Is Pete Buttigieg The Most Incompetent Transportation Secretary In History?

Things just keep getting worse for Pete Buttigieg. After Southwest Airlines ruined many Americans’ holiday plans with mass cancelations, now a “glitch” is causing hundreds of flights to be canceled again.

Fortunately, a massive snowstorm meant that I wasn’t going anywhere over the holidays, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t grind my gears that for the umpteenth time the guy whose job it is to do something isn’t doing anything. Much like the establishment GOP tends to do when confronted with its failings, Pete fell back on a strongly worded Twitter statement.

He followed that up with a not-so-strongly worded letter to the airlines asking them to treat passengers like people and threatening to use the department’s enforcement power. Seriously, $221,000 a year to write strongly worded letters? Get this guy into Congress because he and Sen. Lindsey Graham are going to be the Beltway’s new bipartisan force.

It looks like the department is belatedly doing something and we shall see just how effective the response is. But Pete’s job is to make sure this doesn’t happen — not enforce gender-neutral language for airmen.

For those paying attention, absolutely none of this should be surprising. Remember when the port of Los Angeles got so backed up that suddenly basic goods we all take for granted started disappearing from the shelves?

Pete was off on paternity leave. I don’t have any problem with people taking paternity leave. But since Pete occupies such an (allegedly) important government office, couldn’t Chasten have taken care of the kids? Gay or straight, there is still that second parent to help out. People have been doing it for millennia. He can do it too.

I would have slightly more respect for Pete if he could at least lie well about the crisis. But instead he blamed Joe Biden’s economic “success.”

Middle Americans aren’t stupid, Pete. You should know that being from my neck of the woods near South Bend and all. I can do math and tell when my grocery bill has doubled. And going on MSDNC or whatever other network may have worked with people in the past, but it isn’t going to cut it anymore. Not even with seniors – they’re too busy working at the local Home Depot because Biden’s greatest economy ever is murdering their retirements.

The LA Times blamed the shortage on workers refusing to take the jobs at such low wages (for California, anyway). As for Pete, he could have at least blamed COVID, as Democrats tend to do when the race card exhausts itself. But then he would have had to also blame COVID shutdowns, vaccine mandates and California’s insanely high cost of living – which would have indicted Gov. Hairgel … I mean Gov. Newsom. And we can’t have criticism of America’s favorite governor before he’s anointed as the DNC nominee for 2024 now, can we?

Instead, Pete has been trying to demolish one “racist” highway in Detroit. Look, I hate these highways that divided neighborhoods in the 50s and 60s. They’re ugly and some of them were actually built for racist reasons. But, let me tell you something Pete: your party has run Detroit for over 60 years. Your party built those highways, not only in Detroit, but New York and Chicago too. Detroit was America’s wealthiest city and is now a shithole. One highway is not the problem – it’s you guys.

Seriously, why the hell is this guy in charge? Ask yourself why Joe Biden is president and you have your answer. Neither of them have any clue what they’re doing (in Joe’s case, he doesn’t have a clue, period). They both take time off while the country burns.

Let’s face it. Pete’s a young, good-looking white guy in a Democratic administration. You either have some intersectional points or need to be really good at your job – like Merrick Garland rounding up dissidents or Janet Yellen shilling for CBDCs to turn us all into financial slaves of the Federal Reserve.

Before now, I rarely, if ever, heard the transportation secretary pop up on TV or elsewhere. I can’t name the previous transportation secretaries from any other administration except Trump, mostly because he’s been attacking her lately. So if Pete has to be doing media hits and go on Twitter to defend his department’s flubs before an angry America, it means he’s not doing a very good job.

As punishment, Pete should be forced to fly coach on his own dime. No more private jets. And he doesn’t get to deduct it from his taxes, either. Reps. Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz: if you guys are reading this, pass a bill to that effect and restore the IRS expansion but with the sole job of making sure Pete can’t avoid this punishment. Then, shut down the Transportation Department. We did fine without it before 1966.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.

AUTHOR

MICHELE GAMA SOSA

Michele Gama Sosa is an opinion editor for the Daily Caller and a historian by training.

RELATED ARTICLE: More Transportation Nightmares On Mayor Pete’s Watch

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Federal Aviation Administration Grounds All Domestic U.S. Flights

All domestic flights in the U.S. were grounded overnight Wednesday into the morning due to a technical error. Some flights gradually started to resume shortly before 9:00 am (eastern time).

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) worked overnight to restore a system that allows air traffic control to alert pilots when there are potential hazards on their flight path. Normal air traffic operations resumed just before 9am on Tuesday while agents continued to look into the original cause of the issue, according to an update from the FAA.

“We are performing final validation checks and reloading the system now. Operations across the National Airspace System are affected,” the FAA wrote on Twitter. “We will provide frequent updates as we make progress.”

Roughly an hour after their initial tweet, the FAA sent an update to followers, announcing that the agency had “ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9am Eastern Time,” to allow for research to be done on the “integrity of flight and safety information.”

