Putin Agrees To More Talks With Biden Administration

by Bernard P. Lawson and H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

December 12, 2021

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Biden administration have agreed to more talks amid tensions over a Russian army buildup near Ukraine, according to the Kremlin.

The Kremlin said Putin and Biden agreed to hold more talks during a video conversation on December 7 that focused on East-West relations which are currently strained by Russia’s force buildup near Ukraine.

Biden warned Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine, the NATO will impose “severe economic and other measures,” while Putin has requested guarantees that NATO will not expand further east.

According to a senior congressional aide, the Biden administration informed members of Congress that they have reached an agreement with Germany to shut down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Putin had no reason to be optimistic after speaking with Biden because of significant disagreements between Russia and the US over Moscow’s so-called “red lines” that it does not want the West to violate.

Aside from further NATO expansion eastward, Russia has stated that it does not want certain offensive weaponry stationed in countries bordering it, such as Ukraine.

Putin informed Biden on December 7 that Russian troops were on Russian territory and did not constitute a threat to anyone, according to the Kremlin.

U.S. To Release 50 Million Barrels Of Oil From Strategic Reserve

by The Chicago Times Staff

November 23, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration ordered the release of 50 million barrels of oil from America’s strategic reserve on Tuesday in collaboration with India, the United Kingdom, and China.

The Biden administration’s decision is directed at global energy markets facing increasing inflation and rising gas prices, which Americans have taken note of.  According to the American Automobile Association, gasoline prices are around $3.40 per gallon, which is more than 50% more than a year ago.

In December, the government will begin releasing barrels into the market, yet the effort will most likely not lower gas prices as Americans begin to travel for the holiday season.  Gasoline typically responds to increases in oil prices with a lag, and administration officials hinted that this is one of several stages toward eventually lowering costs.

The dumping of oil into the market by the United States and collaborating nations could risk provoking retaliation from OPEC nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, and Russia.  Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have made it apparent that they want to curb supplies in order to maintain prices high for the foreseeable future.

Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming was among those who slammed Biden’s remarks. The fundamental issue, according Barrasso, is the Biden administration’s restrictions on domestic production.

“Begging OPEC and Russia to increase production and now using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are desperate attempts to address a Biden-caused disaster.  They’re not substitutes for American energy production.” Barrasso said.

Republicans have chastised the government for inflation reaching a 31-year high in October. The consumer price index increased 6.2 percent year on year, the largest 12-month increase since 1990.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky blasted the Biden administration, claiming that the victims of higher costs were middle-class Americans.  McConnell and other GOP leaders believe that Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package in March pumped too much money into the economy, driving up prices and harming middle-class and lower-income households.   

“Housing, transportation, and food were the three biggest drivers of the staggering 6.2 percent inflation rate we logged last month.  Those are not frills; they are necessities.” McConnell stated.

The Department of Energy will release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in two ways, according to the White House: 32 million barrels will be released in the next months and will be returned to the reserve in the coming years.  Another 18 million barrels will be sold as part of an oil auction authorized by Congress.  

CHICAGO: PROTESTS SCHEDULED IN RITTENHOUSE VERDICT OF NOT GUILTY

by The Chicago Times Staff

November 19, 2021

CHICAGO – Chicago braces for protests that have been scheduled in Chicago Friday night in response to the Kyle Rittenhouse judgment.  Rittenhouse was acquitted of all counts Friday after arguing self-defense in the tragic Kenosha shootings. 

One organized protest will be held at the Federal Center and Plaza 6pm to 10pm.  While another will be held at Millennium Park at 7pm.

President Biden remarked “I stand by what the jury has concluded . . . The jury system works, and we have to abide by it.”  The President also urged calm.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker stated on Thursday that Illinois State Police are prepared for any potential disturbance in the aftermath of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.

