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America- The End (October 8-15)

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Edited by Michael Hernandez, 10-16-22

(Editor’s Note: this is part of a weekly compendium of recent significant events, culled from world news and curated by Michael Hernandez.)

Tulsi Gabbard leaves Democratic Party, denounces it as ‘elitist cabal”

Anders Hagstrom (Oct. 11) Fox News

Former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard announced she left the Democratic Party on Tuesday, denouncing the organization as an “elitist cabal.”

Gabbard, who retired from the House of Representatives in 2021, attacked the institution in a nearly 30-minute video posted to her YouTube account. She did not announce plans to join the Republican Party or adopt any other political affiliation, however.

“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism,” Gabbard said in an excerpt posted to Twitter. She went on to call on other moderate Democrats to follow in her footsteps.

“I believe in a government that is of the people, by the people and for the people. Unfortunately, today’s Democratic Party does not. Instead, it stands for a government that is of, by and for the powerful elite,” she continued. “I’m calling on my fellow common sense, independent-minded Democrats to join me in leaving the Democratic Party.”


Saudi Arabia condemns Biden insults, rejects halting oil production

FRANCES MARTEL (Oct 13) Breitbart News

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia issued an outraged statement Thursday condemning the White House, without naming any official in particular, for claiming that Riyadh supported an OPEC+ decision to cut oil production by two million barrels a day because it had decided to side with Russia in the ongoing Ukraine war.

The extensive statement also mentioned rumors, first reported in the Wall Street Journal, that the administration of President Joe Biden had attempted to convince Saudi officials to delay any oil production cut until after the midterm elections. While the Foreign Affairs Ministry neither confirmed nor denied that American diplomats had made the request, it rejected the idea as potentially having “negative economic consequences.”

The statement adds to what is becoming a growing scandal for the Biden administration that began with Biden himself visiting Saudi Arabia and meeting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), reportedly to urge him to increase Saudi Arabia’s oil production.

According to this week’s Wall Street Journal report, the Riyadh visit went so poorly for Biden that MBS decided to cut scheduled oil production increases after meeting with the American president. The report also claimed that Biden’s officials had urged the Saudi government to pressure OPEC+, a cartel that includes Russia, to wait until after the midterm elections to announce any production cuts, keeping prices lower just in time for Americans to vote.

Biden officials have dramatically announced a total reevaluation of diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia in the wake of the production cut and attempted to tie the decision to the Ukraine war, claiming Riyadh had now taken sides against Kyiv. In reality, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has maintained close communications with MBS for months and thanked Saudi Arabia for aiding in the release of Ukrainian prisoners. Saudi Arabia voted to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations on Wednesday.


Social Security recipients to see biggest COLA increase since 1981

By Megan Henney (Oct. 13) FOXBusiness

Social Security benefits are set to rise by 8.7% in 2023, the biggest bump in four decades as stubbornly high inflation erodes the buying power of retired Americans, the Social Security Administration said on Thursday. 

The increase, known as a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), is the biggest since 1981, when recipients saw an 11.2% jump. It will increase the average monthly benefit by about $140. More than 64 million Americans collecting Social Security will receive the bigger payments beginning in January, the administration said. 

The higher payments come in response to the hottest inflation in four decades: Prices paid by U.S. consumers surged 8.2in September from the previous year, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, despite an aggressive campaign by the Federal Reserve to cool inflation.  It also comes as the national debt tops $31 trillion for the first time.

The annual Social Security change is calculated based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or the CPI-W, which jumped 8.5over the past year. 

Higher Social Security payments can reduce eligibility for low-income safety net programs like food stamps and can push people into higher tax brackets. More significant payments, essentially, do not necessarily result in more money in people’s pockets. 

The average benefit in 2022 jumped by 5.9%, which amounted to an average monthly increase of $92 for retired Americans, bringing the total amount to $1,657, the Social Security Administration announced last year. Soaring inflation has already eroded the entirety of the increase, however, with recipients losing 48% of their buying power as of August, according to calculations by the Senior Citizens League. 

What’s more, the unusually large COLA could move the Social Security insolvency date forward by more quickly depleting the funds. The average monthly benefit would have to increase by $417.60 for retirees to maintain the same level of purchasing power as in 2000. 


