February 5, 2024

Monday: Below the Fold

Border bill is as bad as we thought, former Trump official dies after carjacking, NYC putting migrants on welfare, and more.


  • The border bill is as bad as we thought: Details of the highly secretive Senate border bill finally became public yesterday. The legislation, which checks in at 370 pages and which might more accurately be called The Joe Biden Reelection Lifeline bill, is as bad as expected. Among the bill’s deceptive ingredients: $20 billion for border security, the end of Biden’s disastrous “catch and release” policy, an expansion of detention capacity for families, a raising of asylum standards and fast-tracking of asylum claims, 50,000 new visas over five years, and $650 million to expand the border wall. Oh, and $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, and $10 billion for Gaza. We can’t make this stuff up. James Lankford, who ostensibly led Republican efforts to craft the bill but who talks about it as if he’s the subject of a hostage video, tried to pitch the bill on Fox News this morning: “Some people are thinking that this is somehow like counting 5,000 people in every day and releasing them,” he said of the bill’s most objectionable components. “That’s absurd. We changed the asylum laws, we increased detention beds, we doubled the deportation flights, we added ankle monitors. … There’s all the things that we build into this to make this a much stronger system.” Uh-huh. All of this, of course, assumes that the Biden administration will actually live up to its end of the bargain. And if history is any guide, it won’t. Just ask Ronald Reagan how Democrats do immigration deals. “I’ve seen enough,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson on X last night. “This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. … If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival.” On top of all this, a House impeachment vote on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas might come as soon as tomorrow.

  • Biden wins South Carolina: Joe Biden won the South Carolina Democrat primary “bigly,” as he hauled in 96% of the votes. Based on the percentage of the vote, it’s a resounding victory. However, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Voter turnout was abysmal, with just 4% of voters statewide bothering to cast just 131,870 ballots. That’s the lowest Democrat turnout in the past three primaries. Back in 2020, when Biden won the Palmetto State’s Democrat primary and revived his moribund campaign, 16% of voters turned out to cast a ballot. Clearly, Democrat voter enthusiasm for Biden has significantly diminished.

  • Former Trump official dies five days after DC carjacking: Last week, we reported on the critical wounding of Mike Gill, a married father of three and a former Trump administration official who was left fighting for his life after having been shot in the head during an attempted carjacking. Also shot during the crime spree was 35-year-old Alberto Vasquez Jr., himself a father of two. Vasquez died of his wounds, and now Gill has succumbed as well. That the alleged murderer, 28-year-old Artell Cunningham, was later shot and killed during a confrontation with DC cops is surely of little consolation to the families of Gill and Vasquez. Last week’s statement from the Gill family was heart-wrenching: “Mike is a catalyst for unity and friendship. The most important thing about Mike that all of his friends know is how much he loves his family and how proud he is of his three children.” On Saturday, his widow Kristina added, “His sudden departure has left a void in our lives that can never be filled.” The nation’s capital has seen carjackings more than double from 2022 to 2023 to 950 incidents. As Just the News reports, “The incident comes after the Justice Department earlier this month announced it would send more resources to combat violent crime in Washington, D.C.” To little, too late for this soft-on-crime administration.

  • NYC putting illegal migrants on welfare: A $53 million pilot program is being launched in New York City specifically for illegal migrant families establishing a food welfare program, similar to the state’s food stamp program. Illegal alien families who sign up will be given pre-paid cards that can only be used to buy goods at bodegas, grocery stores, and supermarkets. The program would give a migrant family of four upwards of $1,000 a month or roughly $35 a day. The city’s current program, which this new one will replace, gives migrants roughly $11 daily for meals. So, on the one hand, NYC Mayor Eric Adams is complaining that the city will be “destroyed” if the influx of illegal aliens continues into the self-appointed “sanctuary city,” but on the other hand, his office is touting this costly migrant welfare program that will surely attract even more illegals. And they wonder why Democrat leadership is failing.

