DAY ONE: Beijing Biden Kills Keystone Pipeline and Thousands of Jobs, Rejoins Paris Climate Accord, Removed 1776 Project, Vows to Restart Iran’s Nuclear Program, Fed Mask Mandates


America did not vote for this. Could it be more clear now?


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Joe Biden Signs Stack of Executive Orders to Roll Back Donald Trump Agenda

Breitbart News: President Joe Biden signed a stack of Executive Orders on Wednesday, immediately rolling back some of former President Donald Trump’s top priorities.
The president signed three executive orders in front of the press as he sat next to a stack of folders which he intended to sign afterward.
“I thought with the state of the nation today, there’s no time to waste,” Biden said, noting that he wanted to “get to work immediately.”
There were at least 15 folders stacked on Biden’s desk.
Biden signed executive orders mandating masks on federal property, ordering support for underserved communities to ensure equity and equality in health care and other areas, and an order reversing the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
The president’s press wranglers swiftly escorted the media out of the room after Biden finished his remarks, despite multiple questions from reporters.
According to the White House, Biden also signed orders revoking President Trump’s travel ban and revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Another order ended Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the border, terminating funds for the construction of the wall and ordering a pause in construction within seven days.
He also ordered the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to “preserve and fortify” the DACA amnesty for illegal aliens brought to the United States as children.
One order directed a review of immigration enforcement policies and levels a 100-day pause on “most removals” from the country.
Another order rescinded Trump’s ban on transgender military service and rescinded his executive order excluding non-citizens from the 2020 census.
He also ordered a pause on President Trump’s “harmful” regulations that were not finalized.
Biden also extended moratoriums on evictions, foreclosures, and student loan forbearance as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The president ignored many of the questions from the press but did respond to a question about the letter that former President Donald Trump left him in the Oval Office.
“The president wrote a very generous letter,” he said, adding that he would not discuss the details of the “private” letter until he spoke with Trump personally.

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TAKE ACTION: Support Florida Cabinet’s effort to divest state funds from investments in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter.


First state in the country, Florida considers divesting state funds from investments in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter.   Please encourage the Florida Cabinet to vote yes to divest from investments in leftist censorship corporations.  Hopefully, other states will follow.


Click here to send your email to encourage certain members of the Florida Cabinet to vote to divest its taxpayer funds from investment in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter.


To see this alert in your internet browser and share this article click here.
Floridapolitics.com published an article titled Randy Fine wants state divested from tech giants after Donald Trump’s purge from social media – Fine argues the companies are selectively enforcing their rules to disfavor conservatives.
Republican Rep. Randy Fine is calling on the state to look into its investments with major tech companies and withdraw that money after President Donald Trump was kicked off several social media platforms following last week’s Capitol attack.  In a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Fine argues Trump and his supporters are being unfairly targeted.  The letter specifically asks the Governor to “order the immediate divestment of any Florida-held equity and debt” in Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Twitter.  “They may get to decide who they do business with. So do we,” Fine said.  “No matter what one thinks about President Trump, he remains the duly-elected President of the United States until noon on Jan. 20. If the President of the United States can be silenced by these companies, then so can anyone.”
It appears Fine has some back up from Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, a fellow Republican in the Cabinet.  In response to Fine’s proposal, Patronis said, “We should consider getting this on the next Cabinet agenda. Big-tech coordinated to shut down conservative accounts but still allows [Venezuelan leader] Nicolás Maduro to spread lies.”
Fine referenced other controversial world leaders from China, Iran and elsewhere that remain active on Twitter despite outrageous and violent statements of their own.  “It is clear that Twitter and Facebook are engaged in one-sided viewpoint discrimination targeting conservatives,” Fine wrote.   “These companies allow actual terrorists around the world to use their platforms to target America, Americans, and our allies, without as much as a peep. And it is not disputed that Amazon, Apple, and Google are actively working to eliminate any alternative outlets where conservatives can speak freely.”
Parler, an alternative to Twitter promoted by several conservative voices, has for now essentially been kicked off the internet after Apple and Google blocked the app from its app stores and Amazon revoked hosting services, leaving the app completely offline. Those companies cited numerous calls for violence before Wednesday’s attack that had gone unregulated.
Big tech is deplatforming, delisting, demonetizing and censoring thousands of conservative patriots across America.  These companies’ censorship will likely get much worse with the change in political leadership in Washington.   It is encouraging to see the third largest state in America consider divesting its taxpayer funds from investment in corporations that treat a large number of Americans with great disdain by depriving them of their liberties to speak freely.
Please encourage certain Florida Cabinet members to vote yes to divest State of Florida investments in leftist censorship corporations.  Hopefully, other states will follow.
Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to encourage certain members of the Florida Cabinet to vote to divest its taxpayer funds from investment in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter.
To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button. You may also edit the subject or message text if you wish.
Click here to send your email to encourage certain members of the Florida Cabinet to vote to divest its taxpayer funds from investment in Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter.
Contact information:
Florida Cabinet
Governor Ron DeSantis
ron.desantis@eog.myflorida.com
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis
CFO.Patronis@MyFloridaCFO.com
Ashley Moody
Attorney General
Richard Martin, Chief of Staff
richard.martin@myfloridalegal.com

6 Key Takeaways Every Student Should Receive from Econ 101


A more widespread understanding of Econ 101 would reduce the likelihood of destructive government policies winning public support.


In a 2015 podcast conversation with American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, Vox’s Ezra Klein declared that “there’s nothing more dangerous than somebody who’s just taken their first economics class.” Often expressing a similar contempt for Econ 101 is University of Connecticut law professor James Kwak.
This expressed skepticism of Econ 101 comes across as wise and sophisticated—even hip—to many people who don’t grasp Econ 101. And it gives the mistaken impression that those who warn of the alleged folly of taking Econ 101 too seriously are experts not only in elementary economics but also in advanced economics.
Yet this contemptuous dismissal of the relevance of Econ 101 is foolish. Those who express it either really don’t know any economics whatsoever or mistakenly presume that the theoretical curiosities explored in Econ 999 are more relevant than is the reality revealed by Econ 101. But the truth is that Econ 101 taught well supplies ample, important, and timeless insights into the way the world works.
These insights, sadly, are far too rare among those who are unexposed to elementary economics.

No one denies that a deeper understanding of economic reality is supplied by training in sound, advanced economics. If, for example, we’re interested in understanding and predicting many of the details of how people react to changes in particular government policies—and in tracing out some specific consequences of these likely reactions—knowledge of economics beyond that which is conveyed in an intro-econ course is useful.
Similarly, if we want to better understand many observed commercial practices—practices such as corporate stock buybacks or automobile dealerships’ penchant for clustering near each other—then knowledge beyond principles of economics is often necessary.  No one can doubt the usefulness of more advanced economic training.
But it doesn’t follow from these observations that knowledge merely of economic principles is “dangerous.” The young person who absorbs Econ 101 but who takes no further courses in economics will nevertheless, and for the rest of his or her life, possess a genuine understanding of reality that is distressingly rare among politicians, pundits, preachers, and the general public. Far from being a danger to society, this person—inoculated against the worst and most virulent strands of economic ignorance—will serve as a beneficial check on the spread of ideas that are dodgy and sometimes perilous.
The true danger is not knowledge of “only” Econ 101. The true danger is ignorance even of Econ 101.
The typical protectionist opposes free trade not because he aced an advanced econ course and learned that, under just the right circumstances, optimally imposed tariffs can be justified on economic grounds. No. The typical protectionist opposes free trade because he doesn’t understand the first thing about economics. He doesn’t understand that the purpose of trade is to enrich people as consumers and not to guarantee the incomes of existing producers. The typical protectionist doesn’t understand that exports are costs and that imports are benefits. (He thinks it’s the other way ’round.) Failing to understand that the act of importing not only destroys but also creates particular jobs in the domestic economy, the protectionist mistakenly concludes that the more we import the fewer are the number of jobs in our economy.
The typical protectionist, in short, doesn’t understand the first thing about economics. Yet had he taken a well-taught Econ 101 course, he’d not swallow and repeat these and other myths about trade.
Likewise, the typical politician doesn’t support minimum wages because she has concluded after careful study that employers of low-skilled workers possess a sufficient quantum of monopsony power in the labor market, in addition to monopoly power in the output market, to nullify the prediction of basic supply-and-demand analysis that minimum wages shrink low-skilled workers’ employment options. No.
She supports minimum wages because she naively supposes that wages are set arbitrarily by employers and that higher wages come out of either employers’ profits or consumers’ wallets without prompting any changes in employers’ or consumers’ behavior.
And most of this politician’s constituents share her economic ignorance. They miss the reality revealed by Econ 101—namely, that wages are not set arbitrarily by employers and, therefore, that when the cost of employing workers is raised by minimum wages, employers respond in part by employing fewer workers.
In both of the above examples (and these are only two examples of many), more widespread understanding of Econ 101 would reduce the likelihood of these destructive policies winning public support.

