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May 20, 2024

Monday: Below the Fold

Iran’s president and foreign minister dead, small businesses predict closure under Biden, Mayo apologizes for science, and more.


  • Iran’s president and foreign minister die in helicopter crash: Last night, 12 hours after a helicopter carrying both Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, and its foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, went missing, Iranian state media stopped calling it “a hard landing” and admitted that there’s “no sign of life” at the mountainous, fog-shrouded crash site in the far north of the country. There’s no indication of navigation-jamming drones at this point — only recklessness at the decision to fly under such conditions. Raisi, who Reuters describes as “a hardliner seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,” will not be missed by anyone outside the “Death to America” crowd. Stepping in to fill the presidential void is Mohammad Mokhber, 68, Iran’s first vice president. As National Review’s Jim Geraghty notes, “Raisi’s sudden death isn’t expected to lead to any dramatic changes in the policies of the Iranian government, but it may well have narrowed the options for who will succeed the 85-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.” More mischievously, Geraghty adds, “A Hamas-affiliated Telegram account ‘took seriously an Israeli joke about a Mossad agent named "Eli Copter” being responsible for the crash, repeating the claim before deleting the post.’ Also, the word ‘gullible’ is not in the dictionary.“

  • Disparate impact impacts Chicago: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is floating a new policy that would order prosecutors in her office "to reject drug and gun charges that stem solely from some routine traffic stops.” Because, of course, what Chicago most needs now is to go even softer on crime. As the Chicago Sun-Times reports: “In an interview, Foxx said the draft policy aims to undercut a dramatic rise in stops that disproportionately target people of color and rarely lead to arrests. ‘It felt like it was time to do something about it,’ Foxx said. ‘And so our office — armed with data, armed with the knowledge that these stops have not significantly or in any way reduced violence in our city — decided that it was time to look at this issue and see if we could model a best practice that we’ve seen in other jurisdictions.’” We’re sure that beleaguered South Side residents will take great comfort in the fact that Foxx’s office is “armed with data.”

  • Half of small businesses predict closure under Biden: A second term of Joe Biden likely spells disaster for America’s small businesses. A recent survey conducted by Red Balloon and Public Square found that 22.4% of small businesses said they would go bust under a second Biden term, while another 26.2% said they would likely not survive. The survey asked what changes a small business could make under a second Biden term; the answers included “close my business” and “actively look at selling out to a larger competitor.” The primary issue behind the negative outlook is sustained high inflation, which currently sits at 3.4%. The simple reality is that for many, the cost of doing business is unsustainable.

  • Big guy’s student loan scheme doesn’t help little guys: We hate to break it to Joe Biden, but he’s not getting his money’s worth if he’s trying to buy some much-needed votes for the November presidential election. As the Foundation for Economic Education reports, Biden introduced “new provisions to his student debt relief plan earlier this month, and the primary beneficiaries are high-income earners, according to a new analysis released by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.” That’s right: His vote-buying scheme is targeting rich folks instead of the less well-to-do folks who could really benefit from the graft. As FEE continues: “While Biden’s 2023 SAVE Plan already put taxpayers on the hook for $475 billion, the new plans add another $84 billion to the tally — largely by ‘canceling’ the student debt of some 750,000 households making more than $312,000 a year on average. The average debt relief for these households is $25,500, the study found.”

  • Mayo apologizes for science: When the Rainbow Mafia objects to objective reality, scientific cowards dance to their irrational tune. This is the case with the Mayo Clinic, which issued an apology to Rochester Pride after the LGBT organization objected to Dr. Mary O'Connor, an employee of the clinic who dares to hold to the science on the binary nature of sex. Recently, Dr. O'Conner, who is an orthopedic surgeon and limb reconstructionist, was a keynote speaker at a conference titled “Advancing Academic Career Excellence For Women 2024” at Mayo’s Florida campus. The Mayo Clinic is a Platinum sponsor of Rochester Pride, and rather than stand up for Dr. O'Conner, it chose to kowtow to the gender-benders. In its apology, the Mayo Clinic played along in the smearing of Dr. O'Conner, writing, “Since that time, we have learned of Dr. O'Conner’s social media activity which is inconsistent with Mayo Clinic values and does not represent the views of the organization.” And what are Dr. O'Conner’s “values that [do] not represent the views” of the Mayo Clinic? Well, science. Dr. O'Conner has specialized in the biological sex distinctions regarding how diseases affect males and females differently.

