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April 12, 2024

Friday: Below the Fold

Wray implores Congress to pass Section 702, another student loan handout, David Hogg gets schooled on gun control, and more.

Cross-Examination

  • FBI’s Wray implores Congress to pass key FISA section: Our grievances with the FBI are by now well documented, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also have some common ground, especially when it comes to counterterrorism. A case in point came yesterday when the bureau’s director and inveterate congressional stonewaller, Christopher Wray, went to Capitol Hill to lobby for the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act before it expires next week. Section 702, Wray told the House Appropriations Committee, “is indispensable in keeping Americans safe from a whole barrage of fast-moving foreign threats.” If only Wray’s corrupt former colleagues at the bureau — James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Kevin Clinesmith among them — hadn’t weaponized the FISA statute against Donald Trump by falsifying evidence to secure a spy warrant, perhaps Wray wouldn’t be struggling so mightily to get Section 702 reauthorized. But FISA can do more than merely undermine Republican presidents. As the Washington Examiner reports, “Section 702 allows the FBI to identify terrorists in the United States who are working with groups overseas, uncover foreign plots to kidnap or assassinate dissidents in the U.S., and warn critical infrastructure authorities of plots by hackers in China, Russia, and Iran.” And given this capability, weighed against the certainty that numerous terrorists have entered our country via Joe Biden’s wide-open southern border, we’d just as soon give the FBI the tools it needs for effective counterterrorism. So long as they’re used for counterterrorism.

  • Another day, another student loan handout: Never let it be said that Joe Biden loves the Constitution and respects the Rule of Law. He doesn’t, and he doesn’t, and this was made abundantly clear today, as his handlers announced plans to cancel student debt for 277,000 more deadbeats, which brings to a whopping 4.3 million the number of votes that the Biden administration has attempted to buy with this debt-forgiveness scheme. “These 277,000 borrowers,” he says, “are enrolled in my Administration’s SAVE Plan, or were approved for relief because of fixes we made to Income-Driven Repayment Plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.” Who cares who these people are or what they were doing instead of lawfully paying back their debts? On the bright side, as we reported Wednesday, a group of red states is suing Biden over this shameless vote-buying scheme, seeking to block the transfer of those billions of dollars in student loan debt. “This latest attempt to sidestep the Constitution,” the 62-page lawsuit reads, “is only the most recent instance in a long but troubling pattern of the President relying on innocuous language from decades-old statutes to impose drastic, costly policy changes on the American people without their consent.” Congress? Who needs Congress?

  • Energy prices soar under Biden: Joe Biden’s green agenda is costing Americans big time. The price of electricity has soared since he took office, though it can’t be blamed on high inflation alone. While the average price of electricity since January 2021 has risen 29.4% — which is 13 times higher than over the previous seven years, when the cost of electricity rose just 5% — most of the blame has to do with Biden picking energy winners and losers. At the same time Biden has pursued an anti-fossil fuel agenda, $369 billion from the bogusly named Inflation Reduction Act has been funneled to renewable energy companies. As Power the Future executive director Daniel Turner observes, “In that law, Joe Biden and his supporters celebrated the passage of the largest green energy slush fund in history and all it is delivering are higher prices across the board.” This news comes on the heels of March’s CPI showing inflation rising again. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has been caught once again seeking to dictate news coverage of its anti-fossil fuel actions. The White House leaned on the Leftmedia “fact-checking” site Snopes after it gave a “mixture” rating to the claim that the Biden administration was seeking to ban gas stoves. After being contacted by the White House, Snopes changed its rating to “false,” adding the statement that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was “not currently considering a ban on gas stoves.” Snopes made this change despite the fact that CPSC member Richard Trumka Jr. had called for regulating gas stoves, including “banning gas stoves entirely,” because of climate change.

  • Israel and Iran: Israel is expecting an imminent attack from Iran, according to a recent intelligence report. Israel anticipates that the attack will come within the next few days. The reason for the heightening tensions between the two nations has to do with an Israeli airstrike in Syria last week that targeted an Iranian diplomatic complex. It’s no secret that Iran has been heavily involved in supporting Hamas. Iran has effectively been fighting a proxy war against Israel on multiple fronts via jihadi militants like Hamas, and the scenario for an outright war between Israel and Iran is growing. As Senator Marco Rubio, vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, warned on Thursday: “Iran wants to launch a large scale attack from their own territory against Israel. Israel will respond instantly with an even more severe counterattack inside of Iran.” He added, “What happens next is the most dangerous Middle East moment since 1973.”

