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March 28, 2024

Thursday: Below the Fold

DeSantis beats overmatched Disney, Joe Lieberman passes away, Sean “Diddy” Combs raided, and more.

Cross-Examination

  • DeSantis beats overmatched Disney once again: Any Democrats who thought a defeated Ron DeSantis was going to limp on back to Florida and sulk away his second term in the governor’s mansion is by now deeply disappointed. It ain’t gonna happen. Indeed, the nation’s best governor has picked up right where he left off, beating the mouse ears off of Woke Disney in a running feud that, were it a prizefight, would’ve long ago been stopped on cuts. Recall that all this began a couple of years ago, when Disney publicly denounced the DeSantis administration’s Parental Rights in Education bill, falsely labeling it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill because it forbade teachers from grooming young children. Both Disney’s stock price and its public approval rating took a big hit. The dispute moved on to a fight over Disney’s special 56-year-old carveout as a special taxing district that allowed the entertainment colossus to control its own development, regulations, building codes, and the like. As National Review now reports, “After a year of legal wrangling between the Walt Disney Company and Florida leaders over the company’s ability to control its governing body, the two sides have reached a settlement agreement that includes Disney dropping its lawsuits against a newly created tourism board.” Perhaps the satirists at The Babylon Bee put it best: “‘We don’t know what his deal is,’ said one Republican insider. ‘Everyone can plainly see that one of the most fundamental tenets of the Republican Party is the stubborn refusal to accomplish anything of note. Governor DeSantis continues to flagrantly disregard this core value by actually doing things. It’s just totally unacceptable and unbecoming of anyone claiming to be a Republican.’”

  • Florida swats squatters: No more so-called “squatter’s rights” in the Sunshine State. On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law increasing the penalty against individuals who take over someone else’s property without permission. “You are not going to be able to commandeer somebody’s private property and expect to get away with it,” DeSantis explained. “We are, in the state of Florida, ending the squatter scam once and for all.” The new law, he said, “will give the homeowner the ability to quickly and legally remove a squatter from a property and which will increase criminal penalties for squatting.” He added: “Now, we have not had the same type of issues here as you’ve seen in California or New York. Nevertheless, our laws were really geared towards this not necessarily being a fad.” Once the law goes into effect on July 1, property owners will be able to contact law enforcement and have them remove squatters from their homes by producing ownership documents. Prior to this law, a property owner who encountered squatters taking over their house had to engage in a long and costly legal process to get the squatters removed from the property. As DeSantis put it: “What you can do now, if you’re the victim of squatting, you can simply fill out a form, give it to your local sheriff, and the sheriff is instructed to go and remove the people who are inhabiting your dwelling illegally. And that will happen very quickly.”

  • RIP, Joe Lieberman: Imagine a Democrat senatorial candidate earning the endorsement of conservative titan William F. Buckley. If you can do so, then you have a sense of the uniqueness of Joe Lieberman, the four-term senator from Connecticut and the 2000 vice presidential running mate of the original spray-tanned Orange Man, Al Gore. Lieberman, whom The Washington Post describes as “doggedly independent,” died yesterday in New York City at age 82. But make no mistake: Indy Joe was a man of the Left. As the Post reports: “Lieberman viewed himself as a centrist Democrat, solidly in his party’s mainstream with his support of abortion rights, environmental protections, gay rights and gun control. But he was also unafraid to stray from Democratic orthodoxy, most notably in his consistently hawkish stands on foreign policy.” Lieberman, who as Gore’s running mate became the first Jewish American on a major party ticket, soon fell out of favor within a Democrat Party that continued to lurch leftward, especially on foreign policy. Indeed, he famously campaigned against Barack Obama and for his Senate friend and fellow defense hawk John McCain in 2008. Lieberman’s willingness to reach across the aisle and find common ground with Republicans today seems a quaint quality of a bygone era. In that respect, the likes of him are unlikely to pass this way again.

  • CA minimum wage hike fallout: A low wage is better than no wage. But that simple logic apparently escapes California’s Democrat lawmakers, who last year passed a law that raises the state’s minimum wage for fast-food workers to $20 an hour beginning in April. That represents a 25% hourly wage increase over the previous $16 minimum wage. Predictably and unsurprisingly, a bunch of workers across the Golden State have been recently laid off as fast-food restaurants adjust to the new law. Pizza chains have been especially active, cutting an estimated 1,280 delivery jobs so far this year. Rather than making it easier for young people to get an entry-level job, California has made it more difficult. How will young people gain important work experience upon which to build a work résumé if they can’t even get a job flipping burgers or delivering pizza? Is it any wonder California has a growing crime problem?

  • Mention of “Bidenomics” tumbling, just like Scranton Joe’s polling numbers: Joe Biden will make his way to New York today, and not a New York minute too soon. He currently trails Donald Trump nationally by five points, according to the latest Fox News poll. Biden will be there in New York to — let’s be honest — whore himself out along with Barack Obama and Bill Clinton in what is already being called the most lucrative fundraiser in American political history. The goal of a star-studded $25 million haul has reportedly already been met, and so the $100,000 a pop for photos by Annie Leibovitz of individual donors with the three presidents is just icing on the cake. But if Biden’s fundraising is going well — and it should be going well, given that the Democrats are the Party of the Rich — then his stewardship of the nation’s economy leaves much to be desired. So much so, in fact, that Axios now reports, “For the first time in more than two months, President Biden on Tuesday publicly uttered a word that he and other Democrats have largely abandoned: ‘Bidenomics.’” So much for his boast from a few months back that he was going to embrace “Bidenomics” and run on it.

