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November 20, 2023

Monday: Below the Fold

Biden turns 81, Rosalynn Carter dies, J6 tapes coming, re-recruiting unvaxxed soldiers, and more.


  • “Happy” Birthday to Joe? Joe Biden turns 81 today, but things don’t seem too festive there at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Indeed, the octogenarian occupant of the White House has been downright grumpy lately, lashing out at those who dare question his fitness for another four years in office. Just ask David Axelrod, who got under Scranton Joe’s skin recently when he looked at some recent head-to-head polling with Donald Trump in the battleground states and suggested Biden might perhaps maybe reconsider his desire to run for another term. The oldest president in American history — and the most cognitively incapacitated since the stroke-stricken Woodrow Wilson of more than a century ago — apparently dismissed Axelrod with an obscenity that rhymes with “stick.” So much for restoring dignity to the White House. Axelrod was matter-of-fact in his reply, though: “I don’t care about them thinking I’m a [word that rhymes with stick], that’s fine. I hope they don’t think the polls are wrong because they’re not.” For the record, we were warning folks about Biden’s cognitive condition long before the 2020 election. Too bad Axelrod and his ilk decided to put party before country at the time.

  • Rest in Peace, Rosalynn Carter: She was born 96 years ago in Plains, Georgia, and she died peacefully there yesterday with her husband and family by her side. She leaves behind the former president, who at 99 is history’s oldest living former president and has been under hospice care since February. It needn’t be said, but we’ll say it anyway: The Carters were different from the Clintons and the Obamas. They were genuinely kind and decent and humble people. Our Mark Alexander, who was personally acquainted with the Carters after their White House years, can attest to this firsthand. Jimmy, of course, was a failed president whose politics strayed irritatingly leftward in his post presidency, but his dedicated work with, for example, Habitat for Humanity spoke to his strong Christian faith. All the while, the woman who came to be known in Washington as the steel magnolia was by his side. The Carters were married a mind-boggling 77 years ago, a year after World War II ended and before Joe Biden was even in kindergarten. Jimmy called Rosalynn “my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” and he often said that the best thing he ever did was marry her.

  • House Republicans release the J6 tapes: It’s been nearly three years since the events of January 6, 2021, shocked the nation and caused the Democrats no end of obsession and gave them a reason to impeach Donald Trump for the grave offense of having encouraged his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make their voices heard.” And now the Democrats have another reason to gnash their teeth: House Republicans are going to make most of the security footage from the Capitol riot available to the public, said House Speaker Mike Johnson Friday. As Roll Call reports: “Starting Monday, members of the public will be able to set up in-person appointments to view the Capitol Police security footage in designated rooms within the Capitol complex. Eventually, around 95 percent of the 44,000 hours of tape will eventually be made available, excluding segments that contain sensitive security information or information that could lead to retaliation against private citizens, Johnson said.” Some of the footage — such as the clashes between hooligans and Capitol Police will no doubt be grim, but other footage will surely put the lie to the Democrats’ hyperbolic assertion that January 6 was worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined. It may also be helpful in determining just how many federal agents and contacts were involved in the hooliganism — a question that Democrats and their FBI colleagues have consistently dodged.

  • Argentina elects “far-right” Trump supporter: So much for South America’s leftward lurch. Argentinians, utterly fed up with crippling triple-digit inflation and poverty, elected a populist-conservative outsider by the widest margin, 56-44, of any presidential election since the country went democratic in 1983. Javier Milei, the country’s new president-elect, is a self-described anarcho-capitalist economist, a TV personality, and a Donald Trump fan who calls his leftist opponents “s**t leftards.” For a sense of Milei’s style, take two minutes to watch this remarkable clip of an interview in which he straightens out a left-leaning news interlocutor. As Fox News reports, “On the campaign trail, Milei, with his wild hair and inflammatory rhetoric, pledged economic shock therapy and to slash the size of the state.” One can sense the despair among the Leftmedia: “Billionaire Elon Musk on Sunday said after Mr. Milei’s victory that ‘prosperity is ahead for Argentina,” lamented The New York Times. “Mr. Trump congratulated Mr. Milei. 'I am very proud of you,’ he said in an online post. ‘You will turn your country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again!’”

