5 Things the Media isn't Telling You!
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e 6 Myths of Bidenomics . . . Page 22 Second Amendment Under Fire . . . Page 32
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Dear AMAC Member, As I sit down today to write this letter, I am reminded of the great patriots who have served our nation. My grandfather comes to my mind, a combat-weathered World War II and Korean War veteran who fought alongside the men of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. My brother wrote a beautiful story about him, remind- ing us all that the men of the 442nd lived up to every word of their “Go For Broke!” motto. This rallying cry highlights the fact that they were willing to risk their lives in one big effort to win. Today, the 442 nd is remembered as the most decorated unit in the history of the US Army. My grandfather was a stoic man, a quite handsome man with a slender and chiseled face, blue eyes that could dazzle. What he faced and the emotions he experienced when his unit marched through Italy I will never know, but one thing I will never forget is his prayer at the kitchen table that America would never see war like that again. I imagine what my grandfather would think if he were to witness the deterioration of our children’s public education, the indoctrination of far-left social ideology and “wokeness” aimed to tear apart America’s moral fabric and destroy all hope of the American dream. He would be shocked to see how quickly so many have forgotten all that his gener- ation fought for. He would be alarmed that schools have gone woke, stunned to see the power and influence of big tech, legacy mainstream media, corporations and universities, our FBI, DOJ, and current administration, along with influential members of the “deep state” all aiming to give more power to government. And he would be pained to witness how the freedoms he and countless others fought for are trampled. You know what I think he would say? “Go For Broke!” In the spirit of the great men and women who risked or gave their lives in defense of freedom, let us remember that, try as evil might, they can’t take away our will, our courage, or our faith. My grandfather knew that very well. From all of us at AMAC, we hope you find this issue of your AMAC magazine insight- ful. Please share your magazine with a friend or neighbor and help spread the word that AMAC is committed to fighting for America’s seniors on both the national and local levels. Be sure to check out how AMAC Action is fighting for you on page 38. God bless you always!
Chief Executive Officer, Association of Mature American Citizens
Publisher AMAC, Inc.
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Editor in Chief Rebecca Weber Associate Editor Alexa Astuto
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PLEASE NOTE: This issue of the AMAC Magazine went to print on September 12, 2023.
VOLUME 17 ISSUE 4 CORRIGENDUM Please note our added corrections in Volume 17 Issue 4. Page 11 - An extra word was added by mistake, changing the meaning and messaging of the first statement on the page. The sentence should read: [ . . . ] merit not race should be the leading factor in college admissions [ . . . ]. Page 16 - There was a misspelling of the name Senator James Lankford (Spelled Lankford with a “K” and not Langford with a “G”).
Rebecca Weber Chief Executive Officer & Editor in Chief
06 • AMAC Magazine
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THE MAGAZINE OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MATURE AMERICAN CITIZENS
VOL. 17 ISS. 5
26 CENTERFOLD 5 THINGS THE MEDIA IS NOT TELLING YOU
The 6 Rising Stars in the Conservative Movement
The 6 Myths of Bidenomics
Second Amendment Under Fire
AMAC in Action
The Cost of Woke: What Data Says About Conservative Boycotts . . . 18
Social Security Update
A Return to Yesteryear
Is America Safe? . . . 42
AMAC Benefit Highlight
Just for Fun Solutions on page 43
Member Benefits Directory
THE CONTENTS OF AMAC MAGAZINE MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PUBLISHER’S WRITTEN CONSENT. AMAC MAGAZINE PROVIDES INFORMATION OF A GENERAL NATURE WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT NEITHER AMAC NOR ITS AFFILIATES ARE ENGAGED IN RENDERING MEDICAL OR LEGAL ADVICE. INFORMATION PROVIDED SHOULD NOT BE CON- SIDERED A SUBSTITUTE FOR A CONSULTATION WITH A LICENSED PHYSICIAN, ATTORNEY, ACCOUNTANT, OR FINANCIAL ADVISOR. AMAC MAGAZINE (USPS 12240) IS PUBLISHED BIMONTHLY FEB, APR, JUN, AUG, OCT, AND DEC, BY THE ASSOCIATION OF MATURE AMERICAN CITIZENS, 5 ORVILLE DRIVE, SUITE 400, BOHEMIA, NY 11716. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT BOHEMIA, NY 11716 AND AT ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. ONE MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES SPOUSE/PARTNER. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES ARE $16, INCLUDING $4.02 FOR AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION TO AMAC MAGAZINE. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: AMAC ADVANTAGE, 5 ORVILLE DRIVE, SUITE 400, BOHEMIA, NY 11716
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08 • AMAC Magazine
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I n a striking contrast to a liberal movement in the United States that is defined by aging leadership and completely lacks a bench of young stars, the conservative movement is rich with fresh, energetic faces ready to usher the country forward into a brighter, more prosperous future. Here are six to keep your eye on.
