White House Press Secretary pushes Gender Change

Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Important Takeaways:

  • Biden’s Press Secretary Pushes Gender Change Procedures for American Kids
  • Psaki argues that kids should be given puberty blockers if they want them, saying, “Every major medical association agrees that gender-affirming health care for transgender kids is a best practice and potentially lifesaving.”
  • Alabama lawmakers passed legislation making it a felony to prescribe puberty blockers or hormones to aid in the gender transition of anyone under the age of 19. If convicted, violators could be sent to prison for up to 10 years. The legislation also prohibits gender transition surgeries in the state.
  • Abigail Shrier author of The Truth Fairy said responded, “There is, in fact, no proof that ‘affirmative care’ improves the mental health of gender dysphoric youth long-term—much less that its interventions are ‘life-saving’.”
  • “Activists often exaggerate the suicide risk to gender dysphoric minors—as well as the mental health efficacy of these treatments—in order to coerce parents into acceding to the interventions,” Shrier wrote.
  • “The ‘transition or suicide’ narrative falsely implies that transition will prevent suicides. Neither hormones nor surgeries have been shown to reduce suicidality in the long-term.”

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Another Warning about Cyberattack from White House Official

Revelations 6:3-4 “ when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • White House warns Russia prepping possible cyberattacks against US
  • The White House on Monday urged private companies to bolster their cyber defenses, citing evolving intelligence suggesting the Russian government is exploring “options for potential cyberattacks” targeting U.S. critical infrastructure.
  • The administration has warned in recent weeks that Russia could look to target infrastructure in the U.S. or elsewhere with cyberattacks, but officials previously said there were no specific or credible threats against the U.S.
  • Neuberger would not say Monday which specific critical infrastructure sectors could be targeted. Critical infrastructure encompasses a range of sectors, including water, energy, health care, and financial services.

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The White House is Running Out of Time on Nuclear Deal

Matthew 24:6 “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.”

Important Takeaways:

  • 4 reasons why returning to Iran nuclear deal is bad idea
  • Ukraine isn’t the only foreign policy crisis the U.S. is facing.
  • After months of negotiations, the Biden administration may be on the verge of restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (aka the Iran nuclear deal), with no chance of replacing it with a “longer and stronger” deal, as the administration promised.
    • Sunset provisions: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action didn’t end Tehran’s nuclear program. It only slowed it down. The pact was more of a speed bump than a stop sign.
    • Ballistic missiles: The Iran nuclear deal also didn’t capture Tehran’s determined development of ballistic missiles — which are, by the way, a perfect delivery vehicle for a nuclear weapon.
    • Inspection regime: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action strangely doesn’t allow for “anytime, anywhere” inspections. Essentially, International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors aren’t allowed to visit undeclared facilities without permission.
    • Possible military dimensions: As part of the nuclear deal, Iran was supposed to reveal to the International Atomic Energy Agency all military aspects of its earlier nuclear weapons work in order to facilitate oversight of the pact.
  • Not surprisingly, Tehran hasn’t cooperated on this issue.

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Where government cannot censor for constitutional reasons, Silicon Valley does

Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

Important Takeaways:

  • The left’s assault on conservative news network One America News
  • Corporate big wigs can do what the Bill of Rights forbids of the Biden White House, the FCC or Chuck Schumer and his friends.
  • It began with Facebook, Google and Twitter, but now the satellite carriers of cable news are ridding themselves of customers whose views they find abhorrent.
  • Their latest target is One America News, a conservative news network based in California. OAN’s contract with DirecTV runs out in April, and the carrier has announced there will be no new contract.
  • DirecTV and CNN are both owned by AT&T

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U.S. oil refiners bet the farm Biden will back them on biofuels

By Jarrett Renshaw and Stephanie Kelly

(Reuters) – U.S. merchant oil refiners like Monroe Energy and PBF Energy Inc are playing chicken with the White House, taking moves in the biofuels credit market that could force them to close plants and fire union workers unless the Biden administration bails them out by changing the rules on blending biofuels in gasoline.

