Monday, December 11, 2023

Is Claudine Gay a Plagiarist?

By Christopher F. Rufo and Christopher Brunet

Harvard president Claudine Gay has problems. Touted as the first black woman to run the nation’s most prestigious university, she assumed leadership with high expectations, but her tenure, which began this summer, has been mired in scandal. As dean and then president, Gay has been accused of bullying colleagues, suppressing free speech, overseeing a racist admissions program, and, following the Hamas terror campaign against Israel, failing to stand up to rampant anti-Semitism on campus.

We have obtained exclusive documentation demonstrating that President Gay may face yet another problem: plagiarism of sections of her Ph.D. dissertation, which would violate Harvard’s own stated policies on academic integrity. (We reached out to President Gay for comment, but received no response.)

Gay published her dissertation, “Taking Charge: Black Electoral Success and the Redefinition of American Policies,” in 1997, as part of her doctorate in political science from Harvard. The paper deals with white-black political representation and racial attitudes. As evaluated under the university’s plagiarism policy, the paper contains at least three problematic patterns of usage and citation.

First, Gay lifts an entire paragraph nearly verbatim from Lawrence Bobo and Franklin Gilliam’s paper, “Race, Sociopolitical Participation, and Black Empowerment,” while passing it off as her own paraphrase and language. Here is the original, from Bobo and Gilliam:

Using 1987 national sample survey data . . . the results show that blacks in high-black-empowerment areas—as indicated by control of the mayor’s office—are more active than either blacks living in low-empowerment areas or their white counterparts of comparable socioeconomic status. Furthermore, the results show that empowerment influences black participation by contributing to a more trusting and efficacious orientation to politics and by greatly increasing black attentiveness to political affairs.

And here is the language from Gay’s work: 

Using 1987 survey data, Bobo and Gilliam found that African-Americans in “high black-empowerment” areas—as indicated by control of the mayor’s office—are more active than either African-Americans in low empowerment areas or their white counterparts of comparable socioeconomic status. Empowerment, they conclude, influences black participation by contributing to a more trusting and efficacious orientation towards politics and by greatly increasing black attentiveness to political affairs.

Though Gay does provide a reference to the original authors, she uses their verbatim language, with a few trivial synonym substitutions, without providing quotation marks. This constitutes a clear violation of Harvard’s policy, which states: “When you paraphrase, your task is to distill the source’s ideas in your own words. It’s not enough to change a few words here and there and leave the rest; instead, you must completely restate the ideas in the passage in your own words. If your own language is too close to the original, then you are plagiarizing, even if you do provide a citation.”

Gay repeats this violation throughout the document, again using work from Bobo and Gilliam, as well as passages from Richard Shingles, Susan Howell, and Deborah Fagan, which she reproduces nearly verbatim, without quotation marks.

Second, Gay appears to lift material from scholar Carol Swain in at least two instances. In one passage, summarizing the distinction between “descriptive representation” and “substantive representation,” she copies the phrasing and language nearly verbatim from Swain’s book Black Faces, Black Interests, without providing a citation of any kind. Swain writes:

Pitkin distinguishes between “descriptive representation,” the statistical correspondence of the demographic characteristics … and more “substantive representation,” the correspondence between representatives’ goals and those of their constituents.

Gay’s version is virtually the same, with slight modifications to the diction and punctuation:

Social scientists have concentrated . . . between descriptive representation (the statistical correspondence of demographic characteristics) and substantive representation (the correspondence of legislative goals and priorities).

Gay’s use of Swain’s material is a straightforward violation of the university’s rule on “verbatim plagiarism,” which states that one “must give credit to the author of the source material, either by placing the source material in quotation marks and providing a clear citation, or by paraphrasing the source material and providing a clear citation”—neither of which Gay followed.

Later in the paper, Gay also uses identical language to Swain, without adding quotation marks, as required. “Since the 1950s the reelection rate for House members has rarely dipped below 90 percent,” reads Swain’s book, which is the same, excepting an added comma, to the language in Gay’s dissertation: “Since the 1950s, the reelection rate for incumbent House members has rarely dipped below 90%.” According to Harvard’s rules, this would be a violation of the policy on “inadequate paraphrase,” which requires that verbatim language be placed in quotations.

