21 U.S. Federal Agencies Are Analyzing the ‘Environmental Damage’ of Ukraine War

The federal government has assembled a 21-agency working group to study and assess the environmental impacts of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The “Interagency Working Group on Environmental Damage in Ukraine” — which was assembled by the Department of State and includes officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Department of Defense — has met weekly for about a month, Axios first reported Friday.

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Commentary: Biden’s Wealth Tax Is a Bad Idea That Cannot Be Ignored

Imagine a world where you were not taxed on how much you earned in a given year, but instead on how much your wealth appreciated.

To some this sounds like something straight out of John Lennon’s communist manifesto, also known as the song “Imagine.” Like the song, the music surrounding the words are enticing, but also like Lennon’s hit, the words themselves spell the death knell of freedom.

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Commentary: If the Fed Starts a Digital Currency, It Had Better Guarantee Privacy

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.

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Ohio, Arizona, and West Virginia Among the States Seeking Solutions to Fentanyl Crisis

Multiple U.S. states, ultimately seeing little action from the federal government on the matter, have taken it upon themselves to roll out solutions for combatting the ongoing flow of deadly fentanyl into the United States.

As reported by ABC News, two major methods have emerged from the handful of states that are directly addressing this issue: One camp seeks to reduce the risks to drug-users while also imposing steeper penalties for dealing fentanyl, while the other approach involved calling for more federal intervention, with some of these states taking it upon themselves to guard the southern border and prevent the trafficking of fentanyl into the country from Mexico.

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Commentary: They Can’t Make Trump Go Away

Donald Trump

In the election of 2016, Donald Trump appealed to citizenship, sovereignty, and borders. This was a direct entreaty to the people as the ultimate source of sovereign authority, bypassing the ruling-class elites that dominate the media and the universities; his appeal also ignored political experts, pollsters, and government bureaucracy. In the postmodern world, the nation-state is under attack everywhere as the source of all evil, the cause of war, selfishness, racism, white privilege, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and all the other irrational phobias that make up the universe of political correctness. The idea of the nation-state itself is said to be irrational and arbitrary.

All of this overwrought criticism of nationalism and the nation-state overlooks a very significant point developed in my new book, The United States in Crisis: Citizenship, Immigration, and the Nation State: the nation-state is the only form of political organization that can sustain constitutional government and the rule of law.

No empire has ever been a constitutional democracy or republic, nor will constitutional government exist in global government. If, as is widely alleged, the dialectic of History is inevitably tending toward global governance and universal citizenship, then it is also tending toward tyranny.

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Commentary: Biden Needs to Decide If COVID Is Still a ‘National Emergency’

The omicron variant may be nearing its peak in some states, but across the country it’s produced a dizzying array of conflicting signals on whether the nation should remain under a COVID national emergency or move on to an endemic “new normal.”

Comedian Bill Maher’s “I don’t want to live in your mask-paranoid world anymore” monologue went viral last week, just days after the Atlantic, the standard-bearer journal for the liberal intelligentsia, ran a story headlined: “COVID Parenting Has Passed the Point of Absurdity.” Accompanying the article was a black-and-white photo of a woman frozen in a more desperate and primal state of panic than the subject of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

Omicron, for most people without co-morbidities, produces much milder symptoms than do the coronavirus’s previous variants, but it’s far more infectious, racing through schools, shutting down classrooms and forcing parents to consult their district’s ever-shifting COVID “decision trees” on a seemingly daily basis.

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Over a Hundred Conservative Groups Call on U.S. Education Secretary to Resign over Infamous Letter Equating Concerned Parents to ‘Domestic Terrorists’

National School Boards Association meeting

Over 100 conservative groups and leaders are calling on Education Secretary Miquel Cardona to resign over allegations that he collaborated with the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to draft the infamous letter equating parents to domestic terrorists.

The Conservative Action Project (CAP), along with 120 conservative groups and leaders, released a letter Monday calling on Cardona to resign immediately, following reports that he worked with the NSBA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to silence parents from speaking out about their concerns at America’s public schools, citing “threats” they posed to school boards.

School boards have been battlegrounds for culture wars over mask rules, COVID-19 vaccinations, schools reopening, Critical Race Theory (CRT), gender ideology and remote learning. The Monday letter also calls on Congress to further investigate the NSBA letter “to ensure any other Biden administration officials who were inappropriately involved are held accountable.”

