Poll: Nearly 3 in 10 Americans May Consider ‘Taking Up Arms’ Against Government Someday

A recent online poll conducted by Republican pollsters Neil Newhouse and Joel Benenson via the University of Chicago Institute of Politics reveals an ever-expanding divisiveness among voters who identify as Republicans, Democrats and independents.

The survey also illustrates American citizens’ growing dissatisfaction with the federal government, regardless of party affiliation.

Among the highlights of the poll findings:

  • 56% of Americans believe the government is “corrupt and rigged” against them.
  • 49% agreed they “more and more feel like a stranger in [their] own country.”
  • The majority of Americans (56%) agreed they “generally trust elections to be conducted fairly and counted accurately.” However, the breakdown is 78% Democrats, 51% independents, and 33% Republicans. And for those who voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020, the trust factor with elections is 31%.
  • In one question, voters were asked if it will be “necessary, at some point soon, for citizens to take up arms against the government.” Overall, 28% of voters agreed, 59% disagreed, and 12% weren’t sure. For that question, however, 36% of Republicans agreed, 35% of independents agreed, and 20% of Democrats agreed. Also, among the American respondents who have guns in their homes, 37% agreed about someday taking up arms against the government, if necessary.

Newhouse and Benenson, who discussed their findings on CNN, found the percentage of Americans pondering a physical fight against government tyranny as “alarming.”

“These are stunning results,” said Newhouse. “We knew the mood of the country was not positive, but it is so much worse than we thought it was.”

Taking up arms against the government didn’t generate a Republican-dominated response. Newhouse said that 45% of Republicans agreed with that question, but so did 33% of NPR listeners and 26% of liberal gun owners.

“It really demonstrates the extraordinary polarization in the country right now, and there’s a pandemic of mistrust between Americans and their government and their media,” says Newhouse, while adding that things in America “may have to get worse before it gets better.”

Newhouse explained, “Democrats don’t trust Republicans. Republicans don’t trust Democrats. Democrats think Republicans are getting disinformation. Republicans think the same thing about Democrats. There is no middle ground here whatsoever.”

Benenson lamented how some Americans are getting their news on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, with social media feeds that were “not filtered or fact checked.”

“We’re in a treacherous area for democracy,” said Benenson. “And with a cherished First Amendment which we have to be mindful and respectful of, I think we have to also think, from the media side, how can we do a better job to not partisanize the news as much as we have been.”

The Newhouse/Benenson poll tracked the responses of 1,000 registered voters across the United States from May 19-23. The margin of error was +/- 3.5%.


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US Power Companies Face Supply-Chain Crisis This Summer


U.S. power companies are facing supply crunches that may hamper their ability to keep the lights on as the nation heads into the heat of summer and the peak hurricane season.

Extreme weather events such as storms, wildfires, and drought are becoming more common in the United States. Consumer power use is expected to hit all-time highs this summer, which could strain electric grids at a time when federal agencies are warning the weather could pose reliability issues.

Utilities are warning of supply constraints for equipment, which could hamper efforts to restore power during outages. They are also having a tougher time rebuilding natural gas stockpiles for next winter as power generators burn record amounts of gas following the shutdown of dozens of coal plants in recent years and extreme drought cuts hydropower supplies in many Western states.

“Increasingly frequent cold snaps, heat waves, drought, and major storms continue to challenge the ability of our nation’s electric infrastructure to deliver reliable affordable energy to consumers,” Richard Glick, chairman of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), said earlier this month.

Federal agencies responsible for power reliability like FERC have warned that grids in the western half of the country could face reliability issues this summer as consumers crank up air conditioners to escape the heat.

Some utilities have already experienced problems due to the heat. Texas’ grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), was forced to urge customers to conserve energy after several plants shut unexpectedly during an early heat wave in mid-May.

In mid-June, Ohio-based American Electric Power Co. imposed rolling outages during a heat wave after a storm damaged transmission lines and knocked out power to over 200,000 homes and businesses.

The U.S. Midwest faces the most severe risk because demand is rising while nuclear and coal power supplies have declined.

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), which operates the grid from Minnesota to Louisiana, warned that parts of its coverage area are at increased risk of temporary outages to preserve the integrity of the grid.

Bracing for Supply Shortages

Utility operators are conserving their inventory of parts and equipment as they plan for severe storms. Over the last several months, that means operators have been getting creative.

