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November 13, 2023

Monday: Below the Fold

Reports of Youngkin’s demise greatly exaggerated, Army does a recruitment 180, Iran drone/Syria strike, and more.


  • Not so fast on control of Virginia state Senate: It appears that Leftmedia reports of Governor Glenn Youngkin’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Indeed, the ardently pro-Democrat mainstream media may have been too quick to trumpet what they saw as bad news for Virginia’s improbably popular Republican governor. As one typical headline read, “Glenn Youngkin’s Devastating Loss in Virginia Sparks Wave of Jokes, Mockery.” What was the wellspring of all this derision? Last Tuesday, Democrats kept control of the state Senate and regained control of the state House of Delegates. This was the opposite of what Youngkin had been campaigning hard for — which was control of both houses so as to push through a commonsense conservative agenda during the last two years of his governorship. But it seems that a Democrat incumbent, Ghazala Hashmi, misrepresented her residency, which would be disqualifying and would turn a 21-19 Democrat majority into a 20-20 tie, with Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears — hmm, we wonder how she’ll vote? — casting the tiebreaking vote. As Just the News reports: Hashmi “said on her campaign paperwork that she lived in an apartment in North Chesterfield in Senate District 15, which she won with 61.9% of the vote. However, four neighbors filed a complaint stating that Hashmi lives in Midlothian, outside of the district, and they provided a spreadsheet showing that they had passed her home 61 times in October to document her residency.” Here’s hoping the MSM ends up eating crow.

  • Desperate Army does a recruitment 180: No one has gone broke lately underestimating the intelligence of the U.S. military’s recruiting brain trust, but perhaps they’ve finally gotten the message. As Homeland Institute Executive Director David Zsutty writes in an article titled “A Thousand Good Reasons Not to Enlist,” we have a battle brewing for the soul of the American military. “In a 180-degree reversal after years of celebrating Bio-Leninist rejects, the US Army recently released a recruitment video featuring white [alpha males] jumping out of an airplane. Emma, their previously-lauded girl with two moms from California, is nowhere to be seen — presumably because a real war is brewing.” We’ve documented the Army’s recruiting woes rather extensively during the Biden presidency, as well as the administration’s unwillingness to face the fact that the twin scourges of weakness and wokeness are to blame. And while we’re forever hopeful that a new commander-in-chief and a good housecleaning are all that stand between able-bodied young men and women and a restored fighting force, Zsutty isn’t yet ready to make amends. “From my time in the US Air Force,” he writes, “I can attest that if the military were a company, it would have failed years ago from gross incompetence. … Whenever careerism or bureaucracy clashed with the mission, the mission almost always lost.”

  • Hiring is HOT for prior-military personnel: “Listen up, maggots,” begins columnist Callum Borchers in a Wall Street Journal piece with nowhere to go but up. “What this company needs is more effort and less whining, and I know just the person to set the tone: a drill sergeant or somebody who survived one.” (He meant “drill instructor,” but whatever.) What Callum is talking about is the “staggering demand” of right-thinking companies for the annual availability of roughly 200,000 recently honorably discharged military vets. As Callum notes: “Veterans and companies that recruit from the armed forces say vets’ appeal is rooted in hard work, humility, and attention to detail. Many a manager has complained to me that such qualities are hard to find in the age of quiet quitting and coffee badging.” Indeed, try quiet quitting in our beloved Corps and see what it’ll get you. As one former executive, David McCormick of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, notes, “Ability is not teachable and values are often not teachable, so the qualities that we are least able to influence are the things we often find in veterans.” That’s good news all the way around.

  • Arrest made in sexual assault of former senator: Col. Martha McSally (USAF Ret.) is a fighter. The former A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter pilot, who then served as a Republican House and Senate member from Arizona, was assaulted last week by a dirtbag while she was on a morning run in Iowa. McSally, 57, who has previously spoken about being a rape survivor, managed to not just fight off her attacker, but then pursued him. She recounted her ordeal in a gripping social media post shortly after the attack: “A man came up behind me, and he engulfed me in a bear hug, and he molested and fondled me until I fought him off. … I was in a fight-flight-or-freeze, and I chose to fight. I ran after him, I threw my water bottle at him, and I chased him into the brush, where he was then hiding as I called 911 and waited for the police to come.” Her assailant was identified and arrested. McSally responded, “You picked the wrong target.”

