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February 6: The Epoch Times:
Federal judge wants answers after Jan 6 defendant says he's innocent

A federal judge is demanding answers from lawyers representing a defendant after the man proclaimed his innocence one day after admitting he entered the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in violation of federal law. U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta on Feb. 3 gave the defense and prosecutors one week to explain why he shouldn't act following a published interview of Thomas Adams Jr., the defendant. Adams told The State Journal-Register he wouldn't change anything he did on Jan. 6th. "I didn't do anything. I still to this day, even though I had to admit guilt, don't feel like I did what the charge is," Adams said. The comments came one day after attorneys for Adams reached an agreement on facts in the case with prosecutors. In the agreement, the parties agreed that the government would show that Adams entered the U.S. Capitol through a breached door without authorization and made his way to the Senate chamber before being escorted out of the building by law enforcement officers. Based upon the facts provided, Mehta had decided Adams was guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and of entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds. Adams said in the new interview that he did go into the building but that he left when he was told to leave. He said he "followed the crowd" toward the Capitol, passed a fence that had already been knocked down, and entered a doorway that was open. Mehta said the parties must show "why the court should not vacate Defendant's convictions of guilt in light of his post-stipulated trial statements" to the newspaper.

February 6: Fox News: McCarthy tells Biden before the State of the Union speech "Let's get to work on reducing the debt"
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday called on Joe Biden to negotiate with Republicans on the debt ceiling, find a compromise that cuts federal spending, and help Congress move toward a balanced budget to ensure the national debt doesn't threaten future generations of Americans. He told Biden "… congressional Republicans are ready to act – to save our country and to make America stronger. I hope you will join us," McCarthy said as a prebuttal to Biden's State of the Union address on Tuesday. McCarthy said the excessive federal spending that many economists believe contributed to surging national inflation can no longer be tolerated. And while the White House has said it will not negotiate with Republicans, McCarthy said neither party has any choice but to reach a deal that extends the debt limit as Democrats want, but also meets the GOP goal of paring back federal spending. He also set the record straight saying the House GOP will not cut programs like Medicare, something the Democrats have attempted to spin to their advantage saying that Medicare is being threatened by House Republicans.

February 6: The Washington Times: Sarah Sanders, half of Biden's age, to present the GOP State of the Union response, to showcase the GOP's youth and energy
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-AR), a rising star in the Republican Party and the youngest governor in the nation at age 40, will deliver the Republicans' response Tuesday to the State of the Union address by the country's oldest president, 80-year-old Joseph R. Biden. Sanders is promising a forceful takedown of the Biden's first two years in office, including his botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and lax security at the U.S. border with Mexico. "It's hard to find a single thing that the Biden administration has done that has been positive," Sanders said in a video released by the Republican Governors Association. "I am looking forward to rising to the moment, to doing great things for our state, and joining in a coalition of strong, conservative governors across the country."

February 6: The New York Post: Why would China use a spy balloon rather than a satellite to survey the US?
Why would China use an old-fashioned balloon instead of a more sophisticated satellite to spy on a country in 2023? That's the question many are asking after a the Us shot down a massive Chinese balloon on Saturday — after it had been sailing over sensitive military sites across America for several days. Despite the balloon igniting a spying saga between Washington and Beijing, the use of the relatively rudimentary surveillance device isn't new — or that unusual. One of the main reasons a country would choose a high-altitude balloon over a satellite is cost, one expert told The Post on Monday. "Balloons are a lot cheaper! And you don't need a rocket to get them up there," said Blake Herzinger, a former Navy intelligence officer and current nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. "If a balloon gets popped, it's less of a big deal than using anti-satellite weapons, which we typically frown upon."

February 5: The Washington Times: The PRC/CCP Balloon Affair: House Intel Chair slams White House for essentially tackling the quarterback after the game is over
House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner (R-OH) blasted the Biden administration Sunday for shooting down a Chinese spy balloon only after it had cleared land and was over the Atlantic Ocean, allowing it to traverse the continental U.S. over several sensitive military sites. He used a sports analogy critique of Joe Biden, arguing that he "lacks urgency" on national security issues. "(Joe Biden) taking it down over the Atlantic is sort of like tackling the quarterback after the game is over," Turner said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "The satellite had completed its mission. It should never have been allowed to enter the United States, and it never should have been allowed to complete its mission."

Meanwhile the Washington Examiner reports that another Chinese surveillance balloon crashed near the Hawaiian Island four months ago. The information comes one day after Joe Biden ordered the current Chinese spy balloon to be shot down off the coast of South Carolina, after it had traveled across the U.S. for several days and hovered over several military installations.

February 5: Breitbart News: Biden scrambles to rewrite the State of the Union speech following the China Spy Balloon fiasco
Joe Biden and his speech writers are "likely rewriting" the China portion of his State of the Union speech following the Chinese Communist spy balloon violating U.S. airspace and eventually being shot down after transiting the continental US. As Biden's speechwriters try to help Biden emphasize a series of his few accomplishments during the State of the Union speech this week, Axios noted Biden will try to be "nimble" and would have to "likely rewrite" his portion on China, while the administration is also navigating Beijing's threat of repercussions for downing the spy balloon.

February 4: The Daily Caller:
China helping Russians undermine US Ukraine-related sanctions

China is subverting international sanctions and export controls to provide critical technology to Russia for its war in Ukraine, according to a review of customs data by The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal reports defense companies owned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have been shipping jamming technology, fighter jet parts and navigation tools to Russian defense companies that are currently subject to US and international sanctions. Russian state-owned defense companies have received tens of thousands of shipments of dual-use products, meaning they have both civilian and military uses, mostly from China. Russia relies on imports of key technology like semiconductors to maintain its wartime manufacturing as it fights in Ukraine, experts say. The U.S., Europe and most of their allies have applied sanctions blocking the shipment of such technologies to Russia since the war began, but countries like China and Turkey have not agreed to those restrictions, providing Moscow an out to continue its aggression in Ukraine. Turkey has maintained that Western sanctions, aimed at destroying the Russian war economy, are ineffective, while China has used the rift between Moscow and its adversaries to welcome the Kremlin further into its sphere of influence.

February 4: The Washington Examiner:
What the GOP House has done in just over a month

It's been just over a month since Republicans took control of the House and have begun to usher in a new era of rules and legislative priorities. Days before the lawmakers were sworn in on Jan. 3, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise released a list of the GOP's top 11 bills and resolutions the party planned to pass. As of Friday, Republicans have passed six. Scalise said the GOP planned to change the way the House does business [See related column] and to start moving legislation through regular order.

• On January 9th the House passed HR 11 (365 to 65) establishing the Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) -- tasked with investigating the economic and security progress of between the CCP and the U.S. and submitting policy recommendations to address any concerns.

• The same day the House passed (221-210) HR 23, the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act which revokes some monetary payments that were made available through the Inflation Reduction Act. Specifically, the bill blocks most of the $80 billion in spending that was set to go toward the Internal Revenue Service that would have gone toward hiring roughly 87,000 new agency employees which Republicans argued would be used to boost tax enforcement and hurt middle-class workers in order to increase revenue for the federal government.

• Passed (222-209) a concurrent resolution – The Sense of Congress Condemning the Recent Attacks on Pro-Life Facilities, Groups, and Churches – condemning attacks on anti-abortion facilities and groups in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade last summer and which calls upon Joe Biden to activate appropriate law enforcement agencies to support the safety of anti-abortion groups. The measure is largely symbolic since it is unlikely the Administration will do anything.

• Passed (220-210) the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protecting Act, HR 26, which aims to increase protections for infants who survive an attempted abortion by requiring healthcare personnel performing the procedure to provide life-saving care that would be provided to "any other child born alive at the same gestational age." Any healthcare worker who fails to do so could be subject to criminal penalties. This bill is unlikely to receive adequate support in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

• Passed (331-97) HR 22, the Protecting America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act. This legislation blocks the sale of oil from the country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve emergency stockpile to China or any entity that is linked to the CCP. Going further, the bill requires the Department of Energy to block any of its consumers from exporting the oil to China after purchasing from the U.S. reserve. A similar bill is currently working its way through the Senate.

• Passed (221-205) HR 21, the Strategic Production Response Act after considering 140 amendments under an open rule. The bill seeks to limit the president's ability to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and would require the federal government to increase the percentage of federal lands that are leased for oil and gas production. Republicans argued it was an "urgent" policy that would help rebuild the emergency stockpile and preserve oil for emergency situations or natural disasters. One Democrat voted with the GOP members, but the measure is not expected to pass in the Senate.

• Ready to go, but not yet enacted, is HR 27 the Prosecutors Need to Prosecute Act which requires state and local prosecutors to report data on how many criminal cases they decline to prosecute as well as the outcome of cases they choose to execute. The bill also mandated that prosecutors report how many cases they are initiating against defendants with a criminal history as well as the number of defendants who are released or eligible for bail.

• Also awaiting House floor action is the Nation's Law Enforcement Agencies and Condemning Any Efforts to Defund or Dismantle Law Enforcement Agencies measure and the largely symbolic Concurrent Resolution 5 which seeks to offer "sincere gratitude and appreciation" for law enforcement agencies and officers across the country. The resolution would merely recognize Republicans' opposition toward efforts to "defund and dismantle" law enforcement agencies.

• Also awaiting floor action is the Border and Safety Security Act (HR 29) which seeks to control the surge of immigration at the southern border further by giving the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security control to bar autonomously immigrants from coming into the country at any point of entry as a way to "achieve operational control" over the border. Under the legislation, that decision could be made whenever the secretary determines at their own discretion.

• The Illegal Alien NICS Alert Act (HR 28) which seems to be falling short of garnering enough GOP votes for final passage is in the pipeline to be considered. This bill seeks to require the National Instant Criminal Background Check system to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement and relevant local law enforcement agencies when an illegal immigrant attempts to purchase a firearm in the U.S. thereby raising some concerns among the 2nd Amendment groups that it might empower the politically ravaged FBI to strip gun owners of their firearms.

• Also awaiting floor action is the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (HR 7). This bill seeks to permanently reestablish the Hyde Amendment that prohibits any federally appropriated funds from going to pay for abortions except in the case of rape, incest, or endangerment of the life of the mother.

February 4: The Epoch Times: CCP/PRC spy balloon shot down over the Atlantic; recovery actions may be underway
The Chinese surveillance balloon drifting east toward the Atlantic Ocean has been shot down by the U.S. military and is now falling into the sea, video shows. Television footage showed the balloon deflating before dropping toward the water around 2:40 p.m. U.S. military jets were visible flying in the vicinity, and ships were deployed in the water preparing for the recovery operation. The shootdown came after Joe Biden earlier on Saturday broke the silence on the balloon, telling reporters that "we're gonna take care of it." Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Biden gave the go-ahead on Wednesday to "take down the surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to American lives under the balloon's path." He added that the balloon was being used by Beijing "in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States." U.S. officials had estimated its size of the balloon's payload at about three school buses, flying at about 60,000 feet. The U.S. fighter aircraft assigned to U.S. Northern Command brought down the balloon over the water off the South Carolina coast, and the action was taken in coordination with the Canadian government.

February 3: The Washington Times: Chairman Jordan subpoenaed Biden Administration officials regarding the targeting of parents who spoke out at local school board meetings
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan on Friday subpoenaed Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona for withholding documents relating to the administration's targeting of parents at school board meetings. The subpoenas require the three Biden administration officials to turn over all documents by March 1. The move by Jordan is part of House Republicans' Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government designed to examine the behavior of the FBI and Justice Department.

February 3: News Max: Could the Chinese balloon could be a test for setting off nuclear blast to shut off the U.S. power grid
The high-altitude Chinese surveillance balloon that is traveling across the U.S. could be a dry run to deliver a nuclear device that would wipe out America's power grid, according to a leading expert of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) devices. "China's recent balloon flyover of the United States is clearly a provocative and aggressive act," retired Air Force Maj. David Stuckenberg, who once led the Defense Department's EMP Task Force, said. "It was most likely a type of dry run meant to send a strategic message to the USA. We must not take this for granted." Stuckenberg, founder and chairman of the American Leadership & Policy Foundation, wrote in a 2015 paper that high-altitude balloons would be the easiest to resource, equip, and launch a nuclear device in the atmosphere that would act as an EMP and dismantle the U.S. power grid.

February 3: The Epoch Times:
CCP spy balloon can maneuver but Administration taking no action but tracking it

The Chinese surveillance balloon that floated over US. airspace is maneuverable and is currently in the central United States, a top Pentagon official told reporters. The balloon, which had hovered over the state of Montana where nuclear silos are housed, has a "large payload underneath the surveillance component" of the balloon, according to Defense Department spokesperson Brigadier General Pat Ryder. It is currently heading eastward at an altitude of about 60,000 feet, Ryder said, adding that he expects the balloon's continued presence in the United States over the next few days. He didn't provide a specific location of the balloon, saying that it's changing by the hour. "We know the balloon has violated U.S. airspace and international law, which is unacceptable," Ryder said. "We have conveyed this directly to the PRC at multiple levels, and in terms of specific locations I will not be able to go into specific locations other than to say it is moving eastward at this time," he reported. He said the balloon is "maneuverable" and "has changed its course, which is why we are monitoring it," but refused to go into the timing of such change or how the Pentagon has been tracking it, when pressed by reporters. "We know this is a Chinese balloon and it has the ability to maneuver," Ryder said. "We assess the balloon does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. We will continue to monitor and review options."

