From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved

    This file is attached to from “Beast That Came Out Of The Sea” - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.
    This link will return you to Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D.
    These links will take you back to King Of The West 2022 March or continue to King Of The West 2022 May


4/1/2022 Oil down $1.62 to $99.55, DOW up 140 to 34,818.

4/1/2022 OPEC sticks to modest boost in oil by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    LONDON – OPEC and allied oil producers including Russia decided Thursday to stick to a modest increase in the amount of crude they pump to the world, a step that supports higher prices even as the Biden administration plans to try to lower them by releasing oil from strategic reserves.
    The group, known as OPEC+, said it would add 432,000 barrels per day in May, as it works to gradually restore production cuts made during the depths of the coronavirus pandemic.    That’s slightly up from 400,000 barrels in previous months, with officials saying they’re revising baseline production levels.
    The alliance has been unmoved by pleas from oil-consuming countries to pump more oil as energy prices soar, fueling inflation worldwide.    High prices have helped Russia – the world’s largest exporter with 12% of the global market – offset some of the economic pain from Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.
    The U.S. and European sanctions have dealt a severe blow to Russia’s economy but contain exceptions for energy payments.    That is a U.S. concession to European allies who are much more dependent on Russian energy than the U.S., which has banned the import of Russian oil.    Europe by contrast gets 40% of its natural gas and 25% of its oil from Russia, and officials there have shied away from a boycott, instead aiming to reduce dependency through conservation and boosting wind and solar energy as fast as they can over the next several years.
    Oil prices have risen as global demand rebounded for fuel for cars, trucks and airplanes.    The war pushed them even higher over fears Russian oil might be lost to the market if sanctions tighten.         They have a major influence on how much U.S. drivers pay at the pump, with crude oil accounting for about half the price of a gallon of gas.    To combat high gasoline prices – averaging $4.24, up $1.38 from a year ago – U.S. President Joe Biden is preparing to order the release of up to 1 million barrels per day from strategic petroleum reserves, with an announcement expected soon.
    Diesel fuel for trucks, farm equipment and factories has also jumped in price, to a U.S. average of $5.25 per gallon, up $2.02 from a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
    In November, the White House announced the release of 50 million barrels in coordination with other countries, and after the war began, the U.S. and 30 other countries agreed on an additional release of 60 million barrels.
    Oil prices slumped on expectations of a new release, but analysts at Uni-Credit bank said the impact of such moves on prices “is usually shortlived.”        That’s because reserves are finite, and the production shortfall is open-ended.    Once reserves fall below a certain level, the market might fear they would be insufficient to combat a further shortfall and prices would go up.
    U.S. oil prices were down 6.3%, to $100.99, while international benchmark Brent crude dropped 5.6%, to $107.50.
Oil prices have risen as global demand rebounded for fuel for transportation. Sanctions on Russia
pushed them even higher over fears Russian oil might be lost to the market. NAM Y. HUH/AP FILE

4/1/2022 Biden aims to cut gas prices ‘significantly’ - President orders release to ease consumer strain by Zeke Miller and Josh Boak, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Thursday ordered the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve for six months [180 million barrels not to be replaced?], a bid to control energy prices that have spiked after the U.S. and allies imposed steep sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
    The president said it was not known how much gasoline prices could decline as a result of his move, but he suggested it might be 'anything from 10 cents to 35 cents a gallon.'    Gas is averaging about $4.23 a gallon, compared with $2.87 a year ago, according to AAA.
    'The bottom line is: If we want lower gas prices, we need to have more oil supply right now,' Biden said.
    'This is a moment of consequence and peril for the world, and pain at the pump for American families.'
    The president also wants Congress to impose financial penalties on oil and gas companies that lease public lands but are not producing.    He said he will invoke the Defense Production Act to encourage the mining of critical minerals for batteries in electric vehicles, part of a broader push to shift toward cleaner energy sources and reduce the use of fossil fuels.
    The actions show that oil remains a vulnerability for the U.S. Higher prices have hurt Biden’s approval domestically and added billions of oil-export dollars to the Russian government as it wages war on Ukraine.
    Tapping the stockpile would create pressures that could reduce oil prices, though Biden has twice ordered releases from the reserves without causing a meaningful shift in oil markets.    Biden said Thursday he expects gasoline prices could drop 'fairly significantly.'
    Part of Biden’s concern is that high prices have yet to coax a meaningful jump in oil production.    The planned release is a way to increase supplies as a bridge until oil companies ramp up their own production, with administration officials estimating that domestic production will grow by 1 million barrels daily this year and an additional 700,000 barrels daily in 2023.
    The markets reacted quickly, with crude oil prices dropping about 4% in Thursday trading to under $104 a barrel.    Still, oil is up from roughly $60 a year ago, with supplies failing to keep up with demand as the world economy has begun to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.    That inflationary problem was compounded by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which created new uncertainties about oil and natural gas supplies and led to retaliatory sanctions from the U.S. and its allies.
    Stewart Glickman, an oil analyst for CFRA Research, said the release would bring short-term relief on prices and would be akin to 'taking some Advil for a headache.'    But markets would ultimately look to see whether, after the releases stop, the underlying problems that led to Biden’s decisions remain.
    'The root cause of the headache is probably still going to be there after the medicine wears off,' Glickman said.
    Biden has been in talks with allies and partners to join in additional releases of oil, such that the world market will get more than the 180 million barrels total being pledged by the U.S.
    Americans on average use about 21 million barrels of oil daily, with about 40% of that devoted to gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.    That total accounts for about one-fifth of total global consumption of oil.
    Domestic oil production is equal to more than half of U.S. usage, but high prices have not led companies to return to their pre-pandemic levels of output.    The U.S. is producing on average 11.7million barrels daily, down from 13million barrels in early 2020.
    Republican lawmakers have said the problem results from the administration being hostile to oil permits and the construction of new pipelines such as the Keystone XL.    Democrats say the country needs to move to renewable energy, such as wind and solar, that could reduce dependence on fossil fuels and Putin’s leverage.
    Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mt., blasted Biden’s action to tap the reserve without first taking steps to increase American energy production, calling it 'a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.'
    Daines called Biden’s actions 'desperate moves' that avoid what he called the real solution: 'investing in American energy production,' and getting 'oil and gas leases going again.'
    The administration says increasing oil output is a gradual process and the release would provide time to ramp up production.    It also wants to incentivize greater production by putting fees on unused leases on government lands, something that would require congressional approval.
    Oil producers have been more focused on meeting the needs of investors than consumers, according to a survey released last week by the Dallas Federal Reserve.    About 59% of the executives surveyed said investor pressure to preserve 'capital discipline' amid high prices was the reason they weren’t pumping more, while fewer than 10% blamed government regulation.
    In his remarks Thursday, Biden tried to shame oil companies that he said are focused on profits instead of putting out more barrels, saying that adding to the oil supply was a patriotic obligation.
    'This is not the time to sit on record profits: It’s time to step up for the good of your country,' the president said.
    The steady release from the reserves would be a meaningful sum and come near to closing the domestic production gap relative to February 2020, before the coronavirus caused a steep decline in oil output.
    Still, the politics of oil are complicated, with industry advocates and environmentalists both criticizing the planned release.    Groups such as the American Petroleum Institute want to make drilling easier, while environmental organizations say energy companies should be forced to pay a special tax on windfall profits instead.
    The administration in November announced the release of 50 million barrels from the strategic reserve in coordination with other countries.    And after the Russia-Ukraine war began, the U.S. and 30 other countries agreed to an additional release of 60 million barrels from reserves, with half of the total coming from the U.S.
    According to the Department of Energy, which manages it, more than 568 million barrels of oil were held in the reserve as of March 25.
[IT HOLDS 650 MILLION BARRELS OF OIL SO PLEASE STOP JOE BIDEN FROM EMPTYING IT AND FORCE HIM TO REOPEN OUR OIL PIPELINES TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS COUNTRY AND GIVE OUR COUNTRY PROTECTION AS IT STATES ABOVE 'gasoline prices could decline as a result of his move, but he suggested it might be 'anything from 10 cents to 35 cents a gallon.'    Gas is averaging about $4.23 a gallon, compared with $2.87 a year ago, according to AAA.    BECAUSE GAS WILL STILL BE HIGH AT $3.70 TO $3.40 EVEN IF HE DOES THAT WE WANT IT BACK AT $2.87 FROM PUMPING OIL.].

4/1/2022 Sen. McConnell Calls Biden’s Oil Release A ‘Drop In The Bucket’ by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks with reporters about President Joe Biden’s proposed
$5.8 trillion budget, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) finds Joe Biden’s gas price solution to be lacking.    In a Thursday interview, the Kentuckian marveled at the White House’s pledge to dispense 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
    While the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates America burns through roughly 20 million barrels per day, McConnell spoke fondly of the days of the Trump administration when the U.S. was a net exporter of fossil fuels.    At that point in time, he claimed America represented a preferable alternative to Russian oil.
    However, the minority leader lamented Biden has stripped the Western World of an ethical supplier in order to please the most radical fringe of his party.    McConnell claimed gas prices are only one result of failed Big Government policies due to one-party rule.    He alleged Biden and the Democrats attempt to solve every problem with exorbitant spending, which only exacerbates the situation.
    Although there have been some road blocks to the Democrat agenda, the Republican stated inflation has risen in direct correlation to bloated spending packages.
    “The best thing that happened last year was BBB (Build Back Better) going down, but they had already done the damage,” McConnell stated.    “The so-called $2 trillion Rescue Plan is what produced 40-year high inflation, so they’ve done all the wrong things.    They own this and it’ll take the Feds to squeeze it out, and I don’t know how long that’ll take.”
    The top Republican also expressed his surprise at a legislative push towards COVID spending when there are still funds that have yet to be dispensed.    Moving forward, the minority leader does find a silver lining to the grim circumstances.    Since Biden’s policies disproportionately affect the middle class, they may be more inclined to give the Republican Party a chance in November.
    “We know this is gonna be a midterm report card on the performance of the President and the President’s approval rating is what’s going to drive the fall election,” McConnell noted.    “So the one thing I can safely say going into the 22' election is we’re gonna have a really good environment.”

4/1/2022 True The Vote: 2020 Wis. Election Plagued By Ballot Trafficking by OAN Newsroom
Chester County election workers process mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election
in the United States at West Chester University, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
    Election integrity group True the Vote revealed a massive ballot trafficking operation in Wisconsin and other swing states during the 2020 elections.     In a testimony before the state Campaigns and Elections Committee in Wisconsin, analysts revealed 4.8 million ballots were trafficked in 2020.    Up to 7 percent of all ballots were harvested as part of the legally questionable practice.
    “It’s an organized crime that was perpetrated on Americans by advancing bad process,” explained Gregg Phillips, Election Integrity Analyst for True the Vote.    “Dirty voter rolls, ballot boxes, all sorts of mail-in ballot capabilities, and you roll all that up and it’s quite evident to those of us who have spent the last 15-months of our lives developing these numbers that this was indeed organized crime that was perpetrated on Americans.”
    Experts pointed out that the highly organized effort appears to have exploited many legal loopholes.    True the Vote also traced 14 ballot traffickers in Wisconsin, who the group said participated in violent Black Lives Matter riots earlier that year.

4/1/2022 Rep. Jordan On Hunter Biden Laptop: There Was A Conspiracy To Keep Information From American People by OAN Newsroom
    Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said House Judiciary Committee Republicans have launched a probe into claims Facebook and Twitter suppressed information about the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop.    One America’s John Hines has more from Capitol Hill.

4/2/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

4/3/2022 Federal tax probe into Biden’s son continuing - Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury has heard testimony in recent months about Hunter Biden’s income and payments he received while serving on the board of a Ukraine energy company, according to two people familiar with the probe.
    It remains unclear whether he might be charged.    But the grand jury activity underscores that a federal tax investigation into President Joe Biden’s son that began in 2018 remains active as prosecutors continue to examine foreign payments and other aspects of his finances.
    A lawyer for Hunter Biden did not return a phone message and email seeking comment on Friday.    A Justice Department spokesman deferred a request for comment to the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware, which is handling the investigation.    A spokesperson for the office did not return a phone message seeking comment.
    The people familiar with the investigation could not discuss details of the ongoing probe publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.
    No matter how the investigation resolves, it has already presented a political headache for the Biden administration and could lead to an even bigger one, particularly if Republicans who have seized on the probe to attack the president retake control of the House in midterm elections later this year.    Republicans would then control congressional committees and shape the focus of any investigations.
    A White House that has sought to deflect questions about law enforcement matters to the Justice Department was asked last week whether it stood by the president’s assertion in a 2020 debate that his son had not had unethical business dealings with Ukraine or China.    White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said yes.
    The investigation could also force a delicate decision for the Justice Department, which has sought to assert its independence and has publicly stressed its willingness to let the facts and evidence, not political decisions, guide its investigative and charging decisions.
    Attorney General Merrick Garland has not shed any light publicly on the investigation.    But the Justice Department did leave in place the top federal prosecutor in Delaware – David Weiss, a Trump administration holdover – presumably as a way to ensure continuity.
    Hunter Biden confirmed the existence of an investigation into his taxes in December 2020, one month after the presidential election.    He said in a statement at the time that he was 'confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors.'
    The Associated Press reported later that month that a subpoena served on the younger Biden sought information related to more than two dozen entities.    One was Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company whose board he had joined when his father was vice president.    That move sparked concerns about a potential conflict of interest given that elder Biden was deeply involved in U.S. policy toward Ukraine during the Obama administration.
A federal tax investigation into President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, that began in 2018 remains active. Carolyn Kaster/AP
[We have known about this corruption since 2018 to date and if you read my FISA-UNDERSURVEILLANCE file you could see all of that ignored by them and it is now just getting on the Fake News services in 2022 and if so we would not have Joe Biden in office but then the election was stolen from illegal ballot collecting that was also ignored by the FAKE NEWS.].

4/3/2022 No Oil and DOW info.

4/4/2022 Pelosi Ukraine Scam Unravels With Associate Facing Jail Time by OAN Newsroom
    When it comes to corrupt foreign business dealings using high profile parents, Hunter Biden has become the national mascot.    However, another powerful political dynasty is facing scrutiny for its dealings in Ukraine.    One America’s Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion has this from Washington.
Pelosi Ukraine Scam Unravels With Associate Facing Jail Time
    When it comes to corrupt foreign business dealings using high profile parents, Hunter Biden has become the national mascot.    However, another powerful political dynasty is facing scrutiny for its dealings in Ukraine.    One America’s Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion has this from Washington.


4/4/2022 Secy. Of State Blinken Defends End To Title 42, Despite Border Experts Warning ‘Mass Migration Event’ by OAN Newsroom
LA JOYA, TEXAS – JUNE 21: Medical personnel check in with immigrants after they crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S.
on June 21, 2021 in La Joya, Texas. A surge of mostly Central American immigrants crossing into the United States has
challenged U.S. immigration agencies along the U.S. Southern border. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    Top Biden administration officials have continued to fan the flames of the crisis at the southern border.    On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the CDCs announcement last week that it would end the public health measure called Title 42 on May 23.    The measure was employed by both the Trump and Biden administrations amid the COVID-19 pandemic to turn away migrants at the border due to health concerns.
    After pressure from progressive groups suing Biden over keeping the rule in place, it seems he has caved to their demands.    When asked about the potential downsides to lifting the measure, Blinken pivoted and rambled about the Biden administration’s policy goals.
    “We’re focused on making sure that people throughout our hemisphere have opportunities at home going forward, so they’re not faced with this really hard choice of leaving everything behind and trying to come to the United States,” stated the official.    “So building that kind of opportunity, building what one of my colleagues has called a ‘right to remain’ is our focus.”
    Additionally, DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas hid behind the different mission’s of the CDC and his agency by stressing it’s the CDC’s responsibility to enforce health measures while the DHS focuses on immigration issues.    During an interview last week, Mayorkas tried to brush off the fact that border agents allegedly see around 7,000 migrants per day.
    According to reports, that number could jump to 18,000 encounters per day after Title 42 ends.    The DHS chief went on to claim border agents are well equipped to handle the surge and the agency will actually enforce deportation proceedings.
    Meanwhile, Democrats are struggling to come together on how to promote the end of Title 42.    Despite the Biden administration’s ardent defense of the move, several Democrat lawmakers, including Senators Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) decried the move.    They stressed Biden’s officials are acting without a plan.
    Additionally, political analysts are noting the difference in campaign styles between smart Democrats who are rallying against the economic and political disasters of last year and those who are toeing the party line.
    In the meantime, GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) said he’s introduced a number of bills to bolster immigration courts and crackdown on criminal enterprises south of the border that he says will combat Biden’s open border policies.    Gallagher is urging Congress to cancel its upcoming recess to pass measures that will secure the southern border.
    This comes as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials warn when Title 42 officially ends, there will be a mass migration event.

4/4/2022 Biden’s Chief Of Staff Claims Economy Is Good Amid Runaway Inflation bY OAN Newsroom
White House chief of staff Ron Klain listens as President Joe Biden speaks about the southern border during a meeting
in the State Dining Room of the White House, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Biden administration Chief of Staff, Ron Klain claimed the “economy is good,” despite runaway inflation and surging fuel prices.    In an interview on Sunday, he said Joe Biden has created millions of jobs and improved quality of life for millions of Americans.
    “Thanks to the success President Biden has had in vaccinating over 225 million Americans, boosting over 100 million Americans, America’s back to work,” stated the White House official.
    However, Republican lawmakers pointed out that shutting down and then reopening businesses is not the same as actually creating jobs.    Meanwhile, the U.S. inflation rate accelerated to almost 8 percent in January and fuel costs have risen two-fold since Joe Biden took office.
    “Gas prices are a problem, absolutely,” Klain admitted.    “That’s why the President took the actions he took this week to release a million barrels a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to tell the oil companies they either need to pump oil on the 9,000 permits they have or give them back for others to do that, to increase production here.    Those things, we think, are going to bring down the price of a gasoline, relieve some of the pain at the pump.”
    In remarks at the White House, Biden sought to blame oil companies and Putin for the pain at the pump millions are experiencing nationwide.    However, he insisted his plan to tap the Strategic Reserves for six-months will lower prices “fairly significantly.”
    In a recent statement, 4th President Donald Trump said his predecessor’s move is a “futile attempt to reduce oil and gasoline prices.”    Trump then estimated that Biden will deplete the nation’s reserves, which he said his administration completely filled after decades of being mostly empty.
    Meanwhile, Biden’s budget proposal for 2023 includes a further increase in taxes while oil prices are expected to rise due to his so-called green agenda.

4/4/2022 Biden Admin. Could Make Profit While Selling Reserve Oil, Says Former Treasury Secy. by OAN Newsroom
An undated photo provided by the Department of Energy shows crude oil pipes at the Bryan Mound site near Freeport, Texas.
President Joe Biden is dipping again into the nation’s petroleum stockpile to try to corral rising energy prices.
    The White House announced Thursday, March 31, 2022, that Biden ordered the release of 1 million barrels
of oil per day from the strategic petroleum reserve for the next six months.(Department of Energy via AP)
    Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said Joe Biden’s verbal attacks on oil companies are not helpful in curbing high gas prices.    In a recent interview, he criticized Biden’s plan to sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
    Summers asserted that instead of just selling a million barrels per day, the Biden administration should have committed to buying back that oil one year from now at a $10 discount.    He then suggested the U.S. Treasury could make a profit on the SPR release.
    “So, the government can sell oil for above $100 and promise to buy that oil back in the range of $90,” Summers explained.    “And then, a year from now, we’ll have the same sized Strategic Petroleum Reserve we had before.    And we’ll have $10 a barrel times say 100 million barrels of oil, which is $1 billion.”
    Summers also said the U.S. government must use a “modern financial approach” to strategic reserves to lock in profits while selling that oil.

4/4/2022 Biden Calls For War Crimes Trial Against Putin Amid Suspected Civilian Killings By Russian Forces In Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
Ukrainian soldiers walk next to destroyed Russians armored vehicles
in Bucha, Ukraine, Saturday, April 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
    President Joe Biden asserted that Vladimir Putin should be put on trial for war crimes amid reports of civilian deaths among other suspected atrocities by Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Bucha as well as other areas.
    Biden, once again, condemned Putin as a “war criminal” on Monday, while citing the graphic images emerging from Bucha following the withdrawal of Russian forces.
    According to the Associated Press, reporters spotted at least 2 bodies on a street in the city northwest of Kiev.    Ukrainian officials said more than 400 dead civilians have been found in towns in the Kiev region that Russian forces recently left.
    “You may remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal,” Biden stated.    “Well, the truth of the matter, you saw what happened in Bucha.    This warrants him.    He is a war criminal, but we have to gather the information. We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight and we have to gather all the detail…what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone’s seen it.”
    Russia’s claims it has no responsibility in the matter.    In the meantime, Biden said he plans to slap additional sanctions on the country.    This comes as a mass grave site was also discovered in Bucha.    There is reportedly evidence that bodies were shot at close range.
People stand next to a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 4, 2022.
Russia is facing a fresh wave of condemnation after evidence emerged of what appeared to be
deliberate killings of dozens if not hundreds of civilians in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
    Ukraine’s foreign minister called on the International Criminal Court to collect evidence of Russian war crimes.    Nonetheless, the Kremlin has remained sturdy in denying the allegations.

4/4/2022 Oil up $4.12 to $103.69, DOW up 104 to 34,922.

4/5/2022 I responded to OANN to insure they will continue to send your news articles to since DIRECTV STOPPED YOUR One America Newsroom being aired on it by AT&T-DIRECTV channel 347 on 4/5/2022 but OAN is still online but at present very few articles are coming in only local U.S. none overseas.    I have enjoyed your articles which are precise and true and show what the FAKE NEWS is not showing the rest of America.    I plan on seeing you get back to par.
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4/5/2022 Every City In America Is Now A Border City, Says House Minority Leader McCarthy by OAN Newsroom
CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO – Migrants cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico at the Rio Grande river, as they enter El Paso, Texas,
on May 19, 2019 as taken from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The location is in an area where migrants frequently turn themselves
in and ask for asylum in the U.S. after crossing the border. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
    According to top GOP representatives, the Biden border crisis will soon expand through the whole nation.    On Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) led a press conference lambasting the CDC’s decision to end border policy Title 42.    Both the Trump and Biden administrations utilized the measure during the COVID-19 pandemic to turn away migrants who posed health concerns.
    McCarthy stressed Biden’s immigration policies have already welcomed a record number of illegal immigrants into America.    He added, this has led to an exhaustion of America’s border resources and copious deaths of America’s youth due to the increased distribution of fentanyl.
    “There’s no longer a few border cities, every city in America is now a border city,” stated the California Republican.    “Border agents told us about because of the overwhelming movement of people coming through and the cartels understanding, you’re getting 240 miles at a time that are unprotected.”
    McCarthy further lamented Republicans in both chambers of Congress have warned Biden about the devastating consequences of his policies.    Additionally, he pointed out Republicans have been making trips to the border ever since the crisis first unfolded.
    Meanwhile, Texas Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) detailed how illegal immigration has negatively affected his state.    Roy said Mexican cartels warring with each other are taking advantage of Biden’s policies to advance their narcotics and human smuggling operations.    He also said cartels have also used their money and influence to employ American citizens for these activities.
    In the meantime, the representatives said they have introduced a proposal to block the CDC from killing Title 42, but noted no Democrats have joined their effort.
    Joe Biden’s Customs and Border Protection chief has reportedly admitted there will likely be an increase in illegal immigration when Title 42 expires on May 23.    Other border officials have said the situation will be more dire while calling the next surge a “mass migration event.”

4/5/2022 House Rules Committee Furthers Resolution To Hold Navarro, Scavino In Contempt by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., center, joined at left by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., talk as the House Rules Committee seeking
contempt of Congress charges against former President Donald Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino in response to
their refusal to comply with subpoenas, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, April 4, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The House Rules Committee advanced the resolution to hold Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino in contempt of Congress.    In a nine-to-four party line vote on Monday, Democrats voted to send the resolution on to the full House for a vote.
    If passed, contempt of Congress charges against the former Trump aides would be referred to the Justice Department for prosecution.    This comes after Navarro and Scavino rebuked subpoenas from the January 6 Committee while citing executive privilege concerns.
    Meanwhile, GOP Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) pointed out they were high ranking officials during the Trump administration.
    “As the committee is well aware, President Trump has repeatedly asserted questions of executive privilege,” stated the Oklahoma lawmaker.    “My understanding is that both of these individuals have complied with President Trump’s request and have themselves asserted executive privilege in response to select committees wide ranging subpoenas, as they should have.    Indeed, both of these individuals have a legal duty to do so.”
    It’s likely the Democrat-controlled House will agree to hold the pair in contempt.    Should the Justice Department prosecute and find them guilty, each could face up to a year behind bars and fines of up to $100,000.

4/5/2022 Justice Barrett: No Judge Is Deciding A Case In Order To Impose A Policy Result by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett speaks with Board of Trustees Chairman Frederick J. Ryan, Jr.,
at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation in Simi Valley, Calif., Monday, April 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
    Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett recently weighed-in on concerns that members of the court may be basing decisions on trying to achieve a policy outcome.    While speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California on Monday, Barrett acknowledged justices have opinions about the results of their decisions.
    She added, however, that no judge is deciding a case to impose a policy result.    She claimed every member of the court is trying to make their best effort to determine what the law as well as the U.S. Constitution requires.    Barrett also encouraged dissenters of Supreme Court rulings to take a close look at the court’s justification.
    “But I think if you’re going to make the latter claim that the court got it wrong, you have to engage with the court’s reasoning first,” she explained.    “And I think you should read the opinion and see, well does this read like something that was purely results driven and designed to impose the policy preferences of the majority?    Or does this read like it actually is an honest effort, a persuasive effort, even if one you ultimately don’t agree with to determine what the Constitution and precedent requires as applied to a particular problem at hand.”
    Barrett also noted the idea of cameras in the courtroom to cover Supreme Court cases is a “uniquely tricky issue.”

4/5/2022 Tulsi Gabbard Defends Fla. Parental Rights In Education Law by OAN Newsroom
Former Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii, is seen here at a
town hall meeting in Keene, N.H., on Jan. 21, 2020. (Kristopher Radder | The Brattleboro Reformer/AP)
    Former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard recently defended Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law.    She took to Twitter on Monday to note the bill prohibits government or government schools from indoctrinating woke sexual values in schools to an audience that is by law required to attend.
    Gabbard went on to say that when she read the law, she was shocked it only applies to student in kindergarten through third grade.    She suggested it should extend through 12th grade or prohibit the teaching all together.
    “Now government has no place in our personal lives, government has no place in bedrooms,” Gabbard stated.    “Parents are the ones responsible for raising their kids and instilling in them a moral foundation, not the government.    Now the reality that we’re facing in this country is our schools are failing.”
    The former presidential candidate said she believes parents should be raising their kids, not the government.    She then pointed to the statistic that one in four graduates are functionally illiterate.    On part of this, Gabbard said schools should focus on teaching children the fundamentals like math, science and history.

4/5/2022 Sen. Marshall Urges U.S. To Impose More Sanctions On Russia Now by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., speaks to the media about the U.S. southern
border, Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)
    Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) is calling for the U.S. to immediately impose new sanctions on Russia.    In an interview Monday, the Kansas lawmaker said the U.S. should implement all sanctions it’s already discussed now instead of waiting until June.
    The Republican pointed out that the rebound of the Russian Ruble shows the current sanctions are not working.    His comments echoed remarks he made on the Senate floor last month when he said Ukraine needs action now.
    “The United States needs to implement our sanctions today, not yesterday.    We don’t need to delay until June 24 with a waiver on energy payments from Russian banks.    We still have so much more we could do, short of putting American boots on the ground.”
    Marshall asserted that the U.S. needs to be a country of action and fulfill its role as the leader of the free world.    This comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged western nations to toughen sanctions quickly in order to stop Russia from escalating its attacks on his country.

4/5/2022 Oil down $3.22 to $100.46, DOW down 280 to 34,642.

4/6/2022 Lawmakers approve Ga. election probe bill by Jeff Amy and Sudhin Thanawala, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    ATLANTA – A Georgia law enforcement agency would have authority to investigate election crimes under the latest voting regulation approved by the Republican-controlled state Legislature after former President Donald Trump made claims of widespread voter fraud.
    Over the objections of Democrats, Republicans in the state House and Senate voted on Monday to give the Georgia Bureau of Investigation authority to probe alleged wrongdoing that could affect the outcome of an election.    The agency would have the power to issue subpoenas for election documents.
    The secretary of state’s office is currently responsible for investigating alleged election violations.
    The measure – passed on the last day of the session – still requires Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature to become law.    Katie Byrd, a spokeswoman for the governor, said Tuesday that Kemp’s office was reviewing all legislation passed by the General Assembly.
    Democrats and voting rights advocates said the additional authority for the GBI would intimidate voters and election workers.
    “It will not only be used against your voters, but could also be used against organizations and those county election board officials or their workers,” State Rep. Jasmine Clark, a Democrat from Lilburn, said on the House floor.    “Again, they already have a hard enough time getting poll workers, and now you want to sic the GBI on them. What are we doing here?
    House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge, said the GBI authority was not a partisan reaction to the 2020 election.
    “It was a good government measure to be sure that we have competent, professional, thorough investigators,” Ralston said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.    “GBI is the best there is in the state.”
    GOP officials have continued to try to satisfy the millions of voters in their party who believe Trump’s false claim that voter fraud cost him reelection in 2020.    Lawmakers in Florida have also approved a police force to pursue election crimes, a proposal pushed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
    The Georgia measure comes a year after the state’s General Assembly rewrote election laws to reduce the time to request an absentee ballot, strip power from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and severely roll back the pandemic-driven expansion of absentee ballot drop boxes.    It was one of the first and highest-profile voting laws passed by Republican-controlled legislatures after Trump’s defeat.
    Republicans said Georgia’s 2021 law was necessary to restore confidence in the state’s election system.    Democrats decried it as an effort to block Democratic-leaning citizens from voting.
Georgia lawmakers throw up paper at the end of the legislative session on Tuesday.
Republicans have passed a series of election laws. BRANDEN CAMP/ ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION VIA AP

4/6/2022 South Dakota’s Noem issues ‘critical race theory’ order - Governor uses executive power after bill was rejected by state Legislature by Stephen Groves, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Tuesday issued an executive order instructing the Department of Education to review teacher trainings, content standards and other educational materials to ensure they are devoid of “divisive concepts” on race, resorting to her gubernatorial power after a bill she touted as banning so-called critical race theory from K-12 classrooms failed to pass the Legislature this year.
    The Republican governor cast the order as restricting critical race theory from classrooms, but its power is limited to the     Department of Education, which produces content standards, teacher trainings and other material for South Dakota public schools.    School boards set much of their own policy and curricula.
    “Our children will not be taught that they are racists or that they are victims, and they will not be compelled to feel responsible for the mistakes of their ancestors,” Noem said in a statement announcing the order that lists six “divisive concepts” about race.
    The Associated School Boards of South Dakota, which criticized Noem’s bill as unnecessary and unclear during the legislative session, declined to immediately comment on the order.
    A Republican-controlled Senate committee last month rejected Noem’s bill, and some lawmakers on the committee suggested Noem should use the power of her office to influence the state’s education content standards rather than push a law banning certain ideas from classrooms.
    The ACLU of South Dakota accused Noem of “skirting” the legislative process by issuing the order when a similar proposal was already rejected by the Legislature.    Jett Jonelis, the organization’s advocacy manager, said in a statement that the move was “a subversion of our entire democratic process.”
    The bill drew hours of debate this year, both from those who championed it as a repudiation of critical race theory and critics who said it would silence and sanitize the most painful truths of U.S. history.
    Sen. Troy Heinert, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe who was the lone Democrat on the Senate committee that rejected Noem’s bill, worried that the order would ban the teaching of atrocities against Native American tribes in the state’s history, as well as “perpetuate” racism in the state.
    As Noem pitched the bill in the Legislature, she insisted it would not water down historical facts like the Wounded Knee Massacre.    She said Tuesday the order’s intent was to ensure history lessons include “both our triumphs and our mistakes.”
    But Heinert asserted that the state continues to grapple with racism, pointing to a recent social media comment from the owner of a Rapid City hotel saying she wanted to ban Native Americans from the premises.    He said Noem’s order would stifle desperately needed conversations about race.
    “This is nothing more than political theater at its finest,” Heinert added.
    During the last year, critical race theory has morphed from an obscure academic discussion point on the left into a political rallying cry on the right.    And as Noem has positioned herself for reelection and a potential 2024 White House bid, she has used the concept as a campaign talking point.
    Her campaign on Tuesday also released a video of her touting the success of a separate bill that bans the state’s public universities from using training and orientation material that compels people to feel “discomfort” based on their race.
    “Going forward, critical race theory cannot be taught in our universities,” Noem said in the video of her speaking at a town hall event.
    But that’s a false claim. In fact, the bill specifically states it does not apply to university courses.
    Even her policy adviser, Allen Cambon, pointed that out in March as he pressed a skeptical Senate committee to endorse it.
    “You can teach a class on (Critical Race Theory), you can even offer a training that teaches (Critical Race Theory),” Cambon told senators, adding that the bill keeps public universities from requiring any trainings that teach the concept or compelling students to endorse it.
    “Our children will not be taught that they are racists or that they are victims, and they will not be compelled to feel responsible for the mistakes of their ancestors,” Kristi Noem, South Dakota governor.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem issued an executive order instructing the state Department of Education
to review teacher trainings, content standards and other educational materials to ensurer> they are devoid of “divisive concepts” on race. JOHN RAOUX/AP, FILE

4/6/2022 John Lott: Biden Supreme Court Nominee Jackson ‘Poster Child For Soft On Crime’ by OAN Newsroom
    Crime Prevention Research Center President, Dr. John Lott told One America News that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s sentencing record has convinced him she’s the poster child for soft on crime policies.    One America’s John Hines has more from Washington.

4/6/2022 Rep. McCarthy: Border Patrol Tell Us They Are ‘Overwhelmed’ by OAN Newsroom
    House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy says Border Patrol agents have told republican lawmakers that they are overwhelmed at the southern border even before the Title 42 policy expires in May.    One America’s John Hines has more from Capitol.

4/6/2022 House GOP Lambasts Biden, Democrat Energy Policies by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) delivers remarks during a Republican-led forum on the origins
of the COVID-19 virus at the U.S. Capitol on June 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. The forum examined the
theory that the coronavirus came from a lab in Wuhan, China. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    According to Republican lawmakers, American energy is under attack.    On Tuesday, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) led a press conference detailing how Joe Biden’s policies are hurting Americans’ wallets.
    Scalise alleged Biden has been at war with American energy companies since taking office and has crippled America’s ability to produce oil and gas.    He pointed to recent reports claiming Biden is begging Canada for oil despite killing the Keystone Pipeline, which would have transported oil from that country.
    This came after Biden sought oil imports from authoritarian governments, including from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.    Additionally, the Louisiana Republican said Biden’s dubious energy policies don’t stop there.
    “It wasn’t just Keystone, Joe Biden hasn’t approved a single new pipeline in America since he’s been president,” stated Scalise.    “And it’s not that he’s against all pipelines as my colleagues have pointed out.    He approved Russia’s pipeline, the Nord Stream 2 which builds on top of the Nord Stream 1, which was already supplying oil to parts of Europe.    We could have been there to provide all the oil and gas that Europe needs.    And instead, Joe Biden turned off the spickets here sent leverage to Putin.”
    The lawmakers went on to describe who’s really suffering from Biden’s energy policies.    House Republican conference chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) stressed American families are having a hard time maintaining their budgets as gas prices soar to record heights.
    “Gas prices under Biden’s failed leadership are the highest in U.S. history, costing the average American household an extra $2,000 per year,” she noted.    “…Democrats historic energy failures are crushing families’ budgets in my district and across the country.”
    In the meantime, Joe Biden has proposed several measures, including releasing gas from U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and threatening oil tax hikes on energy companies that he claims will curb the energy crisis.    However, GOP critics believe these moves will only make the problem worse and put the burden of paying for these taxes on working class Americans.
    The Republican leaders have faith that Americans see what’s going as well as who’s at fault for the skyrocketing gas prices and take that knowledge to the polls in 2022.    However, Rep. Stefanik predicts Democrats will try to shuffle the blame, once again, at Wednesday’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with energy producers.

4/6/2022 Democrats Defend Teaching Gender Ideology To Kindergarteners by OAN Newsroom
    Democrats are put on defense as they come out against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act.    One America’s Sam Valk with more.

4/6/2022 Katie Hobbs Refuses To Say If Abortion Should Be Limited by OAN Newsroom
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs looks over the Arizona Presidential Electoral Ballot from the members
of Arizona’s Electoral College, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)
    Democrat candidate for Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs refused to give an answer about at what point in a pregnancy she would allow abortion to be banned.    While speaking to local media on Tuesday, Hobbs was pressed on her abortion stance.
    Instead of answering the question when asked if there should be a limit, Hobbs said that abortion is a right and her record speaks for itself.    She was pressed by the host again and she replied that it’s not up to her, just the woman and her doctor.
    “I mean, you know, if it’s not 15-weeks, is it 24-weeks?” she asked.    “Where do you draw the line and say okay, abortions after this point in time, no, it’s a no go.    Abortion is a personal decision between a woman and her family and her doctor.    And that’s something that needs to be discussed in the medical exam room, not by politicians.”
    Banning abortion is never going to stop abortion—the abortion bans we're seeing in Arizona & across the nation aren't just ineffective, they're harmful & dangerous to women.
    I firmly believe in the right to choose & the freedom to do so safely, alongside a trusted care provider.
— Katie Hobbs (@katiehobbs) April 2, 2022
    Hobbs’s comments come on the heels of Republican Governor Doug Ducey signing into law a bill which bans abortions in the state after 15-weeks.

