Stephen Moore: Biden Spending on ‘Outrageous Boondoggles’

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Stephen Moore: Biden Spending on 'Outrageous Boondoggles' stephen moore sits on the stage and speaks with a cpac sign behind him. Economist Stephen Moore speaks at CPAC 2020. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

By Eric Mack | Sunday, 04 April 2021 12:02 PM

President Joe Biden's massive spending programs are beyond what the former President Barack Obama administration pushed, or even what Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., proposed, Trump economist Stephen Moore warned.

"You're going to see so many outrageous boondoggles where they are giving away all of this money to these [green] companies, a lot of them are going to go bankrupt," Sunday's "The Cats Roundtable" WABC 770 AM-N.Y. "I am very nervous about this.

"The American people have to rise up and say this is not the way we run our country. We pay our bills. We don't massively increase our debt. We don't put our financial system in jeopardy.

Among the spending packages were the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was called coronavirus relief, but only a fraction of it went to actual pandemic response, and a lot of the money was deferred over a long period of time, making its urgency a moot point, Republicans argued.

Moore told host John Catsimatidis the $2 trillion infrastructure plan is similarly misrepresented as infrastructure, and it is "bridge too far."

"We are in the midst of one of the largest federal power grabs in the history of the country," Moore lamented. "This week, President Biden announced this massive $2 trillion so-called infrastructure bill that's really the Green New Deal.

"They're doing another $2 trillion spending deal on top of that, which will be announced in the next couple of weeks, which will be more money for daycare and education and all these things. This is now $6 trillion of spending that has been recommended by Biden.

"I am very nervous about the impact that this will have on our financial system. It is an amazing amount of new power that we are giving to the people in Washington. It tramples on a lot of the states. And I think this is not going to be a stimulus for the economy."

Ultimately, all this spending will put the U.S. in the dangerous position of being "an incredible debtor to the rest of the world," because it is a "lie" that Biden can pay for these programs by merely taxing the top 1%, Moore said.

"People who voted for Biden tell me they don't understand what's going on in Washington," Moore continued. "They don't understand where the money is going to come from. The idea that we are going to pay for all of this just taxing the top 1% is a lie.

"I think everybody knows you're not going to get trillions and trillions of dollars out of the top 1%. They're going to have to come after the middle class."

But "a revolt is brewing," Moore said.

"America is waking up to the fact that Biden has moved to the left of Bernie Sanders," he said. "I don't know who he's listening to, but this idea that we can bring the country to the brink of bankruptcy to fight climate change and to massively increase the welfare state is very dangerous."

It will eventually wind up in voters' hands to "stop this train from going over the cliff," Moore conclude.

"I think people have started to shift their opinion," he said. "They thought that Biden would be a moderate, centrist Democrat. He's getting a lot of bad advice in the White House. Let's turn him around so we don't bankrupt our great country."

Original Article

Sen. Blunt Decries Infrastructure Bill’s Lopsided Focus on Electric Vehicles

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Sen. Blunt Decries Infrastructure Bill's Lopsided Focus on Electric Vehicles roy blunt gets off escalator and speaks into reporter's phones Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., talks with reporters in 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Sunday, 04 April 2021 11:27 AM

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., on Sunday railed at President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan’s lopsided focus on charging stations for electric vehicles over roads, bridges and airports.

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Blunt charged only about a third of the massive plan addresses roads.

“I’ve reached out to the White House a couple of times now and said, you've got an easy bipartisan win here if you'll keep this package nearly focused on infrastructure, and then the other 70 or so percent of the package that doesn't have very much too do with infrastructure, if you want to force that in a partisan way, you can still do that,” he said.

“Why would you pass up the opportunity here to focus on roads, bridges, what's happening underground as well as above the ground on infrastructure, broadband, all of which wouldn’t be 40% of this package? And that would be a stretch I think to get all of those things to 40%.”

“There's more in the package for charging stations for electric vehicles, $174 billion, than there is for roads, bridges and airports and ports,” he said, adding, “If you're going to spend all this money on electric vehicles, which I think is part of the future, we need to figure out how electric vehicles pay for using the system just like gas-powered vehicles have always paid for it with a gas tax.”

According to Blunt, most people think infrastructure is primarily roads, bridges, ports and airports, yet “that’s a very small part of what they're calling an infrastructure package that does so much more than infrastructure.”

“I understand the dynamic of taking a popular title and put it, wrapping it around a bill that it's a fairly small percentage of, but it's the difference of whether you have a bipartisan, easy win or a very partisan, broad-based $2.25 trillion package,” he said.

“Every Republican in the Senate who was there in 2017 voted for the 2017 tax bill. To ask them to turn around, and within less than four years, turn that around is a very unlikely thing to happen,” he asserted.

