Moving Quickly In The Wrong Direction

On Sunday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the impact of the climate-change regulations the Biden administration is placing on Americans.

The article reports:

Liberals denounce Donald Trump as a would-be tyrant, but the fact is that he ruled less by executive order than any other recent president. It is Joe Biden who has discarded the Constitution and imposed a blizzard of illegal or probably-illegal regulations on the rest of us.

Lately, they have been coming so furiously that it is hard to keep up with them. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board caught up with just one set, relating to power plants. The intent of the regulations is to set our economy and our material well-being back by as much as a century:

On Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency proposed its latest doozy—rules that will effectively force coal plants to shut down while banning new natural-gas plants.
***
Barack Obama’s regulation spurred a wave of coal plant closures. Now President Biden is trying to finish the job by tightening mercury, wastewater and ash disposal standards. EPA is also replacing the Obama Clean Power Plan that the Supreme Court struck down with a rule requiring that coal plants and new gas-fired plants adopt costly and unproven carbon-capture technology by 2032.

It is interesting that the Biden administration is planning to severely limit the production of electricity while at the same time encouraging Americans to buy electric cars. If the grid will not be able to keep up with normal expected growth, how will it be able to keep up with the additional demand placed on it by electric cars?

The article concludes:

Biden’s purpose is not to benefit the climate, it is to benefit the vast “green” grift that is one of the Democratic Party’s main constituencies. The greens, but also Communist China. China controls the market for solar panels and wind turbines, and it also controls the raw materials that are necessary to produce solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and the hypothetical batteries that are the magical solution to the fact that weather-dependent sources of energy can never fuel an economy–a primitive economy, let alone a modern one.

Why is Biden destroying our electrical grid and dragging the United States back into the 19th century, to the immense benefit of the Chinese Communist Party? Occam’s Razor suggests that he is doing it on purpose. Even Joe Biden isn’t dumb enough to fail to understand where these policies are leading. I don’t know whether it is sheer, malicious anti-Americanism, or whether the millions of dollars that Biden and his family have gotten from China have made him the Manchurian Candidate. But, one way or another, the disastrous consequences of the Biden administration’s energy policies are obvious to anyone who pays attention.

Including, even, Slow Joe.

Even If We Lose, We Are Going To Control Things

The realists in the Democrat party realize that President Biden is a weak candidate. It will take a massive amount of cheating to push him over the finish line. There have rumors of a candidate switch at the convention, but as of now those are simply rumors. So how can the Democrat party continue to control the government if they lose the presidency? They already have a plan.

On April 5th, Legal Insurrection posted an article explaining how the Biden administration plans to limit the power of President Trump if he takes office. I am not sure this is legal, but they are going to try it.

The article reports:

One of the things that frustrated me about Trump’s (first?) term was his seeming complete indifference to #TheResistance that manifested before he even took office. Unelected bureaucrats working in the ridiculously invasive executive branch’s many agencies, publicly declared war on him, and he . . . well, he did nothing.

Until the final year of his presidency when he seemed to finally take aim at the problem in his own branch of government–we can call it the deep state, the resistance, the entrenched bureaucrats who oversee far too much policy in America and who are, apparently, answerable to no one. Not the voter, not the president.

So then-president Trump launched Schedule F in late October 2020, a new rule that would allow the sitting and duly-elected president to have a say in who ran and worked in his own (overly large, sprawling, and ridiculously intrusive) branch of the federal government.

…And now we have Biden (or whomever is animating him) issue new rules to ensure that Democrats remain in their deep state positions, no matter who is actually elected by the people to run the executive branch as he sees fit.

…President Joe Biden’s administration announced its plan on Thursday to protect bureaucrats from being fired by a potential second Trump administration.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) finalized a rule that protects employees in the civil service by preventing the removal of their status and protections involuntarily, according to a press release. Under the new rule, an administration wishing to shift federal employees to a new category making them easier to fire would have to go through an elongated process, a move meant to be more time-consuming for a future president, Politico reported.

Hopefully this rule can be overturned either by a functioning Congress or an Executive Order. The Federal Government needs to shrink, regardless of who is in charge!

The Recent History Of The Porous Border

On Sunday, Rich Lowry posted an article at The New York Post about the decisions made early in the Biden administration that created the border crisis we have now. You might be able to convince some people that the crisis was simply the unintended consequence of bad decisions (not done deliberately), but the fact remains that those bad decisions were made.

The article recalls the decisions made almost immediately after President Biden took office:

The Feb. 2 order emphasized an effort to “enhance lawful pathways for migration to this country” and revoked a slew of Trump rules, executive orders, proclamations and memoranda.

The sense of it was that there’s nothing we can or should do on our own to control illegal immigration; rather, we had to fix deep-seated social, economic and political problems in Central America instead.

It called for getting more refugees into the United States, using parole to let more migrants join family members here, enhancing access to visa programs and reviewing whether the United States is doing enough for migrants fleeing domestic or gang violence, among other things. 

And it put on the chopping block numerous Trump policies that had helped establish order at the border, from Trump’s expansion of expedited removal, to his termination of a parole program for Central American minors, to his memorandum urging the relevant departments to work toward ending “catch and release.”

Most important, it targeted two of the pillars of Trump’s success at the border: the Migrant Protection Protocols, better known as Remain in Mexico, and the safe-third-country agreements with the Northern Triangle countries that allowed us to divert asylum seekers to Central American countries other than their own to make asylum claims. 

 

An Executive Order That Will Impact The 2024 Election

Under American law, non-citizens are not allowed to vote in federal elections. In some areas, non-citizens are allowed to vote in local elections, but that is somewhat limited. Unfortunately, due to an Executive Order signed by President Biden in January 2021, non-citizens and illegal immigrants will have an influence on our presidential and Congressional elections.

