February 2, 2024

Friday: Below the Fold

No charges for Senate sex, a good jobs report, Lloyd Austin apologizes for going UA, and more.


  • No charges for Senate sex: The former staffer to Democrat Senator Ben Cardin who resigned last year following an infamous incident wherein he filmed himself and another man engaging in sex acts in a Senate hearing room will not be charged with any crime. According to the Capitol Police, “Despite a likely violation of Congressional policy, there is currently no evidence that a crime was committed.” The police added, “The two people of interest were not cooperative, nor were the elements of any of the possible crimes met.” So, debasing the Senate is fine so long as one is a member of the Democrats’ most favored class, the LGBTQ community. Indeed, the staffer involved is claiming he resigned due to “homophobia” and is looking for any legal actions he can take. So, a grandma wandering through the Capitol deserves to have the book thrown at her, but a Senate staffer engaging in deviant sex acts in a Senate hearing room results in little other than a shrug and “move along”?

  • A good jobs report: January saw 353,000 jobs added, coming in significantly higher than the forecasted 180,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7% and the average hourly wage rose 0.6%, which was double what economists were anticipating. Yet that hourly wage growth coincides with a drop in the average number of hours worked, which came in at 34.1 hours. The past two months of strong job growth numbers will likely mean that the Federal Reserve will not engage in any interest rate cuts soon. Fed Chair Jerome Powell observed: “If the economy evolves broadly as expected, it will likely be appropriate to begin dialing back policy restraint at some point this year. But the economy has surprised forecasters in many ways since the pandemic, and ongoing progress toward our 2% inflation objective is not assured.”

  • Biden blames grocery stores for Bidenflation: Since Joe Biden took office, total inflation has risen by over 17%. But Biden, like so many politicians before him, is seeking to shift the blame away from his massive spending policies that have been the primary culprit for the fact that Americans are shelling out more of their hard-earned dollars for goods like milk and eggs. “Inflation is coming down. It’s now lower in America than any other major economy in the world,” Biden claimed in a recent speech in South Carolina. Correction: The rate of inflationary growth has slowed; inflation has not come down. “But for all we’ve done to bring prices down, there are still too many corporations in America ripping people off: price gouging, junk fees, greedflation, shrinkflation.” He then claimed that Americans were “tired of being played for suckers” by grocery stores. “And that’s why we’re going to keep these guys — keep on them and get the prices down.” People are tired of being played for suckers by politicians like Biden who offer “fixes” that actually make the problems worse. Vilifying businesses for offering people the goods they need based on the reality of the value of the dollar is not the problem. Indeed, the best way to keep prices down is via competition and for the federal government to stop spending money like a drunken sailor.

  • SecDef Lloyd Austin apologizes for going UA: It’s a rare event indeed for this administration to admit fault, but that’s exactly what we saw yesterday when Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made his first public remarks since disappearing last month due to his prostate cancer treatment. “I admit that was a mistake,” Austin said at a Pentagon press conference. “I should have told the president about my cancer diagnosis,” he continued. “I should have also told my team and the American public, and I take full responsibility. I apologize to my teammates and to the American people.” Shoulda woulda coulda. In fairness to Austin, though, he’s clearly holding a ceremonial post. Or perhaps he was simply unaware that our warriors had been under steady attack in the Middle East at the time, and that war with the Iran-back Houthi terrorists — or even Iran itself — had been brewing. Of course, when a woke bureaucrat like Austin takes “full responsibility” for his actions, it means he’s not going to be punished or held accountable beyond that fundamental admission of fault. It’s great work if you can get it, but we don’t recommend trying this at home. In the real world, if you need to miss work for several days, you’d better tell your boss.

  • Bill to deport DUI illegals passes House with 59 Dem votes: It’s a rare moment these days when legislation passes the hyper-partisan House with anything more than a razor-thin majority, but that’s exactly what happened yesterday when 59 House Democrats joined their Republican enemies to pass a bill that calls for the deportation of illegal immigrants who are caught driving under the influence. On second thought, though, if 59 Democrats voted in favor of the measure, that means the rest of them voted against it. And sure enough, as Fox News reports, the bill passed 274-150, with all 150 of those “Nay” votes coming from Democrats. “In the United States, someone dies in a crash with an impaired driver every 45 minutes,” said Alabama Republican Barry Moore, who introduced the bill. “I lost two of my young newlywed constituents to an illegal immigrant driving under the influence of alcohol.” This isn’t a frivolous measure. Just last month, an illegal alien from El Salvador — a man who’d already been arrested and deported multiple times — killed a mother and her son while driving drunk in Boulder, Colorado.

