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Biden approves disaster declaration for December flooding in Vermont

President Joe Biden has approved a federal disaster declaration sought by Gov. Phil Scott to help communities in seven Vermont counties that saw severe rainfall and flooding in December.


Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis to state and eligible local governments and some private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and to repair or replace facilities damaged by the storm and flooding on Dec. 18 and 19, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a news release Monday. The affected counties are Essex, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Windham and Windsor.

The storm that hit the Northeastern U.S. flooded roads and downed trees, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands, forced flight cancellations and school closures, and killed at least five people.

In Vermont, federal assessors identified more than $1.9 million in costs incurred by public entities for repairs to public infrastructure, Scott said last month. Also, storm-related costs in five counties exceeded the minimum per capita amount to qualify for aid, he said.

2024/03/04 17:36

Missouri bill would require educators to register as sex offenders if they encourage transgender students

A new bill introduced in the Missouri legislature would classify assistance to transgender students under 18 in their "social transition" as a felony, making the legislation the first of its kind in a slew of culture war bills introduced by state Republicans. 

The bill defines a social transition as "the process by which an individual adopts the name, pronouns, and gender expression, such as clothing or haircuts, that match the individual's gender identity and not the gender assumed by the individual's sex at birth."

The Missouri bill, introduced by Republican state Rep. Jamie Gragg, would also require the educators to register as sex offenders if they're found encouraging students to further embrace their preferred gender identity. This could effectively terminate educators' careers, since sex offenders in Missouri are prohibited from being within 500 feet of a school or day care. 

"This is kind of that missing link, when it comes to really making sure that we protect our children and protecting their relationship between them and their parents," Gragg told Fox News Digital in an interview. "We have parents that are completely being bypassed, and there's been a narrative that has grown leaps and bounds."


Support for a student's social transition would be considered verbal discussion of their sexual orientation, pronouns or gender identity, or it could be in the form of written materials, resources and signs. 

"A person commits the offense of contributing to social transition if the person is acting in his or her official capacity as a teacher or school counselor and the person provides support, regardless of whether the support is material, information, or other resources to a child regarding social transition," the bill text reads. 

Gragg argued "with kids being in that age group, that's the most confusing time of human development, and there are so many different hormones and chemicals in your body."

"To have the social warriors in our school system pushing the [LGBTQ+] agenda, saying you'll be accepted in this group, we need to safeguard our children from that kind of thing because they're so easily influenced," he said. 


If the bill becomes law, teachers, counselors or other school educators who aid in a student's social transition could face up to four years behind bars and fines up to $10,000.

The bill has not been referred to a committee reading yet, but Gragg said he's not had "any negative feedback" from his Republican colleagues. He expects the cosponsor list to grow in the coming days as the bill garners more attention.

Most Republican-led bills nationwide typically focus on banning medical transitions for minors through the use of puberty blockers or other hormone treatments. Gragg's bill in Missouri is the first of its kind that creates a penalty for social transitions specifically. 

He also introduced another bill recently that would bar the state from earmarking funds for libraries that carry "obscene" book materials for children. 

Missouri has been leading the charge in introducing a wave of transgender culture war bills aiming to protect kids from progressive gender ideologies. Last year, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed into law a bill banning gender-transition surgical procedures for minors, and another prohibiting biological men who identify as trans women from participating in women's sports teams.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), there have been 13 bills advanced in the Missouri legislature targeting other transgender culture war issues, such as bathroom access in schools or other public facilities for young people. Critics of these bills argue it will further put transgender kids at risk and marginalize them.

2024/03/04 16:40

Trump leads Biden among voters who favored Biden by 10 points in 2020: poll

Voters in a new poll who favored President Biden by 10 points in 2020 have shifted their support to former President Donald Trump, who now leads among the same voters by five points.

The poll, which was conducted by the New York Times and Siena College from Feb. 25 to 28, shows Trump with a 48-43 edge over Biden, a slightly larger lead than two-point edge the former president held in the same poll when it was conducted in December.

The lead comes despite many of the registered voters sampled indicating they voted for Biden in 2020, with 44% of respondents saying they voted for the president in the last election, compared to 33% who indicated they voted for Trump.


The poll shows that Trump has done better work shoring up his base, with 97% of respondents who indicated they voted for him in 2020 saying they plan to do the same this year. Meanwhile, Biden is only garnering the support of 83% of those who say they voted for him in 2020, while 10% indicated they plan to vote for Trump this time around.

