President Biden signed an executive order Thursday afternoon reversing the Mexico City policy, permitting U.S. aid money once again to fund groups that provide or promote abortion around the globe.
The policy was first put in place by President Ronald Reagan in an effort to ensure that taxpayers were not required to indirectly fund abortion procedures performed in other countries. The policy has been undone via executive order by every subsequent Democratic administration and reinstated by each Republican one.
The Trump administration expanded the policy to include not only family planning funds distributed by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development but also all foreign-health assistance provided by government agencies, including the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and the Defense Department. That expanded policy, “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” increased the amount of U.S. funding covered by the abortion prohibition from about $600 million to nearly $9 billion.
Following today’s release of the latest Personal Income and Spending data, Wall Street was predictably focused on the changes in these two key series, which showed a surge in personal income (to be expected in the month when the $900BN December 2020 stimulus hit), coupled with a far more modest increase in personal spending.
But while the change in the headline data was notable, what was far more remarkable was data showing just how reliant on the US government the population has become.
We are referring, of course, to Personal Current Transfer payments which are essentially government sourced income such as unemployment benefits, welfare checks, and so on. In January, this number was $5.781 trillion annualized, which was not only up by nearly $2 trillion from the $3.8 trillion in December it was also $2 trillion above the pre-Covid trend where transfer receipts were approximately $3.2 trillion.
The problem with the idea of reparations is it redirects attention away from exactly where attention is needed: on individuals’ personal responsibility for their own unique lives.CARTOONS | MICHAEL RAMIREZVIEW CARTOON
And it redirects attention in such a way to encourage individuals to believe that some abstract, collective entity from the past is the cause of all their individual problems in the present.
Compensation for damages is a basic legal principle.
It’s about personal responsibility. Individual A sues individual B for damages caused. Exactly what the damages were and exactly how B injured A must be shown in a court of law.
Today, only a small fraction of our population has ancestors who were around before 1865 when slavery was legal. The idea of collective guilt, with no specific individual identified as causing the damage and no specific individual showing how he or she was damaged, doesn’t fly.
The Arizona Department of Corrections is depriving inmates of freedom they’ve earned. Its $24 million tracking software isn’t doing what it’s supposed to when it comes to calculating time served credits. That’s according to whistleblowers who’ve been ignored by the DOC and have taken their complaints to the press. Here’s Jimmy Jenkins of KJZZ, who was given access to documents showing the bug has been well-documented and remains unfixed, more than a year after it was discovered.
According to Arizona Department of Corrections whistleblowers, hundreds of incarcerated people who should be eligible for release are being held in prison because the inmate management software cannot interpret current sentencing laws.
KJZZ is not naming the whistleblowers because they fear retaliation. The employees said they have been raising the issue internally for more than a year, but prison administrators have not acted to fix the software bug. The sources said Chief Information Officer Holly Greene and Deputy Director Joe Profiri have been aware of the problem since 2019.
The management software (ACIS) rolled out during the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which is always the best time to debut new systems that might need a lot of immediate tech support. Since its rollout, the software has generated 19,000 bug reports. The one at the center of this ongoing deprivation of liberty arose as the result of a law passed in June of that year. The law gave additional credit days to inmates charged with low-level drug offenses, increasing the credit from one day for every six served to three days for every seven.
Qualified inmates are only supposed to serve 70% of their sentences, provided they also complete some other prerequisites, like earning a GED or entering a substance abuse program. That law hasn’t been implemented in the Arizona prison system because the $24 million software can’t seem to figure out how to do it.
To be sure, legislation that changes time served credits for only a certain percentage of inmates creates problems for prison management systems. But that’s why you spend $24 million buying one, rather than just asking employees if they’re any good at Excel.
But that’s what has actually happened. With the expensive software unable to correctly calculate time served credits, prison employees are doing it by hand.
New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Lujan Grisham is in hot water for allegedly using taxpayer money to buy herself groceries, liquor, and dry cleaning. Financial documents obtained by local media showed that in the last half of 2020, Grisham spent $13,500 on various expenses, including Wagyu beef, tequila, vodka, gin, and wine.
In addition to extravagant spending on alcohol and personal effects, reports say that individuals close to Grisham received significant raises that ranged between $7,500 and $12,000.
“It’s not what tax dollars ought to be spent for,” said Republican House Minority Leader Jim Townsend. “In the time when people are hurting all over the state, using their tax dollars to buy Wagyu beef has got to be a little bit disenchanting to many people. I think it’s just more of [an] indication of the problem that we have had and the governor has had connecting with people.”
Beyond questionable expenditures on the taxpayer dime, Grisham has also been criticized for issuing family gathering restrictions for private citizens throughout the pandemic while simultaneously holding large events and meetings of people at her mansion.
A leaked email suggests that there are plans to keep the National Guard in Washington DC beyond the previously discussed deadline of March 12th, and throughout the Summer AND Fall.
A report by FOX 5 cites an internal email seen by reporters that reveals The National Security Council is asking the Department of Defense to engage Capitol Police on planning for post-March 12th support.
The report notes that there will be a meeting for agencies to discuss the matter next Wednesday, February 17th.