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    Elon Musk opened up this week about the fallout from his infamous appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast in 2018. Musk sat down with the NELK Boys, a popular Canadian-American YouTube group, for an exclusive interview on the Thursday edition of their Full Send Podcast. The conversation quickly turned to Musk’s viral appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience in September 2018, which featured the Tesla founder smoking a joint. “Remember when you smoked weed on Joe Rogan, did you get like a lot of backlash for that?” host Kyle Forgeard said, referencing Musk’s September 2018 appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience. “I did get a lot of backlash cause it’s like still federally illegal,” Musk laughed. “It was pretty nutty actually. I had to — well, because, you know, uh, so I had to have like random drug tests and stuff after that to prove that I’m not like a drug addict,” he added. “Really?” Forgeard asked. “By who though, who gives you the random drug tests?” co-host Aaron Steinberg said. “The federal government,” Musk clarified,...
    Designer491 | Istock | Getty Images The U.S. Department of Education is expected to lose close to $200 billion from federal student loans made over the last 25 years, due in part to pandemic-era relief pausing the bills for borrowers. Originally, the Education Department estimated these loans would generate around $114 billion in income; they will, however, actually cost the federal government $197 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog. A large share of the additional costs stem from the pandemic-era pause on most federal student loan payments first enacted under the Trump administration and then continued by President Joe Biden. As a result, most federal student loan borrowers haven't made a payment on their debt in more than two years, and interest hasn't accrued on their balances in the meantime. More from Personal Finance:The best money moves after the Fed's major interest rate hikesWhat advisors are telling their clients as recession fears growHow to make your resume stand out in 'Great Reshuffle' Given that policy, higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz said, the GAO's findings were...
    Relocating sea otters to places in Northern California and Oregon where they haven’t lived for generations, including possibly using helicopter rides to move a few dozen from the Monterey Bay area into San Francisco Bay, is feasible and could help expand populations of the endangered marine mammals. But there are sensitive economic issues that have to be worked out first, chief among them how it might affect fishing groups who make a living catching species like Dungeness crab that sea otters also like to eat. That was the conclusion Wednesday from a new report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 200-page study, required by Congress, provided momentum to the growing idea among many marine biologists and environmentalists that the best way to help restore endangered sea otters is to spread their numbers out  over a wider area across the West Coast. “If we were to rely on natural range expansion it would be a very, very long time before sea otters were able to regain their historical range,” said Michele Zwartjes, co-author of the study and a field...
    When you meet Mark Maier, a lawyer and the leader of the government contracts practice at Shulman Rogers, you’re struck by the calm demeanor but also by a rambunctious level of constrained energy. He’s the definition of a Washington multi-hyphenate. A retired Army colonel, who spent 20 years in the reserves following his service, Maier also has an engineering degree in addition to his J.D. and a few cybersecurity certifications to boot. WTOP talked with Maier about helping businesses who work in the federal contracting arena and what matters today, especially in navigating both the challenges of contracting but also the different aspects of supporting the federal government. Q1: Tell us about the slice of government contracting that Shulman Rogers and your team focuses on for clients. MAIER: My practice is driven in part by my background, with our focus areas being primarily technology and cyber related to government contracts. I have a background in engineering and in those practice areas, so those types of clients tend to gravitate toward me. Also, the government spends a ton of money in...
    Susan Walsh/AP Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.When Donald Trump won in 2016, after fully not expecting to upon announcing his run, the transition period was a chaotic mess, leaving hundreds of government positions unfilled. This time around, Trump’s allies won’t be asleep at the wheel, according to a new Axios report. But the result might be the same. Trump’s team is planning on “purging potentially thousands of civil servants and filling career posts with loyalists to him and his ‘America First’ ideology,” Axios‘ Jonathan Swan reported in a lengthy piece Friday morning.  Using an executive order that would make it easier for Trump to fire federal employees, his White House would proceed to remake the Executive Branch in his image, ultimately turning over “thousands of mid-level staff jobs.” Here’s Axios on the plan (bolding in original): The impact could go well beyond typical conservative targets such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service. Trump allies are working on plans that would potentially strip layers at the...
    The political events of 2022 have been unprecedented in United States history. On one hand, former President Donald Trump’s numerous critics — from liberals and progressives to centrist Blue Dog Democrats to right-wing Never Trumpers — are hoping that the evidence being skillfully presented by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection will lead to Trump facing a federal prosecution and going to prison. But on the other hand, Trump’s diehard loyalists are hoping that he will run for president in the 2024 election, win and return to the White House in January 2025. Never before in U.S. history have Americans asked the question: Will our former president be going to federal prison for promoting a violent insurrection, or will he be returning to White House Oval office three years from now? Trump’s critics fear that U.S. democracy as we know it will cease to exist if Trump becomes president again, and a disturbing report by Axios’ Jonathan Swan describes the ways in which Trump and his MAGA allies would like to “radically reshape”...
    by Jon Styf   A federal judge in Tennessee ruled in favor of Tennessee, Georgia, and 18 other states in their effort to block federal guidelines on transgender athletes and school locker rooms. The lawsuit, brought by Tennessee, challenged guidance from the United States Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that would allow athletes who were marked as males on their birth certificates to compete in girls and women’s sports. The federal guidance also would have prohibited student shower and locker room access from being determined by birth gender and provided guidance on required pronoun use. U.S. District Judge Charles Atchley granted a temporary injunction against the federal guidance, enjoining Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia. “The District Court rightly recognized the federal government put Tennessee and other states in an impossible situation: choose between the threat of legal consequences including the withholding of federal funding — or altering our state laws to comply,” said Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery. “Keep...
