Big govt, Corruption, Politics

After Destroying Thousands of Jobs, Biden Raises Minimum Wage To $15… But Only For Federal Workers

In his flurry of executive orders, Joe Biden raised the federal workers’ minimum wage to $15 per hour. Biden, apparently seeking to make good on the Democrat wish to see the federal minimum wage raised, may have caused confusion, as instead of raising the federal minimum wage through Congress, Biden simply raised the minimum wage for federal workers, in a tricky series of linguistics.

The Epoch Times reports that Biden signed the executive order on Friday, January 22. The order demands federal employees – like post office employees – be paid $15 per hour, and gives them emergency paid leave.

The order also is not unilateral. It simply “instructs the Office of Personnel Management to develop recommendations to agencies that would ensure as many employees as possible get a $15 per hour minimum wage.”

Biden also erased an early move made by President Donald Trump, which created a classification of federal workers penned Schedule F, which made low level government employees easier to fire, and caused those employees designated Schedule F to lose most of their civil service protections. Read more…

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Politics

Schumer Sets Date for Trump Impeachment Trial

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Friday that the impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump will begin on the week of Feb. 8.

Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans to have the trial in February. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had proposed delaying the trial until February to give Trump’s legal team time to prepare.

Under the timeline, the House will transmit the impeachment article against Trump late Jan. 25, with initial proceedings on Jan. 26, but opening arguments will be pushed to February.

House Democrats voted to impeach Trump on Jan. 13 on a single article of impeachment that alleges Trump incited an insurrection that resulted in riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The vote to impeach was 232–197, with every Democrat voting in favor of impeachment, and 10 House Republicans joining. Read more…

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Media, Politics, Videos

Video: Biden’s Earpiece Says ‘Salute The Marines,’ So He Says ‘Salute The Marines’ Out Loud, Doesn’t Salute Them

Video footage taken on Wednesday went viral today as viewers noticed that when President Joe Biden was walking into the Capitol on inauguration day, he robotically stated aloud “Salute the Marines” instead of actually saluting them.

The awkward interaction appears to have been prompted by someone communicating with Biden via earpiece, which has become a staple of the 78-year-old Biden’s public appearances due to numerous gaffes and instances of erratic behavior.

Biden clearly needed to be reminded to salute the Marines, as he did not end up doing so, but experts have surmised that the newly elected President is so used to repeating words and phrases given to him through an earpiece that he took the command “Salute the Marines” as a line to recite.

The septuagenarian politician robotically recited, “Salute the Marines” as he walked past with his wife Jill. Neither saluted the military guard.

With Biden’s declining mental faculties becoming a more serious issue by the day, the strategy of his advisers appears to center around delegating the party agenda to members of the Cabinet and Vice President Kamala Harris. Read more…

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Courts, Immigration, Politics, States

Texas Attorney General Threatens to Sue Biden Administration Over ‘Illegal Deportation Freeze’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxon said he will sue the Biden administration over its “illegal deportation freeze.”

“Border states like Texas pay a particularly high price when the federal government fails to faithfully execute our country’s immigration laws,” Paxton wrote in a letter. Paxton remarked: “I won’t tolerate unlawful acts from Joe Biden’s administration. Today, I am taking action.”

It came after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the Biden administration would pause deportations for some illegal immigrants for 100 days.

“The pause will allow DHS to ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces, including immediate operational challenges at the southwest border in the midst of the most serious global public health crisis in a century,” the statement read. “Throughout this interim period DHS will continue to enforce our immigration laws.”

Specifically, the policy will “pause removals” for certain noncitizens who were ordered to be deported. Acting DHS Secretary David Pekoske in a memorandum (pdf) ordered agencies under the DHS to “review immigration enforcement policies and set interim policies for civil enforcement.”

But Paxton said that the administration is obligated to consult with the state before reducing immigration enforcement measures, according to his letter, which was sent to Pekoske.

“DHS’s failure to provide Texas with pre-implementation notice of the memorandum—combined with its quick implementation of the memorandum—makes waiting impracticable. We require an immediate response or we will seek relief to enjoin your order, as contemplated by the Agreement,” Paxton added. Read more…

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Politics, States

Governor Gregg Abbott Recalls Texas National Guard from DC After Troops Housed in Parking Lot

Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the commander of the Texas National Guard to return a detachment of troops sent from the state for the Washington DC Inauguration, following reports that troops had been kicked out of housing inside the Capitol to a parking lot. As Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi ultimately agreed to the lodging of the troops at the Capitol. The troops were previously seen housed inside a great lobby, and were booted out sometime after Wednesday.

The parking lot represents the second slight of Guardsmen present for security duties at the Inauguration. Previous reports had suggested that every single one of the soldiers, who numbered in the tens of thousands, were being probed by the FBI for any connection to conservative ideology. Twelve service members were sent home, although it’s totally unclear for what reasons. A background investigation into the troops may have found a handful with active arrest warrants, without any connection to so-called militias or right-wing extremist organizations.

Governor Abbott had previously expressed displeasure upon learning that men and women of the Texas National Guard were being probed for political loyalty to the Biden government. Guardsmen who described being evicted to the parking lot as DC weather approaches freezing temperatures, described feeling “betrayed,” revealing they weren’t told why they were required to lodge outside the confines of the Capitol building. Read more…

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Politics

Biden Orders Quarantines, Mandatory Masks As Team Teases 50+ ‘Action Items’ To Destroy Trump Legacy; Invokes Wartime Powers For COVID Jabs

After a full day of inaugural events that ended with fireworks, observed by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (and their respective spouses), the Biden Administration is moving ahead with its 10-day sprint of executive orders, kicking off Thursday with measures requiring masks and quarantines for travelers and plans to utilize the defense production act to eliminate any further “supply shortages” in critical vaccine materials.

