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May 22, 2024

Wednesday: Below the Fold

The Mar-a-Lago “deadly force” dust-up, DEA admits cartels are in all 50 states, Biden taps oil reserves again, and more.

Cross-Examination

  • The Mar-a-Lago “deadly force” dust-up: Far be it from our media — left, center, or right — to fan the flames in order to manufacture news where none exists, but that appears to be the case with the story that erupted yesterday about the Biden Justice Department’s authorization of deadly force during the FBI’s 2022 raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. According to court documents, the operations order for the raid contained a policy statement reading, “Law Enforcement officers of the Department of Justice may use deadly force when necessary.” This is much ado about nothing, said the bureau in a statement yesterday: “The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force. No one ordered additional steps to be taken and there was no departure from the norm in this matter.” Indeed, this sounds like boiler-plate language, and FBI whistleblower Garret O'Boyle confirms it. “The DOJ deadly force policy is literally in EVERY FBI op order and read verbatim to every agent involved prior to the op,” said O'Boyle. “This is a giant nothingburger. … The [Mar-a-Lago] raid is dubious at best. This policy is not.”

  • Trump’s defense rests, closing arguments next week: Donald Trump’s defense lawyers rested their case yesterday in the hush-money trial against him, having thoroughly discredited the prosecution’s star witness, former Trump fixer Michael Cohen. Still, the deeply conflicted judge in the case, Juan Merchan, continues to move with sloth-like urgency, setting a date of next Tuesday on which to begin closing arguments. As the AP reports: “Merchan said he expects closings to take a full day, maybe longer. After that, he said, he’ll instruct jurors in the law for about an hour before sending them to deliberate. He said that could happen as early as next Wednesday.” All this, of course, keeps Trump stuck in a courtroom and off the campaign trail, which is precisely the point of the Left’s lawfare campaign against him. A clearly frustrated Trump vented yesterday that Merchan “has thus far been the exact Conflicted Democrat Operative his Comrades expected,” but said he should instead be “dismissing the Biden Election Interference Witch Hunt brought by Soros funded D.A. Alvin Bragg.” Fat chance of that, but we can’t blame Trump for trying.

  • Biden’s DEA admits cartels are in all 50 states: Mexico’s two “most powerful and ruthless” cartels, Sinaloa and Jalisco, are operating in all 50 states, the Drug Enforcement Agency recently revealed. According to the DEA, these cartels are leading the “dangerous shift from plant-based to synthetic drugs” like fentanyl and methamphetamine, which account for “nearly all of the fatal drug poisonings in our nation.” The cartels produce the drugs in “clandestine labs in Mexico” and then transport them across the border to sell on U.S. streets. The cartels “rely on chemical companies and pill press companies in China to supply the precursor chemicals and pill presses needed to manufacture the drugs.” Furthermore, the cartels use “underground banking systems” based in China to move money from drug sales in the U.S. to cartel bosses back in Mexico. It would make it easier for the DEA to fight drug trafficking if not for Joe Biden’s open border.

  • Yet another student loan transfer: Joe Biden is transferring another $7.7 billion in student loan debt onto the backs of taxpayers. Biden announced, “My administration is canceling student debt for 160,000 more people, bringing the total number of Americans who have benefitted from our debt relief actions to 4.75 million.” Biden is using the Department of Education’s new SAVE Plan to justify this latest debt transfer action by applying it to individuals who work in the public service sector. And make no mistake about it: This is a debt transfer, not a debt cancellation. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates the combined total of Biden’s student loan cancellations thus far will cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion. But for Biden, it’s about buying votes. “I will never stop working to cancel student debt — no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us,” he said.

  • Biden taps oil reserves again: On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced it would soon be releasing one million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). So, what emergency necessitates once again tapping the SPR, which Joe Biden has yet to refill after his previous draining? Well, it’s Biden’s slumping poll numbers. The Energy Department is touting this latest misuse of the SPR as a move aimed at helping to “lower costs for American families and consumers.” Of course, the reason gas prices are so high in the first place is due to Biden’s war on fossil fuels. Meanwhile, by draining the SPR, Biden is setting up the nation for even more of a disaster should a genuine emergency require the reserve. To put things in perspective, when Biden first took office, the SPR contained enough reserves to supply the country for 40 days. Now, the total reserves can supply the nation for only 17 days. Furthermore, thanks to Biden’s anti-fossil fuel agenda, the cost of refilling the SPR is now exponentially higher.

