GOP Rep. McClintock: We Need Audit, EU to Step up, Assurance that Money Paid to Bidens Isn’t Influencing Before More Aid Sent to Ukraine

On Tuesday’s broadcast of the Fox Business Network’s “Kennedy,” Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said he will not continue to support aid to Ukraine until the European Union matches the aid already provided by the U.S., there’s a complete audit of the money sent by America, there are assurances that the country hasn’t had an illegitimate relationship with FTX, and “the millions of dollars that were paid to the Biden family by Ukraine over the years isn’t influencing our foreign policy.”

McClintock stated, “I supported the initial assistance to Ukraine because I felt if they could defeat Russia or at least inflict massive damage on Russia, that it would cause other dictators around the world to think twice before attacking their neighbors. But of course, we’ve done that now. Ukraine is primarily a European security issue. Now, you look at the numbers, the United States has given about $54 billion of assistance to Ukraine through October 3…the EU had only 16 billion. So, they’ve got about half of our GDP. But they’ve only given about a third of the assistance that we have. Now, given the fact that’s happening right on their doorstep, not on ours. It seems to me they need to at least match what we’ve already done. So, that would be my first condition. 

Click here to read the full article at Breitbart CA

GOP Elites Want to Turn from Trump. Will the Base Let Them?

Forget the scathing editorials from conservative media blaming former President Trump for the GOP’s mediocre midterm. Never mind their underwhelmed reception to his 2024 presidential launch. Disregard the major donors who are bailing this time around.

Keith Korsgaden is firmly on board for a Trump reprise. He’s quite sure he’s not alone.

“There are 74 million people that voted for Donald Trump in 2020, and those 74 million of us still feel the same way — that he’s one of us,” Korsgaden said. The Visalia restaurant owner has been a Trump supporter since that momentous descent down Trump Tower’s escalator in 2015.

There may not be quite the unanimity that Korsgaden predicts, but his loyalty underscores a stark reality: Republican power brokers may be ready to break from Trump, but a significant slice of Republican voters? Not so much.

As the 2022 midterm election wheezes to an end, the start of the 2024 campaign feels both uncharted and uncannily familiar. Trump began his bid for a comeback — the first attempt by a former president since Herbert Hoover — as the front-runner for the Republican nomination who nonetheless appears vulnerable to a serious intra-party challenge.

The fundamental question facing the Republican Party during this long run-up to the next election is who truly is in control: the elected officials and opinion leaders who have shaped their party’s agenda from the top, or the grassroots bloc of Trump faithful who have ruled from below. The latter may have shrunk in numbers since the former president left office, but they still command outsize influence in GOP primaries — and there may be just enough of them to propel Trump forward in a crowded field of competitors.

Republicans face daunting scenarios: an ugly primary battle that could aggravate ideological tensions within the party, or an easy waltz to the nomination by a candidate with proven unpopularity among crucial voters such as women and independents.

“I don’t believe he is completely intractable from the Republican Party,” said Mike Madrid, an anti-Trump GOP consultant. “Here’s what I do believe — I believe the Republicans have so swallowed the hook that when you rip it out, it’ll bring up all its guts and probably kill it.”

Republican elites have been here before, publicly breaking from Trump after the predatory vulgarity of the leaked “Access Hollywood” tape, his equivocation in denouncing white supremacists in Charlottesville, and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that was catalyzed by his false allegations of election fraud. But so long as Trump was able to mobilize infrequent voters to back him or his endorsed candidates, his influence on the party was never in doubt.

It may be different this time. In tones typically reserved for Trump, media personalities are speaking reverently about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 19-point romp to reelection. The party’s strong performance in Florida’s congressional races also enhanced DeSantis’ reputation for carrying down-ballot candidates to victory. By contrast, top party figures have pointedly noted, Republicans have struggled in three consecutive national elections since Trump won the White House in 2016.

“If a political party can’t stay committed to their central premise, which is winning elections, then what’s the point?” said David Kochel, a veteran Republican strategist.

There is some evidence the GOP is ready to move on. A recent NBC poll found that 62% of Republicans said they considered themselves more a supporter of the party than of Trump, the highest number since the question was first polled in January 2019. Club for Growth, a conservative group once allied with Trump, circulated pollsshowing DeSantis with a healthy lead over the former president in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states on the path to the GOP nomination, as well as Florida and Georgia.

Christine Matthews, a pollster who has Republican clients, said the sense that primary voters ready to look beyond Trump is “very real,” driven by their belief that he is hobbled by his antagonistic relationship with the media.