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Original Article

Ohio’s JD Vance Brings Big Dollars to GOP’s Working-Class Party

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Ohio's JD Vance Brings Big Dollars to GOP's Working-Class Party JD vance speaks on the phone J.D. Vance, venture capitalist and author of 'Hillbilly Elegy,' in 2017. ( Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Eric Mack | Sunday, 04 April 2021 11:11 AM

J.D. Vance, a potential Republican Senate candidate from Ohio, is a rare breed in this hyper-political world: A working-class crusader backed big tech, ruling-class money, running as a conservative despite past praise of former President Barack Obama and disdain for former President Donald Trump.

None of it seems to fit in the normal lanes of politics, but the author of "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" is bringing money to the Republican Party's effort to rebrand as the working-class party, The Guardian reported.

Vance has yet to officially announce a run for the seat held by retiring Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, but he did already draw a $10 million donation from tech billion Peter Thiel – and an undisclosed amount from GOP mega donor Robert Mercer – to a super PAC in support of his candidacy. Vance has a Netflix adaptation of his book fueling his political cachet.

Vance, 36, a former U.S. Marine, Yale law school graduate, and venture capitalist, checks a lot of boxes for GOP donors, save for his past criticism of Trump and Obama praise, according to the report.

"I think that I'm going to vote third party because I can't stomach Trump," Vance told NPR when he released his book in 2016. "I think that he's noxious and is leading the white working class to a very dark place."

Then, in 2017, Vance wrote in The New York Times that he would "miss" Obama "and the example he set."

The former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party David Pepper is skeptical of GOP efforts to take the "working-class" mantle from the big-budget, big-tech-backed Democrats.

"They're not going to get there on the standard worker issues," Pepper told The Guardian. "There's no way."

But Trump did carve into that voter base in the past two presidential elections with his America First platform.

"The Republican party is not the party of the country clubs, it's the party of hardworking, blue-collar men and women," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in his February CPAC speech.

And Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., tweeted after the November election: "We are a working-class party now. That's the future."

Even a former Obama adviser sees the transformative shift in politics for the working class.

"The Democratic party envisions themselves as the party of working people, but it doesn't feel that way to a lot of working people, and the party needs to figure that out," David Axelrod said after the election.

Vance, despite the big money, might fill the lane for the GOP in the battleground state of Ohio.

"He's clearly trying to mimic this Trump genuflection that we're seeing from some of the other candidates, which is kind of embarrassing for JD Vance, because his brand was very different just a couple years ago," Pepper told The Guardian.

Vance, if he decides to run, will at least bring a $10-plus million war chest.

"That's a lot of money, that will help him a lot, but if the only reason he's in the game is because of coastal big tech, it kills the 'I'm-a-Trump-guy' narrative – but it also kills his narrative about representing the working man," Pepper concluded to The Guardian.

Original Article

Downtown Nashville Explosion Knocks Communications Offline

Downtown Nashville Explosion Knocks Communications Offline Downtown Nashville Explosion Knocks Communications Offline (AP)

KIMBERLEE KRUESI and THALIA BEATY Friday, 25 December 2020 05:39 PM

A recreational vehicle parked in the deserted streets of downtown Nashville exploded early Christmas morning, causing widespread communications outages that took down police emergency systems and grounded holiday travel at the city's airport. Authorities said they believe the blast was intentional.

Police were responding to a report of shots fired Friday when they encountered the RV blaring a recorded warning that a bomb would detonate in 15 minutes, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. Police evacuated nearby buildings and called in the bomb squad. The RV exploded shortly afterward, Drake said at a midday news conference. Police did not immediately indicate a possible motive or the target.

“It looks like a bomb went off on Second Avenue,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said after touring the site. Cooper issued a state of emergency and a curfew for the area.

Police did not immediately indicate a possible motive or the target.

Surveillance video published on a Twitter account Friday that appeared to be across the street from the blast captured the warning issuing from the RV, “… if you can hear this message, evacuate now,” seconds before the explosion.

The blast sent black smoke and flames billowing from the heart of downtown Nashville’s tourist scene, an area packed with honky-tonks, restaurants and shops. Buildings shook and windows shattered streets away from the explosion near a building owned by AT&T that lies one block from the company's office tower, a landmark in downtown.

“We do not know if that was a coincidence, or if that was the intention,” police spokesman Don Aaron said. Aaron said earlier that some people were taken to the department’s central precinct for questioning but declined to give details.

AT&T said the affected building is the central office of a telephone exchange, with network equipment in it. The blast interrupted service, but the company declined to say how widespread outages were.

“Service for some customers in Nashville and the surrounding areas may be affected by damage to our facilities from the explosion this morning. We are in contact with law enforcement and working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service,” AT&T spokesman Jim Greer said in an emailed statement.

The AT&T outages site showed service issues in middle Tennessee and Kentucky, including Bowling Green about 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Nashville. Several police agencies reported that their 911 systems were down because of the outage, including Murfreesboro and Knox County, home to Knoxville about 180 miles (290 kilometers) east of Nashville.

The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily halted flights out of Nashville International Airport because of telecommunications issues associated with the explosion.

