By Jeff Childers
Welcome to the weekend edition, C&C! We have some great developments to review today in our roundup: the House Freedom Caucus gets everything it wanted and McCarthy gets the Speakership; Florida makes a big move toward reforming higher education and returning to “classical education”; Florida moves to centralize control of Disney’s special tax district; third journalist SADSLY dies this week, at HOME; surfer SADSLY dies riding the waves; another tragedy suddenly and unexpectedly strikes the Buffalo Bills; Australia (and the world) begin to question whether boosters make any sense; and an Ecuadorian ex-father strikes a blow for mothers’ rights.
🗞*WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 It’s over: in the wee hours early this morning, Kevin McCarthy was elected the new Republican Speaker of the House, on his fifteenth attempt, dashing democrat hopes of an awful stymie. Fox News ran a story headlined, “Kevin McCarthy elected House speaker in 15th floor vote after days of high drama.”
During yesterday’s frenetic legislative session, the group opposing McCarthy saw its numbers steadily dwindling until there were only six final holdouts. At times, things got a little testy, as suggested by this AP photo:
Rep. Hudson, R-N.C., left, restrains Rep. Rogers, R-Ala., as he confronts Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., during the 14th round of voting for speaker
After a failed fourteenth attempt followed by a brief midnight negotiating session, the six holdout Representatives-elect voted “present” in the final round, which sealed the deal: Andy Biggs of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Elijah Crane of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia, and Matt Rosendale of Montana.
Even though it got the job done, Speaker McCarthy seemed unhappy about the unenthusiastic “present” votes that still gave him the win, angrily confronting Representative Gaetz about it:
Among other concessions wrung from the GOP were the following agreed improvements:
— A single member can move to elect a new speaker, a decades-old rule eliminated during Pelosi’s bloody reign.
— Votes on term limits will be allowed, as well as on the adoption of a budget resolution that balances the budget in 10 years.
— The House will cap fiscal year 2024 spending at FY 2022 levels.
— The House will reject any spending bills with the Senate until the Senate passes its own spending caps.
— The House will not increase the debt limit absent matching spending cuts or other fiscal reforms.
— The House can once again reduce or de-fund the salaries of specific federal officials, like Fauci, if he were still employed by the government.
— Three members of the House Freedom Caucus will be seated on the key House Rules Committee, which sets the House’s terms of debate.
The rebellious legislators also extracted promises for two new committees:
— A committee to examine the weaponization of government against U.S. citizens, described as a “Church-style” committee, including Thomas Massie, Chip Roy, and Jim Jordan.
— A committee ensuring no more bills are brought up on the floor until at least 72 hours have passed, giving members time to review them.
Representative Mary Miller (D-IL) described the final dealmaking as a victory that will stop any more insane Biden omnibus spending bills:
We are negotiating a historic conservative victory to finally stop reckless SPENDING and DEBT from crushing our children & grandchildren. We will ensure a Republican House cannot do what Senate Rs did when they passed the disastrous $1.7 TRILLION omnibus! We must STOP BIDEN!
Late yesterday evening, Representative Matt Gaetz told Sean Hannity that he’d gotten so many concessions, he was running out of things to ask for:
Rep. Matt Gaetz: “I am grateful that Speaker-designate McCarthy has been so receptive to each and every change that we have demanded. Sean, we are at the stage right now where I’m running out of stuff to ask for.”
After new members are sworn in, they will vote to approve the new rules package including all the negotiated elements. Then we’ll see whether McCarthy delivers on all his big promises.
🔥 Just over a week ago, I told you 2023 will make 2022’s accomplishments look like a warmup. Well, the year has already been moving along pretty quickly, and this week more recent developments proved my thesis. And we’re still just one week in.
Remember our friend Chris Rufo, the conservative activist warring against radical gender theory in education? The C&C Army multiplied him last Fall. Here’s a headline about him from an August Bloomberg piece to remind you of how the Left feels about Rufo:
Apparently Chris has been talking to Governor DeSantis, who just appointed him to the board of trustees of Sarasota-based New College, which was built out of Charles Ringling’s beautiful waterfront mansion.