Delays for arriving and departing domestic flights are likely to be substantial Wednesday, just a few short weeks after a significant winter bomb cyclone disrupted tens of thousands of flights through the holiday season.

Twitter users were quick to express concerns over the total shutdown of domestic travel, with the CEO of Evercontact writing, “This is alarming. There should be an independent audit on such a large-scale incident. Is it due to obsolete equipment? is it a hack? Human error? Accountability is key to restoring trust in an industry that can’t allow mistakes!”

The FAA then retweeted a post from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who noted that “there is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point, but the President directed the Department of Transportation to conduct a full investigation into the causes.” She furthered that the FAA would continue to provide regular updates.

AUTHOR

KAY SMYTHE

News and commentary writer.

RELATED ARTICLE: Amtrak Trolls Southwest Airlines For Highly Questionable Free Ukulele Giveaway

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Biden Regime Looking To Ban Gas Stoves

Banning gas stoves. And fireplaces next. Bottom line is good ventilation is all that’s required.  Every good thing is in their crosshairs. Gas stoves have been in use since the late 1800s.

This is just more destruction to our economy and our way of life by the totalitarian primitives.

They claim it’s for the children, These are the same folks mandating deadly RNA vaccines for kids, genital mutilation and chemical castrations for children.

Banning Gas Stoves over Health Concerns

A federal agency may look to ban gas stoves over concern about the release of pollutants that can cause health and respiratory problems, according to a new report. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is set to open public comment on the dangers of gas stoves sometime this winter. The commission could set standards on emissions from the gas stoves, or even look to ban the manufacture or import of the appliances, commissioner.

Keep reading.

US Safety Agency to Consider Ban on Gas Stoves Amid Health Fears

Natural gas stoves, which are used in about 40% of homes in the US, emit air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter at levels the EPA and World Health Organization have said are unsafe and linked to respiratory illness, cardiovascular problems, cancer, and other health conditions, according to reports by groups such as the Institute for Policy Integrity and the American Chemical Society.

Read more.

AUTHOR

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In 2022, The IRS Went After the Very Poorest Taxpayers

And so many of them vote Democrat — Stockholm Syndrome.

I am sure they are comforted in their freezing beds in the knowledge that Ukraine is living large on their dime.

In 2022, the IRS Went After the Very Poorest Taxpayers

By: Liz Wolfe, Reason Magazine, January 5, 2023: (thanks to Van):

Despite $80 billion in new funding, the agency is living up to its reputation of hassling low-income taxpayers over rich people.

On Wednesday, Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) released data provided to it by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on audits performed by the agency in fiscal year 2022. Despite the infusion of new funding earmarked for the IRS via last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, the agency continued historic trends of hassling primarily low-income taxpayers, with relatively few millionaires and billionaires getting caught up in the audit sweep.

“The taxpayer class with unbelievably high audit rates—five and a half times virtually everyone else—were low-income wage-earners taking the earned income tax credit,” reported TRAC, noting that the poorest taxpayers are “easy marks in an era when IRS increasingly relies upon correspondence audits yet doesn’t have the resources to assist taxpayers or answer their questions.”

In fact, “if one ignores the fiction of auditing a millionaire through simply sending a letter through the mail, the odds that millionaires received a regular audit by a revenue agent (1.1%) was actually less than the audit rate of the targeted lowest income wage-earners whose audit rate was 1.27 percent!”

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, directed $80 billion worth of new funding over the next decade to the IRS so it could hire 87,000 new workers, purportedly to better target millionaire and billionaire scofflaws. The Biden administration and credulous journalists claimed that this would in no way increase audits for those making under $400,000 annually—suspect assurances not provided within the text of the actual bill. This increased capacity meant only those at the top would be targeted, supporters insisted. But this ignores how the IRS’s incentives work and how agencywide reform might be too heavy of a lift.

Correspondence audits—which are conducted via mail, and are the type frequently used when interacting with the poorest of taxpayers—are much easier and cheaper to conduct than other types of audits. Plus, the earned income tax credit is easy to get wrong. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that new hires with experience in the field will take almost three years of ramp-up time, with more junior new hires taking longer. The lag time between 2022’s infusion of funding, and legitimately increased capacity, will be enormous—if the agency can even snag the best in the industry when TurboTax and H&R Block will surely be swelling their own ranks. It makes sense that, given a dearth of experienced auditors not likely to be fixed soon, the agency would rely on the easiest and least time-consuming types of audits.