    Charlie Kirk made an eerie call to action to his audience during a recent podcast episode. On Friday’s installment of The Charlie Kirk Show, he lashed out at Republican politicians sending out endless streams of emails asking for more donations. Kirk insisted they had been given enough money and now was the time to “govern.” He didn’t stop there. He insisted he was “done with the excuses,” urging followers to ignore President Joe Biden. “He’s had his turn. We played the game.” Kirk was adamant that in order to save the country, we needed strong Republicans to rise up, “build the Keystone pipeline, deport illegals, build the wall.” Then in one final desperate plea, he asked Republicans to defy the federal government: KIRK: What do you do when something good and beautiful is being destroyed in front of you? Do you wait till the next election? Do you write a press release? Do you sit on your hands? Do you go donate an urgent rush, triple match alert to some Republican Senator who does nothing, or do you act? Do...
    by Adam Mill   You thought this last Supreme Court term rocked the political world? The next term threatens to blow up a system of “ghost” funding that the administrative state uses to run operations without voter accountability. Over the last several decades, government agencies have discovered ways to fund operations without congressional appropriations, further fraying the already weak connection between the ballot box and real power in Washington, D.C. What’s worse, the “ghost” budgets go a long way in explaining the runaway inflation under which we all now suffer. Article I of the U.S. Constitution states, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” This key clause has come back into focus because of a lawsuit challenging the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) which funds its operations directly from money printed by the Federal Reserve and not through appropriations. In a recent Fifth Circuit case, Consumer Financial Protection Board v. All American Check Cashing, a company challenged the CFPB’s authority due to its unique funding regime. Writing on behalf of a bloc of five...
    "It’s a nightmare. With the tragedy that we just had, our kids are going to be going back to school in the next 45 days or so, and here we’re going to start agin with the bailouts and so forth. It needs to stop. We need to make them come across the right way so we know who they are and where they’re going,” he said. Goliad County Judge Mike Bennett told reporters there's been an increase in stolen cars and property damage reported over the last two years. He said increased crime rates are "stealing our resources" because more and more of the county budget has to be directed towards law enforcement. "The Biden administration won't do a thing about it," Kinney County Judge Tully Shahan said. "We’re in over our head. We need help and we need for Attorney General Ken Paxton and our governor to adopt an invasion under its definition in the Constitution. Adopt that invasion and let’s move forward.” The counties invoked Article IV, Section 4 of the...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — When you groggily roll out of bed and make breakfast, the government edges up to your kitchen table, too. Unlike you, it’s perky. It’s an unseen force in your morning. The government makes sure you can see the nutrients in your cereal. It fusses over your toast, insisting that the flour it comes from has no more than 75 insect fragments and one rodent hair per 50 grams. The government also tends to your coffee, mandating that no more than 10% of your beans be moldy. Its satellites inform the weather forecast on your phone for the day ahead. The government weighs in on the water consumption in your bathroom and controls the fluoride in your toothpaste. That’s all before you leave home. The government is going to be hanging with you on and off, mostly on, until you turn off the lamp last thing at night — no new incandescent bulbs, please, under a new rule. The world of federal regulation seems both boundless and microscopic. It touches what you touch. It lends a helping hand...
    Andy Puzder is a former CEO of CKE Restaurants, chairman of 2ndVote Value Investments, Inc., and a senior fellow at the America First Policy Institute. Jim Talent is a former U.S. senator from Missouri and the Chairman of the Reagan Institute's National Leadership Council The outlook for the U.S. economy is bad and potentially getting worse. On Thursday, the Commerce Department released new consumer spending numbers showing that the prices Americans are paying for goods and services climbed 6.3% over the past year, as inflation maintained its upward momentum. Just 24 hours earlier, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned, yet again, that his efforts to rein in runaway price increases by raising interest rates may plunge the nation into recession. And he said it's worth the risk. 'The bigger mistake to make—let's put it that way—would be to fail to restore price stability,' he said at the European Central Bank's annual economic policy conference in Portugal. Prior to that revised GDP numbers showed the US economy contracted even more than initially reported in the first quarter of the fiscal year,...
    Live from Music Row, Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary. CROM CARMICHAEL: You know, Michael, obviously the big news is the Supreme Court decision on Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade. And I think equally newsworthy is the reaction to that ruling by the Democrat Party, which – would be redundant for me to call the Democrat Party the hard left because that’s what it has … it’s synonymous with that term. What’s interesting about the ruling is that there are two important parts to the ruling. One is widely discussed. The other, frankly, I haven’t seen discussed very much. And one, obviously, is where the Supreme Court ruled that Roe v. Wade and [Planned Parenthood v.] Casey were both bad rulings and that they had been overturned. But the other part of the ruling that I think is even more important because it’s...
