Declining High-School Graduation Rates Caused by Pandemic

getfile.aspxguidDF02B557 8E75 4F3E B3B0 EBBC44BEA2C8

Declining High-School Graduation Rates Caused by Pandemic Declining High-School Graduation Rates Caused by Pandemic In this May 19, 2020 file photo, Ponder (Texas) High School graduates march out of the garage area and onto the front stretch to participate in their graduation ceremony at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

By Peter Malbin | Monday, 24 January 2022 12:18 PM

High-school graduation rates fell in at least 20 states after the first full school year disrupted by the pandemic, The Independent reported.

The results were obtained from 26 states and analyzed by Chalkbeat. Some fear that the next several graduating classes could be even more affected.

"It does concern me," said Chris Reykdal, the schools superintendent in Washington State, where the graduation rate fell by about half a point. "I don't ever want to see a decline. We've made such steady progress."

In 2020, when schools closed for the final months of the school year, most states waived outstanding graduation requirements and saw graduation rates increase, Chalkbeat reported. But in 2021, graduation rates fell in 20 of 26 states that have released their data. Comprehensive national data will likely not be available until 2023, according to the analysis.
Those declines were less than a percentage point in some states, like Colorado, Georgia, and Kansas. Illinois, Oregon and North Dakota saw graduation rates drop 2 points, and Indiana, Maine, Nevada South Dakota, and West Virginia saw declines of at least 1 point.

Where rates increased, growth was modest. Florida, for example, had rising graduation rates of more than 2 points each year for a decade but gained just a tenth of a point in 2021, even when state officials waived certain diploma requirements.

"We do have to be concerned that grad rates are down and that some number of kids that earned a diploma, they've learned less than prior years," said Robert Balfanz, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Education and director of a research center focused on high school graduation. "What we're going to have to learn in the future is, how great is the concern?"

Falling graduation rates may be attributed to remote learning. As classes went online, some students fell behind or found assignments confusing. Less interaction with teachers and other students took their toll. Distractions like social media and television are also problematic for some students. Working part-time and caring for sick relatives during the pandemic were also factors contributing to lower graduation rates, according to the analysis.

Some worry that cumulative effects of the pandemic stand to affect future graduating classes hardest. In both Oregon and Nevada, the share of high school freshmen who finished last school year on track to graduate was about 10 percentage points lower than before the pandemic. This school year, attendance has also been low.

Still, some educators are optimistic last year's dip represents an anomaly, according to The Independent. In Peoria, Illinois, where the graduation rate fell 4 points after climbing steadily for years, Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat thinks the district's expanded "safety net" for struggling students will help.

Every week, a team of educators identifies students with failing grades for extra support. The district has also added ways for working students to earn credits in the evenings or on weekends, and has hired three "navigators" to help students who are in the juvenile justice system to finish school.

"It is not easy," Desmoulin-Kherat said. "It's definitely a marathon, not a sprint."

Related stories:

Sen. Rick Scott: US Military Has Become ‘Woke’ Under Biden

getfile.aspxguid39515F0E FB25 47E8 A5B7 9C4858EA4E0E

Sen. Rick Scott: US Military Has Become 'Woke' Under Biden Sen. Rick Scott: US Military Has Become 'Woke' Under Biden (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 24 January 2022 12:14 PM

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said the U.S. military has gone from being "lethal" to "woke" under President Joe Biden.

"If you are in the military, our military has become the woke military, not the lethal military," Scott said Saturday during an appearance on Fox Business.

"We lost all of those people in Afghanistan [during the troops withdrawal], and Biden's like 'Oh, we did a great job.'"

Scott also criticized the president's approach in dealing with countries seeking to hurt the U.S. or its allies.

"When you have a weak president, the bad guys act up," Scott told host Maria Bartiromo. "Look at what [Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping’s] doing towards Taiwan. Look at what North Korea’s doing, and look at Iran. All of them.

"They don't respect Biden. They know Biden is weak. They know he just wants to be nice to everybody and talk to everybody and do absolutely nothing."

Scott, who serves on both the Armed Services committee and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, said America is paying for Biden having "no backbone."

"This is going to go on for another three years," Scott told Bartiromo. "We have got to stand up against Russia, and China, and Iran, and North Korea and the dictators in Latin America. We have to get a president with a backbone. This guy, Biden, doesn't have a backbone. And the people he put in power have no backbone. They want to appease. They're the party of appeasement now.”

When asked about Hunter Biden's activities in China, Scott said "we shouldn't have a president that has conflicts."

A new book claims the Biden family earned $31 million from five deals involving people with direct ties to Chinese intelligence.

Bartiromo said sources told her that the Secret Service was asked not to follow the president's son while he was in China.

"Why don't they just be transparent?" Scott asked.

"Think what they did with the last president [former President Donald Trump]. The last president they kept saying he had all these conflicts all the time. This president, they cover up for the guy."

Original Article

MLK’s Niece Says Biden ‘Playing the Race Card’ on Voting Reform

getfile.aspxguidD5E79A43 E1B5 4653 8436 1122720DA68E

MLK's Niece Says Biden 'Playing the Race Card' on Voting Reform Alveda King Alveda King, center, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speaks following a meeting with President Donald Trump and other faith-based inner-city leaders at the White House in Washington, DC on July 29, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Monday, 24 January 2022 11:40 AM

President Joe Biden is "playing the race card" in his remarks about voting reform, according to Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a former Georgia state representative.

