Things that seem to be killing America

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The death of marriage is killing America

The Daily Wire outlines the way the decline of marriage has been killing America.

In the immediate aftermath of the 2022 midterm elections — a shocking overperformance by Democratic candidates given the fact that Republicans won the national popular vote by upwards of 4.5 percent — President Joe Biden celebrated with his followers. One group in particular, he said, ought to receive credit for the Democratic victory: women. “As I said,” Biden rambled, “women in America made their voices heard, man. I said last year one of the most extraordinary things about the Dobbs decision is what was about to challenge American women when the justice said they have it in their power to basically say let’s see what they’re going to do. Well, guess what? Y’all showed up and beat the hell out of them.”

Buried in this garbled syntax was the genuine kernel of a point: Democrats’ victory was achieved largely on the back of female votes. But not all female votes — one particular type of female votes: those of single women. According to an Edison Research Network Exit Poll, married men voted Republican at a 59-39 percent clip; married women voted Republican 56-42; unmarried men voted 52-45; and unmarried women voted Democrat at a rate of 68-31.

This makes single women a more reliably Democratic voter bloc than Asian-Americans (58 percent Democrat) or Hispanic-Americans (61 percent Democrat). They’re also a far larger voter bloc than either: there are about 41.8 million never married women in the United States, another 15.1 million divorced women in the United States, and some 11.6 million widowed women in the United States. While single women vote at a lower rate than married women, they vote as a political bloc — and as they grow as a percentage of the population, this would make them the single most powerful political bloc in America.

And their constituency is growing. As marriage scholar Brad Wilcox points out, marriage rates have dropped more than 60 percent since 1970, and fertility rate is down to 1.7. The conclusion: “more than a third of today’s young adults will never marry, and about one quarter will never have children.” And generation upon generation, the percentage of girls who will marry is dropping.

The death of marriage in America is part of a broader narrative about the death of marriage in the West. America still has the highest marriage rate among other Western countries other than Hungary and Israel – but the marriage rate among all Western countries has declined markedly over the course of the last century.

So, what happened?

What Marriage Meant

To understand why so many fewer people are getting married, we must begin with a simple fact: the very definition of marriage has changed dramatically over the course of the last century. Marriage was, for nearly all of human history, predominantly built around child-bearing and child-rearing; as the Bible suggested in Genesis 1 and 2, a man would leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they would become one flesh; by doing so, human beings would be fruitful and multiply.

This was not merely normative — it was descriptive of the natural state of mankind. Virtually every known human culture has socially-approved marriage — the joining of a man and a woman. Historically speaking, many cultures showed tolerance for polygamy; almost none showed tolerance for polyandry. This is because even polygamy functions on the basis of a single man and a single woman procreating and a child being raised in the context of that dyad; the fact that the man might have several such relationships with women does not obliterate the fact that each individual dyad is indeed a dyad. There is no known culture historically that treated male-male or female-female dyads as on a societal plane with male-female couplings.

Because marriage was built around the idea of family formation, this meant that the chief attribute of marriage was duty; family was not a “voluntary association.” As historian Gertrude Himmelfarb states:

It has been a “given” of life, an immutable fact, starting before birth (in the lives of parents and grandparents) and persisting after death (in the lives of children and grandchildren). Because the family has had this involuntary, mandatory character, it has also been assumed to have the authority to carry out its primary functions: the rearing and socializing of children and the caring for its weakest and most vulnerable members, the old and the young.

(Read more at the Daily Wire)

Now we face the Respect for Marriage Act that criminalizes dissent of gay marriage by private citizens

With the Supreme Court’s decision to use the Obergefell versus Hodges case to override the Church and the decisions of 26 state legislatures that codified Defense of Marriage laws, the Left again used the courts as a bludgeon to force all of us into conformity with its agenda. 

Now, with a previous bludgeon having failed in the courts (that being Roe), the still-Democrat-controlled Senate had 12 traitorous Republicans provide their support to a bill that will make it illegal for private citizens to not provide assent to the gay agenda. Therefore, the Jack PhilipsMelissa KleinElaine HugueninBarronelle Stutzman, and a number of other Christians will find that their lives have been made illegal by waffling politicians.

I say “now;” however, there is still time to head this off at the pass. This bill has gone back to negotiations between the House version and the Senate version. Therefore, everyone who believes in free speech and the ability to express personal beliefs should do what I have done and contact their Senators and Congress member.

Democrat “rules for thee, not for me” in the FTX failure

The Daily Wire digs into the ways that the watchdogs (or at least the foxes) did not do a job of watching the chicken coop.

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes tale, “Silver Blaze”, the detective investigates the case of a murder of a horse trainer. At first, investigators presume that the murderer of the trainer must have been a stranger to him. But Holmes cracks the case with the revelation that a watchdog remained silent the night of the murder — a “curious incident,” as Holmes puts it, if the watchdog had been confronted by a stranger. No, Holmes concludes, the murderer must have been known to the watchdog.

We would do well to keep Holmes’ “curious incident” in mind when discussing the complete meltdown of FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange run by Sam Bankman-Fried, a man who looks like he emerged from a laboratory dedicated to the manufacture of charlatans. Bankman-Fried was, at one point, worth some $26 billion; his exchange was the second largest in the world. But he also bragged about never reading books (“I think, if you wrote a book, you f—ed up, and it should have been a six-paragraph blog post”); he lived in a “polycule” — a polyamorous semi-colony — along with nine of his executives; he wore gym shorts and T-shirts to important company events with Bill Clinton and Tony Blair; he placed at the head of human resources the girlfriend of the director of engineering and as chief operating officer his own intermittent girlfriend and as head of his associated hedge fund yet another intermittent girlfriend.

The red flags were endless.

And yet the scam continued.

In the coverage of FTX’s meltdown, many in the media have been rather slow to ask a simple question: why didn’t anybody notice that SBF was one of the most obvious scam artists of all time? Perhaps it’s the insanity of the digital age, in which those fresh out of college can be assessed as billionaires without actually showing a balance sheet. But there’s something else going on here: SBF was a key cog in a political machine dedicated to the proposition that a coalition of like-minded Left-wingers can seize the reins of capitalist enterprise and then work with friends in government to reconstruct the world.

That, after all, was what SBF was publicly attempting to do. He dumped $40 million into the midterm elections in support of Democrats; he donated $5.2 million to then-candidate Joe Biden during the 2020 election cycle. He had pledged the FTX foundation to hand out $1 billion in 2022. He did all of this in the name of supposed “effective altruism,” a philosophy in which Left-wingers seek to use capitalism in order to enrich themselves, then dump the money into favored causes. “I wanted to get rich, not because I like money but because I wanted to give that money to charity,” SBF told one interviewer.

(Read more at the Daily Wire)

Democrat fundraisers, like Democrat lawmakers, want “rules for thee, not for me”

As I noted from the data provided by the Washington Free Beacon, we found that (in addition to bankrolling a large part of the Democrat dreams of 2022), Bankman-Fried had devoted a large amount of effort to keeping cryptocurrency from being further regulated.

If you are sick of the prosecution of conservatives (like the raid on Mar-a-Lago and the continued political persecution of Donald Trump) while Democrats go free (like the “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case” against Hillary Clinton), then step up here.

After being forced to stay home by Democrat COVID mandates and tasted free money, many in America have lost the drive to work

The Daily Wire interviews Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) for his view on how America’s men have lost their will to work.

Mike Rowe told Fox News this weekend that men are becoming soft and lazy in part due to how much time they are spending on screens instead of working.

Rowe made the remarks during a brief interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson during the network’s “Patriot Awards.”

“So, I’m wrong about as much as I am right. And it’s for that reason, I hate to say, ‘I told you so,’ out loud, ever,” Rowe said. “But for 15 years, my foundation has been talking about this slow, sort of, unraveling of what we loosely call work ethic, whatever that means.”

“And I mean, last week, there was an article in The New York Times called something like how to combat the assault on modern work, and I thought it was gonna be an article about coal miners or crab fishermen or, you know, big tough jobs where the danger is real. It wasn’t. It was an article about everything from paper cuts to the non-existent pet bereavement policies that are being deemed harsh, I’m not making it up,” he continued. “And so we are, we’re in a place where 7 million able-bodied men are not only not working between the ages of 25 and [inaudible]. 7 million able-bodied men are not only not working, they’re affirmatively not looking for a job. That’s never happened in peacetime, ever.”

Rowe said that people are focusing on the wrong thing by looking at the unemployment rate when they should be looking at the number of able-bodied people who do not want to work.

(Read more at the Daily Wire)

While work was never meant to take first priority, work did come before the curse of thorns

There must be a redemptive nature to work, since work preceded the curse of thorns (Genesis 3:17-18). Although there can be extremes of too much work, maybe we need to get back to tapping that redemptive source.

 

A good place for the House investigations to begin

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The ultra-lib (Sam Bankman-Fried) who took the millions invested in crypto with him to become the second-largest Democrat donor goes bankrupt

Breitbart reports on the fawning adulation of Sam Bankman-Fried by the New York Times.

The New York Times appears to be treating disgraced crypto CEO and Democrat megadonor Sam Bankman-Fried, accused of mishandling FTX customer investments on a massive scale, with kid gloves.

With questions still swirling about the amount of customer money lost and potentially misused by Bankman-Fried, the New York Times obtained access to the crypto CEO for a one-on-one interview, only to deliver little but softball questions.

Throughout the article, the Times presented Bankman-Fried’s downfall not as the result of irresponsible and potentially criminal decisions, but as honest investment mistakes.

The Times switches between softball characterizations of the crypto CEO’s activities as “expand[ing] his business interests too quickly,” and highlighting his “ambitious philanthropic operation,” along with an inexplicable ending focused on his personal hobbies, such as playing the video game Storybook Brawl, without mentioning FTX owns the game’s developer.

(Read more at Breitbart)

Since the media has convinced so many that, with the FBI holding onto the Hunter laptop since before 2020, the FBI must surely have a case in waiting — surely starting on this would not cause problems for the Democrats

If those Democrats have problems with digging into the Biden’s money tree, surely now the Democrats will not have a problem with an investigation of their most recent money tree.

