“Industry is increased, commodities are multiplied, agriculture and manufacturers flourish: and herein consists the true wealth and prosperity of a state.” —Alexander Hamilton (1790)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
Several recent reports show just how much damage government policies in the age of COVID-19 have done to small businesses and American workers, but also the resilience of the American people to innovate and overcome obstacles in their pursuit of success.
It has long since become obvious that draconian government lockdowns and mandates have done far more damage to the American people than the coronavirus has, especially with the arbitrary nature of the restrictions. Democrat governors and mayors have shut down countless thousands of small businesses with their burdensome, expensive restrictions, while allowing the facilities of big corporations to remain open and running.
The unfairness of these policies was captured in a viral video of California restaurant owner Angela Marsden, who saw her business crippled by Governor Gavin Newsom’s restrictions on restaurants, bars, and other small businesses. In response, she spent thousands of dollars setting up an outdoor dining area, only to have government bureaucrats shut her down anyway.
Even worse, though, was watching a video production’s craft services (food provider) set up just yards from her restaurant, allowed to operate despite being set up in the same way as Marsden’s restaurant.
Hers was a microcosm of the problem. Small business revenue plummeted by more than a third in calendar year 2020, according to Harvard University’s Economic Tracker, and about 30% of American small businesses closed for good.
Even more worrisome is that, according to Alignable, a networking group for small businesses, at least 13.9 million U.S. small businesses, about 44% of America’s 31.7 million total, are at risk of shutting down by April 1 as projected revenues fall short of covering expenses.
As one business owner surveyed by Alignable explained, “Customer confidence in their future cash flow is low right now. … And so discretionary spending, which our business is based on, is significantly restricted. We need customer confidence to elevate to bring them back and make them feel comfortable spending their money.”
Thanks to these overbearing restrictions, the U.S. economy contracted by 3.5% in 2020, the worst economic performance since the 1940s.
Small businesses are being crushed by government lockdowns and forced to make expensive upgrades to facilities to meet new COVID mandates and restrictions, all while government continues to actively discourage Americans from going out in public.
And at a time when small businesses are barely staying afloat, Democrats continue to push their economically illiterate $15/hour minimum wage, which would devastate small businesses where profit margins are already thin. For these businesses, where labor costs make up a large portion of their expenses, such an increase would be a death knell.
Of course, huge corporations like Walmart and Amazon are making record revenues and profits, willing and able to absorb increased labor costs, knowing it will eliminate smaller competitors. It’s no coincidence these huge corporations are both big political donors and support the proposed increase to the minimum wage.
Yet through it all, the American entrepreneurial spirit perseveres and finds a way to stay alive.
Since March 2020, when widespread lockdowns began to be implemented, an astonishing 4.4 million new businesses have been started in the U.S.
That might seem counterintuitive, but for many it is a matter of necessity. Millions of Americans suddenly found their employers forced to close their doors, prevented from operating, or allowed to operate in theory but only under restrictions so burdensome that in reality they could not continue running.
Faced with mounting bills and reduced or no income, these American entrepreneurs took their talents and started their own businesses, often turning hobbies into money-making ventures.
One 27-year-old San Diego woman taught herself how to make scented candles last summer during the city’s lockdowns, but what started out as a hobby making gifts for friends and family developed into a new business.
She was able to find legal and marketing materials online that allowed her to get her business running in less than a month. “I still have so much to learn,” she admitted, “but I think it is amazing that with very little entrepreneurial or ecommerce background, anyone can start a business if you have the drive, the resourcefulness to find the technology that works for you.”
The number of businesses created to sell goods and services online has doubled in the last year.
Even in the best of times, starting a business is a challenging proposition. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of all new businesses fail within their first year, and 50% of new businesses fail by the end of the fifth year.
Add to that the ongoing, draconian, and largely unscientific restrictions and mandates by know-it-all politicians and bureaucrats, and the uphill climb becomes even steeper.
All the more reason for us to support our friends, family, and neighbors in these start-up ventures, 35% of which the U.S. Census Bureau categorizes as “likely employers.” If those predictions come to fruition, it would mean millions of new jobs added back to the economy to offset the current 9.5 million job deficit as compared to pre-pandemic levels.
What would also be helpful would be for government to end the lockdowns, lift unnecessary regulations and restrictions, stop threatening to double labor rates on small businesses, and, most of all, just get out of the way and let the American people do what they do best.