4/6/2022 Democrats Use Sacramento Tragedy To Push Gun Control by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom along with several elected officials, met with the media at Del Mar Fairgrounds
on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, in Del Mar, Calif., where he backed state legislation that would allow for
private citizens to enforce the state’s ban on assault weapons. A new bill in California would allow private
citizens go after gun makers in the same way Texas lets them target abortion providers, though gun advocates immediately
promised a court challenge if it becomes law. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)
    Democrats in California were hasty in pushing new gun control measures, following the tragic shooting deaths of six in Sacramento.    While President Joe Biden has since called for increased gun control, the state with the most gun laws, 107 according to the State Firearm Laws Project at Boston University, is looking to add at least 24 more.
    Governor Gavin Newsom (D) directed lawmakers to craft a gun control bill in a similar fashion to the Texas heartbeat bill with the goal of encouraging private citizens to sue the gun industry.
    “A private enforcement mechanism.    If you think about it, admit it.    It’s a private right of action.    What does that mean?    What it means is that an ordinary person of the community can bring a lawsuit and collect up to $10,000, plus attorney’s fees.    If someone manufactures or transports any any weapon manufacturers distributes, transports in ports, somebody goes to out of state and brings in a bunch of weapons, they can bring in action $10,000 per now.” — State Sen. Bob Hertzberg, (D- Van Nuys, Calif.)
    Should any of these bills make it to the governor’s desk to be signed, they will likely face challenges in court.    Meanwhile, law enforcement and the local community are holding the shooting suspects accountable for their actions.

4/6/2022 Rep. Jackson: Biden’s Cognitive Issues Are National Security Concern by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden wipes his eye as he speaks at the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Legislative
Conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Trump-era White House doctor and congressman Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) said Joe Biden’s cognitive issues are becoming a national security concern.    One America’s John Hines has more from Capitol Hill.

4/6/2022 Oil down $4.01 to $97.20, DOW down 152 to 34,489.

4/7/2022 Barrett says ‘policy result’ not Supreme Court’s goal by Michael R. Blood, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    LOS ANGELES – Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett said Monday that judges are not deciding cases to impose a 'policy result,' but are making their best effort to determine what the law and the Constitution require.
    In a nation splintered by partisanship and wracked by incivility, Barrett in remarks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library appeared to acknowledge that expected court decisions on reproductive rights and gun control would be seen through a political lens and lead to division.    She urged Americans to 'read the opinion' and consider the court’s reasoning before making judgments about the outcome.
    'Does (the decision) read like something that was purely results driven and designed to impose the policy preferences of the majority, or does this read like it actually is an honest effort and persuasive effort, even if one you ultimately don’t agree with, to determine what the Constitution and precedent requires?' she asked.
    Americans should judge the court, or any federal court, by its reasoning, she said.    'Is its reasoning that of a political or legislative body, or is its reasoning judicial?' she asked.
    The program was briefly interrupted by a heckler.    Barrett said afterward, 'As a mother of seven, I am used to distractions and sometimes even outbursts,' which elicited a round of applause from the capacity crowd.
    The group Rise4AbortionRightsLA claimed credit for the brief protest and posted a video on its Twitter account showing a woman shouting toward Barrett: 'You are an enslaver of women.'    In its tweet, the group said, 'Only the people can prevent the Supreme Court from overturning the right to abortion.'
    In a wide-ranging, 45-minute interview at the hilltop library, Barrett also spoke dubiously of introducing cameras to the high court, defended free speech rights and admitted she is a lousy basketball shot.
    While she said she was not expressing an opinion on cameras in the courtroom, she added 'people don’t behave the same when they know that there’s a camera there.'
    Barrett’s appearance at the library – in Simi Valley, northwest of Los Angeles – came on the same day that Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney said they will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, bolstering bipartisan support for the first Black woman to be nominated.
    Barrett was asked what advice she would have for a new justice.
    'I think one of the difficult things that I experienced that I wasn’t really fully prepared for, was the shift into being a public figure,' she said.    'Also, security is much different now. … We all have security details and that’s different.'
    Barrett was nominated by then-President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy after the death of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg.    She was confirmed without Democratic support in late October 2020 – just days before the election – in a deeply divided Senate, 52-48. Her approval by the Senate’s Republican majority cemented conservative control of the court.
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett was nominated by then-President Donald Trump
to fill the vacancy after the death of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Damian Dovarganes/AP

4/7/2022 Texas steps up crackdown at border - Former Trump officials want state to go further by Acacia Coronado and Paul J. Weber, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    SAN ANTONIO – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state troopers on Wednesday to begin stopping and inspecting commercial vehicles coming across the U.S-Mexico border and said bus charters would be offered to take migrants to Washington, D.C., in a dig at President Joe Biden and Congress.
    Texas officials also said they would begin “increased military activity” on the southern border and install razor wire at some low-water areas along the river to deter migrants from crossing.
    The new directives amount to the “unprecedented actions” that Abbott promised in response to the Biden administration winding down a public health law – now set to expire in May – that has limited asylum-seekers in the name of preventing the spread of COVID- 19.    When that happens, it is expected to draw potentially thousands more migrants to the southern border.
    Flanked by Texas troopers in the border city of Weslaco, Abbott acknowledged that additional inspections of commercial vehicles near the U.S. ports of entry will “dramatically slow” vehicle traffic coming into the county.    But the latest orders further push the limits of a multibillion-dollar Texas border security mission that the two-term Republican governor, who is running for reelection in November, has made the cornerstone of his administration.    Already, Texas has deployed thousands of troopers and National Guard members, installed new border barriers and arrested thousands of migrants on trespassing charges.
    Still, the efforts do not go far enough for some former Trump administration officials, who are pressing Abbott to declare an “invasion” and give state law enforcement sweeping new authority to turn back migrants – essentially bestowing enforcement powers that have been a federal responsibility.
    That concept is legally dubious, nearly unprecedented and would almost certainly face swift court challenges, according to some constitutional experts.
    Abbott did not say Wednesday whether he supports such a proposal. He said more actions would be announced next week.    Border Patrol officials say they are planning for as many as 18,000 arrivals daily once the health policy, known as the Title 42 authority, expires in May. Last week, about 7,100 migrants were coming a day to the southern border.
Trump allies, Texas at odds
    But the way former Trump immigration officials see it, Texas and Arizona can pick up where the federal government leaves off once the policy ends.    Their plan involves a novel interpretation of the U.S. Constitution to have the National Guard or state police forcibly send migrants to Mexico, without regard to immigration laws and law enforcement procedures.    Border enforcement has always been a federal responsibility, and in Texas, state leaders have not been pushing for such a move.
    Tom Homan, the former acting director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Trump, said at a border security conference in San Antonio last week he had spoken with Abbott about the idea.
    “We’ve had discussions with his attorneys in his office, ‘Is there a way to use this clause within the Constitution where it talks about invasion?’”    Homan said during the Border Security Expo.
    Homan said those talks took place about three months ago, and on Tuesday described the governor’s office as “noncommittal but willing to listen.”
    In Arizona, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has also been under pressure within his party to declare that the state is being invaded and use extraordinary powers normally reserved for war.    But Ducey, who is term-limited and not on the ballot in 2022, has not embraced the theory and has avoided commenting directly on it.
    Driving the effort on the right is the Center for Renewing America, a conservative think tank led by former Trump administration officials.    It includes Ken Cuccinelli, an immigration hard-liner and former Homeland Security official under Trump.    He argued that states are entitled to defend themselves from immediate danger or invasion, as it is defined by the “invasion clause,” under the “states self-defense clause.”
    Cuccinelli said in practice, he envisions the plan would look similar to the enforcement of Title 42, which circumvented U.S. obligations under American law and international treaty to provide asylum.    He said he has not spoken with Abbott and said the governor’s current sweeping border mission, known as Operation Lone Star, has put little dent in the number of people crossing the border.    The mission has also drawn criticism from Guard members over long deployments and little to do, and some arrests have appeared to have no connection to border security.
    “Until you are actually returning people to Mexico, what you are doing will have no effect,” Cuccinelli said.
Only governments can invade
    Emily Berman, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Houston, said the “invasion clause” cited by proponents is tucked into a broader constitutional assurance that the U.S. must defend states from invasion and domestic violence.    Additionally, she said, the “state self-defense clause” says states cannot engage in warlike actions or foreign policy unless invaded.
    Berman said she hasn’t seen the constitutional clauses used since the 1990s, when the courts ruled that they did not have jurisdiction to decide what qualified as an invasion, but believed that one could only be done by another governmental entity.    For example, Berman said, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia can be qualified as one because it is an outside government breaching another country’s boundaries with the use of military force.
    “Just because the state says that it is an invasion that doesn’t necessarily make it so, it is not clear to me what additional legal authority that conveys on them,” Berman said, adding that state officials can enforce state laws, but the line is drawn at what the federal law allows.
    U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat whose district includes the Texas border, has criticized the Biden administration over border security and ending Title 42.
    But he does not support states trying to use new powers that would let them “do whatever they want.”
    “I think it should be more of a partnership instead of saying, ‘Federal government, we don’t think you’re doing enough, and why don’t we go ahead and do our own border security?’” he said.


Former Trump administration officials want Republican border governors
to declare an “invasion” by migrants. ERIC GAY/AP FILE

4/7/2022 Garland tests positive for COVID-19 - Commerce Secretary Raimondo does as well by Michael Balsamo, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Attorney General Merrick Garland has tested positive for COVID-19 and will quarantine at home for five days, the Justice Department said Wednesday.
    Garland is the second Cabinet official to announce a positive test result on Wednesday.    Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo also tested positive for the virus using an at-home antigen test.
    The announcement from the Justice Department comes hours after Garland held a news conference in Washington, standing side-by-side with the deputy attorney general, FBI director and other Justice Department officials.
    The Justice Department says Garland asked to be tested “after learning that he may have been exposed to the virus.”    Officials say he is not experiencing symptoms, is fully vaccinated and has received a booster.
    The Justice Department said Garland would isolate at his home for at least five days and work remotely.    The department said it would also conduct contact tracing in line with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Raimondo’s office said she was experiencing outbreak, “mild symptoms” and was sharing the news “out of an abundance of transparency.”
    Both Garland and Raimondo attended the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington last weekend.    The nation’s capital appears to be experiencing an hitting not only Cabinet officials but also members of Congress, staffers in the White House and members of the media.
    Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from Texas, have also announced they tested positive for the virus. Both had attended the dinner.
    Other members of Congress including Reps. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Scott Peters of California, both Democrats, have also said they tested positive.
    The White House on Wednesday also announced that Jamal Simmons, the communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris, had also tested positive and that Simmons was in close contact with Harris.
    Harris’ office said she would follow CDC guidelines and consult with her doctor but planned to continue with her schedule.
    The CDC says people vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 are much less likely to suffer adverse outcomes, including serious illness and death, from the virus compared to those who are unvaccinated.
The Justice Department said Attorney General Merrick Garland would isolate
at his home for at least five days and work remotely. ANDREW HARNIK/AP

4/7/2022 Tensions Mount Over Issue Of Free Speech On Twitter As Musk Challenges CEO by OAN Newsroom
    Twitter’s CEO is doing damage control amid what appears to be a high profile feud over free speech between him and the company’s largest shareholder, Elon Musk.    One America’s Alex Yphantides has more.

4/7/2022 Rep. Upton Retiring After Voting To Impeach President Trump by OAN Newsroom
    Michigan’s Fred Upton announced his retirement from the House making him the latest Trump impeachment supporter to avoid facing a vote.    One America’s Sam Valk with more.

    And Kissinger is leaving too, so go find a place to cry for your stupidity.

4/7/2022 GOP Demands Release Of Biden’s Recommendation Letter For Son Of Chinese Oligarch To Study In U.S. by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden, left, and his son Hunter Biden, right, in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    More information is coming to light about the latest Biden family scandal.    The President allegedly wrote a Brown University recommendation letter for the son of a Chinese oligarch, namely BHR executive Jonathan Li, back in 2017.    This was revealed in Hunter Biden’s emails, which were obtained by Fox News on Wednesday.
    Republican lawmakers are demanding the White House release this recommendation letter.    Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said Joe Biden’s letter serves as “irrefutable proof” that he knew about Hunter’s business dealings with China and these emails are evidence that Joe used his political influence to profit from the communist country.
    At the time, Hunter Biden was a partner at BHR, which emails show reserved 10 percent of its profits for the “big guy.”    Joe has repeatedly denied ever talking about business dealing with Hunter, though his press secretary appeared to fumble when questioned on the matter.
    During a press briefing Wednesday, Jen Psaki was asked if it’s common practice for Joe to do favors for Hunter’s business partners.    The White House official repeatedly noted that Joe was a “private citizen'” when and if he wrote that letter.    She also disputed the evidence suggesting Joe knew of his family’s foreign business interests.”
    Hunter is currently under federal investigation over his taxes and international business dealings.    According to Fox News, the President’s son has been under federal investigation since 2018 with sources saying there is a high probability he committed a crime.
    In the meantime, all 19 Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee signed a letter asking 51 former Intelligence officials why they played a role in the narrative that stories about Hunter’s laptop were Russian propaganda.    This came after 51 Intelligence officials in 2020 released a statement connecting Biden’s laptop with Russia.
    However, Republicans pointed out that the New York Times and the Washington Post have both recently independently confirmed the contents of the laptop were authentic.    They said the most likely explanation for their denial is they were part of a coordinated effort to mislead Americans ahead of the 2020 elections in order to help get Joe Biden elected over Donald Trump.
    Republicans are asking for all signers to respond by April 20 with information leading up to the release of that letter.

4/7/2022 Doctor Says Thousands Are Suffering With Vax Injuries by OAN Newsroom
    While some complain of so-called “long COVID,” doctors say many are also feeling long term effects from COVID vaccines.    One America’s Caitlin Sinclair has more.

4/7/2022 DHS Giving Free Smartphones To Illegal Immigrants by OAN Newsroom
Border Patrol agents apprehend a group of migrants near downtown
El Paso, Texas. (Photo by JUSTIN HAMEL/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration is giving illegal immigrants smartphones in an effort to keep tabs on them until their court date.    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the move Wednesday, saying it was part of the so-called Alternatives to Detention Program, which also utilizes GPS ankle monitors and smartlink to track immigrants.
    With the telephonic option, the participant’s identity is confirmed on check-in calls with a biometric voiceprint.    Psaki was confronted with the issue that there’s no safeguards in place to deter immigrants from ditching the phones.
    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent an inquiry to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Wednesday, demanding answers for this plan to provide migrants with free phones.

4/7/2022 Senate Confirms Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson To Serve On Supreme Court by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden and Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson watch as the Senate votes on her confirmation
from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    The Senate confirms Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in a historic bipartisan vote making her the first African American woman to serve on the court.
    Jackson was approved in a 53-to-47 vote Thursday with all Democrats voting for the judge as well as Republican senators Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).    The vote caps a nomination process that began earlier this year when Biden tapped Jackson to fill the seat of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
    Jackson notably faced criticism over her work as a public defender as well as sentencing decisions on the federal bench.    She will join the court after Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement in the summer.

4/7/2022 House GOP Lawmakers Skeptical Of Biden Anti-Oil Policies At Hearing by OAN Newsroom
    Republicans are criticizing Democrat attempts to blame oil executives for soaring gas prices after a hearing on Capitol Hill.    One America’s John Hines has more from Capitol Hill.

4/7/2022 Oil down $0.10 to $96.85, DOW up 87 to 34,584.


4/8/2022 STATE LEGISLATURE- Gov. Beshear vetoes 8 bills - Includes measures on CRT, trans athletes by Olivia Krauth and Joe Sonka, Louisville Courier Journal | USA TODAY NETWORK
    Among eight vetoes issued Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear aimed at two of education’s most controversial topics this year: transgender student-athletes and “critical race theory.”
    The omnibus Senate Bill 1, Beshear wrote in his veto message, “represents a step backward for public education in the Commonwealth.”
    Its shift of principal and curriculum selection away from school-level councils of teachers and parents to superintendents “lessens, if not eliminates” parent voice, Beshear wrote.
    It “unfairly singles out” Jefferson County’s school board, he continued, by limiting the board to one meeting a month and moving additional authority from the board to the superintendent.    Such conditions would not apply elsewhere in Kentucky.
    And language aimed at CRT fervor tacked into the bill would police needed classroom conversations on race and dictate how history is taught, Beshear wrote.
    In a separate veto message, Beshear said Senate Bill 83 would ban transgender girls and women from playing on girls and women’s sports teams, beginning in sixth grade and running through college, without giving any reason why such a move would be necessary.
    “If it were truly the intention of the General Assembly to prevent unfair advantage in women’s sports, it needed to look no further than the policies of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association,” Beshear wrote in his veto of SB 83.
    Beshear said lawmakers failed to point out a single instance of a Kentucky child gaining an unfair advantage due to being transgender, nor did they share any examples of current KHSAA policy failing to maintain a fair playing field.
    Fairness Campaign Executive Director Chris Hartman said SB 83 has always “been more about fear than fairness.”
    “In Kentucky’s entire school system, there is only one openly transgender girl we know about who is playing on a school sports team,” Hartman said in a statement.
    “But rather than tackle any of the state’s real issues, legislators decided to use their time and power to bully this student and others like her.”
    The Family Foundation issued a statement expressing disappointment over Beshear’s veto.
    “Kentucky girls and women deserve a fair playing field,” said executive director David Walls.    “Kentuckians overwhelmingly support this commonsense bill, but unfortunately, Gov. Beshear chose to side with his woke political base instead of Kentucky’s female athletes.”
    Kentucky’s Republican-dominated legislature will get a chance to override vetoes when they reconvene next week.    SB 83 passed easily with veto-proof margins in both chambers.
    Lawmakers will likely have a tighter vote on Senate Bill 1, which was initially aimed at school councils before ballooning to cover other topics.
    After the House expanded the bill, it narrowly received final passage in the Senate with 21 ‘yes’ votes — one more than the 20 needed to override Beshear’s veto.
Beshear also takes aim at Jefferson County new cities bill
    Among the eight bills vetoed Wednesday by Beshear was House Bill 314, which would dramatically ease the process for creating new cities within Jefferson County by no longer requiring Louisville Metro Council approval.
    Under the bill, a new city or annexation request would be approved if at least 66% of residents in the area signed a petition to do so, while the maximum number of terms a Louisville mayor could serve would be reduced from three to two.
    Echoing the arguments of Democratic elected officials against the bill, Beshear wrote in his veto statement that it “undoes the votes of the citizens of Louisville and Jefferson County to have a consolidated government” in their 2002 ballot initiative.
    The governor added that HB 314 “threatens the success of that merger by putting millions of dollars of revenue at risk” and may cause the city to lose millions more in federal pandemic aid.
    Beshear wrote that the bill “imposes changes on Louisville’s government, without the consent of the people of Louisville,” adding that legislators outside the city who supported it “should think twice, because it sets a terrible precedent under which the General Assembly could turn around and aim similar disruptive actions at other local governments.”
    Republican House members from Louisville who pushed for the bill said this would give South End residents more say over their local services, arguing the city and its police department provide insufficient services.
Here are the other bills Beshear vetoed Wednesday:
* House Bill 248, which states the Kentucky Attorney General is the only statewide constitutional officer who is allowed to expend taxpayer funds on litigation challenging the constitutionality of a bill — a direct response to several lawsuits filed by Beshear to block Republican-led legislation from going into effect.    In his veto statement, Beshear wrote that HB 248 violated several sections of the constitution and was “a blatant attempt by the General Assembly to shield unconstitutional laws it passes from judicial review.”
* House Bill 334, which removes the governor’s ability to make all appointments to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission and instead gives the majority of appointments to other statewide constitutional officers — who are all currently Republicans.    In his three page veto statement, Beshear wrote that HB 334 violated the constitution and “is yet another attempt at a power grab” by the legislature.
* House Bill 773, which removes the governor’s authority to appoint any members to the Prosecutors Advisory Council.    Beshear’s veto statement added that it would also eliminate any mechanism for the removal of any member of the council.
* House Bill 271, which moves the Agritourism Advisory Council under the control of the Department of Agriculture and removes the role of Tourism Cabinet.    Beshear’s veto statement called it another power grab.
* Senate Bill 217, which Beshear said he vetoed due to it giving “sole power over procurement and all personnel appointments in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to one person — the commissioner” —then cited critical audits of the department under its current leadership.
    Reach Olivia Krauth at okrauth@ and on Twitter at @oliviakrauth.
Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed Wednesday bills relating to transgender student-athletes
and “critical race theory.” SCOTT UTTERBACK/COURIER JOURNAL

4/8/2022 Banning Russian oil, gas tough for EU - Coal cutoff easier but less impactful by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The European Union nations agreed to ban Russian coal in the first sanctions on the vital energy industry over the war in Ukraine, but it has underlined the 27 countries’ inability to agree so far on a much more sweeping embargo on oil and natural gas that would hit Russia harder but risk recession at home.
    The coal ban should cost Russia 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) a year, the EU’s executive commission said.    Energy analysts and coal importers say Europe could replace Russian supply in a few months from other countries, including the United States.
    The move is significant because it breaks the taboo on severing Europe’s energy ties with Russia.    It’s also certain to fuel already record-high inflation.    But compared with natural gas and oil, coal is by far the easiest to cut off quickly and inflicts far less damage on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war chest and the European economy.    The EU pays Russia $20 million a day for coal – but $850 million a day for oil and gas.
    Shocking pictures of bodies in the Ukrainian town of Bucha are keeping discussion of broader sanctions alive, with EU officials saying they’re working on targeting Russian oil.
    While the EU ponders additional sanctions, Italian Premier Mario Draghi said no embargo of Russian natural gas is up for consideration now.
    “And I don’t know if it ever will be on the table," he told reporters Wednesday.
    EU countries, especially big economies like Italy and Germany, rely heavily on Russian natural gas to heat and cool homes, generate electricity and keep industry churning.
    Still, Draghi said, “the more horrendous this war gets, the allied countries will ask, in the absence of our direct participation in the war, what else can this coalition of allies do to weaken Russia, to make it stop.”
    In case a gas embargo is proposed, Italy “will be very happy to follow it” if that would make peace possible, Draghi said.    “If the price of gas can be exchanged for peace … what do we choose?    Peace?    Or to have the air conditioning running in the summer?
    For now, even the coal ban brings worrying consequences for politicians and consumers.    Germany and EU members in Eastern Europe still generate a large share of their power from coal despite a yearslong transition toward cleaner energy sources.
    “The coal ban means European consumers will have to brace for high power prices throughout this year,” according to a Rystad Energy statement.
    Higher prices in countries that use more coal will spread across the EU through its well-connected power grid, the energy research company said.    That will bring more pain. Europe has been facing high energy prices for months over a supply crunch, and jitters over the war have sent them even higher.
    Governments already have been rolling out cash support and tax relief for consumers hit by higher utility bills.    High energy prices have pushed inflation in the 19 member countries that use the euro currency to a record 7.5%.
    Commodities analyst Barbara Lambrecht at German bank Commerzbank said EU governments likely could agree on a coal embargo because it would take effect after three months and only apply to new contracts.    The downside is the limited impact on Russia, with coal only 3.5% of its exports and only a quarter going to the EU.
    Germany’s coal importer’s association said Russian coal could be completely replaced from the U.S., South Africa, Colombia, Mozambique and Indonesia “by next winter” – at higher prices.
    European coal futures prices jumped after the EU announced the coal proposal, from around $255 per ton to $290 per ton.    It was approved by the EU ambassadors, and the sanctions should become official once published in the EU’s official journal on Friday.
    The big debate remains oil and natural gas, with the European Union dependent on Russia for 40% of its gas and 25% of its oil.    It’s tougher for Europe to cut off than the U.S., which imported little Russian oil and no gas and has banned both.
    Yet European Council President Charles Michel said, “I believe that measures on oil and even on gas will also be needed sooner or later.”
    It’s difficult for the EU to agree on energy sanctions because countries like Germany, Italy and Bulgaria are much more dependent on Russian gas in particular than others.    Europe has scrambled to get additional gas through pipelines from Norway and Algeria and with more liquefied gas that comes by ship, but those global supplies are limited.
    For now, the EU’s plan is to cut dependence on Russian gas by two-thirds by year’s end and completely over the next several years by stepping up alternative supplies, conservation and wind and solar.
    Germany has reduced its reliance on Russian natural gas from 55% to 40%, but the government says the consequences to jobs from a cutoff would be too great.
    Germany’s steelmaking association, for instance, has warned of forced shutdowns that would throw people out of their jobs or onto government support and send shortages of basic parts rippling through the rest of the economy.
    Energy Minister Robert Habeck says the country will halt Russian coal this summer, oil by year’s end and gas in mid-2024.
    Oil would be easier to ban than natural gas, because like coal, there’s a large and liquid global market for oil and it comes mostly by ship, not fixed pipeline like gas.    But it’s not problem-free either.    Russia is the world’s largest oil exporter, with 12% of global supply.    Taking its oil to Europe off the market would drive up prices from other exporters, such as Saudi Arabia, when supplies are already tight.
    Russia might simply sell the oil to India and China, which aren’t taking part in sanctions – although the price Moscow gets might be lower.
    The economic hit from a full energy cutoff ranges from a drop of 1.2% to 2.2% of gross domestic product in the 19 countries using the euro, plus 2 percentage points of additional inflation, economists estimate.
A gas tank is seen at a chemical plant in Oberhausen, Germany. Big economies like Italy and Germany rely heavily
on Russian natural gas to heat and cool homes, generate electricity and keep industry churning. MARTIN MEISSNER/AP

4/8/2022 GOP Senators Hope To Force Biden Cooperation On Title 42 by OAN Newsroom
    GOP senators say they are hoping to delay the repeal of the Title 42 border policy by the Biden administration.    One America’s John Hines has more from Capitol Hill.

4/8/2022 Texas Gov. Abbott Takes Unprecedented Step To Fight Border Crisis by OAN Newsroom
Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference where he signed Senate Bills 2 and 3
at the Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)
    Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) is gearing up for a surge of illegal immigrants as a result to President Joe Biden’s move to end Title 42.    Since Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris seemingly refuse to witness the border crisis for themselves, the Texas governor is bringing it straight to their front door.
    During a recent press conference, Abbott said local officials are angry at the mess Biden has created.    In an effort to help them deal with the pending surge, the Republican will be providing charter buses to send the illegals straight to Washington, D.C.    The governor said this will allow Biden to more immediately address the needs of the people he is allowing into the country.
    Abbott outlined other new security measures, including enhanced inspection of cars and physical border barriers in addition to Texas building its own wall.    He went on to say high smuggling areas will also now be flooded with lights during the night.
    Governor Abbott said Texas is expecting up to 18,000 illegals entering on a daily basis once Title 42 expires, which is an unprecedented half a million per month. He’s expected to announce additional border security measures next week.

4/8/2022 Potential Sentencing Juror For Parkland School Shooter Dismissed Because Of ‘Sugar Daddy,’ Upcoming Events by OAN Newsroom
Nikolas Cruz, with his face mask pulled down, sits at the defense table during the third day of preliminary
jury screening in the penalty phase of his trial, Wednesday, April 6, 2022, at the Broward County Courthouse
in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Cruz previously plead guilty to the 2018 murders of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman
Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool)
    The jury selection that will decide the fate of the Parkland shooter continues.    This comes as a potential Nikolas Cruz sentencing juror was excused from the trial after saying she would be too busy to participate due to birthdays, her kids, her husband and “sugar daddy.”
    As the jury selection process began for Cruz’s trial earlier this week, a juror known as “Miss Bristol” told a Florida judge she may not be able to make it due to scheduling conflicts of hers and her son’s upcoming birthday’s.    She then dropped the bombshell of the potential struggle she will face in juggling time between her husband and sugar daddy.
    Miss Bristol was reportedly not the only juror to be dismissed, but the judge was visibly confused by her excuse. The selection is expected to take a couple of months while Cruz’s sentencing trial is expected to last from June through September.     Cruz pleaded guilty to killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018 and jurors will determine whether he receives the death penalty.

4/8/2022 Mark Meadows Says Durham Allegations Against Clinton Campaign Lawyer Are ‘Very Damning’ by OAN Newsroom
    Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said special prosecutor John Durham’s allegations against Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman are “very damning.”    One America’s John Hines has more from Washington, D.C.
    They discussed the characters in the collusion against Donald Trump which Durham is investigating now.

4/8/2022 Oil up $0.74 to $97.88, DOW up 138 to 34,722.

4/9/2022 Biden: Job market will shield economy by Josh Boak, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy faces plenty of threats: war in Ukraine, high grocery bills, spiking gasoline prices, splintered supply chains, the lingering pandemic and rising interest rates that slow growth.
    The Biden White House is betting the U.S. economy is strong enough to withstand these threats, but fears of a coming economic slump are growing among voters and some Wall Street analysts.
    The next few months will test whether President Joe Biden built a durable recovery full of jobs with last year’s $1.9 trillion relief package, or an economy overfed by government aid that could tip into a downturn.
    Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters this week the 3.6% unemployment rate and last year’s robust growth puts the U.S. in a safe place compared to the rest of the world.
    “What we have done over the course of the last 15 months is driven a uniquely strong economic recovery in the United States, which positions us uniquely well to deal with the challenges ahead,” Deese said.
    But others see an economy that could struggle to preserve growth while reducing inflation now running at a 40-year high of 7.9%.    The Federal Reserve has signaled a series of benchmark interest rate increases and other policies to slow inflation this year, yet Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has destabilized the global energy and food markets in ways that could push prices upward.
    Deutsche Bank on Tuesday became the first major financial institution to forecast a U.S. recession.    And Harvard University economist Larry Summers – a Democrat and former treasury secretary – noted the U.S. economy has gone into recession within two years each time inflation eclipsed 4% and unemployment was below 5% as they are now.
    Joe LaVorgna, who worked in the Trump White House and is now chief economist for the Americas at Natixis, said he expects economic growth this year to be just below 1%, a potentially dangerous level.
    While household balance sheets are solid and unemployment low, wages are not keeping up with inflation, which could dampen consumer spending.    And supply chain disruptions and higher energy costs will be additional drags.
    Still, because of the strong labor market and household savings, LaVorgna also anticipates that any downturn would be mild.
    Nearly 7 in 10 Americans believe the economy is in poor shape, according to a poll last month by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.    Yet Bank of America noted that total debit and credit card spending in March was up 11% from a year ago, and its analyst’s concluded households are “strong enough to weather the storm provided it doesn’t persist too long.”
    The White House has watched with some frustration as the public conversation about the economy has been reduced to inflation, believing that largely ignores the strength of the labor market and the idea that families are able to manage the higher prices because of the coronavirus relief provided earlier.
The Biden White House is betting the U.S. economy is strong enough to withstand current threats. CAROLYN KASTER/AP FILE

4/9/2022 Rep. Greene Explains Her Opposition To More Russian Sanctions by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., listens during a news conference
at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Congress voted to strip Russia and its ally Belarus of “most favored nation” trade status.    House lawmakers passed the measure in a 420-to-three vote Thursday with a bill banning Russian energy imports passing 413-to-nine, just hours after both were unanimously approved by the Senate.    Revoking permanent normal trade relations status raises tariffs on imports from the Eastern European nations.
    The three members of Congress who opposed the first measure were all Republicans, including Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Fla.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.).    Greene took to Twitter to explain the logic behind her vote.    First and foremost, the freshman representative asserted the bill give unnecessarily broad power to the executive branch to punish countries as it sees fit.
    “You see this bill that Congress just passed gives President Biden to be able to put sanctions on any country, not just Russia, but any country for what he deems to be human rights abuses and that can be any explanation, anything that he decides,” she stated.    “It gives too much broad power to the President of the United States when our current president, Joe Biden, is not making good decision on behalf of America and we can’t trust his authority in this situation.”
    Greene also expressed her fears the measure would worsen already rampant inflation in the U.S. economy.    Russia is a global exporter of agricultural products such as fertilizer and grain.    The Georgia Republican claimed imposing more sanctions intended to dissuade further Russian aggression will only hurt the American people.
    Greene also outlined the reasons behind her vote against the ban on Russian oil imports.    She explained the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a finite resource and without a permanent substitute for Russian energy, prices are destined to shoot back up to record highs.
    The congresswoman questioned the validity of sanctions as a diplomatic tool.    She pointed out they failed to prevent the Ukraine crisis and will have far reaching foreign policy ramifications for the United States.

