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GOP Fires Preemptive Strike Against Biden’s State of the Union Speech

The day before President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union speech, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich gave the media their thoughts on the state of the country under Biden.

In a word: Terrible.

The two pointed to polls showing Biden’s approval rating below 40 percent. And they touched on the issues Republican candidates will be running on in this fall’s midterm elections: Inflation, the economy, foreign policy, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the mismanaged withdrawal from Afghanistan where Americans were left behind.

McDaniel said Republicans will offer upbeat, positive solutions in contrast to what will “not be a unifying speech and will not focus on the issues that the American people really need and are looking to address.”

McDaniel predicted the midterms this November will be “a wake-up call for Democrats.”

Biden ran as a centrist but has shifted to the left, she said.

In addition to the economy and foreign policy, people are concerned about the open border and confusing messaging on COVID.

People “are being slammed with consumer prices rising at the fastest rate in 40 years,” said McDaniel.

She cited a recent RNC poll that found 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Biden is doing with 41 percent approval. Biden’s approval among independent voters drops to 37 percent with 55 percent disapproving. On the economy, 49 percent of independents favor the GOP versus 32 percent for Democrats. On crime, 50 percent of independents back Republicans versus 28 percent for Democrats.

Gingrich touted Emerson College’s ‘generic ballot’ poll showing Republicans with a 9 point lead over Democrats in congressional races. He said it reminded him of when former President Bill Clinton decided in 1996 that staying on the left “would not work” and came to the middle in his State of the Union speech and announced the era of big government was over.

“Have they figured out anything from these polling numbers, or are they where Clinton was before the ’94 election when his team just couldn’t believe it?” he asked.

“You have to look at Ukraine in terms of 10 months ago in April of last year, Biden commented on Putin possibly going into Ukraine. So the failure wasn’t this week or last week,” said Gingrich.  The administration “had 10 months to help Ukraine prepare so that attacking (it) would have been crazy.

“Had he been willing to build on the things that Trump was already doing — Trump was already sending javelins, for example, which is a very sophisticated anti-tank weapon — we could have created a porcupine in Ukraine that Putin would have decided he couldn’t attack. But for 10 months, the Biden administration dithered and dathered and kept talking about negotiations, etc. and failed to use that time in a productive way.”

On inflation, Biden “has to say something, because inflation is just too big of an issue not to do something,” Gingrich said. “On oil and gas, this administration is moving in the wrong direction. They just had the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission come out with rules that make it virtually impossible to create liquefied natural gas ports, yet that’s exactly what we need to help wean Western Europe off of Russian gas.”

On education, “When 70 percent of the people in San Francisco vote to recall three members of the school board, clearly there is an issue here that the president should be addressing,” said Gingrich.

“On crime, with every passing week, we learn the damage George Soros has done in electing people who are deeply committed to putting violent criminals back on the street and putting the rest of us in danger.”

In response to a question from the Delaware Valley Journal about whether the GOP plans to call out Democrat’s long-standing opposition to expanding domestic energy production in the U.S., McDaniel said, “Absolutely.

“We’re seeing it in our pockets every day with the cost of gas and that’s directly correlated to Joe Biden shutting down drilling on federal lands, on shutting down the Keystone pipeline. And we’re importing Russian oil when we could be exporting our oil and gas. And so those are things that I think are critical to the American people. They understand it. One anecdote, I have a family member who called me this week and said, ‘I’m about as liberal, Green New Deal Democrat as I can be…I don’t know why we’re funding Russia’s war, and allowing them do to this.’ I think that’s where a lot of Americans are and that will be a big issue for the campaign going forward.”

In response to another press question, Gingrich said he’s optimistic about the Republican’s chances to take not only Congress but to win at the local levels, but said GOP candidates need to run.

“Fill up the slate,” he said. He noted that last year, an unknown truck driver beat the president of the New Jersey Senate with a campaign budget of $2,300, you look just this week we had a dramatic 17 point swing in Jacksonville, Fla. where we picked up a Democratic city council seat and we had an even bigger swing, I think it was 45 points, where we kept a Republican seat with a much greater margin, I look around, I think there are very few genuinely safe Democratic seats this year.”

The governors will also contribute “a ton of success stories” to show “why we will be better,” he said.

In fact, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Speech.

