The national debt is growing, but Congress’ recent spending bill is a telltale sign that it has no intention of shrinking the deficit.
After receiving bipartisan support in the Senate, the House passed a 1.7 trillion spending bill on Dec 16, avoiding a government shutdown.
The bill allocates funding mostly to defense, including $45 billion to Ukraine, which will assist the country in its war effort against Russia.
Americans have long been concerned about government surveillance, and rightly so. Being watched by the government is incredibly disconcerting, especially when government agents are probing into your private life.
The rise of drone technology has not helped on this front. Whereas before a government would need a plane or helicopter to get aerial views of you or your property, now they just need a small remote-controlled device.
Echoing conflicts from Sri Lanka to Canada to the Netherlands, tensions between farmers and green-minded government policymakers are building in the United States, where producers are squaring off against a costly proposed federal mandate for greenhouse-gas reporting from corporate supply chains.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March proposed requiring large corporations, including agribusinesses and food companies, to report greenhouse gas emissions down to the lowest rungs of their supply chains as a means of combatting climate change, which environmental campaigners contend imperils the planet and life on it.
The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us there is nothing new under the sun. But there is undeniably something new happening in American history. New and terrible. No hyperbole; we are living through the greatest threat to America since the Civil War.
This new threat, which has been germinating its poisonous fruit for decades in the darkened earth of sheltered universities, federal agencies, and media newsrooms has erupted into such full and ugly view today that it cannot be met and defeated, or even retarded, with any of our normal methods.
Growing up in our house, Election Night was like the Super Bowl. We would stay up late into the night watching the returns. The 2020 election was no different. That night, I watched Donald Trump take state after state with ease. Then I watched as votes started to fluctuate, barely trickled in, and then, with only a handful of states to go, I watched as counting was halted altogether. A sinking feeling crept over me as I witnessed things I had never seen in my life.
In Massachusetts where I live, average private school tuition hovers around $23,000. For secular private schools, the cost is typically much higher, with Boston-area private school tuition often exceeding $40,000. This price tag is way too high for most families to afford, but emerging microschools are typically a fraction of the cost of other private education options.
For example, the Wilder School is a new Acton Academy-affiliated microschool that costs about $12,000 a year, while Life Rediscovered, a new homeschool resource center offering up to five days a week of full-day, drop-off learning, costs about $10,000. Even established local microschools, such as Bay State Learning Center that was founded in 2014 and that I wrote about in Unschooled, have similar tuition costs and frequently offer financial aid or sliding scale tuition.
Perhaps the most risible, widely acclaimed children’s book in the history of children’s books is The Rainbow Fish. This book, featuring a beautiful fish with shiny scales on the cover, made it into home libraries of children everywhere. It tells the story of a fish who is special because his scales are shiny and brightly colored. Every other boring, no-talent, plainly scaled fish envies the lovely and gifted Rainbow Fish and harasses him. The solution? The Rainbow Fish gives away all that made him special in order to earn their friendship and now these little commie crappies each have one scale but remain ugly, envious redistributionists.
The result? Equity. Everyone felt better because no one was great. A bunch of mediocre fishes swim around with pink hair or a nose ring and a big chip on their no-talent shoulders.
For nearly 70 years, families have traveled to Disney for vacation, not indoctrination.
Sadly, America’s preeminent entertainment company has joined a growing list of corporations bent on pushing woke ideologies.
For decades, Congress has unthinkingly supported these companies. Conservatives need to reassess whether Disney’s bottom line is worth protecting.
Even a truncated Russian Federation has four times the pre-war population of Ukraine. It enjoys well over 10 times the Ukrainian gross domestic product. Russia covers almost 30 times Ukraine’s area.
And how does Ukraine expel Russian troops from its borders when its Western allies must put particular restrictions on their life-giving military and financial aid?
The interests of Europe and the United States are not quite the same as those of a beleaguered Ukraine. NATO also wants Vladimir Putin humiliated, but only if the war can be confined within the borders of Ukraine.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) on Wednesday derided the Biden family as “grifters” and “influence peddlers,” as more evidence emerges of questionable business deals involving President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and brother, James.
