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Summary of stories in the news
January through June 2023

June 30: The Washington Times: Biden forced to build 20 more miles of Trump's border wall
Homeland Security said Friday it will build 20 more miles of border wall, carrying out some of former President Trump's marquee campaign promise. The department suggested it had no choice but to begin construction thanks to the terms of the 2019 spending bill, which earmarked money specifically for wall-building at the border. Some $190 million remains unspent and Joe Biden risked running afoul of the law if he didn't take steps to spend it on the wall by September. "Until and unless Congress cancels these funds, the law requires DHS to use the funds consistent with their appropriated purpose," Customs and Border Protection said in announcing the new construction. The move marks a significant retreat for Biden, who during the 2020 campaign had vowed there would "not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration."

June 30: The Washington Times:
SCOTUS says no to Biden student loan forgiveness program

The Supreme Court struck down Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan, ruling Friday that those kinds of big policy questions must be left to Congress, not to executive action – something there is little chance Congress would approve such an action. The 6-3 ruling could have massive political and financial implications, with millions of borrowers and $400 billion worth of taxpayers' money involved. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing the opinion, said the law Mr. Biden cited for claiming the power to forgive loans, which was passed in the wake of 9/11 and aimed at helping members of the military afford college, can't be stretched as far as Biden believes. "Congress did not unanimously pass the HEROES Act with such power in mind," he wrote

June 30: The Washington Examiner:
SCOTUS makes free speech and religious freedom decision

"Colorado seeks to force an individual to speak in ways that align with its views but defy her conscience about a matter of major significance," Gorsuch added. Gorsuch's majority opinion was joined by the court's Republican-appointed justices, while liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented. "Today, the Court, for the first time in its history, grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class," Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. The lawsuit against Colorado's anti-discrimination law was brought by a religious business owner who sees herself as an artist and does not want to use her creative talents to express a message against her Christian beliefs. "Under Colorado's logic," Gorsuch wrote, "the government may compel anyone who speaks for pay on a given topic to accept all commissions on that same topic — no matter the underlying message — if the topic somehow implicates a customer's statutorily protected trait ... Taken seriously, that principle would allow the government to force all manner of artists, speechwriters, and others whose services involve speech to speak what they do not believe on pain of penalty."During December's oral arguments, Smith's counsel argued that her Christian faith prevents her from doing work for same-sex marriages and claimed her business has been stifled from getting off the ground over the concern that she may face litigation if she denies services to same-sex clients.

June 30: The Daily Caller: European energy companies turn toward petroleum as green energy executives head for the door
Bloomberg reports two executives in recent weeks have left European energy giant Shell as the company scales back its investment in green technology. The U.K. energy giant has recently shifted its focus back to its core oil and gas business as part of CEO Wael Sawan's effort to boost profits and shareholder value. The company on Friday confirmed the departure of global executive vice president for renewable generation.

Image of Harvard CollageJune 29: SCOTUS Blog: Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action is college admissions
In a historic decision, the Supreme Court severely limited, if not effectively ended, the use of affirmative action in college admissions on Thursday. By a vote of 6-3, the justices ruled that the admissions programs used by the University of North Carolina and Harvard College violate the Constitution's equal protection clause, which bars racial discrimination by government entities. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts explained that college admissions programs can consider race merely to allow an applicant to explain how their race influenced their character in a way that would have a concrete effect on the university. But a student "must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race," Roberts wrote. The majority effectively, though not explicitly, overruled its 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision in which the court upheld the University of Michigan Law School's consideration of race "as one factor among many, in an effort to assemble a student body that is diverse in ways broader than race." Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett joined the Roberts opinion.

June 29: The Free Beacon: Newsom (D-CA) awards taxpayer funded grant to Communist Chinese agent
Governor Gavin Newsom awarded taxpayer-funded "ethnic media" grants to foreign agents of the Chinese Communist government, including a pro-Beijing news outlet that claims to serve as "China's outward media and advertising proxy" in the United States. In a press release the California State Library this week announced $8.1 million in grants to 62 news outlets to raise awareness about hate crimes. That includes $100,000 to EDI Media, which is registered as a foreign agent of China. The library awarded $100,000 each to Sky Link TV and U.S. News Express, both of which publish a steady stream of pro-China content. The grants are the second round of funding for ethnic media outlets. The first round provided $100,000 to Sing Tao, a Chinese state-owned outlet that is registered as a foreign agent.

June 28: Breitbart News: Issa: Did the White House attempt to turn allegations of Biden's corruption into a legal matter, trying to stonewall the media and illegally using the White House Counsel to do so?
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, questioned on Tuesday if the White House turned corruption allegations against Joe Biden into a strictly legal matter when it referred reporters to the administration's counsel. "The White House is trying to use the president's counsel as Biden's personal lawyer to shield questions from the media," Issa's Communications Director, Jonathan Wilcox, suggested. "If Biden wants to lawyer up, that's fine. But he's going to have to hire his own criminal attorney." On Friday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to answer reporters' questions about whether Biden was part of a shakedown of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked business partner with Hunter Biden. "Yes or no, was the president involved in that shakedown attempt?" New York Post's Steven Nelson asked. "Steven, Steven, I just answered the question. It's not up to you how I answer the question," she replied. "I just answered the question by telling you my colleagues at the White House counsel have dealt with this, and I would refer you to them." Wilcox said the White House's action of referring reporters to the White House counsel begs a follow-up question from the media: Are questions of alleged corruption by Biden a strictly legal matter? "This is the strategy everyone uses to not answer questions about a legal matter — refer to your lawyer who obviously can't comment. But the White House counsel isn't the president's lawyer … but the lawyer for the presidency," he said. It became apparent to Issa that Joe Biden is illegitimately hiding behind White House lawyers. "Joe Biden has officially lawyered up," Issa said. "This is what a real scandal looks like." "The White House has no right to use its counsel to stonewall the media and shield itself from scrutiny and accountability. Congressman Issa will remove that shield and get the truth. He's done it before," Wilcox added.

June 28: The Washington Times:
Alleged coup attempt may open up opportunity for Ukraine's counter offensive

Ukraine's counter offensive to regain territory seized by Russian invaders had shown little progress in its initial days, but that was before the alleged near-coup in Moscow and the possible removal from the battlefield of thousands of Wagner Group mercenaries, a key backbone of Russian ground operations over the past year. While Ukrainian troops continue to be slowed by a range of factors, including scores of landmines planted by Russia along the 600-mile front in the country's east, most military analysts agree the recent upheaval presents an opportunity for Kiev — if only to seize on the Russian military's already shaky morale and willingness to fight. "The best things the Ukrainians have going for themselves is their courageous military and Russia's self-inflicted wounds, of which there are many at this point," said Daniel Hoffman, a former senior CIA officer who served as the agency's Moscow station chief. Even prior to the alleged munity, Russian troop "morale already was low," Hoffman said. "This is now going to be a forever kind of hit to the Russian army," he said. "The fact that Ukrainian forces are in the fight and killing Russians means Russian troop morale is only going to get worse."

Hunter Biden political corruptionJune 28: Fox News: Hunter Biden to be deposed in lawsuit brought by repair shop owner
Hunter Biden is expected to be deposed as part of the civil lawsuit brought by Delaware computer repair shop owner John Paul Mac Issac. Mac Isaac filed a lawsuit against Hunter in October 2022 in Delaware for defamation. Hunter Biden, in March, filed a counter suit alleging Isaac illicitly distributed his personal data and accuses him of six counts of invasion of privacy. In 2020, Isaac said a man who he believed to be Hunter Biden dropped off three laptops at his store in April of the previous year, only one of which was salvageable. While repairing the laptop, Isaac said he discovered disturbing material. The customer did not return for the laptop within 90 days, and Isaac could not get in touch with him. The FBI seized the laptop and according to the receipt from the FBI it has a case number 272D-BA-3065729. According to FBI documentation the number "272" is the FBI's classification for money laundering, while "272D" refers to "Money Laundering, Unknown SUA [Specified Unlawful Activity] — White Collar Crime Program." Hunter's expected deposition comes just days after the Justice Department announced that he would enter a sweetheart plea agreement stemming from U.S. attorney for Delaware David Weiss' years-long investigation into his tax affairs.

June 27: The Washington Free Beacon:
Donald Trump is the only recent president who is not descended from slave owners

Donald Trump is only POTUS (including Barack Obama) not descended from slave owners. Reuters investigated the family backgrounds of U.S. political leaders and found that many of them are descended from slave owners. That means that Trump is the least racist, most anti-slavery president of the United States, according to the findings of the Reuters investigation. "Joe Biden and every living former U.S. president—except Trump—are direct descendants of slaveholders," the analysis found. "Trump's ancestors came to America after slavery was abolished." Obama, the first mixed-race president in American history, is a descendant of slave owners on his white mother's side.

June 27: iHeart Media/KTRH News:
College campuses closing down as potential students lose interest

Since the 2010's there has been an uptick in closures of colleges across the country. In fact, since 2016, 91 private colleges have closed their doors, merged with another institution, or announced plans for closing. Almost half of those closed after the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. CEO of College Prep Genius Jean Burk says that is no surprise, especially with how financially incompetent some of them have been. "They definitely have a history of mismanaging finances," she says. "Including the COVID money...having state funding cut, then not budgeting correctly with what they do have."

June 27: The Epoch Times: Dispute between Dems and Trump over lease of government property in Washington, DC
The Supreme Court had just decided on May 15 to hear the case in which Democrats claim Trump was given a sweetheart deal but Democratic lawmakers advised the court on June 7 that they had voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit in the lower courts. The dispute focused on documents related to the lease of the government property in downtown Washington that housed the hotel. Democrats claimed that Trump received a sweetheart deal and demanded documentation from the government, which refused their request. Trump left the presidency in January 2021, and The Trump Organization sold the lease to the property in May 2022 to CGI Merchant Group for an undisclosed sum. The hotel is now known as the Waldorf Astoria Washington D.C. and is part of Hilton Worldwide.

June 27: Fox News:
Navy Seal enters GOP senate race in Montana looking to unseat vulnerable Dems

Tim Sheehy, a Republican, officially announced his candidacy Tuesday calling for "a new generation of leadership" in his bid to unseat vulnerable incumbent Sen. John Tester (D-MT) in 2024. "From inflation to our border to our deficit, America is ready for change. And I think it's time for a new generation of leaders to step up," Sheehy said. "Leaders who understand servant leadership, which is putting the mission before yourself, and leaders who understand how to get results." "I think Americans are feeling underrepresented. They're tired of a government that they don't feel is working for them," the candidate said when asked why he decided to throw his hat into the ring for the Democrat-held seat. Sheehy is running in one of the most closely watched races of the 2024 cycle that could likely determine whether Republicans gain a majority in the Senate - but shifting the focus away from political parties, Sheehy said that "one thing I learned in a foxhole in Afghanistan or the belly of a submarine, is when the chips are down there is really only one political party - and that's American.

June 26: The Washington Times:
Mini coup undercuts Putin's pretensions of having a power status

An unpredictable paramilitary leader mounts a direct challenge to his nation's leadership; government aircraft fire on rebel forces rapidly approaching the capital; an embattled president delivers an emergency address on state-run television and accuses his enemies of treason before cutting a deal to ensure he remains in office and his antagonist goes free. This stunning sequence of events played out over the weekend in Russia, a supposed "great power" that until recently was mentioned in national security circles in the same breath as the U.S. and China at the top of the international pecking order. But was all this real or for show, a way of solidifying power? The truth is unknown. For decades, the ostensible dangers posed by Russia and its military — and its status as the world's top nuclear power — have been the basis for America's major troop presence in Europe. Some specialists say the U.S. footprint now deserves a second look, given the obvious limits of Russia's capabilities and competence. The debate may pose a bitter irony for President Putin, a onetime KGB agent who has grounded his two-decade grip on the Kremlin on his supposed role in restoring Russian pride and Russian power after the humiliating defeat of the Soviet Union and a decade of decline. Russia's status as a bona fide 21st-century power has been placed in doubt with its military's poor performance in Ukraine, its relatively weak economy which has been bolstered some by Joe Biden's US energy policies and its increasing international isolation as democracy and human rights withered at home. The economy faces even more uncertainty in the years to come as Europe rapidly frees itself from Russian oil and gas, the country's financial lifeblood. Analysts say the supposed mutiny led by Yevgeny Prigozhin and his mercenary Wagner Group has cast an even harsher spotlight on the reality of the Russian state. They say it resembles a declining empire grappling with a slow, painful death — less of a modern-day global leader and more of a zombie superpower. Only time will tell what the truth about how powerful Russia is.

Isreli settlement in SamariaJune 26: The Jerusalem Post:
US may not like Israeli settlements but is stopping short of calling them illegal

The US is not reverting to its policy of viewing Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria as necessarily illegal, despite opposing Israel's settlement policies, the State Department said Monday. The US was not reverting back to the Hansell Memo, which said settlements violate international law, they said. During the Trump administration's final days, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Washington had "disavow[ed] the deeply flawed" Hansell 1978 memo that called all Israeli settlements beyond the 1949 armistice lines illegal. "We are reverting to US policy to longstanding pre-2020 geographic limitations on US support for activities in those areas, a policy that goes back decades," the DOS said. In line with that policy, the State Department decided last week to stop joint scientific research with Israel in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, reversing another decision by Pompeo in 2020 to remove territorial limitations. The source also denied that the timing had to do with last week's decision to advance more than 4,500 new homes in settlements, saying the decision had been in the works for months.

June 26: The American Thinker:
The coming collapse of the commercial real estate market

I've telecommuted for over 30 years, which was a choice I made once home computers and the internet enabled me to establish a virtual law office. However, there's a huge difference between individuals and small offices making lifestyle and economic choices and the COVID-era lockdown's brute force transition from an office-place economy to a telecommuting economy. The former is an organic workplace diversification; the latter is the breakdown of the commercial real estate marketplace with unfathomable consequences for the American economy. Climate change enthusiasts have long dreamed of a virtual business environment, one in which people in white-collar professions work from home. For them, the lockdowns were the perfect catalyst. At the macro level, telecommuting ends traffic jams and stops the need for vast building complexes that despoil possibly more attractive natural environments. It theoretically lowers the cost of doing business because companies no longer need to pay mortgages or rents on office facilities, as well as attendant costs (e.g., insurance, janitorial maintenance, etc.). For white-collar workers, there are upsides, too. Not having to commute to work can save them hours per day, as well as cutting back on the costs of bus fare, fuel, and car wear and tear. Latchkey kids are no longer an issue because one or both parents are home when the kids come home. You also don't need to spend money on a work wardrobe or expensive lunches downtown. But at the larger level, while office-based businesses may save money, turning downtowns into ghost towns can destroy the entire human infrastructure supporting all the offices and their workers. Janitorial services, security guards, lunch venues, office supply stores, dry cleaners, and any other business built around a bustling downtown suddenly find themselves without customers, not to mention the impact on those who have invested in the commercial real estate market.

June 26: The Epoch Times: Bud Light may lose 24% of its market share permanently
Some of Bud Light's problems in the wake of a boycott over its partnership with Dylan Mulvaney could be permanent, according to an analyst in a new note about the beleaguered brand. "We believe recent underperformance implies a permanent reduction in ABI's U.S. business," Deutsche Bank analyst Mitch Collett wrote, referring to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent company of Bud Light. "Our proprietary survey data suggests these headwinds are likely to fade even if we do not expect the U.S. business ever to fully recover from its current challenges." In a note to analysts, Collett wrote that data gathered by Deutsche Bank suggest that 24 percent of Bud Light's consumers no longer purchase the brand. Another 18 percent are buying less, he said

June 25: NewsMax: Russian internal turmoil is not over
Wagner group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin's short-lived move against Moscow Saturday was an alleged "insurrection," and the agreement he reached to head to Belarus while his troops joined with Russia's military is not the end of the story, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said Sunday. "Prigozhin is the head leader of the Wagner group, the mercenary group that Putin has worked with," the Texas Republican said. They're the fiercest fighters, the only ones who won the battle of Bahkmut. The Ministry of Defense has been at war with Wagner, and Prigozhin didn't like that; so what happened was a march to Moscow." The Wagner mercenaries are "50,000 of the fiercest thugs on the ground, and I think this will have a real impact on the fighting as Ukraine conducts its counteroffensive against the Russians," he added. Meanwhile, the alleged "internal insurrection" was aimed at the Russian Defense Ministry rather than President Vladimir Putin, but it still makes him "look like he can't control his own army and his own people," the congressman said. That may mean Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely having second thoughts about the alliance he's made with Putin, said McCaul, especially as Ukraine's counteroffensive is advancing.

June 24: NewMax: Hunter Biden got more than a sweetheart deal
Former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Saturday that the plea deal reached in the federal case against Hunter Biden is "not consistent" compared to those charged with similar crimes. "I can tell you from being a U.S. Attorney for 5.5 years, in addition to my experience at [the Department of Justice, this deal is not consistent with what the Department of Justice typically does in these types of cases," Whitaker said. "I think this whistleblower's revelations that the main tax charges, the felonies, that could have been brought were allowed to expire under the statute of limitations and can't be brought. I think that probably tells you everything you need to know, which is more than a sweetheart deal. This is a deal only the son of the president could get."

June 23: Daily Signal: Whistleblower allegations against Hunter, DOJ are damming
The White House won't respond and Attorney General Merrick Garland is playing defense after the release of sworn testimony from two IRS whistleblowers alleging special treatment in the agency's investigation of Joe Biden's son, Hunter. The House Ways and Means Committee voted Thursday to make public the transcripts of the IRS agents' testimonies — two days after DOJ announced a plea agreement with Hunter Biden that would result in no prison time for failing to file income taxes and lying on a background check for a gun purchase. According to whistleblowers, IRS officials recommended that Hunter Biden be criminally charged with attempting to evade taxes, committing fraud, making false statements, willfully failing to file returns, and failing to provide information on over $8.3 million in income. "Whistleblowers describe how the Biden Justice Department intervened and overstepped in a campaign to protect the son of Joe Biden by delaying, divulging, and denying an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden's alleged tax crimes," Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO), said. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to respond to reporters' questions about the IRS whistleblowers' testimonies. She instead referred reporters to the White House Counsel's Office — which she said already has addressed the matter. Reportedly U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weis who is in charge of the Hunter Biden case, wanted to bring charges in the District of Columbia in March 2022, but was denied permission. Weiss also sought special counsel status from the Justice Department in the spring of 2022, in order to conduct an independent inquiry. However, his superiors in the Justice Department also denied that request.

June 23: Fox News: Russia under high alert as group calls for armed rebellion
A Russian government agency is opening a criminal investigation into Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin after he called for an armed rebellion on Friday, which was aimed at removing the country's defense minister. In a series of video and audio recordings, Prigozhin angrily accused Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of ordering a rocket strike on the private military contractor's field camps where the group is fighting on behalf of Russia in Ukraine. "This is not a military coup, but a march of justice," Prigozhin declared. "The evil embodied by the country's military leadership must be stopped."

June 22: Fox News:
Durham before Congress answers questions about his "bombshell" report

Special Counsel John Durham recently appeared before Congress to answer questions about his "bombshell" report on the FBI's botched handling of Donald Trump's alleged Russian collusion in 2016. Durham told the House Judiciary Committee, "The FBI was too willing to accept and use politically funded and uncorroborated opposition research, such as the Steele dossier. The FBI relied on the dossier and FISA applications, knowing there was likely material originating from a political campaign or political opponent." And whose political campaign was funneling this false information to the FBI? Hillary Clinton's, Trump's 2016 presidential opponent. If this weren't bad enough, at almost the same time as the same FBI was opening a case on Trump under false pretenses, it was closing its investigation on Clinton's mishandling of classified materials and the destruction of 30,000 emails with no charges. In the report, Durham called the treatment of Democrat Clinton and Republican Trump "markedly different."

June 22: NewsMax:
Kari Lake; GOP may have some squabbles, but we're on the same team

Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate and author Kari Lake told NewsMax that the recent infighting among Republicans is something they can shake off "and move forward," saying Republicans are "fighting for the same mission, to save our country." "There's a little bit of a battle that's out there right now," she said, "and I don't know if there's an easy way around it other than to have the people speak out and say, 'We don't want that. We don't want to go back to the old way of doing things, where it's endless wars, an economy that doesn't work for the people, wide open borders. We want to go toward commonsense policies where we get our country back."

Bridal ShopJune 21: iHeart Media/KTRH: Many big retailers closing down as economy heads south
With how the past few months have been going, it is remarkable to drive by a shopping center and see any stores in business. Recently, huge retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Tuesday Morning, Christmas Tree Shops and Sears have announced that they are closing either all or most of their stores, and now, another chain is joining their ranks. The biggest bridal-store chain in America, David's Bridal, announced in April that they were filing for bankruptcy and would be laying off 9,000 of its 11,000 employees, citing reasons like a shift in trends, inflation, and competition from online and secondhand stores. Well now, the effects of that decision are being seen as many of their 294 locations are closing down.

June 19: Fox News:
NY DA Bragg sued for failure to release records that may show he colluded with and coordinated his prosecution of Trump with DOJ and the White House

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is facing two lawsuits for his failure to comply with state Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for information about his office's possible communication with the Justice Department, White House and Democrat lawmakers with regard to his prosecution of former President Donald Trump. In March, Bragg indicted Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree after a months-long investigation into the former president related to hush-money payments made during his 2016 presidential campaign. Bragg is alleging that Trump falsified New York business records to "conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election." The Heritage Foundation has sued Bragg under suspicions that he and his office coordinated or communicated with DOJ, the White House, and Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-NY) about the prosecution. In its lawsuit, Heritage claims that such actions eventually led to investigations by several U.S. House committees into Bragg's conduct.

June 18: The Epoch Times:
SCOTUS: 9-0 some convicted of gun crimes will serve less time

Some people convicted of gun crimes can spend less time in prison, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled. Sentences for certain gun crimes can run concurrently, the nation's top court said in a unanimous decision, siding with the convict. "Congress could certainly have designed the penalty scheme at issue here differently. But Congress did not do any of these things. And we must implement the design Congress chose,"

June 17: The Epoch Times: NY DA drops case against Trump
Former President Donald Trump applauded a suburban New York prosecutor after she dropped a two-year criminal investigation into him and his company. Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah, a Democrat, said in a statement on June 15 that her office had closed the case against Trump after an investigation that was conducted "objectively, and independent of politics, party affiliation and personal or political beliefs." Her office did not file charges against Trump or the Trump Organization. Trump applauded the decision saying on Truth Social that her decision was the honorable thing to do in that he did nothing wrong. Rocah began investigating Trump in 2021, in an effort to decide whether the former president or his company had misled authorities about the value of the Trump National Golf Club Westchester to pay less on property taxes. The New York Times reported Rocah's office subpoenaed records from the golf course and the town of Ossining in 2021. Ossining handles the course's taxes. "The Club's request for a review of its tax assessments was amicably resolved earlier this year," a spokesperson for the Trump Organization told The Hill via email.

June 15: The Epoch Times:
It will take a Ford F-150 EV three full charges to cross Texas East to West

The range of electric vehicles can fall by up to a quarter when made to carry heavy loads, according to a study conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) on Ford's EV pickup truck F-150 Lightning. In an unloaded state, the 2022 Lightning had a driving range of 278 miles. However, with a payload of 1,400 pounds, the driving range dropped to 210 miles, a decline of 68 miles or 24.5 percent from the unloaded range, according to the June 13 study. Such payloads are equivalent to hauling around 20 bags of concrete mix. AAA advised that prospective buyers of EVs who are likely to carry heavy loads regularly should "consider the impact this can have to their driving range." "This study is important for broadening our understanding of the limitations of electric vehicles," said Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson for AAA, according to a June 13th post. "Range anxiety remains a top reason consumers are hesitant to switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to EVs." With the distance of 850 miles from Orange to El Paso Texas it will take three full charges to drive across the state and each recharge can take 30 to 45 minutes.

June 11: The Washington Times: McCarthy sent members home after revolt in his own party over the debt deal he cut with Biden
The House of Representatives is set to return to Washington on Monday with no clear resolution to the standoff between conservatives and Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Last week, eleven GOP lawmakers allied with the House Freedom Caucus froze the chamber by blocking a slew of Republican-led bills. McCarthy was forced to send lawmakers home early on Wednesday after the blockade showed no signs of faltering. "We've got a small majority. There's a little chaos going," McCarthy (R-CA) said. "We're just going to work through the agenda and get everything done." One unnamed source mused that the conservatives might be waiting to see what McCarthy does with the appropriation bills, while also teaching him a lesson.

June 11: The Washington Examiner:
Rep. Mace raises questions about the timing of the Trump indictment

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) is raising questions in regard to the timing of the two indictments against former President Donald Trump after his indictment last week. Mace specifically pointed to how the indictments were announced when the House Oversight Committee had gotten new information regarding alleged corrupt actions by Joe Biden's family. "No[one] has made the connection yet, but when we got access to the suspicious activity reports, the day we got access to the SARs reports, Alvin Bragg indicted Trump in New York. The day that we got access to this 1023 form showing bribery between Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and Ukraine, they indict Donald Trump again," Mace said. "Every time the oversight committee has evidence of corruption, bribery, money laundering on the Biden family, they indict Donald Trump," she contended. The 1023 form Mace discussed allegedly shows that an executive at Ukrainian energy giant Burisma paid "multiple" members of the Biden family $5 million each, and those payments were routed [laundered] through multiple bank accounts to get to Joe Biden, some members of the committee who viewed the document said. The South Carolina congresswoman then discussed how she believes the indictment is "weaponizing the executive branch to take out your political enemies."

Merrick Gartland (AG) works to conceal censorship recordsJune 10: The Daily Caller:
DOJ efforts to conceal censorship records

Earlier this week, a lengthy piece was published in the The Washington Post framing efforts by Republican lawmakers, conservatives and media organizations to hold a well-heeled and growing industry dedicated to fighting so-called mis- and disinformation accountable as "harassment." Of course, after everything we've learned from the Twitter Files and other investigative reporting into how these groups actually operate, it's clear that fighting disinformation is almost always a euphemism for censoring facts and opinions they don't like, especially from conservatives. The Daily Caller recently revealed a major group dedicated to demonetizing conservative sites was actually funded by the Biden State Department. In fact, many similar organizations that promote censorship also get giant checks from the feds. This should alarm every American regardless of party affiliation or ideology.

June 10: The Washington Examiner: Tillis (R-NC) censored by his state party
The North Carolina Republican Party voted to censure Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) during its annual GOP convention, accusing the state's senior senator of violating the party's platform on a number of key issues. A censure vote does not remove the lawmaker from office, nor does it hold any real punishment. Rather, the move is a symbolic vote to express dissatisfaction toward a lawmaker over their voting record or personal conduct. Tillis initially rejected plans from then-President Donald Trump to allocate millions of dollars toward building a border wall along the southern border. Tillis ultimately walked back his stance, later endorsing Trump's plan — but conservatives in the state have remained upset over it. Additionally, he helped pass the Respect for Marriage Act last year, which codified legal protections for same-sex marriage — a move that is opposed by the majority of the Republican Party.

June 10: The Epoch Times:
Judge assigned to Trump case familiar with Trump's earlier cases

A federal judge who was appointed by former President Donald Trump and ruled in his favor in the case involving records seized from his home by the FBI was randomly assigned from among 26 judges to his new criminal case. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon was assigned to the case lodged in federal court in southern Florida. Cannon, a former U.S. prosecutor who was appointed as a judge in 2020, sided with Trump in a previous case brought by the former president against the government following its execution of a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago resort. In that case Trump asked for an independent person called a special master to be appointed to help adjudicate disputes over the documents the FBI seized, many of which were not marked classified, because he said many of the documents were not allowed to be seized under the warrant. Cannon ruled that a special master would be helpful in identifying personal documents that Trump may be entitled to, such as tax documents that the government had acknowledged seizing. She also noted the government had acknowledged botching a review of the documents for potentially privileged materials and that the team in charge of the review was not always "perceived to be as impartial as special masters."

June 10: Fox News:Trans person leading a life of "loneliness"
A biological female turned trans man went viral this week after posting an emotional video about the loneliness of being a man. "Nobody told me how lonely being a man is," the influencer claimed in the two-minute video discussing having more friends when identifying as a woman. The subject also discussed why the male suicide rate is higher than in women.

June 9: The Daily Mail: FBI agent had strong concerns about raid on Mar-a-Logo
The FBI agent in charge of Trump Mar-a-Lago raid said he had 'strong concerns' about operation, saying the bureau didn't get consent for agents to search and it was 'very unusual' for DC to take the lead Florida. Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said Friday an FBI agent had voiced 'strong concerns' and revealed 'several unusual features' in the Department of Justice's raid on Mar-a-Lago. The House committee did a transcribed interview with Steven D'Antuono, the former assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office. D'Antuono, one of the most senior agents in charge' of the raid told the committee he was frustrated the FBI was going to be left 'holding the bag again' with the August 2022 search of Mar-a-Lago. The special agent laid out several abnormalities in the raid, including first that the Miami field office did not handle it - headquarters in Washington assigned the case to the Washington Field Office to carry out the warrant. D'Antuono said he had 'absolutely no idea' why the decision was made. He also noted that the FBI would not wait for Trump's attorney to show up before conducting the search. He said the FBI should have tried to work with the attorney to get consent to search the residence before conducting the search.

June 9: The Washington Post:Biden accused of pocketing $5 million bribe from foreign interests while VP in a pay to play scheme
A paid informant told the FBI that an executive from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma has documents proving he bribed Joe Biden with $5 million while he was vice president. It has been confirmed that a "trusted" and "highly credible" FBI informant said Burisma paid the bribe between 2015 and 2016 to solicit then-Vice President Biden's help in thwarting a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the company. Burisma paid an additional $5 million to Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, who served on Burisma's board at the time and received a $1 million annual salary at the energy company. According to the informant the money laundering scheme was concealed using multiple bank accounts. Details of the FBI informant's previously undisclosed allegations were revealed after the House Oversight and Accountability Committee was granted access to the FBI memo in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol on June 8. In response to these allegations, the GOP-led panel plans a round of subpoenas in the coming days that will seek new financial documents from Biden family associates, sources have said. The panel chairman, James Comer (R-KY) and ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-MD) will also review additional FBI memos documenting earlier conversations with the paid informant about the Burisma bribery allegations.

Indictment of a fomer president is an "assuult on democracy" Senator Cruz saysJune 9: Breitbart News: Cruz: Indictment of Trump is an assault on democracy
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said the latest indictment against former President Donald Trump is "an assault on democracy." Cruz weighed in on the latest indictment against Trump on his podcast, saying "Merrick Garland is going to go down in disgrace as the most partisan and political attorney general in our nation's history. And Joe Biden, in the Biden White House, has decided to hell with democracy. By the way, today is an assault on democracy." He added, "This indictment is garbage. This is a political attack. It is a political attack from a thoroughly corrupted and weaponized Department of Justice. And it's a sad day for America." The Texas senator noted an FBI informant file linked Joe Biden to a bribery scheme worth five million dollars: If a president sold nuclear secrets to our enemies? I'd prosecute a former president for that. If a president was Benedict Arnold and conspired with our enemies against us, I'd prosecute a former president. [Benedict Arnold wasn't a former president, but that's a great historical treason.] If a president was receiving bribes from foreign nations, that's the kind of thing you prosecute a former president for. Now, what's astonishing is Joe Biden right now is currently facing allegations that he was personally party to a $5 million bribe from a foreign nation. That's a big damn deal," Cruz contended.

June 9: The Daily Caller:
Dershowitz; Trump indictment momentous for Trump and massive change in the norms of our nation – The Partisan Weaponization of the Criminal Justice System

For the first time in American history, the leading candidate to defeat the incumbent president has been indicted by the incumbent's Justice Department. Former President Donald Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury for reportedly retaining classified government documents and obstructing justice. This moment portends a massive change in the norms of this nation that all Americans who care about the neutral rule of law should pay close attention to, for it raises the specter of the partisan weaponization of the criminal justice system—not just by the Democrats targeting Trump but by Republicans who will certainly retaliate when they regain control of the criminal charging process. How do we know this is about political retribution, not the rule of law? Look at the case. One would expect that such an unprecedented criminal prosecution would be the strongest one in political history. And yet, what information we do have suggests a weak case that would never have been brought if it wasn't being brought against Donald Trump.

Japanese legislators at each others throats!June 8: The New York Post: Nothing like a good brawl to clear the air! Just ask the Japanese legislators
There was chaos inside Japan's parliament Thursday as left-wing lawmakers sparked a brawl in a frantic attempt to block a controversial immigration bill. Former Japanese actor and celebrity legislator Taro Yamamoto, leader of the anti-establishment Reiwa Shinsengumi party, had to be held back as he lunged at opposition leaders during tumultuous proceedings video coverage shows.

June 8: Fox News: Trump indicated on Federal charges
Trump is listed in the indictment, which has not been unsealed, as a criminal defendant charged with at least seven counts involving obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and illegal retention of classified government material. He has been ordered to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday. Trump himself announced the indictment on his social media platform, Truth Social. Sources say federal prosecutors informed Trump's attorneys.

June 8: The Washington Examiner: SCOTUS decision in NAACP Alabama case could cause Dems to lose seats
A surprise decision by the Supreme Court could change the landscape of the battle for the House in 2024. On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that Alabama's Republican-drawn congressional map likely violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by diluting the power of black voters, which make up more than a quarter of the state's population. The decision will lead to the redrawing of states' congressional maps, spreading out the black majority areas across the state. The end result could be the Democrats getting two House seats as to the one they are "guaranteed" under the current maps. By diluting the black population across the state the action could conceivably result in the Democrats losing all House seats in Alabama – not the goal of the NACCP plaintiffs. In past cases where decisions like this have been made the stated purpose has often backfired -- reducing the number of Democrat House seats -- but only time will tell whether the Republicans or the Democrats will turnout to be the "winners!"

Man made detonation in Ukraine caused collapse.  Ukrainians are saying Russia did itJune 8: Sky News: Manmade explosion most likely caused breaching of dam in Ukraine. Who did it, is yet to be determined
Explosives are the most likely cause for the collapse of the enormous Kakhovka Dam, experts have said, days after its breach caused catastrophic flooding in towns and villages. Both Ukraine and Russia continue to blame one another for the dam's destruction, which has left thousands displaced and without access to drinking water. For months, Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of plotting to bring down the two-mile-long structure, an integral part of southern Ukraine's infrastructure which straddles the river dividing Ukrainian-held Kherson from Russian-controlled territory. Who bears responsibility for the incident remains unclear. But based on the available evidence, experts now say a coordinated explosion is the most likely explanation for its collapse.

June 7: The Daily Caller: Red state AG's releasing video showing what has happened with Soros backed prosecutors
The Protecting Americans Action Fund, led by the attorneys general of Virginia and Georgia, will release two videos Wednesday laying out their objective of electing prosecutors who will enforce the laws and stop George Soros-backed prosecutors from continuing to win elections. Attorney General Jason Miyares (VA) and Attorney General Christopher Carr (GA) say crime is not only spiking in big cities, but also in small towns and suburbs. In the videos, they heavily criticize the "defund the police" movement, as well as cashless bail and "weak" prosecutors who they say are letting criminals get off easy. "There is a crime wave in America. It started in the pandemic, but it won't stop. The reason: weak prosecutors who put a revolving door on justice. Criminals get caught, they go to court and then a weak prosecutor lets them go," Miyares says. "It's not incompetence. It's intentional. Far-left radicals have quietly elected extreme prosecutors in big cities and small towns across America. It's a movement funded by a network of leftwing millionaires and billionaires like George Soros." Several major cities across the U.S. have seen a large spike in crime after electing these left-wing George Soros funded prosecutors.

June 7: The New York Post:
CNN in a shambles after CEO fired after Trump Town hall that saw their ratings soar

CNN on Wednesday ousted CEO Chris Licht — but the struggling cable network remains a "house on fire" with plunging ratings and no clear successor in sight. Corporate overlord David Zaslav broke the news of Licht's exit to stunned staff and installed a troika of veterans — editorial head Virginia Moseley, programming chief Eric Sherling and talent boss Amy Entelis — to pull it together after Licht's 13-month tenure. "Everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief today," a former CNN producer said. "While people are happy that Licht is gone, there's still a sense of dread that the turmoil is going to continue." The general feeling inside CNN's New York headquarters at Hudson Yards is that CNN is a "house on fire," the source added, noting that the three-headed monster is a "Band-Aid" for the situation, "not a long-term solution."

June 7: Fox News: Under threat of contempt of Congress; FBI agrees to let all Oversight Committee members see document alleging Biden family corruption
The FBI is willing to allow ALL the members of the House Oversight Committee to view the subpoenaed document that alleges Joe Biden was involved in a criminal bribery scheme, a source familiar with the agreement said. The source familiar said all members of the panel would be able to view the document in question — an FBI-generated 1023 form — in a secure location. The offer comes as House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) was set to begin contempt of Congress hearings against FBI Director Wray on Thursday for failing to comply with the committee's valid subpoena for the document. The document allegedly describes a $5 million criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.

June 7: The Washington Examiner: Biden vetoes resolution to cancel his plan to forgive student loans; next step – SCOTUS
Joe Biden vetoed a joint resolution from Congress on Wednesday that would have nullified his student loan forgiveness program. The White House released a statement saying Biden would return H.J. Res. 45, a resolution to nullify the Department of Education's suspension and discharge of student loan debt, to Congress without his approval. The White House touted Biden's efforts to make college more accessible, but failed to mention the associated costs to U.S. taxpayers. The White House statement said Biden's Department of Education has proposed cutting undergraduate loan payments in half. It also said that to provide relief for people recovering from the economic hardship of the pandemic, "the Department of Education created a program to provide up to $10,000 in debt relief — and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients — reaching more than 40 million hard-working Americans." "Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Department of Education," the joint resolution read.

June 6: The Epoch Times: Large Texas hospital saddened by new law prohibiting gender modification but will comply
Potentially thousands of Texas children – or their parents or school officials -- seeking to change a child's gender identity will no longer have access to puberty blockers, sterilization, and permanently disfiguring "gender-transition" surgeries in the state under a new law signed by Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott. Senate Bill 14 makes the Lone Star State the most populous state to prohibit sex-change "treatments" for children. The new law stands to be a major roadblock for advocates of transgender medicine. It will stop the nation's largest pediatric healthcare provider, Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, from offering "gender-modification" procedures to minors. And it will prohibit three more of the country's largest pediatric hospitals from offering services to children or adults who want a child to change his or her gender. Both Texas Children's Hospital, with 973 beds, and Children's Medical Center of Dallas, with 490 beds, currently offer gender-altering services to youths. The Lone Star State joins 17 other states now restricting "gender transitioning" for children. The Texas law will go into effect on Sept. 1. Under the new law, children in Texas currently on hormones for gender dysphoria will have to be weaned off those drugs. Doctors who perform gender modification on children stand to lose their medical licenses in Texas. The bill gives the Texas attorney general the ability to enforce the law.

June 6: The Washington Times: Unhappy Freedom Caucus members send message to McCarthy; killing several of his bills from being heard
Members of the House Freedom Caucus blocked four popular GOP bills from getting a vote Tuesday, sending a very public message of disapproval of Speaker Kevin McCarthy 's debt limit deal with Joe Biden. A dozen Republican lawmakers voted against the rule to bring the bills to the floor. The legislation they sidelined would have prevented the Biden administration's efforts to ban gas stoves and give Congress more say over major rules issued by the executive branch — measures with broad support among Republicans. "We warned them not to cut that [debt] deal without coming down and sit down and talk to us," Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said. "So this is all about restoring a process that will fundamentally change things back to what was working." House Republican leaders held the rule vote open for nearly an hour while attempting to sway the Freedom Caucus members. They refused to budge and the vote was gaveled closed with the motion failing. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said the decision to block the business of the House came as a result of the heavy-handed tactics of House GOP leaders.

June 6: Sky News: Russia hits new low if they are behind attack on Ukrainian dam
The prime minister said Russia would have hit "new lows" if it turns out that Moscow is responsible for what he described as the largest attack on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine since the start of the war, following the destruction of a critical dam. Speaking en route to Washington, Rishi Sunak told reporters that the intelligence agencies had yet to make a definitive judgement on whether President Putin was behind the "appalling attack" on the Nova Kakhova dam as he condemned the incident. "If it's intentional, it would represent, I think, the largest attack on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine since the start of the war, and just demonstrate the new lows that we would have seen from Russian aggression," he told the press ahead of his two-day trip to Washington.

June 6: The Epoch Times: FBI fails to hand over subpoenaed documents; contempt of Congress process is underway
Rep. James Comer (R-KY) says the FBI has failed to produce an unclassified document alleging that Joe Biden engaged in a criminal bribery scheme and that Republicans in turn will move to initiate contempt of Congress proceedings. In a May 3 letter, Comer, chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, joined by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) revealed that they received "highly credible unclassified whistleblower disclosures" that the FBI possessed an unclassified record that "describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money-for-policy decisions." FBI Director Christopher Wray has since confirmed the document exists but, in an escalating showdown with House Republicans over the document, has refused to release it to the panel. Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and the White House have disputed the credibility of the document. Raskin said it was based on previous "allegations that went nowhere." The White House has described Comer's investigation as a "silly charade" intended to tarnish Biden's reputation and boost Republicans' poll numbers.

June 5: The New York Post: Ukraine hacks Russian TV in Crimea
Ukrainian hackers breached Russian TV channels in occupied Crimea Sunday, broadcasting a slickly produced video hinting at the impending start of Kyiv's counteroffensive. Several Ukrainian news outlets reported that broadcasts of the Russian cable channels "Rossiya" and "Friday" were interrupted with a recording from Ukraine's Ministry of Defense showing Kyiv's heavily armed troops staring into the camera while holding a finger to their lips. The enigmatic footage was accompanied by a message in Ukrainian that read: "Plans like silence. There will be no announcement that 'it's starting.'" The clip ended with a shot of two fighter jets soaring in the sky — an apparent nod to Ukraine's efforts to procure warplanes from its Western allies — and a man's voice off camera saying, "Shhh."

June 4: Sky News: Reportedly pro-Ukraine Russian fighters keeping two Russian soldiers captive, proposing to turn them over to Kyiv
A pro-Ukraine group of Russian fighters who are keeping two Russian soldiers captive has said it will hand them over to Kyiv after a proposed meeting failed to happen. The group - the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) - had said it was open to exchanging the soldiers in return for a meeting with the governor of the Belgorod region. "Most likely they killed them, as hard as it is for me to say. But if they are alive, from 5pm to 6pm - Shebekino checkpoint. I guarantee safety," governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in response, appearing to agree to a meeting. However, after Gladkov failed to turn up for the meeting, the RVC announced that it would instead hand the soldiers over to Ukraine. Later on Sunday, another pro-Ukrainian Russian group, the Freedom of Russia Legion (FRL), posted a new video on Telegram saying that Gladkov had not met with them. Earlier, in a video posted to Telegram, a man who identified himself as the commander of the RVC appeared with the two captives.

June 4: The Washington Examiner:
Debt Limit; Freedom Caucus failed in the negotiations

Members of the House Freedom Causus "failed" in the debt ceiling battle, according to Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO). Buck underscored that the caucus, of which he is a member, still retains significant influence among House Republicans, but was unable to push Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) to secure a clear conservative victory during negotiations with the White House. "I think the House Freedom Caucus, with a five-vote majority in the House, still retains a lot of influence in the House. The key is that we use that influence in a way that brings us conservative results. And I think that's what we tried to do with this case. And we failed," Buck told CNN's State of the Union. Buck was one of the 71 Republicans who voted against the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 last week. Notably, more Democrats (165 votes) backed the measure than Republicans (149), a point Buck emphasized. "This bill is a Democrat bill. It is a bill that not only avoided a default but also locked in the progressive gains that the president made in the last few years," Buck added. Biden signed the bill Saturday after it cleared the Senate on Thursday. The bill suspends the debt ceiling until January 2025. Under the bill, nondefense and nonveteran discretionary spending growth will be effectively kept down until 2024 before increasing by roughly 1% in 2025. In its present form, the bill could reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

June 3: The Epoch Times: American Airlines cancelling flights due to a lack of pilots
American Airlines, a leading carrier based in Fort Worth, is currently grappling with a significant challenge. The airline is unable to operate approximately 150 of its regional aircraft due to a persistent shortage of pilots, as revealed by CEO Robert Isom. Speaking at the Bernstein 39th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, Isom stated, "We would deploy properly to markets that aren't being served. We would do that today. It's just we don't have the pilots." This issue arises at a time when the airline industry is witnessing a record demand for travel, particularly during the summer season. However, the capacity to meet this demand is constrained by the lack of pilots, leading to grounded planes and missed opportunities to capitalize on high ticket prices. Isom noted that the situation is more severe than the previous year when the pilot shortage began to significantly affect regional airlines as demand rebounded following the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 3: The Washington Times: Debt Limit deal gives Washington a blank check
The deal to raise the nation's borrowing limit, hailed by some in both parties, barely moves the needle on pandemic-era government spending nor does it fix the causes of runaway growth in the federal budget. Republicans and Democrats agreed before beginning their negotiations not to touch so-called mandatory spending — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Those politically popular entitlement programs account for nearly two-thirds of annual federal spending. Interest payments on the national debt are another built-in cost, totaling $663 billion in the current fiscal year. That's roughly another 10% of the federal budget. So even before negotiators sat down at the table, they were limiting their discussions to programs that account for less than 15% of the federal budget — nondefense discretionary spending. The runaway train of federal spending didn't stop in January when the government hit its debt ceiling of $31.4 trillion. Although the government was not authorized by law to keep borrowing, and Treasury was taking "extraordinary measures" to prevent default, Washington kept on racking up more debt.

US Destoryer endangered in the formosa Strait by Chinese vessel failing to follow internationally recognozed rules of the roadJune 3: Fox News: Chinese warship comes within 150 yards of U.S. Navy destroyer
A Chinese warship came within 150 yards of hitting the USS Chung-Hoon on Saturday before crossing its bow a second time at closer to 2,000 yards while the U.S. destroyer was conducting joint exercises with Canada in the Taiwan Strait, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) confirmed. The incident occurred as US-Chinese tensions remain high in the South China Sea. The Chinese ship "executed maneuvers in an unsafe manner," overtaking the USS Chung-Hoon on its portside at 150 yards while the U.S. destroyer was sailing "through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply" with Canada's HMCS Montreal. The Chinese vessel then reportedly crossed US destroyer's bow a second time "starboard to port at 2,000 yards and remained off Chung-Hoon's port bow." The Chinese vessel's "actions violated the maritime 'Rules of the Road' of safe passage in international waters." The US. Ship instructed the Chinese vessel to stay away from the destroyer and at the last moment the Chinese altered course.

