We've got breaking news, ACLJ responds to Supreme Court, and Jay and Jordan back in studio. Keeping you informed and engaged. Now more than ever, this is Seculo.
We want to hear from you. Share and post your comments or call 1-800-684-3110. And now your host, Jordan Seculo.
All right, welcome to Seculo. We're taking your comments today on social media. Got a phone line issue. We are live, but a phone line issue, so you can't take your phone calls today.
But get your comments in on social media. We've got a team monitoring that who's going to get that to Logan in the studio so he can present those questions to us as we go through the various topics on the broadcast today. We were in Washington DC yesterday and our office is there.
I know our team has got some photos of this. I don't know if they're ready to go yet, but we'll show some of this in maybe the second segment of the broadcast where we were hosting an event at the ACLJ DC in partnership with the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America group for new members of Congress. There's about 20 new Republicans coming to Washington DC. About half were there this week doing their new member orientation. And we had about, I'd say, eight out of the ten there who were in Washington DC.
They have lots of different events to choose from to attend. We were able to bring in our Senior Counsel for Global Affairs, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to address the group. We also had current members of Congress come, including some high-ranking members of Congress like Darrell Issa as well. I mentioned Senator James Lankford who opened us in prayer and really offered up as someone who also had served in Congress like Mike Pompeo as a resource. Last night, Dad was really about us talking to these new members saying, hey, we've got a couple things we can do for you right off the bat.
One, we can feature you on radio. So we can, in a sense, take you from being a member of Congress in a congressional district to speaking to a national audience on issues that are important to you and your constituents. And so we start getting people used to your name. They start hearing about you. And I think that is great.
People like Monica De La Cruz, Brendan Williams, Eric Burlington from Missouri, a lot of these two were strong supporters of the ACLJ. That was great to know before. I mean, many of them came up to us. There we are. Many of them came up to us and said that they had been following us since some of them were teenagers.
And there's a great example of it right there. And when you support the work of the ACLJ, that's our, by the way, if you're watching on our social media, that is our offices in Washington, which we've had now for 22 years. We're about to expand that office, by the way, significantly. Jordan and I went into, we're acquiring another property on Capitol Hill right next to it to expand the work of the ACLJ and our government affairs team. We'll have more about that next year.
But your support, there's Senator Lankford. So it was very, very encouraging to see all of this. Yeah. We are taking, as Jordan said, because phone lines are down today, we will be taking your comments. I'm on Rumble. We're monitoring it, monitoring Facebook. If you want to tweet us, we will be trying to monitor as many of those different platforms as possible to get your comments in. Facebook, YouTube, and Rumble, probably the main three sources. Get your comments.
Some will make them on the air, but really questions. We actually have sound from the event last night. All right. Cause we brought in some of our crew.
We did it pretty low key. Let me play. This is Mike Pompeo and his, he gave the main address to the group because he also was a member of Congress. Take a listen.
Bite 19. Boy, you can make a difference if you're willing to learn and listen and work. Learn and listen and work.
And you're here tonight, Autumn, you're here with pro-life organizations, ACLJ that does amazing work on religious freedoms. Listen to them, learn from them. Ask them questions. Take, take the work that they have been doing here in Washington, D.C. for decades that have given us all this incredible opportunity.
Take that on board, learn from them, listen to them, and then work every day. You know, the encouraging thing about this and we've got a breaking thing on the Supreme Court as well. We've got a major case, probably the lead case on the religion clauses, on religious free speech that is now primed for some major action. We're going to get into that when we come back in the next segment of the broadcast. We'll talk more about what was taking place in Washington and as Logan said, we'll get comments in via our social media.
Yep. Live. We're live on Facebook right now, Rumble and on YouTube. And we're monitoring all three of those. We'll get some questions and comments coming in. If you are on Rumble, hit that plus sign also or the thumbs up. If you are on YouTube, thumbs up.
Facebook, like, comment, share. And we'll be right back with your calls, comments coming up at ACLJ.org. So last night in Washington, D.C. that's why both my dad and I were not on the broadcast yesterday. We were traveling up to Washington in meetings there and then hosted a reception for new members of Congress, new Republican members of Congress, as well as some senior members to address those new members. We partnered with the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.
So life was again a major topic at that event. And also just making sure these new members know to use the ACLJ as a resource. I talked about one of those resources being that being on the broadcast, we launched a lot of people like Mike Pompeo, like Ron DeSantis. When they were brand new to Congress, we looked at their bios.
James Lankford when he was in Congress. Yes, we looked at their bios and said, these are people we want to put on air and make into names that people outside their state or district know. And so and then you look down the road, those same kind of individuals are regular participants on our broadcast. We also wanted to make sure they know we're a legal resource for them as well.
