Mid-Day Snapshot · Oct. 19, 2021

 “From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

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“The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Gates Gives Biden a Failing Grade

The former defense secretary under Bush and Obama didn’t hesitate to name the biggest threat our nation faces.

Douglas Andrews

Bob Gates says he moved to Washington State to get as far away from the other Washington as possible. Who can blame him? Still, any man who can serve as defense secretary to both George W. Bush and Barack Obama is either so wildly effective in the role as to make replacing him unthinkable or so politically astute as to impress both presidents that he’s an apolitical institutionalist rather than a partisan.

Given his 0-and-2 record in Iraq and Afghanistan, we think it’s safe to say Gates is the latter rather than the former. In a “60 Minutes” interview with CNN/CBS dual-citizen Anderson Cooper, Gates said that watching the events unfold in Afghanistan made him sick. This shouldn’t have surprised him, though, given his assessment of our nation’s current commander-in-chief. Gates, in his memoir, called Joe Biden a man of integrity but also wrote that he believes he’s “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

That’s a scathing indictment, to be sure, but it takes an other-worldly measure of Machiavellianism to in the same breath vouch for something as nonexistent as Joe Biden’s integrity.

Or take his criticism of both President Trump and President Biden for the disaster in Afghanistan. The blame is Joe Biden’s, not Donald Trump’s. As Gates rightly noted about Biden’s withdrawal: “They really had a lot of time to plan, beginning with the deal that President Trump cut with the Taliban. So that was in February of 2020.” Gates then went on to say neither president planned the withdrawal or the evacuation properly.

But how can Trump be blamed for failing to leave Biden with a complete plan, knowing that his know-it-all successor would never abide by it? Biden owns the calamitous withdrawal from Afghanistan — a withdrawal that, to this day, is incomplete. Joe left Americans behind, and he did so after promising the American people that he wouldn’t.

Biden is certainly an incompetent president, but Gates is a Patriot. He’s an Air Force veteran and a career public servant, and there can be no doubt that he loves this country. But he’s also the swampiest of Swamp creatures — a man who, before becoming W’s defense secretary in 2006, spent nearly 27 years at the National Security Council and the CIA, which he ran under George H.W. Bush. In all, the 78-year-old Gates served under eight presidents, so he’s first and foremost a public servant and a believer in making a career of it. What he’s not so much a believer in is real reform — especially within institutions that have hardened like old arteries.

“He disdains institutions,” says Gates of Trump, “and I think he did a lot to weaken institutions.”

Our institutions needed weakening. They were sclerotic and corrupt. Or does Gates think the FBI’s Russia collusion investigation into President Trump was proper and above board? That the CIA had clean hands in that hoax? And as for our electoral institutions, does he think Biden got all 81 million of those votes on the up-and-up?

Thus, it’s no surprise that Gates is critical of Trump, or that he hopes he doesn’t run for president again in 2024. He knows Trump is a disrupter, and, as a creature of Washington, Gates doesn’t like disruptions.

Still, Gates credits where credit is due: “I think this is a place where President Trump got it right,” he said of Trump’s assessment of China. “He basically awakened Americans and I would say especially the business community to a China that the assumptions about which we had gotten wrong. … The assumption for 40 years was that a richer China would be a freer China. And that’s clearly not going to happen.”

Will Biden listen to Trump and Gates? Or will he continue to coddle the country that Gates calls “the pre-eminent military and economic threat to the U.S.”? The signs so far aren’t encouraging. (See, for example, the pitiful response to that hypersonic missile test.)

Cooper, in closing, asked Gates a question the answer to which should get everyone’s attention, regardless of their political affiliation: “What do you think the greatest threat to democracy is in this country right now?”

“The extreme polarization that we’re seeing,” answered Gates. “The greatest threat is found within the two square miles that encompass the White House and the Capitol building. … The whole of our society seems to be coming unhinged, and I’ve never seen so much hatred.”

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Colin Powell, American Patriot

The great American and extraordinary military leader I knew.

B.B. Bell

Everybody knows the story of Colin Powell. He was an American Patriot who fought for and with his fellow Americans, who loved our country, and who selflessly served the United States until the day he died. In this, he exemplified everything that is good and right about our nation.

