Saturday, April 30, 2022

Impeach Mayorkas

Impeach Mayorkas 

It is clear that the Biden Administration has no intention of doing anything to stop the 15-month invasion by millions of illegal migrants at the southern border. In March, border apprehensions reached 221,000—a 22-year high.  With the impending end of Title 42, the regulation that keeps people out under conditions of pandemic, the administration has figured out how to exacerbate the crisis. When Title 42 expires on May 23, we will have a surge of migrants (who can put together the $6,000 to $8,000 needed to pay cartels) overwhelming the southern border. 

A court decision Monday will keep Title 42 in place for now. But it is no surprise that the Biden Administration, which has attempted to maintain every other pandemic policy, would roll back Title 42.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has effectively opened the border, destroying order and the rule of law, in the process. He has flown tens of thousands to destinations of their choosing on DHS chartered planes, under cover of night. He has ended the public charge rule, which reasonably required new legal immigrants to demonstrate self-sufficiency, rather than depending on our array of social welfare benefits. Taxpayers foot the bill for all these things and, in addition, pay a large chunk of the totals migrants receive along the way from U.N.-backed groups. 

To stop this flood of humanity, and restore the primacy of legal immigration, it is time, as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested Tuesday, to impeach Mayorkas. That seems to be the last remaining option given that the hardline open borders activist-turned-Cabinet secretary will not back down, even if fellow Democrats who are vulnerable in November ask him to, and even with 80 percent of Americans and a growing crowd of Democratic governors, senators and congressmen asking him to fix this crisis. 

In a just world, the GOP would start impeachment hearings against a president who is sanctioning an invasion of our own nation. As Volodymyr Zelenskyy might note, defense of a nation’s borders is the bottom-line job for a head of state. But, Joe Biden will not be impeached, because of his perfect insurance policy of a visibly unqualified, deeply unpopular vice president. 

If Biden is impeachment-proof, Mayorkas is not. He has made enemies left and right by lying about this traitorous open borders policy on every occasion he’s been confronted in congressional hearings and by the press. He could be removed from office easily, at great benefit to border policy. This would be a first step to a more rational policy, in which borders are defended, and immigration is conducted legally. And it might provide a useful reminder to a party that twice attempted to impeach the previous Republican president that, in politics, “turnabout is fair play.” 

A serious Republican Party would make a bunch of ads showing exactly who is coming over the border, what problems they bring, such as drugs and sex trafficking, and what benefits they are being given at a moment in which American citizens are feeling the financial pain of Biden economic and energy policies. 

Impeachment is a win-win in this case. A great many vulnerable Democrats, especially in border states, but also in dumping ground states, oppose ending Title 42 without a replacement. Others can be put on the spot: Vote to represent your constituents and their reasonable goals, or vote to escalate the invasion at the expense of American jobs, schools, and welfare budgets.

Mayorkas has been a disaster. He stonewalls or tells elected officials what they want to hear and returns to creating “facts on the ground” where illegal aliens are placed in cities and suburbs alike. Congress has the power and, one might argue, the duty to remove any cabinet secretary who is so vigorously committed to undermining border integrity and changing the cultural makeup of the nation based on personal whim. 

You want to bring in lots of immigrants? Do it legally. Make them apply, show the ability to support themselves, and pass the usual medical and criminal screenings. Then welcome. It is time for Mayorkas to go. Congress can, and should, get rid of him.

Stagflation is staring Biden in the face — but he refuses to change course

Stagflation is staring Biden in the face — but he refuses to change course

First we were told inflation was imaginary. Then we were told it was “transitory,” the result of COVID-inflicted supply-chain problems. Then we were told it was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fault. 

Now people are starting to admit the massive runaway spending of the Biden era has something to do with it. But we’re also facing stagflation, a mixture of inflation and slow growth, and the government also plays a role in turning inflation into stagflation.

As Milton Friedman famously warned, inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon. When the government pumps the economy up with excess dollars — something usually referred to as “printing money,” though a too-literal USA Today fact-checker hastened to assure us that much of the money created isn’t actually printed on paper — inflation results. When you have more money in the system than goods, the price of goods goes up. That’s inflation, and it’s what’s happening now.

