Tuesday: Below the Fold
The cost of Thanksgiving, Black Friday “savings,” expensive DEI, a looming cease-fire, and more.
Thanksgiving prices: If you find less food on your table this Thanksgiving, you can thank Bidenflation. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed that this Thanksgiving will be the fourth cheapest ever based on average earnings. The price tag for the average American family feast comes in at $61.17, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). That is down from last year’s record high of $64.05, but Jean-Pierre should be eating crow. Americans are still shelling out 25% more for the meal than they did in 2019. AFBF says that reason the price tag is so high is due to “high supply costs and inflation have had on food prices since before the pandemic.” That inflation didn’t materialize out of thin air. Thanks to Joe Biden’s massive spending policies, Americans are weathering a bad economy. But hey, maybe there’s a silver lining: Higher food costs might help to slow America’s obesity epidemic.
Get ready for “savings”: Black Friday is coming, but are the famous sales and savings coming with it? According to the personal finance company WalletHub, Black Friday savings won’t be as big on some categories of items as they have been in the past. Indeed, 35% of items won’t be any cheaper than they were prior to the sale. WalletHub notes that the three worst categories for finding sales will be computers and phones, electronics, and furniture. Meanwhile, the best deals can be found in home appliances and apparel, with discounts of 28% and 32% off sticker prices, respectively. The stores reporting the biggest discounts include Belk, Costco, Dell, and Macy’s, while Target and Home Depot come in with the least discounted items. Last Black Friday, 112.7 million Americans went to stores in person with an additional 130.2 million shopping for deals online.
Bidenomics at work: Speaking of Bidenflation, Americans’ 401(k)s have shrunk by an average of 4% thanks in large part to folks having to dip into their retirement savings early in order to pay the bills. On average, Americans’ 401(k) plans dropped from $112,400 in the second quarter down to $107,700 in the third quarter. IRAs also declined from $113,800 down to $109,600. Yet the Biden administration continues to insist the economy is oh so good. The trouble with early withdrawal is that one not only loses savings but often will be liable for taxes on the withdrawal. Talk about frustration — shelling out more of your hard-earned cash to a government that can’t seem to stop spending money like a drunken sailor, causing inflation to remain high.
DEI sure is expensive: The purpose of the military is to defend the nation against foreign enemies. Ever since the Obama administration, however, the Department of Defense has increasingly used the military as an incubator for a hard-leftist woke agenda. And under Joe Biden that has only gotten worse. Case in point has been Biden’s spending on a diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) agenda. In short, it’s the Biden administration’s effort to disseminate Marxist critical race theory through the military. And taxpayer funding for spreading the anti-American ideology has been increasing year over year, with the Pentagon spending upwards of $270 million on DEIA since 2022. Republican Representative Mike Waltz (FL), himself a decorated U.S. Army veteran, warned: “Our military is not focused on lethality. They’re focused on diversity and climate. That’s going to result in our enemies not fearing us and respecting us as they should.” Waltz further observed that government officials “holding the keys to power, those with their finger on the nuclear button or on incredibly powerful surveillance capabilities” are being “indoctrinated that our civilian institutions are inherently racist, are systemically misogynistic and have a colonialist past and therefore bad.”
Is a cease-fire looming in the Israel-Hamas War? Forty-five days ago, Hamas launched a barbaric attack on Israel, and the terrorist organization has been reaping the whirlwind ever since. To be sure, though, so have many innocent civilians in Gaza, who’ve been used by Hamas as human shields. And yet, according to Fox News, a five-day cease-fire may be on the horizon — a cease-fire that would include the delivery of humanitarian aid and the release of some number of hostages. “Reports indicate it would include the release of dozens of Israeli and foreign citizen hostages,” said Fox News’s Trey Yingst. “The hostages are expected to be only women and children and would be exchanged for [Palestinian] prisoners being held in Israel.” Yingst also says that a 3-to-1 ratio of hostages for Palestinian prisoners is being negotiated. Hamas shouldn’t get too comfortable, though. “It will only be a temporary cease-fire,” said Israeli spokesman Mark Regev. “They need that time out and, as a result, we believe the probability of their agreeing to release our people has gone up.” After that, Israel will get back to the bloody but necessary business of destroying those who would otherwise destroy them.