But be suspicious of the idea that an infusion of cash will solve longstanding problems within the IRS. This is, after all, the agency that sent $1.1 billion in child welfare payments to the wrong people over the course of merely five months during the pandemic. It’s the agency that was hacked back in 2015, resulting in the personal information of more than 700,000 taxpayers being compromised. It’s the agency that has been foolishly going after Americans who hold $10,000 or more in a foreign bank since 2010, never mind the fact that many of them are middle-class expats, not folks with yachts in the Mediterranean. And it’s the (leaky) agency that enabled the richest Americans’ intimate financial information to be thumbed through by ProPublica readers. It will take more than a little cash to fix all this, and, as the IRS’s competence and tenacity increase, so too will the tenacity of the vast infrastructure of accountants and lawyers hired by the rich to creatively minimize their tax burdens.

AUTHOR

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Great American Family Network Is Bad News For The Hallmark Channel

If anyone needed evidence that the majority of Americans are sick up to here with the woke agenda dished out by mainstream T.V., look no further than the Great American Family Network (GAF).

This week the network – which launched less than a year ago as a breakaway and competitor to the Hallmark Channel – announced that it ranked number one in total day ratings growth in households, up 113%, and in total viewership, up 116%, according to the Nielsen ratings. It also came first in primetime rating growth for households, up 128%.

Why is this Hallmark knock-off channel gaining so much viewership? The main reason is its wholesome faith and family programming and its departure from Hallmark’s gay-friendly programming, which has been turning away viewers for the past several years.

Candace Cameron Bure, one of the biggest stars of Hallmark, jumped ship last year and moved to GAF. She came under fire recently for daring to note that GAF would focus on “traditional marriage.” The predictable hell storm erupted and is still swirling around an unperturbed Bure, who is happily acting and producing at GAF.

During the December Christmas programming, Hallmark further turned off viewers with its first Christmas story focusing on a gay couple, called “The Holiday Sitter.” It tells the heartwarming story of Sam, who babysits his niece and nephew before the holidays, and finds unexpected romance when he recruits handsome neighbor Jason to help.

Did I say heartwarming? Sorry, I meant heartburn-inducing.

Hallmark may have made the biggest mistake of its previously saccharine life by deciding to pander to the homosexual lobby, which makes up a small minority of viewers while thumbing its nose at the millions of viewers who always flocked to Hallmark for family-friendly viewing.

We wonder, though, will Hallmark regret its gay programming decision enough to go back to its roots? It’s doubtful … but they’re probably squirming right now with the release of the latest Nielsen ratings.

EDITORS NOTE: This Christian Action Network column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Tech Companies Continue Massive Layoffs, Amazon Announces 18,000 Job Cuts

The labor figures coming out of the Biden government are pure fiction (like every thing coming out of this treacherous regime). The unemployment rate, for example, is artificially depressed by excluding people who stopped searching for a job. Everything they say is a lie. Look around, use your eyes and your brain and think.

WHAT IS THE REAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE?

But the job market outlook is more complicated than that, because the headline unemployment figure is artificially depressed by excluding people who might only be earning a few dollars a week, but who want to find full-time work. It also does not encompass any workers who have stopped searching for a job because they are discouraged or caring for a child.

The Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity shows the “true rate of unemployment” is much higher than those government figures suggest.

A labor market metric developed by researchers at the institute evaluates workers who they consider “functionally unemployed” – individuals who are looking for work and do not currently have a full-time job, but want one, or who do not earn a living wage, which is roughly $20,000 annually before taxes. In April, about 23.1% of the labor market was functionally unemployed.

That is still in line with pre-pandemic levels: According to the Institute, which was founded by former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Gene Ludwig, the true level of unemployment in February 2020 was about 24.5%.

The figures are even higher for Americans of color. The true unemployment rate is about 26.5% for Black Americans and 25.7% for Hispanic Americans. By comparison, White Americans have a true unemployment rate of 22%. (FOX Business)

Amazon Announces 18,000 Job Cuts

Amazon informed staff on Wednesday that it plans to cut 18,000 jobs amid slowing consumer and corporate spending.

The cuts include workforce reductions already announced in November. The company had previously flagged that it would make additional cuts this year.

Tech Companies Continue Massive Layoffs

Wall Street Journal: Amazon layoffs will affect more than 17,000 employees, a higher number than the company initially planned and one that would represent the most reductions revealed so far during a wave of cutbacks at major technology companies, according to people familiar with the matter. The Seattle-based company in November said that it was beginning layoffs among its corporate workforce, with cuts concentrated on its devices business, recruiting and retail operations (Wall Street Journal). CNBC: Salesforce said Wednesday that it is slashing 10% of its staff and curtailing office space. The cloud-based software firm had over 79,000 employees as of December. The layoffs, part of a broader restructuring plan at Salesforce, are the company’s latest headcount reductions after it let go of hundreds of employees in November (CNBC).

AUTHOR

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

The Federal Reserve’s Housing Market Lessons to Be Learned [Once Again]

Summary

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were unprecedented in terms of widespread lockdowns, skyrocketing unemployment, and a financial market crash. The Federal Reserve took aggressive expansionary efforts in the form of Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) and quantitative easing (QE) to stabilize the economy, while Congress enacted massive fiscal stimulus. However, one of the results was a runaway home price boom.

