The lethal synthetic drug fentanyl has been increasingly trafficked into the U.S., and, in fiscal year 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a 134% increase in seizures of the illicit drug.
Fentanyl is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, and a lethal dose is about 2 milligrams, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which has recently warned about the increase in fentanyl-laced pills cartels in Mexico are manufacturing with chemicals provided by China.
The drug is fueling an overdose epidemic in the U.S., and is the leading killer 18-45 year olds nationwide.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats seem happy with their totally partisan Select Committee on Jan. 6. They will have activities this week including speeches by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the Capitol.
Let me be clear: Those who broke into the Capitol, attacked police, and threatened members of Congress last year should be tried and brought strictly to justice. Further, Congress should seriously investigate what happened and how we can prevent it from ever happening again. But that’s not what is happening on Capitol Hill this week.
Attacks on police officers hit a record high in 2021, according to a study by a national law enforcement advocacy group released Monday.
In 2021, 346 officers were shot while performing their duties, according to the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) report, marking more than a 10% increase from 2020 and an 18% increase from 2019.
Sixty-three officers died in the line of duty in 2021 by gunfire, although some passed as a result of wounds suffered as a result of attacks prior to 2021, according to the FOP report.
Private firms’ payrolls increased by 807,000 in December, more than doubling expectations as COVID-19 cases rise, according to a major employment report.
The 807,000 jobs added marks a significant increase from the 505,000 jobs added in November, according to the ADP National Employment Report. December’s figure far exceeds the Dow Jones estimate of 375,000, according to CNBC.
“December’s job market strengthened as the fallout from the Delta variant faded and Omicron’s impact had yet to be seen,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, CNBC reported. “Job gains were broad-based, as goods producers added the strongest reading of the year, while service providers dominated growth.”
Japanese automaker Toyota overtook General Motors in 2021 as the top car seller in the U.S., breaking the American manufacturer’s 90-year streak, Reuters reported.
Toyota sold 2.332 million vehicles, while GM sold 2.218 million, automakers said Tuesday, Reuters reported. GM’s dethroning marks the first time the Detroit company did not secure the most sales since it overtook Ford in 1931.
GM‘s sales were down 13% from the year before, in part due to the computer chip shortage that forced manufacturers to focus on their most popular models, Reuters reported. In contrast, Toyota was up 10% and is believed to have weathered the shortage better than others in the industry.
On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) filed a lawsuit against the administration of Joe Biden over the federal vaccine requirement for members of the National Guard.
As reported by CNN, Abbott’s lawsuit declares that the vaccine mandate for the Texas National Guard infringes on “Governor Abbott’s authority as Commander in Chief and on Texas’s sovereignty,” and that “it is unlawful for Defendants to attempt to override the Governor’s authority to govern his troops, and then leave him to deal with the harms that they leave in their wake.”
The lawsuit is in response to a policy implemented by an August memorandum from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, declaring that all members of the American military must be vaccinated or else face discharge. Austin declared that the mandate would include non-federalized National Guard members, such as state National Guards, and that any states that defied the mandate would face a funding freeze or see members be prohibited from engaging in military duties.
Every now and then an absurd idea enters the discourse and picks up a sort of memetic traction in spite of itself. The latest such idea is that of a “national divorce” in which Blue America and Red America decide they’ve had enough of each other and call it quits. It popped up most recently when U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) broached the idea on Twitter, but the idea has been entertained by liberal figures as well, most recently the comedienne Sarah Silverman.
The impetus for this proposal from conservatives and liberals alike is the recognition that division in our country has gone beyond disagreement and good-natured rivalry to outright hatred. Indeed, far from being united by crisis as we were at crucial points in the past, we are now at a point of schadenfreude—liberals reveling in suffering and disaster when it happens to conservatives, and vice versa.
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted Tuesday to move to remote learning Wednesday, citing concerns over safety amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, the union said in a press release.
The CTU’s elected House of Delegates voted in favor (88%) of a resolution to return to remote education amid the surge of COVID-19 cases and the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant, citing a lack of safety guarantees, a union press release said. In the membership-wide vote, 73% of CTU’s members voted in favor of virtual learning, passing the two-thirds threshold required to enact the resolution.
The resolution outlines plans to work remotely until Jan. 18 or until the current COVID-19 wave falls below last year’s threshold for school closures, according to the resolution.
As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, Democrat leaders in Congress are ginning up hysteria in order to pass a bill that would transform our elections and give Democrats permanent majorities in all three branches of government. In addition, Democrats’ faux outrage deflects from the root causes of the breach which include four years of multiple attempts by Democrats to overturn the 2016 election results, loose election laws, and lax Capitol security.
But to pass their election rigging bill, Democrats first need to eliminate the Senate filibuster. That would allow them to pass the bill with only a simple majority of votes and not the 60 votes needed to overcome a presumed Republican filibuster.
As millions of families across the country grapple with the fact that the expanded child tax credit could lapse for months, if not permanently, those in few states stand to hurt more than those in West Virginia.
The monthly credit, amounting to as much as $300 per child, has been a lifeline to many across the state, which ranks 49th out of 50 in average income. The expansion, adopted in March as part of the coronavirus relief package, has especially helped those earning the lowest, many of whom were once partially or completely excluded from receiving it because their incomes were too low to qualify.
West Virginia had already struggled as coal mining declined and drug overdose deaths rose, but after being decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, economic recession that resulted and subsequent inflation as the state recovered, residents said that the expanded payments provided a sense of financial security when so much seemed uncertain.
As school districts across the U.S. start 2022 in remote-learning settings or are considering doing so because of a rise in COVID-19 cases, parents now have more options as 22 states expanded or created school choice initiatives in 2021.
That’s a silver lining, advocates say, as parents grow more frustrated by ever-changing mandates, failed virtual learning outcomes and conflicting views with school boards over a range of issues.