“We’re doing a lot more splicing, putting cables together, instead of laying new cable because we’re trying to maintain our new cable for inventory when we need it,” Nick Akins, chief executive of AEP, said at the CERAWeek energy conference in March.

Transformers, which often sit on top of electrical poles and convert high-voltage energy to the power used in homes, are in short supply.

New Jersey-based Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) Chief Executive Ralph Izzo told Reuters the company has had to look at alternate supply options for low voltage transformers.

“You don’t want to deplete your inventory because you don’t know when that storm is coming, but you know it’s coming,” Izzo said.

Summer is just starting, but U.S. weather so far this year has already been about 21 percent warmer than the 30-year norm, according to data provider Refinitiv.

“If we have successive days of 100-degree-heat, those pole top transformers, they start popping like Rice Krispies, and we would not have the supply stack to replace them,” Izzo said.

By Scott DiSavino

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US Officials Return to Venezuela Amid Gas Price Hike

Senior Biden administration officials have quietly traveled to Caracas in the latest bid to bring home detained Americans and rebuild relations with the South American oil giant as as the war in Ukraine drags on, driving higher gas prices and forcing the U.S. to recalibrate other foreign policy objectives.

A State Department spokesperson described the trip as a welfare visit focused on the safety of several U.S. citizens detained in Caracas, including a group of oil executives from Houston-based Citgo jailed more than four years ago.

It includes Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy on hostage affairs, as well as Ambassador James Story, who heads the U.S. government’s Venezuelan Affairs Unit out of neighboring Colombia

It’s unclear what else the U.S. officials are seeking to accomplish during the mission.

But it follows a surprise visit in March by the two men and Juan Gonzalez, the National Security Council director for the Western Hemisphere, that was the first White House trip to the county in more than two decades.

Since then, both the Biden administration and Venezuela’s socialist government have shown a willingness to engage after years of hostilities between Washington and Caracas over President Nicolás Maduro’s 2018 re-election, which was marred by irregularities.

First, Maduro freed two Americans as a goodwill gesture and promised to return to negotiations in Mexico with the U.S.-backed opposition.

Although those talks have yet to resume, the U.S. then renewed a license so that oil companies including Chevron can continue to operate in the OPEC nation, which has been under tight sanctions since 2019.

Then earlier this month the White House lifted sanctions imposed in 2017 targeting the nephew of First Lady Cilia Flores, who at the time was accused of facilitating corruption while a top official at state run oil giant PDVSA.


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Green Day Singer: Renouncing US Citizenship Over SCOTUS Rulings

Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer for the punk rock band Green Day, said he’s “renouncing his citizenship” from the United States, apparently in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade (a 5-4 decision) and upholding the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision (6-3 vote).

Armstrong’s public pronouncement came on Friday, while Green Day was performing in London.

While speaking to the audience, the 50-year-old Armstrong said, “(Expletive) America,” before saying, “There’s too much (expletive) stupid in the world.”

On Saturday night, Armstrong reportedly offered a similar message of angst at Green Day’s show in Huddersfield, England.

Concertgoers claim Armstrong told the crowd “(expletive) the Supreme Court of America” before the song, “American Idiot,” which the band had previously claimed was written in anger about not being represented by national leadership.

If Armstrong — who was born in Oakland, California — genuinely wants to renounce his citizenship, here are some tips, according to USA.gov.

“Giving up your U.S. citizenship has consequences,” warns the website. “You should never make this decision lightly, as it can only be undone under very limited circumstances. Renouncing your U.S. citizenship means that you:

  • Give up your rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen.
  • Must become a citizen of another nation or risk becoming ‘stateless.’
  • May need a visa to visit the United States.”

Armstrong has publicly supported the presidential campaigns of Democrat Barack Obama and Independent Bernie Sanders over the past 15 years. He has also taken public shots at former President Donald Trump through the years, including one Hitler comparison.

In an exchange with Kerrang! magazine, prior to the 2016 president election, Armstrong quipped the only thing worse than Trump’s candidacy … was the millions of people across the country supporting it.

“The worst problem I see about Trump is who his followers are,” Armstrong told the magazine. 

Armstrong added, “I actually feel bad for them, because they’re poor, working-class people who can’t get a leg up. They’re pissed off, and he’s preyed on their anger. He just said, ‘You have no options and I’m the only one, and I’m going to take care of it myself.’ I mean, that’s (expletive) Hitler, man!”