Three people were taken to area hospitals for treatment after the blast, although none were in critical condition, Aaron said. Cooper said the city was lucky that the number of injuries was limited. Authorities don’t know whether anyone was in the vehicle when it exploded.

Human remains were found in the vicinity, two law enforcement officials told the The Associated Press. It was unclear how the remains were related to the explosion or whether they might belong to the person believed to be responsible or a victim. The officials could not discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The FBI will be taking the lead in the investigation, agency spokesman Joel Siskovic said. Federal investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also on the scene. The FBI is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for investigating federal crimes, such as explosives violations and acts of terrorism.

A Philadelphia man staying in a nearby hotel said that when he heard the blast, he was knew it wasn’t harmless.

“We tried to rationalize it that it was an earthquake or something, but it was obvious it wasn’t an earthquake," Joseph Fafara said. He said he traveled to Tennessee with his family on Christmas because the state has looser COVID-19 restrictions than Philadelphia.

When he went to look at the damage, police barricades had already been put in place. At noon, police dogs continued to search cars and buildings in the nearby area.

Buck McCoy, who lives near the area, posted videos on Facebook that show water pouring down the ceiling of his home. Alarms blare in the background along with cries of people in distress. A fire is visible in the street outside.

McCoy said he heard gunfire 15 minutes before the explosion rocked his building, set cars in the street on fire and blew trees apart.

“All my windows, every single one of them got blown into the next room. If I had been standing there it would have been horrible,” he said.

“It felt like a bomb. It was that big,” he told The Associated Press.

President Donald Trump has been briefed, according to White House spokesperson Judd Deere. The U.S. Justice Department said Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen was also briefed and directed all department resources be made available to help with the investigation.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said on Twitter that the state would provide the resources necessary “to determine what happened and who was responsible.”

The American Red Cross of Tennessee announced that it was working with officials to open a shelter for victims.

Fauci Acknowledges He Increased His Estimates on Herd Immunity

Fauci Acknowledges He Increased His Estimates on Herd Immunity anthony fauci speaks at press conference Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 25 December 2020 01:26 PM

Dr. Anthony Fauci admits he has been slowly increasing his estimates on what the U.S. would need to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.

According to The New York Times, many epidemiologists have been estimating since the start of the pandemic that it would take 60% to 70% of the population to acquire resistance to the coronavirus in order for the disease to fade away.

And the Times noted Fauci, the most prominent U.S. infectious disease expert, tended to agree during the pandemic’s early days. But about a month ago he raised the estimate to ''70, 75%.'' In a Dec. 16 interview with CNBC he said: ''75, 80, 85%'' and ''75 to 80-plus percent.''

Fauci concedes he has been deliberately moving the goal posts, partly based on new science and his gut feeling the U.S. is finally ready to hear what he really believes.

He said it may take close to 90% immunity to stop the virus.

Now that some polls show that many more Americans are ready for vaccines, Fauci said he felt he could deliver the message that a return to normal might take longer than first believed, the Times noted.

''When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,'' Dr. Fauci said. ''Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, 'I can nudge this up a bit,' so I went to 80, 85.''

A Gallup poll last month showed that 58% of Americans are now willing to get the vaccine. The number is up from a low of 50% in September.

Sen. Blackburn Praises Nashville Law Enforcement for Quick Action

Sen. Blackburn Praises Nashville Law Enforcement for Quick Action marsha blackburn sits behind table Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. (Jason Andrew-Pool/Getty)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 25 December 2020 12:45 PM

Sen. Marsha Blackburn Friday praised members of the Nashville Police Department for their quick action in the wake of a massive explosion that rocked the mostly empty streets in the city early Christmas morning.

"This is a time when we are so grateful that we have members of the police, that thin blue line that continues to stand between chaos and calm, for the good work that they have done this Christmas morning when this tragedy, this unspeakable, unseemly tragedy, has occurred in downtown Nashville," the Tennessee Republican told Fox News.

Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said that police had been responding to a call about shots being fired just before 6 a.m. local time but found no signs of a shooting. However, the officers noticed a suspicious vehicle and called for a hazardous response unit. While they waited, the vehicle exploded.

Blackburn said there will be more information from the FBI, which is leading the investigation into the explosion, which officials said was apparently set off intentionally.

The senator said her office has been in touch with state, local, and federal authorities, and that the explosion is a "tragic situation."

"We are of course concerned for safety and security, and we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement who found it suspicious, again, cordoning off the area and working to protect people that live in this downtown area," said Blackburn.

The section where the explosion took place is a "very busy" part of the city, Blackburn said.

"You are down around Broadway," she said. "Of course in Nashville, we have lots of bars and venues, live music venues. You have the Country Music Hall of Fame that is within a few blocks of this area, as is the Symphony Hall, as is the arena, so it is a very busy area. Other times, there is a lot of pedestrian traffic in this area. We are just so grateful for law enforcement and people that were watching and felt this was suspicious."