Thomas Catenacci


The Trump administration officially withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty, a 2002 agreement to promote military transparency signed by more than 30 countries including Russia.

The Department of State said Sunday that the U.S. had officially withdrawn from the Open Skies Treaty, which went into effect nearly two decades ago. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both announced on May 21 that the U.S. intended to exit the agreement, according to The Associated Press.

“The United States exercised its right pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article XV of the Treaty on Open Skies by providing notice to the Treaty Depositaries and to all States Parties of its decision to withdraw from the Treaty, effective six months from the notification date,” State Department spokesperson Cale Brown said in a statement Sunday.

Pompeo said that the continued U.S. involvement in Open Skies was untenable because of Russia’s continued violations of the treaty in a May statement. He added that the U.S. has consistently lived up to its commitments in the agreements.

President Donald Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin shake hands before a meeting in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

“Russia’s implementation and violation of Open Skies, however, has undermined this central confidence-building function of the Treaty — and has, in fact, fueled distrust and threats to our national security — making continued U.S. participation untenable,” Pompeo said.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and went into effect in 2002, according to the Arms Control Association. It promotes transparency by allowing all members to conduct unarmed reconnaissance flights over other members’ territories to examine military movements and activities.

The agreement allows all members access to “confidence-building” intelligence since the data a country collects on another must be shared with the other members, according to the Brookings Institution.

“Russia has for many years imposed flight restrictions inconsistent with the Treaty, including flight limitations over Kaliningrad, and restricting flights in Russia near its border with Georgia,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a May statement.

However, NATO remained committed to the treaty, Stoltenberg said.

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and several other Democratic senators questioned the legality of the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the treaty in a June letter. The senators admitted that the treaty has been “imperfect,” but said it has still had a positive impact.

“I strongly believe that President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Treaty is a violation of domestic law,” Menendez said Sunday, according to The Hill.

Author: Thomas Catenacci

Source: Daily Caller: Trump Pulls Out Of Military Transparency Treaty With Russia, Europe

  • Vice President Joe Biden’s plans, ranging from health care and social security to climate and infrastructure, would far exceed projected tax increases, according to a Manhattan Institute report.
  • “The policies he’s proposing are going to endanger the economy over the long term,” Brian Riedl, Manhattan Institute senior fellow and author of the report, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • Both Riedl and American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Kyle Pomerleau warned that the U.S. will need to reckon with the debt that it has been accumulating over the past two decades.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s economic proposals would increase federal spending by $11 trillion over the next 10 years, increasing the deficit and potentially leading the U.S. toward a debt crisis, experts said.

Vice President Joe Biden’s plans, ranging from health care and social security to climate and infrastructure, would far exceed projected tax increases, according to an October 2020 Manhattan Institute budget report. With tax revenue projected to increase by $3.6 trillion over ten years under Biden, his administration would oversee a deficit increase of $7.4 trillion by 2030.

“The policies he’s proposing are going to endanger the economy over the long term,” Brian Riedl, Manhattan Institute senior fellow and author of the report, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

He continued: “$4 trillion in new taxes, which is the biggest tax increase since the end of World War II, as well as $11 trillion in new spending, certainly more regulation, a higher minimum wage. All of that is going to weaken the economy.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a drive-in campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

The largest line item in Biden’s spending proposals is the $2.4 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, the coronavirus stimulus package Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have endorsed, according to Riedl’s report. Biden’s proposed $2 trillion climate and infrastructure initiative and $1.5 trillion health care expansion would also increase spending significantly.

Biden said in an Oct. 25 “60 Minutes” interview that raising corporate tax rates would pay for his plan to make state college free, according to The Annenberg Public Policy Center. Riedl estimated Biden’s college and post-secondary education plan would cost $750 billion.

“If we just made every corporation pay a minimum 15% tax, you got 91 pay no tax, that raises over $400 billion,” Biden said, according to The Annenberg Public Policy Center. “I can send every single qualified person to a four-year college in their state for $150 billion. I can make sure every single person who qualifies for community college can go, and we still have a lot of money left over.”

The Biden campaign corrected the presidential candidate’s statement following the interview, admitting he significantly underestimated the cost of his free college plan, The Annenberg Public Policy Center reported.

Riedl estimated Biden’s ten-year spending using figures projected by Biden’s campaign website, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and the Congressional Budget Office. Brookings Institution and Urban Institute projected a tax revenue increase estimate similar to the one used by Riedl.

“The longer term plan of Biden’s would increase spending quite a bit and he’s not raising enough revenue to totally offset the new spending,” American Enterprise Institute (AEI) resident fellow Kyle Pomerleau told the DCNF.

Pomerleau said the $11 trillion spending projection is a “broad understanding” of Biden’s proposals, adding that spending could come in lower. He also projected Biden’s tax plan to raise $2.8 trillion over 10 years, less than the projection Riedl cited, in an AEI report published on Oct. 13.

President Donald Trump speaks during a presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images)

Both Riedl and Pomerleau warned that the U.S. will need to reckon with the debt that it has been accumulating over the past two decades whether Biden’s policies are enacted or not. The federal debt was $27.2 trillion as of Sunday, according to the U.S. Debt Clock.

“It’s absolutely unsustainable,” Riedl told the DCNF. “The danger is that eventually the interest costs will bury us. When you borrow that much money, all it takes is a small increase in interest rates to completely bury the federal budget.”

The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the U.S. will borrow $104 trillion over the next 30 years, according to Riedl. That estimation assumes no new spending and is based on projections of interest rates, which could increase.