Merchant refiners have long tried to dismantle a U.S. law requiring them to blend biofuels like ethanol into their fuel or buy credits from competitors who do.

But until very recently, they largely continued to participate in the multibillion-dollar credit market by buying credits to offset their production, a Reuters analysis of earnings releases shows. Now, some of these refiners are building up record short positions in the credits.

They are betting U.S. President Joe Biden will ultimately side with refiners and their union supporters and roll back the law, known as the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), experts interviewed by Reuters said, but this would anger the Farm Belt.

Refiners have leverage right now because rising fuel prices are hurting Biden’s poll ratings.

“This is nothing more than a political shakedown,” Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council, told Reuters. “These refineries are daring the Biden White House to make them lie in the bed they made by intentionally running up massive short positions,” on biofuel credits.

LIABILITIES SKYROCKET

Refiners who had little outstanding biofuel credit liabilities a year ago have let them climb to record highs in the third quarter, according to a review of their latest financial filings.

* Monroe Energy, a subsidiary of Delta Airlines, , has increased its potential biofuel liabilities to a company record of $547 million by the end of the third quarter, up from just $68 million a year prior, the latest filing shows.

* PBF Energy Inc has amassed a $1.3 billion credit liability from halting or slowing purchases, according to its third quarter filing, up from $236 million a year earlier.

* CVR Energy, whose majority owner is billionaire Carl Ichan, has a $442 million credit liability, according to the company’s third quarter filing, up from $83 million a year earlier.

None of the companies responded to requests for comment.

“This whole situation is proof of how broken the RFS program is. … the program is making it more expensive to produce gasoline and diesel in the United States,” Chet Thompson, President of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers said on Thursday.

In 2017, Carlyle Group-backed Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) stopped buying compliance credits, eventually amassing a $350 million outstanding obligation before it eventually filed bankruptcy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the bankruptcy hearings, waived about half of those costs.

The PES refinery eventually shut after a massive explosion in 2019.

“PES taught the market that you can play chicken with the EPA and win. It’s a form of civil disobedience of the law,” said Ed Hirs, an energy economist at the University of Houston.

Hirs said shorting the market is clearly a strategic play, but the gambit carries great risk.

“If the administration doesn’t buckle, then these companies will have to pay billions of dollars to comply. That could force Monroe Energy into bankruptcy and we will see if Delta reaches into its pockets to bail out the refinery,” Hirs said.

HISTORIC YEAR FOR CREDITS

Refiners must turn in the compliance credits to the EPA by March for the previous year, giving them plenty of flexibility on when they take these costs. In the past, refiners purchased biofuel credits daily to match their production, even though they could defer buying if they believe the prices are too high or to manage cash flow.

Prices for the compliance credits, known as RINs, have traded erratically in a historic year for the market. After hitting an all-time record in June at $2.00 each, renewable fuel (D6) credits traded at $1.08 on Wednesday. That level is still above where they started the year at about 80 cents.

In September, Reuters reported that the Biden administration was considering big cuts to the blending requirements. Such a move would anger farm-state voters, so a decision has been delayed as Democratic lawmakers try to pass other big-ticket bills.

DISRUPTIVE SHUTDOWN THREATENED

Refiners have argued to the White House that the higher RIN costs have boosted prices for gasoline, which have hit above $3.40 per gallon. They have noted that the plants, including ones in Biden’s home state of Delaware, offer high-paying union jobs.

Now at least one producer is threatening to shut a refinery over outstanding biofuel liabilities the company has run up.

In recent weeks, Monroe Energy has made a presentation to various stakeholders, including local politicians and labor leaders, painting a stark outlook for its refinery outside Philadelphia, according to two sources who have seen the documents.

The company presentation made clear that either the Biden administration intervenes and rolls back U.S. biofuel laws or its around 200,000 barrel-per-day refinery will be forced to shut its doors and lay off hundreds of union workers, the sources said.

