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Editor Daily Rundown: Gas Prices Shatter Record Highs

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GAS PRICES SHATTER RECORD HIGHS… USA TODAY: Gas prices are now the most expensive in US history, breaking record from 2008

After days of dramatically rising gas prices in wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the national average for a gallon of gas is now the highest in United States history, breaking the record that stood for nearly 14 years.

As of Tuesday morning, the cost of regular gas in the U.S. is $4.17, according to AAA, up from $4.06 on Monday. Last week, the average cost was $3.60.

The previous national average high was $4.11, set on July 17, 2008, according to AAA.

The cost for diesel is also nearing the record of $4.84, which was also set in July 2008. The current price for a gallon of diesel is $4.75, over double what it was in October 2020.

 

WORSE THAN HOLLYWOOD COULD IMAGINE… ‘I Am Legend’ Set A Prediction For Gas Prices In The Apocalypse. Prices In Beverly Hills Just Surpassed It

In one rich pocket of the country, gas is officially more expensive than in the post-apocalyptic masterpiece movie “I Am Legend.”

An image posted to Twitter shows that the creatives behind the hit film decided on the nuanced detail that gas would hit between $6.63 – $6.95 per gallon in the lead up to the collapse of human civilization. Now, in parts of Beverly Hills, an affluent neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, gas prices are upwards of $7 per gallon, with a national US average exceeding $4 per gallon on Sunday.

 

MILLIONAIRE COLBERT LAUGHS OFF PRICE HIKES… ‘A CLEAN CONSCIENCE IS WORTH A BUCK OR TWO’… ‘TOM ELLIOTT: .@StephenAtHome: “Today, the average gas price in America hit an all-time record high of over $4/gallon. OK, that stings, but a clean conscience is worth a buck or two. It’s important. I’m willing to pay $4/gallon. Hell, I’ll pay $15 a gallon b/c I drive a Tesla” (VIDEO)

 

GET READY FOR ANOTHER RECORD INFLATION REPORT THIS WEEK… NYT: Rising Gas Prices Have Drivers Asking, ‘Is This for Real?’

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, rapidly rising energy prices were contributing to the fastest inflation in 40 years. Energy prices — including not just gasoline but home heating and electricity as well — accounted for more than a sixth of the total increase in the Consumer Price Index over the 12 months ending in January.

The recent jump in energy prices will only make the problem worse. Forecasters surveyed by FactSet expect the February inflation report, which the Labor Department will release on Thursday, to show that consumer prices rose 0.7 percent last month, and are up 7.9 percent over the past year. The continued run-up in gasoline prices over the past week suggests overall inflation in March will top 8 percent for the first time since 1982.

 

WHITE HOUSE BLAMES OIL COMPANIES… PUSHES END TO FOSSIL FUELS… ‘Let Me Finish’: Doocy And Psaki Share Heated Exchange Over Rising Gas Prices (VIDEO)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki sparred with Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy over the rising costs of gas at a Monday press briefing.

Doocy pressed Psaki on the administration’s response to the average gas price hitting $4.104 per gallon on Monday, the highest levels ever recorded in the country. The rise in costs has increased as the U.S. still imports Russian oil despite the crisis in Ukraine.

“It sounds like you guys are blaming Putin for the increase in gas prices recently, but weren’t gas prices going up anyway because of post-pandemic supply chain issues?” Doocy asked.

“I think there’s no question that as we have seen in an outside and analysts have conveyed this as well, the increase in the anticipated continued increase…that is a direct result of the invasion of Ukraine and also there was an anticipation of that that was factored in as gas prices have gone up,” Psaki replied.

Doocy then asked the reason the administration has not taken steps to pump oil domestically.

“To be very clear, federal policies are not limiting the supplies of oil and gas to the continent—let me finish,” Psaki replied, as Doocy pushed back. “Let me finish.”