They’re called economic principles for a good reason: What is taught in a solid economic-principles course are the principles of the operation of a competitive economy guided by market prices. They describe the logic of markets and, accordingly, in most cases offer a trustworthy guide for understanding the economy—and an understanding of the consequences of government interventions into the economy.
It’s true that reality sometimes serves up circumstances that render knowledge only of economic principles inadequate. But if economic principles did not on most occasions give reliable and useful insights into how real-world economies actually operate, they would be anti-principles. They ought not be taught, and students should demand tuition refunds along with compensation for being defrauded by their colleges.
But in fact, again, enormously important insights are conveyed in a good Econ 101 course. Here’s just a partial list of what an attentive Econ 101 student learns:

  1. Our world is one of unavoidable scarcity, and so to use more resources to produce guns is to have fewer resources available to produce butter. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, a free gun, or a free anything else.
  2. Wealth is goods and services; wealth is not money. And so to create more money without creating more goods and services is to create not more wealth but only more inflation—along with the distortions and uncertainties that inflation unleashes.
  3. When the cost that a person incurs to take some action rises, the attractiveness to that person of taking that action falls. This fact is why higher taxes on carbon emissions reduce carbon emissions and why higher taxes on income-earning activities reduce income-earning activities.
  4. Profits are entrepreneurs’ reward for successfully satisfying consumers’ wants; profits are neither stolen from consumers nor extracted from workers. Therefore, the greater the good performed in the market by entrepreneurs, the higher the entrepreneurs’ profits.
  5. Prices and wages aren’t arbitrary. They’re set in markets by consumers competing against each other to purchase goods and services and by sellers competing against each other to sell goods and services. Sellers in competitive markets no more control prices than do buyers.
  6. Because of the principle of comparative advantage, it’s literally impossible for one country to monopolize the production of all goods and services.

I submit that these and other lessons taught in Econ 101 are vitally significant and need not await being polished and conditioned by the lessons of higher-level economics courses before becoming immensely useful. Far from being dangerous, these and other Econ 101 lessons are beautiful and essential.
This article was reprinted from the American Institute for Economic Research.
COLUMN BY

Donald J. Boudreaux

Donald J. Boudreaux is a senior fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Mercatus Center Board Member, and a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University.
EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Far-Left Rioters VANDALIZE One Of Pelosi’s San Francisco Homes With Blood-Red Paint


Democrats like Pelosi will learn sooner or later: you cannot appease the violent left.

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home is VANDALIZED with red paint, a pig’s head and a spray-painted message about $2,000 checks during battle with Republicans over direct payments

  • Police sources told TMZ that cops were called out to reports of vandalism at the House Speaker’s property around 3 a.m. New Year’s Day
  • DailyMail.com has contacted San Francisco Police Department for comment
  • A photo posted on social media shows a white garage plastered in graffiti
  • ‘2k’ is written on the garage and then crossed out, in what appears to be a reference to the $2,000 stimulus checks Pelosi is pushing for
  • The graffiti also reads ‘cancel rent’ and ‘we want everything’
  • Red paint covers the driveway and a pig’s head sits on the paving slabs

By Rachel Sharp For Dailymail.com, 1 January 2021 |
Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home was vandalized overnight with a pig’s head surrounded in a pool of red paint, as well as a spray-painted message appearing to allude to the failed $2,000 stimulus checks.
Police were called to the House Speaker’s Pacific Heights mansion in the early hours of New Year’s Day after receiving reports of vandalism at the property, TMZ reported.
Officers arrived at the scene around 3am and filed a police report, but it is unclear if there are any suspects.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the San Francisco Police Department for comment.
A photo of the bizarre scene was first shared on social media on Friday afternoon by conservative filmmaker Maggie VandenBerghe.
Nancy Pelosi ‘s San Francisco home has been vandalized with red paint, a pigs head and a spray painted message about $2,000 checks, according to TMZ
Police sources told the outlet that cops were called out to reports of vandalism at the House Speaker’s property in the early hours of New Year’s Day. Her home as it normally looks above
Photos of the bizarre scene were shared on social media by conservative filmmaker Maggie VandenBerghe on Friday afternoon

Photos of the bizarre scene were shared on social media by conservative filmmaker Maggie VandenBerghe on Friday afternoon
It showed Pelosi’s white garage door defaced with black graffiti text reading: ‘$2k cancel rent! We want everything!’ in an apparent reference to the $2,000 COVID relief checks she has been pushing for.
The vandals also spray-painted the letter A enclosed in a circle, most commonly known as the symbol for anarchism.
Underneath the disturbing message was pool of red paint on the driveway with a pig’s head placed at the center of the pavement.
VandenBerghe, a self-proclaimed patriot and independent journalist that has been featured on conservative news outlets in the past, accused police in her post of trying to cover up the incident after the city reported the vandalism.
‘City called to clean up at 3am & police attempting to stop photos of scene. Media SILENT,’ she tweeted.
Pelosi has been calling for the second round of stimulus checks to be increased from $600 to $2,000 – an amount also proposed by Donald Trump.
But the efforts have so far fallen short with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday blocking the Democrats’ standalone bill to send the checks to Americans.
McConnell told Pelosi the Senate won’t be ‘bullied’ into passing it, dashing hopes of the higher checks being sent out to Americans.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Nero’ De Blasio Dances in Times Square While Banning New Yorkers From Ball Drop
EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

US taxpayer money went to al-Qaeda-linked jihad group during Obama administration


The Obama third term is about to start, so the money is likely once again to flow freely to those who wish to destroy America.