4/9/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

4/10/2022 Jackson speech serves as tribute - Shows progress, struggle for Black Americans by Aaron Morrison, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    'In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.'
    With those words, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson acknowledged both the struggles and progress of Black Americans in her lifetime.
    Her words, delivered from the South Lawn of the White House on Friday, one day after her historic Senate confirmation, were a tribute to generations of Black Americans who she said paved the way for her elevation to the nation’s highest court.
    'I have now achieved something far beyond anything my grandparents could have possibly ever imagined,' Jackson said, noting they had gained only grade-school educations before starting their family and later sending their children to racially segregated schools.
    'The path was cleared for me, so that I might rise to this occasion,' she said.    'And in the poetic words of Dr. Maya Angelou, I do so now.'
    Quoting Angelou’s famous poem, 'And Still I Rise,' Jackson added: 'I am the dream and the hope of the slave.'
    Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator who was a prominent surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, said Jackson’s speech was an awe-inspiring reminder of how far Black Americans have come amid their ongoing struggle.
    'Expressing that realization out loud for all of the world to hear, as she is about to take her place as the first Black woman Supreme Court justice, was just magnificent,' said Turner.
    'It is vitally important that we, as Black people, continue to remind this nation from whence we came,' Turner said.    'The pain that it took to get to a ‘Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’ could not be understated.'
    Jackson, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, said that she has been lucky on her path to the high court.    Although her arrival breaks one of the remaining racial barriers in American democracy, many Black Americans still struggle to surmount systemic blocks.
    She namechecked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights icon, as well as Black federal judicial trailblazers such as Justice Thurgood Marshall and Judge Constance Baker Motley, thanking them for their leadership and role modeling.
    'For all of the talk of this historic nomination and now confirmation, I think of them as the true path breakers,' Jackson said.    'I’m just the very lucky first inheritor of the dream of liberty and justice for all.'
    Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable, watched Jackson’s speech from the White House lawn as an invited guest on Friday.    With the sun shining through clouds over Washington, there was a palpable joy in the crowd over what Jackson symbolizes for the country, she said.
    'It just felt like the ancestors were dancing,' said Campbell.
    Others watching the speech also noted the diversity at the event and the image at the center – President Joe Biden flanked by the first Black female Supreme Court justice and the first Black and Asian American vice president.
    Just before Vice President Kamala Harris introduced the president, she gushed over what Jackson’s confirmation will one day mean to her young, Black goddaughter.
    'When I presided over the Senate confirmation vote yesterday ... I drafted a note to my goddaughter,' Harris said.    'I told her that I felt such a deep sense of pride and joy about what this moment means for our nation and for her future.'
    Speaking directly to Jackson, Harris added: 'And I will tell you, her braids are just a little longer than yours.'
    Although the occasion will be noted in history books as a symbol of racial progress, Turner said Jackson’s elevation to the Supreme Court should be celebrated by Americans of all races and creeds.
    'Not only should the entire Black community be proud, the entire country should be proud because this has certainly been a long time coming,' she said.    'And from this victory, we certainly have an opportunity to continue to build and create more victories. We’re not done yet.'
Girls dressed as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson attend a rally to celebrate her Senate
confirmation to the high court in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

4/10/2022 Jackson, COVID-19 and a retirement - Party-line fights escalate as elections approach by Alan Fram, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – A milestone Supreme Court confirmation that endured a flawed process.    The collapse of a bipartisan compromise for more pandemic funds.    The departure of a stalwart of the dwindling band of moderate House Republicans.
    Party-line fights on Capitol Hill are as old as the republic, and they routinely escalate as elections approach.    Yet three events from a notable week illustrate how Congress’ near- and long-term paths point toward intensifying partisanship.
Senate’s Supreme Court battle
    Democrats rejoiced Thursday when the Senate by 53-47 confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black female justice.    They crowed about a bipartisan stamp of approval from the trio of Republicans who supported it: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah.
    Yet by historical standards, the three opposition party votes were paltry and underscored the recent trend of Supreme Court confirmations becoming loyalty tests on party ideology.    That’s a departure from a decadeslong norm when senators might dislike a nominee’s judicial philosophy but defer to a president’s pick, barring a disqualifying revelation.
    Murkowski said her support for Jackson was partly 'rejection of the corrosive politicization' of how both parties consider Supreme Court nominations, which 'is growing worse and more detached from reality by the year.'
    Republicans said they would treat Jackson respectfully, and many did.    Their questions and criticisms of her were pointed and partisan, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, saying 'the Senate views itself as a co-partner in this process' with the president.
    Yet some potential 2024 GOP presidential contenders seemed to use Jackson’s confirmation to woo hard-right support. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, misleadingly accused her of being unusually lenient on child pornography offenders.    Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, suggested she might have defended Nazis at the Nuremburg trials after World War II, before she was born.
    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, said some Republicans 'went overboard, as far as I’m concerned, to the extreme,' reflecting 'the reality of politics on Capitol Hill.'    Cotton was 'fundamentally unfair, but that is his tradition,' said Durbin.
Supreme Court battles past
    Senate approval of high court nominees by voice vote, without bothering to hold roll calls, was standard for most of the 20th century.    Conservative Antonin Scalia sailed into the Supreme Court by 98-0 in 1986, while liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg won 96-3 approval seven years later.
    There were bitter fights.    Democrats blocked conservative Robert Bork’s nomination in 1987 and unsuccessfully opposed Clarence Thomas’ ascension in 1991 after he was accused of sexual harassment.
    Hard feelings intensified in early 2016. McConnell, then majority leader, blocked the Senate from even considering President Barack Obama’s pick of Merrick Garland to replace the deceased Scalia.    McConnell cited the presidential election nearly nine months away, infuriating Democrats.
    Donald Trump was elected and ultimately filled three vacancies over near-unanimous Democratic opposition.
    Democrats opposed Brett Kavanaugh after he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman decades earlier, which he denied.    They voted solidly against Amy Coney Barrett after Trump and McConnell rushed through her nomination when a vacancy occurred just weeks before Election Day 2020, a sprint Democrats called hypocritical.
COVID spending fight, transformed
    Senators from both parties agreed to a $10billion COVID-19 package last week that President Joe Biden wants for more therapeutics, vaccines and tests.    With BA.2, the new omicron variant, washing across the country, it seemed poised for congressional approval.
    Hours later, bargainers led by Romney and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, seemed blindsided when their compromise was derailed.    Republicans wanted to add an extension of an expiring crackdown on migrants crossing the Mexican border that Trump imposed in 2020, citing the pandemic’s public health threat.
    Many Republicans were skeptical that more COVID-19 money was necessary.    But their demand for an immigration amendment transformed a fight over how much more to spend on a disease that’s killed 980,000 people in the U.S. into a battle over border security, tailor-made for GOP political campaigns ahead.
    Immigration divides Democrats, and Republicans believe the issue can further solidify their chances of winning congressional control in November’s elections.    Playing defense, Schumer postponed debate on the COVID-19 bill.
    Democrats deserved some blame for being outmaneuvered. House Democrats shot down a $15 billion agreement in March, rejecting compromise budget savings to pay for it.
    And in glaringly tone-deaf political timing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced April1, just as bargainers were completing their latest compromise, that the Trump-era immigration curbs would lapse May23.
    That gave Republicans an irresistible political gift to pursue.
A moderate’s farewell
    Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan, announced his retirement Tuesday.    He’s the fourth of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year to say they won’t seek reelection.
    Upton attributed his departure to running in a new district, but that didn’t stop Trump from proclaiming: 'UPTON QUITS!    4 down and 6 to go.'    The House impeached Trump over his incitement of supporters who attacked the Capitol on Jan.6, 2021, but the GOP-run Senate acquitted him.
    Now in his 18th term, Upton’s departure subtracts another moderate from a GOP that’s shifted rightward in recent years, particularly when it comes to showing fealty to Trump.
    The pro-business Upton, 68, was a driving force on one law spurring pharmaceutical development and has worked with Democrats on legislation affecting energy and the auto industry.    His bipartisan work and affability placed him in the ever-smaller group of Republicans who draw Democrats’ praise.
    'To him, bipartisan and compromise are not forbidden words,' said Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan.
Party differences, then and now
    Pitched battles are now habitual over bills financing federal agencies and extending the government’s borrowing authority.    When those disputes are resolved and federal shutdowns and defaults averted, lawmakers hail as triumphs what is their most rudimentary task – keeping government functioning.
    Despite the divisions over COVID-19 money and Jackson, there has also been cooperation.
    Congress overwhelmingly voted Thursday to ban Russian oil and downgrade trade relations with that country following its invasion of Ukraine.    There’s progress on bipartisan trade and technology legislation, and a bipartisan $1trillion infrastructure measure became law last year.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., emerges from the chamber to cheer the vote confirming
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, securing her place as the first Black woman on the high court,
at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP File Romney McConnell

4/10/2022 Devin Nunes On Big Tech Suppression & Democrat Collusion by OAN Newsroom


4/10/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

4/11/2022 Biden expected to release rule on ghost guns in days by Michael Balsamo, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The Biden administration will come out with its long-awaited ghost gun rule, aimed at reining in privately made firearms without serial numbers that are increasingly cropping up at crime scenes, as soon as Monday, three people familiar with the rule told The Associated Press.
    Completion of the rule comes as the White House and the Justice Department have been under growing pressure to crack down on gun deaths and violent crime in the U.S.
    The White House also has been weighing naming Steve Dettelbach, a former U.S. attorney from Ohio, to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the people said.    Biden had to withdraw the nomination of his first nominee, gun-control advocate David Chipman, after the nomination stalled for months because of opposition from Republicans and some Democrats in the Senate.
    For nearly a year, the rule has been making its way through the federal regulation process.    Gun safety groups and Democrats in Congress have been pushing for the Justice Department to finish the rule for months.    It will likely be met with heavy resistance from gun groups and draw litigation in coming weeks.
    The exact timing of the announcement hasn’t been set, the people said.    They could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity. The White House declined to comment.
    On Sunday, the Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, implored the administration to move faster.
    'It’s high time for a ghost gun exorcism before the proliferation peaks, and before more people get hurt – or worse,' Schumer said in a statement.    'My message is a simple one: No more waiting on these proposed federal rules.'    Ghost guns are 'too easy to build, too hard to trace and too dangerous to ignore.'
    Justice Department statistics show that nearly 24,000 ghost guns were recovered by law enforcement at crime scenes and reported to the government from 2016 to 2020.    It is hard to say how many are circulating on the streets, in part because in many cases police departments don’t contact the government about the guns because they can’t be traced.
    The rule is expected to change the current definition of a firearm under federal law to include unfinished parts, like the frame of a handgun or the receiver of a long gun.
    In its proposed rule released last May, the ATF said it was also seeking to require manufacturers and dealers who sell ghost gun parts to be licensed by the federal government and require federally licensed firearms dealers to add a serial number to any unserialized guns they plan to sell.
    The rule would also require firearms dealers to run background checks before they sell ghost gun kits that contain parts needed to assemble a firearm.
    For years, federal officials have been sounding the alarm about an increasing black market for homemade, military-style semi-automatic rifles and handguns.
'Ghost guns' are displayed at the San Francisco Police Department in 2019. The Biden administration is expected
to announce its long-awaited rule to rein a surge of privately made firearms. Haven Daley/AP file

4/11/2022 Whitmer case outcome fuels concerns - Political violence often unpunished, some say by Sara Burnett, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Outside the Michigan courthouse where a jury did not convict any of the four men charged with planning to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a defense lawyer said jurors saw the alleged plot as what it was: Dirty FBI tactics and 'rough talk.'
    The men – who were heard on audio during the trial talking about killing Whitmer, blowing up a bridge and other violence – didn’t say anything shocking, attorney Michael Hills said. He noted one of the defense witnesses he considered calling to testify planned to assert that he’s 'heard worse from pregnant mothers up on the Capitol.'
    'If I don’t like the governor and it’s rough talk, I can do that in our country.    That’s what’s beautiful about this country.
    That’s what’s great about it,' Hills said.    'So hurrah, freedom in America. It’s still here.'
    But to others, Friday’s outcome following a weekslong trial was a chilling reminder that the political violence that is raging across the U.S. too often goes unpunished.    From attacks on social media and elsewhere that disproportionately affect women lawmakers, to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the plan to abduct Whitmer, people are increasingly angry and feeling emboldened to act on it, they say.
    Whitmer, a Democrat, has blamed former President Donald Trump for stoking anger over COVID-19 restrictions and refusing to condemn right-wing extremists.    On Friday, her office said people across the country are experiencing 'a normalization' of violence.    A Democratic state lawmaker said the threats posed won’t be taken seriously 'until someone dies.'
    'The plot to kidnap and kill a governor may seem like an anomaly.    But we must be honest about what it really is: the result of violent, divisive rhetoric that is all too common across our country,' Whitmer’s chief of staff, JoAnne Huls, said in a statement.    'There must be accountability and consequences for those who commit heinous crimes. Without accountability, extremists will be emboldened.'
    Whitmer wasn’t a trial witness, didn’t attend the trial and has not directly commented on the proceedings, but on Saturday, she alluded to the trial’s outcome.
    'I have often been asked why the heck do I want to keep doing this job. And after yesterday I’m sure we all have to ask that question maybe once or twice,' she said during a speech at the Michigan Democratic Party Endorsement Convention in Detroit.    'But here’s the reason: Tough times call for tough people and we are going to get through this together.'
    Four men – Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Brandon Caserta and Daniel Harris – were arrested in October 2020.
    Federal prosecutors said they wanted to kidnap Whitmer because they were angry over pandemic restrictions and saw her as a 'tyrant' who needed to be removed.
    The charges came at a particularly divisive time, with debate raging over the pandemic and just weeks before the 2020 presidential election between Trump and Joe Biden.    Armed protests were occurring at the Michigan Capitol and elsewhere in the U.S., and in many cities, demonstrations at times turned violent.
    Prosecutors presented evidence at the federal trial in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from undercover agents, an FBI informant and two men who pleaded guilty to the plot.    Jurors also read and heard secretly recorded conversations, violent social media posts and chat messages.
    Defense attorneys argued that the men were entrapped by the FBI – pulled into an alleged plot they would never have participated in if not for the government and its informants luring them.    They painted the men as wannabes who were frequently high and easily influenced, or in one case, a former member of the military who wanted to brush up on firearms training.
    Before returning their verdicts, the jury said that after nearly five days of deliberations they could not agree unanimously on all 10 of the charges against the men.
    Harris, 24, and Caserta, 33, were found not guilty of conspiracy.    Harris also was acquitted of charges related to explosives and a gun.
    The jury could not reach verdicts for Fox, 38, and Croft, 46, which means the government can put them on trial again.
    U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said after the verdicts that 'We have two defendants that are awaiting trial and we’ll get back to work on that.'
    Hills, who defended Caserta, said the outcome was a message to the government that the FBI’s actions were 'unconscionable.'    He said the federal government should 'let it go' rather than take Croft and Fox to trial a second time.
    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican, tweeted after the verdict that the 'FBI and DOJ need a complete and total cleansing… '
    Others were stunned by the decision, and said it set a dangerous example.
    U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, called for an end to 'the hatred and division in this country' and said she is 'deeply concerned that today’s decision in the Whitmer kidnapping trial will give people further license to choose violence and threats.'
    Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist called on elected officials, parents, teachers and others to stand up to 'these hateful actions and teach our kids that there is a better way.'
    'Our differences must be settled at the ballot box, not through violence,' he said.    'We need to be honest and clear about what causes violence by extremists and do all we can to address the root cause of it.'
    Michigan state Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, a Democrat, noted on Twitter that a man who threatened to kill her in 2020 was acquitted.
    'The next time you ask why we can’t get good people to run for office, consider today’s verdict,' she said, adding, 'This won’t be taken seriously until someone dies.'
    'Our differences must be settled at the ballot box, not through violence.'
Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist
Michael Hills, the defense attorney representing Brandon Caserta, speaks to
reporters in Grand Rapids, Mich. Daniel Shular, Grand Rapids Press/AP

4/11/2022 US: Russia has new Ukraine war commander by Robert Burns and Hope Yen, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – After its striking post-invasion setbacks, Russia has appointed a new Ukraine war commander, a U.S. official said Sunday.
    Russia has turned to Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, 60, one of Russia’s most experienced military officers and, according to U.S. officials, a general with a record of brutality against civilians in Syria and other war theaters.    The senior official spoke on condition of anonymity.
    White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said “no appointment of any general can erase the fact that Russia has already faced a strategic failure in Ukraine.”
    “This general will just be another author of crimes and brutality against Ukrainian civilians,” Sullivan told CNN’s “State of the Union.”    “And the United States, as I said before, is determined to do all that we can to support Ukrainians as they resist him and they resist the forces that he commands.”
    The decision to establish new battlefield leadership comes as Russia gears up for what is expected to be a large and more focused push to expand Russian control in the Donbas.

4/11/2022 Average US gas price drops to $4.27 per gallon by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    CAMARILLO, Calif. – The average U.S. price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline dropped 10 cents over the past two weeks to $4.27 per gallon as oil prices continue to “yo-yo,” industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday.
    The price at the pump was $1.32 above what it was one year ago, according to the Lundberg Survey taken Friday.
    Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas was in Los Angeles, at $5.85 per gallon.    The lowest average was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at $3.52 per gallon.
    According to the survey, the average price of diesel was $5.13 per gallon, down 2 cents over two weeks.
    Lundberg said prices dropped dramatically in the past two weeks, in part because higher prices reduced demand during the second half of March.
    However, the drop isn’t predictive of further declines because among other things, the global oil supply is tight due to a dip in output last month by OPEC, Lundberg said [Biden is an idiot they would not pump oil for him or anyone because does not what is happening in the world].
    The war in Ukraine also has sparked global uncertainty.    The U.S. has banned all Russian energy supplies but Lundberg said sanctioned Russian oil is still finding “big buyers like India and China happy to pay discount prices.”
    In a bid to reduce spiking energy prices, President Joe Biden last month ordered the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve for six months.
    On Thursday, the International Energy Agency said that its member countries are releasing 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency reserves on top of previous United States pledges.
    The Paris-based organization says the new commitments made by its 31 member nations, which include the U.S. and much of Europe, amount to a total of 120 million barrels over six months, the largest release in the group’s history.

4/11/2022 Thousands rally in Los Angeles to oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates by Damian Dovarganes, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    LOS ANGELES – Thousands of people including truckers and firefighters from across the country gathered Sunday outside Los Angeles City Hall to protest vaccination mandates designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
    The crowd gathered at Grand Park to hear speakers and performers, while big-rig trucks from the “People’s Convoy” were parked on nearby streets.    Members of the convoy jammed traffic during a Washington, D.C., protest earlier this year.
    The peaceful crowd gathered to hear speakers and singers.
    California battled a deadly winter coronavirus surge linked to the omicron variant but began easing masking and vaccination requirements this year as caseloads and hospitalization rates fell, which public health officials largely attributed to widespread vaccination and other safety measures.
    However, the rates began to rise again a couple of weeks ago, leading to concerns that the new, more infectious BA.2 variant was spreading.
    Paul Schweit, 31, a New York firefighter and founder of Bravest for Choice, flew out with some teachers, transit operators and others to support local public workers, he said.
    Schweit said he has been on unpaid leave for five months for failing to comply with New York’s vaccine requirement for public employees.    He believes he had COVID-19 but recovered.
    “The people that held out this long believe that this is not about a shot.    It’s about the freedom to make the choice for yourself for your own bodily autonomy,” Schweit said.    “We are 100% not anti-vaccine.    We support the individual.    We believe the threat to the individual is a threat to all freedoms of the people.”
    Los Angeles County and the city require their workers, including firefighters and police and sheriff’s deputies, to be fully vaccinated or to have medical or religious exemptions.    Relatively few have faced disciplinary action.
    As of last month, about two dozen employees, including a dozen fire department workers and several police officers, had been fired for violating vaccine mandate rules.    The city has successfully fought anti-mandate lawsuits filed on behalf of firefighters and police department workers.
    Organizers of the protest are opposing several COVID-19-related bills that have been proposed in the Legislature, although the broadest has been put on hold.    Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, shelved her measure that would have required all public or private employees or independent contractors to be vaccinated.

4/11/2022 Oil down $3.47 to $94.45, DOW down 413 to 34,308.

4/11/2022 The Trump Train Rolls Into Selma, N.C. by OAN Newsroom
The 45th President descended on the Tar Heel State for this weekend’s
‘Save America’ rally. One America’s Zach Petersen with a recap of Donald Trump’s speech.

4/11/2022 Soros-Backed Prosecutor Investigated For Misconduct by OAN Newsroom
FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2020, file photo, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner
speaks during a news conference in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
    Former Missouri governor and current Senate candidate Eric Greitens recently lambasted a prosecutor in Missouri who's facing disciplinary action.    On Saturday, Greitens aired his grievances with Kimberly Gardner on Breitbart News after he was forced to resign from the governorship after he was accused by Gardner of sexually assaulting and blackmailing a woman during his tenure as the governor of Missouri.
    On Thursday, a judge ordered prosecutor Kimberly Gardner to turn over all her communication records with Democrat mega donor George Soros between 2017 and 2019.    The courts request to turn over these records comes after it was revealed that she received funds from the billionaire.    Meanwhile, Greitens said she was was always walking on thin ice.
    "What happened was that eventually, they were caught," he stated.    "They were charged with seventy felonies for perjury and for evidence tampering, for building a false case against me.    That corrupt former FBI agent just plead guilty and what happened just on Friday is that the Missouri Supreme Court told Kim Gardner, the Soros funded prosecutor that after delaying and delaying for four years that she must now turn over all her communications with George Soros."
    Additionally, Gardner faces a disciplinary hearing due to multiple allegations which includes perjury and evidence tampering in relation to her probe into Greitens.    Her hearing will determine if she will lose her law license and her job as a prosecutor.
    "We're getting to the bottom of this," said Greitens.    "What's even better is that on Monday, she faces disciplinary actions for over seventy instances of perjury in building a case against me.    The bottom line for all your listeners is that truth prevails."
    Meanwhile, the Senate candidate wrapped up his interview by calling out Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for letting Kentanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court nomination pass through the Senate.    He also went on to accuse so-called RINOs of repeatedly stabbing the American people in the back for siding with and supporting Democrat policies.
    "Instead, we had Mitch McConnell letting her nomination sail through the United States Senate and we've seen that time after time," he continued.    "And the problem is not just with the left's craziness.    I mean they come with critical race theory, they come with defunding the police, they come with their open border policies, but the problem is that you have the     RINOs who continually stab the American people in the back and side with and support the leftists."
    It's unknown if the previous allegations will affect Greitens' chances in the state's Republican primary which will take place in August.

4/11/2022 Ga. Shooting Range Robbery Results In 3 Deaths by OAN Newsroom
    Authorities are asking the public for information regarding a triple homicide and robbery in Grantville, Georgia.    Grantville Police are looking for the gunmen responsible for killing the owner of Lock, Stock and Barrel Shooting Range, 75-year-old Tommy Hawk, along with is wife Evylyn and 19-year-old grandson on Friday.
    “It’s really hard because, you know, we don’t have stuff like here in Grantville like that,” said Chief Steve Whitlock, Grantville Police Department.    “I mean, this is a nice, quiet little town.”
Police believe the shooting occurred during a robbery after the range had closed, also adding the suspects got away with about 40 guns and surveillance footage. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have both joined the search.
    Located about 50-miles south of Atlanta, the Hawks operated their business in Coweta County for nearly 30-years.    Members of the tight-knit community have been left shaken as they cant seem to wrap their heads around why or how this could happen to a family loved by so many.    Authorities confirmed Hawks son, Richard Hawk, is the Coweta County>
    Meanwhile, as multiple law enforcement agencies are working together on this investigation, the ATF is offering a $15,000 for further information leading to an arrest.

4/11/2022 GOP Must Focus On Education In Culture War by OAN Newsroom
    Republicans are channeling more energy into culture wars like education.    One America’s Cynthia Kaui has more.

4/11/2022 Mass Migration Puts Strain On Southern Border by OAN Newsroom
FILE – A line of Texas Department of Safety vehicles line up on the Texas side of the Rio Grande with Mexico visible,
right, near an encampment of migrants, many from Haiti, on Sept. 22, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
    Large groups of illegal migrants are caught crossing the U.S. border in Texas.    According to Rio Grand Valley Customs and Border Protection, 226 illegal immigrants were apprehended at a single crossing site within 24-hours. Border Patrol agents confirmed 126 migrants were recently caught in La Grulla, Texas and another group of 100 was detained at the exact same location a few hours later.
    Immigration officials are sounding the alarm, saying the number of migrants storming the border is rising exponentially.    The majority of those are caught and released into the U.S. under the Biden administration’s policies.
    In the midst of such events, Obama-era Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is defending Biden’s handling of the border crisis.    In an interview Sunday, he endorsed the policy of addressing so-called “root causes” of migration by sending U.S. taxpayer money to Central American countries.
    Johnson also defended Biden ending the Title 42 rule, which barred migrants from entering the U.S. due to COVID-19.    He also admitted the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border is rapidly increasing.
    The former White House official also suggested the U.S. could open mandatory vaccination sites for migrants at the border, but he admitted it’s hard to force-vaccinate such large numbers of migrants.
    However, Rep. Mike Rogers promised Republicans will use oversight powers to oblige Joe Biden to enforce border security.    In a recent radio interview, Rogers said that it was time to shine a light on the actions of the administration.    He said that the reason things are so bad, especially on the border, is because nobody is committed to oversight in Congress.    Rogers said that will change when Republicans take back the majority. He’s confident the party will flip both chambers.
    “The Homeland Security Committee will be all over this when the Republicans are in control,” he stated.    “We’ll be dragging folks from all over the administration in and making them testify about what’s happening.    Making them explain why they think they don’t have to adhere to the law.    There will be a bright light shined on what they’re doing.”
    The representative also said that the current influx of illegal migrants is draining schools and hospitals.    He believes Biden has abdicated his duty to the American people.

4/11/2022 White House NSA Sullivan Echoes Admin. Claims Of Russian War Crimes by OAN Newsroom
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks speaks at a press briefing
at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    White House National Security advisor Jake Sullivan seemed to poke the bear as the Biden administration wrestles with how to dissipate Russian forces from Ukraine.    On several corporate news networks Sunday, Sullivan echoed Joe     Biden’s claims that Russia’s attacks on civilians are “war crimes.”
    This came after reports drew attention to the missile attack on a crowded train station in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, which left at least 52 civilians dead.    Sullivan further claimed these types of attacks were planed even before the invasion.
    The national security advisor also touched on Russia’s reshuffling of military leaders to administer the next phase of Russia’s invasion.    Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly tapped a new general to lead the invasion, who has been linked to alleged bombings in Syria.    Sullivan said this will lead to a scorched earth strategy that fits a pattern of Russian tactics and further pushed that Russia has already engaged in this type of warfare.
    Meanwhile, Sullivan stressed the Biden administration is still sending arms and other forms of aid to Ukraine.    He said Biden’s strategy aims to bolster Ukrainian troops and regional allies to thwart attacks from Russia while allowing Ukraine to reclaim territory.    Sullivan also admitted the Biden administration hopes the end of the war will end with a crippled Russia.
    In the meantime, Sullivan said Biden does not plan to show his support for the Ukrainians by visiting Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky as other world leaders have done.    Instead, Biden is expected to stay put in Washington, D.C. and make decisions solely from the White House.    However, congressional lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands as a bipartisan delegation is expected to survey refugee assistance efforts at several NATO countries this week.

4/11/2022 First Acquittal For Jan. 6 Defendant Makes Others Reconsider Plea Deals by OAN Newsroom
    For the first time, a defendant who entered the U.S. Capitol on January 6 is acquitted of the charges against him.    One America’s Sam Valk with more.

4/12/2022 Oil up $5.24 to $100.35, DOW down 88 to 34,220.

4/12/2022 Arizona House votes to delay controversial new election law by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    PHOENIX – The Arizona House voted Monday to delay the effective date for legislation signed last month requiring voters to provide evidence of their citizenship, which has already prompted two lawsuits amid fears by voting-rights advocates that it could cancel the registrations of thousands of people.
    If approved by the Senate and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, the citizenship requirement would take effect after the 2022 election, a concession demanded by a Republican lawmaker who provided the final vote to pass the bill out of the Senate.    As it stands now, that requirement and others in a bill signed March 30 will take effect 90 days after the legislative session ends, which is likely to fall between the primary and general election.
    Monday’s update also would make a technical change that appears aimed at addressing concerns that the bill could potentially require hundreds of thousands of people who registered before 2005 to provide proof of their citizenship.
    Arizona is the only state that requires documentary proof of citizenship when registering to vote.    A 2013 Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s law said anyone who registers using a federal voter registration form, which does not require documentation of citizenship, must be allowed to vote in federal elections.
    The controversial new law seeks to block those voters from voting for president or by mail. It also requires all voters to provide proof of their address when they register.
    The Legislature’s own lawyers say much of the new law is unconstitutional.    Still, voting rights advocates worry it is an attempt to get back in front of the now more conservative Supreme Court.

4/12/2022 Biden Unveils Strict Gun Control Laws by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden holds pieces of a 9mm pistol as he speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington,
Monday, April 11, 2022. Biden announced a final version of the administration’s ghost gun rule, which comes with the
White House and the Justice Department under growing pressure to crack down on gun deaths. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    The Biden administration unveiled a stricter crackdown on ghost guns while changing the definition of a firearm under federal law.    While standing on the lawn of the Rose Garden, President Joe Biden announced the banning of unlicensed kits used to create the untraceable weapons.
    The new rule also includes a ban on the so-called Buy Build Shoot kits, which people can purchase online or at a store and assemble within 30-minutes.    As a result, commercial manufacturers will be required to include a serial number on each kit and run a background check on the person prior to a sale.
    Critics were quick to dismiss the rule while claiming “the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to prevent a person from making their own firearm.”    In railing against ghost guns, Biden showcased how easy it is to assemble one.
    The move will also mandate licensed firearm dealers to keep records of sales until their businesses close, which they are then required to report to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Previously, dealers were allowed to discard the documents.
    The NRA slammed Biden’s plan, saying the administration is not “truly sincere” on fighting violent crimes until criminals are put behind bars.    Meanwhile, Biden defended the idea that the regulation is “extreme.”
    Additionally, Second Amendment advocates suggested lenient, soft-on-crime Democrat policies are the reason for violent offenses, not the gun.    This comes as NYPD statistics found ghost guns make up a small percentage of overall guns used for crime.
    The final, handwritten original of the Bill of Rights as passed by Congress, with the rest of the original prepared by scribe William Lambert, is preserved in the National Archives.    This is the version ratified by Delaware and used by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller:
A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    So Joe Biden stop infringing on our 2nd Amendment rights.].

4/12/2022 Families Of Fedex Shooting Victims File Lawsuit by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Delivery vehicles depart the FedEx Ship Center in Cranberry Township, Pa.,
on June 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
    Fedex is facing a scorching lawsuit from the families of five victims who were killed by a former employee.     In a press conference on Monday, attorney’s representing the plaintiffs announced they were suing Fedex, three of its operating units and Securitas Security Services USA over last year’s mass shooting.
    The incident took place at a Fedex warehouse in Indiana, where former employee Brandon Scott Hole opened fired, in turn, killing eight and injuring several others.
    “It is our pleasure to represent these folks in a just devastatingly horrible situation that was preventable,” said attorney Dan Chamberlain.    “Not only preventable, but these types of situations cannot continue in the United States, let alone in the state of Indiana.    This was one of the worst mass shootings.”
    The suit claims the defendants knew or should have known about the gunman’s “potentially violent and dangerous behavior” after he allegedly showed mental instability multiple times, which lawyers argue was “reasonably likely to result in injuries to himself and others.”
    One of the employees killed was 65-year-old Amarjeet Johal, who was working late so she could attend a wedding celebration for her granddaughter the next day.    The victim’s son, Gary Johal, is now seeking justice.
    “It’s still the same, still hurts the same,” Johal stated.    “Still can’t move forward.    Life has just been going down.    My mother was everything to me and I can’t see myself moving forward at this moment.    At least without the justice that we deserve.”
    Another victim, 19-year-old Karli Smith, was reportedly shot while waiting for a ride home.    Her father, plaintiff Matt Alexander, opened up about the trauma the tragedy has caused while expressing the pain of having to bury your own child.
    The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.    In the meantime, Fedex has issued a response saying they will be reviewing the allegations.

4/12/2022 Dr. Fauci Recommends 4th COVID Shot For Those Over The Age Of 50 by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, wears a face mask during the White House COVID-19
Response Team’s regular call with the National Governors Association in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower
Executive Office Building on the White House Campus, Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    It appears Dr. Anthony Fauci is back doing the media rounds, just in time to urge everyone over age 50 to get a fourth COVID vaccine dose.    While speaking to Joy Reid on Monday, the NIAID director was asked about an uptick in cases caused by an Omicron sub-variant just after Philadelphia announced it was bringing back forced masking.
    The city’s Public Health Department announced Monday that starting April 18 masks will be required in all indoor public spaces, including, schools, businesses, restaurants and government buildings.    The department said the mask mandate is tied to the COVID response levels, adding they want to protect the most vulnerable residents.
    Dr. Fauci said that due to waning immunity and a pullback of restrictions in most places, the case increase was expected.    The nations highest paid unelected bureaucrat said he thinks much of the country will see an increase in cases and recommended older Americans get their fourth dose.
    According to reports, there was an average of 142 new cases in Philadelphia in recent days, although hospitalizations remain relatively low at 46 people.    Meanwhile, the fourth dose is only recommended for those over 50, for now, and a fifth dose is also reportedly being discussed.

4/12/2022 Democrat Rep. Slotkin Against Ending Title 42 by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., does a television interview on Capitol Hill
in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) AP
    Democrat Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) appeared to change her stance on border security after previously railing against former President Donald Trump’s efforts to secure the southern border.    In a recent interview with America Rising’s political action committee, the Michigan congresswoman spoke out against President Joe Biden’s decision to lift the Trump-era Title 42 policy.
    Prior to the interview, Slotkin was supportive of amnesty and notably released a press release in 2019 stating her support against funding Trumps border wall.    However, Slotkin now says she knows if Title 42 is lifted, more illegal immigrants will come to the US.
    “Right now we don’t have nearly as many people coming over the border as we usually would at this time because we have COVID restrictions on,” stated the congresswoman.    “The minute those are lifted in May, it’s going to be again a series over overwhelmed border crossings and I can’t support that.    I can’t support ripping off a Band-Aid and not having a plan to stem the blood flow.”
    Slotkin is running for re-election and could face Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett (D-Wis.) in November in a district expected to be highly-competitive.

4/12/2022 Pfizer Tries To Hide 2.4K Full-Time Hires Handling Vax Injuries by OAN Newsroom

    A court in Texas has ordered Pfizer to disclose details relating to its COVID vaccine and latest documents show shocking new numbers relating to vaccine injuries.    One America’s Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion has more from Washington.

4/13/2022 Inflation surge
    The Labor Department said Tuesday that its consumer price index rose 8.5% in March from 12 months earlier, resulting in the sharpest year-over-year increase since 1981.
    Prices have been driven up by bottlenecked supply chains, consumer demand and disruptions to global food and energy markets.
    Gasoline prices rocketed 48% in the U.S. over the past 12 months.    Used car prices soared 35%, bedroom furniture is up 14.7% and grocery prices rose 10%.
    The March numbers were the first to fully capture the surge in gas prices that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.    From February to March, inflation rose 1.2%, the most in one month since 2005.

4/13/2022 Consumer prices in US up 8.5% over past year - It’s the highest rise in inflation since 1981 by Paul Wiseman, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Inflation soared over the past year at its fastest pace in more than 40 years, with costs for food, gasoline, housing and other necessities squeezing American consumers and wiping out the pay raises that many people have received.
    The Labor Department said Tuesday that its consumer price index jumped 8.5% in March from 12 months earlier, the sharpest year-over-year increase since December 1981.    Prices have been driven up by bottlenecked supply chains, robust consumer demand and disruptions to global food and energy markets worsened by Russia’s war against Ukraine.    From February to March, inflation rose 1.2 %, the biggest month-to-month jump since 2005.
    Across the economy, the year-over year price spikes were widespread in March.    Gasoline prices have rocketed 48% in the past 12 months.    Used car prices have soared 35.3%, though they actually fell in February and March.    Bedroom furniture is up 14.7%, men’s jackets suits and coats 14.5%. Grocery prices have jumped 10%, including 18% increases for both bacon and oranges.
    Even excluding volatile food and energy prices, which have driven overall inflation, so-called core inflation jumped 6.5% over the past 12 months, the biggest such increase since 1982.
    “The inflation fire is still out of control,” said Christopher Rupkey, chief economist at the economic research firm FWDBONDS LLC.
    The March inflation numbers were the first to capture the full surge in gasoline prices that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.    Moscow’s brutal attacks have triggered far-reaching Western sanctions against the Russian economy and have disrupted global food and energy markets.    According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of gasoline – $4.10 – is up 43% from a year ago, though it has fallen in the past couple of weeks.
    The escalation of energy prices has led to higher transportation costs for the shipment of goods and components across the economy, which, in turn, has contributed to higher prices for consumers.
    Even before Russia’s war further spurred price increases, robust consumer spending, steady pay raises and chronic supply shortages had sent U.S. consumer inflation to its highest level in four decades.    In addition, housing costs, which make up about a third of the consumer price index, have escalated, a trend that seems unlikely to reverse anytime soon.
    For now, the economy as a whole remains solid, with unemployment near 50-year lows and job openings near record highs.
    Inflation, which had been largely under control for four decades, began to accelerate last spring as the U.S. and global economies rebounded with unexpected speed and strength from the brief but devastating coronavirus recession that began in the spring of 2020.
    Many Americans have been receiving pay increases, but the pace of inflation has more than wiped out those gains for most people.     In February, after accounting for inflation, average hourly wages fell 2.5% from a year earlier. It was the 11th straight monthly drop in inflation-adjusted wages.
    Still, for now anyway, With the job market robust, inflation has yet to dampen overall consumer spending.
Gasoline prices have gone up 48% in the past 12 months. NAM Y. HUH/AP

4/13/2022 Biden suspending 10% ethanol rule - Move intended to lower prices at the gas pump by Will Weissert, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is visiting corn-rich Iowa on Tuesday to announce he’ll suspend a federal rule preventing the sale of higher ethanol blend gasoline this summer, as his administration tries to tamp down prices at the pump that have spiked during Russia’s war with Ukraine.
    Most gasoline sold in the U.S. is blended with 10% ethanol.    The Environmental Protection Agency will issue an emergency waiver to allow widespread sale of 15% ethanol blend that is usually prohibited between June 1 and Sept.15 because of concerns that it adds to smog in high temperatures.
    Senior Biden administration officials said the move will save drivers an average of 10 cents per gallon at 2,300 gas stations.    Those stations are mostly in the Midwest and the South, including Texas, according to industry groups.
    The move comes as Biden is facing growing political pressure over inflation, as new data Tuesday showed prices are rising at the fastest pace in more than 40 years, driven in part by soaring energy prices during the Russia-Ukraine war.    The Labor Department said Tuesday that its consumer price index jumped 8.5% in March from 12 months earlier, the biggest year-over-year increase since December 1981.
    Gas prices accounted for more than half of the monthly jump in prices. Food and housing costs also climbed in March in ways that could weigh on families.    Inflation began to accelerate last year amid robust hiring after the passage of Biden’s $1.9trillion coronavirus relief package, a challenge for U.S. consumers that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine then amplified.
    Administration officials said the EPA has begun analyzing the 'emergency' step of allowing more E15 gasoline sales for the summer and determined it is not likely to have significant on-the-ground air quality impacts.    That’s despite some environmentalists long arguing that more ethanol in gas increases pollution, especially during warmer summer months.
    Biden is to announce the move at a biofuel company in Menlo, west of Des Moines.    Iowa is the country’s largest producer of corn, key to producing ethanol.
    The waiver is another effort to help ease global energy markets that have been rocked since Russia invaded Ukraine.    Last month, the president announced the U.S. will release 1million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve over the next six months.    His administration said that has helped to slightly reduce gas prices lately, after they climbed to an average of about $4.23 a gallon by the end of March, compared with $2.87 at the same time a year ago, according to AAA.
    'Not only is this decision a major win for American drivers and our nation’s energy security, it means cleaner options at the pump and a stronger rural economy,' Emily Skor, CEO of the biofuel trade association group Growth Energy, said in a statement.
    Members of Congress from both parties also had urged Biden to grant the E15 waiver.
    'Homegrown Iowa biofuels provide a quick and clean solution for lowering prices at the pump and bolstering production would help us become energy independent once again,' said Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.    He was among nine Republican and seven Democratic senators from Midwestern states who sent Biden a letter last month urging him to allow year-round E15 sales.     The trip will be Biden’s first as president to Iowa, where his 2020 presidential campaign limped to a fourth-place finish in the state’s technologically glitchy caucus.
    After bouncing back to win the Democratic nomination, Biden returned for a rally at the Iowa state fairgrounds four days before Election Day 2020, only to see Donald Trump win the state by 8 percentage points.     Biden heads back to the state at a moment when he’s facing yet more political peril.    He’s saddled with sagging approval ratings and inflation at a 40-year high while his party faces the prospect of big midterm election losses that could cost it control of Congress.
    The president also planned to promote his economic plans to help rural families struggling with higher costs, while highlighting the $1trillion bipartisan infrastructure law enacted last fall.    The law includes money to improve internet access, as well as for modernizing wastewater systems, reducing flooding threats and improving roads and bridges, drinking water and electric grids in sparsely populated areas.     'Part of it is showing up in communities of all sizes, regardless of the results of the last election,' said Jesse Harris, who was a senior adviser to Biden’s 2020 campaign in Iowa and directed get out the vote and early voting efforts for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.
    Harris said most presidents who visit Iowa typically go to the state’s largest cities.    Hitting an area like Menlo, part of Guthrie County, which backed Trump over Biden by 35 percentage points in 2020, 'does speak to the importance the administration places on infrastructure broadly but also infrastructure in rural and smaller communities.'
    The Biden administration plans to spend the coming weeks pushing billions of dollars in funding for rural areas.    Cabinet members and other senior officials will travel the country to help communities get access to money available as part of the infrastructure package.
    'The president is not making this trip through a political prism,' White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.    'He’s making this trip because Iowa is a rural state in the country that would benefit greatly from the president’s policies.'
    Still, administration officials have long suggested that Biden travel more to promote an economy that is rebounding from the setbacks of the coronavirus pandemic.    The number of Americans collecting unemployment has fallen to the lowest levels since 1970, for example.
    But much of the positive jobs news nationally has been overshadowed by surging gas, food and housing prices that have offset wage gains.
    Psaki blamed Russia’s war in Ukraine for helping to drive up gas prices and said the administration expects the consumer price index for March to be 'extremely elevated' in large part because of it.

