Here’s Why It Could Take Longer To Rebuild The Baltimore Bridge Than The Whole Transcontinental Railroad

The effort to rebuild the recently collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge near Baltimore, Maryland, could quickly turn into a years-long quagmire as a result of environmental red tape under the Biden administration, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Baltimore Bridge was struck by a container ship navigating the Patapsco River out of the Port of Baltimore in late March, sending several cars and workers into the water and rendering the passageway unusable. It is unknown exactly how long the bridge could take to rebuild, as officials could expedite the process, but experts warned the DCNF that government red tape, such as environmental reviews filed by government entities or environmental activists, could slow down its construction after debris is cleared from the site and new plans for a replacement bridge are drawn up.

“If the bridge gets special regulatory treatment, then five years is a reasonable timeline,” Ryan Young, senior economist at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the DCNF. “There is some hope for this, based on last year’s collapse of a stretch of I-95 near Philadelphia. It reopened in 12 days, mostly thanks to red tape being waived. It would have taken months otherwise. Of course, that was a much smaller project.”

Following the disaster, the Biden administration announced that it would be sending $60 million to the city of Baltimore to assist in the clean-up and rebuilding, far from the sum needed to rebuild the project fully. President Joe Biden has also pledged to completely cover the cost of reconstructing the bridge, pending Congressional approval, according to Reuters.

An official cost of a new bridge has yet to be announced, but some estimates are around $500 million up to $1 billion, depending on the size and design of the project, according to the AP. The original bridge cost just $60.3 million to build, according to CNN.

“The Key Bridge recovery can take multiple paths, but the two we need to be keeping an eye on are first, where is the red tape around environmental historical preservation bogging down the efforts to help this community recover, and second, what coordination is occurring at the federal level to effect a more resilient recovery for the community, who’s looking at what the vision is, long term,” Brian Cavanaugh, visiting fellow in the Border Security and Immigration Center at the Heritage Foundation, told the DCNF.

A similar bridge disaster occurred in 1980, when a freighter struck the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa Bay, Florida, according to The Associated Press. Construction on a new bridge finished 7 years later, in 1987, 19 months later than it was originally projected to be complete and $20 million over budget.

“Federal and state regulations, including in Maryland, give NIMBYs and environmentalists a lot of ways to block projects,” Young told the DCNF. “Hopefully the Key Bridge’s high visibility will help them restrain their worst anti-development impulses, but that is no guarantee.”

Many large infrastructure projects are often bogged down by environmental reviews, such as California’s high-speed rail project, which has spent more than $600 million on environmental reviews since it was approved by voters more than 15 years ago.

“My fear here is that people can generate environmental reviews that they flag concerns for, say the oyster population or if there’s a bird that breeds in the Patapsco River or water quality,” Cavanaugh told the DCNF. “All these things could easily be triggered through a federal review process and would drag on. Those reviews are not always efficient. The efficacy of those is to be determined by others, but they’re certainly not expedited.”

The Biden administration has expanded the national environmental review framework, rolling back changes that the Trump administration made to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires federal agencies to review the environmental impacts of projects before approval. If the federal government remains involved in the project, environmental reviews may bog down the process, as the average NEPA environmental impact statement between 2010 and 2018 took 4.5 years to complete, halting construction completely, according to the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality.

“The rebuilding cost will almost certainly be higher than the original bridge, for several reasons, though I have no idea by how much,” Young told the DCNF. “A good rule of thumb is Edwards’ law—costs are usually at least double what officials first propose.”

Some analysts say that after cleaning up the site, creating new plans and building the bridge, the whole process could take up to a decade, according to WYPR, an outlet local to Baltimore. It took six years to build the Transcontinental Railroad.

“I fear that the cost of regulations is going to be more impactful than people are giving it credit for,” Cavanaugh told the DCNF. “Depending on what design they go with, like what birds fly in the area or what fish are in the Patapsco River, the cost of studying that and mitigating the negative impacts would be a problem. The mitigation measures to make the bridge more resilient and safe are going to be an added cost. But that’s an added cost not captured by inflation for any bridge built today.”

The Maryland Governor’s Office deferred the DCNF to statements made in previous press conferences. The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

AUTHOR

WILL KESSLER

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: New Biden Admin Rule Is Boon To Insurance Companies At The Expense Of Consumers, Experts Say

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Fraud Coming to Flower — The Roots of the Deep State

America has been talking about the Deep State for decades. But nobody drew attention and indicated the main points: who did create it, when and how? I am a former Soviet defense attorney, and I think I can answer those questions. Maybe it sounds strange, but the idea of the Deep State was born in Soviet Russia, a hundred years ago. Socialist Revolution 1917 in Russia had a definite agenda—destruction of capitalism and buildup of Soviet Socialism. That task has never changed. On the contrary, the idea was developed by Joseph Stalin, a Russian Communist Dictator, refined by the KGB’s Chairman Andropov, and delivered to Vladimir Putin at the end of the 20ht century.

Of course, TikTok is a definite threat to America’s national security in the 21st century, the same way the Stalin/Andropov design has been destroying the US in the 20th century, infiltrating our democratic institutions: business, court, government infrastructure, and …the Democrat party. The idea of the Deep State has become a reality under Bill Clinton, the first Manchurian President, who established control and power of the infiltrated Democrat party—the base of the Deep State. Barack Obama has inherited it creating a hegemony of the Party, by his Cult of Personality. A senile Biden managed by Russia’s Intel just continued all of that. The collusion with Russia’s Intel has never stopped for any of them. This is the exact reason I have been warning you, writing about the KGB’s Mafia/Army—the Evil Doer for the last forty-three years.

I know Soviet Socialism and constantly have been sharing knowledge with you—it is again Russia… Terrorizing political opponents is the KGB Mafia/Army actual activities, I’ve warned you for the last several decades. The Democrat’s leadership has conspired with weaponized law-enforcement and DOJ to entrap Trump and the White House was totally informed about it. All channels discussed the event, yet nobody presents it as international precedent, like I did. I don’t trust Biden’s theatrical performances, reading on prompter what has been written by his staff. The policy of open borders intertwined with Putin’s KGB Mafia/Army—the Evil Doer that executed invasion to America from 120-160 countries. The surging crime on the streets has started by Democrats states decade ago and continues. Read my column about Russian Socialist Revolution 1917 and you will be struck by the resemblances of the events in two revolutions.

Yes, we are witnessing A Global Spy Ring run by Vladimir Putin, described in my column under that title. A member of a legal community at the time of the KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov 1967-1982, I’ve learned from him a lot about the KGB in Russia. Responsible for designing a protocol of America’s infiltration, Andropov spaced it as a simultaneous intrusion of the American Security Apparatus and media. It was shocking to watch America in the last thirty years and see that all. You can read the details in my columns and books. We still don’t know Russia and her Intel waging WWIII against the American republic. Remember my definition of WWIII: Recruitment, Infiltration, Drugs and Assassinations. Putin is the next generation of Stalin/Andropov’s devoted disciples, Trump is an existential threat to him and Biden. Seven years of Hoaxes aimed at Trump were Putin’s KGB Mafia/Army production. I recognized it instantly by the familiar handwriting of corruption, fabrication, provocation, deceit, and fraud.

As a matter of fact, Biden’s White House created authoritarian paradigms in America. Glenn Beck is right “the Democrat Party is historically un-democratic and now they find a new way to do that ” June 2, 22. I would add “the Democrat Party is a Party of Socialist Charlatans.” I have been writing about that new Socialist way for over thirty years. Interview with the Democrat Sen. Mark Warner in Cavuto on August 6, 2022 illustrates the inability of the Republicans to rebuttal the Socialist Charlatans—Con men, thuds. I purposely introduced the term. Some Republicans don’t know the Socialist modus operandi: lies, deceit, and fraud. They also can’t perceive the fact that the KGB mafia/Army—the Evil Doer– was turning the Democrat Party to Socialist Party. The collaboration was going on for decades under the nose of incompetent leadership of the CIA and FBI. The result you see in the states run by the Democrats today–total destruction. To understand what is going on in America, read my column:“ The Truth: Putin’s Socialist Revolution in America.” August 11/2022

Pay attention to Biden and his White House team. Something strange is happening in the American Kingdom—it self-divides itself. The executive branch battles the US Supreme Court, while Fentanyl is killing thousands of our citizens.  It is even worse: Stalin’s aggressive Putin’s twins-brothers, Chairman Xi and the “Axis of Evil” under the Russian umbrella are attacking Western civilization with impunity. The Republicans don’t know the major Russian agency that manages A Global Spy Ring—The KGB Mafia/Army. Read my column under that title. Without this knowledge the Republicans are unable to evaluate the impacts of the international events and can lose the presidency in the 2024 election…  We are at WWIII.