“US Taxpayer Money Went to Al-Qaeda Affiliate During Obama Administration: Senate Reports.”

by Li Hai, Epoch Times, December 30, 2020:
At least $150,000 in U.S. taxpayer money went to an Islamic organization with ties to terrorism through a humanitarian organization from 2014 to 2015, a large amount of which was approved by the then-Obama administration despite being informed the Islamic organization was a sanctioned entity, a Senate report shows.
On Dec. 23, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released a report of an investigation conducted by his staff into the relationship between World Vision, a non-profit humanitarian organization, and the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), an organization that has funded terrorist activities.
World Vision is a non-profit organization founded in 1950 to provide humanitarian aid to impoverished peoples in vulnerable areas across the world.
ISRA is headquartered in Sudan and has been sanctioned by the United States since 2004 “after they had funneled approximately $5 million to Maktab Al-Khidamat, the predecessor to Al-Qaeda controlled by Osama Bin Laden,” the report stated.
According to a timeline of events from the report:

  • On Jan. 21, 2014, World Vision submitted a grant application to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide humanitarian services to some conflict-affected areas in Sudan. World Vision was subsequently awarded a grant of $723,405 to carry out the program.
  • On Feb. 1, 2014, World Vision entered into an agreement with the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA) whereby ISRA would provide humanitarian services to certain parts of the Blue Nile Region in Sudan on behalf of World Vision. Prior to this, World Vision had worked with ISRA on several projects from 2013 through 2014.
  • In late September 2014, World Vision’s legal department was notified of ISRA’s potential status as a sanctioned entity. World Vision then ceased all payments to ISRA and began investigating whether ISRA was indeed a sanctioned entity.
  • On Jan. 23, 2015, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) responded to World Vision’s inquiry that ISRA is indeed a sanctioned entity. OFAC denied World Vision’s request for a license to transact with ISRA in the same letter.
  • On Feb. 19, 2015, World Vision again requested a license to transact with ISRA in order to pay them $125,000 for services rendered. In its request, World Vision stressed that it could face severe legal consequences and even expulsion from Sudan if it did not pay ISRA the monies owed.
  • On May 4, 2015, the Obama Administration’s State Department recommended OFAC grant World Vision’s request for a license to pay ISRA $125,000 in monies owed. The following day, OFAC granted World Vision a specific license to pay ISRA $125,000 only for services rendered.

The report shows $125,000 was paid on May 7, 2015, from which $111,982 was from a United States Government (USG) grant and $9,062 was from Irish government aid….

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Spain: On Christmas Day, knife-wielding Muslim migrant screams ‘Allahu akbar, I’m going to kill you’ at passersby
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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

President Trump Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill Invoking 1974 Impoundment Control Act to Demand “Rescissions”


The President on Sunday invoked the 1974 Impoundment Control Act to demand “rescissions” be made to the spending measures.
Trump: I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.
Trump negotiated:

  • $2,000 per person
  • Section 230 eliminated or substantially revised
  • A line by line removal of the pork from the bill

https://twitter.com/KelemenCari/status/1343371877872500737?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1343371877872500737%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fgellerreport.com%2F2020%2F12%2Fpresident-trump-signs-coronavirus-relief-bill-invoking-1974-impoundment-control-act-to-demand-rescissions.html%2F

Trump signs coronavirus relief bill after days of tension

By Tom Howell Jr. – The Washington Times – Sunday, December 27, 2020
President Trump signed the massive coronavirus relief and government spending bill Sunday, ending nearly a week of suspense that flustered governors and lawmakers of both parties.
Mr. Trump put pen to paper after a Christmas period marked by anger and confusion over his demands for bigger payments than what his Treasury secretary and GOP leaders agreed to in intense talks earlier this month.
“As president, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child,” Mr. Trump said.
He also said he will send Congress a list of “rescissions,” or wasteful budget items that he wants removed, and that Senate Republicans will “start the process” that provides for $2,000 stimulus checks — a provision the House Democratic majority already agreed to.
He said his Senate allies will go a step further and consider repealing the liability protections that shield social media from lawsuits over their content and the voter fraud allegations that he’s pointed to as the reason for his election loss.

John Soloman’s take:

Trump averts shutdown, signs $2.3 trillion spending and COVID relief bill

Trump had refused to sign a Covid relief bill until Congress raised the amount of money paid to everyday Americans.
Updated: December 28, 2020:
President Trump on Sunday night signed a $2.3 trillion federal spending and COVID relief bill, averting a government shutdown and ensuring millions of Americans continue to get unemployment benefits.
Despite his misgivings about wasteful spending and low stimulus payments in the bill, Trump said he signed the legislation because “I have an obligation to protect the people of our country“ from further economic devastation. He said, however, “more money is coming” as Congress votes this week on larger checks.
The president on Sunday also invoked the 1974 Impoundment Control Act to demand “rescissions” be made to the spending measures. Under the Act, a president can seek congressional approval to rescind funds by sending a special message to Congress identifying the amount he proposes to cut, the reasons for it, and the economic impact.
“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill,” Trump said.
The signing came after Trump tweeted, “Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!”
The signing brought hope to millions of Americans who lost jobless benefits over the weekend as a federal shutdown loomed.
The standoff occurred after Trump refused before Christmas to sign the $2.3 trillion spending and COVID relief bill, demanding more money for everyday Americans.
Congress failed to address the president’s demands to increase the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000 per person.

RELATED TWEET:


EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Miami mayor urges Wall Street firms to leave NYC for friendlier city


Excellent idea, Mayor Suarez. America is going to see some significant population shifts in the years to come, since more American corporations will flee Democrat States plagued by high taxes.

Miami mayor urges Wall Street firms to leave NYC for friendlier city

City taxes, business environment key draws for big banks, mayor says.

By Fox News, December 26, 2020
Miami’s Republican mayor said Thursday he hopes to draw some of the big financial firms from Wall Street down to Biscayne Boulevard, as a relief from the high tax burdens and other restrictions of New York.

Mayor Francis X. Suarez told “Your World” he is already having success in talks with firms like Blackstone, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

New York State continues to be near or at the top of the list when it comes to taxation and other categories that businesses take heed of, while Florida does not impose a state income tax among other benefits.
Suarez said that one of the more recent developments that have made northeastern firms question their tenure in New York and the surrounding region is that of the change in federal SALT deduction.
The Trump tax bill capped the amount of local tax that residents of high-tax states can deduct from their federal return. While SALT used to have no limit, the plan maxed out the deduction at $10,000.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, previously accused Trump of “trying to kill New York City” with policies such as the SALT cap, further claiming it to be “retribution politics” against Democratic-run states, which tend to have a higher tax burden.
Suarez told “Your World” host Charles Payne he has already seen “an avalanche of people” moving into South Florida from Cuomo’s state, as well as California.
He also touted Miami’s standing as one of the safest large cities in America, remarking that its homicide rate is the lowest since 1954. For its part, New York had for some time been considered in similar straits, but the Big Apple had a spike in violence in recent months.
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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘Smart Toilets,’ Afghan Book Clubs, and Lizard Treadmills: Rand Paul’s Report Exposes $55 Billion in Government Waste


Everybody celebrates the holiday season in their own way. Each year, Senator Rand Paul invokes the spirit of the fictional grievance-airing holiday “Festivus” from Seinfeld to release an annual taxpayer waste report—and boy, is this one a doozy.
The libertarian-leaning Kentucky lawmaker’s report for 2020 finds an astounding $54.7 billion wasted by the federal government this year. (That’s not even an exhaustive figure for the federal government, nor does it account for the vast levels of waste by state and local governments.)
To put the nearly $55 billion wasted in context, Paul’s office explains that this is equivalent to wasting the taxes of more than 5.4 million Americans. It’s enough money to build a two-lane road that wraps around the entire Earth—18 times over. It’s enough money to buy every American a 40-inch flat-screen TV.
Yes, seriously.


Paul’s report cites far too many examples to list in one article, but even a cursory glance at some of its most prominent revelations will leave any honest taxpayer infuriated.
According to the senator’s report, the National Institutes of Health spent millions studying if people will eat bugs and millions more trying to invent a “smart toilet.” The federal agency also spent millions trying to reduce hookah smoking rates among Eastern Mediterranean youth and $31.5 million to fund an allegedly faked study linking e-cigarettes to heart attacks.
Yet perhaps the most bizarre examples of how politicians spend our taxpayer money come from how the government uses it overseas.
We spent $8.6 billion on anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan, the report finds. Hundreds of thousands went to art classes for Kenyans, Afghan and Pakistani book clubs, and funding for Sri Lankan think tanks. In a truly baffling example, tens of millions were spent to combat truancy… in the Philippines.
Oh, and of course, we spent taxpayer money to put lizards on treadmills and study the results.


