On his blog A Pilgrim in Narnia, Brenton Dickieson tells us that C.S. Lewis in his Studies in Words defined “verbicide” as the “murder of words.” Dickieson adds that “Lewis has some similar concerns as George Orwell in his ‘Politics and the English Language.’ Words can be politicized or bent into the service of those who are peddling products or ideas.”
The 21st century has given us a multitude of these vampires, who—having sucked the original meanings out of certain nouns and verbs—then use the carcasses to sell certain ideologies or to confuse the rest of us. Here is a partial list of these zombie words.
American professors who call themselves liberals almost always do one of three things when it comes to reading old books. They ditch them, they disparage them, or they wrench them out of joint so that they can be made to do obeisance to what all correct-thinking people are supposed to believe […]
For the second year in a row, the Centers for Disease Control has been caught ignoring science and letting liberal interest groups set its policies.
In 2021, the American Pediatric Academy and the Children’s Hospital Association tracked COVID-19 statistics in children and the data show no relationship between mask mandates and the rate at which children caught the disease. In the face of this evidence – and other data showing that masks harm children’s development, the CDC supported masking students after being pressured by the National Education Association (the nation’s largest teachers’ union).
The midterm results were surprising. Dismal economic conditions and widespread public sentiment suggested a wave, and the Republicans did get more votes, but they barely won the House and failed to carry the Senate. There are reasons for all of this, including Democrat-friendly election procedures, but it is still very disappointing.
Republicans like to think of politics as something you do every few years in the same manner as nominal Christians who go to church on Christmas and Easter. When it comes to politics, the Left are the fundamentalists. For them, it is full-time, dictating what needs to happen with everything and everyone, everywhere.
In our celebrity-crazed culture, too often a person’s capacity to garner attention exceeds his talent in his chosen field. This applies to politics, too. A politician’s well-manicured image obfuscates the policies he espouses, especially during a campaign. Consequently, if elected, the ramifications of a politician’s policies that were neglected, amidst the consultant-crafted images our campaigns have become, suddenly manifest themselves in the most unpleasant ways.
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.”
While many government leaders sound the all clear message on COVID-19, dropping vaccine restrictions and mask mandates, some states and municipalities are clinging to the emergency powers that allowed them to govern people’s behavior in unprecedented ways.
Citing the need to direct emergency funding and oversee hospitals, they have held on to their emergency orders even as many restaurants, shopping centers, and sports arenas are once again packed and lingering pandemic concerns have faded into the background of a more normal life.
Emergency orders at the state level are usually issued in response to temporary threats, especially weather disasters, and are wrapped up in a few days or weeks. Soon after the new coronavirus exploded in March 2020, most governors issued broad executive orders. Under these powers, governors banned crowds, closed businesses, and imposed mask and vaccination mandates. They have also deferred to unelected public health officials in imposing restrictions.
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.
The Secret Service is paying over $30,000 a month to rent a Malibu mansion to provide security for President Biden’s son Hunter Biden, according to a news report Monday.
The agency tasked with protecting the president and his family have been renting the house close Hunter’s close to $20,000 a month Malibu property for close to a year, according to ABC News.
Don Mihalek, a current ABC News contributor and former senior Secret Service agent, said that the exorbitant rental figure is merely “the cost of doing business for the Secret Service.”
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.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has questioned Twitter’s commitment to free speech, has taken a 9% stake in the social media platform, making him its largest shareholder.
Musk bought 73.5 million shares worth $2.9 billion, based on the closing price Friday, the Associated Press reported Monday.
However, what Musk intends to do as a result of the purchase remains unclear.
The Democrat-led House on Friday passed legislation to legalize marijuana nationwide, eliminating the longstanding criminal penalties for those who distribute and possess it.
The bill passed primarily along party lines (220-204), with all but three Republicans voting ‘no,’ and all but two Democrats voting ‘yes.’
The legislation will now head to the Senate where it will likely face an uphill battle toward passage, but has a powerful ally in Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is working with several of his colleagues to introduce a twin bill sometime this spring.
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.
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.
If confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, she vowed to limit the government’s “overreach” in punishing criminals and enforce the guarantees offered the accused under the Bill of Rights.
That said, Jackson testified, “It’s very important that people be held accountable for their crimes, so if they’re not, then it would be a problem for the rule of law.”
Her idea of the best way to hold criminals “accountable” is a key issue the Senate will have to weigh as it votes to confirm her confirmation early next month.
As the count stands now, it appears she has enough votes to squeeze past an evenly divided Senate. But Republicans are pressuring Democrats on the Judiciary Committee to release documents they say shed more light on Jackson’s record on the bench, as well as the sentencing commission. Democratic Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin refuses to turn over even redacted copies of the presentencing reports generated in the child sex offender cases Jackson presided over. He also will not release her emails and other internal correspondence from her time on the commission. The White House, moreover, is withholding an additional 48,000 pages of documents that likely include some of her commission emails.
