Want Lower Rent? Build More Housing And Scrap Zoning Restrictions

The average rent in America is about $1,700 — an expensive monthly rate for the typical family. Yet, in some states, rents can be much higher, harming the poor and created de facto segregation within cities. For instance, the average rents in New York and California are $2,500 and $2,800 respectively. Why? One of the largest culprits is zoning laws.

In New York, California, and many other cities and states, it’s illegal to construct a building of a certain height unless it’s in a particular area, or sometimes not at all. Ultimately, such policies prevent the creation of high-density buildings as well as the increased availability that leads to more housing and thereby lower rents for everyone.

One pertinent study from economist Andreas Mense of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg found that a 1 percent increase in the amount of housing led to a between 0.4 percent to 0.7 percent decrease in rents for people in the area. Under these numbers, a theoretical doubling of the amount of housing in places like California and New York would lead to rent reductions of between 40 percent and 70 percent. California’s average rent would go from $2,800 to between $1,680 to $840 — a reduction of between $1,120 to $1,960. For its part, in such a scenario, New York would see a decrease of between $1,000 and $1,750.

Furthermore, such effects would likely stimulate the economy via newfound disposable income. Using New York City as an example, where 2.1 million homes are rented, the scenario envisioned above would create between $2.1 and $3.68 billion in disposable income, leading to thousands of new jobs as people spend money while leading to more products being made to meet increased demand in return.

A paper by Xiaodi Li at New York University offers different numbers but still points to decreases. Based in New York City, it shows that for every 10 percent increase in the housing stock, rents decrease by 1 percent within the 500 feet vicinity. New York zoning regulations, however, mandate certain areas a building can be and certain heights that building can be. New York City has a limited amount of space and zoning laws like this prevent that space from being fully realized.

San Francisco is perhaps one of the worst places when it comes to rents because of its zoning laws. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $3,500 and $4,300 for the median across all homes. Its NIMBYs (pro-zoning law advocates often half-affectionately shorthanded as “Not In My Backyard”) are winning elections, securing appointments, and halting high-density developments, keeping out San Francisco’s poor—a sizable share of whom are black Americans.

High rents as a result of these zoning laws lead to segregation. Indeed, a Berkeley study found that while now more than 50 years removed after the Civil Rights Act, the San Francisco Bay Area is still segregated. Worse, most counties in the region are more segregated now than in 1980. The study’s findings also revealed that zoning laws like single-family zoning are explicitly classist and are often used for racist reasons.

Some, especially modern leftists like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., back rent controls that set a price-ceiling on rents, foolhardily believing this will lower costs. The unavoidable problem, however, is that rent controls reduce the amount of housing instead of the rent. Under rent-controlled environments, landlords simply exit markets, builders cease new apartment construction or turn rentals into condos, while owners will defer maintenance. In the end, as Forbes notes, this leads to fewer housing units and lower quality apartments.

The way to reduce high rental rates is not through artificial rent controls that lead to deteriorating apartments, fewer apartments, and rentals becoming condos. It is not through zoning laws that keep out the poor and minorities and lead to modern-day segregation. The way to reduce rents is to build more housing, abolish exclusionary zoning laws like single-family zoning, and allow the principles of the free enterprise system to provide the necessary solution to the rent plague.

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What’s Inside The Gender-Bending Picture Books In Your Children’s Library

Have you visited the children’s section of a public library or bookstore lately? You may be surprised by some of the books you find there. LGBT activists are aggressively presenting their ideology in books across the children’s genres: picture books, easy readers, and biographies.

For example, in “BunnyBear,” a cub feels like a bunny on the inside, so he is encouraged to embrace his bunny identity. In “Worm Loves Worm,” two worms get married. The dilemma? Guests wonder which will wear the tux and which wear the dress. And in “Jack not Jackie,” the message to readers is choose your gender, do what feels right for you.

The target age for these books? Ages 4–8. Surprised? It gets worse.

LGBTQ activists seek to indoctrinate even younger children in ABC books such as “The GayBC’s” by M. L. Webb. “B is for bi,” “G is for gay,” and “L is for lesbian.” The text that follows these entries explicitly supports LGBT behavior. After “B is for bi,” readers are told, “You can shout it out loud. I like boys and girls, and that makes me proud.”

The letter T “is for trans” and the text reads, “It’s a brave step to take to live as the gender you know is innate.” These explanations suggest that these feelings are not only normal but also admirable and desirable.