Beleaguered crypto billionaire was hobnobbing at White House just six months ago

Washington Free Beacon points out how Sam Bankman-Fried came to be a Democrat powerhouse.

A cryptocurrency billionaire facing federal investigation for mishandling customer funds had high-level White House meetings just months ago, as Congress was debating how to regulate his company—and just weeks before he pledged to donate up to $1 billion to Democrats ahead of the midterm campaign.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the owner of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, met on April 22 and May 12 with top Biden adviser Steve Ricchetti, according to White House visitor logs reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. At the time, FTX was lobbying Congress and federal agencies to shape regulation of the crypto industry.

The meetings are likely to raise questions about the extent to which Bankman-Fried used the promise of political donations to nudge Democrats toward helping his firm. FTX is teetering on the brink of insolvency after announcing it could not fulfill its customers’ withdrawal request due to lack of funds. Bankman-Fried lost nearly all of his $16 billion fortune in the liquidity crunch. And his troubles might get worse. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission are investigating whether FTX mishandled customer deposits in order to prop up the 30-year-old entrepreneur’s hedge fund, Alameda Research, according to Bloomberg News.

It is a remarkable fall for Bankman-Fried, who has emerged as one of the Democratic Party’s biggest campaign donors. He gave more than $5 million to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, and has given millions more this cycle to the Democratic Party. In early May, between his first two visits to the White House, Bankman-Fried doled out $865,000 to the DNC, according to Federal Election Commission records. Earlier, in March, he cut three checks totalling $66,500 to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, and later in June he sent $250,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

He said in June, weeks after his most recent White House meeting, that he might give up to $1 billion to support Democrats in the midterms, though he backed away from that pledge in September.

Amid the political spending, Bankman-Fried has led an aggressive lobbying campaign in Washington related to cryptocurrency regulation. He met with Ricchetti, the White House counselor, on April 22 and May 12, according to visitor logs. He met on May 13 with Charlotte Butash, a policy adviser to the White House deputy chief of staff.

Bankman-Fried was accompanied in some of the meetings by Mark Wetjen, the head of policy and regulatory strategy at FTX, who served as commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under former president Barack Obama. Eliora Katz, FTX’s chief lobbyist, also attended the meetings but did not mention lobbying the White House in disclosures filed with Congress.

Bankman-Fried’s meetings came weeks after White House officials met with his brother, who directs the billionaire’s political operations. Gabe Bankman-Fried visited the White House on March 7 along with Jenna Narayanan, a Democratic strategist who once worked for Tom Steyer and the Democracy Alliance, a network of wealthy liberal donors who fund left-wing causes. Gabe also attended the May 13 meeting with his brother and FTX’s lobbyists.

Bankman-Fried has made no secret of his plans to influence policymakers. He told former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci in an interview last month that he has traveled to Washington, D.C., “every two or three weeks for the last year” to lobby for cryptocurrency regulations. Omitting the fact that he had donated significant amounts of money to the lawmakers he lobbied, Bankman-Fried said he was pleasantly surprised at the progress he had made.

(Read more at the Washington Free Beacon)

Odd that Bankman-Fried only came to light once he ran out of money and after financing the last Democrat defense against the red wave

You would almost think that Democrats are more worried about retaining power than they are about protecting the wealth of common people who invest with guys like Bankman-Fried.

Oops. Sam Bankman-Fried’s implosion took down Democrats’ second-biggest donor with it as the party gears up to regulate crypto

Fortune Magazine lays out how Sam Bankman-Fried distributed money through the Democrat machine (to the loss of his investors).

Fewer names have been bigger in cryptocurrencies this year than Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX. So when it became clear this week that the curly-haired billionaire and his exchange faced a liquidity crunch, he was no longer a billionaire, and his exchange likely wasn’t solvent, it cast a shadow over the entire crypto space and sent digital currencies plummeting.

It cast a shadow in Washington, D.C., too.

The 30-year-old Bankman-Fried has been a major force in Democratic politics, ranking as the party’s second-biggest individual donor in the 2021–2022 election cycle, according to Open Secrets, with donations totaling $39.8 million. That ranks only behind George Soros (about $128 million) but ahead of many other big names, including Michael Bloomberg ($28.3 million). What’s more, he had promised to spend far more on Democrats moving forward, predicting in May that he’d fund “north of $100 million” and had a “soft ceiling” of $1 billion for the 2024 elections.

That doesn’t look nearly as likely now. He backed away from the prediction last month, describing it as “dumb” to Politico, and on Tuesday his net worth fell from $15.6 billion to potentially below $1 billion, which Bloomberg called the biggest one-day collapse it had ever seen among billionaires. Rumors are now flying in the cryptosphere that he may even go bankrupt.

Federal regulators are now reportedly investigating FTX to determine whether it harmed clients or broke financial regulations after FTX’s implosion, as it saw $5 billion of withdrawals on Sunday alone, many of them prompted by a tweet from the CEO of rival exchange Binance that he was dumping FTX-linked coins. Binance then seemed to come to FTX’s rescue on Tuesday before ditching its 11th-hour bid to buy FTX the very next day. Cryptocurrency prices fell amid concerns about FTX’s solvency and fears of a possible contagion. It’s a head-spinning turn of events for FTX, which was valued north of $30 billion at its peak; and for the crypto space, which has declined in value from $3 trillion to below $2 trillion during this year’s Crypto Winter.

(Read more at Fortune Magazine)

Therefore, as soon as the first bills come up, we need to be hyper-vigilant to make certain that crypto does not get deregulated

We already see the problems with crypto that has not been closely regulated.

We just need to make certain that this does not morph into a “Democrats release felons” story.

 

Press maintains Biden must defend democracy against rising authoritarianism

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Press maintains Biden must defend democracy against rising authoritarianism, but ignores his rhetoric and his executive actions

Newsweek provided us with a bit of pro-Biden propaganda through their 8 December 2021 analysis of the Summit for Democracy, but neglects to consider the ramifications of their words.

This week, President Biden will meet with more than 100 world leaders, civil society actors and private-sector representatives for the Summit for Democracy. Biden’s focus will be on “renewing democracy in the United States and around the world,” but should also include the place where the biggest threat to democracy is emerging: the internet.

Russia and China have already proved a formidable adversary to the West by interfering in domestic processes and elections and launching offensive cyberattacks. Now, they are working together to create global cybersecurity norms at the United Nations. The Biden administration must focus on promoting global digital democracy at the Democracy Summit and defend it from authoritarians seeking to undermine the West.

Unsurprisingly, neither Russia nor China was invited to the summit, and both have derided the gathering. Both countries are infamous for promoting forms of digital authoritarianism—using information technology to surveil, repress and manipulate domestic and foreign populations. China pioneered Digital Age censorship with its “Great Firewall.” In 2014, Putin asserted that the internet is a project of the CIA, and he has more recently decided to displace the World Wide Web within its borders with a homegrown “Ru-Net.” China’s 2016 cybersecurity law aimed to censor, control data, survey people and criminalize online activities. Russia followed suit and, in 2021, Putin signed legislation further restricting social media platforms in order to protect Russia’s “digital sovereignty.” The new laws theoretically allow Russia to impose fines on platforms that do not block forbidden content such as calls for suicide, child pornography or information on drug use—but in reality, they act as a facade for Putin’s internet control.

Both Russia and China perceive the open internet as a threat to domestic stability—so they work together to control it. In 2015, the two giants signed an agreement “on cooperation in ensuring international information security.” In 2016, the two countries’ joint statement on regulating “information space” included the “principle of respecting national sovereignty in information space.” In 2019, Russia and China signed a cooperation treaty, ostensibly aimed at combating illegal content online, but which in reality was designed to curtail internet freedoms.

(Read more at Newsweek)

While neither the Red speech or his “save Democracy” speech had not happened, Biden had shown his tendency to attack rather than reconcile in his inauguration speech

Biden has had two years to be the “great uniter” and the “middle of the road Joe” he promised to be. Instead, like his model (Obama), he has gone further to the left and done more to defy the Constitution.

Just as Obama defied the Constitution through the creation of DACA, Biden has defied the Constitution through:

Additionally, from the word go, Biden has never let go of the narrative of blaming the supporters of his opponent. To Biden, we are not a United States.

Instead, we are Democrats invaded by Republicans and Independents.

Therefore, rewards go to Democrats and get denied to Republicans and Independents. Walls stop for Republicans. Cities and states of Republicans get invaded by somewhere upward of 5 million illegal aliens (since we cannot know how many got away).

Walls around the Rehoboth beach house of ONE certain Democrat deserve as much as $500K in wall-building funds. Certainly we would not want his nap to be disturbed.

 

Who will be the election deniers, Biden?

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Dementia Joe says “democracy itself” is at stake, threatened by “election deniers”

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the faithfully left-leaning New Jersey Monitor laid out how Dementia Joe claimed that mid-term losses will fall to “election deniers” among Republicans.

President Joe Biden asked voters Wednesday night to focus on the threats candidates aligned with his predecessor pose to the foundation of U.S. democracy in the midterm elections.

In a 20-minute speech at Washington, D.C.’s  Union Station, before a Democratic audience, Biden decried a rise in political violence, and blamed former President Donald Trump for promoting a dangerous environment in which losing candidates refuse to accept election results.

“This is a path to chaos in America,” Biden said. “It’s unprecedented. It’s unlawful. And it’s un-American. As I’ve said before, you can’t love your country only when you win.”

Biden noted the midterms, in which voting ends on Tuesday, are the first national election since a mob inspired by Trump’s false claims that he was cheated out of reelection stormed the nearby U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Union Station sits just down the street from the Capitol.

The midterms give voters a chance to reject “extreme MAGA Republicans” and their efforts to undermine the electoral process, Biden said, using a term for Trump supporters. That wing of the Republican Party was a minority of the GOP, Biden said, though polling shows the vast majority of Republicans support Trump and most do not blame him for the Jan. 6 attack.

The election results will influence many major policy issues, including the economy, Social Security, safety, health care and others, Biden said. 

