A new poll found that Vice President Kamala Harris and former first lady Michelle Obama are voters’ top two selections for the presidential nomination in 2024, should President Joe Biden decide not to run again.
The survey of 939 registered voters, conducted by Hill-HarrisX between November 18-19, found that Harris led all potential contenders with a 13% share of support from respondents. Mrs. Obama followed closely behind with 10% of the vote. The poll had a 3.2% margin of error.
Harris notably won the largest amount of support from voters who supported Biden in 2020, with 22% of the vote.
Other candidates who received 5% or less of voters’ support included Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, and investor and former candidate for both President and New York City Mayor Andrew Yang.
Another 13% preferred a candidate not on the list. 36% responded that they were “unsure” who they would vote for if Biden decided not to seek re-election.
Members of the Biden White House have said that the president plans to run for re-election in 2024, but Biden would be 81 on Election Day 2024 and 82 upon his swearing in for a second term. Biden’s approval rating has also cratered following the administration’s mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal and the double-edged sword of inflation and the supply chain crisis, especially as the Christmas season approaches. Biden’s job approval rating stands at just 41.7%, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
Voters are also skeptical of Biden’s ability to carry out another campaign and a second term. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that a near-majority of voters disagreed that Biden, the oldest person ever to serve in the Oval Office, was “in good health.” Fifty percent of voters disagreed, while 40% agreed, and only 10% did not know or had no opinion.
Biden himself received his annual physical last week. His physician noted two outstanding health issues: Biden’s chronic cough, which the doctor said was “more frequent and pronounced” (though he noted that it could simply be a perception brought on by increased public scrutiny), and his walk, which the doctor said was noticeably “stiffer and less fluid.” Reports also suggest that Biden did not take a cognitive test during the exam.
Talk of Biden’s successor has gained traction in recent months, but Harris is dealing with problems of her own, including bogged down approval ratings. A recent poll found that Harris’ job approval rating sits at a paltry 28%, ten points lower than Biden’s in the same poll. Two of Harris’ aides have moved on amid the low approval rating and rumors of a rift between her and Biden.
Harris’ floundering poll numbers have led to some speculation about a possible run from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, especially after a Politico/Morning Consult poll found he had a higher approval rating than many other members of the Biden cabinet.
Louisiana Western District U.S. Judge Terry Doughty’s decision follows an identical ruling Monday from Missouri U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp, but Schelp’s decision only covered 10 states.
Doughty ruled on the lawsuit led by Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and joined by 13 other states, but Doughty added a nationwide injunction in his ruling.
“If the executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by our Constitution would be in the same hands,” Doughty wrote. “If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency.”
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry praised the ruling and slammed Biden for “villainiz[ing] our healthcare heroes with his ‘jab or job’ edicts.”
“While our fight is far from over, I am pleased the Court granted preliminary relief against the President’s unconstitutional and immoral attack on not only our healthcare workers but also the access to healthcare services for our poor and elderly,” Landry said. “I will see this case through to the end – fighting every step of the way to prevent the federal government from imposing medical tyranny on our citizens and turning last year’s healthcare heroes into this year’s unemployed.”
The Biden administration has yet to publicly disclose critical information on the number of illegal immigrants in the United States, a violation of congressional guidance and a departure from federal transparency standards.
The Department of Homeland Security has given Congress its report on the number of foreign nationals who remain in the United States on expired visas, but the information has not been subsequently released to the public, the Washington Free Beacon has learned. Stretching back to at least the Obama administration, DHS has made the annual report on suspected visa overstays available to the public shortly after giving it to Congress.
Requests for comment to various agencies within DHS on the report went unanswered. Congress has mandated that the report is released online to the public, out of concern that “the large number of annual in-country alien overstays threatens national security and the integrity of legal immigration.”
The Biden administration’s failure to post the report comes as it faces an all-time high surge of migrants on the southern border. DHS has repeatedly failed to answer lawmaker questions about the criminal histories of migrants allowed entry or where those migrants have been resettled.
The failure to post the report is consistent with the administration’s dramatic changes to avoid stigmatizing the illegal immigrant population, such as banning the term alien from federal government literature, according to former immigration officials.
“For whatever reason, it appears political appointees are not disclosing a report produced by career subject matter experts,” said former Immigration and Customs Enforcement senior adviser Jon Feere. “It’s consistent with the Biden administration’s general hostility to transparency.”
