Friday: Below the Fold

Marines remove vax penalties, Democrats’ SPR double standards, Boston Marathon’s race to the bottom, and more.

Cross-Examination

  • Marines remove vax penalties: The U.S. Marine Corps has quietly reversed its discipline policy against Marines who espoused religious exemptions in order to refuse receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Those disciplinary actions included involuntary terminations and promotion delays. The new “interim guidance” posted on September 14 comes approximately a month after a U.S. Federal District Court in Florida issued a preliminary injunction against the Marines taking “certain actions” on those seeking religious exemptions. “Marine Corps will not enforce any order to accept COVID-19 vaccination, administratively separate, or retaliate against Marines in the class for asserting statutory rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA),” the memo states. It further adds, “Involuntary administrative separation processing of class members for refusing COVID-19 vaccination is suspended.” Commanders are directed to “pause all administrative actions related to the involuntary separation of a class member, regardless of the current status of the separation process (e.g., no orders will be given to receive the vaccine, no counselings will be issued for refusing the vaccine, no administrative separation boards will be conducted, no DD-214s will be issued).” However, the memo does note that if the court’s injunction is lifted, then the previous disciplinary policy may once again be in effect. This memo comes just a day after the Navy quietly engaged in a similar reversal covering SEALs seeking religious exemptions.

  • Democrats’ SPR double standards: As gas prices hit $5 a gallon earlier this summer, Joe Biden pretended to combat spiking oil prices by opening the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), draining the stockpile down to 434 million barrels, the lowest it’s been since 1984. Due to other factors entirely, the price of oil has dropped and the average price of gas at the pump is now $3.69 per gallon. The Biden administration now says it will begin purchasing oil to refill the SPR when the price, currently at $85 per barrel, drops to $80 per barrel. All this could have been avoided. Flashback to early 2020, when Donald Trump sought to stabilize the oil industry in the face of the pandemic by buying up oil at $24 per barrel and adding it to the SPR. Democrats at the time objected and blocked the measure within the stimulus package, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer bragging that they had prevented a “bailout for big oil.” Some bailout. Now the Biden administration will be spending nearly four times as much per barrel to refill the SPR, which would have never dipped this low in the first place had Democrats not blocked Trump. Now, thanks to the Democrats’ nearsighted political concerns, it’s costing taxpayers even more.

  • Boston Marathon’s race to the bottom: The famous Boston Marathon has long been considered one of the premier marathons in the country. Unfortunately, thanks to an embrace of woke gender ideology, the race will no longer be equal for all; the ideology of gender “equity” has taken hold. Starting in 2023, a participant’s biological sex will no longer dictate his or her competition category; rather, it will now rest on an athlete’s declared “gender identity.” Of course, this is all due to the Left’s promotion of “inclusivity.” Next year, the age-based qualifications for men and women that differ due to biological reality will be maintained, but due to the Boston Athletic Association “expanding” its opportunity for the “nonbinary,” athletes who identify as such will fall under the women’s qualification requirements. Therefore, a biological male who fails to meet the time requirements to qualify for the marathon as a man but does have a time that would meet the women’s requirement could identity as “nonbinary” and then qualify. As journalist Alex Parker observers, “So if you and your friend are both male and 45 years old, and if he identifies as a man but you say you’re neither man nor woman, if you both score 3:49:00 … you’ll make it but he won’t.” Just another example of how this leftist gender-bending ideology is hurting women the most.

Headlines

  • Highest number in U.S. history: Border Patrol logs 8,000 migrants entering each day (Free Beacon)

  • Biden says Republicans are “playing politics” after transporting migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, VP’s home (Fox News)

  • Martha’s Vineyard laughably declares “humanitarian crisis” over 50 illegal immigrants (Townhall) | Martha’s Vineyard’s “humanitarian crisis” is what cities on southern border see in a few hours (Fox News)

  • California governor wants DeSantis and Abbott investigated for kidnapping charges (PJ Media)

  • TikTok exec won’t say under oath if Chinese communists are accessing U.S. user data (AMN)

  • Biden accused of pressuring FBI to fabricate “extremist” and “white supremacist” cases (Washington Times)

  • Hunter Biden cries poverty in trying to slash child support for four-year-old (NY Post)

  • Raymond J. Dearie named special master to review Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents (WaPo)

  • Senate pushes vote on same-sex marriage bill until after midterms in hopes of gaining GOP votes (Daily Signal)

  • Justice Kagan trashes SCOTUS legitimacy (Politico)

  • Mortgage rates climb above 6% for the first time since 2008 (Not the Bee)

  • Sexually transmitted diseases surged in 2021, CDC reports (Daily Wire)

  • Pew Research says Christianity could lose majority status in America as soon as 2045 (Not the Bee)

  • Double trouble: Xi-Putin summit produces pledge of a united front on world stage (Washington Times)

  • Policy: Why “voter suppression” is a myth (Daily Signal)

  • Satire: Martha’s Vineyard resident calls police to report a Hispanic in the neighborhood not operating a leaf blower (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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