Author: Roberta T. Mainor

John Barrasso signals his opposition to BLM’s choice of Tracy Stone-Manning for his links with “eco-terrorists”

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso said on Friday he would oppose President Biden’s candidate for the Bureau of Land Management over his early ties to “eco-terrorists,” referring to his stint with the group radical environmental Earth First!

Tracy Stone-Manning, Mr Biden’s choice for the post of director of BLM, was affiliated with the eco-sabotage group three decades ago while studying at the University of Montana, as a Editor-in-chief of the group’s “radical environmental journal” and testifying during a tree pricking test.

“Tracy Stone-Manning has collaborated with eco-terrorists,” Barrasso, the leading Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement to the Washington Times.

“She worked with extreme environmental activists who planted trees, threatening the lives and livelihoods of loggers,” he said. “While she was granted immunity from prosecution to testify against her companions in court, her actions were outrageous. This clearly disqualifies her from the position of the next director of the Bureau of Land Management.”

Her opposition comes from Republicans who are concerned about her background as an activist as well as a loan of $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 she received in 2008 while working for Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana. , and which she finished repaying in 2020.

Kansas Republican Senator Roger Marshall identified the lender as Democratic donor and Montana developer Stuart Goldberg and asked if she was getting “special treatment” with the 6% interest rate, significantly lower than the 11% charged on average at the time for personal consumer loans.

The Times has contacted Ms Stone-Manning for comment.

Ms Stone-Manning, 55, has a top-notch resume in the Montana public service – she served as chief of staff to Montana Governor Steve Bullock and headed the State Department for Environmental Quality – But she got her start in environmental activism with Earth First !, a radical collective associated with civil disobedience, direct action and industrial sabotage.

The group was co-founded in 1980 by Dave Foreman, an activist the FBI arrested in 1990 on charges relating to a conspiracy to target a power line tower in Arizona. He said he was not involved but pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and did not serve any jail time, according to the Aspen Daily News.

Ms Stone-Manning’s involvement appeared to last about three years: she said in court testimony that she joined the group in 1988 and in the June 1991 edition of Earth First! journal, which features a wrench and hammer on the masthead, listed her as an editor.

During the 1993 Idaho conspiracy trial, she said she met several men who were later accused of driving metal spikes into trees, known as tree stings, to disrupt a timber sale in the city. Clearwater National Forest near Powell, Idaho.

One of the men, John Blount, asked him in April 1989 to send an anonymous letter to the Forest Service warning them that 500 pounds of bridge points had been driven into the trees.

In her testimony in court, she said that she took the letter and re-typed it on a typewriter she rented from the university, changing some spelling mistakes and removing some profanity, and then typing it out. posted a few days after receiving it.

Why post it?

“Because I wanted people to know that these trees were spiky. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt from the hanging trees, ”she said in the court transcript.

When asked why she had retyped it, Ms. Stone-Manning replied that she had done it because “I didn’t want it on my personal computer.”

According to the 1993 Associated Press report, two of the men, Arvid E. Hartley and Neil K. McLain, pleaded guilty to tying trees and agreed to testify against three others, including Mr. Blount.

In a 2013 interview with the Missoulian, Ms Stone-Manning gave more details, claiming that after Mr Blount handed her the letter, she realized that “now my fingerprints were all over the place.”

“The easy thing to do would have been to burn that letter and go away and not be associated with it, but it was not the right thing to do because the trees were spiky and someone could be injured when the loggers were sent, ”she said. . “So I posted the letter.”

The retyped letter from “George Hayduke” stated that 11 people were involved in tree planting and that the “sales were marked so that no worker was injured”, adding that he would pay them $ 1 for the tree planting. sale, but “you would like to have to find me first and this could be your WORST nightmare.”

During the trial, Ms Stone-Manning said she was not aware of other incidents related to tree planting, although Earth First! did not hide his sympathies for eco-sabotage.

In his book, “Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching”, Mr. Foreman described “the correct way to plant a tree and explains why, when taking a bulldozer out of service, pouring sand into its tank. gasoline is much more effective than pouring sugar “. the Los Angeles Times reported in 1990.