One of the defining moments of Vance’s young political career came just weeks after he was sworn into the Senate following the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. As the mainstream media and Biden administration ignored the destruction wrought on this blue- collar town in his home state, Vance demanded accountability and is still doing so, repeatedly returning to the site of the crash. On the policy front, Vance has become a conservative populist champion, introducing legislation to make English the official language of the United States, sponsoring another bill to hold the DC establishment accountable for its exorbitant spending in Ukraine, and publicly advocating for free prenatal and delivery care for American mothers and families.
Vance was also among the first senators to endorse Trump’s 2024 presidential run and is likely to play a key role as a surrogate for the former president.
Senator J.D. Vance, author of the famed Hillbilly Elegy and a freshman US senator from Ohio, has quickly emerged as a leading figure of the so-called “New Right” coalition and he is building a track record to prove it.
In a matter of months, Rep. Byron Donalds, who has represented Florida’s 19th congressional district
continued on page 12
10 • AMAC Magazine
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since 2021, has gone from a little- known Congressman to one of the most high-profile Republicans in Washington. His name is now even mentioned as a potential vice presidential pick in the 2024 race. One of Donalds’s first big moments came last November when he introduced Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his reelection victory speech. But just a few months later, in a somewhat unexpected move, Donalds endorsed Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican primary even though DeSantis was widely expected to enter the race — starting a trend of other Florida Republicans who did the same. In recent months, Donalds has been front and center on the campaign trail advocating for Trump’s America First platform in key battleground states. He has also become a sought-after surrogate for the former president on cable news networks. In another testament to Donalds’s mounting political strength, he was considered earlier this year as an alternative to Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House, garnering the support of 20 House Republicans during the January speakership showdown. As one of five black Republicans currently serving in Congress, Donalds’s popularity has undermined the left’s identity politics narrative. As Donalds often describes himself, he is “everything the fake news media says doesn’t exist: a Trump-supporting, liberty-loving, pro-life, pro–Second Amendment black man” and member of Florida’s congressional delegation with a promising future.
leverage digital media and reach a young, diverse audience, Luna’s future looks bright.
Last November, Floridians elected Anna Paulina Luna to represent the 13th congressional district — the first Mexican-American woman ever elected to Congress from the Sunshine State. Luna is an Air Force veteran and former social media influencer who has quickly established herself as an up-and-comer in the national conservative landscape. A member of the House Oversight Committee, she has taken on a leading role in investigations into what the government knows about UFO sightings — a particularly hot topic in the news recently. She has also cosponsored legislation to impeach key Biden administration officials, get gender ideology out of the federal government, protect unborn children, and secure the southern border. Earlier this year, Luna was hailed by the Tampa Bay Times for being at the “center of the conservative rebellion in Congress.” With her expert understanding of how to
Though it remains unlikely that Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy will dethrone Donald Trump as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, it is abundantly clear that he has struck a chord with conservative Americans. A native Ohioan born to Indian immigrants, Ramaswamy is a successful entrepreneur and, at 38, the youngest candidate in the 2024 presidential field. Since entering the race in February, he has helped to drive the political conversation in several important ways, including by focusing much of his campaign on restoring a sense of national identity and outlining a clear plan for dismantling the bloated federal bureaucracy. He was widely viewed as the star of the first GOP debate in August. His status as a 2024 breakout candidate has also come in part thanks to his regular media appearances, where he impressively punches back
continued on page 14
12 • AMAC Magazine
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no justice,” Cameron said when he announced his decision to not charge law enforcement officers involved with Taylor’s death. “Mob justice is not justice.” Now, Cameron is the Republican nominee for governor and hopes to unseat Democrat incumbent Andy Beshear this November. Though the race is expected to be tight, whether he wins or loses, one thing seems clear: Daniel Cameron’s political career is just getting started.