If the Biden administration fails to intervene and prices stay at current levels, the Delta refinery would have to go into the market and settle a significant portion of its $547 million liability in upcoming months.

The refinery recorded a $186 million loss in the first three quarters of 2021, filings show.

“They made it clear that this is the hill they are preparing to die on,” said a source who has seen the presentation.

(Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw and Stephanie Kelly; Editing by David Gregorio)

White House looks to move quickly on $17 billion revamp of U.S. ports

By David Shepardson and Trevor Hunnicutt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House plans to move quickly on a $17 billion revamp of U.S. ports approved by Congress as part of President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

Biden is due to visit the Port Of Baltimore on Wednesday to tout funding for revamping U.S. ports facing huge backlogs.

The $17 billion will “improve infrastructure at coastal ports, inland ports and waterways, and land ports of entry along the border,” the White House said.

Many U.S. ports have bridge or depth limitations that restrict their ability to receive larger vessels, while a surge of cargo is straining land operations at some ports.

The project aims:

* To identify projects for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction at coastal ports and inland waterways within the next 60 days.

* To provide a roadmap for more than $4 billion in funding to repair outdated infrastructure and to deepen harbors for larger cargo ships.

* To prioritize key ports of entry for modernization and expansion within the next 90 days.

* To identify $3.4 billion in investments to upgrade obsolete inspection facilities and allow more efficient international trade through the northern and southern borders.

The Biden administration aims to alleviate congestion at the Port of Savannah by funding a project by the Georgia Port Authority.

That will allow the state to reallocate more than $8 million to convert existing inland facilities into five pop-up container yards in Georgia and North Carolina.

The Port of Savannah will transfer containers further inland so that they can be closer to final destinations, a move that will free more dock space.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Howard Goller)

U.S. vaccines for children plan fully operational next week, White House says

By Ahmed Aboulenein and Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States is rolling out Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 this week, but most of the 15 million shots being shipped initially are unlikely to be available before next week, the White House said on Monday.

Millions of doses specifically formulated for children of that age group will start arriving at distribution centers over the next few days, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said, and the federal government has purchased enough supply for all eligible 28 million children.

“The whole plan is based on Pfizer vaccines,” Zients told reporters at a briefing. “So the bottom line is there’s plenty of supply of the Pfizer vaccine and we look forward to parents having the opportunity to vaccinate their kids.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years, making it the first COVID-19 shot for young children in the United States.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to advise on how the shot should be administered, which will be decided after a group of outside advisers discuss the plan on Tuesday.

Following the CDC’s decision, parents will be able to visit vaccines.gov and filter locations offering the vaccine for the children, Zients said.

(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein and Alexandra Alper; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Michael Erman in New Jersey; Editing by Alison Williams)

White House lays out plan to vaccinate kids ages 5 to 11

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Biden administration on Wednesday outlined its plan to vaccinate millions of kids ages 5 to 11 as soon as the COVID-19 shot is approved for younger children, readying doses and preparing locations ahead of the busy holiday season.

It is working to set up vaccination clinics in more than 100 children’s hospital systems nationwide as well as doctor’s offices, pharmacies and potentially schools, it said.

If Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE’s vaccine wins wider approval, the plan would ensure “it is quickly distributed and made conveniently and equitably available to families across the country,” the White House said in a statement, noting regulators will independently weigh approval.

Food and Drug Administration officials are reviewing the Pfizer/BioNTech application seeking approval of its 2-dose vaccine for younger children, with its panel of outside advisers scheduled to weigh in on Oct. 26. The FDA typically follows the advice of its panel but is not required to do so.

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will next weigh in on recommendations for the vaccine at a Nov. 2 and 3 meeting, which its director will use in making her own recommendation.

“We will be ready to begin getting shots in arms in the days following a final CDC recommendation,” the White House said ahead of an 8:45 a.m. (1345 GMT) news briefing with U.S. President Joe Biden’s White House COVID-19 response team.