Musk vs. Media Matters: Media Matters for America will never be confused with a legitimate watchdog organization nor a patriotic one — at least not by anyone who’s paying attention. Instead, the raison d'etre of the Soros-funded hacks has long been to obsessively watch Fox News and harass its advertisers by sucker-punching the network for inaccuracies that are often sensationalized or taken out of context. Recently, though, MMFA has found another reason for being: to stifle free expression by attacking the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. Elon Musk’s X promotes free speech and is thus a threat to the establishment Leftmedia, but Media Matters hasn’t attacked the platform in the conventional way — confronting Musk directly in the marketplace of ideas. Instead, they’ve done so indirectly, by attacking X’s advertising revenue. And, according to Musk, they’ve done so by fraudulently manipulating the platform’s advertising data. As The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson reports, MMFA “released a bogus ‘report’ alleging that X … runs ads for Apple, Bravo, IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity next to ‘pro-Nazi content.’ Sure enough, after this report was published Thursday, Apple, IBM, and a bunch of other companies fell for the scam and announced they were pulling ads from X.” Musk has responded by threatening to hit Media Matters with “a thermonuclear lawsuit,” and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has opened an investigation into MMFA as well. We wish them both every success.
SCOTUS won’t review Chauvin’s appeal: It was an unlikely outcome, to be sure, but lawyers for former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin were unable to convince the Supreme Court to take up their appeal that their client should be granted a new trial and a new venue. As The Washington Times reports: “In a petition to the high court, a lawyer representing Chauvin asked the justices to review the trial court’s denial of a change of venue citing jury bias, saying it ran afoul of Chauvin’s Sixth Amendment rights. The lawyer said several jurors expressed safety concerns due to the ongoing riots and presence of news media covering the murder trial. One juror asked to be released from serving due to his fear about his identity being public, but that request was denied.” We covered Chauvin’s case last month, noting that he was convicted in 2021 for the death of a non-compliant six-foot, six-inch career criminal and drug addict named George Floyd. Chauvin’s sentence is 22.5 years, but, in the words of a key witness, “the actual evidence [didn’t] match up with the public narrative that everyone’s already decided on.”
Emphasis on the Empire State: Every people gets the government they deserve, and New Yorkers — who had a chance last year to oust their Big Government leftist governor, Kathy Hochul, for a popular and highly regarded small government conservative, Lee Zeldin — are getting theirs good and hard. As the New York Post reports, “New York once again has the dubious distinction of being labeled ‘the least free state’ in America, according to a report issued by libertarian-leaning think tank The Cato Institute. The Empire State ranked dead last — 50th — for policies impacting economic, social and personal freedoms in 2022, the report claims.” In contrast, the Free State of Florida ranked second in the report, perhaps fittingly behind only the “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire as the most free state in the union. “It is little wonder,” said the report’s authors, “that New Yorkers are fleeing the state in droves. New Yorkers have been voting with their feet for years.” And who can blame them?
2024 general election debates announced (Townhall)
Trump calls to “revamp the RNC” if GOP debates go ahead (The Hill)
Whistleblower: FBI official ordered to scrub anti-Trump social media posts before big promotion (Washington Times)
Texas Dem Cardenas is the 10th congressional retiree this month (Washington Examiner)
Sam Altman to join Microsoft research team after OpenAI ousts him (USA Today)
Internal Senate memo highlights Biden admin efforts to tie highway funding to woke priorities (Fox News)
White House program enabling mass phone surveillance of Americans could be illegal (Daily Caller)
Maryland hate crime task force member claimed babies murdered by Hamas were “fake,” compared Israel to Nazis (Fox News)
Humor: Karine Jean-Pierre claims Biden is youngest president of all time (Babylon Bee)
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- Executive Summary