What were America’s founders and their followers trying to foster and preserve by their conduct among nations? What were they trying to put first? Why did the Progressives turn away from these concerns? What did they put first? How dismissive were they of reality? What have been Progressivism’s effects on how America has fared among nations? How have changes in the world and in America itself made it impossible to continue on the Progressive’s course? How would John Quincy Adams and those following his principles manage America’s present international situation?
By what principles might today’s statesmen put America First?
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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:
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.”
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.
At its founding, American K-12 public education was meant to prepare young people to be active participants in our democratic republic. That should still be its highest purpose, especially when it comes to teaching civics.
Historically, public schools held fast to the principle that effective education must be non-partisan. Knowing they had great power to influence young minds, teachers used to be careful to choose content and pedagogies that restricted their ability to impose their personal political views on schoolchildren.
Today, maintaining non-partisanship is more important than ever in classrooms. Sadly, it’s increasingly dishonored. Civics has become a hot-button issue of late, particularly after remote learning allowed more parents to see what their children were actually being taught. Many were not happy with what they saw, and the debate over civics education is symptomatic of the larger divide that has become such a looming threat to American society.
With U.S. and world food prices set to soar due to inflation and supply shortages stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a key GOP lawmaker is asking the Pentagon to study the potential for conflict if the global food supply shrinks by 5%.
U.S. farmers will pay $300-$400 more per acre to grow crops this year due to inflation and costs associated with the war in Europe, Georgia Republican Rep. Austin Scott warned Monday on the Just the News TV show.
Shipping is another issue, as trade is throttled by war-related disruptions and tough economic sanctions against Russia.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and soaring energy prices are a bracing wake up call to the West to abandon our anemic energy policies, which have pretended to be green but in reality have only shifted the dirtiest parts of our energy supply chains to bad actors like Russia and China. Western energy dependence on hostile powers limits our ability to preserve peace, to reduce our supply vulnerability, and to find the most cost-effective climate change solutions.
President Biden has acknowledged some of these problems, conceding that gasoline prices are too high and promising to do “everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump.” But gas prices continue to rise, up by 10% in the last week.
One option President Biden has not yet explored is working with Congress to fix our incoherent domestic fuel policy to improve fuel efficiency across the board and reduce the amount Americans pay for gasoline. Currently, the EPA regulates fuels and automobiles separately, instead of as a single system. Automakers have the technological know-how to make much more efficient car engines, but regulatory barriers prevent them from doing so because they do not permit the use of cleaner fuels that would reduce carbon emissions and enhance performance.
After an historic year of illegal migrants entering the United States, the Biden administration has belatedly revealed the impact of another leg of its border strategy: a sharp reduction in arrests and deportations.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported Friday interior immigration arrests fell to 74,082 in fiscal 2021, down from 103,000 in 2020 and 143,000 two years ago.
Likewise, deportations fell a stunning 70% to 59,011 last year, the lowest number in 26 years. The lack of deportations marked a precipitous drop from the Obama and Trump years, when expulsions often topped 300,000 or more annually.
Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin said Monday that he will not support the nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin to become the Federal Reserve’s top banking regulator, placing a major obstacle in her path to Senate confirmation.
In February, Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee uniformly opposed Raskin’s nomination by refusing to attend a committee vote to advance her position. The no-show act also created a blockade to the nominations of several other Fed nominees, including Chairman Jerome Powell.
Raskin to be confirmed needs 51 yes votes – a simple majority – in a final Senate vote.
In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Joe Biden promoted electric vehicles (EVs), trumpeting his plans to establish “a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.” In so doing, Biden is unwittingly supporting the worst humanitarian abuses in the world. This is because of the way in which the materials used in manufacturing the batteries that power today’s EVs are obtained.
To obtain a reasonable amount of power per pound of battery weight, EV manufacturers generally use various forms of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, so named because the battery’s positive electrode, called the cathode, is largely made up of the highly reactive metal lithium (Li). To keep the cathode stable when a battery is not in use, the lithium is combined in a metal oxide matrix, with different manufacturers using different combinations of metals.
Most EV manufacturers combine lithium with nickel, cobalt and manganese to create a Li-Ni-Mn-Co oxide matrix to form the cathode. Tesla substitutes aluminum (Al) for the manganese, yielding a Li-Ni-Co-Al oxide matrix for the cathode on their batteries. Tesla maintains that their formulae is more cost-effective as less cobalt is required.
Goods and services around the country are becoming increasingly more expensive, but farmers may be among the hardest hit as inflation, supply chain issues, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are expected to send food prices soaring even higher.
That impact is being felt by farmers around the country.
“The cost of fertilizer is up as much as 500% in some areas,” said Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron. “It would be unbelievable if I hadn’t seen it for myself as I priced fertilizer for our farm in southern Indiana. Fertilizer is a global commodity and can be influenced by multiple market factors, including the situation in Ukraine, and all of these are helping to drive up costs.”
The United States is at war with Russia. Without a vote in Congress, a specific announcement by the president, or even meaningful awareness on the part of the bulk of the populace, the United States has stumbled into conflict with another nuclear power.
True enough, American “boots on the ground” are not yet (openly) engaged in combat in Ukraine. But the devastating sanctions put in place unilaterally by Joe Biden on Russian property constitute an act of war nonetheless. On Tuesday morning, Biden announced he was unilaterally banning the importation of Russian fuel and oil products into the United States. This decision is a direct attack on the Russian economy. It is designed to dictate a certain political outcome to the Russian government.
Such a dramatic act, therefore, constitutes participation in armed conflict against the Russian regime. It is an act of war.
Des Moines this week suffered its first fatal school shooting – reigniting a controversy in the city after the district removed police officers from its schools last year.
