March 1, 2024

Friday: Below the Fold

“The big guy” was Hunter’s dad all along, Texas illegal alien law blocked, lawmakers grill absentee Austin, and more.


  • The Big Guy, confirmed: It’s almost a shame that after all these years of denial, Hunter Biden finally admitted that “the big guy” was his dad all along. We say this simply because we’d have loved to hear him, under oath and with a straight face, try to convince us that it was someone else. Hunter confirmed this during his impeachment inquiry deposition on Wednesday. The reference, as the New York Post reports, is to “an email about a business deal with a Chinese state-linked energy firm that yielded millions for Biden family members and other associates, more than three years after The Post broke the story.” All along, the members of the Biden Crime Family have scoffed at the “big guy” suggestion. But now, as the Post continues, Hunter has “admitted that his former business partner James Gilliar was referring to Joe Biden when he raised the prospect on May 13, 2017, of the first son holding a 10% stake in the lucrative joint venture involving CEFC China Energy ‘for the big guy.’” Of course, Hunter also implausibly claimed that if he’d seen the email from Gilliar at the time, “I would have picked up the phone and said, ‘You’re out of your mind.’ … I shut it down, and the evidence of me shutting it down is the actual things you have as evidence.” So the old man is as pure as the driven snow, never having discussed his son’s overseas business dealings with him, not even once, not even when he was patched in via speakerphone during calls with Hunter’s business associates. “My dad calls me,” Hunter said, “like I’m sure a lot of your parents do, or a lot of you do with your children.” Uh-huh.

  • Texas illegal alien law blocked: U.S. District Judge David Ezra blocked Texas’s illegal alien enforcement law, ruling that it infringed on the federal government’s immigration enforcement powers. Passed by the Texas legislature and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott, SB4 grants state and local law enforcement the authority to arrest illegal aliens in the state over their illegal status. The law further empowers state judges to deport these individuals. The law was immediately contested by both the ACLU and the Biden Justice Department, which have since joined together in their suit alleging that the Texas law is both discriminatory toward minorities and interferes with federal immigration law. Texas justified the law, citing the right of the Lone Star State to protect itself from invasion. In his decision, Ezra rejected that claim, stating: “I haven’t seen, and the state of Texas can’t point me to any type of military invasion in Texas. I don’t see evidence that Texas is at war.” Abbott responded to the ruling, stating that he was not surprised, while also reiterating: “Texas has the constitutional right to defend itself because of President Biden’s ongoing failure to fulfill his duty. We will not back down in our fight to protect Texas.” He further observed, “This case will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

  • Lawmakers grill absentee Austin: Our erstwhile AWOL secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, took time out of his busy day yesterday to appear on Capitol Hill before the House Armed Services Committee. His testimony focused on his recent days-long hospitalization for prostate cancer, during which time he never notified his boss or his subordinate. Lucky for Lloyd and the American warriors under his direction, there’s really nothing going on anywhere around the globe in terms of conflict. Still, it’d be nice if this sort of thing didn’t happen again. “It’s important in democracy that public officials are held accountable when mistakes are made,” said committee chairman Mike Rogers. “This administration has gone to great lengths to avoid accountability whenever possible, but this is a matter of national security, and someone needs to be held accountable.” Not even the committee’s ranking Democrat saw fit to bail Austin out. “I agree with much of what the chairman said,” said Washington Democrat Mike Smith. “I think the lack of transparency and clear communication about what was going on with the DOD, certainly with the White House but also with Congress and others, should not be repeated.” Austin seemed to be seeking grace from the committee, but, as Florida Republican Matt Gaetz pointed out, he wasn’t in any mood to extend such courtesy to the 8,600 service members that he vax-mandated out of the military.

  • What recruiting problems? Recently, the Pentagon’s acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness fessed up to the House Armed Services Committee that our military missed its 2023 recruiting goals by 41,000. That’s a lot of warriors, folks. Indeed, it’s the equivalent of around three U.S. Army divisions. Perhaps this is no big deal to the Biden administration and its military brass, or perhaps they’re just too embarrassed to admit that our young people don’t feel like fighting for a woke Department of Defense, a feeble commander-in-chief, and a country that leftists keep telling them isn’t worthy of defending. Nor could it be a net-plus for recruiting when, for example, the U.S. Air Force Academy showcases a transgender-identifying activist at its National Character and Leadership Symposium. None of this has been lost on Army veteran and former Arkansas Senate candidate Jake Bequette, though. “In our education system today,” he said, “so few young people are hearing real history. They’re hearing our American heroes being represented as evil racists … who were doing all these terrible things to disadvantaged people. And that really is shaping the views of America’s youth and making them have less respect for our institutions, have less respect for our history, and therefore making them less liable to want to put their lives potentially on the line to serve in our country’s military.” It’s hard to argue with Bequette, but perhaps a new commander-in-chief will help.