The military wasted lots of taxpayer money too, Paul’s report reveals.
It allegedly lost $715 million worth of equipment that was intended for Syrians to use to fight ISIS. Meanwhile, $174 million went to lost drones in Afghanistan, and we spent $3.1 million on a police complex that now sits unused.
So what can be done to stop all this waste? It would simply require voters to hold Congress’s feet to the fire and force them to actually hold agencies accountable for how taxpayer money is spent.
“Congress has every tool it needs to fight and end government waste,” Paul said. “It’s just a matter of finding the willpower to use them.”
Unfortunately, fiscally responsible politicians like Paul are the exception, not the rule. As Nobel-prize-winning economist Milton Friedman famously explained, government spending is inherently prone to waste. Why?
You can spend your money on yourself, in which case you’ll be quite judicious with it. You can also spend your money on someone else, or someone else’s money on yourself. In either case you’ll still have a strong incentive to spend the money responsibly.
Yet Friedman identified a fourth scenario.
“If I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get,” the economist wrote. “And that’s government.”
So, there’s only one way to truly limit government waste of taxpayer dollars. We have to limit the scope of government itself.
RELATED ARTICLE: The Many Glaring Problems with the New COVID Stimulus Package
EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

GOP Blocks $2,000 Stimulus Payments, House To Hold Roll Call Vote On Proposal Monday


“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It was not their fault.”  – President Donald J. Trump


House Republicans blocked legislation Thursday that would have sent $2,000 in direct payments to Americans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
House Democratic and Republican leaders met early Thursday morning in a pro forma session and held a unanimous consent vote on the direct payments proposal, according to CNBC. Republican leadership voted the measure down, which required all lawmakers present to unanimously vote in favor for it to pass.
“Today, on Christmas Eve morning, House Republicans cruelly deprived the American people of the $2,000 that the President agreed to support,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction.”


Pelosi said during a press conference that the House would hold a recorded roll call vote on the measure Monday, Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram reported. If succesful, the measure would alter the the omnibus bill Congress passed Monday night by changing stimulus checks sent to Americans from $600 to $2,000.
Virginia Republican Rep. Rob Wittman attempted to get the House to vote on reconsidering the much-criticized foreign aid included in the omnibus bill, according to CNBC. Democrats blocked that proposal.
“Speaker Pelosi tried to use the American people as leverage to make coronavirus relief contingent on government funding – which includes billions of foreign aid at a time when there are urgent needs at home,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement Wednesday night.
The coronavirus stimulus relief bill hangs in the balance after President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he wouldn’t sign the bill Congress passed. Trump criticized both the $600 direct payment, saying they were too small, and the foreign aid, saying it was wasteful.
“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It was not their fault,” Trump said.
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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

President Trump Vetoes Defense Spending Bill, “It Is A Gift to China and Russia”


President Trump vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 Wednesday, calling it a “gift” to U.S. adversaries China and Russia, making good on a promise to veto it if it did not repeal a law that shields certain Big Tech companies from liabilities.
There is too much wrong with the bill.
https://twitter.com/AFCyberGator/status/1341535290377252866?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1341535290377252866%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fgellerreport.com%2F2020%2F12%2Fpresident-trump-vetoes-defense-spending-bill-it-is-a-gift-to-china-and-russia.html%2F
“I am returning, without my approval, H.R. 6395 … My Administration recognizes the importance of the Act to our national security. Unfortunately, the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions. It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia,” the president wrote.
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1339594787133919239?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1339594787133919239%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fgellerreport.com%2F2020%2F12%2Fpresident-trump-vetoes-defense-spending-bill-it-is-a-gift-to-china-and-russia.html%2F


The president denounced the legislation for not including language that would strip social media companies from the protections they enjoy under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The measure, adopted in 1996, prevents companies such as Twitter and Facebook from being sued by anyone claiming to be harmed by a post. Trump, who claims social media companies are biased against conservatives, has said Section 230 is a threat to national security.
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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

How $10 Million for Gender Programs in Pakistan Got Tied to a COVID Relief Bill


Hours before lawmakers voted on a multi-trillion dollar government funding package that included a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, congressional aides were spotted wheeling in the legislation.
It ran 5,593 pages.
“You’d have to read 560 pages an hour to finish it before midnight,” observed NBC News correspondent Garrett Haake.


Lawmakers did not wait until midnight to pass the legislation, however.
“The Senate passed the massive year-end legislation combining $900 billion in pandemic relief with $1.4 trillion to fund federal agencies through fiscal 2021,” Bloomberg reported. “The House passed the legislation earlier Monday night. The total bill is worth more than $2.3 trillion, including support for small businesses impacted by the pandemic, $600 payments for most individuals, supplemental unemployment insurance, regular funding for federal agencies and a bevy of tax breaks for companies.”
So how did lawmakers read 560 pages an hour before voting on the bill? The answer is simple: they didn’t. In fact, there was a great deal of confusion—in both media and Congress—on what precisely lawmakers were voting on. (More on that later.)
Naturally, perhaps, there was some bipartisan anger over the process.
“Congress is expected to vote on the second largest bill in US history today,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), “as of about 1pm, members don’t even have the legislative text of it yet.”
Despite her reservations, Ocasio-Cortez voted in favor of the bill. Others held out, however.
“No member can honestly say they know exactly what they voted for this evening,” said Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who voted against the legislation. “That is reason alone to vote no.”


Gosar was right. FEE’s covered at length on Monday many of the provisions contained in the COVID-19 relief bill, highlighting its many glaring problems. But because of its massive length, we still don’t know everything in the package—which is several bills tied into one.
As Yahoo Finance reports, some of the lesser-known provisions “have raised some eyebrows.”
“Among them are a pair of assistance programs in Pakistan, whereby $15 million will be put toward “democracy programs” and $10 million will be distributed to ‘gender programs,’” reports Fox News correspondent Brittany De Lea.
You read that correctly. But technically this provision—and other defense measures such as $73 million in spending for Israel’s Iron Dome 9 defense system —is not part of the COVID relief package. It’s part of the defense bill contained in the $1.4 trillion omnibus that was bound up with the COVID relief bill.
So while the Pakistani gender programs were not technically included in the COVID relief bill, the end result is much the same. US senators could not vote for COVID relief without voting for gender programs in Pakistan, $35 million for abstinence programs, and tax changes for owners of race horses. (The process in the House was a bit more complicated.)


This is a slap in the face to Americans. During a year in which tens of millions of Americans were forced out of work and hundreds of thousands of businesses were destroyed, lawmakers could not even offer a clean relief bill.
At the risk of stating the obvious, many believe a relief bill passed during a deadly pandemic should focus on relief for individuals and businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic.
So naturally, many on Twitter did not react positively to the revelation that the COVID relief bill and the omnibus were, in a sense, mixed together.


