Thursday: Below the Fold

Biden freezes oil and gas leases, credit card giants to track gun-related sales, IRS employees failed to pay taxes, and more.


  • Biden freezes oil and gas leases: After climate activists sued over the Trump administration’s sale of gas and oil leases on federal land in 2019 and 2020 — even after the National Environmental Policy Act reviewed and okayed the leases — the Biden administration has agreed to a settlement suspending the leases. This happened despite Joe Manchin’s deal with Chuck Schumer to pass a bill that would prohibit the Interior Department from favoring solar and wind over and against oil and gas. The Biden administration has effectively begun a strategy of backing down to climate activists at nearly every turn, conceding to their dubious claims of a lack of sufficient climate impact studies conducted after the NEPA has green-lit new oil and gas leases. It’s a “sue and settle” tactic wherein the Biden administration can indirectly continue its war on the fossil fuel industry. No president since World War II has leased fewer acres of federal lands for oil and gas production than has Joe Biden.

  • Credit card giants to track gun-related sales: Visa recently announced that it was joining MasterCard and American Express in a Second Amendment-infringing action to track firearm sales. Visa explained, “Following ISO’s (International Organization for Standardization) decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with next steps, while ensuring we protect all legal commerce on the Visa network in accordance with our long-standing rules.” The National Rifle Association responded, “The decision to create a firearm-specific code is nothing more than a capitulation to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans, one transaction at a time.” The ISO was pushed to adopt this new firearms code by New York City-based Amalgamated Bank, which lists “gun violence prevention” among its “issues we care about.” Effectively what is being created is a firearm sales tracking system, which is just the next stepping stone in the anti-gun lobby’s effort to limit Americans’ access to their Second Amendment rights. As Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) observed in a letter sent to the CEOs of Visa, MasterCard, and American Express: “This new system is ripe for abuse and brings to mind similar policies of Big Tech companies and payment processors that have targeted law-abiding Americans for engaging in constitutionally protected activities. I urge you to immediately reverse course.” Over 100 House Republicans have also weighed in, sending a letter to the credit card companies demanding answers.

  • Treasury audit finds IRS employees failed to pay taxes: Is there any bigger instance of hypocrisy than those empowered to collect the taxes of Americans failing to pay their own taxes? Following a recent audit of the IRS conducted by the inspector general of the Treasury Department, some 1,250 IRS employees failed to pay their 2019 taxes. It is important to note that these taxes were due prior to the COVID pandemic, not after. Of those 1,250 IRS employees, more than 300 of them were repeat offenders. So here we have an agency that not only has failed to keep its own house in order but that, thanks to Joe Biden’s falsely named Inflation Reduction Act, is now nearly doubling in size in order to squeeze more tax dollars out of hardworking Americans. The audit concluded that only 90 of the IRS employee were “willful” offenders. That isn’t surprising given the convoluted nature of tax laws, which is why simplifying the tax code rather than expanding the IRS would have been a more helpful action for the American taxpayer.


  • Ron DeSantis sends two planes of illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard (Fox News)

  • Facebook spied on private messages of Americans who questioned 2020 election (NY Post)

  • Biden hails tentative railway labor deal averting strike (Washington Times)

  • Supreme Court denies Jewish university’s request to block LGBT student group (Washington Examiner)

  • FBI insiders say white supremacy threat overblown as Biden opens summit about racists, extremists (Washington Times)

  • California sues Amazon over third-party contracting; Attorney General Rob Bonta accused the e-commerce giant of engaging in anti-competitive practices (Politico)

  • Did Biden’s cancer “moonshot” kill a promising cancer breakthrough? (WSJ)

  • Wholesale prices fell 0.1% in August amid inflation fears (CNBC)

  • R. Kelly convicted in sex abuse case involving videos of a teenage girl (NYT)

  • Boston Marathon will host “nonbinary” runners who’ll effectively be given points if they’re biological males (RedState)

  • Harvard students could be punished for not using preferred pronouns (Washington Examiner)

  • Jill Biden dismisses parental control of books in school libraries: “This is America. We don’t ban books.” (Daily Signal)

  • Congressman Hank Johnson compares parents who don’t like porn in their kids’ classrooms to terrorists (Not the Bee)

  • Policy: Does your kid’s school librarian need parental supervision? “Banned Books Week” may tell you. (Daily Signal)

  • Satire: Obama to DeSantis: “How dare you send illegal immigrants to my town that openly welcomes them!” (Genesius Times)

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