The recent terror act in Moscow is the boomerang of Stalinism and we desperately need the knowledge of Russia today. Historian Devid Satter comments are said it all:

“Regarding the terrorist attack in Moscow: the FSB (a former KGB) and the Putin regime are perfectly capable of blowing up their own people for political reasons. In this case, however, it appears we are dealing with an attack by ISIS.” David Satter, journalist and historian.

I couldn’t say it better, but David didn’t read my books or columns and he didn’t know that ISIS was a Russian creation, managed by the KGB in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Syria in the 20th century. Stalin has married Soviet Socialism with Islam, creating Jihadists and we are now experiencing his legacy. Please, read my columns describing in detail Russian infiltration into Muslims regimes through the Soviet Muslim Republics neighboring the Middle East and the rise of global anti-Semitism. The Soviets/Russians have followed Stalin’s design to manage the Middle East through Iran. You can see it today…  and this friendship with Islam is one of the factors for raising global anti-Semitism, let alone the anti-Semitic nature of Stalin’s Russia. Watch how Biden betrays our close-loyal friend Israel due to the Putin/Biden collusion: Hamas-Israel War has revealed it, whatever lies and fraud the Biden team throw on you…

There is another knowledgeable man, Gen. Jack Kean. He is also right about Russia and Putin, explaining how Putin intends to build the Great Russian Empire and destroy NATO. Gen. Kean also didn’t read my columns and was unaware of Putin’s ability to break NATO through Turkey, a member of NATO. A long ago, Putin and his KGB helped Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to gain Turkish Presidency. For me, Erdoğan is a typical Socialist Charlatan, implementing in Turkey Soviet Socialism, which I called Soviet Fascism. Analyzing his presidency, you will recognize him as Stalin’s devoted disciple and therefore–Socialist Charlatan…

America’s pundits use several terms to identify the Dem’s forces: the Leftists, the Radical Left, and a Progressive Left–a very shallow meaning of the enemy. In the era of the ideology and Woke-fraud, the definition should be more concrete. To show the proliferation of fraud, I offered a term Socialist Charlatans—Con men, thugs, 20-25 years ago to emphasize the double fraud they are implementing globally. Both words carry “the odor of mendacity” in politics. Stalin’s Soviet Socialism is a fraud and Charlatans are the word describing different kinds of human treachery and dishonesty. There are thousands of Socialist Charlatans if not millions in America—a bastion of the Deep State. The network has no specific nationality, race, or ethnicity, it is a political entity run by Vladimir Putin, who called himself a Globalist to confuse you. Let me give you different kinds of Socialist Charlatans with the same agenda: destruction of capitalism and implementation of Soviet Socialism globally.

The FBI Director Mr. Wray warned us:“ China is targeting our critical infrastructure.” Probably he is right. But there was not a word about Russian/Chinese Intel, which is an unseparated bastion of Socialist Charlatans. I don’t trust the FBI, they failed miserably by not identifying the real culprit orchestrated and supervised the attacks on 9/11. Both the Committee on 9/11 and the FBI missed the real predator of the events—the Russian Counterintelligence. There are two facts confirming that. First, America still doesn’t know the truth, because the FBI had prevented America from learning the truth by reading my columns and books. Second, the FBI deliberately submitted my name to the FISA Court and the Court made me a Foreign Agent with subsequent banning of my writings in 2002. Check this fact in Fact-Check. The FBI failure has even more dangerous consequences facing American people.

The FBI Director Mr. Wray warned us:“ China is targeting our critical infrastructure,” never mentioning Russia, because he doesn’t know Russia. By knowing Soviet Socialism, which I called Soviet fascism, I expect catastrophic events of sabotage against our infrastructure waged by Socialist Charlatans as well. America is not prepared for those attacks due to the miserable failure of the FBI… WWIII is a reality. It is a multi-faceted war with no berries, targeting our national security, economy and the wellbeing of the American people. The Republicans have no elementary knowledge of the Israel-Hamas War: all Middle East Muslims’ criminal gangs like Hamas and Hezbollah managed and supervised by Putin’s Evil Doer. Biden’s team waged this war in collusion with Vladimir Putin by shameful surrender of Afghanistan in August 2021—a sabotage of our national security. Read my column: A Quick Crash of Afghanistan and The Man Who Wants to Run the World August 24, 2021.

Then came Supply Change. I was very suspicious, but I had not enough knowledge to expose the sabotage. The derailment of the train in East Palestine, Ohio was clear to me. I saw it as a well calculated and coordinated act committed by Socialist Charlatans to inflict a lot of harm to the region. Now a current hit of the bridge, tragedy in Baltimore by the ship with 754T of hazardous material was definitely also a well-calculated and coordinated act committed by Socialist Charlatans inflicting monumental damage to the country’s economy. There had already been three bridges hit by the ships in 2024. There will be an investigation of the Baltimore bridge hit, but I don’t trust any investigation made by Biden’s team. Criminals shouldn’t investigate themselves like in Soviet Russia. The Republicans have a chance to investigate the Dems’ system of destruction beginning decades ago and expose their army of Socialist Charlatans…

The Army of Socialist Charlatans in America

I have been following Bill Clinton since my immigration in 1981. As I stated above, he was the first Manchurian President, known to me. Clinton’s Mafia had been “eyes and ears of the KGB.” it continued acting under Obama by his anti-police policy in America. Clinton left another devastating legacy by assigning his right-hand George Stephanopoulos to create a one-dimensional state media to serve Democrats, a-la the Soviets. I don’t know the Trump case against ABC News and George Stephanopoulos for defamation, but I have written a lot about George and his father’s affiliation with Liberation Theology, infiltrated by the KGB. George has “accomplished” a great deal. I don’t know how he did it. Maybe a lot of other Socialist Charlatans helped him in his assignment. Just look at the current American Media and you will see his “achievements…”

There is another Socialist Charlatan—Mayor Pete, who is constantly lecturing us about democracy. Mayor Pete is repeating professionally his father, who was a lecturer of Marxism-Leninism in Russia. Lecturing Marxism-Leninism in Russia, you must have ties to the KGB. When I found that information about Peter’s father, the events presented the real picture of WWIII. Do you know who had vetted Mayor Pete? I don’t know. Maybe you know who did vet the rest of the Biden government with 90% of them socialists and communists? I don’t know. By law it is the responsibility of the FBI to vet an upcoming government, and this is a big question. Does the FBI have the knowledge to vet Socialists and Communists in America? Does the FBI have the knowledge to vet Socialist Charlatans in America? Both answers have the astounding NO!

There is more. I have purposely reminded you about Clinton’s Mafia with the network of the lawyers serving the Dem’s party and Socialist Charlatans. Michael Cohen was Trump’s lawyer, defending the interests of his client, until everything changed and Cohen became a perjurer. The changes have been brought by Cohen’s lawyer, Larry Davis, a member of Clinton’s Mafia, still acting under the belly of the country. I have been writing about Larry Davis a great deal and he is not alone. Abbe Lowell, a current Hunter Biden’s lawyer, also belongs to the Clinton’s Mafia network within a deeply partisan Dem’s party. Don’t be surprised by Hunter sabotaging the Republican House committee, buying time. The Dems’ priorities in the 2024 election are control and power by any possible means, including usage of Stalin’s Socialist modus operandi: lies, deceit, fabrication and fraud…

Socialist Charlatans are the cadres, main force of the Evil Doer and the Democrat party—watch Biden’s team. Can you now grasp the variety and different kinds of Socialist Charlatans tearing apart the American democracy of our wonderful country? They have riddled all spheres of our society from the streets to the business. Jessie Smollett is a typical Socialist Charlatan—a political Con man! The Sam Bankman who got 25 years in prison is also Socialist Charlatan, who worked with and was supervised by the KGB’s Mafia/Army to bankrupt our economy and provide money for Vladimir Putin.

The recent Dem’s Manhattan fundraising with three Democrat-Presidents elevated themselves on the stage has completed the picture of current American Chaos created by the Democrats leadership. No money can buy the Truth! I have reminded you about Clinton’s Mafia and Obama’s  anti-police policy for a reason—both are alive and well in 2024. Three Dem’s Presidents showed unity in covering up crimes they had committed and pro-Palestinian protesters emphasized it at Manhattan fundraising. The truth is that three Democrats’ Presidents have defended themselves by their theatrical performances aimed at deceiving you. Using Stalin’s postulate, they were accusing Trump of crimes they themselves had committed.

