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Pelosi’s Capitol riot panel aims to sell her pet conspiracy theories

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Pelosi's Capitol riot panel aims to sell her pet conspiracy theories

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing ahead with her “independent 9/11-type commission,” but it looks more like an effort to bolster conspiracy theories than to get all the facts out.

For starters, she’s plainly eager to turn the awful Jan. 6 Capitol riot into a culture-shifting moment the way 9/11 was. She’d like nothing better than to have the government treat most conservatives as terrorists, or at least enablers of terrorism.

Problem is, 9/11 was objectively a far bigger deal than the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. The al Qaeda plot saw four jets hijacked, two cities targeted and nearly 3,000 dead innocents. At the Capitol, pro-Trump hoodlums broke in, vandalized the building and delayed an important step in the presidential election process. Five people died in the scattered violence.

Again, it was outrageous — but not in the same league as the Islamists’ well-planned 2001 airborne strike. Indeed, of the five Capitol deaths, four were of the rioters: Two of the rioters reportedly died for medical reasons, one by accidental trampling, and one, Ashli Babbitt, was shot by a cop.

Early reports that the invaders beat the fifth victim, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, to death with a fire extinguisher now appear wrong. CNN this month noted that “medical examiners did not find signs that [Sicknick] sustained any blunt force trauma.”

Other initial, alarming accounts have proved similarly overblown, as Glenn Greenwald points out. For example, no evidence to date backs up the reports that two protesters brought in zip ties in a premeditated plan to hold lawmakers hostage, and prosecutors concede that one of the two, Eric Munchel, simply found the zip ties inside the Capitol.

Meanwhile, the often-used term for the riot, “insurrection,” suggests a significant portion of the population launching a sustained, armed attack to overthrow the government. Yet there’s no sign rioters planned such an attack or that any of them brandished firearms in the building. Again, it was awful, but it was no Whiskey Rebellion.

And, for all the venting on the left, neither American democracy nor the presidential transition was ever at risk.

But the speaker plainly doesn’t care about the facts. Heck, Russel Honoré, the long-retired general she put in charge of her “security investigation” after the attacks, is an utter crank who has condemned the federal agents facing down the Portland rioters and was claiming to know the real story of the Capitol attack long before any dust had settled.

No, the real mission of Pelosi’s “independent” commission, as Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) admits, is to make sure “we lay bare the record of just how . . . abjectly violating of his constitutional oath President Trump really was.” That is, it’s supposed to produce the evidence Pelosi didn’t bother to gather before launching her latest impeachment.

To be fair, a real review of what happened Jan. 6 is in order. Why, for example, did congressional officials reportedly deny a Capitol Police request for more security in advance? Were leaders, like the House speaker, involved in that decision? The nation should learn everything that went wrong.

But Pelosi & Co. don’t want to get out all the facts, they want an “independent” rubber-stamp to validate the story they’ve already told. It’s a shameful effort to exploit that horrific day for pure partisan advantage. She’s shameless.

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Opinion

Race and gender rhetoric is the perfect cover for corporate misdeeds

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Race and gender rhetoric is the perfect cover for corporate misdeeds

Every ruling class sustains a myth to legitimate its rule. What distinguishes America’s corporate elite and its legitimating myth — wokeness and endless self-flagellation about “equity” — is a galling dishonesty married to rapacious greed.

For a stark illustration, consider the financial giant Citigroup.

In September, as protests and race riots gripped the nation, Citi published a study claiming that racism has cost the United States $16 trillion. The bank’s then-vice chairman, Raymond McGuire, contributed a pained and pious introduction.

Citigroup also announced Jane Fraser as its new CEO in September, making her the first female boss of a major Wall Street bank. Thus, as progressives applauded yet another corporate entry into the register of social justice, it went mostly unnoticed that federal regulators fined the bank $400 million the following month.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a regulatory agency within the US Treasury, said this penalty is “based on the bank’s unsafe or unsound banking practices for its long-standing failure to establish effective risk-management and data-governance programs and internal controls.” Regulators were curiously vague about the specifics. Fraser, as the financial press delicately put it, was “saddled” with a cleanup job.

From 2015 to 2019, Fraser served as chief executive of Citi’s Latin-American region. During her tenure, the bank paid $10.5 million in penalties to the Securities and Exchange Commission. “The charges stem from $81 million of losses due to trader mismarking and unauthorized proprietary trading and $475 million of losses due to fraudulently-induced loans made by a Mexican subsidiary,” the SEC said in a statement on Aug. 16, 2018.

Those penalties came a month after Citigroup reached an agreement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to pay $335 million in restitution to credit-card customers. The bank failed to reevaluate and reduce the annual percentage rates after periodic account reviews, as required by law, for approximately 1.75 million customers.

It’s hard to avoid the impression that Citi’s race-and-gender agonies — the study on racism, the female CEO — were meant to cover misconduct for which the firm has been repeatedly fined.

Silicon Valley follows a similar template.

A leaked 2020 internal memo revealed that Facebook has a policy — dubbed a “diversity initiative” — of deliberately passing over Americans for visa workers in hiring. “When hiring for HR positions, it’s important to prioritize H-1B visa workers, and this will stimulate the process of diversification of the workplace. Although not mandatory, we recognize that the priority of H-1B applicants in favor of American applicants is for the greater good of company culture.”

Facebook denied the authenticity of the memo. But the Department of Justice announced a lawsuit against the company in December 2020, alleging Facebook intentionally and systematically broke the law by refusing to hire interested and qualified American workers. “Diversification” masks a system of ruthless labor exploitation and outsourcing.