Overcome. Build. Innovate. Thrive.
Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that Joe Biden will, on Thursday, deliver his first primetime address since having taken office. The address will commemorate a dark moment in our nation’s history — the one-year anniversary of the ill-conceived lockdowns that marked the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and have plagued us ever since.
This will be a busy stretch for Biden and his handlers, as Psaki on Friday committed the president to holding a full press conference “before the end of the month.” When it happens, Biden’s record-setting streak of consecutive days without holding that first presser will come to an end.
What won’t come to an end at that time, though, is Biden’s term in office. His handlers are likely to keep him propped up until the task becomes untenable and until they can figure a way out of the mess they’ve created — most likely by compassionately escorting him off the stage in favor of The First African-American-Indian-Jamaican Woman President in History.
Given the president’s noticeably deteriorating condition, though, we might reasonably ponder whether one of these two media events will mark, as Winston Churchill put it, the beginning of the end, or just the end of the beginning, of the Biden presidency.
The sad signs of Biden’s cognitive decline have been apparent for months now. As we wrote on Election Day, “Joe Biden simply isn’t the man he was when he first ran for president more than 30 years ago. And he isn’t the man he was when Barack Obama tabbed him as his VP a dozen years ago. He was 65 then, and he was eligible for Social Security. He’s 77 now, and he looks and sounds and behaves like a man a decade older than that.”
Indeed, Biden, who’s now 78, was older when he took office than our nation’s oldest-ever president, Ronald Reagan, when he left office after two full terms.
Biden’s incoherence has become alarming, and not just to us news junkies. A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 52% of likely voters are concerned that he hasn’t held a press conference, including 37% who are “very concerned.” Clearly, the other 48% aren’t paying attention.
Fox News’s Sean Hannity has been paying attention, and last night he called out the lawmakers who have so far been ducking the condition of their party’s standard-bearer and our nation’s commander-in-chief. “Every single Democrat,” said Hannity, “needs to be asked: ‘Do they see Joe struggling cognitively?’ It is a legitimate question. It’s a question that Democrats and the media mob had no trouble asking about Ronald Reagan in 1984. … They had no problem raising these issues with John McCain when he was running in 2008. … The guy now fast asleep at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that’s not the same guy I remember just four short years ago.”
Yesterday, Biden left the White House briefly to visit a small local business, but even that brief excursion turned out to be too much for his handlers. It’s hard to watch this video and listen to the alarm, the urgency, in the voice of his media staffer and not wonder what’s going on.
Millions of Democrats who voted for Joe Biden last year might not be watching him these days, but the rest of world is watching him. And us. And they’re taking copious notes.
Buried inside one of Joe Biden’s record-breaking stack of January executive orders and actions was a clause repealing an Obama-era policy that prohibited taxpayer funding of “gender-reassignment” surgery. In Biden’s EO, dubiously titled “Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform,” is the provision that the government (read: taxpayers) will foot the bill for any active-duty military personnel and veterans seeking to “transition” genders.
As Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated, “This revised policy will also ensure all medically-necessary transition related care authorized by law is available to all Service members.” This was seconded by Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, who in an email instructed his agency to “perform an assessment of the necessary steps to eliminate the exclusion of ‘gender alteration’ (gender affirmation surgery) in the medical benefits package.”
And just how much would this “necessary” transitioning coverage cost taxpayers? Well, the Washington Examiner reports, “Online charts by the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery show a plethora of elective surgeries for both men and women that add up to $100,000-$200,000. Although Biden stated in his order that the cost of treating transgender troops would have minimal impact on healthcare costs, that is not borne out by a 2019 USA Today investigation. The news analysis revealed that the Pentagon spent $8 million to treat just 1,500 transgender military officials, which included hormone treatments and some surgeries. It was not clear why the surgeries were allowed at that time.”
How many will enlist just for this reason? That’s a hefty benefit. How long will military personnel undergoing such “transitions” be inactive, thus costing taxpayers even more? And why are we funding this when we need money and weapons systems to deter Chinese aggression?
Indiana Republican Congressman Jim Banks, who has vocally supported the idea of “transgendered” individuals being allowed to serve in the military, objects to American taxpayers footing the bill for these elective and unnecessary surgeries. “This is radical and new territory for a presidential administration to force taxpayers to fund sexual reassignment surgeries for those in the military. I’m compassionate toward those individuals who want to undergo an elective surgery of this nature, but taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook to pay for it. It’s constitutionally dubious that Congress hasn’t passed these measures, but the administration, in a radical way, is pushing through this agenda. I sit on the committee that should debate these issues.”