We’re seeing it everywhere, from soaring food and gasoline costs to a housing “bubble” that looks more like inflationary pricing to increases in rents and automobile prices and just about everything else. The latest figures, meanwhile, show that the economy shrank 1.4% last quarter, making it the worst since the pandemic’s start; economists had expected 1.1% growth.

There are two ways to address inflation: Remove some of the money from the system, which the Federal Reserve did in the past via higher interest rates, and increase the supply of goods. At this point in 1980, when inflation soared, the federal funds rate was nearly 20%. Presently, it’s 0.33%.

Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman is a recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for economic science.
Getty Images/ Alex Wong

In the Carter era, we saw not only runaway inflation but stagflation. People normally associate inflation with an overheated economy, but the sluggish Carter economy was not even close to running hot. We had economic stagnation and inflation, which led to the coinage of the term “stagflation.”

Now we’re seeing the same thing. And I suspect the reason is the same.

Scholars of administrative law refer to the 1970s as a period of “regulatory explosion.” The inflationary spiral was driven by the massive increase in spending under Democratic President Lyndon Johnson. But when Republican Richard Nixon came in, he didn’t do enough to restrain spending. Worse yet, he midwifed the greatest expansion of federal regulatory authority since the New Deal. In fact, in many ways the regulation was more intrusive and pervasive.

New agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency were created and given sweeping mandates to remake American employment and industry. Volumes of new regulations were enacted.

This was great for lawyers: Membership in the District of Columbia Bar more than doubled between 1975 and 1986, from 20,311 to 44,394. And as Jonathan Rauch details in his excellent book “Demosclerosis,” the regulatory explosion called into existence a huge array of lobbyists, interest groups, etc. It made it harder for anyone to do anything.

Many Americans are struggling as inflation continues to raise the price of essential items.
AFP via Getty Images/ Frederic J. Brown

So not only did we have too much money chasing too few goods, the classic source of inflation, we also had a whole new array of stumbling blocks in the path of people trying to produce those goods. Growth became more difficult, and as a result we got the dreaded stagflation.

As President Ronald Reagan noted in his first State of the Union Address, “American society experienced a virtual explosion in government regulation during the past decade. Between 1970 and 1979, expenditures for the major regulatory agencies quadrupled. The number of pages published annually in the Federal Register nearly tripled, and the number of pages in the Code of Federal Regulations increased by nearly two-thirds. The result has been higher prices, higher unemployment and lower productivity growth.”

Under Reagan, a combination of higher interest rates, deregulation and tax cuts got the economy moving again even as inflation was eventually brought under control. But now we’re in the same old Carter boat.

Joe Biden
Biden could resolve inflation issues by removing money from the system, and increasing the supply of goods.
EPA/ Samuel Corum

Team Biden hasn’t just been spending us blind. It’s also been regulating like crazy in ways that tend to reduce the supply of key goods. The administration has thrown stumbling blocks in the path of developing domestic oil and natural gas, blocked pipelines to bring in Canadian oil, increased taxes, added environmental rules and generally functioned in ways that tend to make it harder, not easier, to respond to the flood of money by adding production.

It’s no surprise that we find ourselves looking at stagflation again when we’re re-enacting the approach that led to it the first time.

If the Biden administration wanted to fight stagflation, it would be cutting red tape, encouraging business activity and investment and slashing federal spending. But it’s not doing that.

Why not?

Watch: Chuck Todd Bitterly Admits Democrat Capitol Riot ‘Investigation’ Ploy Not Going as Planned

Watch: Chuck Todd Bitterly Admits Democrat Capitol Riot ‘Investigation’ Ploy Not Going as Planned

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

We wrote Wednesday on how Democrats on Capitol Hill were coming to the painful (for them) realization that most voters were more concerned about kitchen table issues like inflation and putting food on the table than they were about the Democrats’ sham Capitol riot “investigation.”

For those who missed it, Axios reported that Democrats were telling them their concerns about how the leaks that are coming out of their probe are impacting voter perceptions, especially at a time when voters are “distracted by inflation, Ukraine and the lingering coronavirus pandemic.” Further, the news outlet also noted they had learned that a key goal of the Jan. 6 Committee was to build “drama, mystery — and widespread public interest — ahead of hearings slated for June and the release of its report later this summer.”

