Tuesday: Below the Fold
Pro-Palestinian federal workers plan hunger strike, Florida again takes on woke, U.S. relies on Axis of Evil for ammo, and more.
What’s up with James Lankford? James Lankford’s American Conservative Union rating for 2022 was 97. Ninety-seven. So what on earth is he doing pushing such an awful immigration bill? Lankford is the senior senator from deep-red Oklahoma, but these days he finds himself defending the indefensible: an election-year border bill that he’s cobbling together with hard-left Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy and former Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. The three “are working on the ‘final aspects’ of a compromise with the White House on border security,” reports CBS News. “The widely anticipated agreement is designed to reduce illegal crossings that have risen to unprecedented levels along the southern border in recent years.” The terms of the deal have been shrouded in secrecy, and that lack of transparency has fostered both suspicion and resentment — especially back in his home state. There, as The Washington Times reports, the Oklahoma Republican Party passed a resolution calling on Lankford to “cease and desist jeopardizing the security and liberty of the people of Oklahoma and of these United States” based on leaked portions of the talks. And yet Lankford told CBS, “I do feel very positive about it because even the initial feedback has been good.” We’re not sure what’s gotten into Lankford, but Tennessee Congressman Tim Burchett’s “Honeypot Theory” might help explain why a heretofore rock-solid conservative is engaged in a lawmaking endeavor that can only end badly for our nation.
Pro-Palestinian federal workers plan hunger strike: As Israel continues to fight its existential war with the murderous cutthroats of Hamas, supporters of the terrorist group within our federal government are planning to hold a one-day hunger strike as a protest. Talk about commitment: a one-day hunger strike could cause some serious tummy growling. In any case, we wish them happy fasting. As the Washington Examiner reports: “The strike, planned by Feds United for Peace, comes as the White House said on Monday that President Joe Biden welcomes peaceful protests as efforts to pressure him into backing an end to hostilities in Gaza between Israel and Hamas continue. Biden reportedly met with a group of ceasefire advocates backstage at a union conference in Washington last week, and protests have followed him across the country ever since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks ignited fighting in the Gaza strip.” The planned fast comes as the United Nations secretary-general is begging countries to continue to fund its relief agency in Gaza even as it became known that employees of that organization appear to have taken part in the murderous October 7 terrorist attack on Israel.
J6 releases: Several individuals convicted over the infamous January 6 Capitol riot have recently been released early from their prison sentences as federal prosecutors anticipate a coming U.S. Supreme Court ruling. At issue is the interpretation of “obstructing an official proceeding,” which many of the J6 protesters were convicted of doing. The case in question is of J6 defendant Joseph Fischer, which the Court took up to review and address the contention that he was found guilty based upon an overly broad interpretation of the obstruction law. Over 150 other J6 defendants have been charged and convicted of obstructing an official proceeding, with many currently serving prison sentences. Based upon these early releases, it would appear that federal prosecutors know that the charge of obstructing an official proceeding was too broadly interpreted and applied. The truth is that the majority of these J6 prosecutions were motivated to further a political narrative rather than an unbiased application of law and pursuit of justice. We said in December that Fischer’s case added intrigue to hundreds of J6 prosecutions, perhaps including that of Donald Trump.
Florida takes on woke, again: In an effort to eliminate legal loopholes that prevent individuals who are falsely and publicly smeared in the media from successfully suing for libel, Florida has introduced legislation that seeks to do just that. The law would not require malice to be proved for individuals suddenly pushed into the public eye, such as in the case of Covington High School student Nick Sandmann. Furthermore, the law would redefine when a famous individual can claim actual malice. The law also seeks to make provisions for religious and scientific beliefs. While the law is an attempt to get at the rampant problem of individuals being deceitfully smeared by the media, it could also be used as a cudgel to silence free speech.
Taxpayer dollars at VA go to gender-mutilation: It’s hard to be surprised by any story that comes out of Seattle, but still. According to documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation, a Veterans Affairs facility in the Emerald City requested more than $600,000 in fiscal year 2023 “to build and staff a surgical facility for performing gender-transition surgeries.” These are your tax dollars at work. At this point, the VA hasn’t yet approved such procedures, but we suspect it’s only a matter of time. After all, this is the same Biden administration and the same Department of Defense that think the way to a stronger, more cohesive, more lethal fighting force is to cast a wider recruiting net by providing free sex-change operations for our warriors. As The Daily Signal reports, “The facility has offered hormone therapy, minor surgeries, hair removal, and other treatments for decades as part of an effort to expand procedures geared toward an estimated 12,500 nationwide veterans who have been diagnosed as gender dysphoric, according to the documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation via public records requests,” adding that the medical center in question is “estimated to incur expenses of $642,562 in 2023 and more than $1.5 million by 2027 … for funding to establish a genital surgery center.” We can practically see the Iranian mullahs quaking in their turbans.