“They’re able to justify moving on from him by saying, ‘The media will never give him a fair shot. They’ll always be against him. So even though we really like him and think his policies were great, it’s probably time for someone new,’” Matthews said.

So far, the consensus pick for that someone new is DeSantis, who offers the former president’s instinct for culture war combat in a less chaotic presentation. 

“DeSantis is the stock to buy, Trump is the stock to sell in politics,” said Matt Mackowiak, a Texas-based GOP strategist.

The most pressing challenge for DeSantis will be how to parry Trump’s attacks, Mackowiak said. The Florida governor “has survived a lot of attacks from a lot of people, but Trump is different. He just is.”

By announcing his bid before the Senate runoff race in Georgia next month, Trump risks even more of a rupture with his party if Republicans end up losing that race.

Many GOP operatives still smart over the Georgia Senate runoff in January 2021, when Trump’s fixation on his election loss dampened turnout among his supporters and Democrats went on to win the two races and control of the Senate. 

One of those victors, Sen. Raphael Warnock, is hoping Trump will have a similar effect on the electorate this time around. On Thursday, his campaign released an ad that is solely footage from Trump’s 2024 announcement, in which the former president endorses Warnock’s GOP challenger, Herschel Walker. The commercial ends with two taglines: “Stop Donald Trump” and “Stop Herschel Walker.”

Some of Trump’s onetime allies in conservative media have been withering in their criticism about his drag on the party after his preferred candidates flopped in key Senate and House races in last week’s election. The New York Post has been especially lacerating; the day following his 2024 kickoff, it tersely teased “Florida Man Makes Announcement” on the cover and buried the story about the speech on page 26 with the headline, “Been there, Don that.”

Other outlets greeted Trump’s candidacy with similarly unenthused headlines. “Trump 3.0 is a changed man — he’s now a loser,” said the Washington Examiner. “Oh, Trump Believes in Yesterday,” opined Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal. The National Review’s take was simply titled, “No.”

“The way and force [with which] they’ve turned on him has blown my hair back,” said Howard Polskin, whose daily newsletter, TheRighting, rounds up headlines from the conservative media ecosystem.

But recent GOP history is full of cautionary tales about the challenges of reorienting the party, especially if its most committed voters aren’t on board.

In 2012, after two consecutive bruising presidential losses, party stalwarts decided it was necessary to remake Republicans’ image. Fox News’ Sean Hannity said he “evolved” in his thinking on immigration and endorsed a pathway to citizenship. The Republican National Committee commissioned what was widely called an autopsy, which prescribed softening stances on social issues and promoted immigration reform as a way to attract voters of color, young people and women. 

The Republican grassroots felt differently. Conservative shock jock Rush Limbaugh railed against the document. Four years later, the party backed a candidate whose hard-line immigration stance could be summed up with the phrase, “Build the Wall.”

“We were projecting what we thought was going to be best for the party onto the voters, rather than listening to what the voters wanted and trying to fashion a party that appeals to them,” said Tim Miller, a former RNC official who worked on the report.

For years, party leaders tried to steer conservatives to more electable candidates, leading to John McCain and Mitt Romney becoming the GOP nominees. Both lost in the general election.

“Donald Trump broke the mystique” of that strategy, Miller said, by being a candidate who gave the grassroots what they wanted and still won a general election. Now, “it’s hard to see them buying an electability argument again,” said Miller, who has been a fierce Trump critic.

Despite myriad commentators and editorials decrying Trumpism as a cause for the most recent GOP disappointments, some supporters of the former president haven’t been persuaded.

“Blaming President Trump is preposterous,” said Celeste Greig, a longtime GOP activist from Northridge. She said the fault lies more with poor campaign efforts by local and state parties.

Greig said that in her wide network of conservative stalwarts, “I haven’t found any of my friends, any of my acquaintances, that said he shouldn’t run.”

For all the high-profile breaks from Trump, others were quick to show their support. Grassroots favorites such as Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia swiftly endorsed Trump’s 2024 bid. Sen.-elect J.D. Vance of Ohio, who won the primary thanks to the former president’s backing, penned an op-ed titled, “Don’t Blame Trump.” 

“What will be critical to watch will be how Fox News prime time treats him,” said Polskin, who tracks conservative media. “They are by far the biggest megaphone in the biggest right-wing media universe.” 