February 2: Fox News: Chinese Communist Party using high-altitude surveillance balloons to spy on the Americas
The U.S. government says another Chinese spy balloon is traveling over Latin America. "We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America," Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesperson, said. "We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon." Ryder said during a briefing Thursday the U.S. government detected a high-altitude surveillance balloon over the continental U.S. A senior defense official said during the briefing the U.S. government is "confident" the surveillance balloon is from the People's Republic of China. The balloon was recently over Montana, and the official said the government considered shooting it down but decided against using military force because of the potential risks to population centers on the ground. When Joe Biden was briefed on the situation, he asked for military options, the official said. A number of F-22s were mobilized in order to be available should Biden decide to bring it down. A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday the balloon is a "civilian airship" being used for meteorological purposes and deviated from its planned course. But interestingly it hovered over strategic military installations like the missile silos in Montana.

February 2: The Daily Caller:
Montana Governor not briefed on CCP surveillance balloon, wants it shot down

Gov. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) said Friday he was not briefed on a Chinese spy balloon until it was well into his state. "Well, when I got briefed, this slow-moving balloon was hundreds of miles into Montana, it had already flown near the Air Force base and the ICBM silos," Gianforte told Fox News' Tucker Carlson. "When I finally got informed, it was over our most populous city, it got spotted by a photographer at the airport." "Well, that's bizarre," Carlson said in response. "That suggests deception." The Department of Defense (DOD) announced Thursday that it had tracked the Chinese balloon as it crossed over Montana. The DOD said during a background briefing that it did not try to shoot the balloon down due to concerns about causing damage and casualties on the ground. "If it was up to Montanans, this thing would have been taken out of the sky the moment it entered our sovereign airspace," Gianforte said. It is clear that this decision went to the President's desk, the governor contended. And "…he chose not to act and unfortunately the result of that is that Americans are endangered and our enemies are emboldened." Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) said earlier that some Montanans asked his office if they could "take a shot" at the Chinese spy balloon!

February 2: Fox News: House votes to remove Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee over antisemite comments
The House of Representatives voted to remove Ilham Omar (D-MN) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The vote was 218 to 211, with one member voting present. Republicans said their decision to oust her from the powerful committee was because of past comments she made that were viewed as anti-Semitic. "Representative Omar, by her own words, has disqualified herself from serving on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, a panel that is viewed by nations around the world as speaking for Congress on matters of international importance and national security," the four-page resolution stated. Democrats blasted Republicans for removing Omar from the committee even though there was precedent established by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who refused to appoint two Republican members requested by the GOP leadership to the January 6th committee and, instead, appointed two anti-Trump Republican members of her own choosing.

February 2: The Washington Times: Lawsuit over Hunter's laptop could open information about Biden family business dealings
Hunter Biden's threat of a lawsuit over news reports based on the contents of his leaked laptop computer would expose Joe Biden's son to depositions and other legal discovery about his family's far-flung business deals. That would be a huge headache for Hunter and his father, who is expected to launch his 2024 reelection campaign soon. Hunter threatened to sue Fox News host Tucker Carlson for defamation after Carlson accused the Biden family of conducting a money laundering scheme. If the lawsuit proceeds, Carlson's attorneys could turn the tables on Hunter during the litigation. They could use the discovery process to question the president's son under oath about his foreign business dealings, which critics say are flooded with influence peddling and other corruption. "If Hunter sues various conservatives, they can try to depose him. There is a risk to this strategy," said Josh Blackman, a law professor at South Texas College of Law.

February 2: Fox News:
US monitoring suspected Chinese spy balloon over northern states

The US government is monitoring a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been moving over northern states over the past several days. Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a briefing on Thursday afternoon that the U.S. government has detected a high-altitude surveillance balloon over the continental U.S. "The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now. The U.S. government to include Norad, continues to track and monitor it closely. The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years. Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information," Ryder said.

February 1: The Daily Caller:
Biggs introduces articles of impeachment against DHS Secretary Mayorkas

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Wednesday over his handling of the surge of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border. Under Mayorkas' leadership, federal authorities at the border have seen record surges in illegal migration, with December marking the highest month on record with more than 250,000 migrant encounters. That led Biggs to introduce the impeachment articles alongside more than one dozen of his Republican colleagues. Biggs also centered his decision around the surge in drugs, particularly fentanyl, coming over the southern border. "The actions of Secretary Mayorkas have made the border less secure and encouraged aliens to enter the United States illegally, instead of taking actions to maintain operational control of the border. His actions have subverted the will of Congress and the core tenants of the Constitution," the resolution states.

February 1: The Epoch Times: Fed raises interest rates quarter point
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points, matching market expectations and lifting the benchmark federal funds rate to a target range of 4.50 to 4.75 percent. This was the smallest rate increase since the current quantitative tightening cycle began in March 2022. Central bank officials believe that further increases will be necessary to obtain "a stance of monetary policy that is sufficiently restrictive," according to a statement from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). While inflation has slowed, it remains too high for the U.S. economy. "Recent indicators point to modest growth in spending and production. Job gains have been robust in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low Inflation has eased somewhat but remains elevated," the FOMC stated. The market had widely anticipated that the FOMC would overwhelmingly agree to a quarter-point rate increase amid cooling inflation and a slowing U.S. economy,

February 1: The Washington Times: Russian brutality, war crimes, leaves Ukrainian town with devastation and mass graves
Before the war, Bucha, Ukraine, was a popular destination for a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of the capital about 15 miles away. Unfortunately, it had the misfortune of being located in the middle of one of the primary invasion routes into Ukraine for Russian forces. Ukrainians say Russian troops used brutality as a tactic, leaving devastation and mass graves in their wake, abandoning Bucha only after the campaign to capture Kyiv stalled and was abandoned. The Russian invaders seemed to recognize no distinction between soldiers and noncombatants in Bucha. Civilians were as likely to be killed crossing the street to buy bread as they would be taking up arms in the city's defense. Ukrainian officials said almost 500 bodies, including women and children whose hands were bound behind their backs, were recovered in what has come to be known as the Bucha massacre.

February 1: Fox News: US forces seize thousands of weapons originating from Iran
The U.S. has seized thousands of rifles and nearly two dozen anti-tank missiles originating from Iran and transported via shipping routes. CENTCOM (The US Central Command) reported that their forces worked in cooperation with international naval partners to successfully interdicted the transport of over 3,000 rifles, 587,000 rounds of ammo, anti-tank missiles, and other weapons transiting from Iran to Yemen. The interdiction took place in mid-January in the Gulf of Oman, where CENTCOM and its naval partners seized the ship's cargo. The ship was stopped by a French naval vessel and British and US naval units assisted with the boarding and cargo seizure.

January 31: The Epoch Times: House to vote on ending the pandemic emergency
Joe Biden says his administration will end the 3-year COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11 but Republican leaders in the United States House of Representatives aim to declare it over as soon as Feb. 1. The newly constituted GOP-controlled House Rules Committee cleared four pandemic-related bills during four hours of hearings on Jan. 30, sending the proposals directly to House floor where they will be debated without committee review. Democrats — outnumbered 9-4 on the panel — argued that abruptly pulling the plug on a raft of COVID-19 emergency measure would cause massive disruptions across a range of health services, from telehealth to Medicaid to programs provided by the Veterans Administration. But Republicans insisted there is no need for the emergency measures to continue since even Biden himself admitted in September that the COVID-19 pandemic "is over." Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said "it is long past time" for the administration to end an emergency "that no longer exists. This is long overdue," she said, noting that nearly all states, including Washington on Oct. 31, have lifted their pandemic emergency declarations.

January 31: Fox News: Biden's DOJ attempting to reverse Trump clemency decision
The Biden team has now taken their crusade to erase Trump's legacy to absurd lengths, going so far as to nullify one of Trump's clemency decisions. Nowhere do presidents have more authority than when granting pardons and commuting prison sentences. Presidents turn to the clemency process to right a prosecutorial wrong, as President Trump did in the case of Philip Esformes. Now, the Department of Justice is trying to undo his clemency. Esformes was indicted on 32 counts related to his healthcare business. During the trial, a magistrate judge strongly criticized the prosecutors' unethical moves to uncover and utilize information that was clearly covered by the attorney-client privilege. It's easy to win a criminal case when you know the other side's strategy. And that is exactly what happened. Pointing out that the Justice Department blatantly broke the rules and then tried to cover it up, the magistrate characterized the prosecutors' conduct as "deplorable." Shockingly, the magistrate's findings were ignored by the trial judge. Former Attorney-General John Ashcroft – certainly not a person who could be characterized as 'soft on crime' – called the prosecutorial misconduct in Esformes' trial "amongst the most abusive" he had ever seen.

January 31: The Daily Caller: House has scheduled a vote on booting Omar off the Foreign Affairs Committee for antisemitism remarks
The House is slated to vote Wednesday on a resolution to remove progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee after days of uncertainty over whether the measure had enough GOP support to pass. The resolution, introduced by freshman Rep. Max Miller (R-OH), takes aim at Omar's 2019 comments that were criticized by members on both sides of the aisle making antisemitic comments. The move comes in the wake of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) removing Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from the House Intelligence Committee — Schiff for pushing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative and Swalwell for his relationship with an alleged Chinese spy.

January 30: United Press International:
Russia pounds Ukraine civilian targets, 3 dead, 10 wounded

Ukraine faced widespread attacks from Russia on Monday, including the shelling of residential areas in the recently liberated city of Kherson, where three people died and 10 others were injured, officials said. Kherson military leaders said Moscow attacked and targeted numerous civilian buildings, including a bank, bus station, hospital, post office, residential buildings and a school on Sunday. The Russian forces are using mercenaries' and, according to Kiev, they are being rebuffed.

british Army tank on maneauversJanuary 30: Sky News: Brit army falling behind, needs more investment
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has told Sky News that the British Army has "fallen behind its peer group" and "needs investment." It comes after Sky News yesterday revealed a U.S. general privately told Wallace that the UK's armed forces are no longer regarded as a top-level fighting force. Defense sources revealed the US general said this decline in war-fighting capability needed to be reversed faster than planned in the wake of Russia's war in Ukraine. The UK Prime Minister has indicated there are more funds coming as parliament works on budgetary matters, while Army generals are saying sending UK tanks to Ukraine will further exasperate UK's readiness posture.

January 29: The Washington Times: Speaker says completely "off the table" are cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security in the debt limit debate
House Speaker Kevin McCarthyt (R-CA) and Joe Biden will meet Wednesday to discuss lifting the nation's $31.5 trillion debt ceiling to avoid default in June. McCarthy vowed Sunday that cuts to entitlements like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are completely "off the table" but emphasized that he wants to evaluate "every single dollar we're spending no matter where it's being spent," including the military. The meeting between the two men will come as Democrats, including the White House, have rebuffed House Republicans' demands to negotiate for spending cuts amid staggering national debt that's accrued under presidents of both parties stemming back decades. "We're not going to default. But let me be very honest with you right now," the Speaker said. "[Default] won't come to fruition until sometime in June. So, the responsible thing to do is sit down like two adults and start having that discussion."

January 29: The Daily Caller:
Israel may be behind drone attack on Iranian munitions factory

Reportedly Israel may have carried out a drone strike targeting an Iranian munitions factory Sunday as tensions grow between the two countries. According to the Wall Street Journal, Iranian officials claim their air defenses struck down one drone and two others committed minor damage to the munitions factory. The factory, located in the city of Isfahan, is right next to a site belonging to the Iran Space Research Center, which has been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of State for contributing to Iran's ballistic missile program. The strike comes as American officials negotiate with Israel's newly elected administration on Iran and other regional issues. Secretary of State Tony Blinken will speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to reduce tensions with the Palestinian population. Additionally, the U.S. and Israel carried out its largest joint military exercises last week as a warning to Iran and other adversaries in the region. General Herzi Halevi, Israel's new military chief of staff, said the exercises "bring a very clear message to Iran: if Iran makes mistakes, offense capabilities are getting ready."

Taiwanese armed service personnel attach missile to aircraft wingJanuary 29: The Washington Times: Democrat criticizes General for saying he believes the China may be at war with the U.S. by 2025, telling his toops to prepare for this eventuality
The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee is criticizing an Air Force general's memo to the troops in his command that he believes China could be at war with the United States within two years, much sooner than any scenario floated by the Pentagon, which has declared Beijing as the country's primary "pacing challenge." The communique from Gen. Mike Minihan cited the 2024 elections in Taiwan and the U.S., which he said could leave the governments distracted and provide a window of opportunity for Chinese President Xi Jinping to strike. Gen. Minihan commands Air Mobility Command, which oversees the Air Force's fleet of tanker and cargo aircraft. Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, agreed that relations between Washington and Beijing are at a historically low point but said armed conflict at this time is "highly unlikely." "We have a very dangerous situation in China, but I think generals need to be very cautious about saying, 'We're going to war. It's inevitable,'" Mr. Smith said on "Fox News Sunday." Flash back: Ronald Reagan based his foreign policy on the idea of "Peace through Strength," meaning if we are strong others will be less likely to take aggressive actions. Reagan kept us out of war.