King, in an interview on the podcast "John Solomon Reports," claimed that Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are "stirring up emotions to get their way," in an effort to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.

King said that before her uncle became a leader in the civil rights movement he was a "prophet and a preacher," and said that "You have to put all of that together and represent human dignity from the womb to the tomb."

She went on to say, "that's not what Biden is doing — President Biden and Vice President Harris, they're not — Nancy Pelosi and all of them. They're stirring up emotions to get their way. It's like having temper tantrums when you [are] in the highest seats in this office."

King also said that her uncle "believed in appropriate voting and legislation and the laws, but he said, 'the law can't make you love me, but it can keep you from lynching me.' "

Original Article

MLK’s Niece Says Biden ‘Playing the Race Card’ on Voting Reform

getfile.aspxguidD5E79A43 E1B5 4653 8436 1122720DA68E 1

MLK's Niece Says Biden 'Playing the Race Card' on Voting Reform Alveda King Alveda King, center, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speaks following a meeting with President Donald Trump and other faith-based inner-city leaders at the White House in Washington, DC on July 29, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Monday, 24 January 2022 11:40 AM

President Joe Biden is "playing the race card" in his remarks about voting reform, according to Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a former Georgia state representative.

King, in an interview on the podcast "John Solomon Reports," claimed that Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are "stirring up emotions to get their way," in an effort to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.

King said that before her uncle became a leader in the civil rights movement he was a "prophet and a preacher," and said that "You have to put all of that together and represent human dignity from the womb to the tomb."

She went on to say, "that's not what Biden is doing — President Biden and Vice President Harris, they're not — Nancy Pelosi and all of them. They're stirring up emotions to get their way. It's like having temper tantrums when you [are] in the highest seats in this office."

King also said that her uncle "believed in appropriate voting and legislation and the laws, but he said, 'the law can't make you love me, but it can keep you from lynching me.' "

Rep. Carl to Newsmax: Biden Reacting ‘Six or Eight Months Late’ on Ukraine

getfile.aspxguidFFEB03C8 48D5 4EF6 A3DF DF98099389F6

Rep. Carl to Newsmax: Biden Reacting 'Six or Eight Months Late' on Ukraine A Ukrainian Military Forces serviceman watches through spyglass in a dugout on the frontline with Russia-backed separatists near Gorlivka, Donetsk region on January 23, 2022. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 24 January 2022 11:36 AM

The Biden administration is "about six or eight months late" with its reaction to Russia's threats to Ukraine, and the "very last thing" President Joe Biden should do is send up to 5,000 U.S. troops into Eastern Europe, Rep. Jerry Carl said on Newsmax Monday.

"This is not something that's just started in the last two weeks, three weeks," the Alabama Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report."

"This is something we were fully aware of months ago."

Carl also said he has a problem with the United States' allies in Europe who want the Biden administration to come in and assist them, but they don't want to do enough to help with the costs involved in defending NATO member states from Russia.

"Germany's a great example," Carl said.

"They haven't paid their bills with NATO. Let's get them back to the table. I mean, if we're going to go over there and defend these countries, there's got to be some sweat equity from these countries that we're trying to defend."

Biden also made a mistake in leaving military equipment behind in Afghanistan rather than pulling it out and sending it to the NATO nations, "but the president doesn't think that far ahead; his administration doesn't think that far ahead," said Carl. "Now we're in a situation where we're on a timeline that we've known about. Don't think it's just something's just come up."

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned the Kremlin over the weekend of a "swift, severe, and united response" from the United States and Europe should Russian forces enter Ukraine.

Carl said he does think Russian President Vladimir Putin could be making the threats in order to get something more from the United States in concessions.

"We don't know what he's going to ask for," said Carl. "It will be a last-minute deal we'll put together and we'll give away some oil fields or some rights to something."

The United States also "messed up" when it allowed Russia to build the Nord Stream II pipeline into Germany, said Carl.

"I think the Germans hold the card right now," he said. "The Germans need to step up and say 'we don't want your pipeline. We'll take natural gas from America. We don't want your pipeline because of the way you're treating the rest of the Western Hemisphere.'"

Carl added that he thinks Russia is ultimately after seaports on the Black Sea, and "my guess, just thinking out loud, you know, more than I know, but I think that you're probably going to see the president kind of give way to some of that."

However, the Biden administration so far has shown "zero ability to enforce anything," said Carl. "I don't know why Putin would be fearful of it now."

Note: See Newsmax TV now carried in more than 100 million U.S. homes, on DirecTV Ch. 349, Dish Network Ch. 216, Xfinity Ch. 1115, Spectrum, U-verse Ch. 1220, FiOS Ch. 615, Frontier Ch. 115, Optimum Ch. 102, Cox cable, Suddenlink Ch. 102, Mediacom Ch. 277, AT&T TV Ch 349, FUBO and major OTT platforms like Roku, YouTube, Xumo, Pluto and most smart TV’s including Samsung+, Sony, LG, Vizio and more – Find All Systems that Carry Newsmax – Click Here

Original Article

Denver Elementary School Says It Will Teach BLM Principles to Elementary Students

getfile.aspxguidDDCAB74C 3A26 48D8 8245 DAB194B5BF24

Denver Elementary School Says It Will Teach BLM Principles to Elementary Students Denver Elementary School Says It Will Teach BLM Principles to Elementary Students A person demonstrates in support of Daunte Wright. (Kerem Yucel / AFP via Getty)

By Nicole Wells | Monday, 24 January 2022 11:03 AM

An elementary school in Denver, Colo., is planning to host a week-long Black Lives Matter event where kindergartners and first graders will be taught about sexuality and race as part of a push to teach the "guiding principles" of the BLM movement, according to Parents Defending Education (PDE).

