Democrats Plan to Hike Taxes to Pay for Their $3.5 Trillion Budget

House Democrats will consider nearly $3 trillion in tax hikes over the next decade in an attempt to pay for their $3.5 trillion budget that includes most of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda and would overhaul the nation’s social safety net.

The hikes are predominantly focused on wealthy Americans and large corporations. Among the increases is a top income tax bracket of 39.6%, up from 37%, which Democrats say would raise $170 billion in revenue over the next decade.

A summary of the proposals leaked Sunday, and was first reported by The Washington Post.

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Democrats Introduce Another Voting Bill, But Odds of Becoming Law Are Slim

Tim Kaine and Amy Klobuchar

Senate Democrats are set to release their new, trimmed down voting bill, but despite unanimous support from their caucus it faces a steep climb to become law.

The bill, titled the Freedom to Vote Act, is Democrats’ response to a series of voting restrictions passed in Republican-controlled states across the country. But despite its framework, constructed around a compromise plan proposed by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, it must still clear a filibuster to pass the Senate, meaning at least 10 Republicans would have to sign on in support.

The legislation, introduced by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, drops some of the more contentious provisions included in the For the People Act, Democrats’ previous legislation that fell to a GOP filibuster in June. While the new bill would no longer restructure the Federal Election Commission and requires a nationwide voter ID standard, it includes automatic registration provisions and would make Election Day a national holiday.

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Commentary: Vaccine Mandate on Businesses Is Immoral and Unconstitutional

On Thursday, Joe Biden announced a sweeping plan to demand a huge swath of our nation step up and take the Covid-19 shot whether they like it or not – federal employees, workers in companies with more than 100 workers, federally-funded pre-school teachers.

It was the biggest step toward big government control over our personal lives and individual health that we have seen since the founding of our nation.

Healthcare decisions have been – and always will be – between an individual and their physician. At least that has been what Democrats have argued since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.

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Commentary: Americans Can’t Afford Joe Biden’s America

Americans are tapped out. They are struggling to pay for higher prices at the pump, the grocery store, and just about everywhere else. Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics August Producer Price Indexes  report showed on an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.3 percent for the 12 months ended in August, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.

The Producer Price Index is a precursor to what retail prices will be doing in months ahead, and the August report is more bad news. The 8.3 percent annual increase in final demand signals that Americans will be paying much more for goods and services in coming months and verifies what everyone who pays their own bills already knows, Joe Biden’s America is a much more expensive place to live and it is going to get worse.

It is time for Congress to just put a stop to the madness and refuse to pass the budget reconciliation bill. Our nation cannot afford to hit the accelerator when we are already feeling the inflation pain from our prior debt excesses.

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New Poll Suggests Little Change among Californians in Recalling Governor, But Large Partisan Divide

Anew poll on the recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom shows voters appear essentially locked into their position on whether to remove the embattled Democrat lawmaker.

The poll released Thursday by the nonpartisan The Public Policy Institute of California found 58% of likely voters surveyed oppose removing the governor from office, compared to 39% who support recalling him.

The numbers are largely consistent with those the pollsters collected in March and May – 40% to 56% and 40% to 57%, respectively, in the largely Democrat-leaning state.

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Alaska Airlines Fired Flight Attendants for Saying Democrat Transgender Bill Harms Women

N615AS Alaska Airlines 2000 Boeing

Alaska Airlines fired flight attendants for questioning its support of a proposed federal law that would open women’s spaces to biological males, according to complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Their union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, allegedly refused to defend their Title VII employment rights against religious discrimination during the proceeding and “disparaged” the employees’ Christian beliefs.

The Seattle-based air carrier, which once decorated a plane with the logo of Nirvana’s first music label Sub Pop, did not respond to queries from Just the News about the allegations and why employees shouldn’t fear official retaliation for expressing their views.

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North Korea Restarting Nuclear Reactor Was Likely Inevitable, Expert Says

Nuclear power plant

North Korea was likely always going to restart its nuclear reactor regardless of which presidential administration was in office, an expert on the region told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in late August that North Korea had restarted a plutonium-producing 5-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon in July 2021, after previously shutting it down in 2018.

Bruce Klingner, the senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation, told the DCNF that while it’s unclear whether the timing of the restart was meant to send a message, North Korea probably was planning for the reactor to become operational again for a while.

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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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College Textbook Blames COVID Deaths on Americans Who Oppose Lockdowns

A textbook assigned to students at a North Carolina community college states that COVID-19 protocols “saved tens of thousands of lives” while Americans who disagreed with those restrictions caused deaths.