I won’t repeat his list of lifelong accomplishments and challenges. All that has been and is being covered extensively. It’s now part of our history. Clearly, he was a remarkable man and American Patriot for the ages. So if I might, please allow me to share with you a little about the Colin Powell I knew personally for many years. Perhaps it will add to his legacy.

In 1989, I was a young Army Colonel having entered the Army in 1969 through ROTC at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Miraculously, and somewhat by happenstance, I was positioned as General Norman Schwarzkopf’s personal Executive Officer/Executive Assistant at the military’s Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for all U.S. military operations in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.

Then, as today, CENTCOM was deeply engaged in many planning and operational activities across the region. On behalf of my boss, I communicated and coordinated with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his office daily for almost three years. The Chairman was Colin Luther Powell, a black four-star General appointed by President George H.W. Bush. General Powell had just completed two years as National Security Advisor for President Ronald Reagan.

Colin Powell had entered the Army through ROTC, much as I had, at a college in New York City. I knew I could learn much from this guy.

Then it happened. On 2 August, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and threatened to invade Saudi Arabia, the keeper of the world’s vast oil supplies. America and our allies had to act. From the President and the Secretary of Defense and through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), the mission to repel Iraq from Kuwait came to CENTCOM and its boss, General Schwarzkopf. We were going to war. Desert Shield and Desert Storm are now part of history too.

In all this and from his perch as the CJCS, General Powell was an incredible strategist, pure operational artist, and ruthless tactician — everything a country could ask for in a senior General. It was jaw-dropping. While my then-boss Norman Schwarzkopf was himself magnificent and richly deserved all the accolades he has been given, the master behind the scenes was Colin Powell. Simply remarkable.

Here are the lessons he stamped vividly on me. Lessons he also left for America’s future political and military leaders if they’ll just listen.

Generalship Lesson 1: Develop a Grand Strategy to get the big picture right. From the outset of all the “what-to-do meetings” in Washington and later in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, everyone, including the President, searched for the right strategic outcome if we went to war. What should victory look like? In the end, it was Colin Powell who asserted correctly that we needed to position and use overwhelming force to quickly defeat the Iraqi military, destroy its elite Republican Guard armor formations, and drive Iraq from Kuwait. And, crucially, we should not continue the operation deep into Iraq to overthrow the Iraq regime. As bad as they were, as a Sunni Arab government they were deep enemies of Shia Persian Iran, and this competitive balance should be maintained. Colin Powell won that argument, and he was right. (Regrettably, a decade later as George W. Bush’s Secretary of State, he would make a strategic blunder and support the ill-advised invasion of Iraq. For some reason, his Desert Storm strategic understanding did not fully carry over into the chaotic post-9/11 environment.)

Generalship Lesson 2: Quickly make friends of your inherent enemies and bring them into alliances to add to the force while neutralizing their potential opposition. In this Powell was brilliant. Not many remember, but the United States persuaded both Egypt and Syria to contribute substantial close combat ground forces to the Desert Storm operation to fight against a traditional Arab friend, Iraq. There were even Mujahadin forces from Afghanistan helping us in the fight. While many had a role, this success was General Powell’s legacy of military statesmanship. I wish we had learned it regarding Russia as we look at our new developing enemy, China. Why has America made an enemy of Russia?

Generalship Lesson 3: Craft a bold Operational Plan to take advantage of the enemy’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Every potential enemy has vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Schwarzkopf could see them all and he was key in putting together the Desert Storm punishing air and naval campaigns preliminary to the ground war. And in the ground war, there was the famous left hook driving U.S. forces into the exposed flank of the Iraqi Army. But it was Colin Powell who looked at Schwarzkopf’s initial plan and pressed Schwarzkopf to make it bolder and more aggressive. Unknown to most, the depth and magnitude of the historically bold and effective left hook was pretty much all Powell. It was masterful.

Generalship Lesson 4: Execute the tactical fight ruthlessly. At every turn, General Powell pressed General Schwarzkopf to destroy the enemy on the ground, in the air, and on the sea, as well as its ability to generate future forces. Powell’s every communication and phone call had one singular message — dominate and destroy the enemy or don’t go to war. End the fight on our terms with no exceptions.

