October 18, 2023

Wednesday: Below the Fold

Jim Jordan falls short, Cornell prof “exhilarated” by Hamas attacks, appeasement all around the world, and more.


  • Jordan falls short on first vote: Yesterday, Ohio Republican and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan came up 17 votes short of the necessary 217 he needs to become speaker of the House and get the Republican-controlled legislative body back into business. The 20 GOP votes that went elsewhere included votes for former speaker Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, and Lee Zeldin, the former New York congressman and gubernatorial candidate who’s no longer even a House member. Word within the halls is that some of those “No” votes were cast out of bitterness about the way Jordan’s surrogates handled Steve Scalise’s earlier failed candidacy for speaker. “We’re gonna keep going,” said Jordan late Tuesday. “I’ve had great conversations, great discussions with our colleagues. No one in our conference wants to see any type of coalition government with Democrats. … We’re going to get to the votes.” A second floor vote is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET today, and whether Jordan has been able to move his intransigent colleagues into the fold is anyone’s guess — as is what lies next for House leadership should he fall short again.

  • Cotton calls for deportation of Hamas-supporting non-citizens: Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton is calling for the prompt deportation of all non-U.S. citizens taking part in the pro-Hamas rallies on campuses across the country. In a letter sent Monday to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Cotton cited federal immigration law about those who support terrorism being inadmissible to the U.S., including international students studying here. “I write to urge you to immediately deport any foreign national — including and especially any alien on a student visa — that has expressed support for Hamas and its murderous attacks on Israel,” he wrote to Mayorkas. “These fifth-columnists have no place in the United States.” Cotton also noted that while Americans have a First Amendment right to speak freely, that same privilege doesn’t apply to foreign nationals. As for how these individuals might be rounded up, Cotton noted that the FBI was able to identify “every Donald Trump supporter who was within a country mile of Washington, DC, on January 6,” and he suggested that these same techniques, along with the available videotape from the pro-Hamas rallies, could be used by the FBI to identify and deport these pro-terrorism foreigners.

  • Cornell prof “exhilarated” by Hamas attacks: Sometimes it seems that the smartest people are also the dumbest. Academia is rife with this problem, and a Cornell University professor is the latest example. “It was exhilarating. It was energizing,” Russell Rickford, an associate professor of history, told a crowd about Hamas’s gruesome attack on Israel last week. “And if they weren’t exhilarated by this challenge to the monopoly of violence, the shifting of the violence of power, then they would not be human. I was exhilarated.” He got some applause, and the crowd also chanted the anti-Semitic refrain, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Hamas murdered more than 1,400 people in that “exhilarating” attack, including 30 Americans. The shameless Rickford could use some remedial history.

  • How “secure” is the border? Conservatives who decry Joe Biden’s open-border policies “are suggesting that anyone can get into the U.S. without much hassle,” Axios explains. “But the reality is that the southern border is more fortified than it’s ever been.” That’s a howler! The rest of the report supposedly debunks the open-border “myth” by pointing to record arrests at the border and vastly increased numbers of Border Patrol agents. Besides, Axios tells us, border security and the Border Patrol itself has racist roots tied to the KKK. There’s no mention of the 1.6 million known “gotaways,” or the unknown number who cross without an encounter with law enforcement, or the millions Biden is releasing into the U.S. In other news from the totally secure border, an illegal alien killed two people in separate attacks in Nashville this past week. And Chicago, where the DNC is set to hold its 2024 convention, is so utterly overrun by illegals that Mayor Brandon Johnson had announced a trip to the border. He has since changed his mind and canceled. Maybe that’s because Axios convinced him the border is secure.

  • Appeasement all around the world: Joe Biden appeased Iran before its proxy Hamas attacked Israel. Now he’s appeasing Venezuela. According to The Washington Post, “The Biden administration and the Venezuelan government of President Nicolás Maduro have agreed to a deal in which the United States would ease sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and the authoritarian state would allow a competitive, internationally monitored presidential election next year.” While U.S. sanctions have not weakened Maduro’s grip on power, and while Venezuelan refugees are a growing portion of illegal border crossers, appeasement of a strongman isn’t going to advance democracy the way Team Biden no doubt hopes. Maduro has no more intention of holding fair elections than does Biden.


  • Biden arrives in Tel Aviv with the world watching (Washington Examiner)

  • White House postpones summit with Jordanian, Egyptian, and Palestinian leaders (Washington Examiner)

  • Misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket responsible for hospital explosion, IDF says (National Review)

  • Biden says Israel not to blame for Gaza hospital blast, cites data “shown by my Defense Department” (Fox News)

  • “Squad” members Omar, Tlaib blame Israel for deadly hospital bombing (NY Post)

  • Liberal media inflame Arab world with fake news on Gaza hospital bombing (Townhall)

  • Hamas says top commander killed in airstrike (The Hill)

  • Palestinian Authority to pay families of slain Hamas terrorists (Hot Air)

  • White House weighs $100 billion for Israel, Ukraine bill; plans in flux (Washington Post)

  • Arkansas just became the first state to force a Chinese state-owned company to sell its land and get the heck out (Not the Bee)

  • House Oversight demands special counsel turn over classified docs related to Biden foreign business dealings (National Review)

  • Biden admin faces pressure to drop electric vehicle mandate regulations (Fox News)

  • Soros-backed Louisiana district attorney carjacked at gunpoint with his mother (Fox News)

  • Policy: Visiting Israel is good; punishing Iran would be better (Washington Examiner)

  • Humor: Trump skirts gag order with mini-Trump ventriloquist doll (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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