    If Supreme Court conservatives announce that Republican states no longer must abide by federal laws, what then? Where does their power end? The Supreme Court gutted both American privacy rights and public safety with two brazenly far-right rulings last week. They're not done yet; by this time next week, the court is likely to have erased the government's ability to enforce environmental regulations using an equally bizarre far-right theory that could erase the federal government's ability to write any regulations. And at that point, with the help of stonewalling Republican senators, large parts of the United States government simply cease to exist. The end of Roe is heralding a new era of cruelty and civil rights attacks even as a conservative-stacked Supreme Court strips, from the other federal branches, the power to do anything about it. And the court's most zealous (sedition-supporting) Republican has already drafted his own list of which rights need to disappear next. Some of the weekend's news: Conservative pundits beg Republicans for some token sign the fascist mob cares about 'life' In concurring opinion, Clarence...
    A person promotes abortion pills with boxes containing a quick code providing information on access to abortion pills outside the Supreme Court.Chris Kleponis/Sipa/AP Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.More half of all abortions in the United States are currently performed by taking a set of pills. The first, mifepristone, interrupts the hormones needed to continue a pregnancy; the second, misoprostol, expels the contents of the uterus. For decades, the FDA has approved both drugs to be used together to end pregnancies before 10 weeks. Over the years, the agency has repeatedly honed its regulations of mifepristone, setting specific regulations on who may prescribe it, and how it can be dispensed. But today, the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization cleared the way for states to enact abortion bans, including prohibiting medication abortion. But do states really have the power to ban a medication approved and regulated by the FDA? This open question is poised to become an important new front in the legal wars over...
    Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed successful attorney Gino Bulso in-studio to talk about why he’s running for the Tennessee House of Representatives in the 61st district. Leahy: In-studio with us all-star panelists, my former boss at PJTV, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, senior editor at The Epoch Times, Mr. Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger. Simon: Good morning, Michael. Leahy: It’s great to have have you in this morning. And our special guest this morning is Mr. Gino Bulso. Gino is an attorney, a very successful attorney who is now running for the Tennessee House of Representatives in the 61st district, which is, in essence, mostly Williamson County. Welcome, Gino, to The Tennessee Star Report. Bulso: Good morning, Michael. Leahy: Well, the big question for you, Gino: you’re a very successful attorney. I hear that folks around the country fear facing Gino Bulso in court. That’s what I hear. Okay, so let’s be honest. You’re a very, very...
    by Victor Davis Hanson   I recently led a group of about 100 citizens to tour Israel for nearly two weeks. Before returning to the United States, all participants had to indicate their vaccination status and take a COVID-19 test for reentry. Anxieties swept the group as Israeli testers swabbed them. Anyone testing positive would have to delay his return. That quarantine would entail spending thousands of dollars in finding scarce hotel accommodations, additional living expenses, and rebooked airline tickets—depending upon the length of the mandatory sequestration. Contrast the tens of thousands of foreign nationals now mustering to cross illegally into the United States again this summer. They follow the already 2 million who have entered the country unlawfully since Joe Biden became president. Does any foreign national worry about being tested for COVID-19, much less fear being turned away if he tests positive or for lack of proof of vaccination? Or do we scrutinize far more carefully U.S. citizens entering legally their own country than we do noncitizens crossing our borders unlawfully? For that matter, the government is still...
    by Jon Miltimore   Do something. This is a response—and perhaps a natural one—to a human tragedy or crisis. We saw this response in the wake of 9-11. We saw it during the Covid-19 pandemic. And we’re seeing it again following three mass shootings—in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas, and Tulsa Oklahoma—that claimed the lives of more than 30 innocent people, including small children. In this case, the “something” is gun control. In Canada—where no attack even occurred—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the introduction of legislation that would freeze handgun ownership across the country. “What this means is that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” Trudeau said in a press conference. In the United States, the rhetoric has tended to be more heated but also vague, though some specific proposals have emerged. Over the weekend, Vice President Kamala Harris called for an all-out ban of “assault weapons.” “We know what works on this. It includes, let’s have an assault weapons ban,” Harris told reporters in Buffalo after attending the funeral of a victim....
    "The Office of Personnel Management could explore requirements that all federal employees are provided paid time off and reimbursement for expenses necessary to access abortion. And all federal agencies—including those who retain custody or control over individuals or provide healthcare to them—could conduct a review of their regulations and policies that limit abortion care and other reproductive health services and promulgate new regulations that expand access to those services," the letter continued. The lawmakers proposed that federal agencies investigate ways to aid people who travel out of state for an abortion because the procedure is not available in their own states. "Federal agencies could explore opportunities to provide vouchers for travel, child care services, and other forms of support for individuals seeking to access abortion care that is unavailable in their home state," the letter says. A previously leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion indicated that the high court is poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, a move that would enable states to ban abortions — some states have trigger laws that would prohibit most abortions if the...
