A federal rental assistance program still lacks uniform federal requirements that states must follow to verify the income and identity of recipients, despite the findings and warnings in a Government Accountability Office report.
In a February 2021 report, the GAO found that 13 agencies administering the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program “reported using no electronic data to verify beneficiaries’ income, verifying income in other ways, such as checking beneficiaries’ documents.”
According to the GAO, the Department of Health and Human Services has “encouraged LIHEAP agencies to use electronic data to improve program integrity, but has not taken recent steps to share information that could facilitate its use.” Read More
Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that a shortage of fertilizer is causing farms in the developing world to fail, threatening food shortages and hunger. Ironically, the lead photo is of mounds of phosphate fertilizer in a Russian warehouse.
Modern synthetic fertilizers are typically made using natural gas or from phosphorous-bearing ores. The former provides the nitrogen that is critical to re-use of fields in commercial agriculture. They constitute more than half of all synthetic fertilizer production.
So what happens when oil and natural gas extraction are crippled in industrialized nations? One likely outcome is that the fertilizer manufacturing industry is also crippled, leaving both large commercial growers and smaller farms around the world starved of a key substance they need to grow food for hungry populations. Read More
Even as President Biden strives to project a more police-friendly posture in public amid a historic surge in urban violence, his administration is quietly planning sweeping, unilateral executive action, GOP senators suspect, that is “tantamount to defunding the police” and “would only further demoralize law enforcement.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged this week that there’s been “a surge [in] crime over the last two years,” adding that the “underfunding” of police departments is partially to blame.
“The Department of Justice has announced $139 million in grants to cities for community policing, which will put 1,000 more officers on the streets,” Psaki said. “[Biden has] also proposed doubling those grants, and he’s called for an additional $750 million for federal law enforcement.” Read More
Dorian Rhea Debussy, a member of the NCAA Division III LGBTQ OneTeam program, recently resigned over the organization’s updated policy on transgender athletes.
“I’m deeply troubled by what appears to be a devolving level of active, effective, committed, and equitable support for gender diverse student-athletes within the NCAA’s leadership,” Debussy said, according to Fox News, after the national organization adopted a “sport-by-sport” approach to determining transgender athlete’s eligibility to compete on opposite-gender teams.
According to Fox News, Debussy said, “As a non-binary, trans-feminine person, I can no longer, in good conscience, maintain my affiliation with the NCAA.” Read More
China replaced the ending to the 1999 cult classic film “Fight Club” with a message saying the authorities won, BBC News reported.
The true ending of the film depicts the narrator, portrayed by Edward Norton, killing his imaginary alter ego, played by Brad Pitt, before bombs exploded, destroying buildings in the climax of a plot to change society. Read More
Amazon has agreed to shut down its third-party seller program nationwide and pay a fine of $2.25 million after Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson investigated the company for price fixing.
Ferguson simultaneously filed a lawsuit and a legally binding resolution Wednesday in King County Superior Court. The consent decree order means that the Seattle-based company will end its “Sold by Amazon” program and provide the attorney general’s office with annual updates on its efforts to avoid violating antitrust laws. Read More
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday took a thinly veiled shot at Joe Biden, saying “I am the President of Ukraine. I am based here. I think I know the details deeper than any other president,” after Biden had warned him in a phone call that a Russian invasion was “imminent.”
According to a CNN report, which is disputed by the White House, Biden told Zelensky during an hour and 20 minutes long conversation on Thursday that the Capital city of Kyiv could be “sacked” by Russian forces, and to “prepare for impact.” Biden also reportedly said an invasion was “virtually certain” in February when the ground will be more frozen in Ukraine.
In response, Zelensky urged Biden to tone down his rhetoric about a potential invasion, citing concerns that it could cause panic or a run on supplies, CNN reported. Read More
Two law professors this week argued that the U.S. is on the verge of seeing most states recognize “multiparent families,” a novel familial arrangement that the instructors nevertheless claimed was “hardly new.”
Professors Courtney Joslin and Douglas NeJaime of UC Davis School of Law and Yale Law School, respectively, argued in the Washington Post this week that it “soon could be unremarkable for a child to have three or more legal parents,” with that legal concession “fast becoming reality” throughout the country.
