Inflation Rears Its Ugly Head

Just the News is reporting today that the U.S. consumer price index rose 5% in May compared to the same time a year earlier.

The article reports:

The index represents the average change in prices of goods and services such as food, energy, housing costs, and others. It rose 5% in May compared to the same time year earlier. The increase was higher than expected, with the Dow Jones forecasting a slightly lower of 4.7% rise, according to CNBC.

The increase is the largest since 5.3% rise In 2008, just before the financial crisis causing the worst recession since the Great Depression.

The goods with the highest price increases were used cars and trucks, with prices surging 7.3%. Airline tickets were a close second, with prices climbing 7% from a year earlier as the pandemic cut air travel substantially. Food prices have stayed similar to those a year ago, up only 2.2%.

The article concludes:

People are also concerned over the rise of inflation that could be caused by President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion COVID relief package and similarly priced proposed infrastructure package.

The Federal Reserve has not expressed alarm about the increases. Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has said he expects the pressure on prices to be temporary as the economy reopens after the pandemic, according to Fox News.

Increased government spending will cause inflation. At some point the interest on our national debt is going to cripple our economy. At that point the dollar will be devalued to pay off the debt and the average American will be left with worthless money. The solution to this is to elect people to Congress who will be fiscally responsible. Currently there are actually a few Congressmen who are fiscally responsible, but not enough to make a difference.

Wasteful Spending In Washington

On Saturday, Just the News awarded its Golden Horseshoe award to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. This is the organization that was created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to protect pension benefits and is responsible for more than 34 million workers and retiree pension plans.

The article reports:

This week’s Golden Horseshoe award goes to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), the nation’s pension bailout agency that is still reeling from revelations its chief of contracting engaged in a bribery scheme that steered $4.8 million in fraudulent business to a vendor in return for more than $1 million in personal benefits.

The bribery scheme involving the now convicted director of PBGC’s Procurement Department was possible because the agency suffered from several vulnerabilities, including reduced competition among vendors, missing legal reviews and sole-source contracts that evaded bidding designed to get taxpayers the best bargain, the PBGC’s inspector general reported.

“His actions were enabled by internal control weaknesses; specifically, inadequate oversight of PD procurements and a lack of a control mechanism to ensure that PD sent all requisite contract actions for legal review,” the inspector general reported. “Although PBGC began requiring that more contract actions receive legal review after the PD Director resigned in February 2020, it does not have a mechanism to ensure PD complies with this requirement.”

The internal watchdog said it also found “internal control deficiencies allowed PD to avoid competition requirements when awarding five other contracts, three of which were for PD support. Four of the contracts were awarded on a sole-source basis, including three using small business set-aside programs.”

The weaknesses are particularly concerning because PBGC, which normal funds itself through insurance payments from employer pension plans, just received its first ever infusion of tax dollars to replenish coffers that were on track to be insolvent by 2026, the IG noted. 

Please follow the link above to read the details. This is disgusting. The amount of fraud is disgusting and the fact that our tax dollars were used to fund this agency to allow further fraud is even worse. Our tax dollars at work.

Good Idea

The cancel culture often hurts the people it claims to want to help. Well, some of the people recently cancelled have decided to fight back.

Just the News posted an article on Monday about a lawsuit brought against Major League Baseball by a group of Atlanta business owners.

The article reports:

A small business group on Monday evening sued Major League Baseball, its commissioner Rob Manfred and the head of professional baseball players union Tony Clark alleging their efforts to move this summer’s All-Star game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s new election integrity law unlawfully inflicted “staggering” damages on businesses in the region.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by the Job Creators Network alleges MLB violated the Klu Klux Klan Act of 1871 and committed “tortious interference” in business by canceling the game over a political matter.

It seeks damages of at least $100 million for the businesses of Atlanta as well as an order to restore the game this summer to the Atlanta Braves home stadium, Truist Park.

“MLB Defendants intended to punish Georgians because their state enacted a reasonable ballot-integrity statute and to coerce Georgia and its duly elected government to surrender Georgia’s sovereignty in our federal system,” the lawsuit charged.

It said the true victims were small businesses who spent money and made plans for two years to host the All-Star Game based on MLB’s promise, only to see it canceled.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article which includes a link to the complaint. The decision by Major League Baseball was based on faulty information and should be met with a lawsuit.

The Story You Weren’t Told

On Tuesday, Just the News posted an article about Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of The New York Times’ 1619 Project.

The article reports:

The creator of The New York Times’ 1619 Project is joining the University of North Carolina journalism faculty in July, funded by a Knight Foundation grant.

The academic world has not greeted the news with jubilation, but rather outrage — because Nikole Hannah-Jones was not given tenure to start.

“Political pressure from conservatives,” particularly a North Carolina-focused education think tank, led the university to offer Hannah-Jones a fixed five-year term, according to NC Policy Watch, a project of the progressive North Carolina Justice Center. 

Evidently that is not the reason Ms. Hannah-Jones was denied tenure.

The article continues:

The UNC trustee who oversees lifetime appointments, Charles Duckett, postponed the tenure review for Hannah-Jones in January, three months before UNC announced the hire, board chair Richard Stevens told reporters last week.

Duckett “asked for a little bit of time” to ask Hannah-Jones to clarify her background, since she does not have “a traditional academic-type background,” according to Stevens. She accepted the five-year term, which lets her continue as a New York Times journalist, before the full Board of Trustees voted.