Mr Foreman later pointed out that the technique was aimed at stopping logging, not harming people, after California lumberjack George Alexander was seriously injured in 1987 when a bandsaw struck a sharp point embedded in it. a log. The shattered blade flew away, hitting him on the head and cutting his face.

Earth first of June 1991! The newspaper Ms. Stone-Manning is listed on includes a cartoon about planting trees and an advertisement for t-shirts featuring the slogan “Not a tree more” with a spike running through it.

The post, published on the Environment and Society portal, also includes a disclaimer: “Although we do not accept the authority of the hierarchical state, nothing here is intended to challenge us. his police power. “

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing Tuesday on the appointment of Ms. Stone-Manning as head of the agency, which oversees 245 million acres of federal land primarily in the West.

She was introduced by Mr. Tester, who called her a “proven leader with experience working across the aisle to get things done”.

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Hecla moves forward with Northwest Montana mines

Officials at an Idaho-based mining company developing two large copper and silver mines in northwest Montana said they were not discouraged by a recent move that could allow the state to call its CEO a “bad actor” because of a failed mine clean-up more than two decades ago. in another part of the state.

Calling CEO Phillips S. Baker a “bad actor” could derail Hecla Mining Co.’s efforts to develop the Rock Creek and Montanore mines, two projects in Lincoln and Sanders counties that have been underway since. decades. One of the reasons the company might not be concerned is that the new occupant of the governor’s mansion in Helena has been a strong supporter of the plans.

The projects were first proposed by various companies in the early 1980s. Mining officials have said that together, the two mines under Cabinet Mountain Wilderness could produce more than 500 million ounces of silver and 4 billion pounds of copper, making it one of the largest untapped deposits of either mineral in the world. Both projects stuck in the state and federal government approval process for decades, led by two junior mining companies, one of which operated the now-closed Troy Mine. The protracted process frustrated local officials, who said the mines could provide much-needed jobs in one of the state’s most economically depressed areas. In Libby, posters stating “We support Montanore” are common in store windows.

IN 2015, local authorities received a new dose of optimism when Hecla, based in Coeur d’Alene, purchased both projects. Hecla was founded in 1891 and currently operates mines in Idaho, Alaska and Quebec. If one company could get Rock Creek and Montanore up and running, local officials believed, it was Hecla. But those hopes were dashed in 2018 when the Montana Department of Environmental Quality announced that Hecla and its CEO had violated state mining laws and therefore could not open any of the mines until the company had not paid $ 32 million in restitution.

At the heart of the state’s argument is Baker’s involvement with Pegasus Gold Corp., which went bankrupt in 1998 and left the state on the hook for a $ 32 million recovery effort on three mine sites in the Little Rocky Mountains south of the Fort Belknap reserve. .

Montana’s “Bad Actors” Mining Act was passed in the 1980s and aims to hold companies accountable for not cleaning up polluted mine sites. The law has been used sparingly since its passage, and the decision to apply it to Baker, who was vice president of Pegasus, has been celebrated by environmental groups.

“Historically, mining companies have gotten away with leaving the unrecovered mine sites to taxpayers to clean up, some of which will require treatment for decades to come,” said Mary Costello, executive director of the Rock Creek Alliance, a group created in 1996 to oppose the Rock Creek mine. “This is why it is so important that the Montana Bad Actors Act, which was passed with bipartisan support, be enforced. This law ensures that mining executives are held accountable to Montana taxpayers so that sites abandoned toxic mines remain a thing of the past. “

HECLA AGAINST Baker is innocent and had already left Pegasus when he went bankrupt and left the state with the Cleanup Bill. Shortly after DEQ attempted to label Baker a “bad actor,” Hecla sued. In May, Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Mike Menahan ruled that DEQ had the power to apply the “bad actor” label to Baker, but did not rule on the merits of the case.

“The laws we have in place to protect drinking water and ensure that mine sites are fully reclaimed will only be effective if the wrong actors are held accountable and the law is properly enforced,” said Derf Johnson, director of the Clean Water program with the Montana Environmental Information Center. “We are incredibly encouraged to see the court order, and now the DEQ can fully pursue this case on the merits.”