Florida Politics ran a story on the appointment headlined, “Gov. DeSantis Taps Christopher Rufo, 5 Others to Transform New College of Florida Into ‘Classical College’.”
I’m proud to announce that Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed me to the Board of Trustees of the New College of Florida. My ambition is to help the new board majority transform New College into a classical liberal arts institution. We are recapturing higher education.
Along with five other new board members, Rufo’s goal will be to transform New College into a “classical education” powerhouse along the lines of Hillsdale College in Michigan:
Along with five other new board members, Rufo’s goal will be to transform New College into a “classical education” powerhouse along the lines of Hillsdale College in Michigan:
One of the other new trustees, Matthew Spalding, is also the dean of Hillsdale College D.C.’s Graduate School of Government.
It’s all pretty exciting, but I was most interested in the third agenda item: “abolish diversity, equity, and inclusion and replace it with equality, merit, and colorblindness.” New College’s current woke mission statement and values, as shown on its website, includes a section on its “just, diverse, equitable and inclusive community.” Uh huh.
That’s going to ruffle some liberal feathers.
Republican Party of Florida Vice Chair Christian Ziegler, a former Sarasota County Commissioner, was excited about the move. “Impossible to state just how bold and historical this action is,” Ziegler explained in a statement. “It sets the tone that higher education can and will be reformed if conservative leaders are willing to step up, lead and act.”
New College has been trending hyper-woke over the last ten or twenty years, while its enrollment plunged into the hundreds. But “It is our hope that New College of Florida will become Florida’s classical college, more along the lines of a Hillsdale of the South,” DeSantis’ Chief of Staff James Uthmeier said in a statement.
It doesn’t appear there’ll be any trouble replacing the woke professors infesting New College, if they don’t like the new plan. Rufo tweeted late yesterday that he’s already “being flooded” with applicants who want to work there:
I’m already getting flooded with requests from professors who want to work at New College of Florida. We are going to be recruiting new faculty in the coming months and will create an institution where academics can thrive, without self-censorship. More soon.8:02 PM ∙ Jan 6, 20232,588Likes306Retweets
Predictably, Florida democrats were outraged and appalled. How dare they promote equality, merit, and colorblindness? What nonsense! Democrats called the move a “hostile takeover:”
DeSantis just started a hostile takeover of Sarasota’s New College, the state’s liberal arts honors college & a school with liberal-leaning student body/faculty that gov’s chief of staff said should be more like Hillsdale, a conservative Christian college https://t.co/62hOV6B07b1:16 AM ∙ Jan 7, 2023367Likes187Retweets
Goofy Orlando representative Anna Eskamani was particularly hysterical about Rufo’s appointment, saying it shows DeSantis is literally “destroying higher education:”
I’m sure you’ll recall that earlier this week, DeSantis’ team sent a DEI survey to ALL Florida public universities seeking details about their “diversity” programs. DeSantis appears to be delivering on the promise from his inauguration: “Florida is where woke goes to die.”
🔥 But that’s not all, not by a long shot. Also yesterday, The Orlando Sentinel ran a story headlined, “DeSantis Wants State to Take Control of Disney World’s Reedy Creek District.”
For context, Reedy Creek is the special county that Florida allows Disney World to run for itself. After Disney threatened to lobby against Florida Republicans last year, to punish them for passing the popular Parent’s Rights in Education law, the state dissolved the Mouse’s special tax district — but left the details open. Over the last couple months, swirling rumors whispered that Florida was about to give in and return the Reedy Creek district to Disney’s control. I lost track of how many comments and private messages I got about that.
Well. Evidently not.
A notice on Osceola County’s website yesterday announced Florida lawmakers will soon take up legislation “increasing state oversight, accountability, and transparency” of the Reedy Creek district, which gave Disney quasi-government control over its theme park properties in Florida.
