The California Supreme Court ruled that thousands of convicted sex offenders may be eligible for early release from prison under a ballot measure that voters approved four years ago.
The ballot measure is referred to as Proposition 57. It was written by then-Governor Jerry Brown (D. Nearly two-thirds of the electorate passed the measure. The intent of the initiative was to reduce the state’s prison population, saying any person guilty of a “nonviolent felony offense” would be eligible for early parole. Brown said he never intended for it to include sex offenders. But the original language did not specifically exclude them. Lower appeals courts had ruled that nonviolent sex offenders could not be excluded, and the high court confirmed those rulings.
“The initiative’s language provides no indication that the voters intended to allow the (Corrections) Department to create a wholesale exclusion from parole consideration based on an inmate’s sex offense convictions when the inmate was convicted of a nonviolent felony,” wrote Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye in the court’s 7-0 decision.
According to The Associated Press, “the ballot measure allows officials to consider paroling inmates convicted of nonviolent crimes after they have served their basic sentence and before they have completed sometimes lengthy additional terms for enhancements for things like using a gun, having prior criminal convictions, or being involved in a street gang.”
California law classifies sex crimes “like rape, sodomy, and continuous sexual abuse of a child” as violent offenses, but “pimping, incest, indecent exposure and possessing child pornography” are not.
Prosecutors warned voters that the ballot measure was “so sloppily and poorly drafted” it would “wreak havoc on public safety.”
As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the CDCR had “prohibited the board from considering early release for inmates serving time for a conviction that required registration as a sex offender,” and
“On Monday, the state’s high court ruled unanimously that the department’s regulations were unauthorized by Prop. 57. As of 2018, the state rules barred about 4,400 inmates from being considered for early parole.”
A CDCR spokeswoman told The Chronicle that the ruling “does not mean that sex offenders will automatically be released to the community.” She also said that the parole board would “assess their case factors individually, including whether they continue to propose a public safety risk.”
Sacramento attorney Janice Bellucci, who is also the executive director of the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, argued the case. She called the decision “a significant victory” for incarcerated people convicted of sex crimes.
When President Trump signed the year-end spending and pandemic relief packages last week, lawmakers promised to consider his demand to increase the next round of stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.
House lawmakers approved the increase with a vote of 275-134, with 44 Republicans joining Democrats in support of larger checks.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rejected the House bill and introduced his own package that offers $2,000 stimulus checks. But it also overturns Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and sets up a commission to study voter fraud.
President Donald Trump cited his frustrations with Section 230 as one of the reasons he refused to sign the National Defense Authorization Act last week. Congress is expected to override Trump’s veto, though Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has threatened to delay that vote until the Senate agrees on stimulus payments.
Critics have accused McConnell of intentionally blocking the $2,000 checks by crafting legislation designed to fail, though all provisions of his bill are backed by President Trump.
McConnell’s proposal “will not pass the House and cannot become law – any move like this by Senator McConnell would be a blatant attempt to deprive Americans of the $2,000 survival check,” argues Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who backed a stand-alone vote on stimulus checks.
“Let’s not muddy the waters,” added Sanders. “Are you for $2,000 or are you not…That’s what the American people want to know.”
A handful of GOP Senators said they would support larger checks, but most Republicans are wary to increase the dollar amount of the stimulus package. Boosting stimulus checks t0 $2,000 would add another $463 billion to the $900 billion package. To get a stand-alone vote on stimulus checks through the Senate, 12 Republicans would need to join all Democrats.
Georgia Republican incumbent Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who face runoff elections on January 5th, both favor larger stimulus checks but haven’t voiced an opinion of McConnell’s proposal. If both Republicans lose, Democrats will gain control of the Senate.
A strange plan to “save Earth,” funded by Bill Gates, is “quietly” moving forward.
The plan, which aims to dim the sun’s rays and their impact on the earth, will reportedly “save the human race.”
Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist, is set on saving the earth no matter the cost.