  • Iran drone/Syria strike: U.S. officials have confirmed that a U.S. military drone that was shot down off the coast of Yemen last week was indeed the work of Iranian-backed rebels. “We can confirm that a U.S. military MQ-9 remotely-piloted aircraft was shot down off the coast of Yemen by Houthi forces,” stated a U.S. senior official. June 2019 was the last time Houthi forces downed a U.S. drone. Meanwhile, on Sunday the Pentagon announced that it was initiating another round of airstrikes targeting Iranian facilities in Syria. This indicates a ratcheting up of U.S. military actions in the region following Hamas’s attack against Israel and a number of Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin defended the decision by saying it was designed “to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”

  • The “Islamophobia” threat: In downtown New York City, directly outside the New York Times building, pro-Hamas protesters smashed a police cruiser and spray-painted it with the words “Free Gaza,” “IDF,” and “KKK.” This incident followed a protest where thousands of pro-Palestinian marchers flooded the streets, with a mob of them storming the NYT lobby calling for a “ceasefire now.” Meanwhile, Joe Biden is focused on the threat of so-called Islamophobia, as the White House earlier this month announced that Biden was taking steps to develop a national strategy to combat hatred against Muslims. Well, if pro-Hamas protests in New York and other parts of the country are any indication, Biden is barking up the wrong tree.

  • Bare shelves in DC: Following a looting mob stripping the shelves nearly bare at a CVS pharmacy store in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington, DC, last month, the store has taken new drastic measures to prevent any future shoplifting rampages. The CVS store’s shelves remain empty of any products, but in their place are pictures of the goods for sale. Customers are now forced to press a call button and wait for a store employee to bring out the goods requested. With looting mobs becoming a big problem in many of the nation’s largest cities, companies like CVS have responded by both closing down a number of their stores in high-crime neighborhoods, or, as in the case of this DC store, going to extraordinary lengths to prevent shoplifting.

  • NYC mayor’s devices seized by FBI: New York City Mayor Eric Adams had an iPad and cellphones seized by FBI agents last week as part of the federal agency’s investigation into political corruption that has included Adams’s primary campaign fundraiser, Brianna Suggs. Following the seizures, Adams’s attorney explained that the mayor has complied with the FBI and that Adams “has not been accused of any wrongdoing and continues to cooperate with the investigation.” A spokesman for Adams noted that the FBI has already returned some of the electronic devices. It is being reported that the FBI’s investigation is focused on whether Turkish nationals illegally donated to Adams’s campaign, a violation of federal law.


  • Pentagon IDs Army special operations aviation soldiers killed in crash (Military Times)

  • Secret Service agents protecting Biden’s granddaughter open fire after three people try to break into SUV (New York Post)

  • Tim Scott suspends 2024 GOP primary bid (The Hill)

  • San Francisco removes homeless in beautification before Biden’s summit with Chinese President Xi (Fox News)

  • “Many” students leading anti-Semitic hate events on college campuses “are not U.S. citizens” (Daily Wire) | MIT blasted for protecting anti-Semitic students over fears they’d lose their visas (Daily Wire)

  • Whistleblowers: FBI officials singled out agents who were former military for anti-Trump retaliation (Washington Times)

  • More terrible news for EVs: Electric vehicles see value depreciate by nearly 50% in five-year span (Washington Examiner) | Fueling electric vehicles costs roughly the equivalent of $17 a gallon (Washington Examiner)

  • First-of-a-kind nuclear project is terminated in a blow to Biden’s clean energy agenda (AP)

  • Over 1.9 million people illegally entered Texas in fiscal 2023 (Washington Examiner)

  • Migrant crisis has taxpayers on the hook for up to $451 billion, House GOP report says (New York Post)

  • Humor: Thousands already lined up for Black Friday after grocery store offers prices from when Trump was president (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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