Yeah. And so I talked about the Supreme Court case, the Dobbs case that overturned Roe and our involvement in that, but also our involvement historically going back 30 years, where we were involved with the case that ended up being the first legal precedent set in that Dobbs opinion reversing Roe, was our Brave versus Alexandria Women's Health Clinic case, where they Supreme Court said opposition to abortion was not discrimination against women. And that became kind of the standard that Justice Alito utilized in crafting that opinion in Dobbs overturning Roe. So we trace some of the history and precedent for these new members of Congress. But also, I need to let you all know that we've got another development at the Supreme Court of the United States, and that is a very important case that originates out of Florida. But it involves a situation where you had a city council meeting and it had a prayer because of... And it wasn't even a city council meeting, actually. It was a called session, a special meeting of the community because of a crime outbreak that had taken place.
And members of the community got together and said, let's also offer prayer for our citizens and for the victims that were impacted by all of this. And the case stands for this proposition. A group of individuals went to the event for the sole purpose of being offended. I mean, offended. I mean, they said, we wanna go there because it'll be offensive to us and then we're gonna file a lawsuit.
I mean, that's in essence the case. And what we argued is that mere offense, the fact that I don't wanna hear this message, is not the basis upon which you can object in court because the price of freedom is sometimes you hear things you don't like. But the reality is, and I think this is what I think is so significant about this case, it could literally reorganize the whole issue of what's on the religion clause is the establishment clause, church-state separation issues, to be more in tune with what the founders intended, which was not this freedom from religion.
We don't have religion in public life. And what's, I think, fascinating about this case, it gives the Supreme Court the opportunity. So the other side filed their brief two days ago, 48 hours ago. We have 14 days to respond, which we're working on that response right now. And that is then the case is up for what's called certiorari. That means the Supreme Court may in fact grant review where they could not grant review. But this is the first step of the granting process. So we will finish the briefing mid-month on that case and that will basically say the issue is joined and the ramifications of this case, folks, will be gigantic.
Yeah, that's right. So again, we wanna take your comments through Rumble, through YouTube, Facebook as well, about a variety of these issues. I wanted to play this too from Congressman Darrell Issa, who was at our event last night. Again, a senior member of Congress took a couple of years off to work inside the Trump administration and then returned to Congress. And his message to, again, these new members of Congress and what it takes to make an impact by 20. But there's no limit to how often you can in fact help a society stand for the importance of life, the life of the unborn, the life of the indigent, the life of the elderly, even the life of the dying at the end of their life. And a society that does that is a society worth belonging to.
And I fight for life because that's what I'm fighting for. So there you go, strong messages pumping up this new group who is gonna be in the majority. Yes, but looks like about five. And what we also picked up last night, just a little inside baseball, is the inner workings of the leadership is just... It's a fight. It's not settled yet.
I think it's still likely Kevin McCarthy based off what we were hearing, but percentages of it might not be were higher than I thought. Yeah, it was very important that we were there yesterday. We try not to get too involved in that because that's up to really the members.
Yeah. So there's a couple of points I think we picked up from yesterday, and that's why it was very good to have this series of meetings. One other is the Senate race in Georgia. People are saying, well, it's not as significant now because it's not gonna be giving the majority to the Republicans if Herschel Walker wins.
But you know what it does do? If Herschel Walker does not win, you know what happens? The Senate on each of the major committees, the Republicans, conservatives lose a seat. And that's how things are stopped or blocked in committee, and you will lose that.
And that can become a really big situation. Yeah, we will be taking your comments, as I said, through Rumble. I'm watching those on Rumble.
We've got a social media team coming in on YouTube and on Facebook as well. Yeah. Still pulling them though. So you're still pulling them, so we don't have any yet.
Yeah, if you have a question, just put that... Hey, mark it, put question at the very beginning. I'll take it. Hey, so here's the thing on the committee thing I think we made very clear. And you're concerned about the Georgia race. You have been concerned about the Georgia race. I think everybody looking at that race is concerned. So it doesn't just affect the fact that it'll be 51-49.
Put your comments there too, if you're in Georgia, what it's like. Because it feels like when you're looking at it from the outside, I've got a lot of inside knowledge in it from colleagues I work with and peers I work with who are working directly in these races who are just saying it's uphill. But if we do lose that seat or don't get that seat back, then what Senator Lankford said to us yesterday in our meetings and watching this, we lose a seat on the committee. And the committee is where things are blocked.
You lose that, your blocking capability move to the floor. And if they've got a majority in the floor, you know what happened? They get it with a lot of things, including...
I mean, you could go through the list of items. So we have to be cautious on all that. We actually got a comment coming in, something you or Jordan, you can talk to. They just wanted an update on ACLJ Action. They said recently about what's been going on, maybe we can give them a bit of an update. So ACLJ Action was active through the election cycle.