Centennial Elementary School's "Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action" is scheduled to be held Jan. 31 to Feb. 4. One of the 13 BLM principles is "transgender affirming," which discusses "recognizing trans-antagonistic violence."

Another principle aims to generate a "queer-affirming network where heteronormative thinking no longer exists." One called "Black Villages," said it involves "the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics."

The "Black Women" principle, defined as the "building of women-centered spaces free from sexism, misogyny and male-centeredness," is another principle scheduled to be discussed.

"Globalism, defined as "our ability to see how we are impacted or privileged within the Black global family," is also on the agenda.

On its website, CES provides a link to frequently asked questions (FAQs), such as "Isn’t teaching BLM teaching politics?" "Are all of these topics age-appropriate?" and "I don’t support the BLM organization or all of the principles of the BLM organization. How should I talk to my child about this?"

According to the school, BLM is not political because the federal government recently "identified that supporting BLM is not political."

"Our goal is not to teach children what to think; rather to expose them to different perspectives and opinions so that they learn to value and respect diversity," the website read.

Responding to the question on age-appropriateness, CES said it believes "it is never too early to start to talk to kids about race," citing research that says that by age 12, "many children become set in their beliefs," according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Teachers are guiding conversations by reading aloud "age-appropriate texts," such as "Julian Is A Mermaid," about a "straight, white cis woman" that challenges "the reader’s bias and the social norms around gender expression and identity" or "A Day of Pride" about an LGBTQ pride parade that is threatened by a "Witch of Shame."

According to its FAQs, the school said it "is not necessarily teaching about nor promoting the BLM organization." Instead, it is "using the BLM Principles to drive kid-friendly conversations about the importance of valuing and respecting diversity."

The school was previously criticized for holding a "families of color playground night," on Dec. 8, which Denver Public Schools said was requested by Black families so they could meet other Black families.

Parents Defending Education, a concerned parents organization fighting indoctrination in the classroom, filed a federal civil rights complaint with the federal Department of Education on Dec. 17 against CES for allegedly violating both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution for discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.

Book: Bidens Reaped $31M in Chinese Communist Business Dealings

getfile.aspxguid73DD6038 E61A 4904 ACE8 D27D690065CD

Book: Bidens Reaped $31M in Chinese Communist Business Dealings Joe Biden, Finnegan Biden and Hunter Biden Then-Vice President Joe Biden, left, waves as he walks out of Air Force Two with his granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, center, and son Hunter Biden upon their arrival in Beijing on Dec. 4, 2013. (Ng Han Guan/AFP via Getty Images)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 24 January 2022 10:47 AM

A new book claims the Biden family earned $31 million from five deals involving people with direct ties to Chinese intelligence.

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, partnered with multiple financiers with direct ties to the Chinese spy network, according to Peter Schweizer’s "Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win," published by Harper-Collins and scheduled to be released Tuesday.

The dealings occurred during and after Joe Biden’s time as vice president, and included the former head of China's ministry of state security and the head of foreign intelligence recruitment.

The book says some of those relationships remain intact, Breitbart reported.

The Chinese communists saw a financial relationship with the Bidens as an opening for "elite capture." Hunter Biden got meetings and major deals with people in the highest levels of Chinese government and financial institutions, and in return the Chinese would leverage the Bidens’ power for their interests, the book says.

Hunter Biden's business dealings in China have been scrutinized after the New York Post in October 2020 revealed that a laptop left at a repair shop contained a trove of emails detailing controversial foreign business dealings.

On Friday, Rep. James Comer, the leading Republican on the House Oversight Committee, told Newsmax that it was important that the National Archives release any information about Hunter Biden's alleged involvement in the sale of an African cobalt mine to a Chinese company in 2016, as a matter of national security.

Fox Business obtained emails showing Hunter Biden and a former top Biden aide invested in a company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Also, a Chinese mogul reportedly gave Hunter Biden an expensive gem and offered $30 million in a bid to seal a deal with a Chinese-government-linked energy consortium to expand its business around the world, according to New York Post columnist Miranda Devine’s book, "Laptop from Hell."

In his book, Schweizer says a tycoon named Che Feng, dubbed "the super chairman," is a central figure in Hunter Biden’s dealings.

Che has been described in Western media as "a shadowy and discreet investor," whose business partner was the vice minister of state security, Breitbart reported.

"The hazard of a Chinese businessman with close ties to the top ranks of Beijing's spy agency conducting financial transactions with the son of the U.S. vice president cannot be overstated," Schweizer writes in his book. "How this did not set off national security or ethics alarm bells in Washington is a wonder in itself."

Schweizer is president of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute.

Original Article

Book: Bidens Reaped $31M in Chinese Communist Business Dealings

getfile.aspxguid73DD6038 E61A 4904 ACE8 D27D690065CD 1

Book: Bidens Reaped $31M in Chinese Communist Business Dealings Joe Biden, Finnegan Biden and Hunter Biden Then-Vice President Joe Biden, left, waves as he walks out of Air Force Two with his granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, center, and son Hunter Biden upon their arrival in Beijing on Dec. 4, 2013. (Ng Han Guan/AFP via Getty Images)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 24 January 2022 10:47 AM

A new book claims the Biden family earned $31 million from five deals involving people with direct ties to Chinese intelligence.