against left-wing TV personalities. This strategy has allowed Ramaswamy to convincingly define himself as a fighter capable of standing up to the corporate media.
Liz Cheney for her position in House leadership and successfully dethroned Cheney, who subsequently also lost the Republican primary for her Congressional seat in Wyoming. Though Stefanik has been the subject of some criticism for her embrace of controversial legislative packages like the so-called “Equality Act,” her track record in Congress has been for the most part solidly conservative — and she is so far the highest-ranking official in Congress to endorse Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign. Only 39 years old, Stefanik has bright prospects for a long and successful career in the conservative movement — and is likely to play a leading role in the fight to save America for years to come. It is easy to imagine she might harbor hopes to be the first Republican woman elected Speaker of the House. For decades, the establishment Republican candidates and officeholders have let conservatives down time and again. But in recent years, the party has had an infusion of new life and energy with the populist movement that took over the party in 2016. If these six conservative political stars are any indication, that won’t change anytime soon.
Since he was elected Attorney General of Kentucky in 2019, all eyes in the Bluegrass State have been on Daniel Cameron, who — from the moment he entered the political scene — has been seen as a conservative trailblazer. Much like Byron Donalds, Cameron has successfully bucked the left’s identity politics narrative. He is the first black American to be elected to statewide office in the history of Kentucky and is the state’s first Republican attorney general since 1948. During the widespread riots that swept the nation in 2020, Cameron found himself at the center of a media firestorm over the Breonna Taylor case. But while other state officials throughout the country caved to the left-wing activists burning down their cities, Cameron delivered a major victory for the rule of law. “If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is
Once the youngest member of Congress, Rep. Elise Stefanik first rose to prominence during Donald Trump’s first impeachment hearings, during which the former president hailed her as a “new Republican star.” As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Stefanik was also a leading voice against the Russiagate hoax and remains a central figure in the conservative fight against government overreach and Deep State corruption. In May 2021, Stefanik challenged House Republican Conference Chair
Aaron Flanigan Aaron Flanigan is the pen name of a writer in Washington, DC.
Page 12: July 15, 2023 - Vivek Ramaswamy speaking with attendees at the 2023 Turning Point Action Conference in West Palm Beach, FL. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
14 • AMAC Magazine
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T he C ost of WOKE What the Data Says About Conservative Boycotts
C onservative-led boycotts of woke companies have made major headlines this year. But what does the data say about how the backlash to far-left social politics is actually impacting bottom lines?
indeed launched a partnership with Mulvaney, whose videos many viewed as deeply offensive to women. In response, conservatives took to social media to express their outrage, with many declaring that they would no longer purchase the product. Celebrities like Kid Rock and Travis Tritt joined in, with the former obliter- ating several cases of Bud Light with a machine gun and the latter announc- ing he would no longer have Anheus- er-Busch products on his tour. Viral online videos showed stores completely sold out of other beers but stocked full of Bud Light. At Fenway Park in Boston, fans lined up for Miller-Coors products while the Anheuser-Busch booth stood empty.