“It’s all important,” Biden said. “But there’s something else at stake: democracy itself.”

(Read more at the New Jersey Monitor, but I wouldn’t recommend it)

Biden made a statement at the crime-ridden Union Station, but not a word on crime

Biden mentioned Trump or Trump followers three times. However, he did not mention inflation, the monies being sent to Ukraine, the weapons going to Ukraine, the still-ongoing baby-formula crisis, the looming crisis in diesel fuel, or any of a number of other issues.

What happened to transitory inflation?

However, in light of all of these unacknowledged failures by Biden, who is more likely to be an election denier?

Will election deniers possibly come from:

  • Elitist Democrats who can’t see past their protection details to the crime crisis and the voters who oppose those Democrats in the hinterlands?
  • Would a party that seems to have tampered with a piece of evidence (against the accused 6 January 2021 pipe bomber of the Democrat headquarters) also tamper with elections?
  • Would it be the party that might stand by without comment as the office of Kari Lake gets mailed a white powder? (This includes a condemnation of all the Democrat “journalists” who covered this up.)
  • Would it be the party willing to align itself with violent elements which regularly attack Republican candidates, staffers, and volunteers? (Where is the Biden DOJ and FBI?)

Would an elitist Democrat who denies that crime remains a problem also deny elections?

The New York Post allows us to see how Kathy Hochul has worked to her own detriment by ignoring the crime epidemic in New York.

Hillary Clinton and Krazy Kat Hochul need to get on the same page concerning crime.

Is it real, as Clinton seems to believe? Or is it, as Hochul has contended, an overblown campaign distraction — promoted by “master manipulators” and “data deniers” to derail her bid to become New York’s first elected female governor?

Sisterly solidarity was the order of the day at Barnard College Thursday — with Hillary and Hochul standing shoulder-to-shoulder before a cheering, fully committed array of feminism-centric true believers.

It was one of those late-campaign events where the hype is thick, where the rhetoric is hyperbolic and where the facts don’t really matter. How very odd, then, that Hillary let the truth peek through.

Oh, for sure, the partisan newspeak was there — darkly threatening Republicans hide behind every tree in Hillaryland, and have for decades. But suddenly she slipped.

“They don’t care about keeping you safe,” she said — they being GOP candidate Lee Zeldin and his party mates. “They want to keep you scared.”

But safe from what? Frightened of whom? Crime? And criminals? Seems so.

But didn’t Hochul, just last Sunday, tell MSNBC’s Al Sharpton that crime isn’t real? Never mind New York’s shocking body count, its bloody subway platforms, its insane penal codes and its cadre of woke district attorneys — the real problem is GOP disinformation.

Republicans, she said, “are master manipulators. They have this conspiracy going all across America trying to convince … people that they are not safe.”

True enough, she was immediately bludgeoned into conceding that crime is “an issue,” which is not quite the same as a problem — which, in fact, vastly understates New York’s crime crisis.

Since the boneheaded penal-law “reforms” of 2019 and generally reduced policing following COVID and the George Floyd rioting, violent crime in New York’s cities has exploded.

It’s up 30% in New York City since last year — major felonies are up 10% and transit crime is up 42% over the past two years — with 24 murders.

(Read more at the New York Post)

It is easy for Hochul to ignore crime when she has a armed security detail around her

Of course, if the Democrat governor is not a full hypocrite, maybe she will give up her armed detail.

Or she could make up for the past two years of bowing and scraping to the Black Lives Matter idol and the Defund the Police idol. Thing is, this is something that can’t be made up in a day.

Would an agency that seems to have tampered with the frame rate of the 6 January pipe bomb footage also deny elections?

Revolver News outlines the possibility that the FBI tampered with the frame rate of the video footage showing the Democrat Headquarter pipe bomber on 6 January 2021.

More than a year has passed since the FBI last released footage of the pipe bomber who allegedly planted explosive devices near the DNC and RNC party headquarters the night before January 6, 2021.

The FBI has reportedly collected 39,000 video files relating to the suspect’s identity, according to Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington D.C. Field Office. Yet since September 8, 2021, not a single new video file has been released.

At Revolver, we have been focused on the two clips of video footage from DNC building security cameras that the FBI released on March 2021 and September 2021, respectively.

In August 2022, we definitively proved the DNC camera footage from the FBI’s September 2021 release should have captured the “money shot” of the pipe bomber taking the bomb out of the bag and planting it near a park bench in front of the DNC building. But for some reason, the FBI censored the tape so that the public could not see the alleged criminal walk back into the camera frame to commit the actual criminal act.

Over the past two months, we took a closer look at the DNC surveillance footage the FBI provided to the public. What we found was even more bizarre, and more damning than our initial discovery that the FBI is withholding critical footage of the pipe bomber actually planting the bomb.

The original “missing moneyshot” – reflecting the FBI’s deliberate censorship of the commission of the crime, effectively – is a red flag of such stunning proportions that it alone merits Congressional investigation under a GOP-led House commission on FBI malfeasance.

The new findings we are about to discuss, however, are so implausible, specific, and suspicious that we are compelled to demand that a future GOP-led commission subpoena and demand the exact chain of custody for the DNC surveillance tapes that the FBI released to the public

In this piece, we will analyze problems with a basic technical feature of the DNC video called the “frame rate.” For the convenience of the reader, we put together a short video that sketches the argument to follow:

Implausibly Low Frame Rate Suggests Possible Tampering

In our analysis of the DNC location surveillance footage provided by the FBI, we observed that the frame rate in the footage is so low that it barely exceeds 1 frame per second. We’ll explain the significance of this shortly, but first let’s cut straight to the factual findings.

Below, we show the final 13 seconds of the DNC security camera footage from the FBI’s September 2021 release. These are the 13 seconds during which the pipe bomber gets up from the DNC park bench and walks directly toward and past the security camera.

There are only 16 distinct frames in these 13 seconds, yielding an average frame rate of just 1.2 frames per second. This is so low that it is essentially “stop motion.

(Read more at Revolver News)

This makes it seem that Democrats may be willing to hide a bomber

This review of the 6 January 2021 Democrat headquarters pipe bomber might be under Democrat protection. Additionally, the fact that the face of the bomber somehow does not get included and the frame rate falls to a ridiculously low level.

Then again, we have been told that there was not a 4 a.m. voting surge on the morning of 4 November 2020. We’ve also been told that we are election deniers if we discuss it.

Would a Democrat supporter who decided to mail white powder to Kari Lake’s office also deny elections?

The Daily Mail reported that someone caused the Kari Lake campaign office to shut down on Saturday, 5 November 2022 due to a white powder.

The Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake said staffers exposed to a mystery white powder at the weekend were ‘doing okay’ after hazmat teams and bomb squad officers spent seven hours at her campaign headquarters.

Speaking to reporters hours after the emergency, she promised to hunt down those responsible.

‘I have been so busy campaigning. This happened. I was not in the office,’ she said after a campaign event in Queen Creek, Arizona.

‘One of our wonderful staffers, a couple of them, were actually exposed.

‘And so far they’re doing okay. We’re monitoring them, and we want to make sure that everything’s okay.’

The FBI was also on the scene late on Saturday night, and a source told DailyMail.com that agents had taken samples of the white powder for testing.

It was accompanied by a letter filled with threats against Lake, who has rapidly become the darling of the Trump wing of the Republican Party.

(Read more at the Daily Mail)

There is one side that has been the focus of violence and rage against political candidates, staffers, and volunteers. It’s not Democrats.

Breitbart reports on the violence against Republican candidates, staffers, and volunteers under the watchful eye of the Biden regime.

Republican candidates, staffers, and volunteers have been victims of political violence during the 2022 election cycle, contradicting the false Democrat narrative that Republicans are the violent perpetrators.

Below are five examples in recent weeks of political violence perpetrated against Republicans:
 

Republican Gen. Don Bolduc was physically attacked by an unknown individual before the Wednesday debate with Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bolduc’s campaign told Breitbart News.

Kate Constantini, Bolduc for Senate spokeswoman, told Breitbart News that before the General went on the debate stage, he was physically attacked outside the building by an individual in the crowd.

“Prior to the debate, an individual in the crowd gathered outside attempted to punch the General and was quickly apprehended and arrested,” Constantini explained.

2.) “Report: Illinois Man Threatened to Kill GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Darren Bailey and His Family” by Breitbart News’s Jordan Dixon-Hamilton:

Twenty-one-year-old Scott Lennox of Illinois left a depraved voicemail last week for Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey in which he threatened to “skin” Bailey “alive” and “feed his f****ng family to him,” according to state prosecutors.

Lennox had a “heated argument” with his friends at a Chicago bar last Friday over pro-Bailey advertisements that made him “angry,” which led to the threatening voicemail, prosecutors allege.

In that message, Lennox allegedly threatened to “skin Darren Bailey alive,” and “feed his f****ng family to him as he is alive and screaming in f****ng pain.” Lennox allegedly called Bailey a “piece of white a** racist s**t” in the voicemail before claiming to know Bailey’s home address.

(Go to Breitbart for the other three attacks)

This should not be. Democrats should do as Republicans stood against the break-in of Watergate

However, for today’s Democrat (considering how Biden probably got in with his 4 a.m. vote surges on 4 November 2020), that asks too much.

 

Who will be the election deniers, Biden?

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Dementia Joe says “democracy itself” is at stake, threatened by “election deniers”

According to the faithfully left-leaning New Jersey Monitor, Joe Biden reached out to the party faithful with an appeal that puts the blame for mid-term losses on “election deniers.”

President Joe Biden asked voters Wednesday night to focus on the threats candidates aligned with his predecessor pose to the foundation of U.S. democracy in the midterm elections.

In a 20-minute speech at Washington, D.C.’s  Union Station, before a Democratic audience, Biden decried a rise in political violence, and blamed former President Donald Trump for promoting a dangerous environment in which losing candidates refuse to accept election results.

“This is a path to chaos in America,” Biden said. “It’s unprecedented. It’s unlawful. And it’s un-American. As I’ve said before, you can’t love your country only when you win.”