Asked what he specifically wanted to know from Hannah-Jones, Duckett told Just the News no one had asked for his side until now. “I cannot comment today due to issues outside my control,” he said. “I normally do not respond at all but appreciate the question.”

The article notes a possible explanation:

A spokesperson for the journalism school told Just the News last week it wasn’t sure why the board “did not act on her tenure package” but was told “there was reluctance to grant tenure” to a non-academic.

“The University and the journalism school very much wanted Nikole to join us, and she was offered a Professor of the Practice 5-year fixed term contract,” Susan King, dean of the journalism school, said in a statement.

The 1619 Project has been denounced as an opinion piece rather than an accurate reporting of history. To grant tenure to someone who has no academic background and has published opinions as fact would not be a good move for a university.

Be Cautious In Giving The Coronavirus To Your Teenage Children

Young people do not seem to get seriously ill if they contract the coronavirus. They are generally not part of the ‘at risk’ population. Therefore in making a decision to have your child vaccinated, you need to carefully consider the risk/benefit aspect of giving your child the shot..

Just the News posted an article yesterday reporting on some of the adverse effects of the coronavirus vaccine on adolescents and young adults.

The article reports:

A relatively small number of individuals have reportedly experienced myocarditis after receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, according to a post on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website pertaining to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical (VaST) Work Group.

The relatively infrequent reports of heart muscle inflammation seem to have taken place “predominantly in adolescents and young adults;” “more often in males than females;” and more often after the second vaccine shot. The discussion pertains to the mRNA vaccines, which would include the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“Most cases appear to be mild, and follow-up of cases is ongoing,” according to a statement regarding the matter. “Within CDC safety monitoring systems, rates of myocarditis reports in the window following COVID-19 vaccination have not differed from expected baseline rates. However, VaST members felt that information about reports of myocarditis should be communicated to providers.”

The article quotes a doctor in a New York Times article saying that this could simply be a coincidence because so many people are getting vaccinated right now. I don’t think I would be willing to take that chance if I still had teenagers living at home.

I understand the need to vaccinate those people who are at risk from serious complications from the coronavirus. However, I don’t understand the push to vaccinate those who are not at risk or those who have already had the coronavirus. There is simply too much we do not know. I fear that at some point in the next five years of so we are going to learn a lot more about the consequences of strongly encouraging people to be vaccinated.

Leadership Decisions Have Consequences

On Friday, Just the News posted an article about President Biden’s first 100+ days in office.

The article notes:

President Biden entered the Oval Office nearly four months ago and immediately signed dozens of executive orders and made sweeping legislative proposals aimed at rolling back the policies of former President Donald Trump. Early in the Biden presidency, the United States is now facing a series of emerging crises that critics attribute directly to these reversals of Trump-era policies and positions.

“Weak leadership is the cause of all of these crises,” freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) told the John Solomon Reports podcast, citing the surge of illegal immigration, the disabling Colonial Pipeline hack, and the flare-up of violence in the Middle East.

The article notes the actions President Biden took regarding America’s southern border:

…The legislation Biden has sent to Congress suggests he may wish to create a system that offers a pathway to citizenship to the illegal immigrants that have flooded into the country since January.

The number of people who would be granted citizenship without necessarily understanding the history or culture of America could change our country drastically. In the past, we have strongly encouraged immigrants to assimilate. The number of immigrants currently crossing the border illegally would be very difficult for America to take in and help resettle.

The article also notes the impact of the Biden administration’s policies on the American economy:

The strength of the economy was the crowning achievement of the Trump presidency, at least until the pandemic. President Biden inherited high rates of joblessness, mostly caused by continued COVID-19 restrictions that depress economic activity. In theory, job creation should increase as restrictions are lifted. However, last week’s dismal jobs report coupled with a current annual inflation rate of 4.2%, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, indicate that Biden’s economic policy measures may be misfiring across the board.

…Biden has repeatedly said that he does not believe the enhanced benefits had a “measurable” impact on the jobs numbers. Yet, even as he is dismissing widespread concerns about the disincentivizing effects of the enhanced benefits, he promised earlier this week that his administration is “going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits.”

“It’s just not a good deal for these workers to go back on the job,” said economist Stephen Moore.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The policies of the Biden administration are not working for the benefit of all Americans. Simply ending the policies of President Trump has not been a wise governing strategy.

 

We Might Want To Consider This As We Negotiate With Iran

Just the News is reporting today that the U.S. Navy has seized a vessel in the North Arabian Sea carrying a cache of weapons.

The article reports:

“The cache of weapons included dozens of advanced Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles, thousands of Chinese Type 56 assault rifles, and hundreds of PKM machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades launchers. Other weapon components included advanced optical sights,” according to the Navy.

“USS Monterey and its embarked U.S. Coast Guard Advanced Interdiction Team (AIT) discovered the illicit cargo during a routine flag verification boarding conducted in international water in accordance with customary international law,” the Navy noted. “The original source and intended destination of the materiel is currently under investigation.”

The article notes that a U.S. Defense official noted that the weapons seized were similar to weapons seized in the past that were traveling from Iran to Yemen.

Details to follow as they become available.

When Science Goes Political

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about a spending program by the Biden administration that will award grants through the National Science Foundation to address what it calls “systemic racism” in the country and to advance “racial equity” in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.

This is getting ridiculous.