    So, what is the long-term plan? As Biden promised, no more oil. In the ultimate “let them eat cake moment,” Michigan Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow bragged during a hearing about how she passed "every single gas station" in her brand new electric vehicle on the way to D.C., "and it didn't matter how high [gas] was." You see, they expect everyone to be able to afford a $56,000 vehicle and the inevitable massive spikes in the cost of electric vehicle batteries. And knowing that most people can’t afford one, along with the record cost of food and homes, they will be forced into mass transit and will lose the great American freedom of automobile and home ownership. This is why Democrats, unlike during any other era where lawmakers from an incumbent party were facing an economic collapse of this magnitude on their watch, don’t seem to be too concerned. Sure, they might lose the midterms, but they are thinking long-term, and they realize Republicans don’t have what it takes to change the regulatory structure of our food and fuel supply...
    Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed GOP candidate for Tennessee’s 59th Congressional District, Michelle Foreman in-studio to answer questions on policy. Leahy: In studio, our very good friend, Michelle Foreman, member of the Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee and a candidate for the state House of Representatives in District 59. The primary is two months and one day from today. Today’s, June 3rd. The primary is Thursday, August 4, 2022. Are you ready for the policy questions, Michelle? Foreman: I’m ready. Leahy: All right, here we go. I ask this question, Michelle, of every member of the Tennessee General Assembly that comes in here and we talk and even some folks that are just on the newsmaker line. And I’m going to ask you this. And this is my number one priority personally. My question to you is, if you are elected and you serve in the Tennessee General Assembly in the session...
    (CNN)Two weeks after a gunman walked into a Buffalo, New York, supermarket and killed 10 people -- and just days after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a Texas school -- New York leaders are demanding the federal government take action against gun violence. The mayors of New York City and Buffalo spoke at a news conference in Buffalo Saturday, exactly two weeks after the racist mass shooting at a Tops Friendly Markets grocery store. Days after that shooting, an 18-year-old man began shooting inside a Texas elementary school, killing 21 people -- all but two of whom were young children. "We will work in a collective fashion to hold the lawmakers in Washington that refuse to act, and the gunmakers who put profit over the sanctity of human life, we will hold them accountable," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said during Saturday's news conference. New York Mayor Eric Adams, who traveled to Buffalo, said while nearly 3,000 guns have been removed from New York City streets, he is calling on the federal government to create stronger laws to...
    The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday launched an investigation into the ongoing baby formula shortage that's put a strain on American families across the country. The body will look into whether formula suppliers engaged in 'deceptive, fraudulent, or otherwise unfair business practices' to 'take advantage' of Americans as well as what elements contributed to the fragility of the product's supply chain and concentration of the majority of the market into a few companies.  It also encourages Americans to speak out on whether the believe any policies created by the federal and state governments contributed to the crisis, as the Biden administration desperately works to alleviate the strain after being criticized for not acting sooner. 'We have been monitoring and will continue to monitor the ongoing infant formula shortage which is causing enormous anxiety, fear, and financial burden for American families,' FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement. 'The FTC is launching a public inquiry to identify the factors that contributed to the shortage or hampered our ability to respond to it. Learning from this experience can help determine how...
    The editorial board at the Wall Street Journal published a commentary on the infant formula shortage and, instead of picking up on the Joe Biden administration’s blame narrative, it said the Biden administration and federal policies led to the crisis. The board noted that while the government is trying to assure “angry moms” it will solve the problem, Biden and feds should “look in the mirror:”  The shortage began after Abbott Laboratories shut down a plant in Michigan after four infants who consumed formula made at the facility fell seriously ill. Abbott controls about 42 percent of the U.S. market, and the other three large manufacturers (Perrigo, Nestle and Mead Johnson) haven’t been able to increase production fast enough to compensate. Ergo, empty shelves. Enter President Biden, who on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act. The Cold War-era law lets the federal government conscript private businesses to produce goods for national defense and to reorder supply chains, putting some customers ahead of others. Progressives think government is the solution to every problem, which is why the law has become their household...
    Republicans and Democrats are introducing legislation this week that would ease the nationwide infant formula shortage as frantic mothers and fathers wade through empty grocery shelves in a struggle to find food for their babies. Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee is working on legislation that would help ensure the safety and prompt delivery of baby formula to American communities for at least six months. The Fixing Our Regulatory Mayhem Upsetting Little Americans bill – or FORMULA Act – would grant a six-month waiver for tariffs on infant formula coming from other countries. It would also grant a waiver on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for the same time period, allowing for expedited processes to get it into the hands of parents. 'American babies are going hungry and the federal government is standing in the way,' Lee said in a statement on his upcoming legislative proposal in the upper chamber. 'Current policies, tariffs, quotas, bans, and regulations are preventing mothers and fathers from being able to make the best choices to feed their babies.'  Meanwhile, Democratic Representative Rosa DeLauro, chairwoman...
    by John Murawski   Under the Biden administration, more than 90 federal agencies have pledged their commitment to equity by adopting action plans that put gender, race and other such factors at the center of their governmental missions. The Equity Action Plans, which have received little notice since they were posted online last month following a document request from RealClearInvestigations, represent a “whole of government” fight against “entrenched disparities” and the “unbearable human costs of systemic racism.” The equity blueprints show that: The U.S. State Department is keen on exporting American-style gender and race consciousness into foreign diplomacy and across the globe. Citing “identity” and “intersections of marginalization” as focal points, State Department officials acknowledge that promoting these Western concepts in foreign lands may clash with “societal norms” and elicit an “unwillingness to cede power by dominant groups.” The Environmental Protection Agency plans to tap into “community science” from tribal nations and other interest groups, in addition to relying on academic peer-reviewed research. As the agency shifts its enforcement focus from responding to complaints to proactively initiating its own...