“They knew exactly what they were doing,” Johnson told “Just the News — Not Noise.” “They were using Vice President Biden’s position and his name to peddle influence, and rake in, vacuum in millions of dollars from all over the world
“The Bidens are grifters. They’re influence peddlers. They’ve made millions. They’ve compromised themselves, and they’ve compromised America’s national security.”
Viktor Orbán has crushed the Left, again.
The Hungarian leader won his fourth consecutive term in office on Sunday, defying pollsters who had predicted a competitive race and delivering a crushing blow to the “united” Hungarian opposition, a dog’s breakfast coalition of six parties ranging from the Greens to a former far-right party with neo-Nazi associations, which he defeated by a 53-35 percent margin. In total, right-wing parties captured approximately 60 percent of the vote compared to about 36 percent for left-wing parties.
For some Americans it may seem strange that so many on the American Right are paying attention to the political developments in a country less than a quarter the size of my home state of Montana and with a population of just 10 million. This confusion, however, betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the strategic importance of Hungary to the post-liberal Right, an importance to which I can personally testify, having recently concluded a five-week research trip to Hungary in the run-up to the election.
During my time as a visiting fellow at the Danube Institute, a Hungarian think tank, I had the opportunity to interact with a number of Hungarian political leaders including the prime minister, and to discover what is certainly the world’s most important and most controversial experiment in Christian Democracy.
President Biden’s latest executive order calls for extensive research on digital assets and may usher in a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC), eventually allowing individuals to maintain accounts with the Federal Reserve. Other central banks are already on the job. The People’s Bank of China began piloting a digital renminbi in April 2021. India’s Reserve Bank intends to launch a digital rupee as early as this year.
A CBDC may upgrade the physical cash the Federal Reserve already issues — but only if its designers appreciate the value of financial privacy.
Cash is a 7th century technology, with obvious drawbacks today. It pays no interest, is less secure than a bank deposit, and is difficult to insure against loss or theft. It is unwieldy for large transactions, and also requires those transacting to be at the same place at the same time — a big problem in an increasingly digital world.
The last 14 months have offered one of the rare occasions in recent American history when the hard Left has operated all the levers of federal government. The presidency, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the permanent bureaucratic state are all in progressive hands. And the result is a disaster that is uniting Americans in their revulsion of elitists whose crazy ideas are tearing apart the fabric of the country.
For understandable reasons, socialists and leftists are usually kept out of the inner circles of the Democratic Party, and especially kept away from control of the country. A now resuscitated Bernie Sanders for most of his political career was an inert outlier. The brief flirtations with old-style hardcore liberals such as George McGovern in 1972 and Mike Dukakis in 1988 imploded the Democratic Party. Their crash-and-burn campaigns were followed by corrective nominees who actually won the presidency: Southern governors Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
Such was the nation’s innate distrust of the Left, and in particular the East Coast elite liberal. For nearly half a century between the elections of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, it was assumed that no Democratic presidential candidate could win the popular vote unless he had a reassuring Southern accent.
Over a decade ago, a convicted child rapist was given a light sentence by Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, only to commit another crime after his sentencing.
According to the New York Post, Leo Weekes was convicted in 2010 of raping his 13-year-old niece in 2006. He was sentenced to serve 16 months in jail, plus 4 years of supervised probation, and was ordered to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years. Weekes subsequently failed to register and evaded authorities by lying about his residence, claiming in 2013 to be in Washington D.C. when he in fact lived in Temple Hills, Maryland.
In February of 2014, Weekes was brought before Brown, who was then U.S. District Court Judge of the District of Columbia, after pleading guilty to the charge of failing to register as a sex offender. The prosecutors requested that Weekes be sentenced to two years in jail with an additional five years of supervised release, while his defense attorneys requested a sentence of 10 months and three years of supervised release.
In case you missed it, on Monday MIT announced that they would be reinstating their SAT/ACT requirement for future admissions cycles. Like many universities, MIT had ditched the tests during the pandemic.
Even prior to the pandemic, however, there had been a widespread push to abandon these tests to enhance diversity.