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Biden’s Keystone ‘Blunder’ Still Being Felt A Year Later, Critics Say

Joe Biden kicked off his presidency on January 20, 2021, by killing the Keystone XL pipeline. For the newly-elected Democrat, it was a message affirming his commitment to green energy policies.

For the energy industry, America’s allies abroad, and skilled workers at home, however, the impacts of Biden’s actions were far more concrete.

“Killing 10,000 jobs and taking $2.2 billion in payroll out of workers’ pockets is not what Americans need or want right now,” Andy Black, President and CEO of the Association of Oil Pipelines, said at the time.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) called Biden’s decision “both insulting and disappointing to the thousands of hard-working members who will lose good-paying, middle-class family-supporting jobs.

“By blocking this 100 percent union project, and pandering to environmental extremists, a thousand union jobs will immediately vanish and 10,000 additional jobs will be foregone,” the group added.

That was a year ago. How does the decision to end the Keystone pipeline look today?

First, there are the immediate economic impacts. Six months after Biden’s decision, TC Energy pulled the plug on the pipeline, which would have shipped 500,000 barrels a day from Western Canada into the U.S. refining system. Given America’s annual production of 16.5 million barrels a day in 2020, that was not a major loss at the time.

But today, domestic energy supplies are strained and global demand is soaring. U.S. allies in Europe are struggling to meet demand in the winter of 2022. Circumstances are very different from the day Biden blocked Keystone.

“Biden’s hurt us,” says H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., Senior Fellow on Environmental Policy for the Illinois-based Heartland Institute. “There’s no question about that.”

Neal Crabtree, a welding foreman from Fouke, Ark., lost his job when Biden pulled the pipeline’s permit. But he says he has bigger concerns than his own paycheck.

“I was worried by the tone being set by the Biden administration,” Crabtree said. “A direct attack on energy in this country seemed to be the president’s highest priority.

“Now we’re seeing rising energy prices. Private companies are reluctant to develop new pipelines because of the outrageous permitting process. Pipelines, just like roads and bridges in this country, are aging. To neglect our pipelines is a dangerous thing. We saw how dependent we are on them when the Colonial Pipeline was shut down last year.”

Dan Kish, Distinguished Senior Fellow for the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Energy Research, agrees. “We saw it as a body blow to American energy security,” he said.

And, some energy experts say, it is not just that Biden blocked a pipeline. He blocked Keystone, a project that went over and above to address issues like carbon emissions, safety standards, and cooperation with indigenous people impacted by the pipeline.

“When Biden shut down Keystone, which really was bending over backward to do everything right from the Democrats’ perspective — and Biden still killed it — that sent a message to the entire industry that it didn’t matter what you did, this administration wanted to shut you down,” said Dan K. Eberhart, CEO of Canary, one of the largest oilfield service companies in the country.

TC Energy had pledged to operate Keystone as a “net-zero emissions level,” the first of its kind commitment in the industry. And operating in Canada meant working under some of the most stringent environmental and safety regulations in the world.

The pipeline managers also had reached agreements with Native Americans as well, entering a $1 billion equity agreement with a group of five Alberta and Saskatchewan First Nations.

“I would say ‘President Biden, I do believe you made a bad decision putting Keystone on the backburner,’” said Saskatchewan First Nation Chief Alvin Francis just days after Biden’s decision. “This could change the outlook of all First Nations in Canada and the US.”

It has certainly changed the mood between Ontario and Washington, D.C. Keystone was in many ways primarily a Canadian project. Biden’s reversal on the pipeline, as well as proposed subsidies for U.S.- made electric vehicles, has heightened tensions between the two allies.

Closing Keystone has not strengthened America’s hand with its potential enemies, either. Biden has been left in the awkward position of lobbying Congress to keep the Nord Stream 2 pipeline open, even as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues threatening a possible invasion of Ukraine. And less oil from Canada and the U.S. on the global market means more demand for products from Russia, Libya, and Venezuela.

“This was a missed opportunity to increase North American energy security, lower costs for American consumers, and reduce dependence on foreign energy sources that are hostile to U.S. interests,” says Frank Macchiarola, Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs at American Petroleum Institute (API)

If Biden’s goal was to keep the oil in the ground, it didn’t work. Canadian oil production remained strong throughout 2021 and is expected to hit a new record in 2022, according to the International Energy Agency.

Is it possible Biden would reconsider Keystone XL, having just recently reached out to OPEC to increase production and help bring down gas prices? Burnett says that is unlikely.

“Biden is imposing methane regulations on the industry that the Trump administration decided were not necessary for public health and safety. Biden has agreed to block new natural gas pipelines and new natural gas power stations, so he’s helping create energy shortages in the U.S. and approving pipelines from Russia as opposed to shipping our gas,” Burnett said.

“Biden’s view seems to be ‘Energy is good for the world, but not for the United States,’” he added.

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DR. OZ: President Biden’s COVID Fumble

While running for President, Joe Biden frequently claimed in his stump speech, “I am going to shut down the virus.” Now, almost a year into his presidency, evidence that he’s made good on his promise is nowhere to be found.

For all his tough campaign rhetoric, the Biden administration’s response to the prolonged COVID pandemic has been largely confusing, disorganized, and has fallen far short of its intended goals.

President Biden is fumbling the ball at the goal line after President Trump drove the ball all the way down the field.

Thanks to the brilliance of President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, America gave the gift of mRNA vaccines to the world and saved millions of lives, but there is more work to be done.

President Biden’s handling of the vaccine booster situation has left many Americans unsure of if and when they’re eligible for such a booster. We’re also behind other nations when it comes to at-home testing. This shouldn’t be the reality for a nation with the resources and ingenuity that America does.

To conquer this disease once and for all, we have to get bureaucrats like Dr. Fauci, who have lost the confidence of the American people, out of the way. President Biden needs to fully unleash the spirit of American innovation to crush this virus.

By now, we should be able to treat those infected with COVID far better, but we still don’t have enough FDA-approved therapeutics to treat people. While the President has made a number of videos with celebrities to promote vaccines, his administration hasn’t shown the same enthusiasm for potentially life-saving treatments.

It’s unfortunate that COVID-19 became political and an excuse for the government and many in the corporate media to control the means of communication to suspend debate.

To make matters worse, recently published emails show the level America’s medical leadership went to silence those who did not prescribe to their ethos. There was a coordinated effort between Dr. Fauci, the media, and tech companies to muzzle dissenting opinions from leading scholars so their ideas could not be disseminated. From the start, therapeutics meant to help with COVID-19 were regularly discounted by the medical establishment, and as a result, many great ideas were squashed and discredited.

President Biden’s message to the American people in the wake of the Omicron variant has been nothing short of fearmongering – and he’s refused to take accountability for his failures.

This summer, while the border crisis raged, President Biden largely ignored the fact that 18 percent of illegal immigrants released from Border Patrol custody tested positive for the virus – a risk to the health and safety of many Americans. But President Biden’s response to the summer surge of cases was instead a number of burdensome vaccine mandates that instead threatened Americans’ livelihoods.

Now, as we watch case counts rise again many Americans are worried we’ll be returning to the lockdowns that crippled their businesses, harmed their children’s education, and stifled their freedoms.

To those pushing lockdowns, I urge you to follow the science. I want our businesses open and students fully in the classroom. I understand the truth, the data, and the science behind combatting COVID better than anyone in this race. Special interest groups have tried to keep America closed, and I am running for Senate to put our businesses, our schools, and our communities first.

To combat this virus, America needs new leaders and new ideas, not just star-studded ad campaigns and a return to the same restrictions that put our lives on hold. I’m committed to using my wealth of experience to pursue policies to help us restore our way of life which will help better the lives of all Pennsylvanians.


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FISCHER: A Chanukkah Lesson for Biden

Jews are in the midst of celebrating Chanukkah. Marking the holiday, President Joe Biden called Chanukkah a “undeniably American” festival. But, with policies he and his supporters are pushing on a resistant population, he doesn’t seem to realize the half of it.

Chanukkah is a lesser Jewish festival, lasting eight days from the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. It commemorates the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees in 165 BC after its desecration by the Syrians. Many refer to it as the “Festival of Lights.” Some mistakenly call it Jewish Christmas.

Biden celebrated the start of Chanukkah with his “undeniably American” statement, adding the lessons it offers are akin to America’s democratic founding. Biden said “[i]t teaches us that even a little bit of light, wherever it is found, can dispel the darkness and illuminate a path forward” and “reminds us that whether it is the Holy Temple in Jerusalem or the temple of our democracy, nothing broken or profaned is beyond repair.”

If Biden understood the history of how Chanukkah came to be, his choice of words might be more guarded.

Chanukkah is a joyous time in Jewish communities. It includes the nightly lighting of candles, gift-giving, parties, and family gatherings. Treats such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (donuts filled with cream or jelly) are devoured in great quantities. But its roots are far from joyous and can be compared to what’s occurring here today.

Starting around 200 BC, Judea – now Israel – came under Syrian (Hellenistic) rule. When Syria came under Roman rule and levied oppressive taxes, a substantial part of that burden was placed upon Jews who already shouldered the heaviest burden. By 174 BC, Syria – including Judea – was ruled by the tyrant Antiochus IV. He “tried to rule out individualism of the Jews” and destroy all Jewish tradition and rules. According to the Chabad story of Chanukkah: “Jewish worship was forbidden; the scrolls of the Law were confiscated and burned. Sabbath rest, circumcision, and the dietary laws were prohibited under penalty of death.”

Thousands of Jews who opposed these rules were punished – to the extent of being put to death.

The Jews were divided into two camps: The Torah-based (adhering to the first five books of the Bible), and Hellenistic Jews who took on the laws and customs of their tyrannical Syrian-Greek rulers. The latter adopted practices like idol worship. Jews who pushed back were became known as Maccabees. They fought the Syrian armies, eventually liberating Jerusalem and the Temple. When they went to light the menorah as part of its rededication, there was only enough oil for one day. By a miracle of G-d, the oil burned for a total of eight days.

So, what does all this have to do with Biden and why should he be nervous?

For many of us in the Jewish community, the original precept of Chanukkah has taken on a new and deeper meaning. Many of us are watching as a large number of Americans, including Jews, are forced to submit to mandates or face consequences ranging from not being able to eat in restaurants or go to the store – to the point of losing one’s livelihood.

We are watching as government agencies intimidate parents who want more control over their children’s education. We watched last year as retailers and casinos were allowed to reopen while schools and houses of worship remained closed or limited. We are watching as our government slowly chips away at Americans’ individualism.

Some of my fellow Jews balk at Biden’s statement that the Chanukkah story is undeniably American. But Biden is correct since America came about after throwing off the tyrannical rule of the British. The king burdened the colonies with taxes and tried to rule out individualism as well.

So – fast-forwarding to today – this administration needs to take heed of the same spirit and dedication to freedom, especially freedom of worship and freedom of the individual, arising under similar circumstances.

No one rational calls for insurrection. But the foundations of a political realignment are obvious. November showed the pushback is real.

And the supply of oil is running low!

We all know those who do not truly study history – and try to erase it – are bound to repeat it. This is an undeniably American Chanukkah lesson.

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Concern Over Omicron Variant Rises, But Not Support for Vax Mandates

The appearance of COVID-19’s Omicron variant has reignited the already heated debate over vaccine mandates.

While President Joe Biden continues to support government-backed vaccine edicts, his policy has suffered setbacks in court. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp issued a 32-page order blocking a federal mandate on healthcare workers in facilities that accept Medicaid and Medicare.

“Congress did not clearly authorize CMS to enact this politically and economically vast, federalism-altering, and boundary-pushing mandate, which Supreme Court precedent requires,” Schelp wrote.

Days earlier, another court struck down a mandate on businesses with 100 or more employees imposed via the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

But even with nearly 80 percent of adults having received at least one shot and new variants like Delta and Omicron in play, Americans remain largely ambivalent regarding mandates.

A recent Scott Rasmussen poll found 48 percent of voters approve of the Biden administration’s attempt to mandate COVID vaccines for all workers at companies with more than 100 workers, while 46 percent oppose it.

Support has fallen in the last two months with 54 percent approving the idea in mid-September and 37 percent against it.

A possible reason for the decline is 63 percent of voters have experienced supply chain problems, Rasmussen noted. And 59 percent favor relaxing vaccine mandates to ease those problems.

The survey also found some 53 percent do not believe the president has the legal authority to impose his order on private companies, up eight points since September. And just 30 percent believe he does have the authority to implement his mandate.

Asked to comment, some Delaware Valley politicians had differing views on whether Biden’s OSHA mandate on large employers should go forward.

“Congresswoman [Mary Gay] Scanlon does not support H.J. Res. 65, which would disapprove the emergency rule proposed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) relating to ‘COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard,’” said Carina Figliazzi, a spokesperson for Scanlon. “The congresswoman has read the proposed OSHA rule, which does not issue a blanket mandate vaccination, but rather proposes measures by employers to strongly encourage vaccination in the workplace and includes an exception for employers that adopt a policy requiring employees to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work. Having read the underlying rule and its justification, she finds the rationale and the proposal for the emergency temporary standard to be well-reasoned. Widespread vaccination and adherence to public health measures is our most effective path to conquering the pandemic.”

GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, on the other hand, opposes a government vaccine mandate.

“While I firmly believe getting vaccinated is the best protection for most against COVID-19, penalizing those who abstain and their employers is not good policy nor is it the role of the federal government,” Toomey said. “With a fine of $13,650 per violation, the outlined requirements from the Biden Administration will further alienate the skeptical and could easily force an employer that has taken considerable steps to encourage vaccination among its staff to be penalized, cut employees, or even close its doors. I will be joining many of my Republican colleagues in an attempt to revoke this mandate via the Congressional Review Act in hopes of stopping it before it causes unnecessary harm.”

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan tried to walk a tightrope on the topic, claiming she supports the “spirit” of mandates but is concerned about their impact.

“In the midst of the pandemic, many think that our businesses and their teams can either be economically strong or be physically safe (when it comes to COVID-19),” said Houlahan. “That’s a misperception – we can be both. I support the spirit of the OSHA directive, especially considering the insurmountable scientific data showing the safety and efficacy of vaccines. And at the same time I’m also an entrepreneur, and mindful of our businesses’ challenge to comply given the hardships they’ve faced these past couple of years. I’m confident we can come together and find solutions that work for everyone. Instead of co-sponsoring legislation to dismantle the OSHA policy, I look forward to continuing to work with employers in my community and the Administration to find real solutions.”

And Republican gubernatorial candidate Guy Ciarrocchi, who took a leave from his job as president of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, believes big government is not the solution.

“Biden’s vaccine mandate is misguided and bad medicine,” said Ciarrocchi. “First, our national vaccine rate is good and getting better. This is a big government action in search of a problem. Second, from airlines to hospitals, we are seeing what happens when mandates cause walkouts or work interruptions that harm more people than any mandate would help. Finally, many of these mandates are directed at the very people who worked tirelessly and selflessly to get us through the COVID-era. Those who we considered Heroes for most of 2020 and 2021 are now being portrayed as villains.”


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‘Build Back Better’ Plan Includes Higher Costs for Heating Oil, Natural Gas

Environmental activists call it a “methane fee.” The energy industry calls it a “natural gas tax.” Either way, Pennsylvania consumers are likely to feel the effects in their pocketbooks.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on its version of the budget reconciliation bill — also known as the “Build Back Better” bill — which includes increased fees on methane emissions. Methane is a byproduct of oil and natural gas production, and as a result, the fee would be an increase in the cost of production.

Environmentalists say reducing methane is essential to the fight against climate change. At the COP26 meeting in Scotland last week, the United States announced it will participate in the Global Methane Pledge to cut methane emissions 30 percent by 2030.

“Methane has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere,” says Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on its website. “Even though CO2 has a longer-lasting effect, methane sets the pace for warming in the near term.”

As National Geographic reports, “Whereas carbon dioxide persists for centuries, most methane converts to carbon dioxide or gets cycled out of the atmosphere within about a decade.”

Meanwhile, two of the world’s biggest methane emitters — China nor Russia — refused to sign the Global Methane Pledge.

And energy producers point to America’s surging costs to heat their homes this winter and the wider inflation problem as evidence this is the wrong time to add costs to consumers’ utility bills.

“This is nothing more than a tax on natural gas at a time when policymakers should be focused on solutions that support affordable, reliable energy while reducing emissions,” says API Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs Frank Macchiarola.

“We must continue to drive down methane emissions without adding new burdens on American families and businesses,” added said Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the American Gas Association. “Our analysis indicates that the proposed tax could increase natural gas bills from 12 percent to 34 percent, depending on the variation of the proposal assessed.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat representing natural-gas producing West Virginia, has been reluctant to support legislation with a tax or fee on methane. As a result, House Democrats have been trying to find ways to change the terminology and get Manchin’s blessing once the bill is approved in the House and sent to the Senate. Democrats’ have a razor-thin majority in both chambers and need the support of every Democrat in the Senate.

Winning over Manchin has not been, and will not be, easy.

“Major oil and gas companies are actively investing in, developing, and using new technologies to detect and repair leaks, which are known to be a public health risk and contribute to climate change,” Manchin said in August 2020.