    With smoggy Southern California poised to miss a critical clean air goal next year, local regulators are now threatening to sue the Environmental Protection Agency, saying the federal government has made their job “impossible.” The South Coast Air Quality Management District recently notified EPA Administrator Michael Regan that it intends to sue the agency for violating the Clean Air Act unless it agrees to adopt new regulatory strategies that would curtail pollution from federal sources, including ocean-faring cargo ships, trains, out-of-state trucks and airplanes. The notice marks a tense new chapter in the district’s 20-year struggle to meet a federal standard set in 1997. If Southern California fails to meet those standards in 2023 — which is all but certain — federal authorities may impose severe penalties, such as the withholding of certain transportation funds. Although state and local regulators have made considerable progress in curbing smog-forming emissions since 1980, that progress has leveled off in recent years. As a result, Southern California has sought repeated deadline extensions from the EPA. Three years ago, when it was...
    by Richard M. Reinsch II   When American citizens look to Washington, D.C., they find much to be disappointed in and even less to believe in. The fundamental problem is that the federal government has, through its regulatory and spending powers, usurped much of the governing authority for the republic. However, for reasons both predictable and lamentable, it has failed to govern well for decades, with policy breakdowns occurring across the board. Peter Schuck observed in his book “Why Government Fails So Often” that most federal government policies cannot pass a transparent cost-benefits test. But this dysfunctional government results from size and scope – from the federal government vastly exceeding a competency scale that our Constitution attempted to establish. There is no manifest line in the Constitution that guides the distribution of power between the federal government and the state governments. In the Federalist Papers, Publius argues that the question will be decided by citizens about where to place power, and their judgment will turn on competency in administration. This process inevitably will be a deliberative one, influenced by...
    Lake Powell has reached its surface elevation level since originally being filled in the 1960s, which is why the Bureau of Reclamation made the unprecedented decision to hold back water releases downstream from it. The Bureau of Reclamation on Tuesday announced its new plan to keep Lake Powell alive and Glen Canyon Dam operational. “To protect Lake Powell, more water will flow into the lake from upstream reservoirs and less water will be released downstream,” the agency wrote in a press release. To achieve this, the federal government is using its 2019 Drought Contingency Plan strategy of sending 500,000 acre-feet of water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir to Lake Powell, while reducing Glen Canyon Dam’s annual release volume by around 480,000 acre-feet. The water coming from Flaming Gorge Reservoir will travel 455 miles to Lake Powell, as the reservoir sits at the Utah-Wyoming border. And by delaying keeping 350,000 acre-feet of water held back from earlier this year, plus another 130,000 acre-feet to be held back before Sept. 30, the agency is confident Glen Canyon Dam can continue providing hydropower to residents for...
    President Joe Biden appears to be increasingly open to taking executive action on federal student debt forgiveness as the midterm elections loom President Joe Biden could take executive action to wipe at least $10,000 in federal student debt per borrower, it was reported on Friday. It would make good on a promise Biden made on the 2020 campaign trail, as he looks to help Democrats get voters to the polls in November's midterm elections. A recent analysis by the Brookings Institute put the total cost of forgiving $10,000 for every one of the roughly 43 million student loan borrowers at about $373 billion. But sources told Bloomberg that any aid is likely to be more targeted to lower and middle-income earners. Administration officials, however, left the door open to a 'possibly larger' amount than $10,000. 'Lots of options on the table,' people familiar told The Hill. The added that the White House was 'doing a lot of listening right now.' DailyMail.com has reached out to the White House for comment.  If action were taken to cancel the full $373 billion...
    San Francisco (CNN Business)US government data often provides a look at how large swaths of Americans are faring. However, this big-picture approach has often been criticized for leaving out certain groups of people, like Native Americans and members of the LGBTQ+ community, and rendering them practically invisible when it comes to broader policymaking and funding of public services.Now the Biden administration is working on a plan to ensure fewer people are slipping through the cracks. On Friday, the Equitable Data Working Group, a collection of data and policy experts from more than a dozen federal agencies, released a blueprint outlining how to make federal data more representative of America's increasing diversity. The US will now break out jobs data for Native AmericansBy making data more inclusive, the hope is that policy decisions that rely upon federal data will ultimately better serve communities in need, Alondra Nelson, co-chair of the Equitable Data Working Group, said in an interview with CNN Business. Government data is also often considered the gold standard when it comes to determining the distribution of federal, state...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- The CTA board acknowledged safety concerns in a meeting Wednesday, but there are still questions over what to do to stem the tide.Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-IL 4th District) sent a letter to the CTA Tuesday calling on it to do more to ensure the safety of both passengers and employees.It comes at a time when the city estimates violent crime on the system is up 17% compared to last year.READ MORE: CPD investigating 2 CTA Pink Line armed robberies minutes apartDurbin elaborated on the letter while speaking at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox Wednesday."Imagine your vulnerability as a CTA bus driver pulling over in the dark of night and opening your door to anyone who cares to enter," Durbin said. "We're going to work with them. It's not an adversarial situation. We want to be honest about dealing with this and if we can, at the federal level, the House and Senate come up with resources to supplement the efforts for safety on the CTA."In its monthly meeting Wednesday, the...