“Data shows tests like the SAT are biased against students from low-income households. Poorer students tend to perform worse on the test,” CNN reported in 2015. “Blacks and Hispanics also consistently score lower on the SAT than whites.” (CNN conveniently left out that Asian Americans score much higher than whites, presumably because it didn’t fit the narrative.)
Inflation is running rampant, federal spending is out of control, gas prices are at an all-time high and Americans are pessimistic on the future outlook of the economy. So what is President Joe Biden’s solution?
He has released a budget proposal that includes 36 tax increases on families and businesses totaling $2.5 trillion over the next decade. Alarmingly, this includes 11 tax increases on the oil and gas industry, taxes that will put a burden on households.
The budget doesn’t even include all the tax increases being pushed by Democrats because the budget omits the cost of tax increases within their stalled multi-trillion dollar Build Back Better Act. Instead of detailing these tax increases, the Biden budget includes a placeholder asserting that any new spending will be fully offset.
Five years ago, hardly anyone knew what Critical Race Theory (CRT) was, but now the phrase is a common one in American households. The Marxist-based theory advocating a race-essentialist approach to education, law, public policy, and even health care, seeks to deconstruct the foundations of society and rebuild it as “antiracist,” while discriminating against whites along the way. Many people are overwhelmed with both the pervasiveness of the doctrine and the large task of fighting it.
Parents in Loudon County, VA, have tackled the issue head on, making national news by loudly criticizing CRT and electing school board members opposed to it. Such efforts, however, have been piecemeal nationwide.
Momentum in fighting this hate-doctrine is growing, though, and many parents want to know how they can protect their children and eradicate such teaching from their local schools. Catrin Wigfall, a Policy Fellow with the Center of the American Experiment, offers some practical ways parents can fight CRT.
Survivors of communism are concerned about America’s future as they see Marxism spreading in academia and Americans being too cowardly to speak out and stand up against the ideology.
Human Events and the Liberty Forum of Silicon Valley recently hosted “Paying The Price: Victims of Communism Panel,” in which five survivors of communist regimes shared their stories and warned about where America appears headed.
Tatiana Menaker, a refusenik who escaped from the Soviet Union after not being allowed to emigrate, said that when she attended San Francisco State University, she “found such brainwashing machine of Marxism, which I even didn’t have in Russia, in the Soviet Union. American professors are all in delirium of Marxism.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will reportedly depart her official administration job this spring and join MSNBC, according to a report from Axios.
Psaki has been rumored to be in discussions with corporate media outlets for months. Her White House departure is also no surprise; the mother of two always expressed a desire to stick with her current role for about a year before pursuing other options.
Axios reports that Psaki has been in close contact with the White House counsel’s office about her imminent departure and has not signed any contracts that would put her in messy ethics territory. Though, sources say that Psaki has shared her plans to join MSNBC with some senior White House officials – the deal is reportedly close to being finalized.
Battered by COVID-19, waves of illegal immigrants and fears of even larger surges ahead, Customs and Border Protection officers have a new burden: they must now be sure to use proper pronouns for LGBTQI+ migrants.
The new requirement was included Thursday at the bottom of a much larger announcement by the Homeland Security Department concerning changes instituted on International Trans Day of Visibility.
“Facilitating effective communication at U.S. ports of entry and beyond: CBP has provided a job aid and memorandum to all staff that will serve as a guide for facilitating effective communication with the diverse public CBP serves, including LGBTQI+ individuals,” the agency said.
The Iowa House voted 60-30 in favor of passing a bill that would require Iowa public and charter schools to post their curriculum and books online for parents to review.
Some educators have argued that the bill (HF2577) will limit their ability to “adapt and meet the individualized needs of their students.”
The bill will give parents the ability to review instructional materials and request that their children opt out of certain reading materials. If the schools materials do end up changing, teachers will be required to update the information online by week’s end or be subject to a fine between $500-$5,000.
“You’re in big fucking trouble.”
So said an FBI agent to Julian Khater, one of two men accused of assaulting Capitol police officers with pepper spray on January 6, during a tense interrogation last year. Desperate to sustain the falsehood that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was killed by Trump supporters during the Capitol protest, the FBI claimed to possess video footage that showed Khater and his friend, George Tanios, attacking Sicknick and other officers with chemical spray. Khater was arrested on an airplane at the Newark airport on March 14, 2021 after he arrived home from a trip to Florida.
