Thursday: Below the Fold
Medical conscience protections under assault, “Havana Syndrome” not caused by a secret weapon, and more.
Medical conscience protections under assault: In the midst of heaping more government regulations upon the American people, the Biden administration does see a few Trump-era regulations it has targeted for removal. One of those regulations aims to protect healthcare workers’ freedom of conscience. The Trump administration established the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights with the specific aim to enforce conscience protection laws. Now the Biden administration is looking to reverse course and limit the ability of American healthcare workers to gain protection from efforts to force them to engage in practices they morally object to, such as elective abortions. Joe Biden’s focus is on protecting the Left’s ideological agenda, not Americans’ fundamental civil rights.
“Havana Syndrome” not caused by a secret weapon: The CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that “Havana Syndrome” is not caused by a secret energy weapon. The strange condition that sickened several U.S. diplomats and intelligence personnel while serving overseas was first reported in 2016 at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba. Last year, a panel of independent experts suggested that the cause of the symptoms affecting nearly 1,000 individuals could have been some type of “external energy source.” However, U.S. intelligence agencies uncovered no evidence to support the idea that a foreign actor engaged in such behavior, let alone that such a theoretical weapon even exists. That said, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines emphasized that “these findings do not call into question the very real experiences and symptoms that our colleagues and their family members have reported.” Still, no evidence is not an answer that satisfies the reality that something happened to these U.S. personnel.
White House finally sets deadline for federal purge of TikTok: The Chinese-owned and ChiCom-controlled social media company TikTok will finally be banned from federal government devices. Last year, Congress passed bipartisan legislation banning the popular social media app from all federal government devices due to TikTok’s massive data-collecting capability and practice. Following Congress’s ban back on December 23, 2022, the Biden administration was given 60 days to implement it. Despite the massive support from Congress for banning TikTok, the Biden administration drug its feet, only on Monday setting a 30-day deadline for all federal agencies to purge the app from all government devices. It is ridiculous that it has taken the Biden administration this long to act to ban a well-known Chinese spying operation. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Beijing objected, ironically calling it an “abuse [of] state power.”
Dem senators join GOP opposing Biden’s ESG directive: Democrat Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and John Tester (MT) crossed the aisle to join Republicans in opposing Joe Biden’s new rule allowing 401(k) managers to consider investing their clients’ money in companies adhering to the leftist political ideology of ESG (environmental, social, and governance). Manchin blasted Biden for an “unrelenting campaign to weaken our national security, energy, and economic security to advance their environmental and social agenda,” which threatens “the retirement accounts of 150 million Americans.” Tester likewise argued that “it undermines retirement accounts for working Montanans and is wrong for my state.” With both Manchin and Tester on board, the Republican bill, which has already passed the House, will have the votes to pass the Senate. However, Biden has promised a veto that Senate Republicans will not be able to override. With both Manchin and Tester facing reelection bids in red states in 2024, it appears this was a way for them to get on the record opposing Biden without threatening his agenda from advancing.
Gas for me but not for thee: Oregon’s recently elected Democrat Governor Tina Kotek campaigned in part on “transition[ing] away from the use of fossil fuels like methane gas in homes and commercial buildings.” In Oregon, extremist anti-fossil fuel policies may be popular with the majority-leftist electorate, but it all appears to be little more than rhetoric to Kotek. Evidently, now that she’s the Beaver State’s new governor, she feels free to take advantage of the many benefits fossil fuels deliver, including having a dual natural gas and propane-powered emergency backup generator installed at the official governor’s residence, Mahonia Hall. It would appear that Kotek’s commitment to transition away from fossil fuels was only intended for those regular Joe Oregonians, and not “important” elites like herself.
Georgia probes Stacey Abrams: The state of Georgia has launched an investigation into twice-failed Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams over “financial irregularities” regarding her voting-rights charity known as the New Georgia Project. Abrams founded the charity back in 2013 and later its affiliated organization, New Georgia Project Action Fund, the two of which have raised over $54 million since 2020. According to The Washington Free Beacon, there are “myriad discrepancies in the New Georgia Project’s financial disclosures,” including a mysterious “consulting” payment of more than half a million dollars, as well as the New Georgia Project reporting no payroll tax in 2020. Meanwhile, Abrams has traveled to Nigeria to peddle her “voting rights” grift, though we’re not sure how she’ll spin her racist oppression claim there.
Garland claims he doesn’t know if his Justice Department charged protesters who targeted Supreme Court justices’ homes (Daily Signal)
Garland suggests Justice Department can’t arrest pro-abortion vandals because they firebomb pregnancy centers at night (Daily Signal)
Senate passes bill demanding pandemic origin info be made public (Washington Examiner)
More money to find the money: Biden seeks $1.6 billion to tackle COVID relief fraud ahead of Republican probes (Reuters)
Republicans introduce sweeping school reforms in Parents Bill of Rights (Washington Times)
“Diversity nonsense”: New live-action “Peter Pan” trailer shocks with major character changes (Fox News)
Mississippi governor signs bill banning body mutilation for minors (National Review)
Nearly three-quarters of Californians don’t want Newsom to run for president (National Review)
Policy: Six ways the censorship complex silences speech it doesn’t want you to say or hear (The Federalist)
Humor: Lori Lightfoot blames election loss on “tricksy hobbitses” (Babylon Bee)
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