Once approved, roughly 28 million more children in the United States would be eligible to receive what would be the first U.S.-approved vaccine to ward off the novel coronavirus in younger kids. The Pfizer/BioNTech shot is already approved for those ages 12-17, and the companies are still studying it for those younger than 5.

“We have to be prepared to ensure that we can get vaccines to families as soon as the FDA and the CDC issue their decision,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told NBC News’ “Today” program.

Murthy said the administration was not looking to get ahead of health regulators but wanted to lay the groundwork to ease distribution to ensure there is ample supply and access to vaccination locations.

While children have a lower rate of death from COVID-19, many still face illness and long-term symptoms that are still being studied. Many adults who have been hesitant or opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine, and even some who did not oppose the vaccine for themselves, are expected to resist giving the shot to their children.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Editing by Nick Zieminski and Philippa Fletcher)

White House asks U.S. oil-and-gas companies to help lower fuel costs -sources

By Jarrett Renshaw

(Reuters) -The White House has been speaking with U.S. oil and gas producers in recent days about helping to bring down rising fuel costs, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Energy costs are rising worldwide, in some cases leading to shortages in major economies like China and India. In the United States, the average retail cost of a gallon of gas is at a seven-year high, and winter fuel costs are expected to surge, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Oil-and-gas production remains below the nation’s peak reached in 2019.

“We are closely monitoring the cost of oil and the cost of gas Americans are paying at the pump. And we are using every tool at our disposal to address anti-competitive practices in U.S. and global energy markets to ensure reliable and stable energy markets,” a White House official said.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that she is not aware of any contact with oil and gas companies “around this particular issue.”

U.S. crude oil recently hit $80 a barrel for the first time in seven years, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies known as OPEC+ restrict output. The White House has discussed rising prices with top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.

The average retail price of a gallon of gasoline has risen to $3.29, according to AAA figures. The U.S. Energy Department said on Wednesday that household heating costs are expected to rise dramatically this winter for all fuels, but particularly for heating oil and propane.

U.S. oil production has been slow to rebound from 2020, when output dropped during the coronavirus outbreak. Production hit a record of nearly 13 million barrels per day (bpd) in late 2019, but the U.S. Energy Department said Wednesday that output will only average 11 million bpd in 2021, rising to 11.7 million bpd in 2022.

Natural gas prices are up sharply this year, the result of supply shortages and stronger-than-expected demand in Europe and Asia.

U.S. shale producers, who are responsible for the boom in crude oil output in the last 10 years, have been less willing to drill for more oil after years of weak financial performance, and have instead focused on cutting spending to boost returns for investors.

It can take six months to drill and complete a new well and bring the oil and gas to market. Any call by the White House for an increase in U.S. production is likely to fall on deaf ears, according to one oil executive, who did not want to be identified criticizing the approach. The industry has also been unhappy with some of Biden’s earlier actions, including a temporary drilling halt on federal lands, that they see as an attack on the industry.

“By pursuing policies that restrict supply and make it harder to produce oil and natural gas here in America, Americans will have to pay more for their energy,” said Anne Bradbury, chief executive officer at the American Exploration and Production Council, which lobbies for independent oil-and-gas producers.

President Joe Biden’s administration has been conducting internal discussions about rising fuel costs, one of the two sources added.

The White House has been trying to tackle supply bottlenecks that have boosted the price of various goods, from meat to semiconductors. Officials said Wednesday that the administration has been working with major ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, along with shipping giants UPS and FedEx, to alleviate congestion slowing deliveries.

(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw, Ron Bousso and David French; Editing by Howard Goller and Andrea Ricci)

“There will be things that people can’t get,” at Christmas, White House warns

By Jarrett Renshaw and Trevor Hunnicutt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -White House officials, scrambling to relieve global supply bottlenecks choking U.S. ports, highways and railways, warn Americans may face higher prices and some empty shelves this Christmas season.