June 3: The Epoch Times:
Federal Judge issues landmark decision in wrongful death case

In a landmark decision, a federal judge this week denied a court-appointed child advocate's motion to dismiss a wrongful death case against a court-appointed child advocate. The lawsuit asked the court to hold the advocate accountable for the suicide of 14-year-old Mikaela Haynes. Family court reform advocates say they are nearly in disbelief at the ruling. "This is a huge victory and a promising sign in what is an exhausting fight to bring awareness to the ugly truth that court-appointed advocates who are supposed to protect children instead put them in danger," Evita Tolu, the attorney who won the unprecedented ruling said. Connie Valentine, Administrative Director of California Protective Parents Association and a national figure in family court reform efforts hailed the ruling as a "long overdue message to the endless number of court-appointed child advocates who deliberately compromise the safety of children."

Children's choir singing National Amthem in Capitol  stopped by policeJune 2: The Washington Times:
US Capitol police interrupt children's choir singing the National Anthem; demonstrators aren't allowed

According to the group's choir director, children's choir singing the national anthem at the U.S. Capitol had its performance interrupted by Capitol police who said "demonstrations" are not allowed. David Rasbach, the founder and director of the Rushingbrook Children's Choir in Greenville, South Carolina, said he was "shocked" and stunned when the performance was disrupted on May 26. "I couldn't believe that was happening, that they would stop the national anthem of all songs," he said.

June 2: The Daily Caller: Rep. Clyde slams House Leadership over threat to pull his bill if he didn't support the Debt Ceiling measure
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) slammed House GOP leadership after he said they threatened to block his bill that focuses on pistol braces from coming to the floor if he votes "no" on the debt ceiling rule. Clyde accused them of holding Americans' Second Amendment rights "hostage" because he opposed a rule on legislation to raise the debt ceiling. He said unnamed member of the leadership called him and told him it would be very difficult to bring his Congressional Review Act joint resolution to the floor if he voted against the debt ceiling rule. Clyde's bill focuses on disapproval for the ATF's pistol brace ruling. "I'm severely disappointed that House Republican leadership is holding Americans' Second Amendment rights hostage out of spite due to my 'no' vote on the debt ceiling rule. By reversing their decision to bring my stabilizing brace bill to the House floor next week, they're not hurting me — they're hurting millions of law-abiding gun owners, including many disabled Americans and service-disabled veterans, who now face harsh penalties for simply attaching a piece of plastic to their firearm," Clyde said.

June 2: The Washington Examiner: Biden signs debt ceiling bill
Joe Biden signed the so-called Fiscal Responsibility Act into law, effectively raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a possibly catastrophic economic fallout just two days before the Treasury's default deadline. Biden signed the measure, marking the end of a monthslong battle between the White House and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to increase the debt limit in order to avoid defaulting on the country's loans. The measure includes a number of government spending cuts that were made in exchange for the debt ceiling hike that was agreed upon after the White House refused to negotiate and then finally weeks of grueling negations between the two parties.

June 2: The Epoch Times: Maricopa County Supervisor not seeking reelection
A high-profile election official in Arizona who faced criticism over his handling of both the 2020 presidential election and the 2022 midterms will not be seeking reelection. Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, 51, announced his decision June 1, citing his plans to "pursue other interests and opportunities." "For over thirteen years, it has been my honor to serve my home state of Arizona on the Phoenix City Council and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. As this chapter comes to an end, I rest well knowing that I led with integrity, compassion, and dignity," he wrote. Gates said he will serve out the remainder of his term.

Biden continues to have problems with falling; this time at the Air Force AcademyJune 1: Breitbart News: Biden falls; this time during a USAF graduation ceremony
Joe Biden took a huge fall on stage at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation ceremony Thursday. Video shows Biden, 80, start to walk quickly off-center stage when he trips and stumbles, tumbling to his knees and nearly ending up on all fours. Personnel quickly picked him up before he hobbled behind a barrier. According to the White House pool report, he seemed to trip "on a black sandbag on the stage" but appeared "to be ok and continued to stand until the ceremony ended a few minutes later."

June 1: News Max:
Rep. Ken Buck; conservatives got rolled, McCarthy may face a vote of no confidence

While House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is celebrating his passing the raising of the debt ceiling, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) is saying that celebration could be "short lived" and might lead to a motion vote of confidence (vote to vacate the speakership). "More Democrats voted for this bill than Republicans," Buck said. "When we were told about this bill, we were told that there is nothing in this bill for the Democrats. Obviously, they don't agree with that. They know there's a lot on this bill for the Democrats or four trillion reasons for Democrats to vote for this bill, and I really think this is a piece of legislation that is going to put Kevin McCarthy at risk." McCarthy's deal to become speaker on the 15th round of voting earlier this year included a threshold of just one House member filing a motion to vacate, which would have to be heard within 10 days. There were 71 Republicans who voted against the raising of the debt ceiling Wednesday night, which Buck noted is giving 71 ways McCarthy could receive the motion to vacate. "Those folks are going to be considering the motion to vacate, not all of them, but a lot of them and I just think that Kevin, his celebration will be short lived," he said. McCarthy effectively got rolled by Biden, Buck contended "Well, he's an establishment guy from California and you know, one of my colleagues tweeted out that Republicans got rolled by a guy who can't even find his pants, meaning Joe Biden," Buck lamented. "This is a bill that had a lot in it for Democrats and very little in it for Republicans, other than you know, avoiding a black eye because of the debt default.

June 1: The Daily Caller:
Major foreign insurer cuts coverage for "gender affirming" doctors

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, MDA National, a major medical indemnity insurance provider in Australia, will no longer cover private practitioners for claims related to the administration of cross-sex medical interventions to minors due to concerns about future lawsuits. The closure of the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in the U.K. apparently inspired the decision from MDA National. The National Health Service TNHS shut down GIDS after an independent review found the clinic was unsafe for children and that doctors were rushing them through cross-sex medical procedures with inadequate mental health treatment. MDA National is not confident that it can accurately estimate and price out the risk of future regret for children undergoing cross-sex medical treatments, who could sue medical providers over gender treatments they eventually regret.

June 1: The Daily Wire: Twitter restricted documentary "What is A Woman?"
Twitter employees restricted the launch of The Daily Wire's hit documentary "What Is A Woman?" on its platform Thursday evening after the company's owner Elon Musk, said earlier in the day that attempts to restrict the film were a "mistake" and would be "fixed." Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing revealed in a lengthy Twitter thread Thursday that Twitter had canceled a deal to stream "What Is A Woman?" and "would no longer provide us any support and would actually limit the reach of the film and label it as 'hateful conduct' because of 'misgendering.'" "Specifically: In the film, a father refers to his 14-year-old daughter as 'her,' and a store owner uses the 'wrong' pronoun in a confrontation with a transgender woman," Boreing said. Musk responded to Boreing's Twitter thread by saying that "this was a mistake by many people at Twitter," adding that the streaming "is definitely allowed." Ella Irwin, the head of Twitter's trust and safety department — the department that appears to have been responsible for the label being applied — abruptly resigned from the company Thursday afternoon. Fortune reported that her internal Slack account was quickly deactivated by the company. The designation on the film blocked Twitter users from being able to retweet or share the video with their audiences. The video garnered 5,000+ retweets/quote retweets in just a couple of minutes after being published before it was restricted.

June 1: The Washington Times: Senate votes to pass a debt limit increase
Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) pushed through legislation on Thursday waiving the nation's debt limit until January 2025, overcoming obstacles put up by defense hawks, deficit hardliners, and even environmentalist Democrats. Late in the evening, the Senate passed the debt limit deal struck by Joe Biden and House Speaker McCarthy (R-CA), mostly doing so with Democrat votes. The 63-36 vote [4 more than that required to overcome the 60% requirement] came only days before the June 5 deadline by which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had warned the debt limit must be raised to avert a first-ever default on the nation's ability to pay its debts. GOP senators voted 31-17 against the bill, while 46 of the Senate's 51 Democrats backed the legislation.

June 1: News Max: Senate Hawks may risk default over funding for Ukraine
The Senate's passage of the debt ceiling is facing a fight from Republicans, both by fiscal conservatives seeking to block the deal and their GOP-rival defense hawks. The Senate might risk the U.S. defaulting on its debt in order to keep the funding flowing for Ukraine to defend against Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine. \Without unanimous agreement on a voting and amendment deal, the Senate will not be able to begin voting on the legislation until Saturday, which could delay final passage until next week. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had said June 1 would put the U.S. at risk of default, but has since moved the X-date to June 5. One emerging hang-up came from Republican senators complaining military spending, though boosted, was not increased enough — particularly as they eye supplemental spending that will be needed this summer to support Ukraine in the war against Russia. "We need safety and security," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Thursday. "To my House colleagues, I can't believe you did this." Graham lamented the House-passed compromise left "not a penny in this bill to help Ukraine defeat Putin." "We need to send a clear message to Putin that when it comes to your invasion of Ukraine, we're going to support the Ukrainians to ensure your loss," Graham added, noting Ukrainian forces are on the verge of launching a major counteroffensive to escalate the battle to retake Russian-occupied territory in the south and east of Ukraine.

June 1: The Epoch Times:
SCOTUS; Unions responsible for deliberate destruction of company property

In an 8–1 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 1 decided that a union's deliberate destruction of company property as a pressure tactic in a labor dispute isn't protected by federal law. Labor activists have said that endangering and destroying company property during a dispute is fair game that has long been protected by the law, but companies such as the petitioner in this case—Glacier Northwest, a ready-mix concrete company headquartered in Seattle that does business as CalPortland—pushed back. The new ruling will allow companies to sue striking unions to hold them accountable for damage caused during labor actions. The decision allows companies to sue in state courts. Biden appointee Ketanji Brown Jackson was the sole dissenter. The case goes back to August 2017, when cement mixer truck drivers decided to strike against Glacier. They loaded the vehicles with cement and left them on the company's premises. The company said the labor tactic caused "complete chaos" as it scrambled "to dispose of the concrete in a timely manner to avoid costly damage to the mixer trucks and in a manner so as not to create an environmental disaster." The company argued that although the federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects "peaceful methods of … economic pressure," it does not allow a union to "enforce" its labor demands by way of "injury to property." The court agreed.

May 31: The New York Post: Wray offers to let Comer see FBI document privately; Not enough the comply with subpoena said Comer
FBI Director Christopher Wray offered Wednesday to allow House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-TN) to privately review the file alleging Joe Biden was involved in bribery — as a top White House spokesman insisted there was "nothing to" the corruption claims. A source familiar with Wray's early-afternoon call with Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said the FBI chief confirmed the existence of an FD-1023 informant file from June 2020 accusing Biden of bribery and offered the lawmakers "in camera review" of the document. The FBI had refused to share the document following a legally binding May 3 subpoena from Comer, which the chairman said Tuesday he would enforce with contempt proceedings against Wray. Comer does not believe that the offer of in-camera review is sufficient to comply with the subpoena, the source said, indicating that the document standoff will continue as GOP leaders press for public disclosure of both the allegation and information about what the FBI did to review the claim.

May 31: The Daily Wire:
Target takes a Bud Light dive as it continues to donate to and support LGBT causes

By the end of the day Tuesday, the plummet in Target's share prices reached the longest losing streak the chain has suffered in almost five years. Target's share prices have fallen for eight straight days, plunging another 3.66% on Tuesday reaching $133.88 as the store has lost a staggering $12 billion in market value in the last 14 days to rest at $61.85 billion in the wake of a consumer boycott triggered by its LGBTQ merchandise. "What you've seen in recent days went well beyond discomfort, and it has been gut-wrenching to see what you've confronted in our aisles," Target CEO Brian Cornell stated to employees last week, adding there were "two guiding principles when it came time for us to act: do all we can to keep our team safe, and do all we can to honor our commitment and connection to the LGBTQIA+ community." As far back as 2014, Target announced it would no longer divide certain products by gender. In 2016, Target introduced a gender-neutral line for children and also asserted they would allow transgender people to use whatever bathroom they preferred, prompting criticism. Target then spent $20 million to put private bathrooms in their stores. The vice president for brand management at Target also serves as treasurer of an LGBT group that has received millions of dollars in donations from Target and urges schools to adopt policies to help trans and nonbinary school students hide their "gender identity" from their parents. The chain tried to lessen the impact of its decisions by moving controversial merchandise to areas that in the store that are less visible

May 31: The American Thinker: Pig in a Polk? SCOTUS decides on California law
On 11 May, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case in which the justices ruled by a 5-4 margin that California's Proposition 12, approved by voters in 2018, is constitutional. Proposition 12 banned the sale, in California, of pork derived from pigs, or the offspring of pigs, that were confined on less than 24 square feet of floor space per breeding pig, or "in a manner that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending [its] limbs, or turning around freely." The case was an important decision for states' rights, and it split the Court in an unusual way: Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Barrett sided with California, while Justices Roberts, Alito, Kavanaugh, and Jackson voted against. Worth noting is that the five justices in the majority included three of the "conservative" members. Meanwhile the four left-leaning justices were split half and half. Bizarrely, the Biden administration deferred to commercial interests asking the Court not to rule in favor of California — thus angering many Democrats who support animal rights.

May 30: The Daily Signal:
House Freedom Caucus not happy with Debt Ceiling compromise bill

The debt ceiling deal brokered over Memorial Day weekend by Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) "fails completely" the chair of the House Freedom caucus says. "We're here to let you and the American people know that Speaker McCarthy had a mandate from the American people—negotiated with a powerful negotiation position of a unified Republican Party, not only just in the House, but in the House and Senate—to hold the line for the bill that we passed," said Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA). "This deal that we've heard about totally fails to deliver on all of it," he contended. McCarthy told reporters later Tuesday that he is confident the bill emerging from his deal with the president and Democrats will attract enough votes to pass. On April 27th the House passed the "Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023," which aims to "limit federal spending, save taxpayer dollars," and "grow the economy." That legislation passed by a 217 – 215 vote without a single Democrat vote. According to the Associated Press, the "deal" McCarthy and Biden have proposed resulted in a 99-page bill called the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, and aims to rescind roughly $30 billion of unspent COVID-19 relief funds, completely fund veterans medical care as proposed in the Biden budget for fiscal year 2024, and end the student loan repayment pause in late August. The bill also aims to suspend the debt limit until Jan. 1, 2025, keep nondefense spending "relatively flat" with no more than a 1% increase in fiscal year 2024 and 2025 while accelerating the completion of a natural gas pipeline in West Virginia called the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

May 30: Fox News: Chip Roy; Debt limit deal could cost McCarthy his speakership
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a key member the House Freedom Caucus (HFC), indicated Tuesday that if Republicans do not stop the debt deal in committee he would consider asking for a voted of confidence over Kevin McCarthy's leadership – something McCarthy agreed to earlier in order to be elected Speaker. In an interview with Glenn Beck on "BlazeTV", Roy called the debt limit deal that McCarthy struck over the weekend with the White House a "betrayal of the power-sharing arrangement that we put in place" that is to say, the promises McCarthy made to the HFC to give him the votes needed to secure him the speakership after a 15-voting-round battle in January. At a minimum, Roy says, the deal would add $4 trillion in U.S. debt without any significant spending cuts. Roy said that if the deal is passed by the House Rules Committee, "Then we're going to have to regroup and figure out the whole leadership arrangement again."

May 30: The Daily Caller:
Speaker McCarthy may hold contempt proceedings against FBI Director Wray

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is threatening to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress if the Bureau does not produce a document alleging potential wrongdoing by Joe Biden. "Let me tell Director Christopher Wray, right here, right now, if he misses the deadline today, I am prepared to move contempt charges in Congress against him. We have jurisdiction over this," McCarthy said. "He can send us the document, we have a right to look at that, Republicans and Democrats alike in that committee, and if he does not follow through with the law, we will move contempt charges against Christopher Wray and the FBI. They are not above the law." Even though the Speaker is firm on this matter, the truth is that the Department of Justice is not likely to prosecute said Contempt of Congress charges. The House Oversight and Government Accountability Committee, led by chairman James Comer (R-KY), has repeatedly requested the FBI produce an FD-1023, which details an interview with a source. The source reportedly told FBI officials that Biden was involved in a $5 million bribery scheme when he was vice president. Comer set a May 30 deadline for the FBI to produce the document.

May 30: iHeart Media/KTRH Radio News: People leaving blue states in droves
The biggest Blue cities like Chicago, are bleeding out, and seeing a massive exodus. Businesses in Chicago are upset over the new mayor's proposed tax hikes, and residents just feel not listened to. Economist Vance Ginn says none of this comes as a surprise. "People are just scared of living in these places. If you cannot find a job, and you have the concern about crime...you are going to leave," he says. "The people who leave first are ones with higher income. So, what is left behind is people with low incomes...and it is going to be a tough situation for many of these blue cities going forward." New York City lost half a million people from 2020 into 2022, Los Angeles and San Francisco have seen similar migrations. Most of the transplants are packing their bags and heading to Texas, Florida or Tennessee. In the Lone Star State, we have our Republican politics, but we also have major cities run by Democrat Mayors. Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, all are headed by big blue big wigs. "The laws set in place by the state, I think that is what is really holding blue cities in Texas, like Houston and Austin, together," he said. "I think a lot of it is built on state level policy...because local policies like cutting funding to the police...those are not supportive of prosperity." Houston has its own mayoral race upcoming in November. A Democrat has been Houston mayor for the last 41 years and counting. That will likely remain the case for the foreseeable future, too.

May 30: Ad-Age: Bud Light to donate $200K to LGBTQ Chamber
Talk about disenfranchising your core group of customers; Bud Light is planning to donate $200,000 to LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. The $200,000 donation to support LGBT Chamber of Commerce comes as AB InBev deals with criticism for failing to speak up for transgender rights in wake of Dylan Mulvaney controversy.

May 29: Fox News: Sen, Graham says debt ceiling deal will hurt defense
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has vowed he would do everything within his power to "undo" the bipartisan debt ceiling bill and the "disaster" he said it would be for America's defense. "I will use all powers available to me in the Senate to have amendment votes to undo this catastrophe for defense," Graham wrote on Twitter. "I support raising the debt limit for 90 days to give us a chance to correct this disaster for defense." "Have total disgust for political leaders' decision to make it remotely possible to gut our national security apparatus at a time of great peril. Take this absurd idea off the table," he added. Earlier in the afternoon, he repeated criticism he leveled against the defense spending aspects of the deal on Sunday, calling it "welcome news to China," and suggested it ran counter to Democrats' and Republicans' "screaming about the rise and growing threat of China."

May 29: The Epoch Times:
DeSantis; US still heading toward bankruptcy after debt ceiling deal

The United States will still be "careening towards bankruptcy" after Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling by $4 trillion, says Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) in a new interview. The 2024 presidential candidate appeared on Memorial Day and was asked about the potential fracture in the Republican Party following the White House and GOP leadership approving the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which some critics have dubbed the "Fiscal Irresponsibility Act." "Prior to this deal, our country was careening towards bankruptcy," DeSantis said. "And after this deal, our country will still be careening towards bankruptcy." He noted that adding $4 trillion to the national debt over the next 18 months is an extension of the pandemic-era spending, and the federal government is "sticking with that" level of COVID spending. The deal, DeSantis said, is "totally inadequate" to bring the budget into a better position. "They do these cycles to just get them through the next election," he added. "And that's ultimately one of the reasons why they continue to fail." The governor stated that the $1.2 trillion Florida economy maintains large budget surpluses with one of the country's lowest debt per capita rates. In the last fiscal year, Florida posted a record $21 billion surplus and reduced its debt by $1.3 billion, with a revenue increase of about 17 percent. There has been growing backlash from members of the GOP caucus surrounding the details of McCarthy's plan. Meanwhile Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) slammed the "fake conservatives" who have agreed to "fake spending cuts."

May 29: The Hill:
SCOTUS decisions in full swing as the end of the current session is in sight

The Supreme Court's decision season is in full swing. The justices in the coming weeks will hand down major rulings. Here is a glimpse at some of them:
Student Debt Relief The fate of Biden's student debt relief plan rests with the justices, who are weighing two separate challenges. At stake is whether more than 40 million Americans will receive debt relief — as well as a major Biden campaign promise. The conservative-majority court during February's oral argument cast doubt that the administration had the authority to unilaterally cancel hundreds of billions of dollars-worth of student debt.
Affirmative Action Decades of affirmative action programs in college admissions may soon be coming to an end. The Supreme Court is considering challenges to the admissions policies of both Harvard University's and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The rulings will have nationwide impacts. The justices are explicitly being asked to overturn a landmark 2003 decision that allowed race to be considered as one of many factors in admissions. In oral arguments the court signaled skepticism about upholding race-conscious admissions policies.
Voting Rights Act
The justices are poised to decide when states must draw minority-majority districts as the court resolves a dispute involving Alabama's congressional map. The opinion could further narrow the Voting Rights Act, a decade after the court disallowed another provision — which controlled which state and local governments were subject to DOJ preclearance before changing their voting laws. In Alabama, state Republicans are asking the justices to reverse a lower ruling that found their map violated Section 2 of the law, which remains in effect. Several conservative justices seemed open to raising the legal bar for Voting Rights Act map challenges, but even if Alabama comes out victorious, it's unclear exactly how broadly the court will rule.
LGBTQ protections First came the cake baker. Now comes the website designer. Various wedding vendors who oppose same-sex marriage and say their products amount to pure speech have challenged public accommodation laws that require them to provide equal services regardless of a customer's sexual orientation. Taking up a challenge to Colorado's law, the high court may put its thumb on the scale this term. Website designer Lorie Smith wants to create wedding websites. But Colorado's law would require Smith to offer those services to same-sex couples. She's asked the justices to decide the question they never reached five years ago. At oral argument, the court's conservatives signaled support for Smith.
Independent State Legislature Theory An appeal from North Carolina Republican state lawmakers may upend legal challenges to congressional maps and other federal election rules. The case involves the "independent state legislature" theory, which contends that the Constitution gives state legislatures near-total authority to regulate federal elections, removing all other state-level bodies from the process. Following that argument would prevent state courts and state constitutions from hearing claims such as partisan gerrymandering in congressional redistricting. The justices appeared to be searching for a middle path during oral arguments.

May 29: The Washington Examiner:
VA & WVA Democrat senators at odds over pipeline inclusion in debt ceiling deal

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) will attempt to remove a provision backed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) from the debt ceiling deal that was agreed on by Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The debt deal between Republicans and the White House refocuses the push to finish construction for the Mountain Valley Pipeline provision, a project that has faced several delays since it was supported by the West Virginia senator. Kaine's office said Monday the senator would file an amendment to revoke federal permits for the natural gas project from the debt ceiling legislation. "The pipeline runs through Virginia for 100 miles and takes property from landowners, but I was not consulted as a deal was struck to approve it and thus not given an opportunity to share my constituents' deep concerns," the Virginia senator said last year

May 28: The Daily Caller: The Debt Ceiling deal is not in cement, at least not yet; text of the agreement is a work in process
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) defended his debt ceiling agreement Sunday after objections arose from conservative lawmakers who believe McCarthy did not get enough concessions from Democrats. Republican Dan Bishop (R-NC) criticized the deal saying "RINOs congratulating McCarthy for getting almost zippo in exchange for $4T debt ceiling hike was enough to make you [vomit]. (Actually, it's so bad they won't give a figure for the debt ceiling hike … only that it's suspended til Q1 2025. Our bill was a year less.)." ." Meanwhile, McCarthy said "We were able to do this when [Biden] said he wasn't even going to talk to us. This is really a step in the right direction, it puts us [on] a trajectory that's different, we put a statutory cap on only spending 1% for the next six years, so we let government grow but at a slower rate."

May 28: NewsMax:
Kelly to NewsMax; Fox News "terrified" it will lose Carlson's viewers

Journalist and commentator Megyn Kelly told NewsMax that her old network Fox News is "terrified" of its viewer loss in the aftermath of booting Tucker Carlson off the air. Kelly said there was no end in sight to Fox News' audience hemorrhaging as more and more Americans tune into alternative networks like Newsmax every day. "They're terrified. They don't know what to do," Kelly stated. "There was a day when they didn't view digital as a threat, as a competitor. That day is gone. Fox won't let any single personality come on my [podcast] show ... because they understand that we're a threat." Now, Kelly says, Fox Corp. realizes that viewers will follow Carlson to his new show on Twitter rather than watching them. "What if Tucker went someplace and actually launched a live broadcast at 8:00 [p.m. ET]? They'd get seriously hurt even worse than they have," Kelly explained, adding that the viewership numbers are already "terrible."

The U.S. Capitol Building lit up at nightMay 27: The Post Newspaper: OpEd; Debt Ceiling: Threading the Needle will not be an easy task
Speaker McCarthy found enough votes, by a two-point margin, to pass the House Debt Ceiling bill. It increases the debt limit while cutting spending back to 2022 levels and limiting future increases to no more than 1% per year. Threading-the-needle to find the ultimate solution won't be an easy task, but so far it seems clear McCarthy and the House will not accept any compromise that doesn't include spending cuts. We agree that we need to stop deficit spending, not just slowing its increase. For the sake of the nation and our nation's children, we pray the Biden Administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate will be the first to blink. The House leadership needs to stand firm.

May 27: Fox News: Debt Ceiling deal agreed to in principle; the details still need to be worked out
An agreement "in principle" was reached Saturday between House Republican leaders and the White House that would prevent the government from breaching the debt ceiling and failing to meet all its obligations. The deal would claw back some unspent COVID-19 pandemic funds and provide a cut from funding granted the IRS in Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, multiple sources said. It would also suspend the debt limit until after the 2024 presidential election. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said the deal includes cuts and language aimed at reducing the government's footprint. He said the text of the deal should be out by Sunday, and that he hopes the House can vote on it by Wednesday. "We still have a lot of work to do. But I believe this is an agreement in principle that's worthy of the American people. It has historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty into the workforce, and rein in government overreach. There are no new taxes, no new government programs. There's a lot more within the bill," McCarthy said.

May 27: The Epoch Times: Texas House votes to impeach Attorney General; Now moves to the Senate for trial
The Republican-controlled Texas House has voted to impeach Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and sent articles of impeachment to the state Senate. It makes Paxton only the third sitting official in Texas's nearly 200-year history to have been impeached. The House Resolution 2377 reads: "Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, That Warren Kenneth Paxton Jr., Attorney General of the State of Texas, is impeached and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the Texas Senate." Paxton denounced the impeachment as "never meant to be fair or just" and was "politically motivated." "I look forward to a quick resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence the process will be fair and just," he said in a statement. The 121–23 vote triggers Paxton's immediate suspension from office pending the outcome of a trial in the state Senate and empowers Gov. Greg Abbott to appoint someone else as Texas's top lawyer in the interim. Many of the 23 votes in opposition to the articles were based upon the process the House took to consider the measure such as not letting the accused have counsel in the committee hearing and allowing said counsel to question the accusers as has be done in the other impeachment proceedings.

May 27: NewsMax: Paxton calls impeachment proceedings illegal
The Texas state House of Representatives moved forward with a "concocted" impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that was not only done in secret to be suddenly sprung on him, but also is "illegal" under Texas state law, Paxton contended. "There's a statute in Texas, which they are not following. "The statute says that if there were complaints prior to the election… you can't bring impeachment on issues that occurred, whether true or false, before the election: 19 of the 20 in this complaint were from issues related to the election. "The second was related to my settlement authority, and they're saying that I deserved be impeached because I settled a case which required that the Legislature approved the money. They have to actually fund it." Of course, the legislature could simply decide not to approve the funds without impeaching Paxton.

Paxton contended the investigation was conducted in secret and had been ongoing for four months, that he first heard of it on Tuesday, and on Wednesday they announced the investigation publicly. On Thursday they announced their intent to impeach him and on Saturday they did so. He said his exculpatory information was being withheld from Texas House members before the impeachment vote. "The members haven't seen all the information; they haven't allowed us to participate," Paxton continued. "We have lots of information that would change the results of their investigation. They have refused to let us testify. They have refused to let us give them information. They have refused to allow us to correct things that even they know are wrong, and that's the process we're in, he contended.
[See Related Story]

May 27: The Daily Caller:
Dems playing a losing hand in the game of debt ceiling chicken

As the federal government approaches the inability to pay its bills, House Democrats appear ready to play a game of chicken with Republicans over the debt ceiling. Unfortunately for Democrats (but fortunately for the fiscally sane), this game puts them in a dangerous position—in opposition to the American people. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries called for bipartisan support while calling commonsense Republican proposals "extreme." While we can't know exactly which of the Republican plans Jeffries considers an "extreme condition," we can safely assume that he probably means the one that would include spending cuts or the one that would require some able-bodied adults on welfare to work. Recently, the Center for Excellence in Polling conducted extensive polling on federal spending and the debt ceiling. They found consistently that voters are fed up with the way Congress and, increasingly, the bureaucracy, squander the tax dollars hardworking Americans (involuntarily) send to Washington. A full two-thirds of voters said Congress should raise the debt ceiling only alongside a reduction in federal spending. This view is shared by 81 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Independents. Only Democratic voters support raising the debt ceiling without a reduction in spending, but only by the slimmest of margins. Nearly half of Democratic voters are not as removed from reality as their party's leadership.

May 27: The Hill:
CA Dems circle the wagons; State convention to address Feinstein's seat and more

California Democrats are gathering this weekend for their state convention amid divisions within the party concerning the future of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's seat. The convention comes at a critical juncture for the state party itself, as Democratic leaders in and out of office face rising pressure for Feinstein to retire, and the primary for her seat turns into a battle between the progressive and establishment wings. Primarily, the conference for new delegates is a chance for members of the party to meet in person for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, honor legacy Democrats and for activists and officials to discuss organizing strategies for the coming year. Sources say it's also a forum for Californians to showcase their accomplishments in hopes of directing the national conversation in a more progressive direction.

May 26: The Washington Times:
Secretary Yellen moves the default date from June 1st to June 5th

With many Representatives dubious about the June 1st U.S. default date set by Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, the Secretary has not pushed the official date back several days to June 5th. Some members of the House remain dubious. Yellen revised the default timeline in a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) saying that incoming tax revenue had changed the calculus. "Based on the most recent available data, we now estimate that Treasury will have insufficient resources to satisfy the government's obligations if Congress has not raised or suspended the debt limit by June 5," Yellen wrote. Debt limit negotiations are set to take place over the Memorial Day weekend. While progress has been made, both sides remain far apart on spending cuts and imposing new welfare work requirements. "We had some progress that was made on some key issues," Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) on the House's negotiating team said. "But I want to be clear: We continue to have major issues that we have not bridged the gap on right now." [See a related OpEd].

Island in the South China Sea currently occuppied by the PhillipinesMay 26: Fox News:
China increases tensions in the South China Sea as it sends "research vessel" into Vietnamese waters

The research ship, Xiang Yang Hong 10, on Friday crossed a gas block known as 04-03 operated by Vietsovpetr, a joint venture between Russian-owned Zarubezhneft and PetroVietnam. The news comes one day after Vietnam called on the Chinese vessel to leave the area near the Spratly Islands after it first entered the region May 7. China has attempted to lay sovereignty claims over the entire South China Sea, recently increasing its aggressive posture against neighboring nations with jurisdictional rights in the vast body of water like the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam.

May 26: The Washington Free Beacon:
Polls show Sheila Jackson Lee is no shoe in for Houston Mayor

Fourteen-term congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee in March announced her intention to "come home to be your mayor for the city of Houston." The prominent Texas Democrat's anti-police record, however, seems to be hurting her chances to win the local post, according to a poll. A Ragnar Research Partners poll shows that in a contentious race that includes seven candidates, 19 percent of voters back Lee, compared with 20 percent who support Democratic state legislator John Whitmire. Lee is even worse off in a head-to-head matchup against Whitmire, with just 33 percent backing Jackson Lee and 45 percent supporting Whitmire. A loss in the mayoral race would come as an embarrassment for Lee, a well-known liberal who joined Congress nearly three decades ago in 1995. Her struggles in the race may be explained by her past positions on crime, which is the top issue in the race, according to the Ragnar poll.

Target store front with shopping baskets lined upMay 26: The Daily Caller [Business]:
Target "bleeding money" from boycott over trans-gender affiliation

Target has lost $9 billion in market value since it started advertising its LGBTQ-themed products that catered to transgender individuals. Reportedly that is a 12.6% decrease. Conservatives put pressure on Target, calling for a nationwide boycott. Target pulled items that were "at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior," company spokesperson Kayla Castaneda said. Thousands of Pride month products were originally listed, ranging from books and home furnishings to clothing items. Meanwhile Target CEO Brian Cornell has since recommitted the retail giant to its support of the LGBTQ community.

May 25: The Washington Examiner:
AZ governor Hobbs' Chief of Staff resigns; no reasons given

Gov. Katie Hobbs's (D-AZ) chief of staff resigned Thursday in the latest high-profile resignation to plague her administration. According to the Washington Post, Allie Bones was a longtime friend and staffer of Hobbs. She had served as chief of staff since Jan. 2. Bones' resignation was effective immediately. The resignation comes after that of Hobbs's press secretary, who came under fire for Twitter posts seemingly threatening "transphobes" with violence following the massacre of Christian school children and staff by a transgender shooter.

Photo of the Surpreme  Court Building at TwilightMay 25: The Epoch Times:
SCOTUS rules against EPA's overreach

The Supreme Court voted to rein in the power of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate wetlands in a complex decision issued on May 25, the second time in a year that the court has curbed federal environmental authority. The court ruled in favor of an Idaho couple who have been battling federal officials for years over the right to develop their own property. The ruling involved the controversial "waters of the United States" rule that critics say has led to excessive and, at times, overzealous regulation of private lands by the EPA. The couple's lawyer, Damien Schiff of the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), said the ruling "returns the scope of the Clean Water Act to its original and proper limits." "Courts now have a clear measuring stick for fairness and consistency by federal regulators. Today's ruling is a profound win for property rights and the constitutional separation of powers," Schiff said in a statement. The EPA had determined years before that the couple's parcel of land contained wetlands. The Sacketts say their lot lacks a surface water connection to any stream, creek, lake, or other water body and that it shouldn't be subject to federal regulation and permitting.

May 24: Texas Scorecard:
Texas House panel not friendly toward AG Paxton; holds hearing one day after he calls upon Speaker to resign for appearing to be inebriated in the House

The House Committee on General Investigating could be poised to censure or impeach Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was overwhelmingly re-elected by voters just last year. At a public hearing Wednesday, the committee heard testimony from four secretly appointed investigators who rehashed the ongoing indictment of Paxton on securities fraud charges and which came to light during the Attorney General's reelection bid. The main focus, however, was a settlement reached with four former Democrat employees of the AG's office who claim they were fired unfairly. Eight of Paxton's top aides accused him of bribery and abuse of office back in 2020. After being terminated, four of them filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the AG did political favors for a donor by having his office intervene in his legal disputes. Earlier this year Paxton appeared ready to settle the case where he would release a statement stating "that plaintiffs acted in a manner that they thought was right and apologizes for referring to them as 'rogue employees.'" A cash payment of $3.3 million, which was largely compensation for lost wages over 27 months was part of the settlement, but would require approval by the legislature – something that has been routinely done in the past for other government officials. That approval, however, was not forthcoming by the Investigations Committee.

Paxton said this underscores that the House leadership has "nothing but contempt for the traditional values of conservative Texans. It's not surprising that a committee appointed by liberal Speaker Dade Phelan would seek to disenfranchise Texas voters and sabotage my work as attorney general," Paxton contended. "The false testimony of highly partisan Democrat lawyers with the goal of manipulating and misleading the public is reprehensible. Every allegation is easily disproved, and I look forward to continuing my fight for conservative Texas values," he concluded. Interestingly, the hearing came the day after Paxton called upon Speaker Phelan to resign due to what appeared to be a "debilitating intoxication" exhibited by the speaker in a viral video of him running the House and slurring his speech. Additionally, Speaker Phelan's House appears to have killed, or slow walked, many of the Republican Party's priority pieces of legislation this session.

May 24: The Washington Examiner:
All House Dems sign on to clean debt limit bill in effort to end run McCarthy

Every member of the House Democrat caucus [213] has signed on to a discharge petition – five votes short of the number needed to require consideration by the full House -- in an effort to force a vote on a debt limit increase without spending cuts or House Speaker McCarthy's (R-CA) backing. Meanwhile House Minority Leader Jefferies (D-NY) is attempting to appeal to moderate Republicans in swing districts, specifically signaling out Republicans and California and New York as potentials to sign on to the effort. [See related story]

May 24: Fox Business: Kudlow: McCarthy's bill will grow the economy
Larry Kudlow of Fox Business said on his program he wished somebody would explain why the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre [KJP] is attacking Speaker McCarthy and the House Republicans when McCarthy's senior emissaries, Congressman Garret Graves and Patrick McHenry journeyed from Capitol Hill to the White House to negotiate with Joe Biden's senior people. They started at noon today [May 24] and they're still at it as we speak. Meanwhile KJP is attacking the people who are inside the same building trying to negotiate a deal and this comes after a long session last night where the White House people were up at Capitol Hill and reportedly made some progress. So, why is the White House press secretary attacking the McCarthy negotiators? It doesn't make one whit of sense. It doesn't promote a deal, Kudlow contended.

May 24: Fox News:
House passes bill to shut down Biden's student loan handout/give away

The House voted Wednesday to repeal Joe Biden's plan to forgo more than $400 billion in federally backed student loan debt. Lawmakers approved a resolution disapproving of Biden's student loan forgiveness plan that was announced last year and is now stalled because of an ongoing legal challenge. The Supreme Court is expected to consider the legality of Biden's plan later this summer. In a vote of 218-203 lawmakers are attempting to speed up the process and end Biden's plan through legislation. Every Republican present voted to pass the resolution, along with two Democrats.

Blue flame from lit gas rangeMay 23: The Washington Times:
Biden Administration refuses to attend House hearing on gas stove regulations

Department of Energy officials asked by Republicans to testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday about the administration's proposed gas-stove regulations are refusing to appear, a GOP aide for the panel has said. Two officials with the department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy told the committee's Republican majority they will not attend because the administration's proposed rules for new natural gas stoves have not been finalized, the aide says. Those officials are Alejandro Moreno, acting assistant secretary of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the deputy assistant, Carolyn Snyder. The Energy Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Republicans say the hearing slated for Wednesday morning will examine "the Biden administration's regulatory assault on Americans' gas stoves."

May 23: One American News Network:
Kari Lake announces largest ballot chasing program in American history

Arizona Republican Kari Lake has announced that she is launching a ballot-chasing operation. This announcement is her latest attempt to keep pushing her election case to the Supreme Court of the United States. Kari Lake just announced that she is launching the largest and most extensive ballot chasing operation in Arizona history, with thousands of volunteers and millions of dollars raised already. Once a supporter has requested a mail-in ballot, you want to make sure they return it as soon as possible. A successful ballot chase program means following up with your voters throughout the voting process to make sure they successfully return their ballot. Your program is going to look different depending on your state's vote-by-mail and early voting laws and what data is provided by your state's Secretary of State, but generally, a ballot chase is following up with voters who requested or received a ballot.

May 23: The Washington Examiner:
GOP calls into question June 1 date for US default on its debt established by Yellen

Some Republicans in Congress are questioning the validity of Treasury Secretary Yellen's predicted "X date," when the U.S. will run out of money to pay its bills. Yellen has said that unless a deal is reached to raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. will default on its debts on June 1. Not everyone is convinced of her calculations, however, with a growing number of Republicans calling the projection into question. "I don't believe that the first of the month is a real deadline," Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told CNN. "I don't understand why we're not making Janet Yellen show her work." Gaetz later backed his statement up in a tweet, arguing that Yellen's apparent inability to foresee inflation puts her economic judgment into question. "She couldn't even see inflation coming from a mile away!" he quipped. "I think Secretary Yellen is trying to put pressure on Congress," Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said earlier this month. "I wouldn't pay too much attention to the Treasury's statements about the precise time ... this June 1 date. I think that's a political statement, not a statement based on fact." Yellen has stuck by her prediction, pointing to an assessment from the Congressional Budget Office.

May 22: The Daily Caller:
NC governor (D) says public education in NC is in a state of emergency after GOP legislature passes school choice and parental rights legislation

Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) declared the state's public education system to be in a state of emergency following GOP legislative gains regarding school choice and parental rights, during a Monday special address. Cooper urged residents of the state to call state lawmakers' offices and tell them that recent school choice legislation and proposed teacher raises have the potential to "choke the life out of public education." The state House passed a piece of legislation Wednesday in a 65-45 vote that would make all students eligible to have the state cover nearly half the average cost of attending a private school. "It's clear that the Republican legislature is aiming to choke the life out of public education," Cooper said. "I'm declaring this a state of emergency because you need to know what's happening. If you care about public schools in North Carolina, it's time to take immediate action and tell them to stop the damage that will set back our schools for a generation."

Speaker McCarthy leaves the White House after  debt  ceiling negotiationsMay 22: The Washington Times: Debt Ceiling discussions "productive" but without a deal yet
House Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) and Joe Biden said debt-limit talks Monday night were "productive" but failed to deliver a deal, as both sides work to agree on cutting spending and raising the nation's borrowing limit against a default deadline that's just nine days away. McCarthy emerged from the hour-long talks at the White House to say that negotiators would "work through the night." "They're going to come back together," he continued. He said that both sides will talk every day until a workable solution can be negotiated. Both sides want an agreement he said but… "There's nothing agreed to. Everything's being talked about." The Washington Examiner said McCarthy reiterated Republicans would not consider raising taxes as part of any debt ceiling agreement and that there still remain philosophical differences. Unlike Biden, he said he believes the problem is spending and not revenue.

May 22: Fox News: The big Bud Light buy back as distributors have a surplus of unwanted brew beyond expiration date
Bud Light has reportedly informed wholesalers it would buy back unsold beer once it expires as the company continues to face blow back from its polarizing pact with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy feature on the company's struggles after conservatives across America have ditched Bud Light over the saga that began in March when Mulvaney publicized that the beer company sent packs of Bud Light featuring the influencer's face as a way to celebrate a full year of "girlhood." Backlash was swift, strong, and straight forward and the promotion is now considered one of the most polarizing in the history of the digital space. Now it seems parent company Anheuser-Busch is taking steps to help wholesalers who have taken a hit. "The brewer recently told its wholesalers that it would buy back unsold cases of beer that have gone past their expiration date," the Wall Street Journal report.

May 21: The Epoch Times:
NY county Voters upset as registrations arrive; All shown as Democrats!

All voters in Nassau County, New York, were identified as Democrats on their voter ID cards irrespective of political affiliation because of an error by a printing company, triggering accusations about "sabotaging elections" ahead of the June primaries. Voters in the county, who number nearly a million, began to receive their voter ID cards last week, with voters supporting Republicans, independents, or another political party surprised to see themselves identified as Democrats on the cards. "We're already starting to get phone calls from people, saying 'I'm a registered Republican, I'm a registered conservative—how come I'm being identified as a Democrat? Who changed my registration?' And they're quite upset about it," Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. "There's a lot of confusion, there's a lot of people emotionally upset about this," he added. Blakeman, a Republican, is pinning the blame on Rochester-based Phoenix Graphics, the company hired by Nassau County's Board of Elections to print the voter ID cards.

May 21: CNN and News Max: Talk about "Fake News;"
The liberal leaning NAACP issues travel advisory,
claims Florida is "openly hostile" toward blacks

The NAACP issued a travel advisory for Florida "in direct response to … DeSantis' aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools," the group said in a statement. The NAACP joined the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), a Latino civil rights organization, and Equality Florida, a gay rights advocacy group, in issuing travel advisories for the Sunshine State, where tourism is one of the state's largest job sectors. The advisory said that before traveling to Florida, people should understand the state of Florida "devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color." Interestingly, the announcement came as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to throw his hat into the ring for President. Meanwhile, commentators like Clay Travis and Buck Sexton have called the NAACP travel advisory ridiculous, noting the massive migration of people from "blue" states to Florida -- people of all races and backgrounds who find the state welcoming and a safe place to visit and live.

May 21: The Washington Times: Treasury Secretary says 14th Amendment not the appropriate way to raise the debt ceiling
Treasury Secretary Yellen said Sunday that Joe Biden invoking the 14th Amendment to circumvent Congress and lift the debt ceiling to avoid default is not likely legally sound. "It doesn't seem like something that could be appropriately used in these circumstances, given the legal uncertainty around it and given the tight timeframe we're on," Yellen said. "My devout hope is that Congress will raise the debt ceiling, and we will pay all of our bills." Talks have stalled with just days until an expected June 1 deadline. Earlier Sunday, Biden floated the idea of invoking the 14th Amendment but said he prefers to strike a bipartisan deal. "I'm looking at the 14th Amendment as to whether or not we have the authority — I think we have the authority," he said. "The question is, could it be done and invoked in time that it would not be appealed, and as a consequence past the date in question and still default on the debt."

May 21: News Max: DeSantis asks to have judge over Disney case be disqualified
Gov. Ron DeSantis(R-FL) is asking that a federal judge be disqualified from the First Amendment lawsuit filed by Disney against the Florida governor and his appointees, claiming the jurist's prior statements in other cases have raised questions about his impartiality on the state's efforts to take over Disney World's governing body. DeSantis ' attorney filed a motion in federal court in Tallahassee on Friday seeking to disqualify Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker from overseeing the lawsuit filed by Disney last month. The lawsuit alleges DeSantis and his appointees violated the company's right to free speech, as well as the contracts clause, by taking over the special governing district that previously had been controlled by Disney supporters after Disney opposed Florida legislation. The Republican governor's motion was filed a day after Disney announced that it was scrapping plans to build a new campus in central Florida and relocate 2,000 employees from Southern California to work in digital technology, finance and product development.