“Most Americans responded to the pandemic by limiting their social contact, covering their faces when going out, and washing their hands thoroughly after they did,” the passage begins and then continues with, “yet lives were lost because some Americans held beliefs that were at odds with the facts.”

The textbook appeared in the POL 120: American Government course at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.

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Commentary: Remember What Happened After the Soviets left Afghanistan, and Why

Red Forest near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Exclusion Zone.

If you watched HBO’s recent docudrama about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, you may have been struck by the historic connection to the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan. The epilogue posited the theory that the need for helicopters to mitigate the nuclear disaster caused the Russians to pull the attack helicopters from Afghanistan, making the already pointless war impossible to continue. So in 1988, the Soviets cut their losses and withdrew from Afghanistan. 

The Afghan rebels did not seize control of Afghanistan until 1992. But the 1988 withdrawal also played a huge role in the loss of legitimacy for the Soviet system itself. The apparent juggernaut wielded terrifying power at its borders but remained frail and vulnerable to collapse from within. The very idea that the great Soviet evil empire could fail set off a series of dominoes that led to its collapse. The Afghan war, the struggling economy, and the Chernobyl disaster all combined to reveal the wise and powerful leaders in Moscow as incompetent despots.

More than 30 years later, American planners may have felt they had years or at least months during which residual civilians could make an orderly departure from Afghanistan as needed. The Soviet puppet government lasted almost four years (ironically, longer than the Soviet Union continued to exist), so why wouldn’t an American-sponsored government be able to hold on at least that long? The American planners probably believed that they were prolonging the longevity of the puppet regime by leaving nearly $80 billion in military equipment in the hands of the American-aligned Afghan government.

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Senators Cotton, Hawley to Work on Bipartisan Bills Aimed at Breaking up Big Tech

Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley

Senate Republicans are joining with Democrats to work on a series of antitrust bills aimed at breaking up and regulating major tech companies.

Sen. Tom Cotton is working with both Democrats and Republicans in developing complementary legislation to several of the antitrust bills the House Judiciary Committee advanced in June, a spokesman for Sen. Cotton told the Daily Caller News Foundation, including the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act.

The House’s version of the act, one of a series of antitrust bills introduced by bipartisan members of the House Judiciary Committee, sought to prevent major tech platforms from consolidating their market share by acquiring smaller competitors. Under the law, the burden of proof would be on big tech companies to prove their mergers are lawful.

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Kentucky Lawmakers Override Governor, Ditch School Mask Mandate

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

Kentucky’s Republican legislature overrode the state’s Democratic governor late Thursday and repealed a statewide public school mask mandate.

The move, reported by the Louisville Courier Journal, came on the final day of a special session called by Gov. Andy Beshear. The mask mandate was repealed as cases in the state increased for the 10th straight week, and as over 30% of Kentucky’s new cases Thursday were in people 18 and younger, according to state data.

The legislature last month moved to significantly limit Beshear’s pandemic-related power, an action that was upheld by multiple judges in the state.

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California Lawmakers Send Newsom Bill That Could Ban Gas Generators

Gas powered Honda generator

Legislation to restrict the use of gas-powered landscaping equipment in California also would outlaw portable generators in a state only a year removed from rolling power outages amid deadly heat.

Lawmakers have sent Gov. Gavin Newsom Assembly Bill 1346. The bill’s sponsor, Assembly Member Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, said the legislation would phase out the sale of new gas-powered small off-road engines (SOREs) in California.

“Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and other equipment with small gas-powered engines emit staggering levels of air pollution,” Berman said in a statement. “These noisy machines are terribly disruptive to communities across California, and the workers who breathe in exhaust from this equipment day in and day out face disproportionate health risks, including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.”

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44 Afghan Refugees Brought to the U.S. Flagged as Potential National Security Risks

Afghan men

Some 44 Afghan refugees who were brought to the U.S. were flagged as potential national security threats in the last two weeks, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

Over 60,000 Afghans have been evacuated to the U.S. and around 13 of them are waiting to go through additional counterterrorism screening measures in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, according to the Post. Fifteen others were transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody and returned to processing stations in Europe and the Middle East or allowed to enter the U.S. after further screening.

Another 16 Afghans are waiting to see whether they’ll be cleared for travel at U.S. processing sites in countries overseas, the Post reported. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents reportedly show officials raised concerns about multiple refugees for potential ties to terror organizations including suspicious information on their electronic devices.

