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Tipsheet

WATCH: 'Gotcha' Question Backfires on House Democratic Leader

The House Democratic leader in question is New York's Hakeem Jeffries, the Chairman of his party's lower chamber caucus, who tends to embarrass himself online from time to time.  This week, Jeffries proved he can also embarrass himself in person.  He's versatile that way.  In a House hearing on Supreme Court "reforms" -- Democrats have a few months left of this sort of fantasizing before voters likely send them into the minority -- Jeffries asked what he apparently believed to be a 'gotcha' question of a conservative witness.  The subject of conversation was Justice Clarence Thomas.  Here's the backdrop:

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Mark Paoletta, a partner at Schaerr Jaffe who was previously general counsel at the Office of Management and Budget under Trump, testified before the committee and made similar claims. Paoletta claimed that the Supreme Court was not being undermined by ethics issues and instead by coordinated campaigns by the media and Democrats to smear conservative justices.  “The left hates Justice Thomas because he is a Black conservative who has never bowed to those who demand that he must think a certain way because of the color of his skin,” Paoletta said. “The racist attacks have repeatedly sought to portray Justice Thomas as dependent on white people.”  Democrats on the committee said they were not singling out Thomas because of his skin color or beliefs but instead for how he has acted on the court.

Jeffries decided to see if Paoletta could cite an example of the claimed race-based animus. The Congressman evidently thought he'd freeze his target right in his tracks.  Oops.  

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Not only did the witness have an example prepared, he had an example from the Democratic Chairman of the committee before which he was testifying.  A disoriented Jeffries starts mumbling about the N-word and freedom of speech, neither of which is responsive to the point being made. He asked for an example, and boy, did he get one.  After some stuttering straw-grasping from his inquisitor, Paoletta offers to furnish him with another example, in order to answer the question even more thoroughly.  Jeffries obnoxiously, if wisely, takes a pass.  He'd already taken the L.  Meanwhile, in case you missed it via Julio, here's another notable moment from a Congressional hearing this week, this time from the other side of the building:


Choudhury, hyped by the press as a nominee who'd be the first Muslim woman on the federal bench, makes "no effort whatsoever on her part to defend the truth of the statement, acknowledge that she made it, or show any remorse for saying something she cannot and will not defend as true," Dan McLaughlin notes.  Whatever you think of 'racial justice' issues, the 'substance' of what Ms. Choudry said is demonstrably, and dramatically false:

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For the last five years, the police have fatally shot about 1,000 civilians annually, the vast majority of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. Black people account for about 23% of those shot and killed by police; they are about 13% of the U.S. population. As of the June 22 update, the Washington Post’s database of fatal police shootings showed 14 unarmed Black victims and 25 unarmed white victims in 2019. The database does not include those killed by other means, like George Floyd. The number of unarmed Black shooting victims is down 63% from 2015, when the database began. There are about 7,300 Black homicide victims a year. The 14 unarmed victims in fatal police shootings would comprise only 0.2% of that total.

The excuse from Ms. Choudhury (currently a state-level ACLU official) for her appalling misstatement is that she was making a "rhetorical point," as an "advocate." Kennedy's follow-up about the acceptability of spreading lies in that context is a good one for someone who wants to be a federal judge.  I'll leave you with something more edifying that recently happened on Capitol Hill.  Bravo:

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Nine hundred sixty-one people.  What a testament to her efforts, and to the Biden administration's disgraceful failures.  Speaking of which:

Approximately $7 billion of military equipment the US transferred to the Afghan government over the course of 16 years was left behind in Afghanistan after the US completed its withdrawal from the country in August, according to a congressionally mandated report from the US Department of Defense viewed by CNN. This equipment is now in a country that is controlled by the very enemy the US was trying to drive out over the past two decades: the Taliban. The Defense Department has no plans to return to Afghanistan to "retrieve or destroy" the equipment, reads the report, which has been provided to Congress.

President Biden pledged last April that the US withdrawal would be conducted "responsibly, deliberately, and safely."  That was a lie, as thousands of abandoned Americans and allies can attest.  Yet when the chaos unfolded, Biden called it an "extraordinary success."  Appalling.

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