People are right to see that tying COVID relief to defense provisions is, well, stupid. But there’s a phenomenon that helps explain why this happens. It’s called logrolling.
Logrolling is essentially the trading of favors among legislators for mutual benefit. Bills often get passed by winning the support of lawmakers by including provisions that benefit their special interests, but which may not align with any public good. As a result, successful legislation tends to be chock full of special-interest spending.
This trap is highlighted by “public choice” economics, which assumes that politicians vote to forward their own interests just like everyone else. In this case, however, they impose costs on the country in exchange for a big benefit to a special interest group who supports them.
If you’re wondering how a vote for COVID relief for Americans becomes tied to $10 million for gender programs in Pakistan and hundreds of millions of dollars in defense for another country, look to the incentives lurking within government institutions.
COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.
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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump Calls Massive Spending Bill a ‘Disgrace,’ Says He Won’t Sign It


For those of you who were shocked, dismayed, stunned, depressed yesterday when you began hearing about what was in a bill passed by both Houses of Congress that was supposedly a COVID relief package, you got some solace later in the evening when President Trump went before the American people to say he would not sign the bill in its present form.
He stopped short of using the word “veto,” but said he won’t sign this monstrosity.
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1341537886315950080?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1341537886315950080%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ffraudscrookscriminals.com%2F2020%2F12%2F23%2Ftrump-calls-massive-spending-bill-a-disgrace-says-he-wont-sign-it%2F
By the way, only six brave Republican Senators voted against the 5,000 plus page bill that NO one has read:
Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rick Scott, R-Fla., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.***
In the House it was 359 for and 53 against, see here.
Watch our President’s four minute display of leadership above (I see much of the media is calling it a rant).   He asks why we are sending billions abroad when Americans are hurting through no fault of their own.
Here is just one of dozens of news stories on the President’s big surprise to our disgusting House and Senate.
From the BBC:

Trump urges Congress to amend ‘wasteful’ coronavirus aid bill

In a video message posted on Twitter, he said the package “really is a disgrace”, full of “wasteful” items.
“It’s called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid,” he said.

See Rush Limbaugh’s extensive commentary on the bill from yesterday afternoon. He laments that the rats are back at work as they assume the Trump era is over. https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2020/12/22/nothing-changes-in-washington-the-covid-relief-bill-should-be-vetoed/

The $900bn bill includes one-off $600 payments to most Americans, but Mr Trump said the figure should be $2,000.
His statement stunned Capitol Hill.
Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating a coronavirus stimulus rescue package since July and Mr Trump – who has largely stayed out of the talks – had been expected to sign the legislation into law following its passage through Congress on Monday night.
[….]
However, Mr Trump has not specifically said he would veto the bill. Even if he does, US media say there could be enough votes from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to override his veto.
[….]
In Tuesday night’s message from the White House, Mr Trump baulked at spending in the bill on other countries, arguing that this money should go to struggling Americans.
He said: “This bill contains $85.5m for assistance to Cambodia, $134m to Burma, $1.3bn for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment, $25m for democracy and gender programmes in Pakistan, $505m to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.”
The president questioned why the Kennedy Center, a performing arts complex in Washington DC, was set to receive $40m when it is not open, and more than $1bn has been allocated to museums and galleries in the capital. [Which are also  mostly not open!—ed]

The President has nothing to lose now if he vetoes the monster that will put the US in even greater debt (to China?) for generations to come.  It will reaffirm his strong leadership that will be needed for the years ahead.
Yeah, they can override his veto, but then we will all know who puts Americans First and who puts us last. After all, the midterm elections are not far off.
*** These six should join Senator-elect Tuberville (and many Members of the House) in opposing a Biden/Harris presidency on January 6th.  What have they got to lose?
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EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Many Glaring Problems with the New COVID Stimulus Package


After months of backroom negotiations and lobbying, leaders in Congress have finally reached an agreement on a second COVID-19 relief bill. The $900 billion package will likely pass this week.
Here’s a brief overview of what’s in the behemoth package—and a breakdown of the many glaring problems with it.

  • $600 “stimulus” checks for American adults who earned less than $75,000 in 2019 with additional $600 per household for each child
  • A federal $300/week add-on to existing state-level unemployment benefits and a renewal of provisions that expanded unemployment to new groups such as gig economy workers
  • $325 billion in grants and loans for businesses, largely funneled through the Paycheck Protection Program established in the first stimulus effort

The package notably does not include a large, general bailout for state and local governments, a Democratic priority, or a COVID-19 liability shield for businesses, a GOP priority.
The below graphic by the Wall Street Journal neatly visualizes where most of this nearly $1 trillion in additional taxpayer money is (ostensibly) going to go.
What I’ve outlined above gives you a good idea of what’s in the package. But to be clear, this is nowhere near an exhaustive list of what’s in the bill. The final legislation is likely to be hundreds if not thousands of pages long.

This brings us to the first glaring problem with this new relief effort. As Rep. Justin Amash has publicly lamented, it wasn’t properly debated or amended by Congress—it was negotiated in backroom meetings by the leadership from both party establishments. Why does this matter? Remember that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tried to slip $350 million for the 50 richest ZIP codes in America into an earlier version of a second stimulus bill, mostly for rich liberal cities. We cannot trust politicians to dole out nearly $1 trillion in the dark.
Unfortunately, many members of Congress will vote on the package without having actually read it in its entirety.


Suffice it to say this is not a responsible or transparent way to spend nearly a trillion taxpayer dollars. Of course, that’s nothing new.

The first COVID-19 stimulus bill, the $2 trillion+ CARES Act, was corrupted by waste, fraud, and abuse. The federal government sent more than a million stimulus checks to dead people and many more to random European citizens. The expanded unemployment system it created lost more to fraud alone than the entire system paid out in 2019. And the Paycheck Protection Program was “swamped with potential fraud” as tens of thousands of ineligible companies received money and thousands more were overpaid.
None of these problems have been meaningfully addressed by Congress. So this latest stimulus effort just pours hundreds of billions of taxpayer money into fraud-rife programs without addressing the problem.
The third but hardly final glaring problem with this additional “stimulus” effort is the highly dubious effectiveness of its key initiatives.

The way the key relief efforts are structured makes it highly unlikely they will be very effective.
Consider the “stimulus” checks, for example. Congress plans to send $600 to each American adult who earns less than $75,000. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, legislators are using 2019 data to determine income eligibility. That means they’re using pre-pandemic income measures to determine who is eligible and who is not.
So, millions of people who lost their jobs or livelihood due to COVID-19 lockdowns will not receive checks because they did well back in 2019. Meanwhile, many millions of people who haven’t had their incomes disrupted and can comfortably work from home will receive taxpayer-funded “relief” checks.


That’s right: The aid is not targeted at all to actually go to those who need it. But the checks will still stimulate the economy by boosting spending, right?
Well… not really.
The Keynesian notion that consumer spending drives the economy is false.
To use a famous example, this thinking suggests that if a child breaks a store window, this “stimulates” the economy because money must be spent to hire a repairman, who then in turn will go spend that money elsewhere. This is a fallacy, because the money to pay the repairman would instead have been used to purchase something else that actually added value for the shop owner.
In reality, it is investment, not spending, that plays the most central role in economic growth. And investment comes out of savings, because banks loan out deposited money to investors. By definition, arbitrarily increasing spending reduces savings and reduces the pool of money available for investment.
Regardless, it is COVID-19, government lockdowns, and other restrictions that have put a stranglehold on the economy. Putting another $600 in some peoples’ pockets doesn’t change this underlying reality.
“Government checks are only valuable to the extent that there is enough actual ‘stuff’ (goods and services) available for those dollars to buy,” FEE’s Dan Sanchez and Jon Miltimore previously explained. “The more you lock down production, the more our stock of ‘stuff’ will shrink, and the more our living standards will worsen. No amount of zeros added to those government checks can change that.”
So it’s really unclear what good the checks will accomplish, either as a matter of “stimulus” or relief. Other than spending billions of taxpayer dollars and worsening the skyrocketing national debt, that is.

Now onto the federally augmented unemployment benefits. This does actually target money to those in need, at least in large part. However, it does so by explicitly tying that money to unemployment, disincentivizing employment. The original $600 federal supplement meant that 70% of the unemployed could earn more by staying on welfare than by returning to work.
The reduction of the federal benefit to a $300 additional supplement (on top of existing state-level payouts) mitigates, but does not eliminate, this harm. A sizable, if yet undetermined, number of people will still be able to receive benefits that fully or almost fully equal their previous earnings. (Federal minimum wage earners, for example).