Think the books listed are exceptions? They’re not. When blogger and teacher Allison McDonald created a list of books in 2013 that promote LGBT families and their lifestyle, she named nine titles. In a 2020 post, she listed 72 books that promote the LGBT ideology.

She celebrates that her updated list contains titles for a broad range of ages, from board books to tween chapter books. She says, “LGBTQ children and their families deserve to be represented, celebrated, and included in all parts of life, including all bookshelves and storytimes.” I wonder if she equally supports traditional families and their values.

In the post, she shames those who “make these books ‘a sensitive subject’ to only be discussed at home.” She also asserts that if such topics are not promoted at school, we are teaching “our children that these topics are shameful, that these books are taboo, and in turn that the families and people portrayed in them are.”

Whatever happened to the conviction that parents know what is best for their children? Apparently, only professional educators can determine what children should and should not be taught.

McDonald is also not alone. Thousands of teachers across the nation are promoting LGBT ideology. Founded in 1990 by a group of teachers, the mission of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) is “to ensure that every member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”

With “43 chapters in 30 states,” this national network is “more than 1.5 million strong.” They declare that “it’s never too early for schools to set up a foundation of understanding and respect.”

Among best practices for classroom educators they recommend: “read LGBTQ-inclusive picture books” and “ensure that any lessons on families have examples of LGBTQ-headed families.” They also give guidelines for handling “pushback” from parents and community leaders.

GLSEN tells teachers to “avoid using to gender to separate students” and to promote “gender-inclusive language” by using their educator resources and pronoun lessons. As one New York preschool teacher said, “Everybody has the right to choose their own gender by listening to their own heart and mind. Everyone gets to choose if they are a boy or girl or both or neither or something else, and no one gets to choose for them.”

Why is it dangerous for our children to be exposed to these ideologies? Consider these sobering facts presented by Drs. Michelle Cretella, Quentin Van Meter, and Paul McHugh of the American College of Pediatrics:

  • Puberty-blocking hormones “induce a state of disease—the absence of puberty—and inhibit growth and fertility in a previously biologically healthy child.”
  • “According to the DSM-5, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.”
  • Children who take puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones “will never be able to conceive any genetically related children even via artificial reproductive technology.”
  • For both children and adults, cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

Our culture aggressively warns children and teens against substance abuse, yet it promotes behavior that can lead to these serious physical and psychological issues. Even besides these serious health consequences, we also know an overwhelming number of children outgrow gender confusion, so pushing confusion is both unhealthy and unnecessary.

The more children are exposed to a one-sided view of gender and sexual orientation, the less likely they are to approach these critical issues with a balanced, healthy viewpoint. For example, although the estimated LGBT population hovers around 4.5 percent of the total U.S. population, almost 16 percent of those aged 18–23 identify as LGBT. Why?

“Perhaps,” as Michael Brown suggests, “the disproportionate representation (and celebration of) LGBT characters on TV and Hollywood and comic books, not to mention the talking points in children’s schools, contributed to this misconception.”

Kids and teens long to be viewed as cool and popular. They want to stand out in the crowd. If you combine all the media attention showered on LGBT behavior with public education’s promotion, is it any wonder so many kids struggle with gender identity and express a desire to change their gender or sexual orientation?

What can you do? If your children attend public school, find out what curriculum your school district uses. Volunteer in your local public library or the library at your child’s school. Ask your child’s teacher if you can participate in storytime, then choose to read a book that promotes your values.

Check the recommended or required reading list for your child’s grade level. Read the books your children are reading at school and discuss questionable content with them. Ask open-ended questions about self-worth, gender, and identity. Listen to their thoughts and feelings, then express your values and why you hold them.

You’re still the most influential person in your child’s life. Don’t hand that privilege to anyone else.

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A Pandemic And Power Failures Made Prepping Every Smart Person’s Strategy

In February, a winter storm stranded 4 million Texans without power, heat, or access to water and supplies for days. With many roads frozen, residents struggled to survive. At least 111 Americans perished from hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, vehicular crashes, and house fires. As a result, no fewer than seven House proposals in Texas seek to “prevent [electrical grid] breakdowns from ever happening again.”

Unfortunately, as the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated, reactive legislation can’t mitigate the immediate effects of unpredictability. The government could not offset the economic impacts of shutdowns, which hit Americans hard. Grocery shortages spawned by panic-buying demonstrated the fragility of supply chains under duress.