Third, Gay composes an entire appendix in the dissertation directly taken from Gary King’s bookA Solution to the Ecological Inference Problem. While she cites King’s book—in fact, King was her dissertation advisor—Gay does not explicitly acknowledge that Appendix B is entirely grounded in King’s concepts, instead passing it off as her own original work. Throughout the appendix, Gay takes entire phrases and sentences directly from King’s book, without any citations or quotation marks. In total, Gay borrows material from King in at least half a dozen paragraphs—all in violation of Harvard’s standard on academic integrity.

What should the consequences be for President Gay, given these violations? Some critics might object to any punishment, arguing that her dissertation is decades old, or that these instances of plagiarism appear to be highly technical, or even trivial. But the dissertation is the cornerstone of an academic career, and universities impose demanding standards of academic integrity, with severe consequences for violators. Harvard, in particular, has a strict policy on these matters. If a current Harvard student were to commit violations of the same nature as Gay’s, it would lead to “disciplinary action, up to and including requirement to withdraw from the College.” The same standard should apply to the university president.

In light of this troubling evidence, we call on Harvard’s Board of Overseers to conduct a full investigation into Claudine Gay’s academic integrity. The precedent for such violations has already been set at other institutions: the president of the University of South Carolina, for example, resigned for plagiarizing remarks he made in a commencement speech; and the president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges resigned due to plagiarism that he committed in part of his dissertation. Gay’s case should be treated with equal seriousness. If she has violated the code of academic conduct, she must resign—or get voted out by the board.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

How Were the Universities Lost?

 By Victor Davis Hanson |

AP Photo/Michael Casey

After October 7, the public was shocked at what they saw and heard on America's campuses.

Americans knew previously they were intolerant, leftwing, and increasingly non-meritocratic.

But immediately after October 7 -- and even before the response of the Israeli Defense Forces -- the sheer student delight on news of the mass murdering of Israeli victims seemed akin more to 1930s Germany than contemporary America.

Indeed, not a day goes by when a university professor or student group has not spouted antisemitic hatred. Often, they threaten and attack Jewish students, or engage in mass demonstrations calling for the extinction of Israel.

Why and how did purportedly enlightened universities become incubators of such primordial hatred?

After the George Floyd riots in 2020, reparatory admissions -- the effort to admit diverse students beyond their numbers in the general population -- increased.

Elite universities like Stanford and Yale boasted that their so-called "white" incoming student numbers had plunged to between 20 and 40 percent, despite whites making up 68-70% of the general population.

The abolition of the SAT requirement, and often the comparative ranking of high school grade point averages, have ended the ancient and time-proven idea of meritocracy. Brilliant high school transcripts and test scores no longer warrant admissions to so-called elite schools.

One result was that the number of Jews has nosedived from 20-30% of Ivy League student bodies during the 1970s and 1980s to 10-15%.

Jewish students are also currently stereotyped as "white" and "privileged" -- and thus considered as fair game on campus.

At the same time, the number of foreign students, especially from the oil-rich Middle East, has soared on campuses. Most are subsidized by their homeland governments. They pay the full, non-discounted tuition rates to cash-hungry universities.

Huge numbers of students have entered universities, who would not have been admitted by the very standards universities until recently claimed were vital to ensure their own competitiveness and prestige.

Consequently, they are no longer the guarantors of topflight undergraduates and professionals from their graduate programs.

Faculty are faced with new lose/lose/lose choices of either diminishing their course requirements, or inflating their grades, or facing charges by Diversity/Equity/Inclusion commissars of systematic bias in their grading -- or all three combined.

The net result is that there are now thousands of students from abroad, especially from the Middle East, far fewer Jewish students, and student bodies who demand radical changes in faculty standards and course work to accommodate their unease with past standards of expected student achievement.

And, presto, an epidemic of antisemitism naturally followed.

In such a vacuum, advocacy "-studies" classes proliferated, along with faculty to teach them.

"Gender, Black, Latino, feminist, Asian, Queer, trans, peace, environmental, and green"-studies courses demand far less from students, and arbitrarily select some as "oppressed" and others as "oppressors." The former "victims" are then given a blank check to engage in racist and antisemitic behavior without consequences.

Proving to be politically correct in these deductive gut-courses rather than pressed to express oneself coherently, inductively, and analytically from a repertoire of fact-based knowledge explains why the public witnesses faculty and students who are simultaneously both arrogant and ignorant.

At some universities "blacklists" circulate warning "marginalized" students which professors they should avoid who still cling to supposedly outdated standards regarding exam-taking, deadlines, and absences.