Woke “for the people” democrats leapt to defend the mega-corporate and media giant. State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando), said she worried putting the state in charge of the district could disrupt Disney’s business operations, hurting employees, regional business interests, Disney’s bottom line, and groomers. Okay, I added the last one. “We really don’t know the direction,” Stewart fretted. “It sounds to me from that quote [DeSantis] is doubling down 100%. He is not even discussing a compromise.”
No compromises with groomers! My goodness.
Democrats’ other criticism has been that, by taking back Reedy Creek, the state would also acquire a bunch of debt. But according to news sources, the Governor said the new legislation will require Disney to pay its debts first. The figure I’ve seen is about $700 million.
So stop worrying. Reedy Creek wasn’t only another “just for show,” politics-as-usual move to placate the base. DeSantis meant it. Assume the position, Mickey. This will only hurt for a long time.
💉 Earlier this week, I reported on the sudden and unexpected deaths of ABC reporter Dax Tejera, 37, heart attack, and ABC producer Erica Gonzalez, 28, who “died overnight.” During the week another one of Dax and Erica’s journalistic young peers joined them in the opportunity to cover the greatest story ever told, the afterlife.
True, the tricky bit is still how to get the word back to us living folks, but that’s a different story.
Anyway, on Wednesday L.A. Times reporter Gregory Yee, 33, died suddenly and unexpectedly AT HOME, from what his family called “complications from a respiratory issue.”
At least all these reporters died so quickly that it happened in the comforts of their own homes. Not having any time to get there, they were all spared the risks and indignities of hospitalization. In other words, it could have been worse.
I don’t need to say it, but in case you were worried, to the very end young Mr. Yee DID keep his faith in the shots, which after all is the most important thing.
It’s worth it! Just keep telling yourself that. Until you can’t tell yourself anything anymore.
💉 The New York Post reported yesterday famed Brazilian surfer Márcio Freire, 47, died Thursday while catching some waves off the central coast of Portugal. It’s even better than dying at home. Sun, fun, and no doctors. In a sense, Márcio died riding the waves of Glory. In other words, doing what he loved the most. Except for the very last part.
He didn’t drown or get eaten by a shark. According to local officials, sea conditions were not particularly dangerous at the time of his death. Their statement explained, “The rescuers found that the victim was in cardio-respiratory arrest, immediately starting resuscitation maneuvers on the sand. After several attempts, it was not possible to reverse the situation.”
The “situation” was “cardio-respiratory arrest.”
You mean, a heart attack?
💉 While Damar Hamlin continues to improve after his dramatic on-field collapse, apparently, the Buffalo Bills suffered another sudden and unexpected tragedy.
Yesterday, the team announced that John Murphy, the Buffalo Bills’ radio director, suffered a stroke last weekend and is now recovering at home.
The NFL has had a run of “bad luck” this week, what with John Murphy’s stroke, Damar Hamlin, 24 (double heart attack), and former Jaguar linebacker Uche Nwaneri, 38 (dead as a Dodo).
It’s fortunate they all had the jabs, or it could have been much worse.
💉 While the U.S.’s Centers for Disease Control continues to push jabs harder than a carnival barker on closing day, other countries are starting to have some second thoughts. The Australian Herald Sun ran a narrative-busting story yesterday that was originally headlined, “Burning Questions Around Covid Boosters as Deaths Rise to 108 in a Week.”
The Herald didn’t mean the kind of burning questions that always arise after a post-midnight Taco Bell chalupa-12-pack with extra jalapeños and hot sauce. They meant the burning in your joints after your fifth booster. Or something like that.
As it happens, for SOME reason, the Herald’s editors soon dialed back their click-grabbing headline, probably because it was making grandma “hesitate,” but which now asks, “Do We Actually Need a Fifth Covid Shot and Will We Ever Be Offered One if We’re Not Old or Sick?”
The heretical sub-headline provided a little more context: “Nearly 110 Victorians have died of Covid in the past week — but the jury is still out on whether an extra booster shot is needed, especially for healthy, young males.”