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Commentary: Get Ready for a New Roaring Twenties

Statue of Liberty

On New Year’s Eve of 2019, revelers gathered around the globe to ring in a new decade. Many jubilantly attended “Roaring Twenties” parties, adorned in elegant evening wear, cloche and Panama hats, and knickerbockers, harkening back to an exciting, culturally vibrant era of economic prosperity. But whatever veiled hopes partygoers had for a booming future soon met jarring realities: a once-in-a-century pandemic, global lockdowns, an economic recession, and widespread civil unrest stemming from an incident of police brutality. The Roaring 2020s were not to be, it seemed.

Take heart: Mark P. Mills, a physicist, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, faculty fellow at Northwestern University, and a partner in Montrose Lane, an energy-tech venture fund, is out to rekindle our collectively dashed hopes. In his new book, The Cloud Revolution: How the Convergence of New Technologies Will Unleash the Next Economic Boom and a Roaring 2020s, Mills convincingly argues with verve, vitality, and – most importantly – evidence, that humanity is about to take a great step forward in the coming decade. And unlike the first Roaring Twenties, these won’t need to end with a Great Depression.

In the opening pages, Mills reminds us that the original Roaring Twenties didn’t start off so auspiciously, either. In fact, separated by a century, our situation seems eerily similar. The 1918 flu pandemic ran well into 1920, triggering a severe U.S. recession that lasted through summer 1921. Violent riots and political instability were also prevalent. Yet from this pit of public despair, Americans pulled themselves out. Propelled by remarkable advancements in mass production, medicine, electrification, communications via telephone and radio, movies, automobiles, and aviation, the United States saw its GDP rise by an astounding 43% between 1921 and 1929.

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Commentary: We Are All ‘Domestic Terrorists’ Now

Paul Hodgkins, according to Joe Biden’s Justice Department, is a domestic terrorist.

A working-class man from Tampa, Hodgkins committed what Democrats and the media consider a murderous crime comparable to flying a packed jetliner into a skyscraper or detonating a truck filled with explosives under a crowded federal building.

Paul Hodgkins entered the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

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Progressive Lawmakers Offer Unwitting Path for January 6 Prisoners to Sue Federal Government

Some of the most progressive Democrats in Congress are supporting new legislation that could help an unexpected group: those who were arrested and imprisoned without trial for playing a role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Democratic Reps. Hank Johnson (Ga.) and Jamie Raskin (Md.) on Wednesday reintroduced the Bivens Act, which would allow citizens to recover damages for constitutional violations committed against them by federal law enforcement officials.

The bill, which the lawmakers first introduced last year, seeks “to provide a civil remedy for an individual whose rights have been violated by a person acting under federal authority.” It would do this by adding five words — “of the United States or” — to a longstanding provision enacted in 1871, known as Section 1983, which gives individuals the right to sue state or local officials who violate their civil and constitutional rights. The additional words would include federal officials in the statute.

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Wyoming Governor Signs Bill Funding Legal Defense Against Federal Vaccine Mandate Challenges

Mark Gordon

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday signed legislation prohibiting public entities from enforcing the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

House Bill 1002, which was the only piece of legislation passed during the Wyoming Legislature’s special session, also provides $4 million in funding for any legal challenges against federal vaccine mandates.

“No public entity shall enforce any mandate or standard of the federal government, whether emergency, temporary or permanent, that requires an employer to ensure or mandate that an employee shall receive a COVID‑19 vaccination,” the bill reads.

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Propane Heating Costs Hit Highest Level Since 2011 as Winter Approaches

Propane tank

Propane heating costs in the U.S. rocketed to $2.59 per gallon this month, the highest level in a decade, as winter quickly approaches, the federal government said Friday.

The average cost of propane during the first four weeks of the current winter season, which begins in October, was 49% higher than last year, according to an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. The agency noted that the low propane supply is a major reason for the increased prices.

“U.S. propane and propylene inventories are starting this winter season lower than in recent years; weekly U.S. inventories are averaging 28% lower than the same time last year and 21% lower than their recent five-year (2015–2020) average,” the report stated.

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As Washington Shirks Federal Border Enforcement Role, Burden Falls to Frontline Sheriffs

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels

Acoalition of law enforcement agents, mostly comprised of sheriffs combatting cartel violence along the southern border, in cooperation with Border Patrol agents, is working to bring awareness to Americans of the dangers they face because of the Biden administration’s hands-off border enforcement policies.

“A nation without secure borders cannot stand,” argues Mark Hager, Army veteran and founder of the U.S. First Defense Coalition. “As a republic, the citizens of the United States are the responsible first line of defense,” he says, and sheriffs are “the only law enforcement branch elected by the people,” Hager told Just The News. “They are comparable to the grassroots of law enforcement.”

