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Written by on February 3, 2021

Welcome to another edition of Ringside Politics with Jeff Crouere

Today’s Hot Topics:

1) White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki seemed surprised when a reporter during her daily briefing Tuesday asked if President Biden has made any decisions regarding the U.S. Space Force.

“Wow, Space Force,” Psaki said, visibly taken by surprise by the question. 

“It’s the plane of today. It is an interesting question,” she responded.

The “plane” comment is a reference to a question Psaki got during her Jan. 22 briefing  on what color scheme Biden would prefer for Air Force One. She said Biden “has not spent a moment” thinking about the color scheme for the presidential airplane.

Her reaction to the Space Force question suggests Biden has probably not given much thought to the Space Force. 

“I am happy to check with our Space Force point of contact,” said Psaki. “I’m not sure who that is. I will find out and see if they have any update on that.”

2) Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester on Tuesday questioned the Biden administration’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL oil pipeline, arguing the project could have moved forward without making climate change a “markedly worse situation.”

President Biden revoked the permit for the 1,700-mile pipeline through executive action on his first day in office, roiling conservatives and some Democrats who touted the project’s potential to create jobs. Tester reiterated that he was a “supporter” of the pipeline, so long as it was constructed with safety standards in mind and with respect to local property rights.

“In the end, I think it’s a good project,” Tester said during an appearance on CNN. “I believe in climate change, but I also think this one pipeline isn’t going to turn it around, isn’t going to turn our climate around and it’s not going to make it a markedly worse situation.”

3) Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is defending his decision to object to the Electoral College results of two states during Congress’ tallying of the votes last week, offering the opinions of his constituents as the cornerstone of his explanation.

“Many, many citizens in Missouri have deep concerns about election integrity,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Southeast Missourian. “For months, I heard from these Missourians — writing, calling my office, stopping me to talk. They want Congress to take action to see that our elections at every level are free, fair, and secure. They have a right to be heard in Congress.”

The op-ed follows a period of harsh pushback against the senator after his objection following the deadly riot at the Capitol by protesters loyal to President Trump. Some of his fellow Senate Republicans have criticized him, and his political mentor and a major financial backer have also spoken out against Hawley.

The senator, however, defended his action, writing: “As their representative, it is my duty to speak on their behalf. That is just what I did last week.”

4) President Biden signed executive actions Tuesday ordering the review and potential reversal of the Trump administration’s deterrent policies along the Mexico border and the barriers they created to legal immigration, calling his predecessor’s actions “very counterproductive to our security.”

The directives also create an interagency task force to reunite families separated by former president Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” border crackdown. Biden called the separation of migrant families instigated by the previous administration a “moral and national shame.”

The orders signed Tuesday continue a blizzard of executive actions that Biden has issued since the first day of his presidency addressing policy challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic, economic relief and climate change.

“There’s a lot of talk, with good reason, about the number of executive orders I’ve signed,” Biden said from the Oval Office as he signed the orders. “I’m not making new law. I’m eliminating bad policy.”

Today’s Guests:

1) Erin Hawley, Senior Legal Fellow: Independent Women’s Law Center – joins the show in the first hour to discuss the legalities of the past month’s events.

2) Connie Zimmerman, Organizer: Recall JBE Campaign – calls in to give her take on local politics and discuss the campaign to recall Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards.

3) Mimi Owens, Ringside All-Star – rendezvous with Jeff to opine and take callers.

4) Dr. Patrick Moore, Author: Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom – discusses his latest work and the COVID-19 pandemic.

5) Mario Balaban, Media Relations Manager: Project Vertitas – calls in to discus the corruption of mainstream media.