I stand with Evan! Today marks a year since WSJ’s journalist Evan Gershkovich was arrested and imprisoned in Russia. I don’t think he can be freed soon: Russia is playing a geopolitical game with Americans, incompetent Americans. Evan is innocent, but Russia, as usual, is waiting for a bargain to trade him for a more valuable Russian spy or Socialist Charlatan, who implements the Dems agenda and arrested. Everything written here the Dems know, it is written for the Republicans to know the truth and act accordingly. The Dem’s party destroys the American Constitutional republic designed and left to us by our Founding Fathers. They hate America and committed treason. This is a reality of life!!!

The Republicans do not know Socialist Charlatans and are dealing with Joe Biden in a too delicate manner. What is the legal position of Hunter Biden to border AirForce 1 and Airforce 2? It is only the relation with the President. Tony Bobulinski has testified about the relationship and common intent. In fact, Hunter Biden revealed his intent to influence paddling by the telephone message to his Chinese client, and Joe Biden met with this client. I believe, this unity of the INTENT based on the relation, constitutes the crime that was committed by the group (the aggravating circumstances). In my opinion, Susann Rice is running this Unity to cover up the Democrat party crimes had committed before. She also runs Biden’s staff in cahoots with Vladimir Putin. That means, the White House policy is directed by Putin. I told you so before.

Those who talk about Marxism in America are not helping the Republicans to escape a vicious circle of incompetence. They are bringing “the odor of mendacity” and rehabilitating the actual culprit Putin’s Global Spy Ring and its manager the KGB’s Mafia/Army—the Evil Doer. Marxism was used by Socialist Charlatan, Joseph Stalin, who preached Marxist’s rhetoric and weaponized law enforcement agencies, building a network of punitive agencies and fraudulent ideology of Soviet Socialism, which I called Soviet Fascism. The Republicans have seven months to learn about our deadly enemies: the Socialist/Communist tandem of the Russian/Chinese Intel.

My fellow Americans!  We are witnessing the Putin Socialist Revolution in America. Educate yourselves by reading my columns to grasp the fraud degrading the world.

Stop Biden’s implementation of Stalin’s Soviet Fascism in America!

Freedom’s torch is yours!

To be continued simonapipko.com and at Simona Pipko

©2024. Simona Pipko. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: How America is being invaded, softened and destroyed

‘Blatant Violations’: Watchdog Challenges Key Data Used By Biden Admin To Push Sweeping Climate Agenda

A government watchdog group has filed a complaint with the Biden administration over its use of a dataset frequently used to push its climate agenda.

Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) filed the complaint with the Commerce Department over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) “Billions Project” dataset, which purports to keep track of natural [and climate] disasters that have caused at least $1 billion in damages going back to 1980. The billion-dollar disasters (BDD) data — cited frequently by the Biden administration to insinuate that climate change is intensifying and justify sweeping green policies — is based on opaque data derived from questionable accounting practices, PPT alleges in the complaint.

“American families and businesses continue to struggle with persistently high inflation, which many attribute in large part to the energy policies and government spending of the current administration. The idea that blatant violations of scientific integrity could be underlying the rationale for these policies should concern every American,” Michael Chamberlain, PPT’s director, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated incident. The Biden Administration came into office pledging that its decision making would be grounded in the highest-quality science, but all too often has failed to live up to those promises.” 

PPT Scientific Integrity Co… by Nick Pope

The complaint was filed with the Commerce Department, as NOAA operates under its auspices, Chamberlain told the DCNF.

PPT’s complaint alleges that NOAA does not adequately disclose its sources and methods for compiling the BDD dataset, adds and removes BDD events from the dataset without providing its rationale for doing so and produces cost estimates that are sometimes significantly different than those generated by more conventional accounting procedures.

While NOAA states that it develops its BDD data from more than a dozen sources, the agency does not disclose those sources for specific events or show how it calculates loss estimates from those sources, PPT’s complaint alleges.

The complaint further alleges that NOAA’s accounting methods are opaque and “produce suspect results.”

For example, when Hurricane Idalia took aim at Florida in 2023, NOAA initially projected that the storm would cause about $2.5 billion worth of damages before insured losses ultimately came in at about $310 million, according to PPT’s complaint, which cites the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation for that figure. Nevertheless, NOAA subsequently marked up its estimate for how much damage the storm caused to $3.5 billion, a discrepancy for which NOAA provided no explanation, PPT alleges in its complaint.

NOAA researchers have disclosed in the past that the agency considers factors such as functions pertaining to livestock feeding costs — in addition to more conventional types of damages — in their cost calculations.

Further, the complaint alleges that BDD events are quietly added and removed from the dataset without explanation, citing Roger Pielke Jr., a former academic who believes climate change to be a real threat but opposes politicized science. In a forthcoming paper analyzing the merits of BDD statistics, Pielke compared the dataset in late 2022 to the dataset in the middle of 2023 and found that ten new BDD events were added to the list and 3 were subtracted without explanation.

Apart from the issues with methodology alleged by PPT in its complaint, the use of BDD events as a proxy for climate change’s intensity is inherently misleading because economic data does not reflect changes in meteorological conditions, Pielke has previously explained to the DCNF.

For example, increasing concentrations of assets, especially in coastal areas, can confound the usefulness of BDD events as an indicator for the intensity of climate change, as Energy and Environment Legal Institute Senior Policy Fellow Steve Milloy has previously explained to the DCNF. Hypothetically, the same exact hurricane could hit the same exact place, decades apart, with vastly different damage totals; this would be the case because there are simply more assets sitting in the way of the storm, not because the storm was any more violent due to worsening climate change.

NOAA has acknowledged this limitation of the dataset in prior communications with the DCNF.

Additionally, NOAA will add disasters to the list retrospectively because it adjusts for inflation, meaning that a hurricane that caused $800 million in damages in 1980 dollars would be added to the list because the damages exceed $1 billion when adjusted for inflation, for example.

The Biden administration has frequently cited the BDD dataset to substantiate its massive climate agenda.

For example, Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk cited the dataset in written testimony submitted to lawmakers in February explaining the White House’s decision to pause new approvals for liquefied natural gas export terminals.

The BDD statistics are also referenced Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), the Biden administration’s landmark climate report that is intended to provide the most sound scientific basis for lawmakers and officials to craft climate policy.

NOAA asserted that the increasing frequency of BDD events is a sign of intensifying climate change in a January press release and blog post summarizing 2023, and then defended the use of the dataset in subsequent communications with the DCNF.

“Sensational climate claims made without proper scientific basis and spread by government officials threaten the public’s trust in its scientific officials and undermines the government’s mission of stewarding the environment,” PPT’s complaint states. “It also poses the danger of policymakers basing consequential government policy on unscientific claims unsupported by evidence.”

NOAA declined to comment, citing the active nature of the scientific integrity complaint. The White House and the Department of Commerce did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

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California Restaurants Closing Fast — Communism Does Not Work!

The Communist government operating out of Sacramento California is following the Hugo Chavez/Maduro playbook the former and current installed presidents of Communist controlled Venezuela.

My beautiful Venezuelan wife left Venezuela and was granted asylum in Colombia before relocating to the United States as a permanent legal resident.

She has watched her former country slowly succumb to the intentional collapse of its once thriving capitalist free market economy.

She commented to me that the Government of California and the current installed Marxist occupying the White House are no different in ideology than that of Maduro and Chavez.

She warns all freedom loving Americans to pay close attention to the unconstitutional Marxist actions of Governor Newson and his intentional destruction of free markets in California.

First the restaurants in Caracas Venezuela went out of business after government interference in the wages and Venezuelan labor market.

In Los Angeles and Beverly Hills like Caracas Venezuela restaurants are closing and laying off its workers. As 2023 ended and 2024 commenced the following restaurants went out of business.

West Third Street gastropub and wine bar 3rd Stop in Los Angeles closed its doors after 29 years in business.

The famous music venue Conga Room closed after 25 years in business in Los Angeles due to massive inflation and government interference in running its operation.

The famous restaurant El Torito’s in Santa Monica frequented by Hollywood movie stars closed permanently on March 9th 2024.

A popular daytime restaurant the Farm Of Beverly Hills closed on March 3 2024 after 26 years of business.

The Mezcal bar and taco cantina Mezcalero closed permanently on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles in early March 2024.

