“Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.” —James Madison (1788)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
No member of Congress is allowed to have ever said crazy things. That, evidently, is the new Greene Standard for behavior in America’s legislative body after the House voted 230-199 to strip Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments for things she said and promoted years prior to her election.
As we noted yesterday, we’re not going to bat for what Greene said or posted. Much of it should be shunned and condemned, which she roundly did herself in a speech to Republicans and then to the entire House. “When I started finding misinformation, lies, things that were not true in these QAnon posts, I stopped believing it,” she said. School shootings are “absolutely real,” and 9/11 “absolutely happened,” she added, addressing years-old social media posts expressing doubts or the opposite opinion about those events. “These were words of the past,” she concluded, “and these things do not represent me, they do not represent my district, and they do not represent my values.”
Since her election, Greene has said and promoted nothing bizarre, outlandish, or that could even tendentiously be construed as promoting violence. That’s in stark contrast to a whole host of Democrats.
If Democrats had a shred of decency or consistency, there’d be mass resignations on the left side of the aisle. Of course, we all know there’s no decency or consistency in the Hypocritical Double Standard Party. We also all know that Democrats used this vote — as well as the “incitement” impeachment charade — to tar the entire Republican Party as racist and extremist.
As with other things, Democrats may come to regret the standard they’ve now set.
“I remain profoundly concerned about House Republican leadership’s acceptance of extreme conspiracy theorists,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi huffed in highlighting the Democrats’ real play with the entire GOP. She’s not worried about retribution, though: “If any of our members threaten the safety of other members, we’ll be the first ones to take them off of committee.”
Well, Nancy, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is, starting with stepping down yourself. Recall that Pelosi irresponsibly told her constituents that “everything is fine here” in a very public visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown in the early days of the COVID pandemic. How many lives were lost by people who believed her? She led the House impeachment of Trump — twice — for hoax-level claims. She posed for a magazine cover with three other Democrat representatives, two of whom have called for violence, and she circled the wagons for one of them after a series of anti-Semitic comments.
Clearly, Pelosi fails the Greene Standard.
Maxine Waters, the California representative who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, in 2018 infamously called on Democrats to harass Republicans in public places: “If you see anybody from [Trump’s] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd! And you push back on them! And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!” Waters and her pal Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) have also peddled the conspiracy theory that the CIA funneled crack to black neighborhoods in LA.
And as if on cue, Waters declared just this Tuesday that Trump should “absolutely should be charged with premeditated murder” for the Capitol riot.
Ilhan Omar is, of course, the aforementioned anti-Semite. Yet she declared that calls for her removal from committees based on the Greene Standard to be “a ridiculous distraction” and a “racist, Islamophobic, hateful fueled smear.” False. No one mentioned Omar’s religion in condemning her anti-American and anti-Semitic pronouncements, or her corrupt dealings. She’s dodging culpability by claiming identity victimhood.
Eric Swalwell is still a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence even after revelations that he slept with a Chinese spy.
Kweisi Mfume fumed last summer that the U.S. Postal Service was “hijacking mailboxes off of every corner.” Nancy Pelosi advanced that ludicrous conspiracy theory herself, all while Democrats advanced the real bulk-mail balloting fraud.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lied about being in the Capitol during the riot. She advances nutty conspiracies on social media on a regular basis, and yet she wants a “Ministry of Truth” in Joe Biden’s administration.
We could go on (and on), but you get the idea. It is the Democrat Party, not the GOP, that is the natural home of kooks, liars, and purveyors of so-called violent rhetoric. So if we’re going to start having politicized standards for who has a seat on congressional committees, let’s at least be consistent and shove a few dozen Democrats to the curb.
It’s been a month since the January 6 Capitol riot, but Beltway Democrats and their media fellow-travelers continue to play it for all it’s worth.
And that’s understandable. It might’ve been the least effective “armed insurrection” in history, but it still shook the party of Sandy Cortez to its core. The days since then, however, have been whisper-quiet in our nation’s capital, with Joe Biden safely ensconced in the Oval Office and nary a hint of another “white nationalist” uprising.
Which is why it’s time — long past time, in fact — to thank our National Guardsmen and send them home.
On January 19, the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration, we wondered why we needed 26,000 Guardsmen in our nation’s capital to protect 1,000 Chicken Little Democrats. It seemed, uh, excessive. And it seemed deeply disgraceful when, the day after the inauguration, 5,000 Guardsmen were banished from the Capitol complex to an unheated parking garage with a single Porta-John.
