September 23, 2021 – 12:00 AM
Imagine this: You’re taking your weekly trip to the grocery store. As the grocery store clerk tells you the total for groceries, your first thought is, “They must have made a mistake; it can’t be that much.” You pay and push your cart off to the side and recheck the total, item by item. Then sticker shock sets in. The clerk has made no errors. Welcome to America, Biden/Harris style.
Hello, inflation. After cooking a high-priced breakfast the next morning, you head into work and notice the gas gauge is either broken or you’re near empty. Gas is up 74% since Jan. 20, and now you realize that filling up is no longer an option. You tell the gas station cashier, “Yes, sir, I’d like $15 on pump 12.” Now with your gas gauge registering just over a quarter of a tank, you hear on the radio that Americans are stranded at the mercy of terrorists in the Middle East, and now the world’s greatest superpower has been rendered feckless. Like many Americans, you’re thinking, What in the world is happening to America, and how did it decline so severely in eight short months?
I remember Jimmy Carter’s presidency well, and as Yogi Berra would often say, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” Those of us who lived through Carter’s presidency felt positive that he would always be considered the worst president in our lifetimes. Unfortunately, he has lost that title to our current president, Joe Biden. Today, inflation is hurting middle-class families, excessive government spending is crippling our economy, a disastrous foreign policy is leaving Americans stranded, and China and Russia will soon be able to reverse engineer $85 billion of our military hardware we left to the Taliban.
Biden campaigned on “building back better.” The reality is, nothing has been better since he and Vice President Kamala Harris took office. In fact, they and their team of Obama administration holdovers are actively working against the interests of the country. For their dereliction of duty in the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, their total capitulation to China and other adversaries, their calamitous open border policies, their disastrous fiscal policies, their servitude to the radical woke left, and their utter failure to lead the nation, Biden and Harris should resign.
Biden is not up to the job of being the president. It is a 24/7 job, and he has neither the mental acuity nor physical stamina to do it. When presented with options from intelligence officials and from those in Congress with knowledge of the situation in Afghanistan, Biden either failed to understand or completely ignored their concerns and advice. Instead, he executed a knee-jerk, politically motivated, botched operation.
From commanding officers, people in the country, his intelligence community, the Pentagon, the CIA, the State Department, and the intelligence committees on both sides of the Capitol, he was warned that the only way to get our embassy personnel, each American that wanted to leave, and our Afghan interpreters out safely would be by using Bagram Air Base. When we vacated Bagram, it was a fatal error, as had been predicted.
To add insult to injury, Biden’s State Department gave the Taliban all the leverage in the world to take advantage of the delicate situation. Most people realize that you can’t negotiate with terrorists. Biden handed them the entire country of Afghanistan and our state-of-the-art military equipment on a silver platter. As a result, several Americans are stranded in Afghanistan, the Taliban now has U.S. weaponry, and 13 American service members paid the ultimate price. All of this could have been prevented. To make matters worse, Harris claims she was the last person in the room when the decision was made to withdraw from Afghanistan to meet a photo-op arbitrary deadline. If that is the case, she bears responsibility as well.
In addition, the president and vice president have abdicated their duty to secure our southern border. Record numbers of migrants are pouring into the country. The drug and human trafficking businesses are booming. All the administration had to do with respect to border policies was nothing. President Donald Trump was building the wall, and the “Remain in Mexico” policy was deterring illegal crossings. We saw dramatic improvements. Because they were Trump policies, and the Biden administration hates everything Trump did, no matter what, we are back to the dangerous, open-border days. This administration’s incompetence and craven political nature are making people less safe.
Meanwhile, Communist China is on the rise, forming an open alliance with the Taliban. Russia is getting an oil pipeline while American jobs are being destroyed along with the Keystone Pipeline. The Biden administration has already passed over $1 trillion of deficit spending with another $3.5 trillion proposed. It is bankrupting our country with a progressive wish list.