“Regardless of whether Biden passes any of his policies and spending policies, the debt path of the U.S. government is, at least under current projections, unsustainable,” Pomerleau told the DCNF.

“At some point in the future, debt payments, or the accumulation of debt, could crowd out the economy,” Pomerleau continued. “Increasing the debt, whether it’s through tax cuts, or through spending increases, would accelerate that.”

A man waits at a bus stop that displays the national debt of the United States on June 19 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

The debt has increased about 36% since President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, according to The Balance. The deficit has stayed under $1 trillion every year during Trump’s presidency, but is projected to ballon to about $3.7 trillion in 2020 factoring in the impact of coronavirus.

“Ultimately, we’re going to face a reckoning that requires either significant reforms to programs like Social Security and Medicare, or a possible doubling of middle class taxes,” Riedl said. “There’s really no third option.”

“The worst case scenario is that politicians continue to pour gasoline on the fire by enacting even more spending, which just accelerates a debt crisis,” Riedl continued.

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Author: Thomas Catenacci

Source: Daily Caller: ‘Absolutely Unsustainable’: Joe Biden’s Plans Would Increase Spending By $11 Trillion Over 10 Years, Report Says

The U.S. economy grew by a record 33.1% in the third quarter of 2020, as employers continue to restore jobs and the country continues to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Commerce figure released Wednesday reflects the rate of decline in U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) during the third quarter, from July to September. The economy plunged by 31.4% in the second quarter of 2020, a record drop caused by government measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, according to The Associated Press.

The economic figure, which is the Commerce Department’s advance estimation of GDP, comes as good news to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, according to The Financial Times. Americans have consistently approved of Trump’s handling of the economy throughout his presidency, The New York Times reported.

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on Wednesday in Bullhead City, Arizona. (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

“We’re having a Super V [shaped recovery] . . . nobody even thought. Wait till you see that number in GDP,” Trump said during a recent Pennsylvania rally, according to the FT. “I’ll take 25 percent right now. I’ll take 15 right now. I think the record was like seven or eight.”

Economists forecasted a 31% rise in GDP, according to the FT.

An Oct. 6 CNN poll showed Americans are split evenly on if Trump would be better for the economy than Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. It represented a drop in support for Trump’s handling of the economy compared to the rest of his presidency.

The positive news comes as many states have been hit with a fresh surge of coronavirus cases, according to The COVID Tracking Project. The U.S. reported 78,661 new coronavirus cases and 1,025 new coronavirus deaths Wednesday.

Author: Thomas Catenacci

Source: Daily Caller: US Economy Surges At Record Rate, GDP Grows 33.1%

A man was charged for punching a police officer who was in close proximity to Sen. Rand Paul following President Donald Trump’s Aug. 27 Republican National Convention speech at the White House.

Brennen Sermon, 27, allegedly punched the Metropolitan Police Department officer who had been protecting Paul in the face causing significant damage, according to a District of Columbia U.S. Attorney’s Office statement Wednesday. The officer “sustained a laceration and severe swelling above his left eye,” according to the statement.

“Just got attacked by an angry mob of over 100, one block away from the White House,” Paul tweeted shortly after the incident. “Thank you to [the Metropolitan Police Department] for literally saving our lives from a crazed mob.”

The U.S. senator from Kentucky and his wife had been surrounded by a group of shouting protesters on the street after they departed the White House where Trump gave his speech, video shows. The video further shows a member of the crowd forcefully kicking an officer toward Paul.

In additional footage of the incident, members of the crowd can be heard yelling “say her name” to Paul, a reference to Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville, Kentucky police in March. However, Paul introduced the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act in June, which proposed to ban no-knock warrants and no-knock police raids.

The original court affidavit accused Sermon of kicking the officer, fleeing, then punching the officer who pursued him, according to the U.S. attorney’s statement. However, an updated affidavit concluded that Sermon was not responsible for kicking the officer.

Sermon, who is from Orlando, Florida, is only being charged for the punching allegation and faces up to 180 days imprisonment, the statement said.

Author: Thomas Catenacci

Source: Daily Caller: Man Charged With Assaulting Police Officer Protecting Rand Paul After Trump RNC Speech

Portland police officers recovered Molotov cocktails and rifle ammunition late Sunday evening near the U.S. court house that has been the site of recent protests.

The Portland Police Department recovered the “destructive devices” in a bag in Lownsdale Square Park across the street from the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse while investigating a shots fired call, police said. The discovery occurred as protesters and rioters continued to clash with federal agents protecting the courthouse.

Protesters lobbed fireworks, rocks, cans and other objects at officers protecting the courthouse who have responded by using non-lethal weapons to control the crowd, The Associated Press reported.

Protests in Portland have occurred for more than 55 consecutive days since the death of George Floyd who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, video of the incident shows. Violence intensified, though, after President Donald Trump’s administration authorized the mobilization of federal agents, who are largely Department of Homeland Security officers, to help quell protests, according to The New York Times.

A federal judge denied the Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblaum’s request for an order to stop federal agents from arresting Portland protesters Friday, NBC affiliate KGW News reported. Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler spoke out against the use of federal agents at a protest Wednesday and was later tear gassed.

Over the weekend, protests occurred in Seattle, Washington; Austin, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; Oakland, California; Aurora, Colorado and Richmond, Virginia, according to various media outlets. Many nationwide protests are organized in solidarity with Portland.

Trump authorized federal agents to be sent to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico on Wednesday to assist local police in responding to violence, according to U.S. News.

Author: Thomas Catenacci

Source: Daily Caller: Portland Police Recover Molotov Cocktails, Ammunition During Violent Protests

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