The crowded right-wing media ecosphere may also pressure some of the bigger outlets to return to Trump’s camp. When Fox News recognized Biden’s 2020 win, Trump publicly bashed the channel and urged his supporters to move to smaller, more hard-line channels — OAN and Newsmax — and Fox’s ratings plunged

Even if this current antagonistic tone persists from major outlets, a vast array of podcasts, streaming shows and conservative websites will continue to generate plenty of Trump-aligned content.

“We’re in a new media terrain,” said Heather Hendershot, professor of film and media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, contrasting the monolithic audience in the network era to the current fractured media landscape. “You can’t point back to as splintered a moment as it is today.”

That’s a reason Korsgaden, the committed Trump fan, has not been swept up in the DeSantis fervor of the major conservative outlets. He is not a fan of Trump’s swipes at the Florida governor, but he thinks DeSantis has plenty of time for a White House bid in the future. And good luck to any media personality or party leader who tries to convince him otherwise.

Click here to read the full article on LA Times

Battles with Biden and Within New Majority Anticipated

Republicans secured the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, boosting the party’s ability to stymie President Biden’s agenda even though the midterm results stop well short of a mandate from the electorate.

It took more than a week for the Associated Press to determine the GOP had won the 218 seats needed to win control. The belated milestone underscored Republicans’ underwhelming performance in an election cycle when economic conditions, historical precedent and a sour national mood had been expected to give them a greater advantage.

The party’s gains mean Biden will contend with a divided government in the latter half of his current term. Democrats have cemented control of the Senate with 50 seats, and can further bolster their ranks if Sen. Raphael Warnock wins reelection in a Georgia runoff next month.

Republicans had projected confidence before last week’s election of a “red wave” that would yield them at least a dozen more House seats. But Democrats’ surprising strength, powered largelyby voter outrage over the Supreme Court’s reversal of federal abortion protections, blunted the GOP’s edge to single digits.

Republicans claimed their majority with a victory by Rep. Mike Garcia over Democrat Christy Smith in a northern Los Angeles County district that Biden won by 12 points in 2020. The AP called the race Wednesday, though official results will take longer. Six competitive races, including four California contests, remain to be called.

“Republicans have officially flipped the People’s House! Americans are ready for a new direction, and House Republicans are ready to deliver,” House GOP leader Kevin Mc-Carthy tweeted after his party clinched control of the chamber.

Biden congratulated McCarthy and pledged a willingness to collaborate with the GOP, reiterating his call to move past “political warfare.”

“The American people want us to get things done for them,” he said. “They want us to focus on the issues that matter to them and on making their lives better. And I will work with anyone — Republican or Democrat — willing to work with me to deliver results.”

A Republican House is widely expected to clash with the Democratic president on policy, including potential standoffs over raising the debt limit and providing more aid to Ukraine. GOP members have also threatened impeachment proceedings against Biden and members of his Cabinet, and have vowed to launch multiple investigations, particularly into allegations against Hunter Biden, the president’s son.

But the GOP confer-ence’s relatively small majority could exacerbate its ideological fissures. Many of the incoming members from deep-red districts hail from the party’s right flank and are loyal to former President Trump, even as prominent Republicans grow increasingly vocal about his drag on the GOP. A narrow majority means that a small number of defectors can have an outsized impact on the party’s agenda.

McCarthy, who has doggedly pursued the speakership, has played down disappointment that Republicans didn’t pick up a larger number of seats.

“Remember, in the House, they don’t give gavels out by ‘small,’ ‘medium’ and ‘large.’ They just give you the gavel,” he told Fox News’ Jesse Watters, referring to the symbol of House control. “And we’re going to be able to govern.”

But his party’s slim margin leaves the Bakersfield Republican little room for error as he seeks the votes to become the next speaker. Though McCarthy had assiduously worked to strengthen alliances with the GOP’s most conservative faction, he nevertheless faced open hostilities from the right after he led the party to a lackluster midterm showing.

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a staunch Trump ally, blasted McCarthy last week, tweeting that he represented “FLIGHT over FIGHT when the chips are down” and “is not a Speaker for these times.”

McCarthy cleared the first hurdle for the job on Tuesday after House Republicans voted for him to be nominated speaker. But with roughly 30 conservatives backing a challenge by Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, it is clear McCarthy does not yet have the 218 votes necessary to cement his place as top House leader.

“My bid to run for speaker is about changing the paradigm and the status quo,” Biggs tweeted before the vote. “Minority Leader McCarthy does not have the votes needed to become the next speaker of the House and his speakership should not be a foregone conclusion.”

The speaker of the next Congress will officially be determined by a vote of the entire House in January.

