Monday: Below the Fold

Department of Energy concludes COVID came from a lab, James Bond gets revised, Dahl publisher backtracks, and more.


  • U.S. DOE: COVID came from a lab: The U.S. Department of Energy has finally concluded that the COVID-19 virus was most likely due to a leak from a lab in Wuhan, China. The Energy Department based its conclusion on “new intelligence,” joining the FBI as the only other federal agency supporting the lab leak theory. While at first glance it may seem strange that the Energy Department would hold an official opinion on COVID’s origin, the agency is tasked with oversight of a network of national labs across the country, including some that are engaged in high-level biological research. Furthermore, this represents a change of opinion for an Energy Department that had previously held to the Wuhan wet market origin theory, which increasingly appears to be a Beijing-contrived conspiracy theory. Indeed, a spokeswoman from the Chinese foreign ministry predictably declared that “Covid tracing is a scientific issue that should not be politicized” and charged the U.S. to “stop defaming China.” With House Republicans investigating the origin of COVID, the question as to how this deadly global pandemic began will not be swept under the rug, no matter the degree of China’s objections.

  • James Bond gets revised/Dahl publisher backtracks: With the coming 70th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s book Casino Royale that launched the iconic British spy James Bond, the publisher is set to re-release the classic novel series … with a woke twist. The new books will be scrubbed of certain potentially offensive language. This decision comes courtesy of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd following a review of the novels by “sensitivity readers.” Fleming’s updated books will include a disclaimer: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace. A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set.” One of the many racial language changes includes the replacement of the N-word, which Fleming widely used in the novels that were first published in the 1950s and ‘60s. With James Bond being such an iconic figure thanks more to the film franchise that has produced more movies than books Fleming wrote, will these edits be met with the same objections raised against editing Roald Dahl’s classic children’s books? Speaking of Dahl, following public backlash, the publisher has offered a compromise, releasing the original versions with no changes along with the newly edited versions. A statement from Puffin read in part, “Readers will be free to choose which version of Dahl’s stories they prefer.” It will be interesting to see which versions sell more copies.

  • Power grid at risk from renewables: The push to embrace renewable energy is having a significant negative impact on America’s electrical grid, and few politicians acknowledge the problem, let alone act to seriously address it. As the nation’s energy demands continue to rise, a recent report from PJM Interconnection, one of America’s largest grid operators, warns of significant power supply issues in the coming years leading to more common shortages and blackouts. According to PJM, the main problem is that fossil fuel-based power plants are retiring at a rate faster than renewables are developing, leaving an energy “imbalance.” PJM forecasts that 40,000 megawatts, or roughly 21% of the company’s current power generation, which equates to power for 30 million homes, will be retired by 2030 with no means yet available for replacing that energy loss. These fossil fuel power plant “retirements” are primarily “policy-driven” as a result of regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency. The report notes that the rate of completion for new renewable power plants would optimistically provide 21,000 megawatts by 2030, making up just half of the energy from the retiring fossil fuel plants. Energy will increasingly become a problem for the nation, and it’s a problem that easily could have been avoided if politicians hadn’t placated the climate activists.


  • Hundreds of newspapers pull "Dilbert" comic after creator calls black Americans a “hate group” (National Review)

  • Turns out they are coming for your gas stoves (Free Beacon)

  • Lawsuit forces Los Angeles County to remove 1.2 million ineligible voters from rolls (The Federalist)

  • Los Angeles DA Gascon suspends prosecutor for misgendering and “deadnaming” trans child molester accused of murder (Fox News)

  • “Child butchers”: Detransitioner files first U.S. lawsuit against hospital that performed sex change (Free Beacon)

  • U.S. marriage rate has declined 60% since 1970, study shows (National Review)

  • Congresswoman Cori Bush marries campaign security guard in secret wedding (KSDK)

  • Policy: Biden’s misleading new asylum rule is a gimmick atop a shell game (Daily Signal)

  • Humor: Ohio-area turtles develop sudden interest in pizza, martial arts (Babylon Bee)

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