Delaware Valley U.S. Reps. Madeleine Dean (D), Mary Gay Scanlon (D), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R) declined to respond to requests for comment about the upcoming Build Back Better bill vote.

Meanwhile, API’s Frank Macchiarola says methane is already being regulated.

“The direct regulation of methane by the EPA is the most impactful way to build on the downward trend of methane emission rates in key producing regions rather than a duplicative and punitive natural gas tax that would only hurt American consumers and undermine the economic recovery,” says Macchiarola.

Gordon Tomb, senior adviser to CO2 Coalition, does not see a need for the regulations.

“Methane makes up a minuscule portion of the atmosphere — less than two parts per million — and together with carbon dioxide contributes an estimated 0.012 degrees C a year — an amount too small to even measure,” says Tomb. “Regulating emissions of either gas has no basis in science and imposes an unnecessary burden on businesses and the people who buy their products.”

And, Tomb added, “When politicians are talking about regulating methane, they are usually talking about taxing methane that gets leaked to the environment during production operations, treating that methane as a pollutant,” says Tomb. “Of course, methane is put into the atmosphere from all kinds of sources, and in the scheme of things the amount in the atmosphere is quite small irrespective of where it is coming from.”

The Marcellus Shale Coalition has also warned that taxes or fees would be bad for everyone.

“Layering more taxes on strongly regulated domestic energy production increases costs for those who produce and rely on these essential resources, with low-and fixed-income families shouldering the disproportionate share of the tax hike,” the group wrote in a September letter that included the Gas & Oil Association of West Virginia and the Ohio Oil & Gas Association.

And while organizations including the Sierra Club say fossil fuel organizations do not care about the environment, Marcellus Shale Coalition begs to differ.

“Our members are fully committed to improving air quality and further reducing all emission sources, particularly methane since it is the very product we sell, through leveraging best available technologies and practices.”

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SANDS: Biden’s Weakness Endangers Us All

Throughout America’s history, we have been blessed with strong leadership when faced with severe challenges.  While America has certainly had its fair share of weak leaders – Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama to name a few – when our Nation has come face-to-face with real problems, our strongest leaders have guided us through with strength and determination.

When our Republic was in its infancy, we elected George Washington who guided us through our first founding years as a Nation. Abraham Lincoln held us together through a brutal civil war with sheer determination and grit. After a decade of economic stagnation and an aggressive communist threat, we elected Ronald Reagan, who reinvigorated our economy and defeated the Soviet Union.

All three of these leaders, along with many others, built the success of their presidencies on the strength of their leadership qualities.  During his four years in office, Donald Trump showed that same strength, fighting back against the woke media, communist China and a Democrat party controlled by socialists.

But now, as America is beset by enemies, we have a President all too eager to cave to our enemies abroad and those destroying our way of life from within.  Americans across our country and our soldiers abroad are paying the price for this new leadership in Washington.

As a member of the Trump Administration’s foreign policy team, I saw first-hand how our administration dealt with growing threats abroad. Make no mistake – the Chinese Communist Party and Vladimir Putin want nothing more than to see America weakened. That is what they are getting from a Biden Administration that continuously refuses to stand up for American interests.

There is no better example of the consequence of weak leadership than the catastrophe we saw over the summer in Afghanistan.  When President Trump left office, we had gone nearly an entire year without losing a soldier in battle.  Yet, shortly after taking office Joe Biden stubbornly ignored his generals’ advice to leave forces in place and terrorists pressed their advantage.  In just a few weeks, we went from a stable situation with no combat deaths, to thirteen dead American service members and hundreds stranded behind enemy lines, subject to the thirteenth-century brutality of the Taliban regime.

That same weakness is evident in the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure our border. While the mainstream leftist media mocked President Trump for his insistence on the need to secure our border, he stood firm and made significant progress improving our border security by making transformative deals with Mexico, building a wall, and backing our border patrol officers.

But in ten months, Biden’s administration has reversed all of that progress. Each day we see thousands of migrants storming our southern border, carrying signs thanking the Biden administration for their refusal to enforce American laws.  They know that Joe Biden has become an open-borders radical unwilling to stand up for American citizens against the trafficking of humans and drugs coming into our Nation. The Biden administration doesn’t have the resilience or fortitude to do what is necessary to secure our border. In fact, they are doing the opposite. Last week, it was even reported that the Biden administration is compensating illegal immigrants to the tune of almost half a million dollars each, taking money out of the pockets of American citizens and giving it away to those willfully breaking our laws.