Biden noted the midterms, in which voting ends on Tuesday, are the first national election since a mob inspired by Trump’s false claims that he was cheated out of reelection stormed the nearby U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Union Station sits just down the street from the Capitol.

The midterms give voters a chance to reject “extreme MAGA Republicans” and their efforts to undermine the electoral process, Biden said, using a term for Trump supporters. That wing of the Republican Party was a minority of the GOP, Biden said, though polling shows the vast majority of Republicans support Trump and most do not blame him for the Jan. 6 attack.

The election results will influence many major policy issues, including the economy, Social Security, safety, health care and others, Biden said. 

“It’s all important,” Biden said. “But there’s something else at stake: democracy itself.”

(Read more at the New Jersey Monitor, but I wouldn’t recommend it)

Biden made a statement at the crime-ridden Union Station, but not a word on crime

Biden mentioned Trump or Trump followers three times. However, he did not mention inflation, the monies being sent to Ukraine, the weapons going there, the still-ongoing baby-formula crisis, the looming crisis in diesel fuel, or any of a number of other issues.

What happened to transitory inflation?

However, in light of all of these unacknowledged failures by Biden, who is more likely to be an election denier?

Will election deniers possibly come from:

  • People who demand that only their side not be censored while the other side gets censored for telling the truth?
  • A campaign that has started smear their opponent through a lie to cover up inconvenient truths about the Hobbs burglary?

Joe Rogan laughs at Leftists declaring they’ll leave Twitter over lack of censorship as Biden gets Fact-Checked

The Daily Wire summarizes the situation by pointing out how Joe Rogan laughed down critics of Twitter who imagined that their one-sided censorship would need to continue.

Joe Rogan, host of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” laughed at leftists during a new episode this week over their claims that they will leave Twitter over a lack of censorship.

Rogan made the remarks while talking to musician Suzanne Santo about Elon Musk becoming the social media company’s new CEO after his acquisition was finalized last week.

“Have you been paying attention to Twitter, how Twitter’s now fact-checking all Biden statements?” Rogan said. “Every time Biden says something and posts it on Twitter, Twitter’s like nope, actually, that’s not true. Like this is, this is inaccurate.”

“What I cannot understand is people being like, I’m leaving Twitter because without censorship this will be the death of democracy,” Santo responded. “Are you f***ing serious? Like, how dumb?”

(Read more at the Daily Wire and watch the video)

So, will it be people like Joe Rogan who deny election results?

While we would be stupid to put our trust in anyone but a perfect Savior (and we certainly should take everyone of this world with a grain of salt), we would be even worse off to trust the side wanting to censor their opponents.

Jesse Watters points out the smear campaign among Democrats around the Hobbs burglary

The Daily Caller picks up on Jesse Watters observation that Democrats have started a “fake news” narrative around the Hobbs burglary.

Fox News host Jesse Watters slammed Democrats Friday evening for “pushing fake news” about a Monday night burglary at the campaign headquarters of Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs to avoid big losses in the upcoming midterm elections.

“Democrats are pushing fake news because they know they are about to take a beating in the midterms,” Watters said. “They are panicking. And they will do anything to turn things around.”

Hobbs said in a statement about the burglary that Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake had allegedly spread “dangerous misinformation” and incited “threats.” The Arizona Democratic Party also claimed the burglary was “a direct result of Kari Lake and fringe Republicans spreading lies and hate and inciting violence.”

Phoenix police arrested 36-year-old Daniel Mota Dos Reis, who was already in custody on other charges, and charged him with third-degree burglary, KOLD reported.

Lake denied any involvement with the burglary and ripped reporters for not pushing back on Hobbs’ “absolutely absurd” claims.

“Kari Lake had nothing to do with it,” Watters said. “It was just an attempt to smear her before the election. Hobbs constructed the narrative and the media, of course, ran with it.”

Lake has pulled ahead of Hobbs in the gubernatorial race, according to two recent polls.

(Read more at the Daily Caller)

From the top down, Democrats act like we don’t have research capabilities

Democrats act like we cannot go to past issues of newspapers to see what they said last week.

Dementia Joe acts like we cannot look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics web site to see where the economy really stands.

There are too many instances of Democrat gaslighting on too many subjects to make a significant post. Still, if you are living it, you know.

 

Transgender idiocy pushed by Democrats to the injury of others

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Locker room confrontation boots the girls out of the locker room and pulls school into ‘trans’ controversy

The American Family News lays out an instance where a response to a comment got the whole girls team kicked our of their own locker room.

On the all-girls volleyball team at Randolph Union High, an unnamed transgender female, who is 14, is allowed by law in the girls’ locker room. But his pushback began when a female volleyball player, Blake Allen, told TV news station WCAX the male student had made an “inappropriate” comment in front of female teammates while they were changing clothes. She also claimed the girls had been banned from their own locker room as punishment, a claim school officials later disputed.

That local TV news story, which was later called “transphobic” and scrubbed from the WCAX website, was nonetheless picked up by national media outlets and the story went viral. Within days, Randolph Union High was famous – or infamous depending on one’s views – because it was being dragged into the ongoing national debate over “trans rights” versus the rights of female athletes.

Steve McConkey, who leads 4 Winds Christian Athletics, tells AFN it appears the high school fears a lawsuit from the male transgender student so the girls are being banned from their own locker room.

“That’s unheard of,” he says.

In the same school district, the locker room controversy that dates back to September made more headlines this week. A middle school soccer coach is now suspended after calling the same transgender female “he” in a Facebook post in which the coach tangled with the mother of the transgender student.

That suspended coach, Travis Allen, is the father of Blake Allen, Fox News reported. 

“The truth is your son watched my daughter and multiple other girls change in the locker room,” the father told the trans teen’s mother. “While he got a free show, they got violated.”

In a letter to the father, Superintendent Layne Millington called that conduct “unprofessional and unbecoming, and flies in the face of the Vermont Principal Association’s athletic regulations, Vermont State regulations, and the RUHS Middle-High School expectations.”

As the volleyball locker room story took off last month, it has followed a familiar pattern: the mother of the transgender student said her son is the victim, not the complaining girls on the volleyball team. The school district complained it has been deluged with harassing phone calls and threatening emails, which were shown during an Oct. 11 school board meeting in which 300-plus people attended.

‘Some girls weren’t dressed at all’

Another now-familiar claim is that most students and parents support the transgender volleyball player, meaning the complaining girls are in the minority. To push back on that claim, The Daily Signal interviewed several volleyball players, including Blake, who spoke publicly last week despite threats against them by school officials.

“A male was in our locker room when volleyball girls were trying to get changed,” Blake, recounting the incident, told Daily Signal reporter Mary Margaret Olohan. “And after I asked him to leave, he didn’t and later looked over at girls with their shirts off. And it made many people uncomfortable and feel violated.”

Blake also showed the Signal emails from school officials that accuse her of “harassing someone based on their gender.” She is now being investigated under the school district’s “Hazing, Harassment, and Bullying” policy.

(Read at American Family News for corroborating evidence from other players)

Can this be traced to two Democrats: Barack Obama and Joe Biden?

Can this forcing of girls to accept a boy in the locker room be traced to Barack Obama’s proclamation on transgender rights? Does it have its genesis in the Obama regime’s position on transgender students, Title IX, and bathrooms?

Does it have beginnings with the proclamations, executive orders, and legislative pushes by Joe Biden on transsexuals? Does it have anything to do with denying schools funding for lunches unless they teach transgender subjects? What happened to Democrats’ concern for starving children? Maybe they had none.

Or can this be traced to a Church that stands for nothing?

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NIV)

God comes to us as a God of relationship Who wants our cleansing and rightness with him. Obviously, some of the early Christians came from proclivities that Joe and Barack would want to protect today. However, those Christians came away from those ways and became part of a movement to God.

We should return to encouraging such movement again.

Trans high school volleyball player sends girl to hospital with head injury

The Daily Mail documents another insane issue forced on American schools by Democrats under the heading of equity for transsexuals.

Footage of a North Carolina girl’s high school volleyball match has emerged in which a player suffered a serious injury after a transgender girl lobbed a ball at her opponent, striking her in the head. 

The physical injuries suffered by the female student-athlete at Hiwassee Dam High School were to her head and neck.

It’s estimated that the volleyball was thrown at 70mph – and was described as ‘abnormally’ fast by one bystander.

Neither player has been identified. 

And the incident has since had far-reaching implications for how the game is played in the state after news spread how the offending shot had been played by a biological male.

The Hiwassee Dam female player is still suffering from long-term concussion symptoms, including problems with her vision and has not been cleared to play.

The Cherokee County school board has subsequently voted 5-1 to forfeit all matches for its schools’ women’s volleyball teams against Highlands School, who the unnamed transgender player plays for. 

The board appeared to dance around the controversial subject of trans people playing sports for the teams whose sex they were not born into. 

Indeed, the board did not refer to any players’ sexuality but instead cited concerns over safety.

‘The County will not participate in any volleyball games, varsity or junior varsity, against Highlands due to safety concerns,’ the minutes from the board’s meeting read. 

The athletic director from Hiwassee Dam High School, David Payne, was present at the meeting commented that ‘a statement needs to be made that it [was] unfair and unsafe’ for teams to compete against Highlands.

He noted, however, that there were ‘mixed feelings’ from players and parents involved.

(Read more at the Daily Mail)

“Mixed feelings” would not be descriptive were it my girl

My bet is that if there are “mixed feelings,” they are sampling the feelings of the parents of the boy and the LGBTQ+ community.

While I am very happy that these two articles on transgender conflicts did not involve the rape of a girl by a boy wearing a skirt, this idiocy needs to end for the sake of the weak in our society. Encouraging dabbling in this shows no evidence of benefit (since the UCLA Williams Institute shows an increased risk of suicide among transgender adults).

 

One side cites the law while the other side calls on a group who has subverted law

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Texas’s forensic audit of the 2020 election causes state cite state law in support of sending election inspectors

Left-leaning NBC News points out to the additional oversight (as if it were a penalty) resulting from irregularities found in a forensic audit of certain counties (including Harris county).