Yet some were prepared for the pandemic’s upheaval, and the weather-related devastation in Texas. An estimated 3.7 million American “preppers” guarded against uncertainty by accumulating stockpiles of necessities and creating contingency plans to survive in a variety of emergency circumstances.

Preppers were enthusiastically mocked for their inclination to preparedness — and their affection for firearms — when they went primetime in National Geographic Channel’s “Doomsday Preppers” and Discovery Channel’s “Doomsday Bunkers.” New York Times critic Neil Genzlinger found the shows were “full of contempt for humankind.” “What an easy target,” he wrote, “the prepper worldview is for ridicule.”

Most in the legacy media painted preparedness as a sort of madness inspired by a “doomsday” fixation. According to Morgan Rogue, of Rogue Preparedness, however, the purpose of preparedness is to have plans for an uncontrollable future. “Conquer tomorrow,” she says, “by preparing today.”

Recent events showed Americans that having solid preparedness protocols in place is more logical than relying on the government, the supply chain, or even private industry during emergencies. For those looking to gather the right knowledge and equipment to help themselves survive the unexpected, Rogue shares common-sense strategies to help beginners stockpile food and water, survive without electricity in heat or cold, and create the plans and mindset that will help them react to incoming dangers or adverse conditions at a moment’s notice.

Stockpiling Food and Water

First, Rogue says it is “essential” to accumulate a store of food and water. “Three days’ worth of food is the absolute minimum,” she explains, but “ideally two weeks or more is better.” Yet she also warns against “go[ing] into debt or mak[ing] yourself broke just to be prepared. Preparedness is supposed to be an asset, not a hindrance.”

To ensure your stockpile is adequate, make a meal plan based on the food you expect to store. This can curtail any “aimless” purchasing, and gives you “a vision and goal … to spend your time and money more wisely.”

To accommodate a budget of even as little as five dollars per month, Rogue suggests grabbing a few gallons of water and several extra non-perishable items on every trip to the grocery store. These purchases “add up very quickly.” Back home, organize those supplies so they are easily accessible and identifiable.

For those stockpiling in a small living space, Rogue suggests storing supplies under the bed or in stacked containers inside closets. Stacks of supply containers, covered with a tablecloth or blanket, can even double as makeshift furniture. In small spaces, some water can be stored in the freezer and the refrigerator. At the first sign of alarm, Rogue also advises filling up all available pots, bathtubs, and sinks for adequate long-term water access.

Apartment-dwellers can even grow their own food. Rogue suggests focusing on growing vegetables in containers, using grow lights, or even growing microgreens or sprouts.

Surviving Without Power

If it fits your budget, buy a generator that can work with either gas or propane to prepare for power outages. Propane, Rogue says, “is easier to store than gas.” Gas can be stored for “about a year” with proper fuel stabilization, so long as it is rotated regularly. Solar generators or solar panels provide an alternative option.

If you rely on an electrical medical device every day, you may look into battery power banks, which can be used with USB devices, or solar generators, which generally work with items that require plugs. If your devices work on battery power, keep extra rechargeable batteries on hand.

To stay warm in cold weather, Rogue recommends investing in a propane heater, like a Buddy Heater. To retain warmth in the home, she suggests “staying in one room,” preferably near a fireplace, propane or natural gas oven, or wood stove. To keep heat in, cover windows with blackout curtains or heavy blankets, wear layers, “use lots of blankets and drink warm liquids.”

During a summer power loss, keep hydrated and stay in the shade. Blackout curtains can keep a house cooler during the day while opening windows will let in cool air at night. Rogue also recommends “battery-operated fans with a foldable solar panel and rechargeable batteries,” or an above-ground pool or a baby pool filled with water to stay cool.

Rogue reminds those interested in getting prepared that carbon monoxide poisoning, which kills 430 Americans each year, is a concern when using generators, heaters, or grills. Furthermore, while a carbon monoxide detector is an asset, it may not be effective if it is far from the source of emissions.

To operate a generator safely, Rogue advises it be used “outside, at least 20-50 feet away from any windows or doors, with an extension cord to reach your home.” Finally, grills should always be used outdoors, and propane camp stoves should be used outdoors, or near an open window.

Making Plans to ‘Bug Out’

Disaster may arrive with little notice and require a quick evacuation from the home. This is why many preparedness experts have a “bug-out bag,” a bag packed with the necessities evacuees will need to survive for 72 hours while traveling to a safe location.

