This is Garrison Hardie with your CrossPolitic Daily News Brief for Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023.
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Biden Redistributes Student Loan Debt…Again
President Joe Biden has again worked with administration officials to redistribute student loan debt belonging to wealthy degree holders to Americans taxpayers, most of whom never went to college.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1693962658775474442 – Play Video
According to Fox Business, the new plan will cost taxpayers $276 billion.
The move comes after the administration announced an additional round of bailouts earlier this month and in defiance of a recent Supreme Court ruling on the issue.
Speaking of Biden…
Biden admin takes action restricting oil, gas development after settlement with eco groups
The Biden administration issued new restrictions on oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico, in an effort to protect a whale species after it settled last month with a coalition of environmental groups.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which manages energy development in federal waters, published a Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) on Monday evening highlighting expanded protections for the Rice’s whale, a species listed under the Endangered Species Act. BOEM was slated to issue the NTL last week, but delayed it until Monday.
“This decision by the Biden Administration does an end-around legal requirements and the public process, imposing unwarranted restrictions on U.S. energy production at a time of continued inflation with prices rising at the pump for consumers,” said National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito.
He added that the agreement the administration reached with environmental groups ignores the “best science,” contravenes congressional intent under the Inflation Reduction Act and threatens America’s energy independence.
Under the NTL issued Monday, BOEM created a vast new protection zone stretching across the Gulf of Mexico with a variety of new conditions for industry operators. Among its recommendations, BOEM said specially-trained visual observers should be aboard all vessels traversing the area, all ships regardless of size should travel no quicker than 10 knots, and vessels should only travel through the area in the daytime.
Those recommendations will be introduced as stipulations to Lease Sale 261, an upcoming offshore oil and gas lease auction. And BOEM removed an estimated 11 million acres of potential oil-rich lease blocks from that lease sale under its actions Monday.
In a federal stipulated stay agreement filed late last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) agreed to a number of conditions requested by four eco groups led by the Sierra Club which, in response, agreed to temporarily pause litigation in the related case. The case dates back nearly three years when, in October 2020, the environmental coalition sued the NMFS for failing to properly assess the oil industry impacts on endangered and threatened marine wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.
They pursued the lawsuit after the NMFS coordinated a multiagency consultation studying the effects all federally regulated oil and gas activities would have on species listed under the Endangered Species Act in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 50 years. The groups argued in the original complaint that the NMFS’ biological opinion resulting from its consultation was not based on the best science.
According to API, the NTL solely targets oil and gas traffic while refraining from restricting vessel traffic related to other industries.
COVID Mandates Return to Hollywood: Lionsgate Requires Employees to Mask Up, Submit to Daily Testing
COVID mask mandates are returning to Hollywood, with Lionsgate being the first major studio to reinstate masking and daily testing for its Los Angeles office workers.
Lionsgate is requiring employees who physically work at its headquarters in Santa Monica to wear masks at all times when in the building, effective immediately, except when alone in an enclosed office or large open workspace. In addition, employees are required to submit to daily COVID testing and to report the results to the company, according to an internal memo obtained by Deadline.
Employees must wear “a medical grade face covering (surgical mask, KN95 or N95) when indoors except when alone in an office with the door closed, actively eating, actively drinking at their desk or workstation, or if they are the only individual present in a large open workspace,” the memo reportedly states.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has reported a recent uptick in transmissions but “overall metrics remain at a low level of concern.”
A growing number of colleges and medical institutions throughout the country are also reinstating mask mandates, with the mainstream news media running articles pushing for the return of face coverings.
Former Obama official and MSNBC medical contributor Dr. Kavita Patel said earlier this month on MSNBC’s “José Díaz-Balart Reports” that a rise in COVID cases meant it was time to bring back masks.
The return of mask mandates comes as the Biden administration is ramping up another round of COVID hysteria ahead of 2024, pressuring all Americans to get the latest booster this fall. This had led to growing suspicion that Democrats will not only impose mask mandates but bring back mass lockdowns ahead of the next presidential election, in a repeat of 2020.
As Breitbart News reported, the new push for Americans to line up for booster shots follows the revelation in January that health officials want to make coronavirus booster vaccinations an annual event.
Now it’s time for my favorite topic, sports!
‘The Blind Side’ Author Michael Lewis Calls Out Michael Oher Amid Lawsuit Against Tuohy Family: “That He’s Suspicious Of Them Is Breathtaking”
The celebrated story of Michael Oher, former NFL athlete and the subject of the best-selling book “The Blind Side” by Michael Lewis, has taken an insane turn over the past week. Oher has filed a lawsuit against the Tuohy family, claiming they never officially adopted him and accusing them of financial misdeeds related to movie profits. Now, author Lewis has defended the Tuohys and pointed fingers at Hollywood’s accounting system as the real culprit.
In 2006, Lewis’s book spotlighted Oher’s heartwarming journey from a troubled youth to an accomplished football player, largely credited to the benevolence and support of Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. The narrative was later adapted into an award-winning movie in 2009, starring Sandra Bullock.
However, the harmony of the feel-good story depicted on the big screen seems drastically different from the current situation we’re seeing unfold now. Oher’s lawsuit alleges that the Tuohys tricked him into signing over the legal authority to use his name in business deals after his 18th birthday, thereby cheating him out of future proceeds. He asserts they profited off the Oscar-winning movie while sidelining him financially.
Responding to these allegations, the Tuohy family labeled Oher’s claims a “shameful shakedown” and voiced intentions to end the conservatorship, a legal concept where an individual is appointed to manage another’s financial and/or personal affairs.
Adding fuel to the fire, the Tuohy family’s attorney, Martin Singer, claims that before initiating the lawsuit, Oher tried to extort the family for $15 million. Singer alleged Oher threatened the Tuohys with negative press unless the hefty amount was handed over.
But Michael Lewis, in interviews with both The Washington Post and at a previously recorded Google event, blames Tinsel Town for the mess. Lewis slammed Hollywood studios (the film was produced and distributed by Warner Bros.) for their accounting practices which, according to him, often shortchange those whose real-life stories inspire box office hits.
I “Everybody should be mad at the Hollywood studio system,” Lewis said. “Michael Oher should join the writers strike. It’s outrageous how Hollywood accounting works, but the money is not in the Tuohys’ pockets.”
Lewis further divulged that both he and the Tuohy family made about $350,000 each from the movie after considering taxes and agent fees. Challenging Oher’s narrative, Lewis asserted that the Tuohys intended to share movie royalties among family members, including Oher. However, Oher reportedly began declining these royalty checks. In a move showcasing the Tuohy’s good faith, Lewis revealed they deposited Oher’s share in a trust fund designed for Oher’s son.