The Trump administration’s deregulatory push that President Biden ended on his first day in office helped businesses save about $160 billion, according to an analysis issued as Mr. Biden paves the way for more-aggressive regulations.
Mr. Biden is trying to make a clean break from the former president. He has paused Trump-era deregulatory moves on issues such as drug prices and showerhead water flow and is signaling a far-reaching agenda in other areas.
“Biden has jettisoned … most of what Trump put in place,” said Clyde Wayne Crews, vice president for policy and a senior fellow at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute think tank. “It’s very difficult to imagine there being another administration that would be quite so aggressive in doing the things [President Trump] did, so I do give a lot of credit to the [Trump] administration.”
Mr. Trump’s moves on the “regulatory budget” resulted in $155 billion to $165 billion of net savings from 2017 to 2021, according to a report from the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank.
U.S. airstrike hits Iran-backed militias in Syria
President Biden on Thursday ordered U.S. airstrikes against Iran-backed militias operating inside Syria, Pentagon officials said.
The airstrikes come amid a wave of recent rocket attacks against American personnel stationed in neighboring Iraq, including one recent assault that killed a civilian contractor and wounded a U.S. service member. In its statement, military officials suggested that more attacks against Americans could be on the immediate horizon and that Thursday’s airstrikes were aimed at protecting U.S. interests.
“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel. Specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).”
Past Biden, Psaki tweets criticizing Trump resurface after new Syria airstrikes
Past Twitter posts about Trump military actions draw sharp reactions Thursday -- including from U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar
Past Twitter messages from President Biden and one of his top aides -- both criticizing former President Trump -- weren't appearing to age well Thursday after Biden ordered airstrikes against an Iranian-backed militia stronghold in Syria.
In 2017, Jen Psaki, now White House press secretary, questioned what the Trump administration’s "legal authority for strikes" was in Syria following a Trump-ordered military action.
"Assad is a brutal dictator," she tweeted, "But Syria is a sovereign country."
When Psaki’s nearly four-year-old tweet resurfaced, many Twitter users appreciated the irony.
FBI document shows paid spy Halper behind Flynn-Cambridge rumor
A declassified document confirms that it was noted FBI-paid spy Stefan Halper who told of a supposed inappropriate encounter between retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia-born scholar Svetlana Lokhova at the University of Cambridge in 2014.
Mr. Halper’s gossipy tale turned out not to be true. But the Flynn-Lokhova canard made its way in 2017 into stories in a number of major newspapers, feeding the Donald Trump-Russia election collusion narrative. A story that Mr. Trump’s short-tenured national security adviser was somehow involved with a Russia-born woman made tantalizing headlines — albeit false ones.
The Justice Department previously had released a January 2017 FBI document that closed the Flynn investigation as it related to Russia. The electronic communication told of Mr. Halper’s supposed dirt and the fact that none of it turned out to be true. The document did not identify him by name, only referring to a confidential human source (CHS).
Pelosi: Minimum Wage Hike Will Remain in House COVID Bill
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is vowing to keep the minimum wage hike in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package when the House is expected to take it up on Friday.
Her decision came after Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled the wage hike must be dropped from a massive COVID-19 relief bill the Democrats are trying to speed through Congress.
“The ruling from the Senate parliamentarian is disappointing, because raising the minimum wage would give 27 million Americans a well-deserved raise and pull nearly one million Americans out of poverty in the middle of a once-in-a-century devastating pandemic and economic crisis,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Democrats' $1.9 trillion relief bill would trigger $36 billion in Medicare cuts in 2022, says CBO
House Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill would trigger deep cuts to programs such as Medicare unless Congress works around a 2010 law intended to curb federal deficits, the Congressional Budget Office said Thursday.
Lawmakers had been expecting such a report on the cuts, which are unlikely to take effect.
Under a 2010 law, the White House budget office has to identify “sequestration” cuts to offset projected increases in the federal deficit from new legislation.
Sen. Rick Scott: Dems, Biden Administration 'Hypocrites' on Border
Sen. Rick Scott Friday slammed the Biden administration and Democrats as "hypocrites" over their immigration policy that continues to keep children in migrant detention centers.
"They are causing this problem by stopping the wall," the Florida Republican said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "They are opening up the borders and stopped the stay in Mexico policy, so now we have the poor migrant kids being left at the border by their parents and trying to get them to become citizens so the parents can become citizens."
Meanwhile, Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Orlando on Friday and said he will speak about how the Republican "civil war" has been canceled.