“These new laws have been spurred, in part, by the rising numbers and public profile of LGBTQ families and others with children conceived through assisted reproduction,” they write. “In many of these families, one or more parents are not genetically related to their children, and many states now legally recognize these ‘intended parents.'” Read More
A Chicago Public Schools (CPS) training program tells teachers that sex is a “socially constructed” phenomenon and instructs them to hide students’ gender pronouns from their parents, Fox News reported.
CPS told teachers that “gender and sex” are social constructs that have been “created and enforced” by society and threatened retaliatory measures if they didn’t use students’ preferred pronouns during a required teacher training program, Fox News reported.
A 104-slide PowerPoint titled “Supporting Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming Students” asserted that “everyone has multiple, overlapping identities” and that “gender & sex are socially constructed, meaning they’ve been created and enforced by the people in a society,” Fox News reported. Read More
Twenty-five states, led by Arizona and West Virginia, are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Bianchi v. Frosh, which challenges Maryland’s restrictive Firearms Safety Act of 2013.
They’re asking the court to ultimately strike down the law, which the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld last September, in a brief filed with the Supreme Court in support of the petitioners. Read More
The United States is an outlier among established democracies in two respects: We face both falling social trust and rising polarization. I have argued that the two dynamics connect in a doom loop. Trust in others and institutions falls, leading to greater polarization, which drives trust down even more. That is why the two processes are getting worse at the same time. A nasty dynamic has taken hold in the country, and it regularly affects all of us.
Many issues polarize us, but we should prefer polarization on economics to polarization on culture. Polarization is least damaging on issues most amenable to “splitting the difference”—as many economic issues are.
Consider taxes. Progressives want higher taxes on the rich, while conservatives want lower taxes. The possibility of compromise always exists—and even if it is obscured beneath the surface of our political tempers, uncovering it is not hard. For example, we could average our preferred tax rates, and no one would come away emptyhanded. Granted, that’s not how we have handled this issue in the past, but it’s at least conceivable. Read More
Former President Donald Trump vowed Saturday night to ensure fairness for the Jan. 6 defendants if he is voted back into office, including possible pardons for some.
“If I run, and if I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly,” Trump told a raucous rally in Conroe, Tex.
“And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons,” he added. “Because they are being treated so unfairly.”
Trump also dismissed Democrats in Washington as “raving lunatics” who put “America last” and suggested President Biden was more concerned about protecting Ukraine’s border from Russia than America’s border from illegal migrants. Read More
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s “National Roadway Safety Strategy” includes promoting the use of speed cameras in cities and towns as a “proven safety countermeasure.”
DOT received $6 billion to issue grants to “help cities and towns” with road safety, which was part of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that Congress passed.
“That law creates a new Safe Streets and Roads for All program, providing $6 billion to help cities and towns deliver new, comprehensive safety strategies, as well as accelerate existing, successful safety initiatives,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during a speech on Thursday about the launch of DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy. Read More
Present-day warming has been termed a crisis, and modern economic development a cancer. But what if I told you that much of the recent advancement in human prosperity would have been impossible without the temperature increases of the last several hundred years?
A key to the sustenance of any society is food security. Today’s world should be grateful for today’s relative warmth as well as higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels because both have been instrumental in propelling plant growth globally.
A review of human and climate history reveals a strong link between the rise and fall of temperature and the rise and fall of civilization—just opposite of what the climate doomsayers are telling you. Read More
A woman arrested in New York along with an unnamed “coconspirator” for allegedly perpetrating $1.9 million of pandemic unemployment fraud was a previously deported illegal immigrant, Just the News has learned.
Yohauris Rodriguez Hernandez, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was convicted for running a tax fraud scheme in 2014. She was deported upon her release from prison in 2017. Together, Hernandez and Gerardo Enmanuel Luna Marmolejos stole more than 40,000 identities to file fraudulent income tax returns and collect refunds from the IRS. Read More
Florida joined a multi-state coalition led by Texas suing the Biden administration for reinstating an Obama-era program that allows illegal immigrants to enter and remain in the U.S., bypassing laws established by Congress.
In addition to Texas and Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alaska joined the lawsuit over the Biden administration’s reinstating a 2014-era Central America Minors (CAM) Program that was halted by the Trump administration in 2017. Read More