Non-Partisan CBO Estimates Social Spending Bill To Add $367 Billion To Budget Deficit

by Bernard P. Lawson, The Chicago Times

November 19, 2921

WASHINGTON — According to a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimate, President Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure and climate spending package would add $367 billion to the country’s budget deficit.

The CBO, which is in charge of estimating the cost of pending legislation, found that Biden’s Build Back Better plan is likely to come at a high cost to the US economy.  In a CBO report released on Thursday, it is estimated that if passed by Congress, the Build Back Better plan would add $367 billion to the federal deficit over the next decade.

Many moderates in congress recognize that $367 billion is just the start since nearly all government programs increase spending overtime and rarely see reductions or elimination.

According to the Biden administration, which is desperate of a legislative victory, claimed that it will be able to fund the bill primarily by raising taxes on the wealthy and closing loopholes.

The plan anticipated that $1 trillion would be generated solely through tax reforms aimed at high-income taxpayers.

Regardless of the CBO’s projection, Democrats in the House voted along party lines to approve the plan on Thursday, setting the way for a floor discussion.  Before the debate began, Democrats knew they could not afford to lose more than two votes to ensure the bill’s passage.

Bernard P. Lawson, National Political Reporter/Columnist for The Chicago Times.  Views and comments expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Chicago Times.

The Long-Winded President Offends Royal

by Bunko Dolus, The Chicago Times

November 7, 2021

GLASGOW – According to a Brit royal whisperer, while meeting with the Duchess of Cornwall during the COP26 summit, President Joe Biden let out a long, loud fart, or in climate speak “a large methane cloud.”

To make matters worse, and why everyone is now talking, Camilla Parker Bowles reportedly “has not stopped talking about” Biden’s “long fart.”

According to the royal whisperer, Bowel and Biden were making small conversation at the global climate change summit in Scotland last week when the president unleashed a “loud” and deadly fart.

“It was long and loud and impossible to ignore and Camilla has not stopped mentioning it,” the royal whisperer said.

Biden met the Duchess during an event at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery on Monday, which was also attended by Prince Charles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The presidential flatulence shocked Parker Bowles, who has been married to Prince Charles since 2005.

Panama Warns Biden Administration: 85,000 Haitian Migrants On Their Way To U.S.

by Bernard P. Lawson, The Chicago Times

September 30, 2021

Erika Mouynes – Foreign Minister, Panama

PANAMA CITY — Nearly 30,000 Haitian migrants have already crossed the US-Mexico border in recent weeks, but Panama’s foreign minister says far more are on their way.

In a new interview with Axios, Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes stated that more than 85,000 Haitians have crossed through Panama since the beginning of 2021, and that she believes “they all are heading toward the U.S. . . . We’ve engaged with every single authority that we can think of, that we can come across, to say, ‘Please, let’s pay attention to this,'” Mouynes told the Axios.

The Haitians have been arriving from Colombia, passing through the dangerous Darién Gap jungles into Panama before continuing north through Central America and Mexico to the United States.  Mouynes stated that senior officials from South American countries, Mexico, Canada, and the United States met in August to discuss the issue, and she found it “shocking” that this had not happened sooner.

Earlier this week, Mouynes said she met with members of Congress as well as DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Mouynes told Axios that she wants to see more meetings between the United States and other countries to work out plans to better control the volume of people crossing their borders.

She stated that in order to get to the bottom of the problem, Haiti must be involved as well.

On Sunday, Mayorkas told admitted that the majority of migrants who had entered the U.S. had been released.  Mayorkas said that up to 12,000 had been released until their “court date”, with 3,000 still in detention and 5,000 still waiting for their cases to be “processed”.  

There seems to be no end to the southern border crisis as wave upon wave of migrants enter the United States illegally.  Many on both sides of the aisle in Congress have concerns about the dangers of terrorist being able to cross the border without detection.

Bernard P. Lawson, National Political Reporter/Columnist for The Chicago Times.  Views and comments expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Chicago Times.