ITEM #1: Those familiar with U.S. Senator Tom Cotton know he’s been one of our country’s most fearless and articulate champions for America’s fundamental values.
We’re honored to have him joining us as part of our stellar speaker lineup at this year’s 6th Annual Basque Fry (tickets available here), and we’re looking forward to hearing his thoughts and insights on many of the serious challenges facing our nation today.
We also wanted to pass along to you something that caught our attention this week — a great writeup by John Hirschauer of RealClearPolicy.com on a recent conversation Cotton had with Terry Schilling, President of the American Principles Project.
"Cotton began the conversation by suggesting that the progressive movement was no longer interested in promoting tolerance and had embraced a more muscular posture in the culture war.
“'I look around the country and I see a move over the years away from what used to be a defining American trait, which is toleration. Our founding fathers talked about the toleration for the views of others, especially for different religious creeds. But the Left is no longer content with toleration, by any means. They’re really not even content with acceptance. They want to demand celebration [of] their views about gender and race. They want to force them on the entire country,' Cotton said.
“Cotton then discussed the mounting backlash to the efforts of activists, teachers, and school boards to install critical race theory (CRT) and other progressive ideologies in school curricula. He saluted the ‘courageous parents’ who he said have been ‘standing up and fighting back’ against the institution of critical theory in schools.”
A few other gems from Cotton in that interview …
On the so-called Equality Act: “It would make unequal policies the law of the land, especially when it comes to protecting young girls and young women in sports or in their schools and colleges.”
On the prospect of a tax hike from the Biden administration: “Look, I don’t want the Biden administration to raise taxes on Americans. I don’t want them to hurt our economic recovery."
Hirschaur also reports that:
“Cotton mentioned his bill that would prohibit federal funding of schools that teach the New York Times’s ‘1619 Project.’ He added that there was additional legislation ‘coming down the pike’ to ensure that CRT is not taught to federal employees, and mentioned his joint effort with Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) to create a resource for military whistleblowers to ‘expose how rapidly the military has bought in to critical race theory.’
“Cotton recalled a black Arkansan whom he met in a grocery store who expressed her support for ‘conservative family values’ as an example of the importance of ‘look[ing] past outward differences.’”
Cotton’s insights are a true breath of fresh air, especially nowadays, and the full write-up is well worth your time and available here.
ITEM #2: Climate change gets blamed by the left for a lot of things with which it clearly has no connection.
But this has got to be a new low.
Cortney O’Brien reports:
"CNN and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm were ripped by viewers on Tuesday for suggesting that climate change could have been a factor in the tragic building collapse in Surfside, Florida.
"At least 11 people were killed and over 150 are missing in the aftermath of the collapse of the Surfside beachfront condo. Recent reports have revealed there were warning signs before the building fell as engineers reported several issues with the structure, but a local building official told board members that the building was in 'very good shape.' Despite the new intel, CNN asked Granholm what role a changing climate could have had on the destruction.
"'Given what we know about the changing climate, given that you've seen an increase in so called extraordinary tides, and the impact that that can have in areas like south Florida, do you think that climate would have played a role in that building's collapse?' anchor Erica Hill asked. The segment was accompanied by the chyron, 'Could Climate Crisis Have Contributed to Building Collapse?'
"'Well, obviously we don't know fully,' Granholm replied.
"'We know that we're losing inches and inches of beach — not just in Florida, but all around,' Granholm said.
"The secretary said she needed to wait to see the analysis of the current investigation into the building collapse, but said that we should 'adapt' to and 'protect ourselves' from the consequences of a changing climate. One possible solution, she suggested, was to pass President Biden's infrastructure bills."
The comments sparked a barrage of condemnation, with Twitter users calling them “absolutely ghoulish” and “beyond parody.”
Seriously … what is wrong with these people?
ITEM #3: As crime rates continue to rise across the country, Mara Gay of the New York Times’ editorial board recently offered some … let’s say “creative” … theories as to what might be at the root of it.
Here is what she said in a recent appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” …
"'I think there’s a couple of things going on here. The United States has a gun problem... We have too many guns on our streets so we need federal action to get them off the streets because individual states and cities, like New York, cannot stop the flow of guns from coming into New York City, for example, without federal action,' Gay began. 'Just rational action to prevent bad actors from getting their hands on guns. That’s the first thing.'
“She then pointed to ‘people’ who study ‘violence and crime’ will say that it's ‘too soon to know and understand’ why the crime spike is taking place.
"‘But those who have worked on this issue for a very long time know — what they will tell you is that this is not surprising given the level of disruption, trauma, grief, joblessness, homelessness, and just general upheaval that the United States has gone through, particularly communities of color and people living in poverty across the United States,’ the MSNBC contributor said.”
Ah yes. Because it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with politicians acquiescing to the left’s calls to defund the police. Or the way Democrats have worked to delegitimize policing itself, and the effects that has on the morale of our men and women in law enforcement and their ability to do their job without fear of being attacked. Nah, couldn’t be that.
ITEM #4: Speaking of rising crime rates, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants you to know that it’s all much ado about nothing.
National Review’s Brittany Bernstein reports:
"Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) claimed recently that concern over a recent surge in crime in U.S. cities is 'hysteria.'
“'We are seeing these headlines about percentage increases,' Ocasio-Cortez said during a virtual town hall on Friday, clips of which were shared online on Sunday.