Dozens of bar owners told local news outlets that demand for Bud Light had dropped through the floor. In June, Bud Light effectively fired Alissa Heinerscheid, the marketing vice president behind the Mulvaney fiasco. Anheuser-Busch CEO Bren- dan Whitworth also issued a half- hearted apology letter, although that only seemed to enrage beer drinkers further. In August, Bud Light launched a new promo to basically give the beer away for free. The numbers justify the evident panic at Anheuser-Busch headquarters. By June, Bud Light had lost its status as the number-one-selling beer in the country — a distinction it had held for more than 20 years. In just two
Perhaps the most high-profile exam- ple of customers revolting against a product over a brand’s embrace of wokeness is the Bud Light saga. On April 1, 2023, controversial social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney, a male who identifies as a girl and boasts 10.6 million TikTok followers, posted a clip advertising a Bud Light can with his face on it. Shortly there- after, Bud Light confirmed that it had
18 • AMAC Magazine
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months following the Mulvaney scan- dal, the company’s stock dropped 20 percent. Overall, Anheuser-Bus- ch’s US revenue fell 10.5 percent in the second quarter of 2023, a direct result of Bud Light sales being down 34 percent. With the brand’s image showing no signs of recovering, there may still be more hard times ahead for Bud Light.
clothing and merchandise on display in Target marketed toward everyone from toddlers to adults. Some of the most controversial items included “tucking” swimwear for males who identify as women. Although Target claimed such products were only for adults, they were sold alongside other children’s clothing. As backlash over the displays mounted, Target CEO Brian Cornell doubled down, saying that the company’s woke policies are “just good business decisions” and are “the right thing for society.” Within just 10 days of that statement, Target’s stock price lost $10 billion. In August, Target posted its first quarterly sales drop in six years. As of
August 1, the company’s stock price had fallen to $133 per share from a high of $181 per share in February. In-store sales were down 5.4 percent in the second quarter of 2023, while online sales were down nearly double that, 10.5 percent. Once again, a company learned the hard way — “go woke, go broke.”
One of the clearest signs of the left’s takeover of corporate America has been the rise of so-called “envi- ronmental, social, and governance” (ESG) investing. Instead of making investment deci- sions according to what will maximize
Apparently failing to learn anything from the Bud Light fiasco, Target became the next brand to wade too deep into the culture wars. Beginning in May, videos surfaced on social media showing “pride-themed”
Volume 17 Issue 5 • 19
These numbers tell a clear story: people prefer their beer, their stores, their banks, and their movies woke-free. When companies refuse to acknowledge that fact, they learn the hard way that their customers have far more power than corporate boardrooms would like to believe.
shareholder profits, ESG investors choose what companies to put money in based on how committed they are to advancing an invariably left- wing political agenda. Perhaps the clearest example of ESG investing in action is major investment banks like Vanguard and Blackrock divesting from oil and gas companies — which continue to return record profits — and pouring money into “renew- able” energy companies that either routinely lose money or turn a far smaller profit. As many conservatives have pointed out, this investment “strategy” may be a fundamental violation of an investment bank’s fiduciary duty to its clients — including many state pension funds. In response, several Republican states have begun pulling money out of institutions like Vanguard and Blackrock. Florida, Louisiana, Arizona, Texas, Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas, Utah, and West Virginia have divested a combined total of $4.8 billion from Blackrock. Several other states are likely to follow.
Admittedly, this sum is a pittance compared to the trillions in assets managed by these firms. But there are some signs that executives at top investment banks are getting the message. Late last year, Vanguard announced it was pulling out of a liberal “Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative.” And in June, Blackrock CEO Larry Fink said he was “ashamed” to be part of the political debate over ESG.
Along with its box office flops, Disney, which has become the poster child for the entertainment industry’s embrace of far-left social politics over good storytelling, lost more than four million subscribers to its Disney+ plat- form in the second quarter of 2023 alone. The company laid off 7,000 workers earlier this year and has canceled $1 billion in planned invest- ments. Its stock price, meanwhile, has plunged almost 25 percent from a 2023 high of $118 in February to $89 by August 1. These numbers tell a clear story: people prefer their beer, their stores, their banks, and their movies woke- free. When companies refuse to acknowledge that fact, they learn the hard way that their customers have far more power than corporate boardrooms would like to believe. Andrew Abbott Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersec- tion of politics and culture.
