Tuesday: Below the Fold
Scranton Joe’s supply chain “fix,” energy blues, DEI budgets on the chopping block, and more.
Biden’s supply chain “fix”: On Monday, Joe Biden touted his administration’s “progress” in addressing the sustained high inflation that has made Americans collectively poorer. Indeed, cumulative inflation has risen by more than 19% since prior to the pandemic. While the government’s overreaction to the pandemic — shuttering of vast swaths of the U.S. economy for months while at the same time handing out checks to people who found themselves unemployed — was the initial catalyst for spiking inflation, it has been Biden’s massive spending polices that have ensured inflation remains high. Americans aren’t buying erroneous claims that the economy is actually pretty good, so Team Biden aims to address that by exerting more government control over everything you consume. Biden’s latest “solution” is a promise to lower inflation by “fixing” the supply chain, which was broken by his own administration, primarily Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The new White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience will supposedly strengthen the U.S. supply chain and thereby lower costs for Americans — by implementing control and mandates. “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.” What could go wrong?
Energy blues: If you live in a blue state, you’re likely paying more for electricity and gas than Americans living in red states. A recent report from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has found that residents of Democrat-run states that have implemented aggressive climate change polices are shelling out more of their hard-earned dollars for their energy needs. Residents of California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey make up seven of the most expensive eight continental states for average electricity costs, while the Republican-run states of Nebraska, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho are seven of the eight lowest-cost states. When it comes to gas prices, a similar divide is evident — California, Washington, Oregon, and Illinois have an average price per gallon of $3.80 to $4.85, whereas the red states of Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri average $3.15 per gallon or less. According to ALEC, the significant difference in the average prices of electricity and fuel is directly tied to a state’s green energy mandates or its so-called Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). The report notes, “In the 48 contiguous states, the 16 with the highest electricity prices all have an RPS in place, as do 18 of the highest-priced 20 states.”
Cardona butchers The Gipper: If anyone ought to get his history right, it’d be the secretary of education. But alas, Miguel Cardona needs some remedial history. “I think it was President Reagan who said: ‘We’re from the government. We’re here to help,’” he said yesterday. It was Reagan who said that back in 1986, but as the “fact-checkers” like to say, Cardona was missing context. You see, what Reagan actually said was, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Reagan’s obvious point was to lampoon Big Government leftists like Cardona who make a mess of everything by exerting government control over so many aspects of our lives. It’s tyrannical and terrifying. Cardona not only missed the point, he exemplified it.
New York’s costly theft: Organized shoplifting crime has become a major problem in New York, and it’s only getting worse. In 2022 alone, business owners lost roughly $4.4 billion from retail theft. As this crime problem has been getting worse, store owners have called on Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul to tackle the issue, but she has thus far refused to do so. Indeed, just last week the New York legislature passed a bipartisan bill that would have created a 15-member task force of experts to provide recommendations on how to respond to organized shoplifting crimes. Hochul vetoed the bill, despite the fact that she has claimed preventing retail theft is a priority for her administration. In Syracuse alone, Police Chief Joe Cecile last month noted that shoplifting crimes have jumped by 55% since 2021, and he added “that number is likely higher because businesses often don’t report it — but they do continue to express concerns.” In New York City, retail crimes have risen 64% since 2019. The most troubling element of these crimes is that a significant number of them are organized.
DEI budgets are on the chopping block: We love it when a plan falls apart — especially a racist one. Diversity, equity, and inclusion, the diabolical Marxist construct that promotes identity politics, ignores individual merit, and generally judges people based on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character, has fallen on hard times. If only it were due to the collective conscience of corporate HR offices rather than the reality of budgetary belt-tightening. Still, we’ll take it. As The Daily Caller reports, “The total percentage of American organizations with a DEI budget dropped 4 percentage points, from 58% in 2022 to 54% in 2023, while the number of organizations with a DEI strategy fell nine points in that same time frame, according to a report from consulting firm Paradigm.” This is good news, and it follows from a landmark Supreme Court decision in June saying that the use of racial discrimination in college admissions is unconstitutional; from a cooling toward so-called environmental, social, and governmental investment on Wall Street; and from a backlash against corporate wokeness that’s seen industry giants such as Bud Light, Target, and Disney take some serious lumps. May the stockings of the DEI and ESG crowd be filled with coal this Christmas, and may their new year be filled with more bad tidings.