While Biden’s EO directly changes a Barack Obama policy, he is in fact following in Obama’s footsteps by using the U.S. military for leftist social engineering and as a phalanx in the culture war against our nation’s foundational ethical mores. Marine Corp veteran and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins insightfully observes, “While America faces rising threats from around the world, it’s obvious that Joe Biden is only interested in using our military to fight one war: the culture’s.”
Tara Reade, call your office.
Last spring, Joe Biden was accused of sexual assault against Reade way back in the 1990s. The story made a small splash and was quickly swept under the rug by Biden’s Democrat handlers and his lapdogs in the Leftmedia. That didn’t stop him from hypocritically and self-servingly trashing the Trump administration for restoring due process on college campuses.
You know, the quaint notion that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. The idea that witnesses can be cross-examined. And that both accusers and accused have rights during proceedings.
These foundational blocks of American justice had been turned on their head on college campuses, spearheaded by none other than Joe Biden during the Obama administration.
And he’s planning to do it again.
Biden’s “White House Gender Policy Council” set to work this week “reviewing” the outstanding work of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with the obvious aim of undoing it. And 115 House Democrats sent a letter to Miguel Cardona, DeVos’s newly confirmed replacement, demanding that he “prioritize replacing” Trump administration rules. Predictably, they claim DeVos’s work “turns back the clock and erodes hard-fought protections and rights for victims with a ‘boys will be boys’ approach to sexual assault on college campuses.”
Hogwash. Nevertheless, they want to … turn back the clock.
It’s worth reiterating the entire basis for the Left’s assault on due process is distorted, if not an outright lie. Biden is among the many Democrats who’ve falsely claimed over the years that “one in five” women on college campuses is the victim of sexual assault. The truth isn’t great, but it’s not even close to that bad.
The fundamental problem with that statistic is, to borrow Bill Clinton’s famous formulation, the definition of “is.” College campuses are hardly bastions of morality, because the Left wrecked them a long time ago. Promiscuous carousing happens all the time, and morality is not defined by consent. Sometimes, a drunk man takes advantage of a drunk woman — or worse. Other times, she wakes up the next morning full of regret. Are both of those incidents “sexual assault”? And regardless, shouldn’t the man have a chance to defend himself?
To the first question, Joe Biden and his handlers say yes, they’re the same. To the last question, they say no, a man is guilty as charged. Well, most men.
“It’s always worth reminding people,” writes David Harsanyi, “that if President Joe Biden were compelled to live by the standards he intends to institute for college students accused of sexual misconduct, he would be presumed guilty of rape, denied any legitimate opportunity to refute Tara Reade’s charges, and tossed from office in disgrace.”
Stanford University’s Hoover Institution is a precious jewel within American higher education. Founded in 1919 by Stanford alumnus Herbert Hoover, its sizable endowment and independence from the larger university make it one of the world’s most lively and prestigious think tanks — and a conservative one at that. It’s home to great thinkers like Thomas Sowell and Victor Davis Hanson, and also to an intrepid doctor of public health named Scott Atlas.
A Hoover senior fellow and one-time chief of neuroradiology at Stanford Medical Center, Atlas served from August through November 2020 as a special adviser to President Donald Trump and was a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. As you might imagine, he’s also been a target of the anti-scientific Left and its unhinged cancel culture.
“Atlas’s crime,” writes Jonathan Tobin at The Federalist, “was to raise well-founded doubts about the efficacy of lockdowns as a coronavirus response. Worse than that, he advised the Trump White House, which opened him up to outrageous and utterly unscholarly claims that he was responsible for the deaths of COVID-19 victims. Delegitimizing him and his analysis of the coronavirus disaster was a matter of treating all those who have any connection with the Trump administration as criminals, something that could only be accomplished by blatant misrepresentations of his views and statements.”
Given this, given his expertise in matters of health policy, and given his commitment to science and medicine and scholarly inquiry, Atlas shared some candid thoughts recently in a virtual lecture hosted by Stanford’s pesky College Republicans.