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Commentary: The Vaccine Mandate Assault on the Common Good

Joe Biden

As Joe Biden launches via executive order a sweeping vaccine mandate for all federal government workers, and now a brand-new initiative for private-sector mandates, the issue has once again risen to the forefront of the national dialogue. 

United Airlines, for example, recently became the first U.S. airline to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all its employees. United Airlines’ mandate takes effect on September 27, and it might augur a broader trend: A poll conducted last month by insurance and advisory firm Willis Towers Watson, for example, suggests that 52 percent of private-sector employers surveyed expect to have a workplace vaccine mandate by the end of 2021. As Biden’s brand-new announcement of a Department of Labor rule for private sector vaccination requirements now makes clear, that poll was prescient.

Against this backdrop, several Republican-leaning states have advanced laws or executive orders that prohibit private sector vaccine mandates for employees, customers, or in some other respect. That tally is now at least eight states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Texas, South Carolina, and South Dakota. The legal mechanics and specifics differ from state to state. But the highest-profile and most mechanically straightforward Republican-led assault on vaccine mandates is the one in my new home state, Florida. 

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Boxer Hints Time for Fellow California Democrat Feinstein to Retire from Senate

Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein

Former Sen. Barbara Boxer says “there’s a season for everything,” including walking away from elected office. The 80-year-old did just that in 2017 when she was 76. Now, she’s suggesting Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow California Democrat, think about doing the same.

Boxer and Feinstein were elected together to the Senate in 1992, making California the first state to elect two women to the upper chamber. But while Boxer retired nearly a term ago, Feinstein, now 88, remains in office with her term set to end in 2025.

“If Senator Feinstein were to call me today and asked my advice, I would say only you can decide this. But from my perspective, I want you to know I’ve had very productive years away from the Senate doing good things,” Boxer recently told the Los Angeles Times.

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‘Huge Hole’: Congressman Says Feds Aren’t Vetting Social Media Posts of Afghan Refugees

Tom Tiffany

Acongressman from Wisconsin, where thousands of Afghan evacuees are being temporarily resettled, says the Biden administration is creating a significant security risk by failing to aggressively vet refugees’ social media before allowing then to reach U.S. destinations.

Rep. Tom Tiffany, a Republican, told Just the News that the failure to vet social media posts for possible extremism is just one of several byproducts of a chaotic Biden administration exit strategy that has moved immigrants to U.S. installations in third countries before adequate security checks could be completed.

“They said, get them on the planes, and we’ll sort the immigration status out later,” Tiffany said during a wide-ranging interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast. “And Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken acknowledged that this last weekend, on the Sunday news shows that that’s exactly what they did. That is a terrible way to handle national security.”

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Newly Released Documents Show Fauci Was ‘Untruthful’ About Wuhan Coronavirus Research, Infectious Disease Expert Says

A trove of newly released documents detailing U.S.-funded coronavirus research in China prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shows that Dr. Anthony Fauci was “untruthful” when he claimed that his agency did not finance gain-of-research in Wuhan, an infectious disease expert said Sunday.

Documents published by The Intercept on Sunday show that Fauci’s organization, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), provided federal funds to the U.S. nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology to construct laboratory-generated SARS and MERS-related coronaviruses that demonstrated enhanced pathogenicity in humanized mice cells, according to Rutgers University professor of chemical biology Richard Ebright.

“The documents make it clear that assertions by the [National Institutes of Health] Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful,” Ebright said in a tweet Sunday evening.

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Abbott Signs Texas’ Voting Reform Bill into Law, Ending Intense Political Fight

Greg Abbott holding recently signed Texas voting reform bill

Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday signed Texas’ election reform bill into law, ending a months-long political fight over the controversial legislation.

Abbott, a Republican, traveled to Tyler, Texas to sign the Senate Bill 1, which repeals many of the voting measures that large cities in the state implemented amid the pandemic and overhauls the state’s mail-in voting and polling place systems.

Senate Bill 1 also bars election officials from sending voters unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to voters, threatening jail time if they do so.

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Commentary: New January 6 Stories That Complicate the Media Narrative

The Associated Press reported in August that Robert Reeder, a Maryland man, pleaded guilty to “parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.” He argued for leniency because, “he is a registered Democrat who wasn’t a supporter of former President Donald Trump.” So why did he join the incursion into the Capitol building? Because, he says, he was an “accidental tourist” with nothing better to do.