All these radical changes explain the current spectacle of angry students citing grievances, and poorly educated graduates who have had little course work in traditional history, literature, philosophy, logic, or the traditional sciences.

Universities and students have plenty of money to continue the weaponization of the university, given their enormous tax-free endowment income. Nearly $2-trillion in government-subsidized student loans are issued without accountability or reasonable demands that they be repaid in timely fashion.

Exceptions and exemptions are the bible of terrified and careerist administrators.
Faced with an epidemic of antisemitism, university administrators now claim they can do little to curb the hatred. But privately they know should the targets of similar hatred be instead Blacks, gays, Latinos, or women, then they would expel the haters in a nanosecond.

What is the ultimate result of once elite campuses giving 70-80% of their students As, becoming hotbeds of dangerous antisemitism, and watered-down curricula that cannot turn out educated students?

The Ivy league and their kindred so-called elite campuses may soon go the way of Disney and Bud Light.

They think such a crash in their reputations is impossible given centuries of accustomed stature.

But the erosion is already occurring -- and accelerating.

At the present rate, a Stanford law degree, a Harvard political science major, or a Yale social science BA will soon scare off employers and the general public at large.

These certificates will signify not proof of humility, knowledge, and decency, but rather undeserved self-importance, vacuousness, and fanaticism -- and all to be avoided rather than courted.



UPenn Loses a $100 Million Donation Over Its President's Kill All the Jews Trip-Up

By Matt Vespa |

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill is learning that free speech has a cost. She, along with Claudine Gay and Sally Kornbluth, the presidents of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively, testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) asked all three women if calls for Jewish genocide constituted harassment. All three ladies gave waffled answers that were both cold and insipid to the more significant issue of the antisemitism facing Jewish students amid the war in Gaza.

All three presidents said such actions must be placed into context. Yes, people chanting and clamoring for the wholesale murder of Jews must be placed under an academic light because these philosopher queens think we’re too stupid to recognize the neo-Nazi jargon with an Islamic face. Well, that pitiful hearing has cost UPenn $100 million (via Axios): 

A University of Pennsylvania donor is withdrawing a gift worth around $100 million to protest the school's response to antisemitism on campus. 

The big picture: The final straw for Ross Stevens, founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management, was Tuesday's widely criticized congressional testimony by Penn president Liz Magill. 

Details: The gift from Stevens, a Penn undergrad alum, was given in December 2017 to help establish a center for innovation in finance. 

It was in the form of limited partnership units in Stone Ridge, with the current value estimated at around $100 million. 

Stevens, in a letter from his lawyers to Penn, alleges that the school has violated the terms of the limited partnership agreement, including its anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. 

Referring to Penn, Stevens writes: "Its permissive approach to hate speech caling for violence against Jews and laissez faire attitude toward harassment and discrimination against Jewish students would violate any policies of rules that prohibit harassment and discrimination based on religion, including those of Stone Ridge." 

 No one is canceling Magill. She can remain oblivious to the neo-Jihadist takeover of her school and not care one bit about the Jewish students who are being targeted by far-left activist groups who adore Hamas. Ms. Magill can continue to be exceptionally dense about whether someone telling a specific ethnic, religious, or racial group that they should be wiped off the face of the Earth is harassment. This is America; she has the right to defend and hold horrific opinions that enable genocide. But it will cost you. America puts up a fight and one that liberals don’t have the mental toughness to endure. A differing opinion is so offensive that they must weaponize institutions to attack and silence their opposition. In this case, it’s allowing lefty students to stage soft pogroms against Jewish students because of...context, right?


UPenn President Liz Magill steps down after controversial testimony on antisemitism

By Chris Pandolfo and Adam Sabes| FOXBusiness

Liz Magill, president of the University of Pennsylvania, during a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. Lawmakers on the education committee will grill the leaders of Harvard University, (Photographer: Haiyun Jiang/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Magill faced major backlash after her testimony during a congressional hearing

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill has resigned Saturday after widespread public outrage over her testimony to Congress on antisemitism. 

The announcement came after days of intense pressure from Penn alumni and elected officials following Magill's botched Capitol Hill testimony earlier in the week. After refusing, along with the presidents of Harvard and MIT, to unequivocally condemn calls for genocide of Jews, Magill reportedly faced the likelihood the school's board of trustees would fire her as soon as Sunday.