  • Suicide and trans kids: The Rainbow Mafia insists that failure to affirm a confused child’s “transgender” identity is tantamount to wishing death upon them. Activists claim that should these gender dysphoric youth not be allowed to “transition,” then suicide awaits. However, a recently released study is now throwing cold water all over that dubious claim. Actually, it’s worse than that. The National Institutes of Health and the University of Texas looked at the life impact of “gender-affirming” surgery. The study reviewed data from more than 90 million patients and found that the rate of attempted suicide was 12 times higher in individuals who received gender-mutilating surgeries. The lie of the gender-bender cult is actually leading to even more suicides, not fewer. This makes sense because gender dysphoria is a mental illness that physical mutilation of the body will not fix. It turns out that transing the kids is leading to higher rates of suicide.

  • Free vacation double standards: Democrats and their Leftmedia cohorts have spilled copious amounts of ink over Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, alleging vacuous ethics violations via his vacationing with wealthy friends. Leading the spurious attack against Justice Thomas was ProPublica, which was ridiculously awarded a Pulitzer Prize for peddling this propaganda. Never mind the fact that Justice Thomas had not violated the Court’s transparency rules or the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. It was a classic example of a smear campaign aimed at delegitimizing the Court. Meanwhile, days after ProPublica walked home with a Pulitzer, the outlet conveniently ignored the fact that, last year, Joe Biden took four vacations with wealthy supporters, and he didn’t list any of them as gifts. According to former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter: “If there’s a deliberate omission of a gift, an intentional lie, that can very well be prosecuted as a criminal offense. It just seems to me to be stupid to leave it off the form because everyone knows about [presidential] trips and everyone’s going to ask who paid.” Mark Paoletta, White House general counsel under Donald Trump, asserts that this nondisclosure is not accidental: “This is another intentional refusal to disclose gifts by President Biden. His habit of taking over donors’ homes for vacations and not paying nor disclosing is consistent with his family’s long history of grift and corruption.”

  • Bill Maher pours cold water onto leftist outrage over Butker: We hate giving Bill Maher too much publicity. After all, he’s still a leftist. And yet, sometimes we can’t help ourselves. A case in point occurred this weekend, as Maher weighed in on the hard-Left’s caterwauling about Kansas City Chiefs placekicker Harrison Butker’s stirring commencement speech at Benedictine College. During his speech, the devoutly Catholic Butker suggested that many of the school’s female graduates might be looking forward to the indescribably important roles of motherhood and homemaking more than a professional career. “I don’t see what the big crime is,” said Maher in response. “I really don’t. And I think this is part of the problem people have with the Left is that lots of people in this country are like this. … And now, can’t that be a choice, too? And I feel like they feel very put upon, like there’s only one way to be a good person, and that’s to get an advanced degree from one of those a**hole factories like Harvard.” Once again, he’s got a point.


  • Top vile moments from Biden’s Morehouse commencement address (Fox News)

  • AOC, Jasmine Crockett, and MTG got into a yelling match for the history books … the faces of the men say it all (Not the Bee)

  • Mercedes-Benz workers in Alabama vote against joining UAW, a blow to union’s expansion in the South (ABC News)

  • David DePape, man who attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer, sentenced to 30 years in prison (NBC News)

  • Federal judge blocks Biden ATF rule expanding gun background checks (Daily Caller)

  • Judge strikes down part of Florida law targeting noncitizens helping with voter registration (Florida’s Voice)

  • Israeli forces recover bodies of three Gaza hostages (Jerusalem Post)

  • International Criminal Court seeks arrest for Netanyahu over Gaza “war crimes” (Fox News)

  • Scottish Green Party expels 13 members for saying “sex is a biological reality” (Hot Air)

  • Humor: After Michael Cohen testimony, Trump trial prosecutors file motion for a do-over (Babylon Bee)

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