Also a historian and a professor, Hager notes that sheriffs “hold a special place in American history, and especially along our southern border, where they are protecting citizens when the federal government won’t.”

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Donated Frequent Flyer Miles Provide 40,000 Flights for Afghan Refugees

Frequent flyer miles donated over a two-month period will provide around 40,000 flights for Afghan refugees, the Associated Press reported.

The Biden administration is considering doubling the number of miles available to refugees, and around 3,200 flights already covered by the donated miles have allowed Afghan refugees to resettle in communities around the U.S. from temporary housing at military bases, according to the AP. Miles4Migrants organized the donations, and the group has provided aid to refugees using donated airline miles and credit card points since 2016.

“Government resources are limited, and we knew that the American people wanted to support Afghans who were arriving and help them find safe homes,” Miles4Migrants Co-Founder Andy Freedman said, the AP reported. “That’s when we turned to the airlines.”

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Commentary: The Unemployment Rate Does Not Offer Guidance Now

The Labor Department’s official unemployment rate—the most well-known gauge of the labor market’s health—counts as unemployed only those who aren’t working but are actively seeking a job.

Yet there is very little that we can infer from the jobless rate about the health of the economy.  The unavoidable conclusion is that the only reason investors follow the calculation is because both Washington’s politicians and the Federal Reserve are expected to react to it.

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Commentary: Activating the ‘Secret Police’ to Aid School Boards

The FBI will investigate threats and intimidation against school board members, administrators, teachers, and staff, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Oct. 4. In so doing, Garland claimed federal jurisdiction over local law enforcement, in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.

This power grab by the AG supposedly came as a response to a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA), a leftist advocacy group with vast influence over the nation’s school boards. To gain some insight into how this ukase or edict is playing out, I attended a school board meeting in the charming village of Greenwich (“It’s Greeen-wich, not Gren-itch”) in northern New York state.

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Commentary: Biden’s Unlawful Plan to Federalize Elections

Person voting in poll booth

The White House recently issued a statement regarding new actions dozens of federal agencies are taking related to voter registration. These actions come in response to an order President Joe Biden issued back in March.

The order commanded the heads of every federal agency to submit a plan outlining their strategy to engage in voter registration and mobilization efforts to the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Susan Rice. This is an unlawful effort by the Biden administration to federalize elections and keep the president and his political party in power.

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Retail Sales Beat Expectations Amid Surging Inflation

Woman shopping in a department store

U.S. retail sales increased in September, beating expectations amid growing inflation and supply chain disruptions, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Friday.

Retail sales increased 0.7% in September, beating experts’ estimates of 0.2%, according to the Census Bureau report.  The number rose 0.8%, excluding auto sales, beating the 0.5% forecast.

Sales were up 13.9% compared to September 2020, and they increased 15.6% compared to September 2020, excluding auto sales, according to the Census Bureau.

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Commentary: A Call to Amend Section 230 for Social Media Transparency

Smart phone opened on home screen

Amid growing bipartisan agreement that increased regulation of social media platforms and their content moderation policies is needed, the path forward remains murky. Should Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act be discarded or strengthened? Should companies be broken up using antitrust laws? Should government set speech rules for the web? Should users decide them? Or should there be no rules at all?

There is no shortage of solutions being put forth to solve the challenge of social media censorship. The problem is that without a better understanding of how social platforms invisibly shape the public square of democracy today, we don’t know which of these possible solutions might have the greatest impact. In short, to fix social media, we first need a better understanding of its ills: Section 230 must be amended to legislate social platform transparency.

A new RealClearFoundation report, “Transparency Is the First Step Toward Addressing Social Media Censorship,” outlines the public data sets we need to usher in transparency and better understand the challenges we face.

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Roger Simon Commentary: Time to Stop ‘Communism, American-Style’

Some will remember that comedy classic from 1961, “Divorce, Italian Style,” starring Marcello Mastroianni. Unfortunately, 60 years later, we seem to be moving toward, even living through, a far less funny, real-life “Communism, American Style.”

What is “Communism, American Style”? As yet one would think it bears little resemblance to the Soviet kind with its gulags and so forth.

Or does it?

On Oct. 6, the Los Angeles City Council proclaimed, nearly unanimously (11–2), COVID-19 mandates that require proof of vaccination to enter indoor restaurants, movie theaters, salons, shopping centers, and just about every other public indoor space you could think of in the entertainment capital.