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, partnered with multiple financiers with direct ties to the Chinese spy network, according to Peter Schweizer’s "Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win," published by Harper-Collins and scheduled to be released Tuesday.

The dealings occurred during and after Joe Biden’s time as vice president, and included the former head of China's ministry of state security and the head of foreign intelligence recruitment.

The book says some of those relationships remain intact, Breitbart reported.

The Chinese communists saw a financial relationship with the Bidens as an opening for "elite capture." Hunter Biden got meetings and major deals with people in the highest levels of Chinese government and financial institutions, and in return the Chinese would leverage the Bidens’ power for their interests, the book says.

Hunter Biden's business dealings in China have been scrutinized after the New York Post in October 2020 revealed that a laptop left at a repair shop contained a trove of emails detailing controversial foreign business dealings.

On Friday, Rep. James Comer, the leading Republican on the House Oversight Committee, told Newsmax that it was important that the National Archives release any information about Hunter Biden's alleged involvement in the sale of an African cobalt mine to a Chinese company in 2016, as a matter of national security.

Fox Business obtained emails showing Hunter Biden and a former top Biden aide invested in a company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Also, a Chinese mogul reportedly gave Hunter Biden an expensive gem and offered $30 million in a bid to seal a deal with a Chinese-government-linked energy consortium to expand its business around the world, according to New York Post columnist Miranda Devine’s book, "Laptop from Hell."

In his book, Schweizer says a tycoon named Che Feng, dubbed "the super chairman," is a central figure in Hunter Biden’s dealings.

Che has been described in Western media as "a shadowy and discreet investor," whose business partner was the vice minister of state security, Breitbart reported.

"The hazard of a Chinese businessman with close ties to the top ranks of Beijing's spy agency conducting financial transactions with the son of the U.S. vice president cannot be overstated," Schweizer writes in his book. "How this did not set off national security or ethics alarm bells in Washington is a wonder in itself."

Schweizer is president of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute.

Virginia’s New AG Fires Top Jan. 6 Investigator From University Position

getfile.aspxguidDA796FE0 4DAE 47C9 8501 E23C999CA5BF

Virginia's New AG Fires Top Jan. 6 Investigator From University Position Virginia Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares Virginia Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares, then speaking as a candidate, during a campaign rally for Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin on Oct. 25, 2021 in Suffolk, Virginia. Youngkin and Miyares both won. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

By Brian Freeman | Monday, 24 January 2022 10:24 AM

Tim Heaphy, the chief investigative counsel for the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, was dismissed from his role as counsel at the University of Virginia by the state's new Republican Attorney General, Jason Miyares, Business Insider has reported.

Democrats accused Miyares, who took office on January 15, of political payback for Heaphy’s position on the January 6 committee. Heaphy, a Democrat, had taken leave from his university position in order to work on the House committee, Newsweek reported.

But Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita said the decision to fire Heaphy had "nothing to do" with his work on the January 6 committee, telling The Washington Post that he was a "controversial" hire and that "our decision was made after reviewing the legal decisions made over the last couple of years."

She added that “it is common practice for an incoming administration to appoint new staff that share the philosophy and legal approach of the attorney general.”

Virginia State Sen. Scott Surovell, a Democrat, dismissed those claims, telling the Post that "no attorney general has treated these positions as political."

He added to The New York Times that "this is purely payback for January 6 — there is no other reason that makes any sense."

University spokesman Brian Coy expressed sorrow about seeing Heaphy go, telling The Cavalier Daily in a statement that “university leaders are grateful to Tim for his outstanding service to our community and disappointed to see it come to an end.”

Heaphy said that “while I’m disappointed that my time as University Counsel has come to an end, I’m confident that the office will continue to provide quality service as the university continues to thrive in the days to come.”

Palin Positive COVID Test Casts Doubt Over Start of NY Times Trial

getfile.aspxguidECE42FD5 05AB 42FA 96DC 3441797C5C3A

Palin Positive COVID Test Casts Doubt Over Start of NY Times Trial Palin Positive COVID Test Casts Doubt Over Start of NY Times Trial

Monday, 24 January 2022 10:22 AM

Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor, has tested positive for the coronavirus, as she had been set to go to trial against The New York Times, which she accused of defamation.

Palin's positive test was announced on Monday by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan, who is presiding over the case. Rakoff said "she is of course unvaccinated," referring to Palin.

Rakoff said Palin's positive test came from an at-home test whose reliability was lower than tests administered at the courthouse and required for the trial.

He said Palin will be retested on Monday morning, with the results determining whether the trial can proceed the same day or will be delayed.

Palin, 57, has accused the Times and its former editorial page editor James Bennet of damaging her reputation in a June 14, 2017, editorial linking her to a 2011 mass shooting in Arizona that killed six people and wounded U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords.

Supreme Court Rejects House Republicans’ Challenge to Pandemic-Era Voting Rules

getfile.aspxguidD5220356 ACCE 4FFC A33D D427CD87B76E

Supreme Court Rejects House Republicans' Challenge to Pandemic-Era Voting Rules Supreme Court Rejects House Republicans' Challenge to Pandemic-Era Voting Rules

Jan Wolfe Monday, 24 January 2022 10:03 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a challenge by Republican lawmakers to pandemic-related proxy voting rules set by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Democratic-led House of Representatives that were tailored to limit exposure to COVID-19.