It is not known if DEQ will continue to pursue the case. In a statement to Montana Free Press, spokeswoman Moira Davin said the agency was reviewing the decision and “assessing the resources we have available to pursue the next steps.”

Governor Greg Gianforte has spoken favorably about proposed mines in the past and last year hosted a campaign event at Hecla’s offices in Libby. During this event, he criticized state and federal authorities for the time it took for the two mines to be cleared. Although state and federal agencies have issued permits for mines in the past, they have been challenged in court on several occasions.

“I believe we can develop our natural resources while protecting the environment and, where there has been a problem, such as in Libby, [we’ve] got to work cleaning it up, ”Gianforte said in Hecla’s offices last July, referring to the massive Superfund cleanup resulting from the WR Grace & Co. asbestos mine that sickened and killed residents. . During that same event, he called DEQ and the Montana Department of Natural Resources “project prevention departments.”

A spokesperson for Gianforte directed all questions about Hecla and the “bad actor” affair to DEQ.

EVEN IF the state continues its efforts to label Baker a “bad actor,” Hecla officials said, they are confident they will be victorious in the courts and continue to push the plans forward. Spokesman Luke Russell said Rock Creek and Montanore are good projects that can provide the copper and silver needed to power a greener, more eco-friendly economy. Mining officials note that copper and silver are needed to produce electric vehicles and wind turbines.

Over the years, environmental groups have raised concerns about how two large copper and silver mines located beneath a federally designated wilderness area could affect surface water and wildlife. Opponents said either mine could permanently damage the area. But Hecla officials counter that copper and silver can be responsibly mined and cite the nearby Troy mine, which was closed by Hecla’s predecessor, Revett Mining Co., in 2015 when demand for copper dropped, as an example of what Montanore and Rock Creek would do. look like. Russell said Hecla has completed most of its reclamation work at this site, including covering a 300-acre tailings dump with topsoil, and is currently working on demolishing the buildings. Russell said it would ultimately be difficult to tell that there had ever been a mine at the site.

“It’s a great example of what modern mining can be,” he said.

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Guest column: We must protect the public resources we rely on | Guest columns

It’s spring in Montana and summer is just around the corner. The streams begin to swell with the life-giving waters of last winter’s snowpack; the poplar seeds drift on the afternoon air currents to land on these rising waters, which will carry them to fertile soil. Montana’s population is also growing, as residents and visitors alike put their skis away and prepare for what many predict will be record numbers of tourists to our parks and other wild places.

For the nearly 900 members of FOAM – the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana – this is what we have been waiting for all winter. We are ready and we are excited. But after a year of profound societal changes, we are also thinking about the future. Ours and our rivers ”.

Our future is inexorably intertwined with that of rivers. Economically, we rely on clean, healthy rivers to deliver the iconic experiences that attract our customers from around the world. Whether it’s the cry of a reel as a Madisonian brown trout peels, or the humble beauty of a native cutthroat caught and released in a secret stream, there’s a reason. that so many people come to Montana for. Yet these are just the most obvious ways our rivers fuel our $ 7.1 billion outdoor recreation industry. For all the cars hired to view wildlife in Yellowstone, the unforgettable dinners with iconic mountain views, and amenities purchased from local businesses, rivers are the lifeblood that keeps the environment healthy. In doing so, they keep our economy healthy.

Of course, that’s only half the story. Like many of our colleagues, we do what we do because we love rivers. We like to spend our days in the water. Perhaps more than anything, we love to share this joy with others.

For all of these reasons and more, FOAM supports the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act (MHLA). This historic, locally supported legislation would protect a landscape of rivers in the Greater Yellowstone and Smith river systems by designating them as Wild and Scenic, the strongest form of federal river protection in the United States. This will help us better understand the health of our rivers and respond to any threats that may emerge tomorrow or ten years from now. Equally important, the wild and scenic designations will help raise awareness of the quality of our waters and the urgent need to protect them.