4/13/2022 Oil up $3.14 to $104.22, DOW up 344 to 34,565.

4/13/2022 Biden Blames Russia For Intensifying Inflation by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks at POET Bioprocessing in Menlo, Iowa, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Amid intensifying inflation, the White House has struggled to point the finger on whose to blame for the crisis.    President Joe Biden has continued to blame inflation on Russia, although prices had been soaring for several months before the Ukraine crisis.
    Biden gave a speech in Iowa on Tuesday after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed U.S. inflation rate accelerated to 8.5 percent in March.    The BLS also said inflation rose just 1.2 percent from a month prior while most of price increases took place before February.    The Ukraine crisis began on February 24 when U.S. inflation already stood at 7.9 percent.
    US gas prices surged 60 percent in January from a year prior after Biden restricted drilling and shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline last year.    Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) said the Biden administration may be under-counting inflation that plagues America.
    DeSantis said on Tuesday that prices are rising significantly above the Labor Department’s latest reading of 8.5 percent.    The governor said households are suffering from the worst inflation in 40 years and it keeps going up every month.    He added, the costs of energy and food are soaring through the roof due to economic policies by the Biden administration.
    DeSantis stressed the value of the US dollar has decreased due to multi-trillion spending packages.    Looking ahead, the Florida governor said he’s using all available state resources to offset the effects of Biden’s policies, but state level efforts are not enough to contain inflation.

4/13/2022 Ga. Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry Bill Amid Primary by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Former Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., speaks at the Conservative Political
Action Conference (CPAC) Feb. 27, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
    Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) made good on his promise to pass constitutional carry legislation nearly three and a half years later.    On Tuesday in Douglassville, the owner of Gable Sporting Goods, Rome Smith, kicked off the signing ceremony.    He stated, “What this bill’s gonna do is it’s gonna make Georgia a safer place.”
    This bill will allow law abiding citizens to carry a concealed handgun without a permit in areas where firearms are permitted starting next year.    Sen. Jason Annavitarte (R-Ga.) weighed in, saying the goal of this law is to empower law abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families while disempowering criminals.
    Governor Kemp signed the bill long after he pledged to make constitutional carry his top priority while in office during an interview with local media back in February 2019.
    “SB 319 makes sure that law abiding Georgians, law abiding Georgians including our daughters and your family too, can protect themselves without having to have permission from your state government,” he stated.    “The Constitution of the United States gives us that right, not the government.”
    While many conservatives support constitutional carry, some Georgians like Kemp’s Trump-endorsed GOP competitor David Perdue didn’t miss the opportunity to take a jab at him.
    During a recent interview, Perdue noted constitutional carry was going “nowhere” until he got in the race while arguing a lot of Kemp’s accomplishments only happened after he announced his candidacy.    Meanwhile, Kemp and Perdue are set to face off in the Republican primary on May 24.

4/13/2022 Rep. Brady Says Looming Tax Hikes Still Out There by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) (R) speaks during an event at the Newseum
November 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) recently criticized the Biden administration for poorly addressing economic issues.    During an interview Tuesday, the Republican accused Biden of falling short by not addressing the worker shortage or creating incentives to encourage Americans to go back to work.
    Brady noted that instead, Biden talks about higher taxes “nearly every week,” which the congressman believes has a negative impact on Americans.    The Texas lawmaker argued that suggested tax hikes are becoming a real problem for the economy. He stressed that it’s small business owners who are really worried.
    “We ought to be driving more investment in the US, especially along the supply chain, in new equipment, new technology, new innovation ought to be what the administration is championing,” Brady explained.    “But they are still stuck on some form of Build Back Better and even if you look at the trimmed down versions, your talking about a trillion and a half dollars of tax hikes.”
    The congressman urged the Biden administration to step up and starting paying attention to these trends.

4/13/2022 Long Island Police Release Video Evidence In Gilgo Beach Murders by OAN Newsroom
    Authorities release new video evidence related to a series of murders in Long Island, New York.    Their investigation began in 2010 when police received a call from a woman saying someone was trying to kill her.
    Over the course of their investigation, authorities discovered 10 sets of human remains.    The new footage was revealed during a press conference and shows one of the victims, Megan Waterman, exiting a Holiday Inn.
    “The video shows several different angles from security cameras located in the lobby of a Holiday Inn Express located in Hauppauge and in the videos, which were recorded on June 4 to June 6 in 2010, our victim, Megan Waterman, was wearing a yellow sweater and is shown both arriving and leaving the hotel,” stated Rodney Harrison, Suffolk County Police Commissioner.    “Based on what we know right now, we believe she did leave the hotel that night to meet her killer.”
    Additionally, they set up a website for people to turn in any information they have regarding the case.    Police also doubled the reward for anyone who comes forward to assist their investigation.
    “We are doubling the reward for information that may lead to the arrest and conviction in the Gilgo Beach homicide investigation from $25,000 to $50,000,” Harrison announced.    “This represents the highest Crime Stoppers reward in Suffolk County history.”
    The press conference ended with an attorney for one of the victims urging the public to assist them with solving the case by generating buzz around their community.
    “This is the first step, but it’s a very small baby step towards what should be done, which is to bring the public into this case,” attorney John Ray.    “It’s the only way this will be solved.    The only way.    The killers are still there, they know it if they see things on the TV it will cause them to react as well.”
    The investigation is still ongoing with police expecting to release more evidence related to the case.

4/13/2022 Police Confirm Arrest Of Suspect In NYC Subway Shooting by OAN Newsroom
New York City Police Department officers handcuff subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, in the
East Village section, of New York, Wednesday, April 13, 2022. James, accused of shooting 10 people on a
Brooklyn subway train was arrested Wednesday and charged with a federal terrorism offense after a
daylong manhunt and a tipster’s call brought police to him on a Manhattan street. (AP Photo/Meredith Goldberg)
    Authorities in New York announced the arrest of the suspected subway shooter.    In a press conference Wednesday, law enforcement officials revealed 62-year-old Frank James was taken into custody without incident after they received a tip.
    Police confirmed they found video of him entering the subway system Tuesday and also recovered a nine millimeter gun they suspect he used in the shooting, which injured at least 10 people.
    New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell praised hundreds of detectives along with law enforcement partners for their efforts to find James.
    “We hope this arrest brings some solace to the victims and the people of the City of New York,” she stated.    “We used every resource at our disposal to gather and process significant evidence that directly links Mr. James to the shooting.    We were able to shrink his world quickly.    There was nowhere left for him to run.”
    The incident happened during rush hour Tuesday morning as the train pulled into the 36th Street station in Brooklyn.    The New York Fire Department said they initially responded to a call about smoke at the station.
    When they arrived on the scene, they found multiple people with gunshot wounds.
    James will be arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn on a terrorism-related charge.    He’s facing life behind bars if convicted.

4/13/2022 Senate Candidate Timken Says It’s Time To Balance The Budget Like Ohio Families Do by OAN Newsroom
FILE — Ohio senatorial candidate Jane Timken listens as Ohio Sen. Rob Portman speaks
to supporters at a rally in Cincinnati, March 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean, File)
    Ohio Senate candidate Jane Timken released a new ad in which she blamed President Joe Biden for the massive increase in inflation.    In the ad, which was released Wednesday, the Republican said said Biden’s policies have hurt families across the US.
    Timken believes that the best way to solve the problem is to balance the budget just like, she asserted, Ohio families must do.
    “Now everything from groceries to gas to meals with our families costs more,” she stated.    “I’m Trump conservative Jane Timken and in the Senate, I’ll stop Biden’s socialist agenda and runaway inflation.    It’s time for Congress to balance the budget, just like families in Ohio do.”
    This comes as polls in the Republican primary show Timken with single digit support with businessman Mike Gibbons and former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel leading the pack.
    Former President Donald Trump has not endorsed in the race and the primary is at the beginning of May.

4/13/2022 Secy. Of State Blinken: We Have Seen An Alarming Recession Of Democracy by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during the fourth U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue
at the State Department in Washington, Monday, April 11, 2022. (Michael A. McCoy/Pool via AP)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken says democratic principles are on the decline around the world while human rights abuses are on the rise.    The US State Department issued a dire warning about the state of democracy in several countries.
    While speaking about the department’s 46th Annual Report on Human Rights Practices in nearly 200 countries around the world, Secretary Blinken said there was a trend in backsliding in 2021.
    “For many years running, we have seen an alarming recession of democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights in many parts of the world,” he stated.    “In the time since releasing our previous report, that backsliding has unfortunately continued.”
    The report detailed the humanitarian crisis that happened during and after the Biden administration withdrew from Afghanistan.    Since American troops left the Central Asian country, the Taliban has increased its arbitrary killings, detention and forced disappearances of political dissidents. Additionally, antigovernmental groups, including the Taliban and ISIS-K, punished civilians through beatings, amputations and executions.
    Department of State researchers also pointed out the ruling Taliban has rolled back efforts to educate the Afghan people, lamenting access to education was bolstered prior to the surrender.
    “We invest so much effort into documenting these and other abuses year after year, not only because it aligns our most sacred values, but also because respect for human rights is fundamental part of upholding the international rules based order,” he stated.
    Secretary Blinken also noted under President Biden’s watch, authoritarian regimes are taking their human rights abuses beyond their borders.    He touched on the Iranian plot to kidnap a US-based journalist who was critical of the Ayatollah regime from her home in New York.
    Also, Belarusian-Russian officials ordered a Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania to land in its capital, so they could arrest a 26-year-old exile who had orchestrated protests against Lukashenko regime.
    Additionally, the report warned China is continuing its human rights abuses that the US has been sounding the alarm on for years.    The Chinese Communist Party is still perpetrating genocidal actions against Uyghur Muslims in its Xinjiang province.
    According to the report, CCP officials have also launched a censorship campaign against dissident areas, including shutting down news papers promoting democracy in Hong Kong and sending military planes to Taiwan to thwart independence claims.
    “And we know that the way to do it matters, together with citizens and communities out in the open transparently, not trying to pretend problems don’t exist or sweeping them under a rug,” Blinken continued, “And in fact, that’s what distinguishes democracies: our willingness, our commitment to pursue that more perfect union.    In practicing what we preach at home, gives us greater legitimacy when we encourage governments abroad to do the same thing.”
    In the meantime, the US Secretary of State said he will work to bolster America’s human rights practices, so it can better lead by example. He vowed to continue meeting with human rights activists and journalists abroad as well as continue to sanction countries that continue to violate their citizens’ human rights.


4/14/2022 COVID cases and deaths fall for 3rd consecutive week FROM WIRE REPORTS
    GENEVA – The number of new coronavirus cases and deaths reported to the World Health Organization fell for a third consecutive week, a trend likely helped by the dismantling of testing and surveillance programs. In its latest weekly report on the pandemic, issued late Tuesday, the U.N. health agency said the more than 7 million new cases reported represented a 24% decline from a week earlier.    The weekly worldwide number of COVID-19 deaths was down 18%. New cases and deaths are falling in every region of the world.

4/14/2022 Western arms flow into Ukraine - Russia has yet to slow historic weapons influx by Robert Burns, ASSOCIATED PRESS     WASHINGTON – Western weaponry pouring into Ukraine helped blunt Russia’s initial offensive and seems certain to play a central role in the approaching, potentially decisive, battle for Ukraine’s contested Donbas region.    Yet the Russian military is making little headway halting what has become a historic arms express.
    The U.S. numbers alone are mounting: more than 12,000 weapons designed to defeat armored vehicles, some 1,400 shoulder-fired Stinger missiles to shoot down aircraft, and more than 50 million rounds of ammunition, among many other things.    Dozens of other nations are adding to the totals.
    The Biden administration is preparing yet another, more diverse, package of military support totaling $800 million.
    These armaments have helped an under-gunned Ukrainian military defy predictions that it would be quickly overrun by Russia.    They explain in part why Vladimir Putin’s army gave up, at least for now, its attempt to capture Kyiv, the capital, and has narrowed its focus to battling for eastern and southern Ukraine.
    U.S. officials and analysts offer numerous explanations for why the Russians have had so little success interdicting Western arms moving overland from neighboring countries, including Poland. Among the likely reasons: Russia’s failure to win full control of Ukraine’s skies has limited its use of air power.    Also, the Russians have struggled to deliver weapons and supplies to their own troops in Ukraine.
    Some say Moscow’s problem begins at home.
    “The short answer to the question is that they are an epically incompetent army badly led from the very top,” said James Stavridis, a retired U.S. Navy admiral who was the top NATO commander in Europe from 2009 to 2013.
    The Russians also face practical obstacles.    Robert G. Bell, a longtime NATO official and now a professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech University, said the shipments lend themselves to being hidden or disguised in ways that can make them elusive to the Russians – “short of having a network of espionage on the scene” to pinpoint the convoys’ movements.
    “It’s not as easy to stop this assistance flow as it might seem,” said Stephen Biddle, a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University.    “Things like ammunition and shoulder-fired missiles can be transported in trucks that look just like any other commercial truck."    And the trucks carrying the munitions the Russians want to interdict are just a small part of a much larger flow of goods and commerce moving around in Poland and Ukraine and across the border.
    “So, the Russians have to find the needle in this very big haystack to destroy the weapons and ammo they’re after and not waste scarce munitions on trucks full of printer paper or baby diapers or who knows what.”
    Even with this Western assistance it’s uncertain whether Ukraine will ultimately prevail against a bigger Russian force.
    The Biden administration has drawn the line at committing U.S. troops to the fight.    It has opted instead to orchestrate international condemnation and economic sanctions, provide intelligence information, bolster NATO’s eastern flank to deter a wider war with Russia, and donate weapons.
    In mid-March, a Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said arms shipments would be targeted.
    “We warned the United States that pumping weapons into Ukraine from a number of countries as it has orchestrated isn’t just a dangerous move but an action that turns the respective convoys into legitimate targets,” he said in televised remarks.
    But thus far the Russians appear not to have put a high priority on arms interdiction, perhaps because their air force is leery of flying into Ukraine’s air defenses to search out and attack supply convoys on the move.    They have struck fixed sites like arms depots and fuel storage locations, but to limited effect.
    As the fighting intensifies in the Donbas and perhaps along the coastal corridor to the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula, Putin may feel compelled to strike harder at the arms pipeline, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called vital to his nation’s survival.
    In the meantime, a staggering volume and range of war materiel is arriving almost daily.
    “The scope and speed of our support to meeting Ukraine’s defense needs are unprecedented in modern times,” said John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.
A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Donetsk region of eastern
Ukraine on Feb. 15. Western weaponry helped Ukraine blunt Russia’s initial offensive. VADIM GHIRDA/AP FILE

4/14/2022 Case against Clinton lawyer in counsel’s probe can go on by Eric Tucker, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The criminal prosecution of a Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer charged with lying to the FBI during the Trump-Russia investigation can move forward, a judge ruled Wednesday in denying a defense bid to dismiss the case.
    The ruling means Michael Sussmann, charged last year by special counsel John Durham, remains set for trial on May 16 in Washington’s federal court.
    Sussmann is charged with lying to the FBI during a September 2016 meeting in which he relayed concerns from cybersecurity researchers about a potential secret back channel of communications between servers of the Trump Organization and Russia-based Alfa Bank.
    The FBI investigated the matter but ultimately found no such suspicious links.
    Prosecutors allege that Sussmann misled the FBI’s then-general counsel by saying that he was not attending the meeting on behalf of a particular client when he was actually presenting the information on behalf of the Clinton campaign and a technology executive with whom he had worked.
    In order to prosecute someone for a false statement, the Justice Department must prove that the statement was not only fictitious but also “material” – that is, capable of influencing a government agency’s decision-making or>     In this case, Durham’s team says that had the FBI known Sussmann was representing the interests of the Clinton campaign at the meeting, it would have done more to examine his motives and the reliability of his information as it considered whether to open an investigation based on the tip he provided.
    Sussmann’s lawyers have argued that his ties to the Clinton campaign were already well-known to the FBI, and have rejected the idea that the full disclosure of that relationship could have meaningfully influenced the FBI’s decision to investigate or act on his tip.
    U.S. District Judge Christopher “Casey” Cooper said in a six-page ruling Wednesday that the dispute was ultimately up to a jury to decide.
    “The battle lines thus are drawn, but the Court cannot resolve this standoff prior to trial,” Cooper>     Durham, a former U.S. attorney in Connecticut, was appointed in 2019 by then-Attorney General William Barr to look for government misconduct during the investigation into Russian election interference in 2016 and possible ties to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
    Sussmann is one of three people charged so far.
    Sussmann is charged with lying to the FBI during a September 2016 meeting in which he relayed concerns from cybersecurity researchers about a potential secret back channel of communications between servers of the Trump Organization and Russia-based Alfa Bank.
John Durham, a former U.S. attorney in Connecticut, was appointed in 2019 to look for
government misconduct during the investigation into Russian election interference. AP

4/14/2022 Park Police, Secret Service settle BLM protester lawsuits - Agencies to change crowd dispersal rules by Bart Jansen, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – U.S. Park Police and the Secret Service agreed Wednesday to update their policies for dealing with protesters as part of the settlement of four lawsuits over how protesters were cleared from Lafayette Square in 2020, the Justice Department announced.
    The changes include requirements for Park Police officers to wear visible identification, limit the use of nonlethal force and set new procedures for dispersing crowds.
    “The federal government is committed to the highest standards for protecting civil rights and civil liberties in any federal law enforcement response to public demonstrations,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a statement.
    Nationwide protests erupted after the murder of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May 2020.    During a protest the next month, federal authorities cleared the park before then-President Donald Trump walked from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he held up a Bible.
    The Interior Department’s inspector general found that authorities didn’t clear the park for the photo op but for contractors to erect security fences.
    Authorities cleared the crowd with tear gas and military-grade weapons, according to four lawsuits filed against the administration.    One of the plaintiffs, Radiya Buchanan, said the tear gas canisters sounded like bombs exploding in the crowd, “and the scene quickly resembled a war zone.”
    “People were running over each other, looking for anything to pour into their eyes to stop the burning all while trying to dodge flares and gas canisters,” Buchanan said in a statement.    “It did not feel like we were in America.”
    April Goggans, an organizer of Black Lives Matter, said tear gas and rubber bullets would never silence protests against police violence.
    “These attempts to disrupt the ability to organize for an end to the recurring trauma caused to Black communities by police attacks will not go unchallenged,” Goggans said in a statement.
    The lawsuits were filed on behalf of Black Lives Matter D.C. and 13 protesters by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; American Civil Liberties Union of D.C.; the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs; and the law firms of Arnold & Porter; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and Regan Zambri Long.
    As part of the settlement, the U.S. Park Police will:
    Within the next 30 days, the Secret Service agreed to amend its policies so unlawful conduct by some demonstrators wouldn’t provide blanket grounds for use of force, crowd dispersal or a declaration of unlawful assembly.
President Donald Trump visits St. John’s Church across from Lafayette Park, which he cleared of protesters in 2020. AP

4/14/2022 Oil up $2.12 to $106.30, DOW down 113 to 34,451.

4/14/2022 Texas Gov. Abbott Signs Agreement With Nuevo Leon, Mexico To Secure Border by OAN Newsroom
FILE – A line of Texas Department of Safety vehicles line up on the Texas side of the Rio Grande with Mexico visible, right,
near an encampment of migrants, many from Haiti, on Sept. 22, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. Former Trump administration officials
are pressing Republican border governors to declare an “invasion” along the U.S.-Mexico border. It comes as Texas Gov.
Greg Abbott says he’ll announce “unprecedented actions” on Wednesday to deter migrants coming to Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
    Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed a historic agreement with the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon to increase border security.     During a press conference on Wednesday, the Republican said under this deal law enforcement from Nueva Leon will patrol the border and Texas will stop inspections of their commercial vehicles.     This move came after Abbott ordered extra inspections of commercial trucks as part of his efforts to curb human trafficking and the flow of drugs into the country. Additionally, this deal includes the setup of security checkpoints and highways connecting both states.
    Abbott stressed, Texans deserve an aggressive border security strategy that will protect their communities from dangerous consequences related to illegal immigration.
    Abbott recently made good on his promise to transport migrants in the US illegally to the nation’s capitol, which he asserted will let the Biden administration immediately address the needs of the people they are allowing to come across the border.
    The Republican lawmaker stressed, the ultimate way to end the clogged border is for Joe Biden to do his job and enforce immigration laws.    Abbott called on Texans to contact their federal elected officials to maintain Title 42 expulsions.

4/14/2022 2nd Bus From Texas Drops Off Illegal Immigrants In D.C. by OAN Newsroom
LA JOYA, TEXAS – JUNE 21: Immigrants walk towards border patrol after crossing the Rio Grande
into the U.S. on June 21, 2021 in La Joya, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    A second bus packed with illegal immigrants from Texas arrived in the nation’s capital.    Early Thursday morning, a charter bus dropped off dozens of passengers near Capitol Hill, just one block from Union Station.
    They were questioned by Capitol Police then released into the city.    This is part of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) plan to combat Joe Biden’s failing border policies.    Abbott said the move will allow Biden to “more immediately” address the needs of the people he’s allowing into the country.
    On Wednesday, just hours after the first bus of migrants arrived in D.C., White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki doubled down on her criticism of Abbott’s plan.
    “Well, these are all migrants who have been processed by CBP and are free to travel, so it’s nice the state of Texas is helping them get to their final destination as they await in their outcome of their immigration proceedings,” she remarked.    “And they’re all in immigration proceedings.”
    Secretary Psaki then pointed the finger at Abbott for doing “enhanced safety inspections” at several Texas ports along the southern border.    The governor has stepped up measures at the southern border to force administration officials to take action amid the crisis, but Psaki played it off as a political stunt.
    Meanwhile, Abbott’s constituents celebrated a win just days after his initial announcement as the White House reportedly stopped dropping off illegals in Texas between the Rio Gande Valley to Terrell County.
    While it’s unclear where the second bus originated, the first was reportedly from the Del Rio sector, where a surge of illegal immigrants is expected as Biden ends Title 42.

    4/15/2022 GENERAL ASSEMBLY - Legislature speeds through overrides - Lawmakers target most of Beshear’s full vetoes by Joe Sonka, Olivia Krauth and Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    FRANKFORT — The Kentucky General Assembly began the process of overriding two dozen vetoes from Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday, the second- to-last day of the 2022 legislative session.    The Republican supermajority easily dispatched the Democratic governor’s vetoes of several of their high-priority bills, including a bill to severely limit access to abortion in Kentucky and one to tighten rules for the poor receiving public assistance benefits.
    The legislature voted to override all but two of Beshear’s 24 full vetoes of bills Wednesday, in addition to the Inside
    Abortion rights backers sue over law.
    Line-item vetoes of three bills and most of the governor’s 27 line-item vetoes for House Bill 1, the state budget bill.
    House Bill 690, which faced a barrage of criticism from law enforcement and court officials for a late amendment that would have let licensed attorneys carry concealed weapons in Kentucky courtrooms, was spared from a veto override.
    The House on Wednesday voted to sustain Beshear's veto of Senate Bill 167 — allowing county judge-executives to appoint members of local public library boards and require county fiscal court approval for capital projects of $1 million or more — but then reversed course Thursday to override it in a second vote.    The override on Wednesday only picked up 48 votes in the House — short of the 51 required for an override — but picked up 52 votes on Thursday.
Senate Bill 83 (transgender sports ban)
    Both chambers voted to override the governor’s veto of SB 83 by a large majority, which will ban transgender girls and women from girls’ and women’s sports teams, beginning in sixth grade and running through college.
    Beshear in his veto statement said SB 83 would violate the rights of transgender girls and set the state up for a legal challenge.
    He added that legislators had failed to point out a single instance of a Kentucky child gaining an unfair advantage due to being transgender, nor any examples of current Kentucky High School Athletic Association policies failing to maintain a fair playing field.
    Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson, the main sponsor of SB 83, pointed out University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines in the Senate gallery as a supporter of the bill, using her example of losing to transgender woman Lia Thomas in a national NCAA event as the type of outcome the bill would prevent.
    Sen. Karen Berg, D-Louisville, who has a transgender child, said the passage of SB 83 will make a difference for transgender children as young as 12 “as to whether or not they’re going to be ostracized or accepted by their classmates and their school” — noting their high suicide rate.
    Before the House gave SB 83 final passage by a 72-23 vote, Rep. Ryan Dotson, R-Winchester, said women’s sports are being “invaded by biological males,” adding that Beshear only vetoed it for “West Coast money.”
Senate Bill 1 (education)
    Lawmakers overrode Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 1 despite a recent revelation that it unintentionally opens teachers up to criminal charges for teaching history incorrectly.
    Sen. Max Wise, who sponsored the portion of SB 1 dealing with history curriculum, said legislative leaders are committed to fixing what he said was an oversight.    House Bill 44, a bill dealing with student mental health days, is in free conference committee and will have language correcting SB 1.
    Under SB 1, principal and curriculum selection will move from school councils to superintendents.
    It would move additional power from the Jefferson County school board to Superintendent Marty Pollio, as well as limit JCPS’ board to one meeting a month.    Board chairwoman Diane Porter previously said she would advocate for legal action should SB 1 become law.
    SB 1 also installs guardrails for how history courses are taught in Kentucky, particularly around topics of race, and mandates two dozen historical texts and documents.
House Bill 1 (executive branch budget)
    Beshear issued line-item vetoes of 27 sections of HB 1 — the two-year executive branch budget appropriating roughly $16 billion in each of the next two fiscal years — with the Legislature overriding 21 of them Wednesday on mostly party-line votes.
    The six line-items vetoes the Republican supermajority let stand were technical in nature, but they did not spare Beshear’s veto of a provision allowing Kentucky’s six elected constitutional officers to receive the same 8% raise as other state workers in the bill.
    Lawmakers also overrode Beshear’s line-item veto of House Bill 243 — the legislative branch budget bill — which struck state legislators from being eligible for the same 8% raise.
    Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, said it was shameful for the legislators to give themselves a raise, yet not mancome date any raises for public K-12 teachers and staff.
House Bill 9 (charter school funding)
    The Legislature overrode Beshear’s veto of House Bill 9 with expectedly narrow margins.
    The House overrode the veto Wednesday afternoon on a 52-46 vote, with the Senate following with a 22-15 vote Wednesday night.
    If ultimately enacted, HB 9 creates a pathway for charter schools to open in Kentucky, five years after lawmakers initially legalized the school type.
    Under HB 9, Kentucky would create a permanent funding mechanism for charter schools, allowing local and state tax dollars to follow a student to a charter school.
    Beshear previously said the proposed funding stream is likely unconstitutional, as is a provision in the bill requiring Louisville and Northern Kentucky — but no other area — to open charter schools.
House Bill 7 (public benefits bill)
    HB 7 is a far-reaching measure to add more rules and restrictions to the state’s public benefits program that advocates have said would force many people to lose aid from programs such as Medicaid or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, formerly known as food stamps.
    The House overrode the veto by a vote of 70-24 and the Senate, 28-9.
    Rep. David Meade, R-Stanford, the sponsor, says it would improve accountability and reduce fraud.
    In vetoing HB 7, Beshear said “it will hurt Kentuckians by threatening access to health care and making it harder for those in need to access crucial benefits.”
    “This bill will hurt our families, seniors, children and those with disabilities and it will disproportionately affect the regions of the commonwealth that lack access to health care, food, child care and other assistance,” Beshear said in a veto message.
    In the Senate, Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, called the bill “cruel” and urged lawmakers to reconsider, saying it was likely to hurt the state’s poorest and most vulnerable residents.
House Bill 3 (omnibus abortion bill)
    HB 3 is a bill with so many new restrictions on abortion that it would effectively eliminate access to the procedure in Kentucky, according to opponents who have pledged to challenge it in court.
    The House overrode the veto 76-21 and the Senate, 31-6.
    It bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, outlaws receiving abortion medication by mail, imposes new restrictions for girls under 18 seeking abortions, and required that fetal remains be disposed of by burial or cremation.
    Beshear, in vetoing HB 3, listed what he said are multiple flaws, leading with the fact the bill makes no exemption for those who become pregnant by rape or incest, while at the same time making it harder for girls under 18 to end a pregnancy without notification to both parents.    He also said it is likely unconstitutional.
    Opponents including the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood said they will file immediate legal challenges and ask a judge to temporarily block the law while the case is pending, but it likely will temporarily disrupt abortion services in Kentucky, they said.
House Bill 8 (tax cuts)
    Both chambers voted on a mostly party-line to override Beshear’s veto of HB 8, which lowers the individual in- tax rate from 5% to 4.5% next year and sets up triggers to lower it incrementally in future years until it is eliminated.
    Though the bill also ends the state sales tax exemption for more than a dozen services and adds new fees on electric vehicles, a fiscal note for HB 8 still projects it would decrease tax revenue by nearly $1.1 billion over the biennium.
    Republican proponents of the bill say moving to a system taxing consumption instead of production will lead to economic growth, while Democratic critics have said it would move toward a more regressive tax that hurts low-income people and helps the wealthy.
    In his veto statement, Beshear focused on the “new taxes” in the bill that “weaken public safety, harm vital industries, undermine economic development incentives, and threaten Kentucky’s future economic security.”
    Beshear also criticized the new taxes on hybrid and electric vehicles, which come “at a time when Kentucky is poised to become a world leader in manufacturing those vehicles and their batteries.”
Other notable veto overrides
    Reach reporter Joe Sonka at jsonka@ and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka.
    “This bill will hurt our families, seniors, children and those with disabilities and it will disproportionately affect the regions of the commonwealth that lack access to health care, food, child care and other assistance.”
Gov. Andy Beshear, on House Bill 7 (public benefits bill)
As he walks up toward the Kentucky House of Representatives, Rep. Randy Bridges, R-Paducah, gives a thumbs down Wednesday to
the chants of “bans off our bodies” from abortion rights advocates inside the state Capitol. PHOTOS BY MATT STONE/COURIER JOURNAL

Senate President Robert Stivers, left, and House Speaker David Osborne listen
during the governor’s 2022 budget address at the state Capitol on Jan. 13.

4/15/2022 HOUSE BILL 3 - Abortion rights backers sue KY - 2 lawsuits challenge state law after veto overridden by Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s two abortion providers have filed federal lawsuits challenging a new state law they say stops access to the procedure and are asking a judge to suspend it.
    The two lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court in Louisville, came hours after the Republican-controlled General Assembly voted Wednesday to override Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of House Bill 3, an “omnibus” abortion bill opponents say is unconstitutional.
    “It is impossible to comply with its vast provisions, resulting in an immediate ban on abortion state-wide in the absence of this Court’s intervention,” said the lawsuit filed on behalf of Planned Parenthood in Louisville.
    “We urge the court to block this law immediately and ensure that people in Kentucky can continue to access abortion care,” said Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, which filed suit on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center, also in Louisville.
    Final passage of HB 3 Wednesday makes Kentucky the first state to end all access to abortion, opponents said.
    The lawsuits seek an emergency order from a judge to block enforcement of the law while the federal court challenges proceed.
    Because the law contains an emergency provision, House Bill 3 became effective immediately.
    Supporters of HB 3, including Rep. Nancy Tate, R-Brandenburg, the sponsor, have said its purpose to protect women’s health, limit abortion medication by mail and expand rights of parents of minors who get abortions.
    Opponents believe otherwise.    “Make no mistake, the Kentucky Legislature’s sole goal with this law is to shut down health centers and completely eliminate abortion access in this state,” leaders with Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.
    Opponents of the bill spent most of the day at the Capitol Wednesday protesting and could be heard shouting “Bans off our bodies!” as the House first voted to override the veto, followed several hours later by the Senate.
    HB 3 includes multiple new restrictions on abortion including:
    Republican supermajorities in both the House and Senate easily overrode the veto of Beshear, a Democrat who supports abortion rights, the House on a vote of 76-21 and the Senate, 31-6.
    The vote to override the governor’s veto rekindled some of the same impassioned debate it triggered when it previously passed the Legislature.
    Rep. Norma Kirk-Mc-Cormick, R-Inez, spoke in favor of the override.
    “The abortion of a baby is plain wrong,” she said.    “I pray that God will have mercy on anyone that would take the life of a child.”
    But several women lawmakers, all Democrats, urged lawmakers to sustain the governor’s veto.
    HB 3 “assumes women are too stupid to make up their own minds about their medical procedures,” said Rep. Mary Lou Marzian of Louisville.    “It’s an insult to Kentucky women and their families.”
    Beshear had said the bill likely is unconstitutional and had objected in particular to the fact that HB 3 has no exemptions for victims of rape or incest, including underage girls.
    “Rape and incest are violent crimes,” Beshear said in his April 8 veto message.    “Victims of these crimes should have options, not be further scarred through a process that exposes them to more harm from their rapists or that treats them like offenders themselves.”
    The scramble to try to block the law is similar to that of 2019, when lawmakers passed a bill to ban abortions after six weeks and then-Gov. Matt Bevin, an anti-abortion Republican, signed it into law the same day.
    That forced EMW, then the state’s only abortion provider, to cancel appointments and suspend abortions for a day until the law was blocked by a federal judge.    That law remains suspended while the legal challenge is pending.
    If a judge agrees to block House Bill 3, abortion opponents are still hopeful the U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in a case out of Mississippi, will strike down or substantially curtail Roe v. Wade, its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
    The Mississippi law bans abortion at 15 weeks.    Lawmakers in Kentucky have said that if the Supreme Court upholds that law but stops short of striking down Roe v. Wade, Kentucky would have a similar law in place through HB 3.
    A ruling in the Mississippi case is expected by June.
    If the high court strikes down Roe v. Wade, Kentucky is among a dozen states with a “trigger law” in place to automatically outlaw abortion in Kentucky.
    Reach Deborah Yetter at    Find her on Twitter at @d_yetter.    Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal. com/subscribe.
Charles Booker, who is a candidate for the U.S. Senate and seeking to replace
Republican Sen. Rand Paul, chants “bans off our bodies” with abortion-rights advocates during
Wednesday’s Legislature session at the state Capitol in Frankfort. MATT STONE/COURIER JOURNAL

4/15/2022 Biden administration seeking to boost equity in government by Darlene Superville, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The Justice Department is improving language access to its programs to help people with limited English proficiency better report crimes.    The Interior Department is providing technical assistance to Native American tribes to help them apply for grants.    The Energy Department is helping low-income households access programs to weatherize their homes and save energy.
    Those efforts are among hundreds of strategies and commitments the Biden administration released Thursday.    They are the product of an executive order that President Joe Biden signed hours after taking office with the goal of advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities across the federal government.
    The order was the first of its kind by a president, said Chiraag Bains, deputy assistant to the president for racial justice and equity.
    “We set the mission and the mandate for every agency, the entire federal government, to center equity in all that we do,” Bains told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
    After more than a year of review, more than 90 federal agencies, including all major Cabinet departments, released their “equity action plans” on Thursday.
    The plans outline more than 300 strategies and commitments that aim to make federal policies fairer for everyone, including poorer communities and communities of color; tribal, rural and LGBTQ communities; and people with disabilities and women and girls.
    They were to be discussed at a White House event hosted Thursday by domestic policy adviser Susan Rice, budget director Shalanda Young and members of the Cabinet.
    Biden, a Democrat, has one of the most diverse Cabinets, with Black and Hispanic people and women leading major departments, including Defense, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
    Some of the equity plans have been announced, such as work by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to close the racial gap in homeownership, address disproportionate rates of homelessness among underserved communities and reduce bias in home appraisals.
    Others strategies are being made public for the first time, such as Defense Department efforts to promote the use of artificial intelligence technology to reduce algorithmic bias by investing in the development of a more diverse AI workforce.
    That work includes partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities.
    Equity action teams at every agency led the reviews.    Bains said that, taken together, the strategies “will advance equity and justice so that everybody can thrive in America.”
    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the government from making laws that regulate an establishment of
  • religion, or that prohibit the free exercise of religion,
  • or abridge the freedom of speech,
  • the freedom of the press,
  • the freedom of assembly, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.
    It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.
WAKE UP AMERICA the Democrats have used it to deny your religious rights and control what you can and cannot do, and if you speak out what they do not like or provide information in the press they block you, or prosicute or ban you and if you assemble or petition they call you white nationalist or many other non valid names so their EQUITY corruption item is violating our first amendment rights so if this continues we may have to use our second amendment rights to protect ourselves or hopefully we only have to pray to the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to protect us from them just like our forefathers did when the British came to stop us

4/15/2022 No Oil or DOW info due to Easter holidays.

4/15/2022 Calif. State Senate Pulls Bill Mandating COVID-19 Vaccine For School Children by OAN Newsroom
    In a big win for California parents, COVID-19 vaccine mandates for schoolchildren has been paused.    California Senate Bill 871 would have mandated all California schoolchildren to get the vaccine to attend school and would get rid of any exemptions.    One America’s Stella Escobedo caught up with one California parent who’s been fighting the mandates.