 

ANOTHER PATRONIZING SPEECH FROM KAMALA… VEEP USES GAS PAIN TO PITCH ‘ZERO EMISSIONS’ TRUCKS… TOWNHALL: KAMALA: “We have the ability to see what can be, unburdened by what has been. And then to make the possible actually happen.” (VIDEO)

 

MORE… Buttigieg says you don’t have to worry about gas prices if you buy an electric vehicle (VIDEO)

 

TRUCKERS GET MEETING WITH REPUBLICAN SENATORS… MARY MARGARET OLOHAN: NEW: The People’s Convoy will meet with @RonJohnsonWI and @tedcruz “to discuss the harmful effects of President Biden’s vaccine mandates” Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

 

THE INCREDIBLE DISAPPEARING FAUCI… Where The Heck Is Anthony Fauci? People Are Talking

The face of America’s COVID-19 pandemic response has been notably absent in recent weeks as Democratic messaging about the pandemic has done a complete 180.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top medical advisor to President Joe Biden and a key member of the White House’s COVID-19 response team, became a mainstay on cable news airways and in print media pages beginning in early 2020. In the past month, he’s hardly made any public appearances, and has been relegated largely to local news interviews and secondary cable networks.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci has not made any media appearances to discuss COVID-19 since Feb. 23, when he did an interview with Bloomberg TV. He has not appeared on a major cable or network news show in nearly three weeks, since a Feb. 17 hit on CNN.

In the month of December alone, Fauci did 22 interviews or appearances with major national news outlets or programs — from Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show to Neil Cavuto’s program on Fox Business to a sit-down with The Atlantic. In January and February combined, he made only 15 such appearances. So far in March, he’s made zero.

 

BIDEN ADMIN URGES SUPREMES TO LET PENTAGON PUNISH UNVACCINATED SEALS… THEY ‘RISK THE LIVES OF OTHERS’… NPR: Pentagon asks Supreme Court to allow it to stop the deployment of unvaccinated SEALs

The Biden administration is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a major portion of its program mandating members of the military to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

In January a federal district court judge in Texas issued an order barring the Navy from requiring all SEALs to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the order, and also refused to temporarily suspend its decision pending appeal.

In an emergency appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Defense Department is arguing that the lower courts have usurped the president’s core constitutional power — and by extension the military’s power — to make decisions as to “which service members should be deployed to execute some of the military’s most sensitive and dangerous missions.” And that, the Pentagon said in its brief, imperils military readiness, noting that in one case the Navy has already been forced, against its best judgment, to deploy an unvaccinated Navy SEAL for duty on a close-quartered submarine.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William K. Lescher filed a sworn declaration in the case, saying that the illness of even one member of a small SEAL team due to COVID-19 could compromise a mission. He said it would be “a dereliction of duty” to allow unvaccinated personnel into an environment in which they … risk the lives of others.”

 

Psaki Calls Florida Surgeon General A Politician ‘Peddling Conspiracy Theories’ After State Says Healthy Kids Don’t Need Vaccine (VIDEO)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Florida’s surgeon general is a politician “peddling conspiracy theories” after the state announced it would not recommend healthy children get the coronavirus vaccine.

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said Monday healthy kids need not get the coronavirus vaccine, citing a non-peer reviewed New York State Department of Health study that showed Pfizer’s vaccine protection for preventing hospitalization in kids between 5 and 11 drastically declined during the Omicron surge. The study also found the vaccine’s efficacy for preventing infection dropped from 68% to 12%.

Psaki was asked by a reporter Monday whether the announcement was “a good policy.”

“Absolutely not,” Psaki said. “Let me just note that we know the science, we know the data and what works and what the most effective steps are in protecting people of a range of ages from hospitalization and even death. The FDA and the CDC have already weighed in on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for those 5 and older.”

 

WOULD AMERICANS STAY TO FIGHT OFF A RUSSIAN INVASION? … Poll: Republicans And Independents Would Defend America If Invaded — Dems Say They Would Flee

A new Quinnipiac poll released Monday revealed a sharp partisan divide in how Americans would react if invaded by a foreign power.

The pollster asked Americans what they would do if they found themselves in the same position as the average Ukrainian right now, subjected to a violent invasion by a hostile country: stay and fight for their home, or abandon it and flee the country. Fifty-five percent of respondents in total said they would stay and fight, while 38% said they’d flee.