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IMF Slashes US Growth Forecast, Sees ‘Narrowing Path’ to Avoid Recession


WASHINGTON—The International Monetary Fund on Friday slashed its U.S. economic growth forecast as aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes cool demand but predicted that the United States would “narrowly” avoid a recession.

In an annual assessment of U.S. economic policies, the IMF said it now expects U.S. Gross Domestic Product to grow 2.9 percent in 2022, less than its most recent forecast of 3.7 percent in April.

For 2023, the IMF cut its U.S. growth forecast to 1.7 percent from 2.3 percent and it now expects growth to trough at 0.8 percent in 2024.

Last October, the IMF predicted 5.2 percent U.S. growth this year, but since then, new COVID-19 variants and stubborn supply chain disruptions have slowed recovery, while a sharp spike in fuel and food prices prompted by Ukraine’s war further stoked inflation to 40-year highs.

“We are conscious that there is a narrowing path to avoiding a recession in the U.S.,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told a news conference, noting that the outlook had a high degree of uncertainty.

“The economy continues to recover from the pandemic and important shocks are buffeting the economy from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and from lockdowns in China,” she said. “Further negative shocks would inevitably make the situation more difficult.”

If large enough, a shock could push the United States into a recession, but it would likely be short and shallow with a modest rise in unemployment, akin to the U.S. recession in 2001, said IMF Deputy Western Hemisphere Director Nigel Chalk. Strong U.S. savings would help support demand, he added.

Inflation Cutting “Pain”

Georgieva said price stability was important to protect U.S. incomes and sustain growth, but there may be “some pain” for consumers in achieving it.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks during a conference hosted by the Vatican on economic solidarity, at the Vatican on Feb. 5, 2020. (Remo Casilli/Reuters)

She said her discussions with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Fed Chair Jerome Powell “left no doubt as to their commitment to bring inflation back down.”

U.S. inflation by the Fed’s preferred measure is running at more than three times the U.S. central bank’s 2 percent target.

Georgieva said the responsibility to restore low and stable inflation rests with the Fed, and that the fund views the U.S. central bank’s desire to quickly bring its benchmark overnight interest rate up to the 3.5 percent–4 percent level as “the correct policy to bring down inflation.” The Fed’s current policy rate ranges from 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent.

“We believe this policy path should create an upfront tightening of financial conditions which will quickly bring inflation back to target. We also support the Fed’s decision to reduce its balance sheet,” she said.

By David Lawder and Andrea Shalal

Reuters

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US Long-Range Rocket Systems Arrive in Ukraine: Minister


Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov greets fellow ministers and senior military personnel prior to the start of their Ukraine Defense Consultative Group meeting at U.S. Airbase in Ramstein, Germany, on April 26, 2022. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

Ukraine said on Thursday it had received U.S. supplies of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), a powerful long-range weapon system that Kyiv hopes can help turn the tide on Russia’s invasion.

Moscow’s forces are advancing in Ukraine’s east in a bid to capture the industrial heartland known as the Donbass where Ukraine fears some of its troops could be encircled in a Russian pincer.

“Thank you to my U.S. colleague and friend Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for these powerful tools! Summer will be hot for Russian occupiers. And the last one for some of them,” Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Twitter of the HIMARS delivery.

He did not say how say many of the systems had arrived.

Ukraine says it needs the HIMARS systems to better match the range of Russian rocket systems that it says are being extensively used to pummel Ukrainian positions in Donbass.

Washington has said it has received assurances from Kyiv that those longer-range weapons would not be used to attack Russian territory, fearing an escalation of the conflict.

Moscow has warned it will strike targets in Ukraine which they “have not yet been hitting” if the West supplies longer-range missiles to Ukraine for use in high-precision mobile rocket systems.

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Canadians More Trusting of US as Ally, but Less so of Biden, Pew Poll Suggests


Canadians are growing more confident in the United States as a trusted and reliable international ally, but losing faith in the man who’s currently running the country, a new poll suggests.

In the Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday, only 61 percent of Canadian respondents said they have confidence in President Joe Biden to do the right thing on the world stage—a steep decline from the 77 percent who said the same thing in 2021.

At the same time, 84 percent of Canadians who took part said they consider the U.S. a somewhat or very reliable partner—a 16-point increase over the previous year, with 21 percent describing their southern neighbour as very reliable, compared with 11 percent in 2021.