Nic’s on Beverly a plant based restaurant closed permanently on March 31st due to massive inflation on the rent and the mandatory $20 an hour minimum wage unconstitutional mandated by Governor Newsom’s Marxist government.

The Culver City bar closed permanently on March 16 2024 after 18 years of operation due to razor thin operating costs created by Governor Newsom’s anti capitalist idealism.

Ten Seven rolls a Vietnamese eatery in San Gabriel California that served delicious food like chả giò, bánh xèo, rice rolls, and smoked brisket pho went out of business on March 17th 2024.

Western City Bagel in Redondo Beach California closed permanently on March 31st 2024 in order to protect itself from the $20 an hour minimum wage debacle. It was in business for 30 years.

All of the following restaurants have also permanently closed in response to the Marxist ideology of Governor Newsom.

Josiah Citrin’s West Hollywood location of restaurant Charcoal permanently on February 17th 2024.

All the restaurants inside Downtown’s historic Hotel Figueroa closed permanently in February 2024 including Bar Magnolia, Cafe Fig, the Cafeteria, La Casita at Driftwood, and Sparrow Italia.

For 45 years, Caffe Roma has been a go to place for Italian food and coffee in the Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills.

It was frequently patronized by Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The restaurant announced its closure on January 1, 2024.

My friend, an immigrant from Germany moved to Venice California 30 years ago and he made his fortune there.

He walked around Beverly Hills yesterday April 2nd 2024 and he commented to me the town is slowly becoming an empty “For lease” town going bankrupt.

Beverly Hills Stores are closing and some entrepreneurs posted notices on doors and windows stating they have relocated to Nevada and Texas or they have permanently closed.

LA Eater’s , and  reported, “Los Angeles’s restaurants continue to face difficult headwinds that picked up in the second half of 2023 and led to an industry-wide slowdown. From the lingering impacts of the Hollywood strikes to adverse weather and increased costs (labor, rent, ingredients, etc.), a plethora of variables continue to batter restaurant owners who operate on razor-thin margins.”

Here is LA Eater’s running list of restaurant closures beginning from the last days of 2023 to March 2024.

March

3rd Stop – Beverly Grove

West Third Street gastropub and wine bar 3rd Stop told its workers this past Monday that it would be closing at the end of the month. Originally opened in 2006, the all-day restaurant served an array of American food, like grilled chicken nachos, burgers, pizza, and sandwiches.

Conga Room – Downtown LA

Legendary music venue Conga Room, which was instrumental in bringing Latin music acts and other performers to L.A. Live, closed after 25 years. The venue was originally located in Mid-Wilshire but moved to Downtown in 2008. Founder Brad Gluckstein told Billboard that inflation, high interest rates, and a drop in Convention Center traffic led to a changing business model. March 27 was the club’s final night.

El Muelle 8 – Downey

Celebrated Sinaloan seafood spot El Muelle 8 opened last February with pristine shellfish, ceviches, and tacos in a small Downey strip mall. The restaurant quietly closed earlier this year, likely in late January, without much notice. However, its new owners have reached out to Eater and confirmed that El Muelle 8 is plotting a comeback.

El Torito – Santa Monica

El Torito’s expansive restaurant in Santa Monica, which was originally branded as Acapulco and operated by Xperience Restaurant Group, closed on March 9, reports the Santa Monica Sun. Santa Monica mayor Phil Brock said on social media that it had been operating month-to-month for a while and that the property had likely been leased to another operator.

The Farm of Beverly Hills

Daytime eatery the Farm of Beverly Hills closed on March 3 after 26 years of business. Founder and owner Kelli Cotton thanked customers and bid farewell in a note, recognizing past and present staff for their dedication and passion. The reliable breakfast and lunch spot was a reasonably-priced, family-friendly eatery in the heart of the Golden Triangle.

Mezcalero – Downtown

Mezcal bar and taco cantina Mezcalero closed on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles in early March, with a simple announcement that it would be closed for the weekend. However, Mezcalero never reopened and a note on its Instagram profile confirms it is closed. Originally opened in December 2016, the restaurant was opened by Jay Krymis, who also owned Padre in Long Beach and Fubar in West Hollywood, according to DTLA Weekly.

A lush outdoor patio at Nic’s on Beverly.

The patio of Nic’s on Beverly, a plant-based restaurant that closes March 31, 2024. Nic’s on Beverly

Nic’s – Beverly Grove

Plant-based restaurant Nic’s on Beverly opened five years ago in the former Terrine space from restaurateur Nic Adler, who also owns Monty’s Good Burger. Nic’s was going to close last June, blaming increased rent, but was able to make an arrangement with the landlord to stay open for another year. Its last day will be March 31 for Easter brunch.

Mandrake – Culver City

Culver City bar Mandrake closed on March 16 after 18 years of operation, according to the Los Angeles Times. Owners Flora Wiegmann, Drew Heitzler and Justin Beal cited life changes as the reason for closing, with Beal and Wiegman moving out of the state and Heitzler becoming a recent father. Mandrake represented the art scene in Culver City and greater Los Angeles, with a famous art curator coming up with the name for the bar.

Tenseven Rolls – San Gabriel

Tenseven Rolls, a bánh cuốn specialist inside Blossom Market Hall in San Gabriel, announced it would close on March 17. The Vietnamese snack spot also served chả giò, bánh xèo, rice rolls, and smoked brisket pho in the mostly Asian American vendor food hall in the heart of SGV. The stall originally opened in December 2022. The Klaude family said on Instagram that it hopes to appear at another venue in the future, with plans to serve at community events in the meantime.

Western City Bagel – Redondo Beach

Not to be confused with the much larger and still-in-operation Western Bagel, Western City Bagel in Redondo Beach announced that it will close on March 31 after 30 years. “While this chapter may be coming to a close, the memories we’ve shared and the connections we’ve made will forever remain close to our hearts,” the shop wrote on Instagram.

Bicyclette and Manzke – Pico Robertson

Manzke and its sister restaurant Bicyclette will close on March 1. Manzke opened in 2022 as a bastion for fine dining in the former Picca space serving a $225 10-course tasting menu and earning a Michelin star; Bicyclette transformed Sotto into a French bistro in 2021. With these latest closures, acclaimed chefs Walter and Margarita Manzke operate only one LA restaurant: the powerhouse République. Previously, the Manzkes closed Petty Cash Taquería after 10 years in October 2023, followed by the abrupt shutter of Sari Sari Store after seven years of business inside Grand Central Market in December 2023.

Banh Oui – Hollywood

Hollywood banh mi spot, Banh Oui, closed on February 13. The restaurant, which started as a pop-up, moved into the space in 2018. Over the years, it was known for its non-traditional takes on the Vietnamese sandwich, as well as its burger, fried chicken sandwich, and more.

Charcoal Sunset – West Hollywood

Josiah Citrin’s West Hollywood location of Charcoal suddenly closed on February 17 after less than a year in operation. Citrin attributed the closure to a rise in the costs of business in the neighborhood, and in a statement to Eater said that it was “a real bummer, to say the least.”

Flore – Silver Lake

Silver Lake’s 16-year-old plant-based restaurant Flore closed for good in late December and announced the closure via Instagram. Owner Miranda Megill opened the restaurant when Silver Lake’s was full of mostly independent businesses. After facing eviction from its original location in Sunset Junction in 2019, Megill moved the business into the shuttered Local space in 2020. Flore’s original location now houses mostly retail shops including clothing brand Maison Kitsune.

Hotel Figueroa (restaurants and bar) – Downtown

All the restaurants and bar inside Downtown’s historic Hotel Figueroa will close in February including Bar Magnolia, Cafe Fig, the Cafeteria, La Casita at Driftwood, and Sparrow Italia. The Los Angeles Times reported that Noble 33 (Casa Madera, Taco Madera), the third-party restaurant group that operates the hotel’s bar and restaurants, announced the closures in December, six days after its workers notified management that they intended to form a union.

Hyperion Public – Silver Lake

Silver Lake pub Hyperion Public closed on January 26. The owners shared via an Instagram post that the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control shut down the bar on January 16 and that they were unaware that the business was operating illegally.

Pearl River Deli – Chinatown

Chinatown’s modern Cantonese spot Pearl River Deli is no longer serving its beloved Hainan chicken rice, char siu pork belly, and Macau pork-chop bun. After opening in January 2020 in Far East Plaza and relocating to Chinatown Central Plaza, chef and owner Johnny Lee announced that Pearl River Deli will be on hiatus indefinitely and possibly forever.