Furthermore, in an attempt to continue to politicize the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden administration now wants to mandate that all federal employees, workers at entities that receive federal funding, and workers at any private businesses with over 100 employees take the vaccine. Biden even said verbatim that this was no longer about freedom or personal choice. His administration wants to control your life and impose government regulations on your personal freedoms. This is a notion straight out of the communist handbook. I have always encouraged people to seriously consider talking to their doctor as to whether to take the vaccine or not. Receiving the vaccine should always remain a personal choice.
When Republicans take back the House and Senate, we will hold this entire administration accountable. In the meantime, someone must be held responsible for the disastrous state of our government. If the Democrats can impeach Trump for a phone call, Biden and Harris must be removed for their total and complete dereliction of duty. If the Democrats in Congress won’t do their jobs and remove them, the president and vice president should do the right thing for the country, for once, and resign immediately.
Rep. Billy Long represents Missouri’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and is a candidate for U.S. Senate.
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By Wes Mader Community Columnist
The spectacle in Kabul, Afghanistan is painful to watch from either side of the political aisle. In spite of President Biden’s effort to shift some responsibility to former President Trump, and Trump’s pronouncement that it wouldn’t have happened if he were still president, the simple fact is that those in uniform often pay with their lives for the mistakes of their leaders.
It’s noteworthy to mention that while American sons and daughters were fighting in Kabul to protect American and Afghan civilians from terrorist attacks, members of Congress were home on recess. The vice president was touring Asia, which is a long way from the illegal immigration crisis on our southern border, which she was assigned to address by the president. The president, appearing to be somewhat alone and isolated, has offered comments about the situation that I presume were read from a teleprompter, while press secretary Jen Psaki offered accolades on the administration’s accomplishments.
While I won’t attempt to critique the motivation of our nation’s commander-in-chief, it seems to me that the decision to withdraw all support from Afghanistan’s military was received by the Taliban as an invitation from the U.S. government, for them to take over. We should not forget that it was America’s military that restored democracy to Afghanistan by removing the Taliban 20 years ago, and by their presence have maintained that democracy until our president’s recent decision that surrendered the country and its citizens, back to the Taliban.
Without question, the Afghan democracy was fragile at best, as any young democracy would be. However, its foundation for democracy was growing stronger as its younger generation was tasting freedom for the first time, and young women were becoming contributors to society instead of the possessions of radical Islamists. Reports last week of teenagers trying to escape the Taliban and falling from the landing gears of a U.S. evacuation aircraft, possibly provide a preview of what’s in the future for Afghans.
It is my hope that the recently unveiled mural in downtown Prior Lake (“Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima”) will serve as a daily reminder of the personal sacrifice made by our men and women in uniform, in the past and the present, as events in Afghanistan so starkly illustrate. It’s worth reminding ourselves that about 300,000 of America’s sons and daughters were sacrificed on the fields of battle to free Europe from becoming Hitler’s dream of a continent free of Jews and other ethnic minorities, and to stop the imperialistic leadership of Japan from gaining dominance over all of Asia.
There were 7,000 Americans killed and another 20,000 wounded on the tiny island of Iwo Jima during WWII, and it was America that stayed the course in Japan after WWII, helping to rebuild the country into a prosperous peace-loving nation. Our military is still there to help protect Japan from any would-be enemy that would take away their freedom.
As Prior Lake residents scan the mural, I hope they will be reminded that the whole island of Iwo Jima is only about half the size of our City of Prior Lake, that the number of U.S. casualties in that battle (wounded and killed) was about equal to today’s total Prior Lake population, and that there were almost 20,000 Japanese soldiers also killed. Can anyone even comprehend the human carnage that occurred there, or the courage of those who bore the brunt of the battle on both sides? I can’t.
The picture of the flag raising has always had special meaning for me, since navy Corpsman John Bradley (a friend of our family in my hometown) was reported by the U.S. military for about 70 years as being one of the flag raisers in the picture. More recently it was reported that Bradley was instead, one of those who raised the first flag on Mt. Surabachi (along with Charles Lindberg from Richfield), before the second flag raising was photographed. In any event, those who crawled and fought their way from the sands on the beaches to the heights of Surabachi to plant either flag, should never be forgotten.