For more than two hours—shackled to a metal bar in a freezing room at the New Jersey FBI field office—Khater, who has no criminal record, was interrogated without a lawyer present. FBI Special Agent Riley Palmertree refused to tell Khater why he was under arrest until he agreed to proceed without counsel in the room, which Khater reluctantly did. Recently released video confirms Khater initially told the agents he “would feel more comfortable if I had a lawyer” answering questions on his behalf. An hour later, Khater again said he wanted his lawyer.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blasted President Joe Biden Friday for making what he called another “reckless” immigration policy decision to terminate the public health rule known as Title 42. By doing so, the number of illegal immigrants expected to enter the country will more than double those who entered illegally last year, law enforcement officials estimate.
“President Biden’s open-border policies are an unmitigated disaster for national security,” Abbott said in a statement. “His recklessness has forced the State of Texas to take unprecedented steps to fill the gaps – including deploying Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and over 10,000 Texas National Guard soldiers, jailing illegal immigrants who are charged with trespassing, and becoming the first state ever to build a wall to secure the border.
“Instead of listening to the millions of Americans that his administration has endangered – and instead of enforcing immigration laws passed by Congress – President Biden has chosen to jeopardize the safety and security of those very Americans he swore to protect and defend by ending Title 42 expulsions.”
Olympic gold medalist and former reality TV star Caitlin Jenner has signed on as a Fox News contributor, CEO Suzanne Scott announced Thursday, coinciding with the “International Transgender Day of Visibility.”
Scott said: “Caitlyn’s story is an inspiration to us all. She is a trailblazer in the LGBTQ+ community and her illustrious career spans a variety of fields that will be a tremendous asset for our audience.”
Jenner, who was known as Bruce before coming out as a transgender woman in 2015, ran as a Republican for governor of California last year.
Viktor Orbán has now served 12 years as prime minister of Hungary, emerging as one of the most exemplary conservative leaders of our time. On Sunday, he again faces reelection as he seeks to lead Hungary for a fourth term. Although this is a pivotal election for Hungary and for Europe, it is also vital for American conservatives to hope and pray for an Orbán victory.
Orbán has shown what populist conservatives can do when given sufficient time and political capital to succeed. While it is true that Hungary’s system of government and its relatively youth as a democratic country have prevented the development of a U.S.-style “deep state,” Orbán’s refreshing willingness to use power for conservative ends has not only allowed him to deliver on ideological priorities but also to benefit the Hungarian people. His innovative family policies led to rising birth rates. His independent foreign policy has allowed his country to wield outsized influence with regional and world powers. And his fortitude on immigration has helped preserve Hungarian national identity.
Over the past two years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know several leading officials within Orbán’s government, including now-President Katalin Novák, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, and political director Balázs Orbán (no relation). Like Prime Minister Orbán, they are unabashedly patriotic, Christian, and antiestablishment, drawing the ire of globalists from Brussels to Washington. Nevertheless, Orbán’s government is standing strong, refusing to bow to the diktats of international organizations and safeguarding the Hungarian nation’s sovereignty and the Hungarian people’s traditional values.
Sarah Palin, the Alaskan original who made Momma Grizzly Bears a political term of art as governor and then as the GOP’s first female vice presidential candidate, is officially making a political comeback.
Palin, 58, announced Friday night she will run for the open House seat vacated in Alaska by the death of longtime Rep. Don Young.
“Public service is a calling, and I would be honored to represent the men and women of Alaska in Congress, just as Rep. Young did for 49 years,” Palin said in her announcement. “I realize that I have very big shoes to fill, and I plan to honor Rep. Young’s legacy by offering myself up in the name of service to the state he loved and fought for, because I share that passion for Alaska and the United States of America.
The spread between 10-year treasuries and 2-year treasuries, a leading recession indicator whose inversions have predicted almost all of the U.S. economic recessions in modern history, on March 31 inverted for the first time since Sept. 2019.