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‘Devastating’: Biden Ignores Lawmakers’ Pleas, Orders Massive Expansion of Utah Monuments

President Joe Biden will order the Department of the Interior Friday to vastly expand two Utah monuments which the Trump administration reduced in size.

The president will restore protections for both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments located in Utah, the White House announced. Biden’s order will re-expand the monuments from their reduced size of slightly more than 1 million acres to 3.2 million acres.

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Commentary: The Treacherous Road to Runaway Inflation

In January, 2001, America had a balanced budget, low debt, and was at peace. Here, briefly, is what lay ahead: war, financial crisis, civil unrest, massive growth of the federal government, and now severe inflation.

Never in the history of America has our government in its ineptitude created such a false economy, risking hundreds of years of hard work on unsound and unworkable economic policies. The Founders wisely relied on dispersion of power. They knew there would be dishonest and incompetent politicians but, in this case, the entire government is infected with deceptive leaders.

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Justice Breyer to Those Pushing Court Packing: ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’

Justice Stephen Breyer

Justice Stephen Breyer issued a stark warning to those pushing to pack the Supreme Court: “what goes around comes around.”

Breyer made the remark during an interview with NPR published Friday, ahead of the release of his new book, “The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics.” He has pushed back on calls to add seats to the court — and on progressives urging him to retire — on multiple recent occasions.

“What goes around comes around,” he said. “And if the Democrats can do it, then the Republicans can do it.”

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Poor Leadership During the COVID Era

“Get vaccinated,” whispered the doddering, white-haired failure of a president before beating a hasty retreat from the podium. Reporters barked questions at him which neither he nor his handlers had interest in answering, because they have no answers.

Joe Biden has no answers for COVID-19. What Joe Biden has is blame and Otherization for Americans not invested in the tired narratives of his handlers and the managerial elite he represents so badly.

That’s clear. It’s the only true takeaway from the disgraceful, alarming speech Biden gave Thursday.

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Commentary: How States Could Assume Abandoned Responsibilities of the National Government

The COVID pandemic has witnessed the exercise of state “police powers” on a scale and scope unprecedented in America’s peacetime history. Out of fear of contagion, massive amounts of private property in the form of shops, restaurants, bars, and other businesses were peremptorily seized and shuttered. The rights of landlords to collect rents and evict tenants were suspended. The ability of people to cross from one state to another was hobbled by regulations, quarantines, and delays. And most of this was accomplished by governors and mayors acting by decree, with only the most tenuous of statutory authorizations.

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Majority of Independent Voters Says Federal Government Reporting on COVID Vaccines Is Biased

COVID Testing station

Anew poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group in association with Convention of States Action, finds that Americans are losing confidence in the ability of the federal government to present unbiased information about COVID-19 vaccine efficacy.

Just over half of U.S. voters are, at this point, not confident that the federal government is reporting unbiased information related to the Covid-19 vaccines; 44.5% remain confident in the government’s ability to do so.

Those figures are further broken down by political affiliation to reveal that among Independents, the feds are underwater. Among the politically unaffiliated or affiliated with a non-mainstream party, 53.4% of voters said they are not confident in the unbiased nature of government vaccine information – 40% of those polled specified they were “not confident at all.”

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act

United States currency

The $3.5 trillion spending bill set up to follow the $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill (which has little to do with infrastructure) should be called what it really is: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act.

The Democrats would like you to believe it is only a reconciliation bill. This is vital to them because a reconciliation bill only takes 50 senators and the vice president to pass the U.S. Senate.

However, this additional $3.5 trillion comes after trillions of emergency spending prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider what the Congressional Budget Office has written about the fiscal situation before the $1.1 trillion and $3.5 trillion bills are passed:

Here is what the Congressional Budget Office forecasts (not counting Biden’s enormous spending plan): 

“By the end of 2021, federal debt held by the public is projected to equal 102 percent of GDP. Debt would reach 107 percent of GDP (surpassing its historical high) in 2031 and would almost double to 202 percent of GDP by 2051. Debt that is high and rising as a percentage of GDP boosts federal and private borrowing costs, slows the growth of economic output, and increases interest payments abroad. A growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private activity in international markets.”

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Commentary: Pennsylvania Is a Microcosm of America’s Housing Crisis

A modern home with a light blue roof and matching siding

In recent years, an acute housing crisis has engulfed both America’s coastal metros and Rust Belt regions. California’s Bay Area, for example, confronts a crisis of affordability and limited supply that hastens a population exodus. Midwest cities like Detroit face low real-estate prices and low demand, intensifying urban decline.