“The coronavirus pandemic has been a great tragedy,” he said, “there can be no doubt about that. But it has also exposed profound issues in America that now threaten the very principles of freedom and order that we Americans often take for granted. First, I have been shocked at the enormous power of the government to unilaterally decree, to simply close businesses and schools by edict, restrict personal movement, mandate behavior, and eliminate our most basic freedoms without any end and little accountability. Second, I remain surprised at the acceptance by the American people of draconian rules, restrictions, and unprecedented mandates, even those that are arbitrary, destructive, and wholly unscientific.”
Atlas is a real medical doctor, so he speaks with authority on matters of health policy, which is his field, his lane, as he puts it. And his remarks are especially timely, given that the CDC recently issued new recommendations for “fully vaccinated people,” and in light of a new study, published in Nature, which found that “the imposition of ‘stay-at-home’ orders issued by governments attempting to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 was an ineffective strategy.”
“Separate from their limited value in containing the virus … lockdown policies have been extraordinarily harmful. The harms to children of closing in-person schooling are dramatic, including poor learning, increased school dropouts, and social isolation, most of which are far worse for lower income groups.” Atlas also notes a CDC report of “four-fold increases in depression, three-fold increases in anxiety symptoms, and a doubling of suicidal ideation, particularly among young adults — college age — after the first few months of lockdowns.”
In addition, he says, “Domestic abuse and child abuse have been skyrocketing due to the isolation and specifically to the loss of jobs, particularly in the strictest lockdowns. Given that many in-person schools have been closed, hundreds of thousands of abuse cases are never reported, since schools are the number one agency where abuse is noticed. … We know we have not yet seen the full extent of the damage from lockdowns, because it will last for years, even decades. Perhaps that is why lockdowns were not recommended in previous pandemic analyses, even for infections with far higher lethality.”
Atlas laments our collective failure to consider the broader scope, the totality of policy impact, rather than just the epidemiological impact.
“Optimistically,” he continues, “we should be seeing the light at the end of the long tunnel with the rollout of vaccines. I believe that we are. But … we now hear some claim that all children must be tested and vaccinated, even though they have extremely low risk from this infection and are proven to not be significant spreaders to adults? Or that all teachers must be vaccinated before they teach in-person, even though schools are one of the lowest risk environments and the vast majority of teachers are not high risk?”
Meanwhile, Atlas expresses deep concern for the cancel culture that has infected our nation and its universities, and the way social media and the prevailing viewpoint have joined forces to limit thoughtful inquiry and discussion.
“The United States is on the precipice of losing its cherished freedoms,” he concludes, “with censorship and cancellation of all those who bring views forward that differ from the ‘accepted mainstream.’ It is not clear if our democracy, with its defining freedoms, will recover, even after we survive the pandemic itself. But it is clear that people must step up — meaning speak up … as we are expected to do in free societies — or it has no chance.”
Recently, the Wall Street Journal editorial board responded to yet another instance of Big Tech censorship by Facebook’s “fact-checkers.” An opinion article written by John Hopkins surgeon Marty Makary was published by the Journal and run on its Facebook page, but it was labeled as “missing context” and “misleading” by “independent fact-checkers.” We feel their pain.
The reason for the article, titled “We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April,” being “fact-checked” appears clear — it challenged the Left’s political narrative on the pandemic. As the Journal notes, “The progressive health clerisy don’t like his projection because they worry it could lead to fewer virus restrictions. The horror! Health Feedback’s fact checkers disagree with the evidence Dr. Makary cites as well as how he interprets it. Fine. Scientists disagree all the time. Much of conventional health wisdom about red meat, sodium and cardiovascular risk is still fiercely debated.”
Frustrated by the dubious “fact-check” of an opinion piece by a clearly well-educated and knowledgeable individual, the Journal decided to engage in a bit of fact-checking itself by fact-checking the “fact-checkers.” And it comes as no surprise that the Journal concluded that Facebook’s third-party “independent” fact-checkers were in fact opinion-checkers.
Indeed, much of the “evidence” the “fact-checkers” cited as justification for declaring Dr. Markay’s opinion wrong was itself dubiously cherrypicked and “missing context.”
Maybe the best thing to come out of this latest episode of Big Tech censorship is the Journal editorial board finally coming to the view many conservatives have been repeatedly espousing — the Section 230 protections that have given cover for this censorship abuse need to be addressed.