The voting rules, implemented in May 2020, allow members of the 435-seat House to serve as proxies for colleagues in quarantine or otherwise unable to cast floor votes in the chamber. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and other lawmakers had asked the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision that allowed the remote voting rules to remain in effect.

The resolution passed by the House enabled lawmakers to act as a proxy for up to 10 colleagues at any one time, requiring that they disclose which members they intended to represent. The proxy voting system was embraced early in the pandemic and was intended to be temporary, but has been extended several times. The most recent extension is in effect until Feb. 13.

Republican lawmakers have called the measure a violation of the U.S. Constitution, arguing that only lawmakers actually present within the halls of Congress can cast votes. Republicans also called the resolution a way for Democrats to maintain their slim majority in the House regardless of whether all their members are present on Capitol Hill.

Despite Republican opposition to the measure, both parties have taken advantage of the proxy voting system to work remotely – much like millions of other U.S. office-workers.

Last May, seven House Democrats cast votes by proxy when they joined President Joe Biden on a visit to a Ford Motor Co plant in Michigan. The following month, nine House Republicans voted by proxy while visiting the U.S.-Mexican border with former President Donald Trump.

A federal appeals court dealt a setback to McCarthy's legal challenge last July. Affirming a lower court ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said it was foreclosed from reviewing the proxy voting rules.

The D.C. Circuit's three-judge panel cited the Constitution's "speech or debate" clause that offers broad protection to members of Congress against lawsuits for actions they undertake as legislators.

The House has embraced other rules aimed at protecting the safety of lawmakers during the pandemic including a requirement for wearing face masks and a prohibition on congregating in an area called the Speakers Lobby outside the House chamber. In addition, many House and Senate hearings are held virtually. Tourists are not allowed in the Capitol.

The legal challenge brought by McCarthy and his colleagues is an example of the sharp partisan tensions in the House and the Republican animus toward Pelosi. Republicans are seeking to regain a majority in the chamber in November's congressional elections.

Rep. Grothman to Newsmax: Violence Growing With Biden, Liberals ‘Soft on Crime’

getfile.aspxguidDBA6AC34 4385 4A43 879B 5057377AB685 1

Rep. Grothman to Newsmax: Violence Growing With Biden, Liberals 'Soft on Crime'

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 24 January 2022 10:02 AM

The growing violence in the United States, including against police officers, is a result of the lack of backing for law enforcement from both the Biden administration and district attorneys who have gone "soft on crime," Rep. Glenn Grothman said on Newsmax on Monday.

"The Biden administration has been screaming racism and I think out of that, like in my backyard in Milwaukee, we hit another all-time record high in murders last year," the Wisconsin Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report." "There was a time Milwaukee was the safest of the 25 largest counties but instead, things have gotten so much worse."

President Joe Biden is "encouraging a lack of law enforcement," and district attorneys are not seeking bail amounts that are high enough to keep criminals behind bars, so "of course you have crimes," the congressman added.

His comments come after New York City Police Officer Jason Rivera, a 22-year-old rookie was shot and killed this past Friday while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son. Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, suffered a serious head wound.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office recorded 220 homicides in 2021, the highest number on record, and Grothman said part of the situation is that crime officials are backing off over fears of being labeled as racists.

"There are fewer police [officers] because they aren't getting support from the elected officials and county boards, and on city councils," said Grothman. "You wind up in a situation in which there is more crime … that comes down to the liberal sort of politicians who are elected. The blame can't even necessarily be blamed on elected officials as much as it is and the people who keep voting for liberal district attorneys, mayors, and city council."

Grothman also called on the Biden administration to keep its focus on the border but said that isn't happening.

"Sometimes I think the Biden administration does all these other dumb things because they don't want people to pay attention to what's going on in the southern border," he said. "We've gone from about 20,000 people [crossing] a month at the time President [Donald Trump left office to averaging over 80,000 a month. The Biden administration is doing nothing, of course with that."

Biden is also allowing a huge flow of drugs to come across the border, resulting in 100,000 overdose deaths alone, said Grothman, adding that Congress must take action.

"It's time to close that border and time to get in there and make sure these people stop coming across there," he said. "Instead we have people coming in who are not being tested for COVID."

Note: See Newsmax TV now carried in more than 100 million U.S. homes, on DirecTV Ch. 349, Dish Network Ch. 216, Xfinity Ch. 1115, Spectrum, U-verse Ch. 1220, FiOS Ch. 615, Frontier Ch. 115, Optimum Ch. 102, Cox cable, Suddenlink Ch. 102, Mediacom Ch. 277, AT&T TV Ch 349, FUBO and major OTT platforms like Roku, YouTube, Xumo, Pluto and most smart TV’s including Samsung+, Sony, LG, Vizio and more – Find All Systems that Carry Newsmax – Click Here

Rep. Grothman to Newsmax: Violence Growing With Biden, Liberals ‘Soft on Crime’

getfile.aspxguidDBA6AC34 4385 4A43 879B 5057377AB685

Rep. Grothman to Newsmax: Violence Growing With Biden, Liberals 'Soft on Crime'

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 24 January 2022 10:02 AM

The growing violence in the United States, including against police officers, is a result of the lack of backing for law enforcement from both the Biden administration and district attorneys who have gone "soft on crime," Rep. Glenn Grothman said on Newsmax on Monday.

"The Biden administration has been screaming racism and I think out of that, like in my backyard in Milwaukee, we hit another all-time record high in murders last year," the Wisconsin Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report." "There was a time Milwaukee was the safest of the 25 largest counties but instead, things have gotten so much worse."