The article reports:

“Persistent racial injustices and inequalities in the United States have led to renewed concern and interest in addressing systemic racism,” reads a synopsis of the Racial Equity in STEM Education Program on the NSF website. “The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) seeks to support bold, groundbreaking and potentially transformative projects addressing systemic racism in STEM.”

Although these grants are funded by the federal government’s primary source of support for basic science research, the agency emphasizes that proposals are to be developed by and reflect the perspective of aggrieved groups and individuals who perceive themselves as victims of undefined “inequities” assumed in advance to be caused by “systemic racism.”

We are moving farther and farther away from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, statement, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

The article notes:

The NSF stipulates that research funded by these grants should be designed to produce predetermined outcomes that benefit those engaged to conduct the research.

“The proposed work should provide positive outcomes for the individuals and communities engaged and should recognize peoples’ humanity, experiences, and resilience,” according to the program description.

The grant work should also consider systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits and show how these barriers impact access to and success in STEM education and research.

A synopsis on the government’s grants.gov website shows $30 million will be awarded to an expected 45 grantees beginning in July.

Since Biden took office, the NSF has awarded millions in grants related to equity, diversity and inclusion, a review of government spending by Just the News showed.

This is government-subsidized racism.

The Real Story On Voter ID

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about support for voter id laws. The information is surprising if you depend on the mainstream media for your news.

The article reports:

A coalition of black leaders on Friday came out strongly in support of voter ID laws, arguing that most black voters feel the same way and rebuking what they said was the “oblivious” and “opportunistic” denial of those opinions by progressive leaders. 

The coalition — which includes U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens, former Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, former Texas state Rep. James Earl Wright, and former mayor of Cincinnati and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights Ken Blackwell — declares at RealClearPolitics that “liberal orthodoxy” dictates that “all Blacks think alike, and all Blacks support Black Lives Matter, and all Blacks oppose the recently enacted Georgia Election Integrity Act,” one that in part mandates voter ID at the polls.

I believe that every American wants every legal voter to be able to vote and to have their vote counted. Unfortunately, every illegal vote cancels the vote of a legal voter.

The article continues:

Yet the writers note that a recent Rasmussen Reports poll “found that 69% of Blacks and 82% of nonwhite minorities support voter ID,” while another recent poll “found that a full two-thirds of Blacks in Georgia support voter ID.”

At this point, you begin to wonder who is actually opposing the Georgia law and why.

The article notes:

“The data seems clear: A majority of Black Americans support voter ID laws,” they argue. Yet, they claim, “opportunistic activists like Stacey Abrams pretend the entire Black community stands behind them and the radical Democrat Party,” crafting a narrative in which black people “are either opposed to voter ID or, even more offensively, that Blacks are incapable of obtaining IDs.”

Realistically, most Americans know that an id of some sort is pretty much required to function in America today. You can’t buy cigarettes or liquor without an id, you can’t fill a prescription without an id, you can’t open a bank account or cash a check without an id, and you can’t receive medical care without an id. Do you know anyone who has not at some point engaged in one of the above activities? I don’t.

Voter id makes it harder to cheat. Why are some politicians opposed to that? That is the question.

 

I Think Most Of Us Suspected This

Just the News posted an article today about the news story that was circulating during the 2020 Presidential campaign that the Russians had put a bounty on American soldiers and were paying the Afghani soldiers to kill Americans. The media questioned the fact that President Trump had not placed sanctions on Russia for those actions and declared that the President was soft on Russia because he was Putin’s puppet. Well, the truth eventually does come out.

The article at Just the News reports:

On Thursday, the leaders of President Biden’s intelligence agencies declared they held little confidence in a New York Times’ story from last June that claimed Russia put bounties on American troops in Afghanistan.

It was the latest setback for the famous newspaper, which has seen its reporting on the now-debunked Russia collusion scandal be eviscerated by the FBI and its hit podcast series Caliphate retracted

Ashley Rindsberg, author of “The Gray Lady Winked: How the New York Times’ Misreporting, Fabrications and Distortions Radically Alter History,” said Thursday’s setback follows a decades-long pattern of journalism failures. He questioned what the Times will do next with the Afghanistan fallout.

The article notes that there is a history of this sort of creating a false narrative and being slow to change the narrative once the truth is discovered:

“That’s what’s happened time and again: the big story break, and there’s a lot of hoopla, and there’s a lot of coverage, and the narrative gets cemented. And when the story turns out to be false, or mistaken, or what have you, there’s either a very small correction that’s printed at the bottom of the article that very few people will pay attention to, or nothing at all,” he said. “So I think in this case, we’ll see what happens, and hopefully the Times will do the right thing.”

I can pretty much guarantee that if you are still depending on the mainstream media as your primary news source you are either misinformed or uninformed or both.

The Truth Evidently Doesn’t Matter If You Are Raising Campaign Money

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about a campaign email put out by the group 3.14 Action. The email was signed by Senator Raphael Warnock.  The email was about the new Georgia election law and contained false information. A spokesman for Senator Warnock’s campaign has explained that the Senator signed the email before the bill was actually drafted into law and that was the cause of the misinformation.

That is probably true, but it raises some questions. Why did the Senator sign the email before the bill was passed? Could he have not waited to see what was actually in the bill that was passed? Why was the focus of the email on the controversial items (that eventually got taken out of the bill)?