Trump's push to end 'forever wars' stalled as Biden eyes off-ramp in Afghanistan
Former President Donald Trump’s push to end America’s “forever wars” in the Middle East may have exited the stage with him, as the Biden administration appears poised to keep troops in Afghanistan past a key May 1 deadline and powerful Republicans say their party must reject the former commander in chief’s view of the need to fully remove the U.S. from intractable foreign fights.
President Biden, during his 2020 campaign, also embraced the idea of winding down endless wars abroad, as the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan approached its 20th year and American forces remained on the ground in Iraq and Syria.
But the new administration’s early signals suggest a much more measured approach that could frustrate anti-war liberals as much as Mr. Trump’s mixed record on troop withdrawals vexed the more dovish, libertarian-leaning side of his party.
US to Buy at Least 100K Doses of Lilly's COVID-19 Antibody Therapy
Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co said on Friday the U.S. government has agreed to buy at least 100,000 doses of its newly authorized COVID-19 dual antibody cocktail for $210 million, with doses to be delivered through March-end.
The U.S. government will have the option to purchase up to an additional 1.1 million doses through Nov. 25, the company said.
The therapy contains two antibodies, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, and had got U.S. emergency use authorization earlier this month for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe disease or hospitalization.
Court rules British woman who joined ISIS as schoolgirl can't return to UK
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled on Friday that a British-born woman who went to Syria as a schoolgirl to join ISIS poses a security risk and will not be allowed to return to Britain to fight for her citizenship.
Shamima Begum, now 21, left London in 2015 at the age of 15 and traveled to Syria with two school friends, Reuters reported.
She later lived in Raqqa, the caliphate's self-declared capital, and married an ISIS fighter. She had three children since leaving Britain but all of the infants have since died, the outlet noted.
In 2019, Begum was stripped of her British citizenship over national security concerns. However, a court ruled last year that she could only have a fair appeal if she were allowed back to Britain. Friday’s decision means she will have to pursue her appeal against the citizenship move from abroad.
Hundreds of schoolgirls abducted in Nigeria, government official says
Hundreds of schoolgirls were abducted in the early hours of Friday when armed men raided a state-run school in Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria, a government official told CNN.
The schoolgirls were taken from their hostels by gunmen who raided the Government Girls' Secondary School in the town of Jangebe, a high-ranking government official with knowledge of the incident told CNN.
A police officer was killed in the attack, according to the source, who did not want to be named as he did not have permission to speak on record.
Putin critic Alexey Navalny has been transferred to a penal colony, Russian prison service says
Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has been transferred from a Moscow detention center to a penal colony, state media reported on Friday.
The exact location and name of the penal colony was not revealed but Alexander Kalashnikov of Russia's federal penitentiary service (FSIN) told reporters: "According to the court's decision, he left to where he currently should be. Everything is done within the framework of the law and the current legislation."
Kalashnikov added Navalny will be kept in "absolutely normal conditions."
COVID-19 proves anew that the individual is greater than the government
The selfless sacrifice of the individual has been the lone beacon of hope
Our year of Wuhan.
We have endured unspeakable hardships and pain. We have seen the very best in people. We have seen the worst in people.
All of our successes — even our very survival — have come from the wise humanity of individuals looking out for one another. Family, neighbors, parents, nurses, roommates, doctors and complete strangers displaying heroic kindness and compassion in a sea of real agony and crazed hysteria.
Learning from the espionage malpractice behind the Steele dossier
Mistakes like relying on Steele and his atrocious reporting must not be repeated
Recently declassified notes of an FBI meeting in 2017 with former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele and his Orbis Business Intelligence partner Christopher Burrows add to the growing mountain of evidence discrediting Mr. Steele’s infamous dossier — a virulent, self-injected virus in the U.S. political process.
According to the FBI, Mr. Steele said it was Fiona Hill, senior director for European and Russian affairs on the Trump White House’s National Security Council from 2017 to 2019, who introduced him to his primary sub-source for the dossier, Igor Danchenko.
Mr. Steele tried to spin the story that insinuated Ms. Hill knew and approved of Mr. Danchenko’s role in compiling the salacious dossier, a work product that amounted to a major hit job on then-candidate Donald Trump. A distinguished senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of a book on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s espionage back story, Ms. Hill is a preeminent expert on Russia. Mr. Steele was apparently trying to trade on her impeccable credentials to enhance the perceived veracity of his reporting.