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“If [danger] ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.” --Abraham Lincoln
Like all Democrat-run cities that turned against police in 2020, New York City has a crime problem, including an explosive uptick in shoplifting. Fortunately for New York City store owners, Mayor Eric Adams has a plan. The problem is that, as with all lefty plans, it will cost money and almost certainly be completely useless.
Ever since the George Floyd riots caused leftist-managed cities to defund their police, all sorts of crimes have increased. In New York City, the crime that’s really taken off is shoplifting.
In the first eight months of 2021, shoplifting in New York increased by 30% over rates in 2020. Of course, one could argue that slowly ending the lockdown was what made the difference. However, that wouldn’t explain what happened in 2022. In that year, shoplifting went up by another 45% over rates in 2021, with an even better marker being the fact that it was 275% higher than a decade or so earlier.
Shoplifting may be a non-violent crime, but it has a disastrous effect on people in the community because stores, including big box stores, respond to theft in two different ways: First, they raise their prices; then when that proves ineffective, they pick up their marbles and go home by shutting down stores. In San Francisco, for example, Walgreens closed five stores due to shoplifting. Target, meanwhile, predicts that retail crime will cost it as much as $1.3 billion:
There is a new and interesting development in Arkansas where attorneys for Lunden Alexis Roberts have prepared a list of witnesses for the upcoming proceedings involving Hunter Biden’s daughter, Navy.
As previously discussed, Hunter Biden is seeking to reduce child support payments and has balked at Navy being able to use the Biden name. If successful, this could get a lot worse for Hunter in his alleged efforts to conceal his past income.
On the list are business partners at the center of the influence peddling scandal.
On the list are business partners who are connected to millions of dollars acquired from foreign interests in China, Ukraine and other countries. Also on the list is New York City art gallery owner Georges Bergès who continues to sell his art. Bergès has reportedly pushed back on congressional efforts to reveal details on these proceeds and buyers even though former government ethicists have raised concerns over the sales.
The costs of these proceedings and high-priced legal team would seem to undermine claims of financial distress by Biden. However, by putting his financial worth at issue, Hunter has opened up a new front in battling over the disclosure of his past dealings. Some of his past associates are reportedly cooperating with House investigators in tracking foreign payments.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has asked the U.S. government for greater intelligence sharing and warned of a resurgence in Islamic terrorist threats in Europe ahead of France hosting global sporting events in the coming year.
During a two-day trip to Washington and New York this week, the French minister asked for more efficient Franco-American counter-terrorism cooperation and claimed Islamic terrorism remains the biggest threat to national security in Europe.
“We have come to remind them that for Europeans and for France the primary risk is Sunni Islamist terrorism and that anti-terrorist collaboration between intelligence services is absolutely essential,” Darmanin said in an interview with Agence France-Presse.
“At a time when Americans may have a more national perspective in terms of challenges (today) — white supremacy, repeated shootings, conspiracies — they must not forget what appears to us to be the primary threat in Europe: Sunni terrorism,” he added.
Last week, The New York Times published a full-page advertisement signed by 15 U.S. national security experts about the war in Ukraine. It was headed “The U.S. Should Be a Force for Peace in the World,” and was drafted by the Eisenhower Media Network.
While condemning Russia’s invasion, the statement provides a more objective account of the crisis in Ukraine than the U.S. government or The New York Times has previously presented to the public, including the disastrous U.S. role in NATO expansion, the warnings ignored by successive U.S. administrations and the escalating tensions that ultimately led to war.
The statement calls the war an “unmitigated disaster,” and urges President Joe Biden and Congress “to end the war speedily through diplomacy, especially given the dangers of military escalation that could spiral out of control.”
This call for diplomacy by wise, experienced former insiders — U.S. diplomats, military officers and civilian officials — would have been a welcome intervention on any one of the past 442 days of this war. Yet their appeal now comes at an especially critical moment in the war.
On May 10, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that he is delaying Ukraine’s long-awaited “spring offensive” to avoid “unacceptable” losses to Ukrainian forces.
If the United States and China ever enter into conflict, one of the key battlegrounds could be the Middle East. China has been busily trying to shore up its energy security and diversify its energy portfolio around the world, but the country remains heavily dependent on the Middle East for oil. Unfortunately for Beijing, the United States retains a significant amount of leverage and military might in the region which could be used as a powerful weapon in a war of wills between the two global superpowers.
Maintaining a reliable and increasing energy supply is crucial to the well-being and continued growth of the Chinese economy. But as the country continues to develop, Beijing is having a hard time keeping up with demand. For several years in a row, China has suffered major rolling blackouts, with entire cities sometimes going dark for extended periods. And last year, China’s energy industry underwent an extreme stress test as drought crippled the domestic hydropower sector at the same time that the global energy market was in crisis due to a myriad of factors stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Beijing has been hard at work increasing the size and breadth of its own energy empire, paying special attention to increasing its energy footprint in developing countries with large and mostly untapped energy production potential. Back in 2020, Barron’s proclaimed that China had already become “the center of gravity for global energy markets”, and its sphere of influence has only continued to grow since then. On top of Beijing’s heavy investing in other nation’s burgeoning energy markets, China has also blown everyone else away in terms of clean energy spending in recent years. But it’s still not enough to fill the country’s nearly insatiable hunger for additional energy supply.