Mark Levin: ‘The Democrats Hate America’

JEFF POOR (Oct 10) Breitbart News

During Sunday’s broadcast of FNC’s “Life, Liberty & Levin,” host Mark Levin criticized the Democratic Party and President Joe Biden.

He suggested the country was headed in the “wrong direction” because Democrats “hate America.”

Transcript as follows:

LEVIN: This election comes down to really two positions. Do you love America or do you hate America?

Because the Democratic Party has made it abundantly clear — I’m not trying to be provocative — I just listen that they hate America. Well, tell me how they support it?

Now, I’m no special pleader for the Republican Party, but that’s the nature of the beast. You either vote for one or the other. If you vote for a third party, you’re voting for a Democrat.

So my view, and it is unusual in this election cycle is vote for all Republicans. We will deal with them later. We have got to stop what’s going on in this country. So you either love America, or you hate America. But you’ve got to vote against the Democrats and for the Republicans.

Now what am I talking about? Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re in a recession. I don’t care how they try and spin it. It’s two quarters of negative growth. Negative growth is oxymoronic, but that’s what they call it. That’s what we had. We’re in a recession.

We also have inflation teetering on double digit inflation. We have had massive, massive deficit spending, borrowing, effectively the printing of money, and even with inflation through the roof, the Democrats decided, let’s give it another trillion dollar boost, don’t you think? Because they want to subsidize part of their base, the wealthiest among us, and that is graduate students, law students, doctoral students, and all the rest by paying for some of their student loans. You paying for them. Most of you have paid if you had student loans for your own.

So, what has this done? Well, let me tell you a little secret that’s not been reported on. Your HVAC system, your air conditioning system, your refrigeration system, the prices are going through the roof, the Biden administration through regulations, is significantly changing the processes yet again.

Fertilizer is on short supply, it is very expensive. That’s why there’s 20 percent less planting now than there was last year. Now, what does that mean? Less food, reduced food supplies, lower supply, demand goes up higher costs. Higher prices for animals that need to eat. Those kinds of harvest foods, like cattle, like chicken, eggs are going up, beef is going up — all of these prices are going through the roof.

Diesel fuel. Back up again. Why? Well, because we aren’t able to produce as much as we need, even though we can, we are not allowed. Eighteen-wheelers, it is costing much, much more to move harvest product from the fields, from the packaging plants to the grocery stores that paid for them.

And of course, the cost of appliances are going through the roof, the costs of automobiles are going through the roof, and we’re just getting started, folks. Biden is not done. The Democrats aren’t done.

They are running our economy, managing our country, mostly through the bureaucracy and destroying it. Let’s take a look.

Why do we have high energy prices when we had low energy prices? Well, many reasons. Biden has appointed the most radical people in academia and think tanks, nonprofit organizations, the Obama administration throughout the Federal bureaucracy, and no more obvious than at the EPA and the Interior Department and other departments that control our energy sources.

So, what are they doing? Biofuel mandates. Biofuel mandates — there is not a biofuel to power anything. They are attacking capital investment in drilling and development through this ESG — these ESG policies, environmental, social engineering, governmental engineering policies that are being pushed by the hard left in these boardrooms.

They are subsidizing massively electric vehicles. Electric vehicles — and that has had an enormous effect on two of the three Big 3 auto producers. Other than GM, the others are full speed ahead on electrical vehicles and no combustion engine vehicles in the near future.

The administration is staffed with people who regard fossil fuels as evil and they have a generally hostile energy environment, massive regulations, massive taxations at every level, harassing these people with investigations.

Real Clear Energy points out that not only they canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline, they’ve closed other pipelines. They are reviving the social cost of carbon — carbon, you know, the non-polluting that you exhale — halting lease sales and Alaska’s ANWR. President Trump had opened them up.

Placing a moratorium on drilling on Federal lands. A moratorium on drilling on Federal lands. The Federal government controls 25 percent of the land in America, they put a moratorium on it.

Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, which is all the other countries of the world ganging up on the United States and attacking us. Proposing energy inhibiting budgets, canceling oil and gas drilling leases that they already let, initiating punitive government investigations of not just Big Oil, but small oil and medium oil where they have to spend time on those sorts of things.