The editorial board writes, “We’ve been leery of proposals in Congress to modify Section 230 protections that shield internet platforms from liability. But social-media giants are increasingly adding phony fact checks and removing articles flagged by left-leaning users without explanation. In short, they are acting like publishers in vetting and stigmatizing the content of reputable publishers. The legal privileges that enable these companies to dominate public discourse need to be debated and perhaps revised.”
Welcome to the club.
The jungle had an eerie stillness that morning as we made our way through the valley. It didn’t take long before we knew something was wrong. When the North Vietnamese opened fire all around us, we knew we were in trouble. Marines, doing what they were trained to do, quickly took cover to try to overcome the overwhelming volume of enemy fire. It was coming from every direction.
Marines were falling all around me. Cries from Corpsmen were coming from everywhere. In the midst of the confusion and fear, I saw Marines perform acts of courage such as I had never seen before. Marines risked their lives to pull wounded buddies out of the line of fire. “No man left behind” was carried out at great personal risk. Like their forefathers on Iwo Jima years before, “uncommon valor was a common virtue” that day.
This wasn’t even my unit. I had been asked to volunteer for the operation because a young lieutenant I had come to know asked me to fill in for a sick squad leader. In the opening moments of the battle, the lieutenant was critically wounded along with one squad leader. The third squad leader was killed immediately, leaving me in charge of the platoon. This was not a responsibility I wanted, but somebody had to step in and direct the platoon. The battle lasted three days. The lieutenant died because we could not medivac him out of the valley. Those memories are with me forever.
I don’t feel I did anything particularly courageous. I knew I couldn’t let the fear I experienced every hour paralyze me and do nothing. During World War II, Winston Churchill is alleged to have said, “Sometimes it’s not enough to do your best. You need to do what’s required!”
Today, in our current culture, courage is many times lacking. How many things have been “canceled” because someone was offended? People are offended by the Ten Commandments, so we remove them. Prayer and Bibles in the school? Get rid of them! A Nativity Scene in the Courthouse Square — are you kidding? Baby Jesus has to go.
But now we’ve moved on to more critical social issues demanding change. Dr. Seuss, white Coca-Cola workers, Mr. Potato Head. To my utter horror, I even learned that Speedy Gonzales is facing cancelation for being racist. I’m not a rocket scientist, but has anyone told these snowflakes that Coca-Cola’s polar bears are white? Asking for a friend.
Add to these critical issues the For the People Act and the Equality Act, both designed to destroy the freedoms we enjoy. Leftists will NOT stop in their efforts to destroy our nation as we know it. Where are our Republican leaders when we need them to speak out? Where are the spiritual leaders who have gone AWOL (absent without leave) for years now, dodging the moral issues? We don’t have the option to do nothing under this legislative onslaught.
This battle is going to require mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual COURAGE. Men (and women) of valor, where are you?
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life.” —II Corinthians 1:8
Something to pray about!
We’ve often railed at the egregious censorship of social media outlets Facebook and Twitter. The latter is the subject of an open letter from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose account was recently locked. Gingrich writes:
Twitter locked me out over a tweet that criticized the Biden administration’s approach to the Southern Border — and raised concern over immigrants crossing the border illegally who may be infected with COVID-19.
I was reacting to a recent story that federal officials have no way of testing people who are picked up by US Customs and Border Patrol — or forcing them to quarantine.
I am not the only one concerned about this. …
Now, my tweet said:
“If there is a covid surge in Texas the fault will not be Governor [Greg] Abbott’s common sense reforms. The greatest threat of a covid surge comes from Biden’s untested illegal immigrants pouring across the border. We have no way of knowing how many of them are bringing covid with them.”
Twitter promptly sent a note explaining that my account was locked for, “[v]iolating our rules against hateful conduct,” saying: “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
He asked several questions of Twitter’s censors regarding the fact of the pandemic and the fact of testing being a key tool and the fact that illegals are not being tested. If this is supposed to be a factual debate, let’s have answers. He continued:
This entire experience has made it even more clear to me that Twitter is only interested in censoring conservatives.
As my account remains locked, Louis Farrakhan is free to tweet that the COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous or illegitimate, saying “now God is going to turn your vaccine into death in a hurry.”
I am censored, but the Chinese Communist Dictatorship — which bans Twitter in its own country — is able to spread propaganda and lies about the virus and its origins.