Moderna’s vaccine spies: One of the most delicious news stories of the past year was the glorious September return and redemption of tennis GOAT Novak Djokovic to the U.S. Open, a major tournament based in New York that had excluded him for the previous two years because he’d refused the COVID mRNA vaccine. Joker, as he’s known, didn’t disappoint. He won the tournament and a record-setting 24th career Grand Slam title along with it. Most magnificent of all, though, was that the tournament’s main sponsor was — we can’t make this stuff up — Moderna, one of the prime purveyors of the mRNA vaccine. And now we learn that Moderna, whose vaccine brought the company to a $100 billion valuation and created five new billionaires, has been spying on us. According to Lee Fang and Jack Poulson of UnHerd, an internal Moderna report notes, “The optics of Djokovic … returning to and winning the Moderna-sponsored competition bolsters anti-vaccine claims that vaccines — and mandates — are unnecessary.” Does anyone else get the sense that Moderna thinks vaccine mandates are a good thing? Then there’s this chilling revelation: “Other alerts, produced by a partnership blending marketing executives with former FBI and Secret Service analysts, also cited concerns around drug industry profits as a source of misinformation.” Thus, Moderna is colluding with the government to suppress speech it deems damaging to its bottom line. Sleazy stuff.
One reason for campus anti-Semitism: One of America’s elite institutions of higher learning that has witnessed anti-Semitic protests on its campus is the vaunted Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). On November 9, weeks after Hamas terrorists murdered more than 1,200 innocent Israelis, students at MIT held a pro-Hamas “die-in” protest on campus. Prior to the protest, and in response to the wave of anti-Semitic protests springing up on elite college campuses across the country, MIT President Sally Kornbluth sent a message to MIT students warning that anyone who engaged in an unsanctioned protest would face expulsion. Yet following that protest, Kornbluth failed to follow through on her threat. No students were expelled. Indeed, the worst any of the offending students suffered was a “non-academic suspension.” Why? Well, administrators feared that expelling foreign students could trigger “collateral consequences for the students, such as visa issues.” In other words, they were afraid that some students might lose their visa privileges and face deportation. The irony is that institutions like MIT would likely not have experienced this rise in on-campus anti-Semitism if they had done a better job of vetting foreign students before accepting them.
Classless Bidens once again snub their granddaughter: Whether they like to admit it or not, Joe and Jill Biden have seven grandchildren, not six. So the six stockings they’ve traditionally hung above the White House fireplace have been an affront to a blameless little girl named Navy Joan Roberts. Months ago, amid a flurry of attacks from across the political spectrum, the Bidens finally acknowledged the out-of-wedlock daughter of first son Hunter Biden. But now they’re back to denying her existence — if not in word, then in deed. “The first family knocked their own socks off with this year’s White House Christmas decor,” quips the New York Post. “In a stark departure from the previous two Yuletides, first lady Jill Biden did away with hanging stockings for her grandchildren and pets over the mantle in the State Dining Room.” This is no laughing matter, though. As our Nate Jackson noted back in July: “A halfway decent granddad will acknowledge his grandkids. A good one will love them no matter how they’re attached to his family. Joe Biden is neither good nor decent. He’s a deadbeat granddad who refuses to admit he has seven grandchildren because the seventh is rather inconvenient to his, er, stellar image as a devoted family man.”
Truth Social sags and sues: Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been going swimmingly of late, but the same can’t be said for his Trump Media and Technology Group, which hasn’t posted an operating profit since Truth Social launched in February 2021. Indeed, according to Substack’s Mary Williams Walsh, “The value of the business has fallen so much that Forbes bumped Trump, who owns 90 percent, off its list of the 400 richest Americans.” None of these bad tidings, however, have deterred Trump and his team from filing a massive $1.5 billion lawsuit against more than 20 media organizations, including The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, McClatchy, Reuters, Rolling Stone, MarketWatch, Forbes, Axios, The Daily Beast, The New York Daily News, Newsweek, MSNBC, Mediaite, The Daily Mail, and CNBC. The suit alleges that those media groups orchestrated a coordinated attack involving the false reporting of a $73 million loss by Trump’s firm. That number, the plaintiffs say, “was an utter fabrication … a coordinated effort to damage TMTG’s reputation, degrade the firm’s financial standing, freeze its access to capital, and torpedo [an] anticipated merger.” Sadly, it seems to be the American way. When in doubt, we sue.
Israel, Hamas agree to extend truce for two days, allowing for release of 20 additional hostages (National Review) | Hamas official: We kidnapped foreign nationals for “their own protection” (Daily Wire) | Family of the first American released by Hamas bought Hunter Biden’s art (Townhall)
Doocy corners press secretary on Bidenomics: “Americans outside of this building are not buying it” (Daily Wire) | Biden shifts blame away from administration after admitting prices “still too high” (Fox News)
Hunter Biden offers himself up for public grilling by House panel probing his shady business ties (New York Post)
Derek Chauvin “dead man walking” even before Thanksgiving stabbing (Fox News)
More than 2,500 NYPD cops have quit this year (Daily Wire)
Seattle middle school teacher made students write hate mail to Moms for Liberty (Washington Stand)
Deadspin tried to destroy a young Kansas City Chiefs fan for wearing “blackface,” then the real story came out (RedState)
New home sales fell in October as housing market hit by historic mortgage rates (Washington Examiner)
Satire: Hamas awarded Nobel Peace Prize for releasing a few of the children they kidnapped (Babylon Bee)
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- Executive Summary