Recently Chairman Powell admitted that the Federal Reserve bore some responsibility for this boom, noting that:

“… the housing market was very overheated for a couple of years after the pandemic as demand increased and rates were low. … the housing market needs to get back into a balance between supply and demand.”

November 2, 2022, FOMC press conference; italics added

It is now generally acknowledged that the Federal Reserve ended up overshooting by not recalibrating its policies in light of both overwhelming fiscal and housing market responses.  Both of these fueled an explosion in aggregate demand, especially for goods and houses.

By the end of August 2020, near-real-time credit card data indicated that sales for July 2020 were up 2% on a year-over-year basis, indicating a recovery from the initial pandemic shock.  By mid-December 2020, these same data indicated that sales for late October 2020 to late November 2020 were up 6% on a year-over-year basis, signaling a policy-induced acceleration of demand. Spending in the lowest two quintiles of zip codes by income was growing at 13% and 9% year-over-year, reflecting the especially large fiscal stimulus for lower-income households.[1]

For the rest of our analysis, read the full report

PDF to full report


[1] In addition, stock and home prices were booming by late 2020.  The ensuing wealth effect, which develops with a lag, should have been well known to the Fed.

EDITORS NOTE: This AEI report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Bidenomics in 2022: Nasdaq: -33%; S&P: -20%; Dow: -9%; Bonds: -12%

“Americans have lost $13.5 trillion in household wealth.” — Julio Gonzalez, @TaxReformExpert


As we approach January 1st, 2023 Americans have now had nearly two years of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

As a tweet by Carlos Löwenbraü put it, “If U hate Trump after this 24 month shitshow your commitment to stupidity is impressive.”

We must agree.

We have labeled those who elected Biden “the depraved electorate.” The depraved are the 87% of Democrats who give Biden and his administration, “positive marks for the job he is doing.” The “depraved electorate” are willfully ignorant of what is really happening around them.

Our enemies are all taking advantage of this American fool while they can.

It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of a Biden presidency that to restore the necessary common sense and good judgement of this depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their leader.

The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Biden, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

The republic can survive a Biden, who is after all, merely a fool.

It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made and now defend him as their president!

Time to focus on the depraved electorate who defend, encourage and support Biden, the prince of fools.

Will November 2024 be a reckoning? Will the electorate give us a conservative president and majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate?

If not gird your loins. Armageddon is coming!

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

The EPA’s Latest Regulation Could Devastate The Trucking Industry

  • The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule Tuesday that will impose stricter emissions standards on new heavy-duty vehicles, a regulation that will significantly raise operating costs for truckers, experts and industry representatives told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  •  “The costs associated with this are also a concern because these are costs that not only the industry will bear … prices will go up for everybody,” Texas Trucking Association President John Esparza told the DCNF.
  • “It’s an overreach that is indicative of this administration’s tendency to set aside balance to achieve the goals of activists that they are politically aligned with,” Mandy Gunasekara, a senior policy analyst for the Independent Women’s Forum and former EPA Chief of Staff during the Trump administration, told the DCNF.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule Tuesday that will impose stricter nitrogen dioxide emissions standards on new heavy-duty trucks, a move that will substantially hike operating costs for truckers, experts and industry representatives told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The EPA’s rule, which is more than 80% stricter than the previous regulation, will require large trucks, delivery vans and buses manufactured after 2027 to cut nitrogen dioxide emissions by nearly 50% by 2045, according to an agency press release. The agency’s rule is intended to push truckers to phase out diesel-powered vehicles and use electric vehicles (EV) instead; however, the compliance costs associated with such rules could suffocate an industry that is not ready to transition to EVs, experts told the DCNF.

“It’s an overreach that is indicative of this administration’s tendency to set aside balance to achieve the goals of activists that they are politically aligned with,” Mandy Gunasekara, a senior policy analyst for the Independent Women’s Forum and former EPA Chief of Staff during the Trump administration, told the DCNF. “It’s going to squeeze out the mid-sized and smaller trucking companies because they’re not going to be able to afford to purchase the new, extremely expensive equipment required to continue to do what they do.”

The new rules are intended to phase out older trucks that emit more nitrogen dioxide and will push drivers to purchase electric trucks or newer models of diesel trucks that do not produce as much nitrogen dioxide when they burn fuel, according to the EPA.

“If small business truckers can’t afford the new, compliant trucks, they’re going to stay with older, less efficient trucks or leave the industry entirely,” Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President Todd Spencer told trade publication Freight Waves. “Once again, EPA has largely ignored the warnings and concerns raised by truckers in this latest rule.”

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said that the rule would protect “historically overburdened communities,” that are disproportionately affected by trucking emissions as truck freight routes are often located near “vulnerable populations,” according to the press release. Nitrogen dioxide gas can exacerbate respiratory diseases like asthma and form acid rain in the atmosphere which can damage lakes and forests, according to the EPA.