  • NY AG targets U.S. beef industry: Using the bogeyman of climate change, New York Attorney General Letitia James recently raised a lawsuit against America’s largest beef producer, JBS USA. James claims that JBS USA has engaged in a campaign to mislead the public on the impact its industry has on global greenhouse gas emissions. Dubiously asserting that families are suffering under a global climate crisis and are therefore “willing to spend more of their hard-earned money on products from brands that are better for the environment,” James charges that JBS USA is exploiting this by falsely advertising that its product is “healthy for the planet and future generations.” She dubbed this alleged false advertising as “greenwashing.” At issue is JBS USA’s claims that it is seeking to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, which an attorney for the leftist climate activist group Earthjustice says is “misleading.” What this lawsuit really amounts to is a shakedown of America’s agriculture industry that both serves to placate climate change cultists while also getting tens of millions of dollars for special interest and government coffers.

  • Newsom’s minimum wage exemption: Call him Gavin “Crooked” Newsom. That is the charge that Republican lawmakers are raising against California’s Democrat governor after a special exemption was granted for one of his donors from the state’s $20 per hour minimum wage increase. That donor is the Panera Bread franchise, and thanks to a carveout in the FAST Act, the restaurant chain will not be required to raise employee wages above the current $16 per hour. As California Republican Caucus Chairman James Gallagher asked, “Can any franchisee get an exemption from the $20 minimum wage law, or do they need to donate more than $150k to Newsom first?” He added, “This crooked deal needs to be investigated.” California Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones observed: “Panera couldn’t afford Democrat lawmakers’ $20 minimum wage requirement for fast food restaurants. Lucky for them, their franchise owner donated over $160,000 to Governor Newsom, who got them an exemption. Unfortunately, other restaurants lacked such substantial donations and now must comply with the new minimum wage by all means necessary, including layoffs and replacing workers with automation.”

  • Military doc leaker pleads guilty: Airman First Class Jack Teixeira, who made headlines last year when he was charged with using his top-secret security clearance to access classified Pentagon documents from his Air National Guard base in Cape Cod and share them with gamers on the social media platform Discord, has changed his plea to guilty. Teixeira was charged with six counts of illegally retaining and transmitting sensitive national defense information. If tried and found guilty, he would have faced a sentence of 30 years to life in prison. Teixeira was motivated to access and then share the classified documents with “friends” online to impress them. Meanwhile, Joe Biden will not face any repercussions for his leaving classified documents lying around his garage, as he’s too cognitively addled to face a trial.

  • Good news about Mark Green: We get results: Recently, we lamented that Congress is broken, noting that the sorry state of affairs in the Beltway has chased away the kind of talented and Patriotic legislators we can ill afford to lose. One of those citizen-legislators we highlighted was Tennessee’s Mark Green, a West Point graduate, former “Night Stalker” flight surgeon, and House Homeland Security Committee chairman. In announcing that he wouldn’t seek reelection in November, Green said, “I have come to realize our fight is not here within Washington; our fight is with Washington.” But a funny thing happened to Green on his way out of Washington: Green had a change of heart. As the Washington Examiner reports: “Green said he changed his mind after having ‘countless’ conversations with his colleagues and constituents as well as from former President Donald Trump. The decision comes after Green said it was his ‘strong desire’ to leave the House next year, leaving his congressional career at a high point after the historic impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.” To this news, we simply say, “Welcome back, Congressman Green.”


  • Senate clears stopgap bill, setting up final spending talks (Roll Call)

  • Biden touts crime record as Laken Riley case dominates conservative media (Time)

  • White House refers to illegal immigrants as “newcomers” (Fox News)

  • John Cornyn announces bid to replace McConnell as Senate GOP leader (Daily Wire)

  • Republicans choose Senator Katie Britt to deliver SOTU response (Townhall)

  • Obama judge holds journalist Catherine Herridge in contempt for not revealing source (Daily Wire)

  • “Morning Joe” guests demonize white rural voters as a “threat to democracy” (The Wrap)

  • Texas wildfire torches over one million acres, largest in state history (Daily Wire)

  • Politico reporter apologizes for “clumsy words” about “Christian nationalists” (Fox News)

  • Humor: Biden visits border to cut ribbon for official border grand opening (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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