May 20: The Washington Examiner:
Another snag in the debt ceiling debate as Biden and Senate Democrats are out of town and House waits for them to come to the table

The debate in Congress regarding the nation's debt ceiling has hit another speed bump, with Democrats claiming the talks are going in the wrong direction. The snag in productivity in debt ceiling negotiations comes as the deadline to address the ceiling is still set for June 1, which as of Saturday is less than two weeks away. Republicans and Democrats are both in disagreement over how to address the debt ceiling, with the latter party arguing that Republicans are demanding more from the discussions. "Democrats in the White House and on Capitol Hill say negotiations are going in the wrong direction," one reporter said on social media. "They say republicans' demands keep going further to the right." The issue of the debt ceiling has also been set back by Joe Biden being out of the country at the moment. However, [Joe Biden] has stated he is "not at all" worried about the stalled negotiations. Meanwhile, on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) announced the Senate will move forward with its planned May recess, which will end on May 30. In a recently released poll, a majority of people in the United States are hoping that spending cuts will be part of the deal that Biden and Congress come to over the debt ceiling. Among respondents in the poll, 63% want terms on reducing the federal budget deficit included with any debt limit increase, with 71% of Republicans wanting terms on reducing the budget deficit and 58% of Democrats wanting the same.

May 20: Fox News: Marine breaks silence over death on NYC subway
Daniel Penny, the Marine veteran who put homeless man Jordon Neely in a fatal chokehold earlier in May, has broken his silence about the incident. In an interview with the NY Post Penny said that he was "deeply saddened" by Neely's death. "It's tragic what happened to him," Penny said. "Hopefully, we can change the system that's so desperately failed us." Penny, who was criminally charged over the incident, refuted any claims that he was racist for restraining Neely, a Black man. The Marine veteran flatly said that the incident "had nothing to do with race." "I judge a person based on their character. I'm not a white supremacist," Penny explained. "I mean, it's, it's a little bit comical. Everybody who's ever met me can tell you, I love all people, I love all cultures. You can tell by my past and all my travels and adventures around the world. I was actually planning a road trip through Africa before this happened," Penny added.

May 20: News Max: Bongino: Fox getting rid of Carlson was an enormous mistake Former Fox News host Dan Bongino says the firing of Tucker Carlson was "an enormous catastrophic mistake" by Fox News. In a wide-ranging interview with former Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly the conservative radio host and podcaster said Fox is also making a mistake by not explaining why Carlson, the network's number one host was fired. "They really do need to provide some kind of an explanation," Bongino said. "It's just it's not going to work to keep it out there like that like this didn't happen, because I think a lot of people think this may be some kind of anti-Trump thing."

May 19: The Washington Times:
Debt limit talks to resume after disagreement over spending cuts

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is set to resume negotiations with White House officials over raising the debt limit after talks broke down over spending cuts earlier on Friday. Reportedly the White House wants to reduce the increase in spending while the Speaker wants to reduce total spending, not just the increase. "At the speaker's request, we're going back in and we're going to keep talking," said House Financial Services Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC). "The goal is to get a bill that can pass the House of Representatives and the Senate and get signed by the president." Earlier in the day GOP negotiators had walked away from talks when they hit an impasse on several fronts, namely work requirements for welfare, caps on future spending growth and budget cuts. Negotiators are facing a June 1 deadline to raise the nation's borrowing limit of $31.4 trillion, or the U.S. may default on some of its obligations. "There are real differences between the parties on budget issues and talks will be difficult," the White House said in a statement. "[Joe Biden's] team is working hard towards a reasonable bipartisan solution that can pass the House and the Senate." The pause in negotiations came as Republican and Democratic leaders face increasing pressure to deliver a debt limit deal that can satisfy the right and left flanks of their respective parties.

May 19: The Washington Examiner:
Polls: Biden loosing to DeSantis in key battleground states

According to a new poll Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is beating Joe Biden in key 2024 battleground states such as Arizona and Georgia. Public Opinion Strategies polls showed DeSantis leading Biden by a margin of 4% in Arizona, polling at 47% with Biden taking 43%. The same poll shows Biden leading both former President Trump and former Vice President Pence. Arizona voters have opted out of strongly supporting Trump for the GOP candidate, with 51% to 47% agreeing with the statement, "There is no way I would ever vote to elect Donald Trump as president." Among registered Georgia voters, a poll by the same company showed DeSantis winning 45% over Biden's 42%. Biden held a slight lead over Trump, 44% to 43%, respectively.

May 19: News Max: US Chamber of Commerce warns Biden against using the 14th Amendment to raise debt ceililng without Congressional approval
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business organization, warned Joe Biden on Friday that invoking the 14th Amendment to raise the nation's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling and bypassing Congress would be "as economically calamitous" as a default should the ceiling not be raised. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which defines U.S. citizenship and provides equal protection under the law, states "the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." However, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that such a move would be "legally questionable." Neil Bradley, the Chamber's executive vice president and chief policy officer, noted the first clause – "authorized by law" – as being foundational to the issue, since raising the debt limit would not have been so authorized. "Debt issued by the federal government must be issued in accordance with law," Bradley wrote. "The relevant law at the moment is the statutory debt limit [31 U.S. Code 3101]. The 14th Amendment does not provide any authority or power for the Executive to issue debt beyond what has been authorized through the normal process for enacting laws." "Simply put, there is no alternative to reaching a bipartisan agreement to raise the statutory debt limit," Bradley said.

May 19: The Epoch Times:
CNN parent CEO says the media outlet needs to show both sides

The CEO of CNN's parent company responded to recent criticism against his network by saying that it needs to "show both sides" in order to rebrand. David Zaslav, the chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery, told a media conference Thursday that CNN needs to shift from a "left-leaning" network to "show both sides of every issue" in what appears to be a response to critical comments from the political left about the channel hosting a townhall featuring former President Donald Trump. "Our view is there's advocacy networks on either side. We have the best journalists in the world. We need to show both sides of every issue," Zaslav said. "CNN should be the place that people come for the best version of the truth and for journalism," he added, echoing recent public statements made by CNN CEO Chris Licht.

May 18: The Washington Times:
FBI whistleblowers detail retribution against those who speak out

Three FBI whistleblowers testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee Thursday and described abuses they witnessed at the bureau and how the FBI retaliates against its employees who speak out against the agency. Two current and former agents -- Special Agent Garret O'Boyle, FBI Staff Operations Specialist Marcus Allen and former FBI Special Agent Stephen Friend -- testified made several remarkable claims saying the bureau suspended or revoked their security clearances. Additionally, the FBI restricted them from seeking outside employment to support themselves and their families during their unpaid suspensions after they filed whistleblower disclosures to Congress about the agency. Special Agent Friend said he made whistleblower disclosures about his concerns about the January 6th investigation saying, "I believe our departures from case management rules established in the FBI as domestic FBI treats its enemies harsher than normal  suspectsinvestigations and Operations Guide could have undermined potentially righteous prosecutions and may have been part of an effort to inflate the FBI statistics on domestic extremism." He also testified the voiced concerns over the FBI's use of SWAT operations to apprehend suspects accused of nonviolent misdemeanor crimes and who are represented by counsel.

May 18: The Daily Caller:
Ex-FBI Special Agent speaks up about why more FBI agents aren't speaking up

Former FBI agent Nicole Parker said Thursday many FBI agents do not speak up about abuses by the agency because it would put a "target on their backs." "I watched it very closely because I was just in their shoes in February when I testified before the same committee. …I understand their security clearances were pulled," Parker said. "I don't know the exact details of that, but I know without a security clearance as an FBI agent, you can't do your job. When you feel like your security clearance is being pulled because it's the FBI's way or the highway, that's not a good position to be in." Additionally, the agents who testified today not only lost their pay but also their health insurance benefits, all because they were speaking up about what they have been seeing at FBI Headquarters and in the Washington Field Office.

May 18: The Washington Examiner:
Schumer sends the Senate home despite the looming debt ceiling deadline; unwilling to even consider the House passed bill or to be involved in the negotiations

Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) said Thursday that the Senate will move forward with its planned May recess, ending days of speculation amid unfinished negotiations between House Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) and Joe Biden – who took a trip to the orient while the House has acted to avert a U.S. debt default. Schumer's announcement comes as senators were vocally uncertain if the debt ceiling dispute would prevent them from returning home for a planned recess. Treasury Secretary Yellen says the U.S. will be unable to pay its bills as of June 1, while the Senate recess ends May 30. That means that only two days would be available to pass legislation; nowhere near enough time for the chamber to vote on a negotiated deal, especially given the Senate's current 51-49 split, allowing every member the opportunity to act as a protest vote. Meanwhile the House, which passed its measure increasing the debt limit while also putting in place reductions in spending, is waiting of the White House and the Senate to act in good faith.

May 17: The Epoch Times: Articles of impeachment for FBI Director Wray filed
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has introduced articles of impeachment against Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray. "Director Wray has failed to uphold his oath and has instead overseen a denigration of the principles of our democratic republic by utilizing the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Federal police force to punish or intimidate anyone who questions or opposes the current regime," Greene wrote in the articles of impeachment. Wray and the FBI have come under fire as reports surface alleging widespread violations of Americans' constitutionally-protected civil liberties, targeting of political enemies, and other allegations of partisan or illegal behavior. In filing the articles Greene said, "Under [Wray's] watch, the FBI has intimidated, harassed, & entrapped Americans who have been deemed enemies of the Biden regime. Wray has turned the FBI into Joe Biden and [Attorney General] Merrick Garland's personal police force." Greene cited whistleblower allegations claiming that the FBI had created a "threat tag" to target pro-life individuals and organizations in the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. A 2021 public audit found the FBI had abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to carry out more than 3.3 million illegal queries about American citizens and allegedly and abetted criminal behavior. The FBI came under even more scrutiny in the wake of the agency mounting a raid on the home of President Donald Trump reportedly searching for Presidential documents which Trump claims he declassified and which he was negotiating in good faith over their custody. Meanwhile it has come to light that every President since Ronald Reagan has maintained custody of such records without reproach.

May 17: The Washington Examiner:
Investigation into "Biden Crime Family;" politically driven or not?

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) brushed off the White House's claim that the House investigation into the Biden family's financial dealings is "politically motivated." White House spokesman Ian Sams reportedly claimed House Oversight Chairman Comer (R-KY) has a pattern "of making absurd claims that [Joe] Biden has made governing decisions not in the interest of America…" Mace, who is a member of the House Oversight Committee said, "No one can say that I'm in the tank for Donald Trump or anybody else. Like, that's not what this is about I call the balls and strikes." Meanwhile the FBI recently failed to provide the committee with a document that a whistleblower claimed alleges criminal activity perpetrated by then-Vice President Joe Biden. Reportedly the unclassified FD-1023 form "describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions." Mace said, "I do believe that the FBI is trying to stonewall the Oversight Committee in our investigation, and if they won't do their job, then we will do their job for them, and we will get documents that we need. We will show and share them with the American public. "They ought to know that Joe Biden's seat was for sale. That China bought it. Russia bought it. Romania bought it," she said. "What really set me off was seeing the suspicious activity reports and what that meant. The wire fraud. The money laundering. Racketeering and RICO comes to mind when you look at some of these documents," Mace said.

May 17: The Epoch Times: Gaetz; Durham report shows It's time to deauthorize, defang, and defund many if the FBI's operations
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has suggested the FBI should be defunded and some of its agents criminally indicted after special counsel John Durham concluded his investigation this week, an investigation that the FBI should never have launched into whether former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. Durham's 300-plus page report asserted the FBI rushed into the probe without having any evidence that officials from the Trump campaign had contacted any Russian intelligence officer. During an interview Gaetz accused the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) of being politically biased in the probe, alleging the agency has become "the enforcement wing of the Democratic Party to play offense against Trump," describing its actions as "very ugly for the future of a democracy where the people make the choices. The report takes great lengths to point out the number of times where Trump was targeted in a way no other American would be," he said. "In essence, the FBI has now become a disinformation and election interference enterprise here in our country. It's very damning for them, the Steele Dossier was nonsense, the probable cause standard even to originate an investigation … was never met, and you had a secret court that was lied to. I think we have to deauthorize, defang, and defund many of these authorities and entities and different task forces that actually converted the just and righteous act of protecting our country with the desire to have a particular political candidate win or lose," he added.

Senator Kennedy (R-LA) schools Biden nominee on the U.S. ConstitutionMay 17: Fox News:
9th Court of Appeals nominee not familiar with a major case from her home state; questioning from Sen. Kennedy reveals

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) left a Biden judicial nominee speechless during her confirmation hearing Wednesday after he quizzed her on some basic constitutional law theory. Judge Ana de Alba, who currently serves on a California federal district court and is nominated to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, struggled to define the Dormant Clause and Commerce Clause under Article 1 of the Constitution. The dormant Clause prohibits one state from discriminating against another state's commerce or "impose undue burdens on interstate commerce. In this instance the SCOTUS found in a California case that Proposition 12 -- a state law that says pork products imported into the state had to meet certain welfare standards – was unconstitutional. The case that came from de Alba's seeks home state and should certainly been included in the nominee's briefing materials, but she was unaware that there was a dormant clause, not to mention what it does. "I'm somewhat familiar with the Commerce Clause, [not the dormant clause] which is found in Article 1 of the Constitution," de Alba said. "There was a big Supreme Court case that just came out of your state," Kennedy Speaker McCarthy, Some how he is getting it done!interjected. Kennedy suggested she might want to look up the case if she is to serve on the 9th Circuit.!

May 16: The Daily Caller: 11th hour win for House as it passes legislation to secure the southern border
House Republicans had campaigned on passing legislation to secure the southern border, yet four months into the new Congress, there were still challenges. Hispanic Republicans thought the bill might restrict legitimate asylum claims. There were concerns the bill's E-Verify provisions could hurt agriculture in rural districts. Additionally, there were those who wanted the drug cartels to be designated as terrorist organizations. Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) was able to forge compromises and in some cases to cajole some of his members to hold their noses and vote for the bill. It passed this week with a few votes to spare after an eleventh-hour scramble. Once again, McCarthy showed that even with only a four-vote majority he is able to bring his colleagues together to get bills passed. Many of his "wins" haven't been pretty, but they have been "wins" nonetheless.

May 16: The New York Post: Chaos at Texas airport caused by migrants
Thousands of migrants are still surging over the southern border, but once allowed into the US, most have to move on — causing confusion and overcrowding at regional airports. Most of the migrants who arrive in the US have a sponsor, family or friends whom they need to reach. While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has bused 18,000 asylum seekers to sanctuary cities including Washington, DC, New York, Philadelphia, and more recently, Denver, many more can afford to fly. Regional airports such as Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas, said migrants have been staying on site for days while waiting for flights, while a homelessness center inside Chicago's O'Hare Airport has been inundated with migrants flown in from border states. Thousands of migrants have reportedly passed through the airport in Jacksonville, FL, while those arriving at Logan Airport in Massachusetts are going on to "overwhelm state resources," according to a local report. In El Paso, Texas — the busiest border crossing in the nation — the city shut its airport to the general public a week ago, only allowing ticketed passengers access in order to handle the influx.

May 16: The Daily Signal:
3,000 veterans and active duty military members support Senator's ban on promotions in light of the left leaning of DOD policies

For months, Senator Tuberville (R-AL) has waged a fight against the Defense Department's woke agenda by blocking the Senate's approval of nearly 200 promotions for military generals and flag officers. The military establishment, Senate Democrats, and the Biden administration have resorted to name-calling and unfounded warnings—even though Tuberville insists he won't budge until the Pentagon reverses its policy subsidizing abortions. Two weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY, touted a letter from seven former secretaries of defense to make his case. Today, a significantly larger number of current and retired service members announced they're backing Tuberville. More than 3,000 veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces are expressing their support for Tuberville and calling on the Pentagon to rescind its abortion policy. Four members of Congress joined state lawmakers, national leaders, and thousands of everyday Americans who have served their country in the military. "The undersigned stand united in condemning this policy," they write in the letter to Schumer and Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY).. "This policy is not just illegal, it shamefully politicizes the military, circumvents the authority of Congress, and exceeds the authority of the Department of Defense."

May 16: The Daily Caller:
Jordan invites Durham to testify on "RussiaGate" before House Judiciary

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan(R-OH) sent a letter to Special Counsel John Durham after the release of his report Monday, calling on him to testify before the committee. The letter was sent to Durham after his report found the FBI used "uncorroborated intelligence" when launching its probe into former President Donald Trump and his alleged ties to Russia. Durham's report states, "Neither U.S. nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement."

Special Counsel John DurhamMay 15: The Daily Signal: Key takeaways from Durham Report on origin of DOJ/FBI's Trump probe
Special counsel John Durham, in a widely anticipated report Monday, condemned the Justice Department and the FBI for their conduct in the "Russian collusion" investigation of Donald Trump. Durham's investigation looked at the origins of Crossfire Hurricane, the name of the FBI probe of whether Trump or his 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russians to win the election. The investigation was taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, after Trump was elected president. Mueller's team concluded there was no evidence of conspiracy or collusion between Trump or his campaign and Russia. Trump's second attorney general (Bill Barr) appointed Durham to determine the origins of the original investigation. The report states that the investigation started without any evidence indicating any collusion. Durham's report notes significant differences between how the FBI investigated Trump and how it investigated his Democrat opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "The speed and manner in which the FBI opened and investigated Trump during the presidential election season with no evidence suggesting malfeasance reflected a noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign." The Durham report also details hostile feelings by FBI officials toward Trump. The special counsel's report states "…there was significant reliance on investigative leads provided or funded (directly or indirectly) by Trump's political opponents."

May 15: Fox News: IRS removes "entire investigation team" into Hunter Biden probe at request of Biden's DOJ
The IRS has removed the "entire investigative team" from its multi-year tax fraud investigation of Hunter Biden, and a whistleblower who raised concerns about the handling of the case is claiming the move was "clearly retaliatory." Reportedly the whistleblower's attorneys told Congress that the removal was on the order of the Department of Justice. "Today the IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent we represent was informed that he and his entire investigative team are being removed from the ongoing and sensitive investigation of the high-profile, controversial subject about which our client sought to make whistleblower disclosures to Congress.

May 15: News Max: If elected Trump promises to release all the files on JFK
Former President Donald Trump stated he would release all the files related to former President John F. Kennedy's assassination if reelected in 2024. Trump's statement follows after Democrat Party challenger, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., said last week that there was "overwhelming" evidence that the CIA was involved in his uncle's murder. Prior to Tucker Carlson's departure from Fox News, the journalist reported he spoke to someone with direct knowledge of JFK's assassination. When asked by Carlson if the CIA had a hand in JFK's assassination, the source said, "The answer is yes. I believe they were involved. It's a whole different country from what we thought it was. It's all fake." In 1992, then-President George H.W. Bush (Sr.), who had once served as the director of the CIA, signed a law mandating the public release of all JFK-related documents. However, successive administrations, including the Biden administration, have refrained from disclosing the documents in their entirety. While some materials were released, approximately 4,300 records remain redacted.

May 14: The New York Post: Two Russian commanders killed in Ukrainian offensive
Two Russian military commanders were killed in eastern Ukraine, Moscow's Ministry of Defense said Sunday as Kyiv vowed its long-anticipated counteroffensive will free Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine. The ministry said the commanders were fighting Ukrainian attempts to break through the frontline in Bakhmut. Commander Vyacheslav Makarov of the 4th Motorized Rifle Brigade was wounded during the fighting and died while being evacuated off the battlefield, the ministry said. Another high-ranking official — Col. Yevgeny Brovko, deputy commander of the Army Corps for Military-Political Work — died "suffering multiple shrapnel wounds," the ministry said. According to the ministry, Ukrainian troops have waged attacks in the north and south of Bakhmut over the last day, but haven't broken through Russian defenses. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Sunday that troops "continue to move forward in the Bakhmut sector in the suburbs." "Our units captured more than ten enemy positions in the north and south of Bakhmut and cleared a large area of forest near Ivanivske. Enemy soldiers from different units were captured," she said on Telegram. Neither Russia nor Ukraine has been able to take full control over the highly contested city, though Moscow on Friday acknowledged its troops had fallen back north of Bakhmut as Ukraine amps up its attacks.

US Navy's 7th Fleet underwayMay 14: The Daily Caller: US Navy is struggling to meet commitments with a small number of ships and loss of personnel
The U.S. Navy is overstretched, and if it doesn't find a way to hold on to sailors, keep ships in good condition and develop a clear plan forward, America will lose the most powerful tool it has to deter China, experts have said. The Navy's preparedness for a fight has crumbled in recent years from a series of issues with personnel and capabilities that likely stem from a failure to maintain a fleet of the right size and composition for the job of patrolling the world's oceans and guarding the homeland, according to experts and watchdog reports. As Congress urges the service to maintain a larger fleet, the Navy is approaching the point where it will have to choose a path: fix its problems or cut down on its objectives, experts said. "The United States counts on the Navy to advance U.S. influence, respond to crises and deter — and if necessary, defeat — adversary aggression. If the Navy does not swiftly address its deficiencies, one of its most important instruments of national power will become increasingly less relevant," Timothy Walton, a senior fellow researching warfare and Indo-Pacific security at the Hudson Institute said.

May 13: The Epoch Times: FBI says "NO" to subpoena re Biden document; talks underway about Contempt of Congress
House Republicans appear split on whether to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress for not complying with a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee that seeks a document with whistleblower allegations that Joe Biden received a bribe from a foreign official. In a May 3 letter to Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the chairman of the Oversight Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote that they "have received legally protected and highly credible unclassified whistleblower disclosures. "Based on those disclosures, it has come to our attention that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possess an unclassified FD-1023 form that describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions. It has been alleged that the document includes a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose." The May 3 subpoena required the FBI to hand over any FD-1023 forms—which note information from confidential human sources—with the word "Biden" in them. The FBI refused to comply within the subpoena's May 10 deadline. "It's clear from the FBI's response that the unclassified record the Oversight Committee subpoenaed exists, but they are refusing to provide it to the Committee. We've asked the FBI to not only provide this record, but to also inform us what it did to investigate these allegations," said Comer in a May 10 statement. "The FBI has failed to do both. The FBI's position is 'trust, but you aren't allowed to verify.' That is unacceptable. We plan to follow up with the FBI and expect compliance with the subpoena. "While the FBI has failed to produce the specific document by the subpoena deadline, their offer to provide an accommodation process in response to our legitimate request indicates the document is real," said Grassley in a statement. "So the question remains, what did the FBI do to investigate very serious allegations from an apparent trusted FBI source implicating then-Vice President Biden? Today's letter from the FBI raises additional questions, including whether the FBI has an open investigation based on these allegations. The American people pay the FBI's salaries, and they're entitled to a fulsome response." A handful of House GOP members have said they would be willing to hold Wray in contempt of Congress.

May 12: The Epoch Times: Trump dismisses criticism over participating CNN town hall
Former President Donald Trump on May 11 dismissed criticism over his appearance on the CNN town hall. "People are criticizing CNN for giving me a Forum to tell the truth. I believe it was a very smart thing that they did, with Sky High Ratings that they haven't seen in a very long time. It was by far the biggest Show of the night, the week, and the month!" Trump wrote on his Truth Social account on Thursday. CNN's town hall with Trump drew more than 3 million viewers Wednesday night, far more than the cable network usually draws on a weeknight. That figure included some 703,000 viewers in the 25 to 54 age demographics, according to Nielsen data. Trump's town hall, held at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, marked the former president's first appearance on CNN since 2016. It also marked Trump's first major TV event for his 2024 presidential campaign.

Female shopper at grocery store with ever increasing pricesMay 13: Fox News: CEO of grocery chain sounds alarm over the 'dumb things' US government is doing
The CEO of New York City grocery store chain Gristedes is sounding the alarm over all the "dumb things" the government is doing as inflation persists. FOX Business host Bartiromo asked John Catsimatidis when Americans will see a break at the supermarket he said: "When the food executives feel confident that Washington is not doing dumb things." "When they feel that their earnings… are going to survive," he continued. His comments came on the heels of inflation jumping 0.4% in April as prices remain stubbornly high. The Labor Department reported the consumer price index -- a broad measure of the price for everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rents -- climbed 4.9% on an annual basis, slightly below the 5% increase forecast by economists. "Right now everybody's panicked," Catsimatidis stressed. "The bank executives are panicked and food executives are panicked. Everybody's panicked and say, what's the next shoe that's going to fall? Let's take a pause and let's see how things sort themselves out." Catsimatidis went on to warn if the Fed keeps raising interest rates "you're going to have a 1981 all over again." From July 1981 until November 1982, the so-called "Reagan recession" resulted in high interest rates in an effort to fight mounting inflation. "There's not going to be a 2% rate anywhere soon… and what we have to do is calm the markets and the rates have to definitely not go up. I prefer that they show that they are going to go down in the near future," he said.

May 12: The Daily Caller:
State Department official retires after revelations that she was soft on China

Secretary Blinken announced today, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is retiring after decades of work in the foreign policy sphere. Sherman has taken the lead on multiple high-profile foreign policy issues, having served as the lead negotiator of what some call the botched Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) during the Obama administration and she has been leading the Biden administration's China policy, also considered a failure by some. Prior to serving as America's second-ranking diplomat, Sherman was the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2011 to 2015) where she led the charge on the Iran nuclear deal. She also served as a policy advisor to Bill Clinton regarding North Korea. From 1997-2001 she served as "Counselor" of the State Department playing a primary role in the US China policy.

May 12; The Washington Times:
Intel officials say China is stepping up efforts to sway US electorate

According to the US intelligence community, China's government is expanding the use of its covert influence operations targeting the United States and is expected to exploit the White House-congressional clash over the debt limit crisis as part of growing anti-U.S. activities. The most recent DNI annual threat assessment warned China's recent efforts are nearing the aggressive intensity of similar covert disinformation operations coming from Russia, including the use of intelligence agents, cyber tools and social media to meddle in U.S. elections, weaken national security laws, and exacerbate domestic divisions. "Beijing's growing efforts to actively exploit perceived U.S. societal divisions using its online personas move it closer to Moscow's playbook for influence operations," the assessment states. Russian disinformation activities were described in the report as posing the "most serious foreign influence threats to the United States." Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, disclosed in recent congressional testimony that China is expected to use the looming government crisis over raising the debt ceiling in their anti-U.S. influence campaigns.

May 12: One America News Network:
Cruz (R-TX) on the situation at the Southern US Border

Senator Ted Cruz visited the Rio Grande along the border in Brownsville, Texas on Thursday to show support for the overworked Border Patrol agents while also delivering remarks directed at Joe Biden regarding the situation that has been unfolding there. "I'm proud to stand with the men and women of Border Patrol and the Texas National Guard. They're working their tails off under extreme duress. We are witnessing an absolute travesty unfolding at our southern border," Cruz said before laying the blame of the situation at the feet of the Biden and the Democrats. He explained the southern border is seeing record number of illegal immigrants crossing on a daily basis and that Texas is on the forefront, and that it is "overwhelming." He expressed his concern about the human rights abuses that occur against immigrants, by human traffickers, as they make their way into the United States. "Six weeks ago, I asked Secretary Mayorkas how [many] migrants died in the past year crossing illegally," he said. "He said 'I don't know' the number is 853, but he can't be bothered to worry about that. I asked him how many women have been sexually assaulted in the last year by human traffickers, he said 'I don't know,' because the administration can't be bothered by that. I asked how many children have been physically and sexually assaulted, again, 'I don't know.'" He went on to explain that as soon as Title 42 ends, those number will be greatly magnified.

May 12: The Daily Caller: Communist Party-controlled firm funneled money to the Biden family; money laundering may be involved
According to business documents, the Hong Kong corporation that allegedly wired funds to Hunter Biden's business in 2017 was controlled by a Shanghai firm run by members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) -- some of whom had previously served in the People's Liberation Army (PLA). On June 30, 2017, Shanghai Huaxin Group (Hong Kong) Ltd. wired $10 million to the Delaware-based company CEFC Infrastructure, which then wired $100,000 to Hunter Biden's "professional corporation," Owaso P.C. about a month later. A House Oversight Committee memo alleges the transfers were part of an influence peddling scheme. According to the Shanghai stock exchange, at the time of the wire transfer, 100% of Shanghai Huaxin Group Ltd.'s shares were held by a company called CEFC Shanghai International Group Ltd., which was run by multiple members of the CCP.

KIA in Baltimore - Manugacturers are at fault for carjacking, not the criminalsMay 12: The Washington Examiner:
Carjacking in Baltimore is the fault of the car manufacturers and not the criminals

Sound familiar; but stupid? Who is responsible for public safety and protecting people from having their cars stolen? You might think it would be local governments, which are responsible for enforcing laws and ensuring that criminals go to jail. But no — according to the City of Baltimore the real blame for rampant criminal carjackings lies at the feet of the car manufacturers themselves. The Cty filed a federal lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai, alleging t the companies created a public nuisance by making cars that can be stolen easily. "Hyundai and Kia's decision to put cost savings and profits over public safety has had significant consequences for Baltimore and its residents, as it has in other cities," the city claims. That's right, just like some say gun violence is caused by gun manufacturers and not criminals, carjacking in Baltimore is caused by car manufacturers and not criminals. Baltimore saw larcenies increase every month in 2022 and solved them at a dramatically low rate of 2.7% than the national average of 15%. The blame does not sit with the city for coddling criminals or on the criminals themselves for being criminals. Go figure!

May 11: News Max: Bongino; Trump sealed up the 2024 nomination in the CNN Townhall last night; liberals going ballistic
Conservative talk show host Dan Bongino said former President Donald Trump's performance during a CNN town hall was so good Wednesday night that he effectively wrapped up the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. "I'm going to say after last night, I don't know what you guys think, the primary is over," Bongino said during his opening monologue. "It's over man. ... Trump was in rare form last night and just lit CNN on fire to the point where CNN was questioning CNN at the end of the night." Bongino said the town hall was "an absolute disaster" for liberals. "Last night, CNN thought it was going to be the kill shot for Donald Trump. It turned out to be the kill shot for CNN. Absolutely body-bagged the CNN audience last night. …CNN, of course, wanted to have Trump on because of the ratings. They thought they could 'control' Donald Trump. I think we've learned for the last seven years now that no one is going to control Donald Trump." Bongino said he has no hard feelings toward others who have declared as candidates for the 2024 GOP nod, but he said he does not see a chance for them in the race after last night Meanwhile the liberal media is going ballistic. "CNN should be ashamed of themselves. They have lost total control of this 'town hall' to again be manipulated into platforming election disinformation, defenses of Jan 6th, and a public attack on a sexual abuse victim. The audience is cheering him on and laughing at the host." Bongino said, "When the media starts freaking out about what Donald Trump is doing, it means Donald Trump did something really destructive to the enemies of America. Always gauge the success and failure by that. "They have got some real problems right now. Donald Trump is back. He was back last night, and I'll tell 'ya, he had a lot of substance with what he had to say."

Senator Feisteinin wheel chair, confusedMay 11: The Daily Caller:
Feinstein returns to the senate; confused about where she was going, and where she was

Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein returned to the Senate in an allegedly confused state Wednesday as she entered the Capitol in a wheelchair. The 89-year-old lawmaker had been absent from the Senate for over two months due to complications from her shingles diagnosis. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer greeted Feinstein outside the Senate chamber, where, according to the Huffington Post, she trembled and appeared confused. "Where am I going?" she asked, according to the outlet. "I've got something in my eye." Video shared by the outlet shows Feinstein slowly being guided into a wheelchair. Politico reported last month that three people who visited with Feinstein or were familiar with her status said her illness has taken a major toll. Two unnamed sources who reportedly spoke with the senator said they are hopeful she is capable of serving the remainder of her term, but they did not seem sure she could do so from the Senate chamber in Washington. Despite the senator's condition, Democrats have pushed for Feinstein to return to the Senate floor, as her vote is critical for approving liberal judicial nominees appointed by Joe Biden. Upon her return, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee approved six Biden nominees, three of whom passed on a party-line vote. The votes had been put on hold while Feinstein was absent from D.C.

May 11: Fox News: Dems/Independents alarmed over new allegations related to the "Biden Crime Family"
The latest allegations from House Republicans have put more pressure on a growing scandal surrounding the Biden family. While many Republicans have long questioned Hunter Biden's financial dealings, Democrats and independents are now also voicing concerns about Joe Biden's involvement in his son's overseas business affairs. "It's completely unethical," one independent voter said during a "Fox & Friends" discussion with a bipartisan group of voters. "You have foreign nationals funneling money into an LLC, then being disbursed to the Biden family. I mean, it's basically unethical. It's a national security threat. It could be treasonous, as far as I'm concerned." During a press conference Wednesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) and a panel of other members said they believe Joe Biden "has been involved" in his family's foreign business dealings "from the very beginning," telling reporters that lawmakers are only "in the beginning stages" of their investigation. Comer listed the Biden family members who received funds, including Hunter Biden, Jim Biden, "Joe Biden's brother's wife, Hunter Biden's girlfriend or Beau Biden's widow — however you want to write that — Hunter Biden's ex-wife, Hunter Biden's current wife and three children of the president's son and the president's brother.

May 11: The Epoch Times: Trump presented his vision for America at a CNN Townhall Meeting; Lots of media buzz follows the event
Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday presented his vision for the country as he fielded questions from voters and a CNN moderator for a town hall in New Hampshire. Trump shared what he'd do to fix what he called the "Biden decline" in our country. Reportedly the audience at the Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire was made up of 1/3rd Republicans, 1/3rd Democrats and 1/3rd undeclared voters. "Joe Biden has turned everything into a disaster: inflation, the economy, the border, crime, energy, China, Russia, and wokeness in schools, Trump's campaign said after the town hall. "President Trump will save the economy, bring down inflation, secure the border, crush the Deep State and prevent World War III. President Trump is the only one who can stop the forces from destroying our country—anyone else will be ripped to shreds"

Skyrocketing Prices: An audience member asked about skyrocketing prices that have affected food, gas, utilities, and insurance, which has increased U.S. taxpayers' bills by several hundred dollars; Trump, referring to helping lower energy prices, responded "Drill, baby, drill" to a round of cheers and applause. Trump noted that under his administration the price of gas at the pump was $1.87 a gallon and the country was on the verge of becoming energy independent. The cost of energy impacts all sectors of the economy and if dealing directly with that issue has the ability to moderate the major price increases we have seen.

Looming US Debt Default: Trump said he is concerned about the nation's debt crisis and predicts the government may need to default eventually, which is better than "spending money like drunken sailors." The remarks come as Congress and the Biden Administration – which has been sitting on its hands for almost three months, refusing to negotiate possible spending cuts -- are finally discussing how to avert a first-ever U.S. debt default with an estimate of only a few weeks to solve the problem. "We're spending $7 trillion, much of it on nonsense," Trump said. "Frankly the Senate should have never approved it [the spending bill in the lame duck session last year]. I say get [rid of] all the money that was wasted, and if they don't get rid of that, you'll have to default." He said he doesn't think the situation will end in a default, and that if Republicans refuse to raise the debt limit and continue to call for spending cuts, Democrats "will absolutely cave" with that strategy. "You once said that using the debt ceiling as a negotiating wedge just could not happen, when you were in the Oval Office," CNN moderator Kaitlan Collins said. "So why is it different now that you're out of office?" "Because now I'm not president!" Trump said, which made the audience respond with laughter.

Second Amendment: Trump expressed his ongoing commitment to protecting the Second Amendment and combating mental health issues in the country instead of restricting the right to access guns. "There's been nobody that's protected the Second Amendment… like I have. I've protected it through thick and thin, not easy to do," he said. "But we have a very big mental health problem in this country. And again, it's not the gun that pulls the trigger, it's the person that pulls the trigger. And we have to protect our Second Amendment." CNN moderator Collins noted that there have already been more than 200 mass shootings in 2023. She asked whether Trump would introduce any gun restrictions if he was to be reelected. Trump said he would "do numerous things" to help harden schools with greater security measures overall, including ensuring enough security guards and potentially training teachers who are ex-military or law enforcement on using guns in case of a breach. He noted "it is a big mental health problem in this country more than anything else." Trump noted that," cities such as Chicago and New York are cities with tough gun control laws but "all of those places are the worst, dangerous places, so [more gun restrictions] is not the answer."

Abortion Regulation: A former Trump supporter asked him how he plans to reach to women who are concerned about the SCOTUS decision on Roe v. Wade. Trump noted that the SCOTUS decision didn't stop abortions but that "Getting rid of Roe v. Wade was an important thing for pro-life because it gives pro-life something to negotiate with [at the state level]. I happen to believe in the exceptions [to banning abortion]—[to save the] life of the mother, rape, incest," he said. He called those on the left who want to allow late term abortions or shortly after a baby is born, "radical."

Border Security: CNN moderator Collins said that under the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy [in effect from April–June 2018] the policy required all adults who cross the border into the United States illegally to be prosecuted. This meant that minors, who could not be held in criminal custody with their parents, were separated from their parents and were eventually typically sent to live with a sponsor, which is often a relative or another person linked to the family. "When you have that policy, people don't come," Trump told Collins. "If a family hears that they're going to be separated—they love their family—they don't come. I know it sounds harsh." Trump said, noting how major cities like New York and Los Angeles are being "swamped" with illegal immigrants. He projected that the country will end up by the end of the year with 15 million illegal immigrants who may come from 129 different countries. "Our whole country is being destroyed Millions of people are [illegally] coming into our country," Trump said.

Russia–Ukraine War: Another audience member asked whether Trump would support sending more money to Ukraine and then, Collins interjected, "Do you want Ukraine to win this war?" Trump said he doesn't like to think of "winning" versus "losing" in such a situation. "I think of it in terms of getting it settled," he said. "I want everybody to stop dying." He also noted that the United States is "giving away so much ammunition" that the country doesn't have ammunition for itself. He also said, "We've given so far $171 billion," while the European Union has given about $20 billion. They've got to put up a lot more money, because they're taking advantage of us like every other country did."

May 11: News Max:
69% say allegations about the "Biden Crime Family" are a serious scandal

Voters across the political spectrum believe revelations from House GOP investigators about foreign payments to Joe Biden's family are a serious scandal, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday. The poll showed 69% of respondents, including 43% of Democrats, 88% of Republicans and 72% of unaffiliated voters believe allegations of foreign influence peddling by Biden during his time as vice president and his family is a serious scandal. The poll has a 95% level of confidence. Demographically, 67% of whites, 75% of Blacks and 72% of other minorities think the Biden family's foreign-influence issue is at least somewhat serious. Men (72%) are slightly more likely than women voters (65%) to think the Biden influence peddling issue is at least somewhat serious. When asked whether Joe Biden personally benefited from a pay-for-play scheme, 63%, including 42% of Democrats, believe it was likely or somewhat likely that Biden did. The survey was completed before Chairman Comer (R-KY) and the Oversight Committee disclosed the details of their investigation Wednesday regarding bank records alleging the Biden family's influence peddling and business schemes, including the Biden family and associates' network of companies set up during Joe Biden's vice presidency and millions the Bidens received from foreign sources.

May 10: The Epoch Times: AI could impact the 2024 election
New generations of artificial intelligence (AI), such as the AI powering the ChatGPT chatbot, will find a plethora of uses in political campaigns. "ChatGPT is going to save a lot of time for people, especially with repetitive tasks. But at least the current generation, I don't think it's a magic bullet," summarized Colin Delany, a digital campaign consultant who runs Epolitics.com. ChatGPT has made waves as the first broadly accessible AI that gives users a feeling of flowing, natural conversation. It's been praised for its robust capability to produce prose and computer code. Numerous other AI tools have recently hit the market, offering voice, image, and video generation. The breakneck pace of the industry's progress has sparked concerns about how the technology could affect the democratic process, especially elections. Some concerns are justified, but the experts said the impact doesn't appear to be groundbreaking just yet. Even so AI can now manipulate images, voice, and video in a way that passes as convincing. Many people were fooled at first by the fake images of Pope Francis wearing a puffer coat. "We've all seen the deep fake videos. We've all seen the deep fake images," noted a Democrat campaign strategist. The key will be for campaigns to develop "a rapid response" to quickly debunk the fakes. However, having the debunk achieve the same level of virality as the fake may be challenging. As one observer put it, a lie can go around the world several times before the truth has time to put its track shoes on!

May 10: The Epoch Times:
Biden considering reinstating some of the Trump policies at the southern border

The Biden administration stated on May 10 that it has rolled out a new regulation to coincide with the end of Title 42, under which many people who plan to illegally cross the southern border will be rendered ineligible for asylum. Under the finalized rule -- which essentially brings back a Trump-era travel policy --, illegal immigrants will be disqualified from applying for asylum in the United States if they didn't first (with limited exceptions) seek protection in countries that they traveled through on their way to the United States. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), the regulation is meant to decrease human smuggling activities at the southern border by encouraging asylum-seekers to use "lawful, safe, and orderly" pathways, such as seeking refuge in a third country that they've passed through. "This Administration has led the largest expansion of legal pathways for protection in decades, and this regulation will encourage migrants to seek access to those pathways instead of arriving unlawfully in the grip of smugglers at the southern border," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. The rule has undergone a 32-day public comment period. Its finalization comes as tens of thousands of migrants are arriving at and gathering along the Mexican side of the southern border, waiting for Title 42 to expire. The move has triggered frustration among immigration activists, who see remarkable similarities between Biden's rule and the Trump administration's 2019 "third-country asylum" rule.

May 10: Fox News: FBI non responsive to House Oversight affidavit
The FBI did not comply with the House Oversight Committee's subpoena compelling the production of an FBI document that a whistleblower alleged describes as a criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national and relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions. House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) subpoenaed the FBI for the document, which is an FBI-generated FD-1023 form after a whistleblower alleged that the FBI and Justice Department were in possession of it. They said the whistleblower alleged the document "includes a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose." Comer gave the FBI until Wednesday at noon to comply with the subpoena, but instead, the bureau sent a letter explaining its "confidentiality interests" and the importance of protecting sources and methods to protect U.S. national security. An FD-1023 form is used by FBI agents to record unverified reporting from confidential human sources. The form is used to document information as told to an FBI agent, but recording that information does not validate or weigh it against other information known by the FBI. "This letter responds to your subpoena, authorized on May 3, 2023, demanding the production of documents within one week. As this was your first communication with the FBI seeking this information, please know that the FBI is committed to beginning the constitutionally mandated accommodation process," the letter states. "The FBI is committed to working to provide the Committee information necessary for your legitimate oversight interests, while also protecting executive branch confidentiality interests and law enforcement responsibilities"

joe and hunter Biden depart Air Force OneMay 10: The Epoch Times:
Tons of evidence reveals what some are calling the Biden Family Corruption

According to a White House spokesman, House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) is "floating evidence-free innuendo, and making absurd attacks on [Joe Biden] and his family to try to score political points." The comment was made as claims are being made that millions of dollars had been flowing from foreign entities to Joe Biden and nearly a dozen members of his family since 2008. In a statement emailed to journalists by the White House more than two hours before the committee's press conference, Sams (the White House spokesman) argued that Comer was continuing a "long pattern of making absurd claims that Biden has made governing decisions not in the interest of America, but of the Chinese Communist Party, using baseless claims, personal attacks, and innuendo to try to score political points." But in fact the 36-page, single-spaced, deeply footnoted memorandum made public by Comer is based on dozens of government documents, personal emails, corporate bank records and highly detailed accounts of the wheeling and dealing that enabled Joe Biden to become a multi-millionaire while working on the federal payroll in Congress and the White House.

A Blizzard of Facts: The Comer memorandum focuses in particular on business deals with foreign entities in Romania and China, noting a May 21, 2014, speech by then Vice President Joe Biden to Romania's prime minister, judges, prosecutors and legislative leaders. "Corruption is a cancer, a cancer that eats away at a citizen's faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity; already-tight national budgets, crowding out important national investments. In September 2014, Biden met in the White House with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, who told reporters the vice president "voiced satisfaction over Romania's progress with the fight against corruption." At the same time, according to the Comer memorandum, Biden associates were doing lucrative deals with Romanian entrepreneur Gabriel Popoviciu even as he was at the center of "one of the most high-profile corruption prosecutions" in that country. Reportedly, within five weeks payments totaling in excess of $3 million started to flow to Rob Walker who is a long-time business partner of Joe Biden's son, Hunter. Additionally, the Comer memo links Biden with Chinese entities. The details of the web of connections and payments are outlined in The Epoch Times report. Readers are directed to same for additional information.

May 9: The Washington Times: Tucker Carlson taking his show and content to Twitter
Tucker Carlson will be taking his talk show and other content to Twitter. In a three-minute video posted Tuesday, the former Fox News Channel star host praised Twitter and decried the stranglehold over the national conversation held by legacy media outlets. Twitter has long served as the place where our national conversation incubates and develops. Twitter is not a partisan site, everybody's allowed here. We think that's a good thing," Carlson said. "Starting soon, we'll be bringing a new version of the show we've been doing for the last six-and-a-half years to Twitter," he continued. "We'll be bringing some other things too, which we'll tell you about, but for now we're just grateful to be here." Describing his reason for moving to Twitter, Mr. Carlson said that it's too simple to say, as many people do, that "the news is full of lies." "In the most literal sense," the data presented in mainstream media reports is accurate but serves "a lie of the stealthiest and most insidious kind. Facts have been withheld on purpose, along with proportion and perspective." This happens in the mainstream media, "in every story that matters, every day of the week, every week of the year," he said. Hence, Twitter. "[Free] Speech is the fundamental prerequisite for democracy. That's why it's enshrined in the First of our constitutional amendments. Amazingly, as of tonight, there aren't many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining in the world, the only one is Twitter — where we are now," he said.

May 9: The Washington Examiner:
Biden considering going around Congress in a possible unconstitutional move to get a clean debt ceiling increase without any spending cuts

Joe Biden has disputed some of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) characterizations of their hour-long meeting over the debt ceiling and contradicted a couple of statements the White House has made about his positions. "We agreed to continue our discussions, and we're going to meet again on Friday. In the meantime, our staff are going to meet today and daily between now and then," Biden told reporters Tuesday in the Roosevelt Room. "I made clear during our meeting that default is not an option." Biden additionally said he was "considering" using the 14th Amendment to resolve the debt ceiling crisis but expressed concern it would "have to be litigated, and in the meantime, without an extension, it'd still end up in the same place." Biden, who described the meeting as "productive," repeated he was open to "a separate discussion about budget and spending priorities but not under the threat of default" and that Republicans have yet to detail what programs they would scrap; even though the House passed its version of the debt ceiling increase legislation. Biden went on to indicate that he trusted McCarthy "will try to do what he says" but that he does not "know how much leeway" McCarthy "thinks he has," intimating the speaker was not "measured" at times during the meeting. Meanwhile, McCarthy told reporters at the White House after the meeting that he "didn't see any new movement" regarding their respective stances over a clean debt ceiling bill and concessions concerning spending cuts in exchange for extending the country's borrowing cap. He, too, bemoaned Biden's lack of compromise proposals. "I've done everything in my power to make sure [the country] will not default," he said. "We have passed a bill to raise the debt limit. Now, I haven't seen that in the Senate, so I don't know."