Pennsylvania is a microcosm of such alarming housing trends, especially east of the Susquehanna River, which is seeing an influx of metro New Yorkers relocating to the area.

From the Keystone State’s middle-class suburbs to its post-industrial locales, the housing crisis is a major challenge. In the midstate, most notably in Harrisburg and Lancaster, housing has become significantly more expensive. In the northeast’s anthracite coal region, anchored by Scranton, rents are spiking. And in suburban Philadelphia’s Lansdale, a townhouse went for nearly $500,000.

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Biden Requiring Federal Government Workers to Show Proof of Vaccination

COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine vial and NHS record card

President Joe Biden on Thursday said his administration will require all federal employees and contractors to show proof of vaccination, a move met with swift opposition from Texas elected officials.

Federal workers or contractors who can’t show a proof of vaccination will be required to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and be subject to twice-weekly COVID-19 tests under the new rules.

Biden encouraged the private sector and professional sports leagues to follow suit in an address on Thursday.

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France Warned the U.S. in 2015 About the Wuhan Lab It Helped Build, Former COVID-19 Investigator Claims

Wuhan Institute of Virology

The U.S. federal government should have stopped funding research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2015 when China reduced its cooperation with the French in building and operating the lab, according to the leader of an investigation into COVID-19’s origins by the State Department under the Trump administration.

In 2015, French intelligence officials warned the U.S. State Department and their own foreign ministry that China was cutting back on agreed collaboration at the lab, former State official David Asher, now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute think tank, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

By 2017, the French “were kicked out” of the lab and cooperation ceased, leading French officials to warn the State Department that they had grave concerns as to Chinese motivations, according to Asher.

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Commentary: One State Can Make a Difference

Farmer on a tractor, tilling field

Late last month, Montana ended its participation in the extended federal unemployment benefits program. No surprise this event was little noted in the national press, since Montana’s decision to exit the program had a direct effect on fewer than 20,000 people (the total unemployed population of Montana). Yet Montana’s decision had an enormous effect on the country as a whole.

Particularly for those inside the Beltway, it is easy to focus on Washington, D.C. as the only place where policymaking matters. And with an administration desperate to centralize power as it prints ever-growing piles of money with which it hopes to bribe or threaten states and localities, such an attitude is understandable. Recent developments in states like Montana far outside the beltway, however, show how national political innovations can be driven by states with smaller populations far from the beltway swamp and present conservatives with a path for political success. 

While elections in Montana often are driven by local and idiosyncratic issues as well as personal relationships (understandable in a state with some of America’s least populated state house and senate districts), Montana is and has long been a very red state. The only Democratic presidential candidate since 1948 to win a majority here was Lyndon B. Johnson in his 1964 landslide win over Barry Goldwater. It is much easier to convince and move 1 million people in Montana than 332 million Americans. And yet by moving 1 million Montanans (or 800,000 South Dakotans) or 1.8 million Idahoans, the Right can often exercise an outsized influence on the national debate. 

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Black Lives Matter Issues Statement of Support for Cuba’s Communist Regime

Miguel Diaz-Canel

The official Black Lives Matter organization is facing widespread criticism after releasing a statement in support of the Communist dictatorship in Cuba, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation issued its statement earlier this week, amidst the sudden grassroots protests that broke out in Cuba against the incumbent regime. In it, the organization claims, with no evidence, that “the U.S. government has only instigated suffering for the country’s 11 million, of which 4 million are black or brown.”

BLM further claims that the ongoing American embargo on Cuba, which has been in effect since the Cold War, is “at the heart of the crisis,” and went on to praise Cuba’s “strong medical care.” The far-left group’s rhetoric closely matches that of Cuba’s current dictator, Miguel Diaz-Canel, who explicitly blamed the United States for the protests.

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Federal Bill Would Ban Vaccine Database in Response to Biden’s ‘Door-to-Door’ Pledge

Ted Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced a bill that would prohibit the federal government from creating and maintaining a federal database of every American who has received COVID-19 vaccines.

Cruz introduced the bill after White House officials announced a plan to use taxpayer dollars to pay individuals to go door-to-door in regions of the country where there are relatively low vaccination rates.

In response to statements made by President Joe Biden and White House press secretary Jen Psaki about the door-to-door outreach initiative, Cruz tweeted, “When the Biden admin calls for ‘targeted’ ‘door-to-door outreach’ to get people vaccinated, it comes across as a g-man saying: ‘We know you’re unvaccinated, let’s talk, comrade.’ My bill to ban federal vaccine passports prohibits the feds from maintaining a vaccine database.”