For those who are “woke” and can only find injustice and discrimination in America, I would suggest they examine the goodness of America that has welcomed legal immigrants from throughout the world without regard to race or religion, probably making America the most diverse nation on the planet. That can’t be all bad.
Wes Mader is a former Prior Lake mayor. Following retirement after serving as president of Bowmar Aerospace and Defense in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Wes and his wife Char retired in Prior Lake.
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[About 7 minutes into the video Shannon Davis announces her resignation]
It was the kind of reaction that isn’t expected when someone announces their resignation at a school board meeting, but Shannon Davis who was a building nurse for the Prior Lake-Savage Area School district ‘walked off’ after resigning her position Monday night. Those in attendance celebrated Davis’ opinions shared to the school board, prompting the board to sit awkwardly while the cheers died down.
Davis’ resignation starts around the 6:45 marker of the video with her being called to the podium to speak. After Davis gives her address and position within the district an audible gasp is caught on a microphone after she stated to the board she was here to announce her resignation.
According to Davis, it was the “District’s mandates, regulations, and policies” that were in place throughout the 2020-2021 school year that prompted her to resign. Davis went on to say to the board that “We have failed the children and made them feel like they were the problem because of COVID.”
At the end of her time speaking Davis gave what I thought was the most honest assessment that one can give when she clearly looked deep into herself when she was writing this and then said “I will not harm the emotional, mental, or physical health and education of these children any longer. I hope you and the administration will forego the policies of this last school year and let the parents make the decisions that are best for their children.”
You can watch the entire resignation above in the video. Shannon Davis is still listed as a school district employee on the district’s website.
Looking at the district’s website, it appears that masks are being recommended but not required for those 2 years older and up at schools in the district. However, those using buses to come to school will be required to wear a mask when inside the bus. You can see the entire list of 2021-22 back-to-school plans here for the Prior Lake – Savage School District.
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Immigration has been a prevalent issue in the Biden-Harris administration’s first six months.
- The New York Times on Monday said the White House would continue a polarizing Trump border policy.
- Insider asked experts to grade the administration on its handling of immigration thus far.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page
The New York Times reported Monday that the Biden administration would continue a controversial Trump-era border-closing policy known as Title 42.
Since President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took office more than six months ago, their administration’s immigration policies and campaign promises have often been in the spotlight.
From a steady increase of unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border (including, possibly, an all-time high in July ), to a near-constant barrage of Republican and Democratic criticism over the issue, to the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, there are still many immigration issues for the administration to negotiate.
Harris has served as the public face for the administration’s handling of immigration since March, when Biden assigned her to head the government’s efforts to slow migration at the border by addressing root causes in Central American countries.
In June, during her first trip to the US-Mexico border since taking office, Harris called for an end to the political “rhetoric” and “infighting” over immigration. The stop in El Paso, Texas, came three weeks after she visited Guatemala on her first foreign trip and told migrants “do not come” to the US.
In May, June, and July, Insider asked seven immigration experts to give the administration a report-card-style grade on its handling of the issue so far.
Pedro Rios , director of the American Friends Service Committee’s US/Mexico Border Program:
Rios told Insider a “good percentage” of his low grade was because of the administration’s retainment of Title 42, the Trump-era pandemic-related emergency rule used to rapidly turn away migrants with the exception of unaccompanied minors. Policy experts have said it played a massive role in the increased number of children crossing the border earlier this year.
The monthslong continuation of Title 42 has surprised many immigration advocates, who expected the administration to reopen the pathway for asylum seekers.
“There are people that have died in attempts to cross into the US or have been placed in precarious situations,” Rios said.
Rios also criticized the administration’s lack of clarity for communities that have been affected by construction on border-wall projects through land confiscation and damage.
What the administration can do better
First and foremost, Rios wants to see Title 42 ended, and soon.
