President Biden, propelled by a conviction that the 21st century will be defined by competition between "democracy vs. autocracy," convened his second "Summit for Democracy" this week and invited the leaders of more than 100 countries to discuss human rights, confronting authoritarianism and lessening corruption. The invite list includes over half of the countries recognized by the United Nations, and there are complex differences between the democracies present. "I think the Biden administration has taken a big-tent approach, and there is merit to that," said Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, executive vice president of Freedom House, a nonprofit research group that monitors and advocates for democracy around the world. "But for me, the bigger question is, can they use this opportunity to galvanize change within all of the countries that are attending and find unity to push for a global community that is more democratic." Freedom House's March report, "Freedom in the World," scores how … [Read more...] about How democratic are the countries at Biden’s democracy summit?
Manchin, facing reelection, ratchets up criticism of Biden on energy, fiscal policy
Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) is ratcheting up criticism of President Biden, castigating him for refusing to sit down with "fiscally minded" Republicans to negotiate over the nation's debt limit and accusing him of allowing "unelected ideologues" in his administration to thwart the will of Congress on energy policy. Manchin, who has not yet said whether he will run for reelection next year in a state that Biden lost to President Donald Trump by nearly 39 percentage points, laid out several of his grievances with Biden in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Wednesday night. "Mr. Biden was elected to lead us all to solve problems," Manchin wrote. "We can't allow them to be made worse by ignoring them. The president has the power, today, to direct his administration to follow the law, as well as to sit down with congressional leaders and negotiate meaningful, serious reforms to the federal budget." "Failing to do so may score political points with left-wing partisans, but … [Read more...] about Manchin, facing reelection, ratchets up criticism of Biden on energy, fiscal policy
House GOP to pass energy package with eye on gas prices, 2024
House Republicans are expected to pass legislation Thursday that would increase oil drilling and mining on public lands and waters, defying President Biden's climate agenda and fulfilling a campaign promise to focus on lowering gasoline prices ahead of the 2024 election. The sprawling 175-page package, known as the Lower Energy Costs Act, would slash some environmental regulations and reinstate suspended oil and gas leases. It also would repeal parts of the Democrats' landmark climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act. While the House is poised to approve the measure along party lines, it is not expected to become law. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said the package will be "dead on arrival" in the Democratic-controlled Senate, while Biden has said he would veto the measure if it reached his desk. But Republicans believe the bill will send a potent message to voters that they kept a midterm election promise to lower gas prices, which spiked after … [Read more...] about House GOP to pass energy package with eye on gas prices, 2024
Fox lawsuit highlights effects of conspiracies on Dominion
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 6 PHOENIX (AP) — In Arizona’s most populous county, elected officials are bracing for what could happen when it comes time to replace its $2 million-a-year contract for voting equipment. Officials in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, say they have no concerns about their current vendor, Dominion Voting Systems. The problem is that the company has been ensnared in a web of conspiracy theories since the 2020 presidential election that have undermined public confidence in U.S. elections among conservative voters, led to calls to ban voting machines in some places and triggered death threats against election officials across the country. “I have concerns over my own personal security if we re-enlist Dominion,” Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican elected in 2020, said in a court filing. “It went from a company that nobody had heard about to a … [Read more...] about Fox lawsuit highlights effects of conspiracies on Dominion