The article notes:

The email said that the legislation nixed no-excuse mail voting and restricted early voting on weekends, according to the Washington Post. However, those part of the legislation were in early proposals and never became law.

Georgia Republicans who drafted, passed and enacted the law say it attempts to secure the state’s voting system. Critics say the law, which now requires ID to request an absentee ballot, restricts voting, particularly for minorities.

Meanwhile as a result of Georgia’s attempt to promote election integrity, Major League Baseball has moved its All-Star Game to a place with more voting restrictions than the state it left. It moved the Game to a place with a less diverse population, hurting minority businesses in Georgia. That seems an odd move for people who were claiming that the Georgia voting law was racist.

 

Acceptable Return On Investment?

Yesterday Just the News reported that the jobs plan that is proposed by President Biden could cost taxpayers more than $666,666 per job created. The cost of the proposal is $2 trillion. Seems like a lot of money to pay for the creation of one job. The obvious question here is ‘how much does each job pay and where is the rest of the money going?’.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that House Democrats hope to draft the formal legislation for the American Jobs Plan by May and finalize it by July 4. The White House fact sheet about the plan includes a description of key parts of the proposal but does not list the specific infrastructure projects the bill would fund. 

Democrats are considering using budget reconciliation to move the bill through Congress to avoid the filibuster in the Senate. Democrats used that strategy for the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that Biden signed last month.

If you are not yet familiar with the Cloward-Piven strategy, now would be a really good time to look it up.

The article concludes by reminding us of some past history:

Biden oversaw the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. The Obama administration estimated that the bill would “create or save” 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2009. Politifact rated former President Obama’s claim in May 2009 that the bill “saved or created” 150,000 jobs as “mostly false.”

At the time, Republicans as well as some political and economic analysts argued that it was difficult to measure how many jobs a piece of legislation could “save.” In the end, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in November 2010 that the number of saved or created jobs fell somewhere between 1.4 million and 3.6 million.

Déjà vu all over again.

Regaining Our Right To The Free Exercise Of Religion

Yesterday Just the News reported that the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that three University of Iowa officials can be held personally liable for derecognizing a Christian student club over its leadership requirements.

The article reports:

The law is “clearly established” that government officials cannot practice viewpoint discrimination, as administrators did by enforcing a “human rights” policy against Business Leaders in Christ but not other student groups, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined.

It’s exceedingly rare for courts to deny “qualified immunity” to public actors for violating constitutional rights. Litigants must point to court precedents that officials should have known were binding on their specific behavior, making it unlawful.

Yet the University of Iowa is likely to suffer a second loss on qualified immunity in a closely related case involving a different Christian club, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Oral arguments for each case were four months apart, and both went badly for the university.

The three-judge panel upheld two constitutional claims by Business Leaders in Christ but divided on the third claim, on whether administrators should have known they were violating the club’s free exercise rights.

In a concurrence and dissent, Judge Jonathan Kobes said all three claims should have been upheld.

“The law is clear: state organizations may not target religious groups for differential treatment or withhold an otherwise available benefit solely because they are religious,” he wrote. “The individual defendants may pick their poison: they are either plainly incompetent or they knowingly violated the Constitution.”

I suspect this may not be the end of these lawsuits.

There Is A Humanitarian Crisis At Our Southern Border

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about what is currently happening at our southern border. When the Biden administration opened the floodgates at the border, they created a humanitarian crisis of nightmarish proportions.

The article reports:

The Biden administration’s policies on the U.S.-Mexico border are inhumane to the illegal immigrants and harmful to America, says former acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Mark Morgan.

Regarding border protection, Morgan told the John Solomon Reports podcast, “This administration is absolutely — has dismantled everything, and everything that they’re doing is against the nation’s best interest, and I believe it’s for perceived political gain.”

The Trump administration’s border policy was working. There was no reason to change it other than it was connected to President Trump.

The article continues:

According to unofficial statistics of illegal border crossers, Morgan said, “I think within the last 10-11 days, they actually had a single-day encounter of over 6,000. Have you seen that officially? Has anyone in [the Department of Homeland Security] reported that? No. Six thousand! They’re averaging, now, anywhere between probably about 4,500 to 5,000 a day.”

“But here’s the truth, and here’s the stat they’re not presenting officially: 75% of the so-called unaccompanied minors are older teenagers — 15, 16, 17 years of age,” Morgan said. “They’re not being ripped from their parents. They’re making a tough decision on their own to leave simply because they want a better job in the United States.”

I don’t blame them for that, but they need to come legally. If that is too difficult, Congress needs to work together to improve America’s immigration policies.

The article concludes:

“In November of 2020, we had less than 800 in our CBP facilities,” he said. “Now the number is 10,000 and growing every day.”

The humanity of incentivizing illegal immigration is also concerning, Morgan said.

“What is humane about a United States actively participating in encouraging, facilitating illegal immigration, where independent studies have showed up to 30% of them are abused on their way up here, they’re traveled through COVID hotspots?” Morgan asked.

“They’re shoved in overcrowded, unsanitary stash houses and tractor trailers, left in the middle of the Rio Grande and desert environment by the coyotes to fend for themselves and they often die or have to be rescued by the Border Patrol. How is that humane? And the answer is, it’s not.”

This was a totally avoidable crisis.

The Truth Eventually Comes Out

John Solomon posted an article at Just the News today that details some of the recent court decisions involving questionable practices that were instituted during the 2020 election.