Beyond that, he’s concerned about what he sees as a push by the administration for infrastructure known as “smart” or “intelligent” borders, as an alternative to natural physical borders – a proposal included in the immigration bill Biden sent to Congress earlier this year detailing his commitment to “modernize” the immigration system.
“I think Biden’s commitment to this type of border enforcement is troubling for me,” he said. “So I would like to see a rejection of adopting intelligent technology for enforcement without there really having been an analysis or discernment about how these type of tools can wreak havoc.”
A US Customs and Border Protection agent standing guard on the US side of the US-Mexico border fence.
PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images
Carlos Rojas Rodriguez, longtime immigration organizer who Biden told to ‘vote for Trump’
“When Biden was running for office, there was a concern within the immigrant-rights movement, to see how much he would distance himself from the Obama-administration legacy of mass deportation,” Rojas Rodriguez told Insider.
“We had nice rhetoric and terrible practices, and with Biden so far, when the rubber meets the road what we are seeing is disappointment and disappointment.”
On the campaign trail, Rojas Rodriguez challenged Biden during a question-and-answer period asking whether he would commit to a full deportation moratorium, which Biden rejected, and later told Rojas Rodriguez to “vote for Trump.”
Rojas Rodriguez told Insider that moment and Harris’ ” moment of honesty ” in Guatemala had also defined the failures and priorities of the administration on immigration. Rojas Rodriguez added that for “low-hanging fruit,” like raising the refugee cap from the previous administration, it took movement and political pressure for the administration to increase it.
What the administration can do better :
Rojas Rodriguez told Insider the administration should make clear its legislative priorities, use the congressional legislative process known as reconciliation as a tool on immigration, and include a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants living in the US illegally.
He said nine in 10 farmworkers were unauthorized and many more had worked in other industries deemed essential throughout the pandemic.
Lee Gelernt , deputy director ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
Gelernt declined to give the administration a grade but said overall the administration has done “very well” on immigration with one notable exception: the border. In particular, Gelernt criticized the continued existence of Title 42 for families and adults.
“We have never believed Title 42 policy is lawful or humane or was necessary as a public-health measure,” Gelernt told Insider. “We are deeply troubled that the Biden administration has retained that policy and I think that the retention of the Title 42 policy for families is a significant blemish on the administration’s immigration work.”
In January, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the federal government regarding the expulsion of asylum seekers under Title 42. In the months following, the administration and ACLU held negotiations in the case. Gelernt was unable to discuss certain concessions made by the government thus far but did say the two sides agreed on a Title 42 exemption for particularly vulnerable families.
On June 8, the administration and the nonprofit agreed to another advance in the lawsuit until June 18, but Gelernt warned that an imminent timetable is necessary.
“In the next coming days, we’re going to have to see a timeline for ending Title 42 very soon or we’re going back to court.”
What the administration can do better :
Gelernt said he was pleased to see Harris’ focus on addressing the root causes of migration during her trip to Guatemala earlier this month.
“As the VP acknowledged, people do not want to pick up and leave their home countries … separate their families if they don’t have to,” Gelernt said. “So, if we can eliminate the violence in those countries as well as the other problems … then I think we will see less migration.”
But ultimately, fixing root causes of migration is a long-term solution. Gelernt urged the US to allow asylum seekers to enter the country and make their claims in the meantime.
“I was very disappointed to hear her continue the administration’s message of telling people not to come,” he said. “We cannot be telling people to stay home no matter how much danger they’re in.”
Gelernt emphasized the US’s decades-long duty to accept asylum seekers and encouraged the administration to, instead, send a message that highlights that commitment.
“The [Biden] administration has done an enormous amount of good and has eliminated most of the Trump administration’s restrictive and unlawful immigration,” he said.
“But if we eliminate the opportunity to see asylum for very much longer, we are going to do real damage to the country’s historic commitment,” Gelernt added.
Central American asylum seekers arriving at a bus station after being released by US Border Patrol agents on February 26 in Brownsville, Texas.
John Moore/Getty Images
Roberto Lopez and Laura Peña, TX Civil Rights Project
“On the border wall alone, it’s been a failure,” Lopez told Insider.