The vast majority of big-budget productions in recent years have become consumed by wokeness, and it’s showing at the box office. The most recent Indiana Jones sequel, which sees our hero Indy reduced to a sad, emasculated, lonely old man overshadowed by an under- developed “girlboss” sidekick char- acter, barely topped its $295 million production budget at the box office and is still deep in the red due to a huge marketing push. Then there is Disney’s creepy live-action remake of The Little Mermaid , widely mocked as a “woke-a-thon,” which lost around $20 million for Disney.
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P resident Joe Biden has recently touted the success of “Bide- nomics,” a theme that he will almost certainly champion on the campaign trail as election season ramps up. Central to Bidenomics is the presi- dent’s signature legislative achieve- ment and one of the few major pieces of legislation he’s managed to get passed the Inflation Reduc- tion Act (IRA). In August, Biden held a celebratory event in the East Room of the White House to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the bill. Though Biden himself has admitted that the law “has nothing to do with inflation,” the president outlined six primary benefits the law had deliv- ered to the American people: lower- ing costs for families, increasing energy security, restoring fairness to the tax code, creating jobs, cutting
the deficit, and addressing the “exis- tential threat” of the climate crisis. Yet, a closer examination of the facts reveals a very different story. LOWERING COSTS FOR FAMILIES Despite the president’s claim that Bidenomics is “restoring the Ameri- can Dream,” a recent Pew Research poll reveals that six in ten Americans believe that life is worse for them today than it was 50 years ago and they’re even more pessimistic about the future. Inflation has already cost the aver- age American family $10,000, putting tremendous strain on low- and middle-class parents who are work- ing overtime to make ends meet.
Though the inflation rate has cooled compared to the astronomical surge of 9.1 percent last summer, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the dollar’s purchasing power has still decreased by 16 percent since 2021. And since January 2020, the cost of gas has increased by 64 percent, bread by 29 percent, eggs by 87 percent, chicken by 23 percent, and electricity by 22 percent. In the first part of this year, Americans spent nearly $400 extra per month to afford the same goods and services they purchased a year ago, according to an estimate by Moody’s analysts. In this year’s back-to-school season, the average family spent an estimated $890 on school supplies, a record that reflects the rise in prices of basic goods such as paper, writing utensils, and backpacks.
22 • AMAC Magazine
$50,000 for a new car, but it provides no relief to lower-income Americans who are pinching pennies to repair or replace old cars. What’s more, the IRA funnels hundreds of billions of dollars into green energy companies while impos- ing stringent fees and regulations on conventional energy companies, jeopardizing millions of good-paying energy jobs. Even Democrat Senator Joe Manchin has called the president’s implemen- tation of the law a “betrayal.” Perhaps even more detrimentally, the Biden administration’s heavy regula- tions, particularly on fuel economy and emission standards, are esti- mated to burden the average Amer- ican household with an additional $10,000 in costs. This is a stark rever- sal of the Trump administration’s regulatory reductions that saved the average American household a record $11,000. At a time when Americans are already stretched thin, Biden’s green policies are placing greater burdens on our most vulnerable citizens. RESTORING FAIRNESS TO THE TAX CODE While Biden proclaimed that he is “taking on special interests and winning,” the Inflation Reduc- tion Act does just the opposite. It gives massive tax subsidies to the least taxed corporations: green energy companies.