Those results are broadly in line with the centre’s findings in other countries around the world, and likely reflect ongoing momentum following Donald Trump’s departure from the White House, said Richard Wike, Pew’s director of global attitudes research.

“That reliability measure is definitely one where we’ve seen some movement in a positive direction, with more people—including in Canada—saying that the U.S. is a more reliable partner,” Wike said.

“Last year it was positive, and it’s even more so this time around.”

For Biden, however, Pew found precisely the opposite, although Wike said that probably represents a cooling of post-Trump euphoria than outright disappointment in Biden’s performance to date.

“Last year, he benefited in a lot of places, in part, from not being Trump, who was very unpopular in most of these countries,” Wike said.

“It’s important to note that there’s still positive for Biden … it’s about six in 10 across these countries who do have confidence in him.”

The Canadian portion of the survey was conducted by telephone with 1,324 respondents between Feb. 14 and April 24, and carries a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

Biden has been struggling for months to get political traction among Americans in a midterm-election year, a common plight for new presidents but one that has been dramatically amplified in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global impact of the war in Ukraine.

With inflation and gas prices testing new thresholds, Biden’s approval ratings have been plumbing new depths. Only 39 percent of respondents to a recent USA Today/Suffolk poll gave the president a passing grade, with 47 percent saying they strongly disapproved of his performance and seven in 10 saying the country is on the wrong track.

Outside the U.S., last year’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan hasn’t helped matters: while respondents in 17 countries narrowly supported the decision to pull U.S. troops, they widely disapproved of how it was handled.

In Canada, 50 percent of respondents said pulling out was the right decision for the U.S., with 40 percent disagreeing and 10 percent saying they didn’t know. But 62 percent said it was done badly, compared with 33 percent who said it was handled well.

“In every country except Germany, confidence in Biden to do the right thing in world affairs (was) much lower among people who think America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was handled poorly,” Pew said in a release.

Among those Canadians who said the withdrawal was mishandled, only 54 percent said they trust the president to do the right thing in world affairs.

While it canvassed participants for their attitudes toward NATO and Russian President Vladimir Putin, it did not include any specific questions pertaining to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24.

But Wike said the results likely reflect the sense of international solidarity that was emerging at the time toward Ukraine and its allies, including the U.S., which was key in building a global coalition of opposition to Russia’s aggression and providing Ukraine with weapons and aid.

“I think it’s logical to conclude that some of that increase, in terms of people seeing the U.S. as reliable partners, is probably tied to the perception that the U.S. is working closely with allies and partners to support Ukraine.”

The Pew survey found few surprises when it came to attitudes in Canada and around the world toward Putin and Russia.

Nearly nine in 10 Canadian respondents—89 percent—said they have no confidence in the Russian president to do the right thing regarding world affairs, compared to 34 percent in 2001, a result broadly in line with the all-time lows recorded in other countries.

Similarly, member countries reflected a generally positive attitude toward NATO, including strong increases in support among respondents in Germany, the U.K., Poland and even Sweden, a non-member that has since applied for membership in the military alliance.

In Canada, 65 percent of respondents said they have a favourable opinion of NATO, down two percentage points from the 2021 survey.

By James McCarten

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Survey: 91% of Americans Concerned About Inflation Ahead of November Midterms

Inflation has become the top concern among U.S. voters heading into the November midterm elections, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey released on Thursday.

The Rasmussen survey polled Americans on a variety of issues, and ”inflation” headlined the list at 91% — an increase of nearly 4 percentage points from last month.

Newsmax previously reported the U.S. economy’s inflation rate rose by 8.6% for May, representing this country’s highest monthly increase in 41 years.

And citing a Breitbart News report, the U.S. has now posted 12 consecutive months of inflation hovering above 5%.

”Excluding food and energy, prices were up 6 percent compared with a year ago, more than the 5.9 percent anticipated. On the month, prices rose 0.6 percent, matching last month’s gain and beating the expectation for a slowdown to 0.5 percent,” Breitbart wrote.

For the Rasmussen survey, 91% of respondents were ”concerned” about inflation, and 69% of that subgroup were ”very concerned” about this issue.

Across party lines, the group of inflation-minded concerned citizens covered 97% of Republicans, 90% of Democrats and 88% of those who identify as ”independent” voters. 

After inflation, the economy collected the second-highest tally of concerns, at 89%. Among this group, 69% rated their economic worries as ”very concerned.”