Restricting Permian Basin drilling using ozone rules that is in Texas and New Mexico, imposing stricter methane emission rules, I wish they’d impose them on themselves. But that’s a big problem and supporting a range of other anti-energy policies.

On top of that, Biden is draining these Strategic Petroleum Reserve like no President since we’ve had it, which puts us in a gravely dangerous national security position and he is doing that for political reasons. And of course, OPEC is now cutting two million barrels a day, because Biden is a failed diplomat, as he is a failed President.

What is going on here? Fundamentally, the Democrat policies are working. This is what they want. They want a poor America. They want a degrowth movement. They are anti-capitalism. They’re pro-economic socialism, and they have been for at least half a century.

They are centralizing decision making in their own hands, but politically, it’s a non-starter, so they have to lie about it.

Rather than celebrating it, they have to lie about it. So, they’ll blame you. They’ll blame Big Oil, they’ll blame big Putin, they’ll blame whatever they have to blame. They will talk about price gouging when there isn’t price gouging.

So they create the very scenario that they are criticizing and this is what they do on the Marxist left in the Democratic Party. But that’s not all. Why do the Democrats hate America? US murder rate highest it has been in 25 years as big cities shatter records. Chicago, New York, L.A., Minneapolis, Philadelphia.

Philadelphia. Wow. My home city, the City of Brotherly Love. People can’t even go out on the streets anymore. These cities are being depopulated. People are getting out if they can afford to get out, poor people who can’t afford to get out are being abused. This is undermining the police forces in America. What have the Democrats done about it? What have they done to fix it?

Well, how are they going to fix it when they broke it? They broke it just like they did our economy, on inflation; just like they did on energy independence when it comes to energy. They broke police enforcement. That’s what’s happened in this country.

Now, interestingly enough, they like to say they support abortion because they believe women have a right to choose to protect their bodies. Well, rape is way up in this country, way up, particularly in the heavily populated inner cities. Don’t those women want to protect their bodies, too? So how come the Democrats don’t support that?

Oh, Mark, what are you trying to say? What do you mean what am I trying to say? Everything I’ve just described you is a man-made disaster. That is a Democratic Party made disaster and it is continuing.

Look at immigration on the Southern border. BBC “Heartbreaking conditions in US migrant child camp.” What do they talk about? They talk about rampant disease. They talk about rancid food. They talk about children being molested by staff and strangers. They talk about children being separated from their parents, hundreds of thousands of them. This is the Biden border right now.

“Five Biden illegal immigration records that have already been shattered in 2022.” It goes on and goes on and goes on illegal. Immigration like we’ve never seen it before. Death on the border like we’ve never seen it before. Criminals coming in like we’ve never seen it before. You have sex trafficking going on in the border like we’ve never seen it before.

And in our country, crime is through the roof again, partly as a result of this. Fentanyl overdoses become number one cause of death among us adults ages 18 to 45. It is a national emergency. It’s coming through the open border mostly produced by our enemy, Communist China using the drug cartels, our enemy in Mexico to bring this fentanyl across an open border that is killing American young people, approximately 110,000 record breaking last year and the records are breaking this year. And we have the highest number of illegal immigrants getting into the country known and unknown in American history.

And what’s happening in our classrooms? “Student test scores plummeted in Math and Reading after the pandemic: New assessment finds.” It is not just the pandemic, it’s the teachers unions. It’s the teacher administrators. It’s the Democratic Party who rely on these people for contributions, for precinct workers who use them to unleash the FBI and the Department of Justice and Merrick Garland against parents who have had enough with critical race theory, and perversion and sexuality being taught to the five and six and seven-year-olds, and enough with the propaganda about economic socialism and climate change.

If you dare to go to a School Board meeting, you might get your name written down and Merrick Garland is ready to strike. What else?

The Democrats hate America. That’s my hypothesis. It’s actually a reality. Look at the withdrawal on Afghanistan. Look, you’re still negotiating with Iran, that is Biden, who wants nuclear weapons on missiles that will change the whole world, even though they have attempted to assassinate former American officials, including former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Look at what he is doing to Israel. He is forcing Israel to sell oil leases or trying to, to Hezbollah, which is an international terrorist organization. He has pushed Saudi Arabia closer to Russia.