“The EPA is happy to go easy on big trucking since they support regulations that will harm their smaller competitors far more,” Steve Milloy, Energy and Environmental Legal Institute senior legal fellow and former Trump administration EPA transition team member, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Regan announced the new rule in front of an electric garbage truck produced by Mack Trucks and following his remarks, Mack spokesman John Mies stated that his company supports the administration’s zero emissions targets for trucks and is working to cut “dangerous” emissions produced by diesel trucks, according to CNN.

“Companies have taken the initiative to electrify a certain percentage of their fleet by a certain year and have made plans to build the necessary infrastructure, but they are then told that there isn’t enough power to achieve what they’re seeking,” Texas Trucking Association President John Esparza told the DCNF. “The costs associated with this are also a concern because these are costs that not only the industry will bear … prices will go up for everybody.”

The EPA’s final rule is the first step in its “Clean Trucks Plan” which seeks to heavily regulate trucks’ emissions to push drivers to adopt electric trucks.

Gunesakara echoed Esparza’s comments and said that such targets were a “technological fantasy” that could cost truckers their jobs due to the high price of electric trucks. Gunesakara added that the EPA’s rules would force truck drivers to drive older, more polluting and less efficient vehicles for longer as diesel trucks will be rapidly phased out long before EVs can become a more viable alternative.

The EPA touted its new rule and said that it will result in up to 2,900 fewer premature deaths, 18,000 fewer cases of childhood asthma and 6,700 fewer hospital admissions as well as an overall annual net economic benefit of $29 billion due to fewer missed work days. The agency’s trucking rules are less strict than California’s regulations as heavy vehicles in the state must cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 75% starting in 2024, and 90% starting in 2027, according to a California Air Resource Board rule.

The EPA did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

JACK MCEVOY

Energy & environment reporter.

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EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Urge EPA To End ‘Completely Arbitrary’ Regulations On Small Fuel Refiners

Speculative climate chaos v. indisputable fossil fuel benefits

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Secret Back Channel Between FTX and White House Closed the Day After FTX Filed for Bankruptcy

What was the big guy’s cut?

The level of criminality and depravity in this administration is only matched by its contempt for the American people and the idea of a nation of laws. No wonder they are treating this degenerate crook like a prince. Do we have any law and order left in this country?

Secret Back Channel Between FTX and White House Closed the Day After FTX Filed for Bankruptcy

By: Jim  Hoft, TPG, December 24, 2022:

The far-left Washington Post reported on March 3 that Ukraine was dealing in crypto.

The Ukrainian government has gathered more than $42 million in cryptocurrency donations since Saturday, plus digital artwork including a limited edition worth roughly $200,000, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. The challenge is how the country cashes in on these assets to fund its war needs.

Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman Fried has come forward to help a crypto donation project. He humbly announced that FTX will be supporting the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance and other communities in collecting crypto donations for the country. The Ukrainian government has received over $60 million in crypto donations from all over the world.

FTX’s CEO, Sam Bankman Fried highlighted that the war in Ukraine has been dragging on. The country is in full need of humanitarian help and access to global financial infrastructure. He also called attention to sanctions and crypto during this kind of situation. He indicated that crypto exchanges should enforce sanctions announced by the government seriously.

Keep reading…..

AUTHOR

RELATED ARTICLE: Biden’s Taliban: ‘A Woman Is a Man’s Property and Must Serve Him, Not Get Educated’

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

California Appeals Court Upholds Injunctions against Corporate Board Quotas

This is an important victory for Judicial Watch, as well as taxpayers and stockholders.

The California Court of Appeal has upheld two injunctions against California quota requirements for corporate boards.

Earlier this year, two California trial courts had found (here and here) state quota mandates for sex, race, ethnicity, and LGBT status unconstitutional. On December 1, 2022, the California Court of Appeal denied (here and here) two separate emergency requests by the California Secretary of State to lift the injunctions.

The California courts again have upheld the core American value of equal protection under the law. Our taxpayer clients are heroes for standing up for civil rights against the Left’s pernicious efforts to undo anti-discrimination protections. Our legal team has helped protect the civil rights of every American with these successful lawsuits.
Here’s the background.

We filed a gender quota lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2019 on behalf of three California taxpayers. The lawsuit challenged a 2018 law, Senate Bill 826 (SB 826), which mandated that every publicly held corporation headquartered in California have at least one director “who self-identifies her gender as a woman” on its board of directors. We successfully argued that the quota for women on corporate boards violates the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution. In May 2022, after a 28-day trial, the Superior Court delivered its verdict finding that “S.B. 826’s goal was to achieve general equity or parity; its goal was not to boost California’s economy, not to improve opportunities for women in the workplace nor not to protect California taxpayers, public employees, pensions and retirees.”

In 2020, we filed a separate taxpayer lawsuit challenging Assembly Bill 979 (AB 979), which Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law on September 30, 2020. The bill mandated boards of directors of California-based, publicly held domestic or foreign corporations to satisfy racial, ethnicity, sexual preference and transgender status quotas.

