AMTRAK TO PURCHASE $7.3 BILLION NEW TRAINS FROM SIEMENS

by The Chicago Times Staff

July 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Amtrak announced a $7.3 billion purchase of new trains on Wednesday, claiming that it will “transform the future of rail travel” in the United States.

Siemens Mobility Inc. in California, a subsidiary of German conglomerate Siemens AG, will build a new fleet of 83 trains, some of which will be hybrid-battery powered.

“These new trains will reshape the future of rail travel by replacing our aging 40-to-50-year old fleet with state-of-the-art, American-made equipment.  This investment is essential to preserving and growing our Northeast Regional and state-supported services and will allow our customers to travel comfortably and safely, while deeply reducing criteria pollutants.” Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said in a statement.

The taxpayer-funded railroad company claims that its new models will have more comfortable seating, as well as onboard Wi-Fi, individual power outlets and USB ports, and touchless restroom controls.

Amtrak, formally the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, stated in a press release that its investment will allow it to add an additional 130 trains to its fleet in the future, in addition to the purchase of equipment and a long-term parts supply and service agreement, facility modifications and upgrades, and other program expenses.

Amtrak’s order is the largest contract Siemens Mobility has ever had in North America, according to the company’s own press release.

The major agreement comes as President Joe Biden, a staunch supporter of Amtrak, pushes for an additional $80 billion in rail spending over the next five years as part of his infrastructure plan.  Under the president’s proposal, Amtrak would be the primary recipient of the funds.

TRUMP JUDGES BLOCK BIDEN POLICIES

by The Chicago Times Staff

June 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — In the early months of the new administration, judges chosen by former President Trump have hampered President Biden’s initiatives on numerous fronts.

There are still many court cases pending against past Biden programs — and the president’s judgments could be overturned by higher courts.  Trump-appointed judges, on the other hand, have ruled against him on issues including as immigration, COVID relief, the environment, and more.

Recently, Trump-appointed Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana issued a countrywide injunction against the Biden administration’s “hold” on new oil and gas leases, claiming that the president lack the authority to override laws mandating the government to sell those leases.

In another case, Amul Thapar, a former Trump Supreme Court nominee, obtained an injunction against a part of the coronavirus stimulus law that used race and gender to determine which restaurant owners were eligible for government assistance.

Not only have Trump-appointed judges slapped down Biden initiatives in court, but non-Trump-appointed judges have also ruled against the regime.  Judge William Griesbach, a George W. Bush appointee, is one of them, having blocked the coronavirus relief bill’s loan forgiveness for minority farmers earlier this month.  According to Greisbach, “. . . Congress can implement race-neutral programs to help farmers and ranchers in need of financial assistance…but it cannot discriminate on the basis of race.”

BIDEN VISITS PUTIN IN GENEVA – NO JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE

by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

June 16, 2021

GENEVA — Senior White House officials said President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet for five hours on Wednesday for a highly anticipated summit in Geneva.

Putin, accompanied by foreign ministers and a translator, is expected to arrive in Geneva first, around 1:20 p.m. local time, which is 6:20 a.m. on the East Coast and 3:20 a.m. on the West Coast.  Biden will be assisted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and a translator.  Putin and Biden will be greeted by Swiss President Guy Parmelin.

Following the meeting, each president will hold a separate press conference, which will begin around 6 p.m. Geneva time.  Biden is expected to fly back to the United States after the press conference, bringing his first foreign trip as president.

Iran and North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, Syria, the Arctic, strategic stability, arms control, climate change, and COVID-19 are among the topics Biden and Putin are expected to discuss.

The US and Russia have long competed on a global scale, and while the US outperforms Russia in many areas, such as the military, Putin has relied on other factors, such as cyberstrikes, to maintain Russian dominance.

According to the White House, Biden and Putin will also discuss the US and Russian intentions to pursue a “strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues” to build on the extension of the New START Treaty.  All Russian deployed intercontinental-range nuclear weapons are subject to verifiable limits under the START Treaty.

The treaty was signed on February 5, 2011, and the US and Russian Federation have agreed to extend it until February 4, 2026, according to the State Department.

Biden is also expected to bring up the issue of ransomware attacks from Russia.  According to a source, ransomware will be “a significant topic” for the leaders to discuss, and Biden is “willing to take action against Russia – significant types of action – like he did with SolarWinds.”

Biden has attempted to exert economic pressure on Russia by imposing sanctions last week on Russian companies and ships for their work on a natural gas pipeline in Europe, though the Biden administration exempted the German company in charge of the project, causing frustration among Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

Last month, the Biden administration imposed a slew of new sanctions on Russia in response to its attempted meddling in the 2020 election and a cyberattack linked to the Kremlin that hit multiple federal agencies.  The sanctions targeted 32 entities and individuals who, on Russian government orders, attempted to sway the outcome of the November election last year.

Ten Russian diplomats working in Washington, D.C., including some intelligence officers, were also expelled by the White House.

Biden said this week that Putin was a “worthy adversary,” just days after Putin praised former President Trump in an interview and called Biden a “career man”

BIDEN TO PACK SUPREME COURT TO 9 JUSTICES AND THREATENS TO VOID RIGHTS OF 49 PERCENT OF U.S. CITIZENS

by Bernard P. Lawson, The Chicago Times

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2021 – President Biden will decree another executive order Friday to form a commission to pack the Supreme Court with up to 9 more Justices and forever balance the highest court in favor of the far-left.  This will forever end the system of checks and balances that has safe guarded democracy for generations.

A 36-member commission will be bipartisan on the surface and hold public meetings to recommend “reforms” to the court.  The “Court Packing” committee will have 180 days from their first meeting to finish a report that will most likely be in favor of slanting the Supreme Court towards the far-left.

Also, in Biden’s grab bag of changes includes the elimination of lifetime appointments for the justices.  Clearly Biden intends to subvert the court and make it dependent on political appointment and favoritism.

Biden’s White House lackeys stated the “commission” will “evaluate” the term length and turnover of justices on the Supreme Court.  Also, under the spotlight will be membership qualifications (most likely to conform to far-left standards), case selection, rules, and practices.  Whatever happened to the principle of co-equal branches of government?  Where is Justice Roberts?  Will he stand up to this assault on the branch of government he runs?

Biden blessed the appointment of two far-left liberal activists and former Obama officials to chair the committee: former White House Counsel Bob Bauer and Cristina Rodriguez, former Justice Department official and Justice O’Conner clerk.  So much for bipartisanship.  Surely opposing views on the committee will be silenced or cancelled by far-left bullies.

Biden, lacking memory recall, failed to remember his views in 1983 that packing the court was a “bonehead” idea and that he, running for president at the time, was “. . . not a fan of court packing.”

The formation of the committee stems from liberal tantrums over Trump’s appointment of a third justice to the high court.  Apparently far-left liberals just can’t stand it when the rules are not in their favor and must now “fix” the system to get their way.

Bernard 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.