The current speaker — Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco — agreed in 2018 to step down from House Democratic leadership by the end of 2022. Her spokesman said she would announce her plans Thursday.

“House Democrats defied expectations with an excellent performance: running their races with courage, optimism and determination,” Pelosi said Wednesday. “In the next Congress, [they] will continue to play a leading role in supporting President Biden’s agenda — with strong leverage over a scant Republican majority.”

Republicans had reason for high hopes this election cycle. Large majorities of voters believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, polls have shown, an indicator that theoretically should bode well for the party that does not hold the White House. Persistent inflation gave them an opportunity to run on the economy — an area where many people tend to favor the GOP over Democrats.

Biden threatened to be an albatross for Democrats. Only twice in the decades after World War II has the party that controlled the White House gained seats in Congress — in 1998 and 2002, when the approval ratings for Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, respectively, were in the 60s. Biden’s ratings, in contrast, have been in the low 40s.

That Democrats performed so well — not picking up House seats, but avoiding significant losses — makes this midterm even more of an anomaly, said Jacob Rubashkin, an analyst with Inside Elections, a nonpartisan newsletter.

“For the first time, it really does feel like midterm voters were willing to get beyond their dissatisfaction with the president,” he said.

The GOP’s underperformance was most apparent in its failure “to make inroads into places that they were hoping would be most competitive. … They were unable to claw back the suburbs. And they were unable to make New England Republicans a reality again. And they were unable to dislodge quite a few strong Democratic incumbents in places that they had hoped they could.”

Trump, launching his 2024 presidential bid this week, cheered Republicans’ House takeover, but acknowledged they should have done better.

Click here to read the full article at the LA Times

Biden is ‘Not Buying’ That Democrats May Lose in Midterms

President Joe Biden said Friday he was feeling “really good” about Democrats’ chances in the midterm elections, even as he traveled to the Chicago area to support two House members who are facing more competitive reelection battles than expected.

“Folks, I’m not buying the notion that we’re in trouble,” he told the crowd at a political reception in a hotel for U.S. Reps. Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super political action committee, or super PAC, aligned with the GOP House leadership, this week announced a $1.8 million ad buy against Casten, who represents an Illinois district that Biden won by about 11 percentage points in 2020.

Before a crowd of roughly 50 people, the president ticked off his administration’s signature legislative achievements on infrastructure, climate and lowering the cost of prescription drugs, efforts he said were achieved in collaboration with Underwood and Casten. “Sean and Lauren have been great partners with all of this across the board,” he said.

Of Casten, he said, “Sean is smart, effective and is one of the most honorable men I’ve ever served” with.

He touted Underwood’s ability to work across party lines, calling her a “champion of families.”

The stops outside Chicago and earlier Friday in California — and events to come in Joliet, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York this weekend — are all part of Biden’s down-to-the-minute efforts to shore up shaky ground that had once been reliably predicted to go for Democrats, in an effort to blunt the impact of projected losses in congressional seats and in governors races across the country in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

“I feel really good about our chances,” he told reporters as he boarded Air Force One for Illinois from Southern California. “I think we’re going to keep the Senate and pick up a seat, and I think we have a chance of winning the House. So, I feel optimistic.”

In Carlsbad, California, Biden toured a communications company that was expected to benefit from his push to bolster American semiconductor manufacturing. He took along embattled Rep. Mike Levin for the visit to Viasat, as the president highlighted his CHIPS and Science Act, a $280 billion legislative package, and the work his administration has done for U.S. veterans.

“Mike’s a champion for his constituents, especially veterans who live here,” Biden said, noting throughout his remarks that he got signature bills passed “with Mike’s help.”

Levin, a two-term congressman representing a San Diego-area district that was once a Republican stronghold, is locked in a tight race with former San Juan Capistrano Mayor Brian Maryott. Biden headlined a rally Thursday night in Oceanside, California, for Levin.

Coronavirus pandemic-era supply disruptions and a dearth of domestic chip manufacturing hampered Viasat, which relies on such components for services it provides to industrial customers and the U.S. military. The company also makes a point of hiring returning veterans. Biden on Friday spoke of how the CHIPS act will help Viasat and other companies reduce their reliance on overseas chip manufacturers.

“It’s a game-changer,” he said of the ability to have chips readily available in the U.S.. “Thanks to this law, this company hopes to significantly grow its global business and hire more workers in the next five years.”