“While you may have been paying attention to [Gates’] efforts on vaccination and lockdowns, you may not have noticed that one of Gates’ most controversial causes just got a go-ahead: A project that would help block out the sun,” the Western Journal’s Douglas Golden wrote.
Reuters reported that the geo-engineering plan — a Harvard University project funded largely by Gates— “plans to test out a controversial theory that global warming can be stopped by spraying particles into the atmosphere that would reflect the sun’s rays.”
The Swedish Space Corporation has already started to test out the theory.
“Open-air research into spraying tiny, sun-reflecting particles into the stratosphere, to offset global warming, has been stalled for years by controversies — including that it could discharge needed cuts in greenhouse gas emissions,” Reuters reported. “In a small step, the Swedish Space Corporation agreed this week to help Harvard researchers launch a balloon near the Arctic town of Kiruna next June. It would carry a gondola with 600 kg of scientific equipment 20 km (12 miles) high.”
“The idea is simple: spray a bunch of particles into the stratosphere, and they will cool the planet by reflecting some of the Sun’s rays back into space,” Nature’s Jeff Tollefson wrote in 2018. “Scientists have already witnessed the principle in action.”
“When Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it injected an estimated 20 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere — the atmospheric layer that stretches from about 10 to 50 kilometres above Earth’s surface,” Tollefson continued. “The eruption created a haze of sulfate particles that cooled the planet by around 0.5 °C. For about 18 months, Earth’s average temperature returned to what it was before the arrival of the steam engine.”
According to Reuters, the plan could move forward in the “autumn of 2021 or spring of 2022,” and would “release a tiny amount … of non-toxic calcium carbonate dust into the atmosphere” to test the theory.
Environmentalists have warned that a geo-engineering plan could result in alarming consequences.
“There are several problems with this plan, not the least of which is that we don’t know what the unintended consequences might be. But to environmentalists, the problem is that it doesn’t solve global warming the way they want to do it,” Douglas writes.
Reuters also reported that many of the plan’s opponents fear a “slippery slope toward engineering the climate.”
Niclas Hällström, director of the Sweden-based environmentalist think-tank WhatNext? told Reuters, “There is no merit in this test except to enable the next step. You can’t test the trigger of a bomb and say ‘This can’t possibly do any harm.'”
Hällström also said that he is concerned about the plan’s “potential to change rain patterns or crop yields.”
Lili Fuhr, head of the international environmental policy division at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Germany, said that the project is “crossing an important political red line.”
“They don’t want to stop at this small experiment. The reason is to get bigger experiments,” she explained.
Reuters reported that both Fuhr and Hällström said the plan “would violate a global 2010 moratorium on geoengineering under the U.N. Convention on Biodiversity.”
Jim Thomas, co-CEO of environmentalist organization ETC Group, said that he is also against the idea.
“This is as much an experiment in changing social norms and crossing a line as it is a science experiment,” Thomas warned.
It appears that on January 6th there will be a large demonstration by Trump supporters protesting the outcome of the election in an effort to have the vote of the Electoral College overturned. It is timed to put pressure on Congress to intervene. It will achieve neither of those goals.
It will, however, elicit a hysterical and hyperbolic response from Democrats, the left and the media. Even the mere anticipation of such an outpouring of public support for Trump has the media predicting the direst of outcomes. Even without the iconic images similar to those we regularly see of left-wing demonstrators pulling down statues, looting local establishments and torching buildings and vehicles, the media propagandists will deem the most peaceful Republican demonstrators as an unruly mob tearing at the fabric of democracy.
They will accuse those in the streets of undermining the very foundations of the Republic and doing irreparable harm to the principles of democracy. If the past is any indicator, they will call it treason – and accuse Trump of being an autocratic with no respect for the Constitution.
They will expand their slander to include virtually all Republican elected officials – and declare the folks demonstrating are some sort of addle-brained cultists who are seeking to overthrow the government.
The talking heads on the telly will be apoplectic in their outrageously exaggerated narratives. They will outdo Chicken Little in predicting the political sky is falling.