And right now... Sponsored the event last night. Yes, that was the sponsor of the event last night in Washington, DC. We did that under the ACLJ Action banner because we wanted to let those members of Congress know a third thing, which was that we now have a C4 organization to assist as well when that's appropriate for any kind of work that they are doing or issues that they're concerned about. But what we're doing in ACLJ Action now is, now that we've gotten through the midterms, is really a ramp up over the next two years going into the next election cycle, the Presidential year.
And a couple of the topics we're working on, some China life, these life initiatives, obviously. But also we're going to be getting more involved in some of these local DA race type situations where we know Soros is very involved. So those district attorneys races and local prosecutor races. And a bigger education campaign when it comes to early voting.
That is something we believe is necessary. We can do that through the C4 because it'd be totally bipartisan. But we know that it is Republicans who just don't trust early voting. And I'm not talking about absentee, put it in the mail, because I get why there's concerns there with the USPS. We're talking about early voting using the same machine, going to the same kind of voting location, and then having the flexibility. So really you have no excuse not to vote.
Like if you show up one day and the line's too long for you to get a meeting, you can go the next day. You don't have to put it all on election day and the machines break and have a mess like they do in Arizona as they do right now. So you know what's interesting about all this?
I'm looking at the comments that are coming in too. You know what I've been telling you, dad, is that we keep going into election night. This is a very important line. Those absentee ballots, the early votes get counted real fast. And so it looks like we're down 70% before our votes are even counted. It's like starting a football game and the other team starts on your 20-yard line.
It always feels tough to overcome. Yeah, and it is. So that's part of the strategy that has to take place here in the overview. Let me again say that the meeting yesterday, the event yesterday in Washington was a huge success. And again, it gives us the ability to get your voice heard, to get your issues out there, which is really important.
And that was successful. Also, as I said, 48 hours ago, we got the Supreme Court brief from the other side. And our case originates out of Florida. It involves a prayer activity. But it really involves speech generally and the whole issue of who can bring the lawsuit and this offended observer issue.
It's a legal technical issue, but it means basically if you went to know you were going to be upset by what you heard, you still could bring the lawsuit, which in no other area of the law can you do that, except in the religion cases. Look, we are getting some comments too in Georgia. Yeah, a lot of people are talking about Georgia. We have comments coming in and there's also people specifically saying they're having long wait times.
I'm seeing that a lot. Long wait times even in Georgia for pre-voting. So one person said, I'm in Georgia and it seems it's horrible. I fear we're going to lose our ability to block the agenda.
That comes in from Sarah. So a lot of people in Georgia are concerned and a lot of people having issues even with the long waits during the early voting. Yeah, that's true. I mean, whether you've got to wait for early voting, if you've got the time to do it, wait. If you didn't plan that day, I think it's until Friday.
So make sure, go every day and find the best time for you. But ultimately say, I'm going to commit to actually voting and move meetings around, move appointments around. This is how important these elections are. And you've got to take it that seriously because guess who is? The other side.
And they will keep winning these elections, keep shocking us if we don't get out the vote. Be right back on Seculo. All right, welcome back to Seculo. We have an update in a very important case out of Pakistan. It's up at aclj.org. But one of our clients has been sentenced to death by hanging for alleged blasphemy as a minor, imprisoned for, I believe, five years. We are appealing this case.
I want to go to CC How because CC, it just underscores the seriousness of the work our organization in Pakistan does. That affiliate is called the Organization for Legal Aid. We have a number of cases like this. And most of the time, they involve criminal activity, life or death situations, and in this situation, a death penalty case. Yeah, when we talk about Christian persecution in foreign countries, a lot of times, you know, we don't immediately jump to life and death situations.
But in Pakistan, in our office there, these cases do involve life and death situations. And like you said, this involves an innocent 16 year old boy who is not even allowed to be charged as a minor. I mean, this is kind of the corruption that you see in courts is the fact that a judge can just say, I'm not going to rely on his birth certificate, and we're going to charge him as an adult, which had much stronger consequences. And now we've seen this young man has been sentenced to execution by hanging, again, for a false blasphemy charge for a statement that he did not even make. I want to be clear with everybody too, when we say blasphemy, what we're talking about, Cece, because in these countries, this was a Christian young man. What was his allegation of blasphemy?