4/15/2022 Sen. Johnson Holds Roundtable With Parents On Education by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., speaks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on March 3, 2021. Johnson, one of
former President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters, has decided to seek reelection to a third term, two Republicans with
knowledge of the plan told The Associated Press on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. (Greg Nash/The Hill via AP, Pool, File)
    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) recently met with his constituents to talk about the problems in children’s education.    During a recent roundtable with parents on Friday, the Wisconsin lawmaker said he wanted to hear about the ideas or theories being taught that are of concern.
    A major topic discussed was the response to COVID-19 and what was being taught online with parents raising worries that their children will fall behind.    Critical race theory and other ideological ideas being taught in schools has been a major issue for parents across the country and Johnson said the only way to combat that is for parents to find their voice.
    Attendees said it was good to see the show of support not only from Johnson, but from like-minded parents.    They said it’s time to take action like their kids’ lives depend on it.

4/15/2022 New Yorkers On Edge After Mass Shooting, Suspect Being Held Without Bail by OAN Newsroom
Law enforcement officials lead subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, right, away from a police station and into a vehicle, in New York,
Wednesday, April 13, 2022. James, made his first appearance in federal court and was ordered held without bail. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    The man accused of opening fire on commuters in a New York City subway is being held without bail.    During his first court appearance on Thursday, 62-year-old Frank James did not enter a plea as he was formally charged with terrorism among other federal counts.
    Prosecutors said James released a smoke bomb then opened fire on a crowded subway in Brooklyn in a premeditated and carefully planned attack.    A total of 29 people were hurt in the incident Tuesday, including 10 who were shot.
    James was captured Wednesday and will be held on permanent detention as his attorneys ask for a psychiatric evaluation.    He faces up to life in prison if convicted.    Meanwhile, people living in New York are still on edge in the wake of the mass shooting.    One America’s Caitlin Sinclair has more.

4/16/2022 Trump adviser Miller grilled by House - Jan. 6 committee focuses on ex-president’s speech by Eric Tucker and Jill Colvin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Lawmakers pressed Stephen Miller, a top aide to former President Donald Trump, during a daylong closed-door interview about Trump’s speech at a rally that preceded the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, according to two people familiar with Miller’s testimony.
    Miller was questioned for roughly 8 hours Thursday by the House committee investigating the riot, which occurred when large crowds of Trump supporters stormed the building in hopes of preventing Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden.    Miller’s appearance grew contentious at times, particularly as he pushed back against claims that Trump’s speech contained incendiary, coded language that spurred his supporters to act, according to two people familiar with the questioning.    They spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the back-and-forth during the closed interview.
    That language included Trump’s repeated use of the word “we” to address his supporters.    At one point during the speech, Trump said: “We fight like hell.    And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
    Miller rejected the significance of that language, the people said, arguing that personal rhetoric like that has been used in American politics going back to the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address.
    Attorneys for Miller, who served as Trump’s domestic policy adviser and speechwriter, also asserted executive privilege multiple times during the session.
    A committee spokesperson declined to comment Friday. The New York Times earlier reported on Miller’s testimony.
    Miller is the latest in a series of sit-downs the committee has scored with those in Trump’s inner circle as lawmakers move closer to the former president by questioning people who were with him on the day of the attack or were his confidants in the weeks leading up to it.
    In demanding his testimony last November, the panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said Miller was aware of and had participated in “efforts to spread false information about alleged voter fraud” and had encouraged state legislatures to alter the outcome of the 2020 election by appointing alternate electors.
    Thompson has also said that Miller helped prepare Trump’s remarks at the Ellipse.

4/16/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

4/16/2022 Rep. Ralph Norman Weighs Putin Price Hike V. Bidenflation by OAN Newsroom
    Rep. Ralph Norman, congressman serving South Carolina’s 5th District, gives us “The Real Story” on why Joe Biden keeps blaming our economic disaster on Putin’s so-called “price hike.”

4/16/2022 Project Veritas’ R.C. Maxwell Discusses Weaponization Of DOJ by OAN Newsroom

4/17/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

4/17/2022 American Teens Becoming Border Coyotes Congressional Candidate Casey Wardynski by OAN Newsroom

    Casey Wardynski, Republican candidate for congress in Alabama’s 5th District, gives “The Real Story” on how American teenagers are being exploited by human smugglers courtesy of Team Biden’s badly botched border debacle.

4/17/2022 The Duty To Care For Our Veterans With Marjorie Eastman by OAN Newsroom

4/18/2022 Easter marks return to in-person worship - Church leaders remained mindful of COVID-19 by Steve LeBlanc, Giovanna Dell’Orto and Luis Andres Henao, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BOSTON – For many U.S. Christians, this past weekend marked the first time since 2019 they gathered in person on Easter Sunday, a welcome chance to celebrate one of the year’s holiest days side by side with fellow congregants.
    The pandemic erupted in the country in March 2020, just ahead of Easter, forcing many churches to resort to online or televised worship.    Many continued to hold virtual services last spring after a deadly winter wave of the coronavirus and as vaccination campaigns were still ramping up. But this year more churches opened their doors for Easter services with few COVID-19 restrictions, in line with broader societal trends.
    Among them were Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston, which since last June required most churchgoers to attend Mass in person – though those with health risks may still watch remotely, and pastors have been asked to make space for social distancing in churches.
    MC Sullivan, chief health care ethicist for the archdiocese, said celebrating Mass communally is important to how Catholics profess their faith.    Church attendance has been trending upward, and parishioners were excited to gather again to commemorate Christ’s resurrection.
    “It has been quite wonderful to see how well-attended Mass is right now. … It seems to have brought a lot of people back to the idea of what’s important to them,” she said.
    While most pandemic restrictions have been lifted, some area parishes held Easter Sunday services outside, including a 6 a.m. sunrise Mass near the waterfront in South Boston.
    Hundreds of people lit candles in the vast Cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota, after Archbishop Bernard Hebda blessed the fire and lit the Paschal Candle to open the Easter Vigil service late Saturday.
    The century-old cathedral echoed with the singing of the congregation as candles flickered in the darkness.    Well past 8 p.m., wide-eyed children fascinated by the little flames and the cantors far outnumbered people wearing masks – the archdiocese rescinded all COVID protocols on April 1, while allowing the faithful and individual parishes to retain precautions if they wishes.    Similarly the nearby Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, which became a community hub during protests over George Floyd’s killing in 2020, ended its mask requirement as of Palm Sunday and returned to shoulder-to shoulder communion at the rail instead of in the pews.    Ingrid Rasmussen, the pastor, anticipated Easter attendance to be similar to pre-pandemic levels – but split between those in pews and those joining remotely.
    Christ Church Lutheran, an architectural landmark also in Minneapolis, is taking a cautious approach to loosening COVID protocols.    But while masks and social distancing measures remain in place, there was an indoor Easter Vigil Saturday night, to be followed by a gospel procession to the middle of the sanctuary Sunday.
    “The gift of being in the same physical space for the first time in three years is so grounding and beautiful,” said Miriam Samuelson-Roberts, the pastor. “We do not take it for granted.”
Archbishop Bernard Hebda gets ready to bless the fire and the Paschal candle
at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday. GIOVANNA DELL’ORTO/AP

4/18/2022 Oil up $1.33 to $107.91, DOW down 40 to 34,412.

4/18/2022 Biden Abandons Woke Policies As Poll Numbers Plummet by OAN Newsroom
    President Joe Biden ramps up domestic travel this week as he prepares to head out to the Pacific Northwest to continue addressing high inflation.    One America’s Daniel Baldwin has more in Washington.

4/18/2022 U.S. Air Force Ships Military Equipment To Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Airmen and civilians from the 436th Aerial Port Squadron palletize
ammunition, weapons and other equipment bound for Ukraine during a foreign military sales mission at Dover Air Force Base,
Del., on Jan. 21, 2022. Western weaponry pouring into Ukraine helped blunt Russia’s initial offensive and seems certain to play
a central role in the approaching battle for Ukraine’s contested Donbas region. (Mauricio Campino/U.S. Air Force via AP)
    Military personnel at an US Air Force base in Delaware are prepping military equipment to be shipped off to Ukraine.    On Sunday, a video was released showing military personnel loading boxes of military equipment into an airplane headed for the war-torn country.
    This latest delivery to Ukraine is part of the $800 million package announced by the Biden administration.    The shipment was made despite warnings from Russia about the possible consequences for supplying Ukraine.    Meanwhile, a former commander of the US Army in Europe, Ben Hodges, said President Joe Biden should send more weapons to Ukraine.
    In an interview Sunday, he explained that he believes Russian forces are going to launch a new offensive against the Ukrainian government.    His remarks came after an NBC News report found the Ukraine fighters may run out of artillery shells and other weapons in coming days.    Hodges added, US weapons sent to Ukraine may not be enough to fight Russia.
    “This is substantial high-quality weapons system, but I have to say it’s still not enough,” he stated.    “What the Ukrainians need desperately are long range fires, rockets, artillery, drones that can disrupt or destroy the systems that are causing so much damage in Ukrainian cities.”
    Hodges went on to say the Biden administration is not talking about winning in Ukraine’s conflict and its further plans remain unclear.    Meanwhile, Ukraine’s president said Biden should make a diplomatic visit to his country.
    During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, Volodymyr Zelensky stated he thinks Biden will pay a visit, adding it’s something he should do as the leader of the United States.    His remarks came after the White House said Biden did not have any plans on traveling to Kyiv just last week.
    Biden also expressed disappointment about not being able to visit while in Poland last month, saying “they won’t let me.”    Several other leaders have visited the Ukrainian capital, including UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson and the presidents of both Lithuania and Poland.

4/18/2022 J.D. Vance Releases New Ad Touting Trump Endorsement by OAN Newsroom
FILE – J.D. Vance, a Republican running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, speaks to reporters following
a debate with other Republicans at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, March 28, 2022. Former
President Donald Trump is endorsing “Hillbilly Elegy” author JD Vance in Ohio’s competitive Republican Senate
primary, ending months of jockeying in a race where his backing could be pivotal. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)
    Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance released a new campaign ad highlighting 45th President Donald Trump’s recent endorsement.    The ad, which was released Monday, is part of a seven-figure ad buy the campaign is conducting in the final two weeks of the primary.
    In his recent endorsement, Trump said Vance is the most qualified candidate and that he believes he can beat Democrat Senate candidate Tim Ryan.    Trump’s endorsement could help tip the scales for Vance amid recent polling showing a very competitive race for the nomination.

4/18/2022 Elon Musk: Twitter Board, Shareholders’ Economic Interests ‘Not Aligned’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition
in Washington, Monday, March 9, 2020. Mercurial billionaire Elon Musk now says he wants to buy Twitter outright,
taking it private to restore its commitment to what he terms “free speech.” (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the economic interests of Twitter’s board of directors and shareholders are out-of-line.    In a series of tweets, Musk suggested his fight with Twitter executives may be a ploy to ward off a larger clash with Musk and another potential bidder.
    This was in response to a tweet stressing Musk would be fighting with a gang of highly educated board members over who gets to own the company.    He pointed out that all board members, excluding the company’s departing founder Jack Dorsey, own less than 1 percent of Twitter.
    This comes as the media has long sought to deter Musk from buying the social media giant.    One America’s Daniel Baldwin has more.

4/18/2022 Calif. Delays Vaccine Mandate For Public School Students by OAN Newsroom
    California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has a change of tune towards having children fully vaccinated in order to attend public school.    One America’s Jake Yingling has more.

4/18/2022 Business Owners, Residents Sue Philadelphia Over Mask Mandate by OAN Newsroom
FILE – A sign requiring masks as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus on a
store front in Philadelphia, is seen Feb. 16, 2022. Philadelphia is reinstating its indoor mask mandate
after reporting a sharp increase in coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
    A group of business owners and several residents in Philadelphia are pushing back against the city’s indoor mask mandate.    The group filed a lawsuit over the weekend claiming the city does not have the authority to reimpose a mandate, which went into effect Monday.     This comes after city officials reinstated masks for public indoor spaces while citing a rise in new COVID cases.    The suit claims the city is not following CDC standards, which does not recommend mandating masks.     “People have just generally had enough of this, sort of, government overreach and this investing of rules and regulations to get into everybody lives on a continuing basis,” stated Thomas W. King III, attorney for the petitioners.
    Philadelphia is the first major US city to reinstate masks after dropping the mandate back in March.    Starting Monday, masks will be required in all indoor public spaces in the city, including, schools, businesses, restaurants and government buildings.

4/19/2022 Oil down $5.08 to $102.44, DOW up 500 to 34,912.

4/19/2022 ‘Horrifying Amount Of Information’ Recovered From Biden Laptop, Says Whistleblower by OAN Newsroom
    Journalist and whistleblower Jack Maxey says he may have recovered “a horrifying amount of information” previously thought to have been erased from Hunter Biden’s laptop.    One America’s John Hines has more from Washington.


4/19/2022 Pentagon Gives Update On Military Aid Shipments To Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a media briefing at the
Pentagon, Monday, April 18, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Pentagon spokesman John Kirby spoke on increased US involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.    During a press briefing on Monday, he disclosed that Russia has begun moving their forces to the Donbas region of the country.
    “I mean, we have seen the Russians continue to flow in enablers, capabilities that will help them fight in the Donbas going forward,” explained the spokesman.    “That’s artillery, rotary aviation helicopter support, command and control enablers.    And we do believe that they have reinforced the number of battalion tactical groups in the east and the south of Ukraine.”
    Additionally, Kirby spoke on the latest shipments of military aid sent to Ukraine.
    “Now again, I’m not going to get into the inventory list and exactly what was on that first shipment, but that is unprecedented speed,” he stated.    “Forty-eight hours after authorization from the President, first plane was on its way and there have been subsequent shipments since then.    Almost a half a dozen, as you and I speak here today, have already arrived in the region.”
    In the meantime, Kirby revealed the Pentagon is preparing to train Ukrainian soldiers on the use of howitzers, which were sent to Ukraine as a part of the Biden administration’s $800 million military assistance package.
    According to Kirby, the training will be held in an undisclosed location outside of Ukraine.
    “It is true that we believe will be able to begin a process of training Ukrainian armed forces on the howitzers that will be shortly heading over,” continued the Pentagon spokesman.    “That training will occur outside of Ukraine.    It’ll be more of a train the trainers kind of environment, so it will be a small number of Ukrainians that will be trained on the howitzers and then they will be reintroduced back into their country to train their colleagues.”
    It’s unknown if Russia will adhere to their warning about punishing the US for supplying Ukraine with equipment.

4/19/2022 Biden Admin. Revives Failed Build Back Better Ahead Of Midterms by OAN Newsroom
FILE – President Joe Biden speaks at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, in Greensboro, N.C.,
Thursday, April 14, 2022. On Friday, April 15, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly claiming the
U.S. inflation rate jumped from 1.7% in 2017 under President Donald Trump to 14% in 2021 under Biden. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
    The Biden administration is still hoping to jam the so-called Build Back Better spending plan through Congress.    During a White House press briefing on Monday, Secretary Jen Psaki said negotiations on a new spending bill are underway and they include a number of Democrat lawmakers.
    These efforts come despite Republicans noting that multi-trillion-dollar deficits caused by last year’s spending packages led to record-high inflation.    However, Psaki said President Joe Biden is committed to more spending.    To do so, the Biden administration will have to win over moderate Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
    Democrats previously suggested the failed Build Back Better bill could be renamed in another attempt to pass it through Congress this year.    However, it appears that simply renaming the bill might be enough as senators Sinema and Manchin maintain they will not support the bill unless it’s trimmed down.
    During a recent Arizona Chamber of Commerce speech, Sinema warned she will be just as critical of the bill in potential future discussions as she was last year.    Meanwhile, Manchin has continued to voice inflation concerns and has said he wants half of any new revenue from a spending bill to go toward deficit reduction.
    Looking ahead, the Biden administration and Democrat lawmakers have yet to set a firm deadline for when they want to get a revived deal.    However, some Democrats have reportedly suggested if the Build Back Better bill isn’t revived before the midterms, they will pull the plug for good.

4/19/2022 Pa. Governor Candidate Barletta Releases Campaign Ad Highlighting Efforts To Fight Failed Dem Policies by OAN Newsroom
    Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor, Lou Barletta released a new television ad, highlighting his efforts fighting the failed democrat agenda.    Take a look:

4/19/2022 US Bans Anti-Satellite Missile Tests by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, April 13, 2022, on the
Biden administration’s whole-of-government approach to addressing maternal mortality and morbidity. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Vice President Kamala Harris declared the US will not conduct anti-satellite missile tests.    She made the announcement while speaking at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Monday.    The Democrat voiced concerns of the possible debris created when the missiles hit their intended targets, which could rain down upon unsuspecting victims on earth or harm astronauts in orbit.
    Harris specifically referenced past uses of the projectiles by America’s two largest rivals in space: Russia and China.    Back in November, Russia targeted a defunct satellite, which created more than 1,500 pieces of debris and posed a danger to the International Space Station.
    “That, of course, is when Russia launched a missile to destroy a satellite in space,” said Harris.    “It is called a destructive direct ascent anti-satellite missile test.    In 2007, China conducted a similar test.”
    Harris went on to chastise the Russians and Chinese for operating in space without any regard for American interests.
    “These weapons are intended to deny the United States, our ability to use our space capabilities, by disrupting, destroying our satellites,” she asserted.    “Satellites which are critical to our national security.    These tests, to be sure, are reckless and they are irresponsible.”
    The US is the first country to ban anti-satellite missile tests and is calling upon other countries to join the boycott of such operations.    However, some believe the good intentions can have dire consequences.
    Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the House Armed Services Committee’s top Republican, said the ban does nothing to deter Russia or China from continuing such tests. He claimed the US is putting itself at a serious disadvantage in a theater for future warfare.
    Additionally, the top Republican in the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), called the decision a national security threat. He said the US is purposely stripping itself of increasing its capabilities in outer space.
    Vice President Harris Delivers Remarks About Our Ongoing Work to Establish Norms for Space:

4/19/2022 Another N.Y. Democrat Resigns by OAN Newsroom
Former New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin leaves a hearing in federal court on Monday, April. 18, 2022,
in New York. Benjamin previously plead not guilty to corruption charges. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
    New York Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin resigned last week, just hours after being indicted on bribery and fraud charges.    Attorney general candidate Michael Henry details what should happen next.

4/19/2022 Judge Affirms Biden ‘Overstepped Bounds Of Authority’ With Travel Mandates by OAN Newsroom
    House Freedom Caucus chairman Scott Perry (R-Pa.) says the judge who ruled against the Biden travel mandate was following the “real science.” One America’s John Hines has more from Washington.

4/20/2022 Biden pushes infrastructure plans in visit to New Hampshire - High inflation remains challenge to his agenda by Chris Megerian, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – President Joe Biden went to Portsmouth Harbor in New Hampshire on Tuesday to highlight how last year’s infrastructure bill can improve shipping and help resolve the country’s supply chain debacles that have contributed to inflation at a 40-year high.
    The president used the trip to say that America is healthier than ever as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and a severe but short recession.    It’s a crucial message as polling suggests many voters are uncomfortable about the future and Biden’s own economic leadership as high inflation has overwhelmed the job gains during his watch.
    “We’re the only country in the world that I believe has come out of every crisis we faced stronger than when we went in,” Biden said.    “Literally, stronger than we went in. That’s the history of the journey of this country.”
    Biden’s destination was the state’s only deep-water harbor, making it a critical way station for home heating oil, fiberoptic cables and rock gypsum, which is used to produce drywall.    Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan faces New Hampshire voters this year as she seeks a second term. Her seat is a Democratic bulwark in the evenly split Senate, one that the administration seeks to protect.
    Under the $1trillion infrastructure law, $1.7 million will be used to dredge the harbor’s shipping channel and basin.    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers already spent $18.2 million to make it easier for larger ships to access the harbor, a project intended to reduce delays that cause higher prices for consumers.
    Overall, the law includes $17 billion for upgrading port facilities at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc on international supply chains.    The president rattled off the other infrastructure investments from the law, including the replacement of lead water pipes, the build-out of broadband internet, projects to protect against climate change and repairs to roads and bridges.
    “There’s so much more in this law.    I’m not going to bore you with the rest of it, but it’s significant,” said Biden, whose speech then touched on inflation coming out of the pandemic, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, taxes, prescription drug prices and lowering the budget deficit.
    Biden’s trip is his second to New Hampshire as president.    The state was his first stop after he signed the infrastructure legislation in November, and he spoke in front of an old bridge that’s overdue for repairs.
    The president has repeatedly focused on these kinds of initiatives as his more ambitious agenda to boost education, social services and climate change initiatives remains stalled.
    With the midterm elections approaching later this year, Biden is eager to convince voters that one of his administration’s top accomplishments is creating concrete progress after years of unfulfilled promises from his predecessor, President Donald Trump, who never cut a deal on infrastructure spending.
President Joe Biden speaks about his infrastructure agenda at the New Hampshire
Port Authority in Portsmouth on Tuesday. PATRICK SEMANSKY/AP

4/20/2022 US urges Serbia to join sanctions against its ally Russia by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BELGRADE, Serbia – A U.S. Senate delegation on Tuesday urged Serbia to join the rest of Europe and impose sanctions against Russia for its bloody campaign in Ukraine.
    “We understand Serbia has a long cultural and economic history with Russia,” said Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) after the three-member bi-partisan delegation met Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic.
    “But this is a moment where there is great risk if we, as a democratic community, don’t send a united message about the consequences of Russia’s behavior in Ukraine,” he told reporters.    “And our hope is that we will be able to stand with Serbia in the coming weeks and months to send that clear message to Russia.”
    Although Serbia voted in favor of three United Nations resolutions condemning the Russian aggression against Ukraine, it has not joined international sanctions against Moscow.
    Serbia, which is formally seeking European Union membership, depends almost entirely on Russian energy supplies.    Vucic has said that imposing sanctions against traditional Slavic allies in Moscow would be disastrous for Serbia.
    “I think we made the case that as the president (Vucic) has said, the future of Serbia lies with the rest of Europe, lies in the West, and he has been moving in that direction, (with) trade ties, business investment.” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).    “And as we pointed out, if that’s the intent, then certainly looking at the foreign policy that’s currently in place by the EU is very important.”
    The senators also said that if Serbia really wants to join the EU, it should reconsider rapidly arming itself with Russian and Chinese weapons.
    “In in the long run, I think every country needs to make a decision about whether their security interests are best aligned with China,” Murphy said.    “If Serbia is intent on being a member of the European Union, then it’s probably not in their long-term interests to have a security relationship with China.”
    Serbia’s rapid military buildup in the region that was at war in the 1990s has worried its neighbors.
    Earlier this month, China delivered a sophisticated air defense system to Belgrade despite earlier U.S. warnings that if Serbia wants to join Western integrations it should align its military with Western standards.
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), said Serbia should reconsider its use of Russian and Chinese weapons. AP

4/20/2022 Calif. lawmakers target gunmakers, ghost guns - Opponents: Bills would destroy businesses by Don Thompson, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California state lawmakers advanced a measure Tuesday that would make it easier to skirt a federal law in order to sue gunmakers, legislation that opponents say is ultimately aimed at driving manufacturers out of business.
    A different committee was poised to advance a bill targeting ghost guns, while a third committee approved a bill requiring firearm dealers to install digital video surveillance systems.
    They are among several bills that gained momentum from recent mass shootings, including what police now say was a gang battle that earlier this month killed six people and wounded 12 people just blocks from the state Capitol.
    Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting said his legislation would make it easier to sue gun-makers or dealers for liability in shootings that cause deaths or injuries.    That could include those who sell “ghost gun” kits where the parts lack serial numbers.
    Federal law blocks most of those types of lawsuits against the gun industry.    But the U.S law does permit some types of liability lawsuits, including when gun-makers break state or local laws regarding the sale and marketing of their products.    Last year, New York approved a first-in-the-nation law declaring such violations a “public nuisance,” opening up gunmakers to lawsuits, though the law has been challenged in court by manufacturers.
    California already has some of the nation’s toughest firearm restrictions.    Among what legislative analyst’s count as 107 existing California gun laws is a 10-day waiting period, background checks for buying both guns and ammunition, restrictions on types of guns including assault-style weapons, and a 10-bullet limit on ammunition magazines.
    “We pride ourselves on having fairly strict gun control laws,” Ting said.    “We have done better than other states, but still not good enough.”
    Gun control advocates said they have previously been stymied by the federal law when it comes to punishing manufacturers or dealers who are irresponsible or negligent in selling or advertising firearms.
    Ting’s bill would require firearm makers and dealers to “take reasonable precautions” under a “firearm industry standard of conduct” in making and selling their weapons.    That can include things like making sure buyers are taught how to safely store and use the weapon, he said.
    They also would be barred from making or distributing guns that are “likely to create a substantial and unreasonable risk of harm to public health and safety” under the bill co-sponsored by the Brady Campaign and state Attorney General Rob Bonta.
    Starting in July 2023, violators could be sued by the attorney general, city or county attorneys, or anyone who suffered harm.    They also could be sued for alleged violations of other laws, including false advertising, unfair competition or deceptive acts or practices.
    “We think it provides a really good opportunity to put the power back in the hands of individuals who are the individual victims of gun violence,” Ting said.    “And really, what we hope is by holding this industry accountable that they will be much more thoughtful about how they sell their weapons.”
    The National Rifle Association said the bill’s real intent is “to torment the firearms industry through costly litigation in the widest array of circumstances.”     The bill is written so broadly that “almost anyone could bring civil action against the firearm industry,” said the California Rifle and Pistol Association.    “It is an attack on the lawful commerce of firearms with an intent to limit the availability of firearms.”
    Roy Griffith, the California group’s legislative director, said the proposal is “clearly in direct conflict with federal law.”
    He equated it to allowing lawsuits against carmakers for drunken driving deaths.
    “This industry gets protection that no other industry in the United States gets,” Ting responded.    “Guns are not cars.    The purpose of guns is to harm another individual.”
    The Assembly Judiciary Committee advanced the bill on a 7-2 vote.
    A different Assembly committee was poised to advance a bill aimed at “ghost guns,” which law enforcement agencies say have spiked in recent years.    The U.S. Department of Justice reported nearly 20,000 were recovered nationwide last year, nearly double those seized in 2020.
    The move comes days after President Joe Biden highlighted the Justice Department’s work to finalize new regulations to crack down on ghost guns, which are privately made firearms without serial numbers.
    “Anyone with a credit card and skills to build Ikea furniture, and some spare time, can make the same gun that took the lives of two of my classmates and changed mine forever,” testified Mia Tretta, who was shot in Santa Clarita during a 2019 attack at Saugus High School, where she is now a junior.
“Ghost guns” are displayed at the San Francisco Police Department headquarters in 2019.
A state Assembly committee was poised to advance a bill aimed at ghost guns. HAVEN DALEY/AP FILE

4/20/2022 Trump Wants GOP To Be ‘America First’ In Congress by OAN Newsroom
    The 45th president unveiled his latest batch of endorsements for midterm elections.    One America’s Cynthia Kaui has more on who Donald Trump is backing.

4/20/2022 Title 42 Debate Continues, Biden Insists On Lifting It by OAN Newsroom
    The White House continues to stay its course on lifting Title 42 despite the pleadings from its own border officials to keep it in place.    One America’s Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion has more from the White House.

4/20/2022 Giuliani’s Hold Press Conference Regarding Issues Facing New Yorkers by OAN Newsroom
    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his son Andrew held a press conference about the issues facing New Yorkers.    One America’s Caitlin Sinclair has more.

4/20/2022 Report: Pentagon Monitoring Russia’s Nuclear Arsenal Amid Concerns Putin May Use Nuclear Weapons by OAN Newsroom
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the
Pentagon in Washington, Tuesday, April 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The Pentagon is closely monitoring Russia’s nuclear arsenal, but does not believe President Vladimir Putin will use nuclear weapons anytime soon.    That’s according to reports citing defense officials Tuesday, which say they have seen no “indication” the use of nuclear weapons is imminent.
    Additionally, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other military leaders are being briefed multiple times a week about the matter.    During a press briefing Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby pointed out Putin has not recently spewed any rhetoric regarding nuclear arms like he did early into the invasion of Ukraine.
    “In light of what’s going on in Ukraine and certainly in light of of the early rhetoric, we are actively monitoring every single day” Kirby stated.    “Even today, the secretary remains comfortable that we have an appropriate strategic deterrent posture in place and there’s no need to make any changes to it.”
    This comes as Kremlin officials are reportedly worried Putin may resort to using nuclear weapons amid his failure to topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government.

4/20/2022 Ariz. Gov. Ducey Unveils 26 State Strike Force To Secure Southern Border by OAN Newsroom,br>
FILE – In this Dec. 2, 2020, file photo, Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey answers a question during a news conference in Phoenix.
    More than two dozen Republican governors are promising to secure the southern border with a coordinated strike force. On Tuesday in the border community of Douglas, Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey (R) announced the creation of the 26 state American Governors Border Strike Force.    The group’s mission is to stop illegal drug and human smuggling at the southern border.
    The strike force, which includes Texas, Alabama and Florida, will improve intelligence sharing and analysis of state level crimes that may be connected to border security.    Additionally, the multi-state effort will monitor cyber security issues, target cartel finances that fund criminal activity in the border regions and improve efforts to combat drug trafficking on the nation’s southernmost cross country highway.
    Governor Ducey stressed that if the southern border is not secure, the rest of America is not either.
    “The border problem just isn’t in the four border states,” he stated, “There are kids ODing on fentanyl all over our country, in schools and neighborhoods. It’s one of the leading causes of death.    People that are addicted, people that are looking for a cheap high and that’s coming over our southern border. But it’s happening in small towns and rural communities in the interior.    That’s what the Border Strike Force is: to share information, stop the cartels and stop the human trafficking.”
    The Arizona governor suggested federal agencies must step forward with local law enforcement.    In the meantime, he said the Biden administration must do their part to crack down on the crisis they created.
    Earlier this week, Customs and Border Protection reported migrant crossings are at the highest level in two decades.    They noted, nearly two dozen suspected terrorists were caught at the border last year.

4/21/2022 UK judge OKs Assange extradition by Jill Lawless, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    LONDON – A British judge on Wednesday formally approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to face spying charges. The case will now go to Britain’s interior minister for a decision, though the WikiLeaks founder still has legal avenues of appeal.
    The order, which brings the end of the yearslong extradition battle closer, comes after the U.K. Supreme Court last month refused Assange permission to appeal against a lower court’s ruling that he could be extradited.
    District Judge Paul Goldspring issued the order in a brief hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, as Assange watched by video link from prison and his supporters rallied outside the courthouse, demanding he be freed.
    Home Secretary Priti Patel will now decide whether to grant the extradition.
    The move doesn’t exhaust the legal options for Assange, who has sought for years to avoid a trial in the U.S. on charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of a huge trove of classified documents more than a decade ago.
    His lawyers have four weeks to make submissions to Patel, and can also seek to appeal to the High Court.
    Assange lawyer Mark Summers told the court that the legal team had “serious submissions” to make.
    The U.S. has asked British authorities to extradite Assange so he can stand trial on 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse.    U.S. prosecutors say Assange unlawfully helped U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal classified diplomatic cables and military files that WikiLeaks later published, putting lives at risk.
    Supporters and lawyers for Assange, 50, argue that he was acting as a journalist and is entitled to First Amendment protections of freedom of speech for publishing documents that exposed U.S. military wrongdoing.
    A British district court judge had initially rejected a U.S. extradition request on the grounds that Assange was likely to kill himself if held under harsh U.S. prison conditions.    U.S. authorities later provided assurances that the WikiLeaks founder wouldn’t face the severe treatment that his lawyers said would put his physical and mental health at risk.
    In December, the High Court overturned the lower court’s decision, saying the U.S. promises were enough to guarantee that Assange would be treated humanely.    The Supreme Court in March rejected Assange’s attempt to challenge that ruling.
    Assange’s lawyers say he could face up to 175 years in jail if he is convicted in the U.S., though American authorities have said the sentence was likely to be much lower than that.
    Assange has been held at Britain’s high-security Belmarsh Prison in London since 2019, when he was arrested for skipping bail during a separate legal battle.    Before that, he spent seven years inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.
    Sweden dropped the sex crimes investigations in November 2019 because so much time had elapsed.,br>     Last month, Assange and his partner, Stella Moris, married in a prison ceremony.
Stella Moris, wife of Julian Assange, leaves court in London Wednesday.
Assange’s extradition is in the government’s hands. JAMES MANNING/PA VIA AP

4/21/2022 DOJ: 21 charged in US with $150M in COVID fraud - Action comes after similar push a year ago by Michael Balsamo and Jennifer McDermott, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Twenty-one people have been charged in the past nine days as part of a nationwide enforcement push to root out those who exploit the pandemic through health care fraud schemes, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.     The cases resulted in about $150 million in alleged false billings and theft from federal pandemic assistance programs. The DOJ seized over $8 million in cash and other fraud proceeds.
    Some defendants are accused of offering COVID-19 testing to get people to provide their personal identifying information and a saliva or blood sample.    That information and the samples were then allegedly used to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare for unnecessary, far more expensive tests or services.
    In Colorado, federal agents went through a man’s trash to uncover an alleged scheme to produce and sell fake vaccination record cards.    In Maryland and New York, owners of medical clinics are accused of using information from people who sought COVID testing at drive-thru sites to submit fraudulent claims for lengthy office visits that never occurred.
    “Today’s enforcement action sends a very clear message that we will stop at nothing to root out COVID-19 related health care fraud, wherever it may be found,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite.
    “The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the American people and the critical health care benefits programs that assist them during this national emergency.
    And most importantly, we will hold those who exploit those programs accountable to the fullest extent of the law
    Imran Shams and Lourdes Navarro, both 63, of Glendale, California, were indicted in an alleged scheme to defraud Medicare.    They’re accused of owning a laboratory that allegedly submitted nearly $144 million in false and fraudulent claims for COVID and respiratory pathogen tests.    The tests were ineligible for reimbursement and procured through kickbacks and bribes, and Shams and Navarro concealed their roles in the lab because of prior health care fraud convictions, according to the indictment.
    Navarro’s attorney, Mark Werksman, said Wednesday his client denies the charges and looks forward to her day in court to show she did nothing illegal in connection with her lab work.    Werksman said he may make a special appearance in court for Shams, who doesn’t have a lawyer yet.
    Other defendants are accused of exploiting telehealth policies put into place during the pandemic, misappropriating money intended for frontline medical providers and manufacturing and distributing fake vaccination record cards.
    The DOJ led a similar nationwide enforcement push nearly a year ago that involved 14 defendants and a total of roughly $143 million in false billings.    Numerous federal and local law enforcement agencies participated in both enforcement actions.
    The Justice Department named a chief prosecutor for pandemic fraud last month, Kevin Chambers, following through on President Joe Biden’s State of the Union promise to go after criminals who stole billions in relief money.
    “Today’s enforcement action sends a very clear message that we will stop at nothing to root out COVID-19 related health care fraud, wherever it may be found.” Kenneth Polite, Assistant Attorney General.
Twenty-one people have been charged in the past nine days as part of a nationwide enforcement push to root out those who
exploit the pandemic through health care fraud schemes, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. JOHN LOCHER/AP FILE

4/21/2022 Oil up $0.90 to $103.35, DOW down 368 to 34,793.

4/21/2022 Calif. Dem State Rep. Wants Bill To Punish Doctors For Spreading Misinformation by OAN Newsroom
    A California State House Committee hearing appeared to heat up over a bill aimed at punishing medical experts for spreading so-called misinformation.    One America’s Cynthia Kaui has more.

4/21/2022 Biden Announces $800M In Additional Military Aid To Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in the Roosevelt Room
of the White House, Thursday, April 21, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million in military aid for Ukraine.    He made the announcement at the White House Thursday in a move raising the total amount of military aid the US has given to Ukraine to $3.4 billion since the invasion began.
    According to Biden, the new aid includes artillery, dozens of Howitzers and 44,000 rounds of ammunition for Ukraine to help fight the escalating Russian assault on the eastern part of the nation.    The President emphasized American and international assistance has substantially helped Ukraine.
    “The sustained and coordinated support of the international community led and facilitated by the United States is a significant reason why Ukraine is able to stop Russia from taking over their country this far,” Biden stated.    “Every American taxpayer, every member of our armed forces can be proud of the fact that our country’s generosity, and the skill and service of our military helped arm and repel Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.”
    Biden revealed the US will also be providing an additional $500 million in humanitarian and financial assistance.    The President will be sending Congress a request to approve more funding to Ukraine given the funds authorized last month are nearly exhausted.
    The US will also reportedly train Ukrainians to use heavy weapon systems provided as military aid.    On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the Department of Defense will teach Ukrainian trainers how to use 155-millimeter Howitzer artillery systems outside Ukraine in the coming days.
    The trainers will then return to Ukraine to teach the troops.    The long-range systems were specifically requested by Ukraine for the different type of fighting in the Donbas.

4/21/2022 Ron Paul: Assange Extradition Is A Blow To Press Freedom by OAN Newsroom
Julian Assange. Photograph: Frank Augstein/AP
    Former congressman Ron Paul is criticizing the push to extradite Julian Assange from Britain for prosecution in the US.    While speaking on his Liberty Report Wednesday, Dr. Paul said Assange was only doing his job as a journalist and exercising the right to free speech.
    The WikiLeaks founder is facing espionage charges for publishing classified information about US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.    Dr. Paul said Assange’s extradition and prosecution would mark a dark day for journalistic freedom.
    The former congressman went on to assert that Assange is being punished for challenging the military industrial complex and for exposing the improper use of force by NATO.    Dr. Paul called this is a blow to press freedom and decency.
    Meanwhile, Assange’s lawyers maintain he was acting as a journalist and is therefore entitled to First Amendment protections of freedom of speech.

