Impeachment Inquiry: "Extreme Politics at Its Worst"
Ian Sams, special assistant to the president and senior advisor to the White House Counsel's Office, labeled House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif) decision to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden "extreme politics at its worst. There's no evidence the President has done anything wrong. It's persecution of an innocent man."
McCarthy pointed out "there is a video of Joe Biden bragging about using his status as vice-president to extort the firing of the Ukraine prosecutor who was investigating the company that was paying Hunter a million dollars a year to serve on its board of directors. There's Hunter's laptop where he complains about having to give half his income to his Dad. In direct contradiction of Joe's insistence that he has 'never, not once' discussed business with his son, witnesses have testified that Joe participated in numerous business meetings--some in the vice-president's official residence--with Hunter and his business partners. Clearly, these discrepancies need to be investigated."
Sams pounced on McCarthy's remarks, saying "all of these allegations pertain to actions taken while Joe was vice-president. Any charges for bribes and abuse of authority that may have been committed should have been lodged against Vice-President Biden. Since he is no longer in that office, the charges are now moot. Sensible Republicans like former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark) agree there is no evidence against President Biden."
Sams went on to write letters to CNN, the New York Times, the Associated Press and Fox news urging them "not to give GOP lies about the President coverage they don't deserve. Allowing 'both sides' to have a say is lazy journalism and a threat to our democracy. Only by purging the airwaves of misinformation can the truth have a chance to make it through to the American people."
CNN's Annie Grayer, Marshall Cohen, and Daniel Dale's "fact check" of McCarthy's claims found several of them to be true: (1) Biden family members and associates received $20 million through a complex web of shell companies; (2) Joe Biden attended dinners and participated in conference calls with Hunter's business associates; (3) there are dozens of suspicious activity reports filed about Biden family member financial transactions; and (4) Joe Biden's denials of any business-related contact with his son are false.
Not Paying Ransom to Iran
White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby explained that "the $6 billion given to Iran as part of a deal for a prisoner exchange was not ransom. We are just allowing Iran access to funds they couldn't access before. Furthermore, this money can only be used by them for specified discreet and targeted purposes. We are still holding Iran accountable for mistreating its own citizens, attacking shipping, supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and aiding and abetting terrorists."
Former President Trump called this "a terrible deal. We gave them five very tough, smart terrorists that they desperately wanted. We got back five hostages. But, we also gave them $6 billion." Trump went on to assert that "this is further proof of Biden's incompetence to handle the job of president."
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Tex) called the deal "foolishly naive. The Biden Administration is demonstrating weakness that only further endangers Americans and freedom-loving people around the world."
Secretary of State Antony Blinken rebuffed GOP criticism, calling it "an unacceptable attempt to subvert the President's constitutionally unilateral authority over foreign policy. They ignore the very strong language of the agreement that limits Iran to using the funds only for humanitarian purposes."
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi denied agreeing to any conditions on how the $6 billion will be spent, saying "we shall spend it however we please. The American negotiators may imagine they can tie our hands, but once again we have outsmarted them. This money will go a long way toward funding more train derailments, forest fires, and hostage capturing missions. Ridding the world of Allah's enemies is the most important humanitarian purpose."
Migrant Influx Crushing NYC
Since he is not getting the help he feels entitled to from fellow Democrats at the state or federal level to deal with the flood of migrants flocking to his "sanctuary city," New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced cuts to most of the city's other spending. Agency heads have been instructed to "slash spending by a minimum of 15%"--a goal they unanimously consider "impossible."
Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) blamed President Biden for the crisis, saying "immigration is a federal responsibility. While the goal to increase the immigration of future Democrat voters into the country is admirable, sticking local governments with the bill is not. If I were still governor I'd march down to Washington and demand that the President provide the funding needed to support this goal."
Cuomo also demanded "a crackdown on the red-state Republicans who are busing migrants to blue-state cities. This dilutes the long-term political objective of our Party's invitation for these migrants to come to America. The taxpayers shouldn't be forced to pay for this. Gov. Abbott (R-Tex) should. If he refuses to pay, the Department of Justice should indict him for obstructing the federal government's border policy."
Neither Adams nor Cuomo appear to comprehend what the citizens of New York City think about the Democrat Party's policies on this issue. On Friday, a press conference Democrats held outside the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan was swarmed by people demanding that they "close the border" and "send them back." "We can't afford to pay for these invaders to live in hotels and eat for free," said one angry protester. "Democrats are destroying our city."
Presidential Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre rejected blame for New York City's problems. "Not everything that goes wrong is President Biden's fault," she said. "Local governments are the ones responsible for the well-being of their residents. If they don't want to take care of these migrants they shouldn't call themselves 'sanctuary cities.' They could just put unwelcome migrants on buses and send them somewhere else. That would be less costly than the $10,000 per migrant, per month New York is currently paying to feed and house them."