When the 10-year, 2-year spread inverts, a recession tends to result on average 14 months afterward, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. The one time there was a head fake on the 10-year, 2-year was in the mid-1990s at a time when inflation was much lower Visit Site than it is now.
As an aside, potentially the Sept. 2019 inversion might have ended up being a premature indicator, too, but then Covid and global economic lockdowns in early 2020 went ahead and ensured a recession even if one was not due. On the other hand, at that point it had been 11 years since the prior recession and so the business cycle was going to end sooner or later.
Using the pretext of the so-called insurrection on January 6, 2021, the long knives are out for Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Post-election text exchanges between Mrs. Thomas and Mark Meadows, President Trump’s chief-of-staff, recently were leaked by the January 6 select committee to none other than the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, who darkly described the communications as proof that “Ginni Thomas used her access to Trump’s inner circle to promote and seek to guide the president’s strategy to overturn the election result.”
The small cache of texts—29 total—shows Thomas expressing frustration at the election’s outcome. There is nothing sinister, and certainly nothing criminal, about the messages.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Formin said Tuesday his country will “reduce military activity” in the Ukraine cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv in pursuit of an agreement to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The announcement follows what Russians are calling a productive day of diplomatic talks in Istanbul, Turkey, with the invasion now roughly four-weeks old.
Russian state media quoted Formin saying: “Due to the fact that negotiations on the preparation of an agreement on the neutrality and non-nuclear status of Ukraine, as well as on the provision of security guarantees to Ukraine, are moving into practice, taking into account the principles discussed during today’s meeting, by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in order to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations and achieving the ultimate goal of agreeing on the signing of the above agreement, a decision was made to radically, at times, reduce military activity in the Kiev and Chernihiv direction.”
Blackrock CEO Larry Fink warned Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investors in his $10 trillion hedge fund’s annual shareholder letter that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and the resulting Western sanctions on Russia — had disrupted globalization and interdependent supply chains and would result in “increasing oil and gas supply” in the U.S. and “coal consumption may increase over the next year” in Europe and Asia to offset the drop in Russian exports.
As a result, Fink projected, “This will inevitably slow the world’s progress toward net zero in the near term,” referring to ESG goals like net zero global carbon emissions by 2050 that would encounter challenges, particularly as American consumers pay much higher prices with consumer inflation up 7.9 percent and producer inflation up 10 percent the past twelve months.
Those price pressures will mean more oil and gas production immediately, Fink said.
Former Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette suggested that President Joe Biden’s recent gas deal with the European Union (EU) wouldn’t be enough to help the continent wean itself off Russian energy.
Brouillette — who served as deputy energy secretary between 2017-2019 and energy secretary between 2019-2021 — noted that the U.S. wouldn’t be able to fill the gap left by Russian energy during an interview with CNBC on Monday. He added that the EU cannot expect to consume less total energy as part of its plan to ditch Russian gas.
“Frankly, I’m not quite sure that everyone can make up that shortfall,” said Brouillette, according to CNBC. “That’s an enormous amount of gas.”
pump prices have climbed throughout his tenure.
While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has destabilized global energy markets, causing an historic supply crunch, high gasoline prices have been the norm throughout Biden’s first 14 months, federal data showed. Experts have blamed the high prices on the administration’s energy and climate policies disincentivizing domestic fossil fuel production.
Since Russia’s invasion, gasoline prices have increased more than 20%, from $3.53 per gallon to $4.24 per gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration. However, pump prices increased a whopping 48.4% between Biden’s January 2021 inauguration and Feb. 21, three days before Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine.
In my past role as founder and CEO of Varsity Brands, I came across every old business adage in the book. Some were cheesy, some were over simplified, but many had wisdom as their foundation. One such phrase that’s commonly used is, and with which I struggled because of my compassion for my employees, is, “Don’t bring your problems from home into the office with you.”
There is a variation of that phrase that should be introduced to our political leaders in Washington, albeit a bit too late. Their version of the “leave it at the doorstep” rule needs to be, “Leave your domestic political problems at your shores when conducting foreign policy.”