  • DEI at ODNI: What’s worse — calling murderous terrorists who adhere to a radical view of Islam “radical Islamists” or “jihadists,” or allowing them to blow up innocent Americans? Apparently, over at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the answer isn’t obvious. Thanks to the agency’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the woke notion of words equating to violence is being promulgated within the nation’s top intelligence agency. The ODNI wants to ban employees from using certain “biased language” such as the above-mentioned terms because they “are hurtful to Muslim-Americans and detrimentally impact our efforts as they bolster extremist rhetoric.” Never mind if those terms are, in fact, definitionally accurate; because they might hurt some people’s feelings, they should be banned. But “radical Islamists” and “jihadists” are far from the only terms the ODNI wants to ban. Indeed, it’s just the tip of the woke iceberg, as the agency’s DEI office has a whole litany of everyday terms that it has determined are “hurtful.” Terms such as “blacklisted,” because it “implies black is bad and white is good,” or “cakewalk,” because it supposedly refers “to a dance performed by slaves for slave owners on plantation grounds.” This would be laughable if it weren’t actually happening. The ODNI language police are actually making it more difficult to communicate for fear of offending some minority group. Given that “U.S. intelligence officials are being trained to use terms that don’t ‘disparage’ China or Islamic terrorists,” Republican Representative Jim Banks (IN) insightfully observes, “Wokeness is a gift to our adversaries.”

  • The global warming god: It seems one can hardly go a day without some new claim on how mankind is responsible for killing the planet. The latest “news” comes courtesy of a new study that claims the rotation of the earth is being slightly slowed down due to global warming. That’s right — it’s time to freak out because Mother Gaia is angry over humanity’s continued use of fossil fuels, which are allegedly the primary, if not sole, cause of climate change. According to the study’s author, Duncan Agnew, a geophysicist at the University of California San Diego, global warming has caused increased ice melt at the poles, which in turn is causing more mass in the oceans to accumulate at the equator. This is supposedly slightly slowing the earth’s rotation. And this is “unprecedented,” we are told. So, global warming is not only slowing the earth, but it is slowing time. While this may be an interesting scientific finding, in reality, it has no impact on humanity’s daily lives, no matter where they live on the planet. But that fact doesn’t stop the Leftmedia climate cultists from fear-mongering. As NBC News concludes: “Regardless of whether clocks wind up changing, the notion that melting polar ice is affecting the Earth’s rotation speaks to how significant an issue it has become. Research has already described the profound impact that ice loss will have on coastal communities.” In other words, even though this has almost no discernible impact, you must keep on believing that catastrophe awaits if climate change isn’t stopped!

  • Is Sean “Diddy” Combs the next Harvey Weinstein? It’s dog-bites-man stuff when a rapper runs afoul of the law, but news of this week’s raid on the estates of billionaire rap music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs is disturbingly different, and it bears watching. The hugely influential Combs, the longtime Demo fundraiser who was behind the 2008 pro-Obama “Vote or Die” campaign, has had his Miami and LA mansions raided this week by Department of Homeland Security agents on suspicion of human trafficking. Combs has been untouchable for years, likely because of his deep pockets and his ties to the Democrat Party, but no longer. Perhaps he was about to leave the plantation, join a few other maverick rappers, and endorse the dreaded Donald Trump. In any case, law enforcement apparently confronted Combs at Miami International Airport on Monday and seized his phone. In the raids, they also seized hard drives and videos. In addition, it’s reported that numerous alleged victims of Combs’s predations — victims who were once cowed into silence — are now talking to authorities. Combs denies any wrongdoing, of course, but the story is the talk of LA. More important and more ominous for Combs, however, is what a DHS spokesman said about the case: “We believe that there is a disturbing history of sex trafficking. … We are responding to concrete, detailed, explicit allegations. This is not random. We didn’t choose his name out of a hat. We had allegations that we’re following up on.” Again, this story bears watching, especially as we learn more about the “Why now?” of these raids.

Headlines

  • Two bodies found after massive cargo ship ripped apart Baltimore bridge (Daily Wire)

  • White House press secretary abruptly hangs up on radio hosts after “incredibly offensive” dementia question (National Review)

  • Obama reportedly has “grave concern” Biden will lose to Trump, feels need to intervene (Daily Caller)

  • Netanyahu will send an Israeli delegation to Washington for Rafah talks days after scrapping meeting (Daily Mail)

  • Top centrist House Democrat joins mass exodus from Congress (Washington Examiner)

  • Ronna McDaniel’s single interview on NBC could cost the network $30,000 per minute (Business Insider)

  • Illegal immigrant charged with raping “mentally incapacitated” 14-year-old girl in Alabama (New York Post)

  • Illegal immigrant TikToker who went viral urging migrants to take over American homes is wanted by ICE (Daily Wire)

  • Biden is considering illegal immigrant amnesty (Hot Air)

  • “Transgender” weightlifter sparks outrage after winning national competition (New York Post)

  • Australian soccer team with five “transgender” players goes undefeated in women’s tournament (New York Post)

  • Humor: Not to be outdone by Trump, Biden releases own version of the Quran (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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