Our lawsuit successfully asked the Superior Court to declare the diversity quota scheme unconstitutional under California’s equal protection guarantee and to permanently enjoin its enforcement. On April 1, 2022, the Superior Court issued a ruling and opinion striking down AB 979’s diversity quotas and granting a permanent injunction in favor of our taxpayer clients enjoining the state from implementing the statute.

EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch update is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

All of the 60 Largest Metros Experience Declines in Home Prices in November as Longest Boom Ends

National Home Price Appreciation (HPA) Index – November 2022

Key takeaways:

  • National YoY HPA for November 2022 averaged 6.7%, down from 8.5% a month ago and 16.7% a year ago.
  • Historically, HPA in the low price tier has outpaced HPA in the upper price tiers.
  • YoY HPA varied significantly among the 60 largest metros. It ranged from -5.8% in San Jose (negative 12.9% when inflation adjusted) to 17.8% in Miami.
  • National Month-over-Month (MoM) HPA in November was -0.9%, and it is expected to keep declining in December and January based on the Optimal Blue data.
    • The West and the high price tier are showing the greatest amount of cooling.
  • Months’ supply continues to be extremely tight across the nation and all price tiers. Months’ supply stood at 2.5 months in November 2022, down from the pre-pandemic level of 3.0 months in November 2019, but up from 2.1 months in October 2022 and a trough of 0.9 months in May 2022.
  • November 2022 overall inventory was up 47% from a year ago but was still at only half of the 2017-2019 levels.

Full Report

To view more data on HPA and months supply, please visit our interactive.

PDF to full report

AUTHORS

Tobias Peter

Research Fellow and Assistant Director, AEI Housing Center.

Edward J. Pinto

Senior Fellow and Director, AEI Housing Center.

EDITORS NOTE: This American Enterprise Institute report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Prevalence of GSE Appraisal Waivers

This report tracks trends for GSE appraisal waivers monthly and provides data on the risk characteristics of these loans.

To download the most recent data, please click here.

To read our comment letter to FHFA on appraisal-related policies, practices, and processes, please click here.

PDF to most recent report

Slide deck on GSE Appraisal Waiver Report

AUTHORS

Edward J. Pinto

Senior Fellow and Director, AEI Housing Center

Tobias Peter

Research Fellow and Assistant Director, AEI Housing Center

Previous Reports

Origination Month Analyzed
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
June 2022
May 2022
March 2022
February 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
May 2020

EDITORS NOTE: This American Enterprise Institute report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

U.S. Media Outlet Has Extensive Partnerships, Financial Dealings With Orgs Tied To Chinese Communist Party Influence Operations

  • Approximately 20 organizations that may be headed by members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) or members of alleged Chinese influence operations have sponsored or partnered with The China Project (TCP), a China-focused New York media outlet, the Daily Caller News Foundation determined.
  • TCP recently denied working for or with the CCP after a former employee sent an Oct. 21 declaration to the Department of Justice and Congress accusing the outlet of harboring a pro-CCP bias. 
  • “We must help defend our fellow citizens and lawful permanent residents from pressure — and in many cases, transnational repression up to and including assassination attempts — by the Chinese Communist Party,” New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith told the DCNF.

The China Project (TCP), a New York-based media outlet renowned for its China reporting, has had professional and financial ties with organizations that may have been headed by members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) or members of alleged Chinese influence operations, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.

Over 20 organizations that may have been led by such individuals have apparently partnered with or financially sponsored TCP, including the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) and the Confucius Institute, the DCNF found. Both groups apparently began professional relationships with TCP after the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) identified them as CCP influence operations in 2018. Furthermore, the DCNF found that TCP’s “board director,” Clarence Kwan, may have been simultaneously serving as a director of an alleged CCP front group at the time he joined TCP’s board and provided initial equity in the company.

Kwan did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

These revelations come over a month after journalist Shannon Van Sant, a former TCP business editor, delivered a sworn declaration to Congress and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Oct. 21, alleging TCP fired her in June 2020 for being out of “alignment” with the organization’s alleged pro-CCP bias.

Van Sant’s declaration also stated that after being fired she “conducted open source research and found links between the organization and China’s Communist Party,” however, Van Sant’s declaration did not provide any documentation to substantiate her claim.

“It is important to me to provide transparency and shed light on my experiences,” Van Sant’s declaration stated. “That is why I am doing this disclosure.”

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith — both of whom sit on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China — recently told Semafor that TCP “should be forced to register” under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires the disclosure of service to foreign entities.

In response, TCP’s attorneys at Boies Schiller Flexner sent a 12-page letter to Semafor on Oct. 31, demanding Semafor retract their piece on Van Sant’s allegations. TCP’s attorneys allege Van Sant had been fired for “poor work performance” and had “an axe to grind.”