Saturday morning he’s to deliver remarks in nearby Joliet, Illinois, on Social Security and Medicare, before heading to Philadelphia to join former President Barack Obama to stump for Senate candidate John Fetterman.

From there, Biden will travel to Westchester County, just north of New York City, to campaign for Gov. Kathy Hochul, who’s in a tough race with Republican Lee Zeldin.

Click here to read the full article at AP News

Sharp Swing in Momentum Toward GOP Sparks Democratic Angst

Angst is growing among Democrats that the momentum they saw earlier this year in their bid to keep control of the Senate is beginning to wane as towering inflation and deepening economic unease supplant issues like abortion rights atop the list of voters’ concerns.

As recently as a few weeks ago, Democrats were bullish about their chances of defying harsh historical and political headwinds, believing that voter anger over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and lingering GOP concerns about the quality of Republican candidates might allow them to not only hold, but expand their paper-thin Senate majority.

But the political winds appear to be shifting once again in the GOP’s favor. Recent polling has found Republicans regaining an edge on the so-called generic ballot, a survey question that asks voters which party they plan to vote for in November. Meanwhile, the data website FiveThirtyEight’s Senate forecast shows Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate dropping by 11 percent over the past month.

“A month ago, it looked like not only were the Democrats poised to hold the Senate, the question was: were they going to be able to get, you know, two extra seats?” said Fernand Amandi, a Democratic pollster who worked on former President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. “Now I think the hope is just to hang on.” 

With fewer than three weeks to go before Election Day and early voting already underway in key battleground states like Georgia and Arizona, the tightening contest for the Senate has some Democrats fearing that the party may have peaked too early.

“If you look at the Dobbs decision — that seems to have come a little too early for the Democrats,” Jon Reinish, a Democratic strategist and former aide to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), said, referring to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court decision that overturned the constitutional right on abortion. 

“And I think there [are] other currents — inflation is probably the biggest one — that have kind of interfered with the singularity of that argument.”

Indeed, Republicans have hammered Democrats relentlessly on inflation, the economy and crime throughout the fall campaign season, betting that those issues would eventually outmuscle Democrats’ core themes: that abortion rights are at risk, the future of American democracy is in jeopardy and that they’re capable of governing in a volatile moment in the country’s history.

The New York Times-Siena College poll of 792 likely voters nationwide showed the economy and inflation topping the list of problems facing the country, while only 5 percent of voters said that abortion is the most pressing issue. Even among Democratic voters, economic challenges took precedence over reproductive rights. 

In one of the poll’s more alarming findings for Democrats, women who identified as independents said they preferred Republicans by an 18-point margin, a stark reversal from September, when those voters favored Democrats by a 14-point margin. Democrats have sought relentlessly to sway those voters by warning of threats to abortion rights.

“The voters who would be most susceptible to the Democrats’ messaging on abortion are shifting,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist and former congressional candidate.

“As long as the Republicans stay focused on two things — my money, my family — then they’ll win in 2022,” he added. “They’ll win in 2024. Because the Democrats aren’t showing any sign of changing their approach.”

To be sure, Democrats still stand a decent chance at holding their Senate majority in spite of the recent shifts. Their Senate candidates are outraising Republicans across the board, the GOP is seeking to wrangle a roster of untested candidates and, as of Thursday, FiveThirtyEight’s forecast still gives Democrats a 60 percent chance of winning the Senate.

At the same time, Democratic incumbents who were considered some of the most vulnerable have solidified their positions in key races. 

In Arizona, for example, Sen. Mark Kelly (D) has a distinct polling and financial lead over his Republican rival Blake Masters. Likewise, New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) is leading her GOP challenger Don Bolduc by nearly 8 points in FiveThirtyEight’s polling average. Both races lean in Democrats’ favor, according to The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper.

But with the Senate divided 50-50 between the two parties, Democrats have no room for error. If Republicans net even a single seat in the upper chamber next month, it would deliver them the majority.

In Nevada, the race between Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Republican Adam Laxalt remains in a dead heat. And despite facing a spate of scandals and questions about his personal history, Republican Herschel Walker has managed to stay within striking distance of Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) in Georgia. 

Democrats still stand a chance at flipping a GOP-held Senate seat in Pennsylvania, where Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz are vying to succeed retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), though polling has shown a tightening race in recent weeks following a barrage of attacks against Fetterman accusing him of being soft on crime.

“A lot of these races — they were always going to tighten,” one Democratic strategist said. “I think a lot of folks just got ahead of themselves over the summer, thinking they had some kind of silver bullet.”