What did they say he did? Yeah, so blasphemy would be insulting the Prophet Muhammad. And this was a situation where he's a 16 year old janitor in a hospital, and he's engaged in a conversation with a much older, much more mature and religiously savvy co-worker who engages the conversation and starts the conversation, asked him about what prophets they have in Christianity, and the young man said he didn't know. And so when this older man said, well, we have the Prophet Muhammad, the young man simply stated that his father has a friend that makes derogatory statements every time he hears someone named Muhammad. Well, the older gentleman, the much more savvy Muslim gentleman, took that as this young man insulting Muhammad. What's amazing is that he was 16 years old, uneducated, did not know what he was talking about. The police chief, literally the superintendent of police said he did not find any crime or blasphemous statement.
The people that were actually witnesses said they didn't feel like he'd made a blasphemous statement. And yet, because of mob pressure, this young man is literally, he sat in jail for five years and now he faces execution by hanging. This is a huge situation. We've had these death penalty cases before, and you gotta create international outcry, which we are starting to do, and we're gonna have to do this. Because, one of our lawyers just came back that supervises that office was just in Pakistan less than a month ago.
That's right. We're working on, actually, he had a film crew with him, so we're working on the footage and putting that together so people can visualize this. I think it's very important. Sometimes we have photos that we're able to post online at aclj.org and share through social media, but this time you'll be able to hear the stories from the individuals who have gone through this horrible persecution. Sometimes it's the families who survived, sometimes it's survivors of things like a young girl who was raped, others it's family members who've got a young son on death row right now in Pakistan. So let's talk about what the process is right now.
So what's the next thing to happen here, Cece? So we're right now going to file an appeal with the Lahore High Court, and we will take this all the way to the Supreme Court in Pakistan. And of course we're also, like you said, engaging at the United Nations. Let's talk about the UN aspect of this too, because we're not going to just rely on the domestic legal system, we're also working at the UN. Right, so at the UN we'll file a petition with the working group on arbitrary detention, and obviously this was an arbitrary detention. This young man has sat in jail for five years for something he did not do, and again even the superintendent of police said he did not find that he had committed any crime, and yet they prosecuted him and now convicted him anyway. So we will be filing with the working group on arbitrary detention, and we will be pushing on the international stage everywhere that we can to bring justice to Shazad Masih.
And one job here is to save his life. And Logan, we have our Be Heard project which deals with these kind of issues. All of our international religious persecution issues, so we deal with that on the Be Heard project. You can find that on ACLJ.org.
You can also find it on Separate Stuff. We've been doing this for probably a decade plus now with the Be Heard project, and really kind of to motivate and get the word out, not just to sort of the Christian conservative media, but it also gets it out there to a lot of the world. I mean just think about this, 16-year-old young guy is a janitor, no education because this is a situation in Pakistan, and he has a conversation with an older individual who basically gets him to make a statement, and the statement is not in and of itself, he's just reporting what he heard, and ends up facing death by hanging for this. And this is not the only case we have like this, unfortunately.
No, it is not. I mean, all these cases involve criminal conduct, people whose lives are in jeopardy, people have been shot, people have been beaten, people have been tortured. Again, we've talked about children that have been raped, families that have been separated, forced conversion, the list goes on. But what we're able to do through our team, our brave team in Pakistan, is bring justice to these wrongdoers. And so recently we were able to sentence someone to life in prison because of the rape of a child, someone who was beaten and then shot 25 years in prison there.
He's been paralyzed. So again, you can't go back and change the past, but what we can do is make sure that these Christians and this Christian minority gets that representation in court and finds a sense of justice that also sends a message to other bad actors that were there, and you may end up in life in prison in Pakistan if you take action illegally against one of those Christian minority groups. And on the UN front, which we're about to expand our UN outreach, but on the UN front, Cece, briefly, how is that going to work in the arbitrary detention? So if the working group in arbitrary detention, if they take the case, they will actually investigate this case and they will send questionnaires to Pakistan, making them account for everything that they've done in this case. And we've seen, we've had good outcomes when we filed with the working group in arbitrary detention. Because if they note it and they say this is arbitrary detention and it violates UN principles, that's another basis upon which relief should be given by the domestic country, Pakistan. So again, your support of the work of the ACLJ is impacting Supreme Court of the United States, Congress, and as far away as Pakistan and other places as well.
So it tells you the scope. Yeah, absolutely. Again, I encourage you to support the work of the ACLJ so that we can do all this work around the world at ACLJ.org. And I encourage you to learn about it. Go to our website at ACLJ.org to see. Yeah, while we're in Washington DC yesterday hosting these new members of Congress with the former Secretary of State, we've got a team in Pakistan working on these cases.
We have a team in France, a team in Israel. I think it's just important for people to understand the significance of the work that we're doing. That office in France really overseeing so much about what's happening all over the world through the UN Human Rights Council. So it's an important time to support our work. And for those of you who are getting to know us, maybe you're new to us on Rumble, on some of these other platforms or on traditional radio or Sirius XM, and you're learning about who we are more than just talk radio, who we are as an organization, that's what we're trying to do for you is to show it's not just politics, though there's a lot of that. We were there in Washington last night.