But an online group that calls itself Sedition Hunters recently tweeted a picture it says shows that same “accidental tourist” attacking a police officer. Curiously, the “accidental tourist,” who didn’t support Donald Trump, happened to be wearing a red “MAGA”-style hat. His attorney argued in court, “Mr. Reeder is not politically active, is not and has never been a member of any right-wing or anti-government or extremist group and has, unfortunately, been publicly grouped with many others (whose) views he abhors.”

The story reminds one of John Sullivan, a Black Lives Matter activist who infiltrated the January 6 incursion to encourage violence, bully police officers, and generally stoke mayhem. While many of the trespassers remain locked up without bail, Sullivan mysteriously received pre-trial release.

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Commentary: The Unchanging Telos of the Democrats

Afghan people

Watching the Biden Administration bring into the country tens of thousands of unvetted Afghans, who are neither U.S. citizens nor native Afghans who assisted American troops, I am coming to wonder whether Biden was actually wrong to describe the withdrawal of American forces as an “immense success.” It was, in fact, exactly what Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and other Democratic operatives said it was: a success that will move the Democrats toward their goal of creating a one-party state. 

Like the illegal aliens streaming across our southern borders and the efforts to remove restrictions against voting fraud, the influx of Afghan refugees is intended to increase the number of votes that will likely go to the Democratic Party, no matter how badly they mismanage the country. 

Looking at these coordinated steps, I am reminded of an idea put forth by Aristotle in book six of the Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle famously insisted on a distinction between technical expertise (e.g., building a house) and deeper, more foundational forms of knowledge. The most primal wisdom is sophia, which deals with universal knowledge that underlies all other true modes of knowing. But Aristotle also raises the question of whether there are not forms of techne that are so well developed that they reflect sophia. The two examples that he cites are Phidias’s work as an architect and Polykleitos’s achievements as a sculptor. According to Aristotle, the excellence that characterizes their technical skills indicates their creators are truly wise.

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Guinean President Ousted in Apparent Coup, Military Officer Says

Military officers allegedly arrested the president of Guinea and threw out the country’s constitution on Sunday, CNN reported.

“We will no longer entrust politics to a man. We will entrust it to the people. We come only for that; it is the duty of a soldier, to save the country,” Guinean army officer Mamady Doumbouya said in a statement broadcasted Sunday, CNN reported.

The West African government, constitution and all other institutions are now dissolved, and every Guinean land and air border is closed to travel, Doumbouya said.

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The Political Time Bomb for Biden Inside the Latest Jobless Numbers

Joe Biden walking with "American Jobs Plan" sign

While the unemployment rate for Americans dropped in August, there is a political time bomb buried in the statistics for President Joe Biden and a Democratic Party increasingly focused on equity: black joblessness shot up significantly.

In other words, the president who fondly boasts of a domestic policy promising to leave nobody behind has an economic recovery that is leaving a key Democratic constituency in worse shape.

“The rise in black unemployment in August is certainly troubling, considering their unemployment rates were already much higher than any other group,” Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said on Twitter.

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Commentary: Jacob Chansley Pleads Guilty to Obstruction, Remains in Jail

Jacob Chansley, arguably the most iconic figure of the January 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol, today pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

Chansley, 33, turned himself in to law enforcement and was arrested on January 9. A grand jury indicted Chansley two days later on six nonviolent counts including obstruction, civil disorder, and “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.” The remaining counts will be dropped.

Judge Royce Lamberth accepted Chansely’s plea agreement with Joe Biden’s Justice Department, which continues to arrest and charge Americans for even minor involvement in the Capitol protest. Nearly 200 defendants face the obstruction charge, a felony added to mostly misdemeanor cases. (I explained the charge here in March.)

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Commentary: Fundamentally Transforming America

“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” 

That was the “composite character” David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, on the campaign back in 2008. By “we,” the composite character meant himself and running mate, Senator Joe Biden. In 2021, with the Delaware Democrat in the White House, an update on the transformation process is in order.

In 2008 the United States was already a democratic republic, in which the people had selected presidents as different as Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. After FDR’s New Deal and  LBJ’s Great Society, the United States was already a top-heavy welfare state. Any fundamental transformation, therefore, would have to come through different channels. 

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Private Afghanistan Evacuation Team Criticizes Biden Administration Officials Who ‘Did Absolutely Nothing’ to Help Girls Escape Taliban

Afghan women refugee settlment

The Biden administration ignored several pleas for help from an American evacuation team in the waning days of the Afghanistan withdrawal, emails reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation show.