President Joe Biden is "encouraging a lack of law enforcement," and district attorneys are not seeking bail amounts that are high enough to keep criminals behind bars, so "of course you have crimes," the congressman added.

His comments come after New York City Police Officer Jason Rivera, a 22-year-old rookie was shot and killed this past Friday while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son. Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, suffered a serious head wound.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office recorded 220 homicides in 2021, the highest number on record, and Grothman said part of the situation is that crime officials are backing off over fears of being labeled as racists.

"There are fewer police [officers] because they aren't getting support from the elected officials and county boards, and on city councils," said Grothman. "You wind up in a situation in which there is more crime … that comes down to the liberal sort of politicians who are elected. The blame can't even necessarily be blamed on elected officials as much as it is and the people who keep voting for liberal district attorneys, mayors, and city council."

Grothman also called on the Biden administration to keep its focus on the border but said that isn't happening.

"Sometimes I think the Biden administration does all these other dumb things because they don't want people to pay attention to what's going on in the southern border," he said. "We've gone from about 20,000 people [crossing] a month at the time President [Donald Trump left office to averaging over 80,000 a month. The Biden administration is doing nothing, of course with that."

Biden is also allowing a huge flow of drugs to come across the border, resulting in 100,000 overdose deaths alone, said Grothman, adding that Congress must take action.

"It's time to close that border and time to get in there and make sure these people stop coming across there," he said. "Instead we have people coming in who are not being tested for COVID."

Note: See Newsmax TV now carried in more than 100 million U.S. homes, on DirecTV Ch. 349, Dish Network Ch. 216, Xfinity Ch. 1115, Spectrum, U-verse Ch. 1220, FiOS Ch. 615, Frontier Ch. 115, Optimum Ch. 102, Cox cable, Suddenlink Ch. 102, Mediacom Ch. 277, AT&T TV Ch 349, FUBO and major OTT platforms like Roku, YouTube, Xumo, Pluto and most smart TV’s including Samsung+, Sony, LG, Vizio and more – Find All Systems that Carry Newsmax – Click Here

Original Article

US Threatens Russia With Use of Novel Export Tool

getfile.aspxguid6E3A8B62 8A65 4B40 98AB D5CA83619B08

US Threatens Russia With Use of Novel Export Tool A Ukrainian soldier holds a gun A Ukrainian soldier in Mariupol, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Jan. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 24 January 2022 09:52 AM

The Biden administration might expand the reach of U.S. sanctions against Russia by using a novel export control if President Vladimir Putin's forces invade Ukraine.

The foreign direct product rule, aimed at blocking the export of cutting-edge novel American-made products, would be used to damage strategic Russian industries, from artificial intelligence and quantum computing to civilian aerospace, administration officials told The Washington Post.

The Trump administration's use of the export control contributed to Chinese technology corporation Huawei suffering a collapse of nearly 30%, its first-ever annual revenue drop.

Administration officials told the Post that the control could be used in a way that would potentially deprive Russian citizens of some smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles.

Employing the control would expand the reach of sanctions beyond financial targets.

NATO on Monday said it was sending additional ships and fighter jets to eastern Europe amid Russia troop build-up near Ukraine.

The New York Times reported that President Joe Biden was weighing sending several thousand troops as well as aircrafts and warships to NATO allies in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states amid growing concerns of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Some experts have said that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be stopped by imposing economic sanctions.

The foreign direct product rule is attractive because virtually anything electronic — from smartphones to jets to quantum computers — includes semiconductors, the tiny components on which all modern technology depends.

Virtually all semiconductors are made with U.S. tools or designed with U.S. software, the Post reported.

The administration also could try to force other international companies from stopping the exporting of such goods to Russia.

"This is a slow strangulation by the U.S. government," Dan Wang, a Shanghai-based technology analyst with research firm Gavekal Dragonomics, said of Huawei, WSJ reported.

The Post reported that officials are working with European and Asian allies to craft a version of the rule that would attempt to affect industries (i.e., civil aviation, maritime, high technology) for which Putin has high ambitions.

"The power of these export controls is we can degrade and atrophy the capacity of these sectors to become a key source of growth for the Russian economy," a senior Biden administration official told the Post.

However, there is a concern by some people that use of the foreign direct product rule could force Russian retaliation.

Also, the rule never has not been applied to an entire country or entire sectors of a country. And it has its limitations.

"It's like a magic power — you can only use it so many times before it starts to degrade," Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, told the Post.

"Other countries will say, Oh, man, the U.S. has total control over us. We’d better find alternatives."

Justices to Hear Challenge to Race in College Admissions

getfile.aspxguidADDF00B7 E732 4AE7 9E80 14A84C339062

Justices to Hear Challenge to Race in College Admissions Justices to Hear Challenge to Race in College Admissions Chief Justice John Roberts (AP)

Monday, 24 January 2022 09:43 AM

The conservative-dominated Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge to the consideration of race in college admissions, adding another blockbuster case to a term with abortion, guns, religion and COVID-19 already on the agenda.

The court said it will take up lawsuits claiming that Harvard, a private institution, and the University of North Carolina, a state school, discriminate against Asian American applicants. A decision against the schools could mean the end of affirmative action in college admissions.

Lower courts rejected the challenges, citing more than 40 years of high court rulings that allow colleges and universities to consider race in admissions decisions. But the colleges and universities must do so in a narrowly tailored way to promote diversity.