But we honor your service! Democrats said
Since then, the Guard’s presence has been drawn down considerably, but there are still 5,000 troops in DC. And they’re expected to remain there until mid-March.
According to acting Army Secretary John Whitley, the Pentagon received four requests for the Guard to remain and provide assistance to the U.S. Park Police, Secret Service, Capitol Police, and the DC Metropolitan Police amid continued “fears of threats” to officials and the city in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot. “They’re concerned,” said Whitley, “that there could be situations where there are lawful protests — First Amendment-protected protests — that could either be used by malicious actors or other problems that could emerge.”
Since when is the mere fear of a threat a legitimate reason to deploy our Guardsmen against their fellow citizens, keep them from returning home to their families, and run up a taxpayer tab of nearly $500 million?
But let’s be clear: It’s not just the Guard’s presence that makes our nation’s capital look like a paranoid police state. As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York reports, “If you go to the federal area of Washington, you’ll find tall fencing and razor wire creating a huge militarized zone around the Capitol, with National Guard members guarding it from inside the fence. The barrier is not just on the perimeter of the Capitol. It extends for blocks beyond the building in every direction.”
Again, we have to ask: Why?
Who are these fearful folks, and where’s the ongoing threat that explains this radical reaction? As columnist Gary Bauer points out, “When President Trump deployed razor wire at the southern border, the left was apoplectic.”
Bauer went on to note that there are lawful activities in DC all the time — activities for which the Guard is never deployed — and that Tom Cotton, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said there is no intelligence that justifies the continued presence of thousands of these troops.
“The lesson of the Capitol riot is not that we should quarter a standing army at the Capitol just in case,” Cotton wrote in a Fox News op-ed, “but rather that our security measures should be calibrated to the actual threats.”
Cotton noted that the Capitol is the seat of our republic, and that it belongs to the American people. “The National Guard answered the call at a critical time,” he wrote, “but its mission is now complete. It’s time to reopen the Capitol grounds to the American people.”
On Thursday, Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News alleging that the conservative media outlet “joined the conspiracy to defame and disparage Smartmatic and its election technology and software.” The company, which makes voting machines and software, further asserted — dramatically, we might add — that “the story turned neighbor against neighbor” and “led a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol.”
Smartmatic’s suit identifies two Fox News guests, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, as well as some of the outlet’s opinion anchors — Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro — for spreading false and damaging information regarding the company’s voting machines and software. Smartmatic noted that its technology was only used in one county, Los Angeles County, during the 2020 general election.
Fox News responded to the lawsuit by saying it “is committed to providing the full content of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion.” Moreover, the network said, “We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court.”
Given that allegations have been made against opinion hosts and their guests, the realistic possibility of Smartmatic winning this lawsuit in court seems unlikely. Add to this the fact that in December Fox News ran segments pointedly noting that no evidence had been found to substantiate claims that voting machines of any kind had manipulated votes. The Wall Street Journal, owned by the same News Corp that owns Fox, reports, “Fox News and Fox Business ran interviews on several shows, including programs hosted by Ms. Bartiromo and Mr. Dobbs, featuring voting technology expert Edward Perez, who pushed back on claims that Smartmatic software was used to meddle in the voting process.”
It appears that given the popularity of conspiracy theories surrounding manipulation of voting machines, Smartmatic needed to act to confront the misinformation. The trouble is, how does one put the toothpaste back into the tube?
While Fox News clearly entertained the claims of voter fraud via voting machine manipulation, those claims were limited to their opinion programs. As The Washington Post observes, “Smartmatic’s lawsuit may test whether a network can be held financially responsible for things said by political commentators, or even by their guests.” Furthermore, the notion that a news organization should be held liable for the claims and opinions espoused by people it interviews will have a chilling effect on journalism.
Finally, expect to see a similar lawsuit against Fox News coming from the more frequently used Dominion Voting Systems, as the company has already hit Giuliani and Powell, as well as other news outlets, with hefty defamation lawsuits.
Brian Mark Weber
A decades-long cultural revolution has torn the American fabric, and Christian conservatives have largely accepted this reality as long as they’re able to worship freely. But remaining silent isn’t going to save the country or protect our faith.
As religious liberty expert Ryan T. Anderson writes in The Wall Street Journal, “As the Biden administration advances a divisive and extreme social agenda, our response can’t simply be a polite request to be left alone. We need to oppose the left’s agenda on the merits. It’s the principled thing to do, and it will be good politics given where the American people actually are on the issues.”
