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November 3, 2023

Friday: Below the Fold

Jobs numbers disappoint, SBF found guilty, Russia pulls out of nuke treaty, and more.


  • October jobs numbers disappoint: The Labor Department reported that just 150,000 jobs were added in October, an uninspiring number in its own right and coming up short of the Dow Jones forecasted 170,000. The United Auto Workers strike is being at least partly blamed for the shortfall, as the manufacturing sector saw overall jobs constrict. Meanwhile, the headline unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, coming in above the anticipated 3.8%. Hourly wages increased 0.2%, also coming in below a forecasted 0.3%, and inflation continued rising, up 0.1% to 4.1% over last year. All are indications that the warnings of economic downturn appear to be accurate. Given the negative report, the Federal Reserve will refrain from enacting another interest rake hike this year.

  • Sales record expected: The National Retail Federation predicts record retail sales ahead of Christmas. However, as Mark Alexander notes, “Because of record Bidenflation, resulting in record-high prices, there won’t be any ‘record purchases.’” In other words, thanks to inflation, everything costs more, and Washington is spinning the high cost of goods as positive spending data, as if Americans are doing so well financially they are free to spend more money. In reality, Americans are not consuming a higher quantity of goods, but rather are simply being forced to pay more for the goods they normally buy. Paying more for the same is being spun as “record sales despite inflation.”

  • Google praises terrorists: It’s well known that Big Tech leans hard left, putting its elbow on the scales in every area from Internet search to speech censorship. But once in a while the mask slips, giving us an even clearer image of the bias and the rot. One such example involves Google search, which “is burying news articles explaining Hamas’ terrorism under curated pull-quotes that seek to make a false equivalence between Israel and the terrorists,” The Daily Wire reports. “If a user searches ‘Hamas rape women,’ before showing the bountiful search results describing sick sexual assaults and war crimes, Google injects a large text section saying ‘What did Hamas do to women in Israel?’” It sounds like a natural tee-up for “rape,” but it isn’t. At least not according to the twisted algorithm of the world’s leading search engine. Instead, Google tells us that the most noteworthy thing these terrorists do with women isn’t to display them unconscious and semi-naked in the back of pickup trucks before beheading them, but rather to release them from captivity. “Hamas on Monday released two elderly Israeli women held hostage in Gaza,” Google tells us in a large text block before delivering our search results. What a strange way to respond to a search about Hamas, women, and rape.

  • Law firms warn campus leftists: Whether you believe the purpose of attending college is to obtain work-related abilities or to grow personally and intellectually, your investment these days isn’t what it used to be. Step on a campus now and you’re likely to be surrounded by leftist idiocy and intolerance. This is especially true when it comes to Jew hatred, which is experiencing a contagion-like resurgence on campuses all across the country. Some major donors are pushing back, as are some of the nation’s leading law firms. Indeed, two dozen top firms have penned an admonition to law schools, warning them to clean up their ugly mess or risk a downturn in recruitment activities. “As educators at institutions of higher learning,” the statement read, “it is imperative that you provide your students with the tools and guidance to engage in the free exchange of ideas, even on emotionally charged issues, in a manner that affirms the values we all hold dear and rejects unreservedly that which is antithetical to those values. There is no room for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism or any other form of violence, hatred or bigotry on your campuses, in our workplaces or our communities.”

  • House passes Israel aid and rejects Tlaib censure: Now that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has a speaker, it’s gotten back to the business not only of legislating but also policing its own. Yesterday, the people’s house passed a bill providing $14.3 billion in aid to Israel and in the process setting up a fight with the Democrat-controlled Senate. Why the fight? Simple: House Republicans refused to cave to Joe Biden’s demand for a “kitchen sink” bill, a massive $106 billion package that would included $61.4 billion for Ukraine, $13.6 billion for border security, $9 billion for “humanitarian” aid to Gaza Hamas, and $2 billion or so for Taiwan in addition to the funding for Israel. Speaker Mike Johnson made clear that those allocations ought to be addressed separately. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that his chamber “will not be considering this deeply flawed proposal from the House GOP.” Denying aid to Israel is an interesting strategy for the Democrats. It’ll be interesting to see who blinks first. Elsewhere in the House, a measure to censure pro-Hamas Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib failed, as 20 Republicans joined Democrats in voting against it. Among those Republicans was Thomas Massie, a rock-ribbed conservative who rightly argued that those who value free speech must be willing to defend not only the speech they love but also the speech they hate.

  • What election fraud? Democrats are fond of dismissing Republican claims of electoral fraud out of hand. “Nothing to see here,” they say. “Move along.” Yet as The Daily Signal reports, in the Democrat stronghold of Connecticut, just days before a scheduled general election in Bridgeport, “a judge threw out the results of a [Democrat] primary election for mayor, citing ‘shocking’ evidence of voter fraud caught on video.” What kind of fraud, you ask? As the Signal continues, “A surveillance camera showed individuals stuffing multiple absentee ballots into a ballot dropbox at night.” We too are shocked — SHOCKED — that Democrats would engage in voter fraud. And we wonder: Did the perpetrators ever see Dinesh D'Souza’s “2000 Mules”? In fairness to lawyers for the city and its incumbent mayor, Joe Ganim, who benefitted from the ballot-stuffing, they say that the video of people stuffing ballots into the dropbox “didn’t prove illegal voting took place.” Uh-huh.