The Texas Secretary of State’s Office has told the state’s most populous county that it will send inspectors there to observe vote counting during the November election.

In a letter Tuesday, the director of the secretary of state’s forensic audit division, Chad Ennis, told the elections administrator in Harris County, Clifford Tatum, that an audit of the county had found “serious breaches of proper elections records management” in the handling of mobile ballot boxes in the 2020 general election.

Harris County is home to Houston and leans Democratic. The letter came less than a week before the start of early voting in the state.

Ennis said preliminary findings in the secretary of state’s audit include “at least 14 locations where chain-of-custody documentation is lacking at best and missing at worst.”

In light of those findings, Ennis wrote that the secretary of state’s office will provide “a contingent of inspectors” to the county to “perform randomized checks on election records” and “observe the handling and counting of ballots and electronic media.

The office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has also agreed to dispatch a task force to Harris County that “will be available at all times during the election period in order to immediately respond to any legal issues identified by secretary of state, inspectors, poll watchers, or voters,” Ennis wrote.

In a statement to NBC News, the Secretary of State’s Office said it sends inspectors to many counties during state elections, including Harris County, citing Chapter 34 of the Texas Election Code.

“Our inspectors and trainers will be present to help Harris County officials and ensure the election process is run smoothly and securely in the upcoming November general election, and that the mistakes observed in the past are not repeated, and that no eligible voters have their votes discounted because of administrative errors,” as spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, Sam Taylor, said.

(Read more at NBC News)

Republicans in Texas are doing all that the law allows to protect our border and clean our streets. It seems we can trust them with our elections also.

Considering the record millions of illegals that Joe Biden has allowed across our Southern border while observing the actions of Governor Abbott when it comes to those same illegal aliens, my vote of trust goes to Governor Abbott.

Likewise, when it comes to comparing Biden’s two-tiered justice system to what seems to be a more even-handed application of law in Texas, I will go with Texas.

Therefore, I have no qualms about Texas overseeing elections within its own boundaries.

Points that make me trust Democrats less

Oddly, several things that would have the reader doubt the ability of Democrats to honestly manage an election got left out of the NBC News article above.

Harris County Democrats call on Biden DOJ to intervene due to state plans for election oversight

Less-than-conservative CNN reports that nervous Harris County Democrats have gone whining to the Biden DOJ due to Texas’ plans to send election monitors. It seems that the 2020 forensic audit uncovered irregularities that the state does not want to repeat.

Three top officials in Texas’ most populous county have asked the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to send federal monitors to Harris County for the midterm elections to oversee what they view as an effort by Republican state officials to “chill voters’ trust in the election process” and “intimidate” election workers.

Earlier this week, the director of the Forensic Audit Division of the Texas secretary of state’s office sent a letter to Harris County election officials informing them that it would be sending “a contingent of inspectors” to observe the “central count” next week, when early voting in Texas is slated to begin. The letter said the inspectors would “perform randomized checks on election records” and that the state attorney general’s office will also “dispatch a task force … to immediately respond to any legal issues identified by secretary of state, inspectors, poll watchers, or voters.”

The teams are necessary, the secretary of state’s office said, because of their findings in an ongoing “audit” of the 2020 presidential election in Harris County, which includes Houston.

That so-called post-election audit in Texas, a state that former President Donald Trump carried in 2020, was launched as Republicans in states including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona forged ahead with partisan reviews that appeared designed to undermine the 2020 election results and demonstrate local Republicans’ fealty to Trump.

Chad Ennis, director of the Forensic Audit Division, said in the Tuesday letter to Clifford Tatum, the Harris County elections administrator, that the audit division had identified a number of mobile ballot boxes from the 2020 general election that lacked “proper chain-of-custody” and that they are requesting corrective action.

But top officials from the county, including Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, as well Harris County Democratic Party officials, are characterizing the moves by the secretary of state’s office as a ruse to “interfere” in the November general election.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who are both Republicans, “are working overtime to destroy voter confidence with a pressure campaign designed to intimidate our hardworking election workers and sow chaos and doubt in the election process,” Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu said in a statement Thursday. He added that Tuesday’s letter from the secretary of state’s office “reads like an attack on drive-through voting, which expanded voting access during the COVID pandemic.”

“Although Harris County’s voting programs in 2020 were lauded by voting rights advocates, GOP state leaders have worked to shut down many of them,” Evbagharu said. “We are working with the Texas Democratic Party and have reached out to the U.S. Department of Justice to express our concerns about what appears to be a calculated assault by Republican leaders on Harris County elections.”

In their letter to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, Menefee, Turner and Hidalgo suggested that Texas secretary of state officials are using the “audit” of the 2020 election as “pretext to disrupt election processes in the largest county in Texas.” They categorized the preliminary findings of the “audit” as producing little more than “unremarkable suggestions to improve chain-of-custody processes related to voting methods and equipment that Harris County no longer uses.”

(Read more hype at CNN)

Considering how Hildago’s Elevate Strategies scandal may have resulted in three indictments, but has not resulted in a trial or a final returning of funds, maybe we should not take information from Democrats like CNN, Hidalgo, and others

Since we have seen three indictments of Hidalgo staffers, there have been no firings even though the specious payment to Democrat insiders was not resisted in the least; therefore, this seems to point toward Democrat deceit in Harris County. Furthermore, there have been no trials and the $11 million in Harris County taxpayer funds have not been recouped.

Based on this, it would be a great idea to watch any acts the Democrats make.

Consider also the number of times the Department of Justice has been documented of recently breaking our laws

Why bring in a criminal organization in a situation where we need to minimize criminal behavior? Before bringing these thugs in, consider the following partial rap sheet:

Add to this, it seems we have a commander-in-chief that doesn’t know the difference between a law and an executive order

Additionally, RedState did us the favor of documenting the most recently-ignored senior moment by our dementor-in-chief when he said, “I’ve just signed a law that’s being challenged by my Republican colleagues.”

Joe Biden lies so much, you might get accustomed to some of the lies that he’s always repeating. He has a repertoire of them including being a civil rights activist and a truck driver, and having an “awful lot” of his house burn down, all of which are demonstrably false. His people must have told him to stop telling the lies, which are easily disproved. But you know how far gone he is by the fact that he keeps telling them. He has no conscience and/or perhaps no ability to even stop himself anymore. He can’t distinguish between the truth and the lies at this point. And that should concern everyone.

But even though I’m so used to Biden lying at this point, one of the lies he told on Sunday was still pretty astonishing.

Biden did a forum for “Now This with young “changemakers,” to answer some of the questions that they might have for him. One of those questions was about student debt. Biden showed his ignorance on the subject. But what was so astounding was that he said, “I’ve just signed a law that’s being challenged by my Republican colleagues.”

Biden then described the “law” he said he signed, saying if you have a Pell Grant you qualify for “2,000…excuse me…$20,000 in debt forgiveness.” If you don’t have a Pell Grant, Biden said, “You just get 10,000 written off. It’s passed. I got it passed by a vote or two…It’s in effect.”

(Read more at RedState)

Maybe not distinguishing between law and executive order is not the worst part

Maybe the worst part is that Biden thinks that there has been a vote (“or two”) in the two chambers of Congress.

It is well past time to clear this regime out.

 

Comparing what Joe said on oil and gas leases to the truth

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“Disingenuous:” Biden Says He Hasn’t Stopped Oil Production. Here’s The Reality

The Daily Caller cites Joe in his lie and then lays out the truth of how Joe Biden has treated oil and gas leases since he came to office.

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he has not stopped or stalled oil production; despite this, the Biden administration has implemented policies that are derailing domestic fossil fuel output.

Biden asserted that he wanted to “debunk some myths” about his energy policies and claimed that his administration has done the “opposite” of discouraging oil production during a speech. However, the Biden administration has instituted a regulatory crackdown on producers and discouraged investment in the industry while blaming oil and gas companies for the resulting shortages and price hikes.

“Biden’s claim is absolutely not true based on his very clear track record,” Phil Flynn, an energy market analyst with the PRICE Futures Group, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Biden’s green policies have created a hostile environment for investment in oil and gas, which has hurt production.”

Biden also indicated that oil companies were arbitrarily increasing prices at the pump as the price trends of gasoline did not match oil price trends. However, gas prices are being driven higher due to refining constraints rather than because of the oil industry’s alleged “price gouging,” according to Flynn.

“We’ve seen refineries close because of environmental regulations or switch to ineffective biofuels due to pressure from the Biden administration,” Flynn said. “The president either doesn’t understand this or he is purposely misleading people,”

The Environmental Protection Agency decided in April to rescind exemptions that would have allowed over 30 refiners to avoid blending “renewable” biofuels into gasoline and diesel, increasing the “burden” on refineries by hiking costs and decreasing output, according to an agency docket. The Democrats’ $370 billion climate spending package, which Biden signed into law in August, strengthens the EPA’s methane rules and imposes new taxes on methane emissions which could threaten independent oil and gas producers.

“If the president wants to debunk some myths, let’s start with the fact that he’s leased fewer acres of federal and offshore land than any other president since the end of WWII,” Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas told the DCNF. “This admin is approving just over 200 leases monthly, while the Trump admin was approving almost 400 monthly.”

Biden has issued the fewest acres of land for federal oil and gas leasing since the late 1940s, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“To round it out, Biden is currently sitting on more than 4,700 pending Applications for Permits to Drill (APDs),” Westerman said.

(Read at the Daily Caller of the actions of Biden’s DOI)

You can be sure Biden was speaking to a mirror

When Democrats call out a list of evils done, they seem to end up naming the things that they had done themselves.

More articles on the truth of Joe’s actions

Biden suspends oil and gas leasing in slew of executive actions on climate change

CNBC reported on 27 January 2021 that Joe Biden had suspended oil and gas leasing through a number of executive actions.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a series of executive orders that prioritize climate change across all levels of government and put the U.S. on track to curb planet-warming carbon emissions.

Biden’s orders direct the secretary of the Interior Department to halt new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and waters, and begin a thorough review of existing permits for fossil fuel development.

In addition to the pause on leasing, Biden will direct the federal government to conserve 30% of federal lands and water by 2030 and find ways to double offshore wind production by that time.