  • The American Nightmare: The average home price is now 7.64 times greater than the median household income. This disparity is worse than during the housing bubble in 2006, just before the collapse that triggered the Great Recession. In ‘06, the disparity between housing price and median income peaked at 6.82 times greater. However, today, unlike in 2006, high housing prices are coupled with high interest rates. Furthermore, the disparity is expected to worsen, expanding to eight times greater. And almost all of this problem can be laid at Joe Biden’s feet for two reasons. First has been his administration’s runaway spending. Biden spent over $20 trillion in his first three years, more than any other president in U.S. history. This spending has fueled inflation and ensured that it remained high. Second, Biden’s anti-fossil fuel agenda has resulted in high energy costs, directly making everything else cost more, especially new home construction. This disparity nightmare will only continue if Biden remains in office for another four years.

  • Biden threatens veto over gas furnace standards: In a welcome show of anti-Biden bipartisanship, the Senate approved a resolution yesterday to roll back the Energy Department’s gas furnace efficiency standards. The move, though, likely sets up a veto from the green-obsessed Biden. As the Washington Examiner reports, “The disapproval resolution, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), would overturn a finalized rule from the DOE that would mandate energy efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces.” The Senate measure passed 50-45, with all Republicans who were present being joined by a handful of Democrats who are up for reelection on November 5. Those vulnerable Democrats include Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey, and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, who calls herself an independent but caucuses with the Democrats. West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, who’s retiring at the end of his term in January, also voted with the GOP. “This administration,” said Cruz, “doesn’t care that their radical climate agenda will have a catastrophic impact on American families and small businesses. Eliminating all non-condensing natural gas furnaces will only serve to further hurt families who are already struggling to get by.”

  • Burnishing a butcher’s reputation: It’s generally in poor taste to speak ill of the dead, but in the case of erstwhile Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who died of deceleration trauma on a mountain in northern Iran on Sunday, we should’ve made an exception. After all, this was the guy who, as Reuel Marc Gerecht writes at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “earned the sobriquet 'The Butcher of Tehran’ when he served as the prosecutor general of the city between 1989 and 1994 [and] participated in a so-called death commission that ordered the executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.” Nevertheless, as Congressman Andy Biggs observes, “Joe Biden’s State Department sent official condolences for a tyrant who murdered political opponents.” Moreover, the UN Security Council, including the U.S. ambassador, saw fit to hold a moment of silence for Raisi. “Death to America,” says Raisi’s government, which sent its Hamas proxies against our ally Israel and to hold Americans hostage. Maybe even worse, the Senate chaplain offered a prayer for Raisi. What a disgrace.

Headlines

  • Fulton County DA Fani Willis bests Democrat primary opponent (National Review)

  • Top takeaways from Tuesday’s contests in five states (Washington Examiner)

  • Biden says maimed American Hersh Goldberg-Polin is “here with us today” at Rose Garden party — despite still being held by Hamas (NY Post)

  • None of the aid Biden has sent to Gaza through pier has reached Palestinians; much of it stolen (Daily Wire)

  • Ireland, Spain, Norway announce recognition of Palestinian state (Reuters)

  • Check out these charts showing how much fast-food prices have jumped since 2019 (Not the Bee)

  • Why auto insurance rates are out of control (American Prospect)

  • The real-life results of Bidenflation are devastating at a level beyond what many realize (Not the Bee)

  • Top general warned Biden admin ahead of Afghanistan withdrawal, says Washington didn’t get “the risk” (Daily Wire)

  • Bud Anderson, last triple ace pilot of World War II, dies at 102 (Washington Post)

  • Humor: Jews announce they have developed terraforming machine that can, say, quickly build a mountain in front of a flying helicopter (Babylon Bee)

For the Executive Summary archive, click here.

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