shadow over this crucial institution.
Furthermore, Knowles doesn't shy away from addressing the scandals that have tainted the Biden regime. He provides a thorough overview of these controversies, offering his unique perspective on the implications for the administration and the country as a whole.
This episode of the Michael Knowles show is a must-watch for anyone seeking a comprehensive understanding of the current political landscape. It offers a clear, concise, and incisive analysis of the challenges facing the Biden administration, making it an invaluable resource for those keen on staying informed about the state of our nation's leadership.
International Trends - Contributor Exclusive
In this week's exclusive edition for our contributors, your Dispatch dives into the complex world of climate policy, specifically focusing on the meteoric rise and emerging challenges of "net zero" emissions targets. This comprehensive feature traces the journey of net zero from a peripheral concept to a globally accepted doctrine in less than a decade. It highlights the hasty adoption of 2050 net zero goals by governments worldwide, often without comprehensive planning or rigorous analysis.
Our article scrutinizes the conspicuous absence of feasibility assessments and cost-benefit studies underpinning most national net zero commitments. The repercussions of this precipitous approach are beginning to surface as energy prices soar and public discontent mounts against green policies perceived as an elitist agenda imposed on ordinary citizens.
We examine the burgeoning warning signs in regions like the UK and EU, where ill-conceived net zero initiatives have jeopardized energy security and affordability. Additionally, we explore the supply chain bottlenecks, risks of grid instability, and other areas where the lofty aspirations of net zero are clashing with technological and geopolitical realities.
In essence, this in-depth feature argues that the swift ascent of net zero goals serves as a stark reminder of the perils of setting distant climate targets without a robust supporting strategy, thorough consultation, and comprehensive impact analysis. To garner widespread public support, there's a pressing need to recalibrate climate action towards a more pragmatic, socially-conscious direction.
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