February 20, 2024

Tuesday: Below the Fold

Hochul says the quiet part out loud, KC mayor is a thug apologist, Disney goes woke and broke, and more.


  • Two-tiered justice: Hochul says the quiet part out loud: In the wake of Friday’s “civil fraud” ruling against Donald Trump, the former president is now on the hook for more than half a billion in legal judgments, all of which seems nakedly politically motivated. This might cause thoughtful investors and entrepreneurs to wonder whether doing business in the high-tax, low-liberty state of New York is a smart decision or whether they might be better off taking their business elsewhere. No doubt sensing this sentiment, New York Governor Kathy Hochul took to the airwaves Sunday. Asked by host John Catsimatidis whether she thought other New York businesspeople should be worried that if “they can do that to the former president, they can do that to anybody,” Hochul responded: “I think that this is really an extraordinary, unusual circumstance that the law-abiding and rule-following New Yorkers who are business people have nothing to worry about because they’re very different than Donald Trump and his behavior.” Nope, nothing to worry about here. But as constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley put it, “Drawing new businesses to the city is going to be about as easy as selling country estates during the French Revolution.” Real estate executive and “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O'Leary was somewhat less subtle. “New York was already a loser state,” he said, “like California is a loser state. … I would never invest in New York now. And I’m not the only person saying that.”

  • Fani Willis, Christian Nationalist: Over the weekend, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was the honored guest speaker at Berean Seventh Day Adventists Church. She delivered a message effectively asserting that she was the victim of an unjust campaign against her regarding her prosecution of Donald Trump for alleged election racketeering. While avoiding the elephant in the room — her illicit affair, her apparent theft of taxpayer funds, and her lying about it — Willis referenced Scripture, saying: “‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper.’ … They did not say the weapons will not form, and that’s the part I didn’t hear until recently.” Scripture also warns, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Is Willis facing off against weapons raised against her unjustly, or is she reaping the consequences of what she has sown? Unfortunately, demonstrating that identity politics rather than scriptural truth was guiding this service, Willis was awarded the Black History Achievement Award, with a number of Fulton County’s political leaders in attendance to celebrate. If any of this happened among Republicans, the denunciations of “Christian Nationalism” would be deafening.

  • KC mayor is a weak-kneed thug apologist: There are times when criminality is so brazen, so outrageous, so sickening that it needs to be called out and denounced without respect to political correctness. Such a moment occurred last week, when, after what appeared to be an argument among rival groups of hoodlums, some number of them opened fired among celebrants during the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade, killing one, Lisa Lopez-Galvan, and injuring 22 others. Following the assault, Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson was in no mood to mince words: “We can’t let some thugs just take over and ruin what happened.” Apparently, though, Democrat Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas couldn’t bring himself to call the thugs thugs. Responding to Parson’s characterization, Lucas said: “I disagree strongly with how [the governor] would describe that situation. … ‘Thugs’ is a dog whistle in the most classic sense. And I have seen this dog whistle time and again.” Okay, we’ll bite: We’ve seen this sort of barbaric behavior “time and again.” And we’ve seen local Democrat leaders fail to vigorously denounce these young killers “time and again.” One wonders: Would Lucas have preferred that Parson had instead called these misunderstood youths “animals” or “gangsters” or “barbarians”? We suspect not.

  • Hawaii’s climate tax and NYC’s Tide Pod challenge: Tourists to Hawaii will soon be paying more to enjoy the island paradise, as the Aloha State’s legislature is poised to pass a $25 climate tax per visitor. Democrat Hawaii Governor Josh Green argued, “It’s a very small price to pay to preserve paradise.” Green, who had previously pushed a $50 entrance tax that failed to pass, claims that the climate tax will garner some $68 million annually for the state. Green then ridiculously asserted, “All I want to do, honestly, is to make travelers accountable and have the capacity to help pay for the impact that they have.” So, tourists, upon whom much of the state’s economy depends, are the problem. Evidently, Green doesn’t understand economics. Meanwhile, in New York City, Democrat lawmakers are pushing for a ban on Tide Pods because of climate change. NYC Councilman James Gennaro, who introduced the “Pods Are Plastic Bill,” contends that the laundry pods contain polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which dissolves in water. “[PVAs] are the most concerning of emerging contaminants," Gennaro argues. Thus far, there is no scientific-based research to back up Gennaro’s concern.