On Thursday, Fox News reported the following:

Immigration experts are raising the alarm about how the increasing flow of migrants illegally crossing into the U.S. may significantly impact states’ representation in the House of Representatives and Electoral College.

Shortly after taking office in January 2021, President Biden signed an executive order requiring that the U.S. Census Bureau factor in all residents, including noncitizens, as part of its decennial calculation of the U.S. population. As a result, the apportionment of House seats and, therefore, electoral votes for presidential elections, could be swayed as migrants continue to pour over the southern border.

“Illegal immigration has all kinds of effects and among them is that it distorts the mechanics of democratic government,” Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “Illegal immigrants aren’t even supposed to be here, so their inclusion in the census count for purposes of apportionment really is outrageous.”

“There are a lot of close votes in Congress, more than there used to be. So, it can, in fact, make a difference,” Krikorian said. “It shouldn’t be a question of: Does this give you personally more influence in Washington? The question should be: Is it right? Is it healthy for our democratic process to be distorted this way? The answer is no.”

The next President can overturn this order if he chooses to. Vote carefully.

The Buck Stops Anywhere But Here

Most Americans are willing to admit that we have a crisis at our southern border. Most Americans are aware that the crisis began when newly-elected President Biden undid all of the Executive Orders President Trump had used to close the border. However, President Biden is still blaming President Trump for the border crisis. Evidently the fact that President Trump has been out of power for three plus years does not play into President Biden’s logic.

On Saturday, Breitbart posted a list of 64 ways that President Biden has opened America’s borders.

I will post part of the list. Please follow the link above to read the entire list and the details.

Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Jan 20, 2021: President Biden terminated the National Emergency at the Southwest border (Proclamation 9844), thereby halting emergency construction of a border wall.
  2. Jan 20, 2021: President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) further entrenching the unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  3. Jan 20, 2021: President Biden unveiled the U.S. Citizenship Act, which would provide amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in the U.S., demonstrating intent to reward illegal border crossers with a path to citizenship.
  4. Jan 20, 2021: President Biden revoked Trump-era Executive Order that was designed to ensure there was meaningful enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.
  5. Jan 20, 2021: The Administration issued an Executive action ending limitations and restrictions against immigration from certain countries associated with terrorism.
  6. Jan 20, 2021: The Biden Administration announced a 100-day moratorium on deportations and immigration enforcement, effectively providing amnesty to criminal and other removable aliens and sending the signal the Biden Administration would not enforce the law. 
  7. Feb 1, 2021: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implemented Acting Secretary Pekoske’s policy requiring a new “process [that] shall provide for assessments of alternatives to removal including, but not limited to, staying or reopening cases, alternative forms of detention, custodial detention, whether to grant temporary deferred action, or other appropriate action.”
  8. Feb 2, 2021: President Biden issued Executive Order (EO) 14010 and began processing asylum claims at the border.
  9. Feb 6, 2021: Secretary of State Antony Blinken suspended, and began termination procedures, for the Trump Administration’s Asylum Cooperative Agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
  10. Feb 2021: The Biden Administration voluntarily stopped applying Title 42 expulsions to children across the board, setting off a major wave of unaccompanied alien children, family units, and illegal aliens generally heading to the U.S. border.

That’s only the first ten. President Biden willingly ended the programs that were securing our southern border. He is responsible for the disaster that border has become. He is also responsible for any negative results of the large number of military-age men that are coming across that border.

Policies Have Consequences

We can all look back with nostalgia at the prosperity and low inflation we enjoyed under President Trump. One of the keys to that prosperity was deregulation that allowed business and the economy to grow.

In January 2021, Forbes reported:

According to the administration, agencies in the 2020 fiscal year issued 145 deregulatory actions and 45 significant regulatory actions, for an out-to-in ratio of 3.2 to one.

Of those deregulatory actions, 58 were deemed “significant” by agencies and the administration. Comparing significant-in to significant-out still gives a ratio of 1.3 to one.

This regulatory streamlining requirement was one of the earliest 2017 moves of the Trump administration, put in place by Executive Order 13771. A Biden administration will kill it on “Day One,” as the incoming supervisors like to say.

We have now had three plus years of the Biden administration’s economic policies. It has been a tough three plus years.

On Monday, Blaze Media reported the following:

A group of black voters told MSNBC last week why they are considering voting for Donald Trump in the 2024 election.

Reporting from Charleston, South Carolina, MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee spoke with black voters in a barbershop and discussed the “appeal” Trump has over President Joe Biden with black men specifically.

They explained:

    • Thomas Murray: “I just think that Donald Trump, in spite of all the craziness he may have in his head, reading some of the things that he talks about with business, I can kind of agree with as far as business-wise because I’m trying to grow my business. As far as Biden, I haven’t seen Biden really care about business like that. And my concern is having my business, so that I can build generational wealth, so my kids can see and have something to take upon when I’m not here.”
    • Kinard Givens: “A lot of my friends we’ve only voted once, and Trump is kind of all we know — Trump and Biden. And they’re like, ‘Well, we were broke with Biden. We weren’t with Trump.’ And that’s kind of the only thing that I’m hearing over and over again is that ‘with Trump, we had money.'”
    • Juston Brown: “A lot of people admire the persona and they want to be him. They want to enjoy the perks that he has. He seems to always be able to circumvent the rules.”
    • Anthony Freeman: “Donald Trump has a reputation of being the money man.”

As James Carville stated in 1992, “It’s the ECONOMY, Stupid!” That statement still holds true today.

It’s Past Time For This!

On Tuesday, The Epoch Times posted the following headline:

The Time to Audit the Fed Is Here

A site called worldtraining.net explains some of the history of the Federal Reserve:

On June 4, 1963, a little known attempt was made to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the government at interest. On that day President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 that returned to the U.S. government the power to issue currency, without going through the Federal Reserve. Mr. Kennedy’s order gave the Treasury the power “to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.” This meant that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury’s vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation. In all, Kennedy brought nearly $4.3 billion in U.S. notes into circulation. The ramifications of this bill are enormous.