Speaker McCarthy meets with Joe  Biden May 9: Fox Business:
McCarthy says he confronted Biden about "Lies" during tense debt ceiling meeting; will meet again on Friday

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday evening that he will meet with Joe Biden again on Friday to discuss the debt limit, and that he would oppose the commander-in-chief's usage of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in a bid to skirt House Republicans on the borrowing limits altogether. "I didn't find progress in this meeting. Staff will continue to meet and we'll get back together on Friday, and hopefully [Joe Biden] then can change the path of the last 97 days," McCarthy (R-CA), said in reference to the time between today's meeting and their first debt ceiling sit-down on February 1. He said their staffs will meet "to see if we could find places that we could find savings and be able to come to an agreement on the debt ceiling," despite Democrats insisting they would not pair budget talks with action on the debt limit.

May 9: The Daily Caller: Lawyer attacks Senator Wyden (D-OR) for trying to tarnish the reputation of Justice Clarence Thomas
Harlan Crow's lawyer fired back at Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden Monday night, arguing the senator (who is a liberal transplant originally from California) was attempting to "tarnish" the reputation of Judge Clarence Thomas as part of a "broader campaign" to allege the justice violated ethics rules. Wyden sent a letter to Crow demanding a "full accounting" of Crow's gifts to Thomas following a report of vacations their families took together at Crow's expense; Thomas a close friend of Crow previously said he was advised by colleagues that "this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable." Crow's lawyer, Michael D. Bopp, responded Monday night, telling Wyden in a letter that his request raises "serious concerns" about the extent of the committee's powers. Bopp argued that Wyden's letter demonstrated a lack of legislative purpose and a lack of authority, and additionally, argued it violated the separation of powers and misunderstood gift tax laws. "Given the Letter's timing and focus, this inquiry appears to be a component of a broader campaign against Justice Thomas and, now, Mr. Crow, rather than an investigation that furthers a valid legislative purpose," he wrote.

May 8: The Washington Times:
Debt situation laid bare; US owes foreigners $7 trillion

The good news during the latest government showdown is that most of the federal debt is owned by U.S. shareholders. The bad news is that still leaves roughly $7 trillion in federal debt abroad. That includes $1.1 trillion held in Japan and $860 billion held in China. Those nations are the largest foreign sources of financing the U.S. debt.

May 8: The Washington Examiner:
DeSantis' education agenda; a pattern for the nation?
The Florida legislature adjourned from its 2023 legislative session Friday after delivering a wish list of conservative bills to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis. Since the summer of 2020, Florida's Republican governor is reportedly a trailblazer on Republican education policy, and conservative activists are calling for other Republican-controlled states to follow Florida's lead. DeSantis first put himself front and center of the COVID-19 discourse when he ordered all schools in the Sunshine State to reopen for full in-person classes five days a week in the summer of 2020. The order touched off a fight with some local school districts but ultimately prevailed. Next the issue of whether the districts could require students to wear masks came to the forfront. The governor signed an executive order in the summer of 2021 prohibiting districts from mandating masks. Since the 2021 legislative session DeSantis has gained a substantial record in the education arena.

Parental rights: The bulk of DeSantis's policy reforms have come at the K-12 level, with several initiatives beginning with his push to fully open schools in the fall of 2020. From there he pushed for and got enacted the Parental Rights in Education Act in 2022, which barred classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity prior to fourth grade. The primary purpose of the law was to outline the rights of parents in school settings and prohibit school staff from keeping parents in the dark about their child's well-being at school, including if the child wished to identify as a gender that differed from their biological sex. He also championed efforts to allow military veterans who have not completed degrees to work as teachers and pushed for pay raises for teachers.

Curriculum requirements: On the curriculum front, DeSantis has signed bills requiring high school students to take financial literacy courses, as well as implementing more stringent history standards, including requiring schools to teach about the history of communism. In April, the governor's Department of Education expanded the restrictions on sexual orientation and gender identity content in classrooms to all grades, building on the requirements set for in the 2022 parental rights law. In January, the Florida Department of Education blocked the College Board from piloting its Advanced Placement African American Studies course in the state. The DeSantis administration said the pilot framework of the course potentially violated state law due to its inclusion of concepts such as "Black Queer Studies."

School choice: In March, DeSantis signed a comprehensive bill that expanded eligibility for the state's school choice program to all students, thereby empowering families to cover education costs, including private school tuition, with state funds. Last year Arizona became the first state to pass universal school choice and has been joined by Arkansas, Iowa, and Utah this year.

May 8: Fox News:
Allen police officer ran toward the danger not away from it like most; He's a hero

The Allen, Texas police officer who put an end to an outlet mall shooting on Saturday is being hailed a hero after he "sprinted towards high power rifle fire" while others fled, according to reports. Mauricio Martinez Garcia, 33, opened fire with an AR-15 style rifle at the Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday, killing eight people and injuring several others, including children. Garcia was ultimately taken down by an Allen Police Department officer who rushed into action amid the gunfire. Local station WFAA in Dallas reported that the attorney representing the officer, Zach Horn, released a statement to the news station, saying his client was doing well and The Allen Police Department has not identified the officer. "The officer sprinted towards high power rifle fire as everyone else ran away," Horn told the station. "He's a brave servant with a gentle heart that embodies the best the law enforcement profession has to offer."

Congressman Bob Good (R-VA) member of the House Budget Committee May 7: NewsMax:
Representative Bob Good (R-VA) talks about what House has done on raising the Debt Ceiling

Congressman Bob Good laid out what the House bill does. The bill includes increasing the debt limit by $1.5 Trillion through March 2024; stopping the increased spending passed in the last Congress by limiting spending to the 2022 levels; limits future spending increases to no more than 1% per year; raises the work requirements for 50 year olds to 56 year olds; requires a work requirement of at least 20 hours per week for welfare recipients; reclaims unspent COVID funds; defunds the Biden college loan forgiveness program; rescinds most of the $80 billion set aside to fund 87,000 new IRS special agent positions; and it stops tax incentives for green energy purchases. It also reinstitutes the RAINES Act which requires an approval from Congress for every major regulatory action by the executive branch. This alone is seen by many of the bill's supporters as being critical given the actions by unelected bureaucrats that they view as going beyond the authority granted by Congress. Meanwhile Speaker McCarthy called out Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) saying "If he has a plan, have him put it on the floor and see if he can pass it and then we can go to conference." He also took on the President saying the House has put forth its plan and has passed it. The White House and the Senate haven't put forth a plan. So it's up to you [the Democrats] "…because the Republican have increased the debt limit you [the Democrats] have not."

Senate Republicans are standing behind the House-passed debt limit bill, which means McCarthy will "arrive in a position of negotiating power" when he meets with Joe Biden this week, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said Sunday. "We've got not only the Republican conference in the Senate backing what the Republicans in the House passed the week before last, but we've also got a solid bloc of Republicans. [We have] more than enough to block any sort of so-called 'clean' debt ceiling bill from going forward, anything that raises the debt ceiling without substantive spending and budgetary reforms." Lee contended there are 43 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who are opposing a clean debt ceiling increase, and that two Republicans supported the letter but "for strategic reasons" opted not to sign it. If this is true the Republicans have enough votes to block consideration of a clean bill raising the debt limit without spending cuts. [See Guest Column from the Galveston County Daily News]

Gas stoves for sale in a big box storeMay 7: The Washington Times:
White House coming after your home in the name of climate change and manufacturers and consumers are feeling the pinch

It's not just your gas stove that the Biden Administration is seeking to regulate in the name of combating climate change — it's coming for your entire home. The White House's green energy goals have resulted in an array of new efficiency rules for a slew of household appliances, including microwaves and toothbrush chargers. The effort is forcing manufacturers to produce more costly products that they say reverse innovation by decades and potentially eliminate thousands of U.S. jobs. Biden administration officials are touting the rules as part of the goal to take 100 actions "to strengthen energy efficiency standards for a range of appliances and equipment to lower costs for American families." Combined the plethora of rules they claim would save the average family $100 annually by lowering energy bills but they don't factor in the higher costs of producing and the consumer costs for purchasing these items. Rather than innovating features sought by consumers, the ramped-up regulations for appliances are forcing manufacturers to go backward, said Jill Notini, a spokeswoman for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. "They are literally going to have to redesign products that will look closer to the 1950s than they do to 2020," she contended. Manufacturers have been working with the Energy Department to try to moderate the onslaught of new rules, but they don't seem to be making much progress.

May 7: Breitbart News:
Sources say Carlson is gearing up to push Fox into letting him continue his career

Sources say former Fox News host Tucker Carlson is gearing up to push the outlet into letting him continue his career elsewhere. Lawyer Bryan Freedman, whom Carlson retained for the contract dispute, said the notion Carlson's voice would be silenced was "beyond preposterous." Axios said Fox hopes to sideline Carlson by offering him $20 million a year not to work, adding he is "busy plotting a media empire of his own. But he needs Fox to let him out of his contract, which expires in January 2025 — after the presidential election." "Axios has learned that Carlson and Elon Musk had a conversation about working together, but didn't discuss specifics," the outlet reported. In April, Fox announced it was parting ways with Carlson who previously hosted the popular show, Tucker Carlson Tonight. The decision came as a surprise, meanwhile Fox's ratings had plummeted after Carlson left the network.

May 7: Fox News:
Happy Days actor leaving California because it's no longer a safe place to live

"Happy Days" actor Scott Baio announced on Wednesday that he is moving out of California, citing the state's homeless crisis as one of the reasons why. A [ong-time Los Angeles resident Baio, who played Chachi on the hit 1970s sitcom, said the Golden State is "not a safe place anymore" and pointed to soft-on-crime policies. "After 45 years, I'm making my way to finally 'exit stage right' from California," the retired actor said, adding statistics about homelessness to his tweet. "[Homelessness] brings down property value. Also, no consequences for crime that is rampant, making things higher in price and it's just not a safe place anymore.," he wrote.

Seal of the Federal Bureau of InvestigationsMay 7: The Daily Caller:
Senior FBI agents say it's time to clean house after the politicalization of the agency

Former senior FBI agents are sounding the alarm about the bureau's apparent politicization in a statement sent to The Daily Caller. "We agree privately and uniformly that [the] FBI is heading in the wrong direction and has been too entrenched with partisan politics, starting from Director Comey and intensified under Director Christopher Wray," one agent said on behalf of the group. The retired agents each served in the FBI for more than two decades and chose to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation. The agents describe themselves as a group of FBI veterans who love the bureau and worry about its growing role in partisan politics. "We identified with Nicole Parker's claim that 'The FBI became politically weaponized, starting from the top in Washington trickling down to the field offices,' illustrated by inflating domestic violent extremism statistics, directing big tech companies to censor Americans, conducting an unprecedented raid on President Trump's home while suppressing key details related to the Hunter Biden probe as 'disinformation' and so on. We have observed firsthand that too many FBI current agents are suffering low morale and too many Americans have lost trust in FBI."

May 6: The Washington Examiner:
Nine slain in North Texas mall by lone active shooter

Nine people are dead and seven hospitalized, with three in critical condition, after a mass shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas, police said. Authorities with the Collin County Sheriff's Office said Saturday afternoon that one gunman opened fire at Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday afternoon at around 3:30 p.m. local time. Gov. Greg Abbot (R-TX) said in a statement that he had been in contact with local authorities and was being briefed on what he described as an "unspeakable tragedy." Abbott told WFAA (Dallas) that the shooter Mauricio Garcia served in the U.S. Army but was removed because of mental health concerns.

Joe Biden: The Blind leading the BlindMay 5: The Daily Caller: Unfair elections without Dem debate, Watters claims
Fox News host Jesse Watters ripped the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Friday over reports that Joe Biden would not face a primary debate despite two challengers entering the ring. "If somebody runs for president, you expect them to go out, shake hands and kiss some babies and most of all, get on the debate stage," Watters said. "When it comes to Joe Biden, who just told us to watch him, the Democratic Party said no debates for you." The DNC announced it would not hold debates during the 2024 presidential primaries, drawing criticism from author Mariane Willamson and Rebert F. Kennedy, Jr. both of whom are challenging Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination.

May 5: The Hill: 40 GOP Senators won't support increasing the debt ceiling unless spending cuts are part of the agreement

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signed onto a letter stating he and more than 40 members of the Senate GOP conference will not back "any bill that raises the debt ceiling without substantive spending and budget reforms," according to sources familiar with the correspondence. The letter is addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and would be McConnell's clearest statement to date about what he is willing to support to avoid a national default next month when the federal government is projected to run out of money. "As such, we will not be voting for cloture on any bill that raises the debt ceiling without substantive spending and budget reforms," it warns. The letter is being led by conservative Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT, who wants to ensure that Republicans can sustain a filibuster of a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling, which is what Democrats are demanding. A source familiar with the effort confirmed that more than 40 GOP senators have already signed on, including McConnell's entire leadership team. [See Update of story]

May 4: The Daily Caller:
Senator Kennedy, why are we giving people money to drive electric cars?

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) questioned a witness Thursday on why the government has to incentivize Americans to buy electric vehicles if they're so "swell." During Thursday's Senate Committee on the Budget hearing, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association Abigail Ross Hopper testified about the need for the Inflation Reduction Act and its "significant investments in the clean energy economy." During the hearing, Kennedy asked her about the demand for electric vehicles. Kennedy asked, "Ms. Hopper, I love solar energy, I just want you to know that, and I love electric cars, but I gotta ask you this question, I've been waiting to ask this. If electric cars are so swell, how come government has to pay people to drive them? …if they're so swel, why couldn't they just, in a competitive market, you know, people, why wouldn't they be choosing electric cars over internal combustion engine cars? Why do we have to pay people to drive them?" "I wouldn't characterize it as paying people to drive them," Hopper said. "Well sure we are! We're giving them a big ol' tax credit," Kennedy responded.

May 4: The Washington Examiner: Georgia rejects plan to move its primary election
Democrats had hoped for Georgia to be one of the first contests in next year's presidential primaries, but state officials poured cold water on that proposition on Thursday. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the Peach State will hold its presidential primary on March 12, 2024, nearly a month after the Democratic National Committee had hoped for. The DNC had Georgia holding its presidential primary on Feb. 13, 2024, in its restructured schedule announced in February, which would have made it the fourth contest in the nominating process. Officials in Georgia were given until the middle of June to modify the primary to comply with the DNC schedule, but they elected not to do so. The DNC proposal would have moved Iowa and New Hampshire out of their lead spots, replacing them with South Carolina, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada holding their contests on the same day, followed by Georgia a week later. The new schedule was met with backlash by officials in Iowa and New Hampshire.

May 4: Fox News: Soros-backed prosecutor mired in scandal resigns
An embattled George Soros-bankrolled prosecutor in St. Louis resigned Thursday amid a legal effort by Missouri's attorney general to fire her for allegedly neglecting her duties. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, the city's top prosecutor, is stepping down following repeated, bipartisan calls for her resignation from officials across the state. Gardner's office tweeted her resignation letter, which was addressed to the people of St. Louis. Gardner is one of the first progressive prosecutors whom Soros, a liberal billionaire and Democrat mega-donor, bankrolled in 2016 and again for her re-election in 2020. She announced last month that she would seek a third term. Her resignation is effective June 1. For years, Gardner's office has faced criticism for mishandling cases and office dysfunction. The final straw for Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey came in February, when a teenage volleyball player visiting St. Louis with her team was struck by a car and lost both of her legs. A man was charged in the crash with assault, armed criminal action and operating a motor vehicle without a valid license. He was out on bond awaiting trial for a separate armed robbery case despite violating the terms of his bond several dozen times. Gardner argued that her office had tried to put the suspect back in jail but that a judge had denied their request. However, there are no court records of her office — which is responsible for monitoring compliance with bond conditions and revoking them when those terms are violated — asking for his bond to be revoked, according to local reports. In the wake of the incident, Bailey filed a petition quo warranto, the legal mechanism under state statute that allows the attorney general to remove a prosecutor who neglects the job's duties.

May 4: The Epoch Times: Efforts underway to try to destroy Carlson
Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of investigative journalism company "The Intercept" and host of the daily live show "System Update" alleged on Wednesday that Fox News is intentionally undermining Carlson's character. "There's obviously a decision by Fox to wage a massive war on Tucker Carlson's character—partnering with both the NYT and Media Matters to do it—and it's extremely odd for many reasons, beginning with the fact that [Carlson] hasn't uttered a negative word about [Fox]," he posted on Twitter in response to critical pieces against Carlson. "Since Tucker's show was taken off the air, there has been what could reasonably be called a collapse in ratings—especially among young viewers—on Fox's other shows. I don't know if this is a strategy to win back viewers or what but it seems odd," Greenwald said. Following its April 24 announcement dropping Carlson, Fox Corporation took a nearly $1 billion hit—around 3 percent—to its market value on the same day, adding to its more than 16 percent decline in the last 12 months. Neither Fox News nor Carlson has commented publicly on the separation. Gertz also weighed in on the reason behind the leak; he wrote last Wednesday on Twitter: "It's probably worth interpreting most leaks out of Fox News this week as Irena Briganti, on behalf of the Murdochs, letting Tucker Carlson know how bad things will get for him if he doesn't go quietly." Media personality Megyn Kelly shared a similar sentiment with Greenwald, alleging that Fox is trying to "destroy" Carlson by leaking the videos to other outlets. "It's not enough to fire you. You must be destroyed, and it doesn't matter how nice a guy you were, how many points you put on the board for the channel, that you brought us through the Trump years, that you were No. 1 in your time slot, that you haven't said one negative word about us," Kelly said.

May 3: The Epoch Times:
House Oversight Committee subpoenaed FBI files alleging Joe Biden involved in a "criminal scheme" of money for policy decisions when Vice President

The House Oversight Committee on May 3 subpoenaed the FBI for a file alleging that a whistleblower linked Joe Biden to a "criminal scheme" that involved money for policy decisions while he was the vice president. "We have received legally protected and highly credible unclassified whistleblower disclosures," Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Senate Budget Committee ranking GOP member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray in a May 3rd letter. "Based on those disclosures, it has come to our attention that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possess an unclassified FD-1023 form that describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions," the letter reads. Neither Comer nor Grassley elaborated on what those policy decisions were or how much money was allegedly provided, if any. The White House hasn't yet publicly commented on the matter.

May 3: The Washington Examiner:
Senate passes bill to cancel Biden's solar tariff pause

Senators passed a measure Wednesday to invalidate the emergency declaration Joe Biden declared last summer to temporarily protect Asian solar energy imports from anti-dumping and countervailing duties. The 56-41 bipartisan vote gives full approval to the resolution after House lawmakers passed the same measure on Friday and tees up the possibility of another Biden veto. The bill seeks to nullify one of his administration's environment-related rulemakings or administrative actions. The Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval melds several hot political issues, including U.S. trade and manufacturing policy, competition with China, and climate change mitigation, into one. The Commerce Department issued a preliminary determination in December finding that Chinese-parented companies exporting solar cells and modules from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia to the U.S. are circumventing existing duties on Chinese solar products, setting the stage for tariffs to be extended to those imports.

May 2: The Epoch Times:
DOI leasing of off shore oil and gas leases months overdue, feared lost at sea!

The U.S. Department of Interior's (DOI) reauthorization of its five-year National Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program is months overdue and feared lost at sea—a sea that is of regulatory deceit, claim some Congressional Republicans and Democrats. The update to the 2017-22 federal offshore leasing program was required by statute in June 2022. But the DOI, citing pending litigation, missed the deadline. In March, the DOI said its final reauthorization will be ready in September, with implementation likely in December after a 60-day public comment-and-review period. There were nearly 800,000 comments already lodged in April. Until then, there is no system in place to orchestrate oil/gas lease sales in U.S. waters. Even once reauthorized after what will likely be an 18-month suspension, it could take another 18 months of permitting and environmental reviews before leases secured under the new program can be worked. This didn't happen by accident, critics say, claiming federal agencies are pushing Joe Biden's green energy initiatives at the expense of oil/gas development.

May 1: The Daily Caller: Lockdown advocates attempt to rewrite history as they soften or distance themselves from the policy
Some of the leading voices behind coronavirus pandemic lockdowns -- Dr. Anthony Fauci and American Federation of Teachers President Weingarten in particular -- are looking to down play the role they played in bringing American life to a screeching halt. For months, various journalists, politicians and scientists have softened their positions on COVID-19 lockdowns, either admitting the measures they advocated for were excessive or downplaying the actions they actually did take to "stop the spread" of the virus. Fauci served as the top coronavirus advisor to both Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden. He led the most influential agency in the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) when it comes to infectious diseases. He was quite possible the most visible man in media for commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week he said in an interview that he bore no direct responsibility for COVID-19 lockdowns. "Show me a school that I shut down and show me a factory that I shut down," he said. "Never. I never did." But he did recommend these actions and the policy makers followed his advice. Meanwhile Weingarten posted on Twitter "We spent every day from February on trying to get schools open. We knew that remote education was not a substitute for opening schools" which is the opposite of what appears to be the case.

May 1: The Washington Times: As debt limit of June 1 approaches and the House passed its bill, Biden invites McCarthy to the White House
Biden reversed course Monday and invited House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other congressional leaders to the White House next week for talks, as the Treasury Department warned that the U.S. could default on some of its bills as early as June 1. Underscoring the urgency of raising the nation's debt limit, Biden called McCarthy in Israel, where the California Republican was leading a congressional delegation. The White House said they will meet on May 9. The move was an abrupt change for Biden, who has insisted that he wouldn't negotiate with McCarthy and has complained that Republicans are trying to "ransom" spending cuts in return for raising the borrowing limit. The White House statement didn't say specifically that Biden is willing to discuss a trade-off of spending cuts in exchange for increasing the debt limit. The brief announcement said only that Biden also invited House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for the high-stakes talks. Is he trying to stack the deck against McCarthy and the conservatives in the House? Perhaps. [See related story; over 40 GOP senators will not agree to debt limit increase without spending cuts.]

May 1: The Daily Caller: Senator Johnson accuses Anthony Blinken of lying to Congress about Hunter Biden communications
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said Monday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken lied to Congress about his communications with Hunter Biden. "He was made aware of the fact that lying to Congress was a crime. He said he had no reason to lie. He had no reason to be truthful. He was not truthful. He did lie," Johnson said. "Which calls into question all of his testimony where he denied talking to Hunter Biden or having any knowledge about his workings with Burisma. We need to follow up with Antony Blinken to find out what he knows. We need his records and his wife's records as well." The House Judiciary and House Commerce committees wrote to Blinken on April 20, demanding documents relating to the letter, citing testimony by former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell that claimed Blinken "triggered" the response to the Oct. 14, 2020 report by the New York Post about the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop. Dozens of former intelligence officials foolishly signed an October 2020 letter published by Politico that claimed the bombshell report about emails from the laptop "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."

April 30: The Washington Times: House members accuse Dems of "shameless lying" about veterans benefits under the debt limit bill
House Republicans say Joe Biden and Democrats are lying about cuts to services for veterans under legislation recently passed in the chamber to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default on the national debt. The bill, which Senate Democrats and the White House say is a nonstarter because it cuts spending across the federal government, would return nondefense spending to 2022 levels. Democrats and the VA argue that would amount to a 22% cut to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The GOP legislation does not cite specific cuts to the VA or its programs, but it does not include safeguards to ensure the agency is not affected by the proposed spending decreases. "Joe Biden and Democrats are so desperate to cover up for Biden 's weakness and absolute failure on the debt ceiling negotiations, that they're shamelessly lying about veterans benefits and politicizing the VA to do so," House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said on a call to reporters Sunday. "This is unfortunately nothing new." Rep. Mike Bost (R-il), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, sought to offer assurances that the Republican bill would allow money to be shifted around throughout the federal government so that cuts would not affect the VA.

April 30: The Washington Examiner: GOP Senators are being careful not to oppose the House debt limit package and McCarthy
Republicans in the Senate have shown very little inclination to get involved in the debt ceiling deadlock that is threatening to unleash fiscal havoc on the country. Late last year, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was angered over a dozen Republicans in the Senate went along with an omnibus spending package instead of delaying a vote until the GOP reclaimed the House. This go around, there appears to be little appetite among Senate Republicans to cross him. "Republicans, we in the Senate, stand with the House. Time for the president to step in and say his point of view and do a deal," Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said. Romney was among the Republicans who approved the $1.7 trillion omnibus package late last year. At the time of that vote, the House GOP was gripped by chaos as it was unclear if McCarthy could secure enough votes to become speaker or if he could handle House GOP defections. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) was candid about his misgivings over the House GOP's behavior, but ultimately voted against the spending package. Cramer has largely taken the party line publicly on the debt ceiling stalemate, bashing Joe Biden over his refusal to sit down and hash out his differences with McCarthy. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) seemingly deferred to McCarthy on the debt ceiling back in January. Publicly, he has ripped Biden for not budging and largely refrained from criticizing McCarthy, though he recently emphasized that the Limit, Save, Grow Act was a nonstarter in the Senate. "Regardless of whether the House passes this measure or doesn't, I want to disabuse any of you of the notion that there is any measure clearing the Senate with 60 votes that could be approved by this House, is essentially zero," McConnell recently told reporters. "This agreement must be reached because we must never default. The agreement needs to be reached between the Speaker and the President," said McConnell. McCarthy managed to get passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act as his plan to raise the limit on the nation's borrowing authority in exchange for f spending cuts, a proposal roundly rejected by Democrats. Biden has been adamant that anything other than a clean debt ceiling bill is unacceptable to him. The speaker's confidence that the Senate GOP won't rebel against him was on full display this week when he dared Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to bring a debt ceiling measure without strings attached to the Senate floor.

How things have changed under Speakership of McCarthy (R-CA)April 30: Breitbart News: How things have changed with the new GOP majority in the House
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said the House Republicans have already changed the way Washington works in their short time in the majority. McCarthy said of the 15 votes it took to elect him Speaker that it was tough, but it shows he will "never give up." He also said he believes it brought House Republicans closer together to set the stage for a series of victories that they have been quickly piling up this year. Before being elected as Speaker McCarthy promised to strip Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) off the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HSPCI) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) off the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He has accomplished those objectives already. He noted that he has opened government back up — by eliminating proxy voting, allowing open rules on some bills to let any members offer any amendments, and letting the public access House office buildings again. Democrats had blocked Americans from being able to visit congressional offices — that practice is over now and the buildings are open for the public again. For seven years under Ryan and Pelosi, the House didn't have a bill come to the floor where amendments were allowed. McCarthy changed that. He also publicly released some of the January 6 surveillance tapes to Tucker Carlson and pledged a full public release of them. Additionally, the House Republicans secured arguably their biggest win so far this year when they passed a debt ceiling proposal out of the House—thereby forcing the hands of Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer who have thus far refused to negotiate. Several Democrats in both chambers have turned on Biden and Schumer, and are calling on them to sit down with McCarthy and negotiate on the debt ceiling. McCarthy explained the House GOP position is that they will not raise taxes and that there needs to be serious spending cuts to rein in government growth—all while not touching Medicare or Social Security.

April 30: The Epoch Times:
Former FBI agent warns of political weaponization of his former agency

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, Stephen Friend was told. Why would he—an FBI special agent—not want to hunt down and jail rioters who killed police officers at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021? "The question, its justification, and its accuracy were equally troubling when they were presented to Friend by an FBI superior on Aug. 23, 2022. I responded back that no police officers were killed by any of the individuals who were charged with the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6," he recalled. Friend, who at the time was a fairly recent transfer to the FBI in Florida from Iowa, had just lodged a complaint against what he saw as heavy-handed tactics being planned against Jan. 6 suspects in Florida. Sitting with an FBI assistant special agent in charge, he felt he had to correct some of the misinformation that was being used to justify those tactics. "There was this pause on his part for a few seconds, like that was new information to him," Friend said. "That was never anything that crossed his mind." It's never easy being a conscientious objector. This fork in the road for Friend came out of his concern about the FBI's plans to use a tactical team to arrest a misdemeanor Jan. 6 suspect. That kind of force against a nonviolent subject raised constitutional issues in his mind.

Oregon's homeless, RV with trash all around it April 30: Fox News:
Oregon activist sounds alarm on bill giving homeless rights in public spaces

An Oregon-based homeless advocate is sounding the alarm about a proposed bill in his state that would decriminalize camping in public spaces. House Bill 3501, commonly known as the "Right to Rest Act" would allow "persons experiencing homelessness" to "use public spaces in the same manner as any other person without discrimination based on their housing status." Kevin Dahlgreen told "Jesse Watters Primetime" the bill is "madness." "Explain to me how this serves any meaningful purpose to end this humanitarian crisis. This is backwards thinking," he said. "This is the kind of thinking that got us into this mess in the first place. So, no, I am not OK with this."

April 29: The New York Post:
Senate Dems playing dirty with Senator Feinstein (D-CA) but not with Joe Biden

If you're feeling deprived of irony, watch the spectacle of the vicious attacks on California Senator Dianne Feinstein. It's a priceless example of the left eating its own and demonstrates how nasty it is — even when a fellow Democrat is on the menu. Joe Biden should pay attention; he could be next! The merciless effort to drive the ailing Feinstein into retirement could prove to be a dry run for a demand that an aged, declining Joe Biden be put out to pasture during a second term. Feinstein, 89, has been absent from the Senate since mid-February and was later diagnosed with shingles and hospitalized in California. She has not returned to Washington. When she praised and hugged Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-NC) in October 2020 after the approval of Amy Coney Barrett's nomination, the left wing of her party became unglued calling for her removal from the Judiciary Committee. Even though Feinstein voted against Barrett's confirmation, the rabble still wanted blood and leftwing friendly media soon painted the Senator as having lost her marbles. With Feinstein's absence, Democrats are unable to get Biden's judicial nominations out of committee do to a lack of votes.

April 29: News Max: GOP super PAC swaps DeSantis for Trump in advertising
A TV ad by the Never Back Down (NBD) PAC airing in several early GOP 2024 primary states supplants former President Donald Trump as the Republican Party's leader with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, although he has not yet announced that he will run. ABC News reported the minute-long advertisement touting DeSantis was placed in the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. It is due to run on cable and nationally. "Gov. Ron DeSantis is proven winner; he has never lost an election or a fight. And if Republicans want to win the White House in 2024, Gov. DeSantis is the best chance to do that," the NBD communications director Erin Perrine said. "The future is now, and his name is Gov. Ron DeSantis."

Iranians seize another tanker in international watersApril 29: The Washington Examiner:
Iran seizes tanker headed to Texas

Iran seized a United States-bound oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman this week, marking the latest provocation in the sensitive Gulf waterways crucial for the transport of global energy supplies. The capture of the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel took place on Thursday in international waters, the US Navy confirmed Friday. Iranian state television aired footage on Friday of the country's Navy commandos boarding the tanker, identified by US authorities as the Advantage Sweet, by helicopter and taking control of the ship. Ship tracking data identified the vessel as a Sueznmax crude tanker chartered by oil giant Chevron. It had last docked in Kuwait, where it picked up Kuwaiti crude oil, and had listed its destination as Houston, Texas. All 24 crew members aboard the ship are Indian. A Chevron spokeswoman said the oil company "was aware of the situation" and was working on "resolving" the matter. The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet condemned Tehran's actions, claiming that the incident marked the fifth commercial vessel to be seized by Iran in two years.

April 29: The Epoch Times:
Fox's rating plummet as News Max increases after Carlson's departure

Tucker Carlson's exit from Fox News appears to be impacting more than just the timeslot that he hosted for years on the network. It has also had an impact on the Hannity and Laura Ingram programs. According to the Nielson ratings, Carlson's finale a week ago drew 2.65 million viewers with his substitute host only garnering viewership diminishing to 1.33 million on Wednesday. Fox News said in a statement that Fox has been cable news' most-watched network for 21 years, with its team "trusted more by viewers than any other news source." Meanwhile, News Max, which is carried by only a portion of the cable companies and which is seen as the conservative-leaning competitor to Fox News has seen its ratings climb as Fox's primetime ratings have seen a marked decline. Its 8 p.m. programming jumped from 168,000 to 510,000 in only one week. Details about why Carlson left the network are not clear. "Fox has been moving to embrace more of an establishment position," Newsmax's chief executive, Christopher Ruddy said. "They want to renounce some of the Trumpisms and populist MAGA stuff that Tucker was echoing," he said, adding that he wants to "embrace all sides of the Republican Party." In an article published this week, NewsMax said it is "available in 24 million fewer cable homes than Fox, making its viewership even more impressive for its cable distribution." Data published by Nielsen suggests that Newsmax was drawing

about 57% of Fox's audience on a proportional basis on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

April 28: YouTube:
Paxton speaks out about Texas voter fraud

Texas, Attorney General, Ken Paxton (R) speaks out about Texas election fraud and a Texas court action to block the Attorney General's office from prosecuting over 900 Criminal instances. He warns the audience that mail in ballot fraud could happen in any state, but that it looks like it did in 2020 in the battleground states.

Chief Justice Roberts  refused to testify before Senate Judiciary CommitteeApril 27: The Epoch Times:Chief Justice Roberts declines offer to testify before Senate Democrat-controlled committee
The U.S. Supreme Court's chief justice has declined to testify to Congress on ethics issues. Chief Justice John Roberts informed Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) of the refusal on April 25. Durbin, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had urged Roberts to answer questions under oath at an upcoming public hearing. The hearing will go over how justices are, according to Durbin, "falling short of the ethical standards expected of other federal judges." Roberts said in reply it "is exceedingly rare [for a Supreme Court Justice to testify before Congress], as one might expect in light of separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence." According to the Supreme Court's library, just two chief justices in history have testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in 1921 and 1935. Those hearings went over "routine matters" such as adding seats in federal courts, Roberts said. Durbin is among the Democrats who want to impose a code of conduct on the nation's top court. Durbin said that a hearing in May would still happen without Roberts. Durbin said in a statement. "It is time for Congress to accept its responsibility to establish an enforceable code of ethics for the Supreme Court, the only agency of our government without it." Graham, the ranking Republican member of the panel, had said he would be surprised if Roberts agreed to testify. "And I would support his decision not to come." Constitutional scholars have noted that the Constitution established the Supreme Court and then allowed Congress to establish lesser courts. They contend Congress has no authority over the Supreme Court because of the separation of powers arrangement made it that historic document.

April 27: The Epoch Times:
Carlson's public comments after being let go from Fox News

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson issued his first public comments since it was announced that he would be departing the network earlier this week, appearing outside his home in Florida with his wife. "Retirement is going great so far," he joked to the Daily Mail, which published photos of him and his wife outside of his Boca Grande house while driving a golf cart. "I haven't eaten dinner with my wife on a weeknight in seven years." Neither Fox News nor Carlson have provided any details about why he suddenly left the network after hosting one of the top-rated cable news programs for years. A news release issued by the company said the two parted ways and said it would use a rotating slate of hosts for a temporary show during the 8 p.m. timeslot until a new host is named. "I have concluded it might be worth taking just 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to say a prayer for the future, and I hope you will," Carlson said in the keynote speech before the Heritage Foundation. He made note of what he described as widespread moral decay across society and issued warnings about the future of Western civilization. Nicole Hemmer, a Vanderbilt University professor and author said Carlson was the person at Fox News who best excelled at exciting the base of the Republican Party. "If Carlson now begins attacking Fox as 'corporate media' that despises its Trump-supporting viewers, he could cause the network to begin bleeding viewers" as it briefly did after the 2020 election she said. Several current and former Fox hosts reacted to Carlson's exit this week. Both Glenn Beck and Megyn Kelly criticized the move and said it would harm Fox News in the long-term — with Beck saying that the move is tantamount to "suicide." "I don't know what drove Fox News to make this decision, and it was clearly Fox News's decision because they're not letting him say goodbye," Kelly said. "That's my supposition. That's not inside knowledge … I think this is a massive error. I think this is a massive misjudgment of what their audience wants."

April 26: iHeart Media-KTRH Radio:
ISIS leader who planned the Kabul airport bombing, killed

The ISIS-K leader who planned the 2021 suicide bombing at Kabul international Airport was killed by the Taliban, the National Security Council announced . The ISIS-K leader wasn't publicly identified, however, John Kirby, the National Security Council's coordinator for strategic communications, referred to him as "the mastermind of the horrific attack," which killed 13 American troops and more than 170 Afghans during the final days of Biden's botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. Kirby didn't provide specific details on when the ISIS-K leader was killed, but said it was the latest in a "series of high-profile leadership losses" that the organization has experienced during the past year. In March, CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael Kurilla warned that the Afghanistan branch had strengthened since U.S. troops were pulled out of the country amid the conclusion of the Afghanistan War. "Extremist groups see opportunity, and ISIS-Khorasan grows emboldened, seeking to expand its ranks and inspire enable and direct attacks in the region and beyond – with the ultimate goal to strike on the American homeland," Kurilla said while addressing the Senate Armed Services Committee. The US military had been present in Afghanistan for 20 years, beginning in 2001 and had ousted terror groups from power until their evacuation in 2021.

Tucker Carlson appears at Heritage Foundation eventApril 26: The Epoch Times:
Carlson speaks out for first time since Fox News fired him; millions views and counting

"Good evening, it's Tucker Carlson!" Tucker Carlson has proclaimed again to America in his first monologue since parting ways with Fox News. Carlson broadcast his monologue on Wednesday night at his usual 8 p.m. ET time slot — when he would have addressed the nation from Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight"—but this time from his Twitter account. The conservative current affairs commentator and host revealed his observations after taking a couple of days off since his sudden split from Fox News on April 21. "One of the first things you realize after you step outside the noise for a few days is how many genuinely nice people there are in this country, kind and decent people, people who really care about what's true. And a bunch of hilarious people also; a lot of those. It's got to be the majority of the population, even now. So that's heartening. "The other thing you notice when you take a little time off is how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are. They're completely irrelevant … trust me, as someone's who's participated."

He then went on to say that big topics that will define our future get "virtually no discussion at all" — topics like war, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power, and natural resources. "When was the last time you heard a legitimate debate about any of those issues?" Carlson asked, saying that both of America's main political parties and their donors have agreed to "shut down any conversation" about them. "That's a depressing realization, but it's not permanent … It won't work. When honest people say what's true — calmly and without embarrassment — they become powerful. At the same time, the liars who have been trying to silence them shrink, and they become weaker. That's the iron law of the universe—true things. "Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren't many places left but there are some, and that's enough. As long as you can hear the words, there is hope. See you soon," Carlson said. "I don't know what drove Fox News to make this decision. And it was clearly Fox News' decision because they're not letting him say goodbye," Megan Kelly said. "That's my supposition. That's not inside knowledge … talk about misjudging your audience yet again." She said she thinks Carlson might "go independent like I have," in comments to Newsmax on Monday. "He will no longer answer to a corporate master. He will be free to say whatever he wants to say, within the bounds of defamation law, of course, and he'll be totally unleashed."

Speaker McCarthy addressing the debt ceiling debateApril 26: News Max:
House passes debt ceiling legislation, Senate and White House choose to dismiss it and won't negotiate

House Republicans passed sweeping legislation Wednesday that would raise the government's legal debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion in exchange for steep spending restrictions, a tactical victory for Speaker Kevin McCarthy as he challenges Joe Biden to negotiate and prevent a catastrophic federal default this summer. Biden has threatened to veto the Republican package, which has almost no chance of passing the Democratic Senate in the meantime, and the president has so far refused to negotiate over the debt ceiling which the White House insists must be lifted with no strings to ensure America pays its bills. But McCarthy's ability to unite his slim majority and bring the measure to passage over opposition from Democrats and even holdouts in his own party gives currency to the Republican speaker's strategy to use the vote as an opening bid forcing Biden into talks. The two men could hardly be further apart on how to resolve the issue. "The hour has come, we have to work together to restore fiscal sanity in this place before it's too late," said Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX) leading the debate. As the House debated the bill, Biden on Wednesday indicated he was willing to open the door to talks with McCarthy, but not on preventing a first-ever U.S. default that would shake America's economy and beyond. "Happy to meet with McCarthy, but not on whether or not the debt limit gets extended," Biden said. "That's not negotiable." Passage of the 320-page package in the House [much smaller than the multi-thousand spending packages put forth under the previous Democrat-controlled house] is only the start of what is expected to become a weekslong political slog as the Biden Administration and Congress try to work out a compromise that would allow the nation's debt, now at $31 trillion, to be lifted to allow further borrowing and stave off a fiscal crisis. The nation has never defaulted on its debt, and the House Republican majority hopes to maneuver Biden into a corner with its plan to roll back federal spending to fiscal 2022 levels and cap future spending increases at 1% over the next decade, among other changes. Democrats derided the Republican plan as a "ransom note," a "shakedown" and "an unserious bill" that was courting financial danger. But as McCarthy worked to shore up support, some of the most conservative rank-and-file Republican members who have never voted for a debt ceiling increase in their quest to slash spending said they were preparing to do just that, rallying behind the speaker's strategy to push Biden to the negotiating table.

April 26: Fox News: Senate GOP slams Biden's rule forcing people with good credit to subsidize high-risk mortgages
Senate Republicans on Wednesday accused the Biden Administration's Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) of playing politics with the U.S. housing market by forcing people with good credit to subsidize high-risk mortgages, and warned that doing so would put individual homebuyers and the entire market in danger. Sens. Roger Marshall (R-KS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and 16 other GOP senators issued this warning in a letter to FHFA Director Sandra Thompson that also demanded the details of how this policy decision was made, a possible sign that the legality of the move could be challenged. "This announcement, scheduled to take effect May 1, 2023, will invert the common-sense risk financing structure at the GSEs in an effort to decrease mortgage rates for riskier individuals with low credit scores and forcibly raise rates for those with higher scores," they wrote, referring to the government-sponsored entities and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "This shortsighted and counterproductive policy demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of the necessity of accurately tailoring housing finance products to credit risk and establishes a perverse incentive that punishes hardworking Americans for their fiscal prudence." "The housing market should not be exploited as a means to pander to targeted demographics that you have chosen, nor an instrument to secure political favoritism," they added. Experts have said under the rule, people with credit scores in the neighborhood of 680 might pay another $40 more per month on a $400,000 loan to subsidize higher-risk mortgages. Marshall said it makes no sense to hit people harder who have been responsible. "Just when you thought Joe Biden couldn't be more out of touch with the hardships Americans are facing due to his failed economic agenda, skyrocketing interest rates, and record high Biden inflation, he doubled down, now penalizing responsible Americans with good credit scores," Marshall said. "This is illogical. The Biden administration must answer for why they are punishing Americans who have diligently met their financial obligations and earned higher credit scores." "This proposed rule by the Biden Administration is a gross injustice that penalizes hard-working Americans who are financially responsible," added Tillis, co-leader of the letter with Marshall. "This is yet another example of [Joe] Biden working to kill the American dream for hardworking families. I will continue to work with my colleagues to do everything in our power to stop this absurd proposal."

April 25: News Max: Laura Trump Tucker will remain strong
Tucker Carlson, Fox News' biggest star who was unexpectedly fired Monday morning, will land on his feet wherever he goes next, Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump, said. "I think a lot of us were shocked to see… what happened with Tucker and you know, without being in the room when the decision was made, I guess it's hard to really fully weigh in on it," she said." Carlson had been the center of attention over emails subpoenaed in the Dominion lawsuit against Fox in which he was critical of Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell yet repeated their words without criticism on air. He also said he hates Donald Trump "passionately" despite praising him on his show. "It was really crazy to see what happened to Tucker. But I think the great news for him is he has made himself such a strong leader and a name in the conservative movement, and I think no matter where he goes, he will be successful," Ms. Trump added. "He'll have an audience that, of course, follows him."

April 25: The Epoch Times: Hannity and others respond to Carlson's firing
Fox News host Sean Hannity said he's not sure why former fellow host Tucker Carlson departed the network and appeared to suggest that he didn't believe it was a good idea. For years, Hannity's 9 p.m. ET show would follow Carlson's timeslot. Carlson was among the highest-rated cable news personalities before Fox News announced his departure in a news release on Monday. Hannity's show premiered in 2009, while Carlson's started in November 2016. But Carlson quickly climbed in the ratings and as of March 2023, Carlson averaged well over 3 million viewers per show, according to Nielsen data. Fox News has provided few details about the departure, although host Harris Faulkner on Monday said that Fox and Carlson "mutually agreed" to part ways. For his part, Carlson has not issued a statement about the matter and no updates have been posted to his Twitter account. Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly said the decision was a "terrible move by Fox" but "a great thing for Tucker Carlson" during an episode of her podcast. She also suggested she has no idea what transpired before he left the network.

April 25: News Max: White House say Biden will veto the House debt ceiling bill
The White House stood firm Tuesday on its demand for an uncompromised debt-ceiling increase, pledging that President Joe Biden will veto Republicans' proposal if it should, against long odds, pass both chambers of Congress. In an Office of Management and Budget statement, the Biden administration said it "strongly opposes" the legislation, which cuts discretionary spending and repeals vital aspects of the Inflation Reduction Act. The $1.5 trillion Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 also repeals new Internal Revenue Service funding, caps spending at 1% per year, ends the student-loan forgiveness program, and imposes welfare work requirements. "This legislation would force severe cuts to education (including for students with disabilities), food safety inspections, rail safety, healthy meals for seniors, research on cancer and other diseases, border security, public safety, and veterans' medical care," the OMB statement read. "Altogether, this legislation would not only risk default, recession, widespread job loss, and years of higher interest rates, but also make devastating cuts to programs that hard-working Americans and the middle-class count on." The policy declaration also contrasts the Republican proposal to Biden's "vision for the economy," which involves greater investment, lowers costs for families, and the reduction of the deficit by raising taxes on the rich, according to Biden and the Democrats. Even with moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVA) praising the Republican bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the bill will be dead on arrival in the upper chamber. The bill is expected to pass the Republican-controlled House this week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said on Sunday. He has been pushing for a vote this week. Joe Biden "… told Leader Schumer and [House Minority] Leader [Hakeem] Jeffries [D-NY] that he was ready to have a separate negotiation over the budget once Republicans present their plan, as has been done by both parties in Congress and the White House in the past," the White House said. .