The series of actions kick off the president’s agenda to reduce the country’s emissions and establish stricter targets under the Paris climate accord, the landmark agreement by nearly 200 nations aimed to mitigate climate change.

“We’ve already waited too long to deal with the climate crisis. We cannot wait any longer,” Biden said during a briefing on Wednesday.

“Our climate plans are ambitious,” Biden said. “But we are America. We are unwavering in our commitment to innovation.”

On his first day in office last week, Biden had the United States re-enter the Paris accord. He also cancelled the permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

During Barack Obama’s presidency, the U.S. vowed to curb emissions between 26% and 28% below 2005 levels by 2025 but has failed to come anywhere near that goal. Progress on reductions essentially halted during the Trump administration, which minimized the role of climate change and weakened more than 100 environmental regulations in favor of fossil fuel producers.

Biden, who has assembled the largest-ever White House team of climate experts, has vowed to unveil more ambitious targets at the major U.N. climate summit this year in Scotland. He has also pushed to implement a $2 trillion climate plan.

(Read more at CNBC for their syrupy coverage of their “Climate Savior”)

Nothing shows the intent of a regime like their actions in the first 100 days

This move to shut down the oil and gas industry, along with shutting down clean transportation methods, will cost the environment dearly and will add to the overall cost of oil.

Sources of energy that we can source either domestically or through our ideologically-aligned allies should get precedence over those accessed from strong competitors or ideological enemies. Oddly, though, Joe has chosen the path of most resistance for America. Therefore, this choice to cut down our oil and gas industry while simultaneously shutting down the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines has really started to dig into our pocketbooks.

Add Joe’s actions against the oilfield to his action on the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline

Oilfield experts predicted that Joe’s executive actions would come back to bite him. They are.

The Institute for Energy Research exposes Biden’s abysmal oil and gas lease record

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) provides us an insight into the Biden record on oil and gas leases on federal lands and offshore.

President Biden has leased fewer acres for offshore oil and gas production than any other President before him since the inception of offshore drilling rights. Not since Harry Truman have fewer acres of federal land or offshore rights to develop oil and gas resources been leased by a U.S. president. Under President Truman, offshore drilling was just beginning and the federal government did not yet control the deep-water leases that have made up the largest part of the federal oil-and-gas program. It is clear from the graph below that the Biden administration is withholding U.S. energy development at a time when the world is facing an energy crisis and consumers are experiencing very high prices. While President Biden says he is doing all he can to bring down gasoline prices, the reality is vastly different. He is withholding resources that Americans own, resulting in gasoline prices reaching an all-time high of $5 a gallon. One forecaster is predicting that gasoline prices will return to that level again by the end of the year, after sales from the emergency reserve end just before Election Day. The following graph from the Wall Street Journal indicates how few acres have been leased during his first 19 months in office despite the law requiring oil and natural gas lease sales.


Source: Wall Street Journal

President Biden’s Interior Department leased 126,228 acres for drilling through August 20. Under Biden’s stewardship leasing is down 97 percent from the first 19 months of President Trump’s term. No other president since Richard Nixon in 1969-70 leased out fewer than 4.4 million acres at this stage in his first term, and that was in the wake of the Santa Barbara oil spill of January 1969. Harry Truman was the last president to lease out fewer acres—65,658—in 1945-46, but as noted above the offshore program was just starting during his term. During former presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, leasing was at record highs in the 1970s and early 1980s in response to geopolitical oil crises. Mr. Reagan still holds the record, leasing nearly 48 million acres in his first 19 months, almost three times as much as any other president.

(Read more at the IER on how both onshore and offshore have fallen greatly)

I truthfully expected Trump to be the leader in land drilled. Not so.

It seems that Reagan was the king of drilling. George H. W. Bush followed him and George W. followed him. Then we get Carter, Ford, Clinton, Obama, and Trump. 

That was a surprise.

However, the real problem is that you need a magnifying glass to see Biden’s little sliver.

Biden halts oil and gas leases amid legal fight on climate cost

The Associated Press reported on 22 February 2022 that Joe Biden shut down oil and gas leases due to a legal fight on the purported cost to climate change.

The Biden administration is delaying decisions on new oil and gas drilling on federal land and other energy-related actions after a federal court blocked the way officials were calculating the real-world costs of climate change.

The administration said in a legal filing that a Feb. 11 ruling by a Louisiana federal judge will affect dozens of rules by at least four federal agencies. Among the immediate effects is an indefinite delay in planned oil and gas lease sales on public lands in a half-dozen states in the West, including Wyoming, Montana and Utah.

The ruling also will delay plans to restrict methane waste emissions from natural gas drilling on public lands and a court-ordered plan to develop energy conservation standards for manufactured housing, the administration said. The ruling also will delay a $2.3 billion federal grant program for transit projects, officials said.

(Read more at the Associated Press)

Let’s first realize that Biden has been so firmly anti-oil that no one source chronicles all of his restrictions

If you go to the Fox News timeline, you will find eight points in Biden’s actions:

  • Starting with the Keystone XL,
  • Progressing to Biden’s revamping of the “social cost of greenhouse gas emissions,” 
  • Including various tax issues like:
    • The June 2021 denial of tax credits for exploration
    • The October 2021 “methane fee”
    • A March 2022 “windfall profit” tax
  • And including a November 2021 call by Biden to have the FTC investigate the oil industry and gas stations for price gouging

However, to find out about his restrictions on crossing federal lands, you will need another source.

And to find out about how Biden’s Secretary of the Interior restricted drilling on reservations, you will need yet another source. (Thanks, Bunkerville.)

Additionally, who knows how many other actions have been take?

Biden cancels offshore oil lease sales in Gulf of Mexico and Alaska

USNews reported during on 12 May 2022 that Joe Biden cancelled offshore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico and in Alaska.

The Biden administration says it is canceling three oil and gas lease sales scheduled in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska, removing millions of acres from possible drilling as U.S. gas prices reach record highs.

The Interior Department announced the decision Wednesday night, citing a lack of industry interest in drilling off the Alaska coast and “conflicting court rulings” that have complicated drilling efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, where the bulk of U.S. offshore drilling takes place,

The decision likely means the Biden administration will not hold a lease sale for offshore drilling this year and comes as Interior appears set to let a mandatory five-year plan for offshore drilling expire next month.

“Unfortunately, this is becoming a pattern — the administration talks about the need for more supply and acts to restrict it,” said Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, the top lobbying group for the oil and gas industry.

“As geopolitical volatility and global energy prices continue to rise, we again urge the administration to end the uncertainty and immediately act on a new five-year program for federal offshore leasing,” he said.

The lease cancellations come as gas prices have surged to a record $4.40 a gallon amid the war in Ukraine and other disruptions that have pushed prices $1.40 a gallon higher than a year ago. Consumer prices jumped 8.3% last month from a year ago, the government said Wednesday.

(Read more fluff at USNews)

One video on Biden’s attempts to kill the oil and gas industry

The following is a compilation of three promises by Biden while on the campaign trail to “end fossil fuel” (followed by eight reports by gleeful reporters pointing to Biden’s separate actions to kill the oil and gas industry).

Of course, the last half of the video fills with Biden denying that high gas prices are his fault, reporters doing what they can to cover for the incompetent idiot, and notations of how high gasoline has gone.

 

A stark, but clear response to Biden’s recent claim that “Our economy is as strong as hell”

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The World Economic Forum lists 44 countries and the associated inflation

The World Economic Forum worked with Pew Research to lay out the inflation figures of 44 countries.

By the way, this post requires a hat tip to both Bunkerville (who commented on this topic two days prior) and The Lone Cactus (whose post was the genesis of this post).

Two years ago, with millions of people out of work and central bankers and politicians striving to lift the U.S. economy out of a pandemic-induced recession, inflation seemed like an afterthought. A year later, with unemployment falling and the inflation rate rising, many of those same policymakers insisted that the price hikes were “transitory” – a consequence of snarled supply chains, labor shortages and other issues that would right themselves sooner rather than later.

Now, with the inflation rate higher than it’s been since the early 1980s, Biden administration officials acknowledge that they missed their call. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual inflation rate in May was 8.6%, its highest level since 1981, as measured by the consumer price index. Other inflation metrics also have shown significant increases over the past year or so, though not quite to the same extent as the CPI.

Inflation in the United States was relatively low for so long that, for entire generations of Americans, rapid price hikes may have seemed like a relic of the distant past. Between the start of 1991 and the end of 2019, year-over-year inflation averaged about 2.3% a month, and exceeded 5.0% only four times. Today, Americans rate inflation as the nation’s top problem, and President Joe Biden has said addressing the problem is his top domestic priority.

But the U.S. is hardly the only place where people are experiencing inflationary whiplash. A Pew Research Center analysis of data from 44 advanced economies finds that, in nearly all of them, consumer prices have risen substantially since pre-pandemic times.

(Read more at Pew Research)

This stands in stark contrast to Biden’s claim “Our economy is as strong as hell”

For a “leader of the world” who was “elected by the people of the nation” to represent them, this guy misses the mark on numerous points.

Let me count the ways Biden goes wrong in this little clip:

Additionally, I would point him to data that shows how nations with worse inflation got it by doing what he is doing — they have just done it a bit longer. To say it bluntly, the ones that have worse inflation are placating their populations with printed money. They are buying off their voters with ever-more-expensive goods that “the government provides them.”

The nations that have lower inflation (with the exception of China — who has a stranglehold on their press), allow their populations to work and gather the rewards of their work.

So, here we are. “President” Slurp-and-Smack is bribing Americans with:

 

Our need to return to the Constitution for the sake of our rights and our economy

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Overzealous bureaucrats in Joe Biden’s EPA got reeled in by a Supreme Court decision

The Christian Broadcasting Network tells us how the Supreme Court recently slapped down an overreach by the bureaucrats of the Biden regime.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade it was easy to miss, but the court’s ruling in West Virginia v. EPA delivered a major blow to the federal bureaucracy.

The case considered the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. President Obama couldn’t get his plan to drastically change the nation’s power grid known as “Cap and Trade” through Congress, so he famously acted on his own.