Rogue says that making an evacuation plan is the first step of creating a bug-out bag, as the contents of your bag will reflect where you plan to escape. If you bug out to a park, for instance, you might need a tent, while those planning to head to a hotel will need currency to cover their stay.

When filling the bag, Rogue says it is best to “look at your daily needs,” and consider the “food, water, shelter, first aid, tools, cooking, extra clothing,” and items like electrical chargers and medicine you will need when away from home. If you have pets, don’t forget to think about their needs as well.

Many use a sturdy backpack as their bug-out bag. Rogue says a “travel roller bag or a tote” can also be effective.

The Preparedness Mindset

Several intangibles, like one’s mindset, are important when preparing for the unexpected. Indeed, as Rogue relays, the aftermath of a disaster is “usually the hardest thing to deal with.” Those with a strong mind can “focus, quickly de-stress, and help others” during times of uncertainty. Additionally, because some emergencies can test a person’s physical endurance, Rogue advocates for getting at least 10-30 minutes of exercise per day.

Finally, Rogue encourages parents to make preparedness a “part of family life,” without making it a large “theatrical” production. As the mother of two children, she “leads by example,” using “logical terms” to explain simple activities to her children, and getting them involved with growing food in the garden and filling emergency kits.

The preparedness lifestyle does not have to be all-consuming. “Preparedness,” she says, “is a journey, not a race.” Those looking to learn more can find a wealth of information on Rogue’s website, Instagram, YouTube channel, and Rogue Preparedness Academy.

The past twelve months of market fluctuation and supply chain instability, and the recent power failures in Texas, have proved that it is foolhardy to rely on familiar, large institutions during times of upheaval and natural disaster. By taking cues from the practical and self-reliant, and with the right skills, equipment, and stores of necessities, when the next disaster strikes, Americans can meet future uncertainty with confidence.

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The Tragedy Of Khloé Kardashian’s Image Freakout

Khloé Kardashian, a woman with virtually unlimited financial resources, was so bothered by an untouched picture of herself that she aggressively pursued people who reposted it, releasing a lengthy explanation and an Instagram Live that suggested she’s so damaged by public dissection of her body, she craves total control of her image. The dust-up was headline news in the pop culture world all week.

Piers Morgan compared the Photoshopping and Facetuning Khloé uses to fake news, arguing it hurts girls. Snooki, meanwhile, asked Twitter followers this week to send pictures of her worst looks so she could explain them. It was hilarious.

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Staff Editor Madeline Osburn and Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky break down the controversy below.

Emily Jashinsky: Is there anything to that juxtaposition of Snooki and Khloé?

Madeline Osburn: I have no sympathy for Khloé’s complaints about having to “live up to the impossible standards” set for her when she is, quite literally, creating those impossible standards for everyone by posting Photoshopped images and scrubbing the internet of photos she doesn’t like. The argument that the toxic Instagram culture hurts girls is an obvious one but still worth pointing out, as more and more girls and young women are pursuing Instagram influencer as a serious career path.

The juxtaposition of Khloé and Snooki is a good example of two different ways that pursuit can end. You either let your sizeable following convince you that you must be a compelling protagonist who is occasionally attacked by the mob for heroic pursuits, or you use the pseudo-celebrity to make money and laugh at yourself and the absurdity of it all.

EJ: You make a good point about how this is essentially a vicious cycle: By reacting to society’s ostensibly cruel standards with perfection, she’s reinforcing them.

I thought her statement was interesting to the extent it revealed how deeply the early days of Kardashian fame wounded her, when she was constantly mocked as the big Kardashian and the different sister. I get it. But while it may be personally cathartic for her to obsessively use Facetune and Photoshop, it’s self-defeating for society more broadly in that she’s actually empowering the impossible standards of perfection she opposes.

Joan Rivers predicated her vicious celebrity comedy on the argument that rich and famous people should be able to take a joke at their own expense. Nevertheless, it was a little troubling for Rivers to be confronted by Elizabeth Taylor in the flesh, knowing her jabs had landed personally. That, of course, didn’t stop her — and thank goodness it didn’t. But the Rivers mentality is clearly what Snooki embraces.

On the one hand, it’s totally understandable that Khloé would be hurt by the public criticism, but on the other hand, it’s mystifying to imagine having all the resources in the world and not being able to muster some Snooki energy in making peace with reality.