It's not just traditional law in the United States, but it's this international law as well, protecting religious liberty and Christian minorities in very dangerous situations. Support the work of ACLJ at ACLJ.org. We'll be right back on Seculo. Keeping you informed and engaged, now more than ever, this is Seculo. And now your host, Jordan Seculo.
All right, welcome back to Seculo. We are taking comments. Today our phone line system is down, so we can't use the 1-800 number, but we can take all of your comments coming in through the social media platforms that we're on that are broadcasting the show through video. Logan's been tracking that with our team in the studio.
We are absolutely live today, just a phone line issue. So, Logan, let's go to some of those calls. Yeah, some of these comments that are coming in, a lot have to do with the upcoming Georgia recount run-off that's coming out in just a few days. Gail says she wants to know about popular bipartisan. Will there be proper bipartisan observation? We also have comments like Dawn says she's seeing a lot of comments. People are upset about voting and saying they're not going to vote, and she's thinking, how do you kind of rewrite this? How do people have trust in their election cycle?
We also have other comments that are coming in specifically aimed at those specific issues, having big concerns with just the voting process. There will be poll watchers from both sides. Now, that takes volunteers.
You could be one now. You could sign up right now with your respective party and become a poll watcher and get a specific time and location to be a poll watcher at. So, that's one thing. The second thing I would address, which is people are a little down, is you have to remember why this is important. And, Dad, you explain it, but let's explain it one more time because we heard it from Senator Lankford, a U.S. senator, last night about why this 50th seat, no, it doesn't get us a majority, but what it does on the committees. So, there was this lack of enthusiasm when it went that the outcome determination is not going to be that if Herschel Walker were to win in Georgia, that the Republicans are in a majority.
At best, it would put it back to a 50-50 tie. Why that's important, though, and this has gotten kind of lost in the media, is that if Walker were to win in Georgia and take that seat back, and it is 50-50, the committees will be split evenly. And issues come through these committees, judiciary, oversight, Homeland Security, whatever it might be, foreign affairs. If they can't get him out of committee, they don't get him to the floor of the Senate. If you lose that, if we don't get that seat, if that seat's not obtained, then the Republicans are, they're down one. So, if let's say there were 20 people on the committee and it'd be 10 and 10, well, then you could block things.
Ties a block, doesn't go to the floor. If it's, if it's, you know, if the seat stays with Warnock and they end up with 51-49, that goes to now where you'd have the Republicans would have nine seats and it'd be 11 for the Democrats. It sounds close, but it totally eliminates your ability to put blocks in place to really work on legislation that way. To all the people out there who say, I don't trust the system. Listen, Mayor Cope, I had a mess, but Georgia did not. There was no issues with voting in Georgia. And Brian Kemp won by 10 points. So, Republicans can win in Georgia if you show up and vote and the votes get counted. And if the votes get, when the votes got counted, Stacey Abrams lost handedly. Herschel Walker was behind about 50,000 votes.
So, the people are there. The Republican votes are there. It's will they show up to vote for Herschel Walker. And again, this idea that the votes won't get counted right, there's going to be corruption.
No. Kemp won easily defeating Stacey Abrams who had millions and millions of dollars on her side, outspent Kemp two or three, four to one. Even with Herschel being outspent, we know the votes are there because of Kemp's victory.
So, don't buy into anybody telling you not to vote because you can't trust the system. Yeah. And there are some more comments coming in. We're going to take some in the next segments as well. We also have Rick Rinnell joining us in the next segment, I believe. He's in this temple. And you have him in this temple. And we're going to have him on as well.
So, if you have a comment or question for him, you can also put that in the chat. We're taking as many as we can. We'll also hear more from that event that you had yesterday, as well as more updates on the Supreme Court.
I know a lot of people have seen that in the title. They kind of want to know what's going on. So, maybe we can give people an update on that when we get back. We got 14 days. I'll explain when we get back. We got 14 days to get the last brief in on a case involving religious speech and prayer activity, actually.
And it's a huge case with gigantic ramifications. We'll give you more details on that when we come back. But we're down to actually 12 days to get it in. So, we've got to move it. And we're going to do that. A lot of activity going on at the ACLJ. We encourage you to support the work, ACLJ.org. We'll be taking your comments when we come back from the break.
Welcome back to Secular. We're joined by Rick Rinnell, the ACLJ Senior Advisor for Foreign Policy and National Security. Rick is in Istanbul. We'll ask him about that in a minute.