“I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward,” the president said before a 2014 cabinet meeting and on a number of other occasions.

Working through the EPA on executive authority he expanded the Clean Air Act, written in the 1960s, to reduce toxic emissions. Instead of addressing individual power plants as the law had been applied, Obama went after the entire fossil fuel industry in a way that would have transformed the U.S. power grid, and for that, the Supreme Court called a foul.

“The court said Congress has to say specifically what they want EPA to do if they’re going to do something that has such a monumental impact,” said Derrick Morgan, executive vice president of The Heritage Foundation.

He says the court’s action is significant as presidents increasingly wield their executive pens to get their agendas passed around Congress.

“When you have a government that is looking to do so many things and they face resistance in the legislative branch, we’ve had a tendency for the president and through his agencies to try to do everything that they couldn’t do legislatively,” Morgan said.

(continued)

“The EPA has come in and threatened to take everything we’ve ever known,” Johnson said.

And it wasn’t just millions that were on the line.

“Almost every environmental statute includes criminal provisions, so you could go to jail and face criminal fines for things that most of us take for granted on our own property like moving dirt from one place to another,” Jonathan Wood with the Pacific Legal Foundation told CBN News.

In fact, there are so many government regulations concerning every aspect of American life that recent efforts to count them have failed.

“I’ve seen the estimate of at least 300,000. It’s probably more like 400 or 500,000 regulations that carry criminal penalties,” says John Malcolm, Vice President of the Institute for Constitutional Government and director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

(Read more at CBN)

This stands as more than a take-over of our fossil fuel and electrical resources, while that remains significant

In the specifics of this case, if you are consuming goods brought to market by ship, train, or truck, you should be concerned about Biden’s war on hydrocarbons that has driven diesel into the $5-$7/gallon range (even with the temporary price drops caused by Biden selling our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the Chinese). Since Trump filled the SPR and now Biden has nearly emptied it within two years, what will gasoline, diesel, heating oil, natural gas, propane, and other energy products cost when he has depleted the reserve?

Will we be able to depend on the grid that the EPA wants to limit due to carbon emissions at the electrical generation site? Will we be able to depend on the grid should the population of salmon and steelhead on the Snake River grow to a level that outstrips the capacity of the water ladders?

If we all convert to electric cars, will we be allowed to power them or will that be a convenience of the politicians?

Consider that before you vote for a Democrat or get-along Republican.

In the generalities of this case, we must consider the removal of all progressives from our government. We need to purge the government of “experts” and return lawmaking to Congress. Regulations do not need to be generated by the EPA or FBI or DOJ (D’oh!).

Woodrow Wilson’s case against the Constitution

The Washington Times explains how Democrat President Woodrow Wilson started this trend of placing “experts” in government to create regulations (in defiance of the process set up in the Constitution).

The headline above is deliberately provocative. At a time when there is a real focus on the rising power of the administrative state, it’s worth recalling President Woodrow Wilson’s argument that our traditional understanding of the U.S. Constitution should give way to what he considered the new realities of modern government.

Wilson is perhaps best known for expressing his intent in his April 1917 war message to make the world “safe for democracy.” Much less known is the key role Wilson earlier played — as a professor of political science and president of Princeton University — in the Progressive Era to “make the United States safe for the modern administrative state.”

As far as I know, Wilson never stated his intent to remake the American system of government in exactly those terms. But he exhibited remarkably little reticence regarding his objective — and the need, in his view, to alter the then-prevailing understanding of the Constitution’s dictates.

While Wilson’s political theories and the role they played in the rise of early 20th century Progressivism have been the subject of many scholarly works, Jonah Goldberg’s retelling in his new book, “The Suicide of the West,” discusses Wilson’s writings, and I borrow from his discussion here. Wilson was convinced, in no small measure by his admiration for prominent late 19th century German social scientists, that “modern government” should be guided by administrative agency “experts” with specialized knowledge beyond the ken of ordinary Americans — and that these experts shouldn’t be unduly constrained by ordinary notions of democratic rule or constitutional constraints.

So, in his seminal 1887 article, “The Study of Administration,” published in the same year that the first modern regulatory commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, was created, Wilson explained that he wanted to counter “the error of trying to do too much by vote.” Hence, he admonished that “self-government does not consist in having a hand in everything,” while pleading for “administrative elasticity and discretion” free from checks and balances.

Not surprisingly, Wilson’s conception of government run by administrative “experts,” unconstrained by popular consent, runs up against the traditional understanding of the Founder’s Constitution, with its tripartite system based on a separation of powers among the legislative, executive and judicial branches. Modern administrative agencies exercise a combination of legislative, executive and judicial powers without a clear separation of functions. Thus, the same agency commissioners make binding law through the exercise of rulemaking power, issue guidance regarding enforcement of the rules, and adjudicate alleged violations of the rules.

Wilson well understood that his notion of Progressive governance by “fourth branch” administrative experts was constitutionally problematic. In 1891, he wrote that “the functions of government are in a very real sense independent of legislation, and even constitutions.” Regarding this view that the Constitution was an obstacle to be overcome, not a legitimate charter establishing a system of checks on government power, Wilson never wavered. He complained in 1913 as president: “The Constitution was founded on the law of gravitation. The government was to exist and move by virtue of the efficacy of ‘checks and balances.’ The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing . No living thing can have its organs offset against each other, as checks, and live.

As the Progressive Era, and then the New Deal, unfolded with an expanding array of “alphabet” agencies — the FTC, FCC, SEC, NLRB and so forth — under a newly-conceived “living Constitution,” Wilson’s acolytes continued to argue that traditional understandings of the Constitution must not be allowed to restrict broad agency power. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, upholding an indeterminate congressional delegation of authority to the FCC to act in the “public interest,” warned: “There shall be no withdrawal from these experiments.”

(Read more at the Washington Times)

Progressivism, like its brothers (marxism and communism), has proven ineffective

We need to assign progressivism to the dustbin of history. Send the email to Nancy, Alexandria, and the rest.

And when you’re done, jot a memo that Bernie can read to tell him that communism effectively died with the wall. America has only been keeping China and her groupies on life support by buying her trinkets.

Why is progressivism out: because it stands against the choice of “we, the people”

We, the people, have no need of any “experts” to rule over us. Professionals of our choosing will be welcome to provide services in the realms of healthcare, accounting, and other specialties. However, to have “experts” installed in government and creating defacto laws by the pen stroke — we do not need that.

 

EPA Targets Permian Basin, Widening Biden’s War On Oil And Gas

Forbes reports on how Biden’s EPA has targeted the Permian Basin to widen Biden’s war on oil and gas.

During an interview with Brazil’s Agencia Estadio news service this week, I told the reporter that one of the reasons why I characterized the Biden energy policies as “confused” in a recent story is because we so often see the President saying one thing in public as his appointees in the federal bureaucracy are doing the opposite. We have seen this phenomenon take place repeatedly this year, as Mr. Biden has frequently called for the domestic industry to produce more oil and gas, refine more gasoline and ramp up exports of liquefied natural gas to Europe, while his agencies continue to hold up permitting, issue restrictive new regulations, and issue rulings that directly inhibit companies’ ability to get their business done.

It happened again this week, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it may soon issue a ruling declaring that vast parts of the Permian Basin are in “non-attainment” status under the agency’s ozone regulations. If such a declaration is made, it will constitute a direct governmental assault on what is by far America’s most active and productive oil-producing region and its second most-productive natural gas area. The Permian currently accounts for fully 43% of total U.S. daily oil production and is home to almost 40% of the nation’s active drilling rigs according to the Enverus daily rig count.

Thursday’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in the West Virginia v. EPA case is not expected to impact the agency’s ability to set standards on ozone levels and enforce them. If anything, it seems likely the agency, at least under a Biden presidency, will seek to become more aggressive in this realm as a backdoor means of continuing to force coal-fired power plants out of business and, as in this case, hamper the domestic oil and gas industry.

Placing the Permian Basin in non-attainment status would force a significant reduction in the region’s rig count, severely limiting the domestic industry’s efforts to increase U.S. oil production at a time when the global oil market is already severely under-supplied. Thus, while the President claims to want to “work like the devil” to lower gasoline prices and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm claims Mr. Biden is “using every tool” at his disposal to do so, the EPA is working to create the exact opposite impact.

The EPA’s announcement comes just a week after Secretary Granholm summoned a group of refining company CEOs to Washington, D.C. where she urged them to somehow increase their refining efforts, despite the fact that her own Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the industry is already running at a historically high 95% capacity. It also comes after both Granholm and the President himself have repeatedly called for the domestic industry to increase production levels of oil and gas to try to mitigate high prices for gasoline and diesel at the pump.

(Read more at Forbes)

Yes, I know I blogged on this already. Still, this bears repeating. We cannot allow our energy source to be shut down while Biden begs for importation of more expensive energy.

The concept of the EPA being able to take readings in El Paso, Texas (305 miles from Midland, Texas — in the heart of the Permian Basin) or Carlsbad, New Mexico (150 miles to Midland) and apply them to the Permian Basin stands against reason. However, the concept is nothing new to the Biden regime.

Previously, Biden got away for months with an unconstitutional move of essentially taking property from American citizens without any compensation when he twice declared a rent holiday (even though it had once been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court). Here, he would take jobs and increase energy costs nationwide by shutting down these fields.

EPA’s Clean Power Plan and Constitutional Risk

Even The Atlantic takes up the case against the power grab by the EPA as it seeks to push Biden extreme view of climate ideology.

When Congress is deadlocked on some urgent issue, such as climate change, presidents often insist that they must be able to act, even if doing so means doing things that neither Congress nor the Constitution’s drafters ever explicitly authorized. But does the danger to be salved justify the danger of departing from constitutional government?

In the case of the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan, the answer is clearly “no.” The plan requires states to reorganize their electrical power mix and electricity usage, matters that EPA has no statutory power to regulate directly, in order to eliminate the coal-fired power generation that it can regulate directly. There is debate about the plan’s constitutionality, but none whatsoever about its lack of benefits. The EPA itself admits that the plan’s utility against the threat of climate change will be so small (reducing warming by 0.016 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century) that it will be impossible to measure.