        With the stroke of a pen, Mr. Kennedy was on his way to putting the Federal Reserve Bank of New York out of business. If enough of these silver certificates were to come into circulation they would have eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve notes. This is because the silver certificates are backed by silver and the Federal Reserve notes are not backed by anything. Executive Order 11110 could have prevented the national debt from reaching its current level, because it would have given the government the ability to repay its debt without going to the Federal Reserve and being charged interest in order to create the new money. Executive Order 11110 gave the U.S. the ability to create its own money backed by silver.

        After Mr. Kennedy was assassinated just five months later, no more silver certificates were issued. The Final Call has learned that the Executive Order was never repealed by any U.S. President through an Executive Order and is still valid. Why then has no president utilized it? Virtually all of the nearly $6 trillion in debt has been created since 1963, and if a U.S. president had utilized Executive Order 11110 the debt would be nowhere near the current level. 

The Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air and then loans it to the government at interest. It’s a great scheme.

The Epoch Times reports:

This week, Sen. Rand Paul is pushing an amendment to a major spending bill that would finally do what should have been done decades ago. It should have been an annual undertaking for the past 100 years. He wants a thorough and external audit of the Fed, using prevailing accounting standards to figure out where the billions and trillions are coming from and where they’re going.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. This needs to be done.

A Non-Solution

President Biden is again trying to limit gun ownership in America. He has announced a new Executive Order relating to guns (parts of which violate the U.S. Constitution).

On Tuesday, The Daily Wire reported:

White House officials summarized the order saying the move would push the U.S. closer to universal background checks without additional legislation, hold the gun industry “accountable,” and drive law enforcement efforts to identify and apprehend shooters.

Actually, the only part of that statement is true is the part that says the law will hold the gun industry “accountable,” a questionable concept. The problem is not the gun or the gun manufacturer any more than the problem with drunk driving is the car–the problem is the person holding the gun. Unfortunately, the law’s impact will actually be on legal gun owners–criminals do not follow laws.

The article continues:

“Too many lives have been taken by gun violence,” Jean-Pierre said. “You’ll hear him call on Congress to take action and not to stop … that we need to continue.”

The move comes after Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act last year, where he called on members of Congress to take additional steps to reduce gun violence. Lawmakers passed the legislation in an attempt to prevent mass shootings and incentivize states to pass more “red flag” laws and expand background checks for 18 to 21-year-olds looking to purchase a firearm.

“Again and again, he has called for Congress to act, including by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring background checks for all gun sales, requiring safe storage of firearms, closing the dating violence restraining order loophole, and repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability,” the statement reads.

Red flag laws are unconstitutional–you cannot take someone’s property without giving them a chance to defend themself. What qualifies as an assault weapon? Are certain guns assault weapons because they are scary looking? How many high-capacity magazines have actually been used to commit crimes (experienced gun handlers will tell you that high-capacity magazines are more likely to jam and therefore are not highly recommended)? This Executive Order is an example of a law written by someone who is interested in appearing to do something, but is short on actual knowledge of guns and crime statistics.

 

In Case You Wondered Why The January 6th Hearings Are Continuing

On Sunday, The Western Journal posted an article that explains a lot of what the Democrat party is currently doing. The article is based on a report posted by Axios on Friday. The report states that if he is re-elected as President, President Trump plans to drain the swamp.

The article reports:

He (President Trump) issued an executive order in October 2020 that created a whole new class of federal employees, workers who were already on the federal payroll but would lose their civil service job protections, according to Axios.

Trump intended to use the new classification, called “Schedule F,” to take a meat cleaver to the deep state and get rid of tens of thousands of biased, and often useless, employees from nearly every part of the federal state.

…However, Axios noted Saturday, “Most Americans have never heard of Schedule F, let alone absorbed its vast implications.”

One reason for that is that President Joe Biden rescinded Trump’s Schedule F executive order three days after Biden was sworn in.

The article concludes:

Finally, this isn’t just some shadowy, behind-the-scenes, secret plan, either. Trump is already out in the open about “firing the swamp,” Breitbart News reported.

For his appearance at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit this weekend, according to Breitbart, Trump’s prepared remarks included the lines:

“To drain the swamp, we need to fire the swamp. With schedule F, I took executive action to make it possible to fire federal employees who are bypassing our democracy to advance wokeism and corruption.

“We now need Congress to institute historic reforms to permanently empower the president to root out the deep state, and ensure that any bureaucrat who is corrupt, incompetent, or unnecessary can be told, ‘You’re fired.’”

Those could be magic words to millions of conservatives cheering the plan on as the country heads into the 2022 midterm elections, which will presumably strengthen the Republican Party and help set up the groundwork for Trump’s second run at the presidency.

Making these ideas public will endear President Trump to those Americans who are tired of the bloated government and unequal justice we have seen in recent years. Unfortunately, these ideas will also make him a bigger target for the political left. I can’t imagine the mid-terms being an honest election, and I really can’t imagine the Democrats not doing everything legal or illegal to prevent President Trump from being President again.

The Latest Executive Order

On Thursday, The Epoch Times posted an article about a recent Executive Order issued by President Biden.

The article reports:

President Joe Biden’s Wednesday executive order on cryptocurrency outlines a range of new policy objectives and measures, including language on the climate-related effects of cryptocurrencies and on the potential for a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC).

“We must take strong steps to reduce the risks that digital assets could pose to … climate change and pollution,” the executive order states; “climate change and pollution” come at the end of a long list of prospective dangers.

Section 5 of the EO, “Measures to Protect Consumers, Investors, and Businesses,” includes a subsection, (b) vii, telling the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to lead work on an interagency report examining climate and energy concerns around cryptocurrency.