In other words, Democrats confirmed they’ve been trying to slow-roll the “investigation” in order to drag it out over a period of several months in a crucial election year – and that their efforts to manipulate the public were so far failing.

While it’s not clear that Chuck Todd and the panelists on his “Meet the Press Daily” program were aware of the Axios story, during a back-and-forth exchange Wednesday on how–in Todd’s words– Republicans were likely “gonna get power [in November] based on a lie,” it was discussed during the segment about how in one Republican Congressman’s words “nobody cares about January 6th except for the press”:

TODD: The irony, Eugene, here is I don’t know if this matters on the campaign trail – at all.

EUGENE SCOTT [THE WASHINGTON POST NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER]: Oh, it absolutely doesn’t. Yeah, [Republican Congressman] Glenn Grothman from Wisconsin told The Washington Post, “Nobody cares about January 6th except for the press.” He literally said that. And so as long as voters are not going to hold these lawmakers accountable for this, they don’t have anything to worry about.

TODD: I think I’ve seen – I have probably watched a thousand television ads this cycle, I think I’ve seen two on January 6th, Audrey. I mean, that is something. And even Kevin McCarthy, he’s not yet – he hasn’t – what the right has done with Nancy Pelosi, the left has not done with Kevin McCarthy, have they?

AUDREY FAHLBERG [REPORTER, THE DISPATCH]: I think that right now the Republicans are really trying to express that their voters care about inflation, the border, things like that. I mean, focusing on January 6th is simply not something that they care about. They always change the topic of conversation when I ask them about this, either in public or in private. So I think that it’s gonna continue to be like that leading up to the midterms.

TODD: And sadly […] even though what would be right for the history books, what would be right for this investigation, there is no upside for Kevin McCarthy to voluntarily participate in the January 6th investigation, is there?

Todd, a Democrat apologist if there ever was one, was visibly agitated during the discussion, clearly upset at having to admit that Republican refusals to play along were working, and that the left’s admitted tactics on dragging out the investigation into the midterms in hopes of gaining some political momentum were not going as planned:

The even worse news for Todd and his liberally biased guests is that Republicans aren’t brainwashing voters on how inflation is – understandably – more important and impactful to their everyday lives than a politically-motivated partisan witch hunt into the events of Jan. 6th.

Even Todd knows that voters themselves have been saying in the polls for months now that inflation and economic matters were among their top worries, with the Capitol riot investigation ranking low on their priority lists. Any political analyst worth their salt will tell you that come election time, if voters are struggling to make ends meet and to provide for their families, pretty much nothing else that is going on is going to matter to them more than that — and they will vote accordingly by punishing the party in power.

It’s just that simple, and no amount of teeth-gnashing and pearl-clutching from out of touch Beltway anchors and reporters will ever change that.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Biden Administration Imposes Further Limits on Arctic Drilling

Biden Administration Imposes Further Limits on Arctic Drilling

(AP Photo/Judy Patrick, File)

The pain at the gas pump shows no signs of abating, and the Biden administration seems to want to make it worse. The White House announced on Monday that it’s reverting back to the Obama administration’s policy of opening only 52% of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve for oil and gas leases. Under the Trump administration, 82% of the land was open for drilling.

The National Petroleum Reserve is an area of about 23 million acres in Alaska, which the Harding administration set aside in 1923 as an oil reserve for the U.S. Navy. It’s now under the control of the Bureau of Land Management, which monitors the oil and gas leases for sale on the land.

“While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had previously indicated that it had selected the Obama administration’s plan as its ‘preferred alternative’ for further consideration, on Monday it issued a Record of Decision formally affirming that it would return to the Obama-era plan,” reports The Hill.

In addition to the restrictions on where oil and gas companies can drill, the reversion to Obama-era policy sets aside specific areas of the reserve for environmental protection.

“In explaining its rationale, the administration said that it would better protect the environment while still allowing energy development,” The Hill notes.

In 2021, the administration suspended oil and gas leases on the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve as well.