Even a trivial risk to the Constitution might seem to outweigh a trivial benefit. And the risks here are anything but trivial, worse than even the plan’s opponents have fully grasped. Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, an Obama mentor, has attacked the plan, as David Graham recently explained:

Tribe argues that the rule violates the Fifth Amendment because it constitutes a regulatory “taking” by the federal government, limiting a corporation’s use of its coal plants without due compensation, and that it violates the Tenth Amendment by coercing states into creating their own CO2 reduction plans or else risking the federal government imposing its own plan.

The whole scheme of cooperative federal-state regulations also raises major constitutional questions. When the EPA says to the states, in effect, “develop a plan to implement our new regulation, or we will impose a federal plan, and you won’t like it,” it is inherently coercive. But that’s the way the Clean Air Act is structured, along with a host of other federal programs. The Supreme Court, though, has thus far taken a permissive view of this de facto federal takeover of the functions of state government.

But the problems with the Clean Power Plan go deeper. Normally, when the EPA threatens to impose a federal plan, it actually has the statutory authority to do what it’s asking the states to do. The coercion (or “encouragement” as the Supreme Court prefers to call it) occurs within a field of concurrent federal-state jurisdiction. But the Clean Power Plan is missing that essential ingredient. Even the EPA admits that it has no statutory authority to impose directly the measures it’s asking states to take.

Here’s how the Clean Power Plan works. Under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the EPA is empowered to designate a “best system of emissions reduction” (or “BSER”) for facilities that emit certain pollutants. (The EPA may also face legal challenges as to whether it can even regulate carbon emissions under Section 111.) Normally, the “BSER” is a “scrubber” or some other technology that physically reduces emissions at the source facility. But the EPA’s creative lawyers have discovered almost infinite elasticity in the concept of a BSER. The agency wants to tailor them to rework each state’s mix of electric generation and consumption, matters that the Federal Power Act leaves to the states and, in a few cases, to the Federal Electrical Regulatory Commission.

The core of the Clean Power Plan is the EPA’s attempt to reduce carbon emissions at electric-generating plants. The BSER consists of four baskets, or “blocks,” of measures that states must take in order to reduce coal-fired electrical generation. These measures include costly and ambitious improvements in emissions rates from coal-fired power generation (Block 1); the replacement of coal-fired electrical generation with natural gas (Block 2) and renewable sources (Block 3); and significant limits on electricity use by consumers (Block 4). Of these, as the EPA admits, only Block 1 is something that EPA could ordinarily impose directly under the Clean Air Act.

To get around that, the EPA is requiring states to develop plans for implementing the BSER, subject to its approval. If states don’t file approvable plans, then the EPA is required to file a federal plan. And here’s the constitutional problem: The EPA does not have, and does not claim, the authority to do under a federal plan what it’s asking states to do under their own plans.

So the EPA has given itself an out, in the form of an “alternative approach” to the BSER.  The proposed regulation states that under this “alternative approach”:

[B]locks 2, 3, and 4 would not be components of the system of emissions reduction but instead would serve as bases for quantifying the reduced generation (and therefore emissions) at the affected [Electrical Generating Units], and assuring that the amount of reduced generation meets the criteria for the ‘best’ system that is ‘adequately demonstrated’ because, among other things, the reduced generation can be achieved while the demand for electricity services can continue to be met in a reliable and affordable manner.

There is a remarkable power-grab hidden inside this nearly unintelligible piece of legalese. This “alternative approach” would allow the EPA to shut down the same amount of coal-fired power generation that could be shut down under an approvable state plan, even if the state declines to file such a plan. It would still be a valid BSER, according to the EPA, because the existence of a BSER for “state plans” establishes that “demand for electricity services can continue to be met in a reliable and affordable manner.” If the same amount of coal power is simply shut down under a federal plan, states can always make up the lost demand by implementing the BSER on their own.

(Read more at The Atlantic)

When The Atlantic or the New York Times notices your liberal eccentricity, maybe it signals a need to balance the weights

When either of these two liberal publications notices the overly-liberal bent of your actions, Joe, maybe it would seem a really good time to get things back in balance for the sake of the nation.

If federal overreach seems like a new problem, look back to these attacks during the Obama years

Eleven years ago, Gibson guitar was raided by the DOJ for using exotic wood

National Public Radio reminds us of the raid on Gibson Guitars in 2011 for their having included an exotic wood from Africa in the frets of their premium guitars.

Andrea Johnson, director of forest programs for the Environmental Investigation Agency, wrote to NPR to express concern over two points in this story. First, the word “verify” more accurately reflects the requirements placed on end users of endangered wood. The Lacey Act, Johnson wrote, “does not require any ‘certification’ at all per se. In the forestry world, ‘certify’ implies independent third-party certification, or government stamps, neither of which the US government recognizes as ‘proof’ of legality.”

Johnson also says she mis-spoke when she said that Gibson “was on the ground in Madagascar getting a tourto understand whether they could possibly source illegally from that country.”

“I used ‘illegally’ when I meant ‘legally’ in talking about the trip to Madagascar,” she writes. “I didn’t realize I’d done this until I was listening to the piece. I really wanted to be clear: the objective of that trip’s organizers was to look into whether there were opportunities for ‘good wood’ sourcing, and in the end after seeing the risks, only Gibson continued to purchase.”

Last week federal marshals raided the Gibson Guitar Corporation in Tennessee. It wasn’t the first time. The government appears to be preparing to charge the famous builder of instruments with trafficking in illegally obtained wood. It’s a rare collision of music and environmental regulation.

In the hottest part of an August Tennessee day last Thursday, Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz stood out in the full sun for 30 minutes and vented to the press about the events of the day before.

“We had a raid,” he said, “with federal marshals that were armed, that came in, evacuated our factory, shut down production, sent our employees home and confiscated wood.”

The raids at two Nashville facilities and one in Memphis recalled a similar raid in Nashville in November 2009, when agents seized a shipment of ebony from Madagascar. They were enforcing the Lacey Act, a century-old endangered species law that was amended in 2008 to include plants as well as animals. But Juszkiewicz says the government won’t tell him exactly how — or if — his company has violated that law.

“We’re in this really incredible situation. We have been implicated in wrongdoing and we haven’t been charged with anything,” he says. “Our business has been injured to millions of dollars. And we don’t even have a court we can go to and say, ‘Look, here’s our position.'”

The U.S. Justice Department won’t comment about the case it’s preparing, but a court motion filed in June asserts Gibson’s Madagascar ebony was contraband. It quotes emails that seem to show Gibson taking steps to maintain a supply chain that’s been connected to illegal timber harvests.

Andrea Johnson, director of forest programs for the Environmental Investigation Agency in Washington, says the Lacey Act requires end users of endangered wood to certify the legality of their supply chain all the way to the trees. EIA’s independent investigations have concluded that Gibson knowingly imported tainted wood.

“Gibson clearly understood the risks involved,” says Johnson. “Was on the ground in Madagascar getting a tour to understand whether they could possibly source illegally from that country. And made a decision in the end that they were going to source despite knowing that there was a ban on exports of ebony and rosewood.”

(Read more at NPR)

Yeah, sure, DOJ attorney, make your excuses. We will follow the evidence.

You at the DOJ claim that Gibson knew that the miniscule amount of rosewood applied to the surface of the frets would be a violation of bans on rosewood. You claim that’s why the DOJ had to raid with guns drawn on artisan guitar makers.

Although you at the DOJ claim that the infractions and the resulting raid made sense, it makes more of an argument for the downsizing of government.

The EPA versus the Constitution (private property rights trampled by the EPA in 2011)

Reason.com looked into a similar conflict between the EPA and the Constitution that occurred in 2011 as the EPA sought to enforce environmental edicts while controlling people’s private property.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This means that if the government infringes on your rights, you are entitled to mount a timely and meaningful defense of those rights in court. It’s one of the cornerstones of our entire legal system, with roots dating back at least as far as the Magna Carta, which declared, “No free man…shall be stripped of his rights or possessions…except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”

Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prefers a less venerable form of justice, as the Supreme Court will hear next month during oral arguments in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue is the EPA’s enforcement of the Clean Water Act through so-called administrative compliance orders, which are government commands that allow the agency to control the use of private property without the annoyance of having to subject its actions to judicial review.

The case started four years ago when a married couple named Mike and Chantell Sackett received an EPA compliance order instructing them to stop construction on what was supposed to be their dream home near Priest Lake, Idaho. The government claimed their .63-acre lot was a federally-protected wetland, but that was news to the Sacketts, who had procured all the necessary local permits. Their lot, which is bordered by two roads and several other residential lots, was in fact zoned for residential use.

The Sacketts contend that the compliance order was issued erroneously and they would like the opportunity to make their case in court. Yet according to the terms of the Clean Water Act, they may not challenge the order until the EPA first seeks judicial enforcement of it, a process that could take years. In the meantime, the Sacketts risk $32,500 in fines per day if they fail to comply. And complying doesn’t just mean they have to stop building; they must also return the lot to its original condition at their own expense.

Moreover, if they did eventually prevail under the current law, the Sacketts would then need to start construction all over again. By that point they would have paid all of the necessary compliance costs plus double many of their original building expenses. And who knows how much time would have been lost. Where’s the due process in that? The Sacketts understandably want the right to challenge the government’s actions now, not after it’s become too late or too expensive for them to put their property to its intended use.

For its part, the EPA argues that old-fashioned judicial review would simply get in the way. As the agency states in the brief it submitted to the Supreme Court, “A rule that broadly authorized immediate judicial review of such agency communications would ultimately disserve the interests of both the government and regulated parties, by discouraging interactive processes that can obviate the need for judicial action.”

(Read more at Reason.com)

How we stock a pond that connects to no stream and is fed by a field does not interest the EPA

If the pond had never been built or if the Sacketts had abided by the Western code of SSS (shoot, shovel, shut up), they might never had been inconvenienced by the EPA. However, they attempted to comply. For that and bureaucratic overreach, they must be punished.