Good Morning! 

H.L. Mencken was an American journalist who came of age at the beginning of the twentieth century. He once observed: 

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it.” 

We begin with a look back on Friday’s Supreme Court hearing, where control and rule rest at the center of the discussion:  

  1. Supreme Court Hears Arguments Regarding Federal Government’s COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates

From The Daily Citizen: 

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Friday, January 7, in a pair of cases involving two federal mandates regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirements. 

The first case dealt with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Emergency Temporary Standard” issued on November 4, directing employers with 100 or more employees to require either vaccination against COVID-19 or masking in the workplace and weekly tests. 

The second argued case involved a vaccination mandate issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services for healthcare workers in facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds. That mandate covers more than 17 million workers at 76,000 health care facilities. 

Both cases involve “emergency requests” from one of the parties for temporary relief from lower court orders while the cases proceed, but the status of each case was markedly different by the time they reached the high court. 


Justice Sonia Sotomayor in hot water over bungled COVID stats 

From the Washington Times: 

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is facing backlash after falsely claiming that more than 100,000 children in the U.S. are hospitalized, many in serious condition, from COVID-19. 

The Obama-appointed Justice made the comments during oral arguments on Friday on President Biden’s mandate requiring private employers to ensure their employees are either vaccinated or frequently tested. 

“We have hospitals that are almost at full capacity with people severely ill on ventilators,” she said. “We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition, many on ventilators.” 

The Poynter Institutes’ fact-checking organization, Politifact, quickly shot down Ms. Sotomayor’s claims. 

“Her claim is not supported by data,” Politifact said Friday. 

The group pointed out that, since Aug. 1, 2020, there have been 82,842 COVID-positive children admitted to the hospital, per CDC data. 

Of those, 3,342 were currently hospitalized for confirmed COVID-19, at the time of Ms. Sotomayor’s made her claims. That figure could rise to 4,652 if suspected COVD-19 cases are included. 

2. Don’t say something to destroy a marriage before it begins 

Focus on the Family’s Dr. Greg Smalley writes for the Christian Post: 

 I encourage couples not to let anyone crush their excitement. I want them to be thrilled with their choice. We need to cheer their decision to marry and to buck the cultural trend that pulls for cohabitation over marriage. 

First, encourage them to prepare for a lifetime. 

Marriage is a lot of fun and a lot of work. Research conclusively shows that couples who succeed in marriage gain the knowledge and skills they need before settling into destructive patterns that often lead to divorce. In fact, a couple is 31% less likely to get divorced if they have premarital training before they marry. Another study suggests that couples who had premarital counseling reported being more satisfied in their marriages. 

Let’s help couples plan for their marriage and not just for the wedding day. But keep your words uplifting and positive. Let them know that they don’t have to become a statistic. They can write their own story — if they’re willing to prepare and do some relational maintenance.  

Second, tell them marriage is a great adventure. 

The famous 19th-century Lewis and Clark Expedition set out to map the uncharted territory across North America to the Pacific Ocean. The trip included situations that were sometimes awe-inspiring and miraculous, and other times difficult and life-threatening. But because Lewis and Clark worked together, they were successful on a journey that covered more than 7,500 miles over two-and-a-half years. 

The Lewis and Clark expedition is a perfect analogy of successful marriage. Spouses should be journeying partners, supporting each other as they face life’s challenges. They’ll have countless moments filled with love, friendship, passion, laughter, safety, fun, unity, joy and security. But they’ll also face times when they feel disappointed, hurt, sad, angry, disconnected, upset, frustrated and lonely. A journey will always have highs and lows. Tell couples to embrace all of what’s true about marriage and see it as a great adventure. 

We need to stop giving newly engaged couples confusing and discouraging advice. Instead, let’s send them this very clear message: “We believe in your dream for a lifelong, passionate marriage and we want to help you have it.” 

  1. Twitter Suspends the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh over Transgender Tweets 

From National Review: 

Twitter temporarily suspended the account of conservative podcast host Matt Walsh on Friday for violating its hateful conduct policy with tweets against transgenderism. 

Walsh, who hosts the Daily Wire’s podcast and has about 769,000 Twitter followers, was suspended for twelve hours, though Twitter warned the suspension would be extended if Walsh does not take down the censored tweets. 

“The greatest female Jeopardy champion of all time is a man,” Walsh wrote in a tweet on December 30, according to the Daily Wire. “The top female college swimmer is a man. The first female four star admiral in the Public Health Service is a man. Men have dominated female high school track and the female MMA circuit. The patriarchy wins in the end.” 

“I am not referring to an individual person as if she is two people,” Walsh wrote in another tweet. “Everyone else can run around sounding like maniacs if they want but I will not be participating. No thank you.” 

4. Lindsey Graham: America In ‘Most Dangerous Times’ Since Late 1930s 

From the Daily Wire: 

Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said that the Biden administration’s policies have placed the United States in the “most dangerous times” since the late 1930s. 

Speaking with syndicated radio talk show host John Catsimatidis Sunday morning, Graham talked about the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot, and the circumstances that led to it. 

  1. Austin sees hundreds of sex offender cases removed from police officer supervision due to defunding 

From Fox News: 

Hundreds of convicted sex offenders are no longer being monitored by sworn police officers in Austin, Texas due to the city’s move to defund the police and cut police academy classes.  