It is the violation of that rule, committed by members of the Democrat Party, the mainstream media, and never-Trump Republicans, that has put the United States in a position of pure international impotence with regard to playing a meaningful role in ending the current war between Russia and Ukraine. We are unable because of our recent obsession in trying to manufacture a collusion narrative between former President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Imagine if, following the disputed 2016 presidential election, the recently sworn-in President Donald Trump had sicced his Justice Department, hand-in-hand with allies in Congress and state governments throughout the country, after his Democratic political opponents who maintained that his election was the work of Russian interference.
Although the claim that Trump was a Russian asset was laughably false, and the subsequent investigation into those spurious claims damaged the federal government’s credibility in immense and perhaps irreparable ways domestically and internationally, applying criminal penalties to the promulgation of that theory would have been wrong, anti-American, and contrary to the First Amendment. In keeping with his stalwart defense of American values, President Trump made no directive to the Justice Department to pursue criminal charges against these Democrats.
Similarly, his Republican predecessor allowed Democrats to freely “challenge an election”: Democrats had previously contested the 2000 election by claiming that George W. Bush was “selected, not elected” as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore. A smaller minority contested Bush’s reelection in 2004, alleging irregularities in Ohio and elsewhere.
On Thursday, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) demanded that Big Tech companies Facebook and Twitter preserve all internal documents related to the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Issa’s office sent letters to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, Facebook communications director Andy Stone, and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The letters all ordered the companies to “immediately initiate document preservation for all materials relating to questions, inquiry, conversation, strategy, and response to the media reporting of the Hunter Biden laptop and/or its contents that first appeared in the New York Post on October 14, 2020.” The companies were additionally instructed to notify employees, consultants, and subcontractors who may have access to the relevant information.
Issa’s requests are in reference to an apparently coordinated campaign by Big Tech companies and the mainstream media to suppress the bombshell story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. First reported on by the New York Post, the story broke less than one month before the 2020 election in which Hunter’s father, Joe Biden, was running against incumbent President Donald Trump. The laptop in question, retrieved from a repair shop in Delaware, contained numerous damning documents, photos, and videos depicting Hunter’s foreign business dealings through his father’s political connections, as well as Hunter’s personal habits involving drugs, alcohol, and prostitution.
Sounding ever more a candidate seeking the White House again, former President Donald Trump on Saturday night attacked Democrats as a party of “socialists and communists” so extreme that they chose a Supreme Court nominee who “can’t even say what a woman is.”
“A party that’s unwilling to admit that men and women are biologically different in defiance of all scientific and human history is a party that should not be anywhere near the levers of power in the United States,” Trump told a raucous rally in rural Georgia.
In a 90-minute speech, Trump also rallied Republicans to get behind gubernatorial candidate David Perdue and football star-turned-Senate candidate Herschel Walker and to defeat incumbent GOP Gov. Brian Kemp.
Obviously, a multitude of factors are at play, but if you had to pick one man most responsible for the massive increase in crime of all sorts in American cities over the past few years, from pervasive looting to assault (sexual or otherwise) to murder, it would be billionaire investor George Soros.
Through his Open Society Foundations—described as “the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights”—plus various other entities, sub-entities, and cutouts, Soros has financed the political campaigns of numerous district attorneys and attorneys general across the country.
All of them were leftists, working from a principle of minimal, if any, incarceration or bail in any but the most extreme situations—and often in what most of would assume was extreme. The perpetrator, most probably, they assume, is the product of a miserable childhood, and therefore worthy of more sympathy than the victim. That many who had equally miserable childhoods still are able to function as law-abiding adults is evidently of little consequence to these DAs and AGs.
Confirmation hearings for D.C. Circuit Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Joe Biden’s first U.S. Supreme Court nominee, began Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. During an event in Washington, D.C. on Monday morning, activists gathered to rally on behalf of the nominee who could be the first black woman seated on the nation’s highest court.
“It’s also, for so many of us, a moment that is personal,” Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, told the crowd. “It is personal if you have ever been the only person sitting in a room. It is personal if you have ever wondered, ‘Is that for me?’” Over the past several weeks, Graves, a graduate of Yale Law school, has given dozens of interviews in support of Jackson’s nomination.
In a January column for CNN, Graves denounced “the current homogeneity of the legal profession and judicial system” and claimed “the perspective of White men has been treated as the default” in court proceedings.