Each of the 17 rivers and streams in the MHLA is unique, and we all fall in love with something different. For some, it’s the scenic mountain views of the Paradise Valley of the Yellowstone River. For others, it’s the roar of living water above an isolated hole in the Boulder. This is part of what makes MHLA’s holistic approach so powerful. Each waterway is part of a larger, connected system. If we secure this system enough to keep it whole, we are protecting something more than the sum of its parts. It is vital that we do this for fish, wildlife and people.

Our river systems, as we know them today, will not last if we do not act now. Many who visit Montana’s rivers see them as limitless pristine resources. But those of us who live and work on the water every day see a more complete story. Indeed, we have a lot to lose. Between increasing human pressures, lower flows at the end of the season, an uncertain snowpack and increasingly frequent algae blooms, our rivers are changing rapidly. These changes are too ambitious to respond with anything less than what the MHLA is proposing. We must look beyond our own personal impacts and act together to achieve the greatest collective impact our rivers need.

FOAM calls on those chosen to represent the Montanais – Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines and Representative Matt Rosendale – to reintroduce and pass the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act today. We also call on all guides and outfitters in the state, whether or not they work on the rivers, to answer this call and to lead by example. We all depend, directly or indirectly, on public resources. It’s up to us to protect them.

To see what else is happening in County Gallatin, subscribe to the online journal.

Michael A. Bias is the Executive Director of the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana. Jason Fleury is the chairman of the organization’s board of directors.

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Buy a beer, support local farmers | Regional

MISSOULA, Mont. – Agriculture is Montana’s number one industry, which is why supporting local farmers is so important, and this weekend you can do it.

They kicked off the three-day event on Thursday, with the launch of a farm-fresh lager called Homegrown.

Desiree Funston of Bell Crossing Farms said the event gives the community a chance to learn more about their work.

“I think the pandemic has really shown us that maybe we need to move our food system a bit closer to home,” Funston said.

She’s just one of the farmers you can support this weekend, and buying Homegrown beer is a great start.

“This is a great partnership with Imagine Nation to support the Missoula Community Food and Agriculture Coalition, so we’re very happy to have our local product in local beer that supports a great local non-profit organization. “said Funston.

But if you want to take it a step further, the director of communications and development of community food and agriculture coalitions, Jenny Zaso, said there was a pop-up pitch festival at the brewery on Friday at 5:15 p.m. at 5.45 p.m.

“Anyone in the community for as little as $ 25 can make this loan to the farmer, it will be paid off, then they can start over and choose to invest in another farmer,” Zaso said. “This kind of help for this farmer to get started and remove some of these financial and lending barriers that newbie farmers face,” she said.

Or if you’re hoping for an adventure, you can purchase a Farm and Food Passport that gives you access to over 75 farms in the state.

Imagine Nation Brewing owner Robert Rivers said it’s a great way to see the work of local farmers.

“CFAC has done a tremendous job of really taking the idea of ​​a collaboration on a beer, but then using it for something even more important which is to put the local farm passports in the hands of the people in order to that Missoulians and locals can come out and support local producers, ”Rivers said.

Whether you are supporting a new farmer but a passport or buying a beer, it’s a good reminder that farmers do a lot for the community.

“Missoula is just passionate about beer and I think it’s great that people are now realizing that some of the ingredients in beer are produced locally as well,” said Funston.

On Saturday, there will be food trucks at Imagine Nation Brewing, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Homegrown beer will sell out quickly, so stop by the brewery to grab yours.

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View of the library | New

POLSON – Our annual summer reading program returns on Monday June 14 with the theme “Tails & Tales”. Visit our website at to register and get information. Also on June 14th will be our annual Usborne Book Fair. Stop between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to purchase new books and educational materials for the kids. Part of the profits is donated to the Library.

Two summer reading programs are planned for June. On June 17 at 10 a.m., we have Polson Doyle Town Police Officer and Canine Officer Jager to share their stories. On June 24 at 10 a.m., we have Dillon Tabbish from the Montana Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Parks to share tails with us. All summer programs take place in Sacajawea Park to allow for social distancing. In the event of rainy weather, the program will take place in the library meeting room with limited attendance to allow for social distancing.