When broken down by party affiliation, both Republicans and Independents said they would stay to fight by margins of 68% to 25% and 57% to 36%, respectively, according to the poll. Democrats, however, were more likely to say they would flee; 52% said they would leave the country, while only 40% said they would stay to fight.

 

CHINA PUSHES PRO-PUTIN PROPAGANDA, CENSORS COVERAGE OF INVASION… AXIOS: Beijing is re-writing the Ukraine narrative

The Chinese government is scrubbing the country’s internet of sympathetic or accurate coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and systematically amplifying pro-Putin talking points. […]

Chinese media outlets were told to avoid posting “anything unfavorable to Russia or pro-Western” on their social media accounts, and to only use hashtags started by Chinese state media outlets, according to a leaked censorship directive.

Online comments expressing sympathy for Ukraine have been deleted; even the anti-war speech given by the Paralympic Committee president during the Paralympics opening ceremonies was censored in Chinese television broadcasts.

Pro-Putin social media posts on Chinese social media were allowed to proliferate, as were posts blaming the U.S. and NATO for the conflict.

 

BIDEN PREPS TO LIFT SANCTIONS ON IRAN… SANCTIONS RELIEF FOR IRANIAN COMMANDER BEHIND THE BEIRUT BOMBING… GABRIEL NORONHA, TABLET MAG: This Isn’t Obama’s Iran Deal. It’s Much, Much Worse.

Reports out of Vienna indicate that a deal could occur within the next few days. While some issues are still being ironed out—such as whether the United States will grant Russia immunity from any economic sanctions relating to Iran, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has publicly demanded—the details that follow have been conveyed to me as finalized. […]

The list of concessions that follows is long, detailed, disturbing[…]

With Robert Malley in the lead, the United States has promised to lift sanctions on some of the regime’s worst terrorists and torturers, on leading officials who have developed Iran’s WMD infrastructure, and has agreed to lift sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) itself. In exchange, Iran will receive fewer limitations than those imposed under the JCPOA, and the restrictions on its nuclear program will expire six years sooner than under the terms of the old deal. And that’s just the beginning.

The Biden administration is preparing to end sanctions under Executive Order (E.O.) 13876, known as the Supreme Leader’s Office E.O., as soon as the deal is finalized. This would lift sanctions on nearly all of the 112 people and entities sanctioned under that authority, […] some of the most evil people you can possibly imagine. […]

The victims of the Iranian regime span every single continent, but the terror suspects being desanctioned by the United States in particular have American blood on their hands—particularly IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, who led IRGC forces in Lebanon and Syria when Hezbollah bombed the Marines compound in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. service members, 58 French soldiers, and left hundreds more wounded. […]

So what have we received in exchange for all these concessions to the most vile men and institutions in Iran? Has the regime come clean about its clandestine nuclear activities or committed to stop nuclear enrichment? Has the regime committed to stop supporting terror and taking American hostages? The short answer on all counts is no. […]

Iran is set to get access to a massive windfall of cash: My latest estimate (derived from figures declassified during my tenure at the State Department) is $90 billion in access to foreign exchange reserves, and then a further $50-$55 billion in extra revenue each year from higher oil and petrochemical exports, with no restrictions on how or where the money can be spent.

Personally, the most troubling transfer of funds will be the $7 billion ransom payment the United States is preparing to pay for the release of four Americans from an Iranian jail. [… M]ake no mistake: Biden’s payment will only supercharge Iran’s hostage-taking industry.

After Obama paid Iran $1.7 billion for four Americans back in 2016 (including $400 million in literal pallets of cash), Iranian clerics and generals bragged about it for years—and some suggested that taking hostages could henceforth serve as a sound method for balancing Iran’s budget. Sadly, if Biden goes through with this deal, that could well be the case again. Seven billion dollars would amount to around one-third of Iran’s annual terror and security budget, fueling even more violence around the world and against Iranians. At prices like these, more Americans are sure to land in Evin Prison.