Sakai Ramen Bar – Central LA

After nearly five years in business, Sakai Ramen closed on February 19. The restaurant announced the closure in an Instagram post and shared that the owners would be taking a break for the time being.

Shin – Hollywood

Hollywood’s decade-old Shin restaurant closed on February 4. Though best known for its ramen, the restaurant also prepared sushi and yakitori, including a $175 omakase option with cocktails.

Tokki – Koreatown

After 15 months inside Koreatown’s Chapman Plaza, Tokki closed on February 18. The modern Korean tapas restaurant opened in 2021 with chef Sunny Chang (Quince SF) at the helm, but she departed after just a few months. A part of the team then went on to open Liu’s café, which will remain open.

January

Atrium – Los Feliz

A dimly lit modern restaurant with pattered walls and dark green banquettes with some foliage.

Los Feliz restaurant Atrium, which opened in 2018 from Beau Laughlin and Jay Milliken, closed without warning on December 23, 2023. The stylish Los Feliz restaurant offered versatile dishes with international flavors in a high-ceiling space in a neighborhood that sorely lacks quality dining. Staff was notified of the closure just a few days before Christmas though outwardly Atrium hinted that it would reopen in the new year. Atrium has not reopened though its sister lounge space Pinky’s continues to operate.

Caffe Roma – Beverly Hills

For 45 years, Caffe Roma has been a streetside destination for Italian food and coffee in the Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills. The restaurant announced its closure on January 1, 2024, though its sister restaurant Café Amici will continue to operate, which means longtime fans will still have a place to get eggplant parmigiana and lasagna with beef ragu. Eater spoke with a representative from Caffe Roma who said the landlord had doubled the rent, which made it more challenging to operate despite nearly half a century of history in the neighborhood.

ETA – Highland Park

Jazz bar and cocktail lounge ETA, which is a sister restaurant to the Greyhound sports bar, closed on December 30, 2023 after initially opening in 2016. Owner Mateo Glassman said part of the reason for the closure was that his partners James and Ryan had moved farther away and that Glassman’s recent addition to the family had made it difficult to sustain operations. Glassman said the Highland Park and jazz community were a huge part of ETA’s success and was thankful for both.

Jeni’s Ice Cream – Venice

Rose Avenue ice cream parlor Jeni’s has closed since around the end of December, though word is that the artisan scoop shop has reopened as a stand on Windward Avenue closer to the Venice Boardwalk. Jeni’s still has locations in Larchmont, Beverly Hills, the Runway in Playa Vista, Calabasas, Los Feliz, and Highland Park within the LA area.

Skylight Gardens – Westwood

Westwood Italian restaurant Skylight Gardens had just celebrated its 12th anniversary when it quietly closed in recent weeks (it originally opened in 2012). A tipster says the signage was taken down and that multiple Yelpers have reported it closed, though the restaurant’s website — which announced the restaurant’s 10th anniversary — is still up at the time of publication.

Spartina LA – Melrose Avenue

A wood-burning grill at a LA restaurant. Spartina LA, which opened in 2015 by chef Stephen Kalt, announced on social media last week that it would close on January 28. Kalt has had a nearly four-decade-long career in restaurants spanning New York City, Atlantic City, and Las Vegas. Spartina was originally named for a restaurant he helped open in the early 1990s in Tribeca before that neighborhood had become one of the hottest in Manhattan.

Spartina in LA was his ode to California Italian food, preparing shareable pizzas, handmade pastas, and seasonal produce. Kalt told Eater that from Memorial Day onwards, sales had dropped off about 40 percent from expected, blaming the writer’s and actor’s strikes. “In 40 years in this business, I’ve never seen anything like it before,” said Kalt. The last day of operations will be this coming Sunday.

Wine House Kitchen — West LA

Located on a West LA rooftop blocks away from the bustling Sawtelle Japantown, Wine House Kitchen closed late last year after more than a year in business. Maiki Le’s Vietnamese French and California menu was a favorite among Eater’s editors with dishes like bún bò Huế spiced elk strip loin, which combines different meat with a central Vietnamese beef noodle soup.

When Governor Newsom and his Marxist thugs finally bankrupt California and collapse its economy as they grasp the handle of socialism and poverty perhaps then the citizens will remove this cockroach parasite from the state government and hire free market capitalists to save what’s left of this crumbling dumpster fire.

©2024. Geoff Ross. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: California Ice Cream Parlor Forced to Close Over Minimum Wage Hike

Left-Wing Financiers Stand by CAIR After Pro-Hamas Remarks

The top foundations financing the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are refusing to rule out future support of CAIR even after the Capital Research Center alerted them to its executive director’s public celebration of Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel and the Biden Administration’s subsequent disavowal of CAIR.

CAIR’s Funders

In December, the Capital Research Center collaborated with Focus on Western Islamism to determine which nonprofit organizations have provided the most funding to CAIR based on public records from 2010 to 2022. Our research identified the 20 biggest providers, almost all of which are left-wing and one has an Islamist background.

Last month, we contacted those financiers with the exception of the MarJac Foundation because it does not have an online presence or public form for contacting the organization. The group is closely linked to the U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood network, so it’s unfathomable that it would permanently sever its financial ties to CAIR.

We asked each organizations for an official statement about whether they’d continue to fund CAIR in light of the recent developments. Only one responded, and even that response was a dodgy non-answer: The San Francisco Foundation said it “works with donors to support approximately 3,000 nonprofit organizations each year.” Our follow-up question asking for a direct answer was ignored.

These grantors and donor-advised funds are now fully aware of how CAIR’s leader celebrated the October 7 massacre of 1,200 Israelis and kidnapping of approximately 250. They know that the Biden White House condemned CAIR for it. Still, they refuse to rule out financing the pro-Hamas group in the future. They won’t even answer inquiries about the issue.

Ignorance can no longer be an excuse.

CAIR’s Top 20 Funders

Below are the top 20 grantors to CAIR:

  1. American Online Giving Foundation: $1,637,087
  2. Silicon Valley Community Foundation: $1,499,447
  3. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund: $1,474,868
  4. California Endowment: $785,604
  5. Schwab Charitable Fund: $782,178
  6. California Community Foundation: $781,065
  7. Sierra Health Foundation: $637,558
  8. Tides Foundation: $631,300
  9. Weingart Foundation: $602,950
  10. WK Kellogg Foundation: $500,000
  11. San Francisco Foundation: $494,000
  12. Network for Good: $489,800
  13. MarJac Foundation: $450,000
  14. Charities Aid Foundation: $406,000
  15. California Wellness Foundation: $350,000
  16. All Hands on Deck Network (now named Movement Voter Project): $348,240
  17. Columbus Foundation: $336,250
  18. American Endowment Foundation: $315,600
  19. Levi Strauss Foundation: $310,000
  20. Orange County Community Federation: $301,255

Double Standard

The shockingly immoral (and illiberal) stances of these mostly left-wing funders reflect a disturbing double standard.

If these organizations were pressed to stop funding groups that openly and indisputably espouse white supremacism or that celebrate the killing of blacks or transgenders, does anyone doubt that they would accede to the demand?

Yet in this case, these funders give a pass to a group with a history of ties to Islamist extremists and that celebrates the killing of Israeli civilians by a Jew-hating genocidal terrorist organization.

Why is anti-Semitism considered more tolerable than racism or anti-LGBT bigotry?

AUTHOR

Ryan Mauro

Ryan Mauro is an investigative researcher for Capital Research Center. He is also an adjunct professor at Regent University and the former Director of Intelligence for Clarion Project, a counter-extremism organization. Mauro is a frequent on-air analyst on issues related to national security and foreign policy.

RELATED ARTICLES:

The Muslim-American Community Must Denounce Hamas

The Extremists Behind the Anti-Israel Lawsuit Against Biden

CAIR Admits to Violating Its Tax-Exempt Status

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EDITORS NOTE: This Capital Research Center column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

ELECTION FRAUD ALERT: Illegal Voter Registrations in Texas, Arizona and Pennsylvania Exposed

On February 26th, 2019 NPR’s reported,

About five years ago [in 2014], immigration attorneys started contacting Pennsylvania election officials to report that many of their clients had gone to get a driver’s license and, a few weeks later, received a voter registration card in the mail.

[ … ]

But it turns out that Pennsylvania, like some other states, was asking that question of everyone who applied for a driver’s license or state ID card — even those showing green cards or other documents identifying them as noncitizens.

That is often confusing for immigrants who come in to get a driver’s license or ID, which noncitizens are eligible to do.

The issue remains a challenge for states, especially as President Trump and other Republicans have alleged — without providing evidence — that tens of thousands, even millions, of noncitizens have illegally registered and voted in U.S. elections.