U.S. Army helosApril 24: The Daily Caller: Army Officers allege it is preventing the discharge of personal given low recruitment numbers
The U.S. Army is changing its terms of service guidelines and denying soldiers scheduled discharges, a letter signed by 61 aviation officers alleges. Recruitment and retention failures have beset all five branches of the U.S. military in recent years, with a 2022 Pentagon study finding 77% of Americans aged 17 – 24 are unfit to serve due to obesity, drug use, or other health issues. The Army missed its 2022 recruiting target by 25%, and Secretary of the Air Force Gen. Frank Kendall said in March that his branch is likely to miss its 2023 target by 10%. The recruitment and retention failures impact all parts of the military, including its most elite units, multiple news outlets have reported. In an effort to compensate for personnel limitations, the Army is changing its service requirement guidelines for some officers, according to a letter 61 aviation officers submitted to members of Congress. The officers assert that by reinterpreting contract language, the Army is preparing to tack on three years of service to the seven or eight years the airmen were initially promised. "Army Aviators have been misled by HRC [Human Resources Command], the USMA [U.S. Military Academy] and ROTC [Reserve Officers' Training Corps] Aviation Branch Representatives, and our Career Managers on the exact length of our service contract," the officers wrote to at least 11 members of Congress. They are "request[ing] an inquiry into the U.S. Army's Human Resources Command (HRC) due to significant mismanagement relating to the enforcement of Active-Duty Service Obligations (ADSOs) for Army Aviation Officers."

April 24: YouTube: Tucker Carlson speaks to Heritage Foundation conference just prior to being fired from Fox News [See Video right]

Southern Border WallApril 23: The Washington Times:
DHS attempting to run out the clock on building the southern border wall

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is poised to run out the clock on President Trump's border wall, leaving potentially billions of dollars in unspent money and hundreds of miles of fencing unfinished. Some $200 million in wall money will expire at the end of this fiscal year said House Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger (R-TX). Another $2.6 billion more will expire in coming years, she said. "We're just going to let that happen?" Granger asked Mayorkas at a Congressional hearilng if the Administration intended to complete the construction of the wall. Mayorkas choose not to answer the question. Six years after Trump began the wall project and more than two years after Biden halted construction it remains an acute political problem. The Border Patrol's senior leaders say the wall works and they need more of it. Mayorkas, carrying out Biden's campaign promise not to build another foot of wall, has largely resisted his own agents' entreaties and rejected their expertise. He tells them what they really need are more personnel and technology. The agents got 458 miles of new fencing under Trump. Of that, 373 miles were upgrades for previous barriers and 85 miles were in unfenced locations. Altogether, Trump pulled together enough funds to build the 458 completed miles, with another 280 miles in the works.

April 23: The Washington Examiner:
Dems push Biden to negotiate with Republicans over debt ceiling

With the danger of default looming, some centrist Democrats are slowly splitting from Joe Biden apparent refusal to negotiate on the debt ceiling. A handful of moderate Democrats have started to assert publicly that sitting down with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) could be a first step to end the brinkmanship to save the economy. "Of course, Biden should sit down with Speaker McCarthy. But let me put an idea out there, the proposal that McCarthy has put forward — that belongs in the budget," Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said. "Our main goal right now is to make clear that we are going to avoid default." Biden and McCarthy last met back in February. The White House has maintained that "raising the debt ceiling is not a negotiation," seemingly trying to avoid a repeat of the 2011 battle over the debt ceiling. Biden has been adamant that McCarthy should lift the nation's borrowing authority without any strings attached, after which the two could discuss the latter's spending demands separately. But McCarthy has vowed that he will "never" advance a "bill that just raises the debt ceiling." Perhaps the most vocal proponent of Biden negotiating with McCarthy is Sen. Joe Manchin (I-WV), a frequent thorn in Biden's side. Manchin is staring down one of the toughest Senate reelection bids of his career, should he run. "Our elected leaders must stop with the political games, work together and negotiate a compromise. Instead, it has been more than 78 days since Biden last met with Speaker McCarthy," Manchin said. "This signals a deficiency of leadership, and it must change."

April 23: The Daily Caller: Up to twelve members of the Biden family may have been complicit in business dealings with foreign interests
Republican Kentucky Rep. James Comer (R-KY), Chair of the House Oversight Committee, suspects "at least 12" Biden family members were doing business overseas. Comer went through the committee's findings on the Biden family's foreign business dealings with Fox News. "So they were trying to make it look like the numbers were lower because they were disbursing money to other family members." How many family members were involved,? "Well, right now we have nine, but I believe in the end the number will be at least 12. I mean, this was the Biden family influence peddling scheme. And, you know, when people say, well, they were involved in ventures around the world, I haven't found a legitimate business on the Biden end,. I've found legitimate businesses that were paying the LLCs that were then turning around and laundering the money back to the Bidens, but I haven't found any legitimate business dealings on the Biden end," Comer said. "It looks like if there was a legitimate business dealing in any of these LLCs, it was influence peddling. And if you want to get technical and you want to get to a legal term, that's called being a foreign agent. They weren't registered as a foreign agent and I'm sure the ethics laws would prevent immediate family members of high ranking government officials from being foreign agents. Either way this is bad.

April 22: The Epoch Times:
9th Circuit overturns Berkley code banning natural gas hookups to buildings

A Ninth Circuit court on Monday went against a Berkeley ordinance that banned natural gas piping in new buildings inside the city. A district court had dismissed an action from the California Restaurant Association, a dismissal that is now reversed by the Ninth Circuit court. The California Restaurant Association alleged that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act preempts the city of Berkeley's regulation, which banned natural gas piping in new buildings. The Act expressly preempts State and local regulations on the energy use of natural gas appliances used in household and restaurant kitchens, the 9th circuit said. "Instead of directly banning those appliances in new buildings, Berkeley took a more circuitous route to the same result and enacted a building code that prohibits natural gas piping into those buildings, rendering the gas appliances useless," according to Judge Patrick Bumatay said. "States and localities can't skirt the text of broad preemption provisions by doing indirectly what Congress says they can't do directly. Berkeley can't evade preemption by merely moving up one step in the energy chain and banning natural gas piping within those buildings

April 22: The Washington Examiner: Hunter Biden: whistleblower's attorney condemns attacks by Joe Biden's son against his client
The lawyer for an IRS whistleblower who alleged that "politics" infected the federal investigation into Hunter Biden has condemned "attacks" on his client by an attorney for Joe Biden's son. Hunter's lawyer accused the IRS whistleblower of breaking the law by informing Congress this week, through his attorney, of examples of "preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols that would normally be followed" had the subject not been politically connected. One of Hunter's lawyers told multiple outlets on Wednesday that "it appears this IRS agent has committed a crime, and has denied my client protections that are his right." Mark Lytle, the lawyer for the unnamed IRS whistleblower, criticized Clark's remarks on Thursday. "It's really unfortunate that that statement was made. ... My client wrestled with whether or not to come forward. He had a lot of sleepless nights about coming forward with this . At the end of the day, he decided that he could not live with himself if he stayed quiet and said nothing," Lytle told Bret Baier on Fox News. "So he's coming forward, but he knows that he is going to be attacked. Attacks like this are kind of what he was worried about, but he wants to come forward and tell the truth."

April 22: The Epoch Times:
DA Bragg drops case against House Judiciary Committee; deposition to proceed

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has dropped his effort to quash a congressional subpoena to a former prosecutor who worked in his office, a congressional aide said. "This evening, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office withdrew its appeal in Bragg v. Jordan. Mr Pomerantz's deposition will go forward on May 12, and we look forward to his appearance," Russel Dye, spokesperson for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote. "Bragg caved. Jim Jordan won," the House Judiciary Committee wrote on Twitter. The development wrapped up a legal clash between Bragg and House Judiciary, whereby Bragg had attempted to stop the lawmakers from requesting testimony from Pomerantz, a former prosecutor who investigated former President Donald Trump's finances.

April 21: iHeart Media – KTRH Radio News:
Russian jet bombs one of its own; City of Belgorod

A Russian warplane accidentally dropped a bomb over the Russian city of Belgorod on April 20th. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the accident and said that a Su-34 supersonic bomber inadvertently discharged a munition over the city. The explosion left a 65-foot crater in the street, damaging four apartment buildings and four cars. At least two people were injured in the blast. Officials did not say what caused the fighter jet to drop the munition. While the Defense Ministry did not identify the type of munition that exploded although a Russian blogger suggested in was a glide bomb that malfunctioned. "The FAB exploded as normal; the fuse was set on delay, so apparently the target was something underground: bunkers, cellars, workshops, and the like," the blogger wrote. "Belgorod got lucky today." "It would all have been fine except for the chosen flight path over the city, which at night glows like a huge lantern, and it's impossible not to see it," he added. "You can't make mistakes like that. This should never ever happen again."

April 21: The Epoch Times:
Bud Light's sales plummet after partnership with transgender activist

Bud Light's sales declined in the first week of a boycott of the brand after it partnered with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. Dave Williams of Bump Williams Consulting told industry website Brewbound that packages of Bud Light showed accelerating declines in sales and shares for the week ending April 8, when the boycott started to pick up steam. "Now, this will be interesting to monitor over upcoming weeks to see if this slide continues, but for now, it looks to be rough, but not catastrophic." Bud Light posted a 7 percent decline in off-premise dollar sales, a 10.7%.

April 21: The Daily Caller: 'Believe It Now': Kayleigh McEnany Says Hunter Biden Laptop Letter Proves 'Deep State' Is Real
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday that the 2020 letter from former intelligence officials regarding Hunter Biden's laptop proved that the "deep state" was "real." "If you're a Democrat, guess who your campaign surrogates are? Your campaign surrogates are intelligence officials," McEnany said on "Outnumbered." "That's what we learned, that [Antony] Blinken, the guy that goes on to become secretary of state, is organizing a letter of former intel officials." "So if you have a D behind your name, Democrat, you get this high-profile, highly-connected group of people in Washington, former officials, current officials who will band together, write a letter on your behalf, you got guys like Brennan, Panetta, Clapper, the media will fully buy into the letter and social media will ban anyone that says otherwise or questions it," McEnany continued. Dozens of former intelligence officials signed an October letter published by Politico that claimed a bombshell New York Post report about emails from a laptop supposedly abandoned by Hunter Biden "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation." All of this ended up being false.

April 21: The Epoch Times: Delay in release of Nashville transgender killer being withheld; could be "astronomically dangerous"
Federal officials are delaying the release of a manifesto written by a transgender male (female by birth), who killed six people in a Nashville Christian school. One local official called it "astronomically dangerous." Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) said this week that the FBI is currently behind the delay. He said that the documents should be made public for grieving family members and for members of Congress. Hale, who was born female, used "he/him" pronouns, and police officials previously told a news conference she identified as transgender. Later, Nashville Police Chief John Drake said Hale suffered from mental health issues and was under the care of a doctor, while her parents did not know she had procured several firearms. The shooter's notes "could maybe tell us a little bit about what's going on inside of her head," Burchett said "I think that would answer a lot of questions." About 20 journals, five laptops, a suicide note, and other materials written by Hale were taken from the house where she lived with her parents, according to a search warrant in the case. "What I was told is, her manifesto was a blueprint on total destruction, and it was so, so detailed at the level of what she had planned," Metro Nashville Council Member Courtney Johnston told the NY Post, without elaborating. "That document in the wrong person's hands would be astronomically dangerous."

April 20: Fox News: Journalist Taibbi threatened with prison time for "perjury" by top Democrat over reports on the Twitter Files
Independent journalist Matt Taibbi is being threatened with jail time by a top Democrat on Capitol Hill over testimony he gave about his reporting on the Twitter Files. Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.,) the ranking member of the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, sent a letter to Taibbi regarding an inadvertent misstatement – referring to CISA (the government's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration) instead of CIS (which is a private organization). Plaskett wrote "Prior to your appearance before the subcommittee on March 9, you signed the Judiciary Committee's Truth in Testimony form, certifying that you understand that 'knowingly providing material false information to this committee/subcommittee or knowingly concealing material information from this committee/subcommittee, is a crime (18 U.S.C. 1001). In addition, at the beginning of the March 9 hearing, you swore 'under penalty of perjury that the testimony you [were] about to give [was] true and correct to the best of your knowledge, information, and belief.' Under the federal perjury statue, 18 U.S.C. 1621, proving false information is punishable by up to five years imprisonment." However, the truth remains that the specific comments Taibbi told Congress that Plaskett cited "were correct" despite the original error in his Twitter Files reporting.

April 20: The Epoch Times:
Appeals court temporarily places a hold on Congressional subpoenas

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on April 20 issued a temporary administrative hold on the return date of the House Judiciary Committee's congressional subpoena to Mark Pomerantz, a former prosecutor at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office. Pomerantz investigated former President Donald Trump's finances before leaving Bragg's office in February 2022 in protest of Bragg's initial unwillingness to bring an indictment against Trump. Bragg then brought the indictment against Trump in late March, prompting Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, to initiate a probe into what Jordan calls a "politically motivated" prosecution against a former president. Jordan subpoenaed Pomerantz to seek his testimony. In response, Bragg sued the House Judiciary Committee and Pomerantz to prevent Pomerantz from testifying. The court instructed the parties to complete court filings on a permanent stay on the ruling. It came as the latest development in the legal clash between House Judiciary Committee lawmakers, which centers on the question of whether Congress has the authority to conduct a legislative hearing into the use of federal funds; a legitimate inquiry within the scope of legislative oversight.

April 19: Fox News: Fetterman raises eyebrows with choppy opening statement during his return to the Senate; "Frightening!"
Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) raised eyebrows on Wednesday with his choppy opening statement after his return to the Senate. Fetterman returned to the U.S. Senate this week after several months in a hospital for clinical depression that began in mid-February. The Pennsylvania Democrat, who suffered a stroke on the campaign trail, resumed his chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics and Research. Fetterman's opening remarks after his extended hospital stay were choppy, with users online reacting to a clip of his comments. Podcaster Jewels Jones called the clip "frightening."

April 19: The Epoch Times: Speaker McCarthy unveils GOP debt ceiling legislation
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on April 19 unveiled legislation to increase the nation's debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion or until March 31, 2024, whichever comes first. At the same time, the measure would return discretionary spending to 2022 levels, limit spending growth to 1% per year, take back unspent COVID-19 relief funds, repeal certain tax credits, reinstate work requirements for many people on public assistance, and remove barriers to increased production of domestic energy. If enacted, the Limit, Save, Grow Act would allay concerns about a possible default on U.S. obligations but push a more permanent resolution of the debt crisis into the election season. The Speaker reportedly would like to bring the bill to a vote sometime next week if he can garner enough support. "It's not going to be easy. Every dollar spent has an advocate up here," Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) said. The budget committee has fielded more than 500 amendments offered by House members. Meanwhile Joe Biden has sharply criticized the GOP plan. McCarthy, who has been frustrated for weeks by Biden's refusal to negotiate, has insisted that Congress won't approve an increase in the borrowing limit without a concurrent agreement by Democrats to cut future federal spending. "Now that we've introduced a clear plan for a responsible debt limit increase, they have no more excuse and refuse to negotiate," McCarthy said. Biden "…has a choice. Come to the table and stop playing partisan political games, or cover his ears, refuse to negotiate, and risk bumbling his way into the first default in our nation's history."

April 19: The Daily Caller: Jordan scores big blow against Bragg lawsuit
A judge rejected a major element of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's lawsuit against House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) Wednesday, setting the stage for former Special former Assistant District Attorney Mark Pomerantz to be deposed over Bragg's investigation into former President Donald Trump. Jordan subpoenaed Pomerantz after Bragg indicted Trump on counts of falsifying business records, related to allegations that he reimbursed his former lawyer Michael Cohen for an alleged hush money payment. Jordan accused Pomerantz of politicizing the investigation and encouraging Bragg to charge Trump, but Bragg filed a lawsuit on April 11 calling for a federal court to stop the enforcement of Pomerantz's subpoena and invalidate any future subpoenas the committee might bring for him or his staff in the case. U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil declined Bragg's request to block Pomerantz's subpoena Wednesday, noting that he published a book this year entitled "People vs. Donald Trump: An Inside Account." Pomerantz admitted in the book to resigning from Bragg's office in February 2022 when he came to believe Trump would not be indicted, telling Bragg he was responsible for a "grave failure of justice."

April 19: The Washington Examiner: IRS whistleblower: Hunter Biden investigation infected by politics and special treatment
An IRS agent is seeking whistleblower protections in alleging that the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden has been infected by "politics" and "preferential treatment." The bombshell whistleblower claims come from a career IRS criminal supervisory special agent who says he has been overseeing "the ongoing and sensitive investigation" of a "high-profile" and "controversial subject" since early 2020. A source familiar with the letter said this about Joe Biden's troubled son, who is being investigated for several crimes.

April 18: News Max:
US and allies mount effort to counter Communist China's influence operations

A day after authorities arrested two people on charges of links to a Chinese "secret police station" in New York, a U.S. official said the United States is engaged in an "extensive effort" with international partners to counter Chinese influence operations. Federal prosecutors said the arrests on Monday were part of a crackdown on China's targeting of dissidents, an allegation which Beijing denies. Both men arrested are U.S. citizens. China's foreign ministry has disputed the existence of such police stations, but has acknowledged what it says are volunteer-run sites in the U.S. and other countries to assist overseas Chinese nationals with tasks such as renewing driver's licenses. U.S. and Western authorities have warned that China's government has increasingly exerted pressure to silence its critics abroad, often targeting people of Chinese origin through covert operations in attempts to stifle expression or coerce them to return to China where they might face punishment. Rick Waters, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for China and Taiwan, told a U.S. House of Representatives hearing separately that Washington was aware of China's transnational law enforcement within the borders of "dozens of countries." Waters said the U.S. was working through public diplomacy and "private diplomatic channels" with partners who had found the same issue in their countries.

April 17: The Washington Examiner: Senate Republican opposition to the temporary replacement of Feinstein on the judiciary committee, could result in her resignation, and the appointment of Adam Schiff to her senate seat
A growing number of Senate Republicans, including several on the Judiciary Committee, have announced their opposition to replacing Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) on the panel temporarily, adding to growing concern about how Democrats intend to move forward on judicial nominations stalled by the California senator's health-related absence. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Monday he wants to move to replace Feinstein "sometime this week" after her absence from the Judiciary Committee stood in the way of Democrats' ability to confirm Joe Bodem's judicial nominees. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said "Republicans are not going to break this precedent in order to bail out Sen. Schumer or the Biden administration's most controversial nominees." He suggested there is not likely to be a path to 10 GOP votes to swap out Feinstein. If Democrats are unable to get 60 votes to approve an organizing resolution to replace Feinstein with another Democrat, some are predicting it will only increase the pressure on her to resign. "The Dems are sort of using this because they want pressure on her to resign. And I think this gives them sort of a lever to do that," Senator John Thune (R-SD), the No. 2 Republican, said. If Feinstein were to resign it could open the door for Governor Newsom to appoint Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) – one of the leaders in the effort to impeach President Trump – to her unexpired position.

April 17: The Epoch Times: House passes veto proof bill to kind of hold China accountable for violating US airspace with balloons
The House passed a bill, 403-6, on April 17 to hold China accountable for violating U.S. airspace. two Republicans and four Democrats voted against the bill, which was introduced on Feb. 24 by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Upholding Sovereignty of Airspace Act seeks to hold China accountable for sending spy balloons to transit the United States. The bill would require the secretary of state, in consultation with the director of national intelligence and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to "develop a diplomatic strategy to inform allies and partners of the scope of the PRC surveillance program and build global consensus in order to address the Communist global surveillance balloon program"—such as "sharing intelligence.
In the opinion of this editor, the act relies solely on weak diplomatic initiatives which will have no impact upon the Communist Chinese, unlike removing the Most Favored Nation treatment from them if they don't cease such invasions of U.S. airspace.

April 17: The Daily Caller: Democrats attempt to force ethics standards on the Supreme Court; high stakes political game that raises separation of powers issues
Legal scholars suggest that Democratic lawmakers may be sidestepping an important constitutional question in their renewed attempts to impose ethics rules on the Supreme Court after a report on Justice Clarence Thomas' vacations and friendship with a billionaire emerged. Amid controversial rulings and increased scrutiny of justices, Democratic members of Congress have advanced proposals for forcing the Court to adopt a code of ethics, with the Senate Judiciary Committee announcing April 11 that it would hold a hearing on "the need to restore confidence" in the Court's ethical standards. While some experts see room for legislatures to step in, others are more skeptical, warning it could run afoul limits on congressional authority. Stuck in the Democrat's craw is a paid vacation by Justice Thomas' close personal friend. Thomas said colleagues had advised him the trips were not reportable, and conservative legal scholars dismissed the report as a partisan attempt to attack the justice, whose opinions are unpopular among Democrats. "Congress created the lower courts, so can regulate them as it wishes," Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow and director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute said. "But the Constitution created the Supreme Court and [gave] no explicit congressional authority over it other than with regard to the budget. Congress could threaten the Court's budget if it didn't adopt certain policies, but that's a significant political escalation." Thomas' friend has no business before the court and so there is no apparent conflict of interest, one person observed.

April 17: Fox News: Communist Chinese running an underground police station in NYC
The FBI and federal prosecutors announced Monday the arrests of two New York residents who allegedly ran an undisclosed Chinese government police station in Manhattan's Chinatown neighborhood. Lu Jianwang and Chen Jinping have each been charged with conspiring to act as agents of China's government. The U.S. Attorney's Office China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) "has repeatedly and flagrantly violated our nation's sovereignty, including by opening and operating a police station in the middle of New York City." "Two miles from our office, just across the Brooklyn Bridge, this nondescript office building in the heart of bustling Chinatown in Lower Manhattan has a dark secret. Until several months ago, an entire floor of this building hosted an undeclared police station of the Chinese National Police… … just imagine the NYPD opening an undeclared secret police station in Beijing. It would be unthinkable."

April 17: The Epoch Times: DeSantis says legislature will block special last minute deal Disney made in an attempt to circumvent new district being established
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis doubled down on his war with the Disney company, saying the legislature will soon invalidate the company's last-minute moves to circumvent the new state-appointed board governing its special district. In a speech in Lake Buena Vista on April 17, DeSantis said he was confident the special district's new board—at its meeting this week—would invalidate as illegal Disney's early February deal with the old board to transfer most of the district's power back to the company. But in any case, he said a bill introduced to the legislature, probably next week, would end the matter. Florida law allows the legislature to revoke a development agreement, the governor's office said in a public statement.

April 16: The Washington Times:
SCOTUS gets the opportunity to look at the church and state issue

It was in the 1970s when the Supreme Court first looked at whether religious employees could be forced to work on their Sabbath. Thomas Jefferson's "theory" of a "wall of separation" between church and state was the dominant legal view at the time. The issue returns Tuesday to the high court, with a much different lay of the land. Jefferson's wall of separation has been breached, and a majority of justices believe their predecessors' attempt at neutrality turned into outright hostility toward the faithful. The tension between the approaches springs from the First Amendment's religion clauses, which bar the "establishment" of religion even as they guarantee the free exercise of worship. Law professor Robert Tuttle from George Washington University said, "The major shift in the Roberts court has been a rejection of any kind of separationist doctrine with regard to the establishment clause and a heightened attention to the importance of free exercise." The case before the justices has to do with a postal employee who avoided working on his sabbath (Sundays) because of religious obligations. Gerald Groff didn't show up for 24 Sundays and was punished by USPS for missing work. He sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on several categories, including religion. A federal district judge, and later the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, backed USPS. In recent years, SCOTUS has allowed a giant Latin cross to remain on public lands, ruled that religious entities can't be denied access to government money based solely on religious affiliation and approved a teacher's own prayers at a school event.

The Prime Minister of IsraelApril 16: The Washington Free Beacon: Guess What world leader has this background; Hint: It's not Joe Biden
There are few world leaders these days who have served in their country's military, fewer still who have seen active service, and, perhaps just one who has taken part in a successful operation to free a planeload of hostages from a band of terrorists, getting himself shot in the arm in the process. In 1972 this man led a group of special forces soldiers in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit of the Israeli military in a raid on a hijacked Sabena plane that had been diverted to an airport outside Tel Aviv, Israel. Here it all is: patriotism, courage, fierce competitiveness, cunning, a not-insignificant amount of headstrong, gung-ho, screw-you impetuosity: a man with few doubts about his cause, passion for his allies, and pure enmity for his enemies. In case you haven't guessed, meet Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel.

April 16: The Post Newspaper:
Should Texas keep countywide vote centers for Election Day voting?

Under countywide voting a person comes to the polls and is checked in. When they sign in, that individual's information is instantaneously transmitted to all the other polling locations in the county, thereby precluding a person from voting twice. Only the sign in information is being transmitted. In order to safeguard a person's vote, the actual voting systems (i.e., the controller that provides the voting machine access number, the voting machine itself, and the scanner that records the person's vote) are "air gapped" from the sign in process. None of the voting equipment is connected to the internet, nor does it have the capability to do so. Senator Bob Hall (R-Hunt County) laid out SB 990 in the State Affairs Committee last month claiming there are "vulnerabilities and chain of custody" problems with countywide voting. The author of the guest column asked the Senator if, as he contends, there are such vulnerabilities does he also want to have early voting – which is the same as countywide voting on Election Day – also become precinct-specific voting. Of course the Senator doesn't want to do this! So ,one needs to question the validity of the argument for getting rid of countywide voting.

April 15: The Washington Examiner: GOP may move to stop replacing Feinstein on Senate Judiciary Committee; stopping Biden's nominations of liberal federal judges
U.S. Senator Tom Cotton said his Republican colleagues shouldn't throw Democrats a lifeline in efforts to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on a key committee. Feinstein has been absent from the upper chambers since February amid health complications. After an outcry from Democrats, she asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to replace her on the Judiciary Committee temporarily so that they can continue appointing Joe Biden's left wind judicial nominees. "Republicans should not assist Democrats in confirming Joe Biden's most radical nominees to the courts," Cotton said. Republicans should not assist Democrats in confirming Joe Biden's most radical nominees to the courts. Cotton sits on the Judiciary Committee, and his remarks likely foreshadow GOP resistance to approving a temporary replacement. Democrats have been wildly successful at pushing through Biden's judiciary nominations. At the two-year mark, Biden clinched 100 nominations, eclipsing former President Donald Trump's 85 and former President Barack Obama's 67. Because of Feinstein's absence this process has ground to a halt, due to a lack of a Democrat majority on the committee. To swap a senator with Feinstein, Schumer must amend the chamber's organizing resolution. Republicans will likely block that maneuver, which will mean Democrats likely need 10 defections from the GOP to break a filibuster.

Map of Formosa and China and the Taiwan StraightApril 15: The Daily Caller: Ramaswamy; Protect Taiwan by arming the population, Naval Institute Proceedings made similar suggestion
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said Friday the NRA should arm Taiwan's citizens to prevent a Chinese invasion. Ramaswamy shared his thoughts on how to stop China from invading Taiwan without American military intervention at the NRA Leadership Forum. Ramaswamy claimed the NRA should open a branch on the island and give its inhabitants weapons to defend themselves. "You want China to not invade Taiwan, he's something we can do. The NRA can open its branch next time in Taiwan. And you want to stop Xi Jinping from invading Taiwan, put a gun in every Taiwanese household. Have them defend themselves, and see what XI Jinping does then. That's what it means to be an actual American," Ramaswamy said.

Meanwhile in February the U.S. Naval Proceedings published an article calling for urban warfare should the communist Chinese invade Taiwan. Both Chinese and U.S. planning for a Taiwan scenario ignore a key element and the potential of urban warfare. The defense strategy for both the United States and Taiwan should be winning a long attritional battle for an urbanized ongoing fight. If U.S. plans for air and maritime operations in Taiwan were subordinated to the overarching goal of winning an urban war, they would be easier to operationalize—and make success more likely. Such a plan could dispel fears of abandonment and thus remove the primary impediment to coordinated planning with Taiwanese partners. History has shown that urban struggles, supported from within contested area can become protracted and a costly struggle for the unmatched military power attempting to force its will on the population. Taiwan's geography is comprised almost entirely of large urban nodes such as Taipei, Kaoshiung, Taichung, and Tainan, with 78% of the Taiwanese population living in cities. Beyond this are mountainous central highlands. The east coast is less urbanized but offers fewer landing sites. Those that do exist also are in relatively urbanized areas and have fewer roads and much more restrictive geography compared with the west coast, limiting the maneuver of an invasion force. Moreover, Chinese planners stress the need to seize and secure Taiwanese port facilities to sustain an invasion. Any Chinese amphibious invasion would thus inevitably transition to urban fighting. If the crux of Taiwan's defense were based not on denying the PLA a foothold on Formosa or defeating a landing force at its beachheads but on protracting and winning the subsequent urban fight, it would potentially offer an outgunned U.S. and Taiwanese force viable options to defeat the invasion.

The resource- and manpower-intensive nature of urban fighting determines the defender's objectives. Rather than targeting major surface combatants or preventing an amphibious crossing outright, the emphasis of defensive operations at sea shifts to targeting the vessels sustaining an invading force during the campaign. Converted ferries, tankers, and cargo vessels that sustain the PLA on shore become its center of gravity. For a defending force, this alters maritime priorities in several ways. First, the overarching objective of the maritime campaign will not be sea control or sea denial. Rather, the objective will be eroding the besieging forces' resupply ability to the point at which resource expenditure ashore exceeds the rate of resupply. Following from this, tactical and operational objectives will shift toward targeting relatively soft targets close to the shore rather than holding an invading force at arm's length. Resupply vessels can be easily targeted for several reasons. First, by virtue of having to travel to known disembarkation points, they eliminate uncertainty regarding their destinations. Second, their limited resilience and often flammable cargo means they can be readily targeted with assets ill-suited for attacks on surface combatants. Munitions that have little impact on military vessels can cause critical damage to civilian vessels loaded with munitions or fuel. Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and suicide boats have been used successfully in Yemen and could be a pattern for countering an invasion of Taiwan. Lastly, unlike amphibious vessels conducting an initial invasion, they are unlikely to have persistent protection from surface combatants. The crux of this approach would aim not at preclusive defense of Taiwan but at stranding and suffocating a Chinese force in Taiwan's dense urban terrain.

Train derailed in MaineApril 15: Fox News: Another day, another train, derailment, this time with hazardous material reportedly on board
A train has reportedly derailed in the state of Maine and officials say they believe hazardous materials were on board. "Train derailment with fire north of Rockwood, hazzard materials please stay clear!" The Rockwood, Maine Fire & Rescue posted on Saturday. They posted a photo of the incident that shows the derailed train on fire and burning in a snow-covered forest area. It is unclear if anyone was injured during the derailment. Rockwood, Maine, is located on the western side of Moosehead Lake in the northern part of the state roughly 45 miles from the Canadian border and the tracks are owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway. "A total of three locomotive engines and six rail cars carrying lumber and electrical wiring derailed into a wooded area, where they caught fire and started a small forest fire," the Maine Forest Service said. "The fires are contained and are being monitored. Additional rail cars transporting hazardous materials did not derail. The assessment of officials on the scene is that these hazardous materials are not at risk of leaking and are not at risk of catching fire.

April 14: The Epoch Times: Federal District Court Justice rejects DA Bragg's request against Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH)
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's urgent request to enter a restraining order against Congressman Jordan was rejected on April 11, the same day it was filed. U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil turned down Bragg's emergency request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Jordan, at least until a hearing is held. "The Court declines to enter the proposed Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause," Vyskocil said, noting that she hadn't yet received several documents that were referenced in Bragg's filings. She ordered Jordan and other defendants in the case to respond to the motion and scheduled a hearing on the matter for April 19. On April 11, Bragg sued Jordan for allegedly infringing on state sovereignty. Jordan has subpoenaed a former Bragg deputy and demanded documents from Bragg's office regarding the prosecution of former President Donald Trump, who was indicted by a grand jury after being presented with charges by the Democrat district attorney.

April 14: The Epoch Times: Bragg case against Trump headed in only one direction former prosecutors say, and it doesn't look good for the DA
Several former prosecutors said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's case against former President Donald Trump faces major hurdles, coming more than a week after his unprecedented arraignment at a Manhattan courthouse. "If it wasn't Donald Trump, no prosecutor in the world would have touched this," former Manhattan assistant district attorney Daniel Bibb said. "If you and I did what Trump did, we never would have been charged." Former Manhattan prosecutor-turned-criminal defense lawyer Mark Bederow said "if you bring an unprecedented case like this against a former president and current presidential candidate, it's essential for the credibility of the criminal justice system to present a clear and cogent explanation of your theory as opposed to saying I don't have to tell you." Bederow noted that Bragg's office will have to call in former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who spent several years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to a range of charges, to testify. It would be easy to call Cohen's credibility into question—based on his prior convictions. Prosecutors, he added, would also have to call in Stormy Daniels to the stand to testify. The lawyer noted that Daniels, who recently was ordered by a court last week to pay Trump legal fees, has made contradictory statements about the payments. During a news conference after Trump's arraignment, Bragg's office said that Trump falsified business records—normally a misdemeanor—but those charges were raised to the level of a felony. It alleged that the former commander-in-chief was trying to conceal a second crime, which Bragg did not disclose. Bragg said that he is legally not required to disclose the second alleged offense. The indictment against Trump also does not say what the crime is, which legal experts say could be problematic.

April 14: The Hill: Administration renews scrutiny of clearances after security leak
The arrest of Jack Teixeira in connection with the leak of classified government documents has quickly raised a series of questions, including how a 21-year-old guardsman at a base in Cape Cod had access to such sensitive information. Authorities arrested him following a series of reports identifying him as the leader of a group on gamer site Discord, where documents with significant intelligence on adversaries as well as allies were posted in recent months before spilling over onto other social media sites. Teixeira, served in the 102nd intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard as a technology support staffer, a relatively low-ranking position, but one that still came with access to. "There's those people that have grievances and aren't loyal Americans, and we have to be consistent about throwing the book at these people, but also, maybe do some rethinking about classification and access."

April 14: The Epoch Times: Scotus rules 9-0 against Biden Administration
A Supreme Court ruling made it easier to challenge the reach of two powerful federal agencies—the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In its new red tape-cutting decision that is a defeat for the Biden administration, the Supreme Court took steps to rein in the so-called administrative state and reaffirm the separation of powers doctrine that prevents any specific branch of the government from exercising the core functions of another. The idea behind the doctrine is to discourage the concentration of power and make sure there are checks and balances. Critics of the administrative state claim that in-house adjudications carried out by agencies are unfair because the tribunals, unlike regular courts, lack fixed evidentiary rules, allowing the agencies to function as prosecutor, judge, and jury. They argue that the tribunals are unconstitutional because they are not politically accountable. Axon purchased an insolvent competitor, Vievu LLC, for around $13 million in 2018. A month later the FTC sent Axon a letter indicating the acquisition raised antitrust concerns. Axon claimed it was subjected to "extensive and expensive investigatory proceedings," and after 18 months of this "with no end in sight, Axon offered to walk away from its acquisition entirely," but this did not satisfy the FTC.

April 14: Breitbart News:
Americans worried about religious institutions abandoning traditional beliefs

A majority of Americans say faith is important to their daily lives, but they worry "too many religious institutions nowadays are watering down or abandoning their traditional beliefs," a new Rasmussen Reports poll found. Out of 1,056 American adults polled between April 9-11, 65 % say they agree that too many religious institutions are watering down or abandoning their traditional beliefs. Thirty-five percent say they "strongly agree," while 23%t disagree and 12% are unsure. Overall, 75% of respondents say "religious faith [is] important to their daily lives," up from 71% in 2018. Nearly half, 49%, say it is "very important" to their lives.

April 14: The Epoch Times: Musk; parents and adults who allow sex changes to a child before they become adults should get life in prison
Tesla founder and Twitter CEO Elon Musk doubled down on his previous criticism of adults who allow minors to undergo gender transition procedures, stating the sterilization of children through such procedures should be punishable with life imprisonment. "Any parent or doctor who sterilizes a child before they are a consenting adult should go to prison for life," Musk wrote on Twitter. The tech billionaire's comment came in response to another user's post mocking an MSNBC opinion piece criticizing Florida Gov Ron DeSantis for his policies relating to parental rights, among other issues.

April 13: The Daily Caller: Carlson; leaked document cover up by Corporate media
Tucker Carlson accused corporate media outlets Thursday of "covering up" what the leaked Pentagon documents actually reveal about the U.S.' involvement in the Ukraine conflict. "If you want to get really sick to your stomach, go pull a transcript from the Pentagon briefing today where news reporters asked flacks from the Pentagon, what are we gonna do to keep information like this secret in the future?" Carlson said. "Not one question about the substance of the information. We are fighting a war against Russia directly, really? Don't they have the biggest arsenal in the world? Not one question. How can we help you keep it secret?"

April 13: Fox News: Arrest of alleged classified documents leaker
The arrest of a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman in connection to classified documents that have been leaked online in recent months has been met with outrage as critics wonder how a young man could have such high-level access to national security information. FBI agents arrested the Massachusetts Air National guardsman after U.S. intelligence documents that had critical information about the war in Ukraine and Chinese relations were posted on the chat app Discord. Attorney General Merrick Garland said that Teixeira is being investigated for the "alleged unauthorized removal, retention, and transmission of classified national defense information." "It is treason," Marc Thiessen, the former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush, said. "The idea that a 21-year-old kid can expose sources and methods of how we spy, how we have penetrated the Chinese People's Liberation Army, because apparently we've exposed the fact we know they have a new hypersonic missile that can reach the United States, that they exposed our penetration of the Russian Defense Ministry, that could affect the war in Ukraine. I mean, the incompetence is stunning."

April 12: The Washington Times:
Fresh revelations as Biden's team struggles to contain intel leak fallout

The Biden administration struggled Wednesday to get its arms around the expanding diplomatic and public relations disaster as the leaking of a trove of sensitive intelligence documents online has complicated relations with friend and foe alike. Fresh revelations from the documents, which apparently first appeared in an obscure chatroom on the gamer social media app Discord weeks ago, continued to tumble out as the Defense Department and Justice Department launched inquiries into who leaked the material, how they did it and why. Reports Tuesday evening appeared to contain confidential U.S. intelligence assessments about NATO member Hungary and fears that nationalist leader Viktor Orban may be tilting away from the USA and toward Moscow as the Biden administration tries to rally Western nations in support of Ukraine. On Wednesday, reports said a small contingent of U.S. Special Forces had deployed inside Ukraine and an internal Pentagon document suggested that Serbia, despite its outward tilt toward Russia, was secretly supplying arms to Kyiv as well. The Biden administration has been reaching out to allies and partners such as South Korea, where a political tempest has been brewing over internal government deliberations of foreign arms sales that were apparently monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies.

April 12: The Hill: Feinstein asks to have her spot on Senate Judiciary temporary filled by another Senator
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CXA) announced on Wednesday that her return to work in Washington has been delayed due to ongoing health complications and called on the Senate to appoint a temporary replacement for her on the Judiciary Committee. Her announcement came hours after Reps. Khanna (D-CA) and Dean Phillips (D-MN) called for her to resign from the chamber. Feinstein has been sidelined since late February after being diagnosed with shingles. Her absence, coupled with that of Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has left Democrats working at an even 49-49 at best during that time. However, Feinstein's post on the Senate Judiciary Committee has meant that the panel has been unable to advance left wing partisan nominees through to floor votes. "When I was first diagnosed with shingles, I expected to return by the end of the March work period. Unfortunately, my return to Washington has been delayed due to continued complications related to my diagnosis," Feinstein said in a Wednesday night statement. "I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises that it's safe for me to travel. In the meantime, I remain committed to the job and will continue to work from home in San Francisco," she said. At the moment, there are 14 pending judicial nominees who have had hearings before the panel, but have not received a vote by the committee. Since Feinstein has been absent, the panel has had to cancel three committee markups for nominees. Feinstein's acuity has come into question in recent years. The longtime California Democrat has also rolled back her workload during the course of her term. She gave up her post atop the Judiciary Committee, allowing Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to become chairman after an outcry over how she handled Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation for the Supreme Court in 2020. She was also in line to become the Senate Pro Tempore this year as the longest serving Senate Democrat, but allowed Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to take on the position. The position would have put her third in line for the presidency.

April 12: Breitbart News:
Anheuser-Busch loses more than $6 billion in market value

Anheuser-Busch has lost more than $6 billion in market value in the days following its promotional partnership with transgender social media celebrity Dylan Mulvaney, with its shares falling amid a nationwide backlash against Bud Light. Shares of Anheuser-Busch have dropped nearly five percent after Dylan Mulvaney announced the Bud Light deal at the beginning of the month, wiping out $6.65 billion of the company's market capitalization. Dylan Mulvaney — who was born a male but now claims to be a woman — is the latest spokesperson for Bud Light, which has honored Mulvaney with a limited release can with his face on it. In recent social media videos, Mulvaney has promoted the brand by cavorting in a bubble bath and talking about March Madness. "This month I celebrated my day 365 of womanhood and Bud Light sent me possibly the best gift ever — a can with my face on it," Mulvaney said in announcing the deal.

Sign outside the Redneck Riveria BarApril 11: The Epoch Times: Customers stop buying Bud Light, that's capitalism
The public backlash against Bud Light is growing after the company featured transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney in a promotional campaign, according to country music singer John Rich. "The customers decide. Customers are king," Rich, who founded the Redneck Riviera bar and restaurant in Nashville, said Monday to Tucker Carlson. "I own a bar in downtown Nashville… Our number-one selling beer up until a few days ago was what? Bud Light. We got cases and cases and cases of it sitting back there. But in the past several days, you're hard-pressed to find anyone ordering one. So as a business owner, I go, hey if you aren't ordering it, we got to put something else in here. At the end of the day, that's capitalism. That's how it works." Earlier this month, Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Bud Light, sent custom beer cans to Mulvaney featuring the trans activist's face, a move that was criticized as pushing the transgender agenda. The custom can was created to celebrate a full year of Mulvaney transitioning to "girlhood," according to the trans star. In the ad, Mulvaney is shown promoting Bud Light drinks with the hashtag #budlightpartner. "What's happening, Tucker, is people who have been loyal to brands for decades and decades are finding it hard to stay loyal to them, so they start hunting down other brands that they can support. There are tons of up-and-coming American brands out there that people are flooding to, kind of like mine."

April 10: Fox News:
Anheuser-bush distributors in heartland spooked by support for transgender agenda

Anheuser-Busch distributors in rural areas of the Heartland and South are "spooked" after widespread backlash to Bud Light celebrating transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney's "365 Days of Girlhood" with a polarizing promotion, according to the trade publication Beer Business Daily. Earlier this month, the trans activist revealed that the beer company sent packs of Bud Light featuring the influencer's face as a way to celebrate a full year of "girlhood" that Mulvaney recently reached. Mulvaney said the cans were her "most prized possession" on Instagram with a post featuring "#budlightpartner." A video then featured Mulvaney in a bathtub drinking a Bud Light beer as part of the campaign. The announcement was met with significant criticism, with some Twitter users describing the ad campaign as the latest attempt to push gender propaganda. Many people mocked Bud Light over the partnership, conservative rocker Kid Rock even used several Bud Light cases for target practice in a viral video, and there have been calls to boycott.

Meanwhile The Daily Caller reported a video by Alissa Heinerscheid, the vice president of marketing at Bud Light, shows her trashing the beer company's customer base. The video made the rounds after Bud Light partnered with Dylan Mulvaney, sending the transgender TikTok star a beer can with his face on it. Another Bud Light can feature a rainbow and the phrase "celebrate everyone's identity," with various pronouns printed on the can. Dylan posted several videos on social media advertising the beer. The advertising campaign sparked massive backlash from the Bud Light's customers.

April 10: Fox News:
KY; Police end bank shoot up, response in 3 minutes, shooter is dead

A gunman stormed into an Old National Bank location in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, , killing four and wounding eight, including a police officer hospitalized in critical condition Monday. At least one other officer suffered a minor injury, and the attacker was also killed, according to police. City leaders said officers arrived within three minutes and put an end to the carnage.

April 8: The Epoch Times: Tennessee House expels two members over inappropriate behavior with bull horns in the House chamber
After several hours of debate, two Tennessee Democrats were expelled from the Tennessee General Assembly on Thursday. The third state representative facing expulsion held her seat by a margin of only one vote on a historic day in the Tennessee legislature. Resolutions to expel the members were introduced on April 3 after the lawmakers led protesters from the House floor with a bullhorn in chants calling for tighter restrictions on gun rights. This came after the deadly Covenant School shooting in Nashville the week before. The move to expel members is particularly rare in Tennessee, where only two other members have been expelled from the chamber since the Civil War. The first representative to lose his seat was Rep. Justin Jones of Nashville. Later in the evening, Rep. Justin Pearson of Memphis lost his seat in the body. Both removal votes were along party lines, with all of the chamber's Democrat members voting against expulsion. Hundreds of protestors spent upwards of ten hours on the Capitol grounds in Nashville and just outside the House chamber—the rowdy crowd could be heard chanting throughout the day. Both expelled members can be reappointed to their seats by officials in their respective counties, which in Nashville and Memphis are Democrat strongholds in an otherwise red state. They cannot be expelled again for the same offenses, members said during debate Thursday.

April 8: The Washington Examiner:
Sinema set to cause a three-way race in swing state Arizona

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) is reportedly preparing to run for a second Senate term, only this time as an independent — setting the stage for what is likely to be a competitive three-way race in the key swing state. Sinema has not yet announced whether she intends for reelection, but if she does, she's set to face opponents from both sides of the political spectrum. The Arizona senator reportedly met with her team in Phoenix earlier this week to discuss a possible timeline of announcing her campaign. Sinema has already filed her candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, identifying herself as an independent. The senator has not announced a reelection campaign, but filing one's candidacy is required to begin fundraising.