Director of epidemiology at Melbourne’s Doherty Institute and Aussie covid expert Jodie McVernon told the Herald it was possible that boosters will soon be offered ONLY to the most vulnerable Australians, rather than be generally available to the public. And get this: Director McVernon also told the Herald that for some people — especially 12 to 15 year-old males — the risk of vaccine booster side effects could outweigh potential benefits.
What? There are side effects? When did this happen?
For herself, the Director seems to enjoy risk. She also told the Herald that “Covid is very unlikely to be a severe disease in that group” and “Vaccine side effects have been observed.” Gosh. I hope her life insurance is paid up. Her words are even riskier than the jabs are.
The Herald said Director McVernon has been working with the W.H.O. on global jab policy. Check out how she described her talks with the international health agency: “It is an open question globally of ‘are boosters needed, and if so, how often, and who gets them? What’s the cost-benefit’?” she wondered.
Wait. She’s asking are boosters NEEDED? What is going on here? Didn’t she get the CDC’s memo? Does she want to kill grandma? And how about her asking what’s the cost-benefit? Are you kidding me? We don’t need to open THAT vial of worms. Who knows what might ooze out? Probably something gross and Fauci-like, and then what?
Maybe this sudden jab hesitancy has something to do with the baffling fact that, after all these jabs, nearly 690 Covid patients toss and turn in Victorian hospitals, with 32 gasping in intensive care, and with 108 of them planted six feet under just THIS WEEK. That’s the equivalent of over 300 weekly covid deaths in Florida.
But over 90% of Victoria’s population over 12 is jabbed. The math isn’t adding up.
I couldn’t easily locate figures for Victoria, but over in neighboring New South Wales, it seems like lately, the more you’re jabbed, the more likely you’ll be hospitalized:
Although Australians are heavily vaccinated, do you think the largest group is the 4+ shot group? I suspect not. But they’re the largest hospitalized group in New South Wales, by far. It’s a pandemic of the boosted.
Remember when Fauci used to babble about what percent of jabbing was needed to reach “herd immunity?” First it was 60%, then 70%, then 75%, then 80%. If 90% won’t do it, now what? And if the jabs are obviously not preventing hospitalizations and deaths, what good are they?
Those seem to be the “global questions” that everybody except the CDC is asking. So, thank goodness we have the CDC, am I right?
🔥 This is the world we live in now. Vice News ran a story Thursday with the mind-bending headline, “Man Legally Changed Gender to Gain Custody of His Kids. Trans Groups Are Concerned.” The sub-headline explained, “René Salinas Ramos says the legal change is an attempt to gain full custody of his daughters, because Ecuadoran law favors mothers in custody battles.”
Hahaha! He — sorry, I mean “She” — just evened the legal playing field! Sorry mothers!
“Being a father in this country, Ecuador, is punished and I’m only seen as a provider,” Ramos explained. “The laws say that the one who has the right is the woman. As of this moment, I am female. Now I’m also a mom, that’s how I consider myself,” Salinas Ramos told La Voz del Tomebamba outside the Civil Registry office on December 30th in the city of Cuenca. “I am very sure of my sexuality. What I have sought is that I want to be a mother, so that I can also give the love and protection of a mother.”
The article goes on to quote a lot of trans activists who are outraged and appalled and insist that Ramos isn’t a “real” trans woman. What did they THINK was going to happen? And they can’t even say what a “real” trans woman is, either.
Obviously, Ramos is a man, I mean woman, who will do anything for his kids. After all, isn’t that the most important quality for a mother? I’m sure he — I mean SHE — is going to be a great mom.
Stand back moms, hold our beer, and let us dads show you how REAL mothering looks.
Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll see you guys back here on Monday for more.
C&C is moving the needle and changing minds. If you can, I could use your help getting the truth out and spreading optimism and hope: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/-learn-how-to-get-involved-
© 2022, Jeff Childers, all rights reserved
Published with author’s permission.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.