The article reports on activities in a number of battleground states:

The latest ruling came this month in Michigan, where the State Court of Claims concluded that Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s instructions on signature verification for absentee ballots violated state law.

…In neighboring Wisconsin, the state Supreme Court handed down a significant ruling in December when the justices concluded that state and local election officials erred when they gave blanket permission allowing voters to declare themselves homebound and skip voter ID requirements in the 2020 elections.

In a case challenging the practice in Dane County, one of Wisconsin’s large urban centers around the city of Madison, the state’s highest court ruled that only those voters whose “own age, physical illness or infirmity” makes them homebound could declare themselves “indefinitely confined” and avoid complying with a requirement for photo ID.

…Meanwhile in Virginia, a judge in January approved a consent decree permanently banning the acceptance of ballots without postmarks after Election Day, concluding that instructions from the Virginia Department of Elections to the contrary in 2020 had violated state law. An electoral board member in Frederick County challenged the legality of the state’s instruction and won though the ruling came after the election.

The article concludes:

Several more legal challenges remain in states, as well as two audits/investigations of voting machine logs that are pending in Georgia and Arizona. And while there has been no proof the elections were impacted by widespread fraud, there are still significant disputes over whether rule changes and absentee ballot procedures in key swing states may have been unlawful.

In addition, the Thomas More Society’s Amistad Project on election integrity is pursuing litigation over whether hundreds of millions of dollars donated by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and routed to local election officials in several battleground states may have unlawfully influenced the election, according to the project’s director, Phill Kline.

“We’re expanding our litigation,” Kline told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Wednesday. “I still have suits that are active in Michigan and Georgia on this, and you’ll see us take new action in Wisconsin. And we will renew action in Pennsylvania. And, and our involvement in Arizona will take a little bit of a different tack, but will involve this. The Arizona legislature is going to do an audit and we want this within the scope.”

There is some value in the lawsuits being pursued–hopefully they will put states on notice not to be involved in similar actions in the future. Assuming that we manage to stop HR1 in Congress (a law that will end any common sense regulations on voting), these lawsuits provide a template for filing whatever lawsuits are necessary to preserve election integrity in the next election. The lawsuits just need to be filed well in advance of the election (as soon as election laws are violated).

Hidden Inside The Covid Relief Bill

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about the tax increases hidden in the recently passed Covid Relief Bill.

The article reports:

There is more than $57 billion worth of hidden tax increases in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, Just the News has learned.

The final version of the legislation expands the number of employees who are covered by the $1 million limitation on the deductibility of executive compensation.

According to National Law Review, section 162(m) of the tax code “generally prohibits a public company from deducting more than $1 million in compensation paid to a current or former covered employee in a taxable year,” and under current law “the covered employees are the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and the three other highest compensated officers for the taxable year.”

The executive compensation deduction change in the stimulus bill covers 5 more of a company’s highest paid employees.

“TCJA [Tax Cuts and Jobs Act] included such a limit, but Dems essentially doubled it to make it more draconian,” a House Ways and Means Committee minority spokesperson said. “Dems are under no illusions that their bill is about growth, so them putting a cap on executive pay is just political messaging.”

A $500,000 limit on the amount of losses that “passthrough corporations” can use to get liquidity is also tucked inside the bill, according to a Joint Committee on Taxation document obtained by Just the News.

The Joint Committee on Taxation spokesman also noted that the above provision that the Democrats have ended was what allowed small businesses to get the fast tax refunds from the IRS that kept many of them alive during the lockdowns.

The article continues:

Another tax provision in the stimulus, the second largest rescue package in U.S. history, involves new limitations on the interest expenses that multinational corporations can deduct on tax returns.

This change makes doing business in America less attractive and will return us to the days when American corporations moved overseas.

Aside from the cost of the Covid Relief bill, it is a bill that will stifle the growth of the American economy. That growth would have at least provided some of the money needed to fund the bill. We are headed back to the days of very slow economic growth or no growth at all.

This Needs To Be Investigated In All States Where The Policy Was Put In Place

Just the News is reporting the following today:

A Michigan county prosecutor on Thursday laid out his effort to review Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s policies on COVID health-safety policies on nursing homes, in response to a high number of deaths in such facilities over roughly the past year.

An estimated 5,537 people have died in long-term care facilities in the state since the pandemic started about a year ago, which is about 35 percent of all COVID-related deaths in Michigan over that time period. 

Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido said he’s effectively reviving a roughly 68-year-old review board, formed to protect children, to look into Whitmer’s policies.

Good governance is a matter of life and death. That has been proven in the past year–Florida probably has one of the highest elderly populations in the country and yet managed the virus very well. They protected the elderly and pretty much let the rest of the population go on with their business. Many of the states led by Democrats locked down their states but sent coronavirus patients into nursing homes where the most vulnerable residents of their state lived.

The article notes:

Lucido, following up on statements Monday calling on residents to ask for medical records of family members who died in a nursing home, then file a police report. He said Thursday that residents should give local law enforcement such information as when and where the death occurred. He also said the name of the attending physician should be included.

He said earlier that his efforts have been slowed by such records are protected under so-called HIPAA laws that protect patient information.

Whitmer said amid complaints that her administration has not been forthcoming with data related to virus deaths in nursing homes told a local TV station: “I’m proud of the work that we did. We can parse through different angles of statistics and compare ourselves with other states but … I think that it sometimes can be a fool’s errand because the way that we are congregating data varies from state to state. When there’s never a national strategy, (it’s) hard to really compare apples to apples.”