April 5: The Epoch Times:
Trump's defense team to file motions to dismiss alleging prosecutorial misconduct

Joseph Tacopina, a lawyer defending former president Donald Trump in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's hush money case, announced late Monday his plans to file "a host of" motions to dismiss, including one based on prosecutorial misconduct and selective prosecution. "There will be a host of motions we're going to make, including … a motion to dismiss based on selective prosecution and prosecutorial misconduct." Tacopina said the defense team will consider other motions after seeing the indictment, such as a venue change or statute of limitations considerations. At the time of his statement the exact charges against Trump were still under seal and hidden from Trump's defense team. Legal experts have been skeptical of Bragg's indictment, combining federal and state laws to bring forward felony charges. "Of course, that is why it is selective prosecution. … There would not be a case if this wasn't Donald Trump," Tacopina said. "You select the person you don't like, Donald Trump, and you try to find a crime. So it is mind-boggling to me that we're here. But it's just not going to hold up," Tacopina added

President Trump speaks  after  indictmentApril 4: The Daily Caller:
Trump speaks out after his indictment

Former President Donald Trump broke his silence for the first time since being indicted Tuesday during a primetime Mar-a-Lago address, where he detailed the endless legal battles he is facing as a 2024 presidential candidate. Trump was indicted on 34 counts of allegedly falsifying business records to which he plead not guilty to all charges. Trump entered the packed ballroom at his Florida club, where he previously announced his 2024 presidential campaign, to a roaring crowd and took the stage to chants of "USA." He began his speech by saying he "never thought anything like this could happen in America." Trump said Bragg had "illegally leaked massive amounts of grand jury information, for which he should be prosecuted, or at a minimum, he should resign." "The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it," Trump said, and then he listed off the efforts taken to keep him from being president (Russia Gate, the Muller investigation, two impeachment attempts, attempts to link him to the invasion of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, and now this indictment).

inside the North Caroline  CapitolApril 4: Fox News: NC GOP may get a veto proof majority in the state legislature if Dem switches parties
A Democratic lawmaker in North Carolina is reportedly expected to change her political party affiliation and become a Republican, giving the GOP a veto-proof majority in the state legislature. State Rep. Tricia Cotham (D-Charlotte) is expected to announce her decision Wednesday. Republicans had been hoping that Cotham would change parties at some point this legislative session, but the prospect became more realistic last week. If Cotham follows through, the move could have major political implications for North Carolina, a swing state where Republicans are currently one seat short of a supermajority in the legislature. While North Carolina Republicans have held majorities in both the state's House and Senate chambers for years, the threat of a veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has prevented them from implementing much of their agenda. Cotham could give Republicans a clear path with a veto-proof majority to push a wide range of legislation, from reforming education to restricting abortion, without necessarily needing to compromise with Cooper.

April 3: The Daily Caller:
Carlson on Manhattan DA; Nothing to Bragg about!

Fox News host Tucker Carlson ripped Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Monday for creating an "anarcho-tyranny" in New York City, citing the charges against a parking garage attendant who fought off a robber. The attacker was charged with attempted robbery, and attempted murder, but DA Bragg – a Soros funded DA – dismissed all the charges. Meanwhile Bragg is going after Donald Trump, a former president and a candidate for the presidency in 2024 for what would normally be considered a misdemeanor white collar crime but is viewed by Bragg as a felony.

April 3: The Washington Examiner:
DeSantis and Disney spar as Gov. orders investigation

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) escalated his fight with Disney when he ordered the state's chief inspector general to investigate the former Reedy Creek Improvement District board after it made an agreement with Disney that undermined the state's takeover of the district. The letter from DeSantis requests the investigation look for any "any legal or ethical violations" by the board in relation to their conduct before the state takeover of the district. The investigation will focus on the district's "adherence to applicable Florida civil and criminal laws and ethics requirements," the qualifications of the board members, the "involvement of Walt Disney World employees and agents" in the actions of the district, and "any financial gain or benefit derived by Walt Disney World" as result of the work of the district. DeSantis's office says Disney is "again fighting to keep its special corporate benefits and dodge Florida law" but vows not to "let that happen."

April 2: The Epoch Times:
Trump intends to appear before NY court for arraignment

Former president Donald Trump has confirmed that he intends to appear before a New York court for his arraignment on charges brought against him by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. "I will be leaving Mar-a-Lago on Monday at 12 noon, heading to Trump Tower in New York. On Tuesday morning I will be going to, believe it or not, the Courthouse. America was not supposed to be this way!" Trump said in a Truth Social post. The court hearing for the arraignment will take place at 2:15 pm. ET when Trump will appear before acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan. This will be the first time in history that a former U.S. president faces criminal charges.

April 2: The Epoch Times: EVs could lose tax credits
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Friday that it would propose rules that would make it more difficult for a number of new electric vehicles (EVs) to qualify for tax breaks. Starting April 18, the IRS will enforce a domestic sourcing requirement for minerals and components used in EV batteries. Analysts say that a number of new EVs won't qualify for a clean vehicle tax credit of $7,500 that was implemented under the Inflation Reduction Act that was passed last year.

April 1: The Washington Examiner:
It all depends on whose ox it getting gored! Efforts to repeal California's ban on travel to Red states could impact Newsom's presidential travel plans

A California Democrat is proposing legislation to repeal a statewide ban prohibiting lawmakers from using taxpayer dollars to travel to Republican states — just one day before Gov. Gavin Newsom launched a tour visiting several places that were included in the ban list. State Senate President pro-Tempore Toni Atkins introduced a bill on Wednesday seeking to overturn a 2016 law that bars California lawmakers from traveling to GOP-led states on official businesses because of policies that "discriminate" against gay and transgender people. The legislation came just one day before Newsom launched a tour to Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi — which are included in the ban — to promote his newly announced political action committee. Atkins cited travel complications as part of her reasoning to repeal the 2016 law, noting the ban has unintentionally isolated members of the LGBT community and has made it harder for California residents to conduct research or business with other states. When the ban was enacted, it was initially meant to cover only four states but now extends to 23, and could drastically impact Gov. Newsom's presidential plans.

April 1: The Daily Caller:
Farmers are struggling and the Department of Agriculture is not helping them

The last decade has been brutal for family farmers, but most folks don't really understand the root of the problem, and it's not necessarily just inflation, supply chain problems, or the current state of our crippled economy under Joe Biden. It's one of the swampiest secrets in Washington, D.C. — the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Commodity Checkoffs for beef, pork, dairy, and other commodities under these programs, struggling farmers are forced to hand over part of their proceeds to line the coffers of these embattled government slush funds. It's the worst kind of taxation – one where the payer gets nothing in return. Major trade associations like Dairy Management, Inc., divert checkoff dollars that by law are restricted to commodity marketing programs and research, and instead use a large portion of the money to lobby against the interests of those it purports to represent.

Transgender activst attacks Christian conservative in Canadai April 1: Fox News: Violent trans gender activists attack and bloodied conservative attendee at trans rally in Canada; Not an April Fools joke
Popular conservative activist "Billboard Chris" appeared to be violently assaulted by aggressive transgender activists at a pro-trans rally in Vancouver, Canada yesterday. Though police seemed to break up the assault after it began, the conservative activist stated that Vancouver PD "did nothing" to keep the militant trans rally goer from assaulting him beyond making sure he wasn't injured more in the attack. He also spoke to one of the officers monitoring the rally that day, who argued that both sides were at fault, pushing back on the conservative's claim that he was peacefully protesting at the trans rally. Chris posted intense footage of several altercations that happened between him and rally goers that day. Initial video shows Chris as he debated with one of the rally goers. Then it shows pro-trans activists ominously surrounded him and making physical contact. As Chris tried to push through, one activist impeded his path and forcefully told him, "Absolutely don't touch me." Another activist, who appeared to be a female with a trans flag, rushed up with a pink marker and started scribbling on him. "Oh, here we go," Chris observed, "I'm getting painted on already." Suddenly the camera jerked wildly, indicating that he was being pushed or hit by someone out of frame. As it happened, he could be heard saying, "Been here five seconds, and I'm already getting assaulted."

March 31: The Washington Times:
Manhattan DA Bragg makes good on his campaign promise to be tough on Trump

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg 's decision to bring criminal charges against former President Donald Trump makes good on the Democratic prosecutor's campaign boast that he is tough on Trump. Bragg put his tough-on-Trump bona fides front and center as he faced other Democratic contenders in the 2021 race to become the top prosecutor in one of the country's most liberal-leaning cities. Throughout his campaign, Bragg boasted about his work overseeing the lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation while serving as New York state's chief deputy attorney general from 2017 to 2018. Bragg cited the case in a December 2020 campaign forum as he sparred with his Democratic rival in the Manhattan district attorney's race.

March 31: The Daily Caller: Sweeping new Biden rules would allow "green groups" to lease federal lands away from oil and ranching
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) proposed new rules Thursday that would allow public land to be leased for conservation efforts, among other major changes to promote land health. The proposal would expand land-health standards to the entirety of the 245 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), prioritize the designation of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and establish a leasing framework for private partners to perform climate restoration and mitigation efforts on public land. The new rule would make proposed leases for conservation efforts a valid "use" of public land, similar to mining, ranching and other energy projects under the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976. In effect, this reportedly will reduce the opportunity for use of the land for oil production and as ranch land.

March 30: The Washington Times:
Hearing on "weaponizing" federal agencies – CDC, Fauci censorship

Louisiana's attorney general called Thursday for federal employees to be fired, lose their retirement benefits and face civil lawsuits if they are found to have pressured tech companies to censor opposing viewpoints. Jeff Landry made his suggestion to Congress during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee probing "weaponization" of the federal government, where he detailed what he labeled a "vast censorship enterprise" that ran deep into the Biden administration. He and Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO) said documents they obtained in a lawsuit reveal that the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Census Bureau, Dr. Anthony Fauci and multiple people at the White House took steps to pressure tech companies shut down narratives with which they disagreed on the Hunter Biden laptop or the coronavirus epidemic. "Please remove this immediately," one White House employee demanded of Twitter. The stream of requests was so extensive that Twitter proposed "a streamlined process" so it could prioritize them.

March 30: The Washington Examiner:
Manchin criticizes Biden for placing "ideological agenda" over debt ceiling negotiations

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) hit out against Joe Biden on Wednesday, accusing him of pushing his "ideological agenda" rather than meeting with members of Congress to address inflation and the looming debt ceiling crisis. Manchin criticized Biden over his administration's implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, a landmark bill the West Virginia Democrat helped construe to reduce the country's deficit and promote energy security. However, Manchin accused Biden administration officials of abusing the Inflation Reduction Act to increase spending levels unilaterally, calling the act a "betrayal." "While all parties have a responsibility to negotiate in good faith, recent actions make clear to me that the Biden administration is determined to pursue an ideological agenda rather than confront the clear and present danger that debts and deficits pose to our nation," Manchin wrote. "Instead of implementing the law as intended, unelected ideologues, bureaucrats and appointees seem determined to violate and subvert the law to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and fiscal security."

March 30: The Daily Caller: New York grand jury indicted former President Trump
A Manhattan grand jury voted Thursday to indict Former President Donald Trump, according to The New York Post. It is unclear when Trump will turn himself in. The indictment comes almost two weeks after Trump announced on Truth Social he expected to be arrested in connection to a yearslong investigation into whether he paid hush money to former adult movie star. Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen allegedly sent $130,000 to her so that she would not disclose an earlier alleged affair with the president. Cohen, a convicted liar, claims Trump then reimbursed him. Trump is now the first president in American history to be indicted. Earlier federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted not to charge Trump for the case in 2019 as did the Federal Election Commission dropped its investigation into the case in 2021.

Train derailed as railroad worker looks at wreckage March 30: The Epoch Times:
Bipartisan railway safety bill introduced

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), co-sponsor Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-OH), and other Ohio U.S. representatives introduced the Reducing Accidents in Locomotives (RAIL) Act at a March 30 press conference hours after a BNSF Railway train carrying ethanol derailed and caught fire in Raymond, Minnesota. Residents near the crash site were evacuated. No injuries were reported and the derailment's cause is under investigation, BNSF reported. "This is all timely," Johnson said, noting the Minnesota derailment. "So what we're talking about here today is very, very important."

March 29: Fox News: Biden makes several 2nd Amendment claims amid the Nashville shooting but reality is not so clear cut
Joe Biden responded to Monday's fatal school shootings in Nashville, Tennessee, during a stop in North Carolina on Tuesday, omitting some nuance about the Second Amendment in the wake of tragedy. He made a scheduled stop in Durham, NC, to speak about his economic agenda and the advancement of semiconductors. But before he got to the meat of his speech, he addressed the tragedy that occurred at a private Christian School in Nashville. Six victims were shot and killed when 28-year-old Audrey Elizabeth Hale, whom police identified as a transgender former student of the school, entered the building with two "assault-type rifles" and a handgun before opening fire. After Hale killed three 9-year-old students and three adults, Metropolitan Nashville Police officers killed Hale at the scene. Biden said the weapons used in the shooting are weapons of war and that there are limits to the 2nd amendment protections.

US Marshals guard  Supreme Court Justice's residenceMarch 29: The Epoch Times:
DOJ memo dissuaded marshals from arresting SCOTUS protestors at justices homes

A Senate Republican revealed during a March 28 hearing that an internal Department of Justice (DOJ) memo dissuaded U.S. Marshals from arresting protestors in violation of laws against picketing the homes of judges. The materials revealed during the hearing show that U.S. Marshals were explicitly directed not to arrest protestors at the homes of Supreme Court (SCOTUS) justices. "People want justice to be blind," said freshman Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.), who unveiled the findings during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared before the panel to testify on the DOJ side of Joe Biden's proposed budget. Section 1507 of U.S. Code prohibits the picketing of Supreme Court (SCOTUS) justices or other federal judges to change the outcome of a legal case. But when protestors demonstrated at the homes of conservative justices to protest their leaked abortion decision in June 2022, U.S. Marshals made few arrests in connection to the statute. This, Britt revealed, was not a mistake. Rather, she showed that a DOJ memo had directly dissuaded agents from making arrests on the basis of Section 1507, instructing them to arrest protestors only as a "last resort" to protect the justices. Garland punted saying, "The attorney general does not make the decision to arrest. The Marshals on the scene—they do make the decision of whether to arrest." But newly uncovered materials used to train Marshals to protect the homes of SCOTUS justices show that they were "actively discouraged" from making arrests on grounds of this statute, Britt said. "Those materials show that the Marshals likely didn't make any arrests because they were actively discouraged from doing so." The training materials told the Marshals "to avoid, unless absolutely necessary, any criminal enforcement action involving the protestors." Marshals were also told, "Making arrests and initiating prosecutions is not [underlined and italicized Britt noted] the goal of the [Marshal Service] presence at SCOTUS residences." The next slide of the training "not to engage in protest-related enforcement actions, beyond those that were strictly and immediately necessary and tailored to ensure the physical security of the justices."

March 28: The Galveston County Daily News:
Removal from office for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, Treason, and/or Bribery

"What are High Crimes and Misdemeanors? Our founding fathers wrestled with defining them but there was a common thread – any significant offense against the government (meaning the country and its people) should be adequate grounds for impeachment of governmental officials (including members of a President's cabinet). Which brings us to the question of whether the Secretary for Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas should be impeached."

March 28: The Washington Examiner: Chinese body armor components are being sent to Russia and used by soldiers fighting in Ukraine, an investigation found.
Customs and trade data, personal testimony from Ukrainian soldiers, and photographs viewed by Politico revealed that several Chinese companies, some state linked, have sent crucial components of the armor to Russian body armor manufacturers with close ties to law enforcement and the military. Some of the body armor was taken from Russian soldiers by Ukrainians and put up for sale on eBay. Though the extent of the use of the Klass vests is unknown, it is the first confirmed case of Chinese body armor components being used by Russia in Ukraine.

March 28: News Max: Dershowitz: Bragg brings shame on the DA's office
Harvard law professor and author Alan Dershowitz said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's case against former President Donald Trump is "bringing shame" to Bragg's prestigious office. "Remember, this was regarded as the greatest [district attorney's] office in the country," Dershowitz. "People used to walk proudly if they were in that office. Today, it's become a source of shame." Dershowitz noted that Bragg and New York state Attorney General Letitia James said they would "get Trump" during their respective campaigns, and are now searching for legal violations. "Their campaign pledge was, 'We promise you, if we get elected, we will get Trump by hook or by crook,'" Dershowitz said. "They didn't know what crimes they would get before they set out first, to name the person, and then to rummage through the statute books, find some crimes, but they didn't find any, so they made them up." Bragg continues to meet with a grand jury this week that is deciding whether to bring criminal charges against Trump for a $130,000 payment to a porn star in 2016 for her silence about an alleged affair they had years earlier.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu March 27: The Epoch Times: Major confrontation over judicial reform to rein in left wing activist judges as Benjamin Netanyahu attempts to move forward
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday sacked Defense Minister Yoav Gallant amid another round of protests against a proposed overhaul of the judicial system, a day after Gallant broke ranks with the government and urged in favor of a temporary halt for compromise talks. At a key moment in the passage of the legislation, Gallant warned on Saturday that the reforms risked "a clear, immediate, and tangible threat to the security of the state." A day earlier, 200 reservist pilots and 100 doctors in the military reserves had told Gallant they would refuse to serve if the government passes the reforms. "At this time, for the sake of our country, I am willing to take any risk and pay any price," Gallant said in his televised address. Netanyahu's government is poised to ratify a central part of the Supreme Court overhaul package—a bill that proponents like Israel's justice minister say is needed to rein in activist judges and restore the proper balance between an elected government and the judiciary. The Supreme Court's chief justice, Israel's attorney general, and Israeli opposition leaders oppose the move. They say the changes risk being conducive to corruption and reduce judicial independence — threatening Israeli democracy. In the current system, the justices of the court, which has been criticized by some for left-wing activism, choose their own successors. The bill is expected to be brought for ratification this week in the Knesset, where Netanyahu and his allies control 64 out of 120 seats. Some of Netanyahu's coalition partners called for Gallant to be sacked for his comments on Saturday while others backed him. Netanyahu made the decision to sack Gallant on Sunday night. He said that he had also heard from others in the military who support the reforms, who threatened refusal of their service unless the legislation was passed.

March 26: The Washington Examiner: Netanyahu fires Defense chief
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant Sunday after he pressed for a pause on plans for a judicial overhaul aimed at reigning in left wing activist judges who, under the current system, appoint their successors. Netanyahu's office announced it would "dismiss" Gallant from his post but did not immediately specify if he will receive a new position elsewhere in the administration. Gallant called for halting Netanyahu's judicial reform plans due to alleged unease within the military.

March 26: The Daily Caller: Parents Bill of Rights; Dems all oppose
Daily Caller Editorial Director Vince Coglianese slammed Democrats for opposing the Parents Bill of Rights passed the House. Coglianese said "The reality here is that the federal government, taxpayers spend 8% of all of the spending on public schools nationwide. And as a result, you have kind of a say in how those operate, and that includes transparency, so the Republicans said this is really basic, if your child can't read by third grade, the school has to tell you, that's so important that a child read by third grade. If the teachers have a curriculum, they need to post it, make it available to the parents, and parents need to meet with the teachers at least twice a year. These are very simple expectations, all parents are for it, the idea that you can demonize this bill, I think it's outrageous because it's a perfectly good bill and it's the kind of thing that Americans would expect Congress to do with their money."

March 25: News Max: Biden won't admit China/Russia danger
Joe Biden and his administration don't want to acknowledge the growing danger of Russia and China joining forces or the fact that they and their proxies, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and Algeria have formed a "new axis," Asia expert Gordon Chang said. "Russia and China getting together really mean the division of the world. If you don't acknowledge reality, you can't deal with reality. And unfortunately, we have a leader who just does not believe that it's in America's best interest to protect ourselves vigorously." Biden, he added, is backing down on the "red line" that he established about China providing lethal assistance to Russia to use against Ukraine. "We saw another example of that yesterday when Biden was talking to the Canadian Parliament and his comments afterward," said Chang. "Now he says, 'I don't think China is providing significant weapons.'"

March 24: News Max:
Representative Greene: January 6th defendants "mistreated" in jail

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), said Friday that pretrial defendants of charges stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot were being "mistreated" in jail. After visiting the Washington, D.C., facility with a bipartisan group from the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, Greene reiterated her position that the conditions were unnecessarily harsh. "What we saw today is exactly what we've known all along: It's a two-tiered justice system, and there's a very different treatment for pretrial Jan. 6 defendants and the inmates or, you know, other charged defendants and inmates," Greene said.

March 24: The Daily Caller:
New documents catch Fauci in a lie about secret COVID origins call

Email evidence seems to contradict Dr. Anthony Fauci's denials that he had any role in deciding who would be part of a Feb. 1, 2020 conference call that discussed whether COVID-19 originated from a laboratory leak, the House Coronavirus Pandemic Select Subcommittee suggested in a Friday letter. Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield testified to the committee March 8 that he was "quite upset" about being "excluded" from Fauci and former National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins' lab leak theory talks, and had not known about the February 2020 call between them and international scientists. The letter revealed Fauci's Feb. 1, 2020 emails telling then-Wellcome Trust Director Jeremy Farrar that Collins would be part of the call and should be included in "all subsequent correspondence" about it, appearing to suggest that Fauci may have had some say over who would participate, according to the committee.

March 24: Fox News:
Florida one step closer to giving DeSantis a chance to make the US a constitutional carry majority

The Florida House of Representatives has passed a bill eliminating the requirement for an individual to obtain a permit in order to carry a concealed firearm in the state. The bill, referred to by supporters as a constitutional carry law, passed the Republican-controlled House with 76 yes votes and 32 no votes on Friday afternoon. House Bill 543 would allow lawful gun owners in the state to carry without asking the government for a permit and without paying a fee. Those who wish to still obtain a permit can do so if the bill becomes law. The bill would also not change who can and cannot carry a firearm.

March 23: The Epoch Times:
AZ Supreme Court breathes new life onto Kari Lakes lawsuit

The Arizona Supreme Court has sent a key part of Kari Lake's election lawsuit back to trial court for review, breathing new life into the former gubernatorial candidate's legal challenge to the outcome that she says was unfair. In an order issued on March 22 the Arizona Supreme Court directed the trial court to review a key claim related to signature verification procedures on early ballots in Maricopa County, reviving Lake's hopes in her election challenge. "The signature verification process in Maricopa County is a house of cards. Thanks to this ruling, my team will get the chance to topple it," Lake said in a statement expressing satisfaction with the ruling. Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said in a statement that elections officials respect the Supreme Court's decision and that they expect to win when the case is retried in a lower court. In her complaint to the Arizona Supreme Court, Lake raised seven legal issues with the request for review, including the allegation that 35,563 "unaccounted for ballots" were intermingled with other ballots at a processing facility and that procedures on testing tabulating machines weren't followed, and so the results of the election were at the very least "uncertain." Election data shows that Lake lost to Hobbs, a Democrat, by about 17,000 votes during the midterms.

March 22: The Daily Caller:
The FBI had informants embedded in Jan 6th defense teams

At least one Proud Boys member on trial over the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol had a previously-concealed FBI informant set to appear as a witness in their case, a defense attorney said Wednesday. Former Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio and members Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola are all on federal trial after being accused in a June 2022 indictment of conspiring "to oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force." The government revealed Wednesday that a witness scheduled to appear in the defense case Thursday had been an FBI confidential human source from April 2021 to at least January 2023, Rehl's lawyer Carmen Hernandez said in a court filing obtained by American Greatness' Julie Kelly.

March 22: The Epoch Times:
Attorney Costello: Michael Cohen is a convicted perjurer and has no creditable evidence

A former legal adviser to Michael Cohen, a key witness in the New York grand jury investigation into former President Donald Trump's alleged payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels, has claimed that the former Trump attorney is "far from solid evidence." Veteran New York Attorney Robert Costello made the comments to reporters shortly after he appeared before a grand jury Monday to challenge the credibility and honesty of Cohen, who testified to the Manhattan grand jury on March 15 and is considered a critical witness in District Attorney Alvin Bragg's investigation into Trump. The attorney told reporters following his testimony that Cohen is "totally unreliable" in the probe against America's 45th president and is "a convicted perjurer." "But Michael Cohen is far from solid evidence," added Costello. "This guy, by any prosecutor's' standard—and I used to be deputy chief of the criminal division in the Southern District of New York—I wouldn't have touched a guy like Michael Cohen, especially if he's a convicted perjurer." Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to charges of tax evasion, making false statements to a federally insured bank, and campaign finance violations in connection with an alleged $130,000 payment to a lawyer representing adult actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

March 22: Fox News:
Stanford DEI Dean on leave while the school figures out what to do with her
after she confronted a federal judge who was invited to speak at the university

The associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion at Stanford Law School is on leave after she was seen on video not doing anything to stop protesters from shouting down a Trump-appointed federal judge who was invited to give a talk at the school. "Associate Dean Tirien Steinbach is currently on leave. Generally speaking, the university does not comment publicly on pending personnel matters, and so I will not do so at this time," Jenny S. Martinez, the dean of Stanford Law, wrote Wednesday in a memo to the school's community. Protests broke out at the school earlier this month when Judge Kyle Duncan, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, was invited to speak by conservative legal organization the Federalist Society.

March 20: News Max: Lawyer: It's Dem "Grandstand" to see Trump in cuffs
Joe Tacopina, the personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump, says it's looking "more and more" like the Manhattan District Attorney's Office will arrest his client soon — and probably will handcuff and parade him in public, "perp walk" style, like a common criminal suspect. The expectation of arrest stems from Trump's alleged role in hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels amid the 2016 presidential election. "If there is a bad act here," Tacopina said, "it's by someone who has threatened to go to the media unless they're paid $130,000 to silence the story, which is normally called 'extortion.' Here, it's just different, and I have to say all decent people — whether they're politically opposed to Donald Trump, or in favor of his candidacy — really should be concerned about this weaponizing of the district attorney's office to pursue a political opponent, or prevent them from running. ... That's what's really frightening to me. I've never seen anything like this."

March 20: The Daily Signal:
After second attack, CEO of pregnancy care center calls out the FBI for inaction

The leaders of the pregnancy help center CompassCare in Buffalo, New York, were concerned they might face another attack amid court proceedings over access to abortion pills. The Rev. Jim Harden, CompassCare CEO, contacted the FBI in February raising those concerns. He says the FBI failed to answer him. "I asked the FBI," Harden said, "if they were going to be issuing any kind of threat alert to Christian pro-life people and organizations, and whether or not they're going to be adding protection, security protection to that judge [handling the abortion pill case]. They did not respond." On Wednesday, CompassCare was attacked for the second time within the past nine months.

March 19: News Max:
Facing war crimes charges, Putin visits occupied territory in Ukraine

A day after being accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Court, President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol, scene of some of the worst devastation of his year-old invasion. State television showed extended footage of Putin being shown around the city on Saturday night, meeting rehoused residents and being briefed on reconstruction efforts by Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin. The port city of Mariupol became known around the world as a byword for death and destruction as much of it was reduced to ruins in the first months of the war, eventually falling to Russian forces in May.

March 18: The Epoch Times:
McCarthy orders investigation regarding Manhattan's DA had access to federal funds and whether they were used as part of his Trump investigation

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has ordered Republicans to investigate whether federal funds were used in the reported looming indictment against former President Donald Trump. "Here we go again—an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump," McCarthy said in a statement after Trump indicated it is likely he will soon be arrested for an alleged misclassification of a payment while in private life. "I'm directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions," McCarthy said. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, shared McCarthy's statement on social media, as did the GOP House Judiciary Committee account. "Don't worry, Liberal DA's are working just as hard to indict actual criminals in Democrat-run cities. Just kidding. It's all politics," the he posted. Chip Roy (R-TX) cited one of the Federalist Papers, which says: "This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people. "How much federal funding does the Manhattan DA's office get?" Roy wondered.

Meanwhile The Epoch Times reported Trump is saying the Democrat DA in New York expects to arrest him next week Former President Donald Trump has issued a statement saying he expects to be indicted next week by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has been investigating Trump for his company's classification of a $130,000 reimbursement to his former personal attorney Michael Cohen over a payment allegedly made to adult actress Stormy Daniels. Trump has repeatedly called the probe a partisan witch hunt. He insists no crime has been proven and has been debunked by numerous other prosecutors. Trump's possible indictment stems from the alleged misclassifying of a $130,000 hush payment made to Daniels not to disclose an affair between the two, which Trump has denied. A grand jury was empaneled in the case and expectations have been building for an indictment. A Trump spokesperson said Trump is "completely innocent" and that the probe is a politically motivated attack to hamstring his run for reelection in 2024. "Democrats are at it again, pushing the 'Nuclear Button' and attacking a President because of a disgraced extortionist," he said. "This is happening because President Trump is leading in the polls by a large margin against both Democrats and Republicans." The idea that a possible indictment and arrest of Trump would backfire was taken up by several prominent public figures, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk who said if Trump is arrested that the former president "will be re-elected in a landslide victory." Rumors of the indictment and what would be an unprecedented arrest of a former president have prompted reports that law enforcement agencies are bracing for protests and making security arrangements.

US Reaper droneMarch 18: Sky News:
Russia's downing of US Reaper drone;
a mistake or intentional?

Did the Russians deliberately down a US MQ-9 drone to deter NATO air power, which in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been increased in states that border the communist country? Russian military aircraft are routinely intercepted by NATO air defense fighters, but these engagements are usually conducted in a professional and respectful manner. On 14 March a pair of Russian Su-27 Flanker multi-role fighter jets intercepted a $32m US MQ-9 unmanned air vehicle flying legally in international airspace over the Black Sea. Evidence suggests one of the Russian jets impacted their drone and downed it. Video footage of the incident clearly showed the Russian Flankers making repeated efforts to distract the drone before one appears to impact the propeller in a highly reckless maneuver. So did the Russian pilot intentionally hit the drone? A former veteran fighter pilot said pilots are paranoid about hitting another aircraft. The MQ-9 routinely flies at around 200mph - and is very agile. However, the Russian fighters are designed to fly considerably faster (up to 1600mph) and when you slow them down they become significantly less maneuverable. The video footage indicates that the fighter pilot sensed at the last minute that a collision was imminent and despite his best efforts he was unable to avoid the drone. The former fighter pilot suggested that if the Russians had intended to down the drone, they could have used bullets and shot it out of the sky. Instead, they were evidently attempting to "intimidating" the UAV before the Russian pilot misjudged his maneuver. He suggested the incompetence of the Russian pilot led to the loss of a US asset and a major embarrassment for the Russian Air Force. Russia has very capable fighter jets in its inventory, he contended, but a lack of competency pilots who can convert this into credible professional military capability. The video evidence suggests this was an avoidable accident caused by Russian pilot incompetence, but with such heightened tensions, such incidents often have unintended consequences, with a grave risk of escalation.

March 18: The Washington Examiner: House Dem may support impeachment but for reason different than his GOP colleagues
Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA) said he would consider voting in favor of impeaching Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas although for different reasons than what GOP lawmakers are currently trying to pursue. Vargas said he would consider voting to impeach the DHS secretary over the construction of a pair of border walls in San Diego that Mayorkas previously vowed to halt. "[Mayorkas] told us that he would help us, and he hasn't done it," Vargas said, "He betrayed us." Vargas is referring to a border wall project underway at Friendship Park, located between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. Friendship Park has long served as a place for families to meet along the border with a gate in between them, but the area has been closed off by gates for several years and Border Patrol agents say the gates are deteriorating and should be replaced with new walls — a decision Vargas and other local Democratic officials have pushed back against. Construction on the new border walls reportedly began several weeks ago and is scheduled to be completed in six months.

March 18: Fox News: CNN anchor admits evidence of Chinese money to Biden family members doesn't look good
CNN anchor Erin Burnett admitted that revelations showing members of the Biden family received over a million dollars from accounts linked to Hunter Biden's Chinese business associates certainly don't "look good" for the embattled Hunter Biden and his family as they face government investigations into their alleged corruption. During the show Burnett brought up subpoenaed financial records obtained by the House Oversight Committee showing that money from Joe Biden's son was funneled to several members of the Biden family, including James Biden, and Beau Biden's widow. Burnett admitted that any lay person who sees these payoffs are going to think they don't "look good."

March 17: The Epoch Times: International arrest warrant issued for Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been formally accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of war crimes and faces an arrest warrant, which the Kremlin considers illegitimate. ICC president Piotr Hofmanski said in a video statement that an arrest warrant has been issued for Putin for the "alleged war crimes of deportation of children from Ukrainian occupied territories into the Russian Federation." International law prohibits occupying powers from transferring civilians from occupied areas to other territories. Hofmanski said the contents of the warrants would be kept secret to protect the identities of the allegedly abducted children. "Nevertheless, the judges of the chamber dealing with this case decided to make the existence of the warrants public in the interest of justice and to prevent the commission of future crimes," he said. While the ICC's judges have issued the warrants, it will be up to the international community to enforce them as the ICC has no police force of its own.

March 17: Fox News: NY DA asking for strategy meeting with law enforcement ahead of rumored indictment of Trump
According to court sources, the Manhattan DA's office has asked for a meeting with law enforcement ahead of a possible indictment of former President Donald Trump next week. The same source said the meeting was requested Thursday and hasn't been set. The meeting is to "discuss logistics for some time next week, which would mean that they are anticipating an indictment next week," the source familiar with the planning said. Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung reacted to the news by ripping DA Alvin Bragg in a statement calling his investigation a "witch hunt" and accusing him of being in the pocket of Joe Biden and "radical Democrats."

March 16: The Epoch Times: CDC tried to monitor US citizens during lockdowns
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) purchased data from tracking companies to monitor compliance with lockdowns, according to contracts with the firms. The CDC paid one firm $420,000 and another $208,000. That bought access to location data from at least 55 million cellphone users. The CDC said it would be using the tracking data to "assess home-by-hour behaviors (i.e. curfew analysis) by exploring the percentage of mobile devices at home during specific period of time." The data could also be integrated with other information "to provide a comprehensive picture of movement/travel of persons during the COVID-19 pandemic to better understand mandatory stay-at-home orders, business closure, school re-openings, and other non-pharmaceutical interventions in states and cities."

March 16: The Washington Times:
House Committee exposes China-linked payments to Hunter Biden & Hallie Biden

Joe Biden's daughter-in-law Hallie Biden was among several family members who reportedly pocketed payouts after a Hunter Biden associate received a $3 million wire payment from a Chinese energy company, a House committee revealed Thursday. Biden family members received more than $1 million in payments over a three-month period after the Chinese wire transfer cleared, according to a memo detailing the payments issued by House Oversight and Accountability Committee. Several payments were also sent to companies associated with Biden's brother James Biden and son Hunter Biden in addition to Hallie Biden. An unknown account identified only as "Biden" also received transfers from the company owned by Hunter Biden associate Robert Walker in the months after the $3 million wire cleared in 2017.

Russian Jet dumps fuel on  US drone March 16: Sky News:
Air Force releases video of Russian Jets dumping fuel on U.S. drone in order to take it down

The US Air Force has released video said to show a Russian jet intercepting an American drone and dumping fuel on it over the Black Sea. It said two Russian Su-27 jets flew close to the MQ-9 Reaper before one hit its propeller and forced remote operators to crash it into the ocean. Tuesday's incident has shown the increasing risk of direct confrontation between the superpowers as fighting continues in nearby Ukraine. Defending the decision by the US to release the footage, Brigadier Pat Ryder said they felt it was important to show the "reckless" and "dangerous" behavior of the Russians. He said that the US "took steps to protect information aboard [the] aircraft", and have indications that Russia is "likely making an effort" to recover debris of the drone. "It is very unlikely they are able to recover anything useful," he said. Mr. Ryder added that the US does not seek conflict with Russia, and will continue to support Ukraine.

March 15: The Daily Caller: Seven GOP senators vote to confirm Biden nominee with alleged ties to Communist China
Seven Republican Senators voted on Wednesday to confirm Eric Garcetti, Joe Biden's nominee for ambassador to India and former Los Angeles mayor, despite his ties to individuals belonging to alleged Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence front groups. The vote was 52-42 after a delay of over 20 months arising from allegations that – while in office – he covered up sexual assaults committed by his former aide, Rick Jacobs. It also came just days after it had been revealed that a mayoral fund set up by Garcetti accepted over $1 million in donations from individuals who belong to alleged CCP influence and intelligence fronts. India and China have an ongoing adversarial relationship and placing a person closely tied to the Chinese Communists in the U.S. embassy in India could prove to be problematic.

March 15: Fox News:
USAF reveals a new missile that is faster and that can change directions in midflight

The new articulating missiles were developed through the USAF's Missile Utility Transformation via Articulated Nose Technology (MUTANT) project. he concept of missile articulation dates as far back as the 1950s, but wasn't possible until the rise of modern technology. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) showed how the new "MUTANT" missiles would work during a demonstration at the Air & Space Forces Association's Warfare Symposium in Aurora, Colorado, last week. AFRL has added that morphing weapons technology will allow continuous OML change to tailor performance to each phase of flight. The missile control actuation system, or CAS, will allow the missile to have more range, maneuverability and agility — enabling the missiles to more effectively close in on targets. AFRL will perform three ground tests culminating in dual articulation and in control in maneuvering a modified Hellfire missile from mid-fiscal year 2023 to the end of 2024.

March 14: The Washington Times: Russia downs US drone in international air space
A Russian fighter jet collided with a U.S. military surveillance drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, forcing U.S. operators to bring down the unmanned craft in international waters and prompting Pentagon officials to blast the Russian pilots' behavior as "unsafe and unprofessional." In an incident likely to further inflame bilateral tensions, Defense Department officials said two Russian Su-27 planes tried to intercept the U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone, which was flying in international airspace over the Black Sea. After dumping fuel on the drone in an apparent attempt to disable it, one of the Su-27 aircraft struck the drone's propeller, forcing American crews to bring down the craft at sea. Biden was briefed on the matter, officials said. The Kremlin denied that its planes struck the U.S. drone or were otherwise involved in its downing. Neither the U.S. nor Russia had recovered the wreckage as of Tuesday afternoon, Pentagon officials said. Military analysts said it is imperative for American personnel to find and retrieve the drone before the Russians do. Although the U.S. and its allies have provided massive financial and military support to Ukraine in its fight to repel Russian invaders, this was thought to be the first direct clash involving U.S. and Russian military assets since the invasion began in February 2022. Outraged lawmakers on Capitol Hill warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin would seize on the midair collision to try to intimidate the U.S. and bully the Biden administration into backing away from its military support for Kyiv.

March 14: Fox News: Chinese Rocket reenters earth atmosphere over Texas
A piece of Chinese space junk reentered the Earth's atmosphere last week disintegrated over Texas. The U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) News reported that a second-stage booster from a Chinese rocket that launched on June 23, 2022, and which placed three military surveillance satellites into orbit burned up over Texas on March 8. The missile was a Long March rocket, and its four-ton component that was floating in orbit reentered the atmosphere at 17,000 mph before disintegrating, defense officials said. The space junk, as NORAD described it, was in a low orbit before making its descent back to Earth, and military officials said the debris field could stretch for hundreds of miles.

March 13: The Epoch Times: Capitol Breach defendants suffer defeat as court denies them permission to cross-examine a key FBI agent
Defendants in the ongoing Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Breach trial suffered a defeat on Monday, as the court ordered that the defendants may not cross-examine an FBI agent for most of the defense attorneys' allegations that spawned from internal FBI messages inadvertently leaked in court. Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump-appointed judge, addressed allegations made by attorneys of the Jan. 6 defendants that targeted leaked internal FBI messages, which were revealed in court when Nick Smith, a defense attorney representing Ethan Nordean, cross-examined FBI Special Agent Nicole Miller on Thursday last week. The judge denied all but one of the defendant's arguments about the leaked messages. That leaves a narrowed space for the defendants to maneuver should they wish to upend the trial based on these messages alone.

March 13: The Jerusalem Post:
Strength of Israel's ties to Gulf states may impact Iran-Saudi Arabia relationship

Iran and Saudi Arabia may have renewed diplomatic relations on Friday, but at a first-of-its-kind bilateral Israeli-Bahrani economic conference on Monday, officials from both countries hinted that the Saudis were still watching Israel's relationship with the other Arab countries closely to gauge how to proceed with the Jewish state. "Since the signing of the Abraham Accords, we knew that we were paving the way for a new era of peace in our region," said Khaled Ebrahim Humaidan, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board. He said the goal was to expand the Abraham Accords and "work on other countries to join us, but we think that is only possible if the benefits are clear to everybody." While Israel's economic relations with the United Arab Emirates have taken off since the signing of the accords in 2020 – reaching some $2.5 billion in trade last year – the pace with Bahrain has been slower, with trade in the tens of millions of dollars.

Virginia Class Submarines to  be sold to AustrailiaMarch 13: Sky News: The U.S. to provide nuclear submarines to Australia as they face increased threat from China
The UK, US and Australia will work together "keeping our oceans free" with a new generation of nuclear-powered attack submarines, Rishi Sunak has said. Sunak met Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in San Diego to announce the next stage of the partnership plan that will deliver nuclear-powered submarines to Australia as it seeks to counter Chinese activities in the Pacific Ocean. Reportedly the collaboration would deliver "one of the most advanced" submarines "the world has ever known" and will replace the UK's seven Astute-class submarines.

March 13: The Washington Times: Biden's "bailout" of failed banks is a step toward the government's take over of the U.S. banking system
Economists warn that Joe Biden's extraordinary action to make more than $200 billion in additional government funds available to customers whose deposits were not covered by federal insurance at two collapsed banks is the first step toward government control of the banking system. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)) covers deposits up to $250,000 per account to prevent bank runs and failures. On Sunday, Mr. Biden approved a higher limit to cover the huge amount of uninsured deposits at the two banks. That guarantee potentially stretches the FDIC's Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) to its breaking point and establishes a "moral hazard" precedent that the government will bail out any bank of significant size.

March 12: The Washington Examiner: McCarthy to Biden; Don't play games with the debt limit. Sit down and negotiate a compromise

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called Joe Biden's roughly $6.9 trillion budget proposal "not serious" and warned him not to "play games with the debt ceiling." McCarthy contended even many Democrats wouldn't vote for the Biden budget proposal. The speaker also reiterated his long-standing calls for Biden to negotiate a budgeting agreement with him to avert a debt ceiling crisis. "This budget talks more about equality and climate change than it does dealing with China dealing with fentanyl, dealing with putting our workforce back in the workplace. That is a real challenge," McCarthy said. "To have a nonserious budget and for a president not to show the leadership to sit down and solve this problem early only weakens America," McCarthy concluded.

Entrance to a branch of the Silicone Valey Bank with people standing at the door March 12: The Washington Times:
Administration to guarantee all deposits of SVB in order to head off banking crisis

The Biden Administration said Sunday that it would guarantee all deposits at the now-shuttered Silicon Valley Bank but insisted the move was not a taxpayer-funded bailout, while regulators closed a second institution, New York City's Signature Bank, amid fears of an unfolding economic crisis. The question remains whether the Administration has the authority to use taxpayer money to guarantee all deposits. Some business leaders warned that it might be just the beginning of a national reckoning with institutions that value left-wing politics over sound investing. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seemed earlier Sunday to rule out a bailout of the California-based bank but said the government would work around the clock to find solutions ahead of Monday morning's opening bell on Wall Street. Later Sunday, Ms. Yellen, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg released a joint statement saying they had reached a "resolution" that would allow all depositors at SVB to access all their money Monday morning. "No losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer," the regulators said.

March 12: Sky News:
Former pro-western Georgian President near death, claims he was poisoned in prison

The former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has told Sky News he is approaching death in the hospital he has been moved to from jail. In a moment of rare media access, the former leader also delivered a warning to the people of Georgia after days of protests had swept through the country. An appeal trial last month heard claims from an independent expert that Mr Saakashvili had been poisoned while in jail. Georgian authorities reject that possibility, and will not let him be transferred for treatment in Europe. Sky News was denied access to the hospital but was able to pass Mr Saakashvili questions via his lawyer, and receive handwritten responses in reply. Asked how close to death he was, Mr Saakashvili said: "I was initially 120 kilogrammes, now I am 64, if I become less than 60 doctors predict multiple organ failure." As for his health, he said: "I am in bed all the time, my bones are disintegrating and it gives excruciating pain."

March 11: The Washington Times:
White House launches attack on the Freedom Caucus over raising the debt ceiling

The White House stepped up its offensive against the House Freedom Caucus over the weekend after the bloc of conservatives laid out a series of demands for securing their vote to raise the nation's debt ceiling. White House communications director Ben LaBolt falsely accused the Republican lawmakers of threatening to cut funding for law enforcement, border security, education and manufacturing while introducing "tax breaks for the super-wealthy and wasteful spending for special interests." All of this, of course, is political rhetoric and flies in the face of recent polls showing over 75% of the people in America are concerned about the ever-increasing level of U.S. national debt. Among the Freedom Caucus' actual demands are reversing the Administration's $400 billion student loan write-off, clawing back unspent COVID-19 funds, rescinding the $80 billion for IRS special agents approved at the last minute by a Democrat-controlled house in December 2022, and capping discretionary spending at 2022 levels for the next decade. They are NOT calling on reducing Social Security, Medicare, defense or law enforcement spending as the White House would lead you to believe.

March 11: News Max:
Iran and Saudi Arabia renew diplomatic relations brokered by Chinese as the U.S. seen as withdrawing from the arena

Iran and Saudi Arabia on Friday agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies after years of tensions between the two countries, including a devastating attack on the heart of the kingdom's oil production attributed to Tehran. The deal, struck in Beijing this week amid its ceremonial National People's Congress, represents a major diplomatic victory for the Chinese as Gulf states perceive the United States slowly withdrawing from the wider Middle East. It also comes as diplomats have been trying to end a yearslong war in Yemen, a conflict in which both Iran and Saudi Arabia are deeply entrenched. Tensions have been high between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The kingdom broke off ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters invaded Saudi diplomatic posts there. Saudi Arabia days earlier had executed a prominent Shiite cleric, triggering the demonstrations. In the years since, tensions have risen dramatically across the Middle East since the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers in 2018. Iran has been blamed for a series of attacks in the time since, including one that targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry in 2019, temporarily halving the kingdom's crude production.