Those numbers weren't the only bad news for the president in the poll, which also showed Trump as having a six-point lead (46%-40%) among Hispanic voters, a demographic that until recent years had been a dependable bloc for Democrats. 


Biden is also struggling with working-class voters of color, who according to exit polls, voted in large numbers (72%) for the president in 2020, with only 22% of the group supporting Trump. But that gap has shrunk significantly, the poll found, with Biden only holding a 47%-41% advantage among the same group today.

The president also faces an enthusiasm gap compared to Trump, with only 23% saying they would be enthusiastic if Biden were to become the Democratic nominee. Meanwhile, 48% of respondents indicated they would feel enthusiastic about Trump securing the Republican nomination.

But the news wasn't all bad for the president, who polled better with critical independent voters, who currently are split 42%-42% on who they would support between Biden and Trump. Voters also showed concerns about the criminal cases playing out around Trump, with 53% indicating they believe the former president committed serious federal crimes.

The New York Times/Siena College poll sampled 980 registered voters nationwide, with a margin of sampling error at plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

2024/03/04 16:17

Jim Banks calls on Biden to 'publicly acknowledge' Laken Riley at SOTU

FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., penned a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday, calling on him to acknowledge the death of Georgia college student Laken Riley during his State of the Union address Thursday night. 

Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student at Augusta University, was killed last month and the suspect charged in relation to her death is Jose Ibarra, who was found to have illegally immigrated into the U.S. in 2022. 

"At just six years old, Laken knew she wanted to be a nurse so she could help people. She was living her dream until it was shattered by Joe Biden’s wide open border," Banks told Fox News Digital in a statement. "This was a totally avoidable tragedy. President Biden owes it to her family and the American people to say her name."

Banks implored Biden in the letter to "publicly acknowledge the Riley family’s tragedy" by speaking about their daughter Laken's death during the annual address to Congress. 


The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment. 

"As Commander-in-Chief, it is your duty to protect American citizens, and this tragedy highlights the urgent need to address the surge in crime resulting from your negligence at our southern border," Banks wrote. 

The Indiana Republican, currently running for the Senate seat being vacated in 2025 by Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., further listed what he considered Biden's failures on the issues of the southern border and immigration. Banks noted Biden's reversals of Trump-era policies such as "Remain in Mexico," Title 42, and the building of a border wall. 

"Your failure to publicly acknowledge this tragedy is unacceptable," Banks added. 

Last week, the White House provided a statement to Fox News Digital regarding Riley's death. "We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Laken Hope Riley," a spokesperson said. "People should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law if they are found to be guilty. Given this is an active case, we would have to refer you to state law enforcement and ICE."

Biden, himself, has not addressed the death of Riley, despite being asked during a press conference if he bears any responsibility for it following a speech last week. 


"You have a great opportunity to respect the wishes of Laken Riley's mother by breaking your silence and saying her name at the upcoming State of the Union address on Thursday, March 7, 2024," Banks told Biden in the letter. 

Riley's mother, Allyson Phillips, recently changed her Facebook profile picture to a heart in UGA's colors of Red and Black, with the hashtag "#SayHerName."

In addition to asking Biden to acknowledge Riley at his SOTU address, Banks also called on the president to "take swift and decisive action to secure the border. You can prevent further tragedies and ensure a safer future for all Americans."

2024/03/04 14:42

Jewish students from across US describe rampant campus antisemitism at House hearing: 'Wasteland of hatred'

Jewish students from across the country testified about the rampant antisemitism they are facing at their college campuses at a congressional hearing last week.

The House Committee on Education invited students to testify about their experiences on Thursday. The students described vicious antisemitic incidents happening at Harvard, Columbia, UC Berkeley and several other universities.

"Dirty. Dirty Jew monster. Colonizer. Child killer. These are the names we were given at Stanford. Labels that strip us of our humanity, our dignity and our identity. These are the names a dozen Stanford students hurled in my face one night in November as they surrounded me," Kevin Feigelis of Stanford University told lawmakers.

"They called my people dirty Jews that were disgusting monsters, that makes them sick to look at me. Me, who has been to Israel only once. Me, who grew up in New Jersey, one of the most diverse states of the country. Me, who was raised in a broken household by a single mother. Me, who had to fight tooth and nail to get where I am today. Why? They know nothing about me besides the fact that I wear a kippah on my head. That I am a Jew," he continued. 