  • Inside White House fear over Biden’s age: It’s not just the majority of the American public who see Joe Biden’s advanced age as a major problem. Apparently, those working in the White House hold the same opinion. James O'Keefe, the former CEO of Project Veritas, has released new undercover videos in which several White House staffers express fears that Biden’s age is a real problem. One video features a top White House cyber official who says, “Biden is definitely slowing down." He later says: "I’m just telling you what I’ve heard. … They’re really concerned about it.” Furthermore: “I think they need to get rid of him [and Kamala Harris]. But no one in modern history has ever said, like, ‘We’re not going to renominate the president for a second term.’” Overall, O'Keefe’s reporting appears to confirm what many have long suspected — that Democrats are stuck in a conundrum of Biden being too old and Kamala Harris being too unpopular, and yet they can’t get rid of either of them.

  • AI is making fake news ever faker: As if we didn’t already distrust the news, now we have one more reason to do so: generative artificial intelligence. Its arrival on the scene has ramped up the productivity of the humans who use it, but its use among journalists raises all sorts of issues about fairness and bias. “AI is most visible in journalism when things go wrong,” reports The Verge. “Some newsrooms have published AI articles riddled with errors or offensive suggestions. There’s widespread anxiety that AI will be used to replace journalists on the cheap.” Clearly, the genie is already out of the bottle. NewsGuard, whose raison d'etre seems to be guarding folks from hearing news without a baked-in leftward bias, claims to have so far identified “676 AI-generated news and information sites operating with little to no human oversight.” And it’s not just fringy news organizations. As PJ Media’s Paula Boyard writes: “Popular sites like Sports Illustrated, Buzzfeed, CNET, and Gannett have all been caught using AI in recent months. The Associated Press admits it uses AI to generate some stories, but it at least lets readers know that AI was used to assist in creating the content.” Or at least the AP does right now. We suspect it’s only a matter of time before AI-generated news becomes the rule rather than the exception.

  • Not all heroes wear capes: Boys will be boys, even in deep-blue Connecticut. There, at Brookfield High School, a state-mandated tampon dispenser that had been placed inside a boys’ bathroom was gloriously ripped down just 20 minutes later. We hate to see it, this sort of anti-woke vigilantism. Just hate to see it. As the New York Post reports, the dispenser was placed in the boys’ bathroom “at 9:30 a.m. last Wednesday, but by 9:52 a.m., it was torn from the wall, leaving tampons littering the floor, the school’s principal, Marc Balanda, said in an email to students and staff.” Perhaps sensing a teachable moment, the woke and humorless Balanda counseled the young miscreants and others like them. “Use your words to start a dialogue rather than using your hands to destroy something,” he said in the email while noting he was “disgusted” and “disheartened.” Sure. Use your words. And then get suspended for hate speech. Unlike the principal, we think the boys got it exactly right, exactly in keeping with science.

  • International lawsuits threaten Americans’ 2A rights: America’s Second Amendment is deemed as a threat to the rest of the world. At least that’s the narrative being used by the anti-gun group Global Action on Gun Violence (GAGV). The new organization recently raised a lawsuit representing Mexico against American firearms manufacturers and gun dealers over the claim that they are fueling cartel violence in Mexico. GAGV sees this as a potential new angle to exert international pressure on the U.S. to further limit Americans’ Second Amendment rights. In its lawsuit, GAGV asserts that U.S. firearms policy violates its human rights obligations. This is an underhanded tactic to target American firearm manufacturers and blame them for the criminal actions of others. It seeks to further the entirely false claim that guns and not the individuals wielding them are responsible for crimes.


  • Migrant flips off reporters when he was released without bail following an assault on NYC cops (Not the Bee)

  • Iranian IRGC commanders go into hiding as Biden admin continues to leak details of alleged retaliatory strikes (Daily Wire)

  • House Judiciary Committee subpoenas Fani Willis (Daily Caller)

  • FBI deleted records related to anti-Catholic memo, GOP lawmakers say (Washington Times)

  • “Nope”: Former Walgreens loss prevention supervisor schools Ayanna Pressley over racism claim on closures (RedState)

  • “And another one gone”: Beloved Denny’s in Oakland abuptly closes after 54 years due to crime epidemic (RedState)

  • Gavin Newsom saw a Target shoplifting and asked why no one stopped it … his cashier blamed “the governor” without realizing who he was (Not the Bee)

  • Penn lecturer is behind grotesque anti-Semitic cartoons (Washington Free Beacon)

  • Harvard hosts “Gathering to Breathe and Heal” event to help students grieve Claudine Gay's ouster (Daily Wire)

  • Oregon Democrats ban 10 GOP lawmakers from the ballot for same action Democrats took in multiple states (The Federalist)

  • Alzheimer’s disease found to be spread by medical procedure from decades ago (RedState)

  • Policy: End UNRWA (National Review)

  • Humor: Nine obvious government PsyOps to look out for (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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