Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday he will resign from office in 14 days, bowing to pressure following a bombshell attorney general report accusing him of violating federal and state laws involving sexual harassment of subordinates.
Earlier Tuesday, an attorney for the governor held a press conference in an attempt to discredit elements of the New York Attorney General’s report, which was released last week. Rita Glavin, who is representing the governor, said “This is about the veracity and credibility of a report that is being used to impeach and take down an elected official.”
A liberal nonprofit that accused President Donald Trump of unleashing a “surge in white supremacy and hate” donated $85,000 last fall to election administrators in Georgia’s largest county as part of a campaign to turn out black votes in the 2020 election. Auditors now want some of that money returned.
The Fulton County Auditor declared this month that county election officials failed to spend all of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s grant for buying absentee ballot drop boxes and did not comply with one of the grant’s primary requirements to publicly disclose how many ballots were collected in the boxes.
Ohio crossed a COVID-19 vaccine milestone over the weekend as more than 50% of the state’s eligible population reached partial or fully-vaccinated status while masking and social distancing requirements continued to vary throughout the state.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced over the weekend the state passed 50% of eligible Ohioans at least starting the vaccine process, along with the increase in vaccinations in 85 of the state’s 88 counties. At the same time, Ohio’s reported cases Friday rose to 1,666 new daily cases and 24 deaths.
Over the course of the pandemic, federal overspending has exploded even by Congress’s lofty standards. While trillion-dollar deficits were a cause for concern before 2020, spending over just the last two years is set to increase the national debt by over $6 trillion. It’s bizarre, then, that the only thing that members of opposing parties in Congress can seem to work together on is fooling the budgetary scorekeepers with phantom offsets for even more spending.
In total, the bipartisan infrastructure deal includes around $550 billion in new federal spending on infrastructure to take place over five years. Advocates of the legislation claim that it is paid for, but they are relying on gimmicks and quirks of the budget scoring process to make that claim.
Take the single biggest offset claimed — repurposing unused COVID relief funds, which the bill’s authors say would “raise” $210 billion (particularly considering that at least $160 billion have already been accounted for in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline). Only in the minds of Washington legislators does this represent funds ready to be used when the national debt stands at over $28 trillion.
State legislatures in six states limited their governors’ emergency powers wielded during the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing executives have overextended their authority.
As of June 2021, lawmakers in 46 states have introduced legislation stripping governors of certain emergency powers, according to USA Today. Legislatures justified their actions as necessary to restore a balance between the branches of state government, pointing to examples of executive overreach and the centralization of power in the hands of governors.
On Wednesday, a U.S. Senate panel was told by a former national security official that the Chinese government has amassed enough stolen data to be able to create a “dossier” on every American citizen, Fox News reports.
The startling report was made by Matther Pottinger, a deputy national security adviser from the Trump Administration, during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Assembling dossiers on people has always been a feature of Leninist regimes,” Pottinger explained. “But Beijing’s penetration of digital networks worldwide, including using 5G networks…has really taken this to a new level.”
“Beijing’s stolen sensitive data,” Pottinger continued, “is sufficient to build a dossier on every single American adult, and on many of our children too, who are fair game under Beijing’s rules of political warfare.” This information could subsequently be used by China to “influence, target, intimidate, reward, blackmail, flatter, humiliate, and ultimately divide and conquer” its enemies, including the United States itself.
A memo obtained by Campus Reform reveals that the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media considered “diversity of thought” to be in conflict with its efforts to achieve social justice objectives.
Hussman Dean Susan King wrote the August 1, 2020 memo to university Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. She stated, “There is a fundamental conflict between efforts to promote racial equity and understandings of structural racism, and efforts to promote diversity of thought. These two things cannot sit side by side without coming into conflict.”
King wrote the memo in anticipation of Nikole Hannah-Jones joining the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty and teaching a class based on the “1619 Project.”
On April 12, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the appointment of Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, a career Foreign Service Officer and former ambassador to Malta, as the State Department’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer (CDIO). On July 21, Blinken sent an unclassified cable to U.S. diplomatic and consular posts around the world to introduce Abercrombie-Winstanley — who, in her new position, reports directly to the secretary of state — and to tout the new Office for Diversity and Inclusion.