January 29: Fox Business: Ex-WalMart CEO: Consumers could be a "world of hurt" if Biden doesn't act and act quickly
Mass layoffs are plaguing more than just the Big Tech industry. On Sunday, former Walmart CEO Bill Simon warned Americans of the detrimental impact that corporate layoffs could have on the U.S.'s feeble economy. "It's crazy right now. We're stuck in this loop of wage inflation, product inflation and cost inflation. And it's just that cycle keeps going. And I think, unfortunately, an inevitable byproduct of some of the Fed's moves and as the necessary medicine we have to take to kind of cool things down and get the inflation back under control on some of these layoffs that are coming," Simon said on Fox and Friends. Although the labor market remains healthy and one of the few bright spots in the economy, there are signs that it is beginning to soften. In addition to a number of high-profile tech layoffs over the past month, the economy added 223,000 jobs in December, the smallest gain in two years. Regarding immigration he said, "We need workers, but we need workers we can employ that are in the country legally. What's happening now is you're letting people in that can't participate in the workforce but do increase demand. So, you have increased demand driving prices up without the workforce to be able to service it."

January 28: The Washington Examiner: FBI seizes Biden notebook from back in the day that may contain classified information
According to a person familiar with the investigation, notebooks used by Joe Biden during his time as vice president were among the items taken by the FBI during a search of one of his Delaware homes last week. These notebooks, which Biden wrote in while serving as vice president under Barack Obama, were taken by the FBI due to some of the notes relating to his work as vice president, which could refer to classified information. This person also claimed that while none of the notebooks had classified markings on them, some of the notes could be considered classified due to their sensitive content.

Inflight refueling of fighter aircraftJanuary 28: The Washington Times: Airforce general tells troops to prepare for a war with China by 2025
A senior Air Force general warned that the U.S. could be at war with China within two years in an unusual memo to troops that predicts a much shorter timeline for a potential conflict than publicly disclosed by the Pentagon. Gen. Mike Minihan, who commands the Air Mobility Command, cited the 2024 presidential elections in Taiwan and the U.S., which he said could leave the U.S. "distracted," giving Chinese President Xi Jinping a window of opportunity to attack Taiwan. "I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025," he wrote in the memo first obtained by NBC News. As the head of Air Mobility Command, Gen. Minihan oversees nearly 50,000 service members responsible for air transport and refueling. In the memo addressed to his subordinate air wing commanders and other Air Force operational commanders, Gen. Minihan told those under his command to begin building "a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain."

January 28: Fox News: Florida Police Chief to criminals after a burglar shot by a homeowner; "Most people are armed"
Police Chief Gregory Goreck, issued a warning to criminals in his state after saving a burglar who was shot by a homeowner. "One should expect that if you are brazen enough to enter into someone's residence and it is not yours, with intent to commit an unlawful act, there may be repercussions," he said Friday. "We live in Florida, and more so, we live in Polk County, and most people are armed," he said. Goreck was responding to an incident on Friday where a Florida man with a concealed weapon permit arrived home and found two intruders burglarizing his residence. The homeowner fired his gun and struck one of the suspects before they both fled the scene. Officers were able to catch up with the injured suspect at a nearby park using a canine police officer.

January 27: The Washington Times:
San Francisco police release body cam footage of attack on Paul Pelosi

Video footage released Friday of the hammer attack on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband shows the dramatic moment in which an intruder and Paul Pelosi jockeyed for control of a hammer before the man later identified as David DePape swings it out of frame. The clip starts with an officer opening the door and finding both men in the foyer. Pelosi, who was awoken in the middle of the night, is not wearing pants or shoes and is holding the same hammer as the intruder. The officer greets the men and exchanges pleasantries with them, asking what is going on. The officer says, "Drop the hammer." The intruder refuses, takes it away from Pelosi and suddenly swings it at Pelosi as he tries to step away. The officers rush in while uttering profanities and arrest DePape while Pelosi — still — next to them. The rhetoric in the mainline media that the attack was by a Trump supporter, again, turned out to be false.

Marines establishing 4000-acre base on Guam to counter Communist Chinese efforts to control the South China SeaJanuary 27: The Daily Caller:
Marine Corps opens the first new base in decades to counter CCP threats against Taiwan

According to media reports the U.S. Marine Corps opened its first new base in 70 years Thursday on Guam, an island strategically positioned between Japan and Taiwan to allow American troops to act if China makes a move on Taiwan. CNN and the Wall Street Journal are reporting the 4,000 acre base, formally known as Camp Blaz, will house approximately 5,000 Marines and comes as the U.S. is seeking to reorganize troop presence in the Pacific to bolster deterrence against communist China. It will eventually serve as a training hub for Marines aiming to guard allies, critical sea lanes and Pacific islands in the event of a Chinese invasion. "Forward, persistent presence is key to the regional security and stability in the Indo-Pacific," Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger said. "Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz is a critical part of that. More than that, it shows our undivided relationship with the government of Japan," he added.

January 27: The Epoch Times: AZ Supreme Court rejects second request by Lake saying the case should be expedited by the court of appeals
The Arizona Supreme Court struck down gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake's second request to take up her election appeal that is currently being heard by a state Appeals Court as Lake said Wednesday that she believes her case will be eventually heard by the Supreme Court. In an order issued on Wednesday, the state's high court wrote that "as indicated by the Court of Appeals' order setting an accelerated briefing schedule, the Court has no reason to doubt that the Court of Appeals appreciates Petitioner's (Lake's) desire for an expedited resolution." The court then denied the petition for transfer without prejudice "to seeking expedited review of an adverse decision after the Court of Appeals has had an adequate opportunity to consider the pleadings, conference the matter, and prepare a well-considered decision." A former broadcast journalist endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Lake filed a lawsuit in December against former Secretary of State and now-Gov. Katie Hobbs and several Maricopa County officials, asking the courts to either re-do the election in Maricopa or declare her the winner. Before she was sworn in earlier this month, Hobbs had defeated Lake by 17,000 votes.

January 27: Fox News: Adam Schiff hit with ethics complaint for using Trump impeachment video in his campaign
An ethics watchdog group on Friday asked the Office of Congressional Ethics investigate Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-CA) for using footage from the Senate floor in an ad announcing his run for the Senate. The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) sent the complaint asked for an immediate probe into whether Schiff "abused official resources for political purposes" by using the video. Schiff announced Thursday that he's running for the Senate in 2024, via a video that was shared on his Twitter account. That video includes footage of Schiff speaking on the Senate floor during impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump. "This is a clear violation of House ethics rules and federal law," said Kendra Arnold, executive director of FACT. "Rep. Schiff has been in Congress for over two decades and undoubtedly knows that official government resources cannot be used for political purposes. Rep. Schiff must immediately take down the video and cease distribution of the footage, and the Office of Congressional Ethics should move swiftly to investigate and sanction Rep. Schiff for this breach." House members are prohibited from using House and Senate floor video for campaign purposes, according to FACT.

January 26: iHeart media/KTRH: Election integrity issues not over
Just when you thought it was safe to vote again, there's a new election takeover plan. The Federalist reports there's a new group -- the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence -- which is being funded by 'dark money' Democrats. Their purpose is to influence election officials across the country. Republican attorney Jared Woodfill says, "The 'dark money' that we're seeing is being used to put election administrators in place that share the values of these leftist organizations." Their agenda is simple. To systematically influence every aspect of election administration, and advance the Democrat voting policies, such as mail-in ballots and drop boxes. In Texas, the state legislature passed legislation to prohibit unstaffed ballot drop boxes. Voter fraud continues to be a problem in Houston, with multiple lawsuits pending right now in Harris County. Governor Greg Abbott said earlier in the week on Houston's Morning News, that election integrity is still a top priority in Texas.

January 26: The Epoch Times:
CA wants to keep their nuclear power plant open amid rolling black outs

Federal regulators Jan. 24 rejected Pacific Gas and Electric's (PG&E) license renewal application to extend the life of California's last nuclear power plant at Diablo Canyon, saying the utility's application to stay open, originally submitted in 2009, would need to be updated for consideration. The plant, which is located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, has been planned for closure in 2025. But California lawmakers, along with Gov. Gavin Newsom, agreed in September to spend $1.4 billion to keep it running until 2030, as the state has resorted to rolling blackouts in recent years as its aggressive plan to eliminate fossil fuels and switch to green energy has, at times, failed to deliver enough power to supply resident's homes and businesses. The U.S. Energy Department has also awarded Diablo Canyon $1.1 billion in November to continue operating. Meanwhile the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is asking the utility to submit a new license renewal application, possibly including updated environmental assessments, according to its rejection decision letter sent to PG&E. The commission also found the revived application did not meet its principles of "good regulation" which require them to be coherent, logical, and practical and include the highest possible standards of ethical performance and professionalism.

Biden nominee for the Federal Bench  doesn't  know what  Articles 2 and 5 of the Constitution are!January 26: The New York Post:
Biden nominee for Federal judge is not familiar with what Articles 2 and 5 of the constitution address

Joe Biden's nominee for a federal judgeship in Washington state proved unable to answer simple questions about the Constitution from Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) during her confirmation hearing. "Tell me what Article V of the Constitution does," Kennedy asked Spokane County Superior Court Judge Charnella Bjelkengren during the Senate Judiciary Committee's proceedings Wednesday. "Article V is not coming to mind at the moment," Bjelkengren responded. "How about Article II?" Kennedy continued. "Neither is Article II," Bjelkengren responded, leaving Kennedy scratching his head. Some commentators have said this nominee for a position on the Federal bench either failed to do her homework, is not conversant with the U.S. Constitution, or incompetent. Biden nominated Bjelkengren to serve as a federal judge in the Eastern District of Washington.

January 26: iHeartMedia/KTRH: Job report numbers are misleading
As the Biden administration continues to boast about the economy and jobless claims coming down a bit, economists are sending out the warning that more job cuts are coming. "What they're not telling us, are that the number of full-time jobs has actually been declining, and this is data from the same Bureau of Labor statistics" said Joel Griffith, Research Fellow with the Heritage Foundation, "We've actually been losing more than 2,000 full-time jobs on average each and every day since late spring, and that's something they're not telling us." What does this mean? "…a lot of folks are unable to find a full-time job, and so they are piecing together their income with numerous part-time jobs" Griffith told KTRH, "Of course, there's nothing wrong with that if that is your choice, but when you see it overall in an economy, that more people are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, that is troubling." The bottom line is, the numbers that are released from the White House are very misleading. And the only way to turn things around? Stop all of the wasteful government spending, and stop the war on gas & oil.

January 26: Fox Business:
Ominous warning signs not seen since the great depression in 1932

The latest numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that the economy grew by 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, and 2.1 percent for 2022. While the White House was quick to take credit for the state of the nation's economy, they might want to think twice. This latest report should have alarm bells ringing, not trumpets sounding. That's because economic growth is slowing down. Even the areas which contributed positively to gross domestic product (GDP) are not necessarily signs of prosperity. For example, business investment grew at only 1.4% in the fourth quarter, but that was almost entirely inventory growth. Nonresidential investment, a key driver of future economic growth, was up just 0.7%. Meanwhile, residential investment fell off a cliff, dropping 26.7% as consumers were unable to afford the combination of high home prices, high interest rates and falling real incomes. No wonder homeownership affordability has fallen to the lowest level in that metric's history.

January 25: The Daily Caller: Judge tells DHS to release files on agents
who allegedly helped censor election "misinformation"

A Louisiana judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release files that could reveal five agents' alleged involvement in government efforts to suppress social media content deemed to contain "misinformation" about elections, court documents show. Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry moved to release testimony from Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) employees Chad Josiah, Rob Schaul, Alex Zaheer, John Stafford and Pierce Lowary, after learning of their participation in the Biden administration's counter- "disinformation" efforts. The judge's motion Wednesday could shed light on a "switchboarding" tactic employed during the 2020 election. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants Joe Biden and top officials from a variety of federal agencies, "colluded and/or coerced social media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social media platforms by labeling the content "dis-information," "mis-information," and "mal-formation."

Wuhan Lab,China, where the  COVID-19 was leaked by the Chinese January 25: The Washington Times:
HIV failed to conduct adequate oversight of US funds being used by the CCP Wuhan Lab

The federal government [NIH] missed warning signs from the lab at the center of the coronavirus controversy, allowing U.S. money to flow to the Wuhan Institute of Virology without adequate oversight of what the Chinese scientists were doing, an inspector general reported Wednesday. The National Institutes of Health funded the EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit, which in turn sent money to Wuhan for research on emerging viruses. NIH ordered EcoHealth to keep a close eye on the research and to report back if there were signs that the research was producing "enhanced growth" of deadly viruses. EcoHealth failed to raise any alarms about the activities at the Wuhan Lab.

January 25: Sky News:
Blow to Russia; Both Germany and the US to send battle tanks to Ukraine

Kyiv has been pleading for months for Western nations to send tanks to give its forces the firepower and mobility it hopes will break through Russian defensive lines and recapture territory occupied by Russia. Germany will now supply Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 tanks and has given allies permission to send theirs too – despite threats from Russia – while the US has confirmed it will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks and provide training to the country's troops. The move from Germany means other countries - such as Poland and Spain - that have stocks of the Leopard 2 tank can now supply them to Kyiv.

January 24: Fox News: YouTube: Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) explains why he is rejecting Schiff and Swalwell as members of the House Intelligence Committee
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy rejected Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries' demands to reappoint Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, both Democrats from California, to the Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday. Jeffries said said both were "eminently qualified" but McCarthy pointed out how Schiff, when chair of the committee, lied to the American public and how that allegation has been backed up by the Inspector General. He then noted how the FBI briefed him about Swalwell's relationship with a Chinese Communist Party spy and said that makes him unsuitable to serve on a committee that sees highly classified information. McCarthy said if Swalwell cannot get a security clearance in the private sector he's not going to get on the Intel committee.