That’s the Colin Powell I knew. As a Colonel, I got to know him well for three years and learned lessons from him regarding military planning, training, diplomacy, deployments, war, and peace. He was the best and I could detect no flaws. While I suppose, in the later years of his career, he made some mistakes as the Beltway and un-American northeastern corridor influencers pressed him from all sides, none of that can detract from the greatness I observed. The lessons of Grand Strategy and Military Operations an ROTC cadet passed on to this ROTC cadet are lessons for the ages and for all time.

Thank you, General Powell, for having made your life’s presence in America. We are a better country for it and for the citizenship lessons you have left us to study, learn from, and emulate. If anyone desires to become a true American, look at the life of one Colin Luther Powell. It is there where you will find your answers. Those lessons are America, and they are for the ages. Godspeed, Sir.

B.B. Bell, General, U.S. Army (Ret.), is a member of the Patriot Post’s National Advisory Committee. He served in uniform for almost four decades, including extended deployments overseas in both peace and war.

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The Sentencing of Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller

A military judge was critical of the USMC’s handling of this Infantry Marine officer’s case.

Mark Alexander

We have been closely following the case of Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller and his public objections to Joe Biden’s disgraceful surrender and retreat from Afghanistan. Though discontent with Biden is widespread among both the officer and enlisted military ranks, particularly in the Marine Corps, after Biden’s disastrous exfil resulted in the death of 13 uniformed American Patriots — the worst loss of American lives in a decade — Lt. Col. Scheller issued his very public expression of discontent with military leadership.

Scheller, a combat veteran, clearly understood the consequences of his actions and expressed his intent to resign and forgo any military benefits. Yet inexcusably and without adequate explanation, he was jailed. While we believe his resignation should have been tendered before his public rebuke of his chain of command, our sources close to the case indicate that Biden’s military brass, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley, and head of U.S. Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie, were all concerned about a rising tide of discontent in the ranks — and indeed they should be — and thus jailed Scheller to sequester him and keep him quiet.

As I wrote previously, Scheller pleaded guilty to six Uniform Code of Military Justice charges. His sentence for those pleas was delivered by Marine Corps judge Col. Glen Hines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Hines docked Scheller $5,000 (about a month’s pay) and ordered a letter of reprimand for his file.

According to the Marine Times: “Hines said Scheller’s videos in their full context showed a man who appeared ‘to be in pain,’ ‘confused’ and ‘significantly frustrated,’ rather than a rogue and potentially-violent Marine, that his lawyers argued was depicted in the charge sheets.” Notably, Judge Hines “described alleged leaks to the press and the command’s pretrial confinement order as raising the ‘specter of unlawful command influence.’”

Scheller’s attorney, Tim Parlatore, declared, “When senior leaders [or] certain people decide to take certain actions like leaking medical records, like putting somebody in pretrial confinement [when there is] no risk of flight, there should be consequences.”

According to the sentencing agreement, Scheller will also resign his commission and receive either an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions, assuming Secretary of the Navy Carlos del Toro signs off on the discharge agreement.

For the record, Scheller had already raised $2.5 million of his legal defense and other expenses through Pipe Hitter Foundation set up by former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher. Those funds can also be used for emergency relief and relocation expenses, and to offset the loss of military health and retirement benefits to support his family — his wife and three children.

(Follow @MAlexander1776)

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ChiComs’ Hypersonic Missile a Sputnik Moment?

Americans learn of China’s successful test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile.

Thomas Gallatin

Yesterday, Americans learned that China had successfully tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile back in August, a test that reportedly caught U.S. intelligence off guard. While it is highly unlikely that the test of a hypersonic missile actually surprised or was unbeknown to U.S. intelligence before it occurred, what is true is that Beijing is clearly and aggressively pushing forward in developing military technology and capabilities beyond mere regional concerns.

China’s hypersonic missile test, which was reported to have circled the globe before hitting within a couple dozen miles of its intended target, represents the latest salvo in the 21st-century arms race — an arms race in which the U.S. can ill afford to fall behind. The question is whether the Biden administration is willing to acknowledge this reality. The response from the Biden administration thus far is less than comforting.

When pressed to address China’s test, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sought to deflect by pointing to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comments made earlier in the day about how administration leaders “have made clear our concern about the military capabilities that the PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to pursue.”

However, it was Psaki’s last comment regarding Beijing’s missile test that was the most surprising. “We welcome stiff competition,” she asserted, “but we do not want that competition to veer into conflict, and that is certainly what we convey privately as well.” (Someone should get General Mark Milley on the phone about that “competition.”)

We’re not talking about some football game here. We’re talking about our biggest geopolitical foe aggressively working to develop military technology that is specifically designed to thwart our own defenses and strike at any target within the U.S. mainland. Hypersonic missiles, unlike ballistic cruise missiles, have the maneuverable capabilities of a Tomahawk cruise missile but with six times the speed, making them especially difficult to track and shoot down.

China’s hypersonic missile test should serve as a Sputnik moment for the country. Americans cannot simply assume that our long-running military superiority throughout the Cold War era and beyond will inevitably and unquestioningly continue even as China engages in aggressive military expansion and weapons development. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board observes: “The post-Cold War era in which the U.S. could assume it had the military edge is over. Regional powers like Russia and Iran are already using asymmetric weapons like cyber to attack the U.S. And China is building similar capability as well as a blue-water navy and anti-satellite weapons.”

Unfortunately, we have a president who is fixated on pushing through massive, debt-exploding welfare expansions via $5 trillion in spending packages that ignore one of the few constitutionally defined fiscal responsibilities of the federal government — funding for the defense of the nation. Moreover, we have a president whose history with the ChiComs is rather checkered. A world suffering under the brutal thumb of Chinese communist tyrants will result in far more suffering, death, and destruction of nature than will climate change.

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British Spy Fiction

We’re not talking about the new James Bond movie, but Christopher Steele’s dossier interview.

Nate Jackson

Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who authored the famed “dossier” on Russia’s supposed collusion with Donald Trump, interviewed with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos to “set the record straight” on his infamy. It’s the first time he’s been interviewed since that dossier was constructed and leaked. But before we get to that interview, let’s start with a brief but sweeping recap.

The name Christopher Steele wasn’t known until January 2017, but his work on the so-called “dossier” about Russian interference in American elections, primarily involving what Democrats wanted us to think was Donald Trump’s collusion with Vladimir Putin to win the election, fueled much of the 2016 debate.

The Washington Post, of all places, exposed that it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democrat National Committee that funded Steele’s dossier. (Technically, it was Clinton’s campaign paying a law firm to pay Fusion GPS to pay Steele, all to keep Hillary’s hands a little cleaner.) Of course, the Post waited until October 2017 to reveal what many already suspected. Clinton paid for opposition research to look like an intelligence report, which was then fed to the Leftmedia so Clinton could point to media reports as evidence that Trump was corrupt. Those accusations put Trump under FBI scrutiny, with Steele as the FBI’s informant, all in an attempt to deflect from Clinton’s own troubles over that pesky illegal email server.

It was arguably the most clever orchestration of what the Clintons used to decry as the “politics of personal destruction” in the history of U.S. presidential elections. Even though the scheme didn’t get Hillary elected, that fraud hamstrung President Trump and sowed the seeds for later impeaching him — for what Joe Biden actually did. Ultimately, it kept a cloud over Trump’s entire presidency.

So, as with Clinton’s water carriers at The Washington Post, it’s ironic that Stephanopoulos, of all people, would now expose Steele as a fraud. Stephanopoulos served as the Clinton administration’s communications director and adviser before moving to ABC and … holding essentially the same role.

To be sure, Stephanopoulos didn’t mean to expose Steele as a fraud, but for those who see through the charade, it was all too obvious.

Stephanopoulos dutifully tried to help Steele weave a dramatic tale of being the “spy who stepped out of the shadows” — suspiciously timed, we might add, to coincide with another dramatic Hollywood tale about a British spy. In fact, Stephanopoulos shamelessly compared the two. But the result was a woebegone story that belies an extreme case of victimitis.

“I don’t think we ever really appreciated what a big and enduring story this would be,” Steele crowed. “It’s been amazing, particularly in the U.S., to see that throughout the four years of the Trump presidency, my name, my company’s name, and so on, have been in the mainstream media almost every single day.”

But then somehow he seems a bit, shall we say, put off that not everyone thought he was an honest chap.

“Because the vitriol and the things that people have said about us and our motivations and our work are so far-fetched and untrue,” Steele opined, “I thought it was important to come and set the record straight.” Stephanopoulos sympathized with poor Christopher for the mean things Trump and others said about him while his fabrication nearly ruined a presidency.