  • Petitioning the NCAA about women’s sports: As the issue of “transgender” men competing against girls and women in sports becomes increasingly untenable, Republican governors are taking action at the state level. In a letter to the NCAA signed by nine Republican governors, they petition the collegiate sports governing body to revise its “misguided policies” and ban males from competing in women’s sports. As the letter reads: “Policies that allow men and women to compete against one another validate an average male athlete stealing the recognition from a truly remarkable female athlete. … Science proves that it is fundamentally unfair for a biological male to compete against a biological female — that does not change when someone declares themselves as being of a different gender.” This is common sense, and it’s sad that it needs to be stated so forcefully. The letter was signed by a group of red-state governors: Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Sarah Sanders of Arkansas, Tate Reeves of Mississippi, Mike Parson of Missouri, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Joe Lombardo of Nevada, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Greg Abbott of Texas, and Mark Gordon of Wyoming. It’s interesting, and encouraging, that Noem now sees the wisdom of this ban, having earlier been reluctant to support it.

  • SBF found guilty: On Thursday at a Manhattan federal court, Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all counts of fraud and money laundering related to his now-collapsed crypto currency exchange company FTX. The prosecution argued that Bankman-Fried “misappropriated and embezzled FTX customer deposits, and used billions of dollars in stolen funds for a variety of purposes, including … to help fund over a hundred million dollars in campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans to seek to influence cryptocurrency regulation.” That masks the truth just a bit: SBF was a mega-donor to Democrats, giving them roughly $39 million during the 2022 election cycle. In total, Bankman-Fried defrauded his clients of some $10 billion. His sentencing is scheduled for March, and he faces up to 115 years in prison, pending appeal.

  • Racist bird names: The American Ornithological Society evidently believes in word crimes — or, more specifically, name crimes. Naming birds after people is now being deemed by the society as “offensive or exclusionary,” and some species will therefore be renamed. “Offensive” bird names include Anna’s Hummingbird, Lewis’s Woodpecker, and Bullock’s Oriole. As the society’s president Colleen Handel argued, “Names have power and power can be for the good or it can be for the bad.” So, how are names like “Anna,” “Lewis,” or “Bullock” bad? Race. You see, those names sound too much like white names. As Handel ridiculously explained, “We’ve come to understand that there are certain names that have offensive or derogatory connotations that cause pain to people, and that it is important to change those, to remove those as barriers to their participation in the world of birds.” Just because the vast majority of bird watchers in American history have been white, and just because the majority of the population was and is white and therefore named the birds they saw using culturally familiar names, does not mean they were seeking to “exclude” and “denigrate” other cultures. Only a bird brain embracing the inherently racist critical race theory could come up with and assign such ridiculous and negative motivations to others.

  • Russia pulls out of nuke treaty: On Thursday, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin pulled out of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), a bilateral treaty between the U.S. and Russia adopted in 1996. The treaty banned either country from engaging in nuclear weapons test explosions. Putin’s move came as no surprise given that he has been threatening to do so over his objection to U.S. and NATO support for Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded by weakly warning, “Russia’s action will only serve to set back confidence in the international arms control regime.” Putin did not indicate whether Russia would actually resume nuclear testing. The last time Russia tested a nuke was back in 1990 prior to the Soviet Union’s collapse. The U.S. last tested a nuclear weapon in 1992. United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research senior researcher Andrey Baklitskiy worried that Putin’s pullout was the latest move down a “slippery slope” toward restarting nuclear testing. “We don’t know what steps will follow and when, but we know where this road ends,” he said. “And we don’t want to go there.”


  • Kamala Harris blasted for “tone-deaf” post announcing anti-Islamophobia plan amid Israel-Hamas war (Fox News)

  • Dick Durbin backs Israel ceasefire; senator becomes highest-ranking Democrat to voice support (Washington Examiner)

  • Hamas is hoarding vast amounts of fuel as Gaza hospitals run low (NBC News)

  • The Washington Post says Hamas is more trustworthy than Joe Biden (The Federalist)

  • Eric Adams’s chief fundraiser raided by FBI over alleged kickback scheme involving Turkish government (New York Post)

  • 187,000 migrants apprehended at border in first month of new fiscal year — 30,000 more gotaways (Breitbart)

  • Chinese nationals crossing into U.S. from Mexico border reaches new high, sparking national security concerns (New York Post)

  • IRS raises 401(k), IRA contribution limits for 2024 (Fox Business)

  • Martial Arts org changes rules after women were forced to compete against trans-identifying men (Daily Wire)

  • Policy: How to make genuine U.S. border security part of Ukraine-Israel funding (National Review)

  • Humor: California proposes another minimum wage increase so people can afford products made more expensive by previous minimum wage increase (Babylon Bee)

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