High prices are forcing working fami- lies to make hard choices to pay for immediate expenses. Two in three Americans are saving less for emer- gencies, nearly half of Americans with credit card debt have larger balances because of inflation, and more than half of workers who didn’t increase retirement savings cited inflation as the reason. To make matters worse, families can’t afford to buy homes with interest rates above 7 percent. For seniors, high prices combined with plummeting retirement savings are forcing them to return to work. According to Vanguard, the aver- age retirement savings account has lost 20 percent of its value in the last year. One in six retirees is consider- ing rejoining the workforce, and 55 percent of those who have already returned to work did so because they needed more income to cover expenses. The forecast of Bidenomics only looks bleaker, with major financial institu- tions predicting a recession before the end of Biden’s first term. INCREASING ENERGY SECURITY While Biden heralded the Inflation Reduction Act as vital to energy secu- rity, in reality, it poses a tremendous burden on Americans who depend on natural resources to power their businesses, cars, and homes. One of the most oft-cited features of the law is the $7,500 tax credit for purchasing an electric vehicle. This is a massive benefit for wealthy individ- uals who can afford to pay upwards of
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Contrary to the Biden administration’s talking points, small energy start-ups are not the primary beneficiaries of these green subsidies. Companies with more than $1 billion in revenue receive more than 90 percent of the tax benefits, over half of which are banks and insurers, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. While the law gives handouts to massive corporations, it mobilizes an army of 87,000 IRS auditors to come after law-abiding citizens and job creators. Originally, Treasury Secre- tary Janet Yellen pledged that the IRS would not deploy additional agents to audit Americans making under $400,000. But it only took a few months for IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel to admit that the self-imposed limit will change in a few years. HISTORIC JOB CREATION “We’ve created more jobs in two years than any administration has in a single four-year term,” Biden boasted to the receptive crowd in the East Room. He neglected, however, to mention that more than 70 percent of all job gains since 2021 were jobs recovered from the pandemic. What’s more, job growth has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, nearly two million more Americans have left the labor force altogether since Biden took office. And despite Biden’s claims that the IRA creates manufacturing jobs, the Tax Foundation estimates that its burdensome taxes on manufac- turers will cost 29,000 jobs — a key reason why the National Association
of Manufacturers staunchly opposed the bill. CUTTING THE DEFICIT Noticeably absent from the opening of Biden’s speech was the mention of the alleged goal of the law, along with reducing inflation: reining in the deficit and achieving a fiscal surplus within a decade. While Biden did ultimately mention the deficit reductions in the context of modest drug pricing cuts, he ignored the elephant in the room — the green tax credits are proving far more costly than anticipated. The Joint Committee on Taxation recently adjusted the estimated cost to more than $650 billion, 240 percent higher than original projections. Goldman Sachs estimates the costs will be even higher, totaling $1.2 trillion . As a result, economists now esti- mate that the IRA will likely add to the government debt, rather than reduce it, further burdening Ameri- can taxpayers and endangering the fiscal strength of our nation. ADDRESSING THE CLIMATE CRISIS Perhaps the claim that comes closest to being true is Biden’s assertion that the Inflation Reduction Act combats the “existential threat” of climate change, but even this achievement is exaggerated at best. The Biden administration estimates that the IRA’s climate regulations
will reduce US carbon emissions by one billion metric tons. Such reduc- tions could come to fruition — at the astronomical costs outlined above — but Biden fails to mention one important detail. Even as the United States has steadily decreased emissions since the mid-2000s, China’s emissions continue to skyrocket, as do those of other Asian nations. The IRA does nothing to compel China or other Asian nations to reduce these emis- sions, meaning that the global effect of US reductions will be negligible. All the while, these new crippling green energy regulations will lead companies to offshore more American manufacturing jobs, weaken our supply chains, and deepen our reliance on the Chinese Communist Party. FACTS OVER FICTION In the coming months, as Biden tries to sell his economic achievements to the American people, conserva- tives must ensure that their friends and neighbors know the truth. That is why AMAC is committed to provid- ing real news to our members. We will continue to present the facts over the fictional narratives that the Biden White House is trying to spin. Because when the American people are presented with the truth, they always choose the right course for our nation.
Rebecca Weber Chief Executive Officer, AMAC
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