May 18, 2023

Thursday: Below the Fold

Student loan repayment pause about to end, Manchin says no to DOE nominee, Dems to force Santos expulsion vote, and more.


  • Student loan repayment pause about to end: Two years too late, Joe Biden’s Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told the Senate last week that student loan repayments that have been on a years-long pause due to the pandemic will soon officially resume. Student borrowers have not been required to make payments on their loans since March 2020. On a related note, Biden’s attempt to force his constitutionally dubious loan cancellation program via an executive order was at least temporarily stymied by the Supreme Court. Biden had repeatedly hit pause on restarting loan repayments in an effort to build political pressure for his cancellation gambit ahead of the 2022 midterms. However, with a divided Congress and no chance of a legislative deal, the Biden administration is now hoping that the “pain” of graduates having to once again repay their own debts will move the Court to, as Cardona stated last week, “rule in favor of the targeted debt relief, providing relief for millions of borrowers.” Finally, it can’t be said enough: Biden’s aim to cancel voluntary student loans equates to a massive monetary redistribution move from working-class American taxpayers without degrees to their higher-educated and paid counterparts.

  • Supreme Court fails to immediately uphold 2A: On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to allow Illinois’s “assault weapons” ban to go into effect without offering any explanation. The case against the law was brought by a firearms shop owner over its infringement on the Second Amendment, and it’s currently working its way through lower courts. While the decision seems to run counter to the Court’s current conservative makeup, there is a logic to it. As Hannah Hill, executive director of the National Foundation for Gun Rights, observed: “Any action the Supreme Court would have taken at this point would only have been temporary and not on the merits of the case itself. Clearly, the Supreme Court is watching the issue closely and we look forward to appealing very soon on the merits if the 7th Circuit rules against us — as the signs currently point to.” Unfortunately, Illinois residents will have to endure having their 2A rights infringed for the time being.

  • Manchin says no to Biden’s DOE nominee over gas stove ban: West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin has been none too happy with the Biden administration, feeling he got burned after he threw his support behind the falsely named Inflation Reduction Act last year. Manchin expected support for his energy policies in return, but that has never really materialized. On Wednesday, Manchin, who chairs the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee, pulled a committee vote on Biden’s nominee to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Jeff Marootian. The reason: Manchin’s objection to the Biden administrations anti-fossil fuel agenda. “While I appreciate that these rules would only apply to new stoves, my view is that it’s part of a broader, administration-wide effort to eliminate fossil fuels,” Manchin explained. “For that reason, I’m not comfortable moving forward with Mr. Marootian at this time.”

  • Covenant Church moves to block release of Nashville manifesto: In what may seem like a counterintuitive move, the church that runs The Covenant School in Nashville that was attacked by a “transgender”-identifying woman who murdered three of the school’s staff and three children has filed a motion to prevent the public release of the perpetrator’s manifesto. The apparent reason is concern that the manifesto “may include and/or relate to information owned by Covenant Church” like “schematics of church facilities and confidential information” regarding church or school employees. In other words, the church may be worried that certain privacy concerns could be exposed to the public, possibly inviting negative publicity or worse. Meanwhile, 66 of Tennessee’s 74 House Republicans signed a letter on Monday requesting the release of the attacker’s “writings as well as relevant medical records and toxicology reports.” They insist the information is “critical to the General Assembly’s ability to construct effective solutions that can prevent future acts of violence.” Would not a carefully redacted public release of the manifesto be in the best interests of all concerned?

  • Death rate of young Americans rising: The decades-long trend of a declining death rate among young Americans ages one to 19 has suddenly reversed over the last couple of years, and COVID is not the cause. According to analysis of federal death data conducted by Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, the primary culprits for this upturn in young American deaths are rising homicides, drug overdoses, suicides, and car accidents. From 2019 to 2020, the mortality rate among one- to 19-year-olds jumped 10.7%, and in 2021 it rose an additional 8.3%. On a related note, the CDC on Wednesday released preliminary numbers for 2022, including 75,217 deaths due to synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl), and 109,680 overdose deaths overall, a new record.

  • Dems to force expulsion vote on Santos: House Democrats have honed in on the scandal-plagued freshman Republican congressman from New York, George Santos, in their effort to paint the GOP as a whole as corrupt. On Tuesday, they introduced a procedure to advance a resolution to hold a vote to expel the Republican. For Santos to actually be expelled, it would require a two-thirds majority, which is not going to happen. Meanwhile, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has called on the Ethics Committee to handle the issue. On a side note, if the Republicans played politics like Democrats, they would be labeling their colleagues across the aisle “homophobic” and “racist” for daring to call for the expulsion of a gay minority man.


  • FBI employees had security clearances revoked after speaking out against “politicized rot” (Fox News)

  • GOP demands answers on Biden IRS whistleblower firings (Daily Wire)

  • WaPo reporter makes up Fetterman quote to obscure the senator’s incoherence, gets roasted and deletes (RedState)

  • Ron DeSantis will formally enter the 2024 presidential race next week (USA Today)

  • Montana becomes first state to ban TikTok (The Hill)

  • Biden cuts Asia trip short to negotiate debt ceiling (Free Beacon)

  • Papua New Guinea declared national holiday for Biden’s visit. Then he canceled. (Free Beacon)

  • “True heroism”: Biden honors nine with Medal of Valor including two NYPD cops killed during 911 call (AP)

  • Education secretary wrongly insists he didn’t support mandatory COVID vaccines for schoolchildren (Free Beacon)

  • Soros-backed prosecutor in St. Louis abruptly resigns after scandal-ridden tenure (Fox News)

  • Dodgers boot anti-Catholic “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” from LGBT event after controversy (Daily Wire)

  • More pandering: Bud Light to launch camouflage bottle amid transgender controversy (Fox News)

  • Netflix’s “Queen Cleopatra” appears to have the worst audience score in TV history (Forbes)

  • Fact-checking Biden admin’s claim that illegal immigration drops with end of Title 42 (Daily Signal)

  • Satire: CNN buys extra-large excavator to help bury Durham report (Babylon Bee)

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