Twitter and all the major social media platforms have become important places for Americans to communicate. They are currently protected by law as public forums. For public forums to serve the public good, they must be open and unbiased.
I hope Twitter will unlock my account, stop its aggressive and biased censorship, and return to the spirit and ideals of free speech which allowed it to prosper in the first place.
Top of the Fold
- SecDef Lloyd Austin unnecessarily approves continued Guardsmen presence in DC (Defense.gov)
“Nearly 2,300 National Guard personnel will continue the support mission. This represents a reduction of nearly 50 percent of the current support force.”
Government & Politics
- Andrew Cuomo faces new sexual harassment allegation, this time at Executive Mansion (Times Union)
“A sixth woman has leveled allegations of sexually inappropriate conduct against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, accusing him of touching her without consent late last year during an encounter at the governor’s mansion. … The woman has not filed a formal complaint with the governor’s office.”
Meanwhile: “Sexual harassment claims against Cuomo to be investigated by attorneys appointed by New York AG’s office.” —Post Millennial
- Vanita Gupta, Biden’s associate attorney general nominee, says she doesn’t support defunding police despite past comments (Fox News)
A trip down memory lane: “While front-end systems changes are important, it is also critical for state and local leaders to heed calls from Black Lives Matter and Movement for Black Lives activists to decrease police budgets and the scope, role, and responsibility of police in our lives.” —Vanita Gupta, June 16, 2020
The ChiCom Chronicles
- Harvard University, Yale School of Medicine, and the University of Pennsylvania partner with Chinese health institutions tied to military (Free Beacon)
“You may not be interested in the CCP, but the CCP is interested in you. It wants to collect all your personal and private data. It wants to leverage your data against you, your values, and your way of life. The danger of that happening is very real. There is nothing benign or humanistic about the CCP’s approach to medicine, and its exploitation of the global biotech industry ought to be repudiated.” —Project 2049 Institute senior director Ian Easton
- China has a million-member propaganda machine to undermine U.S. (AMN)
“[Adm. Phillip] Davidson said the goal of China’s disinformation efforts is ‘to undermine U.S. interests, to capture the narrative to their own benefit and to … corrupt the environment in a way that creates doubt amongst our allies and partners in the reliability of the United States.’”
“The U.S. military plans to deploy long-range missiles in Asia capable of threatening China as part of efforts to deter a conflict with Beijing… Adm. Philip S. Davidson … also told a congressional hearing his most pressing defense need is a ground-based missile defense system on the U.S. island of Guam to provide 360-degree defense from a potential Chinese attack.”
Around the Nation
- Arkansas governor signs near-total abortion ban into law (AP)
“Arkansas is one of at least 14 states where legislators have proposed outright abortion bans this year. … The bans were pushed by Republicans who want to force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Conservatives believe the court is more open to striking down the decision following former President Donald Trump’s three appointments to the court.”
“This legislation strengthens uniformity by providing Iowa’s election officials with consistent parameters for Election Day, absentee voting, database maintenance, as well as a clear appeals process for local county auditors. All of these additional steps promote more transparency and accountability, giving Iowans even greater confidence to cast their ballot.” —Governor Kim Reynolds
Around the World
- French schoolgirl says she made up story that got teacher beheaded by Muslim radical (PM)
“The student had told her father that the teacher kept Muslim students after class to show ‘a photograph of the Prophet [Muhammad] naked.’ Her father then went on to file a legal complaint and began a full-on hate campaign against the teacher. This included creating videos detailing the accusations against the teacher. Days later, Paty was beheaded by 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov.”
- Los Angeles teachers warned not to post vacation photos while resisting in-person learning (Washington Times)
“The warning on the Facebook page, which has 5,600 followers, came days after the union announced that 91% of its ballot-casting members voted March 1-5 against returning for in-person instruction over novel coronavirus concerns.”
“Non Compos Mentis” Op-Ed Award
- Comedians are struggling to parody Biden. Let’s hope this doesn’t last. (Washington Post)
“If you can’t parody Joe Biden, you’re not a comedian.” —Ben Shapiro
- Unlike the New York Public Library, Chicago Public Libraries to yank canceled Dr. Seuss books (Washington Times)
- Vice President-in-Waiting Kamala Harris takes another solo call with a world leader (Fox News)
- Policy: Texas’ electrical grid failures highlight nation’s vulnerability to EMP attacks (Daily Signal)
- Policy: Cash alone won’t solve the multifaceted problems associated with child poverty (IFS)
- Humor: Heroic Secret Service agent dives in front of Biden as reporter tries to ask a question (Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.