Related: Explainer: Why Are Gas Prices So High?

Meanwhile, gas prices are nearly $2 higher than they were when Biden took office.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price per gallon for gasoline was $2.379 the week Biden entered the White House. As of this writing, the average price for a gallon of gas is $4.107, after a high of $4.315 per gallon the week of March 14.

(You could be seeing much higher or lower prices depending on where you live, but remember, these are averages.)

For all of Biden’s blaming the rise in prices on Vladimir Putin, gas has only gone up about 70 cents per gallon since Russia invaded Ukraine, where gas prices began a steady climb as soon as Biden took office.

The Hill misses the point of what allowing more oil and gas leases in Alaska would do for gas prices.

Referring to the administration’s reversion to Obama-era energy policy, The Hill notes, “The move comes as the Biden administration is grappling with high gasoline prices and Republican criticism over its energy policies, but Monday’s move is not expected to have any immediate impacts on gasoline prices at the pump.”

“When a lease sale is held, it takes more than four years on average for companies to begin production,” the report continues. “The new decision represents an even earlier step in the process, designating what lands are eligible for lease.”

What seems to have been forgotten is that the mere announcement of more drilling for oil has a positive effect on prices. In July 2008, the Bush administration responded to high oil prices by announcing an expansion of drilling in Alaska. The effect was a noticeable drop in gas prices.

At the time, CNBC reported:

In a dramatic move yesterday President Bush removed the executive-branch moratorium on offshore drilling. Today, at a news conference, Bush repeated his new position, and slammed the Democratic Congress for not removing the congressional moratorium on the Outer Continental Shelf and elsewhere. Crude-oil futures for August delivery plunged $9.26, or 6.3 percent, almost immediately as Bush was speaking, bringing the barrel price down to $136.

Now isn’t this interesting?

Democrats keep saying that it will take 10 years or longer to produce oil from the offshore areas. And they say that oil prices won’t decline for at least that long. And they, along with Obama and McCain, bash so-called oil speculators. And today we had a real-world example as to why they are wrong. All of them. Reid, Pelosi, Obama, McCain — all of them.

Using the same U.S. Energy Information Administration chart, the week President Bush made that announcement, the average price for a gallon of gas was $4.113. Prices dropped steadily throughout the rest of the year and reached a low of $1.613 per gallon the week after Christmas.

The Biden administration will do no such thing because they’re committed to the far-left agenda of climate alarmism. So expect gas prices to stay this high until we get another Republican in the White House.

Until then, the administration hopes you’ll just settle for an expensive electric vehicle.

Elon Musk's Twitter Takeover Reveals the Left For What It Is

Elon Musk's Twitter Takeover Reveals the Left For What It Is

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

This week, in one of the most shocking business moves in recent memory, Twitter reversed itself and decided to sell itself after all to Elon Musk, who paid some $44 billion for the privilege. The move was made, at least in part, for ideological reasons; Musk has been vocally critical of Twitter’s management of information flow. Immediately upon the news of the buyout breaking, Musk tweeted, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functional democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated. I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”

All of these seem like worthwhile and anodyne goals. More speech, not less. More transparency, not less.

And yet the political Left went utterly insane. Charles Blow of The New York Times vowed to leave the service; in fact, #LeavingTwitter trended on the service. The American Civil Liberties Union, while noting that Musk is a card-carrying member, fretted, “there’s a lot of danger having so much power in the hands of any one individual.” Meanwhile, powerful individual with consolidated power Jeff Bezos worried over the possibility of Chinese influence on Twitter: “Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?” Sen. Elizabeth Warren called the deal “dangerous for our democracy.” MSNBC’s Ari Melber hilariously agonized, “You could secretly ban one party’s candidate, or all of its candidates, all of its nominees, or you could just secretly turn down the reach of their stuff and turn up the reach of something else and the rest of us might not even find out about it until after the elections.”

Yes, Ari, we know. That was the concern for tens of millions of us when social media decided to silence the Hunter Biden story, lock accounts of prominent Trump-associated officials who shared the story, and then finally to throw former President Donald Trump off of all services simultaneously following Jan. 6. That was one of Musk’s concerns, presumably, in purchasing the service.