But Rick, I want to go first to China. Because now we've seen after these protests, after these brutal lockdowns, the reports that China is set to loosen some of their COVID curbs after weeks of historic protests. Do you see this as a sign of weakness of President Xi and the CCP? That they are actually responding to the people's protest? Or do you believe they're doing this for the world so we stop paying attention to what's going on?
Yeah, Jordan, it's a great question. What I would say is that it's clear that public protests work. And the pressure on government is incredibly important.
I think it's a lesson for us and for all of our listeners and for ACLJ as well. Because when you put pressure on government, I can just tell you unequivocally that that government officials like to work without pressure, without transparency. They don't like sunlight, they don't want to be exposed. And that's how they get their power. The second that they are really exposed to criticism or feedback from the public, they panic. They're not good at it.
They don't know how to withstand it. And so, in a crazy way, what's happening in China, the Communist Party of China completely controlling everything that's happening in the post-COVID world is a great lesson for our listeners and ACLJ and for Americans in general. Because when you are willing to protest against any government, government bureaucrats cave. And that is what we need to realize as we go forward in America. It's a good thing in China.
It's a rare exception in China, but it's a real thing that's happening. I got Colonel Wes Smith is here. And Wes, I wanted to ask you about this because you had mentioned that the response of the Biden administration to these huge protests in China has been tepid at best, including coming from retired Admiral, now spokesperson, Kirby, about what's happening in China.
Yeah. When he was asked about the demonstrations in China just earlier in the week, his response was, and he was asked specifically about China, his response was that as Americans, we believe in the right to protest and free speech everywhere. He did not even say the word China. And that response, America, Jay, still stands as a symbol of hope for these people, as a beacon of democracy. You look what they're doing in China, what they're doing in Iran today.
You know, I thought it was so touching. There were reports out of Iran where there are also massive demonstrations this week. And again, the administration has been very, very tepid in supporting the Iranian demonstrators. Some of the demonstrators were actually waving American flags.
Yeah. You know, what's interesting about that also, Rick, I saw this. I was very glad that our, our US team in the soccer match of the world cup won the match against Iran. And that was great. But then you realize that these people, these players go back to a country where who knows what's going to happen to them because they did not win the match.
And we take these freedoms totally for granted. These people are suffering in ways we can't even imagine, Rick. Jay, I, um, completely had the same reaction when we beat Iran. I thought immediately I'm a very empathetic person, which you will, you would never assume if you follow me on Twitter, because it looks much more, uh, mean spirited, but, but I immediately thought about the individuals who were on the field. And if you saw some of them actually collide with Iran, you know, if you saw some of them actually collapsed and they were distraught. And I think that it's the overwhelming realization that when they go back home, they are going to be labeled as, you know, people who didn't hold up the Iranian regime. And that could be dangerous for some of them. Uh, we have to constantly remember that the Iranian regime is different than the Iranian people. We saw some of the Iranian people celebrating the fact that the Americans beat them, which was remarkable, but it just goes to Jordan's original question of kind of about petitioning your government. It's incredibly important, uh, whether it's in China, whether it's in Iran, whether it's in the United States, politicians need to be held to account.
And we cannot take that freedom for granted that we have in the United States. Rick, I want to ask you a question that involved the political question here that we've been talking about as we had an event, uh, in Washington yesterday at our offices with the new members of Congress and a lot of our, uh, friends, um, that are senior members in Congress came, um, senators, congressmen, but one of the things that's clear, and we've talked about this briefly, but I wanted to get your input on this as well. So the Georgia race is not outcome determinative as it resolves, involves control of the Senate, but it is outcome determinant as it involves control of the committees of the Senate. And that's because if it's a 50 50 Senate, that's evenly, the committees are then evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. Now you served as a member of the previous administration's cabinet as director of national intelligence and losing that seat in Georgia or not getting that seat back. If it goes to 51 49, the impact on the committees, and this has not been focused on enough.
Absolutely. There was a conversation I had with Senator Lankford. If it is not focused on enough, but losing the committee control, or at least the ability to block in committee becomes huge for legislation going forward. Such a great point. And I, I kind of forgot about that point, but it's, it's really a real thing because let's just take for instance, when I went through the committee, the foreign affairs committee of the Senate for my nomination to be ambassador to Germany, um, it, it was incredibly incredibly important to have an evenly divided committee because otherwise you literally can come out of committee without a recommendation to the floor.
Now this gets a little, uh, detailed for people, but it is a powerful tool to be able to have the committees at 50 50. And so I would just say to people get out and vote in Georgia. And I would also say to all of our listeners across the country, if you know, somebody who lives in Georgia, pick up the phone and call them today and say, have you voted and keep calling them until they actually voted. Rick, one final question for you. Uh, you're all over the world. As we say, where in the world is Rick Renell here in Istanbul today?