    Two men who allegedly posed as federal agents agents and tried to infiltrate the Secret Service have been indicted on multiple charges including impersonating a U.S. officer and unlawful firearms charges, court filings revealed on Tuesday. A federal grand jury indicted Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Sher-Ali, 35, of impersonating federal officers and unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device. Taherzadeh was slapped with an additional count of the latter charge. It was after they were found to have showered lavish gifts on Secret Service agents and other government staffers with security clearances in an alleged bid to 'ingratiate' themselves in those circles and gain their trust. A charge of impersonating an officer or employee of the United States carries a criminal fine and a possible sentence of up to three years in prison. Unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device has a similar charge. Special agents raided luxury apartment building Crossing DC earlier this month, where the men apparently leased five units but never paid for them.   Tuesday's filing included a previous affidavit accusing Ali and Taherzadeh...
    Legal experts are hammering U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle for axing the federal government's COVID-19 mask mandate based on her own flawed elucidation of the word "sanitation." The Biden administration argues that masks are categorized as a form of "sanitation," according to the law, but Mizelle argues otherwise. Instead, NPR reports that she's opted "for a much narrower definition of the term that would exclude measures like face coverings;" an interpretation legal experts strongly disagree with. According to NPR.org, President Joe Biden's administration has supported its action to keep the mask mandate in place by focusing on key clauses in the U.S. Public Health Service Act of 1944. That law grants the federal government "certain powers to respond to public health emergencies." which is why the administration has been able to maintain the mandate on public modes of mass transportation such as aircraft. Per NPR: "Specifically, the law says that if the government is trying to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, it can 'provide for such inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination, destruction of animals or articles...
    RIVERSIDE COUNTY, California — Matt Capelouto never imagined he would be where he is today, on the front lines of a drug epidemic far deadlier than the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War, the Chinese coronavirus, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Over two years ago, Capelouto said, his 20-year-old daughter Alexandra was attending Arizona State University on a full academic scholarship. She was on her way to the next phase in her life when, two days before Christmas, she was found dead in her bedroom while back home in California on winter break. Before her death, Capelouto said Alexandra was sold a counterfeit pharmaceutical drug for depression and insomnia by a dealer through the social media app Snapchat. The dealer, Capelouto said, knew the counterfeit drug could kill Alexandra because it was laced with fentanyl — the deadliest drug on today’s market coming almost exclusively over the U.S.-Mexico border via the Mexican drug cartels after having been manufactured in China. “I want it to be clear, my daughter didn’t die from an overdose. She was poisoned,” Capelouto said during a roundtable...
    Hinterhaus Productions | Getty Images About 7.7 million Americans count on monthly government checks through a program for low-income seniors or people with disabilities. Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, as it's known, provided an average benefit of $569 per month as of November. One big change — updating the program's rules around income from work — could help improve those beneficiaries' standard of living, according to a report from the Urban Institute. The maximum SSI benefit in 2022 is $841 per month, up from $794 in 2021. Still, most SSI beneficiaries are within 150% of the federal poverty level, according to the Urban Institute. For a family of one, that's $1,147 per month in 2022. More from Personal Finance:Why experts say Social Security's retirement age could move higherStates put unemployment insurance on chopping blockHow to plan your visit as Social Security offices reopen In addition, many people who receive SSI benefits are unable to work. Only a small percentage of recipients of those government checks are employed at any given time, according to the research. And when they do work,...
    A federal judge in Florida ruled Thursday that some of the state's election law enacted last year are unconstitutional and even racially motivated. Judge Mark E. Walker of Federal District Court in Tallahassee placed the state under a 10-year order forcing it to get approval from the federal government before changing key parts of its voting laws again.  'In the past 20 years, Florida has repeatedly sought to make voting tougher for Black voters because of their propensity to favor Democratic candidates,' Walker wrote in the decision, which eviscerated GOP lawmakers who led the charge on the new law and frequently referenced Martin Luther King, Jr.  Florida was joined by other states like Georgia and Texas in passing election security reform in the wake of the 2020 election, which former President Trump still claims was stolen from him.   Judge Mark E. Walker of Federal District Court in Tallahassee placed the state under a 10-year order forcing it to get approval from the federal government before changing key parts of its voting laws again The bill had put new restrictions on...
    Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed official guest host Grant Henry in the studio for another edition of Grant’s Rants. GRANT HENRY: Listen, I hate to perpetuate the political duopoly, but if I were a Republican running for federal office right now, I would just walk up to the podium and play this clip. (Kamala Harris clip plays) But that is our task is to show people that in many ways they got what they ordered. Right? (Applause) They said this is what they wanted. They stood in line. They took time from work. It was difficult. And a lot of what they demanded they got. And so let’s get out there as we do, and remind them of that. HENRY CONTINUED: This is, of course, Vice President Kamala Harris. She told Democrats this exact thing two weeks ago at the party’s winter meeting. And she told them that their winning midterm message is to remind...