The OSTP is currently led by Alondra Nelson, a social science professor at the Institute of Advanced Study with a doctorate in American studies, who has been a member of the World Economic Forum’s Network on AI, IoT, and The Future of Trust.

The article also reports:

Peter St Onge, a research fellow in economic policy at the Heritage Foundation who studies cryptocurrency, told The Epoch Times that the EO’s language on climate and energy use was less aggressive than many in the cryptocurrency community had feared.

“It looked almost like a throwaway line, given how many activists have been attacking on those vectors,” he said. “Overall, they’ve demoted that in their rank of concerns.”

He agreed that the Biden administration could be shifting its rhetoric or policy focus from climate in light of surging energy prices.

St Onge said he is both surprised and concerned by the EO’s discussion of a future digital dollar, subject of EO Section 4.

It states: “The Administration places the highest urgency on research and development efforts into the potential design and deployment options of a United States CBDC.”

There are a few things that concern me about this. The World Economic Forum (WEF) is not America’s friend. These are the one-world government people who want to take away America’s sovereignty. The fact that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is currently led by someone with ties to the  WEF is not comforting to me. At the present time, digital currency has enough anonymity to protect the holders of the currency. However, there is also the potential that a digital currency could be used to set up a social credits system similar to the one currently used in China. To sum it up, I really don’t like the direction in which this is going.

This Is Not The Path To Law And Order In America

On Tuesday, The Washington Examiner posted an article detailing the next executive order dealing with police reform that President Biden is expected to sign in the near future.

The article reports:

Seven GOP senators, including Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, signed a letter to Biden on Friday that raised a series of concerns about the restrictions outlined in a leaked draft of the order.

…If implemented as written, the order would prevent police departments from purchasing flash or stun grenades, which are nonlethal tools used by law enforcement to disorient suspects in dangerous situations. The order also bans armored cars, which police use to navigate in active shooting situations, almost all drones, and long-range acoustic devices.

The group of Republicans also took issue with the draft order’s enforcement structure of denying local police departments access to money from the Community Oriented Policing Services grant program and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grant program if police departments don’t comply with many of the order’s provisions.

Those would include “supporting alternatives to arrest and incarceration” and implementing diversity recruiting and training programs.

The news of Biden’s expected implementation of the order, which could reportedly be as soon as next week, comes as Biden has faced growing pressure from activists to pursue liberal policies in the absence of legislative action.

The article concludes:

When reform talks fell apart in September, Scott said he opposed the idea of cutting police departments off from grants in some circumstances because doing so would amount to defunding the police.

The Biden administration requested a significant increase in COPS grant funding for fiscal year 2022 — asking for $537 million, up $300 million from the previous fiscal year.

While the White House is likely to tout that request as an effort to increase police funding, Republicans are likely to argue that the Biden administration is still effectively cutting police funding by tying the grants to liberal reforms that not all police departments may be willing or able to adopt.

Federal money always comes with strings. We can see how well liberal law enforcement policies have worked in cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles to name a few. Law enforcement works best at the local level where elected officials can be held accountable for their successes and failures. Cities that continue to elect people who will not hold criminals responsible for their crimes will continue to see crime increase.

Irony At Its Best

Remember the uproar when President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord? Do you also remember that after that withdrawal America was successful in lowering its greenhouse gas emissions (part of that was due to the pandemic, and part of that was due to an increased reliance on natural gas)? Well, President Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office rejoining the Paris Climate Accord. So how is that working out?

On Monday, Just the News reported:

A new report finds U.S. carbon emissions increased at a faster rate than the overall U.S. economy in 2021 largely due to a jump in coal use.

Analysts anticipated a significant rebound in emissions in 2021, following the anomalous pandemic year that was 2020. However, according to the report from nonpartisan climate consulting firm the Rhodium Group, growth still managed to outpace expectations, which presents a challenge to the Biden administration’s oft-stated goal of cutting fossil fuel emissions, from 2005, in half by 2030.

Despite significant rebounds, U.S. emission rates in 2021 were still 5% below what they were during the pre-pandemic year of 2019. The report indicates that the single largest source of emissions was from the transportation sector, spurred primarily by an increase in demand for consumer goods that keep freight trucks on the roads.

The second leading cause of emissions, the electric power sector, saw a “sharp rise” in coal generation – the first annual increase since 2014.

The Rhodium Group explains that, in part, coal mounted a comeback because of market conditions. Natural gas prices doubled their 2020 rate because of lower production levels brought about by the pandemic. However, according to the report, for the first time, renewable energy sources comprised 20% of U.S. electricity generation in 2021.

Even the European Union is waking up to the fact that green energy is not the total solution to carbon emissions (see article here). Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel and its increased use will definitely reduce carbon emissions. Nuclear energy with the proper safety precautions is also useful in lowering America’s carbon footprint.

It is ironic that the President who withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord was more successful in curbing America’s carbon emissions than the President who rejoined the Accord.

After All, It’s Only Taxpayers’ Money

CNBC is reporting today that President Biden will issue an executive order to raise the minimum pay for federal contract workers to $15 an hour by March of next year. The current minimum is $10.95. Future increases will be tied to inflation. (Has it occurred to him that such a rapid increase in wages will fuel inflation?

The article reports:

President Joe Biden on Tuesday will continue his push for a national $15 minimum wage with an executive order that raises pay to at least that level for hundreds of thousands of federal contract workers, according to senior White House officials.

The move will increase the current minimum wage of $10.95 by nearly 37% by March of next year and continue to tie future increases to inflation.

It will apply to federal workers from cleaning and maintenance staff to food service contractors and laborers, sweeping in tipped workers who were previously left out of the last increase under former President Barack Obama.

White House officials insist it won’t increase costs for taxpayers because of benefits including increased worker productivity.

Biden has expressed his belief that strong unions and higher wages can resurrect America’s middle class while helping bridge economic and racial inequities, and the executive order is his latest step in support of the organized labor movement.