The Left’s agenda is extreme, but leftists have the willpower and political power to enact it. Joe Biden claims to be proud of his Catholic faith, and therefore for 40 years he supported the Hyde Amendment that bans federal dollars from paying for abortions. Now, due to criticism from the Left, he rejects it. Biden supports abortion rights on purely legal grounds, and why not? He’s got the Leftmedia to crown him the “most religiously observant president.”
For too long, we’ve watched people of faith mocked and ridiculed in popular culture and in politics. And yet we have centuries of historical and cultural experience to back up our beliefs. Our entire civilization is built upon Christian ideas and values, so we must defend our way of life.
Anderson adds, “Even when it makes sense to argue these issues as matters of religious liberty, conservatives shouldn’t pretend to be agnostic about the truth of our perspective. We’ll have the best shot at winning fights over abortion restrictions or child sex-change procedures when conservatives are willing to assert that their beliefs are true, not merely protected in law.”
There’s plenty of evidence proving that a family consisting of a man/husband, a woman/wife, and a child or children is our societal bedrock. On the other hand, children suffer in fatherless households. And we certainly know that allowing children to undergo hormone therapy or even sex-change operations makes them far more vulnerable to emotional and psychological turmoil. And we know that a nation founded on the belief in God-given rights is a nation in decline when it allows tens of millions of preborn children to be ripped from the womb.
The Christian response to these and a host of other issues has not always been strong enough.
Loving our fellow citizens as brothers and sisters is noble and just, but do we really think they’ll preserve our religious liberty once their radical and dangerous agenda is enacted?
In fact, too many Christians fail to openly discuss and defend commonsense viewpoints supported by history, culture, reason, and even science. As a result, Christian bakers are forced to bake same-sex wedding cakes (until the Supreme Court stepped in). Christian children have to read Heather Has Two Mommies in elementary school. Big Tech can ban conservatives for tweeting that marriage is between a man and a woman or that a biological man is a man. And governors can suspend the First Amendment and shut down churches by executive fiat.
Clearly, proclaiming our religious liberty is not enough.
In his book The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher writes, “The West has lost the golden thread that binds us to God, Creation, and each other. Unless we find it again, there is no hope of halting our dissolution.” Yet Dreher seems to think we should retreat from society into Christian enclaves rather than making sound arguments more broadly so we don’t have to run and hide.
And it hardly seems a good time for Christians to surrender. After all, a Pew Research survey last year revealed that nearly half of Americans believe the Bible should influence U.S. law. A separate survey indicates that religion is still important to many Americans.
In the end, conservatives of faith need to confidently and clearly explain to their opponents why our social, cultural, and political beliefs are good for everyone. If not, we’ll lose the debate, the country, and eventually our religious liberty.
It’s good to know the adults are back in charge. Otherwise, we’d lie awake in bed at night, wondering what we’re going to do about those twin scourges of global warming and white supremacy.
But with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris running the show, and with the world’s finest military at their disposal, the sky’s the limit. After all, what organization could be better equipped to tackle these two existential threats than the world’s foremost killer of bad guys and breaker of bad things?
As for sending a clear signal of resolution to our geopolitical foes, what could be more convincing than an avowed commitment to rooting out the lactose-intolerant Einsatzgruppen in our midst?
Weakness is provocative, but we’re so strong, we don’t even need to prioritize training for war.
Don’t mess, China. You either, Russia.
Naturally, the architect for this new approach to national defense will be Joe Biden’s man at the Pentagon. As The Washington Times reports, “Across the armed forces, climate change and its ripple effects are taking center stage. … The military’s climate change mitigation efforts certainly did not stop during the Trump administration, but the issue was pushed to the political back burner. Top leadership in the Defense Department rarely spoke out on environmental matters despite mounting concerns behind the scenes that it remain a top priority. Now, analysts and military insiders say, the Pentagon under Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has an opening to reshape the climate change debate fundamentally and permanently, perhaps putting an end to any remaining internal skepticism over whether the issue is deserving of time and resources.”
Got that? The Pentagon will no longer tolerate climate skeptics. Because, well, the science is settled.
Austin, 67, is our nation’s first black secretary of defense and therefore the perfect embodiment of the Biden administration’s obsession with race. A West Point graduate and former commander of U.S. Central Command under Barack Obama, Austin retired in 2016 and therefore needed a waiver from Congress to override the law that says a member of our military must wait seven years from active service to take the top civilian post.
“Given the immense and urgent threats and challenges our nation faces, he should be confirmed swiftly,” Biden wrote in a predictably hagiographic Atlantic op-ed. “The fact is, Austin’s many strengths and his intimate knowledge of the Department of Defense and our government are uniquely matched to the challenges and crises we face.”