He added: "It's open season for Jews on our campuses." 


Another student, Joe Gindi, said antisemitism was surging at Rutgers University as well, arguing that some of the university's staff and administrators are "complicit" in the spread due to their inaction, and – in some cases – encouragement.


"It is time to wake up America and understand what is happening on our college campuses," he said.

Shabbas Kestenbaum, a student at Harvard, said he and his classmates are resorting to legal measures.

"The situation at Harvard is so bad that we really only had two options. One was to come here, which we are doing, and the other was to hold them accountable in a court of law. We filed a lawsuit. I'm one of six plaintiffs who are making sure that if Harvard won't amend the terrible plague of antisemitism, that a court of law will. In terms of what you can be doing as United States Congress, number one subpoena, subpoena, subpoena. You would be horrified to see what is going on behind the scenes," he said.


The students asked to participate in the hearing were Kestenbaum, Gindi and Feigelis as well as Noah Rubin, University of Pennsylvania; Talia Khan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Eden Yadegar, Columbia University; Hannah Beth Schlacter, University of California, Berkeley; Yasmeen Ohebsion, Tulane University; and Jacob Khalili, Cooper Union.

Their testimony came just days after California high school students walked out in protest after a Jewish student was called a "dirty Jew" and attacked last week.

Danielle Eshed, 15, said a student screamed antisemitic comments before attacking her in late February.


"He called me a dirty Jew, and then I said something out of defense," Eshed told KTLA-TV Channel 5. "He said he was going to beat me up, and I didn’t believe him until he got up, pushed me and started punching me repeatedly in the neck and the back."

2024/03/04 14:19

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He is a liar and prevaricator.

One of the major policy issue flip-flops of Obama was that on the important issue of NAFTA. In the primary campaign Obama vigorously campaigned against NAFTA, sending out a flyer stating, "Only Barrack Obama consistently opposed NAFTA," calling it a "bad trade deal," "devastating," and "a big mistake." Obama said he would take "the hammer" to Mexico and Canada. Now in the general election, Obama has blatantly backtracked on his anti-NAFTA position saying, "I'm not a big believer in doing things unilaterally." "I'm a big believer in opening up a dialogue and figuring out how we can make this work for all people." When called on his about-face, Obama responded by saying, "Sometime during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified."

The second and most blatant major policy flip flop was that on public campaign financing. Obama was one of the chief proponents of public campaign financing when he was running in the primaries. But then after realizing how much money he could raise in the general election, he opportunistically opted out of the public finance system. As David Brooks eloquently described the situation in a New York Times piece: "In February 2008 he said he would aggressively pursue spending limits. He answered a Midwest Democracy Network questionnaire by reminding everyone that he has been a longtime advocate of the public financing system. But Thursday, at the first breath of political inconvenience, Fast Eddie Obama threw public financing under the truck." In early 2008, Obama wrote in response to the Midwest Democracy Network questionnaire, "If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." He would later on in the primaries tell Tim Russert, "I will sit down with John McCain an make sure that we have a system that works for everybody."  Of course no such attempt at "sitting down" or negotiations ever took place. Here's what the SunPost of Florida had to say about Obama's flip-flop on this important issue: "Speaking of selling one's soul, Sen. Obama did one of the most repulsive 180s in recent political history by becoming the first contestant from a major team to drop out of the public financing system for the general election since the system was changed in 1976. . . .Obama is not independent from the system; he is just using his mastery of it to his advantage. And he's doing it exactly the same calculating way that he used the system in Illinois to deny his rivals a place on the ballot."

While Obama has flip-flopped and even lied about several votes and policy issues, the most troubling lies he has told relate to his personal history and character. In one of his campaign ads, entitled "dignity," Obama claims he "passed a law to move people from welfare to work –slashed the rolls by 80%." Problem with this assertion is that this law in question was passed in 1996, and Obama did not enter the Illinois State Senate until 1997! Obama claims in another ad that he "worked his way through college and Harvard Law." Problem with that assertion is: Obama had only two jobs during those years, and they were both summer jobs! Furthermore, Obama lied on his bar application to the state bar of Illinois on two counts: 1) He concealed his long history of illegal drug use and possession; and 2) He failed to report unpaid criminal citations in excess of $200.