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15 Governors Oppose Biden Plan to ‘Conserve’ 30 Percent of All US Land and Water by 2030

Scenery of the mountains and waterways in Asheville, North Carolina

Governors from 15 states are sounding the alarm over an executive order issued by President Joe Biden tasking his administration to “conserve” 30% of all land and water in the U.S. by 2030.

Known as the “30 x 30 plan,” the directive is part of a United Nations Agenda 2030 land and sustainable development goal, which directs nations to conserve land and water to combat climate change.

Biden refers to the policy as part of the United State’s acceptance of rejoining the Paris Agreement, a deal former President Donald Trump pulled out of.

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Majority of Americans Want the Government to Fight Income Inequality, Poll Finds

Group of people gathered, talking next to an office desk

A majority of respondents believe that the federal government should push policies that reduce income inequality in the United States, according to a poll released Friday by Axios.

The Axios poll shows 66% of respondents say the government should work to lower the level of income distributed unevenly, up 4% compared to 2019.

Republicans surveyed who agreed the government should tackle income inequality increased by 5%, and Independents who responded similarly increased by 2%, according to the poll. Democrats saw an increase of 7% in favor of such policies compared to 2019.

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Commentary: Recent History Suggests FBI Involvement in January 6

Remember Christopher Steele?

The author of the infamous 2016 “dossier” was an impeccably credentialed former British intelligence officer who, we were assured, had the goods on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. Nearly every major news and opinion outlet vouched for his reputation and reliable sources inside the Kremlin.

Steele frequently was described as an “ex-spy” in charge of a well-respected global consulting firm in London; he was alternatively a victim of Trump’s public taunts and a hero willing to risk his life and reputation to spare America the election of a Putin puppet.

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Commentary: The Biden No-Go Zones

Joe Biden

In American journalism, there are supposed to be some clear, nonnegotiable third-rails. 

One is zero tolerance for overtly racist language and comportment among our movers and shakers. Reporters, for example, for four years damned Donald Trump for his neutralizing summation that there were both “fine people” and extremists mingled among the hordes of protestors during their occasionally violent encounters in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

It mattered little to the media that Trump added qualifiers of “many” and “both” sides of the protests: 

We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides . . . And I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally—but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? . . . Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats—you had a lot of bad people in the other group, too.

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Eighteen Months Later, Democrats’ First Trump Impeachment Tale in Tatters

In the first of their two drives to impeach Donald Trump, Democrats had a simple storyline: The then-president abused his power by requesting an investigation of Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine when Joe Biden’s son had done nothing wrong.

That mantra carried through the 2020 election, repeated by Democrats and sympathetic news anchors.

“President Trump has falsely accused your son of doing something wrong while serving on a company board in Ukraine,” CNN anchor Anderson Cooper claimed as he set up a question during an interview with Joe Biden last year. “I want to point out there is no evidence of wrongdoing by either one of you.”

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Biden Administration Threatens to Sue If Texas Governor Closes Migrant Detention Centers

The Biden administration threatened to sue Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott if the state follows through with plans to stop working with the federal government to detain migrant minors, according to a letter from federal officials Monday.

Abbott issued a disaster declaration on May 31 that ordered all facilities operating on federal contracts to house migrants who entered the country illegally to close. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said Abbott’s declaration illegally discriminates against the federal government’s 52 state-licensed facilities operating in Texas to house unaccompanied migrant minors.

“The May 31 Proclamation discriminates against the Federal government by targeting the licenses held only by those entities providing shelter to ‘unlawful immigrants or other individuals not lawfully present in the United States under a contract with the federal government,’” according to HHS.

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Commentary: Benefits Under Biden’s ‘America Last’ Policies

People protesting

Many of the independent, undecided and even Democrat voters who chose Joe Biden over President Trump last November did so in hopes that his “moderate” demeanor would signal a return to some sort of “normalcy.”

However, from the moment he took office on January 20th, Biden has proven himself to be anything by moderate. So far Biden seems far more concerned with pandering to the “AOC” wing of his party while the American people pay the price.

On day one of his presidency, Biden rescinded permits for the Keystone XL pipeline, killing an estimated 40,000 high-paying American jobs with the stroke of a pen. He followed this blatant swipe at the American worker again last week by voicing his approval for Vladimir Putin’s plans to build a similar pipeline through Russia and Germany. Critics say this will only strengthen Russia’s dominance over Western Europe’s gas supply. All this while America went from energy independence under Trump, to gas shortages and price hikes under Biden.  Lunch Bucket Joe supports Russian jobs over American workers. And we were led to believe the other guy was the “Russian asset.”