The team had contacted senior officials in the administration to help evacuate people from Afghanistan before the U.S. withdrawal, according to emails obtained by the DCNF. They were working to get Americans and vulnerable Afghans out of the country, but it was a difficult task to do alone, according to the team.

Robert Stryk, who earlier spoke with the DCNF about his frustrations with the administration before Aug. 31, said Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer failed to act on his team’s desperate pleas for help in getting hundreds of girls out of Afghanistan as the U.S. withdrawal deadline approached.

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Pakistani Ambassador Doubts U.S. Intelligence Taliban Is Seeking ‘Retribution’ Against Afghans

Asad Majeed Khan

The Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. said he does not believe the Taliban is seeking “retribution” against Afghans, contrary to American intelligence, according to emails obtained by Politico.

Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan said in exchanges between the U.S. and Pakistan that the Taliban “were not seeking retribution, and in fact were going home to home to assure Afghans that there will not be reprisals,” based on “ground observations,” Politico reported.

U.S. State Department official Ervin Massinga noted that “he has seen reporting to the contrary and hopes the Taliban do not seek revenge.”

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Federal Reserve Could Soon Lose Control of Inflation Like in 1960s, Economic Historian Says

Prominent economic historian Niall Ferguson said current inflation could be in line with where it was in the 1960s during the period that preceded a decade of high consumer prices, CNBC reported.

“What is interesting about disasters is that one can lead to another,” Ferguson said in a Friday interview with CNBC. “You can go from a public health disaster to a fiscal, monetary and potentially inflationary disaster.”

During the 1960s, inflation stayed low before shooting up in the 1970s, according to government economic data. Consumer prices ultimately peaked in 1980 before rapidly declining.

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Commentary: To Win Elections, Politicians Should Focus on Family-Friendly Policies

Things stopped working in this country about 50 years ago. But it wasn’t really noticeable until a few decades later. I like to date the beginning of the decay to the summer of 1969, though it’s impossible to put a precise date on it. Still, the summer of 1969 was an inflection point much more important than 1967’s “Summer of Love.”

Consider: On July 20, 1969, Apollo XI landed on the moon and 39 minutes later, on July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first man to stand on its surface. A few weeks later, on the night of August 8, the Manson family broke into Roman Polanski’s Hollywood Hills home and murdered his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, their unborn baby, and three friends who were at the house. The following Friday, August 15, the Woodstock music festival began in upstate New York. A good argument could be made that Woodstock was the culmination of the ’60s, but in reality, the ’60s had ended a week earlier. Woodstock wasn’t the final flowering, it was an aftershock.

This isn’t the time for a full exploration of the summer of ’69 (look out for that in the future), but it’s worth noting that a lot changed after that. Things had already peaked. For example, the two fastest ever commercial aircraft had both flown for the first time earlier in 1969; the 747 in February and the Concorde in March. In fact, the average speed of commercial air travel has been declining ever since. (Though that may be changing for the better.) Then, in the early 1970s, the median real wages of American workers entered a period of extended stagnation characterized by exceptionally low growth which made it impossible for the average person (who, by the way, is not an entrepreneur) to get ahead. It’s still true today, which is why so many families require two incomes if they want to remain in the middle class.

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Poll: Republican Trust in Media Lower Than Ever as Partisan Divide Widens

people using their phones while standing

The percentage of Republicans who say they trust the news has plummeted over the past five years despite Democrats’ faith in media remaining high, as the partisan gap in media trust continues to widen.

When asked “how much, if at all, do you trust the information that comes from national news organizations,” only 35% of Republicans said they have at least “some” trust, down from 70% in 2016, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Monday. Meanwhile, 78% of Democrats said they have “a lot” or “some trust” in the national news media, a slight drop from 86% in 2016.

The partisan divide in media trust is at its widest, and Republican trust in national news is at its lowest, since Pew Research Center began asking the question in 2016.

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Commentary: Envy as the Path to Political Power

Bernie Sanders

Demagogues appeal to envy because they believe that promising to destroy the advantages enjoyed by others will win votes and inspire loyalty. Sometimes it does. As the envy-driven horrors of Rwanda and Nazi Germany demonstrate, pledging to disrupt the envied lives of a despised “other” can be a ticket to victory for a political candidate savvy enough to convince voters that he has their best interests at heart.