Visa workers’ right to stay in the United States is contingent on their employment, so they are naturally less prone to complaining about working conditions. It’s also not as easy for them as it is for citizens to take legal recourse against abusive employers. A “diverse” workforce is a docile and obedient one, as Amazon also knows.

Whole Foods, Amazon’s supermarket chain, has its own “diversity” initiative. As with Facebook, it is a cynical ploy intended to disadvantage workers.

Internal documents reviewed by Business Insider show Whole Foods promotes diversification because stores with lower racial diversity have a higher likelihood of unionizing. In other words, Amazon doesn’t want workers to bargain for better pay and working conditions. And although the company is freezing donations to Republicans who challenged the certification of President Biden’s victory, in part, due to irregularities involving mail-in ballots, Amazon attempted to block voting by mail for a union election at a fulfillment center in Alabama. Mail-in voting, Amazon said, prevents supervision and “a fair election.”

America’s “woke” moment has allowed the oligarchs to apply a fresh patina of legitimacy to rotting and repulsively unjust power structures.

Pedro Gonzalez is assistant editor of American Greatness.

Twitter: @Emereticus  

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — Feb. 25, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — Feb. 25, 2021

The Issue: A winter storm in Texas that knocked out state residents’ power for over a week.

The premise of Kevin D. Williamson’s article rests on a flawed observation that the energy woes of Texas were a result of underperforming renewables. The author failed to note that of the 45 gigawatts of power offline, 30 gigawatts involved natural gas (“The Mess In Texas,” PostScript, Feb. 21).

In fact, it is widely acknowledged now that renewables performed better than expected, while fossil-fuel plants underperformed.

Since the piece included the exact number by which solar and wind failed, I can only assume the author also knew how much of a failure thermal plants were.

Therefore this piece is just another attempt to confuse the public and distract from the urgency with which renewables need to be implemented.

Nimisha Wasankar

Austin, Texas

Williamson puts a large part of the blame for Texas’ energy-system failure on the state’s spending on renewable energy instead of making the fossil-fuel part of the system more robust.

He is missing a very important point: Just as Texans didn’t spend to protect their traditional energy sources from cold weather, they didn’t protect their renewable sources, in particular wind, from the very same problems.

Phil Dix

Delran, NJ

The Republican Party has been successful in running against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“Tex. gov plea for more aid,” Feb. 21).

It has raised money and frightened voters by painting her as a real danger to the American way of life.

Texas is undergoing a terrible crisis because of extreme weather. Guess who raised money to help Texans? AOC.

Not President Donald Trump, Reps. Mo Brooks or Kevin McCarthy or Sen. Ted Cruz. These self-proclaimed lovers of the average citizen have done nothing to help their fellow citizens.

As much as I do not agree with AOC’s politics, she has proven to be a real American hero.

Alan Podhaizer

Brooklyn

I’m very distressed about what is happening in Texas and the many people who are suffering dearly: the cold, the snow, the power shutdown, the lack of heat and the shortage of drinking water. This is just so sad.

My cousin, Ronald Moyne, is 72-years-old and lives in Denton, Texas, had no electric to power his home and had to boil water.

The power companies there have fallen down on the job and did not do what had to be done to protect the people of Texas with a plan in place to be ready for this disaster.

Added to all this, many are also hurting from COVID, like the rest of the nation. My prayers go out to all the people of Texas who are suffering so much.

Frederick Bedell

Bellerose

Crying Chuck Schumer should keep his nasty snide remarks about Texas to himself, as we are a self-sufficient state that believes in freedom for all Americans, not just our residents (“Tex. water-crisis fury,” Feb. 22).

It’s the only state in the lower 48 that has its own power grid, but much of that has been hampered by the new administration’s attempts to cut our sources of energy.

Perhaps if Schumer paid more attention to his killer governor, or the abundantly high murder and subway-crime rates, then New York City wouldn’t have so many people fleeing to safer places to live.

Don’t throw stones when you live in a glass house, Chuckie. I’m a former New York City resident.

Douglas Ellis

Mansfield, Texas

Schumer has it backward when he says that Texas is paying the price for ignoring climate change.

Texans made the mistake of believing the global-warming alarmists who said that Texas would become hotter and drier and that snow would be a thing of the past. Why then should Texans weatherize its pipelines?

Why should the state install expensive equipment in its wind turbines to enable them to withstand extreme cold?

Texas’ mistake was listening to the apostles of global warming, not ignoring them.

Rael Isaac

Irvington

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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Opinion

Democrats’ new restaurant-killer in ‘relief’ bill

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Democrats’ new restaurant-killer in ‘relief’ bill

Buried in Democrats’ “relief” bill is a poison pill for restaurants and their servers already struggling thanks to the pandemic and lockdowns: an end to the tipped minimum wage.

As it works now, eateries can pay servers about $5 an hour less than the regular minimum wage, because they earn more than that in their tips. If they don’t, the boss is legally obliged to make up the difference, so it’s a no-lose provision for workers — who generally make far more than minimum as a result.

It’s only become controversial in recent years because tipping makes it near-impossible to unionize restaurants, or at least to collect much in union dues.

But servers like it that way: When Sarah Jessica Parker was hosting a gala to promote killing the tipped-minimum in New York, she had to keep the location a secret to keep hundreds of protesters away. Oh, and the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network opposed the change, too, with NAN’s Rev. Kirsten John Foy noting, “It will be devastating for communities of color, where neighborhood restaurants provide good jobs to a lot of good people, and they make much more than $15 an hour typically.”

Democrats pretend ending tips, and imposing a national $15 minimum wage, will help low-end workers. In fact, it will kill a ton of jobs, especially in low-cost-of-living areas.

Above all, there’s no way this belongs in a pandemic-relief bill: This favor to a special interest is the opposite of relief.

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