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Commentary: Be Very Skeptical About Sen. Warren Throwing More Money at the IRS

Elizabeth Warren

Closing the “tax gap,” or revenue owed to the federal government that goes uncollected, has long been a favorite deus ex machina for lawmakers who want more revenue without having to raise rates. But Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Chuck Rettig really put dollar signs in lawmakers’ eyes when he claimed the tax gap could be as large as $1 trillion. Always eager to appear knowledgeable on policy issues, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is putting forward a plan to collect extra revenue that only gets worse the deeper you dig into it.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand how far off on an island Rettig is with his estimate. The IRS’s last official estimate of the size of the tax gap placed it at a far, far lower $381 billion. Even considering that this estimate may not have factored in underpayment from cryptocurrencies, offshore holdings, and pass-through businesses, the tax gap still remains far closer to $500 billion than to $1 trillion.

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Commentary: Paul Ryan Was an Ineffective Leader of the Republican Party

Paul Ryan

We aren’t actually governed by Paul Ryan, whose brief time as House Speaker ended in what can only be described as a surrender. Ryan bolted from the Speaker’s chair the minute the 2018 elections were over. He was happy to leave Congress to take a “cashing-in” job on the Fox Corporation board while his party took an electoral bath in those midterms he could blame on Donald Trump.

But as readers of The American Spectator know, in this space we’ve been exploring the premise that Americans are governed by people who suck. And Ryan put himself in that category even from outside the elective-office sphere this week when he offered up a tired and tiresome narrative about the future of the Republican Party.

What is it with these washed-up politicians, who are clearly the party’s past, demanding the GOP follow their instructions as to its future? Do we have to exhume the remains of Nelson Rockefeller and Thomas Dewey or conduct seances with them for guidance in how to defeat the 21st-century Left?

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Jody Hice Outlines How Joe Biden Makes Federal Government Less Efficient After COVID-19

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10) told constituents in an email Thursday that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated several longstanding problems and created more than a few new ones within the federal government. “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for example, has a tremendous backlog of millions of income tax returns waiting to be processed, leading to lengthy delays in refunds and stimulus checks to many Americans. Another case is the State Department, which is taking 10 to 12 weeks to process even a simple passport application. Perhaps the worst example is the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), a little known but critical agency responsible for the military service records needed for veterans to receive care from the VA. As of April, the backlog for veterans’ records is roughly 500,000 and may take up to two years to clear. Unreal!” Hice wrote.

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Senate Republicans Expand Investigation into ‘Woke Mission Creep’ of Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve

Senate Banking Committee Republicans have expanded an investigation into regional Federal Reserve banks over their alleged “woke mission creep.”

Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee sent letters to regional Federal Reserve banks in Minneapolis, Boston and Atlanta demanding a briefing with leaders and documents related to a recent “Racism and the Economy” initiative, GOP staffers said during a press briefing Monday morning. Engaging in political advocacy is out of the Fed’s purview, the letters said.

“Of course, racism is abhorrent and has no place in our society…. I recognize the interest in studying economic disparities along demographic lines, such as race and gender,” Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey wrote in the letters sent Sunday.

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Commentary: The Representation of Paycheck Americans

Donald Trump speaking at his rally

Like an aging diva, blinded by the lights that obscure an empty auditorium, U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) desperately imitates her supposed rivals to woo her already-departed fans. Robust and confrontational, the Reagan-style ideals of limited government, personal responsibility, and optimism are poison to her beltway cocktail circuit. Cheney’s recent speech is a clinic in the Republicans’ second-place strategy that has kept them out of power in Congress for most of the post-war era.

“I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” Cheney said. “We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke with his language. We have seen his lack of commitment and dedication to the Constitution, and I think it’s very important that we make sure whomever we elect is somebody who will be faithful to the Constitution.”

What a load of crap. Cheney has shirked her constitutional duty to check uniparty power and the right of citizens to challenge leftist authority.

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Commentary: Remote Work’s Impending Transformation of Middle America

Computer with video chat on screen and mug next to laptop

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a great deal about America and Americans. Most have acquiesced to anything and everything government bureaucrats asked for in the name of public safety. Masks have been donned, churches have been shuttered, and many of us stayed at home for months, working remotely.