 

BIDEN ADMIN SENDS WOULD-BE 9/11 HIJACKER BACK TO SAUDI ARABIA… NYT: ‘20th Hijacker’ Is Returned to Saudi Arabia for Mental Health Care

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — The Biden administration on Monday repatriated to Saudi Arabia for mental health care a prisoner who had been tortured so badly by U.S. interrogators that he was ruled ineligible for trial as the suspected would-be 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11 attacks.

The prisoner, Mohammed al-Qahtani, in his 40s, is the second to be transferred from the wartime prison under the administration.

A government panel recommended recently that Mr. Qahtani, who had spent 20 years at Guantánamo Bay, be released after a Navy doctor advised that he was too impaired to pose a future threat — particularly if he was sent to inpatient mental care. The doctor last year upheld an independent psychiatrist’s finding that Mr. Qahtani suffered from schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, and could not receive adequate care at the U.S. military prison. […]

The U.S. military airlifted Mr. Qahtani from remote Guantánamo on Sunday, soon after the clock ran out on the 30 days’ notice Congress requires for a detainee transfer. In an unusual move, the Saudi government did not send its own aircraft to retrieve him, which delayed the announcement of his release until the U.S. military transfer operation was complete.

Mr. Qahtani’s notoriety is linked to his attempt to enter the United States on Aug. 4, 2001, when an immigration inspector at the airport in Orlando, Fla., turned him away. U.S. authorities later discovered that he was to be met there by Mohamed Atta, a ringleader of the attacks that were carried out by 19 hijackers and killed nearly 3,000 people in four almost simultaneous hijackings the next month.

Mr. Qahtani found his way to Afghanistan and was captured along the Pakistani border in late 2001. At Guantánamo, the U.S. military isolated him while nude, disoriented and sleep-deprived in a wooden hut at Camp X-Ray in late 2002 and early 2003, and questioned him brutally and relentlessly. A senior Bush administration official later concluded that the torture made him ineligible for prosecution. Later, his lawyers disclosed that he had sustained a traumatic brain injury as a youth in Saudi Arabia and then was diagnosed with schizophrenia there, circumstances that also could have made him ineligible for trial.

 

SCOTUS JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS ONCE AGAIN CALLS FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘SCOPE OF IMMUNITY’ FOR BIG TECH COMPANIES… LAW & CRIME: Justice Clarence Thomas Calls for Supreme Court to Reevaluate ‘Proper Scope of Immunity’ for Big Tech Under Section 230

In a statement on the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in Jane Doe v. Facebook, Justice Clarence Thomas urged the justices to “address the proper scope of immunity under §230” available to internet companies.

Calls to “repeal Section 230” have become a rallying cry for conservatives who argue, as petitioners did, that §230 “has strayed far from its origins and text,” and that Big Tech needs to be reined in.

The law is a section of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 which shields internet companies acting as intermediaries from liability based on what users post. Under the current version of §230, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are not “publishers,” and are not responsible for defamation or similar claims based on user-created content that violates the law.

 

‘DEFUND’ CONGRESSWOMAN SPENDS TAXPAYER CASH ON PRIVATE SECURITY… Rep. Ayanna Pressley Spent Thousands Of Taxpayers Dollars On Private Security, House Records Show

Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who has repeatedly pushed to defund the police, spent thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on private security, according to newly released Statement of Disbursements of the House records reviewed by the Daily Caller.

The Daily Caller first reported in April 2021 that Pressley and members of the far-left group in Congress called “the Squad” spent thousands of campaign funds on private security.

According to the new Statement of Disbursements of the House records, Pressley spent $63,000 of her Member Representational Allowance (MRA) on “security service” in 2021 — spending $28,000 between Oct. 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021 and $35,000 between May 2021 and August 2021.