    A majority of voters in the United States support the federal government opening up public lands for oil drilling as one method of reducing the skyrocketing price of gas, according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll. Fifty-six percent of the respondents said they support the federal government opening up public lands for oil drilling to hopefully reduce the price of gas. Of those respondents, 32 percent of the respondents strongly support this move. Only 30 percent oppose the federal government opening up public lands for oil drilling as a way to reduce the price of gas, and 14 percent have no opinion on the topic. Oil and gas prices have skyrocketed over the last year under President Joe Biden’s leadership, and oil companies have had many problems domestically as the administration has taken aim at American energy independence. As the Biden administration pushes a world that doesn’t use oil, it makes oil investment scarcer and the country more reliant on foreign oil. This is due to the Biden administration canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline, suspending oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters, halting federal support for oil and gas...
    "A group of people from Ukraine walks into the US at the San Ysidro Crossing port in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on March 12, 2022." The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has told U.S. border officials that they have discretion to exempt Ukrainians from the anti-asylum Title 42 policy that in recent days been used to initially turn away parents and children fleeing brutal dictator Vladimir Putin’s invasion. The federal government “recognizes that the unjustified Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has created a humanitarian crisis,” a memo dated March 11 states, and reminds border officers they have authority to make “case-by-case” decisions to exempt “Ukrainian nationals at land border ports of entry from Title 42.” "While it is heartening to see DHS acknowledge that they don't have to turn away asylum-seekers, that hasn't been applied to people from other countries," Human Rights First Associate Director Kennji Kizuka told CBS News. "Where were the exemptions for Haitian asylum-seekers arriving last fall?" The disparate treatment simply cannot be ignored. Black lawmakers who this week continued to call on the Biden...
    Pelosi then celebrated Biden for "breaking records" of job growth, an assertion that has been thoroughly debunked. While the government added more jobs in 2021 than any previous years, most of those jobs were simply people returning to the workforce after pandemic lockdowns ended. The economy remains at a net loss on jobs when compared to pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. 2022 Issues Conference: House Democratic Leadership Closing Press Conference 3.11.2022 youtu.be Is Pelosi correct?The Congressional Budget Office determined, in fact, that Biden's plan would add $367 billion to the national deficit over the next decade. However, the CBO score said that increased tax enforcement could bring in another $207 billion in tax revenue, leading to approximately $160 billion added to the deficit. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget agreed that after offsets, the BBB Act would add roughly $200 to the national deficit. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve bank in San Francisco determined the American Rescue Plan, Biden's COVID-19 stimulus, is contributing to inflation, an analysis made before inflation reached unfortunate historic highs this year.
    Two years ago, the memehongkong YouTube channel posted a video in Chinese explaining how Biden rigged the 2020 presidential election. The video on supposed rigged voting machines in Michigan has 320,000 views and zero misinformation disclaimers on YouTube. Yet the problem of misinformation affects more than the Chinese community. Misinformation disproportionately affects Asian, African, and Latin American diaspora communities in the United States. False information on the 2020 election and COVID-19 targets susceptible immigrant communities. It endangers both democracy and public health. The United States must pursue a federal program that helps diaspora community leaders and organizations teach members about misinformation. Current policy efforts focus on English language misinformation on major social media platforms. They are important, but insufficient. Social media platforms currently lack the ability to flag misinformation in other languages. Diaspora communities also use different communication apps based outside of the United States to chat with loved ones abroad. These communication apps do not face the same policy attention on misinformation that Facebook and Instagram do. Holes in current policy allow for foreign interference. Misinformation campaigns from abroad...
    (CNN)The first federal trial for a rioter at the January 6 insurrection ended Tuesday when the jury found Guy Reffitt guilty on all five counts related to the attack on the Capitol. Nicole HemmerHis conviction marks a critical turning point not only in the prosecution of those who participated in the insurrection, but in the relationship between the US criminal justice system and far-right violence. Historically, the American legal system has rarely offered a robust, or even adequate, response to far-right lawlessness. In fact, it has often reinforced it, with white vigilantism and a racist legal system working hand-in-hand. Both an inability to see far-right extremism as a problem and a fear that juries would not convict extremists kept the federal government from aggressively pursuing these groups. But this week's guilty verdict -- which joins a series of plea deals, bench trials and seditious conspiracy charges -- shows a system with the capacity and flexibility to prosecute far-right extremism in ways it seldom has in modern US history. And while that system still has weaknesses, its ability to respond...
    Though virtually all of these newsrooms produced stories covering the COVID-19 vaccines, the taxpayer dollars flowing to their companies were not disclosed to audiences in news reports, since common practice dictates that editorial teams operate independently of media advertising departments and news teams felt no need to make the disclosure, as some publications reached for comment explained. The Biden administration engaged in a massive campaign to educate the public and promote vaccination as the best way to prevent serious illness or death from COVID-19. Congress appropriated $1 billion in fiscal year 2021 for the secretary of health to spend on activities to "strengthen vaccine confidence in the United States." Federal law authorizes HHS to act through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to award contracts to public and private entities to "carry out a national, evidence-based campaign to increase awareness and knowledge of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for the prevention and control of diseases, combat misinformation about vaccines, and disseminate scientific and evidence-based vaccine-related information, with the goal of increasing rates of vaccination...