Here’s more on that from the FT, which says Biden will sign the DPA order on Thursday.

The Biden administration has identified critical supply shortages of 12 items needed to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and promised to use wartime powers to help solve them. Joe Biden, who took office as president on Wednesday, will on Thursday sign an executive order instructing US government agencies to use the Defense Production Act to increase supplies of several items including coronavirus tests, N95 masks and vaccine syringes. The order is one of several such documents the president is signing as he lays out what he promises will be a more robust and transparent strategy to bringing the pandemic under control.

In addition, Biden is imposing strict new requirements on travelers (and not just on planes), while also enforcing quarantine rules, according to Bloomberg. While most of Biden’s actions are said to be undoing Trump-era policies, at least one of Trump’s travel rules, requiring a negative COVID test before flying to the US, is simply being “codified” by Biden.

President Joe Biden will push for additional travel safety during the coronavirus pandemic by requiring people to wear masks in airports and on planes while enforcing quarantines for people who arrive in the U.S. from other countries. Read more…

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Culture, Elections, Politics

Biden Removes Andrew Jackson Portrait, Churchill Bust, Military Flags In Oval Office Decor Shakeup

As with past U.S. leaders, President Joe Biden’s new Oval Office decor hints at the landscape of attitudes that are likely to reflect the tone and priorities of his administration.

“It was important for President Biden to walk into an Oval that looked like America and started to show the landscape of who he is going to be as president,” Ashley Williams, the deputy director of Oval Office operations, told The Washington Post during an exclusive tour.

In a decor shakeup of the Oval Office, which is filled with portraits and busts of iconic leaders in American history, Biden has made a number of changes from when former President Donald Trump sat at the Resolute Desk, including replacing the portrait of Andrew Jackson, the 7th president and a populist with whom Trump often identified.

“He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart, and he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War,” Trump told the Washington Examiner in 2017, noting that many people said that, “my campaign and win was most like Andrew Jackson with his campaign.” Read more…

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Big govt, Corruption, Immigration, International, Politics

Biden Suspends President Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Anti-Asylum Fraud Policy, Halts Most Deportations

President Joe Biden suspended new admissions into the Trump administration’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” through executive order on his first day in office, eroding a critical protection against asylum fraud and illegal immigration enacted by his predecessor.

The Migrant Protection Protocols mandated that the overwhelming majority of migrants who present themselves at the southern border and request asylum wait for the full adjudication of their asylum cases in Mexico, as opposed to the United States. The policy, which declined illegal immigrants a quick and easy pathway into the country through making a dubious asylum claim, proved highly effective at deterring mass illegal migration.

President Biden is also bringing a halt to many deportations, enacting a 100-day freeze on ICE removal operations. Exceptions for deportees include illegal migrants who have just been caught entering the country, and migrants currently incarcerated in jails, immigration detention centers, and prisons.

Biden’s gutting of immigration enforcement will serve as a de facto invitation for incoming caravans of migrants from Central America, who believe that the pro-amnesty President will provide them with United States residency, citizenship and public services. Biden has carefully sought to send the message that only illegals present in the country before his presidency are being provided amnesty, although his nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security refused to rule out admitting migrants traveling in the latest caravan. Read more…

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Big govt, Corruption, Immigration, Politics

Joe Biden’s DHS Nominee Alejandro Mayorkas Will Not Commit to Not Tearing Down Border Wall

During his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, would not commit to not tearing down existing border wall built by President Trump’s administration.

Mayorkas, when questioned by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), said he had not yet “looked at” the specific issue when asked whether he would take a sledgehammer to “physical barriers along our southern border.”

Citing the former Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Mayorkas suggested that a wall across the entire United States-Mexico border was not necessary, to which Lankford agreed. Biden has vowed to stop all construction of border wall.

The exchange went as follows:

LANKFORD: Would you recommend any of the physical barriers along our southern border be dismantled or removed? [Emphasis added]

MAYORKAS: Senator, I haven’t looked at that specific question, I will share with you the fact that I agree with the approach that Sen. McCain, an American hero … took to the border which is it’s not a monolithic challenge, the border. The border is varied depending on the geography and depending on the specific venue and depending on the conduct of individuals around it. Read more…

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Big govt, Corruption, Politics

Biden To Rejoin Paris Climate Agreement, Revoke Trump ‘Muslim Ban’ In First Executive Orders

In his first hours in the Oval Office, President-elect Joe Biden plans to sign more than a dozen executive orders to address challenges like the Covid pandemic and the student debt crisis.

Biden’s orders will also work to reverse many of those issued by President Donald Trump, including the so-called Muslim travel ban and the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Senior members of Biden’s policy team said during a press briefing Tuesday evening that Biden will sign the executive orders immediately after his midday inauguration.

Atop the list of orders and directives viewed by CNBC was a “100 Days Masking Challenge” that will require masks and physical distancing in all federal buildings, on all federal lands and by federal employees and contractors.

Also included in Biden’s health-oriented orders is a reversal of Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization. Read more…

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