DML Morning Briefing Fri. Aug. 19

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Biden is building a ‘wall’, cripples ICE, and more….

By  Anneta Griffee

Today is August 19. Below are some of the stories grabbing headlines this morning. I hope you share this briefing as doing so will make you the smartest person in the room.

1 – Biden putting up a pricey security fence at his Delaware beach house — and taxpayers are funding it
Fox News reports: After spending much of his summer vacation on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, President Biden is heading back to his multimillion-dollar beach house in his home state of Delaware, where he’s building a taxpayer-funded security fence at a cost that’s ballooned to nearly $500,000.

Biden is expected to arrive at his $2.7 million summer house in the North Shores community of Rehoboth Beach on Saturday after spending the last couple nights in Wilmington, Delaware, according to data released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). On Wednesday, Biden was briefly at the White House signing of the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act into law.

In September 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded $456,548 to a Sussex County company to construct a security fence around the home.

The DHS contract with Turnstone Holdings LLC for the “purchase and installation of security fencing” at the residence has since increased to $490,324 this summer, according to the website, an online database of federal government spending.

MY TAKE: I have a suggestion on where Abbott should send his next busload of illegal aliens…

2 – U.S. Marshals Service Drafts Federal Sanctuary Policy to Release Criminal Illegal Aliens
Breitbart reports: The United States Marshals Service is reportedly drafting a federal sanctuary policy to release criminal illegal aliens into American communities rather than turning them over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

An exclusive report from the Washington Times‘s Stephen Dinan reveals that the U.S. Marshals Service is looking at creating a federal sanctuary policy to help criminal illegal aliens evade arrest by ICE and has already started enforcing such a policy in some states.

Dinan reports for the Times:

The U.S. Marshals Service is drafting a sanctuary policy that would limit the agency’s ability to hold illegal immigrants for pickup by ICE, The Washington Times has learned. 

Under the policy, marshals would not be able to hold illegal immigrants for pickup by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the say-so of an immigration warrant, or “detainer” request. Once the Marshals Service is finished processing an immigrant for its custody purposes, the person is to be released even if ICE has asked for a hold. [Emphasis added]

Officials said the policy is still in draft form, though The Times knows of one jurisdiction in Florida where it has already been implemented, according to a memo sent to employees this summer. 

MY TAKE:  Unfreakingbelievable!!!

3 – The IRS Isn’t The Only Agency Being Supersized By Democrats
The Daily Caller reports: The Democrats’ massive climate spending package, which President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday, will give over $40 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), just as the bill allocates almost $80 billion to expand the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The bill, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, includes $369 billion in total climate spending, and will give the EPA more than $40 billion in the current fiscal year to combat climate change, enforce environmental standards and secure “environmental justice,” according to a Congressional Research Service report. The EPA’s enacted budget for 2022’s fiscal year was about $9.5 billion, according to the agency figures, meaning the bill will more than quadruple the EPA’s current annual spending.

The bill will give the EPA $27 billion in accordance with the Clean Air Act to start a ‘Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund’ that will finance competitive grants to fund national and regional “green banks,” which will use the money to fund initiatives and projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions, according to the bill’s text. Renewable energy initiatives funded by the “green banks” are intended to help underprivileged and low-income communities; the agency will also only have 180 days to allocate these funds to “green banks.”

Democrats are allocating a further $8 billion in total to reduce air pollution at ports and fund general pollution reduction grants. The bill also allots $3 billion for EPA “environmental and climate justice block grants” that will help facilitate political “engagement in disadvantaged communities” through advisory groups, rulemakings and workshops.

The agency will also receive $1.55 billion to pay for its methane emissions reduction program to offer financial incentives to oil and gas producers who reduce their methane emissions, according to the bill. Additionally, the EPA will get $906 million in total to finance programs that address air pollution in schools, report corporate emissions and help declare “environmental products” as well as various other initiatives.

MY TAKE: AOC must be so proud… she’s getting her “Green New Deal” after all…  and we’re paying for it.

4 – A monumental case looks to crack open the world of auto-warranty robocalls
CNN reports: No sentence in the English language may be more infuriating than the following 12 words: “We have been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty.”

If you’ve picked up the phone in response to an unknown caller anytime in the last several years, chances are you’ve encountered this incessant and irritating automated message. But according to state and federal officials, just two men may be responsible for an overwhelming share of the billions of auto-warranty spam calls that have hit US phones.

Now, a new lawsuit in Ohio is trying to cut them off at their source, following a years-long effort across the public and private sectors to turn the tide on the scourge of robocalls once and for all.

In a complaint filed last month by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, the ringleaders of the auto-warranty robocall scheme are identified as Roy Melvin Cox, Jr. and Aaron Michael Jones, two California individuals described as repeat offenders of US telemarketing rules.

Using a web of shell companies, aliases and fly-by-night phone providers allegedly under their control, Cox and Jones have allegedly sent billions of robocalls nationwide since 2018 offering vehicle service contracts misleadingly characterized as car warranties, according to the suit. The scheme that inundated consumers with calls they never consented to has made millions of dollars, Ohio alleges, by acting as a middleman between call victims and salespeople for shoddy service contracts.

MY TAKE: Good! Maybe those irritating car warranty calls are FINALLY coming to an end!

5 – Number of LGBTQ+ elected officials in the US hits record high
The Hill reports: More than 1,000 elected officials in the U.S. openly identify as LGBTQ+, new data shows, the most on record and up nearly 6 percent from one year ago.

A record-breaking total of 1,043 openly LGBTQ+ elected officials hold public office in 2022, up from 986 last year, according to an annual count published Thursday by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, an organization that helps elect more out LGBTQ+ candidates to public office.

In 22 states, LGBTQ+ representation is up from where it was a year ago, according to the Victory Fund report, though representation has declined in 10 states. Nationwide, openly LGBTQ+ people account for just 0.2 percent of elected officials, with close to 36,000 more needed to achieve equitable representation.

Gallup poll published in February found that 7.1 percent of the U.S. population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or something other than heterosexual – double what is was a decade earlier.

MY TAKE: I MISS the America I grew up in.