  • Unvaxxed soldiers exhorted to come back: With potential war looming on the horizon, the Biden administration has made an about-face on its claim that U.S. military personnel refusing to get a novel vaccination pose a “present risk to the force and jeopardizes readiness.” Joe Biden’s ill-conceived COVID vaccine mandate prematurely ended the military careers of thousands of young, healthy soldiers. But with the U.S. Army struggling to meet recruitment targets and the world becoming more dangerous by the day, the Pentagon has decided it wants those soldiers back. While Biden’s military COVID vaccine mandate was rescinded back in February, most ousted soldiers still haven’t reenlisted. Now, the Army is actively re-recruiting these former service members with a letter that promises to wipe clean their COVID vaccine refusal discharge records. “Individuals may request a correction to military personnel records, including records regarding the characterization of discharge,” the letter reads. “Individuals who desire to apply to return to service should contact their local Army, U.S. Army Reserve (USAR), or Army National Guard (ARNG) recruiter for more information.”

  • Lewd behavior = “being gay in public”: California Governor Gavin Newsom sounded the “homophobia” alarm when he posted a story on X with the following claim: “A city in Tennessee has banned being gay in public. This is just the beginning. We have to call this out.” The linked New Republic story noted that Murfreesboro had passed an ordinance back in June that bans “indecent behavior,” including “indecent exposure, public indecency, lewd behavior, nudity or sexual conduct.” So, how is this a “gay ban”? Unless Newsom is equating the above listed behaviors to being gay, that is. Indeed, Murfreesboro explicitly eliminated the term “homosexuality” from a previous 1949 code that had included it as “sexual conduct.” In short, Newsom, who should be focused on the declining condition of his own state, has instead sought to distract from his abysmal leadership by throwing shade at Tennessee with fake news. On second thought, maybe this is a clever ploy by Newsom — with San Francisco’s crime problem getting so bad, he’s trying to discourage members of the city’s infamous homosexual population from being tempted to pull up stakes and move to safer regions of the country.

  • Good news: SNL lampoons men against women in sports: “Saturday Night Live” actually found its old comedic boldness again. In a sketch lampooning woke rejection of biological gender distinctions, SNL depicts a fictional Netflix’s “Untold Stories” episode of a long-forgotten pro tennis match in 1969, one that supposedly preceded the famous “Battle of the Sexes” between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs. The sketch features actor Jason Samoa humorously but effectively demonstrating why there are separate leagues for men’s and women’s sports. The skit is a breath of fresh air given the current craziness surrounding the Left’s effort to erase innate and biological sex distinctions between men and women.

  • Texas school choice voted down again: Republicans in Texas need to get their act together on education. On Friday, the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives had an opportunity to pass legislation that would have offered Texas families school choice. Dubbed the Texas Education Savings Account, the measure would have allowed parents the freedom to send their children to the school of their choice with a program that would allocate tax dollars to their chosen school. Texas’s Republican-controlled Senate has passed several school choice bills that the House has subsequently failed to pass. This latest measure failed to pass on an 84-63 vote, with Republicans who voted against it claiming that the legislation was bad policy. Governor Greg Abbott wasn’t buying that excuse, pointing out that school choice is favored among the majority of Texans and arguing that it failed to pass because a small number of Republicans are more beholden to union interests than their constituents. Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz called the vote “shameful,” promising that parents would be working “vigorously in the primaries to defeat” these union-beholden Republicans.


  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott endorses Donald Trump for president (Washington Examiner)

  • Colorado judge rules Trump can stay on primary ballot, dismissing 14th Amendment challenge (National Review)

  • Only 3.6% of Americans got updated COVID-19 shots as of October 31 (Daily Signal)

  • Hamas terrorists took hostages into Gaza hospital, Shifa cameras prove (Jerusalem Post) | Israeli Defense Forces find mortar shells stashed in Gaza kindergarten (National Review)

  • Israel: Iran behind Yemen’s Houthis seizure of ship in Red Sea (Jerusalem Post) | Iran threatens “further expansion” of Israel-Hamas war (Washington Free Beacon)

  • Feds want speed reduction tech in every new car. Are American drivers ready? (Tech Crunch)

  • Sounds familiar: Canadian musician and indigenous icon is actually a white woman from Massachusetts (Hot Air)

  • Humor: AOC says she was “nearly killed” by release of January 6 footage (Genesius Times)

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