A State Department that welcomes, and offers opportunities for advancement, to all Americans is a priority. Yet the lofty rhetoric of diversity and inclusion has often provided a cover for imposing ideological conformity and distributing benefits and burdens based on race. Therefore, Blinken’s new undertaking gives cause for concern. His near silence in the two official pronouncements about the personal qualities, educational attainments, professional achievements, and areas of expertise that the State Department values in building a workforce that responsibly conducts American foreign policy heightens apprehensions.
To advance U.S. interests abroad, the State Department must live up to America’s highest principles by ensuring that service in the nation’s diplomatic corps is open to all citizens based on skills, talents, and character. Individuals with diverse experiences, opinions, and training enrich understanding within the department of the vast array of jobs, opportunities, and threats that the United States faces abroad. These range from efficient processing of visa requests and effective operation within international organizations to protect health and the environment to cooperating with friends and partners to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s aim in every region of the globe to reorient world order around Beijing’s authoritarian imperatives.
Senate Democrats have publicly released their $3.5 trillion, filibuster-proof budget reconciliation resolution.
The draft of the legislation released on Monday includes new spending programs that the White House has labeled “human infrastructure,” such as universal pre-K, childcare support and tuition free community college.
The spending total is estimated over a 10-year period. Using budget reconciliation allows the Democrats to pass the measure without votes from Republicans in the 50-50 Senate. Democrats used the same process in March to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package called the American Rescue Plan Act.
Stanford University officials recently released a report that delved into the problems and benefits of its police force.
But an anti-police group called Abolish Stanford still is not pleased with the report’s recommendations on reforms — its members wanted a complete abolition of the police force and nothing less. The report called for a reduction in the use of armed Stanford University Department of Public Safety officers.
Princeton University students can learn about the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement — while reading from an avowed Marxist.
A Fall 2021 course, called “#BlackLivesMatter,” plans to discuss the important role the social movement has played in fighting against historical oppression of Black Americans.
If there is a public policy silver lining to this past year, it is the increased support for school choice. Most public schools went online during lockdowns and parents, dissatisfied with the results, sought out other solutions, including private schools, pods, charter schools, online learning, and homeschooling. The last more than doubled with 11.1 percent of households homeschooling, up from 5.4 percent the year before.
Many state legislatures improved school choice options in their states. This is to be celebrated and continued.
School choice by itself, however, will not save students from a failing education if charter and private schools adopt the same curriculum and practices as the most woke schools. Without a focus on the right subjects and lessons, students will be unprepared for personal or professional success.
A federal court has blocked President Joe Biden’s mandate that would require doctors to perform transgender surgeries against their consciences.
Judge Reed O’Connor of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Wichita Falls Division, granted “a permanent injunction” to the Christian plaintiffs “to be exempt from the government’s requirement to perform abortions and gender-transition procedures.”
President Joe Biden has proposed amending the inheritance tax, also known as the “death tax,” but farmers around the country are raising concerns about the plan.
In the American Families Plan introduced earlier this year, Biden proposed repealing the “step-up in basis” in tax law. The stepped-up basis is a tax provision that allows an heir to report the value of an asset at the time of inheriting it, essentially not paying gains taxes on how much the assets increased in value during the lifetime of the deceased. This allows heirs to avoid gains taxes altogether if they sell the inheritance immediately.
Under Biden’s change, heirs would be forced to pay taxes on the appreciation of the assets, potentially over the entire lifetime of the recently deceased relative.
Rarely is the sequence of cause and effect so clear. The current surge of migrants at our southern border is the direct result of the Biden administration eliminating the Trump rules that had once tamed the flow. Gone are the “safe third country” agreements that helped migrants apply for asylum in countries through which they had already traveled. Gone is the “remain in Mexico” policy that ensured a mere application for asylum would not be a free ticket into the United States. At the same time, Obama-era “catch and release” for minors and family units has made a comeback. As word has spread of this lax enforcement, more and more migrants throughout the world are attempting the journey.
GOP congressional candidate Mike Carey has jumped right back into campaign mode after besting 10 other candidates on August 3 in a three-month sprint to become the Republican nominee to keep Ohio’s 15th District red with nearly 37 percent of the vote.
The second sprint began the next day, as the November 2 special election to replace five-term Congressman Steve Stivers – and the possibility of May 2022 primary – loom, even as the boundaries of the conservative district covering all or parts of 12 counties could change the political landscape.