A Tree and Its Fruit (Matthew 12:33-37; Luke 6:43-45) (KING JAMES VERSION) 15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do […]
NNPA NEWSWIRE — While the world watched Russia invade Ukraine on Thursday, February 24, some expressed concern about the tens of thousands of international students studying in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, and other cities throughout that […]
The National Urban League released its annual report on the State of Black America on Tuesday, and its findings are grim. This year’s Equality Index shows Black people still get only 73.9% of the American pie white […]
A federal jury convicted a former Virginia police officer of storming the U.S. Capitol with another off-duty officer to obstruct Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory. Jurors on Monday convicted former Rocky Mount police […]
Submitted by Senator Roger Wicker
“I wish the White House would simply act rather than having more public discussion.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has led his people in a heroic resistance to Russia’s bloody and unprovoked invasion, which is now in its fourth week. His courageous leadership in the face of danger has reassured his war fighters and rallied the entire free world to their cause. This past week, President Zelenskyy spoke directly to Congress and the American people in a virtual address. He thanked the United States for the weapons and support we have provided, but asked us to do more. In particular, he pled with President Joe Biden to show the resolve that is required to bring an end to this atrocity.
Just days earlier, I had traveled with a bipartisan group of Senators to Poland, where more than two million Ukrainians have fled for safety. We met with U.S. military officials, diplomats, and Poland’s military leadership and were able to observe the humanitarian situation. At the Ukrainian border, we watched as scores of displaced women and children arrived at a makeshift shelter. I spoke with one refugee who had recently survived a nearby Russian missile strike, which killed over 30 civilians. Our delegation returned unified that America can and should do more to end this human tragedy.
Congress Sends Weapons, Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine
Just before our visit, Congress approved $14 billion in defense and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. This aid is helping replenish Ukraine’s war effort, providing more of the anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles that have been so pivotal in slowing the Russian advance. But there is still more to be done. I have called on President Biden to coordinate an international airlift to Ukraine to provide urgent relief for those who are dehydrated, starving, wounded, and desperate for aid.
President Zelenskyy has also urged the West to provide Ukraine with Russian-made MiG fighter jets. These would help defend against Russian bombers that are destroying Ukrainian hospitals, schools, and homes on a daily basis. Poland has offered its MiGs, but debate among U.S. officials has caused the Biden Administration to drag its feet on transferring these planes. I wish the White House would simply act rather than having more public discussion. I have joined Senators from both parties in urging President Biden to provide these jets to Ukraine without delay.
Putin Needs to Learn His Lesson
Vladimir Putin’s admitted goal has always been to reassemble the old Soviet empire. This effort began in 2008 when he invaded Georgia. Then, in 2014, he seized Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine. Both of these hostile acts went unpunished by the Western world. More recently, in the lead-up to the present crisis, President Biden signaled further weakness by publicly setting limits on how the U.S. would defend Ukraine. The encouraging news is that this Russian neighborhood bully is finally getting a bloody nose, principally through the courage and resolve of Ukraine’s President and his countrymen.
I am glad that our European allies are waking up to the Russian threat. Germany, a nation that is heavily dependent on Russian energy, recently canceled the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would have delivered oil straight from Russia. Great Britain has successfully rallied Europe to send weapons to Ukraine and to impose crippling sanctions on the Russian economy. Even the historically neutral country of Switzerland has adopted these sanctions. On every front, Putin is incurring more damage than he bargained for. Every cost we can impose on him for his brutal war crimes makes it more likely that we will see his defeat and ultimate downfall.
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Submitted by Senator Roger Wicker. […]
First, the White House blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for record gas prices. Now they’re claiming market manipulation in gas and oil markets is to blame. Senator Roger Wicker, a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is calling on the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission–Lina Khan– to provide evidence to support suggestions from the White House and Democrats in Congress that market manipulation, collusion, or other improper or illegal behavior in the gas and crude oil markets is responsible.
“It is clear that gas prices have risen due to the current administration’s zealous agenda to reduce domestic oil and gas production combined with surging inflation caused by a significant increase in government spending,” Wicker wrote. “However, some have proposed that the cause of rising gas prices is not these factors but rather market manipulation or some other type of collusion among members of the oil and gas industry. If Congress is to properly address the current crisis and provide relief to Americans in need, we must be fully informed of the potential underlying causes of skyrocketing gas prices.”
Wicker’s inquiry follows recent claims that inflated gas prices are the result of exploitation by the oil and gas industry, rather than the reduction of domestic fossil fuel production and the escalating crisis in Ukraine.
Read the letter here or below.
As you know, recent weeks have seen a dramatic increase in the price Americans have had to pay at the pump. As of this writing, the national average price of regular gasoline is over $4.30 per gallon, nearly two dollars more than the average price a year ago. This increase comes as American families have already had to cope with high prices at the grocery store and for consumer products.
It is clear that gas prices have risen due to the current administration’s zealous agenda to reduce domestic oil and gas production combined with surging inflation caused by a significant increase in government spending. These factors have been compounded by Russia’s unprovoked and misguided invasion of Ukraine, which has driven up the price of crude oil and fueled market volatility. However, some have proposed that the cause of rising gas prices is not these factors but rather market manipulation or some other type of collusion among members of the oil and gas industry.
If Congress is to properly address the current crisis and provide relief to Americans in need, we must be fully informed of the potential underlying causes of skyrocketing gas prices. To assist the Commerce Committee minority in this effort, I request that you provide any evidence the FTC has gathered showing market manipulation, collusion, or other improper or illegal behavior in the gasoline and crude oil markets. Please provide your response as soon as possible, but by no later than March 25, 2022.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.
After Reeves’ veto, the House Judiciary B committee voted to stay the decision.
House Bill 980, authored by State Representative Nick Bain would allow for the Mississippi State Health Department to declassify a drug prior to the return of the Legislature in the event the federal government did so first. Then the Legislature could meet and address the issue within the law at a later date.
Governor Tate Reeves believes that would imprudently abdicate the police powers of the state to the federal government, leading him to veto the bill.
“House Bill 908 imprudently abdicates to the federal government the police powers of the state to regulate substances and impose criminal penalties for violations of Mississippi Controlled Substances Act. In some Democrat-controlled states there is a disturbing trend toward deregulating and decriminalizing such hard street drugs as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine,” said Reeves in his veto letter. “While thankfully this trend has not yet spread to Congress, I am unwilling to gamble with the health, welfare and safety of Mississippians. If the past fifteen months have taught us anything it is that we must jealously guard state’s rights and powers and not cede any authority to the federal government.”
The bill originally passed both chambers unanimously.
On Thursday morning, the veto was referred to the House Judiciary B committee where a vote was taken by committee members to stay the decision, meaning they do not plan to challenge Governor Reeves’ veto.
Rep. Bain said the bill would not decriminalize anything but could provide an affirmative defense from prosecution. He added that it seemed to be a “common sense” bill.
“I think that’s the difference the Governor is missing out on is that it didn’t necessarily decriminalize anything – it just removes a drug from the controlled substance schedule until the Legislature has a rule on it,” said Bain.
Bain said he did not feel it was the time to recommend overriding the veto but that they could address the issue in next year’s session. […]
Russian Ministry of Defense spokesperson Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Wednesday that 498 Russian military personnel have been killed since the invasion of Ukraine and 1,597 have been wounded. “Unfortunately, we have losses among our comrades […]