    If voters give the GOP a House majority in November, then GOP legislators will investigate and expose the migrant smuggling networks funded by President Joe Biden’s administration, said Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX). “Many of these migrants are being aided, in fact, by [U.S.] nonprofits who are using our tax dollars to do the aiding and helping them across, helping them get on airplanes without documentation, helping them to evade court hearing and helping them to burrow into society and evade any questions from law enforcement,” Gooden told Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “It is just stunning to me that we are giving money to anybody that’s not a U.S. citizen — much less someone who’s come into this country the wrong way,” added Gooden, who was first elected in 2018 to Texas’s 5th district, east of Dallas. When the migrants are south of the U.S. border, they are being supported by the United Nations and Mexican-based aid groups, Gooden said: The United Nations … is receiving support from the US government, among others. And [it is]...
    SAN JOSE (KPIX) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to adjust the parameters it uses to draw up guidelines for masking in public, according to a report by the Associated Press. The move comes as many state and local governments across the country remove COVID-era restrictions like mask mandates, capacity and gathering limits and exposure protocols. Santa Clara County, the lone county in the Bay Area that has kept its indoor mask mandate in place, also announced plans to allow the mandate to expire, assuming metrics trend in the right direction. Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County’s health officer, described it as an encouraging development. “The data are very encouraging and very solid … it continues to decline, looks, looks very encouraging,” Cody said. Santa Clara’s indoor mask mandate will end just after midnight on March 2 when it would shift to a recommendation instead of a requirement. President Biden is set to address the federal government’s evolving approach to the pandemic in his State of the Union address March 1. In a briefing Thursday, White...
    A Mexican singer-turned-congressman has vowed to arm and mobilize residents unless the state and federal government commit to protecting them from warring gangs and cartels that continue to terrorize Palmas Altas. State Representative Marcos Flores issued the controversial promise during a town hall meeting Sunday as he addressed the concerns of residents in the town, which is located in Jerez in the central state of Zacatecas.  'If the federal government ignores us, I myself am going to summon the people so that they take up arms,' said Flores, a member of the ruling National Regeneration Movement. 'I wear the shirt with you as far as it goes and assure you that you are not alone," he added.  Flores' stance contradicted President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's tactic of combatting criminal organizations by not using more 'violence' to eradicate the problem. Mexican Congressman Marcos Flores promised to support arming residents in Zacatecas, Mexico, to protect them from the constant menacing of gangs and cartels. Flores, a singer-turned-Representative for the north-central state of Zacatecas, made his vow public during a town hall meeting Sunday...
    The Florida senator's plan for GOP control would also undermine aid for children, halt the nation's climate change response, sunset civil rights laws, and eliminate more than 2 million jobs. Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R) released a plan on Tuesday outlining what his party would do if it wins congressional majorities in the midterm elections. Under those proposals, millions of poor and retired families would see their taxes go up. As chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Scott is in charge of winning back a GOP majority in the upcoming 2022 midterms. Predicting that he would be successful, the Florida Republican wrote that he had authored an 11-point "Rescue America" plan to answer the question, "But then, what?" "We must resolve to aim higher than the Republican Congresses that came before us. Americans deserve to know what we will do," he wrote. He continued, "I'll warn you; this plan is not for the faint of heart. It will be ridiculed by the 'woke' left, mocked by Washington insiders, and strike...
    While Senate Republican leaders have so far followed a hands-off policy plan for the midterms, Sen. Rick Scott is forging ahead with his own platform for the GOP if they retake Congress next year.  The first-term Florida Republican and chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee released an 11-point plan through Politico on Tuesday. 'Americans deserve to know what we will do when given the chance to govern,' he said.  The agenda includes a mix of classic Republican priorities - shrinking the federal government and enacting national voter ID laws - and culture war measures, such as declaring that there are 'two genders,' completing the border wall and naming it after Donald Trump and limiting most federal workers, including members of Congress, to 12 years of service.  It is a clear break from Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has held off on releasing a GOP agenda in hopes that Democrats will run themselves into the ground.  In January, asked what the party's plan was if it came back to power, the Kentucky Republican quipped: 'I'll let you know when...
    Dozens of federal actions dealing with everything from energy efficiency standards to funding for transit projects have been upended by a recent court ruling against the Biden administration's climate change calculations.  The administration said in a court filing this weekend that nearly 40 agency rules will have to be postponed or reworked after a federal court restricted its ability to measure their climate impacts.   Earlier this month, Judge James Cain, a Trump appointee in Louisiana, preliminarily blocked the administration from using the “social cost of greenhouse gas” values it had instated to help quantify the climate benefits or consequences of federal actions. The White House last year temporarily returned to Obama-era figures for calculating the costs of the planet-warming gases, which gave much greater value to climate damages than those used under the Trump administration.  For the past several months, these figures had provided a uniform measure by which the federal government has accounted for the climate impacts of its actions.  Now the government is asking for Cain’s ruling to be temporarily blocked while its appeal against it proceeds.  “The consequences...