Woke CT school board eliminates Veterans and Columbus Days: Controversy has recently erupted over a Stamford, Connecticut, school board’s decision to eliminate Veterans Day and Columbus Day from the school holiday calendar. Seeking to meet the 181-day school year requirement, the board voted 5-3 to remove the two national holidays from the school calendar. The decision prompted outrage. It’s a “gut punch,” said Alfred Fusco, a veteran and founder of Stamford’s Italian-American service chapter. “It was terrible.” A school board member’s attempt to justify the controversial decision only served to make it worse, as they claimed that taking a day off to celebrate Columbus would send a “mixed message” to students. Vilifying Columbus is all part of the effort to establish the woke narrative that the U.S. is not a great nation and that it does not have a legitimate claim to exist on the land it does. And evidently, celebrating and recognizing those who have fought and died for our nation is also a bridge too far for these wokescolds.
Good news: West Virginia goes against the gender-bending lobby: West Virginia will soon join four other states in officially recognizing what a woman is. House Bill 5243, for which Republican Governor Jim Justice has expressed his support, will define the terms “male” and “female” based solely upon biological sex recognized at birth. Expected to easily pass West Virginia’s House and Senate, the legislation would see the Mountain State become the fifth state to pass the so-called Women’s Bill of Rights. The bill is intended to prevent males from infringing on female-only spaces, such as bathrooms and locker rooms, as well as competing in women’s sports. Democrat state lawmakers have objected to the bill, calling it an “anti-trans law” because it recognizes only two sexes. Apparently, to the radical Left, recognizing the binary reality of human sexuality is discriminatory. But who it actually discriminates against is unclear since “transgender” identity is either an expression of a mental disorder or a willful rejection of biological reality.
U.S. relies on Axis of Evil for ammo: One of the many problems of globalism is the likelihood that sovereign states ultimately become dependent upon other states for essential goods. And what could be more essential than the goods that provide for one’s own defense? As RedState reports, “The US military is almost entirely dependent upon China and Russia for a metal used in many military applications, such as explosives and armor-piercing bullets.” (And night vision goggles, infrared sensors, precision optics, laser sighting, nuclear weapons, flares, and military clothing, we might add.) RedState continues: “The metal is antimony, and China currently owns 53 percent of the world’s supply. However, it processes over 80 percent of antimony ore through contracts with other producers. The US’s last source of antimony, the Stibnite mine in Idaho, ceased operations in 1997.” This is certainly bad enough, but our dependency doesn’t stop there. As Forbes points out, antimony is also essential to many critical private-sector products such as “semi-conductors, circuit boards, electric switches, fluorescent lighting, high quality clear glass and lithium-ion batteries.” That iPhone of yours? That hi-def TV? Those nice major appliances in your kitchen? All of them rely on antimony.
Pentagon identifies U.S. soldiers killed in Iran-backed militia attack in Jordan (Fox News) | Biden sparks outrage with reports that he may not attend ceremony honoring troops killed in Jordan (New York Post)
How to further rig elections: Leftists put big money behind ranked-choice voting (Washington Times)
Illhan Omar says she’s a Somalian nationalist who uses her position in the U.S. Congress to protect Somalia’s interests (Not the Bee)
Ex-IRS contractor sentenced to five years for leaking Trump’s tax returns (National Review)
Biden admin backs off from proposed aggressive gas stove ban (Washington Free Beacon)
DOJ investigating House Democrat for allegedly misusing government funds for personal security (ABC News)
Sotomayor admits every conservative Supreme Court victory “traumatizes” her (National Review)
Not just Claudine Gay: Harvard’s chief diversity officer plagiarized and claimed credit for husband’s work, complaint alleges (Washington Free Beacon)
UPS to cut 12,000 jobs five months after agreeing to new labor deal (CBS News)
Yellen: High prices are here to stay (Townhall)
Montana family loses custody of teenage daughter after expressing opposition to her gender transition (Reduxx)
Surf brand Rip Curl drops Bethany Hamilton over opposition to men in women’s league, hires trans athlete to promote women’s surfing (Not the Bee)
Policy: U.S. should end, not pause, funding for UN aid agency tied to Hamas (Daily Signal)
Humor: Trump promises if elected he will ban Taylor Swift from football games (Babylon Bee)
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