The supply crisis, driven in part by the global COVID-19 pandemic, not only threatens to dampen U.S. spending at a critical time, it also poses a political risk for U.S. President Joe Biden.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll shows the economy continues to be the most important issue to Democrats and Republicans alike.

The White House has been trying to tackle inflation-inducing supply bottlenecks of everything from meat to semiconductors, and formed a task force in June that meets weekly and named a “bottleneck” czar to push private sector companies to ease snarls.

Biden himself plans to meet with senior officials on Wednesday to discuss efforts to relieve transportation bottlenecks before delivering a speech on the topic.

Supply chain woes are weighing on retail and transportation companies, which recently issued a series of downbeat earnings outlooks. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve last month predicted a 2021 inflation rate of 4.2%, well above its 2% target.

American consumers, unused to empty store shelves, may need to be flexible and patient, White House officials said.

“There will be things that people can’t get,” a senior White House official told Reuters, when asked about holiday shopping.

“At the same time, a lot of these goods are hopefully substitutable by other things … I don’t think there’s any real reason to be panicked, but we all feel the frustration and there’s a certain need for patience to help get through a relatively short period of time.”

Inflation is biting wages. Labor Department data shows that Americans made 0.9% less per hour on average in August than they did one year prior.

The White House argues inflation is a sign that their decision to provide historic support to small businesses and households, through $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief funding, worked.

U.S. consumer demand stayed strong, outpacing global rivals, and the Biden administration expects the overall economy to grow at 7.1%, as inflation reaches its highest levels since the 1980s.

“We recognize that it has pinched families who are trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy as we move into the later stages of the pandemic,” said a second senior White House official.

BOTTLENECK CZAR

In August, the White House tapped John Porcari, a veteran transportation official who served in the Obama administration as a new “envoy” to the nation’s ports, but he’s known as the bottleneck czar.

Porcari told Reuters the administration has worked to make sure various parts of the supply chain, such as ports and intermodal facilities, where freight is transferred from one form of transport to another, are in steady communication.

Now it is focused on getting ports and other transportation hubs to operate on a 24-hour schedule, taking advantage of off-peak hours to move more goods in the pipeline. California ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles have agreed to extended hours, and there are more to follow, he said in an interview Monday.

“We need to make better use of that off-peak capacity and that really is the current focus,” Porcari said.

The administration is also seeking to restore inactive rail yards for extra container capacity and create “pop-up” rail yards to increase capacity.

“It’s important to remember that the goods movement system is a private sector driven system,” he said. “There’s problems in every single part of that system. And, and they tend to compound each other.

“While the pandemic was an enormously disruptive force. I think it also laid bare what was an underlying reality, which was the system was strained before the pandemic.”

A NEW WAR ON CHRISTMAS

Republican strategists are seizing on possible Christmas shortages to bash Biden’s policies as inflationary, and thwart his attempt to push a multi-trillion dollar spending package through Congress in coming weeks.

A recent op-ed by Steve Cortes, a one-time advisor to former President Donald Trump, dubbed the upcoming holiday season “Biden’s Blue Christmas,” continuing in a long tradition of conservatives criticizing Democrats over celebrations around the Christian holiday.

Trump, considered the front-runner Republican candidate for president in 2024, blasted it out in a mass email through his political action committee, Save America.

Seth Weathers, a Republican strategist who ran Trump’s Georgia campaign in 2016 said they see local impact. “People here in Georgia are paying twice as much for items than they paid a year ago and they are blaming Biden. He’s in charge.”

A Quinnipiac poll released last week showed Biden is losing the public’s trust on the economy, with only 29% of public thinking the U.S. economy is in “good” or “excellent” condition, compared with 35% in April.

“President Biden could use a holiday season win,” Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy said. “A slowdown of holiday season deliveries and the financial strain that comes with it would be coal in the stocking for the Administration at the close of the first year in office.”

(Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Heather Timmons, Richard Pullin and Aurora Ellis)