Related: Leaked Audio Shows Twitter Execs Trying to Comfort Staff in All-Hands Meeting

The Left’s outsized panic over Musk’s takeover is revealing for two reasons. First, it shows that the Left always understood Twitter to be a key part of its ecosystem, a Left-biased platform designed to obscure its own leanings while propagandistically pushing a particular political agenda. For years, the Left claimed that conservative concerns about Twitter bias were simple paranoia. Now, upon Musk’s takeover, the Left has broken into spasms of apoplexy. That wouldn’t happen if they thought Twitter wasn’t their sole property.

Then there’s the bigger problem: the Left despises both transparency and free speech in the political realm. The Left would prefer secret algorithms that conceal “shadow-banning” and bottlenecking; the Left prefers “equity” in speech to freedom of speech. To the Left, the potential “harm” of allowing free speech outweighs the value in open debate. Better to ban The Babylon Bee for stating that Lia Thomas is a man than to allow such content to be passed around Twitter — and better never to let anyone know the algorithms behind such bans. After all, with transparency comes accountability. And the power is the point.

This is why Musk’s first moves at Twitter must be to release information about the prior practices of Twitter — a sort of truth and reconciliation commission; to make any new algorithms far more transparent; and to fire employees who object to such practices, of whom there are many. Musk may be just the man to help restore institutional trust to social media. But that will require him to bulldoze those who helped undermine that trust in the first place.




This Harvard Harris poll has lots of interesting results, pretty much all of which are positive for us conservatives. Among other things, it finds the GOP with a 51% favorability rating, compared with 43% for the Democrats. But I want to focus on voters’ perception of Joe Biden.

Anyone who pays attention knows that Biden is more or less senile. Yet the press has tried to gaslight Americans into thinking that somehow, things are normal at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Happily, most voters aren’t buying it. This survey finds 53% saying they have doubts about Biden’s mental fitness, and 62% believing he is too old to be president:

Thus, by 63% to 37%, respondents say Biden should not run for a second term. Don’t worry, he won’t.

I want to focus specifically on voters’ attitudes toward the Biden administration’s immigration policies. Illegal immigration is a huge issue for Republicans, as these numbers show. 75% of respondents say illegal immigration is a serious issue:

Two-thirds of voters say the Biden administration’s policies encourage illegal immigration, while 54% say Biden is creating an open border:

By 59% to 41%, voters say Biden has effectively opened the southern border and is not trying to enforce the immigration laws:

This tallies closely with a Rasmussen survey that was reported this morning. Rasmussen found that 51% of likely voters say the Biden administration is “purposefully encouraging illegal immigration,” while only 34% disagree.

These are explosive findings. If the anticipated red wave materializes in November, illegal immigration will be a big reason why.

The Harvard Harris poll contains lots more interesting findings, and is well worth reviewing in its entirety. For now, here are a few more. First, this finding sheds more light on voters’ skepticism of Joe Biden:

Joe Biden was not just “complicit in” Hunter’s activities, he was the entire point and no doubt the principal beneficiary of those activities. I will say it one more time: no one has ever bribed the useless wastrel Hunter Biden. The money was intended for Joe. And by two to one, voters say mere complicity is ground for impeachment. That suggests that House Republicans should start drawing up articles of impeachment if they take the majority in the fall.

Who are America’s most popular politicians? Actually, since most Americans don’t like politics or politicians, the question is who is least unpopular. Note that Ron DeSantis scores best at +4, with Tim Scott at +1 and Mike Pence at -1. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Mike Pompeo, among others, do better than Joe Biden:

Finally, I can’t resist adding one more. Harvard/Harris asked respondents’ opinions of various organizations and institutions. The results are predictable: the military and police are at the top, along with Amazon (!). The FBI scores too high, as does the Centers for Disease Control, although I assume both of those numbers are down from historic highs. They certainly should be.

But note a few things: Black Lives Matter is under water at 42%/44%, with lots more room to fall. Twitter is unpopular at 34%/45%. But, most gloriously, Antifa ranks below China and just slightly above Russia in popular esteem. Who said the voters are stupid?