As of 2019, there were about 1,600 registered sex offenders in Austin according to the state’s sex offender database. There is no law preventing any of them from living near schools or other places where children tend to congregate, according to a local news report. About 650 of those cases were handled by officers who checked in on the registered sex offenders weekly to ensure they were where they reported themselves to be. But three of those officers were sent back to patrol as a result of the decision to defund the police, including slashing three cadet classes at the police academy, in August 2020. Defunding the police forced the department to cut the Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration Unit (SOAR). 

Those cases once handled by sworn police officers are now being monitored by civilian employees, including two who only work part-time. The civilian monitors lack arrest authority and some question whether they are able to keep up with the increased caseload. 

  1. Pro-Life Father Shares Bold, Hopeful Message: ‘I Was Conceived in Rape, Adopted in Love’ 

From Fox News: 

Ryan Bomberger, chief creative officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation, a faith-based 501c3 educational nonprofit, appreciates the sacredness of life at every stage — and in a recent phone interview with Fox News Digital in this New Year, he shared a pro-life message and personal perspective that are not often heard across today’s media landscape. 

The month of January is National Sanctity of Human Life Month (also called Celebration of Life Month). It offers the chance for reflection on the value of all life and of all children — including the unborn.  

Bomberger, who is adopted, praised the parents who took him into their home years ago and embraced him as their own. “My mom and my dad are the most amazing people I’ve known,” he said. 

He added that his “birth mom experienced the horror and violence of rape” — and that he, Bomberger, is the product of that rape. He is grateful, he said, to have been given the chance at life and to have been welcomed into a loving, compassionate family that includes twelve siblings, nine of whom were adopted from neglectful, abusive, or poverty-ridden situations. 

“None of us would’ve been better off dead,” he said. “We’re better off loved.” 

  1. Study: COVID-19 vaccination may cause temporary, slight change to menstrual cycle 

From The Hill: 

COVID-19 vaccination may cause a temporary change to a person’s menstrual cycle, but it appears to be a “small change,” according to a study published on Thursday. 

The study, published in the Obstetrics and Gynecology journal, examined close to 4,000 people — vaccinated and unvaccinated — and examined menstruation data that individuals entered through an app called Natural Cycles. 

Researchers then examined the difference between menstruation data before and after individuals received their vaccine doses. For individuals who did not receive the vaccine, researchers looked at six consecutive menstruation cycles. 

The researchers found that in vaccinated individuals, bleeding was prolonged by a time that amounted to less than one day. However, they concluded that this slight change, while statistically significant, was not clinically significant.   

8. Ways to Tame Your Family’s Screen Time in 2022 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

Here are a dozen ways to keep healthier tech habits this year. 

Every member of the family can start by assessing their tech use and sharing the results. Screen-time settings on Apple and Android devices allow you to see how long you’ve spent on a device in a given week, and how much was spent on specific apps. (There also are ways to do this on your Mac or Windows PC.) 

Ask the gamers in the family to log how much time they spend playing for a week. The total can be eye-opening. I was shocked to find that most of my own phone time last week was on the Messages app—more than three hours of texting! 

Let kids set their screen time 

Establishing rules around tech use is most successful when the whole family is involved in decision-making, said Susan Groner, a parenting mentor. “What if we teach kids to be their own screen-time wardens?” 

Agree on when and where you use devices 

Having consistent rules around when and where devices can be used can eliminate conflict. If, for example, the family agrees on no phones at the dinner table or in bedrooms at night, there’s no arguing about it. 

Dedicate time for non-tech activities 

Expressing a wish for more outdoor time or more reading isn’t enough—budget that time and maybe build it into your routine. You could designate time for family hikes on Saturdays, or reading together on another day. My youngest two kids go to bed at the same time, and one of them reads aloud to the other before lights-out. We’re also planning to build in reading time during screen-free Sundays. 

Make small daily changes 

If a full screen-free day seems too daunting, make smaller daily reductions in screen use. Reducing your tech use by two hours a day for a whole year gives you a whole month of your life back. Consider cutting out that hour you spend checking the news in the morning (or switch to a podcast, like The Journal or What’s News) and the hour you spend scrolling Instagram in bed at night. (The latter becomes easier with a no-phone-in-the-bedroom rule.) 

  1. Angel Studios – Distributor of ‘The Chosen’ – Raises $47 Million to ‘Give Hollywood a Remake’ 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Angel Studios, the streaming platform for Dallas Jenkins’ The Chosen, a series about the life of Jesus, has raised $47 million to “bring control of the entertainment industry back to consumers and creators.” 

The studio made the announcement in a press release, stating: 

The financing was led by Gigafund, a venture capital firm backing the world’s most ambitious and transformative entrepreneurs, and Bain-backed Uncorrelated Ventures, which invests in infrastructure software. Gigafund is known for being one of the largest investors in SpaceX, as well as other game-changing companies in industries ranging from education and energy to healthcare and housing. 

Space X is the aerospace manufacturer, space transportation services and communications corporation founded by Elon Musk. Five million dollars of the funding was crowdsourced from fans of Angel Studios, while “original seed investors Alta Ventures and Kickstart Fund also participated,” the release stated. 

10.World War II hero ‘thrilled’ to graduate high school at age 98 

From the NY Post: 

A World War II hero from Texas received his high school diploma this week — 79 years after his education was interrupted so he could help free Europe from the Nazis. 

“I never graduated from high school,” Don Huisenga, 98, told KTXS News of Abilene. “I was taken in the service in 1943.” 

A year later he leaped into Normandy, France as one of the elite paratroopers at the spearhead of the liberation of Europe before being wounded and then captured by the Germans. 

“I got blown back 30 feet and was picked up by two Polish boys,” said Huisenga. “They picked me up and all I had on me was a shredded shirt and shorts.”