Even many Republicans and conservatives have at least touted the bill’s replenishment of the Paycheck Protection Program with several hundred billion more dollars (ostensibly) in relief earmarked for small businesses. However, beyond PPP’s serious fraud problems, its efficacy is seriously in doubt.
The top 1 percent of benefiting businesses received nearly one quarter of the program’s total money, according to the New York Times. The program’s payouts included many suspicious allocations of funds to giant corporations and even politicians’ own business interests. For example, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s business received a PPP grant 7 times greater than the grant received by other similar-sized companies.
The end result was a dysfunction program.
MIT economist David Autor studied the Paycheck Protection Program and concluded that “a lot of [the] cash went to businesses that would have otherwise maintained relatively similar employment levels.” He found that it cost $224,000 in taxpayer expenditure per job preserved, only preserving roughly 2.3 million jobs.
The supposed saving grace of this new stimulus bill is refreshing the PPP initiative with hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding. But the evidence suggests that doing so is more of a political win for politicians than a meaningful victory for taxpayers and struggling small businesses.

The government cannot create wealth out of thin air.
“The truth is that the government cannot give if it does not take from somebody,” Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises once explained. “It is not in the power of the government to make everybody more prosperous.”
So we must keep in mind that whatever benefits do come from this stimulus effort will mean either higher taxes or skyrocketing debt that future generations will have to pay off.

Many voters might understandably be glad that a gridlocked Congress finally “got something done.” Yet the countless glaring problems plaguing this massively expensive effort should temper that optimism. It all offers yet another reminder that when we rely on Big Government solutions, incompetence, inefficiency, and waste are all baked into the cake.
COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Opinion Editor at the Foundation for Economic Education.
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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

California Projected to Lose House Seat and Electoral College Vote


But do not bring your primitive, poisonous politics. Don’t befoul red states and destroy them as well.

Californians flee state in numbers so great it is projected to lose House seat and electoral vote for first time

By Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, December 18, 2020:
An exodus sparked by high taxes, coronavirus lockdowns, and regulations has driven California’s population growth rate to a record low, which is projected to cost the state a seat in Congress and an electoral vote.
“This is a real sea change in California, which used to be this state of pretty robust population growth,” said Hans Johnson, a demographer at the Public Policy Institute of California, regarding the net migration loss, which has now occurred three years in a row. “It hasn’t been for some time now. But it’s now gotten to the point where the state is essentially not growing population-wise at all.”
According to a population estimate this week, 135,600 more people fled the Golden State than moved there, which marks only the 12th time since 1900 that the state saw a net migration loss. It is the third-largest drop recorded.
Johnson added that the population decrease could cause the state to lose a seat in Congress as well as an Electoral College vote for the first time. The state did not gain any seats following the 2010 census, which was also a first.
Residents have cited high taxes as a main driver of the decision to leave.]
“I never wanted to leave California,” San Francisco real estate broker Scott Fuller said about his departure from the state after living there since 1983. “It’s the most beautiful state with the best climate. I think the tipping point was continued tax increases and even more proposed tax increases. … I have absolutely no regrets.”
Businesses have been fleeing California as well, and just recently, it was learned that tech giants Elon Musk and Larry Ellison were moving their companies, Tesla and Oracle, to more business-friendly states and taking tens of thousands of jobs with them.
Californians have also expressed increased frustration with state and local governments over strict coronavirus lockdowns, evidenced by large protests across the state and a recall effort aimed at removing Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office that has gained enough steam to cause his team concern.
The coronavirus pandemic has also forced many in California to work from home, which makes living close to work less important and a potential move easier to commit to, especially when the same salary can be earned in a less expensive state.
“It’s really sped up the out-migration quite a bit,” Fuller said about the shift to remote employment. “People have options now, and you pair that with people’s frustration on several different levels — I don’t see it changing.

RELATED ARTICLE: Some Insurers Now Refusing To Cover Downtown Portland Businesses
EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

REPORT: President Trump Seeking Special Prosecutor To Investigate Hunter Biden


President Donald Trump is reportedly asking about a potential special prosecutor to investigate tax allegations against Hunter Biden before leaving office, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Only an attorney general can appoint or fire a special prosecutor, and Trump’s attorney general, Bill Barr, resigned Monday. While he was on good terms with the president, Trump was frustrated with his lack of support for Trump’s election fraud accusations and his decision to not publicize the two-year investigation into Biden prior to the election. Barr’s incoming replacement, Jeffrey Rosen, has not weighed in on the investigation, the AP reported.
Biden announced last week that he is currently under federal investigation for his “tax affairs.” Other reporting suggests he may also be under investigation for his dealing with Chinese businesses.
“I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs,” Biden said in the statement last week. “I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors.”
President-Elect Joe Biden has said he is “confident” his son did nothing wrong.
Trump has some support in Congress for a new special counsel, with Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham calling for one to be appointed Wednesday.
“I am absolutely calling on a special counsel to look at all things Hunter Biden to see if he presents a conflict for the Biden administration regarding his business dealings in Ukraine, which is overrun with Russian agents, and any activity he had with the Chinese government,” Graham told reporters.
The elder Biden is alleged to have both known of and participated in his son’s business dealings in both Ukraine and China. Emails appear to show Hunter leveraging his family name to curry favor overseas.
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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Elon Musk’s Economic Truth Bomb to Joe Rogan


Elon Musk broke it down for Joe Rogan. What his insights mean for the world’s poor… and for us.


Elon Musk dropped an economic truth bomb on Joe Rogan’s podcast a couple of months ago.
“If you don’t make stuff, there’s no stuff.”
Obvious? You’d think so. But, as Musk pointed out, our economic policies throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have ignored that simple truth.
The prevailing assumption is that the government can press “pause” on the economy throughout the pandemic, throwing millions out of work, and then simply tide everyone over with relief checks.
“This notion,” said Musk, “that you can just sort of send checks out to everybody and things will be fine is not true.”
“They’ve become detached from reality,” he added. “You can’t just legislate money and solve these things.”

Musk’s point is indisputable. Government checks are only valuable to the extent that there is enough actual “stuff” (goods and services) available for those dollars to buy. The more you lock down production, the more our stock of “stuff” will shrink, and the more our living standards will worsen. No amount of zeros added to those government checks can change that.
When “stuff” dwindles, printing government checks cannot magically reverse that impoverishment. It can only do two things:

  1. Shift who gets impoverished by redistributing wealth (that is, access to the remaining “stuff”), and
  2. Delay the drop in living standards by enabling higher consumer spending.

Higher consumer spending means burning through our remaining “stuff” faster instead of investing it in production. This means even less “stuff” down the road.
It’s like if you lost your job and cheer yourself up by splurging on an expensive new TV. Government checks merely make us feel less poor by inducing us to further impoverish ourselves in reality. It postpones the pain today by condemning us to much greater pain tomorrow.
America has a lot of “stuff” to shift around and burn through, so we can delay the pain of impoverishment for quite a while. The same cannot be said for poor countries, however. People there have so little “stuff” that they feel the pain of production lockdowns immediately.
“If you don’t make the food,” Musk warned months ago, “if you don’t process the food, you don’t transport the food… there’s no stuff.”
And now, for hundreds of millions of people around the world, the stark truth of that statement is manifesting as empty stomachs and ruined lives.
According to a new report from World Vision, a global humanitarian organization, as many as 110 million children in Asia alone are facing hunger, and 85 million households across Asia have little or no food stocks as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19 and the lockdowns.
The report also found that as many as eight million children in Asia are being exposed to begging, child labor, and child marriage since parents are unable to buy food in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our rapid assessments in countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia show that it’s clear we are on the cusp of a catastrophe for children,” said Norbert Hsu, World Vision’s partnership leader for global impact. “Without urgent action we risk an increase in extreme poverty and hunger not seen for decades.”
World Vision’s numbers are no outlier. Similar figures were recently reported by the World Bank.
Hsu doesn’t explain precisely what “urgent action” should be taken. It wouldn’t be surprising if it involved massive amounts of foreign aid, the usual remedy prescribed by such organizations.
But international “relief” is not a real solution for them, any more than domestic “relief” is for us. As Musk said, “You can’t just legislate money and solve these things.”
To meet these massive problems without making them worse, we need to come to grips with economic reality: especially the concept of scarcity, and how it pertains to production and money.
Only then will we fully understand just what we are setting ourselves up for by locking down the economy indefinitely to combat the pandemic. Only then will we be able to make truly informed judgments about the trade-offs involved.
The crisis facing the global poor is a heart-rending tragedy. It is also an ominous warning, the proverbial canary in a coal mine.
If we keep burning through our “stuff” faster than we’re replacing it, we will eventually descend into an economic crisis that dwarfs what we have been through so far, and our fraying social fabric may not be able to handle it.
Like gravity, scarcity can be denied, but it cannot be defied.
“If you don’t make stuff, there’s no stuff.”
COLUMN BY