January 24: The Daily Caller:
Paxton and other state Attorney Generals sue Biden over border policy

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration over its new rule to permit hundreds of thousands of migrants into the country, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday. Paxton is joined by more than one dozen Republican states that allege the program, which allows 30,000 migrants each month from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua to enter the country legally, and misuses parole authority to quickly admit migrants into the country. Joe Biden unveiled the program on Jan. 5, following the highest month on record of migrant encounters at the southern border.

January 24: The Washington Examiner:
Schumer undecided about supporting Sinema (I-AZ)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) avoided committing to supporting Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) in a reelection race Tuesday, saying it was "much too early" to do so. Schumer praised Sinema's work as a senator during comments to reporters, but he stopped shy of throwing his support behind her after she left the Democrat Party in December. "Sen. Sinema is an excellent Congress member and Senate member, and she has done a lot of good things here. But it's much too early to make a decision," Schumer said. The comment came a day after Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) announced his bid for the Democratic nomination of Sinema's Senate seat when she's up for reelection. It also comes a day after Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) urged Sinema to caucus with Republicans if she seeks reelection.

January 23: Fox News:
Dems demand Speaker appoint Schiff and Swalwell to intel committee

Democrat Leader Hakeen Jeffries, in a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Saturday, demanded to have two "eminently qualified legislators" reappointed to the Committee on Intelligence, despite one's alleged ties to a Chinese spy. The demand comes as McCarthy plans to block Swalwell and Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee and Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The precedent stems from the last session where former Speaker Nancy Pelosi banned McCarthy's appointments to the January 6th committee. McCarthy recently said that "Swalwell can't get a security clearance in the private sector. I'm not going to give him a government security clearance." He also said that Adam "Schiff has lied too many times to the American public," and argued that Omar's outspoken criticism of Israel is borderline antisemitic which would be inappropriate for a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. [See related story]

Korean War piilot awarded 70 years late!January 23: The Epoch Times:
Pilot gets Navy cross for shooting down four Russian Migs over Korea during the Korean conflict

Out-gunned and out-manned, one navy air pilot was awarded the Navy Cross – its second highest military honor – at a ceremony Jan. 20, some 70 years after he single-handedly shot down four Soviet fighter jets that ambushed him in a battle he's been forbidden to discuss – per White House orders – for over 50 years. The 97-year-old Royce Williams received the honor for his actions in a 35-minute air battle is one of the longest recorded in naval air history, according to declassified government records. Williams was on air patrol over the Yalu River, near the North Korean border, with three other squadron mates Nov. 18, 1952, when seven Soviet MiG-15s – the most advanced fighter jets of the time, came out of nowhere. His plane – a single-seat F9F Panther fighter aircraft – was significantly out-gunned by the Soviet aircrafts due to its "much lower fighting capability and speed," he said. Through a series of defensive air maneuvers, Williams was able to avoid being shot down while simultaneously exploiting mistakes made by the Soviet pilots, ultimately shooting down four of seven swarming his plane. Out of ammunition and with his own plane riddled with over 250 bullets, Williams retreated to his carrier ducking in and out of cloud cover to avoid one last enemy plane trying to shoot him down. William retired from the Navy as a captain in the mid-1970s.

January 23: The Washington Examiner:
In wake of Biden classified document scandal, Obama era defense rings a hollow tone

The National Archives repeatedly defended itself over its handling of records from the Obama Administration -- but these statements now appear to ring hollow as the classified documents saga engulfs Joe Biden. The National Archives released four separate press releases last year, which seemed to cast doubt on the idea that any records from the Obama years were missing or had been mishandled. The agency set up an entire section on its website in early 2022 dedicated to its numerous press statements on the Trump Mar-a-Lago FBI raid searching for classified documents but has yet to issue one press release when it comes to Biden's stash of classified materials from his years as Vice President. The Republican-led Committee on Oversight and Accountability told the National Archives earlier this month it was investigating whether there was "political bias" at the agency.

January 23: Fox News: If it moves, tax it, if it moved out of state, tax it too; CA Dems may try to reach beyond their borders
California lawmakers are pushing legislation that would impose a new tax on the state's wealthiest residents — even if they've already moved to another part of the country. Assemblyman Alex Lee, a progressive Democrat, last week introduced a bill in the California State Legislature that would impose an extra annual 1.5% tax on those with a "worldwide net worth" above $1 billion, starting as early as January 2024. As early as 2026, the threshold for being taxed would drop: those with a worldwide net worth exceeding $50 million would be hit with a 1% annual tax on wealth, while billionaires would still be taxed 1.5%. Worldwide wealth extends beyond annual income to include diverse holdings such as farm assets, arts and other collectibles, and stocks and hedge fund interest.

January 23: The Daily Caller:
Cruz files bill to limit the number of terms a member of Congress may serve

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a constitutional amendment Monday to impose term limits for members of Congress. The legislation would limit U.S. Senators to two six-year terms and Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to three two-year terms after the date of its enactment. "Term limits are critical to fixing what's wrong with Washington, D.C. The Founding Fathers envisioned a government of citizen legislators who would serve for a few years and return home, not a government run by a small group of special interests and lifelong, permanently entrenched politicians who prey upon the brokenness of Washington to govern in a manner that is totally unaccountable to the American people," Cruz told the Caller before introducing the constitutional amendment.

January 22: The Daily Signal:
Demonstrations continue at the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Leftist activists demonstrated unimpeded at the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sunday evening, the 50th anniversary of the monumental Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Icy rain drizzled down on the Maryland neighborhood as about 20 activists, organized by the protest group Our Rights DC, marched up and down the sidewalk in front of Kavanaugh's home. The protesters carried rainbow umbrellas decorated with pro-abortion slogans, singing and chanting as they marched, "cut his time short, a rapist should not rule the court," "freedom of religion means freedom from yours," and "no privacy for us, no peace for you." Local law enforcement failed to enforce the prohibition on demonstrating at Supreme Court justices residences.

January 22: The Daily Caller:
It will take at least five years to restock weapons sent to Ukraine

Even at emergency production rates, it will take several years before the U.S. is able to restock supplies of critical munitions sent to Ukraine, according to a recent analysis conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington, D.C. based think tank. The U.S. has sent millions of rounds of ammunition of various kinds to Ukraine which has resulted in severe deficits in some cases. Only one of the six weapons where stockpiles have fallen dangerously low is projected to reach normal levels within five years, assuming no further deliveries to Ukraine, leaving the U.S. scrambling for alternatives, Mark Cancian, a former artillery officer and Pentagon acquisition official. "Longer term, there will be some competition between Taiwan's needs and rebuilding US stockpiles," he said as the U.S. pledges to help the island fend off Chinese aggression. "That's why increased munitions production is so important." "Most inventories, though not all, will take many years to replace. For most items, there are workarounds, but there may be a crisis brewing over artillery ammunition," Cancian wrote.

January 22: The Washington Examiner: Joe Manchin doesn't rule out running for president in 2024; keeping his options open
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) would not rule out running against Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election during an interview on NBC this weekend. "I haven't made a decision what I'm going to do in 2024. I have two years ahead of me," the senator said on Meet The Press. "Everything's on the table," he claimed. However, he later told Todd that he isn't considering running for governor of his home state. Todd then asked Manchin if he's mulling over a presidential bid.

January 22: Fox News: Gunman kills ten people in Southern California dance studio; Schumer and Schiff blame it on bigotry
A gunman killed 10 people and injured 10 others at a Southern California ballroom dance studio Saturday amid Lunar New Year celebrations. Despite police not releasing the suspect's identity or race, some liberals on Twitter were quick to pin the horror on white supremacy and anti-Asian hate before all the facts were known. Senator Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) said "We must stand up to bigotry and hate wherever they rear their ugly heads, and we must keep working to stop gun violence." Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said it was "A horrific example of needless gun violence. With bigotry toward AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) individuals as a possible motive." Subsequent information determined that the shooter was a 72-year old man of Asian descent.

Arlington National CemeteryJanuary 21: The Washington Times:
Vets pin hope for accountability on House GOP investigation into botched withdrawal from Afghanistan

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs' renewed probe into Joe Biden's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan was cheered by the war's veterans, who say their demand for accountability is long overdue. The chaotic U.S. exit from Afghanistan in August 2021 left 13 U.S. troops dead, Kabul in the hands of the Taliban and billions of dollars of military equipment in enemy hands. The scenes of panic and desperation amid the pullout remain seared in the memory of veterans and leave many of them with a lasting sense of betrayal. "We just want to know why this happened," said Cole Lyle, an Afghanistan veteran and executive director of Mission Roll Call, a veterans advocacy group. "It is a moral injury that veterans of the conflict are still dealing with." Approximately 775,000 veterans served in the 20-year war in Afghanistan, many of whom served on multiple deployments. There were 2,456 U.S. service members killed and more than 20,000 wounded throughout the two-decade war.

German Lepoard  main battle tanksJanuary 20: The Epoch Times: Pressure mounts to send battle tanks to Ukraine
Leading allies of Kyiv are slated to meet in Germany as pressure mounts on Berlin to provide the Ukrainian military with German-made Leopard combat tanks. Russian sources, meanwhile, continue to report battlefield gains following the Jan. 10 capture of Soledar, a salt-mining town in the Donetsk. Hours after being sworn in on Jan. 19, Boris Pistorius, Germany's newly-appointed defense minister, held talks with U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin. During the meeting, Austin reportedly urged Pistorius to approve the delivery of German combat tanks to Ukraine. Poland and Finland have both pledged to send Leopard tanks, which are widely used by NATO-aligned armies, if Berlin greenlights the move. Meanwhile the UK has promised to give Ukraine 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks and a range of other advanced offensive equipment. If fulfilled, it would be the first delivery of western-made tanks to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country almost 11 months ago.

January 20: The Daily Caller:
Federal Judge dismisses Democrat lawsuit over suspension of states attorney

A federal judge in Florida dismissed the lawsuit brought by a Democrat former state attorney who sued Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for suspending him last year for his vows not to follow certain abortion-related laws. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that DeSantis was not obligated to reinstate Andrew Warren, whom the governor suspended for neglecting his duty in August after he pledged not to enforce bans on abortion, as well as transgender surgery. In Warren's suit, he asked the judge to reinstate him to his twice-elected role.

January 20: The Washington Times:
Biden named in 2017 email discussing natural gas deal with possible CCP ties

Joe Biden was mentioned in a 2017 email to Hunter Biden discussing a multimillion-dollar natural gas deal with potential links to Communist China. In an email dated Oct. 27 of that year, Louisiana attorney Robert W. Fenet wrote to Biden's brother Jim Biden and son Hunter Biden to say he had arranged a call with a contact at the Houston-based energy company Cheniere to "discuss the purchase of 5 million tons of gas." "I confirm I have requested [the contact] to be available for a call from Joe Biden and Hunter Biden on Monday morning," Mr. Fenet wrote. The email reveals further involvement of Joe Biden, who in 2017 was between being vice president and president, in his son's overseas ventures, despite Mr. Biden's repeated denial. The email was recovered from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop computer.

January 20: The Daily Caller: White House and DOJ worked together to obscure Biden's having classified material
The email reveals further involvement of Joe Biden, who in 2017 was between being vice president and president, in his son's overseas ventures, despite Biden's repeated denial. The email, which was recovered from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop computer. Reportedly days after the first trove of documents was discovered at the Penn Biden Center, a senior official in the DOJ wrote a letter to Biden's personal attorney, Bob Bauer, asking for him to cooperate in the inquiry. The official also asked Bauer to get the documents but to not look inside, and requested for him to disclose where more documents could be located, according to the Washington Post. More documents were discovered at Biden's Delaware residence Dec. 20, Jan. 10 and Jan. 11.

Hearses line up in China in effort to handle COVID19 victimsJanuary 20: The Epoch Times:The reality of Chinese COVID pandemic; as many as 80% of the population may have been infected
The pandemic is spreading like wildfire again across China. Since According to Peking University, in December an estimated 900 million people have been infected. The number could reach as high as 80 to 90 percent of the population, according to prominent Chinese infectious disease experts. Ever since the first wave of the virus in Wuhan in 2019, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has done everything in its power to cover up the true extent of the outbreak and its death toll. Sources on the ground have described the severity of the situation saying residents find it difficult to impossible to secure a cremation or burial site for their loved ones. Reportedly cremation centers across China have been overloaded and are working nonstop. In many cases, crematoriums have weeks of backlog, and refrigerator units for meat storage are being repurposed to store the deceased.

No Red Waive may  have proved beneficialJanuary 19: The Galveston County Daily News:
Was the lack of a "Red Wave" in God's hand and a good thing?

The anticipated "Red Wave" didn't happen last year. If it had, the much-needed changes in the way Congress does business wouldn't have ever happened. With a larger Republican majority, the reformers would have been ignored. But because their votes were needed to get the Speaker elected, they were able to force important changes. Because of the work of these conservative reformers the House rules were modified to improve how the House operates. It may have looked like chaos in selecting a speaker this year, but we'd suggest the Lord's hand was in it. Maybe the lack of a "Red Wave" is how He brought forth much needed change.