What else has he done? Look at the culture wars. He has destroyed women’s sports, has Biden, by taking Title IX and turning it on its head. He has institutionalized racism in this country, which is one of the reasons we cannot meet our objectives, our objectives in terms of military recruiting, all the wokeism.

The army is down 40 percent. Forty percent. If you’re a patriot, you’re not going to join the military because of what Biden and his Generals have done to the United States military, and he appointed to the Supreme Court Justice Jackson. It’s her contention, she said the other day in so many words, that racism is embedded in the 14th Equal Protection Amendment.

They are attacking the Constitution, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the 10th Amendment. Separation of powers, checks and balances. And of course, they’ve unleashed their corrupt Department of Justice and the FBI, like the old East German Stasi against anybody they disagree with — pro-lifers, parents, the former President of the United States, Donald Trump, and your next.


Pompeo: Biden’s Armageddon comments ‘reckless’

PAM KEY (Oct 9) Breitbart News

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on this week’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday” that President Joe Biden’s comments warning of armageddon in response to nuclear threats from Russia were “reckless.” At a fundraiser last week, Biden said, “We have not faced the prospect of armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

Discussing Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden added, “I know fairly well. He’s not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons.”

Pompeo said, “First of all, those comments were reckless. Even more importantly, they demonstrate maybe one of the greatest foreign policy failures of the last decades, which was failure to deter Vladamir Putin in the same way the Trump administration did for four years.”

He continued, “When you hear the president talking about armageddon as a random thought, just mussing at a fundraiser, that is a terrible risk for the American people. He ought to be talking to us in a serious way.”

Pompeo added, “More importantly, he should be doing the things necessary to deter Vladamir Putin. We’ve been here in October of ’62 and other times, as well, and America has pushed back by showing enormous resolve, executing quiet diplomacy in the same way we did during our time in office, making clear to Vladamir Putin the cost of him using a nuclear weapon would bring the force of the United States and Europe and the whole world against Vladamir Putin. I hope they are doing this quietly.”


After getting blistered online, PayPal does an about-face

Susie Moore | (Oct. 08) RedState

As we reported previously, payment processing giant PayPal announced a new policy that, according to The Daily Wire, could dock users by up to $2,500 for participating in the spreading of “misinformation.” Per the initial reporting: A new policy update from PayPal will permit the firm to sanction users who advance purported “misinformation” or present risks to user “wellbeing.”

The financial services company, which has repeatedly deplatformed organizations and individual commentators for their political views, will expand its “existing list of prohibited activities” on November 3. Among the changes are prohibitions on “the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials” that “promote misinformation” or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing.” Users are also barred from “the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”…

…Deliberations will be made at the “sole discretion” of PayPal and may subject the user to “damages” — including the removal of $2,500 “debited directly from your PayPal account.” The company’s user agreement contains a provision in which account holders acknowledge that the figure is “presently a reasonable minimum estimate of PayPal’s actual damages” due to the administrative cost of tracking violations and damage to the company’s reputation.

Not surprisingly, the news of this policy was met with significant consternation and pushback, with many users declaring via social media that they would be closing their accounts.

“An AUP notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information. PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy… We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused.”

One is forced to wonder how “language [that] was never intended to be inserted in our policy” nevertheless found its way… into their policy. Certainly, it didn’t materialize out of thin air.

Someone thought it a worthwhile enough idea to draft the language. Just one more indicator of the troubling impulses in much of corporate America when it comes to curtailing speech — or “wrongthink.” As Bonchie rightly notes:

Regardless, it is an egregious attack on the principle of free speech for a payment processor to start fining its users because those users might disagree with the broader left politically. And don’t kid yourself, that’s exactly what this is about. Today’s “misinformation” is tomorrow’s confirmed fact, a dynamic that has played out many times during the COVID pandemic.

The scourage of woke-ness in corporate America is only getting worse, and we can reasonably look at this PayPal move as a test run for far worse sanctions to come. Major banks will be next in line to try this stuff (they already have when it comes to guns). The censorship regime is real, and Democrats have successfully gained influence via crony captialism over the last decade. The good news is: PayPal has reversed course on this proposed policy change. For now.