So what happens when the minimum wage is raised? First of all, it provides a bargaining chip for unions in their wage negotiations. This creates higher wages across the board which leads to inflation. There is no evidenced that increasing wages increases worker productivity. The people who will actually be financially impacted by this move in a negative way are senior citizens and those in the middle and lower economic classes–the inflation that will follow will be much more difficult to manage for those two groups than for the wealthy.

Getting a significant wage increase is useless if the price of everything you need also increases significantly.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Yesterday Breitbart reported that the Biden administration’s pause on the construction of the wall at America’s southern border is costing taxpayers about six million dollars per day. That does not include the cost of dealing with the refugees that are overrunning the border.

The article reports:

According to the source, the expenditures are required for materials orders placed before the pause and expenses for the cost of equipment sitting idle. When the issuance of a stop work order causes a contractor to idle equipment, they are entitled to be compensated for rental expenses or costs of ownership.

Shortly after taking office, President Biden signed an executive order temporarily halting any further progress on the border wall so individual contracts could be evaluated. With the exception of “make-safe” activities at the worksites, construction projects immediately came to a standstill, Breitbart Texas reported. The end of the 60-day pause does not, however, signal an automatic restart of construction.

Early in the pause, a spokesperson for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) informed Breitbart Texas that contractors would be informed of a final decision sometime after the 60-day pause concludes. The time was to be used for evaluating each contract to reach a decision to terminate-for-cause or continue.

The Biden administration has not indicated which direction they will take regarding the end of the pause. Little information concerning the immigration crisis on the border has come from the leadership team within DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Senior officials within DHS reported being instructed not to speak to national media on the issues facing DHS at the border.  Information from other agencies within the new administration is equally elusive. USACE did not respond to a request for information concerning the end of the pause and the border wall contracts currently being evaluated.

The right thing to do would be to finish the wall. Under any circumstances, a secure border is an integral part of national security.  In a time of a national pandemic, a secure border is a public health issue. A country cannot remain a country without a secure border. I realize there are problems with our immigration laws, but let’s secure the border before we worry about the less urgent issues.

Beware Of Executive Orders That Sound Good

Most Americans want everyone who is entitled to vote to be able to vote and have their vote counted. They also want to make sure that illegal votes are not counted. Somehow the rhetoric surrounding voting rights has overlooked the idea of registering and counting only legal votes. This is not overtly stated, but when you look closely, you find very little interest in maintaining accurate voting laws and making sure voters are who they say they are.

Townhall posted an article today about an Executive Order by President Biden.

The article reports:

President Joe Biden on Sunday signed an executive order aimed at expanding voting rights. It’s the Biden administration’s latest move to expand voting rights as they push the Senate to pass H.R. 1, the House Democrats’ bill to radically transform America’s election system, including prohibiting voter ID laws and mandating taxpayers fund political campaigns.

“It is the policy of my Administration to promote and defend the right to vote for all Americans who are legally entitled to participate in elections,” the executive order stated. “It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to expand access to, and education about, voter registration and election information, and to combat misinformation, in order to enable all eligible Americans to participate in our democracy.”

Article 1 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.

Why are the Democrats in Congress trying to take this right away from the states?

Why is voter ID considered restrictive? You need an ID to do almost anything in America–receive medical treatment, open a bank account, board an airplane, buy liquor, take out a loan, etc.. Why not be required to show an ID to prove you are an eligible voter and that you are who you say you are?

Unintended Consequences

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about one of the unintended consequences of canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline. The cancellation is evidently having a large negative impact on at least one rural electric company.

The article reports:

MURDO, S.D.—For more than a decade, Jeff Birkeland had been waiting expectantly in the hope that the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline would finally materialize and bring with it a much-needed boost to his rural community. His dreams were dashed overnight.

Birkeland is the CEO of West Central Electric Cooperative, which is located in Murdo, a small city in South Dakota with a population of less than 1,000. TransCanada, now known as TC Energy, the firm that commissioned the KXL pipeline, first approached his company back in 2008.

In 2011, he signed a contract with TC Energy to build a transmission line and two substations that would serve power along the KXL route. West Central Electric was meant to start producing power for pump stations along the XL route as early as November 2011, before the pipeline was put on hold.

In March 2019, then-President Donald Trump granted TC Energy a presidential permit to construct and operate the XL pipeline. Biden revoked that permit via executive order in one of his first moves as president.

“It basically shut a lot of what we were doing down overnight,” Birkeland told The Epoch Times. “We’re out $90 million, that’s what that means to us.”

Electric co-ops are private companies that deliver electricity to their customers, also known as members. Rural electric cooperatives serve 56 percent of the nation and account for about 12 percent of total electricity sales in the United States, according to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

There are multiple co-ops in the area that range in size in terms of employees and areas they cover. West Central Electric has more than 3,671 members and covers more than 7,000 square miles, and Birkeland said the cancellation of the project hits small rural communities like Murdo especially hard.

The article concludes:

Keeping electricity rates down is key for co-ops, since these companies serve “92 percent of persistent-poverty counties in America,” according to the association. The opportunity that the pipeline would have provided would have been a “key pillar” to reducing the company’s electricity rates, Birkeland said.

“The larger revenue base you have, you get to spread your expenses out,” he said. “That’s just simple economics. It makes your rates lower. When the administration talks about wanting to create new jobs—here it is.”

There are also countless other local businesses in Murdo, as well as in nearby towns and cities, that had spent money to juice up their businesses in response to the construction of the KXL pipeline. Now, their money and their investments have gone down the drain, Birkeland said.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is not fair to American businesses that a new administration can come into power in Washington and simply shut down an ongoing construction project, particularly by Executive Order. I hope that some of the court cases against this Executive Order are successful.

Losing Our Rights As Communities

On Friday, Breitbart posted an article about one of President Biden’s recent executive orders. The order removes the authority of states and local communities to reject the drop-off of refugees into their towns and communities.