What are you up to there? Well, as you know, earlier this week, I did the ACLJ show here, uh, from Belgrade, Serbia, and now I'm in Istanbul, Turkey. I'm in the private sector and I'm trying to bring American investments to places where I think it's important. And so I'm here in Istanbul, having meetings about, uh, projects that would bring American investments to Turkey. Remember Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1949.
It's an incredibly important ally. We've had difficulties, um, with Erdogan in particular J knows more than anyone because he had to deal with pastor Brunson here. I actually had a conversation with people in the grand bazaar today about, uh, pastor Brunson and the reaction from everyday Turks was that was a mistake. Why did we do that?
I can't believe our government did that. So I think the work of ACLJ is felt by everyday Turks. You know, it's interesting to say that Rick, cause I, I've always said this one that the most peaceful time before the Abraham Accords, and that has brought a lot of peace, but between the Palestinians and the Israelis was when they had economic development going on both sides together.
That's amazing what that does, uh, to relations with Rick. We appreciate you talking to us from Istanbul, have a great trip back to the United States. I want to go, uh, quickly to back to Wes on these protests in, in China, these focused on, uh, lockdowns on COVID, but they speak to a broader issue. And that is, you've got a government that normally doesn't respond is responding. These demonstrations are rare.
So very rare. They're actually demonstrating in places like Beijing and Shanghai. There are 23 CNNs reporting, 23 organized protests in 17 Chinese cities. That is unheard of. And not only that Jay, but in actuality, they started out, you know, because of the people that died in an apartment building during the COVID lockdown, because they were locked in and the building caught on fire.
It is, it is progressed beyond that. The protesters now are not only shouting about the COVID restrictions, but they are shouting words like freedom. And they're also shouting for President G to step down in English. So I think also to make sure the world knows what they're saying. Yes, exactly.
Yeah. And I think again, it's this opportunity for the U S it's a diff it's difficult. It's a little more difficult than just even supporting the protests in Iran because we rely so much on China. I think it's a wake up call to say we need a longterm plan. And you were talking to those new members of Congress who are coming in. It's not a two year plan.
It's a six month plan. It's a 10 year plus plan of how we become China independent. Where else can we go in the world? If we can't, if it's not feasible to put all that, those factories here, the U S why don't we go to actual allies and friends? Could that solve the border crisis by going into countries in Latin America and South America, doing that kind of training. So they have the high tech skills, but it's still affordable. And again, we're talking with friends. Yeah. That's what Rick Renell was just talking about.
So you see the scope and nature. One thing you've seen today, and we're going to get into the economy next is the scope and nature of the work at the ACLJ. But we are again, I want to thank all of you that participated in November's matching challenge campaign as well at aclj.org made a huge difference. I hope you enjoyed the concert last night as well, a lot going on at the ACLJ. As you can see, I'm on across the board in Washington on major meetings with new members of Congress. All of that happens because of your support for the ACLJ.
We encourage you to do that at aclj.org, aclj.org. Next segment of the broadcast is the economy improving? Is this, is this a pretend improve? What's going on? We're going to talk to our reactions. We've covered a lot of material today. Again, we were just watching yesterday with new members of Congress and a couple of our friends from the Senate and the House that are senior members, as well as our colleague, Senior Counsel for Global Affairs, Mike Pompeo.
And I had a chance to meet with everybody, Jordan as well. It was, it was a great event that we were involved with, with the Susan B. Anthony list who does great work on the pro-life issue. So that was in Washington yesterday, but everybody was talking about the economy. So we figured this would be in because the market was way up yesterday.
Today, it's down a little bit. There's a sense that politically what the administration is trying to show is we're out of the recession. There is no recession. Inflation's coming down. Gas prices are coming down.
Things are going to be fine. So I asked Harry this morning, what's causing this? Is in fact, Harry, are we in better economic shape or is this just a phase before the next round of inflation hits again? I mean, where are we?
Well, it's a brilliant question. I would argue that what we have seen is a moderation in the inflation rate and the Fed has adjusted its monetary policy to take account of that. So the Federal Reserve is now focused on raising rates, but at a slower rate. So to be clear, rates are likely to continue to rise.
And if you look at housing sales nationwide, they continue to come down. And I think the only way that the Federal Reserve will actually get full control of the inflationary flames in our society is by causing a recession because a recession will be necessary to cut the level of wage inflation. So one of the problems that we have seen is the overall inflation rate has come down, but the wage rates continue to rise and the Federal Reserve is very cognizant of that. So for instance, if you look at the numbers in October, personal consumption inflation in October rose by 0.2%. That's slightly below the predicted rate.