4/21/2022 Press Secy. Psaki Says Biden Is Still ‘Committed’ To Releasing Federal Prisoners With Cannabis Convictions by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the
White House, Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki affirmed President Joe Biden is still committed to decriminalizing marijuana and releasing federal prisoners behind bars for cannabis convictions.
    During a press briefing Wednesday, Psaki said Biden is continuing to review his clemency powers.    The President promised to free “everyone” in federal prison for cannabis during his campaign, but has yet to take action on his pledge.    Psaki said Biden believes “no one should be in jail because of drug use,” while touting the administration’s progress on research.
    “The President continues to believe that no one should be in jail because of drug use,” stated the Press Secretary.    “I don’t have an update here.    We are continuing to work with Congress, but what I can say on marijuana is we’ve made some progress on our promises.    For instance, the DEA just issued its first licenses to companies to cultivate marijuana for research purposes.”
    Psaki’s comments came after the House of Representatives passed legislation to federally legalize marijuana earlier this month.

4/22/2022 Oil down $2.41 to $101.65, DOW down 981 to 33,811.
    Stocks stumble 2.8% as worries about interest rates worsen.
    Stocks tumbled on Wall Street Friday, leaving the S& P 500 with its biggest one-day loss in almost seven weeks, as worries deepen about a surge in interest rates and the U.S. central bank’s efforts to fight inflation.
    A day earlier, Wall Street seemed set for healthy gains for the week after American Airlines, Tesla and other big companies reported strong profits or better forecasts for future earnings than analysts expected.
    But markets buckled as the chair of the Federal Reserve indicated the central bank may indeed hike short-term interest rates by double the usual amount at upcoming meetings, starting in two weeks.
    The S& P 500 fell 121.88 points, or 2.8%, to 4,271.78.    The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 981.36 points, or 2.8%, to 33,811.40.    The Nasdaq lost 335.36 points, or 2.6%, to 12,839.29.
    Smaller company stocks also fell sharply.    The Russell 2000 slid 50.80 points, or 2.6%, to 1,940.66.

4/22/2022 US artillery key to Ukraine’s defense by Robert Burns, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Eight weeks into the war, the Biden administration’s decision to dramatically ramp up delivery of artillery guns to Ukraine signals a deepening American commitment at a pivotal stage of fighting for the country’s industrial heartland.
    It also brings into stark relief Moscow’s warning that continued U.S. military aid to Ukraine would have “unpredictable” consequences, suggesting that Russia sees the international wave of weaponry as a growing obstacle to its invasion as well as a Western provocation.
    “We’re in a critical window” of time now, President Joe Biden said Thursday in announcing he had approved an additional $800 million in battlefield aid that includes 72 of the U.S. Army’s 155mm howitzers, along with 144,000 artillery rounds and more than 120 armed drones that will require training for Ukrainian operators.
    This brings to $3.4billion the amount of security assistance provided since Russia began its invasion Feb. 24.    That is an extraordinary total of U.S. military aid for a country to which the United States has no defense treaty obligation.
    A look at the U.S. assistance and expectations for what it will accomplish:
Why is artillery so important now?
    Heavy weapons such as artillery are shaping up as a key feature of the unfolding battle for Ukraine’s eastern region known as the Donbas.    The relatively flat terrain is suited for what the military calls maneuver warfare – the movement of tanks and other ground forces backed by long-range guns like the 155mm howitzer.
    The Russians have been deploying their own additional artillery to the Donbas region in recent days, along with more ground troops and other material to support and sustain what could be a long fight for terrain in Ukraine’s industrial heartland.    The howitzers the U.S. is sending to Ukraine will be the latest American model, known as the M777, used by the Army and the Marine Corps.    Smaller and more maneuverable than the older model, the M777 can be deployed on the battlefield by heavy-lift helicopters and moved relatively quickly between positions by seven-ton trucks that also are being provided by the Pentagon.
    “What makes it important is the kind of fighting that we expect in the Donbas.    Because of the terrain, because it’s open, because it’s flat, because it’s not as urban, we can expect the Russians to rely on long-range fires – artillery in particular,” said John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.    “So we know that this is going to be part of the Russians’ playbook.”
    A senior U.S. defense official said the first of the 72 howitzers are expected to begin moving to Europe this weekend.
    Of 18 other 155mm howitzers that Biden approved last week for shipment to Ukraine, an unspecified number already are in Europe, and U.S. howitzer training for Ukrainian personnel began Wednesday in an undisclosed country outside of Ukraine.
Is it enough to hold off Russian offensive?
    Probably not, and Biden said he already has asked the Pentagon to get to work on additional potential military assistance.
    Biden said this phase of Russia’s invasion will be “more limited in terms of geography but not in terms of brutality.”    He also acknowledged that he needs Congress to approve the funds necessary to continue providing key weapons to Ukraine beyond the latest $800 million package, which he said would ensure a steady flow of arms only for the next few weeks.
    U.S. officials said the Russians are trying to adjust their approach in Ukraine after early setbacks, suggesting the fight could be a long one.
    After failing to take Kyiv, the capital, in the early weeks of its multipronged invasion, Russia has since narrowed its objectives by focusing on the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting since 2014, and on a stretch of coastal territory along the Sea of Azov from Mariupol to the Crimean Peninsula.
What else is U.S. providing?
    In addition to the 72 howitzers and the vehicles required to move them around the battlefield, the new weapons package for Ukraine includes artillery rounds and armed drones from U.S. Air Force stocks.    Still in the pipeline from a separate $800 million weapons package announced only last week is a wide range of articles, including radars used to enable the targeting of Russian artillery, as well as air surveillance radars and unmanned coastal drone vessels.
    “Artillery and drones are the exact things Ukraine will need as Russia heads into its next campaign in the East and South,” said Mark Montgomery, a retired Navy rear admiral who previously served with U.S. European Command in helping improve U.S.-Ukrainian military relations.    Montgomery is now an analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
    The drone included in the latest package is called the Phoenix Ghost, made by a U.S. company, Aevex Aerospace, which bills itself as a leader in “full-spectrum airborne intelligence solutions.”    Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, declined to describe its capabilities beyond saying that it is used “largely but not exclusively to attack targets.”    It also has onboard cameras.
The Biden administration is sending 72 of the U.S. Army’s 155mm howitzers
as part of a military aid package to Ukraine. DAVID GOLDMAN/AP FILE

4/22/2022 Biden announces new military aid for Ukraine - $800 M package includes heavy artillery, drones by Aamer Madhani and Darlene Superville, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Thursday announced an additional $800 million in military aid to help Ukraine fight back in its strong but increasingly difficult battle against the Russian invasion, but he also warned that Congress will need to approve additional assistance if the U.S. is to keep up its support.
    The new military package includes much-needed heavy artillery, 144,000 rounds of ammunition, and drones for Ukrainian forces in the escalating battle for the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.    It builds on roughly $2.6 billion in military assistance that Biden had previously approved.    The aid, Biden said, will be sent “directly to the front lines of freedom.”
    Vladimir Putin “is banking on us losing interest,” Biden said.    The Russian president is betting that “Western unity will crack ... and once again we’re going to prove him wrong.”
    Biden also announced that all Russian-affiliated ships would be barred from U.S. ports.
    And he announced that the United States would provide an additional $500 million in direct economic assistance to the Ukrainian government.    That raises the total U.S. economic support to $1 billion since Russia’s invasion began nearly two months ago.
    He said that $13.6 billion approved last month by Congress for military and humanitarian assistance was “almost exhausted.”
    “Next week, I’m going to have to be sending to Congress a supplemental budget request to keep weapons and ammunition deployed without interruption,” Biden said.    Congress has signaled it is receptive to further requests and has been expecting there would be a need for further help for the Ukrainians.
    Biden spoke on the new assistance, and more broadly about the situation in Ukraine, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in the strategic city of Mariupol.    Putin, however, ordered his troops not to risk more losses by storming the city’s last pocket of Ukrainian resistance.
    Russian forces have destroyed much of the southeastern port city, which has witnessed some of the fiercest fighting of the war.    By Russian estimates, about 2,000 Ukrainian forces remain holed up in a sprawling steel plant, even as Russian forces continue to pound the industrial site and repeatedly issue ultima- tums for Ukrainian forces’ surrender.
    Russian troops have besieged the port city since the early days of the conflict and largely reduced it to ruins.
    Biden in a brief exchange with reporters following his remarks called Russia’s claim on Mariupol “questionable.”
    The new tranche of military assistance is expected to include 72 155mm howitzers, 144,000 artillery rounds, 72 vehicles used to tow the howitzers onto the battlefield, and over 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical drones, as well as field equipment and spare parts.
    The 72 howitzers are in addition to the 18 announced last week the U.S. was transferring to Ukraine.
    Biden’s decision to quadruple the number pledged in an arms package announced last week reflects what is shaping up as a major ground battle in the contested Donbas region.
Air Force personnel load equipment bound for Ukraine on a plane in January

4/22/2022 WHO: Global COVID cases declined again by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BERLIN – The World Health Organization says that the number of reported new COVID-19 cases worldwide decreased by nearly a quarter last week, continuing a decline since the end of March.
    The Geneva-based U.N. health agency said in a weekly report that nearly 5.59 million cases were reported between April 11 and 17, 24% fewer than in the previous week.    The number of newly reported deaths dropped 21% to 18,215.
    WHO said new cases declined in every region, though only by 2% in the Americas. The report was dated late Wednesday.
    The agency said that “these trends should be interpreted with caution as several countries are progressively changing their COVID-19 testing strategies, resulting in lower overall numbers of tests performed and consequently lower numbers of cases detected.”
    The highest reported case numbers last week were from South Korea with more than 972,000 and France with over 827,000, WHO said.    The highest numbers of new deaths were from the U.S. with 3,076 and Russia with 1,784.

4/22/2022 Florida set to strip Disney of self-government - Legislature sends bill to desk of DeSantis by Anthony Izaguirre, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida House of Representatives on Thursday gave final passage to a bill that would dissolve Walt Disney World’s private government, handing Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis a victory in his feud with the entertainment giant over its opposition to a measure that critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
    The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose series of theme parks have transformed Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and serves to further sour the relationship between the Republican-led government and a major political player in the state.    Disney did not return an email seeking comment Thursday.
    For DeSantis, the attack on Disney is his latest salvo in a culture war waged over policies involving race, gender and the coronavirus, battles that have made him one of the most popular GOP politicians in the country and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.
    The bill passed by the Legislature on Thursday would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the 55-year-old Disney government is known, as well as a handful of other similar districts by June 2023.    The measure does allow for the districts to be reestablished, leaving an avenue to renegotiate its future.    The bill now moves to DeSantis’ office to be signed into law.
    The voting ended a bitter, three-day special legislative session in which lawmakers were tasked with passing a new congressional map drawn by DeSantis but also took up the Disney bill at the governor’s request.    Tensions erupted Thursday as Democrats staged a sit-in protest on the House floor against the map, prompting Republicans to walk out briefly.
    Opponents of the new map chanted phrases about the suppression of Black voters as GOP lawmakers returned and passed both bills “It was clear that our requests and proposed solutions were not going to be heard so he rushed it through,” Democratic Rep. Fentrice Driskell said of the Disney measure.
    The dispute with the company began with Disney’s criticism of a new law barring instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade as well as instruction that is not “age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.”
    In March, Disney said it would suspend political donations in the state and added that it would in turn support organizations working to oppose the new law.    DeSantis and his fellow Republicans then lashed out at Disney, and have defended the law as reasonable.
    “Disney and other woke corporations won’t get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns any longer,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising pitch Wednesday.    “If we want to keep the Democrat machine and their corporate lapdogs accountable, we have to stand together now.”
    Democrats have criticized the Disney proposal as clear retaliation against the company and warned that local homeowners could get hit with big tax bills if they have to absorb bond debt from Disney – although such details are far from clear.
    Disney is one of Florida’s biggest private employers, last year saying it had more than 60,000 workers in the state.    It is not immediately clear how the company or local governments around its properties would be affected if the district was dissolved.
    The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (in Florida, was a crucial element in the company’s plans to build near Orlando in the 1960s.    Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city along with the theme park.    The city never materialized, however; instead, it morphed into the Epcot theme park.

4/22/2022 Study: Red States Like Fla. Had Enormous Upside Staying Open During COVID by OAN Newsroom
    The free-market advocacy group American Commitment says many red states that avoided lock downs during COVID have experienced an enormous upside in economic activity and overall quality of life for their residents.    One America’s John Hines has more from Washington.

4/22/2022 Sen. Grassley Reiterates Calls For HHS, DHS Officials To Testify About Consequences Of Lifting Title 42 by OAN Newsroom
Ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks during a confirmation hearing for
Judge Merrick Garland, nominee to be Attorney General, before the Senate Judiciary Committee,
Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)
    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has been reiterating his call for officials to testify before the Judiciary Committee about ramifications once Title 42 is lifted.    On Thursday, the committee’s ranking member said he’s asked chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to have department of Health and Human Services and Department of Homeland Security officials testify about how they plan to handle the surge of illegal immigration once that provision is lifted.
    Grassley highlighted how Title 42 has helped keep the US safe for the past two years while stemming the flow of illegal immigrants.    He then expressed concerns about how President Joe Biden doesn’t have a detailed plan to address the crisis at the southern border.
    “All of my Republican colleagues joined me in that request to Chairman Durbin,” stated the Iowa Republican.    “The border is already in crisis and our immigration enforcement officers are really overwhelmed.    You see it every day on television.”
    Former President Donald Trump invoked Title 42 in 2020 to help stem the spread of COVID-19 in the US by limiting asylum at the US-Mexico border.    The Biden administration announced the President intends to rescind the Title 42 public health order on May 23.

4/22/2022 Biden Admin. Speaks With Cuban Officials About Slowing Tide Of Illegal Immigration by OAN Newsroom
FILE – U.S. flag flies at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba, March 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)
    The Biden White House and Cuban officials kicked off talks to curb illegal migration coming from the Caribbean country.    On Thursday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the US is hoping to continue almost 30-years of dialogue with Cuba.
    From October through March, Cubans were stopped at the US southern border 79,800 times, which is more than double all of 2021 and five times more than 2020.    Price said it’s time for migrants headed to the US to do so through legal and safe means.
    “It is safe to say that we would like to see a process that is safe, orderly and legal,” stated the US official.    “And not one that is dominated by irregular migrants seeking to make a dangerous either overland journey or maritime journey to the United States.”
    Thursday’s meeting followed similar talks in Panama aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Central America.

4/22/2022 No Oil or DOW info.


4/23/2022 Greene defends election eligibility at hearing by Kate Brumback, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    ATLANTA – U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene testified Friday in a contentious hearing on her eligibility to run for reelection, saying she did not remember liking and making various social media posts surrounding the U.S. Capitol riot last year and accusing an opposing attorney of using chopped videos and twisting her words.
    Voters in the Georgia Republican congresswoman’s district have said Greene helped facilitate the Jan. 6, 2021, riot that disrupted certification of President Joe Biden’s victory, making her ineligible for reelection under a rarely cited section of the 14th Amendment dealing with “insurrection or rebellion.”
    But Greene – who, the day before the Capitol riot, proclaimed on TV that this is “our 1776 moment” – testified that she has never endorsed violence.
    Greene is set to appear on the Republican ballot for Georgia’s May 24 primary and has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.    The administrative law judge who oversaw the hearing must present his findings to Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who will then make the ultimate determination over whether Greene is qualified.
    Greene has repeatedly denied aiding or engaging in an insurrection and has filed a lawsuit alleging the law the voters are using to challenge her eligibility is itself unconstitutional.
    But Ron Fein, an attorney for the voters who filed the challenge, said Greene took an oath and then broke it by engaging in an insurrection.    Although Greene wasn’t on the steps of the Capitol, she nevertheless played an important role in stoking Republican fury ahead of the attack, Fein said.
    Unlike the Civil War and other insurrections that involved military uniforms and tactics, he said, “The leaders of this insurrection were among us, on Facebook, on Twitter, on corners of social media that would make your stomach hurt.”
    Andrew Celli, an attorney for the voters, questioned Greene about posts on her social media accounts.    She repeatedly responded, “I don’t recall,” or “I don’t remember.”
    When asked about the fact her Facebook account had, in 2019, “liked” a post calling for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be shot in the head, Greene said she had no memory of that and said someone else could have been responsible.
    Whenever Celli suggested Greene had endorsed the use of violence to interrupt the certification of the electoral votes, Greene asserted she doesn’t support violence and was encouraging peaceful protest.
    Celli played a clip of an interview Greene did on Jan. 5, 2021, in which she said this is “our 1776 moment.”    When Celli asked if she was aware some Trump supporters used that reference as a call to violence, Greene said that wasn’t her intention and that she was talking about her plans to object to the certification of electoral votes.
    “I was talking about the courage to object,” she said.
    Celli appeared to grow frustrated at times when she didn’t directly answer his questions and accused him of speculating.
    “Ms. Greene, I’m just asking questions,” he said.
    “I’m just answering,” she said.    Administrative Law Judge Charles Beaudrot sometimes seemed exasperated by repeated rephrasing of questions and at times told Celli to move on.    He also repeatedly admonished Greene supporters for clapping or cheering during the proceedings.
    James Bopp, an attorney for Greene, said his client “did not engage in the attack on the Capitol,” and the challengers are making a very serious charge with significant ramifications.
    “They want to deny the right to vote to the thousands of people living in the 14th District of Georgia by removing Greene from the ballot,” he said.
    At the time of the riot, Greene was in a dark hallway at the Capitol urging people via social media to be safe and remain calm, he said.
    “Rep. Greene was a victim of this attack,” Bopp said, adding that she believed her life could be in danger.
    Bopp said that Greene was engaging in protected political speech.    He also argued that the administrative hearing process is meant to address basic qualification questions, not to evaluate major constitutional and federal claims.
    Dozens of Greene supporters attended the hearing, including U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican and staunch Greene ally.
    The challenge to Greene’s eligibility to run for reelection was filed by five voters who live in her district, and the procedure for such a challenge is outlined in Georgia law.
    The law said any voter who’s eligible to vote for a candidate can challenge that candidate’s qualifications by filing a written complaint.    The secretary of state then has to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
    Beaudrot asked both sides to submit briefs by midnight Thursday, and said he would try to make a decision within a week after that.
    Once he submits findings, Raffensperger will be tasked with deciding the eligibility of Greene as he faces a tough primary challenge from a Trump-endorsed candidate.    Raffensperger attracted Trump’s wrath shortly after the 2020 election when he refused to take steps to overturn Trump’s narrow loss in the state.
    The 14th Amendment said no one can serve in Congress “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.”    Ratified shortly after the Civil War, it aimed to keep representatives who had fought for the Confederacy from returning to Congress.
    U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg in Atlanta on Monday declined a request from Greene to halt the challenge process. Greene is appealing that ruling.
    The Georgia complaint was filed on the voters’ behalf by Free Speech for People, a national election and campaign finance reform group.
    The group filed similar challenges on behalf of voters in Arizona, where a judge on Friday ruled to keep three Republicans on the ballot, and in North Carolina against Republican U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who spoke at the rally that preceded the riot.
    A federal judge last month blocked the challenge against Cawthorn, writing that laws approved by Congress in 1872 and 1898 mean the 14th Amendment section can’t apply to current House members.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks Friday at a hearing in a challenge filed by voters who say she shouldn’t be
allowed to seek reelection because she helped facilitate the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. JOHN BAZEMORE/AP, POOL

4/23/2022 UN chief set to meet with Putin, Zelenskyy - Guterres urgently will press for peace by Jennifer Peltz, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    UNITED NATIONS – U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is set to meet separately with the presidents of Russia and Ukraine next week to make urgent, face-to-face pleas for peace, the world body said Friday.
    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Guterres is to meet Tuesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and that Putin will also play host to the U.N. chief.
    The U.N. later said that Guterres will head Thursday to Ukraine to see President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
    In both visits, Guterres aims to discuss “steps that can be taken right now” to stop the fighting and help people get to safety, U.N. spokesperson Eri Kaneko said.    “He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently.”
    Guterres asked Tuesday to meet with the presidents in their capitals.
    Guterres has urged Russia to stop its attack since it began two months ago, in what he called “the saddest moment” in his five years in the U.N.’s top job.    He appealed Tuesday for a four-day “humanitarian pause” in fighting leading up to Sunday’s Orthodox Easter holiday.
    “Stop the bloodshed and destruction.    Open a window for dialogue and peace,” he said.
    Guterres sent the U.N.’s top humanitarian official to Moscow and Kyiv earlier this month to explore the possibilities of a cease-fire.
    But the secretary-general had faced questions about whether he should travel to press for peace.    In a recent letter, former U.N. officials called on him to step up his personal, public involvement.
    Whatever overtures might have been made privately, the planned trip “is a visible symbol of what the United Nations is supposed to be standing for, which is peace and security,” one of the letter-writers, former U.N. political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman, said by phone Friday.
    “I don’t think any of us should have exaggerated expectations about what the secretary-general will be able to accomplish, but he has significant moral power,” said Feltman, now a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.    “It’s important that the secretary-general have these conversations.”
    Former Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon went to Moscow and Kyiv in March 2014 to try to foster talks and diplomacy as Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin
on Tuesday and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday. JOHN MINCHILLO/AP FILE

4/23/2022 Climate progress elusive for Biden - Many of president’s most ambitious plans stalled in Congress by Josh Boak, Chris Megerian and Matthew Daly, ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Joe Biden talks with Teri Gobin, chairwoman, Tulalip Tribes, after signing an executive order intended to help
restore national forests devastated by wildfires, drought and blight, during an event in Seattle. ANDREW HARNIK/AP
    SEATTLE – With a backdrop of flowering trees, it was a setting fit for the signing of major environmental legislation. Even Seattle’s notorious clouds parted as President Joe Biden stepped up to speak Friday.
    But when he sat down at a small desk with the presidential seal that had been set up for the occasion, there was only an executive order directing federal officials to keep better track of trees in national forests.
    The gap between the scale of what some call a global warming crisis and the president’s initiatives seemed wider than ever on Earth Day. Although last year’s infrastructure legislation had some climate policies, such as building more charging stations for electric cars, many of Biden’s most ambitious proposals remain stalled in Congress.
    Biden seemed eager to be signing something other than his executive order.
    “My pen is ready,” Biden said in Seattle’s Seward Park.    “Get some of these bills to my desk.”
    He criticized Republicans for opposing climate action and hinted at his frustration with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, although he didn’t mention them.    Within the Democratic caucus, he said, “there’s only two senators who occasionally don’t vote with me.”
    The lack of unanimity among Democrats and the steadfast resistance from Republicans in the evenly divided Senate has blocked hundreds of billions of dollars in tax credits for clean energy.    Environmental advocates question whether the country can hit Biden’s ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions without such policies, and scientists warn that the world faces extreme heat, drought and weather unless fossil fuels are phased out swiftly.
    With so much of his agenda in doubt, Biden instead drew a sharp contrast with his predecessor Donald Trump, who often mocked climate change as he squelched the country’s fight against global warming during his time in office.
    “We’ve reached the point where the crisis on the environment has become so obvious, with the notable exception of the former president, that we really have an opportunity to do things we couldn’t have done two, five, 10 years ago,” Biden said.
    Biden said he was staking his hopes on an up-and-coming generation.
    “Every time I get a little down … I just turn on the television or take a look at all the young people,” he said.    “This younger generation is not going to put up with all this stuff.    No, they’re not.”
    Biden spoke to some of that generation at his second stop of the day, Green River College, just south of Seattle.    The auditorium included scores of students, plus faculty and local elected officials, and Biden used the moment to promote his agenda.
    The speech was a collage of laws he has passed and what he still needs congressional support to achieve.    He discussed college funding, health care prices, child care expenses, corporate taxes, high speed internet and the importance of nursing.    Biden also warned that Republicans remain determined to repeal the     Affordable Care Act more than a decade after it was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
    “We need to keep this fight up,” he said.
    Biden singled out the high cost of insulin for treating diabetes, which he wants to limit through new legislation.
    “There’s no excuse.    None,” he said.    “We’re not asking drug companies to do anything they can’t afford.”
    The executive order signed by Biden on Friday directs federal land managers to define and inventory mature and old growth forests nationwide within a year.
    The order requires the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to identify threats to older trees, such as wildfire and climate change, and develop policies to safeguard them.
    Old-growth trees are key buffers against climate change and provide crucial carbon sinks that absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
    The order does not ban logging of mature or old-growth trees, the White House said.
    Biden used his Earth Day events to reassert his environmentalist credentials when his administration has been preoccupied by high oil and gasoline prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.    Gas costs have been a drag on Biden’s popularity and created short-term political pressures going into this year’s midterm>     He has even encouraged more domestic oil drilling to compensate for the problem, angering some environmental activists, angering some environmental activists.
    At the same time, Biden has focused on wildfires that are intensifying, allegedly because of climate change.
    Blazes that are intense enough to kill trees once considered virtually fireproof have alarmed land managers, environmentalists and tree lovers the world over.    A warming planet that has created longer and hotter droughts, combined with a century of fire suppression that choked forests with thick undergrowth, has fueled flames that extinguished trees dating to ancient civilizations.
    Timber industry representative Nick Smith said before the order was made public that loggers are worried it will add more bureaucracy, undercutting the Biden administration’s goal of doubling the amount of logging and controlled burns over the next decade to thin forests in the tinder-dry West.
    “The federal government has an urgent need to reduce massive greenhouse gas emissions from severe wildfires,” he said.
    “We’ve reached the point where the crisis on the environment has become so obvious, with the notable exception of the former president, that we really have an opportunity to do things we couldn’t have done two, five, 10 years ago.”    President Joe Biden

4/23/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

4/23/2022 Media Watchdog On Critical Race Theory In Schools by OAN Newsroom
    Critical race theory is banned in several states, but it’s not stopping school from skirting around it.    Accuracy Media has been going undercover and in their latest trip to Iowa, they discovered something.    One America’s Stella Escobedo has more.

4/23/2022 Pro Second Amendment Legislation Making Waves by OAN Newsroom
    As crime is on the rise, some lawmakers are pushing legislation in support of the Second Amendment.    One America’s Natasha Sweatte spoke with a NRA Certified Firearms instructor who’s seeing a surge of women flocking to ranges to seek out professional training.

4/24/2022 Thunder Over Louisville - Excitement in the air
A B-2 stealth fighter flies over the waterfront Saturday. Michael Clevenger/Courier Journal

4/24/2022 UN rights chief on Ukraine: ‘Horror story’ of violations by ASSOCIATED PRESS
Michelle Bachelet said the U.N. 'has detailed a horror story of violations perpetrated against civilians.' AP file
    BERLIN – The United Nations’ human rights office on Friday pointed to what it said is growing evidence of war crimes since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, declaring that humanitarian law appears to have been 'tossed aside.'
    Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said that 'our work to date has detailed a horror story of violations perpetrated against civilians.'
    Her office’s mission in Ukraine so far has verified 5,264 civilian casualties, including 2,345 deaths, since the war began on Feb. 24.    It said that 92.3% of those were recorded in Ukrainian government-controlled territory.    The office uses strict methodology and has long acknowledged that its confirmed figures are far short of the real numbers.
    'The actual numbers are going to be much higher' as more details emerge from places such as Mariupol where there is intense fighting, Bachelet said.
    'Over these eight weeks, international humanitarian law has not merely been ignored but seemingly tossed aside,' she added.
    Her office said in a statement that 'Russian armed forces have indiscriminately shelled and bombed populated areas, killing civilians and wrecking hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure – actions that may amount to war crimes.'    It added that the U.N. mission also has 'documented what appears to be the use of weapons with indiscriminate effects, causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects, by Ukrainian armed forces in the east of the country.'
    Bachelet said that 'the scale of summary executions of civilians in areas previously occupied by Russian forces' is emerging.
    On April 9, U.N. human rights officers visiting Bucha documented the unlawful killing, including by summary execution, of some 50 civilians, her office said.    The U.N. mission has received more than 300 allegations of killings of civilians in previously occupied towns in the Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions.
    Russian officials have denied that their soldiers killed any civilians in Bucha and other towns around Kyiv from which they retreated three weeks ago, and accused Ukraine of staging the atrocities.
    The U.N. rights office said its mission also has recorded 114 attacks on medical facilities 'although the actual figure is likely to be considerably higher.'
    'We estimate that at least 3,000 civilians have died because they couldn’t get medical care and because of the stress on their health amid the hostilities,' Bachelet said.    'This includes being forced by Russian armed forces to stay in basements or not being allowed to leave their homes for days or weeks.'
    The U.N. mission so far has received 75 allegations of sexual violence against women, men, girls and boys by Russian soldiers, most in the Kyiv region.    The human rights office said detention of civilians 'has become a widespread practice' in areas controlled by Russian forces and affiliated groups, with 155 cases reported so far.
    It said it also received information about 'alleged arbitrary and incommunicado detentions' by Ukrainian forces or people aligned with them.    And it pointed to videos put out by both sides apparently showing the intimidation, interrogation, torture or killing of prisoners of war.

4/24/2022 Sanctions hit Russian economy - Effects starting to take hold, though Putin says otherwise by Ken Sweet and Fatima Hussein, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The value of the ruble has recovered after an initial plunge, and last week
the central bank reversed part of its interest rate increase. AP file
    NEW YORK – Nearly two months into the Russian-Ukraine war, the Kremlin has taken extraordinary steps to blunt an economic counteroffensive from the West. While Russia can claim some symbolic victories, the full impact of Western sanctions is starting to be felt.
    As the West moved to cut off Russia’s access to its foreign reserves, limit imports of key technologies and take other restrictive actions, the Kremlin launched some drastic measures to protect the economy.    Those included hiking interest rates to as high as 20%, instituting capital controls and forcing Russian business to convert their profits into rubles.
    As a result, the value of the ruble has recovered after an initial plunge, and last week the central bank reversed part of its interest rate increase.    Russian President Vladimir Putin felt emboldened and proclaimed – evoking World War II imagery – that the country had withstood the West’s 'blitz' of sanctions.
    'The government wants to paint a picture that things are not as bad as they actually are,' said Michael Alexeev, an economics professor at the University of Indiana, who studied Russia’s economy in its transition after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    A closer look, however, shows that the sanctions are taking a bite out of Russia’s economy:
    The country is enduring its worst bout of inflation in two decades.    Rosstat, the state’s economic statistic agency, said inflation last month hit 17.3%, the highest level since 2002.    By comparison, the International Monetary Fund expects consumer prices in developing countries to rise 8.7% this year, up from 5.9% last year.
    Some Russian companies have been forced to shut down.    Several reports say a tank manufacturer had to stop production due to the lack of parts.    U.S. officials point to the closing of Lada auto plants – a brand made by Russian company Avtovaz and majority-owned by French automaker Renault – as a sign of sanctions having an effect.
    Moscow’s mayor says the city is looking at 200,000 job losses from foreign companies shutting down operations.    More than 300 companies have pulled out, and international supply chains have largely shut down after container company Maersk, UPS, DHL and other transportation firms exited Russia.
    Russia is facing a historic default on its bonds, which will likely freeze the country out of the debt markets for years.
    Meanwhile, Treasury officials and most economists urge patience that sanctions take months to have full effect.    If Russia can’t get appropriate amounts of capital, parts or supplies over time, that will cause even more factories and businesses to shut down, leading to higher unemployment.
    It took nearly an entire year after Russia was sanctioned for seizing Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 for its economic data to show signs of distress, such as higher inflation, a decline in industrial production and a slowdown in economic growth.
    'The things that we should be looking for to see if the sanctions are working are, frankly, not easy to see yet,' said David Feldman, a professor of economics at William & Mary in Virginia.    'We’ll be looking for the price of goods, the quantity of goods they are producing and the quality of goods.    The last being the hardest to see and probably the last to appear.'
    Transparency into how sanctions are affecting the Russian economy is limited, largely because of the extraordinary lengths the Kremlin has taken to prop it up and its largest sector – oil and gas – is largely unencumbered due to European, Chinese and Indian reliance on Russian energy.
    Benjamin Hilgenstock and Elina Ribakova, economists with the Institute of International Finance, estimated in a report released last month that if the European Union, Britain and the U.S. were to ban Russian oil and natural gas, the Russian economy could contract more than 20% this year. Current projections forecast a 15% contraction.
    While the EU has agreed to ban Russian coal by August and is discussing sanctions on oil, there’s been no consensus among the 27 nations so far about halting oil and natural gas.    Europe is far more reliant on Russian supplies than Britain and the U.S., which have banned or are phasing out Russian oil.    In the meantime, Russia gets $850 million a day from Europe for its oil and gas.
    The U.S. and its allies have argued that they have tried to tailor sanctions to affect Russia’s ability to wage war and financially hit those in the highest echelons of government, while leaving everyday Russians largely unaffected.
    But Russians have noticed a spike in prices.    Residents of one Moscow suburb said 19-liter jugs of drinking water they regularly order have become nearly 35% more expensive than before.    In supermarkets and stores in their area, the price for 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of sugar has grown by 77%; some vegetables cost 30% to 50% more.
    Local news sites in different Russian regions in recent weeks have reported that multiple stores are shuttered in malls after Western companies and brands halted operations or pulled out of Russia.
    The Kremlin and its allies on social media have repeatedly pointed to the recovery of Russia’s ruble as a sign that Western sanctions aren’t working.    The ruble crashed to around 150 to the dollar in the early days of the war but recovered to around 80 to the dollar, about where it was before the invasion.    A gauge of weekly inflation by Rosstat has shown inflation slowing, but that is not surprising after the central bank raised interest rates as quickly as it did.
    Russia’s central bank had doubled its benchmark interest rate to support the ruble’s plunging value and stop bank runs.    It dropped the rate to 17% from 20% this month and signaled it might lower it further.
    This isn’t the first time Russia has thrown its full force behind defending the ruble’s value as a symbol of resistance against the West.    Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, the Soviet Union had an official exchange rate of one ruble equaling about $1.35, whereas the black-market exchange rate was closer to four rubles to the dollar.    The Russian debt crisis of the late 1990s also was caused partially by the Kremlin’s active defense of the currency’s value.

4/24/2022 Fla. House Votes To Strip Disney’s Self-Governing Status by OAN Newsroom
    The House moved forward to vote on other bills, including a measure that would strip Disney of its self-governing status in the Sunshine State and it now heads to the governor’s desk.    One America’s Lexington Howe has the latest.

4/24/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

4/25/2022 WHO: 1 dead from mystery liver disease by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BERLIN – The World Health Organization says at least one death has been reported in connection with a mysterious liver disease outbreak affecting children in Europe and the United States.
    The United Nations health agency said late Saturday that it has so far received reports of at least 169 cases of “acute hepatitis of unknown origin” from a dozen countries.
    The cases were reported in children ages 1 month to 16 years old, and 17 of those who fell ill required liver transplants.    WHO didn’t say in which country the death occurred.    The first cases were recorded in Britain, where 114 children have been sickened.
    “It is not yet clear if there has been an increase in hepatitis cases, or an increase in awareness of hepatitis cases that occur at the expected rate but go undetected,” WHO said in a statement.
    Experts say the cases may be linked to a virus commonly associated with colds, but further research is ongoing.
    At least 20 of the children tested positive for the coronavirus, WHO said, adding that affected countries are stepping up their surveillance of hepatitis cases in children.