“I still say advantage Democrats for now,” the strategist added. “But yeah, no doubt the Republicans are catching up a little bit.”

Some Democrats expressed frustration with the way key Senate races have tightened. Amandi, the pollster, said that Democrats need to focus their closing message on sharpening the contrast between themselves and “extreme, unhinged Republican candidates.”

“Perhaps Democratic messaging hasn’t been as strong as it could be,” Amandi said. “But we’re talking about things tightening when the choice is between chaos and competency. The Democrats have governed with a competent, steady hand in a very volatile environment. What we’ve seen from the Republican Party over the last six years has been wholesale unhinged chaos. And what they’re offering is more chaos.”

Others, however, said that the party simply hasn’t done enough to campaign on meaningful legislative accomplishments and the pocketbook issues that could ultimately decide the midterms.

“How is it possible that seniors don’t know about the reduction in drug prices because of the ability of Medicare to negotiate?” Jonathan Tasini, a former national surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential bid, said, referring to a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law this summer.

“It’s obviously going to be very close, but it shouldn’t be,” he added. “Control of the Senate will be decided by probably a seat or two. And it just shouldn’t.” 

Keith Naughton, a veteran Republican strategist with deep experience in Pennsylvania politics, said that the improving environment for the GOP isn’t necessarily surprising. Rather, it’s the result of more voters tuning into the political conversation as Election Day draws nearer.

Click here to read the full article in The Hill

Joe Biden Grabs Young Girl’s Shoulders, Tells Her ‘No Serious Guys Until You’re 30’

“Now, a very important thing I told my daughters and granddaughters: ‘No serious guys until you’re 30,’” the president said while grabbing the girl’s shoulders.

“Okay,” the unidentified girl said while laughing nervously, “I’ll keep that in mind.” Another woman in the background could be heard agreeing with Biden, repeatedly saying, “At least.”

Kaden D’Almeida — who filmed the moment — appeared to be waved off by a secret service agent from filming further after the president gave his awkward relationship advice to the young girl.

The encounter occurred at Irvine Community College in Irvine, California, where the president gave remarks on lowering inflation and pharmaceutical drug costs.

The president has offered the same dating advice to younger individuals before.

While visiting a group of elementary school students in Philadelphia, after a young girl told the president she was nine, Biden responded, “The only thing I want you to remember — no serious guys till you’re 30 years old,” Breitbart News reported.

As Breitbart News has documented, Biden has a long history of making uncomfortable remarks to — or having uncomfortable public encounters with — women.

While visiting a Haitian cultural center in Miami in October of 2020 during the presidential campaign, Biden told a group of young girls who had just performed a traditional dance that he wanted to “see them dancing when they’re four years older.”

In the middle of a speech honoring military personnel last year, the president told one veteran that his young daughter looked like she was “19-years-old, sitting there with her — like a little lady with her legs crossed.”

As vice president, Biden was also seen on camera appearing to sniff the hair of young children during the swearing-in ceremonies of congressional members.

Click here to read the full article at Breitbart

President Biden Arrives in Southern California

LOS ANGELES – President Joe Biden arrived in Los Angeles Wednesday evening for a two-day stay in Southern California. 

Air Force One landed just before 5 p.m. at LAX. The president was greeted on the tarmac by Sen. Alex Padilla, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and mayoral candidate Rep. Karen Bass.

Prior to visiting LA, the president was in Vail, Colorado, where he gave a speech on protecting and conserving America’s iconic outdoor spaces. 

On Thursday, Biden will visit a construction site on the extension of Metro’s D line and deliver remarks on infrastructure investments in Brentwood

From there, he will then attend a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

Once done in LABiden will then travel to Orange County on Friday, where he will talk about “lowering costs for American families.”

His journey then continues to Portland, Oregon where he will participate in a grassroots volunteer event with Democrats, the White House said.

Biden was last in Los Angeles in June where he attended Summit of the Americas as well as two Democratic National Committee Fundraisers.

Click here to read the full article on Fox News

Biden’s Vote-Buying Debt Cancellation Scheme Is An Insult to American Workers.

The Biden administration has, as expected, announced a plan to forgive up to $10,000 of student loan debt for those making under $125,000, and up to $20,000 for low-income Pell Grant recipients. 

This may be the first direct bailout of student loan debtors, but it surely won’t be the last. In just four years, student loan debt will be right back to where it is today, and we will have the same debate over what to do about it.