More than 25 years ago, Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, pronounced in his book The Politics of Envy: Statism as Theology that we “live in an age of envy.” Pointing out that “people don’t so much want more money for themselves as they want to take it away from those with more,” Bandow suggested that although “greed is bad enough, eating away at a person’s soul, envy is far worse because it destroys not only individuals, but also communities, poisoning relations.” A Christian libertarian, Bandow wrote that 

those who are greedy may ruin their own lives, but those who are envious contaminate the larger community by letting their covetousness interfere with their relations with others. 

One can satisfy greed in innocuous, even positive ways—by being brighter, working harder, seeing new opportunities, or meeting the demands of others, for instance.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Top 10 Blunders

Joe Biden outside

As I’ve watched the events of the past few weeks – and thought about the nature of Joe Biden’s young presidency – I began to ask myself: How much more of this can we take?

In just seven months, President Biden has overseen a remarkable number of complete blunders. To make sense of them all and consider how to overcome them, I decided to make a list of them. Of course, it would take months of time and writing to list all the errors Biden has made in his 48 years in politics, so I decided to start at his inauguration in January. These are roughly in chronological order. It seemed impossible to rank them as so many of them could have lasting, unforeseeable consequences.

1 – Bipartisan Baloney

As I write in my upcoming book, Beyond Biden, which will be released on Nov. 2, the first major mistake Biden made was immediately failing to live up to the pledges he made in his inaugural address. In his inaugural address, Biden said: “Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation.”

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Texas’ Elections Bill Clears State House, Setting Stage to Become Law

Texas State Capitol building

Texas’ controversial elections bill cleared the state House Friday afternoon, clearing its way to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk after a months-long battle that drove Democrats to flee the state in an attempt to block its passage.

Senate Bill 1 was lauded by Republicans as a means to better secure future elections, but was chastised by Democrats as an effort to restrict voting access following former President Donald Trump’s discredited claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. It passed on an 80-41 vote that fell largely along party lines.

The Texas House considered dozens of amendments during a marathon session Thursday, and the bill now heads to the Senate for the provisions adopted to be approved before heading to the governor’s desk. Abbott, a Republican who has championed the issue, has vowed to sign it.

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Rep. Ilhan Omar Urges Biden to Increase Refugee Admissions Cap

Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar has joined a group of Democrats in urging President Joe Biden to increase the refugee admissions cap to 200,000 for the next fiscal year to meet the “massive humanitarian need” in Afghanistan.

With the Taliban now in control of the country, the U.S. Department of Defense could house as many as 30,000 Afghan refugees at military bases across America, including Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. That figure alone is nearly three times the number of refugees who were admitted to the U.S. last year under President Donald Trump.

President Biden revised the annual refugee admissions cap in May to 62,500 for the 2021 fiscal year, up from the “historically low number” of 15,000 set by the Trump administration. Biden said his goal is to increase that figure again to 125,000 for the next fiscal year.

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Commentary: Biden Gave Up More Than Bagram

Joe Biden

Earlier this week, as covered in a previous column in the American Spectator, the Democrat National Committee bragged about the “achievement” of this alleged president in his “best-run evacuation” of Kabul. Chief among the DNC’s arguments for such ludicrous praise was the lack of American casualties.

The press flacks at the DNC, every one of whom would be fired if that organization had the slightest honor (its chairman, the failed U.S. Senate candidate Jaime Harrison, should similarly resign in disgrace before the weekend), were merely parroting statements the alleged president made about the absence of dead Americans at the time.

Every single credible person with either operational military experience or a knowledge of Afghanistan was warning that casualties were already inevitable by that point. Even the alleged president, in a fit of congratulatory onanism, qualified the alleged safety of the “best-run evacuation” with the proverbial knock on wood.

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Biden’s New Eviction Moratorium

Supreme Court with a cherry blossom in the foreground

The Supreme Court ordered the Biden administration on Thursday to stop enforcing the federal eviction moratorium recently extended to October.

In a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, the high court ruled that the moratorium, which has prohibited landlords from evicting low-income tenants since its implementation in March 2020, would need congressional authorization to be continued. The decision potentially exposes about 12 million Americans, who reported having little to no confidence in being able to make their next rental payment, to imminent eviction.

“It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken,” the Supreme Court ruling said. “But that has not happened. Instead, the CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination.”

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Current New York Governor Kathy Hochul Discloses 12,000 Additional COVID Deaths Previously Obscured by Cuomo Administration

Kathy Hotchu

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul disclosed on her first day in office nearly 12,000 COVID-19 deaths that were previously unreported in the state’s data tracker during former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration.

