US capitol building with out sky.  Transparency PNG.
US capitol building with out sky. Transparency PNG.

The Mandate for 2023 and 118th U.S. Congress

There are two priorities. Originally published at Front Page Magazine

The pre-Christmas vote by the U.S. House and Senate to pass the $1.7 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill at a time when America’s balance sheet is in its worst condition ever is a sign post that financial collapse cannot be far away. Our nation is now technically bankrupt with liabilities significantly exceeding assets. And it gets worse every year with national debt now growing on a long-term annual basis at 8% or more, while assets (GDP) are growing on average at only 2.5 to 3% annually. Politically, our federal government is operating at ever new levels of dysfunction and corruption with diminishing accountability to the Constitution in either the spirit or the letter of the law.

Consider: the widespread failure of elected officials to uphold their oath of office; the political weaponization of the Justice Department and the FBI; the unequal two-tiered practice of justice and law enforcement; the flood of illegal immigrants and criminal enterprises into the United States as a direct result of willful federal government policy; and the violation of the First Amendment by federal agencies such as the FBI, DOJ, DHS, the CDC and DOD, who have engaged in covert operations against American citizens that include media manipulation and psy-ops.

With a new Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives it is time for action and results.

There are two priorities for the new Congress. First, it needs to write and pass bills that fix the biggest problems—like crime and the southern border—that will improve the lives of all Americans. Second, Congress needs to hold public hearings for discovery of causes of our nation’s dysfunction and corruption. The House of Representatives is well suited for this because of the breadth of its committee structure and because it holds the purse strings that can withhold funding for government agencies who fail to be transparent and cooperate. Simultaneous and separate hearings on different areas of failure and corruption, can produce findings, deliver policy solutions and personnel recommendations and prosecutions well before the 2024 election.

Since the First Amendment protects the entire Constitution, a good place to start this process is discovery and examination of how those rights have been violated. The “Twitter files” being released by Elon Musk and other whistleblowers have revealed how the Deep State has destroyed Americans’ First Amendment rights.

One thing we now know is that significant numbers of ex-intelligence agents and employees have become employees of Twitter, Facebook, and Google. And this is more than the usual the revolving door of ex-government employees finding work with government contractor firms. The FBI was working so closely with Twitter since January of 2020 that it was viewed as an agency “subsidiary”—flagging and blocking numerous accounts for purportedly “harmful misinformation”—before Elon Musk’s takeover.

Perhaps the easiest to understand operation to influence election outcomes was revealed by FBI actions in October 2020, nine months after the agency obtained possession of the Hunter Biden laptop. At that time just three weeks before the Presidential election, the FBI actively suppressed the Biden laptop expose in New York Post, creating a blackout of Biden family criminal activities on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. It has been observed by many including Democrats that this may have sealed the election of Joe Biden as President.

It turns out that the Department of Homeland Security has been one of the key coordinating centers of censorship. The DHS was deeply involved in censorship leading up to the 2020 election in creating a public-private consortium known as the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) with the stated purpose to “monitor and correct election mis-and disinformation,” such as the legitimacy of the Hunter Biden laptop. This EIP censorship network partnered with two other subagency-operations within DHS, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC), and also the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) during the 2020 election cycle. Collectively they operated as technocratic thought police forwarding tickets of “mis- and disinformation” to social media companies.

The EIP grew to about 120 analysts monitoring social media for 20 hours a day. It developed communication portals through which it forwarded supposed misinformation to be censored to  Big Tech platforms and their social media engineers, including TwitterFacebookGoogleTikTokReddit, and Discord as well as liberal groups such as Democratic National Committee, the NAACP, Common Cause, and influential academic organizations such as Harvard’s Defending Digital Democracy Project, which operated throughout the 2020 and 2022 election cycles to censor supposed “mis- and disinformation.” The EIP did shift some of its censorship resources when it came time to launch the Virality Project in February 2021 to promote Covid-19 vaccines.

The CDC also had a secret portal to censor and ban dissenting social media posts, a practice that facilitated the shut-down of the economy and cost the lives of many who were deprived of learning about low-cost effective therapeutic treatments for Covid-19, while also promoting mandates for mask-wearing, social distancing and the holy grail of vaccinations to be delivered in the future.

Equal in importance to protecting Americans’ First Amendment rights, is the need to hold hearings and take action on the political weaponization of the Justice Department and the FBI and the unequal two-tiered nature of justice and law enforcement, which has been self-evident for the last fifteen to twenty years.

The full scope and numbers of illegal immigrants and the accompanying criminal and terrorist elements gaining entry through our southern border also need to be examined through House committee hearings, and—if warranted—the impeachment of DHS Secretary Mayorkas for dereliction of his oath of office and duty to protect the nation’s southern border from mass invasion.

The other critical factor for the renewal and survival of the United States is the restoration of public trust in its national elections, which many feel have been rendered irrelevant because of the massive fraud and irregularities in the 2020 and 2022 elections. Out of control mail-in voting, ballot harvesting and curing of ballots to the tune of more than 35% of some 112 million ballots cast in November 2022 makes auditing impossible. And while the irregularities are there for all to see, the political weaponization of the DOJ, the FBI, and the CIA together with their portals and penetration of the media have succeeded in blasting those who object to these radical ballot changes, extended ballot counting after election day and rigged electronic tabulation or to anyone who questions election results. On cue the media calls these “election deniers,” “democracy destroyers,” or even “insurrectionists.”

We will close by returning to the paramount importance of the First Amendment. The freedom to speak, read, hear, and view diverse perspectives protects all the other amendments and the Constitution itself. Getting at the truth is as essential for effective government and it only emerges from free discourse and debate—often more from the people with practical experience from the front line than from experts from the ivory tower or other insiders with entrenched careers or compromised by politics and financial payoffs.

The CDC has been wrong in all its recommendations on dealing with Covid-19, causing devastating economic destruction and unnecessary deaths. The DHS has effectively helped criminal enterprises and betrayed the American people by ineffective border enforcement and then it has lied about the results. The Biden DOJ and the FBI have violated American citizens’ Constitutional rights in countless and diverse matters revolving around First Amendment rights, even resulting in the unprecedented imprisonment of American citizens as political prisoners. The DOD brought about the loss of America’s stature as a reliable ally by abruptly and inexplicably abandoning Afghanistan—leaving behind thousands of loyal Afghan allies, some $85 billion in advanced military equipment, and abandoning the largest air base in central Asia to the Chinese. And if this wasn’t enough, the DOD leadership under Generals Austin and Milley during the last two years has pursued policies that have systematically weakened the American war-fighting capability at a time of rising overseas threats.

The mandate for the 2023 new year and 118th U.S. Congress opening the first week of January is straightforward: First, pass bills that solve big problems and help the largest number of Americans. Second, investigate government malfeasance and violations of American citizens’ Constitutional rights for the purpose of cleaning up government by recommending and pursuing penalties, prosecutions, and impeachments.

Scott S. Powell

Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Scott Powell has enjoyed a career split between theory and practice with over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and rainmaker in several industries. He joins the Discovery Institute after having been a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution for six years and serving as a managing partner at a consulting firm, RemingtonRand. His research and writing has resulted in over 250 published articles on economics, business and regulation. Scott Powell graduated from the University of Chicago with honors (B.A. and M.A.) and received his Ph.D. in political and economic theory from Boston University in 1987, writing his dissertation on the determinants of entrepreneurial activity and economic growth.