Texas officials recently announced that 95,000 noncitizens appeared to be on that state’s voter rolls. Those numbers have since been shown to be seriously flawed, but it hasn’t stopped Trump from insisting such fraud is rampant.

[ … ]

He notes that noncitizens can face serious legal action — several dozen have been prosecuted recently in North Carolina and Texas. It also undermines public trust and opens the way for allegations — even unfounded ones — of voter fraud.

“My concern is it risks jeopardizing confidence in the electoral process,'” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said last fall when it emerged that some 1,500 individuals, including noncitizens, had mistakenly been registered as part of his state’s new automatic voter registration law. The registrations were canceled, but it raised questions about what other mistakes had been made.

Read the full article.

On January 31st, 2024 Rep. Barry Moore released a statement after voting in support of H.R. 6678, the Consequences for Social Security Fraud Act, sponsored by Rep. McClintock (R-CA). This legislation ensures that illegal immigrants are inadmissible to and removable from the United States for social security fraud and other identification document fraud.

“American taxpayers spend years paying into Social Security and look forward to using those benefits in retirement,” said Moore. “Biden’s open border policies allow illegal immigrants to throw their identification down before crossing the border and defraud Social Security to steal the benefits of hardworking Americans. In 2017 alone, 1.2 million illegals used Social Security numbers that belonged to someone else. Rep. McClintock’s legislation holds these illegals accountable for stealing from the American people.”

To learn more, click here.

The Social Security Administration just released the following information.

Pay attention.

The number of voters registering without photo ID is alarming in the below mentioned three key swing states:

  1. Arizona – 220,731
  2. Texas – 1,250,710
  3. PA – 580,513

TOTAL = 2,051,954 illegal voters.

Illegals are not qualified to receive legal driver’s license, but they can obtain, and are greatly encouraged by the federal government, to have Social Security Cards. The argument is that permitting illegals Social Security Cards helps with work authorization permits. Help America Vote Act of 2002, P.L. 107-252 (HAVA) requires states to verify the information of newly registered voters for Federal elections. Each State must establish a computerized State-wide voter registration list and verify new voter information with the State’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

States are required to verify the driver’s license number against the state MVA database. Only in situations where no driver’s license exists should the states verify the last four digits of the new voter registrant’s Social Security Number. The State submits the last digits of the SSN, name and date of birth to the MVA for verification with SSA.

The organized multi-dimensional plot to create new and multi-faceted illegal voting continues.

©2024. Lyle J. Rapacki, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Trump’s detailed plan list to correct and make the U.S. great again video

WATCH: Biden Regime Blames Trump For Biden’s Illegal Immigration Border Invasion

Immigration under President Trump was at it lowest in decades. From day one, the Biden regime undid all of Trump’s immigration policies.

The Democrats are flying them in. Half a million.

DOOCY: “Most of the border crossers accused of beating up Texas National Guardsmen in a riot last month were released on their own recognizance Sunday. How does that make people in this country any safer?”

KJP: “So, I have to refer you to Department of Justice and DHS on that particular reporting. I will say this: As the event unfolded, the Border Patrol was able to act quickly and get the situation under control and apprehend the migrants and we were grateful that the Border Patrol was able to do their job. Look, there is a challenge at the border, right? Our immigration system has been broken for decades before — even before this President became President, obviously, three years — more than three years ago. And this President, a couple of months ago, worked with the Senate in a bipartisan fashion to get a negotiation done — right — and what we saw is from the last President — President Trump told Republicans in Congress not to move forward with this negotiation, this agreed negotiation, this agreed plan disagreed proposal because it would help Joe Biden. That’s what was reported by some of you and we can actually deal with this. We could actually deal with what we’re seeing and because they didn’t move forward — right — because we didn’t move forward with this proposal because of the last President and because they — he — they put politics ahead of the American people, we are seeing chaos. And so, we want to get this done. We did. We worked with Congress to get this done to deal with the challenges at the border. President Trump got in the way and because President Trump got in the way Republicans are now getting in the way.

WATCH:

AUTHOR

RELATED ARTICLES:

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RELATED VIDEO: Trump’s detailed plan list to correct and make the U.S. great again video

POST ON X:

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

Facebook (Meta) Goes Jihad: Board Moves To Allow Users To Glorify Islamic Terrorists as Martyrs in Accordance With Sharia

After suspended, deleting, shadowbanning those of us working in defense of freedom, Facebook (Meta) goes jihad.

Homicide bombers and mass murderers are being repackaged in accordance with sharia.

Why now? To expedite Jew killing.

Meta Oversight Board Recommends Loosening Standards To Allow Users To Glorify Terrorists as Martyrs

‘At such a precarious moment for Jewish communities … it would be irresponsible to reduce safety measures online,’ Jewish group says.

By Jessica Costescu, Washington Free Beacon

Meta’s oversight board is recommending the company loosen its standards regarding the glorification of terrorists. Under the board’s recommendation, Facebook and Instagram users can refer to terrorists as “shaheed,” an Arabic word for “martyr.”

The board released its recommendation Tuesday, calling Meta’s current policy “overbroad.” As of now, Facebook and Instagram posts that refer to “designated dangerous individuals”—such as Hamas terrorists—as “shaheed” are removed under a Meta policy that bars users from glorifying terrorists. Those posts would be allowed under the board’s recommended policy, so long as they do not include other “signals of violence,” such as an image of a weapon.[…]

The move comes amid a spike in online anti-Semitism in the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel. Anti-Semitic posts increased 28 percent in the week after the attack, according to Anti-Defamation League (ADL), while such posts increased 919 percent on X, formerly Twitter. The difference between the two platforms suggests Facebook “enforced their hate speech policy more robustly and/or their content moderation tools were more effective at removing violative content,” the ADL found.

For the World Jewish Congress, the Meta oversight board’s recommendation is misguided.

“There must be no confusion as to where Meta stands when it comes to praise of terrorists, terror groups and acts of violence [on] its platforms,” the group’s technology director, Yfat Barak-Cheney, said in a Tuesday statement. “[A]t such a precarious moment for Jewish communities and many others around the world, it would be irresponsible to reduce safety measures online.”

Meta did not respond to a request for comment. Its oversight board consists of 40 “diverse” members, according to its website, and was created in 2018 to “bring accountability” to content moderation decisions.

The company pledged to respond to the board’s recommendation in 60 days. Meta has “committed to observing board rulings that apply to specific posts and users,” according to Axios.

For years, Hamas has used the term “shaheed” to glorify suicide bombers. In 2016, for example, it announced the “martyrdom of Shaheed Abdel Hamid Abu Srour,” a teenaged boy who carried out a suicide bombing that targeted a bus in Jerusalem.

Continue reading.

AUTHOR

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POST ON X:

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

White House Shoots Down Mike Johnson’s Plan To Link Ukraine Aid And Liquefied Natural Gas Reversal

The White House said Tuesday that it would not entertain a compromise with Speaker Mike Johnson to connect an aid package for Ukraine with a reversal of the Biden administration’s moratorium on approvals for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals, according to Bloomberg News.

Johnson reportedly suggested that such a compromise could be a workable solution for both parties to take care of high-priority items on their respective agendas, but the White House has made clear that the deal is dead on arrival, according to Bloomberg News. The right flank of the House Republican conference has opposed a new major aid package for Ukraine, while the White House is doubling down on its LNG exports pause after environmentalist groups showered the Biden administration with praise for its Jan. 26 decision on the issue.

“The president has been clear that House Republicans should pass the bipartisan national security agreement that already passed the Senate as soon as possible to get Ukraine the aid it urgently needs to defend itself from Russian tyranny,” the White House said in a statement, according to Bloomberg News. “The president supports the pause on pending, additional approvals of LNG export licenses to evaluate the economic and climate impacts on consumers and communities.”

The Senate passed a $95 billion aid package for aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan in February, but the House has yet to approve the bill and send it to President Joe Biden’s desk. The president has called on House Republicans to pass the foreign aid bill on numerous occasions, including during his State of the Union Address in March.

During a Sunday appearance on Fox News, Johnson intimated that he was thinking about linking the two issues together in a single piece of legislation when the House returns to Washington after its spring recess.

Johnson reportedly floated the idea to connect Ukraine aid and a LNG pause reversal to Biden during a one-on-one meeting in March, according to Bloomberg News, which cited an individual with knowledge of the situation. Reuters previously reported that some in the White House were potentially willing to reverse the moratorium depending on what else was included in the compromise, but White House officials disputed that claim.