“Nothing in Ms. Van Sant’s ‘sworn declaration’ comes close to providing evidence, direct or circumstantial, that TCP is working for or has worked for the Chinese government,” Boies Schiller Flexner wrote to Semafor.

Neither TCP nor their attorneys at Boies Schiller Flexner responded to multiple requests for comment from the DCNF. Van Sant declined the DCNF’s request for comment through her representatives at Whistleblower Aid.

‘A Jewel In The Crown Of China Reporting’

TCP — which until September was known as “SupChina” — is a multimedia group that claims to reach “more than two million people per month” through a variety of platforms including news articles and podcasts. Former Ambassador to China Max Baucus — who recently came under fire for Nov. 11 and 12 meetings with alleged Chinese influence operatives — called TCP “a jewel in the crown of China reporting,” according to the outlet’s website.

The multimedia outlet also runs a nonprofit arm, Serica, which seeks “to educate and cultivate empathy around the issues of Sinophobia and anti-Asian hate,” according to its website. TCP also maintains a “United States Sinophobia Tracker” that’s collected numerous articles on CCP espionage allegations, such as a 2020 NBC News piece about the growing number of FBI counterintelligence cases, which TCP tags on its website as “paranoid rhetoric.”

TCP has also published articles and podcasts critical of the DOJ’s China Initiative — an anti-espionage program launched during the Trump administration which was ultimately terminated in February 2022 after the “civil rights community” expressed concern that the program had “fueled a narrative of intolerance and bias,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said at the time.

China’s United Front

In her declaration to the federal government, Van Sant claims to have discovered links between TCP and the China Overseas Exchange Association (COEA), an organization which billed itself as an “important platform and bridge for people-to-people exchanges,” according to an archived version of COEA’s website.

China intelligence analyst and former senior analyst at the Canberra-based Australian Strategic Policy Institute Alex Joske identified COEA as a “key” United Front Work Department (UFWD) front group that merged with the China Overseas Friendship Association (COFA) in 2019 — an organization which USCC also identified as a UFWD front group.

Joske is the author of “Spies and Lies: How China’s Greatest Covert Operations Fooled the World” published in October 2022, which was well-received by the international press.

The UFWD is a Chinese government agency, which oversees CCP influence operations and reports directly to the CCP’s Central Committee, according to USCC. General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized the importance of the UFWD. He even described the agency as the CCP’s “magic weapon” for “realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” in a 2015 speech.

“The UFWD is essentially an intelligence agency of the CCP tasked with infiltrating different communities and organizations, co-opting and influencing them,” Salih Hudayar, Uyghur prime minister of the East Turkistan Government in Exile, told the DCNF.

While TCP’s attorneys conceded in their October letter to Semafor that Kwan formerly served as a COEA “director,” they claim his involvement with the group “was limited to participating in two trips to China in 2013 and 2014.” TCP’s attorneys also claimed Kwan’s COEA tenure preceded his joining TCP’s board and his providing nearly 2% of the outlet’s initial equity.

Yet, the DCNF discovered that archived versions of COEA’s website — which was deleted after the organization merged with COFA around 2019 — list Kwan as a “director” for two consecutive four-year terms running from 2013-2017 and 2017-2021. This appears to indicate that Kwan’s time at COEA overlapped with his $150,000 purchase of SupChina First Notes in September 2016, according to Security and Exchange Commission filings. Likewise, this indicates Kwan may have been serving as COEA’s director when he assumed the role of “director” of SupChina — now called TCP — in May 2017.

Kwan is currently listed as an “advisory board member” on TCP’s website.

Additionally, Kwan appears to have also held leadership positions in several companies that have financially sponsored TCP, including KCY Family OfficeEast West Bank and Piermont Bank, the DCNF found.

The Committee Of 100

TCP also appears to have partnered with, and donated $25,000 to, a New York-based organization called the Committee of 100 (C100) — a nonprofit that claims to seek “constructive dialogue and relationships between the peoples of the United States and Greater China.”

Yet, C100 members appear to have included Chinese government advisers and 10 COEA directors, including Kwan, who, based on the committee’s website, may have served as C100’s chairman while simultaneously serving as COEA’s director.

Moreover, in addition to TCP’s founder, Anla Cheng — a hedge fund manager by trade, who apparently is also a trustee and former C100 director — seven of TCP’s 23 advisory board members appear to belong to C100, including John LongS. Alice MongFrank WuLi ChengTed WangJanet Yang and Lesley Ma.

TCP’s attorneys accused Semafor’s article of relying on “racial profiling and stereotypes” by citing a C100 report which claimed “Asian defendants are more than twice as likely to be falsely accused of espionage” without acknowledging any financial or personnel ties between the two organizations.

C100 did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

‘CCP Agents Often Target The Chinese Diaspora’

Van Sant also claims in her 11-page declaration that the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) told TCP’s founder, Cheng, in June 2020 about a Chinese scientist whom the U.S. government had charged with espionage, prompting Cheng to direct staff to “protect him.”