The New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 data tracker reported Wednesday nearly 55,395 virus deaths in the state reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since the start of the pandemic, just under 12,000 more than the roughly 43,400 COVID-19 deaths disclosed in the state-managed tracker on Cuomo’s last day in office.

The discrepancy results from the Cuomo administration’s decision to report only laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in which patients died at hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities. The Cuomo administration’s tally deliberately excluded New Yorkers who died from COVID-19 at their homes, hospices, state prisons or state-run homes for those with disabilities.

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TIME’S UP CEO Resigns over Ties to Cuomo Investigation

Tina Tchen

The second TIME’S UP co-founder has resigned from her position following backlash over reports that she worked against Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s accusers.

“Now is the time for Time’s Up to evolve and move forward as there is so much more work to do for women,” TIME’S UP co-founder Tina Tchen said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. “It is clear that I am not the leader who can accomplish that in this moment.”

“I am especially aware that my position at the helm of Time’s Up has become a painful and divisive focal point, where those very women and other activists who should be working together to fight for change are instead battling each other in harmful ways,” she added.

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American Families Stranded in Kabul Confirm Evacuation Process Remains Chaotic

aerial view of Kabul

Despite the Biden Administration’s claims that the process of evacuating American citizens from the collapsing nation of Afghanistan has gotten back on track, numerous families still trapped behind enemy lines have confirmed through their congressman that the situation on the ground is still in chaos, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

The office of Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) reports that several Americans stranded in Afghanistan are residents of his San Diego-based district, and that he has been actively working to expedite their evacuations from the country.

Issa spokesman Jonathan Wilcox said that the families “are scared, stranded, and trapped in the Kabul area. So far, they’ve been unable to reach the airport,” in reference to the Hamid Karzai International Airport, which has since fallen to Taliban control.

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‘Require It’: Biden Tells Private Companies to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations

Man getting COVID vaccine

President Joe Biden encouraged private sector companies Monday to “step up” vaccine requirements for employees following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

“If you’re a business leader, a non-profit leader, a state or local leader, who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that. Require it,” Biden said. “Do what I did last month. Require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements.”

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Airbnb Offers Free Temporary Housing Across the World to 20,000 Afghan Refugees

Airbnb, a vacation home rental site, is offering free temporary housing to around 20,000 Afghan refugees across the world, the company announced Tuesday.

“As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettle around the world, where they stay will be the first chapter in their new lives,” Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky said in a statement. “For these 20,000 refugees, my hope is that the Airbnb community will provide them with not only a safe place to rest and start over, but also a warm welcome home.”

Around 3.5 million people living in Afghanistan have been displaced, including around 270,000 due to Taliban advances since January, the U.N. reported on July 13. Around 10,400 people were evacuated by U.S. military flights from Afghanistan Sunday and another 6,660 were taken Monday, according to the Associated Press.

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Commentary: Reject Federal Takeover of Elections – Again

Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

That is exactly how Americans must feel as they learn that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is trying to ram through another bill orchestrating a federal takeover of elections, despite the previous failed attempt in the Senate.

The bill, H.R. 4, is expected to come up in the House of Representatives this week, and it is stunning in its breadth. In short, Pelosi would give broad, sweeping powers to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to rewrite every state and local election law in the country.

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Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Spending Package in Jeopardy, with Pelosi Appearing Short on Votes

Nancy Pelosi

Washington Democrats’ efforts to pass their signature, $3.5 trillion spending package is in jeopardy of falling apart, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democrat-controlled chamber, does not appear to have the votes this week to advance the measure awaiting in the Senate.

The votes are set to be cast Monday and Tuesday, with House members returning for two days during their August recess to try to move forward the pending package.

Pelosi can afford to lose only three votes in the narrowly divided chamber. However, nine moderate Democrats have vowed to oppose the two voting measures until the House passes a roughly $1 trillion, bipartisan infrastructure spend package passed in the Senate before the recess.

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Commentary: Between Afghanistan and Joe Biden, It Is a Struggle to See Which Fell Faster

Joe Biden

While the disadvantages of aging are often lamented and discussed, there are a few perks. One of which is having actual memories of events about which younger people can only read about or view on YouTube. For me, one of those memories etched indelibly in my mind is that of American helicopters airlifting diplomats and workers off of rooftops in Saigon as it fell.

I watched Vietnam fall with the voice of Walter Cronkite narrating. The symbolism of that long and failed endless American war was so vivid and so devastating that for me, like others in my generation, I was left to hope that the United States would never let something like that happen in the future.