March 11: The Epoch Times:
Failure of Silicon Valley Bank liable to send out shockwaves

It took only 48 hours for Silicon Valley Bank to become the nation's second-largest bank failure. The company's problems started on Wednesday when the financial institution informed investors that it needed to generate $2.25 billion to cover an unexpected decline in deposits and improve its balance sheet and overall financial position. The bank's parent company SVB Financial Group reported the rising-rate environment and slowing economy applied pressure to public and private markets. It further explained that clients have endured enormous net decrease in cash over time. Founded in 1983, the bank is a top Silicon Valley lender based in Santa Clara, California. The sudden failure of SVB has created uncertainty among tech investors and startups who had large exposure to the bank. The primary reason for the bank's demise, according to industry analysts, was that it heavily invested customer deposits in treasury bonds, which are highly sensitive to interest rates. The lack of capital and the clarion call across Silicon Valley and social media initiated a bank run, as clients withdrew an enormous $42 billion of deposits on Thursday. By the close of business, SVB maintained a negative cash balance of $958 million, according to a filing from the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation of the State of California. CEO Greg Becker cashed out stock and options for a $2.27 million profit weeks before Friday's collapse, a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing revealed. According to the Federal Reserve, the bank is the 16th largest in the United States, with $209 billion in assets as of Dec. 31st. It became the largest bank to fail since the 2008 financial crisis when Washington Mutual collapsed. "The precipitous deposit withdrawal has caused the Bank to be incapable of paying its obligations as they come due," the California financial regulator stated. "The bank is now insolvent." The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took over the financial institution and renamed it the "Deposit Insurance National Bank of Santa Clara." The bank's main office and thirteen branches in California and Massachusetts are slated to reopen on Monday, the FDIC announced. The failure has the U.S. financial sector on edge, industry observers say.

March 10: Fox News:
Hawley's bill headed to Biden's desk - Come clean Xi about the origin of COVID-19

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Chinese President Xi Jinping to come clean about the origins of COVID-19 as his bill to declassify information on the origins of the virus heads to Joe Biden's desk. Hawley shared his letter to Xi online on Friday in a tweet regarding Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials contacting his office in an attempt to pressure him into withdrawing the bill. "China has been so worked up about this COVID origins bill, Communist officials wrote to my office earlier this week and demanded I drop it," Hawley wrote. Hawley's bill passed the House unanimously Friday as it did earlier in the Senate. He said Xi is "keenly interested in this bill," adding the Chinese president's "own Communist officials have written to my office demanding we renounce it, in their usual lecturing, idiotic style." Unless they can convince Joe Biden to veto it, the bill will shortly become law! "Come clean about your role in spreading COVID to the world," Hawley said. Unlike freedom-loving countries where transparency is valued, the CCP values keeping things hidden in dark places and blaming others for their misdoings (such as claiming COVID could have potentially originated in a North Carolina lab).

March 10: The Epoch Times: FBI may have altered evidence in January 6th case

The trial of Dominic Pezzola, one of the defendants of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, was paused on Thursday due to classified FBI messages revealed in court, which the defense attorneys say show FBI agents discussing the altering of evidence. Pezzola is one of the Proud Boys members on trial for obstruction and conspiracy charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol protest. He was arrested on Jan. 15, 2021, and indicted the same month. Pezzola's trial began in January of this year. "There are a couple of emails between FBI agents casually discussing altering a document and destroying hundreds of pieces of evidence. It's very disturbing and right now we have more questions than answers," Roger Roots, an attorney said. Roots confirmed that Washington District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee, paused the trial on Thursday after the leaked messages came to light during the testimony of FBI special agent Nicole Miller, who was involved in the agency's investigations of the Jan. 6 defendants. In the motion, Pezzola's team said the emails showed the FBI monitored communications between a defendant and his attorney, violating the Sixth Amendment, which prohibits invasions of the right to counsel. "In the Nordean case, confidential attorneys-client trial/defense strategy and position was wrongfully obtained by the government, about which was overheard, shared, utilized, where potentially '338 items of evidence' were ordered to be 'destroyed,' said Pezzola's legal team in the motion to dismiss. The emails show an FBI agent "admitted fabricating evidence and following orders to destroy hundreds of items of evidence." "If justice means anything, it requires this case to be dismissed," Pezzola's lawyer said.

March 9: The Washington Times:
Teachers' union responsible for drop in student performance

It's code red for American education In recent years, U.S. educational outcomes have taken a nosedive while illiteracy has skyrocketed, in large part due to a pandemic that was needlessly prolonged by the nation's teachers unions. The numbers don't lie, and they are embarrassing. Even before COVID-19, more than half (54%) of Americans read at below a sixth-grade level. Then came the pandemic and its seemingly endless slew of mandates, with union bosses such as Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, stubbornly resisting in-person schooling and then lying about it. Half of America's students fell a whole year behind due to pandemic-related restrictions and school closures. While U.S. students have been testing low in comparison with other countries, new scores predictably plummeted even more. Reading comprehension dropped to 1992 levels, and math results fell to record lows. Nearly 4 in 10 eighth graders now fail to grasp basic math concepts. To quote the National Center for Education Statistics' Rachel Hansen: "We've got a long road ahead of us to get kids back to grade level." And the situation isn't improving, with just as many students behind grade level in 2023 as last year.

March 9: The Epoch Times:
Mr. Biden, Washington has a spending problem not a revenue problem

Joe Biden unveiled the third annual budget, vowing to increase spending, raise taxes, and reduce the federal deficit. Over the next decade, the $6.8 trillion budget proposes approximately $5.0 trillion in tax increases on high-income earners and corporations but like in previous moves these tax increases may well impact middle Americans. The budget suggests increasing the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, ensuring that "large corporations pay their fair share." The administration estimates this would generate $1.326 trillion in revenue. However, like prior to the Trump tax policies, this may well see American corporations moving overseas in order to avoid the higher tax rates and with them the movement of jobs and employment opportunities. The Biden budget is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled House where all spending measures must originate according to the provisions of the Constitution.

Five men face down and bound on the pavement infront of a pickup truck  with doors openMarch 9: Fox News: Cartel apologizes for kidnapping and killing of American civilians, turns over those allegedly responsible

A letter purportedly from the Mexican cartel allegedly behind the kidnapping and subsequent killing of Americans last week claimed it has dealt with the members "involved and responsible" for the incident, handing them over for authorities to detain. "We have decided to turn over those who were directly involved and responsible in the events, who at all times acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline," the letter from the Gulf Cartel reportedly states. A photograph of five men face down on the pavement and bound accompanied the letter. The letter also apologized to residents of Matamoros, Mexico, where the kidnapping occurred, and for the death of an innocent Mexican woman during the incident. An internal government document reviewed by Reuters indicated Mexican law enforcement is pursuing an investigation into the possibility the kidnapping occurred because the cartel members believed the Americans had encroached on their turf.

March 9: The Epoch Times:
Iranian warships visiting South American ports, Good bye to the Monroe Doctrine

Iran appears to be making good on its claim to put warships near the Panama Canal before the end of 2023, but analysts say that's just the beginning. Last week, Brazil permitted two Iranian warships to moor off Rio de Janeiro's famous beaches. The event occurred between Feb. 26 and March 4, causing a stir among democratic nations throughout the region. Political and security insiders say the arrival of the warships is a consequence of a new wave of leftist leaders who've swept across Latin America in recent years, including Brazil's new president. And Iran is capitalizing on its strong ties to socialist regimes in the region. Araujo said it was alarming to see his native country roll out the red carpet for Iranian warships. "I'm very concerned as a Brazilian and as someone who has an idea of what Iran is up to in the world." The timing was no coincidence, but rather a strategic hold due to Lula's plan to visit Joe Biden on Jan. 13. The U.S. Department of Treasury had sanctioned both the Makran and the Dena on Feb. 3. Concurrently, Washington pressured Lula to deny the vessels entry to Brazilian waters. Araujo isn't the only Brazilian politician who's not celebrating the unprecedented arrival of Iranian warships to Brazilian waters. Former President Jair Bolsonaro said, "If I were president, these warships would not be there." But despite a clear disregard for U.S. security concerns by the Lula administration, the American response to the event was primarily neutral. At a press briefing, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, "Countries are going to make their own decisions The Monroe Doctrine is a legacy of history. It is not something that the United States espouses."

March 8: The Washington Times:
Tuberville halts, or at least delay, DOD nominations in response to abortion access push

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) followed through with his threat to block DOD nominations in response to a move by the Pentagon to push abortion access for servicewomen. On Feb. 16, DOD instituted its new policy of paying for travel and time off for servicewomen who seek abortions. The policy was first announced in October. Tuberville argued that the Pentagon's move was an illegal expansion of the department's authority, and he threatened to block all DOD officer nominees and promotions. While unable to completely block the acceptance of the nominations and promotions, Tuberville's move would make the process far more time-consuming, clogging up hundreds of nominations. On Wednesday, the senator carried out on his threat and blocked the newest patch of Pentagon nominations. "I'm holding DOD nominations because the secretary of defense is trying to push through a massive expansion of taxpayer-subsidized abortions without going through this body, without going through Congress," Tuberville said. Three months ago he threatened to place a hold on all civilian, flag, and general officer nominees. This reportedly generated a couple of calls to his staff to ask whether he was serious, the DOD leadership has yet to call him directly and justify their actions. The senator said, "…my hold does send a message that the secretary is not — and I repeat, not — above the law. And he cannot ignore lawmakers who are demanding his organization abide by law. I object and will continue to object to any nominees as long as this illegal new abortion policy is in place. I'm holding the military accountable. Others are holding our national security hostage by forcing their agenda where it doesn't belong. Americans want a military focused on a national defense, and that's what I'm fighting for. For these reasons, I object," he concluded.

March 8: The New York Post:
Defense denied access to Jan 6th surveillance footage cited as grounds for an appeal for convicted protesters

For more than two years, while they controlled every lever of power in Washington, the Democratic Party and their media allies told a one-sided story about what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. For more than two years, the surveillance footage from 2021 Capitol protest that was aired this week by Tucker Carlson (See related story), was kept from the American public by a Democratic Congress so a false narrative became cemented in the public consciousness. For more than two years, footage that could have exonerated Jan. 6 defendants was kept from their legal teams. People are in prison because of that cover-up. Take the footage aired by Carlson Monday night of so-called "Jacob Chansley being escorted around the Capitol by police officers who help him open the door and enter the empty Senate chamber. It is hard to reconcile these calm and even cordial scenes with the nearly four-year prison sentence Chansley now is serving for "obstructing an official proceeding." Contrary to what apologists have been saying since Carlson began airing the footage, all this material has not previously been made available to the J6 defendants, some of whom have been jailed without trial for two years, in violation of their constitutional right to a fair and speedy trial.

March 8: The Epoch Times:
Obama appointed federal judge rules against Missouri in 2nd Amendment case

A Missouri law that would have penalized police for enforcing federal gun laws was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge Tuesday, handing a win to the Biden administration Department of Justice that filed suit against the law last year. The DOJ alleged the law was undermining federal drug and weapons investigators by placing heavy fines of up to $50,000 on police departments if they "infringed" on Missourians' Second Amendment rights by following any federal laws. The Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) was ruled "invalid, null, void and of no effect" by U.S. District Court Judge Brian Wimes, an Obama appointee. Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said he plans to appeal the court's ruling at the Eighth Circuit Court and expects a "better result" there. "As Attorney General, I will protect the Constitution, which includes defending Missourians' fundamental right to bear arms," he said in a Twitter thread. "If the state legislature wants to expand upon the foundational rights codified in the Second Amendment, they have the authority to do that. But SAPA is also about the Tenth Amendment. It's about federalism and individual liberty, so we will be appealing the court's ruling."

March 7: The Washington Times:
Major flaws discovered in studies supporting banning of gas stoves

Cooking with natural gas is safe and does not play a significant role in determining indoor air quality, according to an analysis of available studies and government assessments evaluating gas stove cooking. The report, released by industry groups and an environmental consulting firm, found the type of food cooked, specifically meat and cooking oil, more significantly influences indoor air quality than whether a gas or electric stove is used. The analysis disputes a green energy group's recent peer-reviewed research that claimed nearly 13% of childhood asthma can scientifically be traced to the use of gas stoves, and it comes as both the Department of Energy and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are seeking ways to regulate or even limit the appliances.

March 7: Fox News: Tucker Carlson; Majority Leader outraged by surveillance footage being made public, Why?

Yesterday, Tucker Carlson aired surveillance footage taken from cameras in the Capitol on January 6, 2921. [See related story] That footage was withheld from the American public and the Justice Department kept it from individuals arrested for various allegations of insurrection, doing so in violation of their Constitutional rights. As a public service Fox News aired this footage because they believed there was no longer a need to keep it secret and that sunlight is always and everywhere the best disinfectant . In that video, in some cases it showed police officers escorting protestors through the Capitol as if they were touring the building. It raises obvious questions about why many of the defendants have been kept in solitary confinement, indeed, why they were even arrested in the first place. The video also showed that Officer Brian Sicknick was not beaten to death with a fire extinguisher by the protesters as the media and Liz Cheney so often claimed.

In free countries, governments do not lie about protests as a pretext to gain more power for themselves. They don't selectively edit videos for propaganda services and then lie about them and fake hearings and show trials, but that's exactly what happened and every member of Congress should ask why that happened,. Instead Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) went on the Senate floor today to explode and to say that showing the video evidence of wrongdoing by the federal government was somehow a threat to democracy. He then went further, calling for the censorship of Carlson's program while not disputing the accuracy of the previous night's broadcast. Schumer's reason for this according to Carlson is that it contradicted the lies told by the Democrat Party, Liz Cheney(R-WY), and Adam Kinzinger. Carlson made a couple of observations. First that you don't often see calls on the Senate floor for censorship in direct violation of the First Amendment. "But what's really happening here?" Carlson asked. " What you're seeing is hysteria, the overstatement, the crazed hyperbole, the red-in-the-face anger. What is that? Well, it's not outrage, of course. It's fear. It's panic," he concluded. Second, Carlson observed, Schumer was joined by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mitt Romney (R-UT). "Why?" he asked. "Perhaps you/re getting close to what they really care about, and you have to ask yourself why? Why is it so important that they would degrade themselves by telling such obvious lies and calling for censorship? Why? What are they trying to protect?" Carlson asked. "That might be worth exploring, and we plan to, and the second thing that we learn from this is that they're on the same side. The Senate majority leader joins the Senate minority leader… They're all on the same side. So, it's actually not about left and right. It's not about Republican and Democrat. Here you have people with shared interests."

March 6: The Daily Caller:
Carlson makes public video surveillance footage of January 6th protest kept hidden from the public by political leadership and the news media

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Monday that footage of the Capitol riot "demolishes" claims by Democrats that an "insurrection" occurred on Jan. 6, 2021. He showed surveillance footage from inside the United States Capitol, images that were recorded over 26 months ago but never made available to the general public. Instead of giving the public an honest review of what happened, the members of the January 6th committee and their media supporters played bits and pieces of footage that supported the message that there was an insurrection and that Donald Trump was behind it. Carlson said, "Until now, politicians have kept this tape hidden from the public. There is no legitimate justification for that and there never has been." Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) provided Carlson and his investigative team unfettered access to all the surveillance footage, over 41,000 hours of it. The narrative that hundreds of people "stormed" the Capitol building, rioting, and that a Capitol Police officer was shot and killed by one of the people "storming' the Capitol turned out to be false. "Taken as a whole, the video record does not support the claim that January 6th was an insurrection," Carlson said , "In fact, it demolishes that claim. "That is exactly why the Democratic Party and its allies in the media prevented you from seeing it," Carlson continued. "By controlling the images you are allowed to view [and the messaging] they control how the public understood that day."

"Our producers had unfettered access to the Capitol surveillance video. Neither the speaker's office or the bosses at Fox News interfered in any way with our investigation. And the 40,000 or so hours of tape, most of it turned out to be irrelevant," Carlson said. "Static shots of empty rooms and in some cases far from the Capitol itself. To find relevant videotape our producers were given the use of Capitol computers with advanced mapping software that made it easy to find what we were looking for." "The usual hyenas in Congress and on cable news have been howling about we are putting lives at risk by showing this tape to the public. Given that these are the very same people who support open borders and defunding the police, it is hard to take their complaints seriously," he said. "We do take security seriously [so] before airing any of this video we checked first with the Capitol police. We are happy to say the reservations were minor and for the most part they were reasonable."

rioters from out  of state and out of country attack Atlanta police training facilityMarch 6: Fox News: Domestic terrorists attack an Atlanta police training facility; 23 arrested all but two were from out of state

Atlanta police identified 23 suspects charged with domestic terrorism after allegedly launching an attack against the construction site for a police and fire training facility which had been dubbed "Cop City." The Atlanta Police Department revealed all but two of the arrestees are from out of state. Another two of the 23 are from out of the country. They came from France, Canada, Massachusetts, Arizona, New York state, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Indiana, Colorado, Utah, Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, and Tennessee. Only two of the 23 are from Georgia. The group is accused of leaving a nearby music festival Sunday evening and heading to the construction site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center "to conduct a coordinated attack on construction equipment and police officers." Authorities said members of the group changed into black clothing and threw commercial-grade fireworks, Molotov cocktails, large rocks and bricks at officers. . "What happened last night was not peaceful protest – it was violence. Plain and simple," Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement Monday. "We will not tolerate this destruction of property, and we will seek to ensure that those who have engaged in this criminal behavior are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. This state-of-the-art Public Training Safety Center will benefit not only police officers, firefighters and EMTs, but the entire community," Carr said. "We strongly support its construction and operation, and we will not back down from violent extremists from…" other states who seek to stop us. Georgia, Maine, Oregon or elsewhere who seek to stop us." Carr described those arrested as part of a "national network, an international group of people that are organized to come to our state to undermine a public safety training center."

March 6: Breitbart News: Fauci commissioned campaign to discredit narrative that COVID-19 came from a lab leak

Dr. Anthony Fauci, former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and White House medical advisor, reportedly commissioned and approved of a paper steering the narrative on the origins of the coronavirus away from a leak from the Wuhan Lab. Members of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic want to hold him accountable, a March 5 subcommittee memo suggests. The memo contends that Fauci, along with "at least eleven other scientists" participated in a conference call on February 1, 2020, where they were told that the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, may have leaked from a lab. Conveniently, three days later, "four participants of the conference call authored a paper entitled 'The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2' (Proximal Origin) and sent a draft to Drs. Fauci. "Prior to final publication in Nature Medicine, the paper was sent to Fauci for editing and approval," the March5 memo notes, explaining that Fauci used the paper two months later in an attempt to publicly dismiss the lab leak theory. Fauci would even go on to cite this study from the White House podium. The gain of function activities carried on in the Wuhan Lab was funded through an intermediary and the funds were approved by Fauci. Senator Eric Schmitt (R-MO) contends "He [Fauci] didn't want to be implicated in the Lab Leak so he dismissed it & smeared anyone who thought it plausible. He must be held accountable," the Senator said.

March 6: The Washington Times:
Amid legal challenge, Lithium mine in Nevada starts construction

A construction firm has pushed aside legal roadblocks and begun work on what is being called America's largest lithium mine, a project backed by the Biden administration but opposed by leftist environmentalist groups and some Native American Indians. Even as global demand soars given lithium's key role in battery technology for electric cars and other uses, opponents of the northern Nevada mine have waged a fierce legal battle for more than 10 years. General Motors agreed in January to invest $650 million in the mine, which is projected to provide batteries for 1 million electric vehicles per year.

March 6: The Federalist:
Florida, Missouri and West Virginia exit ERIC which reportedly misuses voter registration information to help register Democrat-leaning voters

Missouri, Florida, and West Virginia announced their withdrawal from the Electronic Registration Information Center, an interstate alliance allegedly controlled by Democrat operatives that encourages partisan outreach efforts under the guise of simple voter roll maintenance, on Monday. ERIC is a voter roll management organization used by nearly 30 states (including Texas) and the District of Columbia to ostensibly "clean" state voter rolls by removing dead or duplicate registrants. But as noted by the government watchdog VerityVote, ERIC doesn't help states clean their rolls. Rather, it helps inflate them by requiring states to send get-out-the-vote (GOTV) mailers to unregistered (and likely Democrat-leaning) residents. Reportedly ERIC also has "politically compromising ties." Far-left political activist David Becker started the organization, and still maintains control as a "nonvoting" member of its board. Becker is also the founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, one of two groups that funneled $419 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to fund Democrat get-out-the-vote efforts in mostly blue counties in swing states during the 2020 election.

March 5: The Washington Times:
Unforced error: Biden team struggling to adapt to GOP power on Capitol Hill

Biden's reversal on a House Republican-led measure to kill the District of Columbia's criminal justice overhaul last week exposed a White House struggling to figure out how to operate in an environment where Republicans have partial control over the agenda. Biden told senators he would sign the resolution just weeks after the White House told lawmakers that the administration opposed it. The White House, moving into a defensive crouch, insisted that the president's stance wasn't a reversal and that. Biden always intended to let the process play out on Capitol Hill before making a final decision. Dozens of House Democrats, believing Biden was leaning one way, cast their votes on the legislation last month before learning he was headed the other direction. Biden's allies in the District were also incensed. Some called his stance a betrayal. One D.C.-based group said the president was embracing "the oppression, the disenfranchisement and the outright discrimination woven throughout our history."

March 3: Sky News: Russian diplomat provokes laughter with claim his country is the victim in the Ukraine War

Sergei Lavrov, Russia's longstanding foreign minister, provoked laughter from an audience at an international conference in India when he attempted to portray his country as the victim of the war in Ukraine. Addressing the Raisina Dialogue, an event in New Delhi that debates the major challenges facing the world in politics and economics and one of few such events globally that still invites Russian politicians to attend, the 72-year-old staked the unlikely claim that Russia was trying to stop the war. "The war, which we are trying to stop, which was launched against us using Ukrainian people, of course, influenced the policy of Russia, including energy policy," he said to a chorus of laughs and groans. "And the blunt way to describe what changed: we would not anymore rely on any partners in the West. We would not allow them to blow the pipelines again," he continued, apparently referring to the explosions that caused damage to the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea in September 2022.

March 3: United Press International: SpaceX launches internet satellites into space Space X launched another group of Starlink internet satellites

Friday afternoon in California. A Falcon 9 rocket with 51 Starlink satellites lifted off at approximately 10:39 a.m. PST from California's Vandenberg Space Force Base after a series of weather delays. The first stage of the Falcon 9 separated from the vehicle and returned to Earth, landing on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You". The upper stage deployed the satellites in low Earth orbit some 15 minutes after the liftoff. The launch comes after SpaceX on Monday launched 21 upgraded "V2 Mini" Starlink Internet satellites from Florida's Cape Canaveral to boost capacity for the global broadband network.

March 3: Fox News: Newsom roasted for taking personal leave while thousands are without power after a powerful snow storm

Critics are roasting Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom for being away on "personal travel" amid the devastating winter storms slamming parts of the state with feet of snow. It's unclear where Newsom traveled as his office does not comment on such matters due to what they say are security concerns, however the governor reportedly left California on Wednesday after a visit to the Diablo Canyon power plant in Avila Beach. "Californians are trapped in their homes without power. More storms are on the way. And Governor Newsom has just left the state for 'personal travel,'" Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA) said in a Thursday tweet.

March 2: The Daily Caller: AR; bill passed to allow universal school choice

The Arkansas House of Representatives approved a measure on Thursday that creates a universal school choice program by the 2025-2026 school year. In a 78-21 vote the House passed Arkansas Republican Gov. Sarah Sanders' LEARNS Act, which creates a school choice program that expands each year to make more students eligible, giving vouchers of $7,413 to students outside of the public school system. The bill, which would also prohibit lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through fifth grade, passed the state Senate 25-7-1 in February. If Sanders signs the legislation, public school teachers' base salary will be $50,000, a $14,000 raise from their current salary of $36,000. Teachers are eligible to receive another salary increase of $2,000 in the 2023-2024 school year. Students who get a voucher through the state's school choice program can use it to cover the costs of tuition, testing and school supplies while in the 2024-2025 school year, vouchers can be spent on tutoring, course fees and college admission exams. The cap of school choice transfers within the district will be removed.

Man who wants to be a woman highlighted on Hersey's candybar; company gets backlashMarch 2: Fox News: Hershey's faces backlash for putting trans "woman" on a candy bar wrapper

Social media users slammed the Hershey candy company after it debuted a pro-transgender ad for its chocolate bars in honor of International Women's Day. Disturbed Twitter users hammered the new ad for presenting a transgender "woman" as Hershey's representation of the pro-female celebration. The ad debuted Wednesday as part of Hershey's Canada's "Her for She" campaign in honor of International Women's Day on March 8. The short spot featured trans "woman" Fae Johnstone – who it noted is a "2SLGBTQUIA+ Advocate" – promoting Hershey's new female-themed wrapper.

March 2: The Washington Examiner:
House Dems struggle with Biden's position on the DC crime bill

House Dems have struggled to respond after Joe Biden signaled he would side with Republicans on stopping a controversial Washington, D.C., crime bill from taking effect. House Democrats expected Biden to let the crime bill, which would do away with many mandatory sentences, take effect after his previously signaled support for Washington deciding how it handles its own affairs. His stance is being seen by many House Democrats as a massive betrayal. "So a lot of us who are allies voted no in order to support what the White House wanted. And now we are being hung out to dry," an anonymous House Democrat told the Hill. "…Amateur Hours. Heads should roll over at the White House over this."

March 2: The Epoch Times: The Charitable Act introduced with bipartisan support

Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE.) announced on Capitol Hill a new bipartisan charitable legislation incentivizing taxpayers to donate more by increasing tax deductions. The bill would provide taxpayers who do not itemize their tax returns with a reduced deduction for charitable contributions on federal income taxes worth up to one-third of the standard deduction—approximately $4,500 for an individual filer and nearly $9,000 for married joint filers. In 2023, the standard deductions for single taxpayers and married couples who file separately will be $13,850. And $27,700 for married joint filers. "There are lots of folks that are non-itemizers that give faithfully and would give even more if they knew it'd be an offset there, and they get engaged with their taxes," Lankford said. "According to Lankford, the first safety net of the country is its family, neighbors, and communities. After that comes nonprofits and religious organizations. And last—the government." Some have questioned the last, government. "We [the government] are not even designed to be able to do that," he contended.

March 1: Fox News:
Hawley grills AG Garland on FBI anti-Catholic bias and the raid on pro-life family

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland over the FBI raid on pro-life Christian man and asked whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) had an "anti-Catholic bias." Hawley characterized the DOJ as an agency quick to expend resources and intelligence to be deployed against Catholics while "turning a blind eye" as people are executed in the streets of American cities. In September, FBI agents arrested Houck in Kintnersville for allegedly violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate and interfere with anyone because that person produces reproductive health care. Allegedly Houck was accused to pushing a 72-year-od man after he verbally harassed Houck's 12-year-old son outside a Planned Parenthood facility. According to an FBI source, the agents who came to Houck's door had guns out and at the ready, but the guns were never pointed at Houck or his family and were lowered or holstered as soon as Houck was taken into custody. Hawley contended that the DOJ/FBI tactics were unreasonable, designed to intimidate Houck and anyone else who might be considering picketing at an abortion clinic.

Meanwhile, Fox News also reported that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused Garland of politicizing the DOJ and for being inconsistent in his enforcement of the law; not enforcing the law equally and fairly. Cruz accused Garland of politicizing the Justice Department and prosecuting pro-life groups and conservatives more aggressively than liberal groups. The senator cited mass protests outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices after the Dobbs v. Jackson decision leaked last year. "Have you brought a single case against any of these protesters threatening [Justice Brett Kavanaugh]? Have you brought even one?" he asked. "Senator, you asked me whether I sat on my hands and, quite the opposite. I sent 70 United States Marshals to defend—" Garland said before being cut off. "Let me try again. Has the Department of Justice brought even a single case under the statute? It's a yes-no question. It's not an [invitation to] give a speech on those other things you did," Cruz said. "The jobs of the United States Marshals is to defend the lives of—" Garland said, once again getting cut off. "So the answer is no," Cruz said, taking over Garland. "The answer is no. Why aren't you willing to say no? You know it's no; I know it's no; everyone in this hearing room knows it's no. You're not willing to answer the question. Have you brought a case under the statute, yes or no?" "As far as I know, we haven't," Garland responded.

Chicago's Top Cop resigns after mayor loses reelecltionMarch 1: The New York Post:
Chicago's top cop resigns after mayor loses reelection bid Chicago Police Superintendent

David Brown turned in his resignation Wednesday, just one day after Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot lost a re-election bid in the Windy City. Brown served as Chicago's top cop for two years, a tenure marred by spiking violence and stagnant progress on police reforms — the same issues that caused Lightfoot to become the city's first incumbent mayor to not be re-elected in four decades. Brown said in his letter of resignation that he was taking a job at a personal injury law firm based in Texas. Lightfoot said in a statement that the resignation will be effective March 18th. First Deputy Eric Carter will be appointed as interim superintendent until the new mayor is sworn into office.

March 1: The Daily Caller:
House committee wants to hear from intel elites who discredited Hunter Biden laptop

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner sent letters Wednesday to Central Intelligence officials who discredited the Hunter Biden laptop story, saying they have not yet responded to previously requested interviews. The letters were sent to 29 different Central Intelligence officials in which the lawmakers reiterate their requests and ask that the officials "comply promptly." The letters ask the officials to schedule interviews and "arrange for the production of the outstanding material." Both The Washington Post and New York Times have belatedly admitted the authenticity of Hunter Biden's laptop in March 2022, more than one year after the Daily Caller first verified it belonged to Hunter Biden. Recent reporting by numerous media outlets have highlighted the Biden family's extensive dealings with Chinese companies, including a presentation Hunter Biden gave promoting American shale and natural gas to Chinese businessmen. "The Committee on the Judiciary and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are conducting oversight of federal law-enforcement and intelligence matters within our respective jurisdictions. The Judiciary Committee made a prior request to you for documents and information about the public statement you signed in October 2020 that falsely implied the New York Post's reporting about Hunter Biden was the product of Russian disinformation," the letters state.

March 1: The Washington Examiner:
Biden expected to veto bill that applies brakes to Labor Dept. woke policy

Two Democratic senators voted with the GOP on a measure to roll back a Labor Department rule in what is set to force t Joe Biden's first use of executive veto power. With support from centrist Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WVA) and Jon Tester (D-MT), the Senate voted 50-46 Wednesday to cancel the rule, which allows retirement plan managers to weigh environmental and social issues when making investments. The White House said Biden will veto the resolution, meaning that the rule won't likely be scrapped. The rule is part of a broader effort by Democrats and some financial institutions to push environmental, social, and governance priorities, also known as ESG. The rule allows, though it does not require, fiduciaries to weigh ESG factors when making investment decisions for retirement accounts. The Senate's rebuke of the Biden administration rule comes a day after the House voted 216-204 to pass the rollback. Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) was the sole Democratic defector on Tuesday. Golden is known for his centrism and represents the only congressional district in New England that backed former President Donald Trump during his 2020 reelection bid. According to the Biden Labor Department,the rule scrapped Trump-era restrictions that "unnecessarily restrained" plan fiduciaries' ability to consider ESG factors when choosing investments — even when those factors might benefit plan participants financially.

February 28: Fox News: China's XI "in a panic" over coming population crisis, may be "more provocative, more belligerent"

The impending collapse of China's population creates a "closing window of opportunity" that could spur President Xi Jinping to be "more provocative, more belligerent," a China expert said. "Xi must be in a panic. His primary form of diplomacy is to intimidate others," Gordon Chang told Fox News. "If you're going to have the world's largest economy, if you're going to be the most populous society, yeah, you can intimidate others." "But if your country is rapidly shrinking, and that's what's going to happen to China, then no one's going to be particularly scared," he added. China's population fell by 850,000 people in 2022 to 1.411 billion. A United Nations forecast shows China's population decreasing 100 million by 2050 and 600 million by 2100 due to an aging population, a shrinking workforce and declining fertility rates. "Population decline will severely undercut the ability of the economy to grow," Chang said. Chinese officials have tried for years to slow down the impending demographic crisis, removing its one-child policy and offering incentives to encourage families to have children including in some cities giving parents who have a third child $2,900. Shanghai is increasing the amount of paid leave for couples getting married to 30 days, up from the standard three days. "They can trigger a bump for a year or two, but when the incentives are ended, people go back to their normal birth patterns," Chang said. "It's going to be the steepest demographic decline in history in the absence of war or disease." China has had the largest population in the world since at least 1950. A U.N. report indicates India is expected to overtake China as the most populous country by April 2023. "This is going to be really traumatic for China," Chang said. "Being a part of the world's most populous tribe is really a matter of pride for the Chinese." "To have India overtake China is adding insult to injury, at least in Chinese minds, because they view Indians as inferior," he added.

February 28: The Daily Caller:
Teachers union president melts down on Supreme Court steps

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten railed against challenges to Joe Biden's student loan cancellation plan outside of the Supreme Court Tuesday as oral arguments began for two cases that could put the proposal on ice, video shows. Students, politicians, and activists rallied outside the Supreme Court late Monday night and throughout Tuesday as the high bench heard arguments for two cases that will determine whether the Biden Administration's plan to cancel an estimated $400 billion in student loans is constitutional. Weingarten said it is "not right" that student loan lenders and corporations oppose canceling student loans when many businesses received aid during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden Administration attempted to use the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act which permits the Department of Education (DOE) to eliminate debt during a national emergency. Former President Donald Trump issued a national emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic which will end on May 11, but the Biden administration maintains that student loan borrowers will still be impacted. "All of a sudden, when it is about our students, they challenge it. The corporations challenge it. The student loan lenders challenge it," Weingarten wailed. "That is not right. That is not fair and that is what we are fighting, as well, when we say cancel student debt." Meanwhile, inside the court room Justice Kavanaugh was asking the administration's counsel whether they had considered the fairness to those students who had paid off their loans or those who choose not to take on the debt in the first place.

February 28: The New York Post:
The Supreme Court's student loan forgiveness case, explained

The legal argument is not over the merits of the sweeping, 30-year proposal, but whether Biden exceeded the limits of his power by trying to enact it without congressional approval. Six Republican-led states — Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina — contend that the White House were not authorized to act without Congressional backing. The administration was forced to use a two-decade-old act for legal support after realizing their plan didn't have enough votes to get through Congress. The HEROES act was originally inked after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks to help US service members stay financially afloat while they were off fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. The law was eventually broadened to allow the secretary of education to alter the terms of other federal student loans during national emergencies — such as, in the administration's argument, the COVID-19 pandemic. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in 2020, "suspending," but not forgiving, the collection of federally held student loans. Even though Biden Administration has said the emergency will expire May 11th, the White House is arguing that the economic consequences of the pandemic will linger, making the giveaway program a necessity. In addition to determining whether the administration violated the separation of powers, the court must also consider whether the six states and two borrowers challenging the program had the legal right to sue. Parties generally have to show that they would suffer financial harm in order to have standing to sue in cases such as this. A federal judge initially found that the states would not be harmed and dismissed their lawsuit before an appellate panel said in November the case could proceed. One of the two borrowers who sued the administration in Texas has student loans that are commercially held, while the other is eligible for $10,000 in debt relief. They stand to receive nothing if they win the case.

February 28: The Epoch Times: SCOTUS - IRS fine on businesses railing to report oversea bank accounts is excessive

The Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that the IRS imposed an excessive fine on a businessman for failing to report foreign bank accounts, reducing the financial penalty to $50,000 from $272 million. The decision came after the House of Representatives recently voted to repeal a congressional provision allotting almost $80 billion to the IRS over the coming 10 years for increased enforcement. The petitioner, Alexandru Bittner, was born in communist Romania, moved to the United States in his youth, was naturalized in the United States and has been a dual Romanian–U.S. citizen ever since. Bittner returned to Romania after the collapse of Soviet bloc communism in 1990 and lived there until 2011. He was a successful businessman and had several non-U.S. personal bank accounts and owned stock in a number of Romanian corporations that also had foreign bank accounts. While living abroad, Bittner had limited contact with the United States. When Bittner returned to the United States in 2011, he came to learn that he should have filed U.S. tax returns while living in Romania. He hired a professional accountant, who advised him on the requirement to file FBARs and to prepare the needed documents. The IRS found that Bittner had failed to timely file FBARs for five years: 2007 through 2011. In that period, because he had more than 25 foreign accounts, he wasn't required to detail those accounts but was permitted merely to state the total number of foreign accounts in which he had a financial interest, or so he thought at the time. He then filed corrected forms that volunteered the full information. The financial penalty was initially set at $50,000 for the non-willful violations.

February 27: The Washington Times:
The move toward "Wokeness" in boardrooms has suffered a series of setbacks

The movement to inject climate change and social justice politics into corporate boardrooms and investment strategies has suffered a series of setbacks in the past year, including getting shut out of a dozen states and getting pummeled by lawsuits and congressional investigations. The road ahead gets rockier with the Republican-run House ready to swat down new federal rules to apply what is known as ESG to 401(k) investments. The political left, meanwhile, isn't giving up on institutionalizing this woke business ethos without a fight. Although armed with little more than public relations campaigns, liberal lawmakers have struggled to parry the Republican blitz against environmental, social and corporate governance investing, or ESG. Opponents of ESG warn that climate change and other political considerations warp an asset manager's fiduciary duty to yield the highest returns on investment, most notably companies' environmental impact, potentially imperiling retirement plans and public pensions. Senator Braun(R-IN) is leading an effort by all 49 Republican senators and Democrat Joe Manchin III of West Virginia to scuttle new Labor Department rules that allow 401(k) fund managers to engage in ESG investing. Opponents say the move would jeopardize the retirements of some 150 million workers and more than $10 trillion under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

February 27: Fox News: Movement to allow rural conservative counties in Oregon to join Idaho gains momentum
A campaign to have rural eastern Oregon effectively secede from the blue state and join more conservative Idaho is gaining steam as leaders from both states express support for relocating the border between them. Former Oregon House Speaker Mark Simmons penned an op-ed in the Idaho Statesman, a daily newspaper, over the weekend to explain why he supports the so-called Greater Idaho movement, which seeks to incorporate about 13 Oregon counties, or 63% of the state's landmass and 9% of its population, within Idaho's borders. "Idaho would have the satisfaction of freeing rural, conservative communities from progressive blue-state law," wrote Simmons. "We are dismayed by the manner in which Oregon government has marginalized our values and villainized our resource-based livelihoods. This is why our counties voted 75% Republican last year (Idaho voted 67% Republican). These counties would help maintain rural values in the Idaho Legislature, values of faith, family, and self-reliance," he argued. "All of eastern Oregon voted against marijuana legalization and the decriminalization of hard drugs." In addition, moving these Oregon counties to Idaho would help Idaho by increasing its tax base. Simmons' op-ed came after Idaho's House of Representatives earlier this month passed a resolution not to move the Idaho-Oregon border but rather to call for formal talks between the states' legislatures about relocating the boundary line. It's unclear if the bill will pass the Idaho Senate, but the chamber is, like the state's House, dominated by Republicans.

February 27: The Washington Examiner: The SCOTUS has agreed to consider a case on the alleged overreach, and unconstitutionality, of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to take up a case next term against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a brainchild of Sen. Warren (D-MA), which could determine the fate of its authority to regulate banking and lending agencies through federal rules. In a brief, unsigned order, justices agreed to consider the constitutionality of how the CFPB is funded after banking industry parties alleged the agency is unconstitutional under the appropriations clause of the Constitution. As it stands, the financial watchdog sidesteps standard congressional appropriations by only requiring the CFPB director to make requests directly to the Treasury Department. Created following the 2008 financial crisis as a means to enforce consumer financial laws, a coalition of 16 Republican attorneys general now wants the justices to affirm an appeals court decision that found the funding scheme from the Treasury Department unconstitutional.

February 26: The Washington Times:
Ukraine's richest man fights his own battle with Russia

Ukrainians have fought Russians on the ground, at sea, in the air, in cyberspace and in the halls of power around the globe over the past year. Now the country's richest man is pursuing yet another front in the clash with the Kremlin. Oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, whose holdings included the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works plant that last year became a symbol of his country's resistance to the invaders, is pressing a lawsuit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights. He said he has been out $18 billion since the war started and he wants his money back. Akhmetov's move is seen as an effort to use Kyiv's economic and financial levers against the Russian invaders. The widespread destruction in Ukraine brought on by the Russian invasion, seizure of private property and reported war crimes are now the focus of legal efforts in the international court by powerful Ukrainians such as Akhmetov. He heads the Systems Capital Management Group, or SCM, which has vast assets including investment firms and heavy industry. Great wealth has meant great vulnerability as Russian forces have destroyed mining and steel sites owned by his Metinvest subsidiary and launched a bombing and drone campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure that took out substations of his DTEK power generation company. For many, the lawsuits are just one sign that the underdog Ukrainians have repeatedly outmaneuvered the Russians in multiple areas. Early Russian military advances were stopped in their tracks, and Ukrainian forces recovered territory in the east and south with a surprise counterattack in the fall. Feared Russian disinformation campaigns have failed to make much headway, Ukrainian programmers have proved adept in the battle in cyberspace and on social media, and Ukraine's power infrastructure has not yet buckled despite a relentless bombing campaign by Russian forces in recent months. Although Akhmetov is under no illusions that he might collect from Russia directly, he does have an opportunity to recoup his losses from Russian assets seized by the West.

February 26: The New York Post:
Idaho may reinstate death by firing squad for capital punishment

Bryan Kohberger could face a firing squad if convicted of killing four college students in Idaho. Kohberger, a criminal-justice doctoral student, has been charged in the Nov. 13 stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students. Prosecutors have not said whether they plan to pursue the death penalty against Kohberger if he is convicted, but it is certainly possible considering the heinous crime. Skaug, chairman of the state House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee, has reportedly introduced legislation that would bring back firing squades as a legal form of execution in Idaho. State executions currently involve lethal injection. The Skaug bill says state Department of Correction officials must determine if lethal injection is available no more than five days after the issuance of a death warrant. If not, a firing squad would be used, according to the proposal.

Gas burner on gas burning cook top stoveFebruary 26: The Epoch Times:
DOE wants to regulate gas cooktop ranges as the march to "Woke-ism" continues

An "efficiency" proposal by the Energy Department (DOE) would block half of current gas cooking appliances from the U.S. market, an analysis by the federal agency shows. The DOE proposed a maximum annual gas consumption of 1,204 thousand British thermal units (kBtu), also known as the EL 2 standard, for all gas cooking tops. If that rule is finalized, only half of those appliances that are currently on the market would be able to meet the new standard. The new rule would take effect three years after it's adopted. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) stated that it's "very concerned" about the direction of the DOE. "They have released the most stringent proposal for gas ranges, which only a sliver of the market can meet," Jill Notini, industry spokesperson for AHAM said. "We believe that there should be consumer choice and that consumers should be able to make a decision on whether they would like to purchase a gas or electric product. Clearly, the Department of Energy's intentions are to eliminate gas products from the market. The Trump Administration halted the DOE action during his term in office. The Biden Administration has resumed the rulemaking process.

February 25: The Daily Caller: Two Democrat campaign committees paid over $280K to improperly get military service records of GOP members
Two Democratic campaign committees paid over $280,000 to an opposition research firm that improperly received military service records from the Air Force, according to Federal Election Committee (FEC) filings. FEC filings show the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) collectively paid the Due Diligence Group, an opposition research firm, at least $283,000 during the 2022 midterm election cycle. Reportedly, Republican Reps. Don Bacon of Nebraska and Zach Nunn of Iowa were among those whose service records were obtained by the opposition research group. The Air Force began an investigation in October after service records of Republican candidate Jennifer-Ruth Green, an Air Force veteran, were improperly released to the Due Diligence Group, leading to the revelations of a sexual assault Green suffered while in the service. Green lost to Democratic Rep. Frank Mrvan of Indiana in November. Two Republican congressional candidates, Sam Peters and Kevin Dellicker, were informed by the Air Force their records were released, Politico reported.

February 25: News Max:
McConnell: Ukraine aid is a "direct investment" against Putin's war machine

As Russia's war in Ukraine enters its second year, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY) issued a lengthy statement defending the lethal aid being sent to Ukraine as a "direct investment" against Vladimir Putin's "war machine." "The innocent people of Ukraine have suffered devastating violence and destruction at the hands of Vladimir Putin and his war machine for years," he said in a one-year statement, reflecting on Russia's so-called "special military operation" and the hundred billion-plus sent to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression. "The bloody full-scale escalation that he began one year ago with zero justification is just the latest chapter. The brave and free men and women of Ukraine and their elected leaders have inspired the world with their courage and resolute determination to maintain their sovereignty and freedom in the face of this thuggery.

Ukrainian President one year after Russian invasion February 24: The New York Post: Zelensky's message one year later: We will defeat everyone"
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fought back tears Friday as he marked the somber anniversary of Russia's invasion of his country handing out awards to soldiers and the kin of those killed in battle. The gut-wrenching ceremony in St. Sophia Square in Ukraine's capital of Kyiv came as fierce fighting raged on in the east with no end to the conflict in sight. A military band played the national anthem while Ukraine's yellow-and-blue national flag fluttered in the wind on the cold, overcast day, Zelensky sang along with tears in his eyes. "I want to say to all of you who are fighting for Ukraine … I am proud of you. We all, each and every one, are proud of you!" said Zelensky, clad in an army-green jacket, in his address. During the presentation of medals and honors Zelensky held a Ukrainian military flag while members serving in the armed forces knelt and kissed the flag as a statement of reverence and commitment.

James O'Keefe talking with staff on President's Day 2023 as he gets ready to depart Project VeritasFebruary 23: Patriot Journal: Project Veritas contacting donors asking them to continue donating after they fired the founder and CEO Jame O'Keefe
For years, Project Veritas (PV) has been a major thorn in the left's side. But recently, the group forced out its founder and CEO, James O'Keefe. But it doesn't look as if the people who turned on him are enjoying the fruit of their labor because the public, and reportedly their donors, are supportive of O'Keefe, especially after his goodbye speech [MP4]. A leaked email indicates Project Veritas is reaching out to donors asking them to stay with the organization. The author of the email -- one of PV's employees – Bethany Rolando, was one of the PV employees who signed a letter to the board making accusations against O'Keefe. The email reads, in part; "We hope that you might continue to give us a chance. We can't stress how separate the board's role is from daily operations here at PV. We are still grinding and pursuing stories of great public importance." Some are contending that efforts to kick out O'Keefe really looked like they were killing their golden goose because the vast amount of fund raising was done by O'Keefe himself. The odds are high that O'Keefe will either join another existing organization or start another and continue his work and that the former PV donors will follow him.
[View O'Keefe's 45 minute goodbye to PV staff]

Personal note from Justice Clarence ThomasFebruary 23: The Daily Signal:
Thomas's books finally included by Northern Virginia library in honor of Black History Month

Virginia's largest public library revamped its Black History Month reading list this week to include three of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas books after an inquiry from The Daily Signal. The Fairfax County Public Library, originally didn't feature a single book about the black Supreme Court justice on its curated list of recommendations for Black History Month. The Daily Signal inquired about the omission Tuesday. Two days later, three books were prominently displayed on the library's homepage. Thomas is one of Northern Virginia's most influential residents, serving as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court for more than 30 years and authoring legal opinions that have shaped the country's direction for over a generation. [The editor of this blog travelled over an hour to see Thomas' documentary "Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words" and subsequently corresponded with him thanking him for sharing his story. A few weeks later we received a handwritten note (not one generated on a computer) back from Justice Thomas.]