The proposal has been talked up by its supporters in terms of fairness and compassion. Leftist darling and failed congressional candidate Nina Turner went even further, tweeting that there are no arguments against debt forgiveness not “rooted in cruelty.” As with so much of our political discourse, nearly the opposite is true. 

Biden’s debt forgiveness plan is no exercise in compassion for the poor. Rather, it’s grossly unfair to people who never took out loans, or who paid them off. Moreover, it’s a crass exercise in rewarding your political supporters at the expense of your enemies, and a finger in the eye to the working- and middle-class Americans footing the bill so that lawyers and administrators can benefit.

The obvious political dimension of this forgiveness program is dramatized by the fact that the Biden administration will potentially be granting debt relief to more than half of its own employees. But even if they don’t work in the Biden White House or live in Washington, D.C., the beneficiaries of this federal largesse are the Democrats’ true constituency: woke managerial elites staffing agencies, administrative jobs, and the DEI and HR departments in Fortune 500 corporations. The true one percent are too rich to care, but the top quartile will happily accept its payout in this massive vote buying scheme, while making life both financially and culturally more hostile for the rest of America.

The most significant beneficiaries of these bailouts, however, are America’s universities. No major household expense has more explosively soared than college tuition. Colleges and universities have been chowing down at the gravy table facilitated by offering every high school graduate a six-figure government check, and escalating tuition accordingly. An obvious effect of this cash flow has been the university “building boom,” with millions of square feet of new construction, much of it not qualifying as classroom space. But even more pernicious might be the 60% increase in administrative positions since the 1990s, especially among the diversity bureaucracy. 

The effect for those on the “trickle-down” side of the economic scale, however, will be markedly different. Poorer Americans will be underrepresented among beneficiaries of Biden’s jubilee, largely because the skyrocketing costs of college, buttressed by government loans, dissuaded them from pursuing advanced degrees in the first place. Students from that economic background make up a smaller percentage of college campuses than they did back in the 1970s, before we were dumping trillions into loans ostensibly for their benefit. 

Subsidizing the college track has also distorted the job market for lower-income Americans by inflating the number of degreed job applicants, thereby imposing artificial degree requirements for entry-level positions, often without corresponding salary increases. Two generations of young people have now faced the unpleasant choice between going into ever-higher debt in order to credential themselves for many of the same jobs that once didn’t require it, and refusing to take the college route but competing for a shrinking pool of jobs that don’t ask for a degree. We’ve put everyone on a credentialing treadmill that ratchets up in incline level every half-decade. 

And now, to add insult to injury, those who picked the latter option are expected to chip in to pay off the tuition tab of their degreed but underemployed high school classmates, and also to support a university staffed by well-paid academics who regard them as deplorable.

Since the origins of the Great Society, our government decided that going to college was an intrinsic good for everyone. We have backed up that belief with trillions of taxpayer dollars, at the expense of other routes to a successful life. That choice, the cost of which is now borne by people who avoided both the debt and the indoctrination that come with a degree, has worked out great for cultural revolutionaries granted the power to ideologically certify the entire workforce of elite institutions. For everyone else, there’s not much in the bargain.

Ex-IRS Whistleblower Says Middle Class Targeted Under Inflation Bill

William Henck, a former Internal Revenue Service lawyer who was forced out after making allegations of internal malfeasance, said the government will target middle-income Americans with new audits under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Henck, who worked at the IRS for 30 years until departing in 2017, slammed the IRS and others who have argued additional funding would only result in increased audits for billionaires and corporations. The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed into law , would nearly double the IRS’ budget, appropriating an additional $79 billion to the agency over the next decade.

“The idea that they’re going to open things up and go after these big billionaires and large corporations is quite frankly bulls–t,” Henck told FOX Business in an interview. “It’s not going to happen. They’re going to give themselves bonuses and promotions and really nice conferences.”

“The big corporations and the billionaires are probably sitting back laughing right now,” he continued.

Henck added that he thought it was “insane” to double the agency’s budget. He said the IRS will target businesses who don’t have enough money to hire Washington lobbyists.

Americans with an annual income of less than $75,000 would be subject to nearly 711,000 new IRS audits under the legislation, according to a House GOP analysis that used historic audit rates. By comparison, individuals making more than $500,000 will receive about 95,000 additional audits as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act.

However, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig pushed back on reports of new audits, saying “audit rates” would remain the same and that the bill was “absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans.” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters last week that there would be no new audits for people making less than $400,000 per year.