The article explains why some people might want to drop-off refugees without the consent of the local community:

In essence, former President Donald Trump’s policy (Executive Order 13888 of September 2019) gave state and local governments a say in whether they have the capacity to provide refugees a pathway to become self-sufficient and successfully integrate into American society.

Biden’s new executive order (EO) indicated that the federal government would consult with American communities across the country about refugees’ resettlement.

The president’s “Executive Order on Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration” noted:

Through the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), the Federal Government, cooperating with private partners and American citizens in communities across the country, demonstrates the generosity and core values of our Nation, while benefiting from the many contributions that refugees make to our country.

However, with the stroke of a pen Thursday, Biden revoked Trump’s Executive Order 13888 that enhanced state and local involvement in refugees’ resettlement within their jurisdiction.

The article continues:

Breitbart’s Neil Munro pointed out that Trump’s refugee policy from September 2019 gave states, cities, counties, and towns the legal power to stop groups from dumping foreign refugees into their communities, adding:

The policy will allow residents to block the stealthy efforts by refugee resettlement groups to direct new refugees into communities which are selected by local elites. This refugee dumping is usually done at the request of local employers, such as slaughterhouses, that want new workers to replace ones who quit because of low wages, harsh conditions, and health hazards.

During the Trump-era, Munro noted, refugee resettlement groups were forced to lay off workers amid the reduced inflow of refugees and federal funding.

Those groups denounced the former president’s refugee policy.

There is another part of this story that is often overlooked.

In March 2020, Breitbart reported:

Research by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) finds that each refugee resettled in the U.S. cost American taxpayers anywhere on average between $60,000 and $133,000 over the course of a lifetime.

…Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers nearly $9 billion every five years, according to the latest research. Over the course of five years, an estimated 16 percent of all refugees admitted will need housing assistance paid for by taxpayers.

At a time when Americans are reeling from the economic impact of the coronavirus, we cannot afford to stretch our resources any further. It is time to focus on those people living in America who are here legally and have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus. Unfortunately this latest executive order from President Biden will result in more Americans losing their jobs to lower-paid workers. This executive order is another attack on the working class of America.

Let The Lawsuits Begin

Sara Carter reported yesterday that the Texas attorney general has filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration over its order to freeze most deportations for the next 100 days.

The article reports:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) argues that DHS is breaking immigration law by ordering the deportation freeze in the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. His statement also claims that the new orders violate the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas and the DHS.

“In one of its first of dozens of steps that harm Texas and the nation as a whole, the Biden administration directed DHS to violate federal immigration law and breach an agreement to consult and cooperate with Texas on that law,” Paxton said in a statement. “Our state defends the largest section of the southern border in the nation. Failure to properly enforce the law will directly and immediately endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel.”

Moreover, Paxton’s lawsuit asserts that the DHS’s authority does not extend to such a policy.

“If left unchallenged, DHS could re-assert this suspension power for a longer period or even indefinitely, effectively granting a blanket amnesty to illegal aliens that Congress has refused to pass time and time again,” the filing says. “The Constitution, controlling statutes, and prior Executive pledges prevent a seismic change to this country’s immigration laws merely by memorandum.”

Deportation is a necessary part of immigration policy. A person who is in America illegally who commits a crime needs to be deported before his actions endanger the lives of Americans. There are no promises that this case will actually get heard, but the Attorney General is right to pursue it. Congress is supposed to make immigration laws–they are not supposed to be made by Executive Order.

A Much Needed Executive Order

There are a lot of reasons why people strongly dislike President Trump. A lot of the dislike is the result of the lies told about him in the mainstream media. If you believe President Trump is a racist, you might want to look into his history and the awards he has received for not being racist. Among other things, President Trump literally fought city hall to allow African-Americans and Jews to join Mar-a-lago. I suspect you won’t find a report of that on the mainstream media. Aside from the horrific picture the mainstream media has painted of this man, there are a lot of status quo financial interests that his presidency threatens. Corruption and payoffs in Washington have been part of the game for a long time, and obviously President Trump is not playing. A recent Executive Order is one example of why the Washington insiders hate President Trump.

The Epoch Times posted an article today with the headline, “US Invested Billions Into Companies With Ties to Chinese Military.”

The article reports:

President Donald Trump’s latest executive order bars U.S. investors from holding ownership stakes in a list of 31 Chinese companies designated to have ties with various Chinese Communist Party (CCP) military apparatuses.

This order, while somewhat limited in scope, ensnares several well-known Chinese companies including non-public companies such as Huawei and publicly traded companies such as China Mobile and Hangzhou Hikvision. The 31 companies were previously designated by the Pentagon as being “owned or controlled” by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the official name of the Chinese military. (The list of companies can be found here and here.)

The action could be a sign of things to come for Chinese companies with close ties to the CCP; U.S. capital could prove increasingly hard to come by. In addition, examining the foreign ownership base of these companies reveals that a number of them are partially owned by prominent U.S. investment firms, insurance companies, and pension funds.

Four more years of President Trump will not be kind to these investments. A Joe Biden presidency will allow business as usual to continue despite the threat to national security.

The article reports:

An analysis by The Epoch Times of ownership of these 31 Chinese companies reveals that billions of U.S. capital have already flowed into shares of these companies, all of which allegedly have ties to the CCP military or intelligence agencies.

Of the 16 publicly-traded firms either on the list or are subsidiaries and related parties of companies on the list, U.S. entities currently hold shares worth approximately $14.9 billion, based on closing prices as of Nov. 20 and latest available public filings data compiled by Bloomberg.

The vast majority of the $15 billion is invested in two of China’s biggest telecommunications giants. The first is China Mobile Ltd. with $8.1 billion invested via both the New York-listed ADR shares as well as the Hong Kong-listed shares. The company with the second-largest amount of U.S. capital is New York-listed China Telecom Corp with $2.3 billion of investments. Both firms are believed to have links to the PLA, according to the U.S. defense department.

Third on the list is surveillance equipment manufacturer Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. Ltd., with $1.7 billion of investments from U.S.-domiciled sources. Hikvision has been criticized in the West for producing equipment used to monitor Uighur Muslims in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Unsurprisingly, investment advisors and fund management firms are the biggest single group investing into these Chinese companies—with $13.5 billion invested—by way of their actively managed mutual funds or passively managed exchange-traded funds (ETFs). They are followed by government and pension funds with $466 million invested, and hedge funds with $406 million invested. Other investor classes with large stakes include insurance companies (for their own accounts) and banks and brokers (likely on behalf of client accounts).

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It really makes you wonder about the loyalty to America of some of our financial people.

This Is Needed

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog reported that President Trump has signed an Executive Order establishing the 1776 to study the teaching of American history in America.

The article reports the purpose of the Executive Order:

…empowers the 1776 Commission to produce and publicly disseminate a report within a year. That report shall discuss “the core principles of the American founding and how these principles may be understood to further enjoyment of ‘the blessings of liberty’ and to promote our striving ‘to form a more perfect union.” In other words, says Kurtz, “the 1776 Commission, likely to be populated by some of America’s finest historians and scholars, will produce a report on the meaning of the Founding, on how American history can be understood as a struggle to realize our founding principles, and on how best to teach all this to the rising generation.”

The article points out one ray of hope in the Executive Order:

But President Trump’s order doesn’t entail imposing his vision of patriotic education on the nation. Instead, he calls on local communities to reassert control over the curriculum.

Isn’t it great to have a president who views America with pride, who is willing, unabashedly, to defend our founding, and who will contest the views of radicals seeking to enlist an all-too-complicit education establishment in tearing America down? If Joe Biden wins the election, we won’t have such a president.

The federal government has no business in education in the states (because of the Tenth Amendment). This may actually be a step toward regaining local control.

Waiting To See The Impact Of This

For years Americans have subsidized research by pharmaceutical companies by paying higher prices for drugs than other countries. Yesterday The Epoch Times reported that President Trump has signed an Executive Order that requires drug companies to charge Americans the same price for druges that the companies charge other countries.

The article reports:

The latest step would replace a July 24 Trump executive order.

It extends the mandate to prescription drugs available at a pharmacy, which are covered under Medicare Part D. The July version focused on drugs typically administered in doctors’ offices and health clinics, covered by Medicare Part B.

Specifically, it would pay a price for a drug that matches the lowest price paid among wealthy foreign governments. Medicare, the government healthcare program for seniors, is currently prohibited from negotiating prices it pays to drugmakers.

…Trump took executive action in late July on drug prices, which included discounts on insulin and EpiPens for hospitals, which would be passed down to patients, allowing the United States to allow the legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries where prices are lower, and a Medicare program will be required to purchase drugs at the same price that other countries pay.

The article notes:

The orders received swift pushback from the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said in a statement that the move was “a reckless distraction that impedes our ability to respond to the current pandemic—and those we could face in the future.”

The pushback is not a surprise. The pharmaceutical industry pays very well.

For example according to Fierce Pharma:

Len Schleifer, Regeneron has a salary package of $41.97 million

Jeffrey Leiden, Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a salary package of $36.64 million

Brent Saunders, Allergan (formerly Actavis) has a salary package of $36.61 million

You get the picture. While I believe in the Free Market and don’t want to see the government interfere in anyone’s salary, I also believe that there is something askew here. It seems to me that as the President moves to bring drug prices into the rhelm of reality, the pharmaceutical companies might want to re-evaluate what they are paying their CEO’s. I am sure the President’s Executive Orders will impact the bottom line of the pharmaceutical companies. The question will be how they choose to handle the revenue cuts.$

7 illion $41.million

 

 

Transparency Is Always A Good Idea

Yesterday The Epoch Times reported that Judge Carl Nichols with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that the Trump administration can compel hospitals and insurers to publish negotiated costs for health care services that are normally kept secret from patients. This is wonderful news for patients in hospitals although I suspect that the medical community is not happy with the decision.

The article reports:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) introduced a rule in November 2019 that defined “standard charges,” laid out the publication requirements for hospitals and insurers, and the department’s enforcement plans.

At the time, hospital and insurer organizations and advocacy groups objected to the agency’s proposals, disputing that the Trump administration has the authority to require the disclosures, which they believe are trade secrets. The hospitals also disputed that the policy would benefit consumers and lead to lower costs, countering that compliance would instead be too burdensome and “get in the way” of providing services for patients.

The finalization of the rule, which goes into effect January 2021, prompted the American Hospital Association (AHA) to sue, arguing that the White House didn’t have the authority to make the directive, had violated the First Amendment in its creation, and had acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner.

The article concludes:

Trump’s executive order on improving transparency on health care prices and quality required the HHS secretary to propose a regulation to publicly post standard charge information “in an easy-to-understand, consumer-friendly, and machine-readable format using consensus-based data standards that will meaningfully inform patients’ decision making and allow patients to compare prices across hospitals.”

It also requires hospitals to regularly update the posted information.

David Mitchell, the founder of advocacy group Patients For Affordable Drugs, said in a statement to The Epoch Times in response to the ruling that he thinks “we have to get rid of our system in which prices are secret and hidden from those who must pay them.”

This is good news for the people who pay for hospital care.

Great News For America

Energy independence is wonderful, but in today’s technology age, there are other important areas where America needs to be self-sustaining. One of the them is the rare earth minerals used in the manufacture of our technology. On Wednesday (updated yesterday) The Epoch Times posted an article about one step that has been taken in this direction.

The article reports:

Owners of the Wheat Ridge facility for processing rare earth elements and critical minerals have received an operating permit that will enable minerals critical to advanced technology manufacturing to be mined and processed in the United States.