Personal income, on the other hand, rose by 0.7%, which is well ahead of the 0.4% estimate. That provides a foundation for inflation to continue to accelerate in the future. One of the interesting things about this, I found, was you think job growth is a great thing, that there are more jobs, but some of this is counterintuitive. For instance, the stock market goes up yesterday, and Harry, you said it may be well that it went up in the fact that the job growth was lower. That is precisely correct because what the analysts are looking at is this particular question.
They're trying to come up with the answer. When will the Fed resume its aggressive monetary policy? By that I mean, will they continue to print money? That has fueled some of the increase in the stock market. So we've had massive government spending increases, and we have had massive increases in the money supply. So in many respects, it was impossible if you put money in the market two or three years ago to lose money, because virtually everything was rising. Now you have to be a little bit more judicious in terms of your investments, and I think if everyone looks at their 401k, virtually everyone in the United States has seen what might be called an adjustment.
Yeah, I would say an adjustment. But again, it goes up yesterday, down today. I mean, these are cycles. I mean, these are definitely cycles, but it's impacting people. Yet retail spending on the Black Friday and on Cyber Monday, we're the highest they've been ever.
You're absolutely correct. So if you look at personal consumer spending, it's been rising at a rate of almost 1% per month, and that's not likely to be sustainable. Well, you know what I think is interesting there is that if the gas prices start to drop and food prices start to drop and the supply chain starts picking up, which they say it is starting to affect the White House deputy who is in charge of the supply chain issues is actually departing because it's just a different job right now. Things are starting to pick up more if there's not this rail strike, which it looks like Congress is going to force that to be averted.
Mentally, I think people will feel like we're coming out of this, even if we're not there yet. If their gas prices drop below $3 or hit $3 and it's not $100 anymore to fill up your car, I actually noticed this time for me, it's down to $90. So it is dropping. It is dropping, and you do have the inflation.
So you go, okay, was it the biggest weekend of Black Friday ever or are things also much more expensive? So therefore it's a percentage of people that are down, but the people who are spending have to spend more. So that is sort of one of those kind of catch-22s that happens. But I think people are curious about that. They saw the rail strike.
I think that's a real conversation that happens. I also think people now are starting to relook at how the unions are structured and go, really? Now is the time we're going to do a rail strike when we are in this massive inflation problem.
We have a problem where a lot of people are barely keeping food on the table. And yes, the unions are now going to come and say, eh, we're not going to work. I think there is that conversation that's happening that goes a little bit even beyond, where you start questioning some of these unions and the way they operate.
And are they doing not necessarily what's best for their worker, but also what's best for the country at large? Because if there was a real union rail strike right now, disaster. Well, I know logistically, they said, we don't think about it, but logistically, I mean, Senator Thune was talking about this. It would literally be a disaster, Harry, if we had a situation where the rails were shut down. Well, I think that's correct, but I don't think we're quite out of the woods yet for a couple of reasons. Number one, there is still a looming diesel shortage.
Guess what? Railroads run on diesel fuel. That's number one. Number two, even if the unions do not go out on strike, it's important to look at the underlying contract. The underlying contract signed by the union leaders and the companies provides for a retroactive wage increase of 24% for railroad workers. And then number three, there's always the possibility of wildcat strikes.
In other words, they're not approved by union leaders, but particular union members may indeed still strike. So we still face some headwinds going forward. It's interesting to me, Jordan, that when you look at the situation with the economic side of this, that at the ACLJ, we're now addressing these issues. And so the scope and nature of what we've done has changed pretty drastically.
I mean, it's expanded. We still do the religious liberty. We still do free speech obviously, but even these other issues, the economic issues. The economic issues, which we know are so important. It affects the family. It affects all these. It affects voting. It affects the outcome of elections and it affects who's in power, the balance of power, who trusts what party more when it comes to when the economy is down, when the economy is up. And I think what we saw in this last election was some voters who said, it's not like I think Jordan Biden's doing the best job, but if things keep getting worse, I know that that party will be the party that sends me a check.
And I think that that had more of an impact than we thought. So when people were saying economy was number one, it didn't mean that they were necessarily voting against the Democrats. You said yesterday that one of the things you think the takeaway from the elections were that people did not trust the Republicans on the economy issue. Not so as overwhelmingly as people were predicting for that wave election.
There were enough people who said, you know what? You keep talking about how bad it's going to get. If it is going to get that bad, we know the Democrats will make sure we get a check in the mail. And the Republicans run against that kind of a policy, which again, causes inflation to those checks in the mail.
People don't think that way if they're trying to put food on the table. Now it looks like we're coming out of that. So we'll see how that all changes the makeup of things as we get a new Congress in January. Hey, we're going to have a Secular Brothers podcast today. Later. Thank you to SecularBrothers.com. Find us. Subscribe.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-01 15:39:06 / 2022-12-01 15:59:21 / 20