"I write to share that President Liz Magill has voluntarily tendered her resignation as President of the University of Pennsylvania. She will remain a tenured faculty member at Penn Carey Law," Board of Trustees Chairman Scott L. Bok wrote in a statement.

Bok said that Magill agreed to stay on until an interim president is appointed.

"It has been my privilege to serve as President of this remarkable institution. It has been an honor to work with our faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community members to advance Penn’s vital missions," Magill wrote in a statement.

Magill resigned days after major donor Ross Stevens rescinded a $100 million gift to the school in protest of the college's handling of antisemitism on campus and her leadership. The board of Penn's Wharton business school also asked Magill to resign and the university's board of trustees held an emergency meeting Thursday as the school faced backlash over her comments.

Both Stevens and the Wharton board pointed to Magill's disastrous Congressional testimony in statements explaining the reasons for their respective actions. 

Magill will keep her position as a tenured faculty member at the university's law school.

At issue were remarks Magill made before the House Education and Workforce Committee this week in which she refused to outright say that antisemitic chants and calls for the genocide of Jewish people violate the school's code of conduct.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., asked Magill if "calling for the genocide of Jews violate[s] Penn’s rules or code of conduct? Yes or no?"

"If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment. Yes," Magill responded, later adding "It is a context-dependent decision."

"This is unacceptable. Ms. Magill," a stunned Stefanik responded. "I’m gonna give you one more opportunity for the world to see your answer. Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn’s code of conduct when it comes to bullying and harassment? Yes or no?" she asked again.

It can be harassment," the University of Pennsylvania president replied.

Those comments set off a firestorm of scathing condemnations of the university and extracted clarifying remarks from Magill posted on X a day later.

"There was a moment during yesterday's congressional hearing on antisemitism when I was asked if a call for the genocide of Jewish people on our campus would violate our policies. In that moment, I was focused on our university's long-standing policies aligned with the U.S. Constitution, which says that speech alone is not punishable," Magill said. "I was not focused on, but I should have been, on the irrefutable fact that a call for genocide of Jewish people is a call for some of the most terrible violence human beings can perpetrate."

Saturday, December 09, 2023

Here's the List of Things Hunter Biden Bought Instead of Paying Taxes

By Katie Pavlich |

Screenshots from alleged iCloud "leak" of Hunter Biden videos.

Late Thursday night new federal charges were filed against President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden. 

"The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020," the indictment states. "Between 2016 and October 15, 2020, the Defendant individually received more than $7 million in total gross income. This included in excess of $1.5 million in 2016, $2.3 million in 2017, $2.1 million in 2018, $1 million in 2019 and approximately $188,000 from January through October 15, 2020. In addition, from January through October 15, 2020, the Defendant received approximately $1.2 million in financial support to fund his extravagant lifestyle."

The 56-page indictment details rampant tax evasion by the younger Biden and specifically explains what he was used his money, obtained through shady deals with adversarial foreign actors, to purchase. 

"Between 2016 and October 15, 2020, the Defendant spent this money on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes," the indictment states.

A graph included in the indictment shows Biden spent $683,212 on prostitutes, $188,960 on porn, $237,496 on beauty and $71,869 on rehab. Throughout this same time period, he refused to pay child support for youngest daughter.

Further, Biden used corporate funds for a variety of inappropriate charges and categorized them falsely as legitimate business expenses in filings.



By Hans von Spakovsky | The Daily Signal

Hunter Biden was selling only one thing for the millions of dollars he was being paid—the Biden brand. He monetized the brand. Pictured: President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden attend the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 10, 2023. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Well, it’s about time. The Justice Department finally has obtained a serious indictment against Hunter Biden, one that charges him with nine felony and misdemeanor violations of federal tax law. 

Noticeably absent from the salacious, 56-page indictment issued Thursday evening are any charges related to the failure of President Joe Biden’s son to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA.

But this indictment came about for three reasons:

First, because brave IRS whistleblowers testified under oath, at great expense to their careers, that the government was going easy on Hunter Biden.

Second, because an earlier sweetheart deal fell apart when a federal judge uncovered DOJ’s shady plea agreement with Hunter.

And third, because ongoing congressional oversight and public outrage pressured DOJ to get to the bottom of this sordid affair. 