“It made me appreciate what impact on my family and my children my professional work could have,” Steele reflected. “And that that impact wasn’t always positive.”

Here’s a life hack for Mr. Steele: Don’t lie about big things, and you won’t have to deal with such impact.

In the face of a mountain of evidence discrediting his work, and despite admitting that “not everything in the dossier is 100%,” Steele still believes that the infamous and salacious “pee tape” he referenced “probably does” exist. Ultimately, he says, “I stand by the work we did.”

Stephanopoulos, desperate for relevance and ratings, tried to make a blockbuster out of a dud. He probably stands by the work he did too, but that doesn’t make either product any good.

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Chicago Police Battle ‘Little Napoleon in Pant Suits’

For now, Lori Lightfoot hasn’t enforced a vax mandate. But this is just the latest rebellion against her governing style.

Emmy Griffin

On Friday, the deadline for Chicago cops to comply with that city’s vaccine mandate came and passed. Rising crime and insufficient policing already tarnish the Windy City, so this was a particularly important deadline in the continuing combative saga between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Fraternal Order of Police.

It all started back in August, when Mayor Lightfoot issued a city worker vaccine mandate that included the Chicago Police Department. The FOP attempted to engage with the city (to no avail) because it saw the vaccine as a new condition for employment. Seeing as the vaccine was imposed without the input of unions, the FOP said it violated its members’ collective bargaining rights.

Last week, the FOP filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the labor board and sent paperwork to get a restraining order on the mandate and bring relief to its members.

If Mayor Lightfoot and the city enforce the deadline, it would have major ramifications. According to columnist John Kass: “The consequence is that police, already 1,000 cops short under Lightfoot, could be down 50 percent over the weekend. The people expect three things from a mayor: Pick up the garbage, keep them safe and continue the fantasy that the public schools work, at least for some.”

Lightfoot, of course, accused FOP President John Catanzara of causing a strike, which is against FOP rules. But calling it a strike isn’t accurate. It is a work stoppage of her own making. She further claimed the FOP is putting the city in danger by not complying with the mandate.

Lightfoot had a Cook County judge issue a gag order on Catanzara to get him to stop making public comments. There was an emergency hearing on Friday morning, during which the city lawyers alleged that Catanzara was calling for an illegal action by the FOP, namely inciting a strike. The FOP and three other Chicago police unions all filed a counter suit that accused the city of violating their bargaining rights.

As Friday’s deadline came and went, Lightfoot did not enforce the mandate. “She blinked,” as Kass so pertly put it. Ultimately, the threat is still on the table. But for now, the police who didn’t comply are still working.

The Chicago PD are clearly tired of Lightfoot and her woke joke policies. It’s a very unfunny joke, which had her defunding the police last year only to refund the department this year. (Turns out when you cut down the police force, violent crime goes up.) No one wants to be a cop in Chicago, and low recruitment is a big problem. Now Lightfoot is further shooting herself in the foot by trying to enforce a vaccine mandate and risk losing more cops. This is on the heels of her spat with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and the dissension with police following Officer Ella French’s murder. She is standing on shaky ground, and law enforcement officers are reaching their breaking point.

The significance of the standoff is not just limited to the police. The vaccine mandate encompasses thousands of city workers, may of whom also did not comply with the mandate. In a historically Democrat city, it speaks volumes that the unions, typically loyal to the politicians in charge, are revolting.

Lightfoot has been dubbed “Chicago’s little Napoleon in pant suits,” and her dictatorial way of governing Chicago is costing her support. Pretty soon she really won’t be able to rule the city.

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How to Respond to the Left’s Witch Hunts

A lot of Patriots are wondering: Is it time for a response in kind?

Harold Hutchison

Grassroots Patriots may be looking with amusement at the Left’s anger and frustration with Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), but the seeds for their reluctance to throw out the filibuster is largely due to one man: Mitch McConnell. OK, we can imagine the reaction as loyal Patriot Post readers digest that. The question is, “How?” The answer is, “The Neil Gorsuch confirmation.”

During that battle, Democrats tried to filibuster Gorsuch. McConnell then used the same “nuclear option” Harry Reid did four years earlier. The result? Donald Trump got three Supreme Court nominees — all of whom look to be good so far — confirmed in a very tight Senate, and a host of appellate judges to boot. In other words, there is a credible deterrent to further nuking the filibuster. McConnell — and Senate Republicans — have shown the capability and willingness to respond in kind. That makes rational people think twice. It’s time to apply that concept to other conduct from the Left in America.