Mother Goose programs continue through the summer on Mondays at 9:15 a.m. in the library meeting room. There will be no Mother Goose program on June 14 due to the book sale. These programs for babies, toddlers and their caregivers include stories, rhymes and songs. This is a great opportunity for new parents to meet other parents in our community.

The library is lending life jackets again this year. Borrowers must be at least 18 years old and have a valid library card. We have a small selection of sizes, and these are available for a 7 day payment.

The library is recruiting. We have a vacant position posted for a Technology Librarian. Check out our website or stop by the library for more information.

The library is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday and Friday reserved for people aged 65 and over or immunocompromised, masks compulsory during this hour; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Curbside pickup is available to everyone during opening hours. Please call us at 883-8225 or email us at [email protected] with any questions or to request a curbside pickup.

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Sunwest Bank Launches New Account Opening Portal to Increase Geographic Reach

Sunwest Bank, a $ 2 billion asset bank based in Irvine, Calif., On Wednesday launched a new account opening portal, a feature it says will help it expand its portfolio of customers and compete with fintechs by offering online account opening to its business customers.

Dwight Flenniken, the bank’s chief marketing officer, said its Sunwest New Account Portal (SNAP) is extending the same technology to its business customers that is already available to its retail customers, allowing them to open accounts entirely remotely.

The new portal also allows Sunwest Bank, which derives the majority of its deposits and loans from its commercial banking unit, to expand its services to commercial clients outside of the four states where it has a physical presence, Flenniken said. .

The bank operates approximately 12 branches and loan production offices in California, Arizona, Utah and Idaho.

“We have a good company and we are a commercial bank that people trust,” said Flenniken. “So we’re looking at states like New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada. We thought that, to expand our portfolio, this digital effort would be a good way to let people know. to the people that we ‘you are here. “

The portal was built entirely in-house, Flenniken said, and allows business owners to create multiple accounts and account types at once, add authorized account signers, as well as order checks and scanners. checks.

“We noticed that other banks weren’t doing it, and that we saw all the fintechs come and go into space, and we thought it would be beneficial to have a brick and mortar bank in which people trust to enter space, ”said Flenniken.

Challenger banks such as Lance, BlueVine and Lili are targeting the entrepreneurial and small business market by offering accounts that can be opened entirely online, which Sunwest Bank Chairman Carson Lappetito has said is lagging behind in the market. traditional banking sector.

“This technology is readily available for consumer accounts, but only a handful of banks nationally offer it for commercial accounts,” he said in a statement. “Our top priority at Sunwest Bank is giving entrepreneurs the resources to succeed, and our clients can now open accounts from the comfort of their office, home or on the go. “

Flenniken said the bank’s decision to launch the new portal was in part inspired by its involvement in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) over the past year and a half. The bank made 3,699 PPP loans totaling more than $ 927 million.

“We have far outstripped ourselves, in terms of size, in the number of PPP loans we have given to consumers. And we have noticed that they come from all over the place, all over the country, and in particular the western states. -United, ”he said. “So we wanted to launch this product to give these people the ability to do banking with us.”

As the bank seeks to grow its commercial accounts through digital expansion, Flenniken said Sunwest still believes a physical presence is important.

“We think fintech is great, and we think the wave of the future is being able to be on someone’s computer or phone, giving them the ability to create their accounts and manage their portfolios online,” did he declare. “We also believe there is a huge space for relationships.”

The bank’s goal, said Flenniken, is to offer its customers digital functionality in combination with in-person services through its branches.

“We’re going to have to have both, I think everyone has to have both. Fintechs are great, but I don’t think fintechs will ever have both. There is a little disconnect between what we do and what we do. what fintechs do, ”he said.

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Guest Reviews: Stone-Manning Wanted at BLM Bar | Chroniclers

Tom France and Britt.