Austin got his waiver, and he was quickly confirmed on a 93-2 vote in the Senate. Missouri’s Josh Hawley and Utah’s Mike Lee were opposed.
Once confirmed, Austin didn’t waste any time getting to the crux of what ails our nation’s military. As The Hill reports, “Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday ordered a U.S. military-wide ‘stand-down’ to address extremism in the ranks, an issue that has long stumped Pentagon leaders but came to the forefront after the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol. The Defense Department is still scant on details on Austin’s decision, which came after he met with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and the service secretaries and chiefs on Wednesday morning. Leaders are expected to hold ‘needed discussions’ with subordinates about extremism in the next 60 days, top department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon.”
Lloyd Austin, said Joe Biden, “is the person we need in this moment.” We’re to assume, then, that this moment demands that our military focus on the calamity of climate change and the white supremacist “extremism” that has infected its rotten ranks. If those two initiatives don’t build troop morale, it’s hard to imagine what will.
But here we thought the mission of our Department of Defense was “to provide the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation’s security” — you know, like it says right here on its website.
We can only hope that our military readiness doesn’t suffer, and that our failure to focus on war-fighting doesn’t prove provocative.
The party that loves to lob the spurious charge of racism against conservatives and Republicans is, more often than not, the party actually guilty of the charge. On Wednesday, Joe Biden’s Social Justice Department withdrew a lawsuit against Yale University that had been filed under the Trump administration over the Ivy League school’s discrimination against Asian and white applicants.
A spokeswoman stated that the DOJ “has dismissed its lawsuit in light of all available facts, circumstances, and legal developments.” Well, that’s one way to put it. The lawsuit alleged that Yale’s “oversized, standardless, intentional use of race has subjected domestic, non-transfer applicants to Yale College to discrimination on the ground of race.”
Similar to the case against Harvard University regarding its quota system for Asian students, Yale also used a similar race-weighted admission system. According to the Trump DOJ’s investigation, Yale granted blacks who scored in the tenth decile (the top bracket) a 60% rate of admission compared to 20% for whites and just 14% for Asians.
Biden’s DOJ not only dropped the lawsuit against Yale, it withdrew the notice charging the school with having violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. So much for racial equality. And what about all that “equity” Team Biden was yammering about? If any organization could be rightly charged with systemic racism, it would seem that Yale fits the bill.
Speaking of racism and higher education, a recent report released by the Center for Equal Opportunity has concluded that affirmative action polices aimed at increasing racial diversity on campus have only worsened racial relations. The report is titled “Campus Diversity and Student Discontent: The Cost of Race and Ethnic Preferences in College Admissions.” Researchers found that not only did school “diversity” initiatives not produce greater acceptance, they produced a sense of “greater alienation” among black students as well as “a general sense of campus discontent among non-minority students and faculty.”
In other words, elevating racial diversity above other considerations produced greater unease and distance rather than greater appreciation, camaraderie, and acceptance between different racial groups.
Once asked how to solve racism, actor Morgan Freeman famously responded, “Stop talking about it.” Indeed, just as constantly picking at a scab prevents a wound from healing, incessantly focusing on race and racism prevents racial harmony.
Government & Politics
- Unity! Senate Dems pass budget resolution for partisan vote on COVID bill; Kamala Harris breaks tie (NPR)
- Democrats to introduce a regressive and immoral resolution to “cancel” (read: burden taxpayers with) $50,000 in student loan debt (Disrn)
- Trump will not testify in sham impeachment trial (Fox News)
- Judge in Michael Flynn case takes senior status, giving Biden 11th judicial pick since inauguration (Examiner)
- U.S. cuts off involvement in Yemen’s Houthi-instigated and Iran-backed civil war (Forbes)
- Biden signs order to ramp up refugee admissions to 125,000 (CBS News)
- Eleven Iranians arrested in Arizona after jumping U.S.-Mexico border (Washington Times)
- Perfect storm forcing Border Patrol to release apprehended migrant families directly into the U.S. (Examiner)
Business & Economy
- With 49,000 increase, payrolls barely grow to start 2021 even as the unemployment rate fell to 6.3% (CNBC)
- Gun sales continue to soar as Democrats take control (Disrn)
- Bank of America allegedly collected data off consumers who might have been at DC riot (Examiner)
- Another “climate-friendly” high-speed rail project from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur bites the dust (Watts Up With That?)