The fact, is, grassroots Patriots are seeing a lot of smears and abuses. They have witnessed a multitude of double standards across the board, and a variety of other attacks and assaults coming their way. It is motivated by hatred of grassroots Patriots. Despite the denialism from the Never-Trump contingent, the hatred is real, it has gone on for decades, and the Republican and conservative establishments have failed to do anything about it, even when the Left falsely ties grassroots Patriots to ISIS and the KKK.

These false allegations of racism, the false comparisons to Nazis, and even claims that conservative policy approaches to healthcare will kill people have consequences. To paraphrase the question Dennis Prager asked: How far would people go to defeat Donald Trump when they believe he’s a white-supremacist Russian puppet whose supporters are the type of people to hunt black youth, throw Hispanic kids in cages, and drive LGBT teens to suicide while aiding and abetting the terroristic killing of children in our country’s schools? Would they “fortify” an election — or take more drastic measures — in the name of defending democracy?

The fact is, it’s well past time for those consequences to have consequences of their own. After all, they’re willing to claim their abuses are “consequences.” Like McConnell, though, there is a way for congressional Republicans to instill a deterrence against left-wing abuses.

For starters, a GOP-controlled House could use the actions against Marjorie Taylor Greene to boot Maxine Waters, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar off committees — the former for a long track record of threats and incitement, the latter two for their track records of anti-Semitism.

There could also be the establishment of select committees to look into a variety of Democrat abuses, from “Zuck Bucks” to bulk-mail ballots to the Cuomo-James jihad against the NRA to Merrick Garland’s attack on concerned parents. Maybe even include Spygate and Big Tech censorship as well, along with a generous use of subpoenas. After all, if they can do it to Trump, a Republican Congress can — and should — be equally intrusive to Democrats who have openly abused their power.

Discourse in this country has become ugly. Appeals to civility have fallen short, and the choice grassroots Patriots face is a simple one: Either respond in kind, or for all intents and purposes engage in unilateral political disarmament. The fact that a form of mutually assured destruction is the best option is cause for sadness. However sad the situation may be, credible deterrence may succeed where appeals to reason and “better angels” have, to date, consistently failed to ameliorate unacceptable conditions.

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Now Joe Biden Loves Fracking

The president asked America’s fossil fuel industry to control spiking gasoline and natural gas prices.

Thomas Gallatin

When Joe Biden came into office, almost no industry was more vilified by him than was the fossil fuel industry. On day one of his presidency, Biden revoked permits for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a years-long endeavor that he quashed in minutes, killing more than a thousands jobs. Days later, Biden hit the fossil fuel industry again when he ordered a moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases on federal land and water. While later reversed by court order, the message to the fossil fuel industry could not have been more clear: Biden is not their friend.

In April, Biden suspended drilling leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that had been previously granted under the Trump administration. Biden dubiously claimed that the previous administration’s rules weren’t tough enough on preventing methane and oil leaks.

Meanwhile, almost as if intentionally aimed at thumbing his nose at American fossil fuel companies, Biden lifted sanctions imposed by Donald Trump against the Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which effectively gave the green light to Vladimir Putin. Thus, Biden’s hypocrisy on opposing fossil fuel out of feigned concern over climate change was exposed as nothing but pandering to his ecofascist political base.

However, bad decisions yield bad consequences, no matter how one may try to rationalize them. Currently, the average price of gas at the pump in the U.S. is $3.30, a high not seen since the days of Barack Obama and his anti-oil policies and stagnant economy. Furthermore, the price for natural gas is spiking across the country, ensuring that Americans’ heating bills will be anywhere from 20% to 50% higher this winter.

In mid-August, Biden sought to alleviate the problem of rising gas prices by running to OPEC, pleading for it to increase production of crude. OPEC responded by essentially telling Biden to go pound sand. And fuel prices continued to rise.

Now, with Biden’s poll numbers tanking almost as fast as fuel prices are rising, he’s going hat in hand to America’s fossil fuel companies, the very industry he campaigned on “transition[ing America] away from,” to ask for their help in controlling the price of oil and natural gas. During the campaign, he talked about banning fracking before flip-flopping. Now he wants fracking to save us him.