USA Rare Earth, LLC, and Texas Mineral Resources Corp. announced on June 18 that their Wheat Ridge, Colorado, facility has received its operating permit, with its pilot plant now in the commissioning process.

Texas Mineral said in a press release that the plant “will have the ability to produce the full range of high purity, separated rare earths as well as other critical minerals … which are essential for modern manufacturing ranging from defense applications to wind turbines, electric vehicles, smart phones, advanced medical devices, and the physical backbone of emerging 5G networks.”

The company says its objective is “to build the first rare earth and critical minerals processing facility outside China.”

The CEO of USA Rare Earth, Pini Althaus, said in a press release that the establishment of an independent, robust, and domestic rare earth metal and critical mineral supply chain is vital for the United States, “overcoming reliance on China.”

Congress and President Trump have both recognized the need to produce these minerals in America.

The article notes:

Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation (pdf) on May 28 to protect American mineral supply chains.

Gosar described critical minerals as the building blocks of our modern lives, as they are vitally important for special components in defense systems, health care applications, and energy generation technology.

“For years, our country has become increasingly dependent on China and other nations to fulfill our demand for minerals,” said Gosar. “The global pandemic has demonstrated the severe consequences of allowing this longstanding over-reliance on China to go unchecked.”

Waltz said that critical minerals are integral to our way of life.

“As coronavirus has unfortunately demonstrated, if China can threaten to cut off our pharmaceutical supply, they can do the same with their supply of rare earth minerals,” said Waltz. “We need to bring this supply chain back to America—and this bill will be an important step to do that.”

…President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13817 in December 2017, titled “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals.” The order directed federal agencies to list critical minerals, develop strategies to reduce reliance on the minerals themselves and on foreign suppliers, and increase domestic production.

The positive impact of the coronavirus is that it reminded us that as a nation we need to be as self-sufficient as possible. It is encouraging to see steps being taken in this direction.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Breitbart is reporting today that Governor Cuomo of New York has ordered election officials to automatically mail New Yorkers a postage-paid absentee ballot application during the coronavirus pandemic. These ballots are for the June primary, but if the idea is carried over to the presidential election, I can now guarantee that Governor Cuomo will be re-elected, Joe Biden will win New York State in the presidential election, and all Democrat members of the state legislature will be reelected by overwhelming majorities.

The article reports:

“I am issuing an Executive Order to ensure every New York voter automatically receives a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot because no New Yorker should have to choose between their health and their right to vote,” the governor continued.

Recently, Cuomo also issued an executive order allowing residents to vote absentee in the June 23 primary election, the announcement noted.

However, the New York GOP called the move an “illegal and unconstitutional political power grab that will severely undermine the integrity of our elections,” according to Breitbart News.

“The ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ mentality has permeated the Governor’s office and Cuomo is using this pandemic as a reason to expand his powers and force his political agenda through,” said chairman Nick Langworthy.

The article concludes:

Nearly 30 million mail-in ballots sent to registered voters went missing in the last four election cycles dating back to 2012, Breitbart News reported.

“In 2012, for instance, more than 33 million mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters. Of those, nearly four million went missing, more than 425,000 were undeliverable, and almost 260,000 were rejected,” the article read.

In a statement, Public Legal Interest Foundation (PILF) President J. Christian Adams called vote-by-mail a “disaster.”

“People who think it works haven’t studied the failures. The facts show mail voting doesn’t work,” he concluded.

This is not the path to an honest election. This is a dry run. If the Governor is successful in doing this, he will push for a mail-in presidential election. If he is successful, New York State will never again have an honest election.

The First Amendment

The First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article about a drive-in church service in Mississippi that resulted in those present receiving tickets for $500 for attending. Just for the record, the cars had their windows closed and were following social distancing guidelines.

The article reports:

Temple Baptist members were staying in their vehicles with the windows rolled up to listen to Pastor Arthur Scott’s sermon on the radio, the paper said.

Lee Gordon — a 23-year member of the church as well as a representative for the Washington County Board of Supervisors — told the Democrat-Times the church has been using a low-power FM frequency to broadcast sermons in the parking lot for the last three weeks.

“The preacher is in the church at the pulpit, and we are streaming the service live as well,” Gordon added to the paper. “But a lot of our membership is elderly and [lacks access to streaming technology].”

Gordon told the Democrat-Times he and his wife were among those gathered in the church parking lot — and figured they all were abiding by the coronavirus social distancing guidelines given they were in their cars with the windows rolled up.

But that wasn’t the case — and they paid for it.

Gordon told the paper he and his wife were both issued $500 tickets.

“I think somebody called the police,” he added to the Democrat-Times. “And we were just doing the same thing we’ve been doing the last three weeks.”

Gordon noted to the paper that the police “were respectful and just doing their job. They asked us to leave first, and those who stayed got a ticket.”

This is not acceptable behavior. I might be a little more forgiving if the people had been packed inside the church, but they were in their cars following social distancing guidelines. There is no way the city had the right to shut that down. Unfortunately, that may happen in my city tomorrow as some churches are planning to do drive-in services.

Again, if the people are in their cars with the windows rolled up, how is that a problem? This is an obvious violation of the First Amendment and it is good news that court cases will follow.

The article concludes:

And as it happens, First Liberty Institute — which is representing Hamilton and his church — sent a letter to Simmons (Democratic Mayor of Greenville Errick Simmons) urging him to withdraw his executive order, WJTV-TV reported.

“Protecting religious liberty is essential, even during a pandemic,” Jeremy Dys, special counsel for litigation and communications at First Liberty, told the station. “Americans can tolerate a lot, if it means demonstrating love for their fellow man, but they will not — nor should not — tolerate churchgoers being ticketed by the police for following CDC guidelines at church. This has to stop now.”

This is not acceptable. I wonder how long it will be before we get our First Amendment rights back.