The federal government recently revealed that at least 50 U.S. government personnel working in 10 foreign countries have had their mobile devices hacked by unknown persons who employed software known as "zero-click." The zero-click product, called Pegasus, is manufactured by an Israeli high-tech company, called NSO Group.
Pegasus enables the user to download the contents of the target’s mobile device or desktop without having to trick the target into clicking onto a link. It also enables the user to follow the person in possession of the device, capturing all texts and emails, as well as listening to conversations on the device or that take place in near proximity to it.
Pegasus is so sophisticated that its victims are largely unaware of the digital attack on their devices. The feds learned that they have been victimized by this software when Apple informed them. Apple told the feds to expect much more of this. The feds are deeply troubled by this warning, as they don’t know who the victims are. The president himself was recently in Ireland, where his personal phone may have been targeted.
But don’t feel sorry for the feds. They have been using this software and similar products on unsuspecting Americans since the Trump administration.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced a piece of legislation last week that would formally accuse Russia of violating New START and call on the US to withdraw from the treaty.
New START is the last nuclear arms control treaty remaining between the US and Russia and places limits on the deployment of nuclear warheads and launchers. Russia suspended its participation in the treaty earlier this year but has said it will continue to abide by its limits.
In a press release, Cotton slammed President Biden for agreeing with Russian President Vladimir Putin to extend New START for five years back in 2021. “President Biden should never have extended this treaty that has only made Russia and China stronger and America weaker. We should withdraw from the treaty and bolster our nuclear forces,” Cotton said.
Biden said that he can’t reveal specifics as to when the offensive will begin or where it will be targeted, adding that doing so would amount to an intelligence failure. “But the fact is that we did discuss, privately, I did discuss with Zelensky how… let me put it this way; we and our NATO allies know how many brigades we have trained, know what the status of those brigades are and have an expectation as to what their likelihood of succeeding are,” the president said. “We don’t know that for certain. War is uncertain, war is uncertain, to state the obvious.”
“So and my, it will proceed. Even if, I think I do know but I’m not gonna tell you because that would not be a smart thing to do either. So having said that, the expectation and hope is that they will be successful and make it clear to Russia that the cost – for example, Bakhmut, Bakhmut is a discussion about whether or not it’s been lost or whatever. And the truth of the matter is that Russia has suffered over 100,000 casualties in Bakhmut. That’s hard to make up, hard to make up.”
President Joe Biden on Sunday slammed Republican demands in negotiations to resolve the US debt ceiling standoff as “unacceptable” but said a solution can still be found before a disastrous default.
Speaking at a press conference just before leaving to return to Washington from the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Biden said Republicans’ latest demands for spending cuts as a condition for raising the US government borrowing authority were “frankly unacceptable.”
“It’s time for the other side to move from their extreme positions,” he said.
Biden said he would talk directly with Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during his Air Force One flight on Sunday back to Washington and said “we can reach an agreement.”
However, he cautioned that he could not “guarantee that they wouldn’t force a default by doing something outrageous.”
President Joe Biden stated on Sunday that the president should bear no responsibility if the United States were to default on its debt in the near future.
Biden made the assertion during a press appearance in Hiroshima, Japan, where he had traveled for meetings with G-7 nations. After the White House insisted for months that there would be no debate on the matter, Republicans in Congress finally drove Biden to the negotiation table.
In his latest argument, Biden claims that some “MAGA Republicans” are trying to start a default in order to destroy the economy before Biden’s reelection bid.
President Joe Biden has at least two challengers for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination, but he’s not likely going to have to face off against them on a debate stage — and that’s by design, according to a leading party figure.
In an interview Friday, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina admitted that the Democratic National Committee changed its primary calendar in a way that helps and boosts Biden.
“I don’t think you’re stacking the deck. I think you’re avoiding embarrassment,” Clyburn told CNN’s Chris Wallace, Politico reported. “And that is what he is attempting to avoid here. And I would expect anybody to do the same.”
In February, the DNC changed the primary calendar, removing the Iowa caucuses from their traditional first-in-the-nation spot, as well as moving the New Hampshire presidential primary from its position as the first. Now, Nevada and New Hampshire will hold their votes on February 6.
In the latest attempt to “rainbow” the U.S. military, the Department of the Air Force has authorized its bases to hold celebrations “in honor of Pride Month.” The announcement came days after the Navy got busted for using a drag queen to recruit new sailors into service.
On May 3, the department issued a memo reaffirming the branch’s recognition of June as “Pride Month.” The memo also includes a provision that “empower[s]” Air Force installation commanders to “plan and conduct” so-called “appropriate activities” on bases to commemorate “rainbow” month.
“During this time, we celebrate the progress we have made towards inclusivity, commemorate the contributions of LGBTQ+ Americans, and recognize the obstacles they have faced and overcome along the way,” the memo reads.