January 19: Sky News:
New Zealand's Prime Minister stepping down, not to run for reelection

Jacinda Ardern, who choked back tears she announced she is stepping down, enjoyed high approval ratings for most of her two-term tenure but faced a tough election campaign in 2023. Her final day in office will be on 7 February - and a general election has been called for 14 October. The 42-year-old, who became New Zealand's prime minister in 2017, said: "I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also one of the more challenging. "You cannot, and should not do it, unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges.

January 19: Fox News:
Alex Baldwin charged with involuntary manslaughter over on set shooting

Alec Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was the armorer on the film "Rust," was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. "This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins' tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice," Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel said. "Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win."

Biden and GatlandJanuary 18: Breitbart News:
DOJ lets Biden's attorneys, who don't have security clearances, search for classified documents without FBI oversight

Joe Biden's Justice Department reportedly permitted his personal attorneys to search for classified documents in separate locations without security clearances or the presence of the FBI in contrast to their raid on Trump's personal residence in Florida for a similar situation. Critics have questioned why Biden's personal attorneys were initially looking for classified documents. Others have questioned why Biden's legal team was continuing to search his home Thursday for classified documents after a special counsel was appointed earlier that day. According to the Wall Street Journal, the initial search, authorized by DOJ, involved people with no security clearance looking for potentially classified material. "Mr. Biden's legal team prepared to search his other properties for any similar documents, and discussed with the Justice Department the prospect of having FBI agents present while Mr. Biden's lawyers conducted the additional searches," the report said. "Instead, the two sides agreed that Biden's personal attorneys would inspect the homes, notify the Justice Department as soon as they identified any other potentially classified records, and arrange for law-enforcement authorities to take them," the report added.

January 18: The Washington Times: Biden's "army of IRS auditors" falls victim to hiring woes and ambiguous marking orders
Biden's vision for a supercharged IRS is running into the rough realities of hiring problems and difficulties in figuring out who should face more audits. An inspector general revealed the struggles in a report this week, saying there are major headwinds to carrying out Democrats' new law, which is pumping $80 billion into the tax collecting agency. For one thing, the IRS has yet to dig out of a pandemic backlog of unprocessed returns. The good news for critics of the Democrat-passed law is that they are facing a tricky job market and lack of expedited hiring authority are making it difficult to bring on more people who can clear the hurdles. The IRS did add thousands of customer service representatives last year, which means taxpayers should have better luck getting answers when they call this year. Last year, 85% of calls went unanswered and those that did go through were on hold for about half an hour.

Church in LondonJanuary 18: United Press International: The Church of England (Anglican) unlike its American counterpart (Episcopal) will not conduct same sex marriage ceremonies
The Church of England announced Wednesday that it not allow same-sex marriages to be carried out by clergy. In a press release from the church, it said it will not change its "doctrine of Holy Matrimony for same-sex couples." Instead, it decided to take a position, that critics say is inconsistent with scriptures, that will create guidance for blessing same-sex marriages through ceremony, which will be optional for the clergy. The Church of England said it came to this decision after discussions that took place over the last six years regarding its policies and approaches to same-sex marriage, including a meeting at the Lambeth Conference last August. The Episcopal Church in the United States which is a part of the worldwide Anglican communion, allows people of the same sex to participate in a marriage ceremony.

January 18: Daily Caller: Texas and Oklahoma sue Biden administration over unlawful delegation to the World Health Organization
Texas and Oklahoma are suing the Biden administration over a public health rule they argue illegally gives power to the World Health Organization (WHO), according to a copy of the complaint. Reportedly the states accuse the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of "unlawfully" delegating the authority to declare a public health emergency in the U.S. to the WHO. The plaintiffs assert that a 2017 rule relinquishes HHS authority to the WHO to determine when there's a public health emergency involving a communicable disease in the U.S. HHS' definitions for the declaration come directly from the WHO, the complaint asserts.

January 17: The Epoch Times: DOD not inclined to pony up with back pay for those dismissed due to not getting Covid shot
The Department of Defense indicated on Tuesday it is not going to consider backpay for troops discharged due to having refused to take a COVID-19 vaccine amid mandates that were recently lifted. They have also failed to respond to questions about reinstating the more than 8,000 service members who were discharged due to their refusal to take the jab. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters in December 2022 that the Biden administration believes removing the mandate was a "mistake," repeating claims from that the shot makes "sure our troops are prepared and ready for service," while ignoring the increasing number of instances where those who have taken the vaccine are now experiencing numerous associated health issues. The military has notoriously issued mass rejections for religious requests for exemptions to the mandate, triggering multiple court challenges. Judges had blocked three of the four branches from discharging most members seeking religious exemptions over the treatment, which the judges said violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Just 0.5 percent of the religious accommodation requests have been approved by the Marines, followed by 1 percent for the Navy, 2.3 percent for the Air Force, and 6 percent for the Army. Thousands of requests were still not adjudicated before the mandate was withdrawn. Those who have been released from the service have been given a General Discharge which indicated they served but were let go with minor disciplinary issues.

January 17: The Washington Examiner: McCarthy facing a test as Biden and Democrat-control senate disagree over raising the debt ceiling  
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is standing firm in his commitment against raising the debt ceiling without budget cuts as the Treasury Department prepares to start extraordinary measures this week to keep the country from defaulting on its debt. Pairing a raise of the federal borrowing limit with a decrease in spending is one of the deals McCarthy cut with the conservative wing of his conference in exchange for its backing in his speakership bid. The Democrats are demanding a clean increase that will allow unrestricted borrowing in order to keep paying expenses and paying for pet projects included in the various trillion dollar spending packages passed last year. The two sides have until about June to work out a deal before the government starts to default on payments.

January 17: The Daily Caller: Ex-intel official recants, Hunter's laptop "had to be real"
A former intelligence official who signed onto a letter in 2020 that tried to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation said Sunday the contents of the laptops "had to be real." The New York Post was the first outlet to break the story on the Hunter Biden laptop, which highlighted shady foreign business dealings involving Hunter and other family members just weeks shy of the 2020 presidential election. More than a dozen officials signed onto a public letter dismissing the laptop, which had been authenticated by the Daily Caller and other news operations. The letter, which had dozens of signatories ranging from former CIA officials to FBI officials said the laptop and its contents, "much of it related to [Hunter's] time serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation." Former Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Douglas Wise halfheartedly apologized saying he does not regret signing on to the letter but was not surprised the contents were authenticated and said he and others believed that "significant portions" of the content "had to be real."

January 17: The Epoch Times: Hunter Biden's attorneys attempt to keep his 4 year old daughter from using the Biden surname
Hunter Biden asked a judge to prevent his 4-year-old daughter, born out of wedlock, from taking his surname. On January 6th Hunter's attorneys filed a motion with Arkansas Circuit Court Judge Holly Meyer in response to a name change request from Lunden Roberts, the mother of Navy Joan Roberts. Roberts, in a motion filed by her attorney with Judge Meyer on Dec. 27, said her daughter would "benefit from carrying the Biden family name" since the surname is "now synonymous with being well educated, successful, financially acute, and politically powerful." Additionally, it says the Biden family, including Joe Biden, remains "estranged from the child." "To the extent this is misconduct or neglect, it can be rectified by changing her last name to Biden so that she may undeniably be known to the world as the child of the defendant and member of the prestigious Biden family," Roberts's lawyers said.

January 17: Fox News: Which is it? Biden's Delaware house used for official business or only personal use
The White House has previously claimed that Joe Biden works while taking trips to his Wilmington, Delaware home, but is now claiming that the residence is "personal" amid a number of classified documents being found at the address. The White House press secretary said Biden can work from anywhere just like any other chief executive, but with the revelations of unsecured classified documents being discovered at several of Biden's non-governmental offices the position has changed to saying that he only goes to Delaware for personal reasons, not to work.

An AR-15 January 16: Fox News: Biden: You need F-15s not AR-15s to take on the government
Biden on Monday said those who argue they need assault weapons to fight the government need a much bigger arsenal to stand a chance. Speaking at the National Action Network's annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in Washington, Biden appeared to mock his conservative colleagues. "I love my right-wing friends who talk about the tree of liberty is water of the blood of patriots," he said. "If you need to work about taking on the federal government, you need some F-15s. You don't need an AR-15." The quote Biden refers dates back to Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in a letter, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants." Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and America's third president.

January 16: The Daily Caller: Hobbs (D-AZ) announces plans to undo the nation's most expansive school choice program
Katie Hobbs' plan to undo the nation's most expansive school choice program could affect thousands of students and families who are already utilizing the state's voucher program, school choice advocates have said. Hobbs' executive budget – which has little if any support in the state legislature -- asked state legislators to reverse the state's expansion of its school choice program which currently allows all Arizona students in grades K-12 to receive taxpayer-funded vouchers if they choose to leave or are already outside of the public education system. The proposal would have a severe negative impact on Arizona families already utilizing the school voucher program to pursue other educational opportunities, school choice advocates have contended. "It's an assault on the families and the parents," Steve Smith, Arizona State Director of American Federation for Children (AFC), a group working toward school choice said. "Especially now when education options are needed more than ever in the wake of COVID-19. You must let these families flourish. These programs have been a lifesaver to so many and to take that away or even threaten to take it away, it's just flat out wrong."

January 16: The Epoch Times: We don't keep track of who visits the Biden residences — no logs exist
According to the White House there are no logs of who has visited Joe Biden's house in Delaware where classified documents were found. "Like every President in decades of modern history, his personal residence is personal," White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement to media outlets. However, this conflicts with other statements where Biden was described as conducting government business at this same property. Reportedly the U.S. Secret Service, which provides security for the president, doesn't keep logs for any facility. The service screens visitors but doesn't keep records of who is vetted, a Secret Service spokesman said. The Secret Service, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request for records on visitors to Biden's residences in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, has said no records were located. Classified documents were found on three separate occasions at the Wilmington residence, according to Biden lawyer Richard Sauber. The first discovery came in 2022, after classified materials were located in an office in Washington that Biden used from 2017 to 2019. The records which were found in Biden's properties he was not authorized to have as a former vice president. The total number of documents that have been found is unclear.

January 16: Fox News: Jordan: We want fair treatment re: documents
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), on Monday dismissed White House criticism of how Republicans are investigating the classified documents in Joe Biden's home and former office, and he accused the Biden White House of a double standard when it comes to oversight, noting that President Trump's home was raided by the FBI while Biden's home was not. Jordan last week notified the Justice Department that he is launching an investigation into the president's "mishandling" of classified records and the Justice Department's probe into the matter. House Oversite Committee Chair James Cormer (R-KY), is also investigating the matter, and he said that he will "continue to press" the Biden administration for answers about who had access to the classified documents. Some reports say that Biden's son Hunter most certainly had access to the classified records found lying around unsecured in Joe Biden's garage.

January 15: News Max: NYC mayor, we don't have more room for migrants
The mayor of New York traveled to the Mexican border city of El Paso on Sunday and declared that "there is no room in New York" for busloads of migrants being sent to America's most populous city. Eric Adams, a Democrat, was also critical of the administration of Joe Biden, saying "now is the time for the national government to do its job" about the immigrant crisis at America's southern border. The visit of a New York mayor to a southern border city about the issue of immigrants is unprecedented.

January 14: The Epoch Times:
NY Supreme Court strikes down statewide vaccine mandate

A state Supreme Court judge in Syracuse, New York, struck down a statewide mandate for medical staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, ruling that Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state's health department overstepped their authority. In a landmark ruling issued on Jan. 13, state Supreme Court Judge Gerard Neri declared the statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for medical staff "null, void, and of no effect." The judge said Hochul and the NY Department of Health sidestepped the state legislature in imposing a permanent COVID19 mandate. He also said the mandate was "arbitrary and capricious," citing evidence that COVID-19 vaccines don't prevent the spread of the virus, undercutting the basis for the mandate. The ruling came after a lawsuit was filed by Medical Professionals for Informed Consent, a group of medical professionals who were negatively affected by the vaccine mandate and either lost their jobs or faced the prospect of job loss.

January 14: The Epoch Times: IRS warns of surprises for some tax payers and the postponement of implementing new tax law changes
Several weeks ago, the IRS issued a reminder to taxpayers to avoid a "surprise" penalty by making fourth-quarter estimated tax payments by next week's deadline of Jan. 17. The IRS has advised Americans who didn't pay enough taxes in 2022 should make that payment on Jan. 17 or before. If they did not, they risk paying more when they file in 2023. Taxpayers can choose to withhold taxes from their income or they have the option of making estimated payments four times per year or a combination of both. Those who don't make the tax payments owe interest and a penalty of 0.5 percent to the amount owed until up to 25 percent total. A controversial rule was enacted under the American Rescue Plan of 2021 that would have required anyone who earned $600 or more via online platforms like PayPal, Etsy, eBay, and Venmo to report their earnings. However, days before the New Year, the IRS announced that it delayed the reporting rule by another year at the least. Top officials noted that the reporting requirement sparked widespread confusion. According to the IRS "The additional time will help reduce confusion during the coming 2023 tax filing season and provide more time for taxpayers to prepare and understand the new reporting requirements."

January 14: Breitbart News: President fails to live up to his commitment for transparency when it relates to his stash of Top Secret documents
In a letter issued by the president on February 4, 2021, he vowed the highest standards of transparency would be "revitalized" and implemented within his administration. But he has failed to live up to his promised standard. On Wednesday, Rep. James Comer, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, issued a request that the National Archives disclose "all documents and communications between or among the White House and the Department of Justice or NARA [National Archives and Records Administration] regarding the documents retrieved from President Biden's personal office at the Penn Biden Center." NARA apparently has not complied and is stonewalling. "I have jurisdiction over the national archives. This agency is supposed to do a briefing anytime something like this happens. They have not," Comer said. "Not only have they not given us a briefing, even though we've requested one, they have not answered any of our simple requests for information." Meanwhile, there appears to be a blame game brewing within the Biden administration about who is responsible for the mishandling of classified documents — some of which are top secret.