  • Afghan surrender and retreat testimony: The more we learn about Joe Biden’s disgraceful and disastrous retreat from Afghanistan, the more we yearn for the foreign-policy adults to retake the White House. Not only did this administration fail to prevent a massacre we saw coming, but it also failed to bring our people home. As America’s best paper, the UK’s Daily Mail, reports: “Hours of private testimony by two of the top State Department officials who oversaw the evacuation from Afghanistan lays bare the confusion at the heart of the operation, and how they failed to respond to warning signs that the Taliban was sweeping across the country. The result was a chaotic operation at Kabul’s airport in August 2021 with Americans scrambling to get on flights after the extremist group had seized control of the country.” But that wasn’t the worst of it. As the two State Department staffers, Brian McKeon and Derek Chollet, tell it, “They were still working on a plan to evacuate Americans and their Afghan allies” when the bloodthirsty Taliban overtook Kabul. As a result, the Daily Mail continues, “Hundreds of Americans were left behind and thousands of Afghan allies, who worked for the U.S., could not get on to evacuation flights.” So much for Biden’s promise to “do everything we can to provide safe evacuation for Americans, our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who might be targeted because of their association with the United States.” As it turns out, those were the emptiest of words from the sorriest of commanders-in-chief.

  • CBS’s “journalistic rape”: Longtime, well-respected, and recently fired journalist Catherine Herridge charged CBS News, her most recent employer, with “journalistic rape” after it seized her reporting files when firing her. “I was locked out of my emails, and I was locked out of the office,” Herridge told Congress. “CBS News seized hundreds of pages of my reporting files, including confidential source information.” Herridge made her comments during a House Judiciary Committee hearing regarding concerns about eroding First Amendment protections for journalists maintaining their confidential sources. “If confidential sources are not protected,” she warned, “I fear investigative journalism is dead. Each day, I feel the weight of this responsibility.” CBS News issued a letter denying that it “seized” any of Herridge’s files, claiming that at her termination, “Human Resources entered the office to retrieve [Herridge’s] belongings, but at no time did anyone review any of the files or other materials in it.”

  • David Hogg gets schooled on gun control: Anti-Second Amendment activist David Hogg was recently at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire, where he was rhetorically taken to the woodshed by a Chinese immigrant. Republican congressional candidate Lily Tang Williams confronted Hogg during a question-and-answer session, noting that she was “a Chinese immigrant who survived communism.” After relaying how under Mao’s communist dictatorship, some 60 million Chinese died and were murdered, she asked Hogg, “Can you guarantee me, a gun owner, tonight, our government in the U.S., in DC, will never, never become a tyrannical government?” Hogg, to his credit, admitted, “There’s no way I can ever guarantee that any government will not be tyrannical.” Williams aptly concluded: “Well, then the debate on gun control is over because I will never give up my guns. Never. Never. And you should go to China to see how gun control works for [the] dictatorship of the CCP.”

  • Two-thirds of colleges mandate DEI courses while drop in grads continues: Our nation may well be waking up to the racial rottenness of the Left’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion scam, but there’s still plenty of work to be done. So says a study by Speech First, which finds that nearly two-thirds of our nation’s colleges and universities require DEI coursework to satisfy graduation requirements. As Fox Business reports: “The report, titled ‘No Graduation Without Indoctrination: The DEI Course Mandate,’ investigated 248 colleges from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and found that 67% of the institutions reviewed mandate DEI courses to satisfy general education requirements. Of the 165 institutions identified that enforce DEI requirements, 59% were taxpayer-funded public institutions and 41% were private institutions.” The DEI infection, in fact, is even present at the University of Florida, which recently gator-chomped DEI off of its campus. As Speech First Executive Director Cherise Trump (no relation) noted, there are still “five universities in Florida that require, to some extent, a DEI course or DEI elective in order to graduate.” As we said, there’s still much work to be done to rid ourselves of this cultural Marxist blight. Is it any wonder, then, that the number of college graduates fell for the second straight year after having inched upward annually for seven years?

Headlines

  • FBI concerned about coordinated terror attack in U.S. similar to Moscow concert hall attack (Daily Wire)

  • Chicago man shoots at police, corporate media blame the cops (The Federalist)

  • Trump says he wouldn’t sign a national abortion ban (The Hill)

  • Mike Pence to teach course at Grove City College (KDKA)

  • Wholesale inflation rose 2.1% in March — sharpest increase in 11 months (NY Post)

  • Denver plans to defund its police force to pay for illegal immigrants (Daily Caller)

  • Harvard to reinstate testing requirement for admission (National Review)

  • Instagram will blur nude images sent to teens to curb sextortion (Daily Wire)

  • From Apple to LinkedIn, these companies contribute to sexual exploitation (Christian Post)

  • Dance team forced from Seattle show because uniforms were “offensive” — they depicted the American flag (RedState)

  • Idaho governor signs bills defining “man” and “woman” and barring pronoun requirements (Washington Stand)

  • Hamas suggests that there aren’t enough living hostages to make ceasefire deal (Townhall)

  • World’s largest Muslim country agrees to normalize relations with Israel (Daily Wire)

  • Humor: Trump indicted for taking more Chick-fil-A sauces than he actually needed for his order (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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