He mentioned that several of the organization’s clients, including the Cavazos family , had had their lands seized for border-wall construction through carryover eminent-domain cases from the Trump administration. On the campaign trail, Biden promised to withdraw from those types of lawsuits and promised that “not one more inch” of the border wall would be built.
Lopez and Pena added that the maintaining of Title 42 at the border was a major issue. In terms of the Remain in Mexico policy , they commended the administration for ending it “in name,” and later promising that people whose cases were closed could reapply. The test, they said, would be how the Biden administration would process people who fell through the cracks because of Trump-era asylum policies.
What the administration can do better :
They said the administration should withdraw from all eminent-domain border cases and return lands seized already. Both added that the administration must rescind Title 42.
Bob Carey, former director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement under Obama admin
“There needs to be an element of realistic appraisal in terms of what has been achievable in this time frame,” Carey told Insider, adding that he wouldn’t give the administration a pass on its border policy so far.
“People see the optics of immigration through the border, but closing down the border is not an appropriate response,” he added.
Carey added that in his view, he wouldn’t say the Biden administration had failed because there was still a rebuilding of humanitarian and legal representational capacity at the border and across immigration agencies that the administration needed time to adequately carry out.
What the administration can do better :
Strengthening the asylum system so that it is safe, orderly, and transparent. Carey’s biggest qualm had to do with messaging and transparency.
“Things have been communicated inconsistently, it’s important that there be an all-of-government approach on immigration,” Carey told Insider. “‘Do not come,’ can be interpreted as, we don’t have an asylum policy, or the border is closed.”
Carey mentioned that the flip-flopping on the refugee cap was another example of a poorly-fleshed-out message and goal. He told Insider that going forward, the Biden administration needed to prioritize a multipronged approach and foster a “broadly-engaged humanitarian commitment” on immigration in a bipartisan way.
Harris and Guatemala’s minister of foreign affairs, Pedro Brolo, at her arrival ceremony in Guatemala City on June 6 at Guatemalan Air Force Central Command.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Oliver Merino, coordinator for Immigration Legal Resource Center
Merino said there had been plenty of disappointments stemming from promises made on the campaign trail and felt that the page hadn’t been turned from the Trump administration on immigration.
“The comments that VP Harris made in Guatemala, honestly could have come from an official in the Trump administration, almost word for word, and they could have come from the Obama administration as well,” Merino told Insider.
Merino’s low mark also related to the maintaining of Title 42 border closings and the ongoing deportations despite a promised deportation moratorium. He added that the recent budget included increases for the US Customs and Border Protection and detention, and said that on the legislative side, the administration so far had not prioritized immigration bills.
What the administration can do better :
Merino said the administration should immediately rescind Title 42 as a start. Merino added that the administration should also clarify its priorities for deportation, which were updated in a late-May memo from Immigration and Customs Enforcement .
Vicki Gaubeca , director of Southern Border Communities Coalition:
“I think I’d give them a B- only because the intent to create a humanitarian, efficient process is there,” Gaubeca said. “The minus would come from them just not figuring out how to do that quickly and correctly, I’d say.”
Gaubeca criticized the administration for relying too heavily on US Customs and Border Protection, an agency she said operated exclusively through a law-enforcement lens with no humanitarian considerations.
But from her perspective, the Biden administration’s approach to immigration thus far had already been a massive improvement from the Trump administration’s method, and she’s optimistic about the future.
“We’re not where we want to be, but at least we’re not where we used to be,” she said.
What the administration can do better :
Gaubeca had several recommendations for how the administration could improve its handling of immigration and the border: lift Title 42; connect with nongovernmental immigration organizations on the ground and make sure they’re adequately resourced; and shift away from a law-enforcement approach to managing the border.
“Ultimately … continue to push for a just and fair immigration reform that is not tied to more border security,” Gaubeca said.
“Immigrants actually strengthen our nation,” she added. “We need to figure out a way to do that that also protects human rights and dignity of people that will ultimately be useful for us.”
- Read the original article on Business Insider