This last item may end up being the largest and most permanent transformation of the United States. The mobility that comes with remote work may end up transforming middle America as left-coast technologists migrate inward. Freed from the work-based ties that bind them to Silicon Valley and New York City, they can now easily take their jobs and their left-wing politics to the heartland, ushering in a transformative moment in American politics.

Thomas Edsall, writing for The New York Times, discusses how many from densely populated urban areas on the coasts are finding that remote work enables them to have big city paychecks while living in suburban or rural areas with lower costs of living. 

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House Approves Bill Aiming to Address Anti-Asian Hate Crimes; Biden Has Previously Pledged to Sign

Person with "stop Asian Hate" sign on Capitol steps

The House of Representatives on Tuesday decisively passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, a bill that seeks to address hate crimes targeting Asian Americans.

The House approved the measure in a 364-62 vote. The legislation, which had been passed last month in the Senate by 94-1, will head to President Biden who has previously pledged to sign it.

“For more than a year, far too many Asian Americans have woken up each morning increasingly fearful for their safety and the safety of their loved ones,” Biden said in an April statement. “They have been scapegoated, harassed, and assaulted; some have even been killed. It has been over a year of living in fear for their lives, as acts of anti-Asian bias and violence have accelerated from coast to coast — an unconscionable burden our fellow Americans have been forced to bear, even as so many Asian Americans serve their communities and our nation tirelessly on the front lines of the pandemic.”

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House GOP Members Want Answers on January 6 Probe

Jan. 6 United States Capitol riot

In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Representatives Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) asked for information about the Justice Department’s abusive investigation into January 6.

“Those that damaged property and assaulted police officers on January 6th should rightfully face justice,” the pair wrote in a letter sent May 14. “However, the public outcry and hyper-politicization of the events on January 6th may incentivize prosecutors to use overly aggressive tactics, overcharge, and abuse the power of the federal government in order to satisfy favored political groups.”

Roy and Massie asked Garland to schedule a briefing with Congress before the end of the month to address several concerns, including how plea deals are arranged, the FBI’s use of force in raiding the homes of nonviolent protesteors, and the Justice Department’s request to hold defendants behind bars pending trial. “[C]ongressional oversight of these prosecutions is essential as a check and balance on that power.”

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Dozens of House GOP Reps Urge Pelosi to Drop Masking Rules Following Revised CDC Guidance

Nearly three dozen House GOP representatives this week urged Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to formally drop the House’s strict mask mandate, citing recently updated masking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the Friday letter, issued from the office of Ohio Rep. Bob Gibbs, 34 Republicans “urge[d] [Pelosi] to immediately return to normal voting procedures and end mandatory mask requirements in the House of Representatives.”

“CDC guidance states fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting except where required by governmental or workplace mandate,” the letter declares. “It is time to update our own workplace regulations. Every member of Congress has had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and you have indicated about 75 percent have taken advantage of this opportunity.”

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Commentary: Biden Must Reverse Course on Iran Before It’s Too Late

President Joe Biden walks along the Colonnade with the Combatant Commander nominees U.S. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson on Monday, March 8, 2021, along the Colonnade of the White House.

Media outlets around the world recently reported on leaked audio comments in which Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif admitted that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps controls all of Iran’s foreign policy decisions.  Although President Joe Biden was careful to mention neither Zarif nor Iran in his speech before Congress last month, Zarif’s embarrassingly candid revelations have direct implications for Biden’s entire Iran policy: namely, it underscores that reducing economic sanctions in order to moderate the Iranian regime cannot work.

For decades, U.S. policy toward Iran has produced disappointing results, largely because American administrations have underestimated the entrenched ideology of Iran’s theocratic dictatorship and mistakenly assumed the regime can be tamed by conciliatory diplomacy.  Western efforts to placate Tehran have failed consistently since the revolutionaries took power in 1979, yet recent reports indicate President Biden is in the process of repeating this failure. 

Just as the Obama administration did with its disastrous 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Biden administration is now seeking to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for temporary commitments from Tehran to curb its nuclear program.  A senior State Department official recently revealed that the Biden administration is reviewing all U.S. terrorism and human rights sanctions on Iran since 2017 to assess whether those sanctions were “legitimately imposed,” and that some sanctions will need to be lifted to ensure Tehran is “benefiting” from the nuclear deal.  Like Obama, Biden hopes that relaxing economic pressure can convince the regime to put aside its nuclear ambitions, focus on Iran’s economy and people, stop bankrolling terrorist proxies, and become a normal member of the international community. 

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