The titillating indictment was filed in federal court in California, where Hunter Biden, 53, is a resident despite his forays and stays at the White House and his father’s home at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. The indictment illustrates not only the tawdry, sordid lifestyle of the president’s son, but his indifference to his obligations to pay income taxes and his intentional lying about business expenses. 

The indictment alleges that the younger Biden “engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million” in federal taxes owed for 2016 through 2019, including filing “false returns” in 2020 for the 2018 tax year. 

During that time, he received “more than $7 million in total gross income” to “fund his extravagant lifestyle,” a polite term for describing the money that Biden spent, according to the indictment, “on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his own taxes.” The list includes a Porsche, a Lamborghini, and a “lavish house on a canal in Venice Beach.”

The lurid details in the indictment, some of which are taken directly from Biden’s memoir, “Beautiful Things,” were used by the Justice Department to show that he was fraudulently claiming business expenses for things such as paying an entourage of “thieves, junkies, petty dealers, over-the-hill strippers, con artists, and assorted hangers-on.” In 2018, when he supposedly was engaged in business affairs, Hunter Biden actually was using crack cocaine “twenty-four hours a day, smoking every fifteen minutes, seven days a week.”

There is really nothing new in the indictment that hasn’t been previously disclosed. It’s just that DOJ finally has done what it should have done years ago with the evidence prosecutors developed then.

But here’s the rub. If the Justice Department had indicted Hunter years ago, there would have been more felony charges because of his failure to pay taxes in 2014 and 2015 (at a time when he was earning money by selling access to his father, who was then the sitting vice president).

Which leads a normal person to ask: Why did DOJ allow the statute of limitations to expire for those years? Could it be that politicos there didn’t want to bring further scrutiny to any connections between Hunter and his daddy? 

The indictment alleges that the younger Biden violated provisions of law (26 U.S.C. §§ 7201, 7203, and 7206) against evading a tax assessment, failing to file and pay taxes, and filing a false or fraudulent tax return. Two statutes are felonies that subject a criminal defendant to up to five years in prison and a maximum $100,000 fine, while the third is a misdemeanor that could lead to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. 

What is missing from this indictment are any charges under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires individuals who engage in political activities on behalf of foreign entities, including influencing government officials and policies, to register with the Justice Department. 

Hunter Biden was selling only one thing for the millions of dollars he was being paid in China, Russia, Ukraine, and other foreign nations—the Biden brand. He monetized the brand.

There is a plausible, if not strong, argument that FARA applies to him because of the myriad “business” activities he was engaged in overseas. The indictment outlines the foreign entities he was representing, including a “Ukrainian industrial conglomerate [Burisma Holdings] and a Chinese private equity fund [CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd.].” 

Is DOJ going to allow the statute of limitations to lapse on these charges, too? Or is special counsel David Weiss going to seek a indictment under FARA in another federal district? 

This indictment certainly will influence Hunter Biden’s congressional testimony, set for next Wednesday. He has refused a closed-door deposition by the House Oversight and Reform Committee and demanded a public hearing. 

The president’s son no doubt wanted a public spectacle where he could defend his father and embarrass the committee by giving speeches expressing outrage at the panel’s investigation. That’s something he couldn’t do effectively during a nonpublic deposition in which he would be cross-examined, Perry Mason-style, over false or evasive answers. 

Now, if Hunter Biden is compelled to appear before the House committee, he likely will invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Given the facts alleged in this indictment, no one would want to be questioned, under oath, for this conduct. Furthermore, the president’s son certainly would refuse to answer questions about payments, loans, or monies he gave to others, especially his father.

The kid-gloves treatment that Hunter Biden has received over the past several years has engrained a belief among Americans that receiving justice depends on who you are in the political world.

This indictment for tax fraud is a first step in providing a full reckoning for Hunter Biden’s criminal misconduct. But it will take a lot more than indicting the president’s son for obvious tax fraud to erase that idea that we have a rigged system of justice in this country.

Friday, December 08, 2023

Hunter Goes Under the Bus


Dan Marschka

Something has changed inside the Department of Justice, though it’s unclear exactly what might be going on under the covers. After years of stalling and obfuscation, doing everything possible to keep First Son Hunter Biden out of any legal trouble, the DOJ filed nine new charges against Hunter last night. None of them are trivial and three are quite serious. He was hit with three felony tax evasion charges and six related misdemeanors. The unpaid taxes add up to $1.4 million and they carry the potential of up to 17 years in prison. This is going to put Joe Biden in a very awkward position in short order and it comes at a time when many people in his inner circle are questioning whether he can carry the torch to another term in office next year. Is this all a coincidence, or is there something else taking place in the background? (Reuters)

The Department of Justice on Thursday filed new criminal charges against U.S. President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, accusing him of failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes while spending millions of dollars on a lavish lifestyle.