The biggest decision the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is likely to make this year will be on mandated disclosure of information related to climate change and corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. The Commission has been working on the issue since early last year, and a new proposed rule is now scheduled to be released on March 21st. The contents of that rule will likely determine the future direction of “responsible” investing in the United States.
In March of last year, then-Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee issued a request for information on the matter, consisting of 15 questions and described as a response to the “demand for climate change information and questions about whether current disclosures adequately inform investors.” The questions covered a wide range of topics, from how to measure greenhouse gas emissions to how climate disclosures “would complement a broader ESG disclosure standard.”
When the SEC first issued guidance on climate change-related disclosures for public companies in 2010, the standards were fairly general and advisory, but the questions from last year’s request-for-information suggests that the agency’s leadership is considering a more aggressive and prescriptive framework.
Federal prosecutors last week scored a big victory after a Washington, D.C., jury took less than three hours to find Guy Reffitt, the first January 6 defendant to stand trial, guilty on all counts.
The Justice Department’s winning streak might be short-lived, however. Prosecutors will have a tougher task with the trial starting Monday for Couy Griffin, the “Cowboys for Trump” leader arrested for his minor and nonviolent involvement in the Capitol protest on January 6.
Griffin was the subject of my very first article over a year ago on the Justice Department’s abusive prosecution of January 6 protesters in which, coincidentally, I asked the rhetorical question, “Where is the outrage over America’s political prisoners?” as official Washington was in a tizzy over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imprisonment of his country’s star dissident.
Republicans are stressing the need to closely review Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record as the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin hearings on Monday for the first black woman nominated to the Supreme Court.
The GOP is already facing accusations of racism from outlets such as the Daily Kos, Slate and Vanity Fair for questioning whether Jackson should be confirmed.
Jackson has been criticized for her vehement defense of terrorism suspects as a public defender. She has also faced concerns over a paper she wrote in the 1990s criticizing “excessiveness” in punishments for sex offenders.
The Georgia Elections Board has approved a subpoena to secure evidence and testimony in an ongoing investigation into whether third-party liberal activists illegally gathered thousands of absentee ballots in the 2020 general election and a subsequent runoff that determined Democrat control of the U.S. Senate.
The vote was a major win for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who announced the investigation into alleged ballot harvesting in January and was seeking the subpoena authority to assist the probe.
The subpoena power will allow Raffensperger’s team to secure evidence about a whistleblower who alleged to an election integrity group that he participated in a large operation to gather ballots in which activists were paid $10 for each ballot they delivered.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) launched a voter registration initiative at gas stations across the country, drawing attention to rising gas prices under President Joe Biden’s leadership.
“We are registering voters across the country who are tired of Biden’s Gas Hike!” the RNC said Monday on Twitter. “Coming to a gas station near you!”
The effort began with a Saturday event in Arizona, according to The Hill. “Arizonans are frustrated with paying the record-high gas prices we’ve seen recently, this is an issue that affects almost every single Arizonan,” said the communications director for Arizona’s RNC, Ben Petersen, according to The Hill.
A great plague of our contemporary political landscape is that one bad policy begets even more bad policies. Such is the case with many of America’s existing immigration laws.
Federal law, for example, calls for specific enforcement protocols. But our elected representatives have decided that some of those protocols simply should be ignored. This mindset led to ideas like catching and then releasing illegal aliens into our communities, preventing local law enforcement from working with federal law enforcement, and “sanctuary” cities where those who have broken our laws can hide from accountability.
From this witches’ brew of bad ideas has come the latest product rollout, one suited for our time: stimulus checks for illegal aliens. Using the economic damage caused by COVID-19 as a pretext, anti-borders activists and their allied politicians have found a way to sustain those here illegally while creating further incentives for even more foreign nationals to move here.
At a time of tectonic shifts in foreign policy alliances, with Russia and China forming a new pact and aggressively asserting themselves on the international stage, Washington’s national security community is splintered across the ideological spectrum on how best to counter the dual threats.
Yet, even before Russia invaded Ukraine, a group of national security practitioners, military veterans, and scholars began trying to move beyond their policy differences to help repair the damage inflicted by the last U.S. foreign policy failure – the chaotic U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan nearly seven months ago.