However, there are a couple points that we need to keep in mind.
Nothing … that is NOTHING … that Trump, his lawyers and supporters have done is illegal, unconstitutional or immoral. We can debate whether all the recounts and court filings were wise – but nothing more than that. Trump is merely exercising all the rights he enjoys in a situation like this.
That also goes for his vetoes, the pardons and all the other actions he has taken since the election. You can hardly be a threat to the Republic when you are playing by all the rules of the Republic.
In terms of that proposed demonstration in Washington, that, too, is an exercise of our inalienable constitutional rights – the right of free speech, to petition our government and to assemble at will.
But that is not how the elitist east coast media will describe it. No. No. No. And that is where the hypocrisy comes in.
Let us travel back in time … to another January four years ago. It was January 20, 2016, to be precise. Donald J. Trump was being inaugurated on that day as our 45th President of the United States. It is – or at least should be – a day of celebration – a reaffirmation that this Republic of the people, by the people and for the people can transfer power peacefully. It should be a day of unification and celebration despite who won or lost the election.
But in 2016 — for the first time since the election of President Abraham Lincoln — a segment of our population demonstrated their displeasure by launching a resistance movement to undermine and eventually topple the duly elected President.
Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of citizens took to the streets to protest against the newly elected President. They had called for the impeachment of Trump even before his inauguration. On the day of his inauguration, the Washington Post declared it to be the first day of Trump’s impeachment. The left-wing media was in praise of the demonstrations and the demonstrators. The folks of the Fourth Estate were more promoters of the demonstrations than chroniclers.
But not this time. They will brandish the sword of propaganda behind the shield of hypocrisy to continue their unprofessional and biased assault on Trump, Republicans, conservatives and the millons of Americans who voted for him. Unlike in January of 2016 – when they declared the people in the streets to be citizens exercising their constitutional rights (even when they broke the law or engaged in violence) – those who take to the same streets to exercise their same constitutional rights (hopefully without violence) in January of 2021 will be characterized – make that mischaracterized – as revolutionary rabble.
Despite the Draconian doomsday narratives of the corrupt press, our Republic will survive these days of controversy and consternation. We have seen worse. But as in the past, we must commit to repairing the torn national fabric. The debate over the legitimacy of the 2020 election must transform into a commitment to repair those things in our electoral process that went haywire. If we do not do that, then maybe the Republic is in danger.
So, there ‘tis.
A Chinese court sentenced a journalist to 4 years in prison for trying to warn people about the Covid-19 outbreak from its epicenter in Wuhan last year.
37-year-old Zhang Zhan was one of several Chinese citizen-journalists to give firsthand accounts of the outbreak. She described crowded hospitals and empty streets, showing the world that the situation in Wuhan was much worse than what the communist government was suggesting.
Zhang arrived in Wuhan in early February to report on the deadly new virus. She posted her findings online, some of which were critical of the Chinese government, Reuters reported. Her Youtube videos “consist[ed] of interviews with residents, commentary and footage of a crematorium, train stations, hospitals and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Back in May, Zhang was arrested for allegedly spreading false information, granting interviews to foreign media, disrupting social order, and criticizing the government, according to NBC News.
According to her lawyers, police “strapped her hands and force-fed her with a tube” and that by December “she was suffering headaches, giddiness, stomach ache, low blood pressure and a throat infection.”
On Monday, the Pudong New Area People’s Court in Shanghai sentenced her to four years in jail for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” according to one of her lawyers. “We will probably appeal,” they added.
“I don’t understand. All she did was say a few true words, and for that she got four years,” Zhang’s mother, who was present at the trial with her husband, said.
Humanitarian critics have voiced concerns over China’s treatment and punishment of Zhang.
“We are deeply concerned by the 4-year prison sentence imposed on citizen journalist Zhang Zhan,” the UN Human Rights office tweeted. “We raised her case with the authorities throughout 2020 as an example of the excessive clampdown on freedom of expression linked to [COVID-19] & continue to call for her release.”
Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, criticized the timing of the sentence. He suggested that Chinese authorities waited until the holiday season to avoid attention and scrutiny from the West.
“Beijing’s selection of the sleepy period between Christmas and New Year’s suggests even it is embarrassed to sentence citizen-journalist Zhang Zhan to four years in prison for having chronicled the uncensored version of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan,” he said.
Chinese authorities have been trying to hide the dangers of the virus since the early days of the outbreak, censuring and detaining a number of doctors and journalists in Wuhan.
A study released in March found that if interventions in China has been “conducted one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier, cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent and 95 percent respectively — significantly limiting the geographical spread of the disease.”
Sunday, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called for term limits for federal government bureaucrats as a way to curb corruption and the growth of government during an appearance on FNC’s “The Next Revolution.”
The Tennessee Republican U.S. Senator explained to Fox News Channel’s Steve Hilton such a move would be an effective way to “drain the swamp.”
“It has been an incredible year, one that nobody anticipated,” she said. “And one of the things I think is so precise that you have just touched on is that Big Business, Big Government, Big Tech, Big Media — they all go hand in hand, and they’re all a part of the D.C. swamp. And thank goodness for Donald Trump and his efforts to drain the swamp, and I think the American people are finding out just have murky the swamp is.”
“And you know, Steve, one of the things you touched on about the bureaucracy and cutting it,” Blackburn continued. “I have said for a long time — we need to have term limits for bureaucrats because they are the ones that dig in, and they won’t leave, and they never modernize. They don’t use technology. They always demand more money. They never get a pay cut. They are always getting pay raises, so we need to have term limits for bureaucrats.”
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo said this week that Joe Biden should use inauguration day to publicly shame President Donald Trump.
Cuomo spoke with Anthony Scaramucci, former Trump ally, who said that he didn’t think Trump would be able to resist attending Biden’s inauguration.
“He’s making a decision to go to the inaugural or not,” Scaramucci said. He also claims that he had spoken with friends who were still close with the president. “I predict he goes, Chris. I don’t see how he misses that. He’s an attention hog. He will try to make it about himself. And so my guess is he’ll end up at the inaugural and he’ll leave a lot of wreckage.”
Scaramucci also said that he thought the Trump presidency would probably spark conversation about a constitutional amendment that could limit the power of the White House.
“We’re gonna need something to check his power or to check a president like him, god forbid we get another disaster like this,” Scaramucci said.
“If he goes to the inauguration, Biden should point at him and speak to Republicans and say, ‘You deserved better than this,’” Cuomo replied. “He has left your party in shambles. I know the GOP. I know Republicans. I know what they’re about at their best, and I will be there for you restoring those virtues. I would point at his ass the whole time.”
Cuomo then said, “I don’t think Biden will do that because he’s better than I am. He’s going to try to move past that and the best way to do that is to ignore Trump.”
“Sometimes you need people like you and me to get in there and tell the truth and rough people up like this,” Scaramucci said. He then called Trump a “disaster” and claimed that he had not only hurt Republicans and the United States, but that he had damaged the United States’ reputation around the world.
Former Fox News host Eric Bolling of Sinclair TV says that Fox is worried by the change in its audience after the 2020 presidential election.
At Turning Point USA’s annual Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida, Bolling explained why networks such as Newsmax and One America News Network are becoming more popular after the November 3rd election.
“Here’s what happened guys, let’s be honest with you… on November 3rd — Fox declared Biden the winner in Arizona. MAGA-world went ballistic, they said ‘I’m not watching Fox News,’ they switched over and they looked and they found Newsmax,” Bolling said.
Attendees of the event gave him massive applause when he said that “Fox lost about 40% of their audience. 40%. That’s a big number.”
Fox has denied such claims, saying that while some programs have lost a third of their viewers since election night, they still dominate the cable news ratings.
Bolling then talking about those who remain at Fox News, but are concerned by the growing popularity of competitors such as Newsmax and OAN.