Hunter Biden, 53, was hit with three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses, according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court, Central District of California.

He faces up to 17 years in prison if convicted. The Justice Department said its investigation into Biden is ongoing.

The tax years in question cover 2016 through 2019, a period of time when the younger Biden was infamously addicted to drugs and roaming the country with hookers, and getting into other trouble, including at least one illegal firearms charge. Perhaps crucially, the year 2016 was when Joe Biden was still the Vice President, and Hunter and his friends were allegedly peddling his influence for big dollars from various overseas actors.

Unlike the gun charge, these tax issues are precisely what the Biden clan has been studiously trying to avoid. It’s impossible to address the issue of how Hunter failed to pay taxes on all of that money without addressing the question of where all the money came from. And that once again opens the door to a trail that leads directly back to The Big Guy. No matter how much the legacy media tries to avoid it, this case will shine a very bright light on Biden Inc.

So what are Joe Biden’s options at this point? His own DOJ is bringing the charges. If he issues a preemptive pardon to his own son, he will be more guilty than anything the left has accused Donald Trump of. But if he lets the legal wolves have their way with Hunter, his son may start singing like a bird in an effort to cut a deal.

This can’t be happening in a vacuum. We have to wonder if there are people in the Democratic inner circle who are looking for a way to ease Joe Biden out of the presidential race in a timely fashion. Throwing some heat at Hunter Biden in a way that could potentially expose his father to allegations of corruption just as the primary season is kicking off might be a way to do that. Of course, the other possibility is that the House investigations into the Biden clan have simply become too overwhelming to ignore and some people inside the DOJ have thrown in the towel and given up on covering for The Big Guy. We’ll probably find out soon enough.

Just as a side note for the holiday season, as if Hunter didn’t already have enough to worry about, Republican Congressman Mike Collins of Georgia has been putting up Christmas decorations around his office. He’s included a whole section featuring Hunter Biden, including a life-size cutout of the First Son with the caption, “Let it Snow.” (A reference to his cocaine problems.) He also included a Christmas stocking for Hunter’s long unacknowledged child Navy, Joe Biden’s missing seventh grandchild. The photos in the linked article are hilarious.



With Hunter Biden Indicted Again, We’re in for a Legal Circus in 2024

By Matt Vespa |

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

If there’s any consolation for Donald Trump, he might not be the only one dealing with multiple trials next year. Hunter Biden, the crack cocaine disgraced son of Joe Biden who always had daddy’s protection, has been indicted on tax evasion charges. As many noted, the new indictment isn’t a surprise since the collapse of the sweetheart deal, which would have been a slap on the wrist for Hunter while also providing him with immunity.

Luckily, a judge saw through this legal charade and chucked the deal. With the Department of Justice trying to avoid looking as if they went along with this now-defunct agreement over political reasons, no new deal was finalized. The Biden plea agreement collapsed when IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Zeigler provided lengthy testimony about how the DOJ interfered in their investigations into the president's son. Spencer wrote about Hunter Biden’s other indictment on gun charges in September (via Washington Post): 

Special counsel David Weiss has filed a second indictment against President Biden’s son Hunter, this time on tax charges, as the continuing fallout from a collapsed plea deal this summer means the younger Biden could go on trial twice next year while his father runs for reelection. 

The president’s son was charged with nine counts of failing to file and pay taxes, tax evasion and filing false tax returns by a grand jury in California; three are felonies and another six are misdemeanors. Prosecutors accuse Biden of failing to to pay at least $1.4 million in federal taxes over a four-year period from 2016 through 2019. 

According to the 56-page indictment, Biden earned more than $7 million in gross income between 2016 and 2020, and another $1.2 million in 2020 to support his lifestyle. Prosecutors allege he used the money to fund an “extravagant lifestyle," including drugs, escorts and girlfriends, exotic cars and clothing. 


The charges had been expected since the failure of the deal, which would have allowed Hunter Biden to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes and admit to illegally possessing a gun — without actually pleading guilty to the gun offense. 