Report: Democrat operatives use fake local news sites

AMY FURR (Oct. 8) Breitbart News

Democrat operatives are reportedly using seemingly local news outlets to push articles favoring their party as the midterm elections approach.

Approximately 51 sites have emerged since 2021 with names such as the Milwaukee Metro Times, the Mecklenburg Herald, and the Tri-City Record, according to an Axios article published Thursday.

“The sites are focused on key swing states with elections in 2021 and 2022: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin,” the report said, adding that the sites feature stories about local happenings along with news promoting Democrat midterm candidates while targeting Republicans.

The sites are reportedly all managed by a company called Local Report, Inc., and all appear to be connected to the American Independent (TAI), which was “launched by Democratic operative and fundraiser David Brock — also known for founding the left-leaning media watchdog Media Matters for America,” per Axios.

The outlet noted that several TAI writers have reportedly contributed to the sites. TAI President  Matt Fuehrmeyer formerly worked as a senior aide with the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee and with the late Harry Reid, who was Senate Majority Leader from 2007 to 2015.

In addition, Jessica McCreight is the Vice President and executive editor of the TAI. She worked in communications in the White House during Barack Obama’s presidency, the Daily Caller reported. According to McCreight, the relationship between TAI and Local Report is a “co-publishing agreement.”

In July 2020, CourierNewsroom.com, a “news outlet” created and funded by Acronym, a Democrat-aligned nonprofit, spent millions to flood Facebook with ads prior to the 2020 election, but reportedly did not share information about its political donors. CourierNewsroom.com shelled out over $1 million on social media ads to promote House Democrats.

Breitbart News reported in March 2020 that “Acronym owns the technology firm Shadow, Inc., which was responsible for developing the infamous app used in the chaotic Iowa caucuses.”

The outlet continued: Acronym is funded by the “liberal dark money group” New Venture Fund, which is “part of a larger group called Arabella Advisors, which provides philanthropic guidance and manages four nonprofits,” according to the nonpartisan ethics watchdog group Americans for Public Trust. Those also include the Sixteen Thirty Fund, Windward Fund, and Hopewell Fund.

The financial web, however, goes far beyond those connections. The political group American Bridge, which was founded by David Brock — a close ally of the Clintons and founder of Media Matters for America — is also involved in the overarching efforts to spread misinformation on President Trump’s response to the coronavirus and further politicize the crisis.

Per the Axios article, Local Report stories offer news coverage their political allies may use for their own purposes. “Local Report stories have popped up in communications from the Democratic Parties of Georgia and Michigan, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state and independent political groups such as Color of Change and the Democratic Coalition,” the outlet said.


Bridge from Russia to Crimea in flames 

JACK MONTGOMERY (Oct 8) Breitbart News

The rail and road bridge from mainland Russia to the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014, has been pictured in flames the morning after President Vladimir Putin’s 70th birthday.

The Crimean Bridge, also known as the Kerch or Kerch Strait Bridge, which stretches over more than eleven miles and cost hundreds of billion of rubles, has long been considered a signature piece of infrastructure, as the only physical link between Crimea and the Russian Federation prior to the general invasion of Ukraine in February of this year.

It has also long been considered a prime target for the Ukrainians, and while the cause of the damage to it is unknown as of the time of publication it is likely to be a source of great embarrassment for the Kremlin.

Pictures and video of the damaged section of the bridge show the rail portion engulfed in towering flames, and a section of the road portion collapsed into the sea.

“According to preliminary information, a fuel storage tank is on fire… Navigable arches were not damaged. It is too early to speak about causes and consequences. Work to extinguish the blaze is under way,” commented Oleg Kryuchkov, described as an aide to Russia’s head of Crimea by Russian News Agency TASS.

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee has attributed the incident to a truck having “blown up”, according to RIA Novosti, which like TASS is owned by the Russian state.

Ukraine’s official position on the incident is currently ambiguous, although the country’s air force did post footage of the destruction on Telegram with the caption: “Morning on the Crimean bridge. Fuel tanks are on fire. Part of the roadway was also destroyed! Everything will be Ukraine!”


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(Michael Hernandez, co-founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted at [email protected] and is editor of “America: The End and Our Hope”.)

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