It is possible that the Governors in the states that sent coronavirus patients into nursing homes did not understand the risk. However, when the risk became apparent, the policies should have been quickly changed. Governor’s who did not change their policy after it became obvious what was happening need to be removed from office.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Right now I am part of a book study of the book, The 5000 Year Leap. The book deals with the progress made by mankind after the principles of liberty were put in place that allowed men to be free and to prosper according to their efforts. These are the principles that result in the survival of a republic. The first principle cited as a principle of freedom is the concept on Natural Law. One of the principles of Natural Law is justice by reparation, or paying for damages.  Under Natural Law, a criminal who stole something would have to make restitution to the person he stole from. Unfortunately our current justice system does not do that–if the thief is put in jail, the victim pays his room and board in addition to whatever loss he suffered. Congress, in their infinite wisdom, has recently made that system worse.

Just the News reported the following today:

The Senate recently approved the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package which includes $1,400 checks for eligible individuals, but some lawmakers are displeased that prisoners will also receive the monetary payments.

The package, which cleared the Senate on a party-line vote Saturday, must still be approved by the House prior to heading to President Biden’s desk, but according to Fox News inmates will be able to receive the individual payments under the legislation, as they were under prior coronavirus relief bills that included $1,200 and $600 payments for eligible individuals.

“The IRS had tried to withhold stimulus checks from incarcerated individuals, but a court forced their hand to offer the checks in October,” Fox reported. “There was nothing written in the previous two relief bills or the one passed Saturday against inmates receiving checks.”

The article continues:

GOP Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas offered an amendment to the current stimulus bill to bar federal and state prisoners from getting a payment, but the amendment failed on a tight 50-49 vote, according to Fox News. Cassidy’s press release indicated that the proposal would have saved taxpayers about $1.9 billion.

“Prisoners have all their living and medical expenses paid for by the taxpayer,” Cassidy said during remarks about the proposed amendment. “They don’t pay taxes. They don’t contribute to the tax base. They can’t be unemployed. In other words, inmates are not economically impacted by COVID, and inmates cannot stimulate the economy. But under this bill, Democrats are giving prisoners, again sometimes incarcerated for heinous crimes, a $1,400 stimulus check.”

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois argued against the amendment, saying that it would “cause harm to the families of incarcerated individuals.” 

There is nothing I can add to that last remark!

Words Matter

We have routinely heard the events at the Capitol on January 6th described as an armed insurrection. That has been the narrative of the mainstream media. However, it seems that there is a basic problem with that narrative.

Just the News posted an article yesterday about the Congressional hearings regarding the event.

The article reports:

No firearms were recovered on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 during the riot, and no shots were fired by the demonstrators, an FBI official on Wednesday told Congress.

“To my knowledge we have not recovered any [firearms] on that day from any of the arrests at the scene at this point,” said Jill Sanborn, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “No one has been charged with a firearms violation.”

Sanborn made her comments during a joint oversight hearing in the Senate to examine the breach of the U.S. Capitol. In addition to Sanborn, witnesses included the commander of the Washington, D.C. National Guard, and civilian officials from the Pentagon.

During testimony, Sanborn responded to questions from Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who asked whether firearms were present or used during the siege.

“How many shots were fired that we know of?” Johnson asked.

“The only shots fired were the ones that resulted in the death of the one lady,” Sanborn said, referencing Ashli Babbitt, a protester who was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer during heightened tension inside the building.

The article also notes:

Other testimony examined the timeline of when the National Guard was dispatched to help an overwhelmed civilian police force during the siege on the Capitol.

The National Guard was dispatched to the riot more than three hours after Capitol Police made a desperate call for help with a “dire emergency,” a two-star general testified Wednesday before Congress.

Major Gen. William Walker, who commands the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the 1:49 p.m. call for help from the guard on Jan. 6 was approved in a message that reached him after 5 p.m. At that point, troops who were waiting on buses sped to the Capitol, and helped to secure a perimeter, Walker said.

There is something very wrong with both the actions of a few people on January 6th and the response to the events both as they unfolded and later. There is no reason that the area around our nation’s Capitol Building should look like the green zone in Baghdad.

Rules For Thee But Not For Me

Just the News posted an article today that should give the parents of school children pause.

The article reports:

A California teachers union president who has opposed reopening public school over COVID health-safety concerns was recently seen on video dropping off daughter off at a private preschool.

The video was posted on Twitter by the group GuerillaMomz on Feb. 27. The video shows Matt Meyer, president of the Berkley Federation of Teachers, dropping off his daughter at the school.

“Meet Matt Meyer. A white man with dreads and president of the local teachers’ union. He’s been saying it is unsafe for *your kid* to be back at school, all the while dropping his kid off at private school,” the group writes on the post.

Mr. Meyer explained that there were no public options for children his daughter’s age. He failed to note that all the public schools were closed because the Teachers’ Union has refused to allow them to open. If preschool is safe for his daughter and her teachers, why isn’t kindergarten safe for other children and their teachers?

The Censors At Amazon Are Censoring Any Books They Deem Offensive

There is a whole lot of offensive material out in our society that no one is censoring, so why has Amazon taken it upon themselves to censor anything that they find offensive? First of all, who defines offensive? Well, that seems to be the problem.

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about Amazon’s censorship. Amazon has some interesting ideas about what needs to be censored.