In Montana, choosing a hunting partner is not to be taken lightly. It must be someone you can spend hours with, in trucks, boats, and long hikes. Someone who will go wholeheartedly into the work that follows a successful hunt and will be with you when things don’t go as planned. Choosing a hunting partner comes down to someone with skill, courage, and a character you respect.

The same could be said for the head of our largest public land agency, the Bureau of Land Management. Competence, courage and character. Tracy Stone-Manning is that leader. I have known Tracy for thirty years, both as a hunting partner and as a colleague working on public land policies that will benefit both people and wildlife. As an athlete and activist, Tracy will be an outstanding BLM Director and I strongly support her appointment to lead the agency.

Leading the BLM is one of the most important jobs in the country. The agency oversees more than a third of our public lands, including extensive grasslands across the Great Plains and

intermountain West, beautiful rainforests along the west coast and deserts and grasslands to the southwest. In Montana, the BLM manages over 8 million acres of land.

Tracy understands the great heritage of our public lands and their importance to fishing and

clean wildlife, air and water, and as ecological treasures for future generations. It

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Stone-Manning Loan Examined at BLM Hearing | Local News

Tracy Stone-Manning listens during a confirmation hearing from the Director of the Bureau of Land Management before the Senate Committee on Energy and National Resources.

Alex Brandon / AP

Republican Senator Steve Daines has raised concerns about a personal loan Tracy Stone-Manning received while serving on Democratic Senator Jon Tester’s staff in 2008.

The issue was raised Tuesday during Stone-Manning’s confirmation hearing as President Joe Biden’s candidate for director of the United States Bureau of Land Management.

Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, asked her about the appropriateness of receiving a loan between $ 50,000 and $ 100,000 at an interest rate of 6%, when the consumer loan rate was 11 %.

Stone-Manning responded that she considered ethics “deeply important” and that “like many families in 2008, we were hit by the recession. A friend loaned us some money so we could get by. And we came to an agreement and we honored the loan.

The loan was disclosed in a personal finance report that Stone-Manning filed during the appointment process. Bank interest rates in 2008 ranged from 6% for home and auto loans to 11% for business loans and credit cards.

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“The senator has concerns… about Ms. Stone-Manning receiving a greatly reduced personal loan while she was a staff member of Congress,” Daines spokeswoman Katie Schoettler said in an email. “He thinks that before we can move forward with considering Ms. Stone-Manning’s appointment, we need clarity on the terms and the circumstances.”

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Biden wants biological men to compete in women’s sports, criticizes efforts to protect women from trans athletes

President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation honoring LGBT pride month and criticizing government laws prohibiting biological men from participating in female sports.

“Some states have chosen to actively target transgender youth through discriminatory bills that challenge our nation’s values ​​of inclusion and freedom for all,” Biden said in his proclamation released Tuesday.

He was apparently referring to state measures that require student-athletes to compete in sports teams that match their biological sex rather than their preferred gender identification. Florida was the last state to pass such legislation after Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee and West Virginia.

As mentioned in a previous report, around 30 states have passed a law that prohibits young biological men from participating in girls’ sports and are required to do so, as men have obvious physiological advantages in terms of “speed, weight and power “.

“When it comes to gender issues, conservatives cannot count on sound policies from the Biden administration,” said Ed Vitagliano, executive vice president of the American Family Association.

“States will have to go it alone when it comes to protecting girls in sport,” he added.

“My administration is taking historic steps to finally ensure full equality for LGBTQ + families,” said Biden, whom former President Donald Trump described as “one of the most extreme and radical presidents” in history the United States.

“On the first day of my mandate, I signed an executive order ordering federal agencies to fully implement all federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation,” it recently appeared to have suggested people stop praying despite being desperately labeled by the White House as a “devout Catholic,” he continued.

“As a result, the federal government has taken action to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ + people in employment, health care, housing, loans and education,” Biden said.

The equality law would have authorized the House of Representatives, but was thankfully blocked in the Senate by the Democratic and Republican opposition.

Critics of the bill argue that a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity would require schools to allow boys who identify as women to participate in women’s sports despite their “advantage. inherent physiological, ”reports the Christian Post.