MO: It’s mystifying that after all the intense drama and scrutiny Khloé has faced as part of being in the world’s most famous family, she couldn’t handle a photo with bad lighting. She’s right that the media has treated her horribly for years. So this incident really highlights that she can deal with rumors about having a different dad or the father of the child she’s carrying publicly cheating on her, but not the leaking of a bikini pic.

It’s very odd, and I think that’s why this story has been so widely talked about, and for an entire week. It’s really a non-story, but her reaction to it made it the whole story. Some Snooki energy would have saved her a lot of time and money and grief.

EJ: It’s also interesting because Khloé has always sort of been admired for her psychological grit, after going through everything with Lamar and Tristan and fertility and generally being seen as the odd sister out. But isn’t she the most likable Kardashian? I mean, I’ll admit her statement actually did induce some sympathy, just thinking about how much it would suck for anyone, even a multimillionaire, to have a chunk of the entire world thinking they’re fat and dumb and talking smack about them. But it makes me sad that after all these years, and with all of her resources, Khloé still can’t absolutely own her actual body.

In the statement, she totally owned up to loving the digital touch-ups, so I can at least give her some credit for that, almost like a digital version of Dolly Parton joking, “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.” But Khloé isn’t joking. She can’t see the humor in it. And that seems kind of tragic for someone so privileged.

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Yosemite National Park Cites COVID-19 To Limit Number Of Summer Visitors

Yosemite National Park will require visitors to obtain day-use reservations to enter this summer citing the coronavirus pandemic. The reservation system will go into effect May 21 and will last through the peak summer season to Sept. 30.

“The health and safety of park visitors, employees, and partners continues to be our number one priority,” the park service said in a press release Thursday announcing the decision, despite a lack of any data that shows widespread danger of outdoor viral transmission.

In fact, highly ventilated outdoor spaces with fresh air and ultraviolet light make for the safest circumstances to deter spread of the novel Wuhan coronavirus. Yosemite however, among the nation’s most prominent parks will again remain closed and off-limits to those without temporary day-use permits required for all pass holders just as it was last year.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park and Montana’s Glacier National Park each also announced the implementation of reservation systems this summer.

The new restrictions come as domestic travel is expected to spike as the nation’s economy recovers and more American adults become eligible for vaccination by May. Airline traffic is already on the rise. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), more than 1,580,785 individuals were screened at airport checkpoints on April 2, the highest number of screenings in any single day since March of last year.

While the National Parks Service has consistently reported upwards of more than three-hundred million visitors each year since 2015, only less than 240 million visits were recorded in 2020.

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Biden Orders Commission To Study How Democrats Can Pack The Supreme Court

President Joe Biden issued an executive order Friday directing a commission of 36 scholars, former judges, lawyers, and others led by a former Obama adviser to evaluate expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

The reportedly bipartisan commission has 180 days to provide a study to Biden examining and outlining “the genesis of the reform debate, the Court’s role in the Constitutional system, the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court” as well as “the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.”

“The Commission’s purpose is to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform, including an appraisal of the merits and legality of particular reform proposals,” the White House said in a statement.

Despite Biden’s previous refusal to admit that he wants to pack the courts and the corporate press’s inability to pressure him further on his position, the Democrat has faced mounting pressure from progressives to take action and power away from what they see as a conservative-controlled judicial body. During his time on the campaign trail, Biden signaled that Court reform was a priority at the top of his agenda because the system is “getting out of whack.”

Left-leaning Justice Stephen Breyer expressed caution over a politically motivated increase in the number of justices on the Supreme Court this week because he said it would undermine the judicial branch’s “legal principle.”

“I hope and expect that the court will retain its authority,” he said. “But that authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust, a trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics. Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust.”

Late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a similar warning against expanding the Court in 2016 because she said it could damage judicial integrity.

“It’s important that the Supreme Court is able to resolve conflicts among other courts about what the federal law is. That’s why eight is not a good number,” Ginsburg explained. “If we’re unable to decide the question, you can have one federal law in one area of the country and the opposite federal law in another part of the country.”

Republican legislators also spoke out against Biden’s commission and warned that Biden’s decision should be anything but a surprise because Democrats have signaled a need for change for years.

“Of course, this is just another example of the liberal preference for attacking norms and institutions, rather than working within them,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “When Democrats lose a floor vote, it’s time to change Senate rules. When they lose a presidential election, it’s time to abolish the Electoral College. And when activists’ cases fall flat against the rule of law, it’s time to ignore Justices Ginsburg and Breyer and pack the Supreme Court.”