 

CRT FOUNDER WARNS SUPPORTERS THAT CRITICS AREN’T AFTER THE NAME, ‘THEY’RE AFTER THE SUBSTANCE’ … ‘WE THOUGHT WE COULD CONTINUE DOING IT BY CALLING IT SOMETHING ELSE…’ CHRIS RUFO: Critical race theory founder Kimberlé Crenshaw admits that the anti-CRT movement is winning the language war. “When we’re caught in a ‘is it CRT or not CRT’ [debate], they win. That’s the whole point.” (VIDEO)

 

Crenshaw fears that critical race theory will meet the same fate as the left-wing activist organization ACORN, which conservatives successfully destroyed in 2009. “You can run from the name. That’s not what they’re after. They’re after the substance.”(VIDEO)

 

LEFT SPINS ANTI-CHILD GROOMING LEGISLATION AS ‘DON’T SAY GAY’ BILL… MARY MARGARET OLOHAN: Florida’s LGBTQ Bill Is Being Wildly Misrepresented. Here Are The Facts

Florida’s HB 1557 has drawn heavy fire from LGBTQ advocates, media, and Democrats.

News outlets like CNN call HB 1557 the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” in copy, and critics of the legislation accuse Republicans of endangering LGBTQ youth by outing them to their parents or preventing them from learning about their sexuality.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his team have repeatedly pushed back on this framing. As recently as Monday, the governor tore into a reporter for misrepresenting the bill during a press briefing. […]

The bill is a response to an influx of gender ideology and sexual orientation content in classrooms across the nation exposed by conservative news outletsand grassroots organizations like Parents Defending Education.

Critics have most notably taken issue with the bill’s statement that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

 

MEDIA PARROT DEM SPIN… KAROL MARKOWICZ: Left: “we don’t like Florida’s new education bill and we call it the ‘don’t say gay’ bill.” Media: We got you.(SCREENGRABS OF HEADLINES)

 

LEFT-WING ‘EQUALITY FLORIDA’ RELEASES AD DEPICTING ORWELLIAN CENSORSHIP OF GIRL — CLEARLY OLDER THAN 3rd GRADE — WHO SAYS SHE HAS ‘TWO MOMS’ … MATT WALSH: This is the propaganda the left is pushing about the Florida bill. It bears no relation at all to the actual bill. Nothing in this ad has anything to do with the legislation. Democrats invented a fantasy and the media ran with it, as always. (VIDEO)

 

‘Gay! Gay! Gay!’: Florida Democrats Chant In Protest Of Parental Rights Bill (VIDEO)

Florida Senate Democrats engaged in a protest against a bill that would bar teachers from talking to young children about sexuality and gender identity Monday.

“Gay! Gay! Gay! My daughter’s gay,” three women could be heard chanting to the tune of “Smoke On The Water” in a video shared by Florida Senate Democrats as they walked through a crowd of cheering protesters in the Florida statehouse holding signs promoting trans and gay rights.

The protest was in response to a bill currently being considered in the Florida state legislature which would prevent teachers from discussing gender identity and sexuality with children in kindergarten through third grade. The bill, often derided by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, would impose limits on age-inappropriate discussions of sexuality in other grades.

“We’ve got one thing to say to our GOP colleagues — GAY!” Florida Senate Democrats tweeted along with the video.

 

‘GAAAAAAAAY’ … LIBS OF TIK TOK: Florida House Democrats put out this video. They literally have nothing to offer. They just walk around saying the word gay (which is not in the bill). How does anyone take these people seriously (VIDEO)

 

JOE SIMONSON: high schoolers in 2007 [handshake emoji] the democratic party … walking down the hallway yelling “gay”

 

FLASHBACK… KEN JEONG AS ‘SENOR CHANG’ ON ‘COMMUNITY’: ‘HA! GAYYYYYYY’ (VIDEO)

 

CHAOS AFTER WH PRESS BRIEFING… WH Press Corps Erupts In Protest After AP Again Lets Psaki Off The Hook Early

The White House press conference erupted in protest Monday after Associated Press (AP) reporter Josh Boak ended the briefing early.

Boak called for the end of the briefing after only 39 minutes, leading New York Post reporter Steve Nelson to stand up and tell Boak that reporters in the back rows had unanswered questions. Steve Portnoy, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA), has said it is tradition for the oldest wire service, the AP, to determine the end of the briefings whether or not other reporters have questions.

Photographs show Portnoy standing at the front of the room responding to tensions between reporters, which lasted for around six minutes.