Planned Parenthood’s Racism Is Showing. It’s Time We Stopped Enabling Them


The Charlie Kirk Show – The Biblical Defense for the Defenseless


Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, likes to bill itself as concerned with racial equality, despite its origins in racist eugenics. But the recent firing of their Pennsylvania Chapter Executive Director over racial discrimination suggests that racism is alive and well within Planned Parenthood.
On a closer look, it becomes clear that despite the image Planned Parenthood strives to project, racism, ethical issues, and downright illegal activities have been endemic in the organization since its founding. More and more disturbing evidence shows how Planned Parenthood has for years covered up the illegal sale of baby parts, facilitated medical fraud, and neglected to report abuse of minors — sometimes multiple instances of abuse which led to underage girls receiving abortion services.
And Planned Parenthood’s recent debacle with racism in the Pennsylvania Chapter is only one in a series of controversies relating to discrimination. In another recent controversy, Lauren McQuade, the head of Planned Parenthood Great Plains — a Planned Parenthood affiliate group — parted ways with the company after she “created a culture of fear and intimidation,” and limited “upward mobility for Black staff”.
But the bottom line is that this racist, unethical, and illegal behavior is easily hushed up by throwing money at the problem. While Planned Parenthood certainly does whatever it can to extort taxpayer funding, much of their $1.5 billion budget comes from corporate donors. It’s unconscionable that companies who claim to work for the public good would pour so much money into an organization which promotes the murder of babies, covers up sex abuse, and has such close ties with racism. If corporations want to keep their reputation untarnished, if they want us to continue giving them our 2ndVote dollars, they must withdraw their funding from Planned Parenthood and give it to organizations which value every life, no matter the stage or skin color.
EDITORS NOTE: This 2ndVote column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Oracle moving from California to Texas, joins Tesla, Hewlett Packard


Tech companies are leaving the once Golden State in droves for Texas. Meanwhile Goldman Sachs will likely be bailing on New York for Florida in the coming months as well. Dreadful and radical governance has serious consequences. Like turning once prosperous states into economic wastelands.

Oracle moving from California to Texas, joins Tesla, Hewlett Packard

By Fox News, December 11, 2020
The smart money may be sticking together and sticking it to California.
Oracle is joining Tesla and Hewlett Packard in relocating to Texas, detailing the move in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday.
“Oracle is implementing a more flexible employee work location policy and has changed its Corporate Headquarters from redwood City, California to Austin, Texas. We believe these moves best position Oracle for growth and provide our personnel with more flexibility about where and how they work. Depending on their role, this means that many of our employees can choose their office location as well as continue to work from home part time or all of the time. In addition, we will continue to support major hubs for Oracle around the world, including those in the United States such as redwood City, Austin, Santa Monica, Seattle, Denver, Orlando and Burlington, among others, and we expect to add other locations over time. By implementing a more modern approach to work, we expect to further improve our employees’ quality of life and quality of output” the SEC filing noted.
While the move signals working remotely is here to stay, it also signals more corporations could be becoming disillusioned with California.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is the second-largest individual shareholder in Tesla behind CEO Elon Musk and sits on the electric-vehicle makers board. Last summer, Tesla chose Austin for its new factory, after considering other cities including Tusla, Oklahoma.
Earlier this week Musk blasted California for driving a corporate exodus, likening the state to a sports team that is used to winning and has grown complacent.
California, like a winning sports team that “has been winning for a long time,” has taken innovators for granted, Musk said, adding, “Yo
u have a forest of redwoods and the little trees can’t grow.”
Musk made the comments in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Tuesday. In the interview, Musk revealed that he personally had moved to Texas after growing frustrated with the Golden State.
Earlier this month, Hewlett Packard also announced it was moving its headquarters to Houston.
“HPE has made the decision to relocate its headquarters from San Jose, California, to Houston, Texas. HPE’s largest U.S. employment hub, Houston is an attractive market to recruit and retain future diverse talent, and is where the company is currently constructing a state-of-the-art new campus. The Bay Area will continue to be a strategic hub for HPE innovation, and the company will consolidate a number of sites in the Bay Area to its San Jose campus. No layoffs are associated with this move.”

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

AOC’s $58 ‘Tax the Rich’ Sweatshirt Perfectly Demonstrates How Her Ideas Hurt the Poor


It is unlikely that those paid to make AOC’s sweatshirt could afford to buy the end product —even if they’re earning what she calls a “living wage.”


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did what she does best this week and created another social media firestorm.
It all started when a Twitter account called Tax March, which apparently advocates for higher taxes, posted a link to the congresswoman’s online merchandise store and complimented a sweatshirt she sells.


The sweatshirt pictured is a plain, black, cotton item emblazoned with the words “tax the rich.”. But the style itself is not what made headlines, rather it was the price tag: a whopping $58.
The usual (and deserved) criticisms poured in quickly.


Never one to back down from a fight, the congresswoman responded to the criticism on her own Twitter account stating that the merchandise was “made in the US with dignified, union jobs paying living wages.”


She went on to say that “Republicans are freaking out because we don’t use slave-wage labor for merch that funds our grassroots organizing” and that people could obtain the sweatshirt for free if they chose to volunteer for her.
We’ll leave the fact that the congresswoman included the term “slave-wage labor” in a post that simultaneously called for others to work for her for free alone, as we have bigger fish to fry here. (But, come on.)
So to summarize, Ocasio-Cortez is selling sweatshirts that say “tax the rich” at a price most poor or working class people could not reasonably afford. She’s making money off of her merchandise that attacks the creation of wealth. And her excuse for all of this hypocrisy is that it costs more to buy from whole-sellers who pay a “living wage” and use American labor. There’s a lot to unpack here.
While Ocasio-Cortez clearly thinks her choice to employ operations that pay a “living wage” (presumably at least $15 an hour) is virtuous, it actually perfectly portrays how her economic ideas hurt people—especially the poor.
As the cost for labor increases, so do the prices of goods and services.
As much as Ocasio-Cortez likes to think she’s sticking it to the rich by buying from companies that pay their employees more than their fair market value, in reality she’s just passing those increased labor costs on to her supporters.
When companies are forced to pay too much for labor, either due to governmental rules or regulations, they merely bake those costs into the price of their product.
When that product is something as frivolous as a luxury sweatshirt peddling trite socialist slogans, we can laugh about it. But Ocasio-Cortez wants to use big government to force these costly business conditions on every industry—meaning the cost of essential goods like food, automobiles, and essential clothing items would all increase. That doesn’t uplift struggling people—it spells disaster for the poor.
Ocasio-Cortez and her ilk might counter that their mandates would increase peoples’ take-home pay, so they could afford higher prices and still obtain a higher quality of life. However, it’s also important to remember that when the price of goods and services increase, real wages fall.
Real income is not nominal wages, it is an individual’s actual purchasing power in the market. Even if someone is paid $15 an hour, they will likely see their purchasing power decrease as the price of goods and services increase as a result of companies having to pay workers too much. As one example, it is unlikely that those paid to make AOC’s sweatshirt could afford to buy the end product in this scenario—even if they’re earning what she calls a “living wage.” Ultimately, people care about what their paychecks can buy, not the number itself.
Furthermore, Ocasio-Cortez’s use of the term “Made in America” may have just been intended to troll Trump-supporting Republicans, but the congresswoman accidentally proved why free trade creates prosperity. When the US or any country tries to force domestic production of certain goods that can be made more efficiently in other countries, it results in inefficiency and higher prices.
That’s how you end up hawking a nearly $60 sweater when the same thing could be available for half or one-quarter of the price.
Personally, I like to buy from and support American companies when I can. But the reality is that our regulatory framework, cost of labor, and business taxes make many American-made products far more expensive. When I can afford to, I’m happy to buy local, but I’m beyond grateful I have the option to buy globalized products when it comes to high-end items like my iPhone, which would be quite expensive if it was a “Made in America” product.
If these kinds of products were only made in America, and if Ocasio-Cortez got her way and made it impossible to hire anyone for less than $15 an hour, no one but the very wealthy would be able to afford this technology.
If politicians want to elevate American companies and products, they should work to deregulate our economy, slash corporate taxes, and create an economy where businesses can create cost-effective products. Until that happens, we should all thank our lucky stars we have the ability to order cheaper products from other places.