When the Vandenberg Coalition, a group of primarily Republican experts representing diverse foreign policy views and approaches, began their Afghanistan assessment, its members couldn’t have known that international alarm over Russia’s bloody land grab would soon eclipse the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan. Some national security experts believe that the two U.S. foreign policy nightmares are inextricably linked – that America’s ignominious retreat in Afghanistan emboldened Vladimir Putin to move on Ukraine.
No one ever said that the business of politics made good sense, but if you’re a politician, and the vast majority of your constituents — including a high percentage of those in your own party — no longer want you to represent them, shouldn’t you take their distaste as a hint and get the heck out of office?
Such is the case for notorious Donald Trump bashing RINO congresswoman Liz Cheney. As everyone knows by now, Cheney is the lone House representative from the huge but sparsely populated state of Wyoming, which means hers is the sole voice of every single Cowboy State resident and citizen in the lower chamber. Liz has never had an issue with winning elections in blood red Wyoming, which would seem to be an argument in her favor. But times and circumstances have changed markedly in the rocky mountain high plains and there’re hardly any folks there who hanker to send Cheney back to DC for another two years.
Yet onward Liz trudges. Because Cheney has fallen so far out of favor with conservatives and Republicans in her jurisdiction, she’s now relying on Democrats to try and (literally) save her seat. The optics alone are odd, but reality is even weirder. In a piece titled “Liz Cheney turns to Democrats to save her hide,” Tara Palmeri wrote at Politico:
As the peak of the coronavirus pandemic appears to have passed, ten Republican-led states have all recorded the lowest unemployment rate on record.
According to The Hill, the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows ten different states with unemployment rates as low as just over 2 percent. Nebraska and Utah are tied for the lowest percentages in the country, at 2.2 percent each. They are followed by Indiana with 2.4 percent, and Kansas with 2.6 percent. The remaining six states are: Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
All ten states’ unemployment rates are currently the lowest on record since BLS first began tracking state-by-state percentages in 1976. Of these ten states, only one has a Democratic governor, with Laura Kelly in Kansas. All ten states have Republican majorities in their respective state legislatures.
Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Joe Biden’s pick for a key Federal Reserve position, withdrew her nomination Tuesday after receiving bipartisan pushback.
Raskin’s nomination faced fierce opposition by Republican lawmakers and industry groups that argued her previous positions on a range of topics including climate policy disqualified her for the job. Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee led by Ranking Member Pat Toomey have boycotted a vote to pass her nomination and four other nominations to the Senate for a floor vote since February.
“Unfortunately, Senate Republicans are more focused on amplifying these false claims and protecting special interests than taking important steps toward addressing inflation and lowering costs for the American people,” Biden said in a statement Tuesday. “I am grateful for Sarah’s service to our country and for her willingness to serve again, and I look forward to her future contributions to our country.”
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe released video footage from last November, showing armed FBI agents raiding and ransacking an employee’s home. The Feds raided two of O’Keefe’s employees’ homes on November 4, on the orders of federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. They raided O’Keefe’s apartment in Mamaroneck, N.Y., a couple of days later in connection with Ashley Biden’s allegedly stolen diary.
O’Keefe contends that he and his journalists were targeted because of their investigative journalism.
The footage begins with the FBI banging loudly on the door, and with the startled journalist responding shakily, “I’m sorry, what is this regarding?”
After a massive rise in the number of drilling permits approved in 2021, the total number has plunged to some of the lowest levels ever in 2022, all on the watch of the Biden Administration.
Politico reports that after the previous high of 643 permits that were issued by the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in April of 2021, just 95 permits were approved in January of this year. The sudden shift reflects the wildly different approaches taken by the Trump Administration and the Biden Administration when it comes to domestic energy production.
While President Donald Trump supported unlimited domestic production in order to establish national energy independence, Biden pledged to reduce the production of fossil fuels in order to combat “global warming,” and instead has tried to promote so-called “green” energy alternatives. But the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including the impacts on the global energy market, has forced Biden to consider restarting domestic production in order to offset rising gas prices.