Tucker Carlson calls for the release of all January 6th video so it i available to all January 13: The Daily Caller:
Tucker Carlson: The public should have access to all the video from the Jan. 6th protest, not just what the politicians want them to see, as McCarthy moves closer to releasing all the videos

Fox News host Tucker Carlson praised House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for promising to release 14,000 hours of video footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol building. "I think the public should see what happened on that day," McCarthy told reporters during a press conference Thursday. "I watched what Nancy Pelosi did, where she politicized it. … I think the American public should actually see what happened instead of a report that's written for a political basis." "Well, yeah. After two full years, after a highly publicized and highly politicized congressional committee, after endless grandstanding in the media, after unprecedented political crackdowns, after nearly 1,000 arrests, after all of that: Americans, yes, they do, have a right to know what actually happened on Jan. 6," Carlson said. "That's what Kevin McCarthy said. Who could argue otherwise? What is the counter argument?" [Watch Tucker's coverage: 13-minute video]

January 13: The Washington Examiner:
House GOP craft contingency plan for looming debt ceiling deadline

Republicans in the House are reportedly crafting a contingency plan in the event negotiations fail on lifting the debt limit, which is projected to be hit next week. In the proposal currently in the works, they will outline how they believe the Treasury should prioritize payments if the debt limit is maxed out. They will likely place a high emphasis on Social Security, Medicare, and the military, sources have said. Currently, the limit is set at $31.4 trillion, and once the cap is reached, the U.S. government will no longer be permitted to borrow additional money despite having an annual budget with a roughly trillion-dollar projected deficit. Details of all what the House leadership is considering hasn't been made public, but it's believed McCarthy agreed to in his negotiations for the Speakership to pair debt ceiling increases with spending cuts, something that will likely be a red line for the Biden administration. The debt ceiling marks a key test of his speakership as McCarthy presides over a slim GOP majority and stiff opposition from the Democratic-controlled Senate and Biden administration over conservative solutions to the debt ceiling impasse. So, if the rumors are correct, the question is who will blink first and if it's McCarthy whether more conservative members of his caucus will call for a vote of no confidence over his leadership.

January 13: The Epoch Times:
Dershowitz: Biden Classified document stash undermines prosecution of Trump

Retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz said that the discovery that Joe Biden kept classified documents from when he was vice president undermines arguments to prosecute former Classified documents  not locked up, just piled up in Biden's Delaware garagePresident Donald Trump. Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in August was raided by FBI agents as prosecutors alleged that he kept classified records there. But this week, Biden's lawyers said that classified records were found at Biden's Delaware home and a Washington office that he had used, triggering a Thursday announcement from Attorney General Merrick Garland that he appointed a special counsel to investigate the matter. "You cannot have two systems of justice unless the claims against Trump passed what I used to call the Clinton-Berger test," Dershowitz said. "Unless his [Trump's] conduct is so much more egregious and unlawful than what the three Democrats were accused of doing, you can't have a criminal prosecution of Donald Trump." Dershowitz then stated that Biden possessed these documents when he was vice president and, unlike Trump, did not have the authority to declassify. After last year's FBI raid, Trump and former White House officials have said he declassified a range of materials when he was president. "We know for example presidents can declassify material when they're in office, but not after they leave office," he said. "We know that vice presidents cannot declassify material." Dershowitz said that neither Trump nor Biden should be prosecuted over these documents.

January 12: The Epoch Times: Appeals court to expedite Lake's case in Arizona
The Arizona Court of Appeals agreed to expedite consideration of Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake's lawsuit alleging that the 2022 election was flawed. In a brief order, issued on Jan. 9 the court ordered a reset of "the matter for conference on February 1, 2023," and agreed with Lake's arguments that her challenge should be handled as a "special action petition." The court date was reportedly scheduled for March. Reportedly Gov. Katie Hobbs, the state's former secretary of state, has until Jan. 17 to respond and argue why Lake's challenge should be rejected. A portion of Lake's lawsuit included claims that she would have won or had a better chance of winning if dozens of Maricopa County ballot printers worked properly on Election Day. A number of those printers created ballots that couldn't be read by tabulators.

January 12: The Washington Examiner:
Johnson (D-GA) suggests Biden's stashed classified material was planted; a set up

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) suggested that classified documents found at Joe Bident's residence in Delaware may have been "planted." Speaking to reporters outside the Capitol, Johnson called for further investigation into revelations that classified documents were being held in Biden's garage. He cast doubt on the situation, saying the timing was suspicious and speculating that Biden may be the target of malicious actors. However, what Johnson may have failed to consider is that in order for them to have been planted a person would have needed to (1) have access to 6-7 year old classified documents in their possession and (2) get past the Secret Service personnel who guard the residence 24x7 in order to plant them.

January 12: Fox News:
Weapons production ramp up needed if we are to continue supporting Ukraine

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro warned Wednesday that continued support for Ukraine will be difficult if weapons makers don't ramp up production in the next six to 12 months. The comments came on the sidelines of the Surface Navy Association conference in Arlington, Virginia. Del Toro was asked to respond to remarks by Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, that the U.S. Navy may ultimately have to decide between arming itself or the Ukrainians. Del Toro said the Navy wasn't "quite there yet," but argued that the supply chain would be stressed if the conflict goes on for another six months. "It's obvious that … these companies have a substantial pipeline for the future," Del Toro said. "They now need to invest in their workforce, as well as the capital investments that they had to make within their own companies to get their production up."

January 12: News Max: AG Garland names special counsel to investigate Biden's possession of classified documents after serving as VP
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday named a special counsel to investigate whether Joe Biden improperly handled sensitive government documents, setting up a parallel inquiry to an ongoing probe of former President Donald Trump. The inquiry, to be led by Robert Hur, could cast a shadow over the Democrat president's expected run for reelection in 2024. Garland said Hur, who was the top federal prosecutor in Maryland under Trump, would act as a quasi-independent prosecutor to head an effort to determine whether classified records stemming from Biden's time as vice president had been improperly stored at his residence in Delaware and a think tank in Washington.

Is this what Biden calls secure storage?  Documents piled up in  his garage! January 12: Fox News: White House press secretary dodges questions about visitors log from Biden's Delaware home where classified document from when he was VP were stored in his garage
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged a question asking if visitor logs for Joe Biden's Wilmington, Delaware home will be released after classified documents were found in a garage at the residence. Jean-Pierre made the comments during a press conference on Thursday, where the press secretary was questioned on the classified documents. "When will the White House release a log of visitors to the Wilmington House? " Fox News' Peter Doocy asked. "Let's not forget what we did here in this White House. We instituted what the last administration got rid of, which is making sure that there was a White House log, extensive White House log. So the American people got to see again and again…I am telling you, we did something that the last administration got rid of, which is instituting the White House logs," Jean-Pierre responded while completely avoiding answering Doocy's question.

January 12: The Western Journal:
All muslin city counsel in MI passes law to allow animal sacrifice on private property

The all-Muslim City Council of the Detroit suburb of Hamtramck on Tuesday voted to allow the religious sacrifice of animals on private property. The vote to allow animal sacrifice was 3-2. Mayor Amer Ghalib, who is a Muslim, cast an additional vote for the proposal. Muslims slaughter animals during the Eid al-Adha, a religious holiday. According to the Associated Press, Dawud Walid, director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, framed animal sacrifice as no big deal saying it was "not something new or novel.

No tracking of firearms sales and ammo in Florida January 11: The Daily Caller: Florida considers bill banning financial institutions from tracking of arms and ammo purchases
Florida officials introduced legislation Tuesday that would prohibit financial institutions from collecting data on firearm and ammunition purchases, alleging that it violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to a press release. In September, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved the use of a merchant code for firearms stores, which financial institutions, such as credit card companies, can voluntarily adopt to track firearm-related purchases. The "Florida Arms and Ammo Act" would fine credit card companies up to $10,000 per violation, according to WTSP10News. Bill supporter Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson said, "The 'Florida Arms and Ammo Act' draws a line in the sand and tells multi-national progressive financial institutions, and their allies in Washington, that they cannot covertly create a backdoor firearm registry of Floridians – or else,"

January 11: The Washington Examiner: Biden had two stashes of classified documents at different locations taken when he was VP
Joe Biden's aides have reportedly found a second batch of classified documents, distinct from the first tranche, that was discovered last fall. Since flagging classified documents from his vice presidential days discovered at a think tank, Biden's aides have been searching for any other outstanding classified files and made a second discovery, but it is reportedly unclear where and when the documents were found. Biden was rocked this week by revelations that his lawyers discovered roughly 10 documents with classified markings in the closet of his private office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington last November. Some of the documents reportedly included "sensitive compartmented information."

January 11: The Epoch Times: House oversight committee launches probe into Biden stashing classified material when he was no longer VP
The House Oversight Committee is opening an investigation into Joe Biden's handling of classified records from his time as vice president, following the discovery of sensitive materials in a nonsecure closet at a think tank. Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said he's launching the probe; he has demanded the White House and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provide documents and information related to their handling of the Biden records—including the classified documents themselves. "The Committee is concerned that … [Joe] Biden has compromised sources and methods with his own mishandling of classified documents," Comer wrote while pointing out that Biden has previously called the mishandling of presidential records "totally irresponsible." For purposes of the committee probe, Comer requested the White House provide a raft of information relating to the handling of the retrieved documents. He requested all the documents retrieved from Biden's personal office at the Penn Biden Center, as well as all internal documents and communications regarding the recovered materials. He's also demanding a list of all the people who had access to Biden's personal office at the think tank and all documents and communications between the White House and the Department of Justice (DOJ) or NARA regarding the classified document find.

January 11: News Max: Biden's stash of confidential documents wasn't by accident
It wasn't an "accident" that classified documents turned up at Joe Biden's former Washington, D.C., think-tank office, as he and his staff had "decades of experience" in handling such items, Fred Fleitz, a former chief of staff at the National Security Council and ex-CIA analyst, said on Wednesday. "I just don't believe that this was an accident. This was an effort by Biden and his staff to squirrel away classified documents for Biden to use in his memoirs. It also could be business [or] personal purposes." Biden on Tuesday said he was surprised when government documents were found by his attorneys at the Penn Biden Center, where Biden kept an office after leaving the vice presidency in 2017 until just before launching his presidential campaign in 2019. Reports have indicated that the documents included information concerning Ukraine, and Fleitz said he finds that connection particularly worrisome. "Keep in mind that Hunter Biden made $11 million between 2013 and 2018 in his business to Ukraine and China," he said.

January 10: The Daily Caller: DOD rescinds COVID vaccination mandates
The Department of Defense (DOD) officially scrapped the requirement that all members of the armed forces be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on Tuesday. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin introduced the mandate in August 2021, citing the impact of rising case numbers on the military's readiness. However, after more than a year of legal challenges to the mandate and at least 8,400 discharges for refusing the vaccine, Congress instructed Austin to reverse course in the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Joe Biden signed the NDAA into law on Dec. 23, 2022, giving DOD 30 days to rescind the August 24, 2021 memo and develop new guidance on troop vaccination. This includes reserve components and the National Guard units. DOD will continue to promote vaccination for all servicemembers, and vaccination status may factor into decisions on where a soldier is stationed and what duties he is assigned, the memo states. Experts have warned that service members who escaped discharge for refusing the vaccine still risk retaliation and could be booted anyway. Congress' directive didn't require the military branches to compensate those discharged or had their careers harmed by refusing the mandate.

January 10: News Max: Discovered Biden-stashed classified documents were intelligence on Ukraine, Iran, and UK
Memos and briefing materials covering topics including Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom were included among the classified documents found in a Washington, D.C., office that had been used by Joe Biden after he left his second term as vice president, according to new reports Tuesday. The documents, dated between 2013 and 2016, were in boxes that also included personal Biden family documents, including funeral arrangements for Beau Biden, who died in 2015. The documents were discovered on Nov. 2 when a personal lawyer for Biden was closing out an office that he had used as part of his work with the University of Pennsylvania after he finished as vice president. But wait a minute; wasn't this during the same period that Hunter Biden was involved in business dealings with Ukraine? That was probably a coincidence.

January 10: Fox News:
Biden ignores questions why his Think Tank has classified documents

Joe Biden on Monday refused to answer questions about the classified documents he had that were found at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C. Records from Biden's time as vice president were discovered at the think tank by his personal attorneys on Nov. 2, and included "documents with classified markings," the White House said. The National Archives were notified and took possession of the documents the following day. Of note is that as Vice President, Biden did not have declassification authority and did not have the authority to take any classified documents with him when he left office, unlike Trump who did have declassification authority.