Odds & Ends
- Johnson & Johnson requests emergency authorization for COVID vaccine (CNBC)
- Well … bye: CNN President Jeff Zucker stepping down at year’s end (Post Millennial)
- Mike Pence to join Heritage Foundation, write column for Daily Signal (Daily Signal)
- Canadian Olympic Committee warns athletes not to criticize China ahead of 2022 winter games in Beijing (Free Beacon)
The committee should have boycotted instead.
On a Lighter Note…
- Hilarious snaps reveal the very awkward places people have taken a nap (Daily Mail)
- Policy: The Romney child allowance proposal is a move in the wrong direction (AEI)
- Policy: Biden’s empty environmentalism: Shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline shows the new president’s preference for symbolism over substance (City Journal)
- Humor: Snopes rates AOC’s account of capitol attack as “factually inaccurate but morally true” (Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.
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That Time Rand Paul Was Actually Threatened by a Mob — Remember when Rand and Kelley Paul actually experienced what AOC fantasized happened to her?
‘Reality Czar’? NYT Wants Biden to Kill Free Speech — MRCTV’s Nick Kangadis calls out “The Gray Lady” for being overt about her true colors — blood red.
Who Cares? — How many COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented? New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has your answer.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “Governments have ever been known to hold a high hand over the education of the people. They know, better than anyone else, that their power is based almost entirely on the school. Hence, they monopolize it more and more.” —Francisco Ferrer (1857-1909)
Re: Dezinformatsiya: “The notoriety QAnon now enjoys has more to do with the media building it up than Republicans flocking to its banner. According to Pew Research, last spring during the Democratic primaries, more Democrats had heard about QAnon conspiracy theories than Republicans had (28 to 18 percent, respectively) and by the fall, that disparity had grown, with 55 percent of Democrats saying they’d heard of QAnon compared to less than 40 percent of Republicans. Notably, those most likely to say they had heard about it also reported that they got their news mainly from The New York Times, MSNBC, and NPR.” —John Daniel Davidson
For the record: “From the moment Trump was sworn in, Democrats and the media talked about how divisive Trump would be for America, and this was repeated throughout his term. Despite no longer being president, that message continues. A recent CNN piece stated that Trump left the nation at its most divided since the Civil War. The Civil War — the one that nearly destroyed our young nation and left 620,000 dead — that divided? We’re nowhere near as divided as that moment, and to make such a comparison is precisely why so many Americans have, frankly, lost faith in our media and political system as a whole. It is for this reason that Trump was ever elected, and if the Democrats want to continue their success in elections, they must course-correct!” —Armstrong Williams
Political futures: “The reason the Republicans fell short, according to [James] Pinkerton, is that ‘too much of the Republican Party has replaced voting with venting. Anger can be a motivator, but such motivation is useful only if it is harnessed to an effective mechanism, such as an election. Otherwise, such passion is just wasted energy — and often, in fact, it’s counterproductive.’ So counterproductive that not all of the people who stormed the Capitol in protest on Jan. 6 had voted in the presidential election. It would make sense that voting should be done before protesting. Unfortunately, in a world driven by short news cycles, conflict-driven mainstream media and social media, we often protest too soon and too often rather than simply getting to work. We too often let anger control our actions. … Republicans have bought into the partisan politics, negative campaigning and fearmongering. Maybe my remembrance of Reagan is nostalgic, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a leader who seeks to unite Americans rather than denigrate the other side?” —Jackie Gingrich Cushman
A trip down memory lane: “Who Says It’s Not Safe to Travel to China?” —a New York Times op-ed by Rosie Spinks published on February 5, 2020 — exactly one year ago — subtitled, “The coronavirus travel ban is unjust and doesn’t work anyway.” Double standards: “It’s the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle.” —wealthy leftist elitist John Kerry on why he deserves to use private jets versus somebody like you
Non compos mentis: “If America were another country, we would be talking about how post-Civil War America is still in desperate need of a UN-sponsored Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) program for white supremacists and segregationists.” —Washington Post Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah (“We’ve gone from a country that papered over its past sins to one where newspaper editors fantasize about putting the United Nations, an organization teeming with tyrants, anti-Semites, racists, and terror states, in charge of weeding out wrongthink.” —David Harsanyi)
Grand delusions: “This deadly connection between white supremacy and guns runs throughout our history. … Simply put, if the Confederate flag is the primary symbol of white-supremacist hate, the gun is its deadliest weapon.” —Sharon Risher in The Washington Post
And last… “I have the utmost respect for what [police] do, for what our soldiers do, [people] that sacrifice their lives. I just don’t care for people who put those kind of people down. If it weren’t for them, we would not have the freedom to complain about what they do.” —Denzel Washington
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
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