Now, as I watch the scenes out of Afghanistan, I am put in mind of the immortal line given to us by New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra: It’s déjà vu all over again.

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House Lawmakers Set to Square off with White House, Treasury Department over ‘Stifling’ Crypto Tax Plan

House lawmakers are set to return from recess Monday and will likely take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last week — and with it, a controversial and last-minute cryptocurrency tax provision.

The bill contains a tax reporting mandate forcing cryptocurrency “brokers” to disclose gains and transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of a scheme designed to help cover part of the infrastructure bill’s cost. However, the bill’s definition of “broker” has been criticized by the cryptocurrency community and pro-crypto lawmakers as vague, expansive and potentially unworkable, with many fearing it could stifle the industry and force crypto companies to collect personal information on their customers.

The provision defines a broker as “any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person,” and forces brokers to report transactions to the IRS in a form similar to a 1099. This means brokers have to collect and report customer information such as names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers.

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Biden Administration Won’t Push Pandemic Unemployment Bonus Extension

The Biden administration signaled to Capitol Hill lawmakers Thursday that it will not support an extension of pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

President Joe Biden won’t advocate for an extension of the $300 unemployment bonus given to millions of out-of-work Americans on a weekly basis, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh wrote in a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which was implemented in March 2020 and extended by Democrats’ recent American Rescue Plan, is set to expire in early September.

“As President Biden has said, the boost was always intended to be temporary and it is appropriate for that benefit boost to expire,” the secretaries wrote.

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‘Only White People Could Be Racist’: Staff Sue School District over Mandatory ‘Equity’ Training

Two employees of Missouri’s largest school district filed a complaint Wednesday against their government employer, alleging they were forced to affirm and promote an ideology with which they disagree.

Springfield Public Schools (SPS) employees Brooke Henderson and Jennifer Lumley claim that while the First Amendment protects public school employees from viewpoint discrimination, the school district “forces teachers and staff to affirm views they do not support, to disclose personal details that they wish to keep private, and to self-censor on matters of public interest,” according to the complaint.

SPS warns staff to “be professional” and “stay engaged” during equity training or they would be asked to leave and receive no credit, according to the complaint. This district-wide staff training program “demands that its staff ‘commit’ to equity and become ‘anti-racist educators.’”

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Biden Administration Won’t Say If It Will Reimburse Americans Who Were Charged Thousands to Board Flights out of Afghanistan

Joe Biden

The State Department said it will “no longer” charge Americans thousands of dollars to board evacuation flights out of Afghanistan, but it did say if it will reimburse those that have already been charged.

State Department spokesman Ned Price issued a statement to the press Thursday afternoon saying the Biden administration has “no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan.” But as of late Friday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after Price issued his statement, Americans seeking to secure evacuation out of Kabul continue to be told in a required government form that they’ll need to reimburse the U.S. government upwards of $2,000 or more for their evacuation.

“Repatriation flights are not free,” question 14 of the Repatriation Assistance form stated late Friday afternoon. “A promissory note for the full cost of the flight, which may exceed $2,000 per person, must be signed by each adult passenger before boarding.”

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Biden Helped Evacuate the French Embassy While Leaving American Citizens to the Mercy of the Taliban

President Joe Biden boasted during a press conference Friday that his administration supported the evacuation of the French embassy in Kabul while at the same time American citizens are being told the U.S. government cannot escort them to the airport.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul informed American citizens on Thursday that the Biden administration “cannot ensure safe passage to the airport.” The message came one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the U.S. military lacks the capability to escort Americans trapped behind enemy lines to the airport.

However, the Biden administration did have the capability to provide support to a convoy of hundreds of French people from their embassy to the airport, the president said Friday.

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Commentary: The Tyranny of Experts

The principles and policies of America’s original progressives have received renewed attention over the last decade, both in academia and in public discourse. Today’s progressive politicians and intellectuals have pointed to their roots in the original progressive movement; moreover, the connections between the original progressive calls for reform and the language and shape of our politics today have become increasingly obvious. In what follows, the relevance of original progressivism to government today will be more fully explored. There is no better place to begin than with our administrative state. This essay deals with the general principles of the administrative state and its roots in the original progressive movement.

The term “administrative state” has come to have a variety of meanings, but at its core it points to the situation in contemporary American government, created largely although not entirely by Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, whereby a large, unelected bureaucracy is empowered with significant governing authority. The fundamental question for many of those making reference to an “administrative state” is how it can be squared with government by consent and with the constitutional separation-of-powers system.

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