US Mayors Seek to Address Income Inequality With Cryptocurrency

getfile.aspxguid3321C363 E23C 429E A814 125300569832

US Mayors Seek to Address Income Inequality With Cryptocurrency Francis Suarez speaks to the media Miami Mayor Francis Suarez speaks to the media during the annual hurricane preparation exercise at the City of Miami's Emergency Operations Center in Miami, Florida, on May 29, 2019. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 24 January 2022 08:14 AM

Some U.S. mayors want to address income inequality by giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, told Axios that mayors of New York, Cleveland and Atlanta were among those who were enthusiastic about "how bitcoin can be transformative in their cities."

The topic of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people created a buzz at last week’s U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, D.C.

Some blue cities already have been experimenting with new ways to address income inequality. Guaranteed income programs in St. Paul, Minnesota, Compton, California, and Richmond, Virginia, are paying low-income residents around $300–$600 a month.

The money being paid out comes from the coronavirus stimulus approved by Congress and from private sources, Axios said.

Suarez has vowed that Miami will be "the first city in America to give a bitcoin yield as a dividend directly to its residents. He plans to pay residents via the city’s MiamiCoin initiative, begun by the city last year as a way to raise revenue.

"Most people who are poor have their money in a bank account that earns negligible interest," Suarez told Axios. "With the rapid inflation that we have because of rampant government spending, the people are losing purchasing power — they're actually becoming poorer."

He added to Axios that "if you had a crypto account, you could get a U.S. stablecoin," a form of digital currency with a yield of perhaps 5% to 6%.

Opponents of cryptocurrencies, which are unregulated and historically unstable, say they are too risky because of their volatility.

"Cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value. … There’s so much speculation taking place in stocks and securities and crypto and stuff like that — I would be very careful," JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently told CBS Boston.

Phyllis Dickerson, CEO of the African American Mayors Association, told Axios the organization was starting to plan a meeting about crypto so members can learn about how it works.

MiamiCoin was created to raise enough revenue that the city could stop levying taxes. The Miami Herald reported in November that the program had raised more than $21 million.

"We're going to create digital wallets for our residents, and we’re going to give them Bitcoin directly from the yield of MiamiCoin," Suarez told the Herald.

SPAC Linked to Trump’s Venture Outperforms Others in Sector

getfile.aspxguid5303F3BF 6A63 4721 8167 D35BAB741F20

SPAC Linked to Trump's Venture Outperforms Others in Sector SPAC Linked to Trump's Venture Outperforms Others in Sector

Anirban Sen Monday, 24 January 2022 06:23 AM

Shares of the blank-check acquisition firm that agreed to merge with former President Donald Trump's social media venture have outperformed every other special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), despite the regulatory risks facing the deal and investors now snubbing the vast majority of such vehicles.

Digital World Acquisition Corp, which inked an $875 million deal in October to merge with Trump Media & Technology Group Corp (TMTG), currently ranks as the best performing SPAC stock ever, according to SPAC Research.

Digital World's shares ended trading at $73.12 on Friday, way above their $10 initial public offering price. This infers a valuation on the combined entity of close to $13 billion, including debt.

This is despite TMTG not having rolled out its social media app yet and the regulatory risks facing the deal. Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler last month to investigate the planned merger for potential violations of securities laws around disclosure.

The SEC has declined to comment on whether it will take any action. Digital World disclosed last month it has fielded enquiries from the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), without providing details on their nature.

The financial underperformance of most SPACs makes Digital World's stock rally, driven by Trump supporters and retail investors, all the more notable.

Moreover, DWAC's share performance has boosted the average trading price of all 114 SPACs that have announced deals that are yet to close. Excluding DWAC, the average SPAC is currently trading at $9.88 a share, below the average trust value of about $10.05, according to SPAC Research.

According to Jay Ritter, a professor at the University of Florida, SPACS on an average have underperformed against the broader market by 25% during the past decade. Many of these deals' bullish financial projections have failed to come to pass.

"DeSPACs have continued to give negative average returns in a rising market. This pattern has continued in 2021," Ritter said.

If regulators let the deal go through, Digital World shareholders are all but certain to vote for it given the stock's performance. Digital World expects to issue a proxy statement with details on the deal in February, laying the ground for the vote to be held in the following weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.

Apple Inc's App Store currently lists Feb. 21 as the date that Trump's new social media app, Truth Social, will be available to download.

Digital World CEO Patrick Orlando and other SPAC insiders paid $11.8 million to receive founder and placement shares in the SPAC that are now worth roughly $620 million, according to regulatory filings and Reuters calculations.

Dick Morris: GOP Can Double Its Percentage of Black Voters

getfile.aspxguidBB6E02B2 7D57 451C B0C9 65D476F0003D

Dick Morris: GOP Can Double Its Percentage of Black Voters Dick Morris: GOP Can Double Its Percentage of Black Voters A voter poses with a sticker. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty)

By Brian Freeman | Sunday, 23 January 2022 10:47 PM

The Republican Party has the ability to double its percentage of Black support in the upcoming election because voters are dissatisfied with Democrats, Dick Morris said Sunday during a radio appearance on "The Cats Roundtable" radio show on WABC 770.

Although "older Black voters are still loyal to the Democrats," a survey Morris conducted with pollster John McLaughlin among 1,000 Black voters revealed that the ones in the community who are employed and under the age of 55, who are the majority, "are increasingly disaffected from the Democrats," with "almost two-thirds saying they felt taken for granted" by them.