The article reports:

For example, a popular documentary on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was banned from their streaming service this past week. Before that move, the company deplatformed conservative Ryan Anderson’s book critical of gender theory, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement.”

When Just the News reached out to Amazon over the ban on Anderson’s book, the outlet said the company directed them to a page outlining their “Content Guidelines for Books.” Under a section labeled “Offensive Content,” Amazon states that they “don’t sell certain content including content that we determine is hate speech, promotes the abuse or sexual exploitation of children, contains pornography, glorifies rape or pedophilia, advocates terrorism, or other material we deem inappropriate or offensive.”

“A review of those policies suggests that sometime in the last few months Amazon made a major change to the ways in which it moderates book content on its servers, imposing a much stricter standard on books than it had previously done,” the report said. It appears the company recently added so-called “hate speech” to their guidelines on book platforming and is amping up their censorship of the “offensive.”

The article notes an observation by Daily Wire podcast host and conservative author Matt Walsh that if Amazon bans conservative books (which is the direction they are going), publishers won’t publish them due to the lack of marketing outlets. This will abolish half of the political debate in America.

The article notes:

“When a company controls over 83% of the market for books, it begins the process of deleting ideas from a society,” the author argued. “A bookseller can sell whatever it wants. If ‘Marxist Books’ wants to only sell books that conform to its ideology, OK; that has integrity.”

“But this is the ‘world’s largest bookseller.’ Amazon can basically make books disappear for *all readers* — and does so on a blatantly dishonest basis. Under guise of removing ‘inappropriate’ content, they will really be removing ideas they disfavor,” she added.

Amazon has not banned books that speak favorably about transgender teenagers. This is not about objectionable material–it is about promoting a particular point of view–politically and socially.

Hopefully There Are Some People In Congress With Common Sense

Just the News is reporting that West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senator Susan Collins have both stated that they will vote against the confirmation of President Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget – Neera Tanden. I need to say here that generally I believe an elected President is entitled to his picks for his cabinet, but some of President Biden’s picks are well outside the political mainstream.

The article reports:

Tanden is president of the liberal public policy research and advocacy group Center for American Progress, founded by former President Clinton chief of staff John Podesta.

Her statement also echoed Manchin’s concerns: “Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency. Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.”

Collins also pointed out that Taden’ decision to delete more than a thousand tweets in the days before her nomination was announced “raises concerns about her commitment to transparency.”

Said Manchin: “I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”

Manchin’s “no” vote means Senate Democrats need at least one Republican to vote in favor of Tanden to get her nomination through the chamber.

Unfortunately there may actually be a least one squishy Republican who will vote for her confirmation.

What Failed?

The snow and cold in Texas has been a disaster. That part of the country is simply not prepared for that kind of weather. I’m not even sure that New England, where I spent 45 years, would handle this situation well. Now it’s time to look at why the power went out, the water went out, etc. Admittedly, this was a hundred-year storm, but as those of us who live in hurricane zones know, you have to prepare for the hundred-year storm, regardless of what form it arrives in.

Just the News posted an article today citing some of the statistics that led to the epic failure of the power grid in Texas. There was failure in all areas of energy generation, but some were greater than others. Please follow the link to read the entire article.

The article reports:

A statewide blame game has accompanied the crisis, with numerous industries and commentators alleging that, variously, wind, solar, natural gas and coal failed to meet the surge in heating demand accompanying the cold snap. Yet federal data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration indicate that, of the state’s major energy sources, wind experienced the sharpest drop-off in energy production

The plunge in temperatures led to both a surge in heating demand and the concomitant power outages. Data from the EIA show that at nearly the exact same time demand was surging and energy grids were buckling, wind energy experienced a catastrophic drop-off: In the evening of Feb. 14, wind in the state was producing just over 9,000 MWh of energy, while 24 hours later it was putting out less than 800 MWh, a roughly 91% decrease in output.

Virtually every other energy industry in the state also saw decreased output over the same time period amid record demand, yet none saw as steep a decrease as did wind power. Natural gas, the state’s largest source of energy, saw a 23% decline in output, as did coal, the second-largest source. Nuclear, which competes with wind for third place, dropped 26%.

Texas has come to rely increasingly on wind power in recent years. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts said last August that the state’s usage of wind power has “more than quadrupled” since 2009, with wind rising to supply 20% of the state’s total energy needs in 2019. Coal power, meanwhile, declined from 37% of the state’s electricity generation in 2009 to 20% in 2019. 

The article concludes:

The natural gas losses could also be partly explained by wind production having plummeted so steeply in the initial cold snap and remained at low levels in subsequent days while natural gas rates remained relatively elevated. With natural gas producing so much more KWh relative to other fuels, it stands to reason that its role now in ongoing outages would likewise be disproportionately large.

A 30-day review of energy production in Texas shows that, while natural gas and wind energy were at times neck-and-neck in production rates throughout January and into mid-February, natural gas production skyrocketed following the cold snap while wind plummeted. 

Natural gas energy output in Texas hit a high on Feb. 15 before declining sharply in the following days, yet it still remained over 400% higher than it was on Feb. 7, compared to an overall 83% decrease in wind output.

The lesson here is that green energy always needs good back-up.

There Will Be No Consequences, But The Truth Does Matter

Slowly but surely, documents from the Russian Hoax are being declassified. These documents tell a story that is very different from the one told to Congress by the people involved. Unfortunately, most of the bureaucrats who lied under oath to Congress will probably never be held accountable for their lies.