Violent crime (88% concern rate), guaranteeing integrity with elections (75%), illegal immigration (66%) and climate change (64%) rounded out the top six listing of voter concerns. 

The survey was conducted June 14-15 and addressed 1,000 likely U.S. voters. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Right now, the Democrats control the House and Senate chambers, along with the executive branch in the White House under President Joe Biden. 

But things could dramatically change come November.

For the midterm elections, the Republicans need a net positive of five seats to claim the majority in the House chamber, and just one more seat to control the Senate.


© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



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Wealth Tracking Firm Predicts Russian Millionaire Exodus of 15K by 2023

Russia could lose 15% of its millionaires by 2023 because of harsh economic sanctions imposed by the United States and other nations in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

The wealth tracking organization Henley & Partners is predicting that Russia will “hemorrhage” some 15,000 millionaires by the end of 2023 as it grapples with harsh economic sanctions, according to the firm.

“Russia is expected to see a net loss of around 15,000 high-net-worth individuals in 2022, a massive 15% of its total millionaire population,” New World Health Head of Research Andrew Amoils wrote of the migration trends expected this year. “Affluent individuals have been emigrating from Russia in steadily rising numbers every year over the past decade, an early warning sign of the current problems the country is facing. Historically, major country collapses have usually been preceded by an acceleration in emigration of wealthy people, who are often the first to leave as they have the means to do so.”

The organization predicts that the main destination for these millionaires is likely the United Arab Emirates.

The Guardian reported in March, about a month following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, that nations around the world were imposing tough economic sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s country, that the UAE’s destination city of Dubai was throwing out the welcome mat for rich Russians, including many of the most well-heeled in Putin’s inner circle.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Alan Pinto, a leasing consultant at Espace Real Estate in Dubai Marina told the Guardian in March. “A radical amount of Russian investors are purchasing units. Even tenants: we’ve had a huge amount of calls. They transfer their funds via crypto. They have an intermediary who will do that for them and then the cash is passed to the landlords.”

The moves come as U.S.-led sanctions against Russia’s central bank are preventing it from propping up the Russian ruble, denying them access to the SWIFT messaging system, which hampers Russia’s ability to move money around the world, and assets of several key oligarchs are being seized including bank accounts, real estate, and luxury items housed in other countries, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

In addition, the United States and several other countries have stopped importing Russian oil and gas, a significant money-maker for that nation, which combined have the potential to “produce far more severe consequences” to the Russian economy, according to the council.

According to the wealth tracking firm’s analysis, Russia has about 101,000 millionaires, or high-net-worth individuals, in the country.


© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



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US Seeks to Expand Monkeypox Testing as Cases Rise

CHICAGO—U.S. health officials are working to expand capabilities to test for monkeypox beyond a narrow group of public health labs, heeding calls from infectious disease experts who say testing for the virus needs to become part of routine care.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a conference call on Friday that her agency is working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand testing capacity to include commercial laboratories.

The CDC did not respond to a request for further details.

Currently, preliminary monkeypox testing in the United States is done through a network of 69 public health laboratories, which send results to the CDC for confirmation.

There have been at least 45 confirmed monkeypox cases in 16 U.S. states so far, with the bulk of the current outbreak outside of Africa, where the virus is endemic, occurring in Europe.

The United States has conducted roughly 300 monkeypox tests.

“There is not enough testing going on now for monkeypox in the United States,” said Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“The commercial labs are used to working with healthcare providers from across the country, moving samples around quickly, reporting results quickly in a way that providers understand and expect,” he said.

Large commercial U.S. testing companies include Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp.

For commercial labs to do this testing, they need access to monkeypox samples to validate their tests, regulatory guidance from the FDA, and commercial billing codes set by CMS, said Inglesby, a former senior White House adviser for the COVID-19 response.

“My sense is all of that is moving forward,” he said.

In a detailed report of 17 cases published by the CDC last week, most patients identified as men who have sex with men.

In many of the cases, the monkeypox rash started in the genital area, which could lead some doctors to misdiagnose it as a more common sexually transmitted infection such as herpes or syphilis.

“Monkeypox symptoms are mimicking other sexually transmitted infections,” said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of Sexually Transmitted Disease Directors. “We need to mount a bigger national response.”

The Association of Public Health Laboratories said it has plenty of capacity now, but would work to expand testing to commercial labs should the outbreak continue to grow.

By Julie Steenhuysen



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