Morris, the former presidential adviser and political strategist, stressed that "the narrative of the Democrats is wearing thin with the Black community, particularly with younger voters."

He also emphasized that the purpose of the poll was "to find out what it is that would make them switch to the Republican Party [and] what we found is that the Republican Party is about to double its vote share among Black voters. It has been creeping up over the years… In 2012, 5% voted Republican. In 2016, 9% did. And in 2020,15% did. Now it looks like as many as 25% to 30% of Black voters may be ready to vote Republican."

Morris said that perhaps the harshest criticism of the Democratic Party among the Black community was revealed when the poll asked, "Do you agree or disagree that the Democrats want African-Americans to be poor, united as a block, and dependent on government programs so that they can use them to win elections? 48% agreed. 52% disagreed."

Morris said that another key change in the thinking of the community was that "the Black community has shifted its focus from politics to economics and upward advancement… that the way to move ahead is through individual education, entrepreneurial spirit and skill. If you have that stuff, you don’t need politics, you don’t need political advantage."

He also said Democrats are blocking changes that Blacks want, citing that 70% of the community say they would like their children to go to charter schools if they could, a policy opposed by Democrats.

He added that when asked, "Do you think if the government was tougher on crime would it, on balance, hurt or help the Black community, by 56% to 44% they said it would be helpful."

Morris stressed that there are large discrepancies between what the "Black leadership says and what the Black electorate feels. And because of those discrepancies, I believe the Republican Party can begin to win close to a quarter of the Black vote in the coming election."

Original Article

Trump-Endorsed Wyo. Candidate Beats Liz Cheney in GOP Straw Poll

getfile.aspxguid14978A44 3464 4FB0 90D8 C076168A9E12

Trump-Endorsed Wyo. Candidate Beats Liz Cheney in GOP Straw Poll Trump-Endorsed  Wyo. Candidate Beats Liz Cheney in GOP Straw Poll Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. (Getty Images)

By Nick Koutsobinas | Sunday, 23 January 2022 10:40 PM

A House candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Harriet Hageman, handily defeated Rep. Liz Cheney in a Republican Party straw poll in Wyoming on Saturday, according to the New York Post.

Hageman was awarded 59 votes from the secret ballot of party activists who took part in the Wyoming Republican State Central Committee poll. Cheney and state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, were awarded two, and Denton Knapp one.

"I think it's a good sign, Hageman told the Casper Star-Tribune. "It's not an endorsement, but these are the county activists."

Out of the 74 county representatives from Wyoming, only 71 voted, including three of Hageman's family members. The Star-Tribune noted that the Republican Party of Wyoming cannot endorse candidates for the primary election, which is eight months away.

But "the only elections that matter are in August and November," Cheney's spokesman Jeremy Adler said of the poll.

But even for Hageman, she wasn't ready to claim victory yet. In the past, such straw polls have been a misleading indicator of election results.

"There will be lots of polls over the next eight months, and they will all show different things," Hageman added​​.​

Original Article

Texas Republicans Ask Court to Rethink Decision Prohibiting AG From Prosecuting Election Cases

getfile.aspxguidC5B62823 2FB9 4D35 A2AE 70CF537D63D3

Texas Republicans Ask Court to Rethink Decision Prohibiting AG From Prosecuting Election Cases Texas Republicans Ask Court to Rethink Decision Prohibiting AG From Prosecuting Election Cases Adri Perez, with Common Cause 866ourvote, holds an emergency ballot from a person hospitalized with Covid-19 at Las Palmas Medical Center in El Paso, Texas on November 3, 2020. (Justin Hamel/AFP via Getty)

By Jeremy Frankel | Sunday, 23 January 2022 09:47 PM

Over 100 GOP lawmakers and party activists in Texas are asking the state’s highest criminal court to reconsider a decision that took away the attorney general’s power to prosecute election fraud.

Fourteen Republican Texas senators filed a friend-of-the-court brief Wednesday, calling on the state’s Court of Criminal Appeals to reconsider the decision.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Republican, told the Epoch Times that "there is no question it’s a huge case. I hope this gets their attention."

Bettencourt also said the justices ultimately listened to the attorney for the Democrats.

Another 85 U.S. and Texas House Republican legislators and prominent leaders in the party filed seperate friend-of-the-court briefs, among them Texas gubernatorial candidate Don Huffines and Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. Texas GOP chairman Matt Rinaldi in an email to the Epoch Times called the court’s decision "incomprehensible" and said if the "decision is allowed to stand, it will cause irreparable damage to the integrity of elections in Texas."

The court struck down the attorney general’s power to prosecute election law violations granted by legislation approximately 70 years ago, saying that it violated the Texas constitution’s separation of powers clause. The opinion overturned a lower-court ruling saying that the election code gives the attorney general the authority to prosecute election law violations. Now, the attorney general must be asked to intervene by a district or county attorney.

Bettencourt said that, based on provisions in the state’s constitution that require legislators to "detect and punish fraud" in elections, and the senators’ brief says that that the legislature can assign duties to the attorney general.

Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said that the court’s opinion could be "devastating" to the state’s future elections, and filed a motion this month seeking a rehearing with the court.

State Reps. Steve Toth and Cecil Bell, both Republicans who signed the brief, said the legislature must act if the court doesn’t. Toth called for an immediate 4th special session to draft a new law allowing a neighboring district attorney to prosecute election fraud if the DA in the county in question declines to.

Original Article