Finally, Biden is incapable of preventing socialists from ruining our economy and destroying America’s way of life.  In 2020, Biden campaigned as a moderate. Yet in 2021, he’s embraced the radical positions of Bernie Sanders, pushing for spending, unlike anything America has ever seen and advocating for a Green New Deal that would eliminate hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs and radically reduce Americans’ personal liberty. He has completely abdicated his duties to the American people who elected him based on his campaign promises and is allowing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders to run our government.

We are in trying times. We need strong leadership now more than ever and Joe Biden is simply not up to the task.


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PARNELL: We Need to Beat Inflation Now by Stopping Biden’s Runaway Spending Plans

If you follow economic news, you know rising prices for consumer goods are a serious concern. The Bureau of Economic Analysis, for example, reports inflation has hit a 30-year high, and top economists warn it’s only headed higher.

Of course, in Pennsylvania, we don’t need expert forecasts or headlines to understand the reality of rising prices: we see the evidence around us every day. All we have to do is go grocery shopping or fill up the gas tank to see the reality. It’s one of the top concerns I hear about from anxious voters as I’ve traveled the state these last few months. We all recognize we’re spending more to get less — and thanks to the Biden administration’s economic mismanagement, that situation will get worse before it gets better.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in August that the consumer price index increased more than 5.3 percent over the last year. That means the inflation surge is costing each U.S. household an extra $175 per month, according to an analysis by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. For most Americans, that’s a tough burden – which will only grow heavier as prices continue to surge in the months ahead, as expected.

Economists refer to inflation as a “hidden tax” that hits everybody, but it doesn’t affect everybody equally. Working families, seniors on fixed incomes, and anyone who lives on a budget is hit harder. Living paycheck to paycheck? Depend on Social Security for your monthly expenses? Have money in a savings or retirement account? Be prepared to see your long-term purchasing power eaten away by rising prices.

Americans are right to blame Biden for the steep and rapid rise in prices, and they’re concerned by his administration’s reckless push for even more government spending. Americans recognize that printing money and pushing the accelerator on spending will only make things worse and fast.

Biden’s biggest gamble, his gargantuan $4 trillion infrastructure bill (only a tiny fraction of which is dedicated to roads, bridges and real infrastructure projects), will only continue this negative trend. The Republicans and Democrats in Washington who have refused to support the president’s big-spending proposal are doing the right thing trying to stop that train wreck.

We’ve heard a lot about Biden’s supposed moderation, but that moderation is nowhere to be seen lately as the White House pushes every big-ticket spending item from the left’s wish list. So it’s understandable that Pennsylvanians may suspect the entire campaign narrative about Biden’s sympathies for average working Americans was a massive con job.

The question is, what can we do to get surging inflation under control? First, end the spending spree in Washington. Printing money and endless deficit spending are proven losers, but in recent years they seem to be the only items in Washington’s playbook. As the national debt grows ever larger – and let’s be honest, both parties in Washington have contributed to that problem for too long — it’s past time to get serious about restraining runaway spending. That starts with putting a hard stop to Biden’s massive spending plans.

Next, we need to get back to a bipartisan focus on real jobs and growth. The 1980s and 1990s were politically polarized times, but somehow Republicans and Democrats under the Reagan and Clinton administrations managed to work together to nurture a surging economy that created jobs and widely shared economic opportunity. That was achievable once, and we can do it again.

Finally, a word of caution: as the economic problems compound, we should expect that the pro-Biden media and tech industries will go all in to paint a rosy picture, dismiss your legitimate concerns about skyrocketing prices, and even censor discussion of any inconvenient topic that reflects poorly on the president. (I know from experience: When I recently shared accurate inflation data with my followers on Facebook and Instagram, the social media platform flagged my post as “missing context,” a subtle way the tech giants’ censors try to make you doubt truthful information).

Don’t be taken in; trust your own instincts. People can see for themselves the impact that constant cost increases have on their standard of living. Just remember that Biden and his media supporters can’t lie their way out of an inflation spiral – we see the evidence at the check-out counter and the gas pump every day. If we’re going to get inflation under control and restore the economy to health, it’s time to end the business-as-usual spending in Washington and get back to a focus on jobs and growth.