January 10: The Epoch Times:
Teacher helped students after being shot by a 6-year old

A Newport News Virginia elementary school teacher helped her students to safety after a 6-year-old student brought a 9mm pistol into her classroom in a backpack and allegedly shot her in the chest, police said. Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew told reporters on Monday that police interviewed the 6-year-old and his mother at police headquarters after the incident at Richneck Elementary School and determined the firearm was legally purchased in York County. "We determined that the firearm was in the residence where they lived, and the child had obtained that firearm, placed it in his backpack, and brought it to school. He was brought to school that day by his mother later that morning," Drew said. Police determined the shooting was not accidental. The 6-year-old was taken into custody under an emergency custody order and evaluate him at a local hospital. The teacher – Zwerner – took a defensive position where she raised her hand. According to police "the round went through her hand, exited … and [went] into her upper chest." After being shot Zwerner "was still able to get all her students out of that classroom" adding that surveillance footage shows the students running across the hall to other classrooms. According to Drew, Zwerner was the last person to exit the classroom and heading for medical help for herself.

January 9: The Daily Caller:
Virginia AG to investigate Fairfax County schools hiding merit awards from students

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares is opening an investigation into Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) after a prestigious high school within the district reportedly hid merit awards from its students. The investigation was prompted by a report by Asra Nomani, a parental rights in education activist, that showed the school had been withholding the National Merit Scholarship commendation, an honor used for college applications and to obtain scholarships, from students who were mostly Asian in order to not "hurt" the feelings of students who did not earn the award. Reportedly two other schools in the FCPS system have also been withholding the merit award from students. "It's concerning that multiple schools throughout Fairfax County withheld merit awards from students ," Miyares said in a press release. "My office will investigate the entire Fairfax County Public Schools system to find out if any students were discriminated against and if their rights were violated."

January 9: The Washington Examiner:
House Rules pass with lots of concessions and improvements

The rules package that will govern the operations and priorities of the House passed after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) used it to barter a deal with conservatives in exchange for the Speaker's gavel. The 55-page package puts an end to proxy voting and returns the chamber to the traditional "motion to vacate," which allows any member to bring forward a motion to oust the speaker. The measure passed 220-213 with the almost unanimous support of the Republican conference. Gonzales (R-TX) was the only "no" vote. "At the heart of all this discussion last week, very clear from our side, is that Washington is broken," House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) said in a speech on the House floor Monday evening. "And not only is Washington broken, but the way that this House has been running for the past few years has not been designed to address the problems of the people across this country." Under the package, instead of an omnibus bill, all 12 appropriations bills will be considered and passed separately. Two new committees will be created, one to investigate China and the other to investigate the "weaponization" of federal agencies under the Biden administration. Lawmakers will also have 72 hours to review bills before voting on them, and the Capitol will also be fully reopened to the public.

Texas Governor meets Biden on tarmac, give him letter how to address the border crisis January 8: News Max:
Biden finally visits the border, kind of

Joe Biden inspected a busy port of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday, his first trip to the region after two years in office as Republicans hammer him for being soft on border security while the number of migrants crossing spirals. The City of El Paso was clear of migrant tents and cleaned up prior to Biden's arrival. He did not meet with migrants or see the area where they are camped out during his visit, MSNBC reported. The network spoke with migrants who said they were under the impression Biden would visit and had planned to ask him to speed up the process to allow them entry into the country. In a sign of the deep political tensions over immigration, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott handed Biden a letter upon his arrival that said the "chaos" at the border was the "direct result" of Biden's failure to enforce federal laws.

January 8: Fox News:
Colorado cancels plans to send illegals to sanctuary cities after blow back from Democrat mayors

Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will stop sending migrants to New York City, Chicago and other major Democrat-run cities after mayors expressed outrage at the plan in recent weeks. Polis had agreed to work with local authorities in Denver to help send migrants to their final destinations. While Colorado is not a border state, it has seen a major influx of migrants seeking passage to elsewhere in the country. Mayors Eric Adams of New York City and Lori Lightfoot of Chicago called on Polis to end his assistance last week as their cities also struggle with a surge in migrants.

January 8: The Epoch Times: First bill McCarthy wants to see taken up in the House; defunding 87,000 IRS special agents
Newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) says that the first bill he wants to see passed is one to cut back funding for 87,000 new IRS agents. "I know the night is late, but when we come back, our very first bill will repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents," McCarthy said moments after being nominated as speaker. McCarthy didn't say exactly when the Republican-backed bill would be introduced on the House floor but said Republicans "believe government should be to help you, not go after you." House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) said recently there's legislation that's "ready to go" that Republicans will bring to the House floor during the first two weeks of 2023. The Treasury Department estimated that in 2021, a nearly $80 billion investment in the IRS would allow the agency to hire about 86,852 full-time IRS employees over the course of a decade while a number of Republican lawmakers have criticized recent funding for the IRS under then so called Inflation Reduction Act that passed both chambers of Congress in 2022. They argue the IRS would target Americans with more and more audits to fund large spending packages that have recently passed Congress.

January 8: The Washington Times:
McCarthy concessions on Rules may be a test of his leadership

The dust has barely settled from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's historic battle to win the speaker's gavel, but the California Republican already faces a test of his leadership: passing the rules package that helped mollify his Republican opponents. The rules that will govern the chamber are hitting opposition from Mr. McCarthy's allies in the House Republican Conference who fear he ceded too much of the speaker's power to win the top job. Some Republicans in McCarthy's slim majority could balk at ambiguous details of his concessions to members of the conservative Freedom Caucus unless more of the backroom negotiations are brought to light. Among the deals that are known is a measure that weakens the speaker's power by allowing any one member to force a vote on vacating the chair, a reinstatement of the ability for lawmakers to offer amendments on appropriations bills, a mandated 72-hour window to review legislation before a vote and a promise to vote on a bill to invoke term limits on members of Congress. "We were trying to stand up for rank-and-file members, because too often … bills are cooked up with a handful of people, they're brought through to the Rules Committee, jammed through, put on the floor, and you have to vote yes or no," Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican and defector who ultimately voted for McCarthy on the final ballot, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

January 8: Fox Business: California under a mountain of debt; $24 Billion short fall, revenues forecast to be $41 Billion less than previously expected
California's government is facing an estimated budget deficit of $24 billion this year, a stark reversal from the record-setting surpluses that the state saw in recent years which comes amid ongoing inflation and heightened fears of a looming recession. California's Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO), which provides state officials with nonpartisan budget forecasts, warned in a report that the state faces a projected $24 billion deficit in 2023-24 mainly because tax revenues are about $41 billion lower than expected. Some of the reduced revenues may be attributed to people and businesses leaving the state for economic reasons. The LAO said "Spurred by pandemic related federal stimulus, the U.S. economy entered a period of rapid expansion in the summer of 2020 that extended through 2021. Over the last year … evidence has mounted that this rapid economic expansion was unsustainable." Meanwhile, the state's reparations proposal could mean $233,000 per person in payments to black residents could bust the California budget even further.

January 7: Fox News: MSNBC analyst panicked by possible formation of a "Church" type committee to investigate weaponization of FBI, DOJ, and others
MSNBC analyst and former U.S. Congressman David Jolly (D-FL) lamented the fact that a new select committee in the GOP-majority House might cut big government down to size. In response to a tweet from Congressman Dan Bishop (R-NC) which expressed his hope that a new "Church-style committee" will curb "the weaponization of the federal government," Jolly complained that the committee will "attack and shred" the government. Just hours before House Republicans finally voted to elect Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), as Speaker of the House, Bishop tweeted that he was pleased with new rules negotiated between members and the incoming Speaker that will allow a new House committee to directly challenge federal government overreach.

January 7: News Max:
McCarthy gets his wish -- the Speakership – Dream or Nightmare?

Kevin McCarthy wakes up on Saturday morning with a long-held dream fulfilled: After a four-day standoff, he was elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the most powerful member of the Republican Party. But that role could turn into a nightmare because it requires leading a caucus that strongly rejects leadership. Conservatives have regularly excoriated top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell for agreeing to compromises of any kind with Democrats and earlier this week rejected Donald Trump's call to quickly fall in line behind McCarthy. The 57-year-old Californian showed tenacity in pushing through 15 rounds of voting and dismantling what had been a cadre of 20 hardline conservative opponents, finding compromises that would pull most of them into his camp. He told reporters on Friday night that he would be a more effective leader because of the drawn-out process. "Because it took this long, now we've learned how to govern. So now we'll be able to get the job done," McCarthy said. "At the end of the day, we're going to be more effective, more efficient and definitely government is going to be more accountable."

January 7: The Epoch Times:
Maricopa County decides to look into printer malfunctions on Election Day 2022

Arizona's largest county is launching an investigation into the issues that caused chaos on Election Day. The probe will be "an important step in our efforts to get to the bottom of the printer issues that affected some Vote Centers on Election Day last November," Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates and Vice Chairman Clint Hickman said in a joint statement on Jan. 6. Voters across the county found their ballots could not be processed by machines in the 2022 midterm elections, a problem that led to long lines at voting centers and workers having to tabulate the votes at a later date. At least 70 of the county's polling sites were affected, at some 17,000 ballots. Maricopa County was one of the last counties to produce results in the midterms. During a trial held for a lawsuit brought by Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, a cyber expert who examined ballots said he found 19-inch images printed on 20-inch paper which could not be processed. Richard Baris, a pollster, testified that the problems disenfranchised enough voters to swing the election. Republicans vote at much higher numbers on Election Day, while Democrats favor early and mail voting. Democrat Katie Hobbs beat Lake by 17,117 votes, according to the official election results.

January 7: Fox News: SD Gov Noem demands answers after Social Security numbers for her and her family are leaked by Feds
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) is demanding answers on how federal agencies allowed her personal information to become public in the aftermath of record releases from the Jan. 6 committee, as well as how these agencies plan to combat the potential results of this leak. "My lawyers have asked the White House, the US National Archives, and Bennie Thompson which of them is responsible for leaking the Social Security Numbers of me, my husband, my 3 kids, and my son-in-law." Noem said Friday evening following the leak of her and her loved one's private information. "What specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect our identities?"

January 6: Texas Scorecard: Texas County GOP calls for Cornyn resignation
A resolution demanding the resignation of Republican Sen. John Cornyn was passed this week by the executive committee of a northeast Texas county's Republican Party. The Lamar County Republican Party executive committee's resolution demands Cornyn resign based on his "lack of fidelity to our founding principles, our national and state constitutions, and the Republican Party of Texas." In an interview, the Lamar County Republican Party chairman Scott Hommel discussed his frustration with the senior U.S. senator for Texas. "We decided to do this because he's literally not following the Republican Party of Texas platform based on his voting record," he explained. "And when he voted for the omnibus bill, that was what put me over the edge to go ahead and make this resolution. … We need to fire him!"

January 6: The Washington Times: McCarthy scrambles for votes as House adjourns until this evening for yet another vote
The House voted to adjourn until 10 p.m. Friday as Republicans scrambled for the last votes that will finally get GOP Kevin McCarthy to the 218 he needs to become speaker. After receiving 214 votes on the 13th ballot of the week, McCarthy told reporters he will get enough support to put him over the top later Friday night. The House voted 220 to 212 to adjourn, giving Republicans more time to negotiate with the remaining six holdouts against McCarthy and allow two absent supporters to return to Washington.

January 6: Breitbart News: California; Reparations Task Force Chair: Blacks are "owed" $1 million each and the homeless should be at the head of the line
Whose going to pay for this, with the State of California already deep in debt? According to the Daily Mail, Kamila Moore claimed during an interview with Al Sharpton that the group found the state's past redlining housing practices affecting the black community hurt people who are currently living on the streets. In 2020, "Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a law creating a committee on reparations — despite the fact that the state never allowed slavery — in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement." "The panel — which is not representative of the state, but composed primarily of black members — voted 5-4 to limit reparations to descendants of slavery, and issued recommendations that include separate black schools. However, it should be noted that when California entered the Union, it did so as a "free" state which did not allow slavery.

January 6: Sky News: Russians open fire at least 14 times during first three hours of their self-declared cease fire in Ukraine
Russian forces opened fire '14 times' during first three hours of Putin's ceasefire; Ukrainian and Western officials are skeptical about Vladimir Putin's call for a ceasefire today and tomorrow.

January 5: Fox News: SC Supreme Court; heat-beat bill is unconstitutional
A South Carolina state law that would have restricted abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected was declared unconstitutional by the state's Supreme Court. In a 3-2 decision Thursday, the court said the Fetal Heartbeat Act illegally infringes on a woman's right to privacy. The act was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster in 2021 and prohibited abortion once a fetus's heartbeat can be detected, which usually occurs around six weeks of pregnancy. The heartbeat law went into effect after the SCOTUS overturned its Roe v. Wade decision in June 2022, ending federal constitutional protections for abortion rights. Abortion providers in the state challenged the law and the state Supreme Court subsequently blocked it from taking effect. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, who defended the law in court, said he was working with Gov. Henry McMaster's office to review legal options moving forward. "We respectfully, but strongly, disagree with the court's ruling," said Wilson. South Carolina law currently bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

January 5: The Epoch Times: AZ Supreme Court says no to Lake; Appeals Court should hear the case first
The Arizona Supreme Court on Wednesday denied GOP candidate Kari Lake's petition to transfer her election lawsuit to the high court, saying that it will be heard before an appeals court. "The Court notes that the Court of Appeals has entered a scheduling order directing respondents in the special action proceeding to file a response and has indicated that the matter will be conferenced, with possible oral argument, on January 24, 2023," the Supreme Court wrote. "No good cause appears to transfer the matter to this Court." Both the appeal and Lake's petition for special action without prejudice to seek an expedited review were denied, the Supreme Court ruled. Last month, Lake filed a lawsuit against then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Maricopa County supervisors, and other officials, arguing that issues that were reported during the Nov. 8 midterm election were enough to swing the gubernatorial race in her favor against Hobbs, a Democrat who was sworn-in as governor earlier this week. A Maricopa County judge, Peter Thompson, tossed her lawsuit on Dec. 24. In a separate ruling, the three-judge panel in the Arizona Appeals Court wrote it would schedule a conference and oral arguments for Lake's appeal on Jan. 24, according to an order issued Jan. 3. But it noted that the "case may be resolved, however, prior to that date if the panel declines to accept jurisdiction on the special action." Lawyers for Lake wrote that "evidence put forward in this case, including the changing and conflicting testimony of Maricopa officials, and sworn testimony by whistleblowers employed by Maricopa" show that officials in the state's most populous county did not verify mail-in ballot signatures, didn't keep the proper chain-of-custody for thousands of ballots, and triggered "chaos" on Election Day due to ballot printing problems, according to her petition to the state Supreme Court.