Climate activists — including the confrontational outfit called Climate Defiance and a 25-year old TikTok influencer — lobbied the Biden administration to impose the LNG moratorium ahead of the decision to do so. The pause will not reduce global emissions, but instead empower natural gas production in places like Russia and Qatar, energy sector experts previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The climate lobby and its activist voters are poised to be a key bastion of support for Biden in the 2024 race, with several organizations already endorsing his reelection campaign or declaring their plans to spend big to stave off former President Donald Trump’s potential return to the White House.

The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

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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.

PODCAST: Jody Hice on Election Integrity

A staggering percentage of Americans do not trust our electoral system. A system meant to be a voice for the people and of the people, has left many skeptical of its trustworthiness.

Former Congressman and FRC Action’s vice president Jody Hice, joins host Joseph Backholm for a discussion on election integrity. Jody shares his story going from hometown pastor to the center of the political arena. In his new book, “Sacred Trust: Election Integrity and the Will of the People“, he emphasizes that if the voice of the people is lost at the ballot box, our Republic will be lost as well. Integrity must rule the day and surpass partisan strategies and yearnings.

Listen now to hear his story and personal experience with the topic of election integrity.

HOST:

Joseph Backholm

GUEST:

Jody Hice

Resources

Sacred Trust: Election Integrity and the Will of the People by Jody Hice

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand podcast is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Bruised BlackRock Slapped with Cease and Desist for Lying to Investors

It had been a relatively quiet 2024 for embattled BlackRock CEO Larry Fink — until about two weeks ago. Texas, in a massive blow to his woke firm, pulled the pin on an $8.5 billion dollar grenade, announcing that it was following through on its threat to drop Fink’s services where its school fund management was concerned. A firm that shuns oil and gas investments doesn’t have Texas’s best interests at heart, leaders decided. Turns out, that move — the single largest punch to BlackRock’s gut to date — was just the beginning of Fink’s spring headaches.

Late last week, Mississippi dropped another bombshell: a cease and desist order aimed at the firm’s blatant dishonesty about its ESG (environmental, social, governance) investing. When Fink cleverly withdrew BlackRock’s name from the controversial Climate Action 100+ initiative in February, he created the appearance that the world’s largest asset management firm wasn’t putting its environmental activism over its financial responsibilities. But looks can be deceiving. According to several sources, BlackRock’s anti-fossil fuel agenda is still very much alive, a fact that Secretary of State Michael Watson made abundantly clear in his complaint.

“BlackRock has made and continues to make untrue statements of material fact, and to omit material facts to make its statements not misleading to investors and potential investors in Mississippi,” the 29-page order read. “These misrepresentations pertain to BlackRock’s provision of investment services, especially its involvement in pushing Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) factors on portfolio companies. Additionally, many of BlackRock’s acts, practices, and courses of business operate or would operate as fraud or deceit upon investors and potential investors in Mississippi.”

With this legal action, Fink could face “an administrative penalty, potentially a multi-million dollar fine,” National Review warns. As far as the Magnolia State is concerned, BlackRock is openly double-crossing investors — an allegation that certainly won’t help rehabilitate the firm’s damaged image. Fink admitted last year that his company had already lost around $4 billion in business as a result of the backlash meted out by states. If he’s not careful, another serving of boycotts could be headed his way.

BlackRock claims to care about clients’ “long-term financial prospects,” Watson writes, but “[t]hese statements are untrue … because the consideration of ESG factors does not provide an indication of better financial returns or current or future risk profiles.” That, the secretary insists, is “misleading to investors who are interested in ESG for financial (as opposed to social or political) reasons, and who are led to believe that BlackRock’s ESG funds will receive a financial benefit from BlackRock’s consideration of ESG criteria.” Not to mention, he adds, “BlackRock charges higher fees for some of its ESG funds than it does for comparable non-ESG funds.”

Interestingly, Mississippi isn’t one of the 12 states who’ve either divested from BlackRock or passed laws that make that decision likely in the near future. This action, as Wild Hild of Consumers Research explained, is unique — a “first-of-its-kind” attack on the leftist agenda driving so many of these funds. BlackRock’s CEO continues “to pretend that the only time they engage in ESG, it is with permission of the shareholders — but in reality, ESG policies have seeped into every facet of BlackRock’s asset management. They’ve been lying to their customers,” Hild added.

This doesn’t surprise The Political Forum’s Stephen Soukup, author of “The Dictatorship of Woke Capital,” who pointed out to The Washington Stand, “Larry Fink wanted to be famous. Now that he is, he’s learning that one of the perils of fame is that everyone, everywhere knows what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Among those paying the closest attention to the now-famous Fink and his massive asset management firm are elected officials, who have a clear responsibility to protect the interests of their constituents.” He believes that what we’re seeing “in Mississippi, Texas, and in other red states is the consequence of Fink’s quest for fame, wealth, and power as it collides with Republican elected officials’ quest to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.”

Publicly, the wave of 2022 backlash that led states to quit BlackRock seemed to humble Fink. Last summer, he decided to drop ESG from his lexicon because the term was too toxic. He pivoted to “energy pragmatism,” which he explained as investing in clean energy while also backing “traditional energy sources, like fossil fuels.” The firm even showed more restraint on ESG shareholder proposals, supporting just 7% of the 400 submitted according to the last annual report. “That is a marked shift,” the Washington Examiner pointed out. “BlackRock supported nearly a quarter of such proposals in the previous cycle and 47% of environmental and social proposals the cycle before that.”

And yet, none of these surface-level changes seemed to comfort Texas, where local officials warn that the firm’s anti-fossil fuel agenda will ultimately haunt the state. “BlackRock’s dominant and persistent leadership in the ESG movement immeasurably damages our state’s oil & gas economy and the very companies that generate revenues for our Permanent School Fund (PSF),” State Board of Education Chairman Aaron Kinsey argued. “Texas and the PSF have worked to grow this fund to build Texas’ schools. BlackRock’s destructive approach toward the energy companies that this state and our world depend on is incompatible with our fiduciary duty to Texans. Today represents a major step forward for the Texas PSF and our state as a whole. The PSF will not stand idly by while our financial future is attacked by Wall Street.”

Both Texas and Mississippi are committed to holding BlackRock’s feet to the fire — a move that the 1792 Exchange’s Paul Fitzpatrick applauds.

“It’s troubling to see the largest asset manager in the world, which has an army of lawyers and a fiduciary duty to customers, including state pensions for nearly all 50 states, making clearly contradictory statements,” Fitzpatrick told TWS. “To fulfill its ESG and ‘sustainable’ commitments to coalitions like the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, BlackRock pledges to use ‘all assets under management,’ not just the funds labeled ESG, to change behavior of companies to advance political goals. This doublespeak includes the use of proxy voting, whereby BlackRock uses its customers’ funds to vote for various ESG proposals. Many customers who did not opt into ESG funds would never have voted for a ‘racial equity audit’ at The Home Depot or for Exxon Mobil to pursue net zero goals, among other resolutions,” he points out.

“We hope Secretary Watson’s courage inspires other state leaders to hold all fiduciaries accountable.”

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘A Horrible Precedent’: Experts Say Trump Civil Fraud Case Endangers Businesses, Rule of Law

In the wake of a highly controversial and unprecedented civil fraud case brought against former President and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, a leading economist is saying the case is an example of a “two-tiered justice system in America,” and experts say it will likely have a chilling effect on economic investment in New York.

In February, a New York judge ruled that Trump was liable for a staggering $355 million in penalties for inflating his wealth in financial statements and threatened to have his real estate business dissolved. But an Associated Press analysis subsequently found that in the past 70 years, Trump’s case was “the only big business … that was threatened with a shutdown without a showing of obvious victims and major losses.” Bank officials who offered the former president lower interest rates who were called to testify in the case “couldn’t say for sure if Trump’s personal statement of worth had any impact on the rates.”

“Who suffered here?” William Thomas, a law professor at the University of Michigan, asked in comments to the AP. “We haven’t seen a long list of victims.”

Adam Leitman Bailey, a New York real estate lawyer who had previously filed a successful lawsuit against Trump for misrepresenting condo sales to entice buyers, commented that the civil fraud ruling “sets a horrible precedent.”

“This is a basically a death penalty for a business,” added Eric Talley, a law professor at Columbia University. “Is he getting his just desserts because of the fraud, or because people don’t like him?”

Stephen Moore, a distinguished fellow in Economics at The Heritage Foundation, joined “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” last week to shed light on how the decision will impact businesses in New York.