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about a recent document that was declassified.

The article reports:

The very day in January 2017 that then-FBI Director James Comey signed a FISA surveillance warrant application declaring content from Christopher Steele’s dossier had been “verified,” he wrote President Obama’s outgoing intelligence community chief with a very different assessment of the British spy’s intelligence on Russia collusion, a newly released memo shows.

“We are not able to sufficiently corroborate the reporting,” Comey wrote in a Jan. 12, 2017 email to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that was declassified and made public through an open records lawsuit by the Southeastern Legal Foundation.

The memo recounts an internal debate inside the U.S. intelligence community during one of the most delicate moments in the FBI’s then six-month old Crossfire Hurricane probe.

CIA officials had already informed Comey’s FBI that the target of the FISA warrant, Carter Page, wasn’t a Russian spy but rather an asset helping U.S. intelligence. The bureau had received warnings about Steele and the reliability of his source network, including that it might have been compromised by Russian disinformation. Agents had also just recommended on Jan. 4, 2017 shutting down the probe’s inquiry into incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lack of evidence.

The FBI had been warned the previous summer that Hillary Clinton’s campaign may have planted the false Russia collusion story as a way to “vilify” Trump and distract from her email scandal, and agents were about to interview Steele’s primary sub-source, who would discount much of the information in the dossier attributed to him as bar talk and unconfirmed rumor not worthy of official intelligence.

The article concludes:

The FBI also failed to disclose to the FISA judge that the source known as Person 1 was under a separate counterintelligence investigation by the FBI, the IG report footnotes show.

In fact on Jan. 12, 2017, the very day Comey signed the FISA and engaged with Clapper, the FBI had received clear warnings in a report that some of Steele’s dossier information about Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was “part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations,” according to another declassified footnote from the IG report.

In other words, Comey’s representations to Clapper and sworn avowals of verification to the FISA court had already been directly undercut by his bureau’s own evidence.

Unfortunately I have no doubt that the illegal surveillance of American citizens is continuing under the Biden administration. Because there were no consequences under the Obama administration for these actions, there really is no incentive to end the illegal behavior.

 

When You Don’t Have The Evidence, Make It Up!

I haven’t written a lot about the impeachment farce currently going on in Washington because, frankly, I don’t think it is worth my time. It won’t change anyone’s mind or opinion about Donald Trump, and if the truth is told, it will probably damage the Democrat party. It seems as if the evidence the House Impeachment Managers have been presenting is not all accurate. Videos are edited, quotes are edited, and even Tweets are shown in a way that is misleading.

Just the News posted an article yesterday about one incident.

The article reports:

The author of a tweet introduced by Democrats at the Senate impeachment trial said Thursday her statement “we are bringing the Calvary” was a clear reference to a prayer vigil organized by churchgoers supporting Trump and not a call for military-like violence at the Capitol riot as portrayed by Rep. Eric Swalwell.

Jennifer Lynn Lawrence also said she believes the California Democrat and House impeachment manager falsified her tweet, adding a blue check mark to the version he introduced at the trial suggesting she was a verified Twitter user with more clout when in fact her Twitter account never had a blue check and has never been verified.

“I noticed when they put my tweet on the screen that all of a sudden my tweet had a blue checkmark next to it,” she said during an interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast. “… This way, if he entered that into congressional testimony, it’s a verified account, and it has, it could be applicable in law. Secondly, he wanted to show that my Twitter account had more gravitas than it actually did. He wanted to show that the president was trying to use me to bring in the cavalry.”

The person who introduced the Tweet as evidence evidently was not up on his/her spelling:

Lawrence, a Christian conservative activist and former Breitbart writer, said her tweet on Jan. 3 carefully chose the religious word “Calvary” — which means a public display of Christ’s crucifixion — as a reference to a prayer vigil they were hosting in Washington, and Swalwell distorted it to convey she was organizing a military cavalry, which is spelled differently and means a military brigade on horses.

That seems like a significant distinction.

The article concudes:

Lawrence’s account was backed up by a Christian church pastor, Brian Gibson, who was accompanying Lawrence and other activists on their trip to Washington at the time she wrote the tweet.

“I was sitting on the bus, and I saw Calvary come through,” Gibson told Just the News. “I went back to them, and specifically said, ‘Hey, guys, you spelt Calvary wrong, right?’ This is what I do for a living. I’m a preacher of the gospel. I’m a theology major, so that jumped off the page at me, and words matter, and I want them to be correct. And she said, ‘No pastor, I meant it. We meant to write Calvary like that. Because we were standing up for God, preaching the gospel. We have you ministers here that are going to be praying and leading people to Christ. And so that’s what that’s what we mean.”

Gibson, a religious freedom advocate, said he believes Swalwell badly served the trial, the country and Lawrence by falsely interpreting her meaning without checking,

“We’ve all learned a lesson in due diligence here, giving someone the benefit of the doubt,” he said. “And I think what we’re seeing, John, is a political witch hunt, where people have not crossed their t’s, dotted their i’s. And it’s the wrong way for some of our highest elected officials in the land to behave themselves. So I’m praying for Jennifer, I’m praying for everybody that has been put in harm’s way by this reckless behavior.”

I suspect the Swalwell was not the only Democrat who bought into the various lies included in the highly edited evidence brought forth in the trial.