Biden also urged Americans to “recognize the achievements of the LGBTQ + community, celebrate the great diversity of the American people and wave their pride flags high.”

Despite the objection of Christians and the Catholic Church, in particular, to same-sex marriage, the U.S. Embassy has decided to display the rainbow flag to mark “pride month”. Erick Erickson, a conservative expert expressed his displeasure in a Tweeter.

“Will the United States also fly the rainbow flag in its Saudi and Pakistani embassies or is it just signaling the virtue where no one will respond to their press stunt?” Erickson asked.

Although the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See has hoisted the flag of LGBT pride, Vivek Ramaswamy, a tech entrepreneur, pointed out that in Saudi Arabia “where being gay is punishable by death,” the embassy “has done no such thing.”

Also in response to government support for the political movement, Representative Nicole Malliotakis of New York sponsored the Stars and Stripes Act. This law limits flags to the American flag, the flag of the country in which the diplomatic or consular post is located, the flag of a state, territory or possession of the United States, a departmental or secretariat flag, the flag of an armed force , and a flag designed to honor those classified as prisoners of war or missing. ‘

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May jobs report falls short of projections | national

(The Center Square) – Total non-farm payroll jobs rose by 559,000 in the United States in May, lower than the 650,000 predicted by economists, according to data from the United States Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 5.8 percent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Notable job gains have taken place in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and health care and social assistance, reports the BLS.

The data cover two labor force measures, the household survey, which includes unemployment and demographic characteristics, and the establishment survey, which measures non-farm employment, hours and hours. revenues by industry.

The adult unemployment rate was little changed, as was the participation rate, which has hovered at 61% since June 2020. The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons has remained essentially unchanged. In May, the number of inactive people who currently want a job also remained largely unchanged, reports the BLS.

May was the second consecutive month of lower-than-expected job creation, with labor market participation declining and overall economic growth hampered by a labor shortage.

“The reasons are clear: Many employers say that increasing unemployment benefits make it harder to hire low-wage jobs, working parents continue to struggle for childcare and some workers are sitting on the sidelines. persistent Covid-19 problems, ”Barron reports. “Wages are rising as employers try to attract workers. The labor force participation rate has dropped unexpectedly, suggesting that people are reluctant to re-enter the workforce despite a record number of vacancies.

Economists at the University of Chicago estimate that more than two-thirds of unemployed workers are paid more than if they were working – in some cases two to three times as much.

In response, 25 Republican-led states withdrew from the additional $ 300 in weekly federal payments, in hopes it will encourage individuals to re-enter the workforce.

The additional weekly federal benefits of $ 300 are expected to expire on June 12 in some states, including Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi and Missouri.

Additional benefits end June 19 in Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Additional benefits end June 26 in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah.

Additional benefits end June 27 in Montana and Oklahoma, July 3 in Tennessee, and July 10 in Arizona.

The dates vary depending on when governors notified the US Department of Labor. Federal law requires that the effective date of the change be at least 30 days after notification.

All 25 governors argue that the end of the additional benefit encourages individuals to apply for available jobs.

In Idaho, Gov. Brad Little said, “Employers tell me that one of the main reasons they can’t recruit and keep some workers is that these employees are paid more unemployed than they would during. that they were working. My decision is based on a fundamental conservative principle. – we don’t want people to be unemployed. We want people to work.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said, “The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities across the state.

“According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job postings in Texas is almost the same as the number of Texans receiving unemployment benefits. This assessment does not include bulky jobs that are typically not listed, such as construction and catering jobs. In fact, there are nearly 60% more jobs open (and listed) in Texas today than there were in February 2020, the month before the pandemic hit Texas. “

Current jobs in Texas are high paying jobs, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Almost 45% of available jobs pay salaries over $ 15.50 an hour. About 76% pay more than $ 11.50 an hour. Only 2% of posted jobs pay around minimum wage.

The Texas Association of Business and 50 other associations had asked Abbott to end Texas’ participation in the program.

“By eliminating the federal supplement, employers will be able to fill their vacancies and unleash the full power of the Texas economy,” said Glenn Hamer, CEO of TAB.

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