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The Media’s Obsession With Identity Politics Is Warping Everything

On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, Author and Washington Examiner commentary writer Eddie Scarry joins Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech and Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss how the corporate media’s obsession with identity politics, especially race, is warping how people think about everything.

“The media has talked about race for a very long time and that’s just something they obsess over,” Scarry said. “What I have seen of late is just this out and out lie…Almost everything the media says about race, the exact opposite is true.”

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It’s important, Scarry said, for politicians and others to be ready to call out journalists, celebrities, and others who repeatedly twist narratives to accomplish an agenda.

“There [are] forces in the media and in the culture of Hollywood. Understand that that threat is looming always to call you a racist or to call you a bigot or to call you anti-women, sexist, anti-gay, anti-trans person, whatever,” he explained. “There is an understandable fear to that. However, these people are not elected. [Politicians] are elected for a reason: to be standing up to these forces and say we’re not, you know, I’m going to do the job that the average person can’t do.”

Listen here:



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The Biden Border Bonanza Cost Taxpayers $60 Million A Week To Shelter Migrant Children

The Biden administration’s efforts to house a growing, record number of illegal unaccompanied minors is costing the U.S. $60 million per week, the Washington Post reports.

As it currently stands, President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services is caring for more than 16,000 illegal minors who are divvied up between emergency and permanent shelters around the U.S. Each of the detained children and teenagers in permanent facilities cost the administration approximately $300 per day to house, clothe, feed, and educate. The 8,500 kids in pop-up emergency shelters, and the 4,000 waiting to be transferred in, are costing the U.S. approximately $775 per day.

“The cost of these emergency sites is more than 2½ times higher than the more-permanent shelters ‘due to the need to develop facilities quickly and hire significant staff over a short period of time,’” Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for HHS’s Administration for Children and Families told the Washington Post.

Since the border crisis began after Biden assumed office, the administration commissioned at least 10 emergency shelters, some “converted oil worker camps and on military bases,” to accommodate the thousands of children crossing the border by themselves. Cities in border states such as Texas have turned convention centers into makeshift shelters for HHS and nonprofit organizations contracted by the government to use while others are forced to stay in tents, costing an extra $16 million per month.

Many of these young kids and teens in these facilities stay for an average of a month bringing the total bill for their care to approximately $24,000 each, some of which was funded by millions of dollars of provisions in Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID spending bill.

While it is clear that costs for housing and other migrant services will continue to rise as the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border also skyrocket between 22,000 to 26,000 illegal children per month, staffing is also becoming an issue for the Biden administration. The government is now asking federal employees to work 12-hour shifts in shelters that may require people to “walk long distances along steep, rugged terrain and respond quickly to life-threatening situations.”

This report follows news that U.S. Customs and Border Protection took more than 172,000 illegal aliens into custody in March, making it the busiest month for the agency in more than 20 years and a number that is expected to grow in coming months.

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For Hating Trump So Much, Biden Sure Is Cloning A Bunch Of His Successful Policies

President Joe Biden ran on a platform that condemned former President Donald Trump as unfit, embarrassing, and reckless, but while Biden might complain that Trump will “go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents,” his administration appears to be using the Republican’s decisions, policies, and stances to inform their own.

Here are some of the ways the Biden administration is embracing Trump’s actions and policies despite their professed vehement opposition to the former administration.

COVID Vaccines

Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain was quick to claim the Democratic administration was “inheriting a huge mess” when it came to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, but that didn’t stop the president from relying on the campaign created for him by Trump’s Operation Warp Speed to ensure he reached his goal of distributing 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office.

Trump had similar vaccination goals and implementation plans regarding states, but the Republican’s efforts to popularize and facilitate the vaccine rollout was booed and written off by the corporate media as “disastrous,” “a mess,” and a “dismal failure.” Biden’s efforts, however, were hailed as “ambitious” and a “big goal” even though the United States was well on its way to accomplishing millions of doses distributed before he was inaugurated. Shortly after Biden assumed office, the country was administering more than a million vaccine doses a day.

As of Thursday, 940,000 shots a day were administered on average over a seven-day period, according to data from the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. The most recent two days topped a million doses.