Obama has advertised a fairy tale biography in his ads, one in which his father was a poor goat herder from Kenya. Nothing could be further from the truth. Barack Hussein Obama, Senior belonged to a well-connected and politically privileged family. His cousin Rao Odinga now rules parts of the country. Obama, Senior had the finances and privilege to travel to America and attend Harvard. The rewriting of Barack Obama's family background is part of a concerted cover-up of the nefarious political and criminal activities on the part of his Kenyan family, particularly his dictator cousin Rao Odinga.

One of the most blatant lies on the part of Obama is that pertaining to his Muslim background. Obama has fiercely denied that he was ever a Muslim, and till this day his official campaign sites state that "Barack Obama Is Not and Has Never Been a Muslim," followed by "Obama never prayed in a mosque. He has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian." The mainstream media has followed the Obama camping in lock-step, and reported it as a fact that Obama was never a Muslim; but the truth is he was! The aspect of this story most dangerous to democracy is that both the Obama campaign and most media have labeled any statement or notion that Obama was a Muslim as a "smear," thus attacking and impugning the personal integrity and credibility of those who are merely reporting the facts. Here are the facts that PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt that Barack Hussein Obama was indeed a Muslim for at least a few years of his life:

A) Both Barack Obama's Kenyan father and Indonesian step-father were Muslims. According to Islam, if your father is Muslim, you are a Muslim. Barack Obama's half-brothers are all Muslim.

B) In his first elementary school in Indonesia, a Catholic school named, "Strada Asisia," Obama was listed as "Muslim" on his registration form. Obama's third grade teacher at this time, Fermin Katarina Sinaga, recalls that "Barry [Barack] went to the mosque with Lolo [Obama's Indonesian step-father]."

C) The next Indonesian school Barry Obama attended was the Basuki School, where Obama partook in Muslim studies two hours per week, nearly every week. According to Tine Hahiyary, one of the teachers at Obama's school, Obama was quite religious and took part in "mengaji classes."  Mengaji classes teach Muslims how to read and chant from the Koran. It is something that primarily fundamentalist Muslims do. It is extremely rare for a non-religious Muslim to take mengaji classes.

D) Barack Obama's own half brother in Kenya has already exposed Senator Obama. In an interview with the Jeruslam Post just this past June, Malik Obama stated that Barack Obama would be a good president for the Jewish people "despite his Muslim background."

E) The Los Angeles Times interviewed a close childhood friend of Barry Obama, named Zulfin Adi, who stated that Obama did indeed pray in a mosque.

A 2007 Associated Press photograph, suppressed until now, shows the school register of the child who is today known as Barack Hussein Obama but was officially listed then as Barry Soetoro, whose citizenship was listed as "Indonesian" and whose religion was listed as "Islam." The visual evidence starkly contradicts the Obama campaign's claim that he was not a Muslim and confirms that he is a national of at least one other country. 

In addition, it raises the highly problematic issue of what is Obama's official name. If it turns out to Barry Soetoro, and no official change of name was ever made, Obama may face an array of charges of deception and misprision that may throw into doubt, at the very least, his fitness to run.

Obama has tried to extricate himself of any criticism for attending a racist church for 20 years. Every time a tape of a racist sermon from the podium of Trinity United Church pops up, Obama has distanced himself by claiming he was never in the church when those sermons were made. Considering the sheer number of such sermons, such a claim would imply very irregular church-going on the part of the Obamas. That impression however is contradicted by Obama’s own words in a 2004 interview with Chicago Sun Times in which he claims to have attended almost every Sunday service. Furthermore, Obama must have known about Reverend Wright’s racist and anti-Semitic views from an article on the reverend in a February, 2007 Rolling Stone article in which Wright is quoted as saying: "We [the U.S.] are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional KILLERS. . . . We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. . . . We conducted radiation experiments on our own people. . . . We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means!" Finally, a NewsMax reporter witnessed and reported on an incident in which Obama did indeed witness a July 22, 2007 racist rant on the part of Reverend Wright, and not only did nothing to condemn it, but ostensibly expressed pleasure with those comments: “Wright laced into America’s establishment, blaming the “white arrogance” of America’s Caucasian majority for the woes of the world, especially the oppression suffered by blacks. To underscore the point he refers to the country as the ‘United States of White America.’ Many in the congregation, including Obama, nodded in apparent agreement as these statements were made.”