  • Barkley dunks on San Fransicko: California’s crown jewel is one of the world’s most naturally beautiful cities, so it’s sad to note that the crime, the drugs, the feces, and the homelessness are now among San Francisco’s most recognizable features. But this is what decades of one-party Democrat rule will get you. So who can blame the erstwhile Round Mound of Rebound, former NBAer Charles Barkley, for blasting the city on Sunday during the league’s little-watched broadcast of the NBA All-Star Game? "Hey Reggie,” Barkley said to one of his broadcast colleagues, former Indiana Pacer Reggie Miller, “if you had a chance of being in the cold or being around a bunch of homeless crooks in San Francisco, which would you take?” When another colleague, Candace Parker, came to the beleaguered city’s defense, saying, “We love San Francisco,” Barkley shot back: “No, we don’t. You can’t even walk around down there.” When still another colleague, Draymond Green, who plays basketball for the San Francisco-based Golden State Warriors, weighed in with, “Yes, you can walk around,” Barkley fired back once again: “Yeah, with a bulletproof vest.” Game, set, and match to Sir Charles. For those keeping score, here are the grim facts about San Francisco’s downward spiral during the past three years, according to data from the city’s police department: Homicide is up 12.5%, robbery is up 13.5%, assault is up 13%, larceny and theft are up 26%, and total major crime is up 13%. Interestingly, the NBA All-Star Game will be in San Francisco next year. And we have no doubt Charles will get a warm welcome from the addicts, the homeless, the shoplifters, the car thieves, and the violent criminals. We doubt Charles will need a bulletproof vest, but he’ll want to watch where he steps.

  • Disney goes woke and broke: We keep waiting for Disney to wake up and snap out of it, but we’re growing more pessimistic by the day. How many unequivocal messages, after all, can the American people send to the once-proud and now-woke entertainment company? “The Walt Disney Company is in deep trouble,” writes Lauren Smith at Spiked. “Its last four high-profile releases bombed at the box office, losing over $1 billion between them.” Never fear, though: It’s just a “misalignment” — or at least that’s how it’s been characterized by the company’s leadership, which last year admitted to its investors that there was a growing “misalignment” between its creative product and “public and consumer tastes and preferences for entertainment.” That, it seems, is just a mealy-mouthed way of admitting that they’re continuing to try to ram their woke politics down the throats of unwilling consumers. People are “fed up with storylines being mangled to fit ‘progressive’ narratives,” Smith adds. “They are irked by Disney’s desire to lecture them instead of entertain them.” We had a little hope for Disney when the company appeared to shift its stance: “When you tell stories, there’s a delicate balance,” said CEO Bob Iger. “You’re talking to an audience, but it’s also important to listen to an audience. It’s important to have respect for the people you are serving, that you are trying to reach, and not have disdain for them.” Sadly, for all who once cherished this singularly American brand, we’re still waiting for it to listen to its audience.

  • Sister of Perpetual Indulgence charged with child porn: Last year, the Los Angeles Dodgers stubbornly insisted on celebrating the deviant anti-Catholic hate group known as the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” men who dress as drag queen nuns. Apparently, the Dodgers’ brass was more worried about offending the Rainbow Mafia than any of its Christian fanbase. Well, lo and behold, one of these drag queens has been arrested in Wisconsin and charged with possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child. He is a member of the anti-Catholic drag queen group’s Wisconsin chapter known as the Brew City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. It seems like willingness to engage in blatant sexual deviancy should be a warning of other possibly more sinister behavior.

Update: Further reporting indicates it’s unclear whether Westbrook is a member of or in any way involved with Brew City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. He is alleged to be in photographs of the group, but given the face-obscuring makeup involved, it’s not concrete evidence. He is, however, a homosexual married to a teacher and charged with child porn.


  • Is an executive order coming on immigration as State of the Union looms? (Hot Air)

  • Biden now “happy to meet” with Speaker Johnson over Ukraine funding, border impasse after WH snubbed past discussion requests (New York Post)

  • Biden administration “extremely upset” at New York Times coverage of president’s age, publisher says (National Review)

  • Biden admin cited “Indigenous Knowledge” as reason to block oil and gas leases (Washington Free Beacon)

  • Immigrant from Hong Kong becomes first noncitizen appointed to San Francisco Election Commission (Fox News)

  • Capital One to acquire Discover Financial (Fox Business)

  • Javier Milei delivers Argentina’s first monthly budget surplus in 12 years (Sky News)

  • Frozen embryos are children, Alabama Supreme Court rules in couples’ wrongful death suits (AL.com)

  • California gun control fails to stop man from accumulating massive arsenal (Bearing Arms)

  • Study of 99 million COVID-vaccinated people finds links to brain, heart problems (Washington Times)

  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral breaks silence after transgender activists hold irreverent funeral for atheist prostitute (Daily Signal)

  • Trans controversy erupts when girls basketball game ends in forfeit following three injuries (Daily Wire)

  • British National Health System says men’s “chest” milk is as good as women’s for babies (Not the Bee) | Humor: Study shows 10 out of 10 babies prefer female boobs (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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