The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.
One Dose or Two? — Government “experts” botched much of the COVID response. Fortunately, other experts (scientists, economists, and web developers) are helping save lives.
Babies Are Racist? — The Arizona Department of Education deemed babies racist and wants parents to talk to their three-month-olds about racism.
I Used to Be Antifa — Gabriel Nadales was an angry, bitter, and unhappy young man … the perfect recruit for the violent left-wing group.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “When more of the people’s sustenance is exacted through the form of taxation than is necessary to meet the just obligations of government, such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation of the fundamental principles of a free government.” —Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)
For the record: “I do expect that the Durham report will be another scathing recounting of abuses — abuse of power at the FBI. And I say that because I have reviewed the intelligence with John Durham and Bill Barr. Last summer, we went over the intelligence, and we all unanimously agreed that there was no intelligence from the intelligence community that reflected actual, real Russian collusion with the Trump campaign — but there was intelligence that it was created by the Hillary Clinton campaign — and that there was no proper predicate for Crossfire Hurricane to begin.” —former DNI John Ratcliffe
Blue-state bailout I: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the [COVID] bill ‘loots’ the red states to pay for Democratic governors who have locked down their economies. DeSantis has good reason to complain. Florida has a slightly higher population than New York, but New York gets $2,799 per person, or twice as much money as the $1,355 per person that Florida receives. In other words: Floridians are paying for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s incompetence. That is precisely what is happening because the main factor in determining how much money each state gets is not its population but how high its unemployment rate has risen. The three states that get the most significant share of the money are New York, California and New Jersey. These are three of the most liberal states with Democratic governors. That’s not a coincidence. … The way Congress passes out money is akin to assigning the highest performing students an F and the lowest performers an A. Maybe this is what the left means by ‘equity.’ The last shall be first.” —Stephen Moore
Blue-state bailout II: “California, [which] is predicted to have a $19 billion surplus, gets $40 billion out of the fund of $350 billion set aside for states who need help. If you don’t need help, you shouldn’t get it. … Bernie Sanders said … this is the most progressive piece of legislation to pass the Senate since he’s been a senator. That says a lot when you make Bernie Sanders blush over progressive policies.” —Senator Tim Scott
Observations: “The way [Biden’s open-borders policy] translates is: ‘Come to America. We’ll let you in, we’ll put you on a bus wherever you want to go, and we’ll pay for everything.’ I mean, this is a border crisis. This is the Biden border crisis. … [Democrats] don’t believe in borders. They don’t therefore think it’s a crisis. They think that this is a feature, not a bug, of their policy.” —Senator Tom Cotton
Friendly fire I: “Liberals need a Stand Your Ground law … for cancel culture. So that when the woke mob comes after you for some ridiculous offense, you’ll stand your ground, stop apologizing.” —Bill Maher, who further stated, “Cancel culture is real, it’s insane, it’s growing exponentially, coming to a neighborhood near you.”
Friendly fire II: “Memo to social justice warriors: When what you’re doing sounds like an Onion headline. Stop.” —Bill Maher
Don’t leftists usually call this cultural appropriation? “You know, I’m black on the inside.” —CNN’s Chris Cuomo when asked by Don Lemon how he knew the theme song to the 1970s TV show “Good Times”
Non compos mentis: “As attacks on Asian American communities continue, we’re asking New Yorkers to show up for their neighbors and intervene when witnessing hateful violence or harassment. I know that can be frightening when you aren’t sure what to do or say, but you can learn.” —New York City’s First Lady Chirlane “Defund the Police” McCray
Tone-deaf: “It is really troubling to see the Republican Party turn themselves into a cult and, you know, basically pledge allegiance not to the United States of America but to Donald Trump. … I’m hoping that the Republican Party will find its soul, will find its center again, and understand they can’t keep playing with fire.” —Hillary “Basket of Deplorables” Clinton
Alpha jackass: “Tried to watch Vanita Gupta’s confirmation hearing but got too angry Chuck Grassley survived COVID.” —ACLU editor Rebecca McCray
And last… “More kids have been separated from their parents at the border than ever, and yet the coverage seems strangely different than a few years ago.” —David Harsanyi
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.