Monday Edition


1. Biden’s Hypocrisy

President Biden fiercely criticized Israel for an airstrike that killed aid workers in Gaza last week, but as many critics pointed out, Biden himself has overseen military action that led to civilian deaths. (Commentary)

Biden reacting to the deaths of 7 humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen last Monday: This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed. This is a major reason why distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza has been so difficult – because Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians. Incidents like yesterday’s simply should not happen. Israel has also not done enough to protect civilians.”

In 2021, the Pentagon admitted a drone strike in Kabul during the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan killed 10 civilians, including an aid worker and 7 children. Contrary to the military’s initial claims, no Islamic State members were killed in the strike.

While Biden served as vice president under Barack Obama, the U.S. mistakenly bombed a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan run by the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders. Nearly two dozen doctors and patients were killed.

The shift: As casualties mount in the Israel-Palestine conflict and Democratic progressives ramp up their protests, Biden has gone from wholehearted support for Israel to demanding a ceasefire.

Bubba’s Two Cents: The optics of the conflict are putting Biden in a tough spot. But as Commentary Magazine editor John Podhoretz said recently, “take the moat out of your own eye before you start talking about the moat in your friend's eye.”

2. Is “Wokeness” Losing Steam?

A backlash to progressive racial justice initiatives is brewing, if recent events at colleges and corporations are any indication. (Washington Free Beacon)

Elite colleges, long criticized for favoring progressive views and silencing conservatives, are now making moves to embrace a mix of opinions.

  • Yale Law School recently hired a conservative tenure-track professor.

  • Stanford appointed a new president with a strong background in economics, moving away from leaders with backgrounds in diversity and administration.

  • Columbia is now punishing students for attending events linked to pro-Palestinian terrorism, a response to claims elite colleges have tolerated antisemitism.

Corporations are cutting diversity, equity and inclusion staff and funding.

Government diversity programs are facing cuts or changes from lawsuits challenging whether such initiatives violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

Bubba’s Two Cents: When elite college presidents testified before Congress last year (saying students who call for the genocide of Jews shouldn’t be punished), it exposed the hollowness of universities’ commitment to DEI. When it comes to corporations, studies have shown for years that diversity training isn’t accomplishing much. It’s hard not to suspect institutions are promoting this stuff because it’s trendy and will shift if the pendulum swings the other way.

3. This Is Gross

The father of slain 22-year-old Georgia nursing student Laken Riley has asked people to stop politicizing his daughter’s death, but that hasn’t happened. (NBC News)

Laken was allegedly killed by an illegal immigrant last month while jogging near the University of Georgia. Jason Riley said during an NBC News interview last month the suspect, Jose Antonio Ibarra, was in the U.S. illegally and “might not have been here had we had secure borders.” But he’s also been critical of those using his daughter’s name to score partisan points.

Jason Riley: “I'd rather her not be such a political, how you say — it started a storm in our country and it's incited a lot of people. … I feel like, you know, they're just using my daughter’s name for that. And she was much better than that, and she should be raised up for the person that she is. She was an angel.”

Last week, popular conservative podcast host Patrick Bet-David said he’d donate $250,000 to Riley’s family if Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro debated right-wing pundit Candace Owens. Owens (who until recently worked for the Daily Wire) and Shapiro have been caught up in a high-profile feud over the Israel-Palestine war.

Also last week, former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka was criticized for shilling Laken Riley T-shirts on social media for $29.99 a pop.

And not to let President Biden off the hook: Biden invoked Riley’s name during his State of the Union speech last month, only to later apologize for calling her alleged killer an “illegal.”

4. Where Teachers Stand

Education is a hot topic in U.S. politics, sparking debates on race and gender lessons, frequent absences and school choice, among other issues. How do teachers feel about this stuff? (CBS News)

On the current state of their profession: A new Pew Research Center poll found 84% of teachers say they don't have enough time during work hours for grading, lesson planning, paperwork, and emails. 70% of teachers report their schools are understaffed.

On race: A Pew poll from February found 64% believe students should be taught how slavery's impact still influences black Americans' status today. Nearly 60% believe white supremacy is a major problem in the U.S., according to a Heritage Foundation survey.

On gender: 50% of teachers say students shouldn’t learn about gender identity in school at all, per Pew. Teachers who support teaching about gender are more likely to endorse the idea that a person’s gender can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth.

On school choice: A 2017 EducationWeek survey found 71% of educators oppose vouchers and 77% oppose charter schools.

On politics: Teachers overwhelmingly donate to Democratic candidates, according to FEC data.

5. The Left’s Identity Problems

The drama at Amherst Regional Middle School (ARMS) in liberal Amherst, Massachusetts is a small example of the broader tensions brewing within the progressive movement. (New Yorker)

May of last year: The high-school newspaper, the Graphic, published an article highlighting the failure to protect trans students at ARMS.

  • Specifically, black and Latino staff members were accused of making transphobic comments (one guidance counselor allegedly said during a school prayer meeting, “In the name of Jesus, we bind that LGBTQ gay demon that wants to confuse our children”).

  • Minority staff members were also accused of being insensitive to trans students’ needs, misgendering them and turning a blind eye to the bullying of trans kids (who were allegedly being harassed mostly by black and Latino students).

New Yorker reporter Jessica Winter: “Like many other progressive school districts, Amherst uses restorative-justice practices, which prioritize mediation and reconciliation over punishment, as part of an effort to redress racial disparities in the disciplinary process.”

The aftermath: An emergency school-committee meeting drew a large crowd, leading to the suspension of two counselors (one black and one Latino) featured in the article.

  • The meeting sparked demands for an investigation into the district’s superintendent and the resignation of the assistant superintendent in charge of HR and diversity, Doreen Cunningham.

  • Cunningham and other minority school officials have suggested the criticisms are motivated by racism.

What one high-school staffer said about the town: “Amherst is racist, the staff is racist, and there’s a target on the back of black people in the district.”

Bubba’s Two Cents: There's a lot of infighting happening among left-wing groups: Jewish Democrats clashing with pro-Palestine supporters, feminists butting heads with trans rights advocates, etc. A big reason for this turmoil is the left's heavy focus on identity, which has led various groups to push their own agendas to the forefront.

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