“There will be considerable incentive to basically to shake down taxpayers, and the advantage the IRS has is they have basically unlimited resources and no accountability, whereas a taxpayer has to weigh the cost of accountants, tax lawyers — fighting something in tax court,” Henck told FOX Business.

New hires at the IRS will also be assigned simpler cases, Henck said, meaning an added focus on small-business audits.

“If you own a roofing company, you better count on getting audited because that’s what they’re going to be doing,” he continued. “They’re going to be going after your car dealerships, roofing companies.”

Henck said during his time at the agency, he had observed IRS agents specifically targeting elderly taxpayers, some of whom were World War II veterans, because they could easily be forced into settlements.

“I protested both internally and externally, but I was ignored,” he told FOX Business. “In their last days on Earth, these taxpayers were being bullied by the same government they had fought for as young men and no one cared.”

Click here to read the full article at NY Post

Congress Just Passed the Inflation Reduction Act. It Will Hike Taxes on Some Middle-class Households.

It also spends billions on new green energy programs, and it lets the IRS hire 87,000 new agents.

Congressional Democrats have put the finishing touches on a questionable bet: that higher taxes will help tame rising prices, and that voters will reward the effort.

On Friday afternoon, the House of Representatives approved a $300 billion tax hike with a party-line vote, 220–207, sending the Inflation Reduction Act to President Joe Biden’s desk. It passed the Senate with a similar party-line vote on Sunday.

Despite the bill’s name, independent analysts have found it will have virtually no impact on inflation. In reality, it is a pared-down version of what Biden originally pitched as the “Build Back Better” plan—it leaves aside much of the original bill’s spending, but it maintains a huge corporate tax increase, huge spending on green energy initiatives, and a plan to swell the ranks of IRS agents. What was originally a roughly $4 trillion proposal that would have relied heavily on borrowing ended up being something of a rarity in Washington: a bill that will raise more revenue than it spends.

And where will it get that revenue? Quite possibly from you. Households earning as little as $50,000 annually are more likely to see a tax increase than a tax break from the legislation.

In the final hours before the House vote, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) completed a breakdown of how the bill’s corporate tax increases would affect households at various income levels. The JTC, a nonpartisan number-crunching agency within Congress, found that households earning between $50,000 and $75,000 are more likely to see a tax increase than a tax decrease next year.

Higher-earning households are more likely to see tax increases, but households earning more than $1 million next year are actually far more likely than lower-earning households to get a tax break.

That fits with what The Tax Foundation, a tax policy think tank, found when it analyzed the bill. The Inflation Reduction Act will “would also reduce average after-tax incomes for taxpayers across every income quintile over the long run,” the Tax Foundation reported on Wednesday. Those tax increases will reduce long-term economic output by about 0.2 percent and could eliminate 29,000 jobs, the group found.

Democrats pushed the bill as a cost-cutting measure that would help Americans make ends meet, reduce the federal budget deficit, and help protect the environment.

“It makes a difference at the kitchen table,” Pelosi said at a press conference on Friday morning. “And at the board room table, corporations will now have to pay their fair share.”

If only those two things could be separated as cleanly as Pelosi implies. Tax increases on corporations get passed along from the board room table to the kitchen table in a variety of ways: lower pay for workers, higher prices for consumers, and smaller investment returns for shareholders.

As Reason has detailed a length in recent weeks, other aspects of the bill also leave much to be desired. It would dedicate about $300 billion of new revenue to reduce the long-term budget deficit, but that aspect of the bill is probably better understood as a plan to actually pay for about an eighth of the borrowing that Congress has approved since Biden took office. Meanwhile, giving the IRS a massive budget boost so it can hire 87,000 new agents likely means more tax audits aimed at the middle class, no matter what Democrats are currently claiming. The expanded subsidies for purchasing of health insurance via the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces is likely to push inflation higher. And the bill’s aim to reduce carbon emissions to 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2031 may be plausible, but just barely.

Perhaps the only aspect of the Inflation Reduction Act that’s as bizarre as its name is the meta-analysis of the bill that’s been taking place in political media. Its passage is a “win” that “could give Democrats a boost heading into the midterms,” according to NPR. It “will help validate the Democrats’ monopoly on political power in Washington and hand Joe Biden a notable presidential legacy ahead of November’s midterm elections,” gushed CNN’s Stephen Collinson.

Time will tell, but this sounds like a reprise of the claims that were made after last year’s bipartisan infrastructure package—which, regardless of what you think about its merits, plainly hasn’t done much to reverse Biden’s flagging approval rating.

Click here to read the full article at Reason