CAST is a unit of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which oversees the UFWD, according to USCC. The CPPCC “operates as a way for the CCP to falsely claim that it represents the full breadth of Chinese society,” according to a 2020 report written by Joske, the intel analyst.

“In practice, those organizations are controlled by the CCP,” Joske wrote. “Their leaders are often party members, and, historically, some have been manipulated through inducement and coercion, including blackmail.”

Although TCP’s attorneys did not deny Van Sant’s allegation in their letter to Semafor, they claimed that “protecting a ‘wrongly investigated’ Chinese scientist” did not amount to “evidence of espionage.”

Yet, TCP listed CAST as a “partner organization” on flyers from a 2022 “Women’s Conference,” the DCNF found.

Furthermore, TCP appears to have partnered with around 10 organizations that may be led by members of the CCP or alleged UFWD fronts, the DCNF found. For example, the “About Us” tab on CAST’s website includes a section on “Leading Party Members” and features CAST’s Party Secretary Zhang Yuzhuo and five other Communist Party members.

Likewise, TCP partnered with another organization called NYO China for its 2019 “Women’s Conference.” NYO China appears to be headed by He Meivice chairman of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), which was identified by USCC as a UFWD front back in 2018.

The year before the State Department designated the Confucius Institute as a UFWD “foreign mission” in 2020, TCP also partnered with the Chinese government-run propaganda center to host an event on “China’s Food Revolution.” Li Changchun, former CCP propaganda chief, once called Confucius Institutes “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda setup,” according to the State Department.

“Confucius Institutes are the United Front’s most well-known overseas outreach program,” Helen Raleigh, author of “Backlash: How China’s Aggression Has Backfired,” told the DCNF.

“Confucius Institutes have been noted to present students with only the CCP-sanctioned version of Chinese history, which omits the CCP’s human rights violations, and Chinese teachers at Confucius Institutes are all thoroughly vetted by Beijing,” Raleigh said.

In total, about 10 organizations that appear to have been headed by CCP members or alleged UFWD front members financially sponsored TCP, the DCNF determined. These organizations paid as much as $50,000 to sponsor events hosted by the multimedia outlet, according to various flyers.

Youhe Invest — whose website identifies its chairman Su Jie as a member of the CCP and CPPCC — is listed on TCP’s website as a sponsor of past events. Likewise, the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) sponsored a TCP screening of a documentary on “the history and evolution of Afro-Chinese relations in America” in 2021.

CUSEF is a Hong Kong-based nonprofit registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act that is involved in UFWD “influence operations,” according to USCC.

Several companies run by individuals from CUSEF’s leadership have also sponsored TCP, such as Wisdom Valley — whose founding director, Victor Fung, is listed as CUSEF’s vice chairman — and Value Partners — whose co-chairman, Cheah Cheng Hye, is one of CUSEF’s “counsellors.”

Rep. Smith told the DCNF that once Republicans take control of the House it will become a priority to investigate Chinese influence operations.

“Beyond national security concerns, we know that CCP agents often target the Chinese diaspora in the United States,” Smith said. “We must help defend our fellow citizens and lawful permanent residents from pressure — and in many cases, transnational repression up to and including assassination attempts — by the Chinese Communist Party.”

AUTHOR

PHILIP LENCZYCKI

Investigative reporter.

RELATED ARTICLE: EXCLUSIVE: CIA Director’s Former Think Tank Hired Experts From Nonprofits Controlled By Chinese Spy Agencies

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Biden Claimed He Created 1 Million Jobs. Actual Number, 10,500

Come on, man. What’s a little rounding error between friends?


What’s a little rounding error between a corrupt hack and the country he’s running into the ground?

“In the second quarter of this year, we created more jobs than in any quarter under any of my predecessors in the nearly 40 years before the pandemic,” Mr. Biden said on July 8.

“The economy created more than 1.1 million jobs in the second quarter, or around 375k jobs per month,” the White House said in a statement on July 22.

A million or ten thousand. Come on, man. Who’s keeping track?

The Philadelphia Fed’s new assessment shows that employment numbers in 29 states and the District of Columbia were significantly lower than the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported for the March-through-June period.

The BLS, a division of the Department of Labor, estimated net job growth of 1,047,000 jobs in the second quarter. The Philadelphia Fed now says its data shows that 10,500 net jobs were created in that period.

Another reminder that anything from BLS or anything under the control of administration political appointees cannot be trusted. The Biden administration is actually worse than the Obama administration in this regard. Everything is corruptly politicized and appointees will flat-out tell the most outrageous lies.

Not that this comes as a surprise even to the media. How many times has this happened already?

Biden’s bogus boast of 1 million ‘construction jobs’ – Four Pinocchios – Washington Post

AP FACT CHECK: Biden’s fuzzy math on 1 million new auto jobs

Biden will still keep on lying anyway.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.