Police say a group of teenagers in vehicles outside Des Moines’ East High School fired multiple rounds onto school property on Monday, killing a 15-year-old boy and critically wounding two female students who were bystanders. Six teenagers, some of them current Des Moines students, have been charged with first-degree murder.
The deadly drive-by shooting now hovers over the decision by Des Moines officials, along with about 30 districts across the country, to exile cops from schools. These moves were part of the “defund the police” movement that erupted after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. It’s a movement now reeling in the face of violent crime surging nationwide, punctuated by President Biden’s State of the Union vow last week to “fund the police.”
After nearly two weeks, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues with the Russian military steadily gaining ground and methodically taking control of key assets such as highways, bridges, airports, and power plants. As the Russians advance, they are also encircling and cutting off the main concentrations of the Ukrainian military. If those encirclements are completed, it could get ugly.
It’s into that cauldron that U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) would plunge the United States. On “Face the Nation” last week Cheney was nothing short of bellicose calling for escalation across the board.
Cheney wants Biden to expand already sweeping sanctions and seize the Russian Central Bank’s foreign reserves. Weaponizing the dollar and the banking system in this way, she apparently fails to realize, carries with it risks to dollar-supremacy and the global dominance of American financial institutions. As other nations watch America use the dollar and important elements of the international banking infrastructure such as the SWIFT system as weapons, they will realize their own vulnerability and take steps to protect themselves from U.S.-dominated financial systems. China already offers alternatives and Biden’s actions are the best advertising for those systems they could ask for.
Jury selection begins in a Grand Rapids courtroom Tuesday morning in the federal trial of four men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.
The long-awaited trial centers on the question of whether a loose band of misfits angry at pandemic lockdowns hatched a sinister plot to abduct Whitmer from her vacation cottage and possibly kill her—or if the foiled caper was yet another successful attempt by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to interfere in a election and sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Timing of the trial could not be worse for the scandal-plagued agency quickly losing the trust of the American people. Top FBI officials refuse to account for its role in the events of January 6, 2021, raising concerns even among some in Congress that FBI assets acted improperly before and during that day. The first trials of January 6 defendants start this month but the Justice Department has yet to make hundreds of thousands of FBI files available to defense attorneys.
Just one year after refusing to negotiate with Venezuelan “dictator” Nicolas Maduro, President Biden appears to have changed course.
Democrats and Republicans have put pressure on Biden to cut off Russian oil imports over Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s escalating invasion of Ukraine. Russia and Venezuela are partners in several areas including oil. Putin and Maduro recently discussed increasing a “strategic partnership,” according to Reuters.
Reports of the negotiations preceded an expected announcement Tuesday morning by President Biden that the U.S. will ban oil imports from Russia.
As Joe Biden’s approval numbers sink further into the sewer, the only thing he’s building back better is 1970s-style inflation. Up until Biden, most polls usually named Jimmy Carter as one of the weakest and most inept presidents we’ve ever had. That was until Biden showed up and said, “Hold my beer!” Which you have to know has brought so much joy to Carter. Heck, he probably has a set of “Let’s go Brandon!” PJs that he wears every night as he thanks God for the gift of Biden.
Fact is, this country is now being “led” by a man who absolutely will go down as one of the worst presidents in our history. In just over a year, Biden has brought inflation roaring back to levels not seen in 40 years, has destroyed our southern border as millions of illegal aliens, along with Chinese fentanyl, flood the country, and now we have been involved in two major international debacles with Afghanistan and Ukraine. The list could go on, but perhaps that’s too depressing.
Rest assured, however, it’s not going to get better. Biden is like the anti-Midas, turning everything he touches into crap.
The stock market dropped during early trading Monday after the U.S. benchmark oil index briefly touched its highest level since the Great Recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, an index measuring 30 major U.S. corporations, dropped 0.94% as of early Monday. The S&P index, which measures 500 of the largest publicly-traded companies, fell more than 0.93% while the NASDAQ, an index largely comprised of technology firms, declined 0.98%.
Late Sunday, the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures hit more than $130 per barrel for the first time since July 2008. The index remained high on Monday, hovering above $118 per barrel, up more than 3%.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that NATO member countries have a “green light” to send fighter jets as military aid to Ukraine.
The United States is reportedly in talks with Poland to send U.S. planes to replace any Soviet-era fighter jets that Warsaw sends to Ukraine, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Sending planes to Ukraine “gets a green light,” Blinken told CBS News on Sunday.
“In fact, we’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to do to backfill their needs, if, in fact, they choose to provide these fighter jets to the Ukrainians,” he said. “What can we do? How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they’re handing over to the Ukrainians? We’re in very active discussions with them about that.”
Sometimes we need time to pass and distance to extend to gain fuller perspective on what we did not see contemporaneously from too close. Indeed, G-d tells Moses that no person can see His face (which I teach as meaning an up-close encounter) and live, but people can see the back of G-d’s head (which I teach as meaning a more distant previous encounter, growing ever more distant). See Exodus 33:18-23.
In their October 22, 2012, debate, Obama mocked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for expressing concern about Russia and Vladimir Putin:
Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al Qaeda is a threat because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
A Florida student has sued his school over what he alleges is religious discrimination by his teachers and fellow classmates.
Nicholas Ortiz, a freshman at Miami’s Mater Academy has filed a lawsuit claiming he “was discriminated and retaliated against by his high school … because he is a Christian,” according to the complaint. Ortiz said he regularly brings his bible to school to read, which he alleges has made him a target for “disparaging comments” from other students, as well as school staff and administrators.
The complaint also outlines what it calls false and defamatory statements that circulated among students claiming Ortiz was planning a school shooting. Screenshots of communications between students show them discussing the rumored shooting and details their plans to physically assault Ortiz as a result.