Border Wall

Biden was quick to pull back some of Trump’s biggest immigration reforms including issuing an executive order on his first day in office that terminated funding for a border wall. Now that the border crisis created by Biden’s rhetoric and policies is growing at rapid, record-breaking rates, the president’s administration is reconsidering some of his predecessor’s approaches to curb illegal crossings, including finishing parts of the border wall.

Despite the White House’s promises to handle the “border challenge” differently than Trump, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas signaled that the Biden administration is considering resuming border wall construction to address “gaps,” “gates,” and even areas “where the wall has been completed but the technology has not been implemented.”

Building a border wall was a big part of Trump’s campaign platform and was quickly made a priority on his list of things to do while in office. Just five days after he arrived at White House in 2017, the Republican issued an executive order directing the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

China and Foreign Policy

It was long after Biden assumed office that his Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted to the Senate that Trump was right to crack down on China. While Blinken said he “disagreed” with how the Republican president handled some things, he also acknowledged that a “tougher approach to China” was the “right one” for American foreign policy.

He also praised the president for orchestrating peace between Israel and other countries in the Middle East, despite his own office’s downplaying of it later.

“I think there are a number of things, from where I sat, that the Trump administration did beyond our borders that I would applaud,” Blinken said.

Tariffs

While some Democrats frowned on the Trump administration’s use of tariffs, especially those imposed on China, Biden’s Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo recently told reporters that some of Trump’s tariffs “have in fact helped save American jobs in steel and aluminum industries.”

“What do we do with tariffs? We have to level the playing field,” Raimondo said. “China’s actions are uncompetitive, coercive, underhanded — they’ve proven they’ll do whatever it takes.”

The Biden administration also defended Trump’s tariffs in March after some corporations argued they “illegally increased the number of Chinese goods subject to duties under Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974.”

“The Court should not interpose” on the issue, the Biden administration stated in a legal brief.

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Scientists Called BS On The WHO’s Bogus COVID Origins Report, And China Isn’t Happy

The Chinese Foreign Ministry attacked World Health Organization (WHO) advisory committee member Jamie Metzl because he published an open letter Wednesday calling out the WHO’s COVID-19 origins report for being full of factual inaccuracies.

The letter, co-organized by Metzl and signed by 23 other scientists, highlights 12 statements that were incorrect, disputed, contradictory, or imprecise in the WHO and Chinese joint report on the origins of the pandemic. (Metzl’s questions and concerns may have been addressed by the panel of investigators if the WHO didn’t give reporters only 30 minutes to review the 123-page report on the origins of the Wuhan virus before last week’s press conference.)

The WHO report “failed to reach some of the most basic standards of credible analysis and assessment,” the scientists said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian blasted Metzl and the other scientists, saying, “By blatantly questioning the independence and research conclusions of real scientists, they will not only cripple international cooperation on origin tracing, but also undercut global anti-epidemic efforts.”

The only setback in the investigation, Lijian claimed, is it was tainted by the United States and other countries that are “bent on politicizing the origin-tracing issue in an attempt to disrupt China’s cooperation with WHO and discredit China.” Lijian added that China has been commended for its “openness and transparency,” by the joint Chinese and WHO investigation team.

Far from open and transparent, the Chinese government demanded total control over all research into the pandemic’s origins. The WHO gave China veto power over scientists selected to be on the panel of investigators. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced on March 19 that Chinese experts received the English version of the WHO report two days prior to its public debut because, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its release “depend[ed] on discussions between Chinese & international experts.”

The WHO’s report downplayed the theory that COVID-19 could have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China. Even before the report was released, WHO investigators were insisting the virus did not originate from a lab. There is substantial evidence indicating some of the investigators are compromised by China (besides the fact that they are Chinese-approved). Some appear to have a personal interest in not giving any credit to the Wuhan lab-leak theory since it would harm their own scientific research and business dealings.

Metzl’s open letter calls for a new probe into the origins of the pandemic that strips China and any other government of veto power over the scientists selected to investigate the pandemic’s origins. The letter also asks for whistleblower protections to ensure Chinese scientists can “share relevant information without fear of retribution.” Metzl said it was “truly unfortunate” China chose to “obfuscate & deflect” from the criticisms and concerns he laid out in the open letter.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday that the WHO’s report “lacks crucial data, it lacks information, and it lacks access. It represents a picture that is partial and, in our view, incomplete.” Price added his concerns were shared by countries around the world, pointing to a joint statement the U.S. government released with 13 other democracies the day the WHO’s origin report was released, expressing “shared concerns” over China’s influence on the report.

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