 Is it divine providence that has us gearing toward a race where both candidates have qualities that cancel each other out, leading to a base voter bloodbath? Trump is old; Biden is old. Yes, Trump is more vibrant and mentally sound, but he’s up there in age, too. There’s no getting around it. Both men are unpopular. And while Biden maybe can throw a few punches over Trump’s pending trials, his son is facing gun and income tax issues of his own, the latter leeching into the allegations of corruption and felonious activity from the Biden family’s lucrative government access operation.  

Many voters don’t want this election, and I couldn’t care less. It is what it is. And with no moral high ground to be fought over, we can get right down to the character assassination and mudslinging, which is at the core of all political discourse. The rot and slime will be the hallmark characteristics of the 2024 cycle. Welcome to the suck. Trump and Biden will be the 2024 nominees, with an electorate that doesn’t want a rematch, though they will be spurred into action on Election Day because both sides hate each other with a passion.  

Now, the media will play an obvious role, as there could be competing coverage between Trump and Hunter Biden’s legal shenanigans in 2024, among other things. Of course, the media is going to obsess over Trump, even though there’s evidence of actual wrongdoing committed by Joe Biden’s son. Newsrooms will try and block it out, but I doubt they will be successful when the smoking gun evidence that’s been revealed, though drowned out by media bias and the ongoing war in Gaza, is rehashed. That’s my hope, but I’m not betting on it.

Thursday, December 07, 2023

House votes to censure Rep. Jamaal Bowman for fire alarm stunt

By Elizabeth Elkind | Fox News

House Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm at a congressional office building in late September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty)

Bowman pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building on Sept 30

As Democrats stalled for more time before a vote on the House GOP’s funding extension, chaos briefly broke out in the Cannon House Office Building on the Capitol complex when a fire alarm rang out, forcing the building to be evacuated.

Video and eyewitness testimony soon revealed that it had been pulled by Bowman, a member of the progressive left-wing "Squad" and a former school principal. There was no emergency going on at the time.

Bowman denied doing it on purpose to give his colleagues more time, telling reporters after the incident, "I was rushing to make a vote, I was trying to get through a door. I thought the alarm would open the door."

He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in late October and agreed to pay the maximum $1,000 fine.

The censure resolution was introduced by Rep. Lisa McLain, R-Mich., as "privileged" on Tuesday, meaning the House was forced to act on it within two legislative days.

A Democratic vote to stop the censure from coming to the House floor failed 216 to 201, with the top Democrat on the ethics committee, Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., voting "present."

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., accused House Republicans of trying to waste time by moving ahead with the motion after their bid failed on Wednesday evening. 

"We're all on the House floor wasting time talking about fire alarms. Not the economy, not inflation, not affordable housing, not lowering costs, not the gun violence epidemic that continues to claim the lives of our young people all across America," Jeffries said.

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Will It Be Riot Season Again in 2024?


Conservatives must learn the lessons of 2020—and prepare.

The resurgence of public protests in support of Hamas has revealed a disturbing truth: the left-wing rioting following George Floyd’s death in 2020 was not an anomaly, but a tactic that activists can repurpose for any cause. Whether by coincidence or design, these recent outbursts could be a dress rehearsal for possible violence during next year’s election campaign.

Conservative leaders must prepare for that prospect. To prevent 2020 from repeating itself in 2024, conservatives need to consider what might spark a riot, how it can be prevented, and how to understand and manage the politics of rioting.

First, what could generate a riot season? Left-wing agitation has some familiar causes: a police-involved death of a black person; an international conflict; an economic crisis. But another threat looms.

Former president Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, faces multiple criminal indictments. Trump may well be convicted and imprisoned, likely yielding explosive consequences, including possible violence from both sides of the ideological divide.

Progressives are restless and ready. Left-wing activists have established a constellation of institutions to support public demonstrations. 

Protest NGOs, media entities, research centers, black-bloc networks, and bail funds are all finely tuned to mobilize mass movements. The Left carefully manages its licit and illicit factions: progressive political leaders tacitly delegate the dirty work to anarchist and racialist factions, which can change costumes—for example, from a BLM mask to a Palestinian keffiyeh—at any moment.

Red-state governors should start preparing now. They should instruct state law enforcement to establish interagency task forces to monitor, infiltrate, and disrupt violent left-wing activist networks to the fullest extent permitted by law. If they uncover illegal activity, they should make arrests and prosecute offenders. 