February 23: News Max:
Buttigieg left waiting 30 mins while Palestine mayor talks with President Trump

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg waited 20 days to visit the wreckage of this month's Ohio train derailment and toxic fallout, and he reportedly was left waiting 30 minutes more Thursday. Buttigieg was in East Palestine, Ohio; but town Mayor Trent Conaway was meeting with former President Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, leaving the transportation secretary reportedly waiting in the hall. Conaway, appearing with Giuliani, told reporters that anybody was welcome in his town "as long as they're going to help our community," adding "no matter whether they're a Democrat or Republican." The meetings with Buttigieg and Giuliani came just one day after Trump's visit to the area. "This is really America right here; we're standing in America," Trump said at a news conference. "Unfortunately, as you know, in too many cases, your goodness and perseverance were met with indifference — and betrayal in some cases. [ oe] Biden and FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] said they would not send federal aid to East Palestine under any circumstance."

February 23: The Daily Caller:
Fox News anchor wonders why talkative grand juror passed on Fox's invite

Fox News host Dana Perino wondered why the forewoman of a Georgia grand jury who made a media tour on other cable networks declined to appear on the network Thursday. Emily Kohrs, the forewoman of a special grand jury that investigated the former president and his allies for their efforts to contest the 2020 presidential election's result, gave multiple interviews on cable networks, including CNN and MSNBC, saying she anticipated indictments to result from the probe and expressing excitement at the possibility of confronting Trump. Kohrs' media tour prompted backlash from across the political spectrum, including CNN and ABC's "The View," whose co-hosts fretted that Kohrs may "destroy" the case against Trump. "The problem is that in making the statement, she's undermined the integrity and the independence of the grand jury," former federal prosecutor Elliott Williams said during an appearance on CNN.

February 23: Fox News:
Progressive Prosecutor on the hot seat after man out on multiple bonds, strikes teenage volleyball player with car, causing her legs to be amputated

Chaos erupted during embattled St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's press conference on Thursday after Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey took legal action to have her removed from office, citing negligence of her duties, with one attendee yelling out that Gardner was facing "race harassment." Gardner held a press conference following the public outcry against her for the handling of a prosecution of 21-year-old Daniel Riley, who was out on bail after violating his bond multiple times. Riley over the weekend struck teenager Janae Edmondson, who was visiting St. Louis with her family on Saturday for a volleyball tournament. Police say Riley was speeding, failed to yield and caused a collision, ultimately striking and pinning Edmondson, who remains in the hospital after both her legs were amputated after sustaining injuries from the crash. A reporter asked why Gardner, after she claimed her office had asked a court judge multiple times to revoke bond on the individual who eventually was let out on bail and caused the accident that left a teenage girl in critical condition, that there was no court record of that request. Before Gardner could answer, there was an audible kerfuffle among reporters and attendees.

February 22: The New York Post:
Putin hold rally with large crowd of paid extras in the crowd

Russian extras were recruited on social media platforms and offered money and free merchandise to pack out a patriotic stadium rally helmed by President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Wednesday, according to reports. Putin, 70, praised troops who he said were defending the fatherland during the celebration at the Luzhniki Stadium, which was festooned with oversized Russian flags. Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the defiant leader's brutal invasion of Ukraine, which he has continued to call a "special military operation" and reportedly continues to blame the West for the conflict and not his own ambitious desires. The festivities were attended by a crowd estimated to be around 200,000 people chanting "Russia, Russia" — however, it appears the horde of supporters was all smoke-and-mirrors. According to the Russian-language news Telegram channel ran ads seeking extras to attend the Defender of the Fatherland Day rally. The recruiters were looking for "background actors, ideally under the age 35-40," to show up at the stadium rally. They were being offered 500 rubles, which is about $7, as well as free merchandise for their trouble. Meanwhile, Putin continues not to pay many of his troops their promised signing bonus for serving on the front lines in Ukraine.

February 22: The Epoch Times:
Biden/HHS move to surrender sovereignty to WHO; some Senators say Hell No!

As member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) prepare to gather in Switzerland next week to negotiate final terms of an accord that will give the WHO centralized authority over U.S. policy in the case of a pandemic, Republican senators are pushing back with an effort to reinforce congressional power to authorize treaties. The draft accord, which would be "legally binding" on all 194 member nations, gives the WHO the authority to declare pandemics and submits member countries to "the central role of the WHO as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work," in areas like lockdowns, treatments, medical supply chains, surveillance, and "disinformation and false news," once a pandemic is declared. Seventeen US. senators, led by Ron Johnson (R-WI), introduced the "No WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty Without Senate Approval Act" on Feb 15, which states the pandemic accord must be deemed a treaty, thus requiring a two-thirds vote of approval in the U.S. Senate. "The WHO, along with our federal health agencies, failed miserably in their response to COVID-19," Sen. Johnson stated. "This failure should not be rewarded with a new international treaty that would increase the WHO's power at the expense of American sovereignty."

February 21: The Washington Examiner: Putin faces threat to leadership at home
Russian President Putin failed to address a festering discontent about the war in Ukraine, according to a prominent former commander in the conflict. "There's no point in listening," former Russian intelligence officer Igor Girkin wrote Tuesday in a glum review of Putin's address to the Russian Federal Assembly. "Today, another chance to prevent mutiny has been missed. And it's not obvious it wasn't the last chance." Girkin, a key leader in the initial Russian invasion in 2014, has emerged as one of the Kremlin's most voluble critics over the last year. His irritation with the speech calls attention to a wider dispute between Putin's formal power structure and the irregular forces and figures who have gained prominence during the war while sounding a note of pessimism about Russia's prospects that runs contrary to Kremlin propaganda. "Not a word about defeats, failures, difficulties," Girkin wrote, per the War Translated Project. "Not a word about mistakes and responsibility for them of any of the authorities. Everything [in Putin's telling] works perfectly and correctly."

February 21: News Max:
Comer (R-KY) focusing investigation on Biden's ties to Communist China

Rep. James Comer, is calling on Vuk Jeremic, Serbia's former minister of foreign affairs from 2007 to 2012 and U.N. General Assembly president from 2012 to 2013, to appear before Comer's House oversight panel to discuss his relationship with Hunter Biden and his work with energy conglomerate CEFC China Energy. On Tuesday, he sent a letter to Jeremic, requesting he "schedule a transcribed interview with Committee staff and produce certain documents related to CEFC, Robert Hunter Biden, James Biden, and their business associates." In his letter, Comer, who chairs the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, suggested that Jeremic holds "records and information related to the Biden family's foreign business dealings." According to the Washington Examiner from 2017 to 2018 Hunter Biden received "at least $5 million in payments from CEFC," as well as al $1 million retainer from CEFC deputy Patrick Ho, whom Hunter would describe as the "****ing spy chief of China."

Biden nominates  appointee who has history of working with Communist Chinese front organizationsFebruary 20: The Daily Caller:
Dem Reps defend Biden appointee who belonged to an alleged Chinese front organization

A Democratic congresswoman tied to alleged Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence front groups, along with other members of her party, defended a Biden administration official on Friday after Republicans raised questions about his alleged Chinese government links. After six Republican lawmakers led by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) urged the FBI to investigate the alleged CCP intel front group ties of Dominic Ng, CEO of East West Bank and Biden's appointee to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) led by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) accused Gooden and his peers of singling out Ng due to his ethnicity, Without providing evidence, CAPAC's statement, which was also signed by other Democrat congressional members. They claimed recent "suspicions" surrounding Ng's alleged CCP ties were racially motivated and based on findings from "extreme-right" outlets. It was recently revealed that Ng served as "executive director" at both the China Overseas Exchange Association (COEA) and the China Overseas Friendship Association (COFA). China experts, such as former CIA officer Nicholas Eftimiades have identified both COEA and COFA as Chinese intelligence front groups.

Busted at Hobby Airport for carrying explosives as part of training for TSA bomb-sniffing dogsFebruary 20: The Washington Examiner:
Record number of guns seized at US airports

A record 6,542 firearms were intercepted by TSA at airports across the United States last year. While most of the incidents were from people who claim to have forgotten they had a gun inside their luggage, the annual number of interceptions has grown every year since 2010, with the exception of 2020, when air travel drastically reduced as a result of the pandemic. The record 6,542 figure works out to roughly 18 guns intercepted by airport security on average each day of 2022. TSA Administrator David Pekoske assigns some of the blame to societal shifts. "What we see in our checkpoints really reflects what we're seeing in society, and in society, there are more people carrying firearms nowadays," he said. While firearms can be all shapes and sized the most gun interceptions last year included three airports in Texas and three in Florida. Nashville, Tennessee; Atlanta; Phoenix; and Denver rounded out the places with the most interceptions. What happens to someone who inadvertently brings a gun through TSA depends on where the airport is. In some cases, the person can be arrested by local law enforcement and have their firearm seized, while in other places, they might be allowed to hand their gun off to a companion and still be able to board their flight. The maximum fine for an offense was $15,000 last year. Last year the editor of this blog was "busted" three times by TSA in the same day as he cooperated in a training program for their bomb sniffing dogs. It was quite an experience, a lot of fun, and not once was he able to fool the dogs! [click on photo]

February 20: Fox News: NYC mayor meets his match as Gov. DeSantis comes to town
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' team fired back at New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, after the mayor offered to teach the Florida governor about the crime-ridden city's "values." Adams took a shot at DeSantis as the Florida governor kicked off his pro-police tour through Democrat-run cities in the "City that never sleeps" on Monday. DeSantis' team fired back minutes later, with DeSantis campaign spokeswoman Christina Pushaw saying New York City had more departures than any other metropolitan area last year. "Nice rhetoric," she said, "but here's reality: More Americans fled NYC than any other metro area last year. More Americans moved to Florida than any other state. You know this, Mayor Adams, and you've talked (accurately) about crime pushing people out of NYC… Florida's crime rate meanwhile is at a 50-year low." DeSantis kicked off his tour Monday morning by speaking with police officers and law enforcement union officials at a diner in the red-leaning borough of Staten Island. The governor will then head to Fort Washington, a Philadelphia suburb, and Elmhurst, Illinois, near Chicago, where he will meet with sheriffs, police chiefs and other local law enforcement officials, his political team told Fox News Digital.

February 20: News Max: US threatens Russia if they attack Kyiv while Biden is visiting
A top Ukrainian source are saying Russia was advised of Joe Biden's trip to Ukraine in advance, with the U.S. warning the Kremlin in blunt terms that they would face a harsh response if the President was put in harm's way. While President Vladimir Putin did not make any direct move against Biden during the trip, Ukraine's military intelligence agency claimed on Sunday that Russia was staging "large-scale nuclear exercises" this week, including test launching nuclear capable missiles from both sea and land. The Ukrainians also said a Russian nuclear-armed submarine was put on "highest level" as heavy strategic bombers were moved to forward positions at an air base in Tambov, Russia.

February 20: The Epoch Times:
Arizona Appeals Court strikes down Kari Lake's election lawsuit

An Arizona appeals court has struck down a challenge filed by Republican Kari Lake regarding the results of the Arizona gubernatorial election, denying her request to have the current results thrown out. Lake has claimed that a range of issues in Maricopa, Arizona, on Election Day—including problems with printers and vote tabulation machines—effectively disenfranchised Arizonans who were trying to vote. Such issues were previously confirmed by Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, although the county has said that no voters were disenfranchised due to the problems. In December, Lake filed a lawsuit asking the court to either re-do the election in Maricopa or declare her the winner after the results showed that she trailed former Secretary of State and now-Gov. Katie Hobbs by about 17,000 votes. Hobbs was sworn in as governor on Jan. 2. However, the Arizona appeals court on Feb. 16 upheld a lower court ruling on the matter and said that Lake had failed to provide enough evidence to proof her case. Lake is expected to appeal the case to the Arizona Supreme Court.

February 19: The Washington Times:
US and Big Tech cooperate to shut down Russian cyber threats to Ukraine

The U.S. intelligence community relied on American technology companies to battle Russian cyberattackers targeting Ukraine to prevent a catastrophic cyberwar capable of spreading across the Atlantic. Details are still emerging about what the U.S. government described as a "power collaboration" teaming private companies, including Microsoft, with the National Security Agency against Russian cyberattackers. The NSA cybersecurity officials' work with Microsoft and others was intended to stop Russia dead in its tracks before devastating attacks could eviscerate Ukrainian networks and serve as a launchpad for an assault on the United States, U.S. officials said. NSA Cybersecurity Director Rob Joyce told The Times that the agency's Cybersecurity Collaboration Center partnered with cybersecurity and information technology service providers to "identify and eradicate malicious operations in cyberspace."

February 19: Sky News:
Putin fails to pay volunteer fighters making recruitment difficult

The Kremlin has failed to deliver on financial incentives for volunteer combatants and undermined future recruitment drives, according to analysis. Volunteers for the Russian Combat Army Reserve (BARS) were promised £45 ($54.20) to £100 ($120.44) per month for three-year contracts beginning in 2021, but reportedly reneged almost immediately. Now Russian military bloggers claim it has been made impossible for recruits to acquire documents proving they fought during the spring and summer of 2022, which are required to receive payments. Actually delivering on promised payments and benefit commitments would "deplete Russian state budgets", experts contend. "The Kremlin's uninterest in paying volunteer formations may kill any incentive among Russians to sign contracts with the Russian MoD during or after the war because of growing mistrust," they say. This will force the Russian military to rely more heavily on forced recruitment or to integrate irregular forces. They contend the latter may alienate the fighters which make up those irregular forces, who are often driven by an ideological commitment to nationalism over military professionalism.

Sky News also reported Russian missiles were "dangerously close" to causing a "nuclear catastrophe" after a near miss with a power plant in southern Ukraine. The plants operator, EnergoAtom, said it detected two cruise missiles in close proximity to the South Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant. The company called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take "all possible measures to stop Russian nuclear terrorism." They said in a statement, "The aerial objects … and flew dangerously close to the nuclear facility. "The threat of hitting the reactor with possible consequences – a nuclear catastrophe – was again high." The news comes as the Russian news aggregator website Readovka, which has 1.7 million subscribers, called on the army to force Ukrainians into emergency power plant shutdowns by targeting electrical substations that ensure the plants can be operated safely. Such attacks would make it "very difficult" to restart those nuclear plants, according to analysis by the Institute for the Study of War. The IAEA launched a "support and assistance mission" at the plant, which contains three reactors, on 16 January 2023.

February 18: The Washington Times:
Diversity, equity, and inclusion jobs on the chopping block

Diversity, equity, and inclusion workers across corporate America have found their positions on the chopping block in recent rounds of layoffs. At over 600 companies that had laid off workers, the year-over-year attrition rate for DEI professionals has been higher than for non-DEI workers. Between December 2021 and December 2022, DEI workers had a 33% attrition rate, compared to 21% for non-DEI workers, according to data from workforce analytics company Revelio Labs. In the six months since July 2022, multiple companies have had sizable outflows of DEI employees with seniority; 16 at Amazon, seven at Twitter, five at Nike, and four at Comcast, among other corporations. The small size of many diversity teams — the median being three — means that some companies have shuttered their entire diversity departments. Over 300 DEI professionals left their company in the measured time span, Revelio Labs indicated.

Former President Jimmy Carter enters Hospice care at his home in GeorgiaFebruary 18: The New York Post:
Former President Jimmy Carter enters Hospice care at home

Former President Jimmy Carter (D) has decided to receive hospice care "instead of additional medical intervention" at his home in Plains, Georgia. The 98-year-old Carter made the decision after a "series of short hospital stays." He has the full support of his family and his medical team. Grandson Jason Carter said the family patriarch and Rosalynn, his wife of 76 years, are "at peace." The former president, whose tumultuous single term ended in 1981, has faced serious health problems in recent years. In August 2015, Carter underwent surgery to remove a mass from his liver. Later that month, he held a news conference to disclose that doctors had found melanoma, "four very small spots," on his brain.

February 18: The Daily Caller: Administration; Putin committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Russia committed "crimes against humanity" in Ukraine in a Saturday statement, vowing to hold Russia "accountable" for murder, torture and rape. "Members of Russia's forces have committed execution-style killings of Ukrainian men, women, and children; torture of civilians in detention through beatings, electrocution, and mock executions; rape; and, alongside other Russian officials, have deported hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians to Russia, including children who have been forcibly separated from their families," Blinken said. "These acts are not random or spontaneous; they are part of the Kremlin's widespread and systematic attack against Ukraine's civilian population." And, one might add, are similar to what the SS did under Hitler to the Jewish population. While the Biden administration had previously classified Russia's actions aainst Ukraine "war crimes," the designation of "crimes against humanity" goes a step further.

February 17: The Washington Times:
DOJ tells SCOTUS justices not to erase protections for big tech

The Justice Department says social media companies such as YouTube and Twitter shouldn't be held liable for hosting other people's content, but also says the tech giants may cross lines when they insert themselves into the situation by deciding what to promote. The department laid out its position in briefs to the Supreme Court in two cases to be heard next week involving claims that the companies should have done more to prevent the growth of the Islamic State/ISIS. The cases were brought by relatives of people who died in terrorist attacks for which ISIS has claimed responsibility. Tech companies argue they are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which in general immunizes them from liability for content someone else has posted. But the Biden administration says that law doesn't offer an absolute shield. "Section 230(c)(1) protects an online platform from claims premised on its dissemination of third-party speech, but the statute does not immunize a platform's other conduct, …," Acting Solicitor said.

February 17: The New York Post: Administration has no apologies or excuse for maybe shooting down a $12 balloon with expensive air to air missiles
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Friday that the US government may never fully determine whether Joe Biden launched a $439,000 missile to pop a $12 ballon near Alaska — but insisted that it was "exactly the right thing to do" either way. Kirby faced the press one day after the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade said its silver party-style balloon may have been one of three unidentified objects that Biden ordered shot down this past weekend. "We all have to accept the possibility that we may not be able to recover" debris from the objects, Kirby said before asking reporters to put themselves in Biden's position. "I'd ask you to just for a second to put yourself in his shoes, certainly in light of the Chinese spy balloon and what was a very real, certainly very sizable and tangible security threat — surveillance threat — to the United States," he begged. "In the wake of that … the military fine-tunes their radar parameters to see more and of course they're finding more. And you got these three, and they're unidentified, they're not responding to any kind of communication, so we don't know who owns them or what their purpose is," Kirby went on. "They're also at altitudes that could effect the safety of civilian air traffic, and based on the flight path and prevailing winds, potentially moving over sensitive military sites."

February 16: The Washington Times:
Russia's cyber spooks hit hard wall of Ukrainian resilience

Confounding pre-war predictions, Russia's cyber offensive against Ukraine has proven unprepared, uncoordinated and unable to overcome a well-prepared, flexible series of Ukrainian defenses that have relied on experience and expertise. Kyiv has been widely assisted by overseas IT partners from both public and private sectors, while its ability to call on a dense network of civilian specialists has provided critical civilian-military coordination in cyber warfare, experts said. The cyber combat was a leading topic of conversation at a major conference on the threat from state-sponsored threats in cyberspace held here in the South Korean capital. Expectations of a swift Kyiv collapse after last February's invasion were a key reason for failure of Russia's cyberstrategy to date. analysts said. The Russian invasion plan, drawn up by a small staff and only belatedly disseminated across the different branches of the Russian military, left insufficient time for coordination of the online fight with the other facets of the offensive.

February 16: Fox News:
Kentucky Supreme Court leaves state's near-total abortion ban in place

Kentucky's Supreme Court on Thursday allowed two abortion restrictions to remain in place but left larger constitutional questions unanswered about whether access to the procedure should be legal in the state. The court had been weighing challenges to the state's near-total ban and a separate one that outlaws abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy. It sent the case back to a lower court for further consideration of constitutional issues related to the more restrictive ban. Thursday's ruling comes after Kentuckians rejected a ballot measure last year that would have denied any constitutional protections for abortion. The justices heard arguments in the case a week after the November midterm elections. The state's Republican-led Legislature passed both of those laws. The justices ruled on narrow legal issues, clarifying that their decision does not determine whether the state constitution does or does not protect the right to receive an abortion. Nothing in this opinion shall be construed to prevent an appropriate party from filing suit at a later date," Deputy Chief Justice Debra Hembree Lambert wrote. Kentucky's Republican attorney general, Daniel Cameron, called the ruling a "significant victory," and said his office will continue to defend laws that "stand up for the unborn by defending these laws." The legal challenge brought by two Louisville abortion providers revolves around the state's near-total trigger law ban and six-week ban. The trigger law was passed in 2019 and took effect when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. It bans abortions except when they're carried out to save the life of the mother or to prevent disabling injury.

February 16: The Daily Caller:
Senator John Fetterman checks into hospital for "clinical depression"

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Wednesday to receive treatment for clinical depression, his office said. "Last night, Senator John Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression. While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks," Chief of Staff Adam Jentleson said in a Thursday statement. The first-term senator and former lieutenant governor has struggled with severe medical issues since suffering a stroke in May 2022. Atrial fibrillation and a decreased heart pump, diagnosed in 2017, were the likely reasons for the stroke, which almost killed Fetterman. Jentleson admitted to The New York Times that rushing back to the campaign trail rather than resting may have caused Fetterman permanent damage. Fetterman "is receiving treatment on a voluntary basis," Jentleson continued. "After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to being himself." Fetterman's struggles with depression have not been previously reported. He has been in and out of hospitals since the 2022 election cycle.

February 16: The Washington Examiner:
Fairfax Schools
(in Northern VA) tell students they are inherently biased, docs show

A Fairfax County high school in Virginia is teaching students that they harbor inherent biases based on their religious or ethnic background under the guise of social-emotional learning. "Respect, Ownership, Achievement, and Relationships" is part of the social-emotional learning curriculum at Centreville High School and asks students to consider how their racial or religious backgrounds lead them to approve or disapprove of certain behaviors. "As we strive to create more welcoming and inclusive environments where all students, staff, and community members feel comfortable, it's important to practice respectful communication strategies with others who may have different beliefs, cultures, or perspectives," one of the program's slides says. "Identifying and understanding our own implicit and explicit biases is very important and something to be mindful of in conversations." Students are asked to consider how their "religious, spiritual, and moral beliefs" inform what they "interpret as good and bad behaviors" and how a student's "ethnic or racial group" has influenced their "understanding of how people should interact with each other."

February 16: The Epoch Times: Senate vote on Chinese balloon invasion
The U.S. Senate approved two resolutions unanimously on Feb. 15 that formally condemn the Chinese communist regime for its illegal incursion into U.S. airspace with a spy balloon and also call for transparency from the Biden administration about the incident. The first resolution "condemns the Chinese Communist Party's [CCP] invasion of United States airspace to conduct surveillance" on American citizens and military bases. It also calls on Joe Biden to "be transparent with the American people and Congress regarding this latest spying incident and all other attempts by the CCP to conduct surveillance on United States citizens, territory, and assets." The second measure condemns the incursion as a "brazen violation of United States sovereignty." The language closely mirrors that of House resolution approved on Feb. 9 by a unanimous vote. The United States has sanctioned six Chinese entities it claims are related to China's spy balloon program, which officials say has targeted 40 nations on five continents for covert intelligence collection.

February 15: Fox News: God is Alive and well as revival sweeps KY college campus and worship services end up being 24/7
Around-the-clock prayer services that have lingered for a week at a Christian university in Kentucky have drawn national attention as participants have flocked nationwide to experience what some are calling a spiritual revival. Students at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, have engaged in continual worship services in the school's chapel since Feb. 8, which have reportedly been marked by prayers, worship music, testimonies, altar calls and religious conversions. The movement began after students refused to leave following a chapel service last Wednesday, and the services have since grown to pack the school's chapel with worshippers from all over the country. "It's praise and worship, honestly. Nobody's snake-handling. It's just praise and worship that's going around 24/7," Jim Shores, an associate professor at the school said.

US fighter aircraft intercept Russian bombers entering the defense identification zone off Alaskan coastFebruary 15: The Epoch Times:
US aircraft intercept 4 Russian military aircraft in Alaskan defense zone

U.S. fighter jets intercepted four Russian military aircraft that entered Alaska's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Feb. 13. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which oversees North American airspace and its defense, responded to the incursion with two F-16 fighters and five other supporting aircraft including two F-35s. The NORAD forces successfully intercepted a group of Russian bombers and fighters that entered Alaska's ADIZ. The ADIZ is not part of U.S. airspace, but the zone immediately surrounding it in which NORAD tracks and identifies aircraft. NORAD said the incursion was "in no way related" to several high-profile efforts by NORAD to shoot down unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) over the last two weeks. Further, it said, the action was more routine than escalatory, as Russian forces attempt to penetrate the country's ADIZ several times a year in an effort to test U.S. responses.

February 14: The Washington Times:
Feinstein announces she will not run for reelection in 2024

As expected, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-A) announced on Tuesday that she will not seek another term. Mrs. Feinstein, 89, said she would spend the next two years working to advance long-held priorities like stricter environmental regulations and gun control. "Even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives. Each of us was sent here to solve problems," said the California Democrat. "That's what I've done for the last 30 years, and that's what I plan to do for the next two years." A former mayor of San Francisco, Mrs. Feinstein was first elected to represent California in the Senate in 1992. Since then, she's chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee and the chamber's prestigious rules panel. Her advancing age, however, blocked her from leading the Senate Judiciary Committee when Democrats retook the majority in 2021.

February 14: Breitbart News:
US conducts operations in the South China Sea days after PRC targeted unarmed Philippine ship with military grade laser temporarily blinding sailors

The US Navy and Marine Corps began conducting "integrated expeditionary strike force operations" in the South China Sea, five days after Chinese ship fired a military-grade laser at an unarmed Philippine supply vessel, temporarily blinding its crew. The U.S. 7th Fleet announced the beginning of military exercises involving the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), and the USS Nimitz carrier strike group (CSG) on Sunday. The USS Makin Island is a Wasp-class amphibious assault landing helicopter dock (LDH) ship -- essentially a small aircraft carrier that can launch helicopters and other aircraft that can take off vertically, or require very little runway space. They also carry landing craft needed by Marine units to come ashore in force. LHDs excel at providing rescue and humanitarian assistance as well as combat power. The U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) on Monday that the Philippine Coast Guard's statement about the laser attack on its ship on February 6, as well as other reprehensible Chinese laser attacks on ships and aircraft, and also a Sunday report from the Japanese Ministry of Defense about a Chinese ship approaching islands claimed by Japan.

February 14: The Daily Caller: FTC commissioners resigns; refuses to give Biden-appointed chair's abuse of government power legitimacy
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Christine Wilson announced her resignation Tuesday in a Wall Street Journal column, saying she refuses to give Biden-appointed Chair Lina Khan's "abuses of government power" legitimacy by staying with the agency. Khan's time as chair has sparked controversy since shortly after her appointment in June 2021, when Republicans began voicing concern about her alleged exclusion of Republican colleagues from aspects of antitrust enforcement. Wilson, prior to penning her resignation in the WSJ, was among those critical of Khan's approach and testified before the Senate in September 2021, accusing Khan of tearing down "the FTC's rich bipartisan tradition." Wilson wrote in her column that pushing back on Khan's abuses became difficult because she "consolidated power within the Office of the Chairman" and was enabled by "senior FTC officials."

K-9s in California not allowed to bite perps?  Really!February 14: Fox News:
Woke California legislature considering a bill to keep K-9s from biting criminal suspects

Law enforcement agencies in California would be prevented from using police K-9s from being put in situations where they could bite someone under a new bill being considered by state lawmakers in an effort to end a "deeply racialized and harmful practice," one of the bill's author's said. Assembly members Corey Jackson and Ash Kalra said AB 742 could help end a practice with a troubling history involving Black communities and police dogs, they said during a Monday news conference. Under the bill, law enforcement would be prohibited from using police dogs in apprehensions, arrests and crowd control, according to the bill's text. "The use of police canines has inflicted brutal violence and lifelong trauma on Black Americans and communities of color," Jackson said in a statement. "This bill marks a turning point in the fight to end this cruel and inhumane practice and build trust between the police and the communities they serve." The dogs could still be used to sniff out bombs, drugs and or other activities that don't involve biting. We're trying to make sure people are not harmed and seriously injured by using K9s," Jackson said. "Many of these bites can cause lifelong injuries. So, let's make this clear lifelong injuries before you're proven guilty." During the press conference to announce the bill, Kalra contended the use of police dogs is a practice "rooted in slavery."

Multinational Naval  Fleet in West PacFebruary 13: U.S. Naval Institute:
Protecting Taiwan; make it a home game

No longer can one "define a fleet merely as a set of warships," wrote the late Captain Wayne Hughes, "because land-based systems play a prominent part." Thus, the littorals are not just "where the clutter is"; they also are "where the forts are."1 And the closer China comes to concluding it has the maritime superiority to achieve its political ends by force, the closer the Sino-U.S. rivalry edges toward conflict. The 1942 Solomon Islands campaign and the 1982 Falkland Islands campaign charted two paths to victory that merged at important crossroads and underscored three important principles of littoral campaigns: The winning side is the one that best integrates the home team, joint sea power, and trusted scouting. Having led to victory in both. these principles warrant careful study and creative integration by today's naval force as it readies for its next littoral campaign; Taiwan. And as the Solomons and Falklands illustrated, the home-team advantage goes to whomever shares the closest purpose with the local population, not necessarily the closest geography. A century ago, Sir Julian Corbett professed to his seagoing countrymen, "Command of the sea is only a means to an end."45 He based this claim on a simple truth: "Men live upon the land and not upon the sea." Today's naval force must think of maritime superiority in East Asia as the means by which facts on land will be either altered or upheld.

February 12: Sky News: Fourth unidentified flying object, described as an "octagonal structure" shot down by U.S. military
The take down is the fourth in just over a week and the third in as many days after objects were shot down in Alaska and Canada on Friday and Saturday respectively. Officials declined to say what the latest object looked like - but a senior US official later described it as an octagonal structure. They also did not reveal whether it was maneuverable or just floating with air currents.

February 12: The Washington Times: Russia suffers most casualties in the last two months than it has since it invaded Ukraine
The Russian military over the past two weeks has suffered its highest rate of casualties since the start of the conflict in Ukraine last year, British intelligence officials said Sunday, underscoring the rapid loss of manpower and materiel that is confronting Moscow's war effort. Western officials estimate that nearly 200,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded since the beginning of the war on Feb. 24, 2022. The early weeks of the war saw the highest casualty rates, particularly around Kyiv, where Russian forces mounted an ill-fated campaign to capture the Ukrainian capital and overthrow the Ukrainian government. Russia has moved the bulk of its forces to eastern Ukraine in and around the disputed Donbas region but it is seeing massive casualties there, too. "Over the past two weeks, Russia has likely suffered its highest rate of casualties since the first week of the invasion of Ukraine," the British Ministry of Defense said. "The mean average for the last seven days was 824 casualties per day, over four times the rate reported over June-July 2022. Ukraine also continues to suffer a high attrition rate." "The uptick in Russian casualties is likely due to a range of factors, including lack of trained personnel, coordination, and resources across the front" lines of fighting in eastern Ukraine, British officials said. Moscow has mounted a major military personnel call-up to fill its dwindling ranks. But the Russian military has come under intense criticism — including from some prominent right-wing figures inside Russia — for sending young, poorly trained recruits directly into the fight. At the same time, Western officials say that the Russian military is likely running low on missiles, drones and other weapons of war. Moscow has increasingly turned to its partners, mainly Iran and North Korea, to help replenish its stockpiles.

February 12: United Press International:
U.S. airstrike takes out 12 terrorists in Somalia

U.S. Africa Command killed at least 12 al-Shabaab fighters in an airstrike in Somalia, the agency said Sunday. The attack took place Friday at the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command reported. The strike was focused at a remote location southwest of the city Hobyo. No civilians were killed, according to the report. Al-Shabaab has been designated terrorist group by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence. The group has maintained its insurgency in the southern region of Somalia since 2006. The United States has stepped up its support of Somalia over the last year following a mass withdrawal of troops under former President Trump in 2020.

February 11: The Epoch Times:
PA court won't force release of voter info on 2020 election

An appeals court in Pennsylvania has refused to force the Department of State to release personal voter information to Senate Republicans for their ongoing investigation into the 2020 election, but it left the door open for the probe to continue by saying they have the power to enforce the subpoena themselves. In its long-running probe the GOP-led Pennsylvania Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee issued a subpoena in September 2021 requesting the Department of State release guidelines, communications, and a variety of voter information. Democrat senators sued to block enforcement of the subpoena prompting the Republicans to ask the court to force compliance. The court's decision it said the state legislature itself through its constitutional powers has express constitutional authority to enforce its subpoena. It is unclear what impact the court's decision will have on the committee's election review, which has been largely dormant for the past year as the dispute over the subpoena has gone through the court process. Sen. Jake Corman said the goal of the probe wasn't to do a rerun of the election or carry out a recount, but to find flaws in the system "that could be exploited by bad actors" and recommend systemic fixes. "Our goal should be to proceed carefully, thoughtfully and transparently. We need to follow the evidence wherever it leads and get real results to make our election system stronger and more secure. That is the only way we can restore faith in our voting process and give all Pennsylvanians the peace of mind to know that future elections will be both fair and honest," Corman contended.

F-22 Stelth Raptor fighter jetFebruary 11: Fox News: US shoots down high altitude object in Canadian airspace in coordination with our northern allies
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Joe Biden authorized NORAD to work with the Canadian government to shoot down a "high-altitude airborne object" on Saturday after a call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau According to the Pentagon, NORAD detected the object over Alaska late Friday evening and monitored the object over U.S. airspace with the assistance of the Alaska Air National Guard and was "tracking it closely and taking time to characterize the nature of the object. "Monitoring continued today as the object crossed into Canadian airspace, with Canadian CF-18 and CP-140 aircraft joining the formation to further assess the object," the statement said. A U.S. F-22 Raptor was used to shoot down the object in Canadian airspace using an AIM 9X missile, according to the statement. "As Canadian authorities conduct recovery operations to help our countries learn more about the object, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be working closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police," the Pentagon said.

February 11: The Washington Times:
Fox News crew flown from LA to DC only to learn that an agreed upon Super Bowl interview with Joe Biden was cancelled at the last minute by the White House

The White House nixed Joe Biden's Super Bowl interview with Fox after the network had already flown its television crew from Los Angeles to Washington to tape an agreed-upon sit-down with the commander-in-chief. A person familiar with the discussions said the Fox Soul was blindsided by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre's statement on Friday that the interview had been scuttled, just one day after the administration pitched the outlet last minute to conduct the pre-game interview. "The crew that was agreed upon was sent from LA to Washington, D.C and had every expectation to do the interview," an anonymity source said. The baffling saga began after the White House reached out to the network on Thursday to set up the pre-game interview with Fox Soul, the live-streaming platform that caters to Black viewers, after weeks of back and forth over conducting the interview with Fox News. Networks carrying the Super Bowl have traditionally scored interviews with presidents that air ahead of the game. Those interviews are regularly taped on the Friday before the Sunday kickoff.

February 11: The Daily Caller: Is the FBI watching you? If you're attending a Catholic service in Richmond, VA they may be
It is not every day that one learns that federal law enforcement (this time, the compromised and diminished Federal Bureau of Investigation) is watching your church and its members. But that is exactly what happened in Richmond, Virginia, where someone at the FBI's Richmond field office recently wrote a memo warning that those Catholics who attend the traditional Latin Mass are "almost certainly" ripe targets for recruitment by violent extremists. Michael McKenna, and contributor to the Daily Caller attends the Latin Mass in Richmond and believes the FBI analysis is directly pointed at him. How did the FBI come to the conclusion that the old ladies and young families at Mass are just a handful of steps away from becoming modern-day Weathermen? McKenna believes the answer is that the Richmond FBI field office figured that since those folks have concerns that the post-Vatican II church might not be firing on all cylinders, it only stands to reason that they are likely to be anti-Semitic, racist xenophobes ready to pull down the civilized order at any moment.

February 10: Fox News:
NYT ripped for only reporting Fetterman's "serious mental health" issues now that the truth doesn't matter and won't have consequences at the ballot box

Public figures are openly discussing how Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) faces permanent mental challenges, a month after he was sworn in and a Democratic Senate majority secured. Fetterman suffered a stroke in May 2022 just ahead of the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. The severity of his condition was only revealed the following month but he continued to run for Senate while his campaign insisted he would be fit for office. His health problems became a source of public concern when he turned in a troubling debate performance against Dr. Mehmet Oz despite the assistance of closed captioning. Since defeating Oz, it appears many of Americans' worst suspicions about his health have been confirmed. Fetterman, who has been hospitalized, has also struggled for weeks to adjust to his role as senator, to the point he still needs technological aid to help him communicate with colleagues and his own staff. On Friday, the New York Times released an article, titled "Fetterman, Recovering After Stroke, Labors to Adjust to Life in the Senate," detailing his struggles with quotes from senators and staff.

February 10: The Daily Caller:
Your tax dollars are paying for attorneys to defend Mayorkas against possible impeachment as DHS hires a defense team

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has hired lawyers from a firm that previously represented House Democrats in the impeachment trial of then-President Donald Trump to protect the agency's secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, Politico reported Friday. DHS signed a contract with Debevoise & Plimpton to help Mayorkas as House Republicans move to impeach the secretary. For months, House has indicated they will move towards impeaching Mayorkas for his mishandling of the crisis at the southern border. Reps. Pat Fallon (R-TX) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) have filed articles of impeachment as the new majority took control of the House. Then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also threatened Mayorkas in November with impeachment if he didn't resign. Although it is unlikely that a Democrat-controlled senate will actually convict Mayorkas, the process will make public the missteps and lack of efforts to actually secure the border. This is the same kind of thing that the Democrats have done in the past against President Donald Trump.

Dog Park where man shot  man hassleing his daughterFebruary 10: Fox News: Washington man shoots and kills "erratic" suspect who was endangering his child's life at a dog park
Police in Washington state say that an armed man with his child at a dog park shot and killed an attacker in an incident where police have not filed charges. The Yakima, Washington Police Department said they had received 911 calls on Sunday from the Randall Park Dog Park with callers saying a man acting erratically had been confronting another man and his child at the park. "The erratic subject attempted to endanger the life of the small child with his words and actions, at which point the child's father protected his child from the threat," the Facebook post said. Police explained that the father gave verbal commands to the individual to stop the harassment and attempted to leave the park. When those attempts to deescalate, the situation were not successful, police say the 28-year-old father shot and killed the aggressive individual with a legally owned firearm. The Yakima-Herald Republic reported that the aggressor had been attempting to take the child, about five or six years of age, and that police believe narcotics played a role in the incident.

February 9: The Washington Examiner:
Department of State bankrolls group secretly blacklisting conservative media

The Washington Examiner has confirmed that the US Department of State has funded a deep-pocketed "disinformation" tracking group that is secretly blacklisting and trying to defund conservative media, likely costing the news organizations vital advertising dollars. The Global Disinformation Index, a British organization with two U.S. affiliated nonprofit groups, is feeding blacklists to ad companies with the intent of defunding and shutting down websites peddling alleged "disinformation." This same "disinformation" group has received $330,000 from two State Department-backed entities linked to the highest levels of government, raising concerns from First Amendment lawyers and members of Congress. "Any outfit like that engaged in censorship shouldn't have any contact with the government because they're tainted by association with a group that is doing something fundamentally against American values," Jeffrey Clark, the former acting head of the Justice Department's Civil Division said. "The government or any private entity shouldn't be involved with this entity that's engaged in conduct that is either legally questionable or at least morally questionable."

February 9: Fox News:
Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) hospitalized following Democrat retreat

S⁠⁠en. John Fetterman has been hospitalized overnight following lightheadedness he experienced at a Democrat Senate retreat Wednesday. "Towards the end of the Senate Democratic retreat today, Senator John Fetterman began feeling lightheaded," a statement from his office read. The office said he was in "good spirits and talking with his staff and family." Although Fetterman has reportedly continued to require electronic assistance in order to communicate with his staff and other senators. The hospitalization does not appear to be related to his previous stroke, the statement added.

Wind turbine iced up and frozen solidFebruary 9: iHeart Media-KTRH: Majority of lights stayed on throughout Texas in the recent ice storm due, impart, to fossil fuels
Aside from the city of Austin's incompetence to clear downed trees, the lights stayed on for a majority of Texas during the recent ice storm. Climate activists continue to hammer Gov. Abbott and state grid operators, but at the end of the day, measures taken after the 2021 freeze prevented Texas from plunging into darkness. "Even as wind turbines shut down. Even as solar panels were covered with ice. We kept the energy on," says H. Sterling Burnett, managing editor of The Heartland Institute's Environmental and Climate News. "Had we not had coal. Had we not had natural gas. We would have had the same problems this year that we had two winters ago," he contended. Burnett says northern states face the same challenges when it comes to ice. Compared to Austin, it took Deer Park and Pasadena crews only a matter of days to clear tornado debris to get the lights back on. Democrat-controlled Austin is still struggling to return power to all its residents.

February 8: The Washington Examiner: Former FBI agents detail the "politicization" of the agency before hearings in the House
According to advance written testimony statements, two former FBI agents will detail on Thursday how the bureau has become overly political before a new "weaponization" subcommittee. The agents, Thomas J. Baker and Nicole Parker, are set to sharply criticize what they view as the FBI's transformation into a partisan agency that they say has targeted public and their constitutional rights. The hearing will also feature testimony from Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), who is ranking member of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Americans have lost faith in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an institution they once regarded as the world's greatest law enforcement agency," Baker's testimony reads.. "I spent many years with the FBI and am deeply troubled by this loss of faith. Specific lapses have come to light, many of which will be focused on by this panel. But why did they happen? What changed? The answer begins days after the 9/11 attacks with a cultural change at the bureau." Baker's testimony targets former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who was notably appointed special prosecutor for the investigation into alleged Russian interference hoax during the 2016 presidential election.

February 8: Fox News: House representative warns former Twitter execs they could go to jail over censorship; FBI responds to allegations of collusion
Former Twitter executives who met with the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday were given a stern warning from one representative, who said arrests were coming their way. The purpose of the hearing was to address how Twitter blocked the sharing of a report on Hunter Biden's laptop by the New York Post prior to the 2020 election. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in May 2021 that blocking the Hunter Biden story was a "total mistake." During questioning committee member Clay Higgins (R-LA) Twitter's former Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth, former chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde, former Twitter deputy counsel James Baker and Anika Collier Navaroli, a former employee at Twitter, that the bottom line was the FBI had the "Biden Crime Family" laptop for a year, knowing it was leaking and that those leaks would hurt the Biden campaign. "You, ladies and gentlemen, interfered with the United States of America 2020 presidential election, knowingly and willingly," Higgins said. "That's the bad news, it's gonna get worse because this is the investigation part. Later comes the arrest part. Your attorneys are familiar with that." The FBI rejected the characterization of an inappropriate relationship with Twitter and issued a statement in response to Higgins' comments.

February 7: The Daily Caller: Is this a joke? After trying to shut down the need for oil, Biden says the U.S. will need oil "for at least another decade!"
House and Senate Republicans burst into laughter at Joe Biden's remark about oil at Tuesday's State of the Union Address. Biden made the remark over oil producers' concerns that the administration will shut down their refineries. Republicans, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, immediately started laughing. "We're gonna need oil for at least another decade," Biden said, leading to laughter among the crowd. "And beyond that. We're gonna need it, production. If they had in fact invested in the production to keep gas prices down, instead, they used their record profits to buy back their own stock, rewarding the CEOs and shareholders." The Biden administration has urged oil producers to increase refinery output in an effort to produce more oil and ultimately reduce gas prices. Simultaneously, the administration halted the leases of oil and gas drilling on federal lands and scrapped the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which was intended to carry over 800,000 barrels of oil per day. House Republicans earlier this year introduced legislation to prohibit Biden from selling oil from the U.S.' Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to China and another to prohibit non-emergency releases from the SPR unless the administration increases domestic oil and gas production.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives GOP response to Joe Biden's SOTU speechFebruary 7: Fox News:
Sanders; the choice for our country moving forward is between "normal and crazy"

Newly-elected Gov. Sarah Sanders (R-AR) delivered the GOP response to Joe Biden's second State of the Union (SOTU) speech Tuesday evening, calling for a "new generation of Republican leadership" and describing the choice between Democrats and Republicans approaches as a choice "between normal or crazy." "Being a mom to three young children taught me not to believe every story I hear. So forgive me for not believing much of anything I heard tonight from [Joe] Biden. From out-of-control inflation and violent crime to the dangerous border crisis and threat from China, Biden and the Democrats have failed you," Sanders said. "It's time for a change. Tonight, let us reaffirm our commitment to a timeless American idea: that government exists not to rule the people, but to serve the people. Democrats want to rule us with more government control, but that is not who we are," she continued. "In the radical left's America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country," she added.

February 7: The Epoch Times: Update on CCP/PRC spy balloon and recovery efforts
U.S. Air Force General Glen VanHerck told reporters Monday that the suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down last weekend was hundreds of feet in diameter, assessing that it was up to 200 feet tall and weighed thousands of pounds. He added that the balloon was potentially carrying explosives but had no evidence of such, noting further that there was a device handing from the bottom of the balloon that was the size of a small jet aircraft. According to Reuters, the risk that it might be carrying an explosive was a factor in his planning to shoot down the balloon over open water. VanHerck said possible explosives could have been on board "to detonate and destroy the balloon." The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) confirmed the balloon was of Chinese origin but claimed it was a "civilian airship" meant to monitor weather patterns. U.S. officials, however, say that it was a Chinese military spycraft. The general said "We took maximum precaution to prevent any intel collection. "It was my assessment that this balloon did not present a physical military threat to North America. …therefore, [as the general overseeing NORAD] I could not take immediate action [against the balloon] because it was not demonstrating hostile act or hostile intent." He noted that U.S. Navy vessels were helping recover parts of the balloon which covered a square area of about 15 football fields in size.

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