  • West Point maintains its race-based discrimination: Last year, in what was heralded as a landmark Supreme Court decision but which we ultimately assessed as a mixed bag for racial discrimination, the justices declared that race-based admissions programs at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina were unconstitutional. Sadly, that ruling hasn’t deterred our nation’s race-obsessed bean counters — at least not where Joe Biden’s woke U.S. military is concerned. As The Washington Times reports, the Supreme Court “has denied a request to halt West Point from considering race as a factor in its admissions process — at least for now.” The Times added: “The court signaled Friday in its order denying a requested injunction that it isn’t weighing in on the merits at this early stage. ‘The record before this Court is underdeveloped, and this order should not be construed as expressing any view on the merits of the constitutional question,’ the order stated.” Whatever that means. Apparently, when Chief Justice John Roberts said last June, “Eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it,” he meant except for the most patriotic among us: those who volunteer to defend our nation.

  • UPenn: still anti-Semitic: It’s as if the University of Pennsylvania has no shame. In the wake of the resignation of its former president, Liz Magill, whose indefensible defense of anti-Semitism on campus during House testimony in December was roundly rebuked, we find that the university’s penchant for Jew-hatred is alive and well — at least among UPenn faculty. As The Washington Free Beacon reports: “A lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication has published several anti-Semitic cartoons since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, including one that depicts Zionists sipping Gazan blood from wine glasses, a version of the ancient blood libel employed in anti-Semitic propaganda that accused Jews of using the blood of Christian children for baking matzah and other rituals.” This is some really crude, really tasteless work, and its author, Dwayne Booth, has been with Penn since 2015. Booth, as the Free Beacon notes, “publishes political cartoons under the pen name ‘Mr. Fish,’” adding that his works include a photo of emaciated Jews “in a Nazi concentration camp holding signs bearing slogans such as ‘Free Palestine,’” and another showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “a bloodied, red-eyed butcher holding a long knife and a crumpled Palestinian flag.” We can only hope that UPenn’s wealthy benefactors remain disgusted by what they see and hear.

  • China to move on Taiwan soon: Last Thursday, Admiral Samuel J. Paparo was asked during his Senate confirmation hearing for taking over the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command about the threat level China poses toward Taiwan. Paparo noted that China’s military threat has been increasing, and he sees the potential of an attack coming before 2027, the date Beijing has set for its military to be ready to take control of the island nation. However, he observed that the 2027 date has more to do with it being “the 100th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army.” He added: “In fact, I think they’re working to be ready every day, and they could go, and we’ve got to be constantly vigilant. There’s no holiday between now and when they may go.” The U.S. military must “be ready now, next week, next month, and in the decades to come” to deter any attack, Paparo advised.

  • A hate crime: The FBI and the ATF are investigating a case of arson that happened a week ago when two fires were set in a building that houses the offices of the conservative organization Center of the American Experiment. John Hinderaker, the center’s president and prominent blogger at Power Line, explained, “They targeted conservative organizations, they didn’t firebomb the chiropractors or psychologists or the Manufacturers Alliance.” Minnesota Democrat Governor Tim Walz was quick to recognize the motive for the arson as political and condemn it. “Political violence and intimidation have no place in Minnesota,” he said on social media. “I’m confident that local, state, and federal law enforcement will get to the bottom of this unacceptable act.” A security camera has apparently captured footage of two suspects engaged in the arson. Hopefully, these arsonists are quickly arrested and tried for this anti-conservative hate crime.


  • House Freedom Caucus lashes out at Senate border deal: “Dumpster fire” (Fox News)

  • Republican governors back Texas at border: We’re “doing the job of the federal government” (Daily Wire)

  • U.S. begins striking Iran-backed militants in Iraq, Syria after killing of three American soldiers (National Review) | President Empathy called one of the families of the soldiers lost in the drone attack and made it all about his son Beau (Not the Bee)

  • Update: Oklahoma principal who moonlights as drag queen has resigned (Not the Bee)

  • UNRWA nominated for Nobel Peace Prize amid allegations workers took part in October 7 (AFP)

  • Canada hits pause on assisted suicide program for mentally ill because they don’t have enough doctors (Not the Bee)

  • Boeing flags potential delays after supplier finds another problem with some 737 fuselages (AP)

  • China’s economic downward spiral continues apace (RedState)

  • Policy: The House tax bill is modest but good (National Review)

  • Satire: Pramila Jayapal demands slur “illegal immigrants” stop being used to describe immigrants who are here illegally (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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