4/25/2022 France’s youngest president wins again, troubles and all by Sylvie Corbet, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    PARIS – In just five years as France’s president, Emmanuel Macron has gone from a young newbie in politics to a key world player and weighty decisionmaker in the European Union who has been deeply involved in efforts to end Russia’s war in Ukraine.
    And now he has won a second term, the first French president to do so in a generation.
    The outspoken 44-year-old centrist, with his non-stop diplomatic activism, doesn’t always get his way but has earned his place on the international scene.    He is expected to pivot back to his work on Ukraine.
    At home, Macron managed to regain some popularity after the “yellow vest” protests against social injustice sent his approval to record lows in 2018.    Opinion polls say many French praise his presidential stature and consider him up to the job to face major global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict.
    They also show he is often perceived as arrogant and out of touch with ordinary people.
    Macron has notably been dubbed “president of the rich,” especially during the yellow vest crisis.    Some critics also denounce a perceived authoritarian attitude, holding him responsible for violent incidents involving police during street protests.
    The job of president is his first elected office, though he came with a strong pedigree.
    Macron studied at France’s elite school Ecole Nationale d’Administration, and he was a senior civil servant, then a banker at Rothschild for a few years, then economic adviser to Socialist President Francois Hollande.     He emerged from that backstage role onto the political scene when he served as economy minister in Hollande’s government from 2014 to 2016.
    A series of political surprises – including a corruption scandal involving a key rival – thrust Macron toward presidential victory in 2017.    He easily beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in their runoff that year on promises to free up France’s economy to boost job creation and attract foreign investment.    He beat her again Sunday, but the race was closer and Macron acknowledged that some voters had backed him only to keep Le Pen out of the presidency.
    Macron, who describes himself as “a president who believes in Europe,” argues the EU is the way for France to be stronger in a global world.
    Italian Premier Mario Draghi called Macron’s victory “splendid news for all of Europe” and a boost to the EU “being a protagonist in the greatest challenges of our times, starting with the war in Ukraine.”
    Macron won with 58.5% of the vote to Le Pen’s 41.5% – significantly closer than when they first faced off in 2017.
    A strong advocate of entrepreneurial spirit, Macron has eased rules to hire and fire workers and to made it harder to get unemployment benefits. Critics accuse him of destroying worker protections.
    Then the pandemic hit, and he acknowledged the crucial role of the state in supporting the economy, spending massively and vowing to support employees and business via public aid “whatever it costs.”
    In his biggest campaign rally near Paris earlier this month, Macron paid an emotional tribute to his wife, Brigitte, the person “I care the most about.”    They could be seen on the stadium’s giant screens sending kisses to each other.    On Sunday evening, they arrived hand in hand on the plaza near the Eiffel Tower where Macron made his victory speech.
    As first lady, Brigitte Macron, 24 years his senior, has been involved in charities and other programs promoting culture, education and health.
Emmanuel Macron, France’s centrist incumbent president, and his wife Brigitte Macron acknowledge voters in front of
the Eiffel Tower Macron beat far-right rival Marine Le Pen for a second five-year term. AURELIEN MEUNIER/GETTY IMAGES

4/25/2022 As grocery prices skyrocket, it’s poor Americans who feel pinch - Despite rising wages, food costs take a bigger bite out of paychecks by Trevor Hughes USA TODAY
Esmeralda Cortez unloads groceries from the Salvation Army’s Aurora, Colo., food bank. PHOTOS BY TREVOR HUGHES/USA TODAY
    Americans spend about 10% of their income on food. But the poorest Americans pay closer to 30%.
    AURORA, Colo. – Kevin Tave stretches a pot of spaghetti for three days of meals.    Esmerelda Cortez gets eggs and bread from the food bank so she can afford laundry detergent at the store.    Donnie Whitfield buys generic cereal instead of the Kellogg’s he prefers.
    Although unemployment continues dropping and wages are on the rise, all across the country, low-income people are struggling to put food on the table as skyrocketing inflation and high gas prices take a bigger bite of their already-small paychecks.
    And experts say there’s little reprieve in sight because of a combination of factors, including COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, Russia’s war on Ukraine, and corporate price-gouging.    Further out, high fertilizer costs could compound the issues.
    You might be making $20 an hour, but what you’re paying out is so much more, in rent, in gas, in food, especially when you’re single,” said Tave, 57, after collecting bread, eggs, meat and soda from a Salvation Army food pantry in the Denver suburbs.    “I went to the grocery store and I came out with the bags in my hand and it cost me $80.    And it didn’t feel like $80 worth of food.”
    Some politicians – especially President Joe Biden’s conservative critics – blame the president for driving up food, labor and fuel prices in part by limiting new oil and gas drilling on federal lands, and by providing cash assistance to families during the pandemic.
    Biden, who has blamed inflation largely on what he’s dubbed “the Putin Price Hike,” has announced a $1 billion plan to increase independent meat and poultry processing.    Citing slowdowns that began during the pandemic, Biden said his plan would help eliminate supply-chain bottlenecks, help farmers earn more for their animals, and bring down consumer food prices.
    Some liberal activists, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, are pushing for Biden to use anti-monopoly laws to break up large food processors or corporations.    Ocasio-Cortez this month pointed out that about 25% of all retail sales in the United States are made by either Amazon or Walmart.    A handful of large corporations, which have reported record profits, also control much of the country’s meat processing, she noted.
    “Prices aren’t being dictated by ‘supply and demand,’” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on April 6.    “They’re being dictated by CEOs.”
    Federal officials this month said inflation hit a 40-year high, and the consumer price index jumped 8.5% annually, the fastest pace since December 1981.    Inflation now has reached new 40-year highs for five straight months, according to federal officials, and prices in March rose 1.2% from their February level, the sharpest monthly increase since September 2005.
    For Americans with savings or high paying jobs, the increases are easier to absorb.    But for those who were already struggling, the rapid increases are forcing even tougher choices about what, when and how often to eat.
    On average, Americans spend about 10% of their income on food, said Scott Brown, an economist at the University of Missouri. But the poorest Americans pay closer to 30%, he said, and those are the people with the least amount of flexibility to afford price hikes.
    And while federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provide aid to about 36 million people, those food assistance benefits totaling more than $60 billion are set by the federal government each June for the following year, meaning recipients today are getting benefits based on food prices last summer before prices began rising dramatically.
    “We have inflation in everything.    Does that affect everyone? Yes, but higher-income folks are able to manage without much difficulty,” Brown said.    “It’s the poorest who are having the most difficulty.”
    Acknowledging that corporate profits for food conglomerates have been at record highs, Brown said he suspects that will change in coming months as those companies are forced to offer higher wages to their workers, who are themselves paying more for food and fuel.    He said 80% of the cost of food comes after it leaves a farmer’s property, from the fuel needed to transport cows or corn, to the markup charged from turning a steer into prepackaged barbecue beef on a grocer’s shelf.
    Knowing that is little comfort to Frances Holmes, 59, of St. Louis.    Holmes, a fast-food worker, cares for both her granddaughter, 18, and her great-grandson, 2, stretching her $11-an-hour paycheck by shopping at discount store Aldi.
    With tips, Holmes can bring home up to $15 an hour, and she’s a member of the national “Fight for $15” campaign that wants the federal minimum wage raised to that level from its current $7.25, set in 2009. State minimum wages can be higher, and across the country, some fast-food restaurants are offering closer to $19 an hour.    Holmes said she’s frustrated her employer so often cuts her hours or changes her shift, which means she earns less.
    “It’s really hard.    The prices of food are going up, but the wages aren’t,” Holmes said.    “I just have to buy less than what I used to.”
    Experts also worry the trickle-down effect of high food prices, especially for healthy, high-quality food, risks setting more kids up for a lifetime of health problems, from obesity to diabetes.
    Tens of millions of low-income Americans live in what the U.S. government calls “food deserts,” or areas without convenient access to grocery stores, especially if they lack a car or live in a rural area.    In some cases, experts say, parents working long hours outside the home choose food that is cheaper, less healthy and faster to put on the table.
    “When families are food insecure and looking for calories, the first thing they do is pick out foods their kids will eat, that will fill them up, and those are not always the most nutrient dense foods,” said Dr. Colleen Kraft, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.    “These types of foods contribute to childhood obesity, to high cholesterol, even the precursors of diabetes in kids.”
    Kraft counsels families she works with to try cooking at home more often, turning the process into an adventure for kids.    She said she’s often surprised how few children ever eat fresh fruits or vegetables, and teaching them to make careful but healthy choices now can pay dividends later, she said.
    “If we have healthy children who grow up to become healthy teenagers and healthy adults then we have a country of people who can finish high school and college, who can show up to work, who can stay in healthy relationships and that helps keep us a country that is moving forward,” she said.
    Many of the country’s lowest-income families have been receiving an extra boost in federal food assistance of about $100 per month under pandemic-related spending.
    But some Republican governors have been withdrawing their states from those expanded programs, arguing that people should get jobs rather than depend on government handouts, especially at a time when so many businesses are hiring.
    Experts say it’s just not that simple for many people, from those struggling to recover from drug addictions to job skills mismatches, or families coping with COVID-19-related deaths.    Even people with jobs are facing dramatic rent increases across the country, said Kenneth Hodder, national commander of The Salvation Army USA.
    “People associate food insecurity with the beginning of the pandemic but I can tell you it remains a struggle for many people,” Hodder said.    “Whether or not you have a job, food is more expensive.    In real terms, you’re still behind.    It’s very tough for folks out there.”
    Back at the food bank in Aurora, Whitfield hopes to someday switch back to Kellogg’s cereal and splurge on lunch at Burger King once again.    A retired veteran living on a fixed income, Whitfield, 71, said he’s noticed high food prices most in eggs and meat, and switched from shopping at a local grocery store to buying generic at Walmart.
    Cortez, 34, an out-of-work restaurant server, said she now comes to the food bank first, and then shops for whatever it didn’t have.    Salvation Army officials said they’ve seen that change nationally: Some people who once used food banks to supplement their shopping are now primarily depending on the donations to survive.
    Tave, who works for a company that finds custom phone numbers for businesses, said he’s hopeful he’ll be able to get a new job or a raise to offset the higher food costs.    He misses being able to afford fast food and buying organic food, which he considers healthier.    And he’s looking forward to the day when he can afford to buy whatever he wants.
    “Leftovers are a big thing now,” he said.
    “It’s really hard.    The prices of food are going up, but the wages aren’t.    I just have to buy less than what I used to.” Frances Holmes
As prices rise, some people are switching to generic brands
to save money. Others are relying more heavily on food banks.

4/25/2022 Trump Rallies The Base In Delaware, Ohio by OAN Newsroom
    The 45th president went back to Ohio and promoted his vision for the future of the country.    One America’s Sam Valk has more on Donald Trump’s speech.


4/25/2022 Rep. Gaetz: Targeting MTG To Chill Questioning Of 2020 Election Results by OAN Newsroom
    Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said the challenge of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) candidacy is an effort by the left to use the legal process to deprive voters of being able to make their own choice in the upcoming election.    One America’s John Hines has more from Washington.

As you can see above the phony Insurrection Committee thinks their issue is going to
change the elections in their favor, but so far Pelosi is going to get strike three your out

4/25/2022 Texas Takes Immigration Matters Into Own Hands by OAN Newsroom
    Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) is ramping up border security measures in preparation for the end of Title 42 next month.    One America’s Zach Petersen has more.

4/25/2022 Oil down $2.85 to $98.86, DOW up 238 34,049.

4/26/2022 Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bill creating election police unit by Anthony Izaguirre, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday to create a police force dedicated to pursuing voter fraud and other election crimes, embracing a top priority of Republicans after former President Donald Trump’s false claims that his reelection was stolen.
    The new law comes after the Republican governor made voting legislation a focus this year, pushing the Republican-controlled statehouse to create the policing unit as states reevaluate their own election systems in the wake of Trump’s unfounded allegations.
    DeSantis, who is running for reelection and is widely considered to be a potential 2024 presidential candidate, has both praised the last election as smooth and suggested more rules were needed to deter fraud, underscoring Trump’s influence on Republican policymaking.    Critics have deemed the law politically motivated and unnecessary, arguing that local prosecutors can handle election crimes.
    At a bill signing ceremony Monday at a sports bar in Spring Hill, Florida, DeSantis justified the need for the new law enforcement unit and suggested that existing law enforcement may not be equipped or willing to thoroughly investigate fraud cases.    “Some of them may not care as much about the election stuff.    I think it’s been mixed at how those reactions are going to be.    So, we just want to make sure whatever laws are on the books, that those laws are enforced,” he said.
    Voter fraud is rare and is generally detected.    An AP investigation of the 2020 presidential election found fewer than 475 potential cases of voter fraud out of 25.5 million ballots cast in the six states where Trump and his allies disputed his loss to President Joe Biden.
    Republicans nationwide have stressed the need to restore public confidence in elections and have passed several voting laws in the past two years aimed at placing new rules around mail and early voting methods that were popular in 2020.
    The law creates an Office of Election Crimes and Security under the Florida Department of State to review fraud allegations and conduct preliminary investigations.    DeSantis is required to appoint a group of special officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement who would be tasked with pursuing the election law violations.
    Existing state law allowed the governor to appoint officers to investigate violations of election law but did not require him to do so.
    The law also increases penalties for the collection of completed ballots by a third party, often referred to as ballot harvesting, to a felony.    It raises fines for certain election law violations and requires that election supervisors perform voter list maintenance on a more frequent basis.
    Democrats, the minority party in the state Legislature, have criticized the bill as a way for DeSantis to appeal to Republican voters who believe the 2020 election results were fraudulent, while the governor flirts with a presidential run of his own.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday to create a police force dedicated to
pursuing voter fraud and other election crimes. STEPHEN M. DOWELL/ORLANDO SENTINEL VIA AP

4/26/2022 Elon Musk to acquire Twitter in $44B deal - Billionaire aims to make service ‘better than ever’ by Brett Molina and Terry Collins, USA TODAY
    It’s official: Elon Musk is set to buy Twitter.
    The social media giant confirmed Monday the Tesla CEO and billionaire will acquire the company in a deal worth $44 billion.    Once the deal is complete, which is expected by this year, Twitter will become a privately held company.
    “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk tweeted.    “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”
    Shares of Twitter rose more than 5% in afternoon trading Monday.
    “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world,” CEO Parag Agrawal said in a tweet.    “Deeply proud of our teams.”
    Earlier Monday, Musk tweeted, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
    Musk has criticized how strictly Twitter moderates content on its platform.    “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” he tweeted this month.    “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
    Musk had scooped up a 9% stake in the company, which made him Twitter’s largest shareholder, earlier this month.    Twitter responded by announcing plans to have Musk join its board of directors.    Days later, Agrawal tweeted that Musk had decided not to join the board.    Musk then confirmed, in a regulatory filing, that he planned to acquire the company.
    Despite its cultural influence, Twitter, with an estimated 416 million weekly users as of April 16, has lagged behind social media rivals including the Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.
    “Twitter is a struggling company,” Sara Silver, a business journalism professor at Quinnipiac University, said in a statement.    “It lost money the last two years and was only profitable in two of the last five.” Silver said Twitter’s board had “no choice” but to take Musk’s offer seriously.
    Despite all of Musk’s boasting about free speech and content moderation, he may have an opportunity to monetize a good product, said Callie Cox, an analyst for eToro.
    “Profitability is what Twitter shareholders have been waiting for.    New leadership could provide new thoughts on how to improve and monetize the platform,” Cox said.    “And with such a high stake in the business, he could be under more pressure to perform.”
    In Washington, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that she would not comment on “a specific transaction” when asked about Musk’s purchase.     “No matter who owns or runs Twitter, the president has long been concerned about the power of large social media platforms – the power they have over our everyday lives,” Psaki said.
    It has been widely speculated that if Musk got control of Twitter he would reinstate the account of certain voices, including former President Donald Trump, who is suspended from the platform.    But Trump appears to be not interested.
    “I am not going on Twitter,” he told Fox News before the deal was announced.
    Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted Monday before Musk’s acquisition: “How crazy will the Left go if they accept his bid?
    Jordan later tweeted after the deal, “Free speech is making a comeback.”
    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., whose personal account was permanently banned from Twitter for repeatedly violating the platform’s misinformation policy for her tweets about COVID-19, said Monday on her congressional Twitter account, “I should get my personal Twitter account restored.”
    Contributing: Joseph Garrison, Scott Gleeson, Maria Jimenez Moya, The Associated Press
“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what
free speech means,” Elon Musk tweeted early Monday. HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/POOL

4/26/2022 Brad Parscale: Mainstream Media Made Trump Enemy #1 by OAN Newsroom
    Brad Parscale said if Donald Trump returns to his 2016 self, no other candidate will stand a chance in the 2024 presidential election should he choose to run.    One America’s Daniel Baldwin has more from Ohio.

4/26/2022 Is The Market Rejecting “Woke” Content? by OAN Newsroom
    While some argue cancel culture was designed to silence conservative voices, some believe it’s now beginning to backfire.    One America’s Natasha Sweatte takes a deeper look into how the repercussions of so-called “wokeism” are catching up with corporations.

4/26/2022 Mike Lindell: We Need Candidates That Have The People’s Back by OAN Newsroom
    MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said Ohio needs ‘America First’ candidates.    One America’s Daniel Baldwin has more.

4/26/2022 Rep. McCarthy Leads Delegation Of GOP Reps. To Southern Border by OAN Newsroom
Migrants walk on a dirt road after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border,
Tuesday, March 23, 2021, in Mission, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    House Republicans are demanding President Joe Biden pick up the pieces of the deteriorating situation at the southern border.    On Monday, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) led a group of Republicans to Eagle Pass, Texas, where he said the Biden administration has lost its grip on border security.
    The California lawmaker said the President’s open border rhetoric is welcoming illegal immigrants and people on the federal terror watch list into the US.    He also derided the Biden administration’s push to end Title 42 and its move to give migrants phones, so federal agents can “check in” on them as they await immigration court proceedings.
    McCarthy further lamented that border security is an issue that should be handled by the federal government, but instead those leading the efforts are officials at the state level.
    “I want to to tell Governor (Greg) Abbott thank you,” he stated.    “It’s a job you shouldn’t have to do, but you bringing the National Guard and others here as a determent to try to protect our borders because of what this President’s actions have done.”
    The delegation also touched on the human toll of the Biden border crisis.    They mourned the death of specialist Bishop Evans of the Texas National Guard who died trying to help an illegal migrant stuck in the Rio Grande.
    Additionally, Texas Rep. Chip Roy claimed Americans are dying from fentanyl coming in from Mexico and others are dying from cartel-run human smuggling operations.    Roy added, however, the human toll doesn’t just affect Americans.
    “We’ve gotta actually do the hard work of having a sovereign nation secure a border so migrants don’t get killed,” he stated.    “The 700 to 1,000 that are in body trailers that local officials have to go rent to put bodies in, the ranchers who find dead bodies on their property, the bodies we find in the river on a daily basis.”
    Meanwhile, Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales touted the Republican stance on border security, adding all members are unified behind the issue.    He urged members from all political affiliations to come together while stressing border security is not a partisan issue.
    “Everybody in this crisis, everybody’s world is turned upside down,” said Gonzales.    “We’ve heard from ranchers that their kids can’t go out and play.    They have to carry pistols when they walk their properties.    their childhoods have been stolen.    people’s lives have been stolen.    This is about bringing everyone together. It starts with keeping Title 42.”
    In the meantime, Republican state attorneys general from Missouri, Louisiana and Arizona earned a victory on keeping Title 42 in place as a judge granted a temporary restraining order that bars the Biden administration from killing the health measure.
    Additionally, leader McCarthy warned he could make a push to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his handling of the southern border.    Mayorkas is expected to testify three times in front of Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.

4/26/2022 Defense Secy. Austin: Nations Around The World Stand United In Supporting Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, attends a press conference after the meeting of the Ukraine Security
Consultative Group at Ramstein Air Base in Ramstein, Germany, Tuesday, April 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
    According to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Russia’s invasion and atrocities in Ukraine are “indefensible.”    He made the comments Tuesday as the US hosted 40 countries for defense talks at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
    Austin said Russian President Vladimir Putin never imagined the world would rally behind Ukraine so “swiftly and surely.”    The official added that after Russia’s defeat at the battle of Kyiv, the war entered a new phase.    Moscow is reportedly redeploying troops for a ground offensive in the Eastern Donbas region.
    “Russia is waging a war of choice to indulge the ambitions of one man,” stated.    “Ukraine is fighting a war of necessity to defend its democracy, its sovereignty and its citizens.”
    Austin went on to say Ukraine clearly believes they can win and the countries at the meeting agreed.    The defense talks followed Defense Secretary’s trip to Kyiv where the US pledged additional military support for Ukraine.

4/26/2022 Trump Say It’s Unacceptable How Often Putin Uses The Word ‘Nuclear’ by OAN Newsroom
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during their meeting in the
Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 26, 2022. (Vladimir Astapkovich, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
    The 45th president said the war on Ukraine would be going differently if he were still in office.    In an interview with Piers Morgan that aired Monday, Donald Trump asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin is only threatening nuclear options because the US isn’t being tough enough.
    Trump went on to say Putin uses the word “nuclear” on a daily basis, adding he’s only doing it more and more because it is stirring up fear.    When asked what he would do if he were in Joe Biden’s shoes, Trump said he would remind Putin of the extent of US military capabilities.
    “I would say, we have far more than you do…far, far more powerful than you,” he stated.    “And you can’t use that word ever again.    You cannot use the nuclear word ever again. And if you do, we’re gonna have problems.”
    Trump noted he had told Putin not to invade Ukraine while he was in office, warning him of a US response.    However, the 45th president did not say whether he believed the US should threaten the use of nuclear weapons.    Instead, he commented that he didn’t want to talk about it.

4/26/2022 White House Fails To Explain President’s Meetings With Hunter Biden’s Business Partner by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks at a press briefing at the
White House in Washington, Monday, April 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The Biden administration failed to explain why Joe Biden met with his son Hunter’s business partner at the White House.    During a press briefing on Monday, Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about a New York Post report saying Hunter’s business partner Eric Schwerin had 19 meetings with top Obama administration officials.     Those meetings took place between 2009 and 2015 as indicated by White House visitor logs and other documents reviewed by the New York Post.    Psaki had no concrete answer to the question.
    Schwerin and Hunter Biden were partners at investment firm Rosemont Seneca, which accepted payments from Ukrainian gas company Burisma.    Republican lawmakers say this latest evidence shows Joe Biden knew of his son’s business in Ukraine and has directly benefited from it.

4/26/2022 Oil up $3.53 to $102.17, DOW down 809 to 33,240.
Tech stocks slump again; Nasdaq has worst loss since 2020
    Stocks closed broadly lower on Wall Street Tuesday, weighed down by sharp declines in Big Tech stocks that also left the Nasdaq with its worst drop since September 2020.
    Investors are reviewing the latest round of corporate earnings and face a particularly heavy week with results from some of the nation’s biggest companies.    The latest corporate report cards are hitting Wall Street amid lingering concerns about rising inflation, interest rate hikes and potential damage to global economic growth.
    The S&P 500 fell 120.92 points, or 2.8% to 4,175.20.    The benchmark index closed the day with 95% of its stocks losing ground.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 809.28 points, or 2.4%, to 33,240.18.
    The tech-heavy Nasdaq bore the brunt of the day’s losses.    It fell 514.11 points, or 4%, to 12,490.74.
    That’s its worst drop since Sept. 8, 2020.    The index is now down 20% so far this year as investors shun the ultra-pricey tech sector, which had made gangbuster gains for much of the pandemic.

4/27/2022 EU court: ID checks must be justified by Lorne Cook, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BRUSSELS – The European Union’s top court handed down a ruling Tuesday that could force countries to regularly justify why they are conducting ID checks on people who should be able to move freely within Europe’s passport-free travel area.
    The travel zone, known as the “Schengen area,” is made up of 26 countries – 22 EU nations plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.    Normally, people and goods move freely between these countries without border checks. Temporary controls are allowed for security or health reasons.
    At least seven countries currently have some restrictions in place, mostly for security reasons or to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.    Restrictions should only last for six months but some countries – notably Austria, France and Denmark – routinely renew them and have done so for years.
    The European Court of Justice ruled that countries must justify why they are rolling over the border measures, and that they should only do so “in the event of a serious new threat arising.”
    Around 420 million people live in the Schengen zone, and 1.7 million reside in one nation and work in another.
    Free movement is a pillar of European integration.    Officials worry that the future of the Schengen area is under threat as some countries routinely use the excuse of the coronavirus, migrant movements or ill-defined security concerns to crack down at borders.

4/27/2022 Putin’s fear: Ukraine army is closer to West - US, Europe are providing weaponry, training, funds by Robert Burns, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Airmen from the 436th Aerial Port Squadron prepare equipment bound for Ukraine
at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Jan. 21. MAURICIO CAMPINO/U.S. AIR FORCE VIA AP
    WASHINGTON – The longer Ukraine’s army fends off the invading Russians, the more it absorbs the advantages of Western weaponry and training – exactly the transformation President Vladimir Putin wanted to prevent by invading in the first place.
    The list of arms flowing to Ukraine is long and growing longer.    It includes new American battlefield aerial drones and the most modern U.S. and Canadian artillery, anti-tank weapons from Norway and others, armored vehicles and anti-ship missiles from Britain and Stinger counter-air missiles from the U.S., Denmark and other countries.
    If Ukraine can hold off the Russians, its accumulating arsenal of Western weapons could have a transformative effect in a country that has, like other former Soviet republics, relied mainly on arms and equipment from the Soviet era.
    But sustaining that military aid won’t be easy. It is costly and, for some supplier nations, politically risky.        It also is being taken out of Western stockpiles that at some point will need to be replenished.    That is why U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin convened a meeting Tuesday at Germany’s Ramstein air base to work out ways to keep it going, now and for the long run.    Defense ministers and top military leaders from approximately 40 countries participated.
    After the meeting, Austin told a news conference at Ramstein that Germany had agreed to send 50 Cheetah anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine and that the meeting had served to unify the West’s efforts to help Ukraine “win today and build strength for tomorrow.”
    “We’ve got to move at the speed of war,” Austin said.
    “We believe they can win if they have the right equipment, the right support,” Austin said on Monday in Poland after returning from a visit to Kyiv with Secretary of State Antony Blinken that included discussion of Ukraine’s military needs.    He also said the goal is to “see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things it has done in invading Ukraine.”
    On Monday, Austin and Blinken announced $713 million in foreign military financing for Ukraine and 15 allied and partner countries in Europe; some $322 million is earmarked for Kyiv, in part to help Ukraine transition to more advanced weapons and air defense systems.
    The Ukrainians say they need even more, including long-range air defense systems, fighter jets, tanks and multiple- launch rocket systems.    “It will be true to say that the United States now leads the effort in ensuring this transition of Ukraine to Western style weapons, in arranging training for Ukrainian soldiers,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, adding, “and I only regret that it didn’t happen a month or two months ago from the very beginning of the war.”
    “What has happened is, Mr. Putin is getting exactly what he did not want.    He’s getting more weapons forward, he’s getting more NATO forward, and he’s getting more America in Europe,” said Philip Breedlove, a retired U.S. general who led NATO in Europe from 2013 to 2016.

4/27/2022 Iowa lawmakers OK bill mandating sale of E15 at gas stations by David Pitt, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa would be the first state in the nation to require that gas stations have pumps selling fuel with at least 15% ethanol under a bill that received final legislative approval Tuesday.
    When signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds, who initially proposed the mandate, the measure would give a boost to corn growers and the ethanol industry, which consumes roughly half the state’s corn crop.
    Iowa leads the nation in corn and ethanol production.
    Most gas sold in Iowa and across the country now is blended with 10% ethanol.
    Earlier versions of the bill raised concerns it would force small gas stations to close because of the cost of installing new tanks, pipes and pumps.
    To quell those concerns, the bill includes exemptions for existing gas stations selling less than 300,000 gallons of fuel a year with no plans to replace its storage tanks, and some stations with old storage tanks also can receive waivers.
    The bill passed 42-3 in the Senate and 81-13 in the House.
    The state will award up to $5 million a year to grants to help gas station owners upgrade equipment to handle E15.
    In Minnesota, another of the nation’s top corn-growing states, lawmakers also have considered a mandatory E15 measure but haven’t approved the legislation.
    The bill was approved despite the opposition of some Republicans, who questioned a new government mandate.
    “We just seem to be on this path where there’s just too much comfort with the government making these kinds of power grabs into our private lives and businesses and then handing us the bill for it,” said Sen. Jim Carlin, of a Sioux City.

4/27/2022 Trump Statements Praise Republicans Fighting For Election Integrity by OAN Newsroom
    The 45th president is pushing hard for candidates and investigations looking into alleged 2020 election fraud.    One America’s Sam Valk has more on what Donald Trump’s comments.

4/27/2022 Oil up $0.48 to $102.08, DOW up to 62 to 33,302.

4/28/2022 US to Europe: Reject Russian energy - Calls for accelerated growth in renewables by Wayne Parry, ASSOCIATED PRESS
U.S Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said Wednesday that Russia’s war on Ukraine “screams” that the world needs
to stop importing oil and gas from Russia and instead move toward other forms of energy. MICHEL EULER/AP FILE
    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Wednesday that Russia’s war on Ukraine “screams” that the world needs to stop importing oil and gas from Russia and instead move toward other forms of energy.
    At an international forum on offshore wind energy in Atlantic City, Granholm said the U.S. as well as its energy industries “are on a war footing,” and called for a rapid acceleration of renewable energy including offshore wind power.
    Her comments were echoed by Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner for Energy, who noted that Europe recently committed itself to a large-scale move away from Russian fossil fuel imports, and considers wind energy an important part of that transition.
    Their comments came as Russia cut off natural gas to NATO members Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday and threatened to do the same to other countries, dramatically escalating its standoff with the West over the war in Ukraine.
    Germany and Italy are among Europe’s biggest consumers of Russian natural gas, but have already been taking steps to reduce their dependence on Moscow.
    “Russia is waging a war in Ukraine and the imperative to move away from Russian oil and gas, for the world to move away from Russian oil and gas screams that there is an imperative that we electrify,” said Granholm, the former Michigan governor.    “Offshore wind is just a huge component in that."
    “This is a time to accelerate because we are on a war footing, because you are the army we need, because this is the battle for our nations,” she told a room filled with offshore wind developers and suppliers.        “This is a war of good against evil, and we are all enlisted.”
    Simson, the European energy commissioner, cited a plan adopted last month called REPowerEU that calls for more liquid natural gas and traditional pipeline imports from nations other than Russia; doubling sustainable production of biomethane; and increasing the production and import of renewable hydrogen.    That policy is to work in tandem with existing renewable energy industries including solar and wind.
    It aims to replace two-thirds of the amount of natural gas the European Union imports from Russia by the end of the year.
    “It is clear now more than ever that Europe needs to reshape our energy system and bring our dependence on Russian energy to an end as soon as possible,” Simson said.    “Offshore wind is an important part of that plan.”
    The U.S. has set a goal of generating 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes.
    In February, six companies bid a combined $4.37 billion for the right to build wind energy projects on the ocean floor off New Jersey and New York in the U.S. government’s largest such auction in history.    The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said that when fully developed, these sites could provide enough energy to power 2 million homes, and additional auctions are expected in the future.
    Also on Wednesday, the U.S. Interior Department announced it is looking at areas for additional wind energy leases in the central Atlantic coast, and off the coast of Oregon totaling more than 4 million acres.    A public comment period on the proposal will end June 28.
    Wind power developers and energy regulators speaking at Wednesday’s conference said much work remains to be done in order to accommodate the surging U.S. offshore wind industry.    They particularly cited the need to expand and modernize an electrical grid that was built around fossil fuels.
    Transmission projects will be crucial to the success and affordability of the wind power industry, and companies are already flooding regulators with proposals.    Joseph Fiordaliso, president of New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities, said his agency has already received 80 proposals from 13 energy transmission developers.
    “The worst dream I have is that we’re generating energy in the ocean and we have no place to plug it in,” he said.
    Companies and regulators also stressed that the rapidly growing industry has to be affordable to its end users: the electric customers.
    “There are real, working-class folks out there who pay these bills,” said Clint Plummer, CEO of Rise Light & Power, which repurposes former fossil fuel facilities as clean energy hubs.

4/28/2022 UK: Allies must ‘double down’ and send Ukraine tanks, jets by Jill Lawless, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    LONDON – Britain’s top diplomat called Wednesday for Western allies to send tanks, warplanes and other heavy weapons to Ukraine, saying fears of escalating the war were misplaced and “inaction would be the greatest provocation.”
    Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said “this is a time for courage, not caution” among nations helping Ukraine fight Russia’s invasion.
    “Heavy weapons, tanks, airplanes – digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production.    We need to do all of this,” Truss said during an annual foreign policy speech at Mansion House, the residence of the Lord Mayor of London.
    NATO nations have supplied Ukraine with military weapons and gear, including missiles and armored vehicles.    But they have been reluctant to send fighter planes – despite pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – for fear of escalation.    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has already accused NATO of effectively waging a proxy war against Russia.
    Western officials deny that, saying the conflict is between Russia and Ukraine due to Russia’s illegal invasion of its neighbor.
    Britain has sent 450 million pounds ($565 million) in military aid to Ukraine, including thousands of missiles.    But Despite Truss’s call for jets, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Max Blain, said there were “no plans” for the U.K. to send planes.    He did not rule out Britain sending planes to another country, such as Poland, that would then give its own jets to Ukraine, but said there were “no specific plans” to do so.
    Truss said Russia’s attack on Ukraine must be a wake-up call for international institutions that failed to prevent the invasion.
    “The architecture that was designed to guarantee peace and prosperity has failed Ukraine,” Truss said.    “The economic and security structures developed after the Second World War and then the Cold War have been bent out of shape so far that they have enabled rather than contained aggression.”
    Truss called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “desperate rogue operator” who was ripping up the global order and outfoxing international institutions.
    “Russia is able to block any effective action in the U.N. Security Council,” where it has a veto as a permanent member, she said, adding that the Group of 20 club of wealthy and emerging nations “cannot function as an effective economic body while Russia remains at the table.”
    In response, Truss called for a new focus on “military strength, economic security and deeper global alliances” among “free nations.”
    After years of declining military spending in many countries, including Britain, she said NATO’s goal that countries spend 2% of gross domestic product on defense should be “a floor, not a ceiling.”
    Truss also called for tougher economic sanctions on Russia, saying the West must cut off Russian oil and gas imports “once and for all.”    That would be an easier thing to do for Britain than for many other European nations.
    “If Putin succeeds, there will be untold further misery across Europe and terrible consequences across the globe,” she said.    “We would never feel safe again.    So we must be prepared for the long haul and double down on our support for Ukraine.”
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said “this is a time for courage,
not caution” among nations helping Ukraine. DANIEL LEAL/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

4/28/2022 Oil up $3.23 to $105.37, DOW up 614 to 33,916.

4/28/2022 MS-13 Gang Members Cross Southern Border by OAN Newsroom
    MS-13 gang members have continued to flood into the country under President Biden’s open border policy with many creating new homes in New York.    One America’s Caitlin Sinclair spoke to congressional candidate George Santos about the situation.

4/28/2022 Sen. Kennedy Questions Impartiality Of Biden’s Judicial Nominee Nusrat Choudhury by OAN Newsroom
Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., listens to testimony during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing
on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) revealed Democrat claims of so-called “police brutality” are not entirely truthful.    This came as one of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees faced criticism over comments, she made bashing law enforcement.
    During a Senate hearing on Wednesday, the Louisiana senator questioned Biden’s judicial nominee Nusrat Choudhury about her past claims that “police officers are killing unarmed black men every day.”    Kennedy asked whether Biden’s nominee believes her claims were true.    In response, Choudhury tried to dodge the question before admitting it was a “rhetorical point.”
    Kennedy went on to question the Biden nominee’s record of judicial activism, saying he has serious doubts about her impartiality.    Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets have praised Choudhury as the first Muslim woman to serve as federal judge if, in fact, confirmed by the Senate.

4/28/2022 White House Press Secretary Psaki Dodges Question About Hunter Biden’s Business Partner by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks at a press briefing at the
White House in Washington, Monday, April 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The Biden administration failed to explain why Joe Biden met with his son Hunter’s business partner at the White House.    During a press briefing on Monday, Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about a New York Post report saying Hunter’s business partner Eric Schwerin had 19 meetings with top Obama administration officials.
    Those meetings took place between 2009 and 2015 as indicated by White House visitor logs and other documents reviewed by the New York Post.    Psaki had no concrete answer to the question.
    Schwerin and Hunter Biden were partners at investment firm Rosemont Seneca, which accepted payments from Ukrainian gas company Burisma.    Republican lawmakers like congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) say this latest evidence shows Joe Biden knew of his son’s business in Ukraine and has directly benefited from it.
    While speaking during an interview this week, Jordan said Joe Biden’s involvement with his son Hunter’s business dealings overseas was much deeper than previously thought.
    The Ohio congressman added, the Biden family are the champions of pay-to-play politics.    He asserted that Biden and other Democrats received millions-of-dollars for giving political favors to foreign entities.    Jordan also believes the Biden family scandal must be investigated to identify risks to national security posed by the Bidens’ conduct.
    In the meantime, Hunter Biden remains under investigation for possible tax fraud, money laundering and foreign lobbying crimes.    Also, documents show that Joe Biden was linked to many of the enterprises under review.

4/28/2022 9 Indicted In Major Drug Bust In Md. by OAN Newsroom
    Nine people in Maryland are facing multiple charges after authorities broke up a large drug ring on the state’s eastern shore.    One America’s Sani Unutoa has the latest.

4/28/2022 Biden Requests $33B From Congress In Ukraine Aid by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks as he meets with small business owners in the South Court Auditorium
on the White House complex in Washington, Thursday, April 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    President Joe Biden said he’s sending Congress a request for more security and humanitarian funding for Ukraine.    During a press conference at the White House Thursday, Biden said in total he’s asking for an additional $33 billion for the war-torn country as the conflict continues for more than two months.
    Twenty billion dollars will be used for military assistance, $8 billion for economic assistance and $3 billion for humanitarian aid, which is expected to last through September 30.    The President stressed the aid will help Ukraine continue defending it’s sovereignty against Russian aggression.
    “Basically, we’re out of money and so that’s why today, in order to sustain Ukraine as it continues to fight, I’m sending Congress a supplemental budget request,” Biden stated.    “It’s going to keep weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption to the brave Ukrainian fighters, and continue delivering economic humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people.”
    Biden also is sending a proposal to Congress to use funds from seized assets of Russian oligarchs to help Ukraine fight Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

4/28/2022 DHS Secy. Mayorkas Testifies About Plans After Repeal Of Title 42 by OAN Newsroom
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the House Judiciary
Committee, on Capitol Hill, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    House lawmakers grilled Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas during his testimony in front of the House Appropriations Committee.     During his testimony Wednesday, Mayorkas claimed the department would not lose operational control of the border in light of Title 42 being lifted... and called the current migrant surge a challenge faced by the entire world.
    “The challenge congressman of migration is not a challenge the United States faces alone,” he stated.    “What we are experiencing is a migration challenge throughout the region, throughout the Western Hemisphere and, in fact, throughout the world.    And that is why one of the pillars of the plan is to work with countries south of our border, so they manage their borders effectively.”
    Additionally, Mayorkas fielded questions about how he will be handling refugees escaping from Ukraine amid the ongoing crisis.    According to DHS Secretary, they have begun the implementation of a multipart plan to address that issue.
    “For the Ukrainians who have fled Ukraine in a time of a brutal war, we have established a multipart plan,” he explained.    “Number one is our traditional refugee processing and we deployed refugee affairs officers to the region to administer that.    Number two, the Department of State issued guidance with respect to the availability of visas for Ukrainian nationals who qualify.    Third, we announced this past Monday Uniting for Ukraine, a special humanitarian parole program that requires a sponsor here in the United States.”
    Mayorkas then went on to outline his plan to implement “regional solutions” to what he claims are the root causes of mass migration.
    “And we have to, of course, address the root causes,” he stated.    “We have to build safe, humane and orderly pathways. We have to equip and enable countries to enforce their borders, to provide humanitarian relief where it is warranted, to repatriate individuals where it is not.”
    Despite his comprehensive plan, House representatives from both sides of the aisle remain skeptical of his handling of the southern border.    This hearing came after US Customs and Border Protection reported more than 2 million border encounters since Joe Biden took office with the latest report showing over 221,000 in March alone.