And we shouldn’t devalue the work being done by others to produce these goods in other parts of the world. Nowadays, it’s become popular to virtue-signal against “sweatshops” in other countries. But as is so often the case with those more focused on virtue-signals than price-signals, these ideas would also hurt the poor. Developing countries need to be able to compete in a global marketplace. And while these jobs may not meet our standards in an industrialized country, they are a life raft to those struggling to obtain basic necessities in third-world countries.
Plain and simple, when put into practice, the policies that undergird Ocasio-Cortez’s worldview hurt people. In contrast, free markets (when allowed to operate organically) lead to an abundance of affordable products and all people having greater access to goods and services. And free trade is an essential component of free markets.
“It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy,” wrote Adam Smith. “What is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.”
We can forgive everyday people for making the kinds of Econ 101 errors that plague this agenda. But as an educated congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has no excuse. We can laugh about her expensive sweaters, yet there’s nothing funny about the fact that the policies she pushes would make life less affordable for all Americans.

COLUMN BY

Hannah Cox

Hannah Cox is a libertarian-conservative writer, commentator, and activist. She’s a Newsmax Insider and a Contributor to The Washington Examiner.
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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Goldman Sachs Eyes Florida Exit as Financial Exodus from New York Continues


In August, with his state looking at a $13 billion budget hole and residents fleeing in droves, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a plea for New Yorkers to return to the Big Apple.
“They are in their Hamptons homes, or Hudson Valley or Connecticut,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “I talk to them literally every day. I say, ‘When are you coming back? I’ll buy you a drink. I’ll cook.”
Cuomo’s generous offer to buy cocktails and cook doesn’t appear to be solving New York’s economic woes.
On Sunday, news broke that the multinational financial services company Goldman Sachs, one of the largest companies in the US, is considering a plan to move its headquarters to the South.
“Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is weighing plans for a new Florida hub to house one of its key divisions, in another potential blow to New York’s stature as the de facto home of the U.S. financial industry,” Bloomberg reported. “Executives have been scouting office locations in South Florida, speaking with local officials and exploring tax advantages as they consider creating a base there for its asset management arm, according to people with knowledge of the matter.”
According to The Street, the Fort Lauderdale area and Palm Beach County are the most likely destinations, though Goldman is also considering Dallas as a possible alternative.
The news comes on the heels of several other investment firms—Elliott Management, Blackstone, and Citadel—that have boosted their presence in Florida. The Sunshine State is attracting companies because of its low costs, warm weather, and friendly tax climate. (Florida has no income tax).
Goldman’s announcement could not come at a worse time for New York City, which currently “has the most office space available since the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack,” according to Bloomberg.
Goldman Sachs has an estimated market value of $71 billion and employs more than 38,000 people worldwide. So, its departure would further erode New York City’s standing as the financial capital of the world even as the state struggles with the broader challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic damage wrought by lockdowns.

Some may point to the coronavirus as the culprit for Goldman Sachs’s pending exodus. A November CNBC report showed that some 300,000 New Yorkers have bailed on the Big Apple since the lockdowns began, despite the largest decline in rental rates in almost a decade.
While it’s certainly true that New York City, which has had one of the strictest lockdowns in America, has seen some of its most attractive draws neutralized by COVID-19—its top notch dining, entertainment, fashion, and networking—a closer look shows the exodus predates the pandemic.
As Hannah Cox pointed out last month on FEE.org, about a million people said goodbye to New York City and the tri-state area over the last decade. Similarly, other financial companies, such as AllianceBernstein Holding LP fled New York long before lockdowns and social distancing arrived.
The reality is the coronavirus exacerbated New York’s economic plight, but it’s not the source of it. The city’s fundamental problem is an open hostility to markets and freedom.
From policies such as universal pre-K and mandated paid sick leave to the city’s $15 minimum wage, rent-controlled housing, and oppressive tax climate, New York’s political class has shown a disdain for capitalism, private property, and business concerns, and a troubling affinity for central planning.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Listen to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who told New York Magazine this in 2017.

“What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be.
I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too.
Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development….
Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents. That’s a world I’d love to see…”

Did you catch that? The mayor of the world’s financial capital believes the primary obstacle to prosperity is private property. He thinks city officials should get to determine where buildings go and “who gets to live in [them].”
As one observer noted at the time, de Blasio is not the first political leader to thirst for such power.
“Other leaders have had such power, in the Soviet Union and China and Venezuela, and those systems did not produce progress. Or even toilet paper,” David Boaz wryly observed in USA Today.
Unfortunately, neither Cuomo nor de Blasio seem aware of this history. Prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the pair have embraced the heavy hand of big government instead of free markets. New York’s oppressive climate has yielded a batch of bad fruit—surging violence (shootings were up 112 percent in November), injustice, economic depression, joblessness, and general despair.

Considering the current troubling state of New York and de Blasio’s open hostility to private property, one has to wonder what any financial services company or investment bank is still doing business in the Big Apple.
Fortunately, the American system of federalism means neither individuals nor businesses have to put up with it. New Yorkers feeling trapped can easily move to South Carolina or Utah, where they can actually have a social life and make a living. And financial companies can hit the road for Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, Dallas, Las Vegas or wherever their fancy takes them.
Should individuals or companies feel guilty over leaving? Quite the contrary.
As legal scholar Ilya Somin observed, “voting with your feet” is one of the best ways to help a struggling community and historically has been a key tool for upward mobility in America.
“Those who have been fortunate enough to achieve a measure of success thanks to mobility should not feel guilty about it,” Somin wrote in the Washington Post. “We can help society best by being productive citizens and–where possible–working to ensure that the foot voting opportunities that benefited us become more available to others.”
As someone who has personally benefited from this mobility—I bounced around a lot in my 20s—I wholeheartedly endorse this message. It’s one of the underappreciated glories of the American system. But one need not have experienced the benefits of mobility to understand what Somin is getting at: individuals and companies alike should make sure their talents and resources are best utilized.
Sadly, New York increasingly is no longer that place, for many.
A departure from Goldman Sachs would signal that New York City’s days as the financial capital of the world are over.  In some ways, the only surprise is that it took so long.

COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.
EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.