The trouble is that even as Biden is “nicely asking” for the fossil fuel industry’s help, he has steadfastly refused to reverse course on his administration’s decidedly anti-fossil fuel policies. Why would U.S. energy companies be inclined to give Biden anything other than the answer OPEC gave him? Until Biden actually reverses course, America’s oil and gas companies have no incentive to save his bacon, nor should they.

It’s no wonder people are pointing out higher gas prices by putting a Joe Biden “I did that” sticker on gas pumps.

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Was the January 6 Riot an Armed Insurrection?

As the detainees from the riot await their day in court, many are being held on dubious “weapons” charges.

Douglas Andrews

The prevailing narrative of the January 6 riot is that it was an “armed insurrection.” Since that day, congressional Democrats and their media mouthpieces have clung desperately to this description, lest the American people begin to yawn at all the fuss they’re making over it. The FBI, unhelpfully, calls it an act of “domestic terrorism.”

Actually, the events of January 6 are more accurately described as a political protest that got out of hand.

In any case, it appears that the runaway favorite for weapon of choice among the detainees (at least insofar as journalist Byron York has been able to ascertain) was that age-old instrument of death and destruction, the flagpole. Yep, that’s the “weapon” that appears most often in York’s compilation of defendants and their devices. Interestingly, though, the actual flags that adorned those poles weren’t considered weapons, even though that cloth could easily be used to smother someone, or cut into strips and used to strangle people.

To be sure, a guy can do plenty of damage with a flagpole; it’s just not what we’d typically consider a weapon. Neither would we consider a crutch to be a weapon, but, again, in the hands of an angry rioter, it could give someone an awful headache. Same with a walking cane, a shield, a helmet, or a desk drawer, all of which are considered weapons according to the Department of Justice’s database of detainees.

Think about it: When a convict breaks out of prison, and we’re warned to consider him “armed and dangerous,” we tend to think that he’s got a gun rather than a flagpole or a crutch or a desk drawer. Anyway.

“At this moment,” York writes, “about 670 people have been charged, many of them with misdemeanors such as “Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.” But, yeah, the FBI calls it an act of domestic terrorism. York continues:

Of the cases involving weapons, there are four main charges: “Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers Using a Dangerous Weapon”; “Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon”; “Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon”; and “Engaging in Physical Violence in a Restricted Building with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon.”

Among former President Donald Trump’s Flagpole Brigades, five of them — Christopher Michael Alberts, Lonnie Leroy Coffman, Mark Sami Ibrahim, Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr., and Guy Wesley Reffitt — are charged with possessing firearms. But — and this is the key point of January 6 — none of them are charged with using them during the riot.

Remember: The only deadly force used on January 6 was used against the protesters. (For the record, the victim’s name was Ashli Babbitt, and the man who killed her was Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd.)

As for this “armed insurrection,” just 82 of those 670 who’ve been charged — just 12% of them — were hit with a weapons charge. Is 12% a large enough share to call it an “armed insurrection”? Further, when only five of those 670 — less than 1% of them — were found to be in possession of firearms, can we honestly call it an “armed insurrection”?

Answer: No.

Perhaps you missed it, but there was another riot in our nation’s capital recently, but you probably didn’t hear much about it. Why? Because the insurrectionists, according to The Washington Post, were hard-left “climate activists.”

In any case, these domestic non-terrorists stormed the U.S. Interior Department on Friday and clashed with police. Guards and security personnel sustained multiple injuries, some of which resulted in hospitalization. The leftists intended to “occupy” the Interior Department and attacked police lines blocking their way. Some of them had to be tased by police.

And yet, as our Mark Alexander notes, there’s no word yet on whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will set up a special commission to investigate this blatant attack on our democracy.