“This is a clearly victimless crime,” he observed. “… [It’s] clearly an example of how we have a two-tiered justice system in America. [I]f they can do this to Donald Trump, they can do it to anybody. And that’s why it’s having a chilling effect. … Other businessmen and women look at that and say, ‘Hell no, I’m not going to invest in New York because they’re going to steal my business from me.’ … [T]his is a real danger to the business environment, which is already lousy in New York.”

Moore went on to argue that the array of lawsuits that are currently ongoing against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee are only fueling public support for him.

“I think there is such an anti-Trump Derangement Syndrome out there that these people can’t even see that when they want to put him in jail for 500 years, when they want to take away everything that he has, when they want to have these juries that are not impartial, it only makes him stronger,” he contended. “Every time they come after him, if you notice, his opinion polling goes up because Americans have … an innate sense of fairness. And anybody who looks at these trials knows that they’re unfair. We need a justice system that weighs both sides, and that’s not happening.”

Moore, who also serves as a principal at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity and previously served as an economic advisor for Donald Trump, further admitted his own fear of being unjustly prosecuted.

“I worked as an economist for Donald Trump, and — honest to God truth — I wake up sometimes in the middle of the night with a cold sweat, and I fear that there’s going to be a banging on my front door, and I’m going to go to the front door, and there’s going to be three FBI agents with machine guns to take me away. And what is my crime? I worked for Donald Trump. Now, you may say that’s an exaggerated fear, but some of my colleagues, that’s exactly what happened.”

Moore concluded, “This is the kind of justice … that happens in third world countries that don’t believe in the idea that we live by laws. It’s a scary situation for the United States right now. Donald Trump will be on the ballot in six, seven months. And my feeling is let the American people be the jury here.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

POST ON X:

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Defending John Eastman — Part 3

Bad news, but it’s not a surprise anymore…


To assist late arrivers in getting up-to-speed on this matter, please read my prior commentaries: Defending John Eastman Part 1 and Part 2.

After several months of hearings, etc. last week, the judge rendered her decision and declared that John should lose his law license for a potpourri of “reasons.” Based on my involvement (and 12± hours of testimony), I politely disagree. But I digress…

I had to wade through over 50 one-sided media articles (like the prejudicial and inaccurate recounting by the NYT) before I came to a competent one: “The regime has lost all perspective and decency in its war on its perceived enemies.

After further digging, I also found this excellent commentary: The Heroic Sacrifice of John Eastman.

In my view (as a non-attorney) the two issues that were debated in this case:

  1. Did John Eastman have a reasonable basis to believe that the certified 2020 Presidential election results of some states, were likely very inaccurate?
  2. If yes, what should have been his legal advice to VP Mike Pence regarding how to treat certain state certifications of likely very inaccurate results?

John Eastman said YES to the first question. As an election integrity expert (e.g., see here), I also said definitely YES to the first question. (Since I’m not a lawyer or a Constitutional expert, I can’t speak to the second question.)

For a sample of the evidence as to why I say YES, see here.

The California prosecutor, and now the judge, said NO to the first question, which meant that the second one was legally moot anyway.

Dr. Eastman is not only a respected Constitutional expert, but he was Dean of the Claremont Law School for over ten years. In other words, he is no ambulance chaser.

If you’d like to follow the next developments of this saga, please go to John Eastman’s relatively new Substack column, for his own commentary!

We are in very dangerous waters when the judicial system misinterprets (or misapplies) the law, for political reasons. That’s how third-world countries have been known to operate.

Yet again we are dependent on Critically Thinking citizens who can see through the blatant bias of the media, as well as the politicization of the judicial system.

If you are wondering what you can do to meaningfully help the victim of this travesty, consider making a donation to John’s Defense Fund.

©2024.  All rights reserved.


Here are other materials by this scientist that you might find interesting:

Check out the Archives of this Critical Thinking substack.

WiseEnergy.orgdiscusses the Science (or lack thereof) behind our energy options.

C19Science.infocovers the lack of genuine Science behind our COVID-19 policies.

Election-Integrity.infomultiple major reports on the election integrity issue.

Media Balance Newsletter: a free, twice-a-month newsletter that covers what the mainstream media does not do, on issues from COVID to climate, elections to education, renewables to religion, etc. Here are the Newsletter’s 2023 Archives. Please send me an email to get your free copy. When emailing me, please make sure to include your full name and the state where you live. (Of course, you can cancel the Media Balance Newsletter at any time – but why would you?

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna Slams Biden Admin, Says Hispanic Voters Are Leaving Dems ‘In Droves’

Republican Florida Rep. Anna Paulina Luna slammed the Biden administration Monday on Fox News over their attempts to gain back Hispanic voters, stating that they’re leaving the Democrat Party “in droves.”

Luna appeared on “The Ingraham Angle” and host Laura Ingraham asked Luna why she thought the White House social media page had left off a Spanish translation for the administration’s post regarding International Transgender Day of Visibility.

“No, not at all – in fact it was intentional,” Luna said. “This administration has been angling to get back the Hispanic voting block, which Laura I’ll remind you that Hispanic Americans, specifically of Mexican descent, are now the largest voting minority in the country. This whole issue of Trans Awareness Day over Easter would not bode well, especially in the community, of which I so proudly represent – which is largely Catholic and Christian. So when they do this, it’s intentional. Laura, they are losing the Hispanic American vote in droves. I’m happy to say, because of that I do believe Trump will be winning in November.”

Luna went on to say the incident is not the “first time” the administration has “disrespected” Hispanic Americans, reminding the Fox host of when First Lady Jill Biden stated that Hispanics were as “unique” as tacos and when President Joe Biden played Spanish-hit song “Despacito” while speaking at a Hispanic Heritage Month event.

“It’s not the first time – remember we had Jill Biden calling us breakfast tacos. You had President Biden during his election playing ‘Despacito.’ So it’s not the first time this administration, and this president, have really disrespected Hispanic Americans. But, again, the top three issues are inflation, jobs, and the economy and so really when voters are faced with this in November they’re going to be looking at the message of the Republican Party and of President Trump versus this administration,” Luna stated.

“Frankly, they are, and by they I mean this administration, is working with Big Tech to censor that message to Hispanic Americans,” she continued. “Remember, only a few months back they actually purchased up a majority of conservative Spanish media and radio in an effort to push this and sway this election.”

In 2022, Republican lawmakers attempted to block a Soros-funded news company led by former Democratic staffers called the Latino Media Network from purchasing 18 Spanish-language radio stations for roughly $60 million. They were unsuccessful and the purchase later went through.

Former President Donald Trump has been gaining on key Democrat voting blocs, including the Hispanic vote, according to polls. In a recent New York Times/Siena College poll, Trump showed a six-point lead over Biden among Hispanic voters, sitting at 46% of the vote. While the margin of error for the poll is 10 percentage points due to the sample size not being “large enough to assess small differences reliably,” other polls have also indicated Hispanic support leaning towards the former president for 2024.

AUTHOR

HAILEY GOMEZ

General assignment reporter.

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Anyone Who Can’t Recognize Flaws In 2020 Is Unfit To Help Republicans Win

Going into 2024, all the known skullduggery and criminal election fraud activity aside, upwards of20% registered Voters in twenty six States either DO NOT EXIST or reside at an address that DOES NOT EXIST.

The fix is in.

The RNC Is Right: Anyone Who Can’t Recognize Flaws In 2020 Is Unfit To Help Republicans Win

By: Brianna Lyman, The Federalist, March 28, 2024

Winning requires first acknowledging past and existing problems.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is reportedly asking prospective employees what they think about the 2020 election — as they should.

Citing unnamed sources, The Washington Post reported that job applicants at the RNC have been asked about whether they believe the 2020 election was “stolen,” although the Post acknowledged the questions were “open-ended.”

The Post tried to spin the story as the RNC “demanding fealty” to former President Donald Trump, using the words of President Joe Biden’s rapid response director. But beating Democrats — who showed in 2020 that they are willing to ignore the rule of law in order to change how elections are fundamentally run, to their advantage — starts by acknowledging what happened in 2020.

“Potential staffers who worked on the front line in battleground states or are currently in states where fraud allegations have been prevalent were asked about their work experience,” RNC and Trump spokeswoman Danielle Alvarez said in a statement to The Federalist. “We want experienced staff with meaningful views on how elections are won and lost and real experience-based opinions about what happens in the trenches.”

So what did happen in the “trenches”?

Continue reading.

AUTHOR

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Foregone Conclusion

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