4/29/2022 Oil down $1.10 to $104.16, DOW down 981 to 32,935.

4/29/2022 Gas cutoff rattles EU, at little cost to Russia - Putin seemingly aims to subvert European unity by Lorne Cook, Danica Kirka and Frank Jordans, ASSOCIATED PRESS
EU officials say yielding to the demand to pay for gas in rubles would violate
sanctions imposed over the Ukraine invasion. MARTIN MEISSNER/AP FILE
    BRUSSELS – Cutting off natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria cost Russian President Vladimir Putin very little – but it is adding stress on European countries wrestling over how to reduce energy imports that are feeding the Kremlin’s war chest and how to keep a united front on the war in Ukraine.
    European Union officials say yielding to Putin’s demand to pay for gas in rubles would violate Western sanctions imposed over the invasion.    Poland and Bulgaria were cut off after refusing the demand and say they will manage because they were already working to end their dependence on Russian energy supplies.
    Analysts say there is enough ambiguity in the European stance to let the Kremlin continue its efforts to undermine unity among the 27 member countries – even if an implied threat to cut off major customers such as Germany and Italy may turn out to be an empty one because it would cost Russia heavily.
    The cutoff sent a chill through EU officials wondering how their utility companies will heat homes and generate electricity next winter.    Putin got maximum disruption of what he regards as a hostile alliance for minimal costs because Poland and Bulgaria are relatively minor customers who were about to end their contracts at year’s end anyway.
    Poland’s entire gas import was only 10 billion cubic meters per year, out of total European imports of 155 billion from Russia.    Gas in roughly that amount is already flowing to Poland from other European countries pitching in to help.
    Russian energy giant Gazprom has lost relatively little revenue.
    “He wants to fragment European countries and their stance toward energy diversification and the overall stance against Russia,” said Simone Tagliapietra, an energy expert and senior fellow at the Bruegel think tank in Brussels.
    European payments for oil and gas amount to $850 million a day even as governments condemn the war.    While Europe needs the oil and gas, those sales are the main pillar of the Kremlin’s budget.
    European Union countries or companies bowing to the terms of a Russian presidential decree that insists they pay their gas bills in rubles will be in breach of the bloc’s sanctions, senior EU officials said Thursday.    Around 97% of European gas contracts with Russia are in euros or dollars.
    Under Putin’s new payment system, the Kremlin has said importers would have to establish an account in dollars or euros at Russia’s third-largest bank, Gazprombank, then a second account in rubles.    The importer would pay the gas bill in euros or dollars and direct the bank to exchange the money for rubles.
    The sanctions violation essentially comes with the use of the second bank account because the ruble conversion constitutes a transaction involving Russia’s sanctioned central bank.
    Uniper, Germany’s biggest importer of Russian gas, said it has been paying in euros and will continue to do so but indicated that it would be prepared to open a second account in rubles.
    Italian officials said they were waiting for further guidance from the EU on whether the payment workaround violates sanctions.

4/29/2022 US economy shrinks as threats from inflation loom by Christopher Rugaber, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy shrank in the first three months of the year, and faces threats from high inflation and rising interest rates, yet economists foresee a return to growth for the rest of 2022 based on the strength of the job market and consumer spending.
    The first quarterly decline in gross domestic product since the pandemic hit in 2020 – a 1.4% drop on an annualized basis – is not likely a prelude to recession, economists said.    That might bring little comfort to President Joe Biden and Democrats, who face midterm elections this year in which rising prices for food, energy and other essentials will be a major theme of Republican opposition.
    Two trends were key drivers of the U.S. economy’s decline last quarter, according to Thursday’s report from the Commerce Department:
    However, rising wages supported robust spending by households, and higher profits drove investment by companies.    These factors suggest strong fundamentals for the U.S. economy, even in the face of challenges from the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the Federal Reserve’s plans to raise interest rates to fight inflation.
    “The report isn’t as worrisome as it looks,” said Lydia Boussour, lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics.    “The details point to an economy with solid underlying strength that demonstrated resilience in the face of Omicron, lingering supply constraints and high inflation.”
    The U.S. economy is in an unusual and challenging position.
    The job market – the most important pillar of the economy – remains robust, with the unemployment rate near a 50-year low of 3.6%, and wages rising steadily.    And in the January-March quarter, businesses and consumers increased their spending at a 3.7% annual rate after adjusting for inflation.
    Economists consider these trends a better gauge of the economy’s core strength than the latest GDP figure.
    Still, serious threats have emerged.    Supply chain disruptions in China and elsewhere are still a pandemic-era reality, and the war in Ukraine is contributing to higher inflation, which erodes consumers’ spending power.    Last month, prices jumped 8.5% from a year earlier, the fastest such rise in four decades.
    “We are at a turning point in the economy,” said Gregory Daco, chief economist at tax advisory firm EY-Parthenon.    “The pace of growth is moderating.”
    The first quarter’s weak showing contrasts with last year’s robust rebound from the pandemic, which was fueled in part by vast government aid and ultra-low interest rates.    With stimulus checks and other government supports having ended, consumer spending has slowed from its blistering pace in the first half of last year.
    Last quarter’s negative GDP number also undercuts a key political message of President Biden.    The president has pointed to rapid growth as a counterpoint to soaring inflation.    Compounding Biden’s difficulties, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising COVID-19 cases overseas are weighing on the economy and heightening inflation pressures.    Many companies are also still struggling to obtain the parts and supplies they need from tangled supply chains.
    The Plano, Texas-based burger chain MOOYAH faces higher costs for meat, buns and packaging supplies, and has raised wages to attract and keep workers.
    “Just about every aspect of doing business has gotten significantly more expensive,” said Doug Willmarth, the company’s president.
    Yet despite supply chain snags tied to the pandemic, MOOYAH still plans to open 20 more restaurants this year.    “We are big believers in American consumers and the American economy,” he said.
    Although imports surged in the first quarter, COVID lockdowns in China are likely to perpetuate supply shortages this year.    Ford and General Motors said this week that they still can’t get all the computer chips they need, costing them sales and forcing temporary plant closures.
    The global economy is expected to grow more slowly this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.    It foresees the Ukraine war and COVID-19 slowing global growth to 3.6% this year, down from 6.1% last year.
    Thursday’s GDP report showed that consumers are adjusting their spending patterns as the pandemic fades and as higher costs for food and gas eat into household budgets.    Adjusting for inflation, spending on clothes, gasoline, and groceries fell in the first quarter.    But Americans spent more on services, including travel and dining out.
    The Fed had hoped that such a shift would bring down inflation, as goods prices have shot up more than services in the past year.    But now prices for airline tickets, hotels, and restaurant meals are also rising.
    Fed Chair Jerome Powell has signaled plans for a rapid series of rate increases to combat higher prices.    The Fed is set to raise its key short-term rate by a half percentage point next week, the first hike that large since 2000.    At least two more half-point increases – twice the more typical quarter-point hike – are expected at subsequent Fed meetings.    They would amount to one of the fastest series of Fed rate hikes in decades.
    Powell is betting that with job openings at near-record levels, consumer spending healthy and unemployment unusually low, the Fed can slow the economy enough to tame inflation without causing a recession.    Whether the Fed can pull that off is one of the major tests for the U.S. economy in 2022.

4/29/2022 Biden Touts Economy Amid Dismal Commerce Dept. Report by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks about the war in Ukraine in the Roosevelt Room
at the White House, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    President Joe Biden recently touted his economy as the GDP continues to shrink under his watch.    On Thursday, the Democrat met with small business leaders to praise his administration contribution to the backbone of America.    Biden noted the important role smaller enterprises play in the economy.
    “Small businesses typically account for more than 40 percent,” he stated.    “People don’t realize that 40 percent of the gross domestic product in the United States, they create two-thirds of all new jobs.    They employ nearly half, nearly half, of all the private sector workers.”
    Biden did not, however, mention the toll inflation and surging fuel prices has taken on the country’s entrepreneurs.    A Goldman Sachs survey of 10,000 small business owners found 80 percent of respondents claimed to have suffered under the burden of inflation in the past six months.    Furthermore, 60 percent of those surveyed said they had no choice but to pass those costs on to their customers.
    However, Biden instead pointed to government aid as a saving grace of ailing businesses.    He specifically praised his American Rescue Plan, which some economist believe kick started the country’s inflationary problem.    The former vice president then pivoted to criticize the economic model proposed by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), which he claimed would hurt small businesses.
    “Not only do they oppose making big corporations pay their fair share, they want middle class families and small business owners to pay more,” Biden claimed.    “Our administration estimates that the Republican proposal would raise taxes on 6.1 million small business owners, including 82 percent of small business owners who earn less than $50,000 a year.    It is just not right.”
    In response, a spokesperson for Sen. Scott said Biden could learn a thing or two from the Republican.    As the governor of Florida, Scott cut taxes 100 times during his tenure and balanced his state’s budget.    In contrary, the Biden White House has overseen rising inflation, surging gas prices and costs for necessary goods.
    Additionally, former Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter said Biden has put his heel on the neck of small businesses with over regulation, an artificial labor shortage and an overall hostility to entrepreneurialism.    Meanwhile, a recent Commerce Department report shows the US economy shrank by 1.4 percent in the past quarter.

4/29/2022 Concerns Grow Over Biden’s ‘Orwellian’ Disinformation Board by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Homeland Security logo is seen during a joint news conference in Washington, Feb. 25, 2015. The Department
of Homeland Security is stepping up an effort to counter disinformation. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
    President Joe Biden’s so-called Disinformation Governance Board is drawing scrutiny as his top pick to head the department has her own history of spreading disinformation.
    Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security board is Nina Jankowicz.    She’s known for tweets during a presidential debate in 2020 discrediting the story around Hunter Biden’s laptop, which has since been verified.
    On Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) addressed concerns about the board by calling it Orwellian, alluding to c’s novel 1984 and the Ministry of Truth.    The Republican lawmaker further criticized the board saying, leave it to Democrats to think free speech is the problem and more government is the solution.”
    Here’s how the White House is responding:
    “What I can tell you is that it sounds like the objective of the board is to prevent disinformation and misinformation from traveling around the country in a range of communities,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.    “I’m not sure who opposes that effort.”
    Few details have been released about this new board.

4/29/2022 US Marine Killed During Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
Damaged cars and a destroyed accommodation building are seen near a checkpoint
in Brovary, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
    A 22-year-old US Marine was reportedly killed fighting in Ukraine against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces.    Family members of Willy Joseph Cancel said they were told he died on Monday.
    At the time of his death, he was working with a private military contracting company.    According to his family, the company was apparently hiring people to fight in the war, which led Cancel to fly to Poland in March.
    “He wanted to go over because he believed in what Ukraine was fighting for and he wanted to be a part of it to contain it there so it didn’t come here,” explained his mother, Rebecca Cabrera.    “And that maybe our American soldiers wouldn’t have to be involved in it.”
    At this time, Cancel’s body has not been recovered.    He leaves behind a wife and 7-month-old baby.
    “He went there wanting help people, he had always felt that was his main mission in life,” said the Marine’s wife, Brittany Cancel.    “My husbands was very brave and a hero.    I did not expect to be a widow at 23-years-old or for our son to be without a father.    All I want is for him to come home and to give the proper burial he deserves.”
    A State Department official said they are aware of these reports and are closely monitoring the situation.    The official also reiterated that US citizens “should not travel to Ukraine due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of US citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials.”

4/29/2022 Biden Not Considering $50K In Student Loan Debt Relief by OAN Newsroom
FILE – People walk on the campus at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. A new federal report
finds that record-keeping failures by the Education Department may have left thousands of Americans
stuck with student debt that should have been forgiven. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
    The Biden administration is taking a hard look at student loan relief.    During a press conference Thursday, Joe Biden said $50,000 in debt reduction is not on the table, shutting down a mounting push from progressives.
    “I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction, but I’m in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness,” stated the President.    “And I’ll have an answer on that in the next couple of weeks.”
    Biden instead touted the steps he has taken while suggesting his administration reformed a system in place that didn’t work.    During his 2020 campaign, The Democrat vowed to “immediately cancel at least $10,000 in relief per the nation’s roughly 43 million borrowers, which would forgive $321 billion in federal student loans."
    “In terms of the loan forgiveness, there is no simple solution here,” said Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Education.    “But we do know our borrowers need relief do need relief.”
    This came shortly after a group of five Republican senators introduced the Stop Reckless Student Loan Actions Act, which would ban Biden from cancelling student debt.    This measure is led by Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) who claims deferring student loan payments is costing the government money it doesn’t have.
    “My legislation…would continued to allow our president to temporarily suspend student loan payments during a future national emergency but would limit those suspension to a period of 90 days and subject them to income congressional disapproval.    It would also endure that relief is targeted to those who need it most by preventing presidents from suspending payments to higher income individuals.”
    The measure would also prevent any future president from using a national emergency to cancel student loan debt.    Thune said as Americans return to the workforce since the start of the pandemic, it’s time to resume repayments.

4/29/2022 ‘More Economic Problems Ahead,’ Says Treasury Secy. Yellen by OAN Newsroom
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference at the Treasury
Department in Washington, Thursday, April 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is defending Joe Biden’s spending packages despite the record-setting inflation and a slump in first quarter GDP.    While speaking at the Brookings Institution on Thursday, she said the US is facing major economic problems in the near future.
    Yellen then pointed to skyrocketing costs of fuel, supply chain disruptions and low labor productivity as main reasons for concern.    The US economy contracted by 1.4 percent in the first three months of this year, while inflation hit a 42-year high.
    “In recent weeks, energy price movements have been another significant source of global economic shocks,” stated the Treasury Secretary.    “The Biden administration’s proposed energy agenda is designed to diminish our reliance on fossil fuels and help achieve greater energy independence."
    Republican lawmakers have said Biden undermined US energy independence by restricting oil pipelines and drilling in the US and making America reliant on the imports from overseas.

4/29/2022 Trump To Hold ‘Save America’ Rally Friday In Neb.
    The 45th president is set to hold a ‘Save America’ rally in Nebraska with his pick for the state’s next governor.    Donald Trump is expected to share the stage with gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster.
    Herbster has recently faced calls to drop out of the race after sexual misconduct allegations, which he has vehemently denied while accusing his rivals in the party of being behind the claims.
    The ‘Save America’ rally will be held in Greenwood, which is about 20-miles east of the state’s capital of Lincoln.    Tune in to One America News at 6pm PT / 9pm ET for live, uninterrupted coverage of the event.

4/29/2022 Sen. Daines: Ukraine Warzone ‘A Sight I Hope No One Has To Ever See In Their Lifetime’ by OAN Newsroom
    After his recent trip to Ukraine, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) told One America News that he may have seen war crimes committed by Russians.    One America’s John Hines has more from Capitol Hill.

4/30/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

4/30/2022 CRITICAL RACE THEORY - Hot-button proposals faltered in legislature - Despite GOP supermajority, most bills never got traction by Olivia Krauth, Louisville Courier Journal | USA TODAY NETWORK
    When the “critical race theory” groundswell arrived in Kentucky last year, it seemed like a done deal.     Republicans dominate Kentucky’s legislature.    Many would be vying for another term this year, with their 2022 bills and votes fresh in voters’ minds.
    Two anti-“CRT” bills filed seven months in advance of the 2022 session seemed to have momentum, picking up more than a dozen co-sponsors each as the topic dominated school board meetings and social media.
    But despite having a Republican supermajority in the midst of a national conservative-fueled culture war, Kentucky lawmakers couldn’t muster support to pass most of its legislation aimed at “critical race theory” this year.
    What happened?    And where does Kentucky go now?
    “I believe this may have been Kentucky’s answer to the CRT issue,” Brent McKim, the president of Louisville’s teachers union, said, “so I am hoping we will not see further legislation passed on this topic.”
Months in the making
    A national outcry over how kids learn about race in schools swiftly landed in Kentucky, with two bills filed in the first week of the interim session last June.
    Critical race theory is an academic framework used to examine how institutions, rather than individuals, perpetuate racial disparities.    It is not used in K-12 schools.
    Conservatives, though, co-opted the term to mean any type of racial equity effort, alleging “critical race theory” sees students solely based on skin color or asks kids to feel guilty because of their race.    Neither are tenets of CRT, scholars previously said.
    Kentucky’s initial anti-CRT bills, House Bills 14 and 18, would prohibit educators from saying one race or sex is “inherently superior” or that an individual is “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously” due to their race or sex.
    Neither bill included carve outs to allow educators to discuss historical events.
    Lawmakers wouldn’t be able to consider either bill for seven months, but “critical race theory” dominated school board meetings, lunchtime debates, legislative hearings and social media chatter.    National fervor became localized and grew.
    Kentucky’s governor, education chief and the superintendent of its largest school district all condemned HB 14 within hours of its filing.
    In a July legislative hearing, state education leaders said CRT is not in schools.    Rather, they said such legislation would stifle classroom discussions and efforts to close racial achievement gaps.
    Rep. Matt Lockett, R-Nicholasville, insisted CRT was in classrooms.    The cosponsor of HB 18 repeated what had become common talking points about the detriments of CRT, including at one point appearing to pull directly from a speech given by Christopher Rufo, the man credited with launching the CRT craze.
    It ended up being his sole opportunity to publicly pitch the bill to lawmakers.
More CRT bills filed in 2022
    Lawmakers continued to file bills during the 2022 legislative session dealing with how schools talk about race and racism, appearing to take lessons from several months’ worth of attention and criticism.
    Lockett and Rep. Jennifer Decker, RWaddy, filed House Bill 487, a more fleshed out version of HB 18 that sought to ban “any classroom instruction, discussion, or instructional materials that promote bigotry, revisionist history, or critical social justice.”
    HB 487 was Kentucky’s most targeted bill, taking direct aim at some of the actual underpinnings of critical race theory after criticisms of not understanding or misinterpreting CRT.
    It blocked discussions of systemic racism, white privilege and intersectionality — how immutable characteristics “intersect in a matrix of domination, oppression, and marginalization.”
    Unlike its predecessor, HB 487 included a line saying the bill shouldn’t block historical instruction as long as said instruction doesn’t “disparage the fundamental American value of equality.”
    Following a new wave of interest in “curriculum transparency,” HB 487 would also require schools to provide lists of instructional materials available to view.
    Like earlier attempts, HB 487 quickly racked up more than a dozen co-sponsors.    But, also like similar bills, it never received a committee assignment, let alone a vote.
    In an apparent Hail Mary attempt to get the legislation through, Lockett filed multiple floor amendments adding mutations of HB 487 to other bills in the waning days of the session.    None of the amendments were called.
‘A little unusual’ to see bills failing in red states
    Halfway through Kentucky’s session, neighboring Indiana became the first red state to kill CRT legislation.
    An article by the Indy Star described the cause of death as “a plethora of unforced errors made by proponents combined with a large and highly-motivated opposition to take them down.”
    Coordinated, widespread opposition likely frightened some legislators out of supporting the measure, scholars noted in news articles.
    Kentucky also saw routine opposition to its CRT-adjacent measures, often led by students.    More than 100 students, educators and activists protested legislation just a week into the session.    Testimony heard in committee meetings was almost entirely in opposition, including statements from several students.
    “It’s a little unusual to see one of these bills fail in a Republican-controlled state,” Jeremy Young, senior manager of free expression at PEN America, told Chalkbeat, an educationfocused news outlet.    An Education Week tally found 42 states had introduced legislation or taken other steps since January 2021 to stifle how race is addressed in schools.    More than one-third of the country’s school districts were impacted by anti-CRT campaigns in 2020 and 2021, according to a recent study from the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego.
    Ten states had bills that have been vetoed or otherwise stalled indefinitely.    Three of Kentucky’s neighbors, including Indiana, saw their measures fail.
    At least 16 states had imposed such restrictions, including Tennessee and Virginia.    Kentucky soon made 17.
The bill that won out
    The sponsor of the only history instruction bill to gain traction in Kentucky’s 2022 session doesn’t consider it to be a “CRT” bill.    Rather, in his eyes, it is a civics education bill.
    Still, Senate Bill 138’s roots are in the anger associated with “critical race theory.”
    Concerns around education had “denigrated into hostile monologues, state legislation that is being based on a negative list of ‘don’ts’ and a media spin that is more cynical than informative,” sponsor Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, said during the session.
    Instead of forbidding certain topics, Wise’s measure outlined what should be taught.
    Under the law, Kentucky teachers’ lessons must be “consistent” with a set of eight values.    Some align with founding American ideals, such as “all individuals are created equal.”    Others promote personal agency.
    Only one deals directly with the topic of race.    Teachers would not be allowed to connect historical acts of racism to lingering racial disparities.
    Lessons and instructional materials must be consistent with saying the country’s legacy of slavery and de jure racial discrimination were “contrary to the fundamental American promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” but “defining racial disparities solely on the legacy of this institution is destructive to the unification of our nation.”
    The outlined values, though, should not be used to restrict schools from talking about oppression, the history of an ethnic group or the “controversial aspects of history,” the law reads.
    Instructional materials on current events or controversial public policies must be age-appropriate and “relevant, objective, nondiscriminatory, and respectful to the differing perspectives of students.”
    A set of two dozen historical texts ranging from the Mayflower Compact to Ronald Reagan’s 1964 campaign speech “A Time for Choosing” will need to be included in state social studies academic standards.    It is unclear in which grade level students will learn about each document.
    Gary Houchens, a Western Kentucky University professor and former Kentucky Board of Education member who wrote frequently about critical race theory as the topic grew last year, said he was pleased with SB 138.
    “I think it avoided some of the potential unintended consequences of other legislation by stating in positive terms the underlying assumptions upon which the commonwealth’s social studies standards should be based, rather than outlining a list of assumptions that should not be featured in any school’s curriculum,” he said.
    Houchens said the measure doesn’t go far enough to fix problems he sees in the state’s social studies standards, which he approved while on the state education board, but adding the required texts goes “a long way to address some of the serious content gaps.”
    Sections of the bill that elicited outrage from educators, like one requiring teachers to be “impartial” about controversial topics, ended up being scrapped or significantly watered down.
    And, notably, it has no teeth.    Should anyone feel as if the law has been violated, there is no new cause for state level interference or legal action.    When an “oversight” opening teacher up to criminal charges for violations of the bill was caught late in the session, Wise corrected course.     SB 138 was later added to Senate Bill 1, which became law.
    “Kentuckians should be legitimately concerned about how the underlying assumptions of critical race theory are turning up as unquestioned dogmas in our K-12 schools, but I actually think CRT is an important perspective that students at the university level — and perhaps at the high school level — should be able to explore as one of many views on racial disparities,” Houchens said.
    “SB 138 stipulates that those discussions should always be developmentally appropriate for the age and maturity level of children, and that also makes sense to me.”
    Lesser of two evils?
    It is unclear why Wise’s approach won out. None of the sponsors of the failed measures responded to requests for comment.
    “I can’t speak for the House sponsors for their legislation,” Wise said after the session, but his bill “was looked at and worked on by many of the (Kentucky) education groups before and once it was filed.    It received input by many educational shareholders and changes were made to reflect such input during the legislative process.”
    While Wise’s measure remains unpopular with many in public education, it is seen as better than the alternatives.
    Toni Konz Tatman, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education, said they felt Wise’s approach is “an improvement over other anti-CRT bills proposed,” but is “unnecessary and overly politicizes the curricular process.”
    “The House bills that did not move were much more problematic than SB 138 in many ways,” said McKim, the president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association.
    SB 138 didn’t explicitly ban certain topics like those in the House, McKim said.    It doesn’t include penalties for suspected violations, either.
    The Prichard Committee, a nonpartisan education advocacy group, opposed all four of Kentucky’s anti-CRT bills but noted SB 138 “is a different kind of legislation.”
    It “does not restrict teachers, prohibit texts, nor does it prohibit the types of professional development districts can use,” the group previously said.
    “SB 138 would do less harm than the House Bills, but it is still the wrong step,” the group said.
    The Kentucky Council for the Social Studies said Wise’s bill is “the similar but milder, less punitive and prohibitory” measure compared to HB 487.
    “The shadow of punitive measures and prohibitions — even if intended to protect students, was likely to discourage teachers from creating the engaging student-centered learning environments that foster student engagement,” the group said in a statement.
    What comes next?
    Corey Shapiro, the legal director for the ACLU of Kentucky, still fears Wise’s bill could chill student and teacher speech, along with discounting educators’ expertise in their field.
    Teachers will need to be “consistent” with the measure’s outlined values next school year as the law goes into effect July 1.
    Just how that will change how educators teach remains to be seen.    A small survey of more than 200 Kentucky teachers released in early March by KCSS found educators overwhelmingly disliked both SB 138 and HB 487, with some saying it is unnecessary.
    “I already teach students unbiased history, the value of hard work, and the special nature of America,” one teacher said in the survey.
    State education leaders will need to retool Kentucky’s academic standards for social studies over the next year to include the new required reading lists.
    Groups like KCSS plan on providing resources to help teachers navigate the new requirements.    The Prichard Committee expects to share more details about their next steps in the coming weeks, a spokesperson said.
    SB 1 may face legal challenges before its implementation.
    Jefferson County school board chairwoman Diane Porter previously said she would push the board to take legal action over a separate piece of SB 1 targeting the board’s authority.    The bill, however, doesn’t have a severability clause, potentially meaning a block to JCPS’ portion of the bill would mean a block to Wise’s portion, too.
    If ultimately enacted, SB 138’s language may end up acting as a base for tougher measures in future sessions.    Both Decker and Lockett are running for re-election this year. Wise is, too.
    Reach Olivia Krauth at okrauth@ and on Twitter at @oliviakrauth.
Kentuckians should be legitimately concerned about how the underlying assumptions of critical race theory are turning up as unquestioned
dogmas in our K-12 schools, but I actually think CRT is an important perspective that students at the university level
— and perhaps at the high school level — should be able to explore as one of many views on racial disparities
Gary Houchens, Western Kentucky University professor and former Kentucky Board of Education member
Students hold signs inside the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 12 in opposition to bills Kentucky lawmakers
say would eradicate “critical race theory” from state schools. ALTON STRUPP/COURIER JOURNAL

A protester joins fellow opponents of critical race theory in front of the Jefferson County Public Schools’ VanHoose Education Center before entering
the building for a Jefferson County Board of Education meeting on June 22, 2021. DAVID R. LUTMAN/SPECIAL TO COURIER JOURNAL

4/30/2022 US seeks nearly $3M from Manafort over accounts by Michael Balsamo, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Thursday against Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort – who was convicted in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and later pardoned – seeking to recover nearly $3million from undeclared foreign bank accounts.
    The lawsuit, filed in federal court in West Palm Beach, asks a judge to force Manafort to pay fines, penalties and interest after prosecutors say he failed to disclose more than 20 offshore bank accounts he ordered opened in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
    The Justice Department alleges Manafort failed to file federal tax documents detailing the accounts and failed to disclose the money on his income tax returns.    The lawsuit charges the money was related to consulting work in Ukraine with his deputy Rick Gates and an associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, who were both key figures in Mueller’s investigation.
    In court documents, the Justice Department alleges Manafort 'knowingly, intentionally, and willfully filed and conspired to file false tax returns from 2006-2015 in that he said he did not have reportable foreign bank accounts when he knew that he did.'    The suit says the Treasury Department notified Manafort of the fines and assessment in July 2020.
    Manafort’s lawyer, Jeffrey Neiman, argues the suit is being filed 'for simply failing to file a tax form.'     'Mr. Manafort was aware the Government was going to file the suit because he has tried for months to resolve this civil matter,' Neiman said in a statement.    'Nonetheless, the Government insisted on filing this suit simply to embarrass Mr. Manafort.'
    Manafort, who led Trump’s campaign during a pivotal period in 2016 before being ousted over his ties to Ukraine, was among the first people charged as part of Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.     He was later sentenced to more than seven years in prison for financial crimes related to his political consulting work in Ukraine.    Trump pardoned him in December 2020.
    Though the charges against Manafort did not concern the central crux of Mueller’s mandate – whether the Trump campaign and Russia colluded to tip the election – he was nonetheless a pivotal figure in the probe that shadowed Trump’s presidency for years.
    His close relationship to Kilimnik, whom U.S. officials have linked to Russian intelligence, and with whom he shared internal Trump campaign polling data, attracted particular scrutiny during the investigation, though Mueller never charged Manafort or any other Trump associate with conspiring with Russia.
    Despite the pardon, the government believes Manafort still owes the money for the alleged financial misconduct.
The Justice Department alleges Paul Manafort failed to file federal tax documents detailing offshore
accounts and failed to disclose the money on his income tax returns. Matt Rourke/AP file

4/30/2022 Biden’s agenda at home founders by Joey Garrison USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – After disembarking Air Force One in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, President Joe Biden was ready last week to talk about the historic infusion of infrastructure spending passed under his watch that will improve the city’s harbor.
    Instead, he was met by a reporter who asked about his latest call with Western leaders about Russia’s war in Ukraine.
    “New Hampshire,” Biden responded.    “I’m here to talk about New Hampshire.”
    The moment captured a struggle for the White House: articulating the president’s domestic agenda and biggest legislative achievements amid the growing carnage in Ukraine, which has consumed global and national politics for two months.
    Biden’s swing Friday through Seattle to commemorate Earth Day capped a two-week stretch that included visits to five states – Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oregon and Washington – and marked the busiest period of travel of his presidency.    It was an effort to get the president talking less about the war in Ukraine and more about Americans’ top concerns: the economy and inflation.
    Torpedoed by a 40-year high in inflation, Biden’s approval ratings have hovered around 40% for months.    A Quinnipiac University poll earlier this month found it dropped to 33%, matching his low from January.    But with every speech he gives on defending Ukraine, Biden risks looking more fixated on global issues than Americans’ pocketbooks.
    “The Ukraine war is obviously huge,” said Carly Cooperman, a Democratic pollster and CEO of the firm Schoen Cooperman Research.    But “at the end of the day,” she said, the president hasn’t turned his response to Russia’s invasion into wider support for his presidency.    “It’s just of utmost importance to be connecting with voters about the economic hardships that they’re facing.”
    During last week’s stops, Biden framed his proposal to lower prescription drug prices as one way to relieve rising costs for Americans.    He blamed supply chain interruptions stemming from the pandemic and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine for high gas prices.    He also has talked about making child care and senior caregiving more affordable.
    Yet four months after Biden’s Build Back Better bill stalled in Congress, the administration hasn’t submitted a trimmed-down proposal.    The White House has declined to discuss negotiations publicly in what officials call a “strategic decision.”    Previous talks that died with moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia often spilled into the media.
    “I think if we had a bill that was ready to pass with 50 votes, we would make that clear,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.    “So, not having a public speech from the president is not a reflection of what’s happening behind the scenes.”
    One more push?
    Ahead of the 2022 midterm elections in November, political experts warn it won’t be enough for Biden and Democrats to sell last year’s passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law or $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
    “The American public tends to ask ‘What have you done for me lately?” said David Cohen, a political science professor at the University of Akron in Ohio, calling it “extremely important” that Biden and Democrats, who face major headwinds to retain power in Congress, pass something more they can run on in the coming months.
    If they don’t, Cohen said, Democrats will undermine their claim as the party that “gets things done” and Republicans “the party of obstruction” led by Donald Trump.
    Some Democrats in Congress sense time is running out to pass major legislation in Congress through reconciliation, which would allow Democrats in the Senate to pass a budget bill without Republicans’ support.
    Although that strategy failed after the White House was unable to secure votes from Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., they want to see the White House make one more push.
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in a New York Times op-ed, argued that Democrats should use “every single one of the next 200 days” to pursue promises Biden and Democrats campaigned on.    She said Democrats win elections when they show “we understand the painful economic realities facing American families” and deliver on change.    She highlighted Biden using executive authority to cancel student loan debt among a list of progressive priorities.
    “To put it bluntly,” Warren said, “if we fail to use the months remaining before the elections to deliver on more of our agenda, Democrats are headed toward big losses in the midterms.”
    In North Carolina recently, Biden highlighted his work to fund historic Black colleges and universities and boost domestic supply chains with high-tech workforces.    In New Hampshire and Oregon, he hailed an “infrastructure decade” thanks to the new infrastructure law.    He tried to localize that package, touting $1.7 million for maintenance dredging for Portsmouth Harbor and a $20 million upgrade at the airport in Portland.
    But Biden’s vision for the remaining year isn’t so clear.    The White House has retired the “Build Back Better” slogan, replacing it with “Building a Better America.”    In stops over the past two weeks, Biden made the case for raising taxes on multimillionaires and billionaires.    The president also talked about proposals to lower the cost of insulin to help about 200,000 children in the U.S. who have Type I diabetes.
    “It’s the best way Congress can address inflation right now,” Biden said in New Hampshire as he tried to connect the war overseas to pain at home.    “Folks, look, the fact is that we are in a situation where the war in Ukraine is going to continue to take its toll on the world economy.“    Psaki later said steps to improve child care, health care, elder care and lower prescription drug prices “are no-brainers for most people.”    And yet these and other ideas have not been packaged in a new spending proposal for Congress.
    Despite the lack of progress, Ron Klain, White House chief of staff, said the president has a “robust agenda between now and November” that includes a reconciliation bill, while acknowledging time is of the essence.
    “I think what really serves as the motivator,” Klain said in an interview April 13 on an NBC podcast, “is understanding that the calendar has only so months left in this year.”
Sun sets on FDR comparisons
    In moves aimed at curbing high gas prices, Biden tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, called for oil companies to drill on federal land where they’ve already received permits and allowed higher-ethanol gas to be sold this summer.    The White House hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a gas tax holiday.
    Trying to counter the narrative that the economy is struggling, Biden has hailed record job growth during his presidency, a 3.6% unemployment rate and increases in average wages “Notwithstanding all that,” Biden said at a Democratic fundraiser in Seattle last week, people feel “concerned and uncertain” because of inflation.    “They’re angry.”
    Shortly after taking office, Biden pushed a historic expansion of the social safety net, drawing comparisons of his domestic agenda to those of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.
    But in the absence of a new social spending plan, the White House has zeroed in on smaller wins.    This month, Biden welcomed back former President Barack Obama to highlight improvements to the Affordable Care Act.    The president hosted a ceremony for legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service.    In Seattle, Biden announced new executive action to make the nation’s forests more resilient against the threat of wildfires and climate change.
    Those smaller moments came as he has confronted the war in Ukraine with $4 billion in U.S. military aid.
Other presidents have struggled
    Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, said it’s not unusual for presidents’ domestic agendas to be challenged by events overseas.    She said Johnson struggled to get credit for his Great Society programs during the Vietnam War – which, unlike today’s events in Ukraine, involved U.S. occupation.    President Bill Clinton juggled conflicts in Somalia and the Balkans to push his economic agenda.
    “It’s not as though he had a choice,” Perry said of Biden having to navigate the crisis in Ukraine with economic concerns at home.    She said that though Biden is “not going to get Build Back Better,” he needs to “retool and reshape” a message around what’s realistic.
    “He’s going to have to run on a record.    And if he doesn’t get anything else through, they’ll have to just have to run on the record that he does have.”
Contributing: The Associated Press

4/30/2022 Pipeline redraws energy map - Project aids Europe’s bid to ease Russian supply by Derek Gatopoulos, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    ATHENS, Greece – Mountainous and remote, the Greek-Bulgarian border once formed the southern corner of the Iron Curtain.    Today, it’s where the European Union is redrawing the region’s energy map to ease its heavy reliance on Russian natural gas.
    A new pipeline – built during the COVID-19 pandemic, tested and due to start commercial operation in June – would ensure that large volumes of gas flow between the two countries in both directions to generate electricity, fuel industry and heat homes.
    The energy link takes on greater importance following Moscow’s decision this week to cut off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria over a demand for payments in rubles stemming from Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, right, speaks with Greece’s Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas,
left, during their visit at the worksite of a new pipeline near Komotini, Greece, March 21. DIMITRIS TOSIDIS/AMNA VIA AP

4/30/2022 Biden Blames Republicans For Classroom ‘Culture Wars’ by OAN Newsroom
    President Joe Biden made some politically charged statements while presenting the 2022 Teacher of the Year Award.    One America’s Tom McGrath has more.

4/30/2022 Rep. Fred Keller: We Need An America First Agenda by OAN Newsroom
    House Oversight Committee member and Pennsylvania congressman Fred Keller shared why we are seeing record inflation.    One America’s Caitlin Sinclair has more from New York.

4/30/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

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