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On the Web

EXECUTIVE NEWS SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Security

  • State Department IG to probe Biden administration’s chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal (Fox News)
  • “I will share my thoughts in the coming days and weeks”: Top U.S. envoy to Afghanistan steps down (Washington Examiner)
  • Midnight runs: Biden secretly flying underage migrants into New York in the dead of night (New York Post)
  • Haiti kidnappers demand $17 million ransom for missionaries (BBC News)
  • North Korea fires two ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan (Fox News)

Politics

  • The writing is on the wall: House Democrat retirement rush continues with two new departures (Politico)
  • “Chill[ing] lawful dissent by parents”: 17 state AGs condemn DOJ targeting school board meetings (Daily Wire)
  • Supreme Court protects cops from lawsuits in two qualified immunity cases (Fox News)

Economy

  • China’s GDP slows to disappointing 4.9% in third quarter (The Hill)
  • U.S. careening into another recession as worried consumers flash warning signs (New York Post)
  • LA ports a ghost town much of the weekend despite President Biden’s goal to move cargo (Washington Examiner)
  • Climate backfire: Coal-fired power jumps as natural gas prices soar (Washington Times)

“Social Justice”

  • NYC commission votes unanimously to move Thomas Jefferson statue from city council chambers (ABC 7)
  • Federal judge rules University of North Carolina can continue race-based admissions (Fox News)
  • Rioters tear through Portland and cause $500K in damage; cops say new law restricting response leaves them powerless (Daily Wire)

Health

  • City leaders, police departments push back over impending COVID vaccine mandates (USA Today)
  • Nick Rolovich fired as Washington State football coach after refusing COVID vaccine (The Oregonian)

Notables

  • Jury selection moving slow in Ahmaud Arbery slaying trial (AP)
  • Ten absurdly wasteful items tucked into the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend monstrosity (Daily Signal)
  • DOJ ignores Washington Post-prompted death threats against Waukesha, Wisconsin, school board member (The Federalist)
  • Silent disgrace: Where is the national media on abandoned Americans in Afghanistan? (Hot Air)

Belly Laugh of the Week

  • Monkey business: Enormous bronze Harambe statue appears on Wall Street (Daily Wire)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: It’s time to transform the WTO (National Review)
  • Satire: Pete Buttigieg says he cannot come into work as he is on breastfeeding duty (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.

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READER COMMENTS

Editor’s Note: Each week we receive hundreds of comments and correspondences — and we read every one of them. Click here for a few thought-provoking comments about specific articles. The views expressed therein don’t necessarily reflect those of The Patriot Post.

VIDEOS

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.” —Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“We have combed the internet for signs that parents petitioning school boards are anything approaching a national problem. Nearly all of what we have seen so far makes us proud to be Americans: Parents care about the education of their children, and they are not willing to allow them to be indoctrinated into a radical ideology.” —four U.S. Civil Rights Commission members pillorying Attorney General Merrick Garland

Friendly fire: “Congress should proceed with caution on any additional spending and I will not vote for a reckless expansion of government programs. No op-ed from a self-declared Independent socialist [Bernie Sanders] is going to change that.” —Senator Joe Manchin

The BIG Lie: “The cost of the Build Back Better Agenda is $0. The President’s plan won’t add to our national deficit and no one making under $400,000 per year will see their taxes go up a single penny. It’s fully paid for by ensuring big corporations and the very wealthy pay their fair share.” —The White House

Non compos mentis: “I think we have to ask a very threshold question. Are we better off today than we were one year ago? Let’s just remember one year ago where we were. … This president has made life better.” —Congressman Ro Khanna

Mind-boggling: “We’ve made clear our concerns about the military capabilities that [China] continues to pursue. And we have been consistent in our approach with China: We welcome stiff competition, but we … do not want that competition to veer into conflict.” —White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

Braying jenny: “I come from a state where I was not entitled to become the governor, but as an American citizen and a citizen of Georgia, I’m going to fight for every person who has the right to vote to be able to cast that vote.” —Stacey Abrams

The delusional doctor: “I have always stood for making science, data, and evidence be what we guide ourselves by. And I think people who feel differently, who have conspiracy theories, who deny reality, looking them straight in the eye, those are people that don’t particularly care for me. And that’s understandable. Because what I do — and I try very hard — is to be guided by the truth. And sometimes, the truth becomes inconvenient for some people. So they react against me. That just is what it is.” —Anthony Fauci

Facepalm: “If you’re vaccinated and your family members are vaccinated … you can enjoy the holidays.” —Anthony Fauci

And last… “Imagine thinking that spying on bank accounts with transactions as little as $600 will actually combat tax evasion by the 1%. What it’s really about is power, and in no universe does the IRS need even an ounce more.” —Nikki Haley

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

 “From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

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