January 5: News Max: Putin unilaterally declares 36 hour cease fire in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered a 36-hour cease-fire in Ukraine over Orthodox Christmas, the first major truce of the more than 10-month war that has killed tens of thousands and devastated swaths of Ukraine. Putin ordered the cease-fire to begin on Jan. 6, the Kremlin said. Many Orthodox Christians, including those living in Russia and Ukraine, celebrate Christmas on Jan. 6-7. Putin did not appear to make his conditional on Ukrainian agreement to follow suit.

Column about a case befpre tje Si[re,e Cpirt re;ated to the rights of  state legislaturesJanuary 4: The Galveston County Daily News: SCOTUS may right the overreach of state executive and judicial branches
A monumental case now before the U.S. Supreme Court might turn on its head the process that states may develop for electing Federal officials including Senators, Representatives and the President. During 2020, states -- most often without consent from their legislatures -- drastically altered election procedures and rules. The most often abused were unsolicited mail-in-balloting and unstaffed drop boxes. Other rule changes included the timing for the acceptance of mail-in-ballots. Most often governors, or even the courts themselves, assumed the powers in making these changes under the guise of public safety, but doing so without the concurrence of their state legislatures. The U.S. Constitution strictly authorized a process, which grants only state legislatures that power, "[t]he Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof."

Congressman Byron DonaldsJanuary 4: Fox News: Byron Donalds nominated; nobody has the votes to become Speaker
The House Freedom Caucus nominated Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., for House speaker during Wednesday's votes. McCarthy continued to fall short in security the number of voted required to become Speaker. Twenty Republicans, including Donalds, voted for Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio over the caucus leader on Tuesday. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) nominated Donalds on the House floor Wednesday, saying the Republican will "stand up" to the swamp in Washington and we do not seek to judge people by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

January 4: Rumble (Video): Rep. Chip Roy explains what he wants to accomplish in the controversy over the House Speakership


January 4: The Epoch Times: Election Watch Dog: 150,000 votes not tied to valid addresses in Wisconsin; 2020 Election
Election Watch (EW), a Wisconsin election integrity watchdog organization, has discovered more than 150,000 votes cast in the 2020 presidential election cannot be connected with a valid address. EW computer analyst Peter Bernegger said the group's study of Wisconsin's voter rolls found 45,000 such occurrences involving people who were living out of state in the Nov. 3t, with another 107,000 documented instances on the part of voters who moved to another address within the state and cast a ballot in a different jurisdiction from the one in which they actually reside. "That's illegal in the state of Wisconsin. "Though there may be a reasonable explanation for most of these, the number of instances is so large that if only two out of 10 were nefariously cast votes, that was enough to tip the election..." In one instance, Jacob Alldredge, an industrial engineer living in Tennessee said, "I was outraged to learn that the Wisconsin state voter roll shows that I voted in person at the polls on Nov. 3, 2020, when the fact is I was living, registered to vote, and voted in Tennessee. I was not in Wisconsin that day. The entire situation distresses me because, without election integrity, your vote doesn't matter," he said. According to the official records Trump lost Wisconsin to Biden by a 21,000 margin. According to Sandy Alldedge, Jacob's mother, there were 7.3 million registered voters in the Wisconsin, a state with a population of 5.9 million; that's 1.4 million more registered voters than actually live in the state!

January 3: The Daily Caller: Tucker Carlson says what could overcome the stalemate in the Speakership
Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Tuesday that Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) could "restore our system to health" and win the speakership by doing two things. "First, release the January 6th files, not some of the January 6th files and video, all of it and not to some phony committee that will hide them… but put them online, release them to the public directly so that the rest of us can finally know what actually happened on January 6th, 2021. It's been two years. It's long overdue. It's our right as Americans to know," "Second, Kevin McCarthy could put Thomas Massie (R-KY) in charge of a new Frank Church committee, designed to discover what the FBI and the intel agencies have been doing to control domestic politics in this country," Carlson suggested. "They've (the FBI/Intel community) been doing it a lot. But no one in Washington wants to talk about it. This topic is effectively off limits and has been. In fact, no one has talked about it for almost 50 years. And so because no one has talked about it or stopped it, the rot has spread and democracy has withered. You can feel it. The FBI is now a bigger force in American elections than any single group of voters. This cannot continue. It is poison." Reportedly the FBI paid Twitter over $3 million between October 2019 and February 2021 to offset costs the social media company incurred while responding to requests from the agency. Documents reveal the FBI contacted Twitter about potential leaks targeting Hunter Biden prior to the New York Post's Oct. 14, 2020 report on the contents of a laptop Biden abandoned at a computer repair shop.

January 3: Fox News: Schiff asked Twitter to remove certain accounts; They refused
It was revealed in the latest "Twitter Files," that the office of Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), made numerous requests for Twitter to suspend certain accounts. In Tuesday's release of more "Twitter Files" by Elon Musk, journalist Matt Taibbi, reported Twitter "received an astonishing variety of requests from officials asking for individuals they didn't like to be banned." An example he shared was one sent in November 2020 by Schiff's office, who contacted Twitter hoping the tech giant would take action regarding "alleged harassment from QAnon conspiracists" against Schiff's staff, including aide Sean Misko. "Remove any and all content about Mr. Misko and other Committee staff from its service- to include quotes, retweets, and reactions to that content," the request to Twitter read. "Suspend the many accounts, including @GregRubini and @paulsperry, which have repeatedly promoted false QAnon conspiracies." Schiff's office also requested that Twitter "stop the spread of future misinformation on Twitter" regarding committee staff and "label and reduce the visibility of any content." "Even Twitter declined to honor Schiff's request at the time," Taibbi wrote, noting Twitter's responses to Schiff's office repeatedly saying "we don't do this."

January 3: The Washington Examiner: Kemp announces special election; Georgia state representative district vacated by newly elected member
A newly elected Georgia state lawmaker has stepped down from office after being charged with stealing prescription drugs from a retirement complex, triggering a January 31st special election to fill his seat. Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) signed an order over the holiday weekend setting up the special election for Daniel Rampey's seat in the GOP-dominated district. Rampey was elected in November without opposition, securing 18,484 votes, after winning the Republican primary. He manages operations at the family-owned Magnolia Estates of Winder Assisted Living Center, which offers assisted living and short-term respite care. There have been more than 19 felony counts filed against the 67-year-old, according to records at the Barrow County Detention Center. The charges include the unauthorized distribution or possession of a controlled substance, burglary and exploitation, and intimidation of disabled adults, elderly persons, and residents.

January 3: The Daily Caller: US Army ripped for decision not to repeal vaccine mandate for national guard and reserves
The Army's recent guidance enforcing the vaccine requirement for National Guard and reserve troops is "galling" and contradicts Congress' intent in repealing the mandate, Republican lawmakers said. A recently-issued update to the Army's COVID-19 protocol appears to state that the 2023 NDAA overturned the DOD vaccination requirement, does not apply to the National Guard and reserves. However, Republican members of Congress who fought to include the mandate repeal in this year's defense bill reaffirmed the GOP's intention to strike down the order for all members of the military,

Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives: With lots of Members present.  Usually there are onlya handful!January 3: Fox News: Three rounds of votes and still no House Speaker; one vote defection from McCarthy
Representative-elect Byron Donalds (R-FL) set the House abuzz on Tuesday when he switched his vote for House speaker from embattled Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio – as McCarthy struggles to meet the threshold to gain the gavel. Donalds had supported McCarthy for the first two votes, which both resulted in no candidate reaching the necessary 218 votes after 19 Republicans defected — the first time in nearly a century that additional votes were needed for a majority's nominee. Some rebel Republicans had cast votes for Representative-elect Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Jim Jordan(R-OH), Jim Banks, Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and Donalds himself in the first round. Jordan secured all non-McCarthy GOP votes in the second and third rounds. Democrats, meanwhile, have remained united around Rep.-elect Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). On the third vote, Donalds was asked his selection, and he chose Jordan, raising the number of Republicans voting for someone other than McCarthy to 20. Jordan has said he is Chinese missile being prepared to be moved to the launch padsupporting McCarthy.

January 2: The Washington Examiner: US (NASA) in new space race with China, this time for the moon
The head of NASA expressed concern over China's space program development, saying the United States is locked in a new space race. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson warned that China's rapidly advancing capabilities in space could see it seize vital parts of the moon, filled with natural resources, and try to keep the U.S. out. "It is a fact: we're in a space race," Nelson told the outlet. "And it is true that we better watch out that they don't get to a place on the moon under the guise of scientific research. And it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they say, 'Keep out, we're here, this is our territory.'" Nelson and other U.S. space agency figures are growing increasingly worried that with its rapid technological progress, China may actually overtake the U.S. in space-faring capabilities. "It's entirely possible they could catch up and surpass us, absolutely," Space Force Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno said last month, according to Reuters. "The progress they've made has been stunning — stunningly fast." Aside from the scientific dimension, the new space race is every bit as political as its predecessor, between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

January 2: The Epoch Times: Alabama now allows concealed carry without a permit
Alabama on Jan. 1 became the latest state to allow residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit. The new state law means that a person would not need to get a permit that requires a background check to legally carry a concealed handgun in public. A person can still choose to get a permit if they want to do so. "It's going to be a big step to help the average law-abiding citizen to keep them from having to go through the hoops of getting a permit to carry their weapons," Rep. Shane Stringer, the legislation's sponsor, said. Stringer noted the law only impacts the permit requirement. "It's not going change who can and cannot carry a gun. People that are prohibited now are still prohibited." Stringer pointed out that people should acknowledge that weapons continue to be banned entirely for security reasons at certain places, such as a court houses. The law was signed back in March 2022 by Gov. Kay Ivey. It had previously been a proposal that had been introduced unsuccessfully for years. At the time, Ivey saw the move to sign the bill as a defense of Americans' Second Amendment rights.

January 2: The Washington Times: House floor fight over Speakership possible on first day of the 118th session
The opening day of the 118th Congress is poised to feature a historic fight on the House floor over who will serve as speaker under new Republican leadership that will end one-party rule and the Democratic agenda. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), said he is ready to govern a House that will put the brakes on Joe Biden's agenda and hold the government accountable under Republican-controlled committee investigations. He is even weighing the impeachment of top Biden administration officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Across the Capitol, Senate Democrats will keep control of the majority with 51 votes, but with the House in Republican hands, it will be relegated to confirming Mr. Biden's administrative and judicial appointments. The Republican takeover of the House majority may be chaotic. Mr. McCarthy is not guaranteed to secure enough Republican votes to win the speaker's gavel in a floor vote. He has been negotiating with a small faction of rank-and-file conservatives who have flat-out refused to support him, putting his quest for the speakership in peril. As 2022 came to a close, Mr. McCarthy was negotiating with conservatives to change House rules in exchange for their support.

January 2: Fox Business: Biden Admin reinstates overreaching EPA rule
The EPA signed off on the revised definition of "Waters of the United States" on Dec. 29 while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed off on the revised definitions on Dec. 28. The revised rules define what types of water bodies are protected under the Clean Water Act and were based on definitions that were put in place before 2015 during the Obama administration. The Trump administration reversed course from the Obama administration, which looked for ways to expand federal protections of waterways. The Trump administration's rule benefited property owners, including farmers, builders, and oil producers, who were concerned about feds regulating ravines and creeks on private property, like farms. Without regulations on those waterways, environmental groups said, the rule allowed wetlands to be filled in by property owners, damaging habitats. It also allowed for property owners to dump harmful pollutants into the unprotected waterways, which could potentially flow downstream and threaten wildlife or water supply sources. The Trump-era rule was thrown out by U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Marquez, who said the regulations ignored that smaller waterways could affect the health of waterways they flow into, the Associated Press reported.

January 1: News Max: Detroit, Philly, Los Angeles among the neediest in the United States
Detroit has earned the dubious distinction of being the neediest city in America, according to WalletHub analysis. The study examined child poverty, hunger, and uninsured among 28 indicators in 182 U.S. cities. There were 11.6% of Americans living in poverty in the U.S. in 2021, and there were 580,000 homeless in the U.S. just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020, which is the last time the data was collected, according to the report. In order they include: Detroit, Michigan, Brownsville, Texas, Cleveland, Ohio, Gulfport, Miss., Fresno, Calif., Laredo, Texas, Philadelphia, Pa., New Orleans, La., Los Angeles, Calif., and Shreveport, La.

January 1: News Max:
Ukrainian defense forces blast Russian drones and missiles out of the air as 2023 dawns

"Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!" [See related Washington Examiner story on Putin's failures]
JULY 1- DECEMBER 31, 2022