“'Now, I want to say that any amount of harm is unacceptable and too much, but I also want to make sure that this hysteria, you know, that this doesn’t drive a hysteria and that we look at these numbers in context so that we can make responsible decisions about what to allocate in that context,' she said during the discussion with Representative Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.) on Zoom."
And get a load of this part:
"During the discussion, Ocasio-Cortez also agreed with Bowman that law enforcement should be defunded."
Destruction of property? Threats to your life and your loved ones?
No need for hysteria, folks. AOC says everything’s A-OK.
ITEM #5: What’s the appropriate age to discuss the topics of gender and sexuality?
Here’s one answer that might raise an eyebrow or two. Fox News’ Michael Ruiz reports:
"A Connecticut elementary school hosted a seminar for parents encouraging them to talk to their kids about progressive views on gender and sexuality.
"'The assumption that sex equals gender is millenia (sic) old but if you look at the history of the trans community, as well as the existence of intersex people throughout history this myth starts to shed its authority,' one of the slides for the presentation reads.
"The program defines gender identity as 'one’s own understanding of their gender or lack thereof.'
"Examples included 'genderqueer, intergender, female, demigirl, male, agender, transmasculine' and more.
"The Parents Defending Education group, which opposes 'indoctrination in the classroom,' reported that parents in attendance were told 'gender is malleable' and that 'sex is assigned but ultimately is determined by the individual.'"
The far-left agenda on sexuality and gender issues is problematic enough on its own. But to introduce these ideas to children in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL is simply outrageous.
ITEM #6: Have you been following the story of Gwen Berry?
Yahoo! Sports’ Ryan Young has the details:
“Olympian Gwen Berry protested during the national anthem during the Olympic trials on Saturday when she turned away from the flag on the medal podium and held a t-shirt over her face.”
Every bit as disgusting is the response from the White House. More from Young:
“Press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Berry’s protest on Monday by a reporter, and while she said she hasn’t spoken with President Joe Biden about it specifically, Psaki defended the hammer thrower’s actions.
“‘I know [Biden is] incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform all around the world,’ Psaki said.
“‘He would also say, of course, that part of that pride in our country means recognizing there are moments where we are, as a country, haven’t lived up to our highest ideals. And it means respecting the rights of people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest.’”
Berry is entitled to her opinions, of course. But no one is forcing her to be on our national team. If she has such disdain and disrespect for our country, then she ought to do the decent thing and refrain from using the uniform to advance her own career.
Speaking of Berry, Fox News’ Peter Hasson also reports that she “is sponsored by Color of Change, a left-wing group that advocates for defunding the police."
"Color of Change, which has sponsored Berry since last September and is funding her through the end of the year, applauded her 'leadership' on Tuesday amid the ongoing backlash.
"'We're proud to sponsor [Berry], to have negotiated a sponsorship with @PUMA and to continue to push corporations to support Black athletes who speak out for our communities. Grateful for Gwen's leadership today and every day,' the activist group wrote on Twitter.
"‘Thank you Color of Change for always standing with me,’ Berry replied.
“Color of Change is unapologetically in favor of defunding the police.
"‘Policing is a violent institution that must end. We imagine a country where there is enough money to educate our children, care for our sick and feed those who are financially unstable. Defunding the police allows for this vision,’ Color of Change President Rashad Robinson said in June after the Minneapolis City Council pledged to ‘dismantle’ its police force.”
ITEM #7: You might think that having links to ecoterrorism would be disqualifying from a high-ranking position in our federal government.
Alas, if that’s the case, you simply don’t understand the Biden administration and today’s radical left.
Houston Keane informs us:
“The White House continues to stand by Tracy Stone-Manning, President Biden's nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), despite controversies over her links to an ecoterrorist plot and her views on population control.
“The White House has faced pressure from senators to withdraw Stone-Manning's nomination since Fox News first revealed that she traded her testimony for legal immunity in a tree-spiking case in the 1990s.
“Stone-Manning was granted immunity in exchange for testifying that she retyped and sent an anonymous letter to the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of John P. Blount, her former roommate and friend.
“The letter told the Forest Service that 500 pounds of ‘spikes measuring 8 to 10 inches in length’ had been jammed into the trees of an Idaho forest. Tree-spiking is a dangerous ecoterrorist tactic that has severely injured people, such as a mill worker whose jaw was split in two from an exploding saw.
“Most recent, a retired federal agent involved in the probe said Stone-Manning was an early target in the ecoterrorism investigation, contradicting her claims to senators that she had never been the target of a federal investigation.
“The anonymous agent told E&E News on Friday that Stone-Manning ‘absolutely refused to do anything’ to help with the investigation at first and only complied with law enforcement after ‘she was caught.’”
Sounds like quite a lovely character, doesn’t she? And keep in mind that this is a nomination that should be of particular concern to Nevadans, given that Bureau of Land Management policy affects the Silver State far more acutely than it does most other states.
“[T]he Biden administration still supports the embattled nominee.
"‘Tracy Stone-Manning is a dedicated public servant who has years of experience and a proven track record of finding solutions and common ground when it comes to our public lands and waters,’ a White House official told Fox News on Monday. ‘She is exceptionally qualified to be the next Director of the Bureau of Land Management.’"
There is indeed something “exceptional” about Stone-Manning’s qualifications. It’s not every day someone with a background of dabbling in terrorism gets to run a major government agency!
"We read to know we are not alone” ― G.K. Chesterton