“Why are Democrats hiding her record? What is Judge Jackson hiding?” Davis asked.
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.
“We have two parties… One is the Evil Party and the other is the Stupid Party… Occasionally the two parties get together to do something that’s both evil and stupid. That’s called bipartisanship.”
— M. Stanton Evans
The Stupid Party strikes again.
Just one short month ago, Republican leaders and strategists were salivating over the prospect of a GOP blowout in the approaching midterms, as Joe Biden lurched from disaster to disaster. The debacle of our withdrawal from Afghanistan, raging inflation, an uncontrolled invasion at the southern border, crushing vaccine and mask mandates, and the utter failure to control COVID as promised all contributed to an apparent death spiral in the polls for Biden. With even mainstream media outlets acknowledging that the president’s polling numbers had rapidly cratered to unprecedented lows (with no bottom in sight) only one year into a new administration, it appeared that all Republicans needed to do to win big in November was to stay out of the way while the Democrats self-destructed.
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.
As President Joe Biden prepares to go to Europe, we must recognize that, unless things change, there are likely to be two outcomes to the Russian war on Ukraine – and both are bad for America and the rule of law.
First, the terror campaign of destroying cities and killing women and children is having a devastating effect. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, out of compassion for his people, is talking more and more about a negotiated settlement. A negotiated settlement will clearly give Vladimir Putin most of what he wants. It will be a Russian victory – an expensive Russian victory, but a Russian victory.
A negotiated settlement with Russia winning will be a disaster for the rule of law. It will be a signal to dictators everywhere that with a weak American President and timid democracies, despots can attack their neighbors with virtual impunity.
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.
In just the last three weeks, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has significantly altered our national energy policy landscape and dramatically shifted the political dynamics around legislative priorities and political possibilities in Congress. The roiling of global oil markets, underpinned by an already tight supply situation from the post-pandemic economic awakening, has been driven by perceived risks of supply disruption caused by the Russian invasion. Risk premiums and a formal American embargo of Russian energy have sent prices skyrocketing and revealed, once again, that we have few good short-term options when faced with energy supply challenges. While our tools are limited today, the current moment may present an important window of opportunity to develop a policy approach that reduces this vulnerability and limits our exposure next time. This renewed attention to energy security combined with a focus on fighting energy inflation has the potential to galvanize a bipartisan policy pathway that would have been unthinkable as the year began.
The broad support that materialized in Congress and the White House for a ban on Russian oil and natural gas imports earlier this month is a case in point. Remarkably, widespread congressional support for the ban occurred despite already high gasoline prices, with oil prices well over $100 a barrel and gasoline averaging more than $4.30 a gallon across the nation.
As President Biden said when announcing the ban, “Americans have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and have made it clear we will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war… This is a step that we’re taking to inflict further pain on Putin, but there will be costs as well here in the United States.”
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.
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.
One. Reassuring an enemy what one will not do ensures that the enemy will do just that and more. Unpredictability and occasional enigmatic silence bolster deterrence. But Joe Biden’s predictable reassurance to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will show restraint means Putin likely will not.
Two. No-fly zones don’t work in a big-power, symmetrical standoff. In a cost-benefit analysis, they are not worth the risk of shooting down the planes of a nuclear power. They usually do little to stop planes outside of such zones shooting missiles into them. Sending long-range, high-altitude anti-aircraft batteries to Ukraine to deny Russian air superiority is a far better way of regaining air parity.
Three. Europe, NATO members, and Germany in particular have de facto admitted that their past decades of shutting down nuclear plants, coal mines, and oil and gas fields have left Europe at the mercy of Russia. They are promising to rearm and meet their promised military contributions. By their actions, they are admitting that their critics, the United States in particular, were right, and they were dangerously wrong in empowering Putin.
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.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to the Middle East to discuss increased oil production with leaders after they reportedly snubbed President Joe Biden’s requests.
Johnson met with United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nayhan on Wednesday and is traveling to Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman later in the day, according to The Wall Street Journal. Johnson is reportedly set to deliver a message on behalf of the West, urging the two oil-rich nations to boost production.
“The Prime Minister set out his deep concerns about the chaos unleashed by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and stressed the importance of working together to improve stability in the global energy market,” the British government said in a readout of Johnson’s meeting with the UAE leader earlier Wednesday.
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.
What did Barack Obama and Joe Biden know about the Russiagate collusion hoax their fellow Democrats ginned up to kneecap Donald Trump – and when did they know it? How much did their chicanery contribute to Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade the Ukraine?
Those questions are coming into sharp relief following a definitive report by my RealClearInvestigations colleague Paul Sperry last week that places the worst political scandal in our nation’s history and Putin’s brutal war directly inside the White House.
Drawing on a wide range of documents, many never previously reported, Sperry details how the Obama administration worked closely with the Clinton campaign and a foreign government – Ukraine – in a “sweeping and systematic effort” to interfere in the 2016 election. It turns out Democrats were guilty of every false charge they lodged against Trump.