Yellen "Feeling Very Good" About Economy
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen contrasted "the robust US economy that has characterized President Biden's two plus years in office with the dismal Trump years. The lockdowns cost tens of millions their livelihoods. Businesses were ordered shuttered. Many laid off employees others went bankrupt. In the summer of 2020 the unemployment rate was 14%. Now it is less than 4%. Bidenomics has surpassed MAGAnomics by a wide margin. This is quite a feather in the President's cap."
From a different perspective, the economy doesn't look as good as Yellen says it is. The inflation injected into our economy by Biden's spending binge means that what could be bought for $857 in January of 2021 now costs $1,000. More than 60% now live paycheck to paycheck. To cope, many are working longer hours, reducing their standard of living, using credit cards, or dipping into retirement savings. Credit card debt--the kind that typically has an interest rate of over 20%--has surged from $743.5 billion in early 2021 to today's $1.031 trillion. Working more to stay in place or accepting a lower standard of living are a consequence of Bidenomics. The touted 3.8% unemployment rate doesn't account for discouraged workers. Accounting for these puts the current unemployment rate at 6%.
Nonetheless, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Bidenomics "as impressive an accomplishment as I've seen by a president since Bill was in office. Any Democrat who helped enact the Biden agenda should be proud to run for reelection. As more and more voters come to recognize what he has accomplished, I expect President Biden to win by a bigger margin than he did in 2020, especially if he adds a more credible successor like myself to the ticket as his VP running mate."
Bribes Used to Conceal Covid Origin
A CIA whistleblower's testimony to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (HSSCP) and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) asserted that "six of the seven officers the CIA assigned to the Covid Discovery Team to ascertain the origins of the virus concluded that the virus likely came from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. These six were offered a significant monetary incentive to change their position."
HSSCP Chairman Brad Wenstrup and HPSCI Chairman Mike Turner sent a letter to CIA Director William Burns asking him to address this issue. While Burns, himself, did not respond, CIA spokesperson Tammy Kupperman Thorp did, saying that "at CIA we are committed to the highest standards of analytic rigor, integrity, and objectivity. We do not pay analysts to reach specific conclusions. While the Covid Discovery Team ultimately reported that the origins of the virus could not be determined, there is no evidence that they were bribed to reach this conclusion. What the so-called whistleblower construed as bribes were the normal performance bonuses the Agency offers for good work."
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) found Thorp's reply "unconvincing" and demanded to see "all documents and communications regarding the COVID Discovery Team on the origins of covid and all documents and communications regarding the awarding of any type of financial bonus to any members of this Team."
Thorp disputed the "need for the data that Sen. Paul is requesting. Disclosing the information he is seeking could have a negative effect on the confidence the American people place in the CIA. Additionally, a statement attributing the origin of the covid virus to a bio-weapons lab in China, even if couched as 'likely,' could also dramatically disturb the tenuous truce between our two nations. I can see no benefit and a lot of disadvantage from even hinting that covid didn't arise randomly from natural evolutionary sources."
In related news, a panel of three judges on the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that "three doctors slandered by the FDA for treating covid patients with Ivermectin could sue for damages. Therapies employing FDA approved drugs for off-label uses is legal. The FDA exceeded its authority by ordering the doctors to 'stop it' and seeking to damage their reputation as physicians if they didn't obey."
EV Fails Top Bureaucrat
This week, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm's four-day electric vehicle (EV) road trip turned out to be more difficult than expected. The trip was intended to tout the Biden Administration's program to mandate EVs as the wave of the future. But difficulties finding charging stations and the long time it takes to "fill up" with electricity proved irritating, both to the Secretary and other EV owners competing for the limited spaces at a roadside charging station.
A particularly embarrassing incident occurred in Georgia where members of Granholm's staff had used an internal combustion engine car to reserve a charging space for her vehicle when it arrived. A family traveling in their own EV called the local police to deal with this obstruction. Unfortunately, Georgia has no law prohibiting non-EVs from parking in a charging space.
Granholm, a bit miffed by the incident, pointed out that "ultimately we were vindicated. As an officer of the federal government I should have the right to secure my access to whatever I need over any private person's desire to use that same facility. To make me wait would impede the efficiency of the government. Unlike the man who called the cops on my staff, I serve all of the American people, not just myself."
Granholm also defended the relatively frequent charging failure rate, calling it "a normal growing pain for a new technology. The odds of getting a charge are 80%. That means only one-in-five EV drivers will be inconvenianced on average. We don't have data on the frequency of fueling problems at the dawn of the internal combustion engine, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were more frequent than 20%."
California Voters Oppose Reparations
A UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll found that 59% of voters oppose cash payments to Blacks as reparations for the slavery suffered by their ancestors. This is twice as many as the 28% who support such payments. Forty percent are strongly opposed to these payments.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers who created the California's Reparations Assistance Project (CRAP) expressed dismay that "our efforts to atone for the great evils inflicted by slavery don't seem to have inspired the level of guilt necessary to garner the kind of public support we wanted to see."
State Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), who served on the CRAP, blamed the lack of support on "the miseducation of most Americans when it comes to slavery and the impact that it had on this country and the impact that it still has on African-Americans today."
A poll respondent attributed the lack of support to "woke fatigue. The real victims of slavery died long ago. Their descendants living today have already been the beneficiaries of significant efforts to better their condition. Discrimination based on race has been outlawed. Affirmative action programs aimed at elevating Blacks in proportion to their percentage of the population have been in effect for decades. Trillions of dollars have been spent to aid the poorest of those among them. Yet, the claim that whites are all inherently racist is louder than ever. It's clear to me that the demands for money will never be satisfied. Maybe each Black should just do the best he or she can for themselves and stop whining."
Newsom lamented that "obviously, we haven't made as much progress as I had hoped we would. I suppose that the lack of a history of whites being enslaved by Blacks blinds so many to the brutality of the practice. Fortunately, the wiser among us don't have to be stymied by lack of popular support for reparations. Democrats are the majority in our legislature and have the power to do the right thing regardless of what the voters want."
Gov Cancels Right to Bear Arms
This week, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) declared guns to be a public health emergency and banned anyone in the state from carrying a firearm. Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen announced that "neither I nor any of my deputies will enforce Grisham's unconstitutional ban on concealed and open carry of firearms."
The Governor rebuffed Allen, saying that "I don't need a lecture on constitutionality from the Sheriff. What I need is action. What we need is for leaders to stand up for the victims of violent crime. We need law enforcement, district attorneys, public officials, school leaders and state agencies to use every single tool at their disposal to stop this violence. Period."
New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez joined the Sheriff in opposition to the Governor's order. "I cannot defend the governor's public health order on firearms. I do not believe it passes constitutional muster. The right of self-defense is a human right that cannot be so easily jettisoned by a single government official."
US District Court Judge David Urias said "the governor's 30-day suspension of concealed and open firearm carry rights goes against recent US Supreme Court rulings and violates the rights of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves."
Dozens of people gathered in Albuquerque to show their support for the right to bear arms. One of them was Alicia Otero, whose son was killed in 2021, she said "I blame the shooter! Not the gun! I'm here because I'm against gun violence and I've been crying to our governor to make changes and to hold the offenders accountable and now that she made this new order, it's unfair to us because we're scared. After things like this happened, we need to protect ourselves and now she's taking that away from us."
The Governor did receive some sympathy from faux Indian Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) who argued that "our mayors and our governors have the hardest job in the world right now when it comes to gun violence because an extremist US Supreme Court has prevented them from enacting good policies like completely banning carrying guns. It's the only sane option because if guns were outlawed, outlaws couldn't legally have guns."
In response to a week of widespread opposition to her unconstitutional edict, the Governor amended her ban. It now only prohibits children from carrying firearms in public parks and playgrounds. "I don't think anyone can argue with me on this," she said. "Public parks and playgrounds are government property over which I have a right to rule and I'm sure that the men who wrote and approved the Second Amendment never intended it to apply to children."
Crime Surge in Democrat-Run Cities
In Washington DC many are afraid to leave their homes during the day because of fear of being assaulted, robbed, raped, or murdered. Murders are up by 29% since last year. Armed robberies are up by 67%. Ronald Moten who was arrested in the 1990s for selling crack, said "you used to not have to worry about crime unless you were associated with the streets, with drug dealing. Now you could just be going down the street, going to the car and you can be killed."
In California, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price slammed Oakland residents who have been complaining that crime is too high, calling them "racists who don't understand their obligations to their duly elected government officials. We don't need their criticisms and protests. We need their obedience and their taxes. I ran for office on a progressive platform of restorative justice. This means allowing those who are owed reparations to take them from the whites who have oppressed them since this country was founded in 1619."
In Oregon, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) is severely under-staffed and experiencing lengthy response times for crimes in progress. On high-priority calls it takes more than 20 minutes to get an officer to the scene. On medium-priority calls it takes more than 50 minutes and on low-priority calls more than 90 minutes. Mayor Ted Wheeler admitted that "the statistics are alarming, but they're not going to divert us from our commitment to decriminalize crimes against property because the current distribution of wealth is so blatantly unfair."
In Illinois, theft has driven so many privately owned grocery stores out of business that Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson wants to open city-owned stores. He says he is confident that "we can eliminate the theft problem by eliminating the requirement that customers pay for the food they need. Since all the food will be free no one will have to steal it. Hunger will be abolished and operating costs will be reduced by getting rid of the labor required to set prices and collect payments. The only labor that will be needed is to stock shelves and help customers load their groceries into their SUVs."