“I have friends still there that say they are very, very nervous about it, they’re sucking wind on it and they don’t know how to turn it around.”
Since election night, Nielsen TV ratings showed that many of Fox News’ programs had a dramatic decrease in views. From November 2nd to November 11th, viewership dropped by 40% for Neil Cavuto, 40% for Bret Baier — who hosted one of the presidential debates between Trump and Biden — 40% for Martha MacCallum, 36% for Laura Ingraham, 33% for Sean Hannity, and 29% for Tucker Carlson.
The 2021 Covid-19 relief bill sends coronavirus stimulus checks to “mixed-status” families, those that include illegal migrant spouses and Americans.
Democrats, and even some GOP legislators, including Senator Marc Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), pushed the expansion. CBS reported:
“Under the agreement, U.S. citizens and green card holders will be able to receive $600 in direct aid, even if they filed a joint tax return with an undocumented spouse, as well as additional $600 checks per dependent child, according to congressional aides and the text of the legislation.
The new compromise would also retroactively make mixed-status families eligible for the $1,200 per household and $500 per child checks allocated by the CARES Act, which was enacted in late March.”
In a statement, Rubio said, “no American should have been blocked from receiving federal assistance during a global pandemic because of who they married.” He continued, “I thank Senator Tillis and my other Senate colleagues for their leadership in getting this across the finish line.”
The Migration Policy Institute estimates the new measure will give stimulus checks to families with a total of roughly 3.7 million U.S.-born children and 1.4 million U.S. spouses. Roughly one-third live in California, one-sixth live in Texas, and one-thirteenth live in New York.
In previous emergency bills, funding for this measure was blocked because the family aid will be quietly shared with about nine million additional illegal aliens in mixed-status families.
This new spending bill also cuts funding for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, along with many other protections against the foreign economic migrants who lower Americans’ wages and increase rent for Americans.
Many business groups also back the spending measure because the stimulus checks will likely help pay for groceries, rent, and other expenses that would help businesses profit.
President Trump on Tuesday criticized the COVID relief package lawmakers announced Sunday, demanding they increase stimulus checks to $2,000 (up from $600 specified in the bill).
“Throughout the summer, Democrats cruelly blocked COVID relief legislation in an effort to advance their extreme leftwing agenda and influence the election,” argued Trump in a blistering video posted to Twitter.
“The bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated. It really is a disgrace…It’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID.”
The relief package is tied to a $1.4 trillion spending bill Trump must sign in order to prevent a government shutdown.
Provisions of the bill that Trump opposes include:
- $85.5 million to Cambodia
- $134 million to Burma
- $1.3 billion to Egypt and its military
- $25 million to Pakistan
- $5 million to El Salvador and other Latin American nations
- $7 million for reef fish management
- $3 million for poultry production technology
- $1 billion+ for the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, and the National Gallery of Art
Even worse, the COVID relief portion offers stimulus checks to the family members of illegal aliens – allowing them to receive over $1,000 each. American workers are offered a mere $600.
“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists, and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people, who need it. It wasn’t their fault. It was China’s fault,” said Trump, adding that he won’t sign the bill unless lawmakers increase stimulus checks to $2,000, provide more funding for small businesses, and remove the “wasteful and unnecessary items” from the bill.
President Trump’s demands were an unwelcome surprise for lawmakers, many of whom had already left the Capitol for Christmas break.
In response to his demands, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she would try to increase stimulus checks to $2,000 using a process called “Unanimous Consent” – which can be blocked by a single lawmaker who disagrees.
“Just when you think you have seen it all, last night, the President said that he would possibly veto the bicameral agreement negotiated between Republicans and Democrats,” said Pelosi. “If the President truly wants to join us in $2,000 payments, he should call upon [House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy] to agree to our Unanimous Consent request.”
In the meantime, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has suggested that lawmakers reverse Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in a bid to convince Trump to sign to COVID relief package as-is.