As I have observed in the Pacific Northwest, these groups are relatively small and depend on specific leadership nodes. They make little effort to hide their goal of overthrowing America’s basic institutions and their willingness to use political violence to do so. Law enforcement should follow a simple mantra: disrupt the nodes, disrupt the network. The invisible work of prevention is far superior to a public fight during a potential riot.

Republican officials must also shift incentives. Governors should pass legislation increasing penalties for rioting and train National Guard units in anti-riot tactics. After Floyd’s death, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach.

In 2020, DeSantis activated the National Guard and declared “zero tolerance” for violence. As a result, Florida saw minimal rioting, looting, and destruction compared with many other states. In 2021, DeSantis signed the Combating Public Disorder Act, which tightened restrictions on violent rioting, criminalized mob intimidation, increased penalties for destroying monuments, and provided legal protection for drivers who might injure or kill protesters who put them in fear for their lives.

While the anti-riot bill was quickly entangled in court challenges, it sent a strong signal: if you riot in Florida, you will pay a price. After Hurricane Idalia hit earlier this year, DeSantis followed a similar line, warning potential looters that citizens would defend themselves against threats: “You loot, we shoot.”

Preparation, however, can only go so far. If riots do erupt in American cities, what can conservative political leaders do to quell them? Two basic approaches are possible: a “ground war” and an “air war.” The first option is summarized by Senator Tom Cotton’s infamous New York Times editorial, published during the summer of Floyd: “Send In the Troops.” 

The first-order benefit of this approach is clear: National Guard units can suppress riots, protect lives and property, and restore public order. But it also carries a risk. The Left has mastered the tactic of baiting law enforcement into a reaction, framing any response as “authoritarian” and using the national media to shift public opinion.

The second option is an “air war”—that is, via the airwaves. Whether by choice or necessity, political leaders can enact a policy of containment, leaving the mayhem in certain neighborhoods for local authorities to handle, while waging a battle for public opinion in the media and blaming the political Left for the violence and destruction. 

This was, to an extent, President Trump’s policy during the summer of 2020. Fearing that “sending in the troops” would mobilize opposition, provide fodder for charges of “fascism,” or create a political quagmire, he adopted a posture of strategic neglect, allowing radicals to run rampant in parts of Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, and other major cities. At the same time, he blamed BLM, Antifa, and the Democratic Party, and appealed, frequently in all caps, to “law and order.”

This approach did not pay off, however. Recall the situation in the months preceding the 2020 election. Major cities were on high alert for riots in case of a Trump victory. When I visited Washington, D.C., the week prior to Election Day, entire city blocks were barricaded; luxury stores had boarded up their windows; BLM- and Antifa-associated militants promised violence if voters didn’t opt for a change of power.

The Left was putting the pressure on, and it seemed to me that voters supported Biden in part to put an end to the chaos. In other words, for the Left, the rachet worked. The threat of continued violence paid an electoral dividend—and it offers left-wing agitators a strong incentive to repeat the performance in 2024.

How might the politics of a riot season unfold next year? Civil disorder has often benefited the challenger in recent presidential elections. Richard Nixon won the presidency in 1968 following major riots, just as Joe Biden won the presidency in 2020 after similar unrest. Bill Clinton also won as a challenger in 1992, a year that saw the Los Angeles riots. Voters react against disorder, which they lay at the feet of whoever occupies the highest office. 

If a Trump-Biden rematch takes place in 2024 and violence breaks out, voters might well blame Biden, just as they blamed Trump in 2020. Then again, given Trump’s polarizing reputation and the distorting nature of mainstream media coverage, it’s conceivable that voters could associate the re-emergence of public disorder with Trump.

However the politics play out, though, conservative leaders must prepare for potential unrest. First, they should develop plans for state and local deterrence, riot control, and prosecution of anyone found responsible for violence. Second, they should model a strategy for the “air war”: develop a persuasive rhetorical strategy in advance, create the frame of interpretation for any future rioting, and build a rapid-response apparatus for contesting the opposition message. 

They might recruit strategic planners to game out potential scenarios and responses, with an eye toward breaking the hostage logic that the Left successfully implemented in 2020: “Elect our man, and the pain will stop.”

The success of any society begins with order. This truth is often forgotten until order is disrupted. The prudent statesman has planned for that contingency, both for his own fortune and for the general good of his society. The time to prepare is now.