“The Biden policies are a slap in the face to all State Department employees—the message is that all foreigners can ignore visa adjudicators and stay as long as they’d like,” Feere said.
Under the Immigration and Naturalization Service Data Management Improvement Act of 2000, the federal government is legally required to prepare an annual report on the number of foreign nationals who are suspected of overstaying their visas. That report must also be submitted to the House and Senate as part of a bipartisan effort to better track abuses in the country’s immigration system.
Subsequent appropriations bills for the Department of Homeland Security require the agency to post these reports publicly. For five years, starting under the Obama administration, DHS complied with the provision. The report was posted on DHS’s website each year under former president Donald Trump.
The report, officially called the Entry/Exit Overstay Report, provides an exact accounting of foreign travelers no longer authorized to live in the United States by using arrival, departure, and visa information through various agencies within DHS and the State Department. The identification of those individuals illegally living in the United States does not, importantly, necessarily result in deportation proceedings.
The Free Beacon reached out to every House and Senate office copied on the 2019 report, the last one made available to the public. None of the offices, including outspoken critics of Biden’s immigration policy such as Sens. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), would offer comment. The office of Rep. Kay Granger (R., Texas) confirmed she received the 2020 report but also would not comment on its findings.
Democrats hope to use their budget reconciliation plan to expand the number of foreigners authorized to work in the United States. Critics of the immigration provisions in the bill say they could lead to the issuance of hundreds of thousands of visas, and offer permanent residency to over half a million visa holders already in the United States.
Richard H. Ebright, an award-winning scientist and Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University, responded to statements made by Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday by repeatedly calling Fauci a “serial liar.”
Ebright responded to each of the following comments made on social media by stating, “Serial liars–like Fauci–will be serial liars.”
#1: “Fauci is such a tool. The question posed to him in congress was whether he funded gain of function research. He either did or he didn’t. He said he didn’t. New evidence suggests he did. This isn’t a scientific question.”
#2: “Fauci: ‘I’m going to be saving lives and they’re going to be lying’ – POLITICO Anyone who’s been this wrong and misled people this much should not hide behind ‘science’ especially when he has so blatantly ignored or misunderstood the ‘science’ throughout.”
#3: “Fauci then implied that Senator Ted Cruz should be prosecuted for Jan. 6. ‘And I’m going to be saving lives, and they’re going to be lying,’ he added. He also proclaimed: ‘I represent science! … And if you damage science, you’re doing something very detrimental to society…’”
Ebright criticized Fauci earlier this year after The Intercept obtained hundreds of pages of previously undisclosed information from the NIH that allegedly showed that EcoHealth Alliance used federal grant money to fund dangerous bat coronavirus research in the Chinese labs.
Ebright said [emphasis added]:
The materials show that the 2014 and 2019 NIH grants to EcoHealth with subcontracts to WIV funded gain-of-function research as defined in federal policies in effect in 2014-2017 and potential pandemic pathogen enhancement as defined in federal policies in effect in 2017-present.
The materials confirm the grants supported the construction–in Wuhan–of novel chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses that combined a spike gene from one coronavirus with genetic information from another coronavirus, and confirmed the resulting viruses could infect human cells.
The materials reveal that the resulting novel, laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses also could infect mice engineered to display human receptors on cells (“humanized mice”).
The materials further reveal for the first time that one of the resulting novel, laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses–one not been previously disclosed publicly–was more pathogenic to humanized mice than the starting virus from which it was constructed and thus not only was reasonably anticipated to exhibit enhanced pathogenicity, but, indeed, was *demonstrated* to exhibit enhanced pathogenicity.
The materials further reveal that the the grants also supported the construction–in Wuhan–of novel chimeric MERS-related coronaviruses that combined spike genes from one MERS-related coronavirus with genetic information from another MERS-related coronavirus.
The documents make it clear that assertions by the NIH Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful.
Ebright later criticized remarks made by former Biden COVID-19 senior adviser Andy Slavitt, saying that Slavitt was an “empty head” and a “dolt.”
Empty suits will be empty suits. Empty heads will be empty heads. The mystery is why governments rely on empty suits and empty heads.
President Biden may release more oil from the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve — even though a similar move from the administration had a negligible effect on gas prices.
Amos Hochstein — the White House’s Senior Advisor for Energy Security — told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble that releasing oil from the reserve “is a tool that was available to us and will be available again.”
“Remember, this was not a 50-million-barrel release, 30 million barrels were an exchange where companies and traders can take the oil now and return it over a scheduled period of time. That means the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be replenished,” Hochstein explained. “And therefore, we have more flexibility to be able to do this again in the future if the need arises. I think we wanted to do something that was impactful for the market and that also had the ability and the flexibility to allow us to do that again should the need arise for the American economy.”
Amid rising gas prices, the Biden administration announced plans last week to tap 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve. Biden said that 32 million “will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead,” while the other 18 million would be authorized for sale via Congress.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration, however, the United States consumed roughly 18.19 million barrels of petroleum per day in 2020 — meaning that the release of 50 million barrels would only equate to 2.5 days’ worth of consumption. As Reuters explained, “Analysts have warned an SPR release would only produce a short-term effect in the market, as it would not increase U.S. production capacity.”
Nevertheless, Democratic leadership — including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — praised the President’s move.
“President Biden’s announcement is good news for American families and will strengthen our economy,” he said. “Tapping the SPR will provide much-needed temporary relief at the pump and will signal to OPEC that they cannot recklessly manipulate supply to artificially inflate gas prices. Of course, the only long-term solution to rising gas prices is to continue our march to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels and create a robust green energy economy.”
Indeed, prices have risen over the past week following volatility stemming from the omicron coronavirus variant.
“Oil prices rose on Monday, following the biggest one-day pullback since April last year late last week,” CNBC reported. “International benchmark Brent crude futures traded at $74.60 a barrel on Monday, up more than 2.5% for the session, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures stood at $70.62, around 3.6% higher.
After the Biden administration authorized the release of reserve oil, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm failed to demonstrate knowledge of the American economy’s daily oil consumption.
“How many barrels of oil does the U.S. consume per day?” asked a reporter during a press briefing.
“I don’t have that number in front of me,” Granholm responded.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to an attack from Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the president, on Sunday by doubling down on his call for the Department of Justice to investigate Fauci for alleged false statements that he made while testifying to Congress.
“Anybody who spins lies and threatens and all that theater that goes on with some of the investigations and the congressional committees and the Rand Pauls and all that other nonsense, that’s noise, Margaret, that’s noise,” Fauci said during an interview with CBS News’ Margaret Brennan.
Later, when asked about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) saying that Fauci should be prosecuted by the Department of Justice, Fauci responded: “Yeah. I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, senator?”
Fauci claimed that Republicans were trying to scapegoat him to protect former President Donald Trump and that Republicans who are attacking him are “lying.”
Cruz responded to Fauci’s remarks in a series of tweets late on Sunday afternoon, calling Fauci “an unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts in order to exercise authoritarian control over millions of Americans.”
“He lives in a liberal world where his smug ‘I REPRESENT science’ attitude is praised,” Cruz said.
Cruz then laid out four “facts” related to his call for the DOJ to investigate Fauci:
On May 11, Fauci testified before a Senate Committee that “the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
On October 20, NIH wrote they funded an experiment at the Wuhan lab testing if “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.” That is gain of function research.
Fauci’s statement and the NIH’s October 20 letter cannot both be true. The statements are directly contradictory.
18 USC 1001 makes it [a] felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, to lie to Congress.
“No amount of ad hominem insults parroting Democrat talking points will get Fauci out of this contradiction,” Cruz concluded. “Fauci either needs to address the substance—in detail, with specific factual corroboration—or DOJ should consider prosecuting him for making false statements to Congress.”
Fauci faced additional backlash on Sunday from various officials and commentators:
Jeryl Bier, journalist: “This is not helpful in any way. This is almost word for word something a cult leader would say. This persuades no one not already in his corner.”
Richard Grenell, former Acting Director of National Intelligence: “Fauci is all about politics.”
House Judiciary GOP Twitter account: “Trust the science. Fire Fauci.”
Geoffrey Miller, psychology professor: “Fauci’s narcissism, over-confidence, authoritarianism, & hubris are an embarrassment to real working scientists, who tend to value teamwork & humility.”
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There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. —Soren Kierkegaard. "...truth is true even if nobody believes it, and falsehood is false even if everybody believes it. That is why